Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring is finally here

I know because since yesterday we have seen the swallows flitting about. We were sitting down for coffee break in the morning when we spotted them. We are looking forward to finding out if they finally occupy the second birdhouse.
When we were given 2 birdhouses by our friend one of them had a rats nest inside. We cleaned it out but so far no swallow has called it home. Last year Cliff doused it with bleach water, followed with clear water and now we will see if that helped.
Cliff has been busy in the garden. He bought a truckload of Alpaca manure and is distributing it over the garden wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow. That manure is different from others because it will not burn the plants even if it is fresh. We had it before and it was great.
Yesterday I finally finished our taxes. All I have to do now is to do the good copy. I have never used the computer for that. Years ago I tried it but I could not deduct my German pension for some reason so I gave it up. At that time the pension was not taxed. That has changed now so maybe I should try it again. We will be getting a rebate which I don’t like because it means that we are missing out on some interest. Not too bad though because interest is so very low now.
This afternoon we went shopping. Right now Staples has a 4 GB thumb drive on special for $3.95. I remember buying my first thumb drive. It had 1 GB and cost around $79.00.
We did lots of grocery shopping too so it was very tiring. I am looking forward to my bed tonight.
Good night everybody ☺


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Smart Meter

Yesterday BC Hydro installed the new Smart Meter for our house. A lot of people are totally against the use of them but it will eventually come to every house. I am keeping close track of the numbers. Every night at 6 PM I will read it for awhile to find out how much we have used in the 24 hour period. Lots of people have told horror stories about how much their electric bill has gone up after installation of those meters. It is much easier to read than the old meters so that is a good thing. I have kept my bills for years so I have a really good basis for comparison. I am also taking pictures.

It is now 6 PM and I just read it. Looks like we consumed only 11 kw which is not very much but I did not do too much cooking.
Today the weather was not too bad at all. Some sunny breaks which was good for my new solar lights which arrived for my birthday.
At the beginning of March Sonja and Rachel came for a visit. We had a good time and I think they enjoyed their stay. Sonja and I had a new cell phone and were sending messages back and forth. It was nice to know what ferry they would be using.
Time to do an update on the computer which just arrived.
Good night everybody ☺

retiree_winnabago 2

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


another post. I really enjoy reading the other Blogs but I just cannot find the will to write. Nothing much happens around here. The weather has been a mixed bag… a couple of days with sunshine and we putter a bit in the garden and then we get quite a few days of rain again. I had started lettuce seeds in the house but they got very “leggy”. Cliff made a cloche in the garden now and they are in there but they are a bit sad looking. I started a new set yesterday and hope they will fare better. I also have 2 winter squash plants that I started from seed. They really look good and are waiting for another cloche so that they can go outside too. That is about all except I cut down old growth in the herb bed. That did me in for awhile. I had been sitting on damp grass but it was only for about an hour and the next day my buttocks and down each leg were so sore that I could hardly climb up our stairs. It took 2 days to make that easier again and today I feel a lot better. Nothing like that has ever happened to me. All I can say… getting old is not for sissies!
That’s all for today.
Good night everybody ☺


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Inventive Day

This morning when I looked at the chicken breast that I took out of the freezer last night I did not relish the thought of another ho-hum fried dinner so I put on my inventor’s hat and went to work.
Looking in the fridge I found: jalapeno jelly, homemade blackberry juice that turned more into jelly than juice and raspberry juice. Into a bowl went a little bit of it all, together with Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, dried ginger, salt and pepper, cumin and curry powder. I marinated the chicken breast in this mixture for about half an hour. Because I was pressed for time I decided to fry it on top of the stove instead of using the oven. It did not take long to brown and before it burned in the pan I decided to dump some red wine in the pan, closed the lid and let it cook in there. I had to check quite often to make sure it did not burn. Each time I added more wine, enough to stop it from burning ☺. In the end I added a tiny bit of Brandy. It was some good!!! Now if I could only remember exactly how much of the ingredients I used I would be all set for another great meal. I guess I can always invent something equally as good ☺ at least I think so. Not all my inventions are keepers though.
With the meat we had a green salad with homemade dressing, our own squash with bought carrots and our own potatoes topped by the wine gravy. HmmmHmmm good ☺
Update on the fridge: Still running great! I am so happy about that. I like my egg trays and none of the new fridges have them any longer. I wonder why that is?? Yellow fridge, white stove.. but I don’t care.
In my spare time I am still knitting slippers. I want to use up all the wool I got for Christmas from Nicki, then I will move on to something else, probably more socks ☺☺ If nothing else, I am very consistent! (or you could call it: dull)
The weather has been very nice for the last few days although it was only –4 C when we got up this morning. It is now plus 6 C and sunny.
I better wander up to the mail boxes and see what other tax slips arrived. I’ll wait until the beginning of April before doing our taxes. Sometimes the slips arrive quite late and I hate to forget any on our tax returns. Too much trouble later on.
That’s it for another oh so very important Blog ☺☺☺
Good bye everybody ☺

waking up

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Busy Hands are Happy Hands

I have spent a lot of my time lately knitting slippers for Cliff. Nicki sent us the wool at Christmas as a Christmas gift for her Dad but I had to knit them. She made the last pair for him which he is still wearing and she knows I love knitting. It was a type that I never made before and I did nearly as much “frogging” as I did knitting but in the end they were finally finished. They looked like they would fit an elephant.

before felting, about 17 inches long

Since I have a front loader washing machine felting does not come easy. I tried that last time and it did not work out too well. This time I felted by hand. First cold water in the kitchen sink, then dropping them into a large pot with very hot water. With rubber gloves I work them over in the hot water and back into the ice cold water.
This is done several times but they still looked very large and not much felted.
Plan 2: I took 3 tennis balls and a pair of wet old jeans and threw the whole lot into the dryer with the “Hot” setting. Every 10 minutes I checked until they were small enough and felted.

after felting and the right size

I don’t know why the sole is rippled but I am sure with wear they will flatten out. They look kind of funny in the picture but they stretch when worn.
I am glad they are finished and I think it will be a month of Sundays before I make another pair. ☺
Now they are drying on a rack in front of the fireplace. It takes days to dry them out completely since they are very thick.

Yesterday I broke down and bought a cell phone. When I told Nicki the first words she said was: “Hell must be frozen over” because that is what I used to say about buying a cell phone. I only want it for emergencies and am using Koodo but… I have weeknights from 7 PM to 8 AM  and weekends free calling.
Now I have to learn how to use it. I already added some contacts and made a few calls from our land phone and it seems to work alright. Next we have to buy a case for it. I also want to find out if there is a cord that can connect the phone to the computer so I can download the pictures I take. I don’t know if that exists. Where will it end???

We had a very nice day today, nice and sunny but still cool. It was a good change after a few days of rain.
Back to playing with the new toy.

Good night everybody ☺

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I’m in the doghouse !

Yesterday I noticed that the fridge was awfully quiet for quite some time already so I checked the thermometers that I now have in the fridge and freezer compartment and they were at much lower temperatures than originally. So I alerted Cliff and he could hardly believe it but he took the whole thing apart again. He noticed that the motor was not getting any electricity but everything else seemed to have continuity. I finally dug out the fridge instructions – keep in mind the thing is nearly 36 years old – and he read that every eight hours of running time it would defrost and the rest of the circuits were shut down during that period. Dohh… it seemed to have been in that state when I noticed it. So he put everything together again, we hauled all the food back form the balcony where it was keeping cold and so far so good, it’s doing well. I hope it keeps on that way. Poor Cliff and his paranoid wife ☺
We had a really big wind storm today. Since we had invited company for this afternoon I made bread and was holding my breath all morning hoping the electricity would stay on long enough for the bread to bake. As it turned out we never lost power. We must have been some of the few people who did not so maybe we are living right ☺☺ I had baked a cake already yesterday. We had a great time.
That was my update on the fridge.
Good night everybody ☺


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A sad beginning and a good ending

As usual we made porridge for breakfast with lots of raisins. When it was time to eat I opened the fridge took the milk out and all of a sudden it hit me…the fridge was too warm! Then I remembered that I had noticed a bit of a smell yesterday but I thought at that time that there might be something in there that would account for it. Sure enough I had a nice Brie cheese but it was still pretty fresh so I never though more about it until this morning when the warm fridge told me something is wrong. Sure enough, checking the freezer compartment everything in there was defrosted and also warm. I guess I never noticed that the fridge was not running for at least 2 days. Since we bought the fridge when we built this house 35 years ago I guess it did not owe us anything and I was all set to go shopping for a new one even though I still really loved it. Not so my fix-it husband! Goodie goodie, a new project he could sink his teeth in!! Pretty soon he had some of it in pieces checking this and that. It took about 1 1/2 hours and the fridge was running again. A wire rubbed through on a copper pipe and all he had to do is wrap it and away it went. There might have been more involved in that but that was all I understood ☺
We had taken everything out of the fridge and set it on the balcony since it was freezing outside thinking to bring it in later after it cooled down again. Lots of the frozen stuff went in the compost. Luckily there was not much in there I could not live without. Everything is back inside and now I have a very clean running fridge ☺.
I am told it is good for another 35 years! Yeah!!!
It snowed here off and on since yesterday but so far not all that much accumulated. More snow tomorrow in the forecast and I have a hairdresser appointment. If the roads are not clear I won’t be going so I am hoping the weatherman is wrong like so often.
That is my tale for today and now I will go back to my slipper-knitting hoping this time they will turn out better than the last pair.
Good night everybody ☺


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Saved from mishap ☺

This is what the rest of my beignet dough turned into:

So all is well that ends well. They were delicious. The dough itself is a keeper and very easy to make. Now I have to remember not to make it too often although I was happy to have it since we had drop-in company yesterday.
Today was a rainy day. We had an appointment in town this afternoon and I was glad that Cliff did the driving since I hate driving in snow or lots of rain. Cliff had to see a dentist and was not to sure how he would feel afterwards so I went with him. It took 2 1/2 hours but I did not mind waiting in the waiting room which was very beautiful. I had my iPod to play a few games and after that I used my Sansa Clip MP3 player to listen to a book. I almost fell asleep. Normally I go shopping when I have to wait for Cliff but I just did not feel like braving the weather.
I read a book until midnight last night so now I am very tired and shall turn in shortly.

Good night everybody ☺


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Not such a good start

in the cooking department that is. When I read the Blogs this morning I read about Janna's plate of homemade beignets. That sure sounded great so this afternoon I decided to make some. I had never even heard the name but googled it and found a recipe on the Internet. The dough went together really well and I kept it cool for 3 hours like the recipe said. I used my cast iron fry pan with enough oil to cover the beignets.  I even had a thermometer to make sure I had the right temperature. In go the first four but I guess the oil got way too hot in the process and they were dark brown quickly but when I took them out and cut one open it was still raw inside. Unfortunately I already sugared them so could not put them back in the oil. I finished them off in the oven. Next I tried to roll the next ones out thinner and at least they cooked fully. I still was not too impressed so I rolled out the remaining dough, added butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Rolled it up like a jelly roll, cut into 16 pieces and they are now rising, waiting for the oven. I think they will be OK. Like the other southern recipe I made awhile ago “biscuits and gravy” I still think one has to be born in the South to make them ☺☺☺
That’s all for the first day of the year.
I hope everybody arrived safe and sound.
Good bye everybody ☺

early bird