Monday, January 31, 2011

Busy day at work on Monday......

Which is the way I like it, BUT I was pooped by the end of the day.

It was bitter cold here again on Monday and it was funny to see all the folks around my area with all their fires on as you could see all the smoke coming out of the chimneys.  Dh said ours was barely "alive" by the time he got home, as the wood I put on it when I left for work at 7:45 am was not dense wood, it felt a bit light, so burned up sooner than it should have.

Something sort of funny happened at work, actually it's more sad than funny.......I went into work, sat down and logged into the computer with all the correct passwords just like that.  I then went onto a dealer website to pull up some info for the guys and again popped in the passwords just like that.  I go to the bank to do the deposit and forgot the deposit card!!  So how is it I can remember passwords that I haven't used or thought of in months, but forget the bank deposit card? 

A customer rang and I hadn't talked to him in probably over a year and I remembered his name right off..........but when I was writing Christmas cards this last year, I couldn't for the life of me remember my cousin's daughter's name?

It's funny what information we manage to retain isn't it?

I am back at work today as there is "stuff" to do.  Oh for lunch yesterday I took a container of Kraft Dinner that you microwave. 

Kraft Dinner to me is a treat as I never buy it as I make my own mac and cheese.  I must say I wasn't overly impressed with it, as it tasted a little too buttery to me......I know strange.  Mind you it was a perfect size and it was filling and warm on a cold day.  I think I paid 99 cents for it which wasn't too bad.

Also had to laugh at Linda who I am covering for while she basks in the sun in Cuba.......lucky duck.  She left me instructions on how to make the coffee, as she knows if she doesn't I WILL NOT make coffee for the guys............why because I generally don't drink it...........oh, and I make terrible coffee........which is all very convenient don't you think....LOL 

So think of me on Tuesday, slaving away at the computer.......and no I won't have time to check my blog, or my email or make personal calls.............or will I???


At work today.......

Normal blogging service will resume tomorrow!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Out after dark!!!!

We went to friends for dinner last night, so we were actually out after dark which is very unusual for us.  These are the friends that asked us if we wanted rabbit for dinner!!  They ended up cooking a pork loin.  He is the cook of the house.  We started with some homemade Guacamole and chips.  Then he made homemade Bruschetta on homemade bread.  He made homemade gnocchi with homemade tomato sauce as a starter.  There was pork loin with roasted white and purple potatoes, red and green peppers, and smashed peas with bacon.  For dessert there was an Italian cake covered with chocolate and a diabetic cheesecake as one of the other guests was diabetic.  They have a cappuccino maker so we could have that and liqueurs if we wanted after.

He is Italian if you hadn't guessed and she is Canadian.  He cooks all the time and makes most of his own pasta and sauces and is a super cook.  We all left around 9pm, as dh had to be up for work at 4:20am today.  Still it was a lovely night out and the other couple there were also great fun, and as we hadn't met them before it was amazing how well we all got on together.

I am not sure when we'll have them back as our friends are heading on a month's cruise to Italy at the end of February, so we may wait until sometime around Easter so we can hear all about their trip.  They got a bargain as all in all it is costing them $3,500 each which includes airfares from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale.  They sail around the Caribbean for a three days then head over the Atlantic to Italy.  Spend some time in the Mediterranean and then they spend some time in Italy before flying back to Toronto.

Anyhow, we had a lovely night and made a great change from sitting in front of the tv!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You've got to see what Patty bought for $11 this week.

I am featuring once a week a lady who is buying $11 worth of items to donate to the homeless shelters or foodbanks.  What this lady can buy for $11 is marvellous.  Here is week five's items  I think it is on the second post.  She certainly knows how to use coupons, I wish I could do as well.

Star mentioned on yesterdays post I am "nesting" and I think she is right.  When you are in the house more due to the cold weather, I think it gives you more time to plan.  Dh and I are going to spend some time in the attic today.  We have to get some work done before the guy comes to install the banisters.  I can actually see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel with this attic.  There is still a lot to do, but it is all coming together.  I will take some photos when we get some more work done.

The Toronto Transit Commission is in the headlines AGAIN, this time a bus driver is caught texting while driving a bus full of people!!  It's against the law to text while driving for everyone, but what makes it worse he is putting a bus load of people at risk...........The TTC is always in trouble with the general public.  The last public relations nightmare for them was when someone took a photo of an employee asleep on the job.  That guy has since passed away.........

All I know is whenever the TTC employee's do something stupid, out pops the Union Guy spouting a whole lot of tripe, I have never seen a man talk a whole lot of nothing for a long period of time.......but hey that's another story for another time!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Always on the lookout for ideas for around the house.

Dh has been saying he would like to change the TV stand now that we have a flat screen TV.  So of course I have been searching high and low for the "prefect"  LCD TV Stand and I think I have finally found it.  What do you think about this one.  Our furniture in the family room is burgundy and green, we have wood floors and panelling on the walls, so I thought the antique white/cream would add a bit of brightness to the room?  I also like that it isn't too modern looking and it has plenty of storage in it.  Plus I want to eventually paint the walls an antique white colour to add an air of lightness to the room?

I have to admit my mind is all over the place with decorating this house as there is so much to do, and only so much money in the pot, but I guess that is the same with everyone isn't it?  So I need to shop around even more to see how far I can stretch what little money we have.  One thing in our favour though is the American dollar is on par with the Canadian dollar which makes buying across the border even more attractive at the moment!!

Dd went to a store called Creative Bag on Thursday and they have a fantastic website full of fun things, check it out.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Skywatch Friday

If it wasn't for the icicles you would think it was summer with those blue skies!!

For more Skywatch Friday photos, please click on this link

DMC Light Effects Thread.....

I bought this magazine this week:

It had a free kit in it to make Christmas Gift Tags.

As you can see I made one.  Pretty simple but it uses DMC Light Effects thread.  I have never worked with that before and what a pain it was.  Do you have any tips on making it easier to use?

That's the window sill wood by the way, we have very deep window sills and they are all wood.

Dh was off on Wednesday so we had a trip to Ikea.  I haven't been there in ages.  I got the neatest dish drainer there, couldn't find it on the website to show you though.  I quite like this light fixture though. I find Ikea a great place but the style of their items are a bit too modern for this house.  Regardless it got dh out of the house and we saw a few things that we may want to buy in the future.

Must say though, I was pooped though when we got home, so I am still not 100% well yet, but am getting there.

There is a really cute giveaway at this blog if you want to enter?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Need your help and a couple of neat videos.....

Need your help dd is wanting custom designed cocktail napkins for the wedding.  So far though she is running into problems, as companies in the States either want an American credit card or charge an arm and a leg in shipping.  Does anyone know of a company that makes cocktail napkins in Canada that can have a custom design put on them and not cost $100 for 200 of them............OR is there a company in the States that won't charge $50 in shipping (no kidding there) or will accept a Canadian credit card OR is there a reasonably priced company in Britain where we can order from.  In the Britain situation we will get them delivered to my mothers and she will bring them over with her in November.

First let me thank Valerie for bringing this to my attention as prior to seeing it on her blog I had never even heard of this song by Paul McCartney.

I was also sent the photos from this you tube video, it's so different.

Had a bit of a relapse in my recovery on Tuesday.  I felt as though someone had sucked all the energy out of me, so needless to say didn't get much done through the day.  I guess there is always tomorrow.

Oh and finally, check out this online store: Deckchair Stripes, such a lot of fun things on there.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Off to Grandma's house we go, just follow the trail of sugar......

The one thing about not being well, is I am confined to the house and can't inflict any damage on anyone else.

However on Monday I was feeling a bit better and wanted to take advantage of the deals on at Shopper's Drug Mart, which included 2kg bags of sugar for $1.50 per bag (limit 4)  Now I need a fair amount of sugar for all the jam I am making for the wedding favours.  So I pop my four bags of sugar in my trolley and wander around the store.

Unbeknown to me (honest!) there was a small hole in one of them.  It wasn't until I put the bag of sugar on the counter and covered that with sugar that I discovered the hole.  When I looked down below my trolley was a lovely pile of sugar and when I looked back there was a trail of sugar.  Mix that with everyones wet feet and you have a sticky mess!!  I of course apologised and they were very kind about it all, but I bet they were cursing me under their breath....LOL

Also checked out a new to me flooring store.  Saw the most perfect tiles for our mud room, they look like planks of wood but are tiles, here is what they look like.  They also had a great selection of both laminate and hard wood flooring both at good prices.  Plus I think we will be getting our carpet for the attic from them as their pricing was pretty good.  They are a small local company and it a good thing to support your local companies.

Dh said to me when we were washing up on Monday night that I must be getting better as I am back to shopping again!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A new to me recipe.....

Things must be improving if I am baking again!!  A friend gave me a recipe book called Crosby's Molasses Family Favourites.  Crosby's is a type of molasses here in Canada.  As I had some applesauce in the fridge I decided to make the Applesauce Spice Cake

Here is the recipe:

1 cup sugar (white)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup molasses (treacle will do if molasses not available)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (lard will do if you can't find vegetable shortening)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups flour (plain)

In one bowl place sifted dry ingredients.  In another beat applesauce, molasses, eggs and shortening.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Beat well by hand or with an electric beater for about three minutes.  Pour into a 9 inch pan and bake at 350 oF for 25 to 35 minutes.

It took mine 45 minutes to cook properly and it was a little dry.  The flavour/taste of the cake though is really, really good.  I may add more applesauce next time I make this.  I also cooked it in a silicone pan, so not sure if that made a difference also?

As I am writing this on Sunday evening, I am feeling a whole lot better.  Dh took me out in the afternoon to get some groceries which was a big help, but it was still bitter cold and it hit you in the chest. 

So fingers crossed this week I can get back to normal.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This says it all......

Yep it's nippy cold up here at the moment.  We looking at wind chills in the minus 30's( -20's oF) this morning, so I guess it's a hibernating day again.  Not that I mind as I don't really have much energy to do anything else.  I had hoped to go to the dreaded Wal-Mart to buy some groceries as they have some items on sale that we need, but I think I will wait another day or two until it warms up and I feel a little better.

I do think I am slowly getting better as I don't feel as though I am going to die anymore....LOL  Thank goodness I only get one of these colds every couple of years or so, as I am painful when I am ill!!

We are going to friends for dinner next Saturday night and she emailed us to ask us if we would like rabbit as the main course...........both me and dh looked at one another and said NO at the same time.  To me rabbits are fluffy creatures hopping around the fields and they carry diseases.  Now I know the rabbits you get over here are bred specifically for meat so no diseases, but I can't get the picture out of my head when walking my Nana's dog many years ago in Britain and we stumbled upon a rabbit with myxomatosis  that was just plain nasty, so no rabbit eating for me.......

Do you like rabbit?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Still sick and an update..........

Despite me doing very little yesterday again I still don't feel good.  My throat doesn't feel as bad, but my energy level is ZERO.......mind you I must be feeling a little better as I am feeling like doing a post here?

I don't often get these types of colds, but when I do I generally get a real doozey of a one.  So I guess it's going to be another day of resting up.

Remember the lady who is donating $11 worth of "stuff" to the Homeless Shelter and is posting it on Smart Canucks?  Well she has updated on what she got this week, check it out here

Also for those of you who do Swagbucks make sure you play the games.  All you need to do is play one game, then play another and you will get 2 swagbucks for that.  Just make sure after each game you don't register your score and you then change games.  You don't have to play well.....believe me I suck at them, you just have to play.  You can earn up to 10sb a day doing that and it takes no time at all.

For the first time ever I have maxed out my 5 x Amazon e-cards.  I am going to save my Swagbucks up and then see about swapping e-cards with someone for e-cards.  Again if anyone wants any tips or wants to join up let me know by leaving your email on a comment, I WON'T PUBLISH IT, and I'll get back to you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

"It Tastes Awful. And It Works."

That's the slogan for Buckley's medicine and it is so true.  I am taking this one and thanks to it, I can actually get a few hours sleep at a time on a night.  I still feel like death warmed up.  My throat is killing me and I have the energy of a tortoise, but I am getting there.

I HAD to go out yesterday to pick up Molly some allergy pills.  So while I was out I picked up some honey, as my mother swears by fresh lemon juice, honey and warm water when you have a bad throat.  By the way when I got home I collapsed in a big heap on the sofa as I was pooped.

I haven't been on the computer, so I am afraid I haven't visited anyone's blogs, I just don't have the energy, so I am sorry about that.  Turns out this cold thing is doing the rounds, so I am not the only one with this.

Stay healthy and thanks for the get well wishes and for popping by.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's 2:30am and I am sitting here writing a post for my blog?

I can't breath as soon as I lay down.  My throat feels full of gunk, my ears are sore and my nose is runny.  There is nothing on surprise there I guess.  Molly is sitting here chewing a bone, and I am feeling sorry for myself..........

I am one of those people who needs all the sleep they can get.  I don't function well on anything less than 8 hours sleep a night.  If you're an insomniac how on earth do you cope not having any sleep?  I am guessing I will be sleeping on and off on Wednesday, so another wasted day. 

Not sure if it's a full moon out there, but it seems as though it is quite light outside.  So I think I will channel surf again to see what is on the TV at 3am in the morning!!!

Strange post for me this!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two Book Reviews

The Damascus Way by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

Young Julia has everything money can buy—except for acceptance by either Gentiles or Judeans in Tiberias. When she discovers the secret her beloved Greek father has kept all these years, she is devastated. Julia and her Hebrew mother are indeed less than second-class citizens. Her future is dark with clouds of uncertainty.

Jacob, Abigail's brother, is now a young man attempting to find his own place among the community of believers. Does it mean trading away the exhilaration and adventure of his current profession as a caravan guard? Hired by Julia's father to protect a wealthy merchant's caravans on the secretive "Frankincense Trail," Jacob also reluctantly takes on the perilous responsibility of passing letters and messages between communities of believers now dispersed across the land. He is alarmed to discover that Julia, hardly more than a girl, is also a courier. Can their initial mistrust be put aside to accomplish their mission?

This book is number three in a series of The Acts of Faith Novels.  The first one is The Centurion's Wife and the second one is Hidden Flame.  If I like a book I find I want to continue reading it until the end......I can't wait to read the next page, the next chapter, until the book is finished.  I didn't do that with this book.  It maybe had something to do with the fact there were two more books prior to this one, that I hadn't read first? 

I can't put my finger on why I didn't love this book, it just didn't click with me.  Maybe it was the period it was set in, AD 40, or maybe it was the way the story was told, I found the book was very jumpy, going to one character's story to another character's story?   I think if I read the first two books in the series and maybe re-read this book again, I would find it more enjoyable.

So stars out of 5: 3 out of 5

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Fatal Judgement by Irene Hannon

U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor has seen plenty of action during his years in law enforcement. But he'd rather go back to Iraq than face his next assignment: protection detail for federal judge Liz Michaels. His feelings toward the coldhearted workaholic haven't warmed in the five years since she drove her husband--and Jake's best friend--to despair . . . and possible suicide.

As the danger mounts and Jake gets to know Liz better, he's forced to revise his opinion of her. And when it becomes clear that an unknown enemy may want her dead, the stakes are raised. Because now both her life--and his heart--are in danger.

Full of suspense and romance, Fatal Judgment is a thrilling story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.

This book isn't my regular choice of book, but had to say I was pleasantly surprised at how I really got into the story line and the characters.  There was enough suspense and mystery in it that kept you guessing about what would happen next.  It was also an informative book, as I learned something new about forensics's.

The story kept me wanting to see what would happen next, and I believe I will look for more books by Irene Hannon to read.

If I had one issue with the book I thought the Christian aspect of the book seemed to not gel with the general storyline.

Stars out of 5: A solid 4, as it made me want to read more of Irene's work.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wedding Update............

Haven't mentioned the wedding in a few days.  Dd is making great progress with all the planning.  So far she has sorted out the following:
  • The venue is booked, and they will be getting married at the venue also.  Not sure what was/is going on with the officient?
  • The photographer is booked.
  • The DJ should be booked this coming week, as they are having a meeting with him.  I have met him and he's a really nice guy............not that, that really counts, but just thought I would mention it.
  • She knows what sort of flowers she wants for the bouquets and I think she is going to do them herself.
  • The table centrepieces, she knows what she wants and again will be doing them herself, and I must say they will be really neat.
  • My dad is making a fruit cake for a one tier wedding cake; and the other main wedding cake, she knows what she wants and she has a baker in mind who will make it.
  • I am making the wedding favours, and dd knows what she is getting the kids for their wedding favours.
  • She has an idea on her wedding dress design, just has to find a one at the best price!!
  • She has picked out her colours and picked out her "theme."
  • She has bought the wedding invitations and is "making" them herself.  Which basically means she will be doing the embelishments on them, and making them very fancy dancy, without it costing her a small fortune.
  • They have got the first draft of the guest list done.
  • Bridesmaids have been chosen and have accepted, best man chosen and accepted.........not sure about the groomsmen situation though.
So all in all things are coming along really well.  I am not going into great detail on most things as we have a number of family members who read my blog and we want to keep a few things a surprise until the day.

Thank goodness dd is an organized soul and has some great ideas as it takes the pressure off the rest of us.  Plus she knows what she likes and doesn't like and isn't wishy washy.

So there you go.  Nothing exciting will be happening now regarding the wedding until at least March, as dd and fiance are going on vacation in February (been booked since last Fall), so want to leave everything else until when they come back.  Plus as long as they have the venue, the photographer and the DJ booked everything else isn't as hard to book.

Oh and my weight loss.....nil.......well acutally I did lose 10 lbs last week, only because I decided to shave my legs!!!!!  Must get back into the exercising again..........I guess..............

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lots of snow on Saturday.....

It was predicted that it would snow, so no surprise there I guess.  Poor dh's chest is bad again, so I decided to blow out the driveway.

We had a good day as we were working away in the new basement.  What a difference it has made down there putting all the insulation in.  We were actually sweating while we were working down there, which is a first.  Not sure how much more we are going to do in there before we head back up to the attic again.

In Saturday's Toronto Star newspaper there was an interesting article about how much food we waste per year.  It states that in Canada we throw away 40 per cent of our edibles per year.  That is crazy when there are so many people starving in this world.  I have to admit I am not innocent when it comes to wasting food.  I know I threw out a bag of salad last week, as I hadn't got around to using it.  Will say I did feel guilty when I did that.

It did mention Dumpster Diving, which is something I have heard of, but have never done.  Have any of you been dumpster diving?   I found this interesting link regarding Dumpster Diving for food not that I would do it, but congratulate people who can and will do it.

One of the other articles was about the work that Second Harvest does in Toronto.  Now I am sure  most major cities around the world do a similar thing.

For those of you who are members of Swagbucks make sure you start playing the games, as you can earn up to 10 sb a day for playing them!!  On Saturday I had my desktop on all day earning Swagbucks, and it worked out well for me.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wow was all I could say when I saw this video......

I saw this over at Val's blog first.

I am a member of a site called Smart Canucks and there are some great people on there including a lady called Patty.  I wanted to share with you what she is doing:

Donation Project 2011 What can you get for $11 a week?
Last year I gave away a ton of stuff, literally. I was really happy with what I was able to do with coupons and donations but this year I wanted to try something different. So I decided to take a little bit and see how far it could take me.

My husband and I stop every morning at Tim’s for 2 x-large coffees and this costs us $3.59 every day at least 5 days a week. So to save money this year we are cutting this out but I also wanted to spread out what I spend on buying food for donations over the year too.

So since it is 2011 I have decided to take $11 a week and put it towards the purchase of donations. Each week I will try to come as close to spending $11 without going over, kind of like the Price is Right, lol, and purchase non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, health and beauty products and maybe even toys. So that means $572 for the year. Can I afford this? Well if I can spend twice that amount on coffee for DH and myself then I think we can do this.

I am hoping that this will also demonstrate the power of shopping with coupons. My friends still poo-poo my couponing but I am betting that after this they won’t be doubters anymore.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


To follow along with what she has achieved here is her post.  Now I am not sure if you have to be a member of the site to view it?  If you have to be, it is worth it just to see what she buys with $11 each week.

I made some Lemon Curd on Friday as a hostess gift as we went out for dinner to some friends.  Took her some flowers as well, but thought the Lemon Curd might be something different for them.  Here is the recipe I posted back in 2008.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Toad in the hole and my trusty side kick........

Decided to make Toad in the Hole for supper on Thursday, as we haven't had it in ages.  We had peas and gravy with ours, but to make it stretch further you could add mashed potatoes.
Toad In The Hole


1 lb sausages
4oz all purpose/plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
250ml or 1/2 pint milk
lard of shortening

Mix flour and salt in a basin, make a hollow in the centre and drop in egg.

Stir with a wooden spoon and add liquid gradually, until all the flour is worked in.

Beat well and add remaining liquid.

Skin sausages and cut in half.  Place in a dish with a few bits of shortening and cook in a hot oven 425 oF for about 10 minutes.

Pour batter over the partly cooked sausages and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Now for my trusty side kick.  We have been close these past couple of days as it has been snowing.  I will say she has earned her keep this year and I would hate to be without her!!!
The one good thing about Thursday's weather though, was that although it was minus 12 oC because there was no wind it felt a lot warmer.  On Wednesday it was a similar temperature, but because there was a wind it felt so much colder.  In fact my poor eyes were stinging with the cold on Wednesday.

We are in for another dumping of snow on Saturday and one next Tuesday.  So I am guessing me and my side kick will be very close over this next week!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Skywatch Friday........

The sun was trying to peek through this morning, through the snow and the clouds, make for a very surreal sky.

For more Skywatch Friday posts please click on this link

Odds and ends for Thursday........

I spent nearly all Wednesday morning on the telephone, sorting out bits and bobs.

Registered the washer and dryer for the extended warranty.  Spoke with the most polite, happy and sickly sweet woman there, I mean she was so polite and happy it was scary by the end of the conversation...LOL

Found a plumber to come and stick his camera down my sewage pipe!!!  I'll explain more on that when it happens, which should be one day next week...........I will be parting with $250 for the pleasure!!!

Talked with dd future mother-in-law..........known her and her dh for the past ten years and we get on really well.

Sent numerous emails and made a couple more phone calls, by that time it was 12 noon.

In the afternoon I had to snow plow the driveway, not because we had a pile of snow only a couple of inches, but as it was blowing a gale force the drifts were terrible on the driveway.

We went out when dh got home and one place we called into was Home Depot.  Would you believe they had all their lawn tractors out.  Had to laugh at that as we are still in the throws of winter, infact we have two snow storms coming our way over the next week.  So I don't think Home Depot has talked to Mother Nature about winter being over with!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Remember Olga?

Well she has found her forever home  Someone is in the process of adopting her.  Isn't that good news?  Liz let me know about this, I see also a few more of the little ones are also being adopted, so all our prayers and donations helped I am guessing?

I have nothing really new to talk about at the moment, things are pretty quiet around here.  I did pop into town yesterday to pick up a few groceries.  On the way there I passed the gas/petrol station and it was $1.109, so thought to myself I would get some gas on the way back home.  Half an hour later came back and it had just gone up to $1.163.......I was shocked.  I know I haven't really got a lot to complain about as in Britain it's twice the price, but even so.  I am actually thinking twice now before leaving the house.  Mind you with it being cold and snowy, I don't need much persuading to stay home!!!

Got the heating oil tank filled up again yesterday.  Had it filled on December 17th, however pretty pleased as we only used around half a tank.  This time of year it's normally a full tank each month.  Not pleased at the price though it has gone up from .885 cents per litre in December to .932 cents per litre yesterday.  Back in June of last year we were paying .799 cents per litre.

Put some more change in my Daily Savings Box yesterday as well, already have $53 in there, so that's good.  I was able to cash in my Swagbucks again, so that is the third time this month.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another Book Review and another funny animal video.....

I have just read another book "Paradise Valley" by Dale Cramer

"I would do a great many things for you." Even at sixteen, Jake's handsome features hold the calm certainty and patient confidence of a man, and Rachel Bender knows—Jake Weaver is the one.
Rachel will grow into a strong young woman with powerful gifts—but in a faraway country, without her Jake. In 1921, Ohio;s new law forces Caleb Bender's family to seek sanctuary in the wilds of Mexico where the government will not interfere with their Amish way of life, or take their children from them. Nor will it protect them from the bandits terrorizing the countryside.
In an unfamiliar land where no one speaks their language or knows their ways, the Benders establish a homestead in exile. Sisters Emma, Rachel, and Miriam find strengths unimagined, gifts unexpected, and yearning beyond their deepest dreams. Even steadfast Caleb is compelled to wrestle with the demands of faith, only to discover that love has its own demands.

When I first started reading this book I thought it was pretty standard stuff and actually boring, and to be honest I wasn't looking forward to ploughing through this book.  However if you can persevere to when they go to Mexico it is well worth the read as things pick up and are a heck of a lot more interesting. 

I understand why the author had to write the first part of the book the way he did as he had to set the scene, I just thought it was a bit long winded the first part.

By the time I was finished reading it though I was praying and hoping there would be other books, as when this book finishes it leaves a few loose ends that need to be tied up.

I am pleased to say when I was Googling the publishing house to get some more information, it turns out this is number one of a three part series.  I can't wait to see what happens with the other two books and I will be definitely reading them.

If you love Amish fiction, you will enjoy this one, as it has a few twists in it unlike any other Amish fiction I have read.  It is also inspired by actual events, and I actually found this article about Mennonites settling in Mexico in the 1920's.

I give it 4 stars out of 5: Why, because it was such a slow start to the book that I thought I would have trouble finishing it, but once in Mexico, the book redeemed itself and was well worth the read.  Can't wait until the other two come out to complete the series.

As always I will be donating this book to my local library.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Ever had a quiet day, but a busy one?  Well Monday was that sort of day for me.  I got all sorts done and never left the house all day.  Dh was home as he had some things to do around the house, so had booked the day off.  My new washer and dryer came and would you believe they won't go down the bloody basement, so I now have a washer and dryer in the main floor bathroom until we decide what to do next.  Wouldn't be so bad, but I gave away all my laundry detergent as you have to use the HE stuff with a front loader (SIGH)  I have enough left of the  regular detergent to last me a couple of weeks.  Hopefully by then we will have figured out what to do with it all.  Nothing is ever simple is it?

And finally as I can't get enough of these daft animal videos:

Monday, January 10, 2011

A book review and a really funny video

Just read this book: The Girl in The Gatehouse.

Banished from the only home she's ever known, Mariah Aubrey hides herself away in an abandoned gatehouse on a distant relatives estate. There she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how—by writing novels in secret.

When Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate, he is intrigued by the beautiful girl in the gatehouse. But there are many things he doesn't know about this beguiling outcast. Will he risk his plans—and his heart—for a woman shadowed by scandal?

Intriguing, mysterious, and romantic, The Girl in the Gatehouse takes readers inside the life of a secret authoress at a time when novel-writing was considered improper for ladies and the smallest hint of impropriety could change a woman's life forever.

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It kept me wondering right until the end what was going to happen with certain things.  I loved the history and the social etiquette of that period and what was considered right or wrong.

It was one of those books that I could have read from start to finish without putting it down.  I wanted to continue reading one chapter after another to see what was going to happen next.  If you like period stories; if you enjoy Jane Austen then this is the book for you.

Stars out of 5: I would say a 4.5 as honestly other than one thing I figured out early on and was predictable it really was my kind of book.

I have three more books to review this month, I can't wait.......and of course I will be donating this book to my local library.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

I had tears rolling down my face watching this, thanks to Jane for first showing me this......

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some observations from the Bridal Show.......

1. There were a lot of pink and sparkly things there.........dd is neither having pink or sparkly things.......

2. Dd got enough flyers to sink a ship for all sorts of products........most will be going in the garbage bin!!

3. There were cake samples...YEAH!!!  Made sure I sampled all the cake samples!!

4. You could spend a small bloody fortune on a wedding if you're not careful.

5. There were limo buses that were like disco's on wheels, very over the top.

6. The flower arrangements were stunning and way over the top....

7. Did I mention there were cake samples!!!

8. Dd set up her gift registry, she only picked out a couple of things, so she could take advantage of getting a $25 gift card for free.  She will complete the gift registry process with her fiance at a later date.

9. Dd found a couple of people she would like to use for the wedding all depending on the deals she can negotiate with them.

10. Saw a lot of gorgeous cakes, and managed to force myself to taste the samples!!!

11. Dd filled out all sorts of ballets, so will be inundated with emails and phone calls for the next few months now and will probably win squat!!!

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever Bridal Show.  We didn't stop for the fashion show, as my feet were killing me and dd knows what gown she wants.  There were a few dresses but knowing what dd wants we were not really interested in them.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Not much to say..........

heading to my first ever bridal show today, so that should be interesting.

Here are some more of those bike videos:

Enjoy your Saturday.........

Friday, January 7, 2011

We have a date.......

November 5th, 2011 is when dd and her fiance will be getting married.  For those of you who are not British that is "Bonfire Night." So an easy day to remember, especially if you are British.

Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes night is when in November of 1605 Guy Fawkes was captured trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament in Britain.  Every year on November 5th, the British have a bonfire with an effigy of Guy Fawkes on the top and have fireworks and treats around the bonfire.  I don't remember going to many bonfires, but when I was young we would have gone every year; and I am guessing with all the Health and Safety concerns in Britain they probably don't allow many back yard bonfires anymore?

There is also a poem:

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

So now we have a date to work from.

Dh is off work and goes back on Tuesday.  We have the guy coming to do the eco-energy audit on Tuesday so we want to get the new basement insulated so we will hopefully get more money back from the Government.  Plus we have a hundred and one other things we are going to do as well.   It's going to be a busy few days, so if I don't visit your blog please forgive me, I will hopefully catch up with you all next week.

I also wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU to anyone who has signed up under me for Swagbucks. Also if anyone is still confused or needs help with it please let me know.  Swagbucks is good for people living in the States, Canada and the UK.  So if you live in one of those countries you can benefit from it.

Here is my latest column for the Eden Valley Messenger as well.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What a great video this is.......

it's takes great skill and talent to do what he was doing, plus a good suspension on that bike!!!

I am sure I could do that, if I were younger, fitter and 100lbs lighter!! Pleased to see him wearing a bike helmet as well.

Judy, could you leave your email in a comment for me, so I can get back to you with the Swagbucks tips.  Had another good Swagbucks day with over 100 Swagbucks again, thanks to those of you who have signed up under me.

Found this clothes site that I love, some lovely things on there, including a couple of lovely dresses I could wear for the wedding.  I love this dress......just HATE the price!!  I like this one as well and the price is a bit more realistic!!

Well on Wednesday I broke my no spend day challenge and wrote a cheque to pay for the Internet for the next three months.  Mind you that is a necessity as me minus the Internet would be a tragedy as far as I am concerned!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

They have started to arrive..........

Got another seed catalog in the mail, so does that mean spring is just around the corner?

We had a little snow on Tuesday, nothing exciting......

You can see a little bit of writing on a piece of paper behind the catalog. My dad said he heard a song on the radio that would be perfect for dh and dd to dance to at her wedding. It's called "Dance with me Daughter," by John McDermott

I have to say I had tears in my eyes when I listened to the song..........

This is a message for Sugar_Mama, could you leave me a comment with your email address in it, I will NOT publish it.  I want to give you some tips on how to win more Swagbucks.  I did well on Tuesday and got well over 100 swagbucks.  If anyone else wants tips on how to get lots of Swagbucks just leave me a comment with your email address in it and I will get back to you.

Tuesday was another no spend day for me...........never left the house which always helps. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saving money in 2011

Well it looks as though 2011 will be another expensive year money wise, with our continued renovations and the wedding, so I need to save money where ever I can.

I am doing the Daily Savings Pot again, I talk about it in detail in this post  I have actually been doing it for the past month or so, as I already have $46 in my box.

I of course still put $20 away each week for both Christmas and Birthday's.  The Christmas pot is a bit bare, but the Birthday pot is looking reasonably healthy.  I have now started to put money away each week to help out with wedding expenses.  It was for a holiday this year, but we'll use it for the wedding instead.

I want to be more organized with meal planning this year, and one thing I need to do is an inventory of what is in the freezers and the pantry.  That is something that is long overdue, and I am sure there is "stuff" languishing in the bottom or back of the freezers that do need using up.

I want to have more "no spend" days each week, and due to the high price of gas I want to have more stay at home days.  So far this year, I have had two no spend days and one spend day.  I need to put an icon on the side of my blog detailing that.

I will continue drying the clothes overnight on the clothes horse, until it warms up enough so that I can hang the laundry out again.  Most people can do that, just do laundry before you go to bed and hang it up to dry on a clothes horse/drying rack and by morning it should be more or less dry, especially if you have an open fire and heating vents in the house.  Hydro/electricity is so expensive for us now, that its cheaper for me to hang everything to dry.

It's our expensive time of year for heating oil.  We will go through a tank of oil every month now for the next couple of months.  I know we got our tank filled on December 17th, and we have used half a tank of oil these past two weeks, so will have to call the company to come by and fill up again next week.  Hopefully by the end of March that will slow down.  We still have plenty of wood to burn so that is good, and this year we are going to make more of an effort to clear up dead wood and branches off the property so we can burn that next winter, and maybe save on buying so much wood.

I would love to hear how you all are saving money?

By the way cashed in another 450 Swagbucks for another $5 Amazon e-card, I last cashed in on December 28th, so it took me 6 days to get 450 swagbucks.  Trying to make $20 a month in Amazon e-cards, such a simple way of getting money for nothing.

Wasn't sure what I was going to talk about again today, it's funny when you start writing one thing leads to another.....

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wedding Venue Viewing..........

Went to see a couple of wedding venues, both lovely in their own different ways.  As with everything it all comes down to your own particular taste.  As this is dd and fiance's wedding it will be their final decision, and as yet they haven't got back to us to say if either one was going to be suitable.

One thing I do know for sure, is that I do not know enough about weddings and how they run.  It was quite interesting to see what both people who gave us the tours had to say; and both had excellent advise and do's and don'ts.  As one of them said, fall a few minutes behind at the beginning of the event and if you're not careful it could snowball into being hours behind............

It will be interesting to see if they pick either of these places or if they continue to search for that perfect wedding venue.  We are going to a bridal show this coming Saturday, so I am hoping that will give us insight into the ins and outs of weddings.

When me and dh got married, it was at our local church.  The reception was held in the market hall with a dance/disco afterwards.  All very simple and nothing fancy.  My dress and the bridesmaid's dresses were ordered by mail and we had someone make them up.  I have no idea why we did that.  I don't remember going to a bridal store and trying dresses on.  Mind you I was lucky and my parents paid for everything. 

We spent our honeymoon night at our home and then we went to Tunisia for our honeymoon.  No idea if it was for a week or two weeks?  I am guessing a week and I know we stayed near a place called Hammamet.  A lot of people came down with food poisoning, or with heat stroke.  I of course got the heat stroke, as you had to haggle for everything in the markets, so I was in my element there!!  Poor dh ended up having to take a Kamikaze taxi ride to find a pharmacy for me as I was that sick.

One funny thing I do remember, was the staff used to come into your room every night to spray the place with mosquito repellent.  I am sure they knocked first........they must have..........but then they used to just barge in regardless.  Our room was next to a couple who argued a lot as well.......also there were a lot of Germans staying in the resort, so when we went on bus tours, they would point the place of interest out in German first and then this time you had passed the point of interest.

I remember how blue the sea was and hot it was there.  Never been back, and why we chose that place to go in the first place.....because it was different from the usual places.  It was the first time that dh had flown or been abroad.

It's funny when I started writing this post I had no idea what I was going to write about.......

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Confusing sort of day........

Kept thinking yesterday was Sunday, not sure why but was confused about what day it was all day?

It was so mild and wet all day on Saturday that it melted a big chunk of the snow.  We still have the odd patch and we still can't go around the top of the driveway, but at least when it does snow again we are back to square one.

So with all that snow melting I discovered numerous piles of dog poop that I had missed when doing my daily dog poop pick up.  I swear Molly poops for England.  She's like a baby, all she does is eat, sleep and poop.  Of course with it raining  she wouldn't go out, so I had to go out with her so both of us could get wet...........yes there is the word "SUCKER" stamped on my forehead!!

I was walking up the driveway from getting the newspaper first thing with her, when she spotted a squirrel.  Now I didn't see the squirrel so wasn't prepared for Molly to start howling and charging after it, with me jogging behind her trying to stop her from dragging both of us down the hill after it.  All I could think of was my poor old back!!

Got to love our newspaper person; hurled the newspaper in the puddle again,.  Now granted it is wrapped in a plastic bag, but the bag still lets the water in.  Took me until early afternoon to dry the paper out, so that I could read it {{SIGH}}  You would think when it is pouring down they could double bag the newspapers?

Made a couple of shepherd's pies in the afternoon.  Used the last of the potatoes from the garden.  Lasted pretty well I thought; guess I will have to go out and buy some next week though.

Sunday should be an interesting day, as we (me and dh) are going to visit a couple of wedding venues with dd and fiance.  So I guess the wedding posts will be starting up again.  However, between me and you despite the fact I haven't droned on about it for the past few days, "stuff" has been happening for this wedding, will fill you in over the next few days.  Getting the venue booked though is the next step though.

Thought this was funny:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year to you all........

So here we are in 2011, wonder what sort of year it will be for us all.

I know for someone in Canada it will be a marvellous start to the year as someone has won 50 million dollars in the Loto Max............will add it wasn't us, which sucks.........mind you what you have never had you never miss, right?

It's a funny old start to 2011 for us as it's pouring down and very mild?  Will say the good thing about that is it should wash away all or most of the snow, so we will have a fresh clean start before the next snowfall.

We had a rip roaring exciting New Years Eve, nothing was on TV, so we were in bed by 9pm.  Molly had me up by 6am, so all in all just like any regular day.  As I pointed out to someone, what difference does it really make to seeing the New Year in at midnight, as seeing it in when you wake up at 6am?  Must be getting old I think.

I know 2011 will be a busy year for us, as dd plans on getting married in the Fall..........should have the exact date in a few days, as she is in the process of choosing a venue.  Then of course back at renovation central we have a few jobs that need completing.  We are hoping by the end of Spring that the attic will be finally completed.  We have the mud room to totally strip down and start afresh, plus a hundred and one other jobs to do.

I want to tackle the outside again and "baby" the raspberries, so they grow enough to make around 100 250ml (1/2 pint, 1 cup) pots of jam.  Last year was a poor crop, but am hoping for more this year.

Then of course I have to lose some weight.  I still can't exercise mind you as my back is still sore, but I am hoping within the week I should be able to start again with the Wii.

I am going to review more books, got 4 to do for the month of January when they come.  Great way of me getting to read new books for free and then donating them to my local library. 

Back to doing my Daily Savings challenge,  read about it here, and if you want me to explain further just let me know.  I am continuing with Swagbucks and am saving up for something specific, can't say what at the moment, as it's a gift for someone.  Will be trying to save as much money as possible for this wedding, as like many of you out there we are not rolling in money, so all these little things I am doing help.

All in all 2011 is going to be both an exciting  and a challenging year I can see.

Oh, almost forgot, one of my hopes for 2011 is that I don't spend half of my life at the Dentist's office!!!  I don't want to have another year like last year (touching head!!)

I saw this over at Jake's blog and thought it was appropriate:

"May your troubles be less
and your blessings be more
And nothing but happiness
come through your door."

-Irish Blessing

Sunday Song

Doris Day is a favourite singer of a family member.  So this song is for them.