Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just Stinks!

I've always abhorred the smell of PineSol, Mr Clean and any of those pine-based cleaners. Does it somehow remind me of hospitals? Over-zealous day-cares where a baby's mouth is wiped before it even manages to drool past the lips? I don't know but I do know that sometimes I have used it because I think I "should" (something taught me by my mother?) - then I immediately regret it. I don't think its necessary these days with many yummy smelling products available. I'm a fan of bleach - the smell does not linger. I also LOVE baking soda.

I think it could be because many people accociate SCENT = CLEAN. I DO want people to think my house is "CLEAN"

I'm going to avoid it from now on. Do YOU use/like PineSolly cleaners? If you've tried something else that cleans and kills germs dead - tell me!

And I'm not letting a french fry past these lips for the next month. I said it here, you can keep me accountable. Perhaps I'll start a "No Fry" zone calendar here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall's Magic Begun!

I was asked just the other day if the sumac were turning colour. At that time I confessed - not, other than the tips of a few leaves.


I took a walk yesterday and to my delight was treated to the first ruby jewels dripping from the branches!


Leaves that had not turned glowed with a deep lime light!

Vivid golden hues - all abuzz with bees who I'll bet are cooking up a tasty Autumn honey!


I always love to photograph is these seed pods. They are so interesting and delicate.


What does autumn look like at your place?

The turning of the seasons seems to be going faster - as I was reminded by my friend Gina's blog where yesterday marked the third anniversary of the loss of her son. I imagine that each time the leaves start to turn its a wrenching reminder. If you have some words of comfort, wisdom or encouragement won't you visit her by clicking HERE.

My S(ister) I (in) L(aw) goes to the pack-ing-house!

My SIL Neti stopped in on Monday on her way home to Sparwood. I guess every time we talk I mention a visit to our local fruit packing house as a local attraction and 'must do' when one is in town. So she made some time for us to do that on her way home.

But before we hit the packing house we stopped at a local fruitstand where the canning tomatoes look as good as the supermarket ones and only cost 25 cents a lb! Really.


Neti and her tomatoes - and cactus!

I mention the cactus because the fruit stand doubles as a nursery as well - and hothouse so when Neti spied the cactus she immediately gravitated toward them. She likes cactus!

Yesterday she sent me this photo showing me what she does with her tomatoes to be able to enjoy them in the middle of winter.

neti toms

By placing them on a cookie sheet and then bagging them when the slices are frozen, they will not stick together. It will be like having a bit of summer in her cooking in the dead of a loooonnnng Sparwood winter!


Then it was on to the fruit packing house. It really is an eye opener to visitors.


Its all 25 cents a lb. There were even a few bins of peaches this time. There were plums, pears and several varieties of apples, including one type I've never tried before called Sunrise. It all depends what is in season and they are sorting here. For instance, when my Mother in Law went on Friday there was only a bin of very sorry looking peaches with many bruises etc, and yet this Monday when Neti and I went the peaches were fabulous!

Ok - so what's the catch?

The fruit you buy in your supermarket - its all perfect and polished. A nice 'fit in your hand' size with no blemishes. The apples here are the 'ugly ducklings'. They could have a bit of 'scale' (sort of like a scab for fruit skin) or marks from hail or a small split, or bruise. Sometimes the thing that stops them from making it to your supermarket is because the are too small or too BIG.

How do you preserve or deal with fruit or vegetables you buy or are given?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dad's Visit and Giving You the Moon!



Dad and Mom left for home this morning.  It was awfully quiet and lonely in the house for a short while - that is until my Sister in Law Neti stopped in for a bit - but more on this in my next post. 

When our folks were here we tried to take in some of the local highlights and one thing we think that Dad especially enjoyed was a visit to the Observatory Bed and Breakfast - not to stay overnight but to take a 'tour of the night sky' with the owner, famous astronamer Jack Newton.


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The Observatory Bed and Breakfast is located atop Anarchist Mountain, high above the town of Osoyoos.  It features stunning panoramic views of the entire lake and community.  That in itself would be worth the stay, but besides this there is Jack's observatory which is built right into the house! 

For a small fee, Jack will give a tour of the night sky - basically giving you a guided look out to the night sky, pointing out the stars and galaxies - allowing you to view it all through the huge telescope he has.  If you are even more adventuresome you might pay a few extra dollars and have a photographic tour which allows you to use of his digital camera which is attached to his telescope.  This enables you to take your OWN photos of the stars and night sky! 

If you ever come to our beautiful community this is a 'must do' for your agenda.  The tours happen only from June to October because the rest of the time Jack and his wife spend down in a small community in Arizona which they founded - and you guessed it, its a community of avid astronomers!  

To find out more Just click on the graphic of the Observatory Bed and Breakfast above!

At any rate, I'd booked the tour for my Mr. and his Dad alone for some good old one on one, father and son.  Mr. and I have been on the tour before and so I knew it would be fantastic.  What sort of things do you do when you bring guests to town?

In honour of Dad's big adventure I'm giving you the moon!  I created this full 12 x 12 jpg paper and a stand alone (BIG) moon png.  These items would be useful for any of your star-gazing projects.  Enjoy!  Just click on the graphic for downloading.



Friday, September 18, 2009

'REAL' Cards and a Poem of Encouragment

My sister gave me a swack (my own word) of lovely scrapbooking supplies to get me started into the realm of 'REAL' touchy-feely paper carding. She's got almost all the supplies she could ever wish for and as she has been carding for a few years now her tastes have 'grown up'.

This means she's developed an eye to know what she likes and does not like for her style. Not everything makes the grade and she takes a great deal of trouble to pick out just the right 'stuff' to put together her cards. She's become a true artist in this department.

So, when she figured out what she had double, or what would be more my style than hers - and she purchased some things she knew would appeal to me, I began to experiment.

I have been playing around with a marriage of her things and my own digital - and some 'salvaged bits' from real greeting cards. Here's an example of what I've created so far!


This will be a birthday card for an Aunt. I salvaged the picture of a rose from the front of a 'real' greeting card.


And this is the back of the card - I used some super wide lace I'd bought a long time ago at the thrift store. VERY touchy-feely!

I'll try to post more photos as I gift my cards out - I'd hate to ruin the surprise for anyone.

If you like my cards then you will love Nina's (click her blog pic to visit)

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And I also want to share this poem I found on the net which has inspired me:

When I Say..."I Am A Christian"

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I am saved!"
I'm whispering "I get lost!"
That is why I chose this way.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need someone to be my guide.

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I am weak
and pray for strength to carry on.

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
and cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
my flaws are too visible
but God believes I'm worth it.

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartaches
which is why I seek His name.

When I say..."I am a Christian"
I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority.
I only know I am loved.

© 1988 Carol S. Wimmer

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!


I'm now 18,628 days old. Translated this means 51 years. How encouraging to see a lady on tv today who was 102, my life may only be 1/2 over!

My Mr. got into my scrapbooking supplies this a.m. before the sun came up and the birds even began looking for worms to make me a card! I will have to take a pic for to show you! He's pampered me like mad, along with the gift of having my in-laws be here for my special day. They all took me out for a birthday breakfast where I indulged in a strawberry and whip cream smothered waffle! Back to the gym tomorrow!

Thanks to my sister Nina for making me a very beautiful card and all the LOVELY pretties you sent me for making my cards! I can't wait to play - keep your eye out on your mailbox soon. I love you more than words can say. Click on Nina's graphic to see her card!

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And to my constant encourager and thoughtful Sister in Law Judy for your phone call and lovely layout on your blog as well, and the phone call today! Click on her blog graphic to see the sweet peek-a-boo layout she created for me. She's also got some photos of flowers she's taken that are worth checking out! Looking forward to our visit.

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And thank you to our daughters, and brother Bill and sister in law Maggie for your email as well! I feel very very loved!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reluctantly, to say the least...



6:30 a.m. 

Those are my heels as my Mr. dragged me into the gym.  OF COURSE I was thrilled once it was over.  Wondered why on earth why I go so reluctantly. 

I suspect this cycle will repeat for the next few days. 

Had a fun day with my in-laws.  We had lunch and did some grocery shopping in the USA.  Living on the border has its perks.  I can find some brands and items we can't get on our side of "the line".

Canned peaches with my Mom-in-Law yesterday. 

I learned that she is "old school" while I am "new school".  We do things very differently than each other.  There are some good points to each other's methods and I'm glad I got to watch her.  She only made  a dozen pints so it was not as bad as I had feared it would be.

Mom said that she was unable to buy the wide-mouth mason jar sealers down at the coast because canning is so popular this year.

I also managed to freeze two more cookies of frozen peach slices.  They will be delicious in the winter in my smoothies.

My favourite smoothie of the moment is a concoction of peach, kiwi, fig and orange. 

Have YOU done any canning this year?  Do YOU have a favourite smoothie?  Has YOUR mother in law passed any valuable hints on to you?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

You Want to WHAT?


(here's your requested pic, Nina -ps, re: your blog post today... you DID bring a u-haul of stuff and I loved building cards with you. The one on your post today was my second favorite, waiting for the oooohhh-lala one you did with the green and the butterfly)

40 some-odd jars, 8 jars of preserves, 1 jar peach/pineapple jam. Finally the fruit flies and ants have departed. I can now see the surface of the table on the patio. I am done.


"Hi Mom!

Yes, looking forward to your visit.

Nothing much, but I'm chuffed (and hugely sore!) - got all my canning finished today. Yes, I figure I can feed your son a jar a week this year - as per his request.

So, sure looking forward to your visit on Tuesday. Now that the canning is done we can hang out. Anything in particular you would like to do?

CAN? Um... sure you wouldn't like to take some of mine? No? Okayyyyy! Just a dozen pints? Right."


Ack! I don't EVER want to see another peach in my life! Really, its ok, Mom. Just caught me by surprise is all.

I learned a new tip while canning. I have 'peach juice running up the arm' syndrome when I can - I learned if I tie a rag around my arm, between wrist and elbow it solves this problem. And by keeping a foot deep stack of rags at hand, draping them from every possible cupboard door and on the counter, my kitchen stayed neat during the chaos and cleanup was a cinch.

More at you later seeing as how I have my head out of the canner.

I'm going to wander over to KimB's to check her fabulous PU and CU products on sale this week. I've been salivating over them! Click the pic to visit the chick *wink*

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Where've I Been?

Know what happens when I don't blog regularly? I get TMI (too much information) Everything in moderation, right? For when I write almost daily sometimes I am scrambling to leave a few words that might entertain or educate anyone. I think I will simplify things by catching up with the last week or so.


Me and My Sister Nina


altered frame: kbFramers4 CU (visit KimB to purchase)

I look forward all year long to a visit with Nina, my sister (she has a blog too!) and I blank off a week and do not lift a finger to housework (it looked pretty shabby here by the time she left!) We always make so many plans when she comes we fill each day from sunrise to sunset. Its a very special time to me - I only have one sister!

One exhausting thing we tackled for the second year in a row was to make salsa. We doubled up our tomatoes this year and wound up making MANY dozens of small jars of salsa between us. We had two canners going full steam and got tired feet and all sweaty despite air conditioning! We wound up with a mix of peppers, tomatoes and onions left over to freeze for soups etc which I know I will fully appreciate in the depth of winter.

Nina is a amazingly talented at making cards - the real (tactile) paper sort that you want to frame and hang on the wall. She brought along (and blessed me with) supplies and we built a few together. What a huge learning curve for me! I have a new appreciation for anyone who does real paper cards in this manner. I've built a few on my own now and I must confess it took me about 1.5 hours for each card. Compare this to whipping a digi-card off in something like 20 minutes... But, I am hooked!

I loved our time together Sis!

We were also blessed with a visit from my brother Bill and my Sister in Law Maggie. We have not visited for several years and so appreciated them stopping in. Thanks for the nummy Chilliwack corn (Chilliwack, BC is famous for growing super sweet corn) and for the stunning framed photograph. (see Bill's gallery here) Hope you are having a good and safe journey and perhaps see you on you return trip!

I am now looking forward to a BIG visit with my parent In-Laws (something in the order of two weeks!) and then a few precious days with my Sister in Law Judy.

So you see that my social calendar is stuffed to overflowing! My cup of Family runneth over. Life is good. other than hot/cold flashes, night sweats, restless leg syndrome and emotional meltdowns due to menopause


So since my sister went home I've been inspired to compile all my collection of found, bought and gifted scrapbooking supplies and to organize them. I am more than a little puffed at this solution to my ribbons. It will do until I find a permanent answer to storage.

this is a box from a computer monitor so its large and not too deep. I cut cardboard 'dividers' and fit them to create 5 sections. I then cut an additional cardboard for each section which holds rolls of ribbon and I folded them into a V so that the ribbons don't shift or fall over in the rows.

I've also begun a TO CLEAN list before my In-Laws arrive, repackaging frozen cherries into freezer bags and have been baking scones - a lot. I'm going through a scone phase.

I will be coming to visit all you - if I've not been by for a while please forgive me! Thanks to an especial some of you who are SO faithful to visit me, it means a lot especially when I'm going through an emetional menopausal moment or two

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