Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank you card.......

We got a lovely thank you card in the mail on Monday from dd and her hubby.  She made them for everyone using her Cricut.

The theme of her wedding was "The Perfect Pair."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

surgery went well.  typing with one hand sucks!!!  pink stuff on fingers is disinfectant.  have the bandage taken off on 15th of December.....

Received a telephone call on Monday......

and that totally upset all the plans I had for the week.  The telephone call was from the surgeons office and someone had cancelled their appointment for surgery on Tuesday and did I want the appointment.  After a quick phone call to dh to see if he could drive me to and from hospital on Tuesday I accepted the appointment.  So at 2pm today I will be having my right hand operated on.  It only takes around half an hour, and I hope to be home by supper time.

Obviously I wasn't expecting this and it threw a bit of a monkey wrench into my plans for the day.  As you know my dh is very talented when it comes to renovations but the one thing he can't and won't do is cook.  So I pulled a few things out of the freezer and got busy making some meals.

Took me around 3 hours, but I got a bit done.  Below are two shepherd's pies, a bowl of rice, a bowl of mashed potatoes.  Two containers of liver, onion, mushrooms and bacon casserole, a lasagna and chicken and veggies in a mushroom Alfredo sauce.  All in all there are around nine meals there for the two of us.

I also made a big pot of ham and leek soup with a couple of ham hocks.  So probably another meal there and lunch for me for the week.
I must admit, I felt very blessed to be able to pull things out of the freezer and make enough meals to last more than a week in just a few hours.

As it's my right hand that is being operated on and I am right handed things won't be as easy to do.  In theory I won't be able to drive for at least a couple of weeks, but I'll play that by ear.  I will have my hand bandaged up for two weeks, and I haven't to do any heavy lifting for 6 weeks.  So no snow blowing for me!!!

I am hoping after a couple of days though to be able to type and to try and comment on everyone's blog.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gill's Bean and Sausage Casserole

Couldn't decide what to call it and saying it's an actual recipe is a bit of a stretch, but thought I'd share it with you.  Here is what it looks like:

Gill's Bean and Sausage Casserole


Potatoes, peeled and sliced , use as many as you think people will eat
1 or 2 onions peeled and sliced, or if you like onions use more
Red or Green pepper sliced
1 package sausages cut into thirds, depending on how many people you are feeding you may need more than one package
2 cans Heinz Baked Beans in tomato sauce, or whatever brand you prefer, they do need to be in tomato sauce though

This is cooked in a slow cooker.  Place the potatoes and onions in the bottom of the slow cooker, season.  I used salt and pepper and garlic powder.  Chilli powder would be good if you like a bit of a kick.  Place the sausages on top of the potato and onion mixture, then top with the cans of baked beans.

Cook on low for around 10 hours.  I used around half a dozen potatoes, one onion, 5 sausages and two cans of baked beans and that fed the two of us, and there is enough left over for dh a filling meal later on in the week.  It's a comfort meal for a cold day and very simple to make.  I did not put any red or green pepper in mine as I forgot about it.

Also I bought Presidents Choice English Bangers as I really enjoy them for this dish.  However I think they were labeled wrong as they were spicy like a mild Italian sausage, so that spoiled the dish for me, as I don't do spice!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A road trip to the cranberry marsh (lots of photos).......

Back in October I purchased a couple of Groupon deals to Johnston's Cranberry Marsh  We were supposed to go at the beginning of November when our family were here from Britain, but due to my step-father taking ill we never got.

As the weather was going to be nice we decided to go on Saturday.  We got there a little early so headed into Port Carling for lunch, which is around 15 minutes from the marsh. The "tour" was scheduled for 1pm and that was part of our deal.  There was only us and another couple and the tour very very informal because of that.  Will mention there are a lot of trails around the marshes that you can go by yourself unguided and there are plenty of information signs throughout those trails that will tell you about the area and cranberries.

The marsh was started back in 1952 and it took two years to set everything up and then another 5 years before the first crop was ready to harvest.  Cranberry bushes are evergreen and the leaves go red in the fall. This is a photo of the original marsh, they have three or four others, covering a total of 27 acres. However the property is 300 acres as it takes those extra acres to sustain the marshes.

Here is a close up of a bush, they are very close to the ground and spread along the ground rather than grow higher.
The best time to go is in October when they are harvesting the crop.  Bala the local town has a cranberry festival the weekend after Thanksgiving, so that would be a great time to visit as well.  I noticed that although that had finished the harvest there were still a lot of cranberries on the bushes.
There were signs all over the place telling you about the place and what they do.  Not sure if you will be able to read them though? This one tells you about the winery that they have.
This one explains about the harvesting, as they use rakes rather than beaters to harvest the berries, so not to damage the fruit.
They also had the original truck parked there that is a 1948 Ford.  It doesn't work but is a great reminder of the beginning of the marsh.
After the tour we went back into the store and did some wine tasting.  It's normally $3 a person and she didn't want to see our ID?  I wonder why!!!!  We got this free as part of our deal.  We also got a $20 gift certificate for the store.  We bought a couple bottles of wine, one a Cranberry Wine and one a Cranberry and Blueberry Wine to have with our Christmas Lunch.  These wines are available at the LCBO for folks in Canada. I love the art work on the bottles, so neat.
Part of our deal was a free bag of cranberries.  It was a huge bag, over 4lbs and would normally cost $12.75.  Not too sure what I am going to do with them yet.
I also picked up a bag of chocolate covered dried cranberries, they are so good, but flipping expensive at nearly $8 a small bag.
We really enjoyed ourselves and we travelled up Hwy 400 to get there and came back via Gravenhurst and down Hwy 11 to get home.  It is around an hour and a half north of Barrie, so took us nearly two hours to get there.

Its a place we are going to visit in the summer as there is so much to see and do in that area


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Record breaking temperatures on Friday......

It was a super day on Friday with temperatures in the mid-teens.  I got all my laundry dried outside, as it was so windy along with lovely temperatures.  Of course with a gorgeous day comes a glorious sunset:

We are so very lucky to see these gorgeous sunsets.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A couple of tips to make Christmas easier on yourself........

Angela over at Tracing Rainbows is having a weekly Christmas Tips segment so I thought I would join in.

My number 1 tip is put a little money away each week towards Christmas.  Coming up with a lot of money close to Christmas to buy everything isn't feasible for me, so I put money away each week.  That way when I have to start Christmas shopping  the money is there in my pot.

My number 2 tip is after Christmas when taking down your Christmas cards, write down on a piece of paper or in my case on an Excel spreadsheet on the computer who you got Christmas cards from and whether or not you got a note, letter or photos from them.  That way you know for the following year who you need to end cards too.

I did a post back in 2009 about what to do with your Christmas cards when you are finished with them, that's here

When I was out in the car on Thursday I was listening to my usual radio station and I see it's been switched over to Christmas music now, so I guess it won't be long until Christmas now!!!

By the way I will be starting my Christmas You Tube music video series next Thursday......can't wait!!!

What to say about the "home of the week," I think the best word would be confused.  I really don't know how else to describe it?  I will say who ever buys it will have their work cut out trying to make it all work..........and who in their right mind has an animal print on the main stair carpet?

The condo of the week, is okay I guess, but I do hate those concrete ceilings, they would get on my nerves.  I guess I am not into that whole exposed look.  The view isn't too bad from the balcony, however in the scheme of things I wouldn't want it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

View from Molly's Window

Back in October I mentioned in this post how Jane was starting a weekly meme over at the Maple Syrup Mob called A View from My Window posting every Thursday.  Well it officially started last week, but I didn't participate.  This week I am all organized and here are Molly's views from her window yesterday.  Everything was covered in ice as we had, had freezing rain overnight.

View to the south:
Picture 2023

View to the north:
Picture 2025

and finally view to the west:
Picture 2024

everything is looking very bare at the moment and although I don't want to mention the "s" word, it feels as though something is going to happen today, as the sky looks very full!!

Busy, busy day today running, here there and everywhere.  Enjoy your Thursday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New paintings......

My step-father is an amateur watercolour artist and he brought me over a couple more paintings when he was here.  I chose a couple and got them framed.  The first one is a typical British post box:
Picture 2017
The second was is a lake scene one of his specialities:
Picture 2018
I have had these other two of his for a few years now, I really like this one:

Picture 2019
Another one of his water scenes:
Picture 2021
They also bought me an original watercolour by an artist whose last name is Barton. He is dead now and his daughter was selling off some of his works. He is a British artist but I forget what else they told me about him, other than he did some work for York Cathedral, I think it was York.
Picture 2015

Sorry about the quality of the photos, but it's hard to take photos of pictures when they are under glass.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving charitable gifts at Christmas

Over on Carla's blog on her sidebar there is information about giving World Vision gifts as Christmas presents.  I thought that was the neatest thing, as I do have a couple of friends I buy for that honestly they don't really need anything and I always feel unsure if they will use what I normally get.  However giving them a gift card and letting them choose what they want to "buy" for someone else in the world makes perfect sense to my mind.

Is this something you do at Christmas or birthday's?  Also do you know of other organizations that do this?

On Monday I pottered around the house, it was a gorgeous day and I was able to get the laundry dried outside and not light the fire until after lunch.  Mind you it cooled off a lot when the sun went down.  For the time of year we are having super weather.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A bit of this, and a bit of that........

Sunday was a perfect day, we did very little all day and it was nice.  Dh did do a couple of jobs outside and tested the snow blower to make sure it was working.  Otherwise we just vegged out in front of the fire.

I found a photo of the venue for the wedding that I thought I'd share:

My mother brought over some magazines for me to read, as you know I am a magazine junkie. They included a couple issues of BBC Easy Cook magazines.  They include all sorts of recipes and the two she brought me had a few recipes I think I want to try.

I also got the 2012 Milk Calendar with the newspaper this weekend and it also has some super recipes on it.  I think that's going to be my calendar in the kitchen this year.

Have another super busy week ahead of me.  I want to get the house cleaned from top to bottom.  I have all the bedding washed, dried and ironed from when our visitors were here. Just need to get all the rooms cleaned ready for the kids coming over at Christmas.

The weather is now cooling off and feels like winter weather now.  We have been lucky though as the snow has been north of us, which is just as well, as I still don't have my snow tires on my car.  Do you put snow tires on your car for winter and if so when do you normally put them on?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thought I'd post about saving money when shopping......

You know when Christmas is coming when you try to cut back on your grocery bill so you have money to spend on gifts.......

This is mainly for the Canadians out there as they all pertain to Canadian companies, though I am sure some things will apply to other parts of the world.  I can't say I was the one to think of this, but have been doing it for years, contacting companies either by telephone or email to tell them how much you like their products or to see if they can send you any coupons.

Mrs. January has a great list here, along with links to emails of companies that do send coupons out when you request them.  I recently contacted Chapman's ice cream and requested a coupon, they sent me out a $5 off coupon and will do that once per year.  I also contacted Colgate and they sent me 5 x $1 coupons.  I also contacted Tetley, but they don't send out coupons but asked me to join their mailing list, which I did.

Just with those coupons I got a tub of Chapman's Cheeky Monkey frozen yogurt for 49 cents and 5 small bottles of Palmolive Washing Up Liquid for 65 cents (the taxes) and all it took was a few minutes of my time.

I also "order" coupons online from the following companies:




It doesn't cost anything to order off of those sites.

I am a big fan of coupons for certain things and this week alone I used $45.49 in coupons.  I think my best deal was at Zehrs where I always go to the half price rack in the bakery, where they had Wonder bread with 50% off.  I bought two loaves @ $1.79 each - the 50% = $1.78 - $2 coupon, gives me an overage of 22 cents which went towards the rest of my shopping.

I picked up the frozen yogurt, tub of regular yogurt, two loaves of bread, 2 tomatoes, 4 litre bag of milk, package choc chip cookies and ended up paying $8.55 for it all after coupons.

Shopper's Drug Mart had their 20 x the points day on Saturday and went twice to use some high value coupons I had.  I ended up spending $88.70, used $34 in coupons and got 26,100 points.  Add that to what points I had and now I have enough for $200 worth of free product at the next bonus redemption day (December 3rd I think).

I will say I shop what's on sale in the flyers, so it sucked this week when we didn't get any flyers..........not a happy camper.  Thank goodness for the internet!!

Will mention that Shopper's Drug Mart has 10% off their ten pack of Canada Post Stamps, picked up a couple of those for sending Christmas Cards, that deal is on all week.  I also picked up windscreen washer for the car @ $1.49 each; however that was a Saturday special.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I went over my limit this month on Photobucket and that is why there are no photos on my blog at the moment.  They should be back up and running on the 20th (tomorrow), I hope.  Meanwhile I opened a Flikr account and wanted to share some photos with you from a garden centre we went to last week.  The place is all set up for Christmas:

Picture 2012

Picture 2003

Picture 2006

Picture 2008

Picture 2011

Picture 2005

Picture 2004
No snow on the ground where we are, but go another half an hour north and you'll find plenty!!  Going to help dh clean out the gutters this morning, need to wrap up well as it will be chilly!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

"A Lancaster County Christmas," by Suzanne Woods Fisher

"A Lancaster County Christmas," by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband, Sol, the Christmas gift they have both longed for--news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big Amish family isn't likely to become a reality. Will those empty chairs at the table ever be filled?

Then a winter storm raging outside blows an impatient young woman and her husband into the Riehl home on Christmas Eve--and into a much slower pace of life.

Both couples are about to find out if they can weather the storm--and if miracles still happen at Christmastime.

This is one of those feel good books with a predictable ending I'm afraid.  It wasn't an unpleasant read, far from it in fact, it was a story where you knew exactly what was going to happen though.

It brought together two different couples from two different worlds each with their own problems and thanks to one another, they worked out their problems with help from God.  Again I didn't like the ending, I didn't feel as though it gave the book closure.  Maybe the author is going to write a sequel to this book?

Star out of 5: 3 It was an easy read and if you like anything Amish you'll enjoy this book.  I was let down with the actual story and the ending though.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Back again..............

and back to normal, well sort of.  As what exactly is normal?

It's been a heck of a month so far.  What with dd wedding, which went off without a hitch and was just lovely.  To having my mam, step-father and brother here for nearly three weeks.  Of course that visit was made stressful with my step-father going into hospital for three days.

They arrived back in Britain yesterday morning and my step-father got to see his doctor later that day and she has put in a request for him to go and see the cardiologist.  He will need a stent put in, as the pain he is still experiencing is due to one of the blockages.  Of course like most men (you ladies out there will understand this) he never listens and despite being told to take it easy he hasn't and isn't.  So only time will tell what's going to happen next with him.

Took Molly back to the vet's to see about the couple of lumps and she said they are in the lymph nodes and are a little smaller than they were.  So we are going to take the wait and see approach and I'll pop back into the vets again in the New Year.  Mind you Molly is in the "dog house," at the moment, and is suffering and getting no sympathy from me!!!

My mother bought four mini packs of chocolate turtles, I think there will only be around 4 chocolates per box.  Anyhow she had them in a plastic bag in their bedroom.  We went out and Molly went snooping.  She ate the first box in the bedroom, carefully taking them out of the box and unwrapping them.  The next box she took down to the bottom of the stairs.  Then she thought she would get comfortable with the third box and opened and ate them in front of the fire.  By then she must have decided she was full, but thought she should "bury" the individual chocolates around the house to snack on later!!

She did have the runs but really only the one time.  She still managed to eat her supper that night, despite her stomach being bloated.  She is now pooping normally but it does have candy wrappers in amongst it!!!  I couldn't be mad at her, but I refused to give her the bone I had bought that day for her.  I put it in the drawer and she now keeps going to the drawer as she can smell it!!!  She's a character that Molly!!

So now the house is all quiet.  I got up on Thursday morning and came down stairs and thought I wonder if my mam had put the kettle on for a cup of tea.  Both dh and I are pooped though as it feels as though it has been none stop for a while now.  Plus the stress of dealing with the hospital and insurance was the icing on the cake as they say. 

Our plan is to take things easy up until Christmas to wind down and hibernate.  I still haven't made a start on my Christmas shopping yet.  I am up to $56 in my Christmas food pot which should no doubt pay for the Christmas Day lunch, but want to add another $24 to it to be on the safe side.  I need to clean the house from top to bottom as well. Oh and get back into my blogging again.  I feel as though I haven't blogged in months.

I hope to start visiting and commenting on everyone's blog starting this weekend as well to catch up with what you have all been up to.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Remembering Christmas," by Dan Walsh

"Remembering Christmas," by Dan Walsh

Rick Denton lives his life on his terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. So when his mother calls begging him to come home after his stepfather has an aneurysm, Rick is more than a little reluctant. What was supposed to be just a couple days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and dealing with the homeless guy who keeps hanging around the store. The one bright spot is the lovely and intriguing young woman who works at his side each day.

As Christmas nears, Rick's old life beckons, the hurts from his past loom large, and the decisions he makes will determine more than just where he spends Christmas Eve.

What a wonderful story this is, one that makes the heart feel good.  I did though find the book hard to "get into."  The story is a bit slow to start with, but once you get past the first few chapters, you will be hooked.  There is a character in the book I wasn't too sure about, I can't tell you who it is without spoiling the story.  I didn't understand the importance of this character, but when I got further into the book it started to make sense.

The story made you realize how small town life can be so comforting and nurturing.  I liked the way it ended as well, it just made sense.

Stars out of 5: 4.5 Just wish it wasn't so hard to get into the story at the beginning, otherwise a great book.  A perfect book for a cold day snuggling by the fire.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"The Christmas Shoppe," by Melody Carlson

"The Christmas Shoppe," by Melody Carlson

A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.

I read and reviewed another Christmas book last year by this same author here. I am not sure what to make of this book.  It's not a straight forward story, and I would love to ask the author where she got the idea for the book.  It's one of those books you can read in a day no bother, but it was a book that did need concentration to my mind, as it does take a while to "get into" the book.

Stars out of 5: 3.5 Is it worth reading yes, but it isn't your usual cookie cutter Christmas story.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell  Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

I will be back to "normal/regular" posting in the next day or so.

"Love on the Line," by Deeanne Gist

"Love on the Line," by Deeanne Gist

Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world . . . which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.

Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.

This book was a learning experience as well as a good story.  I learned a lot about fashion and birds that I never knew.  It was also a book that kept me wondering "who dunit," right until the end.  I never did guess "who it was, " mind you thinking back you were given clues, I just didn't put two and two together.

Georgie was a heroine you just had to love and she was a character you could easily relate to.  Wanting to be independent in a man's world in a time where it wasn't the norm.  I also found Bettina a super character and got quite a surprise at the end with her character.

Stars out of 5: 4, it wasn't one of those books where I HAD to know what was happening next, mind you we had a lot going on at the time while I was trying to read this book, so that can't have helped.  It is a book that I would say read, as it's very interesting about how the telephone lines operated back at the turn of the century.  Party lines were an interesting thing, especially if you were nosy!!!

"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".

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Wonderland Creek," by Lynn Austin

"Wonderland Creek," by Lynn Austin

Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real one. To top it off, Alice loses her beloved library job because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.
Longing to run from small-town gossip, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the tiny coal-mining town of Acorn, a place with no running water, no electricity, and where the librarians ride ornery horses up steep mountain passes to deliver books. When Alice is forced to stay in Acorn far longer than she planned, she discovers that real-life adventure, mystery--and especially romance--may be far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.

This story sucked you in right from the beginning.  I loved how one country has such great contrasts in the way they lived even in the 1930's.  Alice was the perfect heroine and you just wanted her to succeed.  The one thing I didn't like about this book was the way it ended.  Now if there was a sequel to this book, I'd be happy, but I don't see anywhere where it says there will be a sequel.  To my mind it just ended before the story was finished.

As I love Kentucky I found the history of the way they live down there fascinating.  Also I had never heard of the Packhorse Library Project and it is a subject that I'd like to read about further.

Stars out of 5: 4.5, this was a book that not only told a great story but you learned something as well.  The only thing that let it down was the ending, but I would recommend you read it.

"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".

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Update on insurance and my speech at the wedding and the menu from the wedding........

Got word yesterday that everything is going to be covered for step-father's medical expenses while in hospital.  So a big worry lifted off of our shoulders.

I thought you may be interested in seeing my speech from the wedding.  People at the wedding said it was okay:

Hello and welcome everyone. I hope you are enjoying your meal so far?

A couple of months ago we were having dinner here with B parents, C and L; along with C and B. The subject of giving speeches came up and I said I was giving the speech from our side of the family, but wasn’t sure what to say. C (B dad) said the speech was to welcome B into our family.
As I pointed out B has been around for the past 11 years now, so if he doesn’t feel like part of the family by now he never will do? However, in keeping with tradition, B, I officially welcome you into the T side of the family.

R my husband is a man of few words, but he always stressed to B that if he were to marry C he had to ask his permission. So imagine our surprise when we got a telephone call a week before Christmas telling us he was popping over and NOT to tell C. When you came over and asked our permission to ask C to marry you, we were thrilled. Though the look on R face hid that fact well.

I can’t remember what R said, but it must have been yes, but my answer was, “Well it’s about flipping time.” I will add that was also the longest week of my life, as I couldn’t tell anyone what was going to happen on Christmas morning. R being the man of few words didn’t have a problem!!!!
I know many of you are parents here and a lot of you have children who are married. So you will be able to relate to what I am going to say next. C, it doesn’t seem like five minutes since we brought you home from the hospital and now here you are all grown up and married. Where did all the time go in between hands? You’ll always be our little girl, but we are handing over some of the responsibilities of looking after you to B now, as we know he loves and he cares for you as much as we do.

B, look after C she is very precious to us, but you already know how special she is?

Okay, before it all gets too soppy and I run past my allocated two minutes. Would you all raise your glasses and wish C and B all the best of luck and love in the world.

I took out people's full names just to protect their privacy.

Our menu for the wedding was as follows:
Country Bread Basket with Creamry Butter

Four Cheese Cauliflower Soup

Organic Greens topped with Crumbled Goat Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts and Cherry Tomatoes with Maple Dressing. 

Grilled Chicken Supreme, with Crispy Honey Mustard Crust, Mashed Potatoes and a selection of Vegetables or Baked Globe Artichoke in a Crispy Pastry Lattice, filled with Woodland Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and Baby Spinach.

Warm Tarte Tartin, with French Vanilla Ice cream

Tea and Coffee

There were appetizers before the meal during the cocktail hour.

At night there were the wedding cakes, an assortment of french pastries and a Homemade Slider Station; which was Angus Beef Sliders (mini burgers) on buns with an assortment of toppings. Along with tea and coffee.  Also there was a bowl of mini Cadbury chocolate bars, which my mam had brought over with her.

The bar was open for an hour before the reception and for four hours after the reception.  It was a free bar which my brother thought was great!!!!  As did many of the guests!!!!  With dinner there was a choice of red or white wine, and a glass of champagne with the toast.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A couple more photos.......

from the wedding. 

Dd and her dear Uncle Pete, thought this was a super photo:

The dessert at the wedding, tarte tartin:

I have a lot more photos, but just haven't had the time to go through them all.

My mother and I, along with dd are going to the Women's Show today for a break, so should have photos from there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The week from hell...........

After the high from the wedding things went down hill very fast.......

My step-father started having chest pains on Saturday morning, and never said anything as he didn't want to spoil the wedding.  He didn't tell us until Sunday morning at breakfast, and when we suggested going to the hospital he wouldn't go.  Fast forward to Monday afternoon and we did an emergency dash to our local hospital.  Where after a CAT Scan, many blood tests, and various other things they admitted him, as they had ruled out a heart attack, blood clots and pneumonia.  They decided he needed an angiogram, which they couldn't do at Alliston hospital, but would have to do at South Lake hospital in Newmarket.

They didn't take him on Tuesday but finally got him an appointment on Wednesday afternoon.  They did an angiogram and found one of the smaller veins was blocked 80%.  He also has an irregular heart beat and a heart murmur.  None of this he knew prior to coming to Canada.  They have given him the all clear to fly thank goodness.

Now if this wasn't bad enough, trying to sort out the insurance what an utter and complete nightmare.  They are insured but trying to get all the paperwork to them in England and sorting everything out has been terrible.  When we went to Newmarket hospital they wouldn't do the angiogram without payment up front by credit card, that was $1,450.  The doctors fee had to be paid in either cash or cheque.  That was another $700 in cash.  The medications came to another $100.

They charged $1,700 a night at Alliston hospital.  He was admitted Monday night by Tuesday morning his bill was $5,100.  We were lucky as I found a super woman in Alliston that helped us out with everything and had dealt with foreign insurances before hand.  We also found another lady in Newmarket hospital to help us get paperwork to London, England.

We had gone to Staples and they were going to charge us $5.99 to fax the first sheet and $3.99 for everything after that.  There were 19 pages to fax.  So we got it scanned onto a memory stick and we sent them from our computer, but for some reason they didn't get it.  So thanks to talking to the lady in Newmarket she found someone to do it in the hospital.  All the hospitals in Ontario are not allowed to fax anything outside of Canada or the States, due to cut backs.

I will say everyone we have dealt with have been really nice and very understanding and helpful.

Then we discovered dh's best friend was having a scope for a mass beside his colon, and it's not looking too good.  Ds got hit in the mouth with a hockey puck the Tuesday before the wedding and had to have his main front tooth extracted and another one put in, which he did today and the final bill for that will be $5,300.  Got an estimate for Molly's surgery and that will be around $1,050.

Oh and then I got sick............what a hell of a week!!!  Things can only get better.  We are all going out tonight for dd's birthday which is today.

Onwards and upwards as they say..........more wedding photos soon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What's your dream/goal in life?

That was a question asked at another person's blog the other day.

My answer was: to have the house renovated before we die!!

That same person had a five year plan, which got me thinking whether or not we should have a five year plan.

I sort of have a 5 year renovation plan:


Finish off new basement
Gut mud room and start afresh in there, put new siding on outside of mud room
Put new roof shingles on garage


Redo all the Family Room, and new siding on outside of family room
Build a new shed
Replace deck


Redo the upstairs bathroom - major expensive


Redo the kitchen and bathroom beside the kitchen - major expensive


Living room


It will be probably time to put on a new roof on the house

Of course all that is not written in stone and could change any minute, but at least it is a plan of action.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The wedding day........

was perfect.  The weather although cool was bright and sunny, so perfect for out door photos.  We are tired today as me and dh didn't get to bed until 2:30am.  Everyone seemed to be happy and had a good time.  But enough of that you want to see photos right?  I must say though I do not have one of dd and her hubby by themselves, I will post one when someone sends me some.

So here goes, this is the venue:
This is where the wedding ceremony was held:
This is a photo of the flowers that were down the aisle:
This is what the table looked like where we sat.  The brown boxes are the boxed jam.  Dd made the menu's and place cards.  My dad made the boxes for the centre pieces.  I sprayed the "twigs" in the centre pieces.  Dd dried the orchids that were applied to the twigs.  Dd make the table numbers, I will show a photo of them another day, as they were double sided.  She also made the place cards.
One thing we had at the wedding was a Caricaturist, she arrived at 9pm and stayed until 1am and was kept busy the whole time.  Infact there was a line up, but dh and I got our's done thanks to me standing in line.  Made no difference I was the bride's mother!!!!  It was a big hit and well worth the money.  Here is what we had done:

The only thing that wasn't correct was the glass in my hand, as I don't drink alcohol.

Here is the wedding cake, a very unusual design, not at all a traditional cake,but very nice. The bottom layer was red velvet, the middle layer, was lemon with a raspberry icing and that top layer was double chocolate.  The top layer is in my freezer, as dd wants to keep it until their first anniversary.  The middle layer wasn't even cut, so again it's cut up in our freezer:
They looked lovely both of them and dd was stunning from top until bottom.  I felt as though I had a birds nest on the top of my head with what the hairdresser had done!!  As soon as all the photos were taken off came my heels and I put my flats on.

I will post more tomorrow..........

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Today is the big day......

This year has just flown by and here we are the day of the wedding.

Due to being a tad busy this post is very short, and I probably won't post again until Monday.

The weather forecast is lovely for today, with it being sunny and a high of 8oC.

Have a super weekend everyone.........

Friday, November 4, 2011

Trip to St. Jacobs with "Whiplash Harry the 2nd!"

Ds is Whiplash Harry the 1st, my dear brother is Whiplash Harry the 2nd I have decided.......I did tell him I didn't want to have to dye my hair again before the wedding, but I think I will have to........

We went to the market and despite the colder weather we had it was fair all day.  Due to the cold weather though, there weren't too many stalls on the market.  I took some photos though:

I have never seen cabbages as big as these ones:
The fruit and veg on this stall looked good too:
We had lunch out and this is what my brother ordered a smoked meat sandwich and there is a pound of meat there, and no he didn't finish it.
We did have a good day and I was saying to dh we will have to go when everyone leaves.

Sunday Song

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