Archive for the ‘Holidays’ 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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Candlemas 2017

I love calling today Candlemas instead of ‘Groundhog Day’.  I don’t know why we suddenly need a rodent to tell us the weather forecast.  The old poem does a good enough job:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.

I belong to a Facebook group that has a lot of British/European ladies.  They are all talking about their snowdrops and such.  I headed out this morning to look for my snowdrops:

Oh, right, they are still buried under a foot of snow and it was -21 C (6 F) this morning with snow in the forecast.  But I guess that means the worst of winter is behind us?

I’m disappointed we won’t be able to go to church on Sunday.  I love the Candlemas service in Ottawa.  Ella has a skating competition on Sunday and we can’t do both with all the driving.  Hopefully next year.

We were in Ottawa doing some errands and visiting with my friend Teresa.  Came home to a surprise.  Look what Daddy bought us!!!

Took a while to convince Daisy she couldn’t catch them.  So much fun ripping around the fields.

“I want to ride too, Momma”

One worn out and chilly Ella.  Warming up in her mermaid tail that Auntie B made for her and reading her Minecraft book bought with her Christmas Chapters’ cards.

I picked up a couple of cool books too.  Ella is very excited to start the LEGO Shakespeare (she bought herself the Brick Fairy Tales and Brick Dracula/Frankenstein).  I treated myself to a beautiful, illustrated copy of The Hobbit.  My old paperback copy has seen better days.  I want to read it with Ella and I will enjoy the larger print in the new copy too.

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Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!  May you all be happy and surrounded by the people you love.

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Wow, it’s been a busy week.

Off to get our tree last Tuesday.  Had to stop for our annual height chart picture.

Ella found a great tree.

Just a nice amount of snow this year -so much better than last year’s rain.

Ella loved the snugly bunnies in the cafe.  This one is named licorice.

Before we left they hit the hill a couple of times.  Ella thinks they need an escalator.

Ella did a great job decorating the tree (Daddy did lights and garland).  My job is unwrapping the ornaments.

The Elf mischief continues.  Who knows where we’ll find them every morning.  Luckily we caught Faith before she stared to nibble Ella’s gingerbread house.

And now for the reason you’re reading this, my knitting for Yarn Along this week:

Some Christmas socks for Colin.

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As expected, Guide camp sucked up all my free time last week.  I got a little bit of knitting done on my lacy blue socks.

I got a little reading done, but not the book I told you about last week.  I found a couple of new books for only $4 at No Frills.  I took The Kingmaker’s Daughter, another Philippa Gregory book.  It actually takes place the generation before The White Princess.  It’s kind of neat to read them in this order because you see the same struggle in history from another family’s eyes.

The second book (for $4) is Catherine the Great.  It’s non-fiction.

I’m still trying to get everything cleaned up from camp.  I’m still not running at full speed because I’m still coughing.  Gave in and went to the walk-in this morning.  Luckily it was the doctor that I like at the clinic.  HE believes that I have asthma and actually takes care of me instead of blaming the cat or the (non-existent) corn stove.  Drugs and a stronger inhaler, hopefully I’ll be feeling better soon.

Ella and Daddy did up a couple of the pumpkins from the garden.  Colin’s pumpkins are always so thick.  I don’t think Ella could carve them without help.

Couldn’t get a nice picture inside Grandma’s house so we took an action shot.  Any ideas?  She’s Nurse Joy from Pokemon.  Nurse Joy takes care of any injured Pokemon.  Grandma made her costume this year.

And yes, even though I was wearing gloves and my winter jacket (a sure sign I’m not really better yet), Ella did 3/4 of her trick-or-treating without her jacket!  She went ‘old school’ this year and used her pillow case.  People were very generous this year…

All Soul’s day, remembering our loved ones.

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Just a quiet day with my Mom, Colin and Ella.  Belinda and Stefan can’t come up and Colin’s family don’t get together now that his Mom is gone.  Since we only have Grandma coming I didn’t want to cook up one of my big turkeys, so I’m doing a beef roast instead.  Everything very low key -I came down with Ella’s cold on Friday and I’m still so stuffy.


freezer sandwiches

roast beef


roast beef sandwiches

sweet & sour meatballs (didn’t make them Sunday)


calico corn chowder

BBQ pork buns


grilled cheese

leftover meatballs


tomato soup

chicken tika masala


Taste of the Valley


beef stroganoff

More great ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


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Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real -spring time edition!

Just when it looks like spring will never come, out pops the wild plums!!

This dog-toothed violet snuck up on me.  I looked the other day and it was just leaves, then suddenly -a flower.

The tiger lilies are coming along…

as is the rhubarb.  I think I can pick some this weekend.

The violets are flowering in Ella’s fairy garden corner.

Found a pile of trillium had flowered on Mother’s day.

Speaking of Mother’s day, here’s some pictures with Grandma.

Not sure why I look so much bigger in this picture.

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