Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bedtime for the Garden

Cliff has been working hard in the garden and even I have gotten into it but only for a little bit.
It was time to dig the dahlia bulbs. I was totally amazed by how many corms (is this what they are called?) there were under each dahlia.Dahlia tubers (3)
I think I look like a real gardener??
Dahlia tubers (6)

I had to rinse the corms because there was too much dirt hanging on. I dried them in the sun for awhile and now they are in the family room drying a bit more. After that I will dust them with Wilson Bulb and Soil Dust, a combination of Insecticide and Fungicide, put each lot in a paper bag and all of them in an orange net bag and hang them up to wait for the Spring. I will check them often to see if none of them rot.
If anybody knows of a better way to store them please let me know since I am just a novice gardener. My “normal garden job” is weeding. I am good at that ☺
Today is supposed to be the last day with some sun; tonight the rain is supposed to start with some wind thrown into the mix.

For the first time in years I did not buy any Halloween candy! How horrible is that!!! In the last few years nobody came to our neighbourhood for trick or treating and I used to eat all the candy by myself, hardly waiting for 7 PM when I figured nobody would come. Sometimes I could not even wait that long. So this year I fooled myself and I am already sorry, so if somebody should come I have a stash of quarters ready.
Now it is time to eat my Bran muffin.
Good by everybody ☺

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Flu Weather

This surely is a Fall day. When we got up this morning it was foggy. We had an appointment to get our Flu shot in Duncan. A few days ago, when I called to find out when the flu clinic would be in our area I was told that it was “yesterday” Grrrr but luckily there was another one not too far from us. Our appointment was at 9 AM so we got up early to have breakfast and a quick look at our computers (can’t start the day without that!!!) and off we went into the foggy world. I was the first person to get stabbed and Cliff was next. Now we are good for another year. While we were there more and more people arrived and I was astonished how many cars were in the parking lot. I was sure glad that I had elected to have an early appointment.
After we left there we dropped off a couple of old tires and old oil at the dump/recycling centre in Duncan. I have never seen so many seagulls in all my life.
This picture is nothing like I saw a short while after but I was too astounded to grab the camera. Thousands of gulls flew out of those two tall doors in the picture. It reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock's “The Birds”
What really terrifies me is the fact that the “Powers that be” want to build a similar facility about 500 meters from my house! We are fighting this tooth and nail because it’s in an Agriculture zoned area. How dumb is that plus there are houses all around it. One property's well is about 200 feet from the proposed site.
One of the workers at the site today told Cliff they had “non- lethal poison” to get rid of the rats. HUH????????
One nice thing today though: We finally bought a new Radio receiver. We don’t want a home theater just something to listen to FM and AM. Just the same this thing has a remote control with half a million buttons. Our old one is 37 years old but it needed to be retired. The speakers are as good as new and they are nice pieces of furniture so we kept those.
After that I wanted to have a Big Mac but when we got there it was so noisy and crowded that we decided to go home and eat our home cooked meal. We had Hamburger curry on rice with squash and Swiss chard and a salad. Beats a hamburger I think.

So that was my day so far.
Good bye everybody ☺

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Busy Day

I was busy all day long but cannot show too much for it. Some days are like that. Only thing to show is 6 loaves of bread.
We only have one loaf in the freezer and

Sonja is coming for a visit and I did not want to bake when she was here. It will be the first time for bread in the new range. I also baked bran muffins. Lately that is what we have for a break in the afternoon. I would call it “coffee break” but that might keep me awake at night.
This morning I went to Mill Bay to get some toiletries at Pharmasave. It is Senior Day with 15% off so I took advantage of that. A penny saved is a penny earned (or you might even have to earn more depending on your tax bracket Surprised smile)
Cliff has been busy in the garden plus getting fire wood in for the day. Most of our wood is cut in fireplace lengths but now with the insert it has to be cut shorter. Makes for double the work but sooner or later we run out of the long stuff.
Our flower baskets are still hanging in there but they will have to come down soon.
This is the time when we used to leave for Arizona and I feel a bit sad for not going but it is nice to be able to follow the RVing Blogs. Pretty soon Al and Kelly will be leaving and I will be able to read all about their travel.
I still miss reading Margie and Bruce’s Blog. It was always so interesting.
That’s it for today,
Good bye everybody ☺


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Someone is going hungry tonight

squash nibble

Those darn rats!! We pulled the rest of the squash vines from the garden this afternoon. All told we have 26 nice size squash and quite a few little ones that taste great cooked even unpeeled. The harvest is a far cry from the over 70 last year and over 90 the year before but the plants started very late this year. I guess that was because of the wet spring. I am quite happy with the count since it is always difficult to find enough room to keep them all. This way I can look after them better. Every few days I check all of them for bad spots. So far so good.
I also cut all the Dahlias. Maybe they will come back next year but I am not holding my breath. None came back from last year. While I went around pulling everything Cliff ground it all up and we were just finished when it started to rain.
Oct. 2010 (2)
Above is the last of the gladiolus but I don’t think it will still bloom.
Below is the second last one that I have had in the house for a few days.
Oct. 2010

Our one and only rose bush is still blooming but because of the rain the roses don’t look very good so… no pictures.

Oct. 2010 (3)

We have a bunch of these flowers that come up every year. The seeds were given to us many years ago. They are supposed to be edible flowers. I don’t know what they are called. We have never eaten any.
Time for the News,
good bye everybody ☺

Friday, October 22, 2010


A long long time ago we had one timer, now in our “Old Age” we need three. I was thinking about that today when I timed a pork steak with potatoes, carrots and onions smothered in mushroom sauce that was in the oven. Of course I could not use the oven timer (number one) with this new oven so I used the second timer. Then Cliff added wood to the fireplace so we needed the third timer to tell us when to turn the insert down. Actually there is another timer in the family room but that one is not working too well any longer.
If we don’t use timers we forget the time and end up with burnt offerings.
Now an update on the new stove. I really like baking in it. I found out that the oven is a bit bigger than the old one even though the overall dimensions are the same. I like that because sometimes my bread would stick together since I always bake 6 loaves at the same time.
One thing I don’t like about it is that the top of the stove gets really, really hot just from using the top burners. I had a bit of a spill and by the time I was finished cooking the spilled food was baked on and it took lots of elbow grease and a scrubby to clean it up again.
I find that the burners are a lot hotter and faster than my old stove. I wonder if they have more kw than the old stove or maybe old age affected the latter. It is a bit of a learning curve but I like it. A kettle of water boils in no time.

That is all for now.
Good bye everybody ☺

Baking potatoes

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New kitchen range

Here is my new beauty


It was delivered last Saturday. I really like it so far. I have been baking and of course cooking. The old stove is sitting in the garage and I am sure lots of it’s parts will surface attached to some other items when Cliff is through with it.
Our kitchen is very narrow so I cannot take a picture of the whole stove.
When we looked for a plan for our house way back in 1974 while we were living in Germany I wanted a kitchen that was small and that I could close off from the rest of the house. That way the smells and heat created by cooking, and canning would stay in the kitchen and not go through the whole house. Of course smells of baking is another thing, those I like.
We could not find a plan that suited completely so we just modified the one that came closest.
Now I wish I had a bigger kitchen with a small table just for the two of us. Times change and tastes too. Oh well I am so used to it now and am happy.
We have had a great run of sunny and warm weather although for 2 days there was frost on the roof. Rick is very lucky to be on his shake-down cruise with his new 5thWheel while the weather is good.
Nothing in the garden got killed so that was good. I still could pick the second last gladiolus and I hope the last one will make it too before the frost comes for real.

Good by for now ☺


Sunday, October 17, 2010


I was going to write about the arrival of our new stove but somehow I cannot do it at the moment.
I feel so sad about the untimely passing of Margie and Bruce. I first read about it on Rick’s Blog and could not believe it. It has been haunting me since yesterday afternoon. I only know Margie from her Blog and comments left on mine but it felt like I lost a friend. Every morning I looked forward to her Blog and now there will never be another one written by her. Makes me really believe that we should all live every day like it is our last. I hope that Margie and Bruce had a really good last day.
My sincere condolences to all of Margie and Bruce’s family.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Going shopping

As usual yesterday, Friday, the new sales flyers come out with the local papers. First one I always look at is Canadian tire, then Future Shop, London Drugs and lastly the food flyers. Staples has their flyers in Wednesday papers so that is another one I scrutinize.
Canadian Tire had a door crasher sale on. One item I just HAD TO HAVE was an electronic kitchen scale. It was 65% off and the cost was 9.99. Since it was a door crasher and no rain check offered we decided to what we have not done before: get to the store at opening time. Since Canadian Tire opens at 8 AM we had to leave the house around 7.30 AM, pretty early for a Saturday.
We got to the store ready to elbow everybody out of our way to get to the prize. 5 Minutes early and nobody but us in the parking lot!!! So much for crashing down the door. It did not take me long to find the scale


When we got home I unpacked it and for a change read the instructions. It has a neat feature. I can place a bowl on the scale and it weighs the bowl and then I press a button and the scale goes back to 0 ready to weigh only the contents of the bowl. It can be set to grams, kg and oz. The trip to town was worth it. I bought a few other things too. Going this early has the added benefit of roads that are not crowded, so that is good.
For lunch I made a meatloaf with potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, lettuce, cucumber and tomato.
It rained last night but so far no rain today.
That’s all for today,

Good bye everybody ☺


Friday, October 8, 2010

Lazy Day

It rained almost all day today. A perfect time to hibernate partly in the computer room and in the rec-room by the fireplace.
Accidentally I came across a neat feature of Live Writer. When inserting a picture I used to click on the icon for that task then click on “from your computer” then I had to find the right picture and insert it. Now I just find the picture I want to insert in my  “Pictures” folder. Having that folder side by side with Live Writer I can just drag the picture I want to insert into Live Writer.

I also saved all of my documents to my external hard drive. Sooner or later I want to convert from Vista to Windows 7. I don’t know how to do that myself, so I have to get our local computer store to do it. When that is done I have to install  the many little programs that I now have which will be quite the job. Just thinking about that gives me a headache. I have a wireless keyboard and mouse, plus webcam and printer. I hope I still have all the installation disks.
That’s enough thinking for tonight. Nothing interesting happened today so I better say

good night everybody ☺


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Saying Good-by to an old friend and helper

That’s what I will have to do in a few days. This helper has been in my house for the last 34 years but now it is time to retire it.

My friend and helper


By the colour you can see that it really is an Oldie. It has served me well for all those years and I really hate to see it go but the time has come. Over the years Cliff has kept it going many times. The oven burner had to be replaced a few years ago. Then the large back burner needed a bit of tender loving care and it is still working now but the large front burner that Cliff fixed a few weeks ago is very temperamental. It works one day and refuses to do so the next time I want to use it. The timer stopped functioning quite some time ago but the self-cleaning still worked great. I just had to turn it off manually at the right time. I finally was fed up and went to town to buy a replacement. I found what I wanted at Sears. No smooth top for me after I googled reviews on those. They are probably fine for people who don’t use cast iron cookware or do canning but I have and do both of those things, so I definitely wanted coil burners. Now I hope that the new stove will last longer than I do Smile It should be delivered some time next week.
The matching fridge still works great and I hope it will do so for a long time. So now I have a colour miss-matched pair, but that does not bother me.

Great sunny day here again and life is lots of fun.
Good bye everybody ☺

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sointula finale

On Saturday Donna and I canned 2 dozen Sockeye Salmon and after that we used her foodsaver to package the 3 Coho salmon that the guys caught the day before. I really liked the foodsaver. It works like a charm. If we still did a lot of fishing like years ago I would surely buy one of those. The fish lasts so much longer in the freezer when it is packaged like that.
When we were finished with those jobs I already started to feel bad but we still managed to bake some bread the following day.
The weather turned really nice after we had one day of rain.
Donna has 3 little dogs and I fell in love with them.

The one on the right is Abby. On the left is Sadie and below is Chaka who is the
“husband” of Abby. The two of them have had several litters of the cutest babies.

They have such great personalities. At night they sleep in Mom and Dad’s bedroom each in their own little kennels.
In the mornings all three race down the hall through the kitchen and out the back door into the backyard. It was too funny to watch. When they come back inside they all need their feet dried before they can get the run of the house again.

When we were in town that Friday I bought some Finnish soap. It is used after a sauna. I thought it would be great as a souvenir but I could not leave it alone so I used it but only a few times I really don’t like the smell of it. It is nice and creamy though. (It should be for the price I paid Smile)

Soap (11) (Medium)
Soap (9)

The following day, Sunday, was a wash for me; on the couch or in bed and I was so glad when Monday arrived and we could take the ferry back to Vancouver Island and the long drive home.
I am really glad that I feel well again. Being sick is no fun!!
Good night everybody ☺

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Runaway crookneck squash

Today Cliff worked in the garden and he kept coming in the house with more and more produce. I was already working on the last lot of tomatoes that needed to be cooked. I washed them and chopped them up a bit and then ran them through the food processor and froze most of them that way. I have too much pasta sauce already. For tonight I am building a soup with some of the tomatoes and lots of crookneck squash.

Remember the jungle we have in our garden?

The corn, squash and blackberries are all intertwined and there was no way we could get in there to check for squash. Now that it is time to harvest we finally see what’s growing. Crooknecks are a summer squash much like zucchini, only better. They were hiding and this is what it turned out to be:

crockneck 004 

On the left is the size they are supposed to be! We tried one of the big ones for lunch and we still liked them like that, so there will be no waste. 

We also have a crisper full of cucumbers in the fridge. Too bad we cannot preserve those for the winter. Contrary to most years we don’t have very many potatoes.
Cliff picked all our apples even though they should have stayed on the tree a lot longer. Every day he noticed that there were less and less of them on the tree which did not bear well at all this year anyhow. We have a few resident grey squirrels and they can strip a tree in no time at all. Same thing happened with our prune plums. One day the tree is full and the next day they are all gone. Very maddening!!! Now I hope the apples will ripen in the house.

Enough of my garden woes and successes,
Good bye everybody ☺