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We met up with a couple of other home school families at the Park again this week. The day started cool, but once we got in the trees and started walking it was perfect. We took a different trail this time. It lead us down into the marshy area before we get to the Ottawa River. We had to throw our runners in the washing machine when we got home. It will be a nicer walk once the ground freezes. According to Ella’s fitbit we walked just over 6 km!!

And boy were we tired. That’s more walking than I’ve done in a long time.

Colin has been busy drying our popcorn. It’s almost ready to start eating! I like the red corn the best. It pops up so white and it tastes the best.

I’ve worked a bit on my new sweater, but not really enough to show you guys.

We’re still waiting for some sunny days, or at least some non-wet days. Colin is getting really antsy to get the soy beans off.

It’s been a quiet week. We’ll see what next week holds.

I’ve been working on my sweater a lot this week. You know instead of doing dishes, cleaning up the mess that is supposed to be my craft room (and which is filling up the hall too), or just about anything useful?

I’m starting on the sleeves. I’m not sure how much decreasing to do. I messed up the pattern so I can’t go by that. I may do minimal decreasing so that the sweater fits nicely over clothes.

We actually went to a homeschool group thing on Wednesday! It was so good to get out in the fresh air and have other adults to talk with -and not have to discuss corn or weather -ha ha! I do wish some of the other Moms would be better at feeding their children. Ella had a good time (especially hanging with her bud Ephrem) until the ‘hangries’ started to take over. Then of course, Ella’s the one that becomes the butt of the anger, which (also of course) Ella takes to heart and causes her pain.

Ella’s been busy carving up a bunch of Daddy’s pumpkins. She’s made a couple of cool faces and a Totoro. But I think this is her coolest one yet (she still has plans for next week). It’s a white pumpkin inside the bigger pumpkin. The picture really doesn’t do it justice, her painting of the iris is really well done.

Well, guess I should go throw a load of laundry in the machine and maybe do some dishes -or at least decide what we’re having for supper…

Wow, I can’t seem to get posts done on time. I did actually make a menu plan this week, so what are we eating:

Monday: roast beef

Tuesday: hot beef sandwiches and mashed potatoes

Wednesday: chicken fingers and fries from Chip Pit (before it closes for the winter)

Thursday: Bavarian beef pie with the leftover beef

Friday: leftover pie

Saturday: pizza

Sunday: tacos

I’ll make next week’s menu plan after I see how much turkey is left over.

Ontario has been asked to scale back right now. We’re supposed to only have Thanksgiving with our household members. So that means no big dinner over at Colin’s Dad’s. I don’t mind. I’m not sure how far to trust the other family members and how safe they have been (even though we’re pretty safe here in Renfrew Co.). I’m doing a turkey leg for supper tomorrow and Mom’s coming over too. I have a pumpkin pie in the oven right now, mostly for Ella.

Colin has finally started at the soybeans. He’s been walking the fields and looking at the weather for weeks.

Yesterday, Ella and I spent part of the morning walking the soybean field looking for the intake pulley that fell off the combine sometime on Friday. Turns out it wasn’t in this field. Dad found it in the first field Colin combined! Oh well, it was a nice morning for a walk.

Colin and I went on a bit of a road trip on Tuesday. Not too far, just down the highway, but we were travelling some roads that even Colin has never been down. What were we doing? We were checking out an old bell. Colin has always wanted one. We passed one up back on our honeymoon and Colin has kicked himself ever since. As usual, Colin wasn’t sure about spending money for something not ‘needed’ but I told him to get it for himself. He never just buys fun stuff because he wants it and he deserves a treat. I think it looks really good on the ‘shade shack’. He painted it black, but I rather like it this way.

Too much sunshine, the yarn is a nice dark blue from Knit Picks.

I started knitting a sweater for me. I’m using one pattern for the ‘style’ but I’m using a cool custom sweater generator for the actual ‘pattern’. The pattern I’m copying is called ‘Dagi‘. It’s very cool hoodie with fair isle sleeves. Though I’m not sure I’ll be doing the hood. I needed to find another actual pattern to follow because I couldn’t get the gauge to work. It seemed much too loose for the yarn I have. I seem to have that problem with fingering yarn and sweaters. The pattern generator at Kniterator is amazing. Not only do I get to use the gauge that produces a fabric that I like, I get to make a sweater to the exact measurements that I want. Since I’m not overly tall, that’s a really great bonus.

It’s kind of funny considering how dry we were all summer (though that part wasn’t funny it was scary), but we keep finding all sorts of mushrooms around the yard. We found 2 giant puff balls and some cute ones that looked like a Smurf village. This is the most recent one:

It’s more pink in real life. I forgot to adjust the filter to make it look more like it did ‘in person’. The girls over on the Hygge Nook on FB said it’s called a Shaggy Mane Ink Cap mushroom. Never seen anything like it before.

Guess that just about catches you guys up on everything. Hopefully I can get my act together and make more regular posts.

The nice cool weather is back (though Wednesday is supposed to be 30C with humidity).  It’s so nice to be able to bake again.  It’s been pretty quiet here on the farm.  Colin has been busy with his seed cleaning, mostly winter wheat.  I think soy bean harvest will start soon, so he’ll be getting those calls too -from the smart folk who clean their seeds before putting them away for the winter instead of waiting till everyone is busy in the spring.

I’m still having a hard time menu planning.  I think it’s my form of virus anxiety.  I’m afraid to plan/make food because I’m afraid of us running out of food – even though the grocery stores (and my freezer) are fully stocked.  I hate this feeling and I don’t know what to do…

 

Sunday:

turkey breast in the crockpot

Monday:

hot turkey

Tuesday:

Salisbury steak in crockpot

Wednesday:

turkey pot pie

Thursday:

leftover pot pie

Friday:

beef chow mein

Saturday:

hamburgers in the air fryer -yum!

More great ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

 

17 Years!!

Yesterday was our 17th wedding anniversary!  It’s so hard to imagine it’s been that long already.  It doesn’t feel like it.  We had a bit of excitement leading up to the wedding.  On the 14th there was a blackout that took out Ontario and a large chunk of the north eastern US.  Thank goodness I only had a bit of handwork left to do on my dress.  Though we got our power back quickly, we seem to be on the same line as the Base in Petawawa.  This was great news because we had about 1000 pigs in the barns that need the hydro to keep the fans going to keep them alive!   And man, was it hot and humid leading up to the wedding.  Colin was busy combining the wheat and I was wondering how I wasn’t going to melt -ha ha!  Luckily, there was quite the thunderstorm on the Friday and swept in a glorious cold front.  I always joke and say Mom was chilly at the wedding which meant it was a lovely temperature for everyone else.  The other bit of excitement took place during the service.  Colin and I are standing to the side (must have been the lead up to Communion) and he sees this massive (probably a wolf spider) running across the floor and heading our way.  He holds my hand even tighter because he knows I’m going to freak if it gets too close and I see it.  He send death rays at the spider and the spider decides to change course and run away.  I’m so glad I didn’t see it at all.

Not much of a celebration yesterday.  We’re not comfortable eating inside restaurants yet, especially with as ‘cozy’ as our favourite place.  We had lunch at the Chip Pit like usual for a Sunday and then we headed to Beachburg so Colin could do Mom’s grass.  He took the scenic route and we stopped at the Westmeath Lookout.

This is the view looking towards Pembroke.  It’s kind of cool, they have the “directions” labelled in the gazebo so that you know if you are looking towards Beachburg or Quebec.  It was hot and muggy yesterday but for some reason the haze doesn’t really show up in the pictures.

And of course, he has his hat on…

 

Well, hazy yes lazy not so much -for Colin any ways.  The dog days of summer are upon us and Colin has been busy combining our hard red spring wheat.  He’s very happy with the harvest so far.  Considering the summer we’ve had that’s a bit surprising.

Lunch in the field at the ‘back end’ of the Poff Farm.  This farm is just around the corner from the Home farm, but it’s easier and quicker to bring lunch to the field.  It’s been so hot this summer without any real breaks (I need more than one decent temperature day to consider it a break), but you probably know that already – ha ha!  Colin had a thermometer in the combine yesterday (a decent day temperature wise) and it read 100F!  Imagine, 8+ hours in the combine at 100F.  No wonder he comes home with heat stroke some days.

We had an unexpected visitor Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.  We were woke up at 3:30 by Ella pounding on the bedroom door with a blanket over her head.  There was a “giant” bat dive-bombing her in bed.  I peaked in her room and yes, there was a large bat hanging off the wall!!  By now Colin’s dressed to come and investigate.  He sees the bat and heads downstairs for weapons (broom and dustpan).  Unfortunately, by the time he comes back upstairs we can’t find the bat.  We search around Ella’s room and can’t make it stir, so Colin assumes it’s left by however it got in (we still don’t know how).  Ella and I sleep the rest of the night downstairs on the chesterfield.  There was no way she was going to sleep in her room not knowing where the bat was hiding.  After breakfast we went up to have another look around and fix her bed (stuffies were everywhere).  I told her to take everyone off the bed so we could straighten up her blankets too.  Nearly everyone was off the bed when Ella picked up Lula

Lula has been Ella’s best buddy for most of her life.  She enjoys snuggling and a good game of chess.  But I digress…

Ella picks Lula up off the bed and guess what drops off Lula and onto Ella’s foot?!  One large, terrified, screaming brown (I think) bat!!!!!

Ella’s screaming, bat’s screaming, I scream because she startled me.  Ella runs for my room and I grab the dust pan.  I corral the bat and Ella runs outside to get Daddy because I can’t handle this on my own.

Daddy takes care of the bat but Ella’s freaking out because it was in her bed.  She made my Lysol her whole room.  Even after all these years Lula is still taking care of Ella and protecting her from things that (literally) go bump in the night.  To be fair to Ella, it was a really good sized bat.  We’ve had a few in the house over the years, but this one was about 8 inches, which is bigger than most.  We still have no idea how it got into Ella’s room.  Hopefully that’s the last one.

 

One sure-fire way to make Ella happy and to be sure she will actually eat her supper is to make chicken quarters in my air fryer.  Very simple too.  I use this spice mix for just about any piece of meat that I’m frying.

 

Spice Mix

10 tsp salt                          3 tsp black pepper

4 tsp onion powder           4 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp thyme                       2 tsp rosemary

 

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the spice mix.  Put in the pre-heated air fryer (350F) for 40 minutes.  Turn half way.  How easy is that?

A Day Late Again…

I’ll use the grocery header today because that’s why there was no post yesterday.  I was busy in town picking up the groceries.  I sure love ordering online.  I wish the Metro in Pembroke would do online shopping.  I also wish they would tell their employees that yes, their noses ARE attached to their lungs too, not just their mouths.  I saw a number of employees ‘wearing’ their masks with their noses hanging out.  I suffer through wearing a mask to keep them safe, they could return the favour.

What do you see in this picture that has made Colin so happy?

Nothing much planned for this week.  We continue to run into the village a couple of times a week to get unlimited internet for some video watching/downloading.  Ella’s also plugging away at her school work.  Have I mentioned how happy I am that we don’t have to make the “school/no school” decision?  Yet another bonus for homeschooling.  Though our local group is starting to get together again but from what I hear they aren’t making the kids keep distant or wear masks, so I’m not so anxious to attend yet.

Monday:

whole chicken in my air fryer -I love that I can cook a whole chicken for supper even after I’ve been in town for most of the afternoon

Tuesday:

sourdough pancakes

leftover chicken

Wednesday:

chicken salad -Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime

Thursday:

??

beef and snow peas -from the Dinnertime book, IF I can find decent looking snowpeas somewhere.

Friday:

Cobb salad/egg salad sandwich for Daddy/grilled cheese for Ella -we found a great new place for goat cheese.  It melts really nicely, unfortunately they have crazy shipping  😦

leftover chicken

Saturday:

spaghetti and meatballs -Ella’s request

Sunday:

supper with friends who are just as isolated as we are, maybe more so

So did you figure out the picture?  Yep, there’s puddles in the driveway!!!!  We got about an inch of rain on Sunday and it’s drizzling again today.  Hurray!!!  Thank you God!  It’s not a lot, but it’s just in time.  The corn was literally days away from being written off as garbage/worthless.  It’s amazing how fast the grass greens up after a long awaited rain.  Our grass wasn’t as bad as some because Colin stops cutting it when it stops raining.  I swear some people must cut their grass every week because they ‘cut the grass every week’.  There is some really short, really dead grass out there.  Our last real rainfall (and it wasn’t much) was back at the end of June.  We could use another few days.  And I’m really enjoying being able to sleep well at night and I need to get some baking done.

 

More ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie

Well, that crazy heat didn’t break until this past weekend.  It was so nice to have a couple of days where we could leave the windows open and not feel like we were living in a cave.  Needless to say, our meals last week weren’t worth writing down for you guys.  I thought I’d share a recipe today instead.  This is Ella’s new favourite dish from my air fryer.  Obviously, our big 8-9 lb chickens won’t fit in the air fryer.  So, I need to watch for when the store has those little ‘fryer’ chickens on sale.  This rub makes the chicken taste like those little pre-cooked ones you can buy from the store.  I ‘borrowed’ this picture off the internet because I couldn’t find the picture of my chicken (I know I took it on my phone…) I’ll replace this picture when I make the chicken again.

Rotisserie Chicken

rub:

4 tsp salt                             1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp paprika                       1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp thyme                         1 tsp pepper

 

Rub all over chicken.  You can do this the night before, but I never have the chicken thawed in time.

Pre-heat the air fryer.  I just hit the ‘pre-heat’ button or you could pre-heat to 350F.  Put the chicken in the air fryer, breast side down.  Cook 350F for 40 min.  Flip the chicken over half way.  Check for doneness.

Obviously, this recipe can be done in the oven too.  Just cook the chicken at 325F for about 25 min a pound.

Holidays 2020

 

Hi!  We’re back!  Did you notice we were gone?  We were very happy to discover last week that we could still go to our B&B/cottage for our annual Canada day holiday.  It was very last minute, but luckily I had already done the pre-holiday grocery shop.  And yes, I packed my air fryer -ha ha!  We often have trouble with the BBQ out there.  The air fryer does such a nice job (even on steak), so along it came.

Ella came out for the first day and a half.  She such a homebody (especially now), she’s also very lucky Grandma doesn’t mind driving 2 hours to get her and take her home.  As usual, Ella had a great time fishing with Daddy.  I hung out in the screened in gazebo, safe from the sun and the black/deer flies doing my knitting.  Even though she was only out for a day and a half, Ella caught 8 good sized small mouth bass!!

Not to be outdone, Daddy caught a nice pike with his first cast into the lake.  I lost track of Daddy’s bass/pike total after 15.  I caught 2 nice bass, but we didn’t have a camera handy.

Our traditional holiday selfie with my girl.  Another tradition for our holidays is really bad weather.  One year there was even a tornado warning!  This year it was hot and sunny the whole time.  The first evening we were there we did see this gorgeous rainbow.  There was rain somewhere, we were hoping it was at home but, no.

The rainbow was beautiful.  At one point it was a double and then the clouds moved some and it became a complete rainbow.

Before Grandma arrived, Carol took Ella out to the barn to meet the new additions.

Colin and I had a really nice time after Ella went home.  It was our first time apart in 108 days!  I think we are all (Ella included) starting to miss Ella’s weekends at Grandma’s.  For a treat, we ran into Killaloe to get lunch.  We shared a chicken fingers and fries and I got a Beaver Tail.  Just behind the Beaver Tails chip truck is a really nice park where the train station used to be.  The old bridge is still there:

There’s an old farmer saying here in Ontario.  They want the corn to be ‘knee high by the 1st of July’.  Even though we are really dry things are still looking good.