Sunday, July 31, 2016

End of the month already?

Where did this month go too?  Do you remember at the beginning of the month I set out some goals for myself.  Well lets see how I did?

  1. Paint ceilings and walls in basement.  Biggish job, but doable.  I hope to get a good start on the trim, but that all depends on dh, as it's all to put up.
Well did get the ceilings and walls done, but nothing as far as the trim is concerned.  
  1. Knit 31 Hexagons for my beekeeper's quilt.  That's one per day and doable.
Managed three.........that's terrible......
  1. Reduce spending.
Mixed bag here, but at least money went into the savings every week.
  1. Have no MacDonald's coffee or muffins Monday through Friday.  It's getting an annoying habit popping out to WalMart to grab a coffee and muffin at MacDonald's.  We do have a gift card for there, so will use that if we go on a weekend.
Still have money on the gift card left, but overall a total failure!
  1. Don't eat out more than twice this month.  To be fair, we don't actually eat out much at all.  We had our wedding anniversary last month and used a gift card we got at Christmas.  We still have one other gift card to use, but I was saving it for dh's birthday in September.
Probably more than twice, but wasn't too, to bad.
  1. Try and keep a handle on the grocery spending......with the rising prices easier said that done.
I think this last week I ended up spending around $85 for the week.  It is truly hard to keep it under that per week nowadays.
  1. NO buying magazines other than Pretty Patches at the end of the month......this is a hard one for me!
This I did manage to do and I did pick up my magazine yesterday.
  1. No shopping online........even harder!!
Well I shopped online 3 times this month.  Twice at Land's End and once at Marks and Spencer.  Have to say though the Mark's purchase was some great deals.  I got three tops for myself, two new bath mats and a hand towel all for $50 CDN  That includes shipping, duties, taxes, everything.  They have a good sale on at the moment.

I will post August goals tomorrow.

How did you do?

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Nitty Gritty of it all......

Now this isn't a major thing, believe me every morning/night when I watch the news and see what is going on in the world, my issue is nothing but thought it was worth mentioning.

Background: moved into this house two years ago.  Brand new house, never lived in before.  Pretty reputable builder, building maybe 60 homes a year.  Finishes a notch up from the regular new home builder.  So all in all good.

To save us money we decided to finish of the majority of the basement ourselves.  For various reasons we did not catch these issues when we did our walk through before we moved in.

1.  Problem: basement window frames sticking out further than the drywall. Remedy: saw and sand off excess and re-attach original window trim.  (on a side note the frames are made of MDF, do you know how much mess that makes when sanding it?)

2. Problem; a/c making a horrendous noise on the weekend.
Remedy: to figure out what was going on, we needed to take off the panel from the front off the furnace.  Do you see the black and copper pipes in the furnace?  The lazy technicians put them going through the front panel making it almost impossible to take the front panel off???  It is working now as dh tightened all screws and no more noise.  We don't think we have solved the problem, but until something else happens it's fine.

3. Problem: Hardwood floor squeaking in the dining room.  The installers did not put the "nails" correctly so they squeak against the beam below.

Remedy: Dh installed shims on the beam to put a barrier between the beam and the nails.  Builder's remedy, jump up and down on the fall, to see if it will stop squeaking..........

4. Problem: Trim around doors cut too short, so gap filled with DAP.  This is so sloppy what they did.

Remedy: Well to remedy this problem means taking all the trim off and putting new trim up.  Not sure what we will do.  If I knew this was our forever home I would replace it all, but it isn't so will have to think about this.

5. Problem: driveway stones (interlock stones) loose due to water coming down the downspout onto the side of the driveway.  Builder been told about this and has done nothing to remedy the situation.

Remedy: Redirect the downspout.  Relay the stones and everything would be good.  With being in a "Condo situation," we are not supposed to touch anything outside but something has to be done?

In the scheme of things none of these issues are major, but getting down to the nitty gritty of it all, if the workmen had done a correct job in the first place none of these things should have happened (other than the furnace.)  They were taking short cuts and didn't care about the finished products.  

Anyway, just thought I'd mention this and warn other's, just because you buy a brand new home, doesn't mean it won't have it's problems.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Great British Bake Off - Season 3

I know I am behind the times here, but we have just got the series on one of our stations and I must say I am loving it.  If anyone is interested in this you may have watched it already, as the third series finished a while ago.  You can read more about it here.  I am going to tell you who the winner is later on in the post (won't name them though) so if you don't want to know, don't read any further.

This week it was bread.  I was so inspired by the quick breads, that I decided to have a go and used this recipe:

Soda Bread with Smoked Bacon and Onion

Ingredients
  • 250gms white flour
  • 250gms wholemeal flour
  • 300gms smoked streaky bacon (diced)
  • 3 large white onions
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage
  • 1-2 tsps table salt
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 2tsp 'bex tartar' (cream of tartar)
  • 1tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 pint of whole milk

Directions

  1. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 5/200c.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Fry the bacon and diced onion until crisp.
  4. In a large mixing bowl put the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder and stir to combine.
  5. Drain the bacon and onion on to kitchen paper and add to the flour. De-stem and chop up the sage and add this to the mix.
  6. Using your hand to mix pour in the milk until you have a soft but not sticky dough.
  7. Tip onto a floured surface and cut into two.
  8. Shape each half into a round (about 1-2in deep) and make a deep cross on each loaf.
  9. Put on the baking trays and put in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  10. Cool on a wire rack and brush the top of each loaf with a little of the bacon oil left in the frying pan.
  11. While the bread is baking, slice the third onion into rings. Fry in butter with 2tsp of sage and 2 tsp of sugar. Fry until golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper and then sprinkle on top of the bread.
  12. Serve in a basket.
However, didn't have sage or smoked bacon.  So I used diced up deli sliced Black Forest Ham.  Didn't put the topping on either.

They could have done with a bit longer in the oven and were quite dense.  They were pretty tasty though, warm with butter on.

It is well known who won this series, but I have to say watching her so far on the first three shows; it boggles my mind as to how she won?  I am a big fan of Ian's and like his style. It is on a channel called PBS/WNED and on a Friday night for us in Southern Ontario.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The "anaconda" has to go.......

The "anaconda" is in fact my central vac system.  In theory it is a great machine, but having to drag a 50 foot hose with you wherever you go, gets annoying pretty fast.

So I have turned my focus to one of these; a Dyson cordless vacuum:
Now I have no experience with any of these; but Dyson has a good name.  They are expensive and there are different models.

The Dyson V6 Slim retails for $399.99
The Dyson V6 + retails for $499.99 and is pictured above
The Dyson V8 Animal retails for $599.99
The Dyson V8 Absolute retails for $699.99

Now which model is the best?  Do I buy the most expensive or just go with the cheapest?  Has anyone had any experience with these?  Should I be looking at another brand?

Currently I try not to vacuum more than twice a week.  We mainly have hardwood in this house with the bedrooms being carpet and the area rugs on the floors elsewhere.

I will not be buying this anytime soon.  It's on my wish list; like a 48 inch tv is on dh's wish list!!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Update on July goals, as it's the middle of the month.

  1. Paint ceilings and walls in basement.  Biggish job, but doable.  I hope to get a good start on the trim, but that all depends on dh, as it's all to put up.  All the ceilings are painted.  Two of the rooms walls are painted and as soon as I feel better the rest will be done.
  2. Knit 31 Hexagons for my beekeeper's quilt.  That's one per day and doable. NOT HAPPENING :0(
  3. Reduce spending - NOT HAPPENING :0(
  4. Have no MacDonald's coffee or muffins Monday through Friday.  It's getting an annoying habit popping out to WalMart to grab a coffee and muffin at MacDonald's.  We do have a gift card for there, so will use that if we go on a weekend. FAIL
  5. Don't eat out more than twice this month.  To be fair, we don't actually eat out much at all.  We had our wedding anniversary last month and used a gift card we got at Christmas.  We still have one other gift card to use, but I was saving it for dh's birthday in September. FAIL
  6. Try and keep a handle on the grocery spending......with the rising prices easier said that done. So far so good
  7. NO buying magazines other than Pretty Patches at the end of the month......this is a hard one for me! So far so good.
  8. No shopping online........even harder!! Fail, Land's End had a good sale...oops!
Bit of a mixed bag with a few fails it seems.  HOWEVER; we have finished purchasing all the light fixtures for the basement.  We have picked up the majority of the doors for the basement; which dh sourced and saved us a lot of money on them and on the trim when we pick that up.  I do see me getting all the walls painted and hopefully if dh has time to put them up, the doors as well.  That will leave only the rest of the trim.  Dh is coming up to a busy time of year work wise for him.

The Land's End online shopping is for a wedding we are going too in the new year.

We have ordered pizza a couple of times over the past two weeks.  It costs $11.50 with tax and we pick it up.  With me being sick and it being so hot it was something quick and easy.

How are you doing with your July goals?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I finally gave in........

and went to the doctors.

Turns out not only have I got bad allergies; I also have a "virus:  I think a "virus" is a catch-all term for "you have something; not sure what, but antibiotics should do the trick!!"

So I came out with a prescription for oral antibiotic's, antibiotic drops for my eyes, and allergy eye drops.  From that you will have guessed it's my eyes that are a problem, with them constantly watering and they are closed shut in the morning, with gunk and stuff.

It's been a bad year for allergies around here, as it has been so dry.  Plus we are surrounded by potato fields and we live on a building site.  Dust is the biggest culprit for me, along with fresh mown grass and pollen.

Anyhoo, things must be bad, as I am using a nasal spray on my nose, and to my mind that is icky and a no, no.  Also I would rather go to the dentist than do anything with my eyes; especially put drops in them.  As I have NEVER put drops in my eyes before, honestly I avoid all things eyes like the plague; I decided I had better have a word with the pharmacist to get some tips on how to do it.

So she was quite graphic in explaining the technique, and if she didn't show me once, she had to show me numerous times how to make a "pocket" in your lower eyelid.  Tears were pouring from my eyes meanwhile; not crying just my eyes watering thinking about it all.  In the end I told her to stop demonstrating I got the picture.  I then asked if I did the antibiotic eye drop and then put in the allergy one straight after.  No, I have to wait five minutes between drops.  At that point I rolled my eyes and said,"is this so I can prolong the agony?"  She found that funny and then said I only had to wait a minute or two.

So I have put the drops in twice now.  I have to do this for 10 sodding days...........I am not happy but I am desperate for some relief, so I will pull up my big girl pants and get on with it I guess?

Meanwhile I look like this:
roll on Fall..........


Monday, July 11, 2016

Some nice things happening in this big bad world of ours.......

I read a lovely story of a 103 year old lady "running" the bases at a baseball game.  You can read more about it here.

Remember the other day I was complaining about driving on the highway?  Well I should have read about the Shetland Traffic News and Advice.........and I thought I had problems....LOL

Managed to watch part of the men's final at Wimbledon, Andy Murray deserved to win, though I was cheering Milos Raonic on as he is Canadian.

Sort of watched the final in the Euro Cup with Portugal winning.  Can't say I was fussed either way who won.  Dh kept falling asleep, so not the most exciting game, right?

These Tiny Houses are a big thing nowadays.  Not sure I could live in 100 + square feet, but I do like looking at them.  You can see some here.

Finally this:

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cat Bandana's....

yes you read that right.  That is what I have been busy with.  My good friend is on the board of our local animal shelter and is one of the leaders in the cat department.  They have a photographer who comes into the shelter to take photos of the animals for their profile for adoption.  My friend decided that adding bandana's to the cats would be something different.  So I made a couple to see how they fit and here is Midnight modeling one:

Midnight is around 8 months old and available for adoption.

I altered the style a little and here are some more I made.
I took them over to my friend's house and she will take them up to the shelter to see if this design works.  They fasten with velcro and are adjustable.

Funny thing in all of this, is we don't have a cat as we are allergic to cats.  Dh is highly allergic, me only mildly; which is just as well as Midnight reminds us of the cat we had when we were growing up, Moggs.  I have always loved black cats and would have adopted him/her.

Wonder what I'll be making next.........hats for cats?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Highway driving.

On Wednesday I went to see dd and had to travel down two major highways/motorways.  The 400 and the 401.  The 401 goes across the top of Toronto.
With last weekend being a holiday weekend (Canada Day) a lot of people took this week off so the traffic wasn't too bad.  However it seemed to me that the "crazy drivers" forgot to take a vacation and were out in force!  As were the "rubbernecker's," you know the people who practically come to a stop, so they can look at the pretty flashing lights six lanes over on the other side of the road.......

Then of course we have to speed demon's who are going like a bat out of hell in the fast lane; then suddenly remember they have to take the exit so go flying across a minimum of three lanes, sometimes more, to get to the exit ramp.  God help anyone who gets in their way.  I had a large truck pull out right in front of me, no indicators or nothing.  Luckily we weren't going fast at that point as he jumped gears and practically came to a stop.

Truly I don't know how people drive those major highways, day in day out?  I guess you get desensitized to it all and accept it for what it is.  I am still at a point that the big highways don't bother me, despite me living in "the countryside."  There is just one part of the journey, where I leave one highway to go onto another highway where I get a little concerned.  I have to cross over half a dozen lanes to do it and you have to hope people will be kind enough to let you in.  Canadians are a very polite bunch but when it comes to driving, they are as selfish as the rest of the world!!!

It's been a while since I had posted book reviews on my book review blog; March in fact.  I posted four reviews yesterday here if you would like to read them.

We are in the middle of a heat wave again.  I feel so sorry for the people who have to work outdoors in this weather.  Poor dh is suffering as he works in a factory environment where there are huge welders so a lot of heat.  Add in the humidity and it's draining.  We desperately need rain here, not just for the gardens, but to dampen down the dust.  For me dust = allergies!!

Enjoy your Friday.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

All five together..........

for the very first time.  

Back row from left to right:

Nora 2 yrs 8 months, Nitara 3 yrs 6 months, Samvith 1 yr 10 months

Front Row: Jeina 36 days, Paige 21 days 

 Sorry about this photo, it turned on me.
 The older girls were turning to see what Samvith was up too, that boy cannot sit still for a minute!!
 The older girls were willing to have the photos taken..........the others weren't!!
Cute as buttons and full of energy.  Nana drove home and sat down for the rest of the day!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Iceland Chant........


 Very moving, takes you back to a time long past. Would have loved to see Iceland go further in the Euro Cup.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Today's Music of Choice when painting was:

Queen's Greatest Hits:




I can't decide which song I like the best, it's a toss up between these two songs:



or this one:
 
What's your favourite Queen song?

Monday, July 4, 2016

The 1980's called and they want their paint colour back...LOL

Busy painting the back room downstairs a delightful Seafoam Green colour.
Now before you ask, no I didn't go out of my way to pick this colour, I thought I would try and save some money by picking up a mistint colour and when I saw this colour it was darker.  So mixed in a can of white and out popped Seafoam Green...........am I lucky or what!

The saving grace in all of this is that the room has no windows and it is closed off with a door.  So unless you want to go to this particular room, or the cold cellar, you don't see it.

I think when I get the whole of the room finished it will look fine.  I am painting all the trim and doors white and we are putting down a vinyl plank floor that looks like wood (I think).

At the end of the day we are using this room for mainly storage, and possibly a sewing room.  Now should I paint the rest of the basement peach.............okay, okay I am joking, it will be builder's beige, except on my paint chart it's called Feather Stone.

I do have a recommendation for primer/undercoat for the folk in Canada and the States.  I used Behr Premium Plus Primer.  I got it from Home Depot and was very happy with it.  You are buying it for it's sealing powers more than how white it goes on the walls.  There is not a lot of pigment in the primer, so it goes on very patchy.  However I found because it seals the walls well, it does not suck in as much paint when you come to put your top coats of paint on.

I will show finished photos of the rooms when done.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Five things that make me happy, and one thing that's p*ssing me off...

Carla posted about this yesterday, so I figured I would "borrow" her idea and do my list.  Must say though I can come up with more things that are driving me potty than good things at the moment, but here goes.

1. I was so happy that I didn't go to the Blue Jays game on Friday, as they played 19 innings, yes you read that right, NINETEEN

2. Glad to be living in a great country, and we have now celebrated our 27th Canada Day in Canada.

3. Got to see Nora and Paige on Saturday and I hope to see, all five of the grandchildren all together later in the week.

4. Picked up more paint for the basement, on sale and had a coupon for $5 and bought enough paint to fill out my card for a free can of paint.  So all in all I saved over $75.

5. Happy that dh was able to have a three day weekend.  There was a chance he was going to have to work.

Now for the thing I am irritated with..........ME

I am still sick.  Can you believe it.  I think though I am leaning more and more towards a sinus thing/allergies.  I bought a nasal spray on Friday, but as yet it's making no difference.  I am on allergy pills and have been for a while.  My throat though still feels red raw and I am still so tired.  It will be two weeks on Wednesday since I started feeling unwell.  So I may make an appointment to see the doctor (hopefully) for Thursday (if he has room) to see what he says?  (They have all been full of cold at daughter's house, so I knew I couldn't infect them with anything.  That's why we went for a visit.)

Finally a Happy Birthday to future daughter-in-law; it's her birthday today!


Saturday, July 2, 2016

which one are you?

When it come to other people's blogs do you:

1. Both read and comment

2. Read but don't comment

3. Or a bit of both?

I am a reader, but don't often comment nowadays.   I used to comment more, but am more picky about commenting; I don't comment just for the heck of it.  I enjoy reading what other people have to say though, and take away many useful hints and tips.

Then just because I wanted to add a little colour to this post.  Here is my hexagon pot:




Friday, July 1, 2016

Some goals for July:

Figured I would set some goals for July, can't hurt can it?





  1. Paint ceilings and walls in basement.  Biggish job, but doable.  I hope to get a good start on the trim, but that all depends on dh, as it's all to put up.
  2. Knit 31 Hexagons for my beekeeper's quilt.  That's one per day and doable.
  3. Reduce spending.
  4. Have no MacDonald's coffee or muffins Monday through Friday.  It's getting an annoying habit popping out to WalMart to grab a coffee and muffin at MacDonald's.  We do have a gift card for there, so will use that if we go on a weekend.
  5. Don't eat out more than twice this month.  To be fair, we don't actually eat out much at all.  We had our wedding anniversary last month and used a gift card we got at Christmas.  We still have one other gift card to use, but I was saving it for dh's birthday in September.
  6. Try and keep a handle on the grocery spending......with the rising prices easier said that done.
  7. NO buying magazines other than Pretty Patches at the end of the month......this is a hard one for me!
  8. No shopping online........even harder!!
Do you have any monthly goals, you would like to share with us all?