Tuesday, March 31, 2015

All it took was an hour and a half.........

And I have three meals and part of another meal all ready to go.

I made two chicken "pies," which consists of three chicken breasts chopped up with an onion and mushrooms chopped and sauted.  Make some gravy and add to the chicken and simmer.  I had some leftover frozen mixed veg that needed using up, so added that and divided it between the two dishes.  I could have only used two chicken breasts as they were quite large.
The egg pie consists of hard boiled eggs halved, and topped with cheese sauce, recipe here.
I made a big pan of mashed potatoes and a packet of stuffing mix.  I placed half the prepared stuffing mixture on top of the chicken and veggies and filled in both sides with mashed potatoes and did the same with the other one.  I topped the egg pie also with mashed potatoes, and had a bowl of mashed potatoes leftover.

As everything is cooked, all you need to is pop it in the microwave to heat through, or pop into a 350 oF oven until heated through.

I pulled out a couple of chicken breasts only to discover they were ones I had stuffed with cheese and broccoli, so Wednesday's meal plan has changed from chicken strips and salad, to stuffed chicken breasts with potato pancakes, using the leftover mashed potatoes and probably peas.

It took me around and hour and a half to prepare, cook everything and wash up.

Can't believe it is the end of March, the month has gone by fast, just wish it would heat up a bit.....

Monday, March 30, 2015

A few random things for a Monday.....

I have been growing my hair out.  It is now long enough to put into a short ponytail thank goodness, as it annoys me when it's down and makes me feel too warm.  So why don't I get it cut......I have no idea!!

I am on a house plant buying spree at the moment?  Bought a Martha Washington geranium and a Christmas Cactus this weekend.  As there is a bud on the Christmas Cactus, there is a good chance that will be flowering soon!!

I finished off my grocery shopping for the month of March and spent $331.80 this month with savings of $34.19.  It's proving to be practically impossible to keep it under $300.00 a month.

I am still doing my menu planning and it is keeping me organized.  Here is this weeks, Thursday's shepherd's pie is iffy, as I may make a double quantity of Monday's meal and have that again on Thursday.  In fact the more I think about it, the more I like that idea.  Cook once, eat twice.

Still knitting but it's not coming along very fast.  Still using the first ball of yarn; but it's been less than a week and it's not a race to get finished is it?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

At the garden centre with Our Little Munchkin

It was bitter cold outside but inside it was nice and warm.

Same photo as above but the colour version.  She loves her wellies.
She enjoyed looking at the turtles.
Here are the turtles a bit closer.
They had big tanks of Koi Fish.  These ones were the owners own ones, brought in for the winter, as they have had a problem with mink in the past eating them.  They will over Winter in a deep pond no problem.  These fish were worth up to $1,000 each, depending on the markings on them.

In the garden centre itself, there were some colourful displays of early Spring flowers and house plants.

That moss feature below, reminds me of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, what do you think? 
 Thought these pots were different and colourful

Our Little Munchkin was a joy to be with and as good as gold.  Saturday was her last day of antibiotics AGAIN.  She has had another chest issue, so has been on antibiotics every month so far this year.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Very unproductive day........

Yes, I got a few things done, but not enough to say I have been busy.  Though where the time went who knows.  I had a bit of a dragging your butt situation again.  Seriously if I carry on like this my poor butt will be red raw from trailing on the ground so much!!

I did manage to while away an hour or two going through some old blog posts.  Stumbled upon this one about Whiplash Harry and it involved the guy whose wedding we were at last weekend.  You can click on the link here.

I had a friend over the other day and was talking about moving to our old house and was telling her about the time me and Molly found the bat on the stairs one night.  Also how we have tree frogs up here, and how innocent and stupid we were when we moved to the countryside.  I have to say I am missing my country property at the moment.  I have not had to refill my bird feeder all winter, as there are no birds around.  I saw a mourning dove the other day and got excited {SIGH} 

I do not miss all the hard work though and the utility bills, they were crazy.  I love this house it's perfect for what we want and need, would be even more perfect on a couple of acres in the middle of nowhere!!

Will be seeing Our Little Munchkin today and this is one of her favourite video's:

She is also a fan of this video and we have a video of her dancing to this song.  I don't know how to upload it onto my blog though:

Have a Super Saturday!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Just dragging my sorry butt behind me on Thursday....

It was an effort to do anything on Thursday Our Little Munchkin's Quilt Day.  As it was sewing day I did get it all out and made a good start on it.  It will be 6 blocks across and 8 blocks down.  Each block being 10 inches square.  Plus there will be a border around it as well.  I got 32 blocks completed:

There are 8 of each colour pair.  I have the other's cut out ready to go, but was pooped by that time.
Thank goodness there was enough of the grey neutral material to tie it all together.  I wanted to keep the pattern very simple as there is such a mixture of patterns in the material.

I sat in the front breakfast area of the kitchen as the light is better there.  I normally sit in the back of the house.  I have no idea what was going on, but it was so busy with traffic today.  

Next Thursday I am going down to the community centre to sew with a group of other ladies,  I am not fussed about the company although it's always nice to chat to others.  What I am doing it for is to be distraction free for a few hours.  I get side tracked in the house with bits and bobs and I do want to get this quilt top done.

I do have a question for any quilters out there.  I am thinking of getting someone else to do the quilting for me.  Do you have any idea what I should be paying someone to do it, it's single/twin sized?  I will of course provide everything, they just have to do the actual sewing.  I'll even sew on the binding myself.

Had the music on today and this song came on:

I will admit to dancing along to this!!!  Well not dancing, just swaying side to side!!!  What an incredible woman she is.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday is going to be called this from now on:

"Our Little Munchkin's Quilt Day."  Well at least for the foreseeable future.  If you have been following my blog for the past couple of years, you will know I have a grandchild who was born in November 2013.  Every month on her month old birthday dd took a photo of her.  You can see some here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

You can see there was a different fabric used as a background each month.  So dd asked me to make a quilt (twin/single size) for when Our Little Munchkin goes into a big girls bed.

Knowing how fast I sew I figured I had better make a start on it soon.  So my first job was to wash all the fabric.
I knew those stair railings would come in useful for something!!  I then had to iron all that material.

So for the next few Thursday's I am putting everything else aside and sew all these fabrics into a quilt top.  I had got a pattern in mind of what I am going to do, I just need to get it all done!!!  Wish me luck.

Our Little Princess and Our Little Man will be back from India in a week's time, so looking forward to seeing them again.  I bet they have grown.

Here is Our Little Man's 6 month old photo:

Here they are both together:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yarn is so soft and needs to be squished between your fingers, don't you think?

I went last week to check out another yarn store called The Knitting Basket.  It's in the village near where we used to live and a lovely lady called Angie runs it out of the back of her home.  Where I had my knitting lesson, they do not have an area where you can sit down, and knit and talk to other people who knit.  They offered great advice and are super ladies, but I need that extra one on one and a knitting "community" so I can learn more.

Angie offers that, and holds a get together twice a week on a Tuesday and a Saturday.  So on Tuesday I was all set up to go and attend for a few hours.  Got there and the water had been switched off by the water company.  So yes you could knit, but you couldn't use the bathroom, as there was no water to flush....BUMMER!!

I talked to Angie for a short while; she answered a couple of questions I had and I bought the yarn for my next project a baby blanket.

Look at this yummy colour combination I chose:
Grey, lemon and teal.  I love those colours together and they are gender neutral to my mind?  The way they are set out above is the order in which they will be knit together.

I am using yarn from the Patons Canadiana range and those five balls of yarn cost me $24 from Angie, which I thought was very reasonable.
I have made up my own pattern (again) and here are my chicken scratchings:
I will admit, I struggled royally with everything on Tuesday as I bought a pair of bamboo circular needles by Clover.  They are awful and will be going back.  I ended up going to the store in town where I got my first set of needles and bought another set of those.  I will show you them at a later date, as I LOVE them, they are so easy to use and feel so comfortable.

I took the photos of the yarn on the kitchen table.  I have an Easter tabletopper on there at the moment that my mam gave me.  Look at the cute little chicks.
And the cute little bunnie:
Angie currently does not have a website, but she is on Facebook.  If you search for The Knitting Basket Alliston Ontario, you should come up with a link

By the way those are my $50 oranges I bought when staging the house!!  They were actually worth the $50, I wrote about them here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blogger and other things..

Some of you were saying you had trouble accessing my blog.  I have no idea what has been going on, but have also been having trouble using my "dashboard," on Blogger as well.  I hope things have calmed down and any problem has gone?

Time seems to have been slipping away from me over these past few days, which means I haven't had a chance to pop by your blogs.  I hope things calm down soon and I can get back to visiting you all again.

Dh took Monday off and we went out and about to get some fresh air; he's had a horrible headache, so thought some fresh air would help.  We ended up going to a place called English and Miller for lunch.  If you click on the link you can see what they sell; they have an online store, and the cafe menu.

We both decided to have a ploughman's lunch; as we haven't had one in a long time.

This is dh's plate, which shows exactly what you get.
Now mine is also a ploughman's minus the Branston pickle (icky) and Stilton cheese (even more ickier!!)  I ate the grapes before I remembered to take a photo.  I am a picky eater.
Everything was very tasty.  You get your tea served on china cups and saucers and there was a choice of teas.  It wasn't cheap but made a lovely change.  Also they do an afternoon tea but you have to order it in advance.  They are in Barrie right on the waterfront and it's a lovely area; when it's not blowing a gale and is bloody freezing cold!!!  Just along the way from here; you could walk to it if you want is a restaurant The Farmhouse, that is also good and well worth a visit.  One neat thing about The Farmhouse, they serve their salads in Mason Jars (jam jars).

Monday, March 23, 2015

Very lazy Sunday.......

As I mentioned we were at a wedding on Saturday for one of dh's co-workers.  This fine young man we have known for many years and his wife is a lovely woman.  They were so happy and so in love it was a joy to see them.

Here are a few photos from the day/night.

It was a Catholic ceremony and the stained glass windows were gorgeous.

They were all the same wheat but different colours.
This is where the wedding party sat, it was lovely.  There were seven bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, two flower girls and a ring boy.  That's the biggest wedding party I have seen.
The centre piece on our table.  I won ours but forgot it.  Dh will pick it up today at the office for me.
 The wedding favour was a jar of honey, again I forgot it, so dh will also get that at the same time.
 The cake it was so pretty.  The colours were pink and white.  The guys wore navy blue suits with pink ties.  The bridesmaids wore pale pink strapless ruched dresses.
This is the most unique dessert I have ever seen.  They are ice cream.  The banana tasted of banana, the grapes tasted like grape flavoured bubble gum.  The apples were vanilla and the red covering was white chocolate.  I had the orange/peach and it tasted like Creamiscle ice cream.  They were so good.

I did do one thing on Sunday and that was do the menu plan for the week.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Random photos from down the town.......

We went to a wedding on Saturday, so I prepared this post Saturday morning.  I took all the photos from my car when I drove through town earlier in the week.  Don't worry I was either stopped at the lights, or stopped for turning traffic when I took each one.  None are particularly interesting but I did include a couple of facts with some of them.

Giant Tiger is a Canadian firm sort of like a grocery store, that also sells clothes, and house wares, a bit of everything.  We had a smaller one in town, but they moved to this new premises which is a lot, lot bigger.  It was where the old Zellers used to be.  Haven't been in it yet, as I couldn't be bothered to go in.  I went to the store to the right of it Mark's Work Wearhouse to get dh a new dress shirt for the wedding.  They sell the best shirts there.

 The town Alliston has adopted a phrase called "RURBAN," a cross between Urban and Rural.  I get it,  we are a bit of both.  It was a small farming town with limited other industries until a Honda Plant came into town in 1989.  It has since expanded at a rapid rate.
 I took this photo to illustrate how dismal it looks this time of year with no green in the grass or on the trees.  I call this "the dirty time of year."  Once Spring is in full flow, things look prettier.
 I love this store in the middle of town it has a bit of everything for the house.  We got our end tables for the living room for there.  Once I save up enough money I'll be buying more things from them.
 If you look in the distance you can see a church steeple?
 Here is that church closer up.  It's St. John's United Church   I couldn't find a definitive age of when this church was built.
All in all not overly exciting but if you click on the links it may be more interesting for you.

Just a look at the town in which we live.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I feel as though I am losing it this week......

Remember the Slipper Thief post from the other day?  If not click here.

I had another "incident" happen to me on Thursday.  I sent out the following email to the book club members as we all live on the same subdivision.

"Just when you think you have seen it all something else happens. I came home today and wasn't sure if the garbage men hadn't been to our house.  As I put my garbage out inside of my garbage bin, I had to lift the lid to see if they had been or not.  Imagine my surprise when I lifted the lid, to find two presents there of bagged dog poop.

Now as I seem to live in a permanent brain fog, I had to think about this for a few seconds, as to when I had gotten a dog.  I then realized we don't have a dog and someone had put them in there.

I am not mad or anything, more astonished that some person (s) would have the audacity to do this.  I should thank them though, as it made me think for a few seconds, and bring me out of my daze."

A knock came to the door a while later and it was my neighbour.  His wife is a member of the book club and he was the culprit.  I probably wouldn't have noticed the dog poop if he had put it inside of the bag in the bin, but he put it on the top.  

Their garbage is picked up first thing, and mine not until later in the morning.  This dog poop had been left in the bottom of his bin, so he knew ours hadn't been picked up and popped it into our bin.  They had the same situation in their last home and did the same things with their neighbours.

I felt bad "complaining" and her having sent her husband over, but at the same time I personally don't think it is a thing you should do.  I played up on the fact to them that I was more concerned I was losing it and had thought I had got a dog and forgotten about it.

The dog situation is a big bone of contention on this subdivison.  As it is mainly retired folk who live here; we have a lot of dogs, especially small white ones!!  For folk who don't have dogs, dogs peeing and pooping on your grass is not a good thing.  The majority of the people do pick up after there dogs, but some don't.

For the people with dogs, they don't see the harm in letting the dogs walk on your front grass and peeing.  We have no sidewalks/footpaths.  

After the winter melt, it seems there are a lot of "presents" all over the place.  So in the next newsletter this issue will be brought up AGAIN!!

I am waiting for the condo board to tell me to take down my no dog signs (see this post) as no signage is allowed.  So far they haven't sent anyone over.  It will be interesting to see which board member draws the short straw and has to have the discussion with me!!!

If I sound a bit cranky with this situation you are right, there are a number of little things that are annoying me.  I just hope I can get over it as I don't plan on moving any time soon, as I LOVE our house.

P.S. I love dogs, honestly I do.  I am still pining for our Molly, but this is not the right area for owning a dog........but what do I know?

P.P.S. Just read this post and had a good cry.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A bit of progress........

This is how much I have done on my practice piece of knitting:
 It's coming along nicely and other than getting my tension to be more even it is fine.  It will be a dolls blanket for Our Little Munchkin!!

Below are my chicken scratchings that is the pattern I am following.  I designed it myself, as it was one of the things we had to do.  I can understand it, but I am guessing no one else will be able to do.
As I have been learning to knit and practicing, my cross stitch got put on the back burner.  I can also only do this for short periods of time as it aggravates my hands.   It is an owl but it turns into something really useful.

Haven't heard this song in years:

I also finished the book I was reading; "The Secret Life of Bees," by Sue Monk Kidd.  Here is a link to the review I wrote.  I ask a couple of questions about the movie.  So if you have read the book and seen the movie I would look forward to what you have to say too my questions.

So all in all a productive week, crafting and reading wise.  Have you had a productive week?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Most of us will agree on this..........

You either love or hate liver, there is no in between I find.  I am a lover of liver, and although I don't eat it that often when I do I thoroughly enjoy it.  As it is a good source of iron, and I am lacking in iron, it is good for me.

I am finding it difficult to locate liver.  I happened to find this last week and picked up a couple of packages to put in the freezer.  The butcher said he was having trouble finding any, as there is a shortage of beef?  Has anyone else heard that?  I do know the price of ground/minced beef has shot way up.  Gone are the days when you could get the lean for under $2 per pound.  Luckily we don't eat too much beef, so it doesn't really affect us.

With the clocks changing our hydro rate times have also changed, which I am finding annoying as I hate using the hydro when the rates are high.  Our rates are high from 11 am until 5 pm.  We eat at 5 pm, so ideally we should eat later or I prepare supper ahead of time; which is what I did on Wednesday.

I pulled out a pack of liver and made liver casserole using this recipe.

I also cooked some potatoes and mashed those, and made a strawberry and pear crisp using the toaster oven.  I had picked up a package of baby carrots for dh to take with his lunch but hadn't got around to using them, so figured we would have them for supper.
I divided the liver up into three meals for us.  One for Wednesday night and two for the freezer.  This is what our plates looked like:
I really enjoyed it and I am hoping with eating all those carrots my eyesight will also improve!

If we go out to eat and there is liver on the menu, nine times out of ten I will have it.  BUT nine times out of ten it's not cooked right, so it is always hit and miss.

Bit late I know but finally posting a picture of my menu plan.  As you can see, I had planned on having rice as an accompaniment with the liver but changed my mind.  Otherwise so far we have followed the menu plan to the letter.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Slipper Thief.....

Not sure if it's Brain Fog or just a case of me going/being Senile.
I went down the town on Monday.  Came back in and the first thing I do when taking my shoes off is put my slippers on.  They weren't by the front door where I normally leave them.  Not by the chair where I sit, nor in the bedroom.  I even checked in the garage, just to make sure I didn't put them in there.  Rechecked everywhere again and still couldn't find them.  So I put my Birkenstocks on, still confused about where the slippers could be.

Now this is where the irrational part of my brain takes over.  All I could think of is why would someone break into the house to steal a pair of stinky slippers that I have worn all Winter?  Luckily my more common sense part of my brain took over eventually and decided I was being stupid....did take a while though!

Then while all this was happening, I was looking for my grocery receipt so I could update my grocery total on my blog.  Again do you think I could find it.  I knew I had looked at it in the car when I left the store.  So I looked in the car to see if it was there, no.  Looked all through my handbag, looked in my purse, couldn't find it.  I eventually found it stuck behind another receipt.

As for my slippers found them also eventually, in our walk in closet/wardrobe.  I must have got changed in there for some reason and left my slippers there when I changed out of my old pants into my better ones.

I was shattered after all that.  Being forgetful is just plain tiring when you have to do all that thinking!

Now to make me feel better, please feel free to share your stories of searching hours for something that is right in front of you!!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Snow Day anyone?

I am pleased to say that these photos are not from our house here in Ontario, but of a dear friend's house in Charlottetown,Prince Edward Island.

I don't think I would be as calm as my friend is regarding all this snow.

I will say I do believe we will get more snow before this winter is over with.  I just pray and hope it's not as much as these guys got on the East Coast.


Tuesday was a mixed bag type of day. Had the appliance repair guy come again to install another circuit board in the fridge.  When hubby got...