Thursday, December 10, 2009

We Interrupt This Program. . .

Some of you might be thinking that you would see a post about the anniversary party.

It's a logical assumption, after all, 25Th anniversaries and having both sisters visit with their husbands at the same time are not things that happen around here every day!

Monday of course, Lisa was still here and I wanted to enjoy every minute of her visit, so that was out.

Tuesday I felt rather done in and spent the loveliest day reading Girl of the Limberlost which I had never read before. Is there anything better than curling up in a blanket on a very cold day with a good book?

I think not!

Wednesday, I was leaving school in the morning and got a phone call. . .

"Ah, mom? I missed the bus."

For crying out loud!

I got home as fast as I could, loaded Jada in the back of the Suburban and raced back to school.

Jesse went to class and I took Jada for a walk on the country road by the school.

She had a blast, running like a maniac down the road until I called her back (or when she thought she was getting too far ahead of me) and racing back to me at top speed just brushing my legs as she sped past me.

There was lots of leaping in the snow drifts and intense sniffing for deer.

All good things must come to an end however and as I was getting a trifle chilly, (-23C people!)

we headed for home.

Somehow that did me in and I spent the rest of the day resting before I had to go back to school.

Of course that meant I hadn't made any bread or dinner so this morning I promised myself that things were going to be better.

I would get home, walk Jada, start some bread, make some boterkoek, wash the dishes, (we were resorting to plastic cutlery again) and make a lovely dinner before heading back to school this afternoon.

All was going well.

I got home later than usual due to rather poor road conditions but I dropped my bag, got Jada ready and took her for a walk around the neighbourhood.

We got home and the phone rang. . .

"Hi Rosa, this is the school. We have Jesse here in the office with very sore ribs. He got kicked in gym. Can you come and get him?"

You're kidding me right?!

I had to pick him up two weeks ago and bring him to the doctor for concussion after he got hit in the head playing hockey!

When I got there it turned out he had jumped into another boy's knee in midair trying to keep him from scoring a basket in basketball.

The knee jammed into the same ribs that had been kicked in last years hockey game.

Off to the doctor (again!)

He thinks Jesse has cracked a few ribs.

Off to get x-rays.

Then to get some rather potent Tylenol 4.

No school for him tomorrow.

I had just enough time to make lunch and post this rant (ahem), I mean explanation as to why there is still no party post.

Now I'm off to school.

If you still want to complain about the lack of party pictures I invite you to give this guy a hard time. . .

It's all his fault!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Am NOT Photogenic

While everyone was here over the weekend for our anniversary party, many pictures were taken.

Tamara complained about how hard it is to take a good picture of me.

Looks like she was right. . . .

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To My Family And Friends. . . You Are Invited!

Our 25Th Anniversary party is coming up and it seems that not everyone got an invitation!

So I'm going to remedy that right now!

(Didn't Crystal and Mom do a great job on the invitations?)
Dress warmly as we hope to have a fire in the back yard fire pit as well as evergreen swag making in the greenhouse after dinner. (How many parties have you been to that allow you to be creative and take your creation home to decorate for Christmas?!)

I will of course have the heaters going in the greenhouse.

We do live in Alberta after all!

We'll all stay warm with hot chocolate(or wine) and fill ourselves up with delicious food.

I hear my cousin Leona is bringing cake and I can't wait to see what kind of fabulous flavour it might be.


Stay tuned for the next little while as we keep you posted on party preparations. . .

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Little Bit Better

Now if I could just stop coughing!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Still Sick. . .

On the plus side I was hungry for the first time in days so for our anniversary dinner Henry barbequed the most delicious pork loin steaks. Yum!!
Of course it was accompanied by macaroni and cheese as that was all I had the omphh to make but still. . .
It's the thought that counts. . . right?

Monday, November 9, 2009

25 Years Ago Today. . .

Henry and I shared our wedding day with my sister Lisa and her husband Rick.
I had a great post planned.
Henry and I were going to dress up and have a lovely dinner at the Keg with our $100 gift certificate.
But. . .
I. am. soooo. sick!
I've been sick since Friday and there is no end in sight yet.
For crying out loud!
Hope your anniversary is a lot better than ours Lisa!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

In The Garden

It was 17 degrees yesterday and it is supposed to be 9 today!

Whoo Hoo!

I've been out in the garden scrubbing down the greenhouse and everything in it.

Greenhouses need to be disinfected at the end of every season to prevent diseases and bugs from overwintering and wreaking havoc next spring. (Havoc in the greenhouse is not a good thing!)

It's a HUGE job!

Time to get back at it. . .

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hunting Season

Henry and some friends are off on their first hunting trip of the season tomorrow afternoon.

They will be hunting cow elk, cow moose, deer and bull elk.

I am hoping for elk as I think it is the tastiest of all the wild meats. (Although moose would be my second choice.)

I'm not overly fond of deer as it has a fairly strong taste, even the ones who mostly feed on farmer's grain.

The guys have permission from a farmer about an hour or so outside the city to hunt on his land and they generally bring back a few small deer during the season.

This trip is all about the bigger game though, and it involves camping out in the bush and other manly pursuits.

To keep toasty warm Henry has felted wool pants and a coat to match.

The pants were a bit long though and he asked me if my sewing machine would be strong enough to hem them.

Yes, yes it was!

Now it was a worthwhile, sensible purchase! ( The machine not the pants. Of course the pants were a sensible, worthwhile purchase!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I'm going to bed tonight dreaming of farming.

My farm has chickens, sheep, a cow, a few pigs, a HUGE garden, compost piles, bee hives and a few Nubian goats.

I shear sheep on my farm, can and freeze food, spin and weave wool, milk my cow (by hand!) , make cheese and collect eggs to bake cookies (Which are of course, baked in the oven of my wood stove).

It's a lovely dream. ( I can see Lisa rolling her eyes right about now!)

And for the most part that's likely all it will ever be.

A dream.

But who's to say I can't have at least some of that dream right here in the city?

I'm sure going to do my best to make as much of that dream come true as I possibly can.

Anybody ever hear of chickens in the city?

I'm pretty sure a cow would be frowned on.

Darn. There goes my chance to make cheese!

What's your dream?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It Was That Time Of Year

Last year I convinced my kids to carve some pumpkins for me by telling them I found it to0 difficult to carve one myself with the arthritis in my hands. ( Some times a mom has to be a little sneaky when trying to get mostly grown kids to do something crafty!)
I tried to make it more interesting by showing them some new carving methods on Martha's website.

They were reluctant at first, but after some subtly applied guilt, became very interested, finding patterns on other sites that appealed to them more.
Their pumpkins turned out great.

I had pictures of this year's pumpkin carving evening but my camera somehow managed to erase three days worth of pictures and those were included!

No guilt was needed this year as they were all gung ho.
Morgan's girlfriend Sarah made one as well. I got the pumpkins from Superstore for $1.97 each so buying four came in under $10.
The pumpkins were very moist and did a whole lot of dripping as they carved but they had a great time anyway.
They started at about eight in the evening and I'm told finished at two in the morning!
Sarah obviously enjoyed herself because when I got up the next morning I found a paper poking out of the top of her pumpkin which said: My pumpkin Rocks! Sarah.
They didn't hold up as well as last year because of all the moisture but were still more or less intact for Halloween.
I love it when My kids are crafty!





The whole gang.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wordless Monday

Okay, okay, I know it's supposed to be Wordless Wednesday but. . .

I just really liked this picture and wanted to share!

Plus I started this yellow rudbeckia from seed last year and I'm pretty excited that it's grown so well this year.

Happy November!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Jada Is Not Earning Her Keep!

Doesn't Jada know it's her job to keep the mice off the deck!!
(this mouse was climbing the sliding screen door and was stuck between it and the patio door)

For crying out loud!!

Any one have a cat I can borrow for a while?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Australian Heritage Pumpkins

So I wanted to utilize my greenhouse for as many months as possible. . .

You know, to make me feel less guilty about the amount of money we spent on it.

I decided to try pumpkins.

I could, of course, have chosen a regular pumpkin, but what fun would that be? I choose to grow an Australian heritage pumpkin instead.

It was an awfully pretty pumpkin with it's unusual bluish grey skin and I'm always up for a growing challenge!
I ran into some problems.

There wasn't a whole lot of pollination going on and I couldn't figure out if the bees were having a problem finding the flowers in the greenhouse or if there was some other reason I had only one tiny pumpkin on the whole vine. (considering how few mini pumpkins I got off of the rampant vines in the front garden I'm thinking other factors were in play.)

Fall came and the vine died back. Truth be told, the vines came close to death several times through the summer as I found it very difficult to keep it watered even with the enormous pot I used.
I brought my lone pumpkin inside and used him as decoration for fall.
He began to get soft rather quickly and as I wanted to save the seed for next year, I decided to cut him open.

Easier said than done!!

I nearly killed myself trying to cut this guy open! I have never cut into anything that hard.

Now, I had only intended to harvest the seeds as I am not at all fond of pumpkin pie, or any pumpkin dish.

This guy was tricky though.

As he split in two, the most refreshing aroma of cucumber wafted through the kitchen.
I had second thoughts about putting most of him in the compost bin.

Henry said if I made any thing pumpkinny I would have to eat it myself.

Hmmm. . .

I decided to work on saving the seeds while I thought things over.

The plan is to give seeds from this pumpkin to a few friends in my neighbourhood next spring.
Plants planted from saved seed begin to adapt to local growing conditions over time and I hope that by spreading it around the neighbourhood a bit we will see even more of that.

We shall see. . .

Staring at this beautiful pumpkin I had a brilliant idea!

Who else to give it to but my good friend Ev, who spent time living in Australia with her husband and oldest daughter?!

Look what this pumpkin came back to me as!
Pumpkin risotto!

Complete with chopped nuts on top. Ev seems to have a thing for topping things with nuts.

Shudder. Sorry Ev, but there is nothing worse than enjoying a soft creamy food only to be ambushed by crunchy nuts!

I hate to say it. . . but I scraped the nuts off.

I did however, add Parmesan cheese and noticed how lovely the chunks of pumpkin looked nestled next to the creamy rice.

But the question is. . .

Did it taste good??
Did it ever!
We'll have to grow more again next year Ev!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


With one more kid moved out and then, surprise!, two more moving back home, it was time for some serious reorganizing.

I had turned one bedroom into a store room and it was such a treat to be able to get food from my pantry shelves without whacking my head on the low ceiling of the cold room.

Alas, that room is going to be needed again, so I have had to do some reorganizing.

Today I decided to clean out my bedroom closet.

Organizing is not my thing.

I love and need things to be organized, but the getting there. . .


I was so cranky when I got home from work and saw this. . .

I chucked everything off the bed, into the closet, and decided to try again tomorrow.

Wish me luck. . .!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Adventures In Bus Driving

Overheard while driving to school this morning:

Kindergarten boy (one of 11(!!) on my bus this year) to Minister/Pastor father of his little classmate about to board the bus.

"Hey. . ."

"Hey. . . "

"You work in the church, right?"

"Minster dad replies with a smile " You're right, I do work in the church!"

A (Very) Belated Birthday To Morgan

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Walk In The Woods

I met my friend Evelyn's mom and dad this morning while out walking Jada.
They are very nice people and Ev's mom told me that she knows me very well.

Because, of course, she reads my blog regularly!

I though that was kind of neat and felt it was high time I began blogging again.

While going through my pictures looking for something to post about, I realized that I have plenty of material and so haven't got any excuses at all not to post!

A while back I had to go to the north end of the city to Done Rite Floors. Morgan was cleaning out the warehouse and he thought there might be some leftover tile that we could use in the kitchen.

I decided to make the outing a bit of an adventure and brought along Jada and some homemade cinnamon bread for a snack.

After picking out some awesome tile, Jada and I headed out to Ada Boulevard, a beautiful historic neighbourhood that runs along the river valley.

When we lived on that end of town I would walk along that road and drool over the old, huge houses and soak in the gorgeous view of the ravine.

I obviously must be in much better shape than I used to be because I soon found myself at the end of the road and nowhere near ready to stop walking.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that there was a path running parallel to the the road down into the ravine.

Jada and I couldn't resist!

We so thoroughly enjoyed feeling as though we were the only two people for miles. (Ahem. . . One people and one dog of course. I do know she is a dog!)

When we got to the end of the path I discovered we had come out on the Highlands golf course, so we beat a hasty retreat before either one of us got hit in the head with a golf ball. (Hey, it happens. Just ask Henry!)

All in all, it was a lovely adventure.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Harvest and a Hiatus

As a few of you may have realized, I've been on a hiatus for the last month or so.

My cousin Chandra wondered if my sister Tamara and I were hiding out together.
I wish that had been the case, as then I could have been eating around the world with her!

Unfortunately, the real reason is a lot less glamorous.
For the last few months my hormones have decided to dance the hokey pokey pretty much non stop.
This has left me anxious, tired, and out of sorts.

Not exactly the best frame of mind for blogging!

But Fall has arrived and, sadly, is scheduled to leave again tomorrow afternoon, as a huge windstorm bringing cold temperatures and the likelihood of snow, is set to blow in, which had me scrambling to get some harvesting done in the garden today.
Luckily for me Jesse slept in and missed the bus so I was able to put him to work.

He spent quite some time chopping up all my sunflowers so I would be able to compost them.
A few of them even survived the frost!

I harvested potatoes, which was pretty exciting, although they do have a bit of scab which was disappointing.

I had planted two mini pumpkin vines in the front garden and as you can see they went a little crazy.
Frost hit them a few times in the last few nights so it was time to pull them out.

All those leaves and this is my harvest. . .
Hmmmm. . .

Maybe not the best use of a small space!

I'll have to try something else next year.

Happy fall everyone.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Never Doing Things The Easy Way

Jesse's out in the garage right now, building me a small plant stand.
His plans are rather ambitious and I was thinking about how much easier it would have been for him if he had kept it simple.
But he doesn't want to make something simple, he wants to make something beautiful.
It occurred to me that I may have passed on an inclination that will make his life more complicated than it could have been.
I can't seem do do things the the easy way either.
If I'm going to make jam for the first time I will of course research jam making and use the jam recipes from a recipe book full of blue ribbon winners, because if I going to do it, why not make the best jam possible?
Of course, when chatting with others about all the steps involved in making blue ribbon winning jam, most looked at me quizzically and said, "I just use the recipe on the Certo box. It's easy."
When renewing my garden this spring instead of doing one bed I did the entire back yard!
And then there are the plans for the community garden. . . .
It was my idea to begin with.
I inspired others with this vision.
Then we began to find out just how much work was involved.
Slightly daunted we forged ahead.
Complications arose,
I started driving Ev crazy with my flip flopping over whether to continue or not.
We finally decided once and for all that we would not go ahead with it.
Being who I am I couldn't leave it at that and agreed to meet with the outgoing city coordinator, (who had been helping us with the process) as well as a few other people involved with revitalizing our neighbourhood so as to keep the dream from dying entirely.
You Know. . .
Put it on hold for a few years. . .
Are any of you snickering yet?
As you've probably guessed the garden is back on again, although moving just one step at a time.
The woman in charge of revitalizing our neighbourhood was very enthusiastic, assuring me that money would be easily available and that she was more than willing to help out in any way she can. And telling me that the garden can be made in a few smaller steps rather than one large one.
So. . . .
I am so sorry Ev!!!
I promise this is the last flip I will ever flop on this project!
(Unless something totally unforeseen comes up.)
Sigh. . .

Check out Ev's post on this same subject.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting Ready For School.

Every year at the end of August I visit my hairdresser.
After all, I couldn't start the new school year off with an old haircut now could I?
This year I told her I was looking for something trendy and maybe a little funky.
This is how it turned out.

I just hope I'm able to style it like this myself.

I'm pretty sure Theresa (also my neighbour and 'mom' of Jada's friend Diesel) would not appreciate me waking her up every morning at 5:30 to do my hair before I go to work!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In The Garden

While watering my little veggie garden yesterday, I noticed a flash of red.
I peered through the tangle of tomatoes vines to get a better look at the poor tomato plant who had became overshadowed by her rather rampant neighbours.

Look at what was hiding in there. . .

Can you believe the size of this tomato?!

I've been staring at it all morning trying to decide the best way to enjoy it.

I'm thinking that, chopped with basil and onion from the garden, plus a bit of olive oil and some garlic rubbed baguette , we'll be savouring some rather tasty brushcetta with our dinner tonight.


Monday, August 24, 2009

New Interests

I know, I know!
I've been rather quiet again, but the thing is. . .

Well. . .

I'm developing new interests.

And they are time consuming!

One of my new interests is growing food. We revamped the back garden this spring to add more food and we've been enjoying strawberries and honey berries along with these lovely little items. . .

The little fingerling potatoes were grown in pots. I also have several plants in the ground and so hope to enjoy several more meals with home grown potatoes.

For dinner tonight we had broccoli, tomatoes and potatoes from my garden and lettuce and a patti pan squash from Ev's garden. Add some ham and a jar of applesauce which we canned last fall and. . .

Although, Ev, we found the squash rather disconcerting.

I mean it doesn't really have a whole lot of taste ! (Mind you Jesse thought that when he had it raw it kind of reminded him of peppers.)

I decided to fry it as I didn't think Henry would eat it raw. I sliced it, dredged it in flour with salt and fresh black pepper and then fried it in butter with a little garlic.

The disconcerting part was the texture! I mean it was soft and smooshy and you were waiting for a horrible taste to follow.

Only. . .

It didn't! It just had a mild hint of garlic taste!

Odd, very odd.

I might have to try stuffing them and then baking them. I'm thinking that cheese would be a good match.
Adventures in food continue. . .

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quiet Sundays

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