Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday, December 26th -Good Boxing Day to you all

It's approximately 10:40 pm on Thursday evening. I'm just waiting for James' airplane to arrive at about midnight so thought this might be a good time to do my routine post, just a few hours early. That way I can sleep a few extra minutes in the morning.

We had a lovely Christmas Day. Very relaxing for sure. I spent the morning baking a cake to take to the Van Gaals for dinner and Lloyd played outside on his tractor trying to move some of the snow around.

We arrived at 3:00 at their house and had a very lovely time. Everyone was home and we were so pleased to have been invited to take part in their holiday feast.  Drinks were drank, food was eaten, gifts were exchanged - all in all a really great day. So a big thanks to them for having us.

Boxing Day was quiet as well. I spent the day doing last minute laundry, cleaning, etc in preparation for our family' arrival. This will be another amazing race, and this time, James will be the winner. He's arriving tonight via Air Canada. Greg, the other two kids and the two dogs will be leaving early tomorrow morning. We're hoping for good travel weather for them. Then Patti will arrive sometime on Saturday. Depending on her ability to perhaps leave work a little early, she may be here mid morning. But time will tell.

Brenda, Meghan and Caitlin came over earlier this evening so the girls could get the tour of the craft room. It was a bit chilly up there as the heat has been turned down for quite a few days.  We had a quick tour and they were suitably impressed. Then it was back into the house for a quick glass of wine before calling it a night. They have a busy day of shopping ahead of them tomorrow.

In the meantime, it's time to think about getting ready to head into town. We are meant to get 5 to 10 cms of new snow tonight. The radio said it would start sometime after midnight but it's been snowing pretty good here for a couple of hours now. Best to leave in lots of time.  I expect it will be a late night. I'm sure James will want to have a cup of tea and a chat before he heads off to bed!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25th - MERRY CHRISTMAS 2013

Good morning everyone, and Merry Christmas!

It's a slightly overcast day, with a light snow falling. The trees are covered, making it a picture perfect morning. It's quiet at the Denny house this morning, but in the next couple of days I know that will change.

We spent a lovely Christmas Eve last night. Lloyd and I went into town to the service at the Salvation Army church. It was lovely to finally meet Lloyd's boss and his wife and daughters. It was a lovely service with lots and lots of Christmas carols. Some were sung by the children and it was a perfect Christmas Eve.

On our way home, we stopped in at the Van Gaals, who had also just returned from their Christmas Eve mass. The house was filled with people, lots of chatter and excitement. We enjoyed a lovely meal that Brenda and Meghan had prepared earlier in the day as they waited for Caitlin to get home form Edmonton. It took a while and she finally got here - without luggage - but I'm sure they would rather have her home than the suitcase with the Christmas gifts in it!  She' s really hoping it turns up before she has to fly back out west.

It was a lovely evening and we much appreciate being invited to share in one of their time honored family traditions.  We will once again be imposing this afternoon, as we are invited to their home again for Christmas dinner. They really are true friends and for that we are very grateful.

So, a big Merry Christmas to all of you and we'll catch up again on Friday!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday, December 22nd - special birthday edition - Happy 13th Birthday, James!

A really big Happy Birthday to our oldest grandson, James!  I can't believe he's now a teenager. Won't be much longer till going to visit his 'Old Grandma" will be a chore rather than a treat. I know that's the way the world is supposed to work - they grow up and have lives of their own. That's why this time is so incredibly special to me. I'm looking so forward to having them visit later this week.
Have a high flying birthday, James, wherever you spend it today!

The only other really big news this weekend is, once again, the weather. Looks like we're in for another snow storm - third one in a week! I presume this is what PEI weather was like many years ago. People always speak about how winters used to be.  I took yesterday off work and we spent part of the morning clearing snow. It was piled half way up the door to the craft room so it took a while to clear. But Lloyd got out his trusty little snow blower, and with that and a couple of shovels, the job got done. It was pretty mild yesterday and we were supposed to get freezing rain in the afternoon, but by 8:00 last night, it was still just raining. It knocked down a bit of snow but we still have lots. Now this morning everything is covered in a blanket of new snow.  It's looking like Southern Ontario has taken quite a hit with freezing rain and we may be next. We'll just have to see how it all plays out over the next 24 hours.  He was having some trouble with his tractor but installed some new parts yesterday and now it's running good as new. Just in time to move some more snow around the yard later today.

Oscar surveying his new friends!
So, let me tell you about Oscar! A number of weeks ago, to make a long story short, we acquired a rooster. Now, this rooster has been living alone in what was once the tree house.  I felt so badly for the poor thing being in there all alone when Lloyd was away and we had that incredibly cold weather. But he got through it. Lloyd has been in search of some hens to put out there as well, and we finally have some. Someone on Kijiji had hens for sale. We went out to their farm yesterday and picked up 9. Now Oscar has lots of company.  We know they are older laying hens, but just how many eggs we'll get is still unknown.  I put the following ad, along with a photo of Oscar,  on Kijiji on Friday morning, as a laugh, and was surprised that it got 293 views by Saturday afternoon.

Hello there - my name is Oscar! I am a handsome black rooster seeking female companionship. I live in a lovely spot but find it quite lonely at times. Especially this time of year when the days are so short. I am seeking two or three females, preferably those who are currently laying eggs to keep me company. If you know of any such females for purchase, please give my owners a call. I'd be most grateful!

So I put the following update on it last night. 

Thank you Kijiji - my fondest Christmas wishes have come true and I now have a virtual harem of 9 lovely hens to keep me company on these cold winter nights! 
Now the views are up to 315. ( I never would have thought to look for a date under  the Livestock Section!)

Okay, guess it's time to get dressed and go out and play in the snow some more!

PS - Welcome home Meghan (1)!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday, December 20th - more snow on the way

What a week it's been!  After a stormy day on Wednesday, which saw us being sent home at noon, Thursday was a major clean up day. It was sunny and not so cold, an absolutely lovely day. Today is heading for a high of -8 and more snow tonight, perhaps 10 cms by the end of the day tomorrow. Then the big news is another storm system coming through on Sunday. This one has the potential to bring either lots of snow or freezing rain, or maybe a combination of both. They are currently saying southern Ontario may get lots of freezing rain. That puts us in mind of the terrible ice storm of 1998, I think it was. We were SO fortunate at that time. We had been to New Hampshire to visit friends for New Years and the rain had started just before we got home. In fact the first sign of slippery conditions was when we tried to turn into our driveway and slid right past. After that all hell broke loose and it turned into a huge event. Hopefully this one won't be as bad, especially so close to Christmas when many people will be traveling.

We have a large amount of snow in our back yard, unprecedented for this time of year, at least since
 we've been here. I saw on the news last night that the ski hill will be opening this weekend - the first time in 10 years it's opened before January.  Let's hope it stays that way. The kids love going to Brookvale.

When I was coming home on Wednesday afternoon, the driving was terrible. I got home and called Patti and told her to just stay home. I couldn't imaging heading out on a two day drive in those conditions. But after chatting she assured me they could take their time. These things are usually cleaned up the next day and if they have to stop and wait out a storm somewhere they can do that. I suppose that's one of the pluses of coming after Christmas - there's no pressure to make it there for the big day.

This year, as in most years, it falls upon me to decorate for Christmas at work. We have quite a large tree, but unfortunately, in that big space, it kind of gets lost. So I decided to extend things just a tiny bit and add some snow flakes to the windows. I purchased some large plastic flakes and proceeded to put one in each window. Not an easy task, as these windows are very high. Good thing I'm not afraid of heights. I stayed one Tuesday evening, while waiting for dance class, and borrowed a big ladder and set about hanging one in each window. They actually look pretty good. The bonus I hand't counted on is when it's a really sunny day, we get these great shadows on the opposite  walls. Just adds one more little festive touch.

The kids had their annual Christmas play on Wednesday night. This year was a repeat of CATS. I had planned to go up for it but in retrospect, with the weather we've all been having, who knows how long I might have taken to either get there or back. I'm assured there will be pictures forthcoming.  Instead my evenings have been filled with other tasks. Last night I baked another batch of cookies and tonight I'll do the same. I thought about going out to the craft room to put some stuff away, that's piled up on a the sewing table, but the snow has yet to be removed from in front of the door at the back (and there's a lot of it!) Lloyd had planned to do that yesterday with his tractor, after our neighbor had blown most of the snow out of the main part of the lane. But he had some trouble getting it to start. Hopefully he has it fixed and can move some snow around today.  Just  as well, I really needed to stay inside and do some work. Lots of time to play out there in January!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, December 18th - more snow on the way

All day yesterday the radio was warning of a big storm on the way. This morning those warnings are still in place but so far nothing's happening. The radio is telling us to expect 20 to 30 cms of snow while the weather network is predicting 25 to 30. It's not snowing here yet, at 5:38 so the drive to work should be uneventful. The trip back home this afternoon might be another matter but I guess we'll just deal with that when we get to it. I know Brenda's hoping for a snow day today and that may still come. It's not so much the snow fall as the high winds causing white out conditions that are scary. Oh well, it is Canada and it is December - should we really be surprised by a snowstorm?

Lloyd finally made it home on Monday evening. What a mess the weather made of the flight schedules on Sunday. So much so, that on Monday they were scrambling to get people to their destinations any way they could. In the end Air Canada sent three passengers bound for Charlottetown, over in a taxi. A little longer to get here, but get here they did.  So now he's finally home safe and sound.  In retrospect, in light of the fact that a) he didn't get to fly his plane, and b) it took a day and a half to get home, it wasn't a totally successful venture. The pluses were he was able to visit with his brother and he also brought back some items I had Patti pick up for me at Ikea.

Brenda and I had our last dance class for the season last night and finished it off with a visit to the Old Dublin Pub. There are tables at the back beside the window that overlooks the street (it's on the second floor of the building). It's a beautiful sight at Christmas, with the old buildings and the Christmas lights. With the snow on the trees it looks for all the world like a scene out of a Dickens novel (okay, except for the coloured lights).  The first year we sat up there, it was a Friday night, I think, right after work and there were Carolers dressed in old fashioned costumes singing below on the street. It was a very festive sight indeed.

Well, now that my hopes for a snow day have been dashed, I'd best go and get ready for work. Let you know on Friday how it all played out!

Update: it's now 6:15, it's still not snowing, but I received a text from the radio station advising that the schools are all closed for the day! Congrats Brenda!!! However, since it's still not snowing I'd better get to work!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday, December 15th - it's a dark and stormy night...

What a wild weather weekend. I saw a quote the other day on the internet that said something like "this isn't global warming, it's global weirding!" and I'm inclined to agree.  The weather on Friday and Saturday was bitterly cold. The temperatures hovered around the minus 16' or lower point, but the wind chill was minus 31. Brenda and I went to town a little after lunch on Saturday afternoon and it was freezing!!! We had a few errands to run in town but having company made it much easier and a lot more fun.  It kind of took our milds off the fact it was so cold.

Sunday morning dawned much milder, finally. I had a bunch of stuff collected that was going out to the garage and I needed to bring in some wood. Saturday was just too cold for any of that. But early Sunday morning was much more hospitable for outdoor activities.

But right on cue, the snow started falling around 9:20 in the morning. As I write this, it's 5:32 pm on Sunday evening and it hasn't let up one bit. At times it sounds like sleet hitting the windows so I have no idea what's going on out there. The wind picked up after lunch and has been blowing the fluffy stuff all around so I have no idea how much we've really gotten to far.

Lloyd is trying to get home from Ottawa but that's not happening today. He might, if he's really, really lucky, get to Halifax sometime tonight. Granddaughter Meghan will be pleased to learn that he may be spending the night on a bench in the Halifax Airport! - something she's all to familiar with.  The flight to Charlottetown from Halifax has been cancelled so his only hope is to get out in the morning. If he doesn't make the first flight, he may have the option of the shuttle that runs between the two cities. With luck, he'll get back to the island sometime tomorrow.  In all honesty, I'm not disappointed that I don't have to drive into town tonight.

Other than that, not a lot going on. I've been chipping away at sorting out the house and did a bit of baking today as well. One thing I was wanting to make was English Muffins but I was having trouble finding the rings you use for these. But fortunately Brenda and I had a tour through the mall on Saturday and the kitchen store had just what I was looking for - English Muffin Rings! Who knew! So I tried my first batch. They turned out not too badly but I found several variations for recipes that I will try over the next few weeks till I find the one I'm happiest with. All in all, not a bad first effort.

If we're really lucky, we might have a snow day on Monday and I can spend the day out in the craft room putting away all the stuff I carted out there this morning!

Update: it's Monday morning and the radio tells me we are only going to get a few flurries today - perhaps 5 to 10 cms worth. On what planet is 10 cmd of snow a few flurries??? As soon as I get shoveled out the back door, I'll make my way to work. Lloyd didn't get to Halifax after all last night. After finally getting a seat on a plane (first class to boot) they got half way to their destination and then turned back and returned to the Ottawa airport.  I had talked to Patti earlier and she was supposed to fly to Halifax last night as well. She figured they could maybe wait on the same bench! Somehow I doubt if she got there either. Hopefully they cancelled her flight before she got half way there as well.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday, December 13th - will this be a lucky day?

Friday the 13th  - It may or not be lucky but it will surely be cold! That's pretty much all that's new today. It was frightfully cold yesterday and continues on into today. It's currently -16' at 5:30 am  that feels more like -23'. Can't wait to drag the garbage bin to the end of the lane! Better dress warmly for that. But it will warm up to -8' later that will still feel like -15'. Oh well, it is winter (well, technically, not yet) and this is Canada...

One of the fellows at work yesterday commented that this is middle of January weather , not December. The up side is it should warm up on Sunday - when we get our 15 to 20 cms of snow.  We'll have to see what happens.  I suppose it's better to get this weather now instead of over the holidays. Won't be good for those driving to holiday destinations.  Patti and Greg are considering driving out so,  if they do, hopefully, the weather will cooperate.  It would also be nice to not have such cold weather when the guys help Bernie put the tarp back on his barn over the holidays.

Not much else is new. Lloyd left Toronto yesterday to fly to Ottawa to spend a few days with his brother Dennis. Then it's back home on Sunday - as long as the pending storm doesn't interfere with flights.

I'm still puttering away at getting the house in order. It's coming along and you can actually see some progress. The big challenge has been keeping the house warm. When there's no one here for 11 hours it tends to get pretty chilled. It certainly was last night when I got home. I was a bit late - around 6:15 as I had an appointment right after work for my flu shot. Now that I've gotten it, I don't anticipate getting sick again around the holidays. One of the girls as work has been really sick but still coming to work so I've been trying to stay well away from here. Certainly don't want a repeat of last year when I was sick the entire holiday.

I'll continue with my cleaning efforts tonight, and hopefully tomorrow. I've asked for the next two Saturday's off and hopefully I'll get them. I still haven't done any baking yet but my plan is to do some next week. I can bake one batch of cookies each evening while Lloyd is sleeping. That way they will be all finished and put away before he gets up for work. Not quite so tempting for him. After his visit away I'm sure he'll be wanting to get his eating back on track. I know I need to. I don't do well when I don't have him here to look after me! He's right - a bowl of vegetables for supper isn't great - not when said vegetables are in the form of popcorn.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday, December 11th - a disappointing week for Lloyd

I'm not sure what the weather is in Ontario this morning, but it's a cold and windy one out here.  The temperature at 5:15 is -7 with a wind chill of -16 and that's pretty much where it's going to stay. It was much nicer yesterday morning when it hovered around 0. There were a couple of inches of nice new snow and no wind. It was a beautiful morning. This morning, not so much!

Poor Lloyd has had a disappointing trip. He had hoped to be able to fly his plane, something he hasn't yet had the opportunity to do. Unfortunately it's having some sort of mechanical problems and they're having trouble figuring out what it is. I guess they finally gave up yesterday and I heard via the grapevine that they've put it away for the winter. I know he's extremely disappointed and very frustrated right now.  But spring will come and they'll get it fixed and it will all be good.

Did I mention that in just 10 days from now, it will be the shortest day of the year? And did I also mention that after that, the days will start getting longer? That can only mean one thing - spring in just around the corner, albeit a very wide corner, but around the corner just the same. After new years it will start to lighten up by the time I leave work so that's a good thing. I don't mind driving in a snow storm in the daylight nearly as much as I do driving in the dark in a blizzard.

Speaking of blizzards, it appears that we may be in for some snow on Sunday - maybe up to 20 cms.  But then again we were to get up to 15 cm yesterday and it really didn't amount to much so we'll just see. Hopefully if we do, it won't impact flights.

A quiet couple of days. I worked on the spare room on Monday night and now the rest of the house looks like a tornado passed through. The kitchen has a pile on the island that's going out to the garage so it looks much worse than it is (says she optimistically). We had our dance class last night so nothing got done but tonight I can get back to it. With Lloyd due back on Sunday, I have a deadline - good thing I work best under pressure!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday, December 8th - a day early for THE BIG REVEAL!

Okay, we still have a bit of fine tuning to do, for the most part our space is complete! It's hard to believe we are fully moved into the completed craft space.  Our hope was to get the rest finished this weekend and we did. I was excited to share it with all of you and couldn't wait till Monday morning!

Friday evening was an outing for Brenda and I. A local fire department was hosting a centerpiece making workshop that we decided might be fun. We knew the gals running it so it was an easy place to walk into. They had certainly done their homework. Being on a budget, all materials where natural ones found in yards and woods. We each brought a container to work with and they provided everything else - including wine and cheese! Does it really get any better.
Brenda did hers in a small glass bowl that was lined first with birch bark. A great idea I never would have thought of. We picked up quite a few tips while we were there.  Mine was in a  more rustic container, that has special meaning for me because of the person who gave it to me a long time ago. I was pretty pleased with my creation so I've taken it to work to sit on my desk. That inspired me to spend my Saturday morning at work putting up and decorating the tree. Now it will be very festive when everyone comes to work on Monday morning.

So, I left work on Saturday at noon as it was really quiet and I wanted to get some work done. There was lots of stuff to take out to the garage. I had brought it all down stairs early in the morning, after Lloyd left for the airport at 4:45.  I spent the afternoon moving and sorted and putting all kinds of stuff away. I had suggested to Brenda that if she felt like it, to pop over after supper. She arrived right on time as I was sitting at my desk, actually working - on my Christmas cards! She had brought wine, and cheese and crackers so we snacked rather royally.  We still have a few bugs to work out - little things we hadn't thought of but we'll eventually get everything we need out there.  We worked and chatted and snacked till around 9:30 when we called it a night.

I headed off to bed shortly after as it had been quite a long day. I was awake early on Sunday morning and was anxious to get to the loom - the last large piece of the puzzle. I knew Brenda would be over after church to help so I set about taking it apart. Then I just worked away and before I knew it, I had all the pieces outside and upstairs. I had planned to wait till she got here but I just got carried away in the moment, I guess. It was quite cold and very windy so I guess that inspired me to hurry up and get in out of the cold! So,  I was quite ready for some help when she arrived. It was an easy task to move, not such an easy one to reassemble it. After a couple of oooops, we finally got it together. Our task then was to decide just where to place it and we both liked the same angle. Once that was done, we sat down and pretty much finished up my cards. It's so much quicker when you can hand off jobs to someone else. One more bit to add then I can address them and get them in the mail.

So, without further waiting, here it is!  

1) The scrapbooking desks. This is the area that will likely be used the most. The area in back in the media area. This houses our scrapping supplies (well, come of them) as well as the computer, printer, Cricut, and anything electronic. It's especially nice to have some music on there to listen to. Thanks to Lloyd for installing the speakers before he left for Ontario on Friday! Also thanks to Brenda for picking up the speed frames for our desk drawers.

2) The weaving loom finally has a space to live! The warping board on the floor to the right, is still to be attached to the wall. Notice the spinning wheel motif on the wall? Brenda and I found that a week ago at Value Village when we were waiting for our dance class. A very different piece  you'd really need just the right place to hang.

3)  Our refreshment area. The fridge just fits under the butcher block table. The coffee maker and tea kettle will come in handy (when we run out of wine??).  The fridge is also a great place to store snacks for those necessary breaks from working really hard! Missing from the shelf above the table? The wine glasses and tea cups we used and are waiting to be washed and returned.

4) Sewing / work table. The sewing machine and serger will be moved out there and this large table will be used as a cutting, sewing, whatever needed, table. It's just waiting for some new trim around the edges but that will wait till the new year.

5) The Visiting Crafter's Meghan's craft table. I'm sure when she's here it will be well used. We had 6 plush easter baskets that were just too cute to throw away after the eggs were gone so I kept them. They work well as containers for markers, pencil crayons, etc. Functional and cute!

Over all, I think it's going to be a pretty great place to hang out. Thanks so much to Lloyd as well as Brenda and Bernie, who have also had a hand in it's creation!  It turned out just as I had envisioned.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday, December 6th - time to kick into festive mode

Not a lot going on and the only really big news the past couple of days was the weather. As predicted, Wednesday was a pretty nasty day. Started out rainy so the drive in to work was okay. Then it quickly turned to snow with really high winds. Not a great day to be outside. We did get a bit of an accumulation, but it's really hard to tell with all the wind blowing it around everywhere, just how much we got. Lucky for me a lot of customers cancelled their appointments so I was able to get my snow tires put on before heading home. It was still pretty blustery when I left work, but with most things in the province closed for the day, traffic was very light. I took the back way home and just took my time. No problem. It took a little longer to get home but nothing too serious happened.

 That is until I was coming home last night and as I rounded the bend in Websters Corner, I could plainly see the ribs of Bernie's building - a very large covered building, which was no longer covered. It's a devastating sight to see and a pretty frustrating situation for him. We know what the guys will be doing over the Christmas holidays. It can be replaced but from what I understand it's not an easy job and will require many hands. But, being the island, I know those hands will all show up when the time comes. Just a modern day barn raising I suppose. It's hard to imagine the wind can be so powerful. We truly are at the mercy of Mother Nature sometimes and all our modern technology is pretty much useless at times.

After the fury of the storm, Thursday was a milder day with no wind. Now this morning it's 4', heading for a high of 8' and rain. That should pretty much finish off our snow. With luck we'll get some more before the holidays but it's not unusual for us to not really get much in the way of snow before the new year.

The past couple of nights were spent getting stuff ready for Lloyd to go to Ontario. I have a couple of little things that I want him to take with him so have been doing some last minute details.  I have lots to do to keep me busy while he's away. When he does get back it will only be 10 days till Christmas so I want to try and get as much done as I can while he's gone. Once the rest of the craft room has been cleared out, I can get busy on that space and then work my way through the rest of the house. At some point, I will also need to dig out the Christmas decorations as well. I'm not sure a week is going to be long enough for him to be away! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday, December 4th - could be an interesting weather day today

It's a very blustery, rainy 2' at 5:15 am but it's feeling more like -6 with the heavy winds. It's likely to drop to 0' later, with a wind chill of -9. We have a rainfall warning for this morning, and a wind warning, with gusts up to 100 km/hr. Add to that mix the possibility of 5 to 10 cm of snow and it could be a very interesting day before it's over. No worries, we'll just deal with it.  I may throw my snow tires in the back of the car this morning and see if they can squeeze me in later this afternoon. It might be time.

It was a busy night here on Monday as Brenda moved stuff from the house and I put the baskets away. I sorted some but there still needs to be some fine tuning. It still looks like a large amount of stuff to move but it's not really that bad. I spent some time yesterday putting it all into one pile and it's manageable. We didn't do anything last night as it was just way too mucky outside. Tonight's not looking too great either. No problem, I can set about doing a bit more sorting upstairs and hopefully we can move a bit more later in the week. I'm hopeful we can move the loom on the weekend and that will be the last piece of the puzzle. It's such a great space, I hate to come in once I get out there. So, once again, thank you Lloyd!

I have to tell you about the picture. A couple of weeks ago, an elderly lady came into the dealership and asked if I was the lady who lives in Pisquid. When I said yes, she turned to her husband and said "Go to the car".  She's the sister of one of the previous owners, and her brother had said she might have some old photos of the house. Well, did she have a picture! It's a large, framed, hand coloured aerial photo of the property taken in 1967. That doesn't seem so long ago, but when you do the math, it was 46 years ago. How did I get so old?  I was a teenager of 15 in that year. Anyway, there have been a LOT of changes in that 46 years, although the house still looks exactly the same, except for the colour of the roof. It's amazing to see what was on this property not so long ago. Wish it was all still here.(on the other hand, if all those buildings were still here, I wouldn't have my amazing craft space, so I guess everything does happen for a reason).

 I'm so grateful to her for giving it to me - it's a priceless artifact to have. The funniest part of the whole thing? There's a tractor sitting in the shadow in front of the barn (if you click on the photo, it enlarges) and it looks exactly like the tractor that now lives here! Probably the same vintage!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Monday, December 2nd - that means the Christmas Dishes can move to the everyday spot for a while!

After a cold Saturday and a much milder Sunday, we're heading for a high of 5' and maybe a little rain in the morning. It's 2' at 5:30 and the temperatures are predicted to stay mild for most of the week. Great opportunity to get those Christmas lights up! All I have to do is find them.

It was indeed a busy weekend, as predicted. Friday evening, I picked up some pizzas (again - this could be our new Friday Feast!) and the Van Gaals met us at our house. The object of the evening was to make apple crisp for 60 people. Turns out we could have fed 100 but that's another issue. Lloyd and Bernie had graciously offered to help with the peeling. Of course there was machinery involved. Each was equipped with
Dueling apple peelers
their own apple peeler. Brenda and I couldn't help but laugh at the conversation that was taking place. Why one worked differently than the other, what technical pieces needed to be adjusted, etc, etc. Turns out that both peelers operated the same - peeling, coring and cutting the apples all at the same time. Who knew? That left Brenda to put the apples in the pans as they were peeled and I put together a topping. When the apples were all in the pans we added sugar and a bag of cranberries to each pan, then the topping.

They were put into the oven and a while later they came out nice and golden and delicious. That was
a good head start. Saturday I imposed upon Brenda, who had to go to town, to pick up the rolls. Lloyd was helping Bernie with some cement that was being poured, when he got home from work at 8:00 and I set about prepping. Fortunately Lloyd had taken all the turnips, carrots and potatoes to work with him and spent the better part of his night peeling and cutting up all of those. I am very grateful that he did as it saved a lot of work on Saturday morning.

I had made myself a check list and hung it on the door so I could easily keep track of what needed doing and hopefully, not forget anything.

By early afternoon, I was in pretty good shape. I sent Brenda home with a turkey to put into her oven to roast, while I put three in mine, and then stuffed the pork roasts. Lloyd had gone to bed when he got home around 10:30 and he slept until 4:00, which was good as I knew it would be a busy night.

Finally it was show time. He loaded up the car and headed over to the hall to check out the set up while I finished up a few things here. Then when he got back, I went over to cook the veggies and do what little things I could do. He stayed home to debone the turkeys and make the gravy. Brenda brought her turkey over when it was done and they both brought everything else over to the hall.

The set up wasn't quite the same as we had initially expected so we had to make a few modifications but it all worked out. Everyone was fed and we're told they really enjoyed their meal. Our mission was accomplished.  It was lots of work but it's nice to have it over now so we can concentrate on more important things!

Sunday morning wasn't nearly as cold so we used the opportunity to move all the wire shelves and baskets from the spare room upstairs to the craft room outside.  I brought all the baskets downstairs, Lloyd carried them out to the garage and I carried them back up the stairs. Now I know why my calf muscles are a little stiff this morning. Lloyd says he now has a much greater respect for Will and Ethan, who initially carried all this stuff into the house on moving day way back when.  With the racks out there, Lloyd was able to install the top I bought to form a desk. Then the computer, monitor and printer went out. No internet as yet but apparently that will come.  We also installed the miscellaneous desk, that coincidentally will be the visiting crafters desk i.e. Meghan's Desk!  Tonight I'll start sorting through the baskets and reorganizing them as they've gotten extremely messed up. Time to do a bit of editing I think.

It was especially nice not to have to worry about what to make for supper on Sunday either. It was the volunteer supper at the Rec Centre. We enjoyed mussels, BBQ steak, baked potatoes, potato salad, coleslaw and a wide assortment of dessert, including a really yummy coconut cream pie (sorry you missed it Brenda!) Needless to say, the diets kind of went out the window this weekend. 

All in all a very productive weekend. Young James also had a very productive weekend. He and his mom and sister were in Ottawa at a speed skating meet all weekend. I'm told it was VERY cold there on Saturday - minus 19' without the wind chill and lots of snow.  Unfortunately they didn't have wi fi at the arena so we weren't able to use Face Time as we hoped, but Patti kept me informed by phone and text. He did quite well on Saturday and his point count had him in first place. I talked to Patti on Sunday morning and he was heading into a 3,000 metre race, the
longest distance he's ever raced. He's only ever gone 1,500 metres and that's a challenge so she wasn't sure how he'd do with the longer distance. Turns out he did okay because he finished first over all. Well done, James. I know he's pretty pleased with himself and rightly so. His coach looked pretty pleased in the photo Patti sent me. In past years he coached all three of his kids, who went on to skate in the Olympics. Looks like he's pretty good at his job. Definitely an asset to  the Cambridge club.