Wednesday 29 February 2012

Happy Leap Year To Those Who Are All Still So Young !

Another seven years has gone by .... let's see this year my sister, Donna's husband, Wayne, turned 16 years old today.  Um, does that mean he has been drinking and driving illegally all these years?  How does this happen?  LOL  I am sure there are lots of teasing goes on towards "Leap Year" Babies.

Today marks the day of the death of Davy Jones of the Band, The Monkeys.  I remember so well watching their show on TV and listening to ....

Hey, hey, we're the monkees
And people say we monkey around,
But we're too busy singing, 
To put anybody down.

Davy Jones dies of Heart Attack at 66 years of age.  More at the following link:

"I just now sat down with a cup of Green Tea in my cup I received from a lovely friend of my Aunties, placed upon the handmade "Mug Rug" I won from Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily.  I scored pretty "big" this month I would think.  Yes, that would be a "nose" stuck in the photo."

"A dog's life in this household, seems to be 100% pretty darn good by the looks of little Missy Mercedes here, would anyone not think?"

Yes, definitely wanting myself one of those "Dog's Lifes" !!!  Note to Self:  "Self come back as a dog in your next life."  LOL

Today was a pretty usual Wednesday around here.

I never did get the bathroom cleaned last night, however I did clean the foyer.  It got vacuumed and the floor washed, as well as the stairs going down to it.  Thankfully I was finished before 8:00 pm so I was able to watch one of my favorite shows, the American Idol !!!  YAY !

Onto the humdrum of my Wednesday which consisted of my whole morning being spent ...

".... doing the "dreaded" deed of the "Crabby Cabbie" books.   How did I get nominated for this job anyway?  I am still really not too sure how this happened."

Seriously I did not get them done until 12 noon.  *Phew*, sure glad that is off my plate for the time being.

Since I didn't get the bathroom cleaned last night, it had to be done today.  Also since Wednesday is the day for our bedroom to be vacuumed and dusted, that was done too.

All this book work and cleaning completely ate up my whole day !!!

Oh man, I hate when this happens, as I so wanted to try out a new Soup Recipe for Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar, that I had come across at Kevin's Closet Cooking.  Darn, darn, and triple darn, it seems this will just  have to wait for another day.

Then there is the usual in and out with the "pack" going on in between everything else I do in a day, as anyone well knows.

How could I forget the "Pie" ???  I had made a pie crust yesterday which never got filled, so of course that too had to be done ....

"Rob's new favorite, Key Lime Pie, next to Lemon.  Once I am done here, it should be cool enough to put the meringue on."

.... and just think, It's Already Wednesday !

I had never heard of "Freya" before yesterday.  I actually like her music.  I will have to do another search to see if there are any other songs of hers out there I might also enjoy.

I don't know what is going on with the Weather in the rest of Ontario, but we have a fierce East wind going on here on the Bruce Peninsula, with a mixture of rain and snow all day.  At the moment is is snowing and blowing like crazy out there.  I just pray it doesn't turn to "freezing rain", as it is bad enough without my "Crabby Cabbie" being out in worse.

I am pretty sure that Key Lime Pie is now cool enough to make the meringue for now.  Once again, I am off and running, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, Still I Am Gonna Miss You

*Phew*  it feels good to sit down after a whole day of doing nothing cleaning the house, does it not?  I feel like I have barely sat down since I got up just after 5 am this morning.  I have to admit, I have sat down to take breaks, when at the same time I take advantage by updating my Recipe Exchange.

What was I doing awake at 5am?  it happens to be my "most usual" time to be awake every morning.

What was I doing just before 6:00 am.?  Talking to my son, Paul, on the phone while he was on his way to work.  LOL, he or I can almost guarantee we have each other to talk to this early in the mornings.  Another one up and out early is my niece, Joanne, as she is walking Pixi before she gets ready for work.

"This would be my Doggie Niece, Pixi.  Pixi doesn't like getting up and going out much, so I am told, as apparently she isn't only "big", she be a lazy girl too.  You can tell she be lazy by this picture with her tongue hanging out and she hadn't even walked a few yards, this I am sure off.  Lazy girl she be, that Pixi Girl."

LOL, I can imagine my niece, Joanne, gets more exercise trying to convince Pixi to go out for a walk !

I folded up the last of the laundry I had done yesterday, and got that all put away once Rob had gotten out of bed and I had that all made up.  Now that our bedroom has been decluttered, it gave me two extra shelves so I took advantage of putting one to good use ....

"Is it ever nice to have the bedding in each room along with the bed it goes with.  Two extra sets of bedding doesn't even take up a whole shelf !  I love opening up and looking into the bedroom closets now; they are so organized !"

This week we are back to our "normal" routine again of the past several months, since the other chap is back from Holidays, my "Crabby Cabbie" is back to his usual shift.  This means our mealtime is back to having our Dinner at the noon hour.  *Sigh*   I hope some day I will get used to my days being turned around .... in the meantime I did a Pork Loin Roast in the Marinade that was February's Recipe of the Month on Cindy's Recipe Exchange on Facebook.  The recipe for the Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin can be found here.

"An "oh so easy" marinade consisting of Balsamic Vinegar, Minced Garlic, Coarse Salt (I use Sea Salt) and Olive Oil.  All placed in a heavy duty zip lock bag with the "choice" of  Pork loin and left to marinade in the fridge over night."

"I preheated the oven to 400*F while searing the marinaded meat for approximately 4 minutes."

"This portion of Pork Rib Loin took approximately one hour to cook .  It was done to perfection, tender and full of flavor."

I also had a hankering to make a Black Bean and Feta Salad for a couple of our meals this week.  I got going on making that this morning as well.

"I love this salad, and it is also rich with "fibre".

The recipe for this salad can be found here.  (Just "click" on the highlighted words, as they take you to the referred website)

"This salad recipe calls for 1/2 cup of fresh Lemon Juice.  A couple of weeks ago I was able to purchase a small Betty Crocker Juicer at the local Salvation Army for $5.00.  Let me tell you it worked lickety split on getting that Lemon Juice for me !  $5.00 well spent on this Kitchen Gadget."

I must give my Rob credit, which I didn't do yesterday, as he had been busy with his toy tractor pushing snow out of our driveway, the reason we had to go buy hydraulic oil for it on Sunday.

"Yes Sirree, he was pushing snow alright, so much it must have tuckered the poor boy right out as he most certainly was "sawing logs" pretty early last night."

It has been a beautiful Sun filled day here today.  Actually a bit more on the mild side with the snow having "shrunk" a little bit.  I am not going to "hold my breath" yet though, as I heard we are to get more of the "fluffy" stuff by week end.  It's not over til the "Fat Snowman" sings, or would that be melts, is it?

Tomorrow I have to hit the books.  That would be "bookkeeping" I am afraid to say, as I am behind with January and February right on my heels yet to be done, with being sick in January and all the decluttering I was doing in February.  *Sigh*   This is why I was so "gun ho" today to get the living/dining room areas vacuumed and dusted.  I still would "like" to do the foyer and the bathroom today; but I will see if my weary body still has enough "spit & fire" left in it to be getting those areas done, once I have finished up here.

It has been a very busy Tuesday, and I am weary but ..... Goodbye Ruby Tuesday ... still I am gonna miss you.

I can never say enough how much I appreciate the people who have joined on the right side bar as Followers of my "Blog", as well as the comments being left when time or topic of interest permits.  I really do look forward to the comments, as well as the emails, as I find them all encouraging to keep me "blogging".  Thank you.

At the moment, I am going to take myself out into my Kitchen to make myself a cup of Java, so I can first infuse my body with a little bit of caffeine, then decide if I do have any "spit & fire" left in these weary bones to carry on further, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Monday 27 February 2012

Monday Monday Here Again

Monday morning, all I hoped it could be .....

"Starting off with laundry .... "

"... moving on to cleaning/dusting the area around the woodstove (could be a daily chore)."

"Of course then there was the "pile" of dishes in the sink that had to be attended to ...."

"Got to put my "broom" aside and bring out the "big" guns today.  Well is is Monday, you know?"

Before I knew it, it was time to get Lunch ready !  Wow I am telling you, what a popular girl am I on Mondays !

"Monday's Lunch was made easy ..... "

"..... as yesterday I had made a Slow Cooker Beef Stew, so leftovers were the order of the day."

By the way, Rob said it was the best stew I had ever made !  Really? the best ever and it only took me how many years to finally come up with the best?  LOL .... the funny part about it was I had just chopped and threw it all together, just like this:

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Beef Shank bones + 1 steak (cut up)
1 container of Beef Stock
Carrots, chunked
3 Leeks, white parts, chopped
Celery, chopped
Potatoes, cubed
Montreal Steak Spice, to taste

Place all in slow cooker; cook 6-8 hours on high; remove shank bones (and any pieces of fat) & thicken with mixture of cornstarch/water to desired consistency.

I must admit though it was pretty dang good, but now that I am reading what I put in it, I can't believe I didn't put in Worcestershire and Soya Sauce too !  I usually never miss out putting those in with anything "beef" in the slow cooker, but then again the way I did it was the "Best Ever", was it not?  LOL

After lunch was cleared up and cleaned up from, it was downtown with Rob and I to do a couple of Monday errands. Just there and back, nothing too long or lingering ....

Awe, Monday Monday you are so good to me, as I got to come back home to tidy up my kitchen some more, then run that vacuum cleaner (my right hand man it is) around a bit longer before it was time to say, "enough is enough, and tomorrow is another day".

Stay tuned, as Tuesday is just around the corner, you know ... I am sure there is a Tuesday song out there somewhere?

I am not a knitter, however my friend, Diane, is, as well as a couple of other friends out there who I am also envious of their many talents.  I have stated before, I can knit a scarf but don't ask me to "cast-off", as I am sure I don't have a clue how to do that?  Anyhow, the point I am trying to make here is Diane is knitting for a cause right at the moment, asking me if I would share this with my readers.  Well everyone knows how much I like to "share" things going on out and about there in the World, do they not?

"I have so many talented friends.  Look at all these cute Bears, Diane has knit !

....and this is the "why and where" Diane has been knitting all these little cuties for.  A message from my friend, Diane:

"For those knitters (or crocheters) out there who have yarn bits or small balls, and don't know what to make with them, I have a great project for charity knitting.  A group in Minnesota USA have an organization called the Mother Bear Project.  They send your knitted bears to children in Africa whose lives have been altered by HIV/AIDS.  There was a bit of cost to this, as the pattern is $5, and also you must send your bear(s) to them.  For me the cost was $13.00 for my four bears, so this would depend on your location.  It gives you a wonderful feeling knowing a small child will be hugging your knitted bear one day soon.  If you are interested, the website is ."

Thanks Diane for sharing this.  Even though I don't knit, I have some Yarn here not being used (I did use to crochet), I am thinking I will pass on to Diane if she can make use of it towards her contribution of Bears.

Should anyone get involved with the Mother Bear Project, after reading Diane's message, please let me know, even sending pictures of the Bears you have made and sent, at .

I just happened to look up from my laptop and outside our windows.  It seems like the wind we have been having all day has finally blew in some snow, as it it really coming down out there at the moment.

No worries, as our woodstove is well "stoked" up with us being all warm and cozy here inside, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Sunday 26 February 2012

Spending Spending Spending Always Needing Something !

Before I start with my today, I need to finish my Yesterday.  I forgot, until just before bedtime last night, that yesterday on my way home I had stopped downtown at the Wiarton Salvation Army.  The last Saturday of every month they had a "Bag" day sale for all you can fill for $4.00.  I didn't fill a bag, but I did make an "awesome" score ...

"I added the scarf to the ensemble, but a Quilted jacket, Top, and a Pair of  "Bum" Jeans for four bucks, how could I go wrong?"

This morning was a very typical start for myself and the "pack"  ....

"You want me to come where?  over there with you?"

"Which way is that?"

"The snow is rather deep where the Composter is at the edge of the Garden."

"Here comes Lexus barreling around the Barrel !"

"As usual, the girl has the "upper" hand Paw in the situation."

Today is my friend, Sharon's Birthday, who I walk with every opportunity we get.  I transplanted a Jade plant into a colourful little pot I had bought last week, and got a couple of little books together for a Birthday Gift.

"I managed to swing around to her house this morning before she left for Church to surprise her.  I love surprising people and putting a *smile* on their faces.  Surprised she was!"

Sharon texted me after she had arrived back home from Church.  She was having a wonderful day, as a Birthday should be.

Once I had returned back home, it wasn't too long before Rob woke up.  Our tractor is in need of Hydraulic Fluid so Rob can use the bucket to clean the snow from our driveway.  We needed to make a trip today to Owen Sound to the TSC Store to make a purchase of some.

"We took the scenic route into Owen Sound today, entering through the "back" door."

I am sure when Rob has his "Crabby Cabbie" hat on, we never have time to go anywhere shopping.  This can be a "good" thing, as our day ended up costing us something around the $250.00 mark !

I had first been at our Foodland store this morning to pickup a few grocery items we needed for approximately $50.00.  The TSC store was a total of $75.00.  I needed some black ink for my printer, and my PC's mouse gave up the ghost yesterday, so Staples was a whopping $114.00.  Then to Giant Tiger for some Yogurt, Half & Half Creamer, and some batteries was another $50.00.

"Nothing state of the art in the way of a Mouse, and the ink was only black, could you imagine if I would have also bought coloured ink too what the cost would have been?"

"I suppose I did go a little overboard at the Giant Tiger Store, as I treated myself to some "Eggies" which I have hearing so much about and wanting to try myself.  They were $8.97."

Crazy when you think about how much time and effort goes into making a "buck", then in almost in a "blink" of an eye it is gone !  I really don't know where the saying, "easy come, easy go", came from, as it is more like "hard come by, easy go", is it not?  I don't know how some people get by, as I don't think we bought anything that was too "frivolous" at all (with the exception of the Eggies).  There is always spending, spending and more spending ... this will never end !  LOL, unless we bring back the "barter" system, would that be so bad?  Oh yes then there would probably be more arguing, arguing, arguing, always something.

I am absolutely thrilled today with how many New Members have joined Cindy's Recipe Exchange on Facebook lately.  A total of eighteen (18) within the past couple of days, bringing membership up to 158 Members.  How exciting is that ???

I can't wait to see what new recipes will be posted from everyone ... the Recipe of the Month for February was a recipe I had posted.  This recipe has been raved about by many, with some even making it a couple of times this past month.  Here it is:

Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Recipe Courtesy of Kitchen Confidante

4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1¼ pounds each)
2 tablespoons canola oil (if preparing in oven)

Stir together garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub the paste all over pork. If you like or have the time, marinate overnight. If not, no worries, it will still be great!

Grill preparation:

Sear the tenderloins on all sides, then grill for about 20-30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Try to let it rest before slicing.

Oven preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat canola oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add pork, and brown all over, about 4 minutes.

Transfer pan to oven. Roast pork, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, and try to let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.

This recipe is not only easy, it is so GOOD !!!  I would also recommend marinading overnight, but from morning would suffice as well.  Delectable it is .... yummy.

Other then the fact it was rather an expensive day, Rob and I enjoyed our day together.

I put together a Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker this morning, so I am now off to thicken it and fill our bowls for Supper, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Saturday 25 February 2012

A Stirring Of Some Awesome Memories So Long Ago

I do not think the whole of Ontario got dumped on by snow yesterday, but I sure know we did in Bruce County, or the part of Bruce County we live in, and my "Crabby Cabbie" works out of .... Wiarton was hit, and down in Southampton and Port Elgin they got the same.

It was much to my relief, after I had been up already for a little bit this morning, to see the Sun come out in full force, however before that happened I thought the "pack", who all absolutely love snow would enjoy a little romp around in the white stuff.

"Looks like Bandit spotted something over yonder, with Missy Mercedes following suit with her puppy curiosity."

"Sorry guys, but it seems like the gal has the upper hand once again !"

"That is enough of that, he is not being any fun whatsoever, let me tell you."

"Mercedes just wasn't playing fair, Mom, let me tell you that ear biting has to be stopped !"

Ha,ha,ha ... a good romp in the snow wears all that Aussie energy down a little bit, giving me a bit of time out for other stuff.  There isn't one of our three Australian Shepherds who doesn't  love snow .... when the storm had begun yesterday Mercedes was jumping up into the air trying to catch the snowflakes coming down. It was way too funny to watch.  Bandit also loves swimming, not so much Lexus, and we will find out this coming Summer with Missy Mercedes.

I had to head down to Port Elgin today.  

"Rob had to go to work early this morning, so there was no clearing of snow from our driveway done.  Plow through his tracks I did."

"As long as the roads are bare and dry, I love driving through the Winter Wonderland's beauty."

There was a Chili Lunch at Southampton's Presbyterian Church so my Auntie Gladys and I got together for lunch there, before I headed off to Port Elgin.

I am so happy we decided to get together for this luncheon, as I got to see two of my Teachers from Grade School at Southampton's G.C. Huston Public School !  Mrs. Chatterton was my Grade 6 Teacher, and Mrs. Wark was my Sunday School Teacher at the United Church.  Also both their sons and I are all the same age.  I was head over my heels, absolutely delighted to see both of them !  Wow, seeing the two of them most certainly stirred up some good memories of days long gone by .....

It didn't end there ....another lady walked by our table who looked very familiar to me, so much so it was starting to drive me "batty".  I finally got up my nerve to ask another lady, who knew my Auntie Gladys, what the lady's name was.  Oh my, it was a lady I worked with at an Insurance Broker's in Kitchener, 26 Years ago !!!  Once we got to talking I learned her and her husband moved up to Southampton a few years ago, after having a cottage there for many years prior.

....and then before we left, there was another lady I got to see from days long gone by in my Southampton Childhood Years !

You just never know who, where, or when you will run into someone, now do you?

Darn, darn, and triple darn it all to heck, do you think I had my handy dandy little camera in my purse?  Absolutely NOT, as I had left it in my truck when Auntie had picked me up ..... Geez !

Oh yes, memories ....

"... memories of Summer months past with Hydrangeas in full bloom."

It shan't be long now before Easter will be around again, with the blues and pinks of potted Hydrangeas, as well as Tulips and Daffodils.  *Sigh* 

I look forward to and will embrace Spring with welcoming arms .... come forth and bring along your warmth with you, as Summer will then not be long behind.

Listening to the radio today, there seems to be some controversy as to the date of Beatles's member, George Harrison's birthday whether or not the 25th of February was it?  Regardless should it have been the 24th, 25th or 26th, let's bring on a little Sunshine in honoring him ... adding some warmth into our own lives.

Who did not love the Beatles, or not want to honor any one of them, I would not know?

An all around fantastic day it was between old memories being stirred up, a lovely luncheon spent with my Auntie Gladys ... I even got to briefly see my "Crabby Cabbie" inbetween his Taxi runs !!!  Oh yes, I also got to quickly run in to see Sue at the Southampton Meat Market to pickup another grinder of Himalayan Salt for my friend, Diane.  Good places and people, old memories and new being made .... does life get much better? I think NOT .

Believe it or not, even with being gone most of the day, I did manage to fold a load of laundry, do another load and hang it, make our bed, do up a few dishes, and take the "pack of threesome" for another late day romp.  All is good, and tomorrow even better as I look forward to my Rob being home with us.

At the moment, I am starting to feel a little chill, so I best be heading on over to the woodstove to see if it needs to be stoked up once again, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Friday 24 February 2012

Totally Pneumonia Free After A Long Day !

What a day most of Ontario has been having with a Wintry Mix from reports of freezing rain on the other side of Kitchener, rain in Toronto, to snowing and blowing in and around a number of places.

I have spent barely any time at home today (again), once I left the house just before 8:00 am to head up North of the Checkerboard to Lion's Head.

I had joined the Lion's Head Swap group on Facebook where I had came across a complete bedding set for a double bed, as we need one for when the boys visit once the extra room is all set up, so prior to my Doctor's appointment I headed there to pick up my purchase.

"All ready to be washed up fresh, comforter, skirt, set of sheet with extra pillow cases for a Grand Total of $5.00 !  How could I refuse such a deal ?"

I then dropped off some new clothes I had picked up for Mother that had been hemmed up, however I hadn't time left for a visit as I had my weekly Doctor's appointment.  Once at the Doctor's I had decided I had not wanted to wait since the weather was nasty and the roads very greasy, so I headed very, very carefully back home.

I was home long enough to look after the "three pack", make the bed, do up a few dishes and make two phone calls just before Rob came to collect me to take me off to Owen Sound for my follow-up appointment with Dr. Newton regarding the bout I had with pneumonia.

"Heading South just outside of Wiarton heading towards Owen Sound."

"We only happened upon this one Snowplow, coming off a side road the whole trip there and back."

"I wonder if something is actually going to happen at the Old Duffy's Tavern in Hepworth finally after all these past Years.  Something was suppose to be happening there when we moved up eight Years ago, with nothing at all taking place there?  Hepworth is where my Father was born and raised, before the Hepworth Furniture Factory burned down and relocated in Southampton."

We made it to Owen Sound Hospital at the time I was scheduled to be there, only to find their computers were down.  Oh man, I waited an hour before I got my Xray done !!!  I don't know what is going to happen to these places if the Computers ever went down permanently, as they didn't seem to have it really all together in the one Dept., as to what the backup plan was to be?  

Once I had the xray completed, it was no time at all before I seen Dr. Newton, who showed me the new xray, being very pleased the pneumonia was totally cleared away from my chest !  Hooray !!!  I hope never ever to be that sick again in my lifetime ..... nasty business that was being so sick for over three weeks.

Finally we were able to make our way back towards home ...

"Just outside the City Limits of Owen Sound."

"Finally back in Wiarton heading down the South hill into town not too much further away from home, just up the North Hill and a little bit further from there."

"Nothing like arriving back home Safe & Sound !  Imagine the front lawn was completely void of snow yesterday !"

The most unfortunate part about all of this my poor dear Rob had to put his "Crabby Cabbie" hat back on and head back out into this miserable weather.  *Sigh* how I do worry some days .....

These kind of days wear me thin at times, more so then staying and home and doing housework some days.  Wonder why that it?  other then I find it very stressful driving in this "crappy" Winter weather we are having at the moment.  I know, I know, we have got off easy this Winter, but dang it all last Year was bad enough to fill three Winter slots in my opinion !

Northerly winds, falling snow .... a Snowstorm still outside my windows....

.... with me praying always my "Crabby Cabbie" is safely returned home to me.

I think I will check in with my favourite Wiarton weatherman guy to see what is going to be happening later on in about Wiarton and Bruce County?

Not really letting up too much before Midnight by the looks of things, with it looking better by Sunday.  Hooray I see some Sunday Sunshine peeking out there ...

I am feeling very tired, so I think it is time to wrap it up and call it a day here, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".
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