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Archive for the ‘Family Fun’ Category

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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Still fighting with the weather and the soy beans.  Colin is out there this afternoon trying again -fingers crossed.

My best friend from my stock broker days is going through some really tough times.  She lives about 3 hours away (everything seems to be 3 hours away from here).  She needed cheering up, so Ella and I hopped in the car and headed to Frankford to visit Tammy and her hubby Ray.

They took us to see the local hockey team, the Trenton Golden Hawks.  The Hawks played Stouffville Spirit (and won!).  We left before the end because Ella was getting tired.  It was my first hockey game.

Tammy has a stuffed friend named George who goes everywhere with her.  He wanted to help with my knitting.  I got about 2 inches done on Grandma’s Christmas socks while at the game.  I started my sweater that I got for Christmas (my sister gave me the ‘ingredients’) but it was such a fabulous visit that I didn’t even take it out of my bag.

The weekend was much too short.  I don’t think Tammy realizes how much I miss her.  It’s very lonely for that kind of companionship up here some days.  We had a good drive home and got home ahead of the crazy wind and rain.  I dropped Ella off at Grandma’s for a couple of days and Colin took me out for supper.  Look what I found in the parking lot:

Isn’t that the cutest?!

Oh yes, look what I found when I got home?  Besides the dishes and eggs washed:

When I left the light above the sink was an ugly, florescent bar light that was broken and didn’t work.  I now have a LED light that is positional and dimmable.  Being able to dim it is handy because we leave this light on all night.  Some of us don’t like the dark.  I know it really doesn’t go with the decor, but options are limited when you have no wiring to connect with and you are attaching to a cupboard.

Almost have both sleeves finished.  Looks like I’ll have enough yarn to take out the bottom and make it better, so it won’t roll.  Pretty sure I’m winning this came of yarn chicken.

On a very happy note:

Grandma’s casts are finally off -and it only took a couple of hours at the hospital.  She’s still not supposed to drive for a week or so and no long drives for a month.  The doctor also suggests she wear her wrist braces for a while because her wrists will be week.  She seems to be able to move all her fingers, that was my big worry after being immobile for 6+ weeks.

Wednesday:

sandwich

pork pie (going to use my Bavarian beef pie recipe)

Thursday:

pizza

McDonalds because Grandma wants her hair done

Friday:

pizza

leftover pork pie

 

Saturday:

?? Ella’s got a Halloween party so who knows

Sunday:

Steak

More great ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Soybean Season Begins…

Today’s the start of soybean season.  They haven’t been back to empty any wagons so I don’t know how it’s going, but fingers crossed.

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Farmer Mischief

If Farm Girl Friday still existed, I’d save these for tomorrow.  But since there isn’t, might as well show you today.

The silver poplar (remember) was rubbing on the combine, so what’s a farmer to do:

Since there are no power lines nearby, you grab the chain saw and climb on top of the combine!

At least it’s a better idea than standing in the bucket of the front end loader, which was the other suggestion.

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Where Was Paula??

It’s been a busy few weeks here on the farm and a quiet few weeks here on the blog.

First we were off on a sudden trip to Pickering to see Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan.  On the way down we stopped in for a good visit with Great Grandma.

This time down, we went to LEGOLAND up at the giant Vaughn Mills mall.

Ella’s weight in LEGO.

154 LEGO bricks high.

This is the section I found the coolest.  The Toronto skyline in LEGO.

Even Casa Loma.  Sometimes the lights were on for ‘day’ but it looked so much cooler with the ‘night’ lights.

Trying out her car design (I tried not to think of the germs crawling around in those boxes of LEGO).

Lloyd, the Green Ninja.  Ella can’t wait for the new Ninjago movie that’s coming out soon.

Happy LEGO girl.  Ella was really happy because she was able to complete the mission and get all the stamps this time.

Next day we were off to the zoo.

Even though it was a scorching hot day, I think most of Toronto decided it was a good day for the zoo.  So why we waited to get in we watched the carp in the creek.

Some of them were massive.  Looks like the creek is having issues with algae bloom, like the lake here at home.

Still not too big for the carousel, though she was hoping it would go a little faster.

The grizzly bears were impressive.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  These bears were massive, I certainly wouldn’t want to cross paths with one.

There’s a friendlier one.

Hard to imagine a penguin bigger than Ella.  Also, $4 for that tiny Popsicle!!  Thank goodness Uncle Stefan bought us wrist bands for the Zoomobile, that way we could do some riding instead of just walking.

Do you see what my crazy brave girl is doing???  The Gorilla Climb was so tall that I couldn’t get the whole thing in a picture.  The website says it’s 33 feet!  There was only one rope she didn’t walk across (at first), it had nothing to hang onto (just the tether rope).  But Ella walked across it before her time was up.  Special thanks to Uncle Stefan’s brother Nathan who stood in line with Ella while the rest of us hung out in the semi-air-conditioned cafe and re-hydrated.

 

Pygmy hippo, boy was he stinky.

Just a little hot.  I should have packed my hat. I always kid Ella that she looks like Danica Patrick when she borrows Auntie B’s sunglasses.  Danica is only our size and always wears over-sized sunglasses.

At the end of the Zoomobile route you get to go inside the enclosures.

Wild Mongolian ponies.

It was even too hot for Ella’s new red panda.  Luckily we found a spot under a tree to wait for Uncle Stefan to bring the car.

We really wanted to see the baby pandas since they are leaving the zoo.  But by the time we got around to them, it was an ‘at least’ 2 hour wait.  Hopefully they will come back again.

We stopped to see Grandpa Jim and Grandma Linda on the way home (they are in Peterborough).

Sign of a good weekend in the City.

Came home on the Monday like always, then on Wednesday Colin and I headed out.  We were off to the Hastings County Plowing Match.   Wow, the parking lot was basically the size of Renfrew’s entire plowing match.

We didn’t hang around for the tillage demonstrations after all.  All day we had been watching waves of black clouds passing just to the north of the Plowing Match.  It was obvious this last one wasn’t going to miss.  We just got in the truck when the heavens opened up.  We actually waited a few minutes before heading out.

The plowing match was on the 23rd, our 14th wedding anniversary.  One of the reasons we went to the match was it was located, literally, 15 minutes from one of my best friend’s home in Frankford.  So we made it a holiday and stayed over a couple of nights with Ray and Tammy.  They took us out for supper and then to the new casino.

That was kind of fun.  Tammy gave me $20 to spend and I ended up coming home with $167!  Colin threw in a twenty too and won $50.  I nearly won $9000.  That would have been so cool.  I would have used it to put in central air and a new front door (you know, one that doesn’t need a knife jammed in it in the winter to help keep out the wind).

Tammy had to work on Thursday, so Colin and I headed for Prince Edward County.  We wandered around Picton and found a yummy Greek diner for lunch. Mmm, that was some of the best souvlaki ever.  I found a school book for Ella in one of the antique stores downtown.  I really should have picked it up.  It was Kenilworth and was only $8.  I couldn’t get good reception so I couldn’t check the price. We drove around the County and saw the Lake on the Mountain

Lake on the Mountain

Big drop down to Lake Ontario on the other side of the road.  Again, my pictures don’t do it justice.  Try the website.

Stopped and checked out an antique store in Bloomfield (Dead People’s Stuff -cool name) and look what we found:

Apple boxes from home!!  We often went to Gibson’s to get apples in the fall.  I can buy Gibson’s apples up here still because they are part of Algoma orchards and are in the No Frills stores.

Last weekend Colin and I went for a hike at Shaw Woods.  It was a good day, a little warm but we walked on the more shaded side.

  Remember in the spring how badly flooded we were?

And remember when we came to check the dam on the Snake River up here at Shaw woods?

They had the dam WIDE open so it wouldn’t flood Lake Dore and to hell with everyone else downriver.

Well, obviously the right person lives on Lake Dore, because look how nice and high they are keeping the lake in the summertime:

Oh well, it’s just farmers -right??

We took a different trail this time.  Look at those trees, they sure are determined to grow.

They had some fun trail markers talking about the old logging days.  The trail on the other side of the road is all old growth and was never logged.

Lots of debris still in the river from the flooding.

This past week we had company a couple of days.  Colin’s best friend and his family were up from London.  I was worried about the kids.  They are a few years younger than Ella and Ella’s gotten rid of most of her ‘younger’ toys.  Luckily, the kids LOVED Minecraft  🙂

Tomorrow is our ‘Not Back to School’ picnic, if it doesn’t rain.  Then comes all the craziness of school, Guides, swimming, and archery (Ella’s new sport this year).  She’s decided not to skate.  The arena in Eganville is under renovation and I don’t know when it’s going to be open.  Also, we’re tired of the cliquey nonsense that goes on out there.  Added to that Ella found out she’d be getting private lessons (she’s at that level now) and she doesn’t want them because she finds it too much pressure.  I’m going to try hard this year to get out to the public skating in Pembroke, it’s during the day and we basically have the ice to ourselves.

So that’s about it for the last while.  Hopefully once we get back into our Fall routine I can get back into my regular posts.

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Worth the Haying

I don’t know whether I mentioned it here, or just moaned on Facebook.  A while ago, Colin finished up some haying for the neighbour.  I had flashbacks to the days when we had cattle.  When they offered to pay Colin I suggested a month’s riding lessons instead.  It’s easier for them (not having to find the cash) and it’s something fun for Ella.

Ella really liked brushing Indy.

Heading for the ring.

Her ‘concentrating’ face.

Ella did a great job.  She looked very at home in the saddle, even when they were trotting around the ring.

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Pictures!!

I just realized I didn’t share any pictures from our trip to Rice Lake.

The master fisherman with her first Blue Gill Sun Fish.

Mr. Fish number two.

This cool fellow was flying around the boat and then perched in the tree beside us for the longest time.  He was totally undisturbed by us.  BUT when the osprey landed on a nearby tree he decided to move along.

Sunday was such a nice day we decided to head over to La Belle Provence and visit the Chutes Coulonge.  Growing up on Canadian tv there used to be short ‘commercials’ that celebrated being Canadian.  On of my favourites was

Living just outside of Toronto this was just a fun cartoon/song, but now that I’m up here in the Ottawa Valley it’s a tangible part of OUR history.  There’s still lots of logging, it just doesn’t flow down the river any more.

The pointer boat looks big until you imagine it out in the river, going over the rapids, surrounded by all those giant logs.

Bright and sunny with no humidity.  Ella thought it was chilly, but I was happy just in my dress.

The bottom end of the log slide:

This is the other side where the water flows free:

The Chutes also has a number of zip lines for the brave and adventurous:

It always amazes me how trees will grow just about any where.

There was a cool obstacle course that Ella enjoyed.

We headed into Fort-Coulonge for lunch and checked out their covered bridge.

Ella was ready to head home and stop taking pictures.

The Ottawa River

The Laurentian Mountains

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