Archive for the ‘Family Fun’ Category


Spring is coming fast and furious here in the Ottawa Valley.  I’m always torn over the tulips.  I’d love to bring them in the house but I don’t have a lot and they are some of the first colour in the garden.  I usually end up leaving them in the garden.

I have no trouble bringing in violets.  The garden will soon be a lovely blanket of purple.  As you can see the quack grass has started already too.

My Lily of the Valley is doing great this year (though slow).  It’s really spreading well.  Just have to keep the Vetch under control.


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For Today: 7 May 2018

Looking out my window:  cropping season is starting
I am thinking: time to get off the computer and get school started, though Ella has to get dressed first
I am thankful: for all the love I got on my birthday
One of my favorite things: my girl
I am creating: a new sweater for Grandma, you’ll have to come back tomorrow to see the picture
I am wearing: black dress with tiny floral/leaf, I don’t think you guys have seen it before, but I couldn’t get a good picture
I am reading (read) /watching (watched) / listening to: Colin got me “A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War”  for Christmas and I’m just getting started, it’s good so far.
We also saw the newest Avengers’ movie (Infinity War).  I usually enjoy those (though I like the individual Thor/Iron Man/Guardians of the Galaxy movies better).  I really didn’t like this one at all.  In fact, if you have sensitive people (who have been fine with the others…) be warned, this movie has a very, very sad, dark ending.  I’ve never seen a theatre in stunned silence after a superhero movie.  It left Ella sobbing and Momma in tears.   You’ve been warned.
I am hoping: the weather is wrong and we aren’t getting so much rain in the next week
I am learning: last week in school we learned that the Mason Dixon line was named after the two astronomers who settled the border line between Pennsylvania and Maryland.  I’ve always heard about it but never knew why.
In my kitchen:  Colin says he’ll be home for lunch today, so I’ll make pizza.  Need to check the freezer for bread supply
In the school room: still in Colonial Canada, my favourite
In my garden: hurray, my bluebells (squill) have flowered
Board room: I need to make something to wear while biking.  I need to get at it soon.
Ladies’ Plain Ride-astride skirt. A skirt with a split up the middle for easy man-style of riding horses. Revolutionary! Mid to late 1910s,
A moment from my day: gotta check on the chickies and see how much they have grown (I’ll show you later)
Look how big they are getting!

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OK, I think it’s safe to use my spring Menu Plan Monday header.  We’ve had an entire week of ‘not winter’ weather and in fact, the last few days have been actually ‘spring like’.   In fact, the garden has decided that it is spring:

My crocuses that surprisingly survived the snow

and snowdrops.  The squill (bluebells) are coming but not flowering yet.

Ella had a busy morning on Saturday.  She was up in Petawawa helping the club set up for the archery tournament.

Those animal targets are heavy and are being held in place by 50 lb sand bags!  I was told by a number of people of Ella’s great work ethic and how hard she worked.  That’s so nice to hear.

It was hard to get a good shot (no pun intended).  We were up in the gallery and it was pretty busy down on the floor.  Those are Ella’s new archery friends standing behind her.  Their family homeschools too.  They and their Dad have been so great and have really helped Ella enjoy archery.  So how did she do?

She got third in her age group!!! She scored 188 which was pretty decent.  240 seemed to be the average sort of score including the adults (except the older guys who hunt all the time) so she’s doing pretty good for just having this bow for a couple of months and no practice here at home.  It’s amazing how much better you can shoot when you can see -ha ha!  There were 2 rounds of shooting so 40 targets.  Of those 40 she only missed 4!!  She got a couple of really good shots (the ones I could see).  She caught the groundhog right in the middle of the chest.  I told her Daddy would be putting her to work on groundhog duty this spring.

Ella’s arrow is the long black one -great shot!

So what are we eating this week:


Colin’s away cleaning and Ella’s at Grandma’s so I’ll find whatever junkie lunch I want  🙂

leftover  bbq ribs 


stir fry

hot chicken



spaghetti and meatballs


wieners and beans

chicken pie

Friday:   Grandma’s 70th birthday!!

chicken sandwiches (get the idea I have a bit of chicken to use up this week?)

roast beef and popovers


leftover chicken pie


hot beef

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


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Last week I finally succumbed to all the cold germs floating around.  It’s mostly stayed in my head, which is good but I hate that fuzzy head feeling.  It tried moving into my chest but my inhalers seem to be holding it at bay.  It’s not been much of a week for knitting -always a sure sign I’m sick.

We had a bit of excitement last week.  Ella was in for her regular eye check-up and look what we discovered:

She didn’t think she’d like glasses, but when the world is suddenly clear, they aren’t so bad.

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We all know Ella loves Minecraft.  Even more, I think, she loves watching Minecraft videos and Minecraft-based parody videos.  Well she’s decided to jump in and start making videos herself.  So far it’s mostly photo videos from the farm but she has a Minecraft one too.  She’ll be making more soon.  Here’s the link to her channel.

Here’s her video from today:

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How is 2018 starting for you?  Things are fairly quiet around here.  Ella caught her tradition ‘I’ve been to Toronto’ cold and has had a miserable few days.  I really should buy stock in Royale.   We have basically been house-bound since we came home from Toronto and I’m starting to go stir-crazy.  I think today is the worst yet.  It’s 2pm and it’s -20C and -40C /F with the windchill and the wind is blowing like crazy!  I love winter but weeks of -20/-40 get tiring.  I need to get out to get January groceries but I’m certainly not going out in this weather.

I’ve tried a few new recipes lately that I thought I’d share with you.  I’ll share the links, if they stop working let me know.  I’ve got the recipes written in my cookbook too.  The first is a delicious way to use up the last of the turkey, turkey and biscuit casserole.  Found Colin’s new favourite pizza crust, pizza crust.

OK, apparently I’ve lost the link for the next recipe.  We had steak the other day and ended up with some leftover (they were huge).  Pinterest to the rescue again and I found Steak Soup.   It was good with fresh garlic buns.

Steak Soup

serves 6

2 Tbsp oil                               4 cloves garlic, minced                                  1 onion, minced

5 small potatoes, diced       2 large carrots, diced                                     2 cups steak, diced

1 tsp salt                                 1 tsp pepper                                                     1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce          4 cups beef broth

Saute onions and garlic.  Add the rest of the veg. for a couple of minutes.  Add everything else.  Boil, then simmer (covered) for an hour.


I used some home canned tomato sauce in the soup so I had to find something else to do with the leftover tomato sauce.  Enter home-made ‘condensed tomato soup‘ and chili mac.  I really liked the chili mac recipe because it only made 4 servings, we won’t have to eat leftover pasta for days.

So that’s how I’ve been spending my days, what have you been doing to stay warm?

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Christmas is Coming!!!

Well, Christmas is still a while away, but do you know what is fast approaching?  Stir-up Sunday!!  November 26 we’ll be busy chopping and mixing.  I’ve shared the Christmas pudding recipe before but a reader has pointed out that I didn’t share the Christmas cake one.

I don’t have any pictures of the cake, I’ll take some this year.  This is my Great Grandma’s recipe.  People love it, it’s a nice mix of cake and fruit and nuts.

Christmas Cake

1 cup butter                                                 1 1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup                                    2 1/4 cup flour

4 eggs, beaten                                             1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup strawberry jam                            1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon                                       1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp mace                                                1 cup currants

All the following need to be chopped fairly fine:

1 cup raisins                                                 1/4 cup candied lemon peel

1/2 cup citron                                              1/4 cup candied orange peel

1/2 cup glace cherries                              1/2 cup nuts (I usually use walnut)

* there was a time I could buy all the peel separately at Bulk Barn, but now they only seem to carry ‘mixed peel’ which ticks me off.  So now I buy 1 cup mixed peel.

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add in the corn syrup and eggs and give it a good mix.  Stir in the jam.  Mix the dry ingredients (sprinkle a little of the flour on the chopped fruit to keep them from clumping) and add to the wet.  Stir in the chopped fruit/nuts.  Pour into a greased & lined 9×9″ cake pan.  Cover with brown paper after the first hour.

Bake 275F for 3 hours.

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