Thursday, March 31, 2011

Skywatch Friday

There is still snow about here and its still cold...........maybe Spring will arrive any day now?

For more Skywatch Friday posts please click on this link

Still busy, still have a headache and still varnishing......

Today will be my last day of varnishing for a few days, so I am guessing my headache should go after I have done that?

I was lucky yesterday that it was warm enough, though still jacket weather, that I could open the windows while varnishing.  Not sure about today though, as we were forecast for snow and rain.  Mind you as I am writing this at 7am neither has happened.......

Just found out something interesting, do you know what the deadliest creature is the humans, what kills more humans per year?  Mosquito's, they kill around 2 million people per year.

Here is a list of the top ten deadliest animals:

10. White Shark
9. Salt Water Crocodile
8. Box Jellyfish
7. African Lion
6. Tiger
5. Cape Buffalo
4. Hippo
3. African Elephant
2. Asian Cobra - kills 4000 people per year
1. Mosquito

I thought I was relatively safe, as most of these creatures are in Africa or Asia, but we do get mosquito's over here.  Mind you I don't think they carry the same diseases as they do in other countries, although people have died of West Nile Virus  here in Canada, which they caught via mosquito's.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Busy, busy and a fun video

It's a case of not enough hours in the day at the moment.  I am busy varnishing the banister and handrails on the new stairs.  Which in turn is aggravating my poor aching head.  I have opened a window while doing it, but it's still pretty cold up here, so can only have them open for so long.

I made a couple of shepherd's pies for the freezer yesterday, as ground beef/mince was on sale, plus I had some potatoes that needed using up.

Bit of good news dd got her job permanently after being on contract for nearly a year.  So she now has job security which is good, and in turn it means more money which is always handy.

Funny story about Molly and a squirrel.  Molly was on the back deck when a squirrel was on the railing with a big piece of bread.  It stopped in its tracks when it saw Molly and for a moment there was a bit of a "stare off."  Then the squirrel realized it was only Molly and started to eat it's piece of bread again.  Meanwhile Molly thought she would be sneaky and step one paw at a time closer to the squirrel.  Everytime she did that, the squirrel looked up and again decided it's only Molly.  However when Molly got quite close the squirrel had enough and off it went, with Molly still sitting there.

Not sure if Molly would know what to do with a squirrel if she caught one?  She was limping earlier in the week, no idea what she did with her back paw, but she seems fine now.

I used to work out to Richard Simmons video's all the time.  He has now done an air safety video for Air New Zealand.  Now if you are like me when on board a flight worrying about other things, I tend to get distracted when they are doing the boring air safety directions.  If they played this it would certainly have my attention.

Here is the original song, which I like as well:

Oh and a very "exciting" day in Coronation Street, as Tony has Carla and Haley in the factory............I  have to keep reminding myself, that it isonly a soap opera.....LOL....but heck it is good at the moment.........

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Some photos from yesterdays post.........

I should have left these photos for another day. As I am fed up of fighting on with them.  Not sure what is going on with Blogger at the moment, but I do know other people are complaining about it. Enlarge them all for more detail.

Hopefully I will be in a better mood for blogging tomorrow.  It doesn't help I am on day three of a headache.  The joys of being a woman and suffering every month!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another day out.... and more photos.......


So we decided to take a few hours break from the attic and went to the Spring Cottage Life Show in Mississauga.

There was an auction to raise funds for cancer relief and here are a couple of the Muskoka chairs.
This was about the artist who decorated the chair above.
This one was really pretty.
Here is the info about that artist.
There was a lot about boats and docks, neither are things I am interested in, but liked this display for the colour.
These canoes were just gorgeous and made by Langford Canoes.  The workmanship that went into each of these boats was stunning.  The white one where the people were standing is one inspired by The Hudson Bay.  There is more info about it in the photo below this one.  Those people were there for ages, so I gave up trying to take a photo.
Info on the Hudson Bay Canoe.
I wanted to show you this photo, as the downspout and guttering is all brass and so different.  Not sure how practical it would be but it does look good!!

Must say a lot of the stuff at the show wasn't really for us, but it was an enjoyable few hours.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I don't talk about politics normally........

but just wanted to let you know that here in Canada, we are going to have another general election in May, as the morons we all elected last time couldn't play nicely together and had a big fight and are not speaking nicely to one another anymore.

Now this will be the fourth election in seven years.  Goodness knows how much it will cost this time.  What a waste of OUR money, money that could have been spent on something useful.  The media is reporting that the cost of the four elections is around 1 billion dollars.

I was really ticked off when the budget was being read that two of the three opposition leaders left during the finance ministers speech to condemn the budget and say they were against it.  The guy hadn't even finished the speech?  Did their mother's not teach them any manners?

Regardless, they are all a bunch of crooks and the only losers in all of this, is the general public..........

Right that's my thoughts on this, and that is all you're hear from me regarding this!!!

Still bitter cold here, but we do have clear sunny skies so that sort of helps.

Thought I'd share a couple more photos from Friday.  Makes me shiver just looking at the ice.

This is a close up of part of the old bridge.  I was surprised to see a tree growing on it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lots of photos.....

So we headed off to a place called Elora, hadn't been in years and it's very pretty, but boy was it chilly, and then most places were closed?  Anyhow, there is a big river with a gorge and a mill on the river.  Here is a couple photos of the river, notice the ice!!

There is a small 'mall" with half a dozen stores in there, and I took this photo of how they decorated the where the windows of the building.......

We then decided to head to St. Jacobs, where there are a lot of Amish and Mennonite families.  This is an Amish farm but look what they have:

Not sure what I am talking about, here is a close up:

They are obviously harnessing the wind, and believe me it was flying around when we passed by.

Picked up this little chap, it's a boot cleaner:

And you can't go to St. Jacobs and not call into Picard's Peanuts:

So of course I HAD to buy something, so got these:

I am quite sure they are both fat and calorie free?

On the way back home we passed by this:

I know you're not supposed to take photo's of them, so that is why I took it from the back.

When we were first in Elora we called into an antique store and I saw this bowl.  The guy reduced by $20 for me to $65.  I wasn't too sure about it, but on the way home I decided to call back in and bought it. It is called Waterlily, and features Lotus and Poinsettia flowers, it is a 9 1/2 inch footed bowl.  However I have ran into a problem as all bowls seem to be 10 inches and there is a chop bowl that looks like mine that is 11 inch and is worth a small fortune, like $4,500......shame mine isn't it!! 

All in all we had a super day and wished it could have been longer as we didn't get to see as much as we would have.  The only downside of the day was a stone flew up from a passing car and chipped dh's windscreen on the truck.  Otherwise we had a lovely day....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Not sure where we are going, but no doubt it will be fun....

We're off on a day trip today.  Dh took the day off, bit of a long story why, so we have decided to have a day out from the acreage to chase away those winter blues. 

Granted there is snow everywhere but with the sun shining we can still pretend it is a beautiful spring day.

No idea where we are going, have a couple of places in mind, both in different directions from one another, but regardless places we have neither been too, or if we have it's been a while.

Treating dh to lunch and hopefully a bit of looking around antique shops to see if we can see any treasures that need to be brought home with us!!!  I noticed I have $70 in my daily savings pot, so maybe I could use that money as my "spend" money?

Will remember to take my camera and will report back tomorrow of our adventures.........

Thursday, March 24, 2011

{SIGH} back to square one AGAIN......

We got another dumping of snow yesterday and as I am writing this the snow plow is just going by and is no doubt dumping a pile of snow at the end of our driveway.  No doubt any of the bulbs in my garden have shot back underground again.  I wonder if they will ever want to pop their heads back through again.

It's been an awful long winter this year.  I don't know if this is month four or five now.  I know we got snow in December, but have a feeling it was snowing way back in November as well.

I posted a couple of ads on Kijiji yesterday of these light fixtures:

No idea if they will sell or not, but thought I would try and see if it worked and it is free to post on there.  I posted more than the one photo on each ad to give people more detail.  I put a price of $75 for the blue pair, as I saw this one on another site and they want $95 for it and it is similar.  The single on I put $35.  I am willing to take less, but figured I would try for more to start with.  I have a nearly new stove hood/extraction fan downstairs I think I will post that for sale as well, as it is just taking up valuable space.  Figured if I asked $25 for it someone may buy it from me.

Out and about this morning, then I will no doubt have to snow blow when I get back in.  Enjoy your Thursday and hope you're not covered in snow where ever you live! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ebay and Paypal and other bits and bobs.

My brother in England is a huge fan of ebay and is always buying stuff from there.  Me well I have never been a fan.  However last night I decided to take the plunge and set up an ebay account and a paypal account.  Now that is as far as I got, I haven't bid on anything and not sure I will, but it is fun to look around and see what's what.

Are any of you ebay experts and have hints or tips for the novices like me? I have a couple of 1930's light fixtures from the house I would like to get rid of and a couple of other things.

I don't think I have mentioned the weather in a while have I?  Well as I writing this it is snowing, not a lot, but snow all the same.

Our wood pile is coming to an end and we will have used a full three bush cords of wood this winter.  Luckily we have a "back-up" pile of wood, so we won't run out.  Last year we only used around two and a half bush cords, so you can really tell it's been a longer and a colder winter.

What's the price of gas/petrol in your neck of the woods.  I paid $1.195 a litre yesterday at our local Canadian Tire gas bar.  I had an 8 x Canadian Tire coupon, so got 40 cents back in Canadian Tire money.  I am saving my Canadian Tire money up for jam jars for making the wedding favour jam.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review and the hydro bill

First the book review.  "Secrets to Parenting your adult child," by Nancy Williams.

"You're still a parent, no matter how old your child is. Roles change, but your love and your sense of responsibility remain. Maybe he hasn't left the nest as quickly as you expected, or she needs career and financial guidance, or he's bringing new members into your family. Whatever the situation, how can you help your adult child without crossing appropriate boundaries?

Licensed counselor and life coach Nancy Williams draws from her own professional and personal experience, and also provides insights from young adults. She will help you navigate these transitions with love, respect, and grace. While every family is unique, this book provides practical tools you can use to help your changing family become the best it's ever been."
This book was actually informative and on occasion there was an "aha" moment.  When we first have children a lot of us  never think much past when they leave school.  However once they leave school and go out to work, or go onto university it's a whole different kettle of fish when it comes to parenting.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with children in their latter years of high school, as I know I would have found it useful for when our two left home to go to university.

One thing I thought was good, is that it stresses that once a parent always a parent whether your child is 1 or 41.  They still need you regardless of their age and I think a lot of people tend to forget that....I am hoping our two don't think that of me and dh......actually I know they don't.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 this is a good informative book that doesn't lecture you and gives you information that is suitable for any parent of children of all ages.

"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".

Now for the hydro bill.....I know you're thinking here she goes on another rant about the stupid hydro bill, but actually no not today......

We got a letter in the mail on Monday telling us as of April 28, 2011 we are being switched over to Time of Use billing.  Which is basically where you are billed different rates for different times of day.  For us during the Summer months of May 1st to October 31st

Peak Period is Weekdays 11am to 5pm at 9.9 cents per kWh

Mid- Peak is Weekdays 7am to 11am and 5 pm to 7pm at 8.1 kWh

Off-Peak is Weekdays 7pm to 7am and Weekends and Holidays all day at 5.1 cents per kWh

There has been a right stink about this and people who have already been switched over have ended up with horrendous bills.  However we had this system in Britain when we lived there 22 years ago.  We had storage heaters that heated up overnight on the off peak period to keep the house warm

When I had my home baking business I used to get up early to take advantage of the cheaper prices.  So I am not opposed to this system.  Mind you when I see my first bill I may have other ideas!!!

The only thing I may have to change slightly is doing laundry first thing in the morning at 6am so it is done by 7pm.  However when I do finally get my new washer hooked up it does have a timer on it, so I will put it on the timer.

Hydro has even supplied two sticky labels with all the time periods on it, so will pop one on my fridge to remind me.

Do you have time of use billing for your hydro/electricity where you live?  How do you like it?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Carnival glass and cranberry wear....

I got some money given for my birthday so I decided to start my collection of carnival glass with this Two Flowers footed dish, marigold colour.

Where I bought it from they were having a 25% off sale which was a bonus.  Also the couple were very helpful and showed me some pointers on what to look for when buying Carnival Glass.

While I was there I also saw this vase its Cranberry Glass and very delicate.  Where I have it placed is where the old window of the house would have been.  It's been shelved and opens onto the family room/the "new" extension on the old house.

I was looking on e-bay to see if I could see something similar and this was the closest I came to mine.
You know how it is when you buy something but are not 100% sure if it was a good buy or not.  Pleased to say I think I got a fair deal on both of the items, despite me only having enough birthday money to buy the Carnival Glass.

Thanks to both sets of parents for buying it for me!!!!

By the way is it just me or is the month of March just flying by?

Dd sent an email to the Bridal store, we'll see what happens............

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bridesmaid dress shopping.......

On Saturday we went bridesmaid dress shopping in Toronto.  We went to this store, as that and one other store have just opened in Canada.  Dd made an appointment and completed a profile, etc, etc.  Being the type "A" personality she is, she had printed out the dresses and made notes of whether they were available in Canada in the particular colour she wanted them in etc, etc.

Now I will say I made fun of her with her colour co-ordinated notes, but it turned out to be a blessing, as the lady assigned to us was useless and not in a good mood.  She had no idea what the colour was that dd had chosen.  She was only going to let the girls try on a couple of dresses at first.  Despite dd making an appointment and telling them there would be three girls, they had only assigned us one changing room.  We made a fuss and got another changing room.  As although two of the girls were pretty familiar with one another, this was the first time that they had met the third girl.

The place was heaving, I mean really, really busy.  We stood and waited ages for the lady to get the alterations lady to make sure they could take in the dresses where needed.  There is a bit of pleating on the bodice and we wanted to make sure if there were to be alterations there that it wouldn't look strange.

It turned out the three girls fell in love with all the same dress, as dd didn't mind if they all wore different style dresses as long as they were all the same colour and length.  It suits all three of them, despite them all being different body types.  It is very flattering to all of them.

I am NOT allowed to tell you much other than they are long.  She was going to go short at first for them, and she had initially picked out the wine colour (I think that was it), but that has all changed including the colour.

One thing I will say for anyone shopping on that site, the colour swatches online are not a true likeness of the actual colour.  Also due to the terrible customer service we received, dd has decided not to buy her wedding dress at that store, so that woman ended up losing another sale because of her attitude.

Along with dd and the three girls, dd future mother-in-law also came with us, and we all had lunch together before the appointment and coffee together after the appointment.  A good time was had by all, and it was an interesting experience and nothing like "Say Yes To The Dress!!"

Oh and by the way, it takes 14 weeks for these dresses to come dd is thinking she should go wedding dress shopping sooner rather than later!!! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This has probably happened to you all....

On Thursday I ran outside to bring the dog's blanket in from the washing line.  I popped my crocs on and went flying flat on my back and bopped my head.  Everything was as muddy as heck and as I had not got all the dog poop picked up either there was the odd bit of dog poop amongst the mud.

I have grossed you out yet?  No, well I was covered in mud and probably dog poop from the bottom of my heals to the top of my head on the back of me.  When I realized I was okay to move the thought that then passed through me was that I hope no one is watching, as I then felt like a fool.

There was no chance of anyone seeing me as I was behind the garage.

24 hours later I have a mild case of whiplash on the left side of my neck, it's as stiff as a board, but otherwise I am fine.  Mind you I went and nipped the skin between my thumb and finger and have a blood blister there now!!  I know I am a walking disaster.

We have got rid of a lot of snow with the mild temperatures and the wind.  We should even be able to use the whole driveway by next week, as the last of the snow should be melted.  The garage isn't standing in water anymore.......well not all of it.

I truly think that Spring is just around the corner.  There is signs of life in the garden and I can see them all now that the snow has melted.

Having a busy day today as I am going to Toronto to go bridesmaid's dress shopping with the three bridesmaids, dd and her future mother-in-law, so looking forward to that.  Hopefully I am allowed to tell you all about it.........

Friday, March 18, 2011

More bits and bobs.....

I keep forgetting to mention I am still writing columns for the Eden Valley Messenger and the Orangeville Banner.  Haven't mentioned them in a while.  I try to do one a week for them both, but sometimes that doesn't always work has a habit of getting in the way!!

Also you may or may of not noticed the big red heart on the left hand side of my blog?  I am taking part in a "Made From Love" swap.  If anyone is interested in participating, just click on the heart.  I am doing a table runner for my item.

I was up by 4.45am on Thursday, as dh "woke" up the cluster flies when he got up and they started dive bombing me when I was in bed.  At least that is what it felt like; okay I could hear them buzzing and they drive me nuts, so guess who was a tired miserable bunny all day Thursday!!!

If you have a few moments read this blog: It breaks your heart that these poor children could end up in institutions......

Blast from the past, read this post of mine from way back in 2008, it's still as funny in my opinion:

Another thing relating to goats is a book I read recently called "Sunlight and Shadow" by Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl.  One of the character's in the book keeps goats. 

This book kept me on my toes the whole time I was reading it, as you just weren't sure what was going to happen next.  It delves into customs of Mexico as it is set in New Mexico, an area I am not familiar with.

You feel for the main character Abby, and also felt the love and concern of all her neigbours had for her.  A really good book and one worth buying or borrowing from the library.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Skywatch Friday

Not a cloud in the sky, just some smoke.......

For more Skywatch Friday posts please click on this link

Catching you all up with my news....

As you know it was my birthday on Tuesday, I wanted to share with you what my brother wrote on his blog about me.  I was close to tears with that post; that was so nice of him.

One of the gifts I got was this sun catcher, isn't it just gorgeous?

Spring has sort of arrived.  We still have snow but it is melting.  With the melting though everything turns into pure mud, including the driveway.  At this point I am not sure what is worse, the ice or the mud?
The garage has flooded and there is an inch of water standing in there.  It's on my list of jobs to do today to try and shovel the water out........adding more water to the driveway and making it even more muddier!!!  Should be keeping pigs they would be in their element with the mud.

I finally finished staining the new banisters and railing on the stairs.  It's a stinky job though and I still have the varnishing to do.

Got a heck of a deal on Wednesday.  I got an email from Shopper's Drug Mart with a coupon for 20 x the points on Wednesday when you spend $50.  Lean Cuisine/Stouffer's has a promotion on here .

Enter 12 PIN codes from specially marked packages and you will receive $25 in FREE groceries*, consisting of $15 in Free Nestlé product coupons and a $10 grocery gift card to the store you selected at registration.
When you qualify, we’ll automatically mail your reward to the address you supplied us when you registered.
You’re eligible to receive two $25 rewards within the promotional period (February 1 - May 3, 2011), so keep collecting.

The meals were on for $1.99 each and so I decided to pick up 24 meals so I could do two submissions, and something else to put my total over $50.  I ended up getting 20 x the points as I used that coupon, which is worth maybe $15 of free product, plus there was a promotion on when you spend $50 you get a $10 Shopper's Drug Mart gift card, so they gave me that.  Then I'll get two other $10 gift cards from the Nestle promotion, I am choosing Presidents Choice cards.  So all in all this will basically cost me nothing to have bought all that in the end.

Can't say you will get fat on eating those meals, but as I am supposed to be on a diet......failing miserably at the moment......this might make a difference!!!  I wouldn't count on it though, as I love my food!!

The vacuum is now out 24/7 as those bloody cluster flies have woken up and are now invading the house again, along with ladybugs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thanks and a book review

First of all the book review:

"The Search," by Suzanne Woods Fisher

"As a child caught up in a crisis, Lainey O'Toole made a split-second decision with far-reaching effects. Fifteen years later, when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge--the very town in which that decision was made--she is forced to face the past and discover how her decision has impacted so many.

Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm helping her intimidating grandmother Bertha recover from surgery. It doesn't take long for Bess to realize that her grandmother coaxed her to Stoney Ridge for an entirely different reason. But once Bess meets hired hand Billy Lapp, the summer starts to hold some promise.

Lainey's and Bess's worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.

Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully woven story that takes you through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Immerse yourself in this heartwarming--and surprising--tale of young love, forgiveness, and healing."
I loved this book, it was one of those books that I didn't want to put down.  I needed to know what would happen next.  I fell in love with the characters, especially the grandmother Bertha.  She was quite the character and so not typical of an Amish grandmother.  Some of what happened in the book was predictable, while others things surprised me. 

The way the book finished means that another book can be written as a sequel to this one; which I truly  hope she does write one, as there is still more stories to be told.

Stars out of 5: 5 nothing but good things to say about this book.  The storyline was believable as were the characters.  I truly would recommend this book to one and all.  I will be searching out more of this authors books now as I love her style of writing.

Now for the thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes yesterday I really appreciated them all.  I had a lovely day out and about.  Met up with people I hadn't seen in a while.  Dh took me out for supper which was lovely as well.  So another birthday over with for another year.......

I was lucky enough to win the gorgeous mouse below from Mary Anne, isn't it lovely?  I have put  her up on the mantlepiece out of Molly's way!!!

I didn't have time to go by your blogs on Tuesday, sorry, will catch up with you later on in the week.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another birthday........

The kids brought over a Baskin and Robbins mint chocolate icecream cake for me on Sunday.

They also bought me this beautiful bunch of flowers and vase.  Plus they got four glasses with bees on them.
Having a day of running errands and visiting people today.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Review and a really, really funny video.....

"Angel Sister" by Anne H. Gabhart

"It is 1936 and Kate Merritt is trying hard to keep her family together. Her father has slipped into alcoholism, her mother tries to come to grips with their dire financial situation, and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to all of it. Kate could never have imagined that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what her family needs.

In this richly textured novel, award-winning author Ann H. Gabhart reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled times, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer."

This book was hard work.  It took me until chapter 13 to really get into it; there were 44 chapters in the book.  You really had to concentrate as the story kept going back and forward between the 1930's and the 1910's.  It was interesting to read about how some people didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing back in the 1930's, and how poor a lot of people were; but this book was not a book I really enjoyed reading.

There were a couple of surprises along the way that I didn't guess and kindness in a very hard life the characters led.  Overall it was not a joyous book, infact it was a depressing book in a lot of way.  I even began to feel the worry that Kate was feeling and thought for a 14 year old it was a hard, hard life she had.

Stars out of 5: 2.5 this just wasn't my kind of book, I don't want to be depressed reading a book and this book made me feel down.  Would I recommend it to you to read........if you like stories set in the early 1900's then go ahead and read it.  It just wasn't for me, sorry.

"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".

Val had this on her blog and I laughed until I had tears going down my face.

Vertebrates, , invertebrates and Egyptian burial tombs

Those are just some of the subjects I discussed with my soon to be 6 year old grandson the other night. Back story; I babysat the boys while...