Friday, 29 March 2013

Happy Easter, Happy Spring

My birthday was yesterday and I was very spoiled with flowers, cards, gifts and a delicious dinner cooked for me by my 83 year-old mother in law.  Our oldest son came home from university he met us at my inlaws so we were all there, it was lovely.

Last year for my birthday I really wanted an Iphone....but when I went to buy it I found out the Iphone 5 was coming out very soon so I waited.  Then life got in the way and the car needed fixed and the house needed painted then  hockey season started so the Iphone idea faded. 

Scott insisted we go to the mall on Tuesday and get one for me for this birthday....but I thought the price was scandalous...$670 for a telephone?  What has the world come to?  I really wanted something to act as a GPS when we are travelling and something to book hotels etc. on the road and keep in touch with home.....and the screen was so small on the Iphone.

Anyway in the end we got an Ipod mini.  I'm having fun with it so far...figuring it out as I go along. My favourite feature so far is Facetime. I was cooking supper on Wednesday and Scott's sister and I had a lovely visit while on Facetime.  The only problem was that I had just come back from running and my hair was a mess...and I was making a complicated recipe so my kitchen was a mess too....Facetime puts a lot of pressure on you to have everything looking decent.

In other news Calvin went to the groomer and got his spring clip.  He looks more like a yellow lab now than a golden retriever but he smells great.

The sun is shining here and I'm looking forward to a lovely weekend, Happy Easter.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Spring Things

Around here maple season is in full swing....we tapped the maple trees on our property and have been collecting sap and boiling it down to syrup for almost 2 weeks.  So far we have almost 4 quarts of maple syrup tucked away in the freezer.  

We also had our little nieces over for taffy on snow.  Basically you get some fresh clean snow and pack it into a large pan, then you heat your maple syrup up until it is 115 degrees Celsius then you pour it out over the snow.  You use a wooden popsicle stick...or fork..and twirl up the is so good.

I've also been making dumplings.  Years ago when I attended art college I met Boakun who had recently moved to Canada from China.  She was so generous and when she brought her lunch she would always bring me a sample too.  Her dumplings were my favourite so she gave me the recipe.  They are kind of a pain to make...but so yummy.  I can post the recipe here sometime if anyone is interested.

Here they are before I steamed them....

In other news...Isaac turned 18, baby is an adult.

We took him shopping last night for his graduation suit.  Most of the guys are buying suits for prom instead of renting a tuxedo like our oldest son did when he graduated 4 years ago.

It is a custom at our son's high school that a parent (the mother for boys...and the father for the girls) escorts the graduate into the school gymnasium on prom night.  Then the graduates pair up with their prom date and leave for the prom.  What that means for me is trying to find a formal dress that doesn't make me a)look like I'm attending my prom at 43 years old  b)look like a  cougar....or c) make me look matronly....wish me luck!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Is not spending money the same as earning money?

Today I present to you the handle/wand of my central vacuum.  It broke 3 months ago so my lovely husband splinted it with a piece of wood...and duct tape.  I thought this was a temporary fix until I ordered a new handle attachment...then I found out said attachment was $259...yikes.  The central vacuum is 15 years old and the motor makes distressing sounds but I don't want to replace the entire system when only the handle of the hose is broke.  Therefore I gently vacuum and Scott installs a new splint periodically.  

I really hate to spend money on something as boring as a vacuum cleaner.  I only want to spend money on fun things like travel.  

When we were first married we worked at fairly low-paying jobs...and bought our old farmhouse for a reasonable price.  We were just starting to make a bit of progress 3 years in when we decided to have a baby....then another one....then since it was really important to us to have one of us at home while the boys were young...I did not return to work.  This meant living on one income.  We made it work by living in our farmhouse as it was for 10 years without spending any money renovating it.  I did a hilarious combination of jobs while I was at home with the boys to make extra money...they included:  book keeper, math tutor, wedding cake maker, dog groomer...and I also sold eggs, cheesecake and organic vegetables that we grew at a local farmer's market.  Needless to say although these jobs kept life interesting....we were not rich.

Eventually we renovated our farmhouse doing most of the work ourselves and got to the fairly comfortable stage we are in now.  But after staying at home for so many years with our boys...I did not want to return to work, so I attended art and design college for 3 years and became a potter so that I could make an income but still be fairly independent.  Also in this time Scott decided to become self-employed and work from home.

Our income is fairly undependable so we basically live on as little as we can even when we are busy and making more money then when things slow down we have enough saved to see us through the slow times.  

I am willing to make sacrifices in order to live on basically one full-time income.  The place I get my hair cut charges $20 (whereas the dog's haircut costs $ I envy that golden retriever).  I cut Scott's hair myself....and make everything I can home made.  We don't eat a lot of meat which suits me fine anyway.  We rarely go to restaurants for meals (living 30 miles from the nearest city helps).  We usually buy our cars new and keep them for 7-10 years.  We had a Jeep Cherokee for so long that our sons were both in car seats when we bought it and the oldest one drove it to university when he left home.  This post has gotten so long and rambling I'm tempted to delete it...but there is more to say...I think I'll stop now...but there will be part 2...and part 3 of this so be warned.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

10 on 10 March 013

Joining with Rebecca today for 10 on 10 where you take a picture each hour for 10's what my day looked like;

#1 Pot roast ready for the oven

#2 Winter composter

#3 Rhododendron peeking out of its winter covering

#4 Sap is running...maple syrup season is here

#5 Out for a walk with two of my favourites

#6 Sap cans on the biggest maple tree in the yard

#7 Pottery studio

#8 Retro snowmobile

#9 Treats from the farmer's market.....samosas from the Indian food stall and "Bee sting" cake from the German baker

#10 New magazines