Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Last Day of March is Upon Us...Don't be Caught Around the Corner.

Halfway into my first coffee and still feeling the need to shake the cobwebs from my head.  I had better start shaking as the day will be putting forth sunshine soon, or I sure hope it will be.

The crock pot Roast Beef dinner last night for supper was tender and falling apart.  The carrots melted in my mouth with flavor, and according to Rob (as I don't eat gravy) the gravy smothering the potatoes, along with everything on his plate, was very good. 

I figured out last night as to why it was easier to make gravy in my crock pot sometimes and sometimes not.

There have been times after a Roast has been in the Crock pot since morning, I have, usually just an hour before supper, turned the crock pot down to low.  Last night, I had left it on high.  After removiing the meat and veggies, adding hot water to bring it up to the amount of gravy I needed, it was piping hot and thickened with no problem once adding the cornstarch/water mixture..  The change in temperature has been the cause of me having problems with the thickening of my gravy in the slow cooker at times.  I will have to keep that registered in my memory bank for further gravy making (somehow, lol).

I came across an interesting website with regards to the Crockpot vs Oven, with some related links at the bottom of the article:

With Hydro charges constantly going up in my area I think I save by using my Crock pot.  Nevertheless, it is at times more convenient for me to use and we love the way the receipes in it taste.  I use my Crock pot year round, so it is not just a way to make comfort foods!

I am proud to say I have completed some more Spring Cleaning tasks!  Hooray!  The dust monsters on the blades of my light/fan fixture in our bedroom have been slain, you can see yourself, once again, in the bathroom light fixture, and the scenery out both the bathroom and bedroom windows much more clearer.

I can now come up the stairs from the front entrance landing to gaze upon a lovely display cabinet unhibitated by dust monsters and maybe some other undesirable creatures unseen by the human eye.

And Fly Poop !!!  My biggest challenge at the best of times when one lives out in the country with three horses onsite and a huge cow manure pile directly across the road.  Well let me tell you, all fly poop that was in my path yesterday has been washed off in ready for the new upcoming Season......oh yech.

My best friend, Bob, sent me an interesting email yesterday.  Since I have worked as a Short Order Cook, and have put my hand through hot oil in a fryer, I appreciated the knowledge this email held for me:

Sounds like this person found a new cure? 
Once I was cooking some corn and stuck my fork in the boiling
water to see if the corn was ready.   I missed and my hand went
into the boiling water....

A friend of mine, who was a Vietnam vet, came into the house, just
as I was screaming, and asked me if I had some plain old flour...I
pulled out a bag and he stuck my hand in it.  He said to keep my hand
in the flour for 10 mins. which I did.  He said that in Vietnam , this guy
was on fire and in their panic, they threw a bag of flour all over him to
put the fire out...well, it not only put the flour out, but he never even had
a blister!!!!

SOOOO, long story short, I put my hand in the bag of flour for 10 mins,
pulled it out and had not even a red mark or a blister and absolutley NO
PAIN.  Now, I keep a bag of flour in the fridge and every time I burn myself,
I use the flour and never ONCE have I ever had a red spot, a burn or a blister!
*cold flour feels even better than room temperature flour.

Miracle, if you ask me.  Keep a bag of white flour in your fridge and you will be
happy you did.  I even burnt my tongue and put the flour on it for about 10 mins.
and the pain was gone and no burn.  Try it!  BTW, don't run your burn area under
Cold water first, just put it right into the flour for 10 mins and experience a miracle
 I am hoping I never burn myself to that extent again that I might have to try this, however good to know should it happen and should it work.  Better then the old wife's tale of putting butter on a burn, as this I know, first hand, does not work!

Let's see how my day is going to far weatherwise:


Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. High 9. UV index 5 or moderate.


Cloudy periods. Low minus 4.

Looking good for what I am going to be doing today.

Ummm supper?  I am always trying to think ahead since I have to take whatever I decide out of the freezer to thaw beforehand.

I am thinking, since I picked up up some lovely thin asparagus yesterday, of trying the Asparagus Bow-tie Pasta dish from the 2011 Kraft What's Cooking magazine, to go along with the chicken breast halves I took out of the freezer last night.

Yes, I think (I do think quite alot) I will marinade the chicken breast halves in Zesty Italian dressing and try out this new pasta dish as a side for tonight's supper.  I do have two willing Guinea Pigs, that never do without their supper......

With bucket of vinegar water in one hand and dust rag in the other I venture out into the last day of March 2011 to see what the day brings......Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

March Is Going Out Like A Lamb........

March 2011 wasn't a very good Month for me.  Just little things like turning another year older, buying a different vehicle that just didn't work out the way I was hoping, and then ending up being sick for a week.  LOL, I sure hope that is my three events all over with for the rest of 2011.

In between, from what I thought weren't the greatest, I had a lot of great moments which are the ones we need to focus on.  I had Aiden for a whole week, there were puppies born, I have had lots of great interaction with family and friends, and I did start this 'blog'.  Lots of really good things that overpower the few rotten apples in between.

My day started off really good today when I opened an email from a dear friend, who had sent me a Youtube clip, while watching I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face.  Now that is a great way to start off one's day:

This is clean,so not to be frightened off by the word "naked".
I must also admit, even though I felt I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, I did manage to accomplish a few things I had set out to do yesterday.  I cleaned my bedroom, folded two loads of laundry, and really cleaned the upstairs bathroom.  Rob's bathroom downstairs needs done, but I get scared to go into there at times and have to "will" myself to do it, lol.  I also went to have coffee with my girlfriend and made a pork chop dinner.  Whew....and you would think after all of that I would have slept all night!
Still in the back of my mind I am still thinking the nice weather will be arriving and I will want to be out in the gardens, so I had better get this Spring Cleaning business out of the way before that happens, or Spring cleaning in my household will be renamed "Fall/Winter Cleaning" which has been known to happen before.
Speaking of pork chops, I have a very good Marinade I have used for years for either pork or beef:
1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice
Marinade either overnight or from first thing in the morning.  The marinade I use for chicken is Kraft's Zesty Italian.  Both I find are very good & add flavor to the meat after being on the BBQ.
I did ask Rob if he would BBQ last night, but I was told it was too cold.  Hummp to that, before I know it, it will be too hot!  LOL.
I actually think March is going to go out like a Lamb, since the sun has been shining these past few days, and flurries have not arrived here in my part of Ontario. 


Sunny. Increasing cloudiness this afternoon. High 6. UV index 4 or moderate.


Cloudy. Low minus 2.

The weather for the day isn't looking too bad.

I was thinking about doing the new Layered Lemon Dessert yesterday from the new Spring Kraft What's Cooking Magazine, but ran out of time (my intentions are always good).  However I had taken the cream cheese out of the freezer, so I think I will earmark that for tomorrow's agenda.  That way if the puppies have any visitors, I will have something to offer them should they also want to visit with us and have a coffee.

I suppose I should tear myself away, now that I have finished my first cup of coffee, and think about getting on with my day.  There are still a few more everyday chores to be done before I restart that dirty word cleaning again (Spring).

Off and running with sunshine coming through my windowpanes........Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Time to Catch Up......A Women's Work is Never Never Done!

Other then another short date with Mr. Insomnia earlier today, I believe I am starting to feel better then I have been.  The chills, hot flushes (that could have well been hot flashes, lol) and coughing have subsided with that runny nose feeling still causing me to have that box of Kleenx close at hand.

Since I had made an attempt at starting my Spring Cleaning last week, before I got sick, I really need to catch up on the regular stuff that I was not feeling well enough to do while I was sick.  You know that dusty, vacuum, clean the bathroom stuff, then hopefully have the energy to restart the Springy Cleanny stuff.  Key Word:  Energy.

I had a "chuckle" yesterday when my sister, Jeanne, had shared a link from The Old Farmer's Almanac, "Natural Remedies:  Insomnia and Trouble Sleeping":

Up until a couple of weeks ago I was eating two large oranges every night before bedtime, and there were nights Mr. Insomnia still insisted on our date.  Maybe I should cook a Turkey every week to have that on hand?  Ummmm, and then I am sure there are days when Rob would truly have no problem obliging with a "rubber mallet", lol.

I really, really enjoyed the Green Bean Casserole my Aunt made to go along with Sunday's supper.  I have to admit it has been a favorite of mine for quite some time, but I believe I had mentioned Rob wasn't fussy on it (but says he will eat it, as I seen this Sunday evening), so I have decided I am going to start to incorporate it back into my meal planning.  There is a couple versions of the recipe, being the one I have gotten off the French's French Fried Onions (Original) (maybe it is the very first original, who knows):

I think I would prefer the recipe my Aunt  made Sunday, and the recipe I have, which is again a little bit different:

2 - 14 oz cans of green beans, drained
1/2 of a 175 g French Fried Onions (Durkee or French's Brand)
1 - 10 oz can of sliced mushrooms, drained well
1 - 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
3 tblsp. heaping of Almond Slivers
1/2 - 1 cup Old Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Alternate layers of beans & onions.  Mix soup, mushrooms & almonds in separate bowl, then pour over beans.  Top with cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through.

I will being making this in the very near future, so watch out Rob !!!

I just love vegetables........

I am thinking if I get a few things caught up today, I might attempt a new recipe which appealed to me in the new Kraft's What's Cooking Spring Magazine (I love this magazine) with a variation of my own:

Lemon pie is one of Rob's most favorites, so I think he will be a wonderful candidate as Guinea Pig, once again, for these lemon squares.

I just received an email recently from my cousin, Paula, with the pictures Brad had taken of the puppies when they dropped in this past Sunday.  I really appreciated receiving the different poses:

Little bums to heads.....very content & full looking I think.

Here I am, once again, with only one coffee in me and an unmade bed.  I am really starting to believe life is too short to be worrying about an unmade bed.  And do people really come to visit you to see if there are 3 layers of dust on your furniture (in my case this week I am sure there is 5 layers)?  If they do, it must be a very sad "friendship" or an "acquaintance that needs to be re-evaluated, as a true "friendship" only sees the person they care in front of them, or so I believe this is the way it should be.

Well Wiarton Airport by the looks of it out there this morning I only seen heavy frost & no snow flakes so bring on the rest of the day:


Sunny with cloudy periods. Increasing cloudiness this morning. High plus 3. UV index 3 or moderate.


Cloudy periods. Low minus 5.

Sunshine, my most favorite kind of weather day!

Off to and running to chase after all those dust bunnies that have made themselves so comfortable in my home......Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Puppys Have More Visitors Then Parents !!!!

Let me tell you those "Magnificent Seven" have had more visitors the past couple of days then Bandit, Lexus, Rob, Mom & I have had in some whole weeks, or months for that matter!  Wow, what are they doing so right?  LOL. 

Saturday, my girlfriend, Colleen, and her sister, Heather, & Sunday, my cousins, Brad & Paula, & then cousin Jim & his girlfriend, Marti.  Cousin, Suzanne & her daugher, Paige, are coming this week. Talk about being the center of attention.  I did notice there was not one offering to come back in 7 weeks to claim one as their own; what's up with that?  LOL

My opinion is that socializing at a very young age is extremely important for any breed of dog.  It gets them used to different people, smells & environments at a young age, instead of shocking them with it all when they are older or just coming off a farm into a town or city.  Just like children, you can't over socialize them enough or teach good manners (not that my two are always the picture of manners all the time, lol, but they do love people).

I can't believe how much the "Seven" have already grown in one week & how their little personalities are developing already.  Nature is truly amazing!

This is the little boy Blue Merle & the big girl Red Merle....oh man, you should here her go on & on when she is hungry or cold.  She is not only the biggest, she is the loudest!  They are just so adorable.....

With not feeling well the past few days, I had the most wonderful break by us being invited to my Aunt Gladys & Uncle Basil's for supper yesterday.  What a meal did we ever have !  Ham, scalloped potatoes, bean casserole, ginger carrots, relish tray, fresh bread......I just put on 5 lbs by typing this menu all out!  I really appreciate when I get invited out for supper that is one thing forsure!

I took dessert, Strawberry/Rhubarb pie, which was enjoyed by Auntie, Uncle, Cousin, Vi, & her hubby, Ross, Rob & myself, even though we could all barely take another bite......

A picture of fullness it it not?  Thank you to the hostest with the mostest & her sidekick for having us for a wonderful meal once again!

The green bean casserole, made at my request I might add, is one of my favorites.  I will post two recipes under tomorrow's date, once for the bean casserole & a very good recipe I use for scalloped potatoes. 

Don't forget Easter is just around the corner, and meal planning for it will be upon us once again.

Once again, last night, I had an appointment with Insomnia; we have become quite close friends, Insomnia & I over the past couple years.  I decided I would get up to check my emails & see if there was anything interesting posted on Facebook just after midnight.  Low & behold my girlfriend, Tammy, from Kitchener was on & had sent me a message.

Tammy wanted to know if I would be interested in heading a Recipe Exchange Group on Facebook together.  Well for those who know me & my love of discussing food, I said, "sure go for it".  For you who are on Facebook are added to Tammy & Cindy's Recipe Exchange, you do have the option of removing yourself from the group, so don't feel you have to be committed.  The recipes we will be posting have either interested one of us, or have actually been tried, tested & trued by us.  So feel free to post your opinions, experiences & your recipes!

I heard the weather is to be getting warmer (sorry to hear Newfoundland is getting whacked by snow, sorry dear Jeanne & Elsie that you are having a turn at what we have already had).  Let's see what our local airport has to report on this:


Sunny this morning and early this afternoon then a mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries this afternoon. High minus 2. UV index 4 or moderate.


Cloudy periods with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 7

Ummmm, what's with those flurries in this report?  I think I will choose to ignore that part & enjoy the sunny sky.

I am feeling better today, thank goodness, as I have some things that need attending to, before I can no longer see the tops of my bedroom dressers for want of dust! 

Signing off into the first of a new week ahead, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sunday Is Here A Day of Relaxation & Puppy Love.....

There are times, I hope, Rob & I still have a little bit of that "Puppy Love" feeling for each other.  I surely can not speak for him (he would have something 'smart' to say if I should ask him), but I still have that little tickle going on in my tummy when he does something especially nice or tender for me, whether it is make me a cup of coffee, picking up a tea towel to dry a few dishes, or bringing in that extra load of wood if he is not going to be around until later in the day.

Love should be kind, gentle & everlasting, even if it is subject to the ups & downs of those Valleys & Mountains.

I am still not feeling well this morning, but still better then I was two days ago....ummm, maybe that is why I am feeling all mushy and sentimental.  Not a bad thing, as long as I continue to use it to reflect on all the good things going on around me (as sickness can make one feel down at times).

How can I not reflect on good things, when I have so many good friends & family that care for me?  Then my heart really melts when I open the downstairs door to see really two happy faces & hear the tiny squeaks of seven.  Must be "Puppy Love" !

My cousin, Brad, & his wife, Paula, are up at their cottage just north of us (North of the Checkerboard that is) this weekend.  They are stopping in on their way home to see the "Magnificent Seven".  I am really looking forward to seeing them both.  After many these years we have just recently reconnected & it is wonderful !

Seems that some families get disconnected when we are branching out to begin our own lives & starting our own families.  It is wonderful when we get older that we can sometimes reconnect when our own children have started branching out with their lives.  It almost seems like it we return to our roots of when we were children.  Life's circle gets more interesting as time passes, and the world does seem to get smaller for me.

Not too much on my agenda on this sunshiny Sunday morning, other then doing up a few dishes, taking a couple dogs outside, folding a bit of laundry & making a dessert to take down to my Aunt & Uncle's later today.  I am very sorry I can not divulge the dessert that I am making to take along, as I know for a fact my Aunt reads my 'blog', and I surely do not want to ruin the surprise for her!  LOL, sorry Auntie, you will have to wait until we arrive at your doorstep!

Oh I almost forgot, I have to take the time to watch the 2nd movie I had rented yesterday as well, since it has to be back by 5:00 PM today.  I managed to stay awake to to watch "You Again" with Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis & Betty White., just to mention a couple cast members.  I must admit I wasn't too fussy on this movie & thought it to be quite a bit cheesy.  The one I have to watch today, or should I say finish watching, is "How Do You Know" with Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd & Jack Nicholson (love all four of these actors).  I started watching it last night, but just couldn't stay awake so had to shut it off part way through.  I can tell you the part I did watch, I was really enjoyed, until I felt myself being taken away into that much needed world of sleep, lol.  I am sure when I watch the rest of it this morning I will enjoy it as much as the first part I have seen.

Last night's supper was a very easy task, with me taking some Big Batch Chicken Soup out of the freezer for myself, Rob getting to eat leftovers from the night before., and Mom being gone away for the weekend.  I like evening meals like that at times when I am not feeling well; easy & uncomplicated, with everyone walking away quite satisfied.

I am looking for the day ahead.  Rob is sound asleep as he had a late night, so I will try not to rattle too many dishes as not to wake him up.....shhhhhhhhhhh.

And not to forgot good old Wiarton Airport's input for the day:


Sunny. High minus 4. UV index 4 or moderate.


Clear. Becoming cloudy periods this evening. Low minus 11.

Sunshine !  Onward I go into the day, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".....

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A Good Day To Rest & Get Feeling Better....Just What the Doctor Ordered.

This Rhinovirus, (I am starting to think it is more then just a cold by the way I am feeling), or whatever it is just doesn't want to let go of me!  If Rob ever held onto me as tight, I would have been squished or smothered long ago.  By the way I am feeling today, I am thinking it isn't going to be a very productive day ahead.

I am one that really resents being sick, not being able to do anything other then lye in bed as you are too weak to do otherwise.  Darn, darn, darn......but on the flip side, better now then on March Break or I wouldn't have had Aiden here!

I did manage to pull off supper last night & do the Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  It was so tasteful, tender, moist, and the best part very easy to prepare.  Will definitely be on top of my most favorite entree list.

Preparation & the finished product:

Thanks Canadian Living this is a recipe that fits into an everyday lifestyle, rather then just a Gourmet Chef's Kitchen!

My most favorite subject, once again:

Lexus makes such a "picture" of proud doggie motherhood!

Okay onto the Wiarton Airport Weather, as I really don't think I am going to last much longer & my bed is looking better all the time as the seconds passing are starting to become a blurr....


A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries. Clearing this afternoon. High minus 4. UV index 4 or moderate.


Clear. Low minus 13.

I am off & far from running today.  Rest & lots of liquids on my agenda of the day here Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Friday, 25 March 2011

The "Magnificent Seven" Minus the Bald Guy.

Starting my day off with an unplanned early start caused by an Insomnia attack (attack for a less then better choice of words).  Not wanting to be unproductive, I took advantage of being awake since 2:00 AM.  After watching an episode of "Archie Bunker" & "King of Queens", as well as some type of Judge Judy show, I decided to take advantage of the off-peak hydro rates and throw a load of laundry into the washer.  While I was down there doing that I figured I might as well get the woodstove fired up, as when I had looked at the temperature earlier it read -12 C at that time (ummm, not really sure what time that was at?).

Oh well, such is life in the 'fast' lane I suppose, but at the end of one of these nights I am certainly not moving too fast by the end, or the middle of the day for that matter.  I still attempt to be productive.  "Attempt" being the operative word in this case, lol.

I was quite pleased with the small "grid" of Spring Cleaning I managed to accomplish yesterday, as my front door foyer has had the walls dusted down, baseboards, door, floor & all knicky knacks either dusted or damp clothed cleaned.  With the bed stripped, two loads of wash done, and a trip to Owen Sound for some shopping with Rob, I was just too wrung out with this cold to even think about attempting to prepare the Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin for supper last night.  However since I did purchase the Pancetta while shopping, I am going to make it tonight, as I had the tenderloin defrosting in the fridge yesterday, so really 'must' do it up today.

After the shopping was all put away, a couple phone calls returned, I did manage to go spend some time with our "Magnificent Seven", as I have named those 7 little adorable puppies, even though we don't have a Yul Brynner in the crowd.  I even took the phone & made separate phone calls to my girlfriend & then to my sister, Jeanne & her husband, Cecil, so they could here how adorable they sounded.  My inner child just loves this part of life! 

They have even changed just after two days of being born:

Since this March 23rd picture was taken, Lexus has her good housekeeping & mothering skills in check & the whelping box is in tip top order.  Just love watching the seven of them on how they are at times sideways, upside down & every which way.

Some people are not familiar with the Australian Shepherd Breed, however the following link gives a very true description similar to what we have experienced with our Bandit & Lexus:

Other then the breeder we purchased our dogs from, I personally know three other people that have had or still have Australian Shepherds, and I have yet to hear of any health issues or concerns as outlined in the above link. 

Bandit has been our one grandson, Aiden's best friend since day one (and we only have Aiden here & there for summer vacation or on an occasional holiday), as Bandit will be 6 years in June & Aiden 7 in Sept. When Aiden is here visiting, should you see Aiden you will see Bandit right there with him.  Pretty tight buddies those two are, but it is great for Grandma when we are outside together as Bandit has been my "Number 1" Babysitter/Entertainer many times.

Let's see what the Wiarton Airport has to say about today:


Sunny with cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. High minus 5. UV index 4 or moderate.


A few clouds. Low minus 14.

Other then cold, it is looking pretty good with some Sun hopefully coming through the clouds (once it comes out, as it is still pretty dark out there right now).

The laundry room is now quiet, so that is my 'cue' the spin cycle has completed itself.  I am off, but not running too quickly, to get on with the day ahead of me.

I will have a full report tomorrow on how we all enjoyed the Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Spring Cleaning, Where Do I Begin ???

Spring cleaning can be totally overwhelming at the best of times, never mind when the weather isn't cooperating by not putting me in the mood for it.

Not only in the mood for it, Spring or Rob has bestowed a "wonderful" head cold my way, as well.  I have been fighting the oncoming of a sore throat, fever, cough & stuffy nose for the past month or so, whilst Rob has had it, but nooooo silly me had to kiss him every day or twice some days, and here I am, once again I might add, paying the price of the Piper (or shall I say the Rhinovirus?).  To remind my silly self of all the symptoms I have been experiencing I looked it up:

Yep, I was right, I do have the Common cold.

Not good timing as I really do want to get going on with & get over this Spring Cleaning stuff, before the weather gets too nice to be out in the gardens.

 Yes, I get myself in a dither every year with the thoughts of having to take the curtains down, wash them & re-hang them (that's the part I don't care for).  Getting into every nook & cranny with a duster and/or damp cloth.  Dealing with flys coming back to life & spiders creeping me out.  And not to mention the windows & patio door !  Every year I clean the patio door it rains within the next day or so after, and guess what?  Needs done again.

That old saying, "a woman's work is never done", should say, "repeat, repeat, repeat" or "ball & chain, ball & chain, ball & chain".  It is a vicious circle, but you know I do have to admit once I get one job accomplished & out of the way I can't beat the feeling of going back to look at the finished product & having a really good feeling.  The sense of accomplishment can be greater then the overwhelming feelings !

First I will try to get it in my head to get my regular daily routine stuff out of the way like make the bed, do up breakfast dishes, etc....(mind you all this after my first 2 coffees & the completion of the "blog"), then tackle one new thing for the day.  Remember way back in one of my first 'blogs', tackle things in a 'grid' & stay within the 'grid', however big or small it doesn't matter, however if it is too big it will bring back that overwhelming feeling again.  Take a really "big" breath & dig right in after you first get your tools of the trade out & all lined up.  Also I am going to give myself a time limit of an hour or so before I allow for a coffee break, and not answer the phone within this time.  I have call answer so if it is important they will leave a message; if I wasn't home or in the house I wouldn't hear it ring anyway.

I decided I have a whole world of help & advice in-front of me so I thought I would put it into the works before I get started on a project today:

This link is from Style At Home (there are helpful links within the links as well on this website):

The Farmer's Almanac shared a great link on Stain Removers that I might find helpful at times & inexpensive:

I must not to forget to refer time & time again to the "131 Vinegar Tips", as I am a frequent vinegar user:

I am a big fan of the Bowl Brite Toilet cleaner for at least the past 17 years.  When living in the country and having a drilled, dug well, or otherwise, I have not been fortunate enough not to have minerals in our water, however potable.  A water softener is beneficial but does not remove the rust.  Rust in the toilet, sinks, etc..... 

This is where the Bowl Brite comes in, as it is the only cleaner that has addressed these rust issues I've had all these years.  The past two bottles I have purchased just didn't do the job it has always done, so I checked to see if there was a phone number on the bottle to call with my concerns.  I was so surprised to find the manufacturer is a not too far away in the neighbouring town of Tara.

Upon calling Barclay Manufacturing I spoke to a gal there whose name is Debbie Barclay.  After explaining the poor performance of the previous 2 bottles I had used, she told me another woman had called just three weeks prior with the same concerns.  Trust me I was not complaining I just wanted it to be back to the way it was working before!  Debbie advised me there must be something wrong with the mixture, and will be sending someone out this Friday to pickup the remaining 1/2 bottle I have left so it can be tested, along with a replacement bottle or two.  Now that is awesome "Customer Service" !  Thank you Barclay Manufacturing for standing behind your product !  There still is customer service out there, so should you have a problem with a product, pickup the phone & hopefully they will be as helpful as Barclay Manufacturing was to me.

Once I have completed a "grid" of my Spring Cleaning project of the day, I think I might kick up my heels and have a little fun for myself like this gal:

I thought I would end the most part of my day by attempting a "new recipe", Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin With Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  Doesn't that sound good?  It sounds easy & not too time consuming, or I wouldn't be making it, LOL:

Only 434 Calories per serving, so I am going to hopefully enjoy this dish.

By the way our "Magnificent Seven", as I have named our 7 puppies, are all doing fine.  Once they are a week old I will post some 1 week old pictures, as they like most babies, change so quickly.

Oops almost forgot what is the Wiarton Airport has to say about my day ahead:


Sunny. Wind north 20 km/h. High minus 4. UV index 4 or moderate.



A few clouds. Low minus 16.

Looking good with no snow like the rest of Ontario around us got yesterday.  That sure was a change as usually Bruce Peninsula gets it.

Signing off for now from "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A Caregiver Day Away for the Caregiver !!!! Thanks VON Grey-Bruce !

When my Aunt Gladys called me Sunday evening telling me about the posting she had read at her church with the heading "VON Grey-Bruce Care for the Caregiver Day", on March 22nd, with a number of speakers in attendance, as well as a luncheon.  Registration for this was to be by the 15th of March.  I took a chance and called the very next day, as I was anxious to attend a seminar that would give me a broader lookout & direction with the situation of my Mother living with us (this will be the 4th year this April she has been with us).  Upon calling I was told by one of the coordinator's, DiannePfeffer, RN, there was room for me and there should be approximately 100 people in attendance, with no cost for the day.  Let me tell you I was pretty excited about expanding my knowledge in further Caregiver areas, as well as thinking I would get support from other people in similar situations.

With my day beginning at 6:00 AM, since I had to do "The Puppies Are Here" blog (the number "1" must do), put a meal together in the slow cooker for supper, make sure Mom took her morning pills, and ready myself for the day (trust me that was the easy part, lol), I was off & running to be in Owen Sound for the 9:30 registration.  Upon passing Lexus, Bandit & the 'Seven', on my way out, I had to give my oochie coochie's to all of them before leaving the premises.

I made it to my point of destination on time, upon entering I was very surprised at the number of people in attendance.  There indeed was at least a hundred.  I was given a package, and filled out a ballot for a door prize (they had 4 lovely door prizes).  I made my way to the front of the room & was delighted with the elderly couple, Ruth & Al, who I sat with.  There was coffee, teas, juices, fruit filled danishes, muffins & a huge bowl of fresh mixed fruit.  Wow I was very impressed.

Let me tell you it was totally "NOT" the kind of day I was expecting it to be, with speakers talking about their experiences & tools for the Caregiver.  It was a day exclusively just for the "CAREGIVER".  I have never given myself a DAY AWAY like this before & let me tell you how nice it was !!!

After the opening greetings provided by Christine Vallis-Page, VON Event day & Diane Pfeffer, Caregiver Support Circle Coordinator, it went onto a performance by David Hickey with his Crystal Journey, A Universe Inspired Sound Journey Experience, The Piyak Ootihi Drummers, performed by inspiring Aboriginal native ladies, a break for lunch, Flower Expression demonstration, & finally to end the day, Believe And Succeed:  How Faith Shapes Our Destiny, given by Michael Lewis, who does training, motivation & development seminars.

All these people performing or speaking can be found at the following links:

David Hickey of Crystal Journey is opening for David Suzuki this upcoming weekend (I was impressed):

After the drum performance by Susan & Ellen, the look of surprise in their faces when I approached them & said  hello to them in the Objibwe language.  The nice part of going to school with & and still having friends from a First Nations Band.  Listening to these girls perform a number of drum songs was absolutely wonderful.  They have their own 'blog':

Then something that everyone got to do was really great, and was put on by Flower Expressions, who are located in Owen Sound:

Amanda, who was there & I believe the owner, had lost her husband.  She had the support of VON Caregivers in her time of need when her husband was ill before passing on.  She was there in support of Caregivers & giving back for what she had received.  Being a caregiver herself, she knows how important the Caregiver needs to be recognized.  Amanda showed us how we could make something for ourselves with only a cost of $5:00.  I was quite impressed with myself that I could make something that looks so good, lol......

A wonderful ending to a wonderful day was by Michael Lewis, who delivered an inspirational speech on Believe And Succeed:  How Faith Shapes Our Destiny.  Should anyone would want Michael to speak at a school, seminar, church, etc....he can be found at the following link:

I felt inspired and positive just after listening to him for the 45 minutes he was talking, and would not hesitate to go see him again should he ever be back in the area.

I almost forgot about how scrumptious the luncheon was!  Food one of the most important words in my vocabulary.  The luncheon put on by the Stonecroft Golf & Country Club in Owen Sound was out of this world.  Thinking "lunch" to me was sandwiches, relish tray, a few squares of goodies for dessert.  Wrong !!!  It was European rolls, Tossed Salad with 2 choices of dressings, Caesar Salad, a Gluten Free Pork Stirfry, Vegetable Lasagna, a fresh cut Fruit Bowl, and then the dessert squares (brownies, carrot cake, etc.).  I am not divulging to anyone on how much I ate, but let me tell you my taste buds were really happy !!!!

At the opening greetings there was a statistic that really amazed me, which it shouldn't have, but when it was put this way it certainly was amazing:

There are 2 Million Caregivers in Canada that are unpaid, which is saving Canadians $25 Billion Dollars a calendar year.  That blew me away !

Hats off to all those Caregiver's out there, including myself, as it is a large, and I do emphasize "large" accomplishment on our part to be able to do it and that are doing it.

Wow....thanks VON Grey-Bruce Caregiver Support Circle, as I had a most wonderful Day Away which was not only enjoyed but appreciated as well.  Thanks for giving back !!!

One very important bit of information I did come away with was a flyer from VON with regards to a Caregiver Support Circle Information & Education Series they are having in Owen Sound this Spring.  The highlights of these sessions are:

-  Managing stressful situations in caregiving
-  Staying on top of your care situation
-  Tackling some of the common emotions:  guilt & anger
-  Community resources to help you.

I wish I knew about this 4 years ago, but I am very pleased to be knowing about it now.  So I will further my investigation into what it is all about, whether one can be held in my community; even if I have to make the drive into Owen Sound to attend.

Phew....that was a lot of information but well worth it ! 

Oh I almost forgot they are having bad weather throughout areas of Ontario from what I have heard already this morning.  Have to check out what Wiarton Airport has to say about North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard:


Cloudy. Periods of snow and local blowing snow beginning early this morning. Amount 2 cm. Wind northeast 30 km/h gusting to 50. High minus 3.


Clearing late this evening. Local blowing snow early this evening. Wind northeast 30 km/h. Low minus 13.

The northeaster isn't looking too promising, so I won't be surprised if it gets nasty later on from what I seen earlier on the radar.

Lots to catch up on today, since I have been such a slacker with having a Puppy Day then a day away for myself.  LOL.  Off to have that 2nd cup of coffee before I begin to tackle the rest of my day ahead.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Puppies Are Here, the Puppies Are Here !

Let me tell you how excited I was yesterday, as any of you can imagine, if it has to do with a baby or babies, human or otherwise in this case PUPPIES !!!! 

I was just walking Mother's PSW (personal support worker) out when she was leaving at 2:00 PM; when I came back in I heard the tiniest little whine.  I looked at Lexus in her pen, thinking okay that is a weird sound for her to be making?  Lo & behold, there was a little tiny black & white puppy in there with her, that she had just birthed.  I was in total awe, as of all the German Shepherd litters we've had in the past I had never seen puppies being born.  Mind you I witnessed one of our horses giving birth to her foal (which they say is very rare) & was totally honoured with that.  It was totally cool & exciting to watch.  So hence the excitement of being witness to Lexus' first born was equally as exciting for me.

I was so torn since I had to take my Mother to an eye appointment in Owen Sound, which ended up lasting over three hours including the drive there and back.  But it turned out alright as Rob was in & out all day so he was able to get a couple of very good pictures (after they were all born & he moved them all out into the open as you will see, lol, he is still such a farm boy) once all 7 had been born in a matter of only 3 hours.  Seven that is a nice number, and one of my favorites, and I am sure is one of Lexus' most favorite numbers at the moment too.

Presenting the Proud Mother & her Seven:

If my memory serves me correct, I believe there are 4 boys & 3 girls.  We will be doing a more accurate inspection sometime soon.

Lexus is a very good Mother.  I finally got her to leave the babies to go outside around 7:30 last night.  Once she was done, let me tell you she hightailed it (with her little stub) back to the door, & if she could have she would have opened it herself to get back in.  When Bandit came back in he went up to the pen to see what all the fuss was about in there, and 'oh man' his nose would have been taken off if there had not been wire in-between them !!!  Not thinking Lexus will be having much use for that guy for a couple of weeks or more, lol.

I am going to miss all the action today, as I am attending a Caregiver Workshop put on by the VON in Owen Sound, but I will be able to depend on Rob for any 'action' I might be missing out on here today.  I have never been to this type of workshop before, so I am looking forward to seeing what it is all about & to learn more.  There are more & more people now a days looking after or having an elderly parent living with them, as I do my Mother.  There are so many times that I feel so alone when the challenges of having Mom overwhelm or upset me.  So I am hoping to come away with a more supportive feeling, as well as more knowledge of how to coop with those overwhelming days. 

In all the excitement of the Puppies, the Wiarton Airport Weather forecast almost was forgotten:


Cloudy with sunny periods. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h late this afternoon. High plus 1. UV index 3 or moderate.


Cloudy. 60 percent chance of snow overnight. Wind northeast 20 km/h. Low minus 9.

There is that darn four letter word "snow" in there again ! 

I had mentioned yesterday that I have gotten a 'shot' of the local wild swans, and ran off without posting a picture to show that I really really did see them !

They are so majestic & graceful.  If I remember correctly, when they had swans at Fairy Lake in Southampton when I was growing up, they were really 'mean'.  As being kids, we probably didn't realize they must have been nesting close by & were only protecting their "Ugly Ducklings".

Speaking of beauty and another one of my favorites are roses.  The rose my Auntie gave me last Saturday, for my Birthday, is so beautiful & is still looking as nice as the day it was given to me:

The seminar is an all day affair from 9:30 AM until 3:00 PM, so I had Rob set the alarm so I could get up and running on time this morning.  I think I had best get the Pantry Chicken Stew into the slow cooker, or there won't be any supper ready by the time I return back home.  If the slow cooker has supper ready for us, that gives me more time with 'puppy inspection' !

Onward to getting supper & myself prepared for the day ahead.....

Monday, 21 March 2011

There's A Hole In My Bucket, Dear Cindy, Dear Cindy

There's a hole in my bucket dear, Cindy, dear Cindy.....then fix it dear Robert, dear Robert....LOL.  This was is a well remembered tune from my childhood years in Grade School at Southampton's G.C. Huston Public School, but with Liza & Henry playing the parts.

Whooohoooo, Spring 2011 officially arrived last night at 7:21 PM.   At 3 AM this morning it was raining so hard, I thought Spring had sprung a leak in the sky!  Unfortunately Rob wouldn't wake up to get that darn leaky bucket in the sky fixed.

It is pretty foggy outside my door right now, so I will see what the Wiarton Airport has to report on my upcoming day ahead:


Rain at times mixed with drizzle ending this morning then cloudy. Wind southeast 30 km/h becoming light this morning. Wind becoming west 30 this afternoon. High 6.


Cloudy. Becoming cloudy periods after midnight. Low minus 3.

Yep, just as I had figured it was going to be, cloudy, wet & dreary, so I had better make my own sunshine today.

Last night's supper was a success !  All three of us Guinea Pigs enjoyed the One Pot Macaroni & Beef dish (posted on yesterdays blog).  I think I will keep it as one of my favorites for when I want my good old standby of Macaroni & Tomatoes (one of our staples when growing up at home) spiced up a bit.  It will be a good compromised as well, since I don't like hamburger in mine & Rob does, but with the extra spices & veggies in the Canadian Living Recipe we are both content with the same dish.

I just love food & recipes.  I have spent lazy Sunday afternoons mulling over recipe books just for the shear joy of reading all the different recipes with good intentions of trying some different ones, but forgetting to bookmark them & not finding the same recipe again when it came to mind at another time.  One of my goals this year is to organize all my recipes in categories, with one section at the front of each category being my favorites.  The only problem with that is I would be able to find all my favorite Christmas baking recipes, and my sister, Donna, would be disappointed if I didn't phone & ask for them again just before Christmas every year. (this has been happening for at least the last 25 years).  I suppose I could still organize them & pretend I couldn't find them once again?  LOL.....

What would I have done without my two sisters, Jeanne & Donna, all these years?  The advantage of me being the youngest is they both had a number of cooking years under their belts before I started cooking, so when I started calling them they had made their own mistakes, so I was getting their tried, tested & true spin on things.  How many times had they been called to be asked, "how do I make gravy or beef stew or the length of time to roast a turkey or roast of beef?"  Let me tell you, I am sure it was many times, and those times are good memories in my memory bank.  Now I am not a young Mother in my twenties any longer, I still call either one of them should I need one of their opinions on a cooking or baking situation I might find myself in.  Now that I have my own cooking & baking experience under my belt I get the occasional call from them as well, which sure makes me feel good giving "the big sisters" my advice.

One of the funniest baking incidents I can recall is the very first time I attempted to make bread from scratch (must tell you Jeanne can do this in her sleep).  I followed the Purity Cookbook (my cooking bible back in the day) right to the "T".  I waited & waited for hours for that bread to rise.....I finally called Donna & explained it all to her.  After patiently listening to my, I am sure ranting & raving as I was so distraught, she asked me to find the yeast packages & check the best before date.  Well how in the heck was I suppose to know yeast expired !!!!  I laugh now, but I sure didn't laugh then & have never attempted to make bread again until later years when the 'Bread Makers' were all the rage. 

It is a wonderful thing if we are able to laugh at ourselves & have people laugh with us.....sets off that little bubbly feeling in the tummy.

Back to yesterday, Rob & I were off to Sauble Beach to pickup an outside dog run our friends had given us, and that will be most greatly appreciated once those puppies arrive, and otherwise.  On our way there was a flock of Wild Turkeys in the field across from our house.  We returned the trailer later in the day, after suppertime, so I took my camera this time & was able to get a shot of the two local swans.  Then going to Saugeen to fill up with gas, two deer stopped up the French Bay Road in front of us before going back into the bush.  Spring is in the air when you start seeing all the wildlife out & about (I love when we come across wildlife).  Almost everyone I have spoken to lately has seen a Robin; I have yet to see one myself, but I am sure the chances of me seeing one soon are pretty good now.

This Birdie link has been around for sometime.  It was sent to me via email not too long ago, and it is just so enjoyable to watch.  When Aiden was here, I am sure I replayed it at least 5 times.

I just looked at the clock (bad move on my part, lol) and hadn't realized the morning is getting ahead of me.  I am still in my Bathrobe.....I start rambling & time slips right on by.  Must be off and running to get this day into gear.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Feeling Like a Comfort Food Day Already !

Brrrr a balmy -7 C out there this morning; have to go look out the front window at the fan to check out the wind direction.....barely moving, so I would say -7 C without a Wind Chill.  Rob has started the upstairs woodstove, as the downstairs one went cold thru the night (better then it going bump thru the night, lol).

Hope there is no snow in today's forecast:


Increasing cloudiness late this morning. High 6. UV index 3 or moderate.


Cloudy. Rain beginning this evening. Wind becoming southeast 30 km/h this evening then becoming southwest 30 gusting to 60 before morning. Low plus 1.

By the looks of this we will have to get the downstairs stove fired up to keep the dampness out of the house, and dry the laundry I will be washing & hanging down there today. 

I missed the New Moon last night, it was suppose to be the largest in 2011.  Just as well, as I needed the sleep to recoup some of my energy from being so busy last week.

Upon awaking this morning, it felt so strange with the thought, "Aiden isn't here".  I was actually starting to get used of hanging with the grandson (oh really now, I think the best part was getting out of the humdrum housework routine).  Funny once they pierce that little part of your heart, it isn't too long before you want them back again.  Aiden did inform me he was returning this Summer to see his cousins again, help Poppa with the wood & me with the Gardening, so I will be counting the months until his return.  In the meantime it will be twice weekly phone calls to hold me over.

I had forgot to mention the day we went to the local library was St. Paddy's Day.  The librarian, Mary Jane, was so awesome with Aiden.  She had made up clues here & there around the library to find the Pot of Gold at the end, which was a bowl of Whether Candys wrapped in gold.  Aiden had a very good time at the library.

Lots of fun stuff to do at the library, even ride a turtle.

I must include a picture of our 'little' ham, who was staying fit by exercising with Aunt Lizzie's (our cat)dumbbell toy.  Have to get those muscles built up to impress the girls since he is starting school this fall:

Conner's shirts says, "I can't talk yet but.....I've got an Attitude".  "Watch out guys, once this guy hits the beach this summer there might not be any girls left for anyone else"

While on the subject of children.  Riley's team won their last game against Moncton yesterday.  Way to go Riley !  Aunt Gladys & I really enjoyed watching his game, being quite impressed with the plays.

Rob's most favorite pasta are Scooby Doo's (what does that say about him, lol).  I recently came across a One Pot Macaroni with Beef & Tomato Casserole, which is a little bit different then the version I make, but close.  Thinking I will try it out on him since I woke up feeling like some Comfort Food would be a good idea for today's menu.  I found this recipe on the Canadian Living Website:

I might as well keep going with this and give him a full day of "what would Rob like the most" and put a pie together for him too.  Haven't decided what filling yet, but will figure that out when work is in progress, or should I say 'thawing' mode, lol.

Canadian Living also has a whole pie recipe section that I think I will check out today:

I might be able to do one of my usual favorites but find one of theirs to put a spin on mine?

Rob just left the room after coming in & saying to me, "who reads this stuff", well I told him, "a few people do & I am just proofreading the part about you".  Guess who was reading this stuff then?  LOL, he probably just wanted to make sure I didn't put anything "bad" about him.....too funny Rob !

Just five more days until Lexus' due date.....come on puppies !!!  I am hoping when the time comes they are able to be out & about the weather has somewhat improved with the muck being dried up.  Would be much easier to deal with dry puppies then about 5 or 6 puppies rolling about getting covered in muck.  I would have to wear a 'wet suilt' to deal with that.

I suppose I should go make my bed (humdrum) then get on with my day of laundry, comfort food & pie making.....

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Crunchie Chrunch Ground Until the Sun Warms it UP

I love mornings like this when I take Lexus & Bandit out with the ice crunching under my feet & going to the shallow puddles to break it upon stepping on them.  It really does bring back the child in me, which I think happens to many of us when they see a puddle froze over.  What a lovely morning though; cool & crisp with the sun in full force nor a wind blowing in either direction.

Here I sit peacefully with no background bickering, laughing or is almost back to "normal" at my house this morning.  Holly & the boys got off to an early start after getting dressed, fed & washed up, so that is the reason it is so quiet once again at my house.

I had a 'wonderful' birthday, along with many phone calls (even some singing phone calls), emails & facebook posts.  My girlfriend, once again didn't let me down, and was at my doorstep with cake, present & husband in tow to make sure I had her Birthday Wish in person.  Thank you so much Woman !!!!  Colleen got me the coolest musical, when you open it it plays "Bad to the Bone" !  Oh man let me tell you did we have a laugh over that one.  Should the guys ever forget, as long as Colleen are in each others lives & living close by each other, we will always have a Birthday Cake on our Birthdays !

Notice there are only three candles on my cake???  Nice.....

Holly & the boys got me a very lovely glass hummingbird feeder for my gardens.  Really wasn't sure why I was getting an "odd" look from Colleen when I showed her, but sure figured it out when I opened her gift which was identical to the one I had gotten.  LOL !!!!  They wanted to return it for something else, but as many of us know those tiny little male hummingbirds can be quite territorial, so it is nice to have a couple feeders hanging around & about your gardens.  Anything to do with gardens I never, never turn down.  How lucky can a girl get?

I did not have to cook, but I did have to compromise on what we were having, and I can at times be a very good compromiser.  Rob bought chicken, potato wedges & salads from our local grocery store.  At least I didn't have to cook so thanks for being so thoughtful 'honey'.

I finally got to watch the movie "Burlesque" last night.  Loved the parts played by Christina Aguilera, Cher, Cam Gigandet (what a hunk) & Peter Gallagher.  For anyone that enjoys singing & dancing as much as I do, I would highly recommend you rent it (I loved Dirty Dancing too).  I thought watching a movie was the best way to end an already great day.....

My niece, Joanne, and my girlfriend, Vicki, are both celebrating a Birthday today !!!  Happy Birthday gals....hope my singing doesn't damage our relationships!  Wishing you both a 'wonderful' day & if I lived closer I would make sure you both had a cake.  Actually if I had a picture of you both I would be posting it right below this paragraph, lol.

My Auntie is coming up to Wiarton so we can go watch our nephew Riley's very last hockey game of the season today.  He is eleven years old & made the "Rep" team this year.  I am happy to get out to see the last of his local games, as "Rep" teams do a lot of travelling, and I am unable at times to stray too far away from home.  Sure hope they win today !!!!

It has came to my attention that my niece, Stacey, found the video link on how to get a tractor out of "sticky mud" to be of no use to her in the City of Hamilton, so I will be emailing her a video of Einstein today to see if it would be more to her liking of being entertained.  Looking forward to your feedback Stacey????

Since the sun is out in full force now at 9:37 am, let's see what Wiarton Airport has to say about the rest of my day:


Clearing this morning. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light early this morning. High minus 1. UV index 4 or moderate.


Clear. Low minus 8.

As long as that sun stays out, the day ahead is looking pretty good.

Oh I almost forgot.....Rob had Lexus out the other day, and a hour later after she had been back in she was barking relentlessly.  I went on down to her pen, thinking she had to go back out again as the pressure of those babies (as us woman know) must have be baring down with her needing to relieve herself again.  I brought her out & trying to get her collar on, but she was trying to get at something between my legs on the floor where I was standing.  After getting her moved back & upon examintion of what was on the floor, much to my surprise, it was a gardener snake !!!!  Ha,ha,ha, I had to yell up to Rob to come down to give me a hand, and once he seen the snake, he said, "oh that is what she brought in with her, I thought it was a stick".  Omg!!!!  Not sure if that poor snake will survice the mauling Lexus gave it, but I am sure she had a hour of entertaining fun.  Snake killer for rent at my place should anyone be in need of one?  Except I welcome the gardner snakes into my gardens to take care of those mices, so I will have to let Lexus know she must be more gentle when playing with any she might come across in the future.

Three coffees consumed with my bed not yet made, but a load of laundry on the go, I must get off my duff to be ready for when my Auntie comes to collect me for that Hockey game I have been looking forward to.  Off & wonder I am so tired by the end of my days, I must learn to pace myself better, as this running business gets to be too tiring.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Another Year Older & Hopefully a Little Bit Smarter????

Wow !!!!  I am totally in awe by all the Birthday Greetings I have received so far today from my family and friends, close & afar.  Thank you so much for thinking of me.

I am really getting a late start on my posting today since I have been so busy receiving Birthday Wishes via phone calls, email messages & Facebook messages, oh & of course, greetings in person from Aiden , Conner, Holly, Mother & Rob.  I did get kisses as well from Bandit & Lexus.....

I just loved the card my son, Paul, gave me last Saturday (just think I had a whole week before my birthday to enjoy it):

Lol, he couldn't have picked out a more perfect card, and for his almost 28 years, I think he did quite well!

With two young grandboys running around & having fun I find it hard to concentrate on blogging, so I think I will just share a really cool link today & hopefully (after catching up on laundry & housework) be back to normal in the next couple of days (did I say, "normal"):

With all this mucky wet weather & melted snow I thought this could be benifical to some of us:

Ha, ha, ha......Rob has certainly been in this situation a couple times & it wasn't a 'pretty' sight, LOL.

Oh man, I had better not forget to see what the Wiarton Airport has to say today about my Birthday.....I must check it out:


Cloudy with 60 percent chance of drizzle changing to 40 percent chance of flurries early this evening then cloudy periods. Wind northwest 30 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 6.

Wow, will these flurries every go is so wet & mucky I shouldn't think they will be sticking to anything (hope not anyway).

Once again, I am off & running.......maybe a little slower ???  LOL


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Wishing The Luck of the Irish to You All ~ Happy St. Paddy's Day !

Green socks, tops, some form or another we all try to wear the "green" on St. Paddy's Day, or drink it in the form of 'green beer', lol.  It is not only St. Paddy's Day it is also my Doggie Niece, Pixi's Birthday !  Pixi's provider & Mom is my niece, Joanne.  Pixi is 2 years old today.  Her Mom gave her a Birthday Party this Saturday past & made her the most beautiful cake.  Happy Birthday Dear Pixi Girl !

Looks like Pixi not only got a cake, but also new "leg warmers" for her birthday; way to go Pixi !  Oh the little guy in the background by the door is Pixi's senior brother, Budd (he is a little dog, not a cat, lol).  We will have to feature 'Bud' when his birthday comes around next.  Just incase that 'special' pet, that is part of your family, would enjoy some doggie treats or a Birthday Cake (like the one Joanne made for Pixi) you can find a suitable recipe here:

Since it is St. Paddy's Day I thought I would share some "Irish Recipes".  Personally my most very favorite is Corned Beef & Cabbage.....ummmmmmmm.  I don't get it to often, as not to mention any names, Rob, doesn't care for it.  Hummmmmfffff to Rob.  LOL. 

Corned Beef & Cabbage (I would try this in my slow cooker):

Irish Soda Bread:

Irish Cream Chocolate Tart (this looks soooo forbidding):

I am definitely going to try out the Irish Soda Bread to go along with the Corned Beef & Cabbage, however since I still have some Chocolate Mud Cake left over I will have to wait to experiment with the Irish Cream Chocolate Tart.

I must comment on the outing Aiden James & I had yesterday.....a fantastic time was had by all.  Aiden had such a good time, he actually told his father on the phone this morning he was coming back this summer to see his cousins !!!!  Aunt Gladys, Cousin Vi & I put out a great lunch of grilled cheese, pickle tray, Mud Cake and Rainbow cupcakes.  We even had to unexpected guests in the form of Cousin Troy & Uncle Basil, so we were quite outnumbered by the male gender.

Our gracious Hostess, my Aunt Gladys, Aiden & Brodie's Great Great Aunt & Logan's Grandma, getting her camera ready for that perfect shot of our three boys:

The "boys", Aiden, Brodie & Logan:

Upon our leaving to come back home to North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard, there were promises made for a summer get together......and then there will be another story to tell at that time !

My mind has so busy with St. Paddy's Day, Birthday & Cousins, I almost forgot to see what our Weather Day is going to bring, so here it is:


A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming sunny late this morning. Increasing cloudiness late this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 30 km/h late this morning. High 13. UV index 4 or moderate.


Cloudy. Rain beginning this evening and ending before morning. Wind west 30 km/h. Low plus 2.

High of 13, looking pretty good.

I am thinking Aiden & I will be making a trip into town today to check out the library, as there is to be a 10:30 story time, so I suppose I best get dangling here (funny how we pickup saying from our parents like "dangling", lol).  Aiden's Mom, Holly & his little brother, Conner, are arriving later today so we have lots to be dangling about before their arrival ........

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Have the Canadian Geese Returned Or Am I Just Hearing Things?

Last night at dusk, 7:55 to be exact, I heard Canadian geese honking out over the field beside our house.  Robins being sighted, geese honking (as I actually didn't see them).....please be Spring soon!  It has been very cold first thing these last few mornings from -13 yesterday to -1 this morning.  Brrrrr, sure glad Rob is up along with me this morning & getting the woodstoves fired up.  By the looks of the rain in the forecast the rest of the week, we will be keeping those woodstoves fired up just to keep the dampness out of our bones.


A few showers or drizzle ending this morning then clearing. High 6. UV index 4 or moderate.


A few clouds. Low plus 2.

Today is a very special day for a girlfriend I grew up in Southampton with.  Leona, have a very very "Happy Birthday to you & All the Best Wishes for the Day ahead".  For any of you that knew Leona growing up, she was a Graham  girl & now is a Jack, residing with her husband, Doug.  Darn, I really must get together with that girl, as we aren't too far of a drive away from each other.  Leona we will have to get a date for that firmed up instead of all this talk, lol !

I am up & having my coffee earlier this morning !  Yeah !  Maybe I will feel back on track & into my old routine (or somewhat of a routine if you call making my bed before 8 instead of 9, or later with Aiden here), now that my brain has maybe, and I stress maybe, gotten itself around this time change.

The "Rich & Easy Mud Cake" was made yesterday !!!  As well as partially eaten as you will be able to see by the start, middle & finishing results:

One little cake monster had two slices, so this is how much was gone after three of us had a sliver & one of us had two slivers.......yummy !  Thanks again, Jiba May, for the recipe.  The local Foodland store did have self-rising flour & I didn't have time to make icing from scratch, however Betty Crocker was kind enough to assist me in that department.

Aiden has been patiently waiting for today to arrive, as we are going to see the "Cousins" at my Aunt's home in Port Elgin.  Aunt Gladys is making us lunch & we are brining cake.  What a deal that is.....

Rob is home today, so I am wondering if I will return back home after our Port Elgin adventure to find supper has been prepared, breakfast/lunch dishes done, vacumning & dusting done.....oops, I had better "snap" out of that dream real fast !  LOL, sorry honey, I know you have a busy "man day" planned with bringing in wood, in & out with Bandit & Lexus, and all that other stuff that isn't on my "honey-do list".  Hugsss & love, muches & bunches !

One of my Facebook friends, Teresa, posted a 'wonderful link' yesterday of Kindergarden Children performing, from Korea I believe.  I really enjoyed this:

Just click on the above link & it should take you right to it.

Our computer is located in the spare bedroom where Aiden stays on his visits with us, and let me tell you it has been one very big effort to concentrate on the typing of this blog (at the best of times), so you can imagine how challenged I am with a 6 year old in the background playing & talking to me !!!!  LOL.....phew good thing I am ready for that second cup of coffee that I so fondly love.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

There is Nothing Quite Like Sunshine to Smile on your Face (other then Grandchildren)

Brrrrr, the woodstove went out through the night & the temperature was -13 C this morning upon looking out.  First thing that had to be done before I had the first coffee was get that stove all fired up!  Awwww, now I am having a coffee, after that done, the boy breakfast and my ear talked I am sitting on my butt once again looking forward to what this new day will bring.  Oh and by the way, despite the cold the sun is out in full force here North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.  Okay Wiarton Airport, what is going on with the rest of the day?


Sunny with cloudy periods. High 9. UV index 5 or moderate.


Increasing cloudiness. A few showers beginning after midnight. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light after midnight. Low plus 3.

Ummm, not looking to shabby today at all with that High of 9, but think I will pass on the upcoming showers, but then again it isn't more snow.

Aiden had a very full day yesterday, between making beds, making lunch, Mariokart & bringing wood with Poppa.  Since the muffler on my car had just recently let go, Aiden & I had to take it downtown to a Angel's Garage to be mended.  We then did the downtown tour, to Bennett's Dollar Store, the Sally Ann, the bank & to Foodland to purchase a few staples, and that is where our Crabbie Cabbie came to pick us up to deliver us back home (oh have I ever mentioned my husband, Rob, has been driving a Taxi, and his brother-in-law has dubbed him the Crabby Cabbie?  Really now, he is not always crabby, I just think Darol dubbed him that as it rhymed, lol, way to go Darol, as it has stuck !).

The order of the day for supper was Bacon, Eggs & Toast.  All day long, Aiden wanted to know if I had forgot what we were having for supper, as he was the one who was to remind me.  At one point I had remembered it all when he asked me, but had somehow forgot to mention the toast!  Well, let me tell you he was quick to remind me, lol !  Once supper was actually cooked and served up, I asked Aiden how he enjoyed his supper, wherein he replied, "Grandma, all the stuff you make is good".  Now I ask, is that not a heartmelter?  

After bathtime, when it was time to do the turn on the night light & good night time, we had quite the kibitzing going back and forth between rooms.....I love you; I love you more, I love you most; I love you mostest; I love you more then mostest.....and the winner was !  "I love you more then all the mostest more, Grandma!".  Now how could that be topped?  I suppose it could have been, however I was worn to a frazzle at this point, which was all good.

Aiden & Poppa just left to go to town, so I am able to focus on the task at hand and enjoy my second cup of coffee.  Rob is having a day off so Aiden will have some more Poppa time & I get to go visit with my girlfriend this morning (after I get dressed & make the bed, of course).  Oops almost forgot must take some chicken out of the freezer for supper, as I don't think they would want Bacon & Eggs again for supper, or just maybe.....

I think when I return home & make lunch it would be a good day to drive downtown to go for a walk then check out the library.  Good plan to put in motion as it is going to be such great weather day.

Oh have I mentioned not too much housework, or anything else for that matter gets done when one has a grandchild staying with them....routine, I ask, what is that ?  Housework and routine off into the wind, as my face has a "smile" on it, as it should be.

I had mentioned earlier that my Australian girlfriend, Jiba May, had sent me a new cake recipe, so I would like to share this with everyone:

Rich and Easy Mud Cake
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 teasp bicarb soda
2 pkts chocolate instant pudding mix
1 1/2 cups SR flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup oil
1 t vanilla essence,
1/4 t salt

Grease a large ring tin and line base with baking paper.
Place first 4 ingredients in a pan and simmer 5 minutes.
Add bicarb soda and cool slightly. When cooled,
add everything else and mix well.
Pour into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes in moderate oven.
When cool, ice with chocolate icing or with chocolate yogurt frosting.

Chocolate yogurt frosting
1/3 cup butter/margarine
3 tablesp cocoa
3 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup natural yogurt
1 t vanilla
Mix well. (Use bamix to get rid of any lumps.)

I will be stopping at the grocery store today to pickup a small bag of Self-Rising Flour & Chocolate Pudding Mix, as I am anxious to try this out while Aiden is here, as he would love to help with the mixing, and licking the remainder of the batter from the bowl. 

I know I am always off & running, but I think since the house is now vacated other then Aunt Lizzie, the cat, Bandit, Lexus & Zoey, the dogs, I will leisurely saunter into my bedroom to get dressed & make the bed to enjoy the getting ready of myself for the day nice and quite while I am still smiling !

Monday, 14 March 2011

Love My Grandchildren Just Need to Get Back Into the Swing of Things.

This Spring ahead really is messing with my brain transmitters with regards to the time I should be up in the morning (and Elsie no comments about my transmitters,since I do know you follow my blog).  I just can't seem to get going before six am yet, but have no problem staying awake in the evening.  It will sort itself out, as do the Jersey cows when the poor farmer has to readjust their milking time.  Here it is 7:55 am and I feel by the time I have my coffee the morning is way off towards the sunset already, lol.  In speaking with a number of people we have all agreed this is the time we should stay at with it not going back again in the Fall.  As one person stated to me, "all we have is time, why don't they leave that alone" !  Like I said, I will eventually get my routine back sooner or later.

I am happy to say the fruit flys have vacated my kitchen & those black bananas on my kitchen counter made up two dozen delicious banana muffins.  Rob wanted plain banana with no walnuts or chocolate icing, so we compromised not putting any walnuts in the batter & the icing on (out of Betty Crockers tin) when Aiden wanted one iced.  I was very impressed how that was all worked out between the two of them.  A wonderful compromise for a yummy outcome:

A good day was had by all !  Poppa & Aiden played Mariokart on the Wii on and off all day, Bandit & Lexus got some play time outside in the snow with Aiden, and I got a picture coloured for me !

A very intent Mariokart competition goes on in this household:

Still lots of snow from Friday evening to be romped around in, but it wasn't great for Snowman making so we made snowballs & pitched them for Bandit & Lexus:

The picture Aiden coloured for me is one that will surely be an added conversation piece to the front door of my refridgerator:

He did such a wonderful job & loves being colourful !

To be quite honest, we are only two days into it and I am pooped out, lol.  I don't want to be taken the wrong way, as most days I am pooped out, but it is exhausting sometimes trying to be attentive to what is going on in a six year old brain and what is coming very quickly out of their Paul's Uncle tells him, Aiden & Paul are so much alike in that respect, lol.  Busy, busy, all fairness I have no problem talking up a storm most days either !

Hoping to do a day trip to Port Elgin as my both my Aunt Gladys & Cousin Vi have their grandsons, who just happen to be the same age as Aiden.  It is nice for them to get to know who there cousins are, that is one of the downfalls of families living so far from each other.  Aiden is looking forward to having a playday with his 'cousins'.  Another day we will make a trip to the local library in Wiarton, as they have a children's reading at 10:30 in the mornings going on right now, which we might both enjoy.

Oh before I have to go run (and get dressed by the way), as I have a 9:00 am appointment, I must not forget the good old Wiarton Airport Weather for the day report:


Clearing early this morning. High plus 1. UV index 4 or moderate.


Clear. Low minus 7.

It's looking good, and the sun is now shining here Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard!  I am looking forward to another great day.

Off and running (not too fast) to get myself somewhat presentable .......

Oops almost Aunt emailed me a puzzle which I thought I would like to share, as I enjoyed piecing it together (have I mentioned, I love doing puzzles).  Here is the link to it:

Now I am really, really off and running.  I haven't even had a 2nd coffee yet !

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