Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Sentinel


Outstanding in his field.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Party Hearty!

It was Party Central at OlderSon's house on Sunday. An assortment of uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents, including one great-uncle and one great-aunt, battled their way through the snow flurries to help celebrate Callum's first birthday.

The Equestrienne created a splendid train cake.
The tracks were made of black liquorice and coffee stir stix.
The windows were Smarties.
The wheels were chocolate cookies.
And the cargo was marshmallows.

His cousins showed him how to blow the candle out and then it was time to EAT!

Once the prezzies are all opened, you can have so much fun tearing up the wrapping paper.

And of course, wearing a SuperMan cape gives you extra SuperBaby strength and energy to party till you drop. Which he did..... eventually! That boy is a true Party Animal!!! He's already looking forward to next year.

Friday, 20 February 2009


Happy Birthday, One Year Old!

You're growing up so fast, where did a whole year go?
Hugs and kisses from Nana.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Red Hat Valentine

Red Hat Ladies make a point of taking every opportunity to have a good time, so what better excuse to celebrate our wonderful selves than to go out for a Valentine's Day dinner?

Last Friday, diners at the local pub were treated to the astonishing vision of a table full of gorgeous women brightly dressed in the traditional Red Hat colours of red and purple.
Were we noisy and loud? Afraid so.
Did we spend most of the time laughing? Oh yes.
Did we all have a great time? Of course we did.
Red Hat Ladies Rule!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Kitchenation 101

The kitchen renovation plans are continuing.

Here are the "before" pics. Dark brown cupboards with white marble handles, 1960's floral avocado green and burnt orange tiles on the backsplash.
The electric range was purchased when YoungerSon was 10 days old.... he's now almost 27. Only 3 of the top burners work right now. One went POOF! with a pretty blue spark last week.
The fridge has seen better days, it has little watery accidents on the inside sometimes.
And the dishwasher..... well, let's just say that it does the job but it's not a pretty sight.

So I went shopping.

Just window shopping so far, but saw lots of really smart appliances. I originally thought I wanted white, but I'm warming towards the stainless steel look. And I like the idea of the Energy Star appliances that are much more energy efficient.

It's definitely time!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Lady Marmalade

No, not the song... the breakfast spread!

It's annual marmalade making time at the Rook's Nest.
The Seville orange harvest is in at the local A&P so off I went. Bitter Sevilles are only available in February, and they make the very best marmalade. And they're very hard to find.

Add a couple of lemons and sweet oranges to the Sevilles, squeeze all the juice out and slice the peel very thin, saving the seeds and the membranes separately. Soak the juice and fruit overnight, adding twice as much water.

Simmer the fruit for 1-1/2 hours to soften the peel, and also boil the seeds and membranes separately to extract the pectin.... Mother Nature's natural gelling agent. Add the seed water to the fruit.
For every cup of fruit mixture, add 1 cup of sugar, and boil like mad for at least 20 minutes, until you feel the consistency get gloopy.
Take the marmalade off the heat and stir for 7 or 8 minutes to cool it slightly and to keep the peel distributed evenly through the mixture, then pour into clean warmed jars and seal.
As you can see, I couldn't resist.... had to sample some on a toasted English muffin for my lunch.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Time for a Change

My modern kitchen isn't so modern any more!

The kitchen was originally installed in the late 1960s, replacing cupboards that probably dated from the 1930s, and which now grace the walls in my workshop at the back of the garage. The kitchen must have been ultra stylish and trendy when it was new. It had all the modern appliances.... in Avocado Green! MMMm lovely. Thankfully, they've all been replaced with white since then.

And the backsplash tiles are a charming 60's avocado green and harvest gold.

Very retro.

Time for a replacement methinks.

So this week I've been measuring cupboards and checking out replacement counter tops. The current counter top is white... well, it used to be white, but it's looking very tired after 40 years... WOW, has it really lasted FORTY years? And to top it all off, this morning I put a hot pan on the counter and left a burn mark. Self sabotage.

I went to Home Depot with my kitchen plan and they are going to send someone to measure up next week, and give me an estimate.

Of course, once I get new facing and doors on the cupboards, and a new counter, I'll need a new sink, new taps, new window treatment, and don't forget all new appliances, and then I'll need to paint the ceiling, and the walls..... This could get expensive!
But I'll be able to claim a 15% tax credit on renovation costs up to a maximum $10,000 for any home improvements completed up to next February, thanks to the Government of Canada's latest budget.

So this is definitely the year to get it done!

Monday, 2 February 2009

The Lion in Winter

You'd look unhappy too, if you were up to your neck in snow and no hope of Spring arriving for another six weeks.