Archive for the ‘Family Fun’ Category

Guess What?

Guess what?  I haven’t been just a lazy and bad housewife for the last 2.5 months, I actually have pneumonia!!  My friend’s husband is a doctor at the local hospital.  She texted me to say he was working the walk-in there and there was no one waiting – perfect time to go.  So I headed up there last Wednesday at 5.  Got through triage and they were so shocked by my coughing for 2.5 months and the fact that I could feel rattling in my lungs they actually sent me to emerg. instead.  Five hours later (a chainsaw accident came in after me at obviously took priority) I’d had an EKG (no idea why they did that), blood work, and a chest x-ray and finally some answers.  So now I’m on 2 different antibiotics and more Prednesone.    I started feeling better by Saturday.  I haven’t had a nap for a few days now (instead of an hour ever afternoon!).  It feels so good to finally find a doctor that cares.  I tried to get help from my usual clinic but they insisted on doing phone appointments.  Not sure how you are supposed to treat a lung problem over the phone??

I finished my sweater.   I made the body a little longer and the sleeves a little shorter.  This is the best part of a top-down sweater, it’s easy to make it fit my 5 ft frame.  I need to wait for Fabricland to open to get some buttons, but then again I don’t usually wear my sweaters buttoned.  I’ve worn it a few times already and I love it.  I must be feeling better, I organized the giant mess that is my knitting corner in the living room.  I even sorted through my knitting needles and used an inventory sheet so I can see what I need and which ones I have lots.  I actually think I may have enough that I can get rid of all the hideous old circulars from the 80’s-90’s.  You know, the ones with the plastic cable that never uncurls.  The likes of Chiagoo and Knit Picks have spoiled me and I no longer want to fight with my needles.

Cropping is coming along well.  Colin is just about done.  Only a few places to fill in that were too wet earlier.  We are still in need of gentle, appropriate amounts of rain.

What are your thoughts on masks?  We aren’t required to wear them, but some of the stores around here are going to require them.  Fabricland for sure wants masks.  For some reason the thought of making them gives me anxiety.  I don’t know what to do.

This is an older picture, but I don’t have a willing model today to show you the wild plum trees.  They are finally starting to flower.  I guess spring has decided to arrive!  I’m looking forward to turning the heat off and opening the windows.  We tried yesterday, but the house got really chilly.  The temperature got down to 65F and Colin gave in and put the fire back on.  This is the only problem with a fire based heat system.  It’s hard to keep the fire going this time of year without overheating the house.  Has spring arrived where you are?

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Day 46, and Counting

I feel like I’m failing at this pandemic protocol.   Every one else seems to have so much time and energy.   I haven’t even been doing a lot of knitting.   I did finish 99% of this sweater, but I really didn’t like how it turned out.  So I ripped it all out and found a new pattern.   It’s another top-down pattern.   Whoever figured out how to do set-in sleeves this way was a genius!  I like how it’s turning out.  I’m using the one bunch of yarn Colin gave me at Christmas.

I did re-organize the chest freezer and I organized (but didn’t clean) my kitchen cupboards.  Now my canned goods are upstairs instead of rusting in the basement.

Seed cleaning season is finished for the spring.  Colin has been busy out in the fields this week.  Today I had to take lunch to the field.  Colin is planting our spring wheat.  We could actually use some gentle rain, the fields are very dry.

Yesterday was a special day

It was Mom’s 72nd birthday!!  And before you say anything, Ella hasn’t been around anyone for 44 days and Grandma has only been to the pharmacy (she waits till it’s empty).  Also, there is very little virus activity up here in the County (thank God).  We’ve decided that it’s safe for Ella to hug Grandma again -which is what both of them needed.  Ella’s hair looks so red in the sunshine.  She wants to make it even redder, we’re looking into using henna.  Any one here use henna before??

I guess that’s about it for now.  I have more organizing on my to-do list, but we’ll see.



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Spring has finally arrived in Renfrew County.  My snowdrops are slow this year, but the crocuses are great.  It’s funny, I always watch for the snowdrops, but seem to forget about the crocuses.  Then one day, I look out the window and ‘bam’ purple wonderness!!

I finished Mom’s fair isle cardigan.  It’s acrylic but I made it in the round and used a steek.  It looks a little big, but that’s because Mom lives in sweatshirts (until at least June) and I don’t want her to struggle with her sweater.  It’s also longer than I would have made it, but that’s how Mom likes to wear them.

It’s dull and cloudy today.  I think I might spend the day baking (but not bread, it doesn’t rise properly on cloudy days).  Ella’s really tired, so I might give her a holiday.

Hope everyone is doing well!!

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We weren’t really planning on taking March break off.  In fact I’d made a deal with Ella that we would only do ‘half’ days instead.  But in the light of everything we’re actually taking March break off school.  So what did I decided to do instead?

I decided to defrost the house freezer yesterday.  It went pretty well.  I also had a 10 lb chicken in the oven (right beside the freezer and the reason the door only opens this far).  All that extra heat really helped.  I did well this time around, I only found one ‘dead’ doughnut that needed to be thrown out.  Usually there’s quite a pile of stuff to feed the barn cats.   Today it was finally cold enough to put everything back.  It’s so nice when it’s clean and organized.  For how long?

Spring is coming.  Colin has already had a few seed cleaning jobs.  It’s a pretty solitary job so he should be able to continue through the spring without a problem (fingers crossed, we need that income).  Seed and fertilizer should be arriving shortly too.  We’ve still got about a foot of snow, but some days the yard is pretty muddy.  Colin was down towards Smiths’ Falls the other day for a job and he said there was no snow at all!

Ella and Grandma – why not!  I love “cheese face” and miss it some days.  14 is a hard time apparently??  I don’t remember and what I do remember had more to do with our family dynamic than actually being 14.

About 3 weeks ago I had what I thought was a bad allergy attack for a couple of days.  It must have been a cold because I now have an asthma ‘flare’.  I went to the walk-in clinic on Monday.  They are doing appointments for walk-in right now.  I kind of like that because I didn’t have to sit in a room full of sick people just for my asthma.  As expected I got some prednasone and now I’m finally starting to feel better.  I was starting to get dirty looks with my cough when I did groceries.

Ella lost her cool ‘Jack Skellington’ beanie.  She asked if I could make her a “Legend of Zelda” hat.  Luckily, Ravelry did not fail.  I’ve got it just about done, I need to have Ella try it on for size.  She’s so excited.

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I’m Back

Hello!  That was some Christmas break!!  To be honest, I think I got a bit depressed after Christmas.  It was so hard and saddening to see the condition of my Grandma.  She has dementia (I guess, we seem to get a different diagnosis with every doctor).  She just sits in her chair and cries for my uncle if he is out of sight (aka, making Christmas dinner).  It’s so sad because my Grandma really isn’t there any more.  The only good thing is she remembered Ella, I was so afraid she wouldn’t.  I know that pain from when I was Ella’s age.  My Grandma’s cousin, Marie,  (like a great aunt) suddenly forgot everything, it was the early 80’s so we never had a reason.  She forgot me completely.  She called Belinda her ‘little friend’, we figured she remember her a little because Belinda had Marie for her middle name.  Grandma also remembers my Mom.  Mom calls every Friday and Grandma looks forward to her calls.

I want to thank Elizabeth for checking up on me and encouraging me to come back.  Some times it feels like I haven’t anything interesting to say.

Hmm, I just checked my Ravelry list and you can tell I’ve not been my self lately.  I haven’t finished any projects since the new year.  Now that large gatherings have been cancelled for the rest of March, I’ll have to get back to my knitting.

Hope everyone is doing well and keeping safe (and calm).  Talk to you soon!

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Christmas is quickly approaching.  I think I’m done (OK, to be honest I have a couple of presents to wrap for sister and BIL).  I boxed up all the cookie tins and they are ready for delivery.

I still have to clean up all the nonpareils that are coating my floor.  But I’m happy that I had Ella’s help with the cookies this year.

I’ve missed her help these last few years.


As usual, Ella did a great job on the tree.  It’s nice not to have to climb up and down on the chair any more.

And of course, with Merry here for her Christmas visit, we never know what we’re going to find.

The night before we got the tree, the elves thought Ella missed a spot when we moved the cubby.

Then hanging out with Ella’s new gnome decoration that we found at the Pakenham General Store on the way home from the tree farm.  By the way, if you watch the Halmark Christmas Scavenger Hunt movie, you’ll see ‘our’ tree farm a number of times (including their covered bridge).

Then last Saturday while Ella was at a sleepover with her girlfriends in Arnprior, the elves had a serious looking meeting with all the stuffies!

And finally, last week we FINALLY got some snow.  It looks like Christmas.  Everywhere looks like a Christmas card.  Though we didn’t need the sudden drop to -32C (-25F) windchill that we had the other day.

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The Summer That Was…

Hello everyone, I’m still here!  I blame the crazy heat we had all summer.  You should see my email account.  I feel like I haven’t really accomplished anything.  It has just been so crazy hot and dry.  I’m not sure if we are technically as dry as 2012 but places look dryer than during the drought.

Belinda and Stefan took us to Canada’s Wonderland.  My goodness, it rained so much when we first arrived.  The rides got shut down and we hunkered down trying not to get too soaked.

The rained stopped and the rides started again.  Ella and Auntie B did a couple of the really big roller coasters.  Ella discovered she’s not the wild ride person she thought she was, ‘The Bat’ scared her a lot.  We got her to go on a couple of the smaller ‘coasters (get back on the horse).  Luckily, it stayed fairly cloudy all day because it was stinking hot even with the clouds.  The rain showers helped keep a lot of the crowds away.  Most rides only had a few minutes wait, if any.

My kind of ride!  This carousel is nearly 100 years old.  I think the sign said it was made in 1927.  It was great to get back to the house and soak in the pool.

Remember how our best friends moved far, far, away to Englehart?  Well, we went up for a weekend visit.  WOW!  That was a drive and a half.  Google lied and we got stuck in some construction.  It was close to 5.5 hours!!  We stopped for lunch in Temagami.  The food where we stopped wasn’t worth mentioning, but check out the old train station (and yes, occasionally, my girl will hold my hand in public!)

The train station IS worth the stop.  They did an amazing job on the restoration.

We had such a good visit.  Ella enjoyed having a bit more freedom.  Englehart is very small and feels very safe.  Also, Ella having the kids along makes me feel safer to let her go to the park ‘alone’.  Englehart has a really nice community pool.  It was warm enough to take the kids for a swim a couple of times.  It was so good visiting with Amanda (and the kids).  One day we took the kids to ‘town’, aka New Liskeard.  That left Colin to entertain himself.  He checked out the grain elevator where Amanda’s fellow works -farmer talk.  Then he spent the rest of the day touring.  He’s fairly certain he ended up in Quebec a couple of times.

Colin found this cute little church in Belle Vallee.  It’s got this cool line that runs around the whole building.  He’s not sure how the statue of the Blessed Mother doesn’t get wiped out by the snow plow.

Colin didn’t have to travel far to find this!  It’s right in Englehart, close to the house.  This train has a great history and was really cool.  While he was reading the plaques, Colin could hear voices behind the train and thought maybe it was some “old train guys”.  He went around hoping to hear some old stories.  In reality it was some new ‘white hats’ talking over this mess:

Two modern trains that derailed and were waiting for the crane to arrive.  Colin had a good talk with the guys too.

We came home on a Sunday, so the drive was quicker (no construction delays).  I can’t wait to go back again.  It’s really nice up there and we miss our friends.  A return trip will have to be soon though, because they get early and long winters up there.

Colin has been busy the last week or so.  He’s been working on putting in some tile drainage over at Dad’s.  He’s got a couple of wet spots over there that we often have to leave bare.  Instead of using the tiny little ‘back hoe’ that attaches to our little tractor, he was able to borrow a bigger, proper backhoe from his step-brother.

One day after our field lunch, Daddy gave Ella a crash course on running a backhoe.  Ella did such an excellent job!  She was a natural.  Must be all her video gaming.  If you want to see her in action, check out the video here.

Three-ish feet down and no sign of moisture and no worms.  They must be really deep.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a September post without our back to school picture.  It took some persistence to get a good one.  Some days I get tired of ‘moody teenager’.  But most of the time she’s my adorable girl and I wouldn’t trade her for the world.


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Holidays, Finally

Not sure why it has taken so long to get our holiday pictures up on the blog.  The days fly by and I just don’t get around to it?  Oh well, that’s summer I guess.

We headed off to our usual cottage oasis for the Canada Day long weekend.  Ella has a hard time staying for the whole time, so Grandma came out and got her early.  She’s a funny girl.  She actually misses ‘home’.  It doesn’t matter that Daddy and I are with her, she wants to be home.  Oh well, it’s only 45 minutes from home and Grandma doesn’t mind coming out and ‘rescuing’ her girl.

We were the only ones staying that weekend.  That’s always best because if the other people have kids I always seem to get stuck watching them.  One year the mother just kind of left and didn’t come back for an hour!  Luckily I’m responsible and made sure they didn’t drown or get eaten by a bear.

Ella and Daddy hard at work on their castles.  This is the ‘Kingdom of the Spoon’ and Daddy’s using his trebuchet to attack Ella.

Ella’s castle had a moat and flood protection (we often get a big rain on our holiday ‘weekend’).

Here’s a couple of Ella’s large mouth bass.  She caught a total of 6, plus random perch.

Daddy’s trying to claim this one, but it’s Ella’s.

I think this was her first one.  She was off to a slow start (far too hot) so this was a happy sight.

Daddy caught 9 from the dock.  He also caught a bunch out in the boat and a couple of nice sized pike.  But he was out on his own, so there’s no photographic evidence.

I caught 6 nice large mouth bass too.

This was Ella’s last morning at the cottage.  Daddy went out in the boat and she didn’t feel like it.  So we hung out, snuggled, and talked in the shade shack.  I spent lots of time in there on holidays.  It was nice to be able to knit/read without being covered in sunscreen and bug spray.  There was a nice enough breeze that make it fairly comfortable too.  BTW I love my new phone (Samsung A8), it has voice activated picture taking.  That makes selfies so much easier.  It was very hard to push the button, hold the camera still, and hold the camera out as far as my little arms will reach.

Last weekend the girls went to Uncle Dennis’ cottage in Tory Hill.  He needed Grandma to come and watch Great Grandma while he went to a cottage association meeting.  It’s only 2.5 hours from home, so why not!

If you remember, Saturday was ridiculously hot.  Ella brought her bathing suit.  The lake is really deep, but it was so hot it felt wonderful.

My Grandma (Great Grandma) is really changed since Christmas.  We were lucky and she remembered everyone during our visit.  That was my biggest worry.  It’s a good thing I came along, because there’s no way my Mom would have gotten Grandma out of her chair by herself.

Great Grandma turns 89 on Sunday.

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Ta Da!

I found the business card from one of the professional photographers from the weekend.  Here’s a good picture of the girls and Ella’s full length.

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It’s been a busy few weeks.

First we had Grandma’s 71st birthday.  My sister and brother-in-law came up for the weekend.

Last weekend was my birthday -48!!

I’m still getting used to the selfie function on my new phone.

Yeah, nothing to add…

I wish this one wasn’t blurry.  It’s so hard to get a good picture with Mom.

Why haven’t there been many Yarn Along posts lately?  Well, besides trying to keep the house ready for company, I’ve been busy finishing up Ella’s costume for Comic-Con in Ottawa.  Here she is with her friend Hannah.  Ella is a ‘gender bend’ Inuyasha.  That means we’ve taken a boy character and made it into a girl costume.  Inuyasha is one of her favourite anime.   Boy, did she get a lot of compliments and pictures taken -even the professional photographers wanted her picture.

I didn’t realize I forgot to get a good full-length picture of her.  We’re supposed to be going to the comic-con in Niagara Falls in June, so I’ll have to get a good one then.

Lots of cool things, as usual.  It was great to see my friend Teresa and all her beautiful things.  She makes the prettiest circlets, but Ella’s not little and doesn’t play princess anymore.

Gaming station where we could ‘take a load off’ check out some new games.  They could make a fortune if they had a “moms area” -you know; some comfy places to sit, have a drink, and still keep an eye on the kids.

So what’s up for this week?  Well, hopefully Colin can continue getting some cropping done.  He did some cultivating on the weekend.  We had a bit of rain today and since we have clay, it’s slowing things down.  Tonight hopefully the other home schoolers will show up and we can start filming their Shakespeare play.  Other than that, no real plans.


Hamburger Helper -beef noodle, Ella’s favourite


cracklin’ chicken

German potato salad and Parmesan cauliflower -two new recipes




pork chops


sweet and sour chicken


Not sure what to make on the weekend.  Hopefully, Colin will be too busy out in the field to stop for supper and I’ll just grab something easy.  Please God!  It’s getting late.

I almost forgot to show you the Mother’s day gift I bought myself at Comic-Con.  It’s the moon on the night Ella was born.  It glows in the dark too.  It’s a Canadian company called Moonglow.


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