Thursday, 28 February 2013

February's Last Blast

It's been snowing for two days now. Yesterday morning my driveway was filled with heavy wet snow about 8 or 9 inches deep in places.  The bushes were bent double with the weight of the snow so I went out to rescue them before the branches broke. But they look just as bad this morning as it's been snowing in the night.
The view from my front door at 7:00am this morning.
The view from my back door a few minutes later.
 Most of it will be gone by tonight.... supposed to be a mild melty day. Hurry up, Spring!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Arty Farty

Last year I signed up for a course in acrylics... I thought splashing paint on canvas would be fun. And it is! It's something I haven't tried since I left high school.
Ann will probably recognise this scene.
I'm not very good at it. In fact, I haven't really finished anything to my own satisfaction. Still experimenting. But I'm finding out that I like the bright colours and using different textures. This one includes paper from my shredder, strips of newspaper and a bicycle cut out of Zoomer magazine.
I've signed up for a couple more courses starting in April. 
I don't think I'll ever be invited to exhibit at the National Gallery, but I'm having fun. 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Pizza Party!

It was a Pizza Party to remember! Callum invited his cousins and his kindergarten friends to celebrate turning FIVE! When you're five, you're big enough to learn to cook, so his mum and dad booked a pizza party in the party room at the local Superstore and the birthday boy and his guests learned how to make pizza.
First you wash your hands, write your name on your chef's hat, and put on your apron.
Then you are ready to start. Squish the dough so it's nice and round and flat (don't drop it on the floor, well, not all of it!).
And then you take a spoonful of tomato sauce and spread it on the dough (remember not to lick the spoon, the next person has to use it too!). Take a chopping board and a cutter, and choose the toppings for your pizza.... Callum chose pepperoni and cheese but there were many more choices..... chop it up and put it on your pizza.
It doesn't matter if you put your sleeve in it.... does it, Mom?
While the pizza is in the oven it's time to make a cookie for dessert.

 A ball of cookie dough flattens out nicely, make lots of  holes with your finger and pop a chocolate chip in each hole. Finish it off with a handful of pink sugar.... bet this is going to taste awesome!
The cookie goes into the oven as soon as the pizza is done.... and then it's time to eat!

 No birthday party is complete without a birthday cake. This one had five candles and Callum blew them all out in one big puff. He's been saying he's been feeling as though he is five for a long time....
.... so now he really is five! Next thing you know, he'll be wanting to be six!
Happy Birthday, Callum!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Are you wearing RED today?
It's Saint Valentine's Day!
But who was Valentine?
He was a young priest who disobeyed Emperor Claudius in 270 AD by conducting illegitimate wedding ceremonies in Rome. The Emperor  claimed that married men made poor soldiers and consequently decreed that all marriages of young people would be outlawed. Bishop Valentine continued to conduct marriages in secret between young people, sometimes as young as twelve, in the name of love.
He was thrown in prison, but became friends with the jailer's daughter, and passed her a note which read "from your Valentine" before he was beheaded.
All over the world people are buying flowers, chocolates, and gifts for their loved ones, and sending cards that say "from your Valentine". Have a happy day!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Mourning Dove

A group of mourning doves have decided that my deck is the ideal sunny place to spend the day. There were eight of them out there yesterday, snoozing in the sun on my patio table and chairs.
It's very nice to think that they have chosen to visit me, but they do tend to leave their messy little calling cards behind, so I really don't want to encourage them. Apparently, they are a game bird and are edible.... so they better watch out!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Stormy Friday

Finally.... a snowstorm worth shovelling!
The past couple of winters here have been virtually storm free, producing hardly any snow to speak of. But Friday made up for it with high winds, low temperatures and about 30cm of snow.
The wind created a wild snow sculpture on the deck. I watched it get higher and higher throughout the day.... this is the following morning.
The window wells in the basement were almost filled with snow.
There was the usual mayhem on the roads. People slipping and sliding into ditches. Lots of fender benders. Usually people who hadn't bothered to equip their cars with snow tires. I decided not to go anywhere and enjoyed a lazy day in my nice warm house.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Sunshine in a Jar

I love toast and marmalade with my morning coffee, but the marmalade sold here in Canada is far too sweet for my taste, so I make my own.
A dozen tough little Seville oranges, very bitter and only available in January/February, 3 or 4 lemons, a couple of sweet oranges and some white sugar. Remove the pips and the pith and cook separately, slice the peel really thinly, soak it all overnight in my special jam bucket, and then cook the peel until it's soft.
For every cup of fruit.... add one cup of sugar, and cook until it starts to gell. It's a long process, and you need most of the day, lots of patience and a sturdy stirring arm, but the result is worth it.
I had some for my breakfast this morning. And I'm planning on having some more tomorrow! Yummy.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Super Bowl

Super Bowl 2013 is over!
I'm definitely not an American Football fan, but with 2 sons who follow the game, I am bound to be exposed to it over the years. However, I've never actually figured out what goes on on the football field. I just admire their tight pants and marvel at the way the TV techies can put those colored lines on the field without anything actually being there.
But it was a weird game.... the lights went out in the stadium, and something went wrong with YoungerSon's PVR which meant that we missed Beyonce's half time show. Boo... that was why I was there!
However, Super Bowl means getting together with the family, playing silly gambling games with silly prizes, drinking beer and having good stuff to eat!
We had shrimps, spanakopita, chips, popcorn, veggies and dip, then spaghetti with meat sauce (veggie sauce for the veggie people), and then for dessert..... WOOHOO.....

...... OlderSon had dropped in at a bakery that makes the most delicious, calorie-laden, mouth watering pastries. Almost made it worth missing the half time show.

Monday, 4 February 2013

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Today is the day Canada says "Au revoir" to the penny.
But not completely "Goodbye" for ever.... well, not yet anyway. The copper one cent coin will still be legal tender, but there will be no more pennies produced at the mint. However, there's about six billion pennies in circulation, so they won't disappear in a hurry.
It actually costs 1.6 cents to produce each 1 cent coin. No wonder the government makes me pay so much tax!
From today onwards, if an item costs $1.01 or $1.02, it will be rounded down to $1.00. And $1.03 or $1.04 will be rounded up to $1.05.
And I won't have to carry around a purse bulging with heavy coins.
But what will happen to the penny arcade?
Will we still be able to buy penny stocks, or walk down Penny Lane?
What will penny-pinchers pinch now?
Will items costing a pretty penny no longer be considered pretty? Just putting my 2 cents worth in.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

On the Carpet

Only four blog posts for January. Very bad of me! I should be hanging my head in shame. And I had such high hopes for myself posting on this blog for 2013.... just bone lazy I suppose. And the lack of inspiring topics too.
But February is going to be a different story. You can look for a new post EVERY TWO DAYS! (wonder if I'll make it?)
An auctioneer acquaintance often sells Persian rugs in his auctions, and today he held a grand sale in the local community hall.... everything reduced price, with the unsold items being auctioned off at the end of the day.
They're not everyone's cup of tea of course, but I already have a couple of these colourful decorative rugs, and I love them. So I bought one. Tribal, wool, hand woven, probably from the 1940s.
At half price including the dreaded 13% HST, when you see one you like, you have to go for it!