Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tuesday ramblings

We had to drive way up to the northern part of New Brunswick on Sunday as Isaac had a hockey game in Grand Falls.  The arena was lovely with comfortable seats (for once) and lots of windows.

Even the chairs at the snack bar area were hockey-themed

I knew there was a place that you could zipline over the falls....apparently in January said waterfall freezes....

This is what it looks like in the summer (I snitched this photo from their website)

By the time we headed home it was almost dark...and my windshield was very, very dirty.

Tonight I'm hosting my book club ladies, we read "The Postmistress" this month. While I'm  running around getting the house tidied up and making caramelised onion dip....these two are resting up...they've got a lot of begging to do tonight.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Mudroom reveal

Finally finished painting and got the mudroom back together.  The picture doesn't really show the correct paint colour (Benjamin Moore Chestertown Buff)...it's kind of a warm golden-yellow.  Also I want to get a new ceiling light...the one I have is ghastly.  I got a few photos enlarged ( only spending around $14.00..thank you Costco) and switched out the photos that were in some frames I had in other rooms.  I poached a little black and white rug that was formerly in a bedroom and bought a gallon of paint ($42.00) so the total cost for this little mudroom makeover was $56.00, not counting my free labour (not sure if anyone would pay me for my painting skills).

View from the kitchen into the mudroom

The old cookie tin came out of my grandmother's house and the vintage metal Barbie lunchbox was a Christmas gift to me from the same grandmother.  I was happy to finally have somewhere to put it.  

The picture on the top left (a copy of Van Gogh's "Starry night") was painted by Isaac last year for Grade 10 Art class project.  It looks quite professional matted and framed.

View coming down the backstairs

The tidy mudroom was short-lived....if you opened the door now you would see two hockey sticks leaned against the wall, gloves on the table on top of the Barbie lunch box, and muddy dog prints on the rug..oh well.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Evil mudroom of doom

So after two weeks of lounging around reading books, the time has come to tackle the entryway/mudroom.
This is what you see when you come into our house...there is a door on the left that goes into the kitchen, there is a twisty set of back stairs that goes to the master bedroom and straight ahead there is a room with a window and lots of wooden pegs to hang coats etc.
It is kind of blah....and hasn't been painted for years...
This is the little room in the back that has pegs all around for coats and boot trays on the floor...it gets really, really messy by times.

I picked out a golden yellow colour (Benjamin Moore's Chestertown Buff) and started painting today...then I ran out of paint and had to drive to the city (45 minutes each way) so now I'm back and I better get busy because some of the junk from the mudroom is now in my kitchen....
And all the coats are piled up in the den.  I had a few photos from our trip to California enlarged and finally got a few other things framed so I'm hoping to get the painting done tonight and hopefully the pictures up and everything put away tomorrow.  I really don't mind the actual painting but I hate sorting through stuff and having the house in disarray.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Donna Domestic

I usually have a big "to do" list for January.  I don't work in the studio  for Jan and Feb because it's too cold so I like to get a few projects done in the house that I avoid all year....like painting  a room..or organizing my photos...or getting all my paperwork done before tax time (yuck).  This January I have been avoiding my "to do" list like the plague..and doing a lot of reading, knitting and reading blogs, wasting time of facebook computer work.

I have been baking (and subsequently eating) a lot.  I came across this recipe for no-knead bread yesterday.  I mixed it up in my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook attachment.  It is divine.

This is what it looked liked straight out of the oven.....before it was promptly devoured by my family.
I set it beside the woodstove to rise for 30 minutes before baking (I had to be constantly vigilant that the "always starving" golden retriever didn't gobble it up)
This is what it looked like right before I popped it in the oven.
I convinced Isaac to bbq steaks...in the snow...
BBQ steak, oven frites, mushrooms and onions...and yummy bread, January is looking up.

The bread recipe makes enough for 4 loaves, you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks then when you want fresh bread you just slice off a grapefruit-sized piece of dough, let it rise for 30 minutes and bake.

I cooked it on a pizza stone and put a pan of water in the oven at the same time like the recipe requests and the crust was perfect.  I also used 2 cups whole wheat flour and 4.5 cups of white flour instead of all white.  Also I found it a bit salty so next time I will cut the salt in half.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Yarn Along January 18, 2012

Today I am joining Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along where you take a picture of what you are reading and knitting...then share.

This is the first little hexagon I've knit following the Beekeeper's Quilt Pattern by Tiny Owl Knits which I purchased on Ravelry.  You knit between 300 - 500 little hexagons then  sew them together to make a quilt like the one shown below (which I did not make....yet).  I think I might be a little old lady before I finish this but it is a nice way to use up remnants of sock yarn.

I just started "The Virgin Cure" by Ami McKay but I'm sure I will love it because her  last book, The Birth House  is one of my all-time favourites.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

I've been tagged

I am usually really bad about completing these contest things but I've been tagged by Janie @Janie Fox Talks and I love her...and her blog so I'm going to play along.

The rules are:

1. post the rules.
2.  post eleven fun facts about yourself
3.  answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4.  tag eleven people and link them on your post
5. let them know you’ve tagged them

Eleven fun facts about me:

1.  When Scott and I got married we bought a house 1 mile from the house I grew up in....that's right I have lived my entire 42 years in the same 1-mile radius. (cue banjo music)

2.  I played matchmaker to two of my friends...and they've been married almost 10 years now.

3. There were only 42 students in my  class the year I graduated from high school.

4. My middle name (Beryl) was my mother's maiden name....I hated that she did that to me, but then I returned the favor by giving my oldest son  this middle name, (Rutherford) which was my maiden name...fair's fair.

5. When I was young my best friend and I each had a pony and we rode them everywhere...bareback...without a helmet...my mother did not worry about us.....I wish I was more like my mother.

6.  I will do anything to avoid: 1. vomit  2. rats (in that order)

7.  I have been a bridesmaid 3 times and each bridesmaid dress was scarier than the last, my mother kept all the dresses in her attic (for some unknown reason).

8.  I only tried smoking once in my life and it was at a wedding reception after I drank way too much punch....and I was one of the  bridesmaids ( tacky, I know but I blame the  dress).

9.  When I was 8 we went camping and there was a circus setting up at the campground, I went over to the elephant (which was chained by one foot, I kid you not), he swung his trunk, hit me in the chest and knocked me out.  I love that this happened to me because really it makes the best story, ever.

10.  I go on yearly girls trips with my 2 sisters, 2 aunts and my mother.  We are so loud hotel staff sometimes knock on the door and warn us to behave.  (This seldom works). 

Now for the answers to the eleven questions Janie asked me:

1. Favorite chipmunk...Alvin, Simon, or Theodore?
Would it scare you if I said I am not a fan of the chipmunks...any of them?

2. Plastic tubs or cardboard boxes?
I'm all about the plastic tubs...with labels...they really bring out my OCD.

3.  What's your best suggestion for a gag gift?
Well once  for a Christmas yankee swap I bought red velvet boxer shorts with white fur trim and a matching santa hat...that seemed to go over well.

4. Who is your favorite author? Bonnie Burnard

5. Do you have a lucky number/letter? Probably "M"

6. What would your brother/sister say is your best quality? 
  Probably my memory

7. Do you paint your toenails in the winter?
Yes, yes and yes....I have terrible fingernails so I compensate with fabulous toenail polish.

8. How old were you when you had your first date?
Does the drive-in count? (I know what you're thinking). Well then I'd have to say 17....then I married him...go figure.

9. If you were in the Miss USA contest what would be your talent?
Is tap dancing still "in"?  ok, I didn't think so....

10. Are a you a lover or a fighter?
Definitely a lover...I avoid fights at all cost.

11. Kardashians...friend or foe?
I have seriously never seen the show...but I have a weakness for "The Real Housewives of NYC" (hot shame)
Now for my 11 questions:

1.  When did you realize you were an adult?

2.  What is your favourite food?

3.  Real Christmas tree....or fake?

4.  If you could re-do something in your life what would it be?

5.  What is the worst thing that happened to you on a vacation?

6.  Which do you prefer; going to a movie in a theater or renting it at home?

7.  What is your greatest talent?

8.  Do you re-wash the pre-washed salad greens before you use them?

9.  What tv show do you watch that you are embarrassed to admit?

10.  What was the first record album you bought (or cd if you are not old like me)

I know it is sad...and secretly you pity me....but I only have 14 followers and they don't all have blogs so I will link to a few less than 11.

1. Megan @ Living the Dream

2. Amanda @Karmama

3. Lisa @Mommie Dearest Strikes Again

4. Aint Nobody Here but us Chicks

5. Mary@ Life in a Small Town

6. Suzette @The Frat Pack + me

Phew....I need a nap now.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Weekend recap

Since we finally have a bit of snow Saturday was spent cross country skiing in the woods behind our house. 

I love these trails because you pass a couple little cabins that belong to our neighbours.

I had to pack a little snack of brandy in a flask and dark chocolate (for safety's sake..in case we got lost....wink)
I informed Scott that the only (and I do mean ONLY) time it is ok to wear a fanny pack is if you are carrying a flask of brandy and dark chocolate for your wife.  I should have tried to cram my SLR camera in that fanny pack as my photos are a tad overexposed.

Sunday it was too slippery to go running...and too cold outside to do just about anything else so I had to spend some quality time with Jillian.

This could explain why I hobbled downstairs this morning practically on all fours.  I think she is insane.  God I hate January.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

All on a January Day

Today I am thankful for a few things;
The appliance repair guy came this morning and replaced the fan in my oven....I was going to take a picture...but..."plumber's crack" does not apply only to plumbers (if you get my drift).

I was so happy to have my oven repaired I had to make this yummy clementine loaf which had the added bonus of using up some clementines that had seen better days...and giving me the chance to use my grandmother's orange juicer thingy...

I am also thankful to have a husband that works most days in front of a computer....but is equally at home with a chainsaw and an axe.  I had to sneak these photos paparazzi-style from an upstairs window while he split up the giant rotten maple tree that was threatening to fall on our house.  You can't see them...but take my word for it...he rocks those safety glasses.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

10 on 10 January edition

I'm joining up today with Rebekah today for 10 on 10.  I hope you enjoy!
I was out for a run this morning and I had to snap of pic of this cosy red house...my favourite in  the neighbourhood
I love woodpiles...not sure why
Finally picked our kayaks up at the lake (which is now frozen), and put them away for the winter in my parent's old barn
Lots of photo ops in the old barn
love these old numbers
Hot pink nail polish to liven up a dull January day
Trying to get my photos organised

Hockey practise

Monday, 9 January 2012

Just checking in...

This was the first quiet day since before Christmas as school and university started back up today.  I have a few things I want to do in January like organize (ok..print) a lot of my photos that are still on the computer.  I love digital for many reasons...but I love looking through photo albums...so printing out and organizing photos is a priority... right after I finish these books.

I have a huge crush on Jann Arden...I'm pretty sure she would be the funniest dinner date ..ever.
I really enjoyed this book...staying up way too late last night finishing it was not a good idea especially when my alarm clock went off this morning at 6:45
Reading becomes a bit more difficult when Isaac comes home afterschool.......he has a Beatles obsession...just hope he doesn't try to grow a "Ringo" 'stache.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Rink

About 8 years ago Scott decided we needed a skating rink in our backyard so he built a dam at the end of a drainage ditch and voila...it flooded and froze.  He was in heaven...{are backyard rinks only a Canadian thing?}, there are so many in our area....it seems to be a "man thing".  He floods it late at night  with warm water so the ice will be smooth again.  He put  up worklights so we can skate after dark.  The ratio of time spent working on the rink vs time spent actually skating has to be about 10:1.

This is how it looked the day before Christmas when we had some beautiful, fluffy snow.

Since then the snow has melted :-(

We has some friends from Maine here for New Year's so there was a Canada vs USA hockey game.....

This year we added a fire pit...and some bales of straw to sit on

Even the cat pays the rink a visit now and then..

I think I need to work on my "after-dark" photography