Busy day today, not that I know what got accomplished.  Ella had her first day of skating lessons.  She had so much fun and the coaches seem really nice.  Excitement on Wednesday, it’s enrollment for all the new Brownies and we’re bringing cupcakes.  So you know what we’re doing tomorrow after school.


oatmeal pancakes

chicken paprikash






pork chops



poor man’s steak


leftover paprikash


meat and vegetable goulash

Check out the ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie

Throw Back Thursday

A favourite picture from 2010


I don’t know if it’s the over cast skies and rain, but MAN is Ella in one heck of a grouchy mood!  School was like pulling hens teeth -including math.  She usually ASKS to do math.  Sure hope the protein kicks in soon, Brown Owl won’t want to deal with cranky Ella.

Finished up all the little Advent decorations.  I made a couple changes and I need some beads to finish them but all the fiddly knitting is done.  There is a Christmas light bulb, gingerbread man, Christmas cracker,  a heart, angel, basket, Santa hat, bells, star, ornament, wreath, Christmas pudding, and icicle.

The little snowflake is a swap I made for the Advent garland, much nicer than the one in the original pattern.  Also a couple ‘full’ size snowflakes, the top one is here and the other one is this one.   They need to be starched still.

I’ve been working on Ella’s sweater too.  It always amazes me how fast raglan sweaters knit up.  This isn’t a good representation of the yarn colour.  Maybe I’ll try outside next week (if it’s not raining).

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

We are very thankful for Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan for driving up from Scarborough to spend the weekend with Ella.  She was so excited on Saturday when they arrived.  I think she was even more excited than in the morning when she and Grandma went to Ottawa for the grand opening of the American Girl Boutique.

We are so VERY thankful for Grandma!  She’s always ready to come over and spend time with us and is there whenever we need her.

And I’m very thankful for my darling Colin.  Not only does he work so very hard to take care of our family, but he also put up with the Xbox takeover of the television this weekend.  Ella and Uncle Stefan love to play video games when they are together.  They hadn’t been up for a while, so Ella had so much to show Uncle Stefan.

So what’s on the menu this week?



pork chops


hot dogs

leftover chicken casserole





corn chowder

meatball Stroganoff


French toast

leftover casserole


leftover meatballs


chicken paprikash

What’s cooking at I’m an Organizing Junkie?



Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real this week and I can’t believe it’s nearly Thanksgiving.  For various reasons only my family will be here.  I just found out today that Belinda and Stefan are coming up.  We’ll be having chicken instead of turkey because there isn’t enough time to thaw one of my big turkeys.  That’s OK, we’re not obsessive over food, it’s the company we like on holidays.  Ella will be very happy (it’s a surprise) because she was sad that we weren’t going to Grandpa and Grandma Lorraine’s.

So I got brave on Monday and went to the fabric sale at the farm of one of Colin’s Mennonite friends.  I’m so shy when it comes to doing something like that.  You should have seen the looks I got when I walked in the machine shop door!  I swear everyone stopped shopping to have a look.  I was getting a rather cold reception until an older lady came over and asked if she knew me.  I told her I was Colin Fletcher’s wife Paula and we had a little chat.  After that everything was OK.  Most of the fabric the ladies brought up was polyester (that’s mostly what they use for their dresses) whereas I like cotton.  But the prices were good and the prints were pretty, so I picked out a couple of pieces.  And I found a cute cotton one for Ella.

The middle one is more of a light purple than grey.  The top one is obviously the one for Ella.  The bottom one is about the colour of my favourite dress from the summer and is a little more ‘seafoam green’ in person.  New fabric makes me Happy.

And here’s my Funny girl.  First she’s wearing ear muffs on one of the most beautiful days we’ve had all of October.  But I’m sharing the picture for another reason.  Do you see how she’s holding the phone and talking to Grandma?  She’s got the phone under her ear muff so she doesn’t have to hold it.  What a funny girl!



Finally finished my cashmere scarf/shawl.  I’ve even got it all blocked.  It’s beautiful if I do say so myself.

And if you think it’s too long, then your winters are much too mild  -ha ha!  This will be perfect for the cold and blustery winters up here in the upper Ottawa Valley.

This is my favourite way to wear a scarf, then I don’t have to worry about a hat.  I will get the pattern posted as soon as I can, I even took notes while knitting it -imagine that!

Otherwise, I’ve been working on more gifts for the Advent swap:

My favourite fingerless gloves pattern with perfectly matching stripes.

First is the fair isle Christmas ball.  Then we have a few of the items for my Swap partner’s Advent Garland: mitten, candle, house, tree, sugar mouse, stocking, paper chain, and candy cane.  The tree and stocking need some little beads before they are finished.

I need a new travel project (almost ran out of knitting when I had Ella at the hospital when she was sick).

I’ve started an ‘everyday’ sweater for Ella.  Grandma was going to knit this, but the pattern is very confusing.


A couple of recipes to share today.  The first one is a result of a pet peeve of mine.  If we’re friends on FB you already know where this is going.  This time of year you see all over the place the ‘homemade’ caramel apple recipes that start “unwrap caramels”.  I’m sorry, but that’s not homemade caramel apples.  It’s not like it’s hard to make homemade caramel apples, so here we go:


1 c butter                         2 1/4 c brown sugar

1 c corn syrup                 1 can condensed milk

2 tsp vanilla

Put everything (but vanilla) in a large saucepan (I did change pans as this one isn’t big enough).

Bring to a boil.  Don’t stir and let boil until 248F on a candy thermometer.

Cool for 2 minutes and add vanilla (it will bubble a lot).  Dip apples and put on a buttered pan.


Second recipe is a good way to use up leftover roast beef.  We’re not crazy on leftovers, so I will often find ways to make the leftovers ‘new’.  You could make this with raw meat too.

CORNISH PASTIES -makes 8 depending on size

2 lbs leftover roast beef, bite size

leftover gravy, don’t reheat

4 good-sized potatoes, diced

2-3 carrots, diced


Roll pastry out into 8-9 inch circles (depending on the size you want).  Place a serving of beef, potatoes, and carrots on pastry.  Top with a couple of tablespoons of gravy.  Close up circle into pasty shape.

Bake 400F for 10 minutes and then lower oven to 350F for 35-40 minutes

These freeze and reheat well too.


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