Saturday 31 March 2012

Cya March 2012 As April Will Be Crowding In Shortly

"March has gone out like a "Lamb" today, so the "little" guy won out .... hooray.  It was touch and go last night with the snow we were having !  I was able to get three loads of laundry washed and hanging out on the clothesline today, so how nice was that?."

I can't wait to have a nice hot bath and crawl between the fresh natural smell of Spring still clinging to the bedding tonight ... surely what a piece of "heaven" must be like.

"There appears to be already a head start on onions that had been overlooked last Fall."

  "By the look of the Pond, Rob and I have our work cut out for us in the way of Spring Cleaning again this Year."

"The colourful "sticky pads" I had purchased did a good job of looking after my little Cluster Fly problem in the inside laundry room door.  Ewwwww ..... Rob wasn't around to dispose of this gross piece of fly leftovers for me, so I got "stuck" doing it myself.  "Stuck" being the operative word here of course .... lol."

What a "day" I have had !  There is always so much going on in, out, around and about Wiarton, how can one not be busy???

 "I had to drop around to "The Cluttered Cupboard" downtown Wiarton today before we met up for our planned luncheon date."

"The "Cluttered Cupboard" not only has some pretty neat items to be had, but a fantastic selection of Yarns, as well."

I happened to also get to meet Holly Morrow, who along with her husband, Bill, own The Cluttered Cupboard.  I love following them on their Facebook page to see what new items they have coming into their "cupboard", at any given time.

You can find "The Cluttered Cupboard's" location downtown Wiarton, behind the Main street at:

563 Louisa, Phone: 519-534-9810;
Hours of Operation:  Tue - Thu:9:00 am-5:00 am; Fri:9:00 am-5:00 pm; Sat:10:00 am-4:00 am  

and/or check out their Facebook Page at:

After my delightful visit at The Cluttered Cupboard had ended, I carried on downtown and over to ....

"My most favorite place to have lunch in Wiarton, none other then the "The Green Door Cafe"."

"Rob had the Whitefish (with fries *sigh* & veggies, Yeah !)."

"Darol had the Chicken Breasts on a bun (with fries *sigh*)"

"Delores & I had the Caesar Chicken Wrap with the Tomato Basil Soup on the side (Yeah! for the side choice)."

"The Green Door Cafe is very quaint, however small, so Reservations are recommended to ensure you wouldn't be disappointed on not getting a seat and miss out on their fantastic food fare."

"There goes that "wonderful" couple who dropped into town to treat us for lunch.  Rob's sister, Delores, and her husband, Darol."

Delores and Darol are on a little weekend Get Away at The Evergreen Forest B&B, located just before Wiarton in a lovely secluded spot which absolutely "reeks" with comfort and relaxation.  I have been there on a little visit myself, and trust me it is not only located in a "prime" setting, the hospitality of your Hosts Caroline and Doug Murray will overwhelm you as well.

The Evergreen Forest B&B actually are having a Mid-Week Special, so if you are in need of a little R & R, check out the mid-week deals being offered at the B & B at the following link:

I can assure you, you definitely would not be disappointed !

Wiarton just gets busier and busier all time, as "What is coming up "to do" very soon, you might ask?"

BJ’s Zumba Gold
for Older, Active Adults
Bringing Fun to Fitness
$5. / Drop-in
 Spring Sessions Starting
Wiarton Arena Upstairs
Tuesdays 7 - 8 pm
10 Apr – 15 May
Sauble Beach Community Centre
Thursdays 1:30 – 2:30 pm
12 Apr – 17 May 
Call 519-534-3687 for info
Zumba with BJ Guest, is not only a night out of getting "fit", it is also a social night out having "fun" !  Check it out but calling the above phone number to find out for yourself.
There has been a few new followers who have joined me here of late.  Thank you for joining, as those who are here with me do "inspire" me to keep on "blogging".  I also enjoy knowing I have others to share my opinions and journey with.  Thank you to all.
Earth Hour is going to be happening here in about 5 more minutes, so I am going to wrap it up with calling it a night here soon, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Friday 30 March 2012

The Little Sparrow Survived The Glass Wall !

"The Cowbirds  and Blackbirds seem to enjoy the feeder as well as the sparrows.  Not as attractive, however I am sure they do have a "purpose"?"

"The much colder temperatures also brought heavy frost, having to be cleaned from my vehicles windows before I headed "North of the Checkerboard" for my weekly shot in the arm by the Good Doctor."

I was rather "smug" and "pleased" with myself this morning when I had asked Dr. Loney if he could also take my blood pressure and it had read "perfect" !!!  I had been weaning myself off of medications, to the point I had totally ceased taking any blood pressure meds, the past month or so.  I have been striving so hard to eat properly and exercise, both facts attributing, I am sure, to my lower blood pressure.

Happy, happy, happy I am !!!  Just hope I can keep maintaining it .... as I think good diet and exercise is much better then "popping" pills if we don't have to; although when needed, Doctor prescribed medications are necessary, and should be taken under your own Doctor's direction.

It had been some time since I was last in to see my Mother, between my own busy schedule, a couple of really bad weather days, as well as there being a "Respiratory break-out" at the facility where Mom resides preventing Aiden and I from visiting when he was here.  Finally I got to see her today !!

"Mother was so pleased to see me.  She has always "loved" getting her picture taken, so unlike myself ... lol."

I was happy to hear from Mother that they have adjusted her diet.  Mother has put quite a bit weight since her move from our home.  She also seemed pleased with this new change with her diet adjusted.  Mother has such a tiny frame to be carrying a lot of weight, which I am sure is a burden to her body.  She does love her "comfy" rocker chair I must say !  but she did assure me they come get her for group exercise sessions when scheduled.  Oh man, why worry as she will probably outlive me, as well as a few others !!!

My sister, Donna, and I were having a pretty good laugh today when I had called her.  She had reminded me about the time when us three girls and Mom were all sitting around a table together, wherein Mom stated she was going to "live to be a hundred", and our oldest sister, Jeanne, piped up and said, "yeah & I will probably be to0 old and feeble to come to your party!" ...... LOL, we are still laughing about that one !

Mom and I also had a couple of "laughs" ourselves today at the expense of a couple of others, whose names I won't disclose to protect ourselves .... he,he, he.  It was a "great" visit.

I got myself home to find Rob was already up.  He told me he hadn't been too fussy on the Peach Muffins I had baked yesterday, so I got down to making his most favorite ones.

"Right from start to finish.  Notice my Muffin Mania book is in a plastic sleeve, so hopefully it will last me longer ?"

"The "Best Ever" Banana Muffin.  I do have to admit they are pretty dang good & one of Rob's most favorite."

Best Ever Banana Muffins
Recipe Courtesy of the Muffin Mania Recipe Book

2 c. mashed bananas (4-5 med.)
3/4 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/3 c. melted butter or margarine
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

Mash bananas; add sugar and slightly beaten egg.  Add the melted butter.  Add the dry ingredients.

Fill greased muffin cups and bake at 375* for 20 minutes.
*Yields - 9 large muffins, or in this case 12 med. muffins

Karen's tips to lighten this muffin:
1.  Reduce the amount of butter or margarine to 1/4 cup.
2.  Reduce the amount of white sugar to 2/3 cup.

I took the No. 2 tip.

Once I was done the muffins it was time to get our Dinner going.

"Pounded tenderized round steak, dredged in flour, then coated in egg and panko crumbs, and cooked in Olive Oil."

"Pan fried Zucchini with Mrs. Dash's Salt Free "Garlic & Herb" Seasoning."

"Dinner was very much enjoyed by the two of us this day."

"For some "odd" reason it always seems like I have a pile of dishes by my sink to be washed?"

With one load of dishes done up, I left the other, as Rob and I had to run some errands downtown Wiarton, before he had to put on his "Crabby Cabbie" later this afternoon.

The paint we had bought for the spare bedroom we were redoing did not cover very well, nor was the same colour as the "chip" we had chosen.  Before the Hardware store, our first stop was our local RBC bank, where ....

"The girls at our local branch are getting themselves "geared" up for the upcoming "Walk for Cancer" and the local "Dance For A Cure" on the 14th of April, 2012."

"All this for only $10.00?  Best be getting your tickets before it is all SOLD OUT !  Ya snooze, ya loose, ya know?"
"Darryl, one of the owners of the Hardware Store, was very helpful in assisting us with our dilemma. Sold us another gallon of paint, but not first without applying an "oops" credit to our total."

"Loved the "Customer Service & I love supporting and shopping "local" whenever I can !"

Wiarton Library's Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Too bad the Grandboys weren't coming up for Easter Weekend."

We finally returned home with enough time for Rob and I sit to enjoy a coffee together, before he left for his "Crabby Cabbie" work.  While waiting for the kettle to boil there was a "bang" on our patio window.

"Awwww, a little sparrow had hit the window ... I was so worried it had broken it's neck, however it must have just knocked itself silly, since it had been gone after awhile."

A friend had read my "blog" posting from the 20th of March, HERE, wherein the local Wiarton firemen had been burning some brush down on the shores of Colpoy's Bay.  For whatever reason, I didn't go up to them to ask them what they were doing that for, but my friend kindly emailed me today and explained to me what had been going on ... here is the explanation:

I saw the Fire Dept that same night doing their burn but didn’t notice you guys. It was supposed to happen last Fall but didn’t maybe because of high wind so often. The town got a license to eradicate the phragmites along the shoreline. The grass looks nice but grows up to 5m tall, chokes out everything else and totally blocks the view of the bay. It looks pretty good now. Owen Sound tried it last year down near Kelso Park and scorched a lot of the trees as well.
Wikipedia: Invasive Phragmites (European common reed) is an invasive plant causing damage to Ontario’s wetlands.

Thanks Paul.  I am glad I no longer have to wonder what they had been doing down there, every time I stroll through that part of Bluewater Park.  Curiosity satisfied !

Tomorrow I have a "big" day planned for myself, as there is three loads of laundry to be washed, dusting and vacuuming to be done, and lots of other stuff that could be done (as always), since I have been otherwise occupied all week, it has once again caught up to me.  Also we are meeting visiting family members for lunch as well, so I best be getting rested up by calling it a night here shortly, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Thursday 29 March 2012

Rockin' Robin' Tweet Tweetly-Tweet

"These little guys were hoppin'& a-boppin' all over the place this morning.  Um, wonder if it was to "Rockin' Robin"?" 

I was still totally exhausted this morning, however I had taken hamburger out of the freezer Tuesday which needed to be made into some Spaghetti Sauce today, as I was otherwise somewhat occupied yesterday....

".... since we had been touring part of Ontario to add to our collection of "Crabby Cabbie" vehicles for the Crabby Cabbie & his not so "Crabby" wife."

Let's see that would be one for me and the "pack", one for the "Crabby Cabbie" himself, one for ???? the non-existent person, and one for "backup" (you know just incase one of those "life" experiences happen to us).  I suppose you would call this "prepared" for almost anything, would you not?  or in the "poor house" with gasoline prices at $1.35/litre and insurance premiums?

"I did get "cracking" on the spaghetti sauce first thing, as it was what we had for our Dinner today."


Spaghetti With Meat Sauce

Recipe Compliments of the Creative Cooking Cookbook & Adjustments by Cindy Masterson-Roth

Meat Sauce 
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped ( I omit)
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste (or 2 - 5 1/2 ounce)
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms,drained ( I use a 10 oz can or fresh)
1 1/2 cups water ( I use 1 - 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained instead)
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
1 garlic clove, crushed (I use 1-2 tsp. of minced jarred garlic)

Combine meat and onion in Dutch oven; cook until meat is browned and onion is tender; drain off excess fat. Add remaining ingredients; cover & simmer 1 1/2 hours partially covered. Simmer 1 hour or until sauce is thick; stir occasionally during cooking.

I also wanted to make some muffins for my "Crabby Cabbie's" lunches.  With having quite a few peaches in our freezer, I set about looking for a Muffin Recipe that used "peaches".

This is the one I found and made:

Spiced Peach Muffins
Recipe Courtesy of

4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups milk
4 peaches, diced (not peeled) or 3 cups small whole berries or other fruit, diced
granulated sugar

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, vegetable oil and milk, then gently stir in fruit. Grease 16 muffin cups, and heap batter into cups; they'll be very full. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until muffins test done. 

Makes 16 muffins.

NOTE: I adapted this recipe by using 2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour & 2 cups White Flour & decreased the Brown Sugar to 1 1/2 cups; approx. 2 cups chopped frozen peaches; do not be deterred by the thickness of the batter, as I found it to be quite "stiff".  Using frozen chopped up peaches, approx. 2 cups, seemed to thin the batter a bit.

"The muffins turned out really good.  I will not hesitate on using this recipe again."

I am curious if there is anyone out there who reads my daily "blog", if they do try out the recipes I make and post from time to time.  Would like to hear from anyone who has or does, so please do feel free to drop me a line or two to let me know what you have tried and if you so enjoyed, at   I look forward to hearing from you !

"Oh yes, while I was "snapping" photos of the birdies, little Missy Mercedes did not want to be left out.  She actually sits and waits for her picture to be taken now.  Typical "kid", isn't she?"

Everyone around here best be lapping up all the attention they can get from me now, as in another few weeks time when the "Checkerboard Aussie's" new 2012 litter arrives I will be pretty busy with them after a couple weeks of them being born.  Mama Lexus is doing just fine, and Poppa Bandit doesn't have a "clue" .... lol.

"More cold tempartures along with a brisk North wind today."

"It never ceases to amaze me how the plant life is so "robust" and "hardy" with all the surrounding changes and at times unsettled weather conditions."

Other then making the Spaghetti Sauce and Muffins, washing two sink full of dishes, and the bed made today, I think that is all I have accomplished.  I am still "pooped" out from all the travelling and goings on from the previous days.  However I did "treat" myself later on in the afternoon by heading downtown Wiarton to my Hairdresser at "Hair Solutions".

"It was just the "lift" I needed this week.  It is amazing how having someone else wash your hair and having it professionally cut, can give us a much needed "lift" at times.  I felt a bit better after having this done!"

I just realized this morning that Easter Weekend is almost upon us, with Good Friday being a week away tomorrow, and Pslam Sunday this coming Sunday !  

"I really would like to be serving Ham and Scalloped Potatoes for the Easter Celebration meal, however we have a Turkey in the freezer.  Turkey is Rob's preference, so "ham" it will NOT be this Year."

"A friend also emailed me today, asking if I could post the Easter Dinner being provided by Salvation Army, located at the Wiarton Community Church, 576 Edward Street, Wiarton.  Should anyone be interested in attending, please call Tess at 519-534-0353, mark your calendars for the 7th of April 2012, with further details outlined below."

For a donation, I am thinking this might be an option for myself to have some "ham" this upcoming Easter?  Um, will have to give this some more thought ....

Oh my, it is almost 8 pm here !!!  Time does fly by and gets away from me most evenings, or so it seems.  I love that "dusk" is just beginning here now at this time, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Two "Road Trips" With Days Of Each Other !

 Before I being with my today, I really must finish with my "yesterday".

"Each of the speakers at yesterday's VON Grey-Bruce's "Day Away for the Caregiver" were given a little gift as token of appreciation."

"The "note" that went along with the gift I received, was one that made my heart sing ...."

If I can share my experience, or knowledge gained from it, with others, with it even only helping one person, then I would be satisfied.  Should it help more then one person, then I would be totally elated.  I am a firm believer in "You Reap What You Sow", are you not?  so "Pass it Forward" whenever you can ....

Our day began with heading out in a different direction of Ontario, then the one we had taken Sunday.  Actually very much so in an opposite direction ....

"Out our driveway heading further "South of the Checkerboard" into the rising early morning Sun we traveled."

"Down the North Hill into Wiarton."

"Proceeding no further then the local Tim Hortons so we could first pickup our morning "fix".  Two extra large, double double and double cream please?  Trust me I needed an extra large this morning."

"We made our way into Shallow Lake, right past McKay's Cycle, who deals with HDs.  That would be the Harley Davidsons, not the Hound Dogs with the waggly tails and huge "woof"."

"Down another big hill into the City of Owen Sound we go, heading towards Hwy 26 ....."

"...which takes us through the Town of Meaford , being noted as Apple Orchard Country around these parts of Ontario."

"Just coming into the outskirts of the Town of Thornbury at this point."

"With the Blue Mountain Ski Resort and the Blue Mountain Village, not too much further on down the road."

"Beautiful Georgian Bay just on the edge of Craigleith."

"With it boasting one of the last remaining wooden CNR stations (although Wiarton does have one as well)." 

 "What appears to somewhat of a "mishap" going on here,  just on the outskirts of Wasaga Beach."

"Here we are in Stayner, where Reinhart Foods is located and Allen's Vinegar is made."

I missed taking photos of Collingwood which is the next place we pass through, but "captured" on our way back home ....

"A ways up the Horseshoe Valley Road there we made a "pit stop" for the girls.  There is little Missy Mercedes, saying, "let me out, let me out of here", she is !"

"Here we are just entering the Horseshoe Valley.  The most beautiful part of the drive was through this stretch of Highway."

"This here place is Coulston, another "don't blink or you will miss it" place.  However I did happen to notice the sign in front of the "one" store that said, "Elk Meat" for sale."

"This here would be Jarrett we were coming upon."

"Finally almost three hours later we are almost at our destination."

"Hooray !!!  We make it to Orillia, with only a couple of blocks more to get where we are headed."

We really didn't have to stay long at our destination with our transaction completed within minutes and everyone pleased with all concerned.  We were soon turned around and backtracking our route, homeward bound ....

"Held up for just a little bit here at the railroad tracks at this point."

"That guy ahead is "waving" back at me !  Could it be?  Yes it is .... my very own Rob in his new backup "Crabby Cabbie" vehicle that we had purchased only minutes prior .  Darn, here I thought it could of been some "well to do" stranger" attracted to my staggering beauty through his rearview mirror !  LOL, but "someone much relieved knowing it was the "love of my life" giving me the "wave"."

The "coolest" part of this whole vehicle transaction that went down, was the guy who we bought the vehicle from let us use his plates and insurance to drive it back home.  His parents reside in Southampton, with Rob dropping off the plates around to their home tonight !!!  Oh man, what I nice feeling to be respected and trusted .... almost unheard of anymore, is it not?"  ...not to mention a nice little "break" for us not to have to go to the bother of purchasing a temporary "trip permit" either.

"That "mishap" we had came across earlier?  .... guess it wasn't such a little one, as it appears a pickup truck ran into the side of this Propane Refill Station's tank.  *Sigh* I am sure precautions are being met here with fear of "propane leakage".

"Here we are going back through Collingwood.  Pretty mountain view way over there, is it not?"

"Hepworth !!!  My father's original Hometown, way back when.  We aren't too far away from home now."

"HOME, SWEET HOME, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".  Home to the "Checkerboard Aussies", the sometimes "Crabby Cabbie", and his not so "Crabby" wife."

Home Sweet Home it sure was to my poor tired eyes, as I had been awake since 3 am.  My muscles and joints feel like they are going to come right through my skin.  Although I am happy my dear Rob "struck" a deal for a backup "Crabby Cabbie" vehicle, as we all know there are some things you need as "backup" for in this life, with this being one of ours.

It is still early evening here with the warmth from the wood stove making it feel cozy, inside and well protected from the blowing winds outside our windows here, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".
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