Friday, 31 August 2012

One, Two,Three, and another and another and....

The last long weekend of the summer is coming up and I am a bit annoyed that summer has passed by so quickly. 
It seems like just yesterday that I was telling you that the spring snow melt was trying to take out our bridge.


The boys go back to school on Tuesday - one to Grade 12 and the other to Grade 9 .
They are excited, they like school.

 Time passes too quickly.   Just as they are getting interesting it will be time for them to move on.
I am not happy.

But I still have flowers!


They are full of pollen and since I brought them into the house we are all sneezing and the stocks in Reactine must have gone up substantially.




The seed  package said they were ornamental sunflowers for a cutting garden but they grew so tall I need a tree-limber to cut the blossoms off.

Son #2 suggested I plant runner beans next year and that way he can sneak out from his bedroom window.

(right - that will happen)


Son #1 bought himself a car in anticipation of passing his drivers road test at the end of November.
He worked really hard, and gave up a lot of teenage time with his buddies and the girlies, to get this car.

Here's The Husband showing him how to check fluid levels.






I made him a shirt - and no, VW, relax, I will not be selling these on the black market.




Since he can't drive it on his own  for a few months he drives with the 'rents and last night offered to drive us to town for Frostys.


One the way home Son #2 said, "Hey! now that you have a car, can I buy your motorcycle?"

(this is not a face you can trust - he is quite devious!)

oh, dear....
There will be no runner bean plants next year.

I'm not going to make sneaking out, and driving off, easy for him.

My plans for this last long weekend of the summer?  Counting all the new gray hairs on my head.

Anything special for you?




Sunday, 26 August 2012

Mutant Giants

I am an organic gardener.
Water, compost and sun.

Last year I posted a picture of my giant tomato.




This year I am posting a picture of my giant blackberries.



I think that consuming these mutants is the reason for my ever growing derriere.
That's the story I'm going with.
It has nothing to do with chocolate.
Or cheesecake.

I will not be posting a picture.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Let a Squint be your Umbrella

When the sun is shining brightly and I am wearing my cheap sunglasses (they should make a song about that)  I find that I squint a lot.  The squint action causes my cheeks to tighten and then I look like I'm smiling.

I have had many people return my *smile*

At first I thought there was something wrong - skirt tucked into my underwear,  toilet paper dragging from my shoe, those sorts of things but then I caught a glance of myself in a large window and sure enough I looked like I was smiling.
The worker bees inside gave a wave, a nod and also the uplifted chin in the  younger generation 'sup?' version of a nod.

 The thought then crossed my mind as to what they thought was going on with me.
prozac?
hot date?
just saw someone do something ridiculous?
just won money on the lottery?
prozac?

It doesn't matter really.
My squint made them smile - their smile made me smile.
Thank goodness for cheap sun glasses.



Tuesday, 21 August 2012

23 Adult Truths

I don't know the original source of these 'truths' but I found this here . 
 Pinterest is great  (unless you are the owner of something) and then you are lost in the void.  

So to whoever compiled this list, thank you! .


Monday, 20 August 2012

Invasion of the Gourd - and other things...

There is a joke in the Canadian Prairies that says to be sure to lock your car.
If you don't you will find, upon your return, the back seat  full of bags of zucchini.

This might be funny if it weren't true.



Each year I plant one zucchini plant and each year I have enough zucchini for the neighborhood.
It is amazing how many things you can make with zucchini and still have a gunny sack full and you just don't know don't know what to do with them.  

Each year we let them get as large as a football players lower leg just to go "wow, is that one ever big!"
Each year we say, "Let's not plant zucchini next year."

But I always find the seed packet in the seed  bag in the garage fridge and think, oh, what the heck - might as well.

This year I found a new recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake.
It is very delicious.
Worth buying a zucchini at the store if you haven't grown your own garage full.

This is it.

2 1/4 cup AP Flour
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Butter
2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs (large)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 cups grated unpeeled Zucchini
1 cup semi sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

Oven at 350 deg F.
Use a buttered and floured 9 x 13 pan or a Bundt Pan .

Sift flour, cocoa, b.soda and salt and set aside.  Beat sugar, butter and oil till well blended and add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.  Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk - start with dry and end with dry.
Mix in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts.
Bake 50 minutes for a 9 x 13 pan and 1 hr 10 min for a bundt pan.  

Dense, chocolately and delicious.
We all thought so but Son #2, who should be a detective, said "there's something in here - what is it?"
"walnuts". I said.

In addition to zucchini I love having a garden full of veggies and fruits.
And as an ex-prairie girl who moved to gardening heaven I grow (or try to grow) everything.
After digging, seeding, watering and weeding ( and complaining that I get no help and my lower back hurts!) here are some of the results of my efforts.


Peas and Carrots. - crunchy and sweet.

I bought a fig twig last year.  This year it produced fruit.  When we returned from our little vacation there were two figs that had ripened.  They were drooping on the stalk and were a deep purplish color.
 I was so excited.
I had never tasted one -  fresh and juicy,  right off the tree.
I bit into it and excitement was replaced with disappointment.

Like the zucchini they are flavorless.
Sweet but bland.
Darn it! I was hoping for something delicious.


Tomato, about a week and a half away from being a toasted tomato sandwich



 Peas, Beets, Carrots and Leeks.


Zucchini Blossom - too big to stuff with goat cheese filling and deep fry.
But there will be more.


Green Gage Plums - Now these are delicious!


But today, instead of making pickles and relish or jams and jellies, we did this.








I love the Okanagan!
  

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Sign - just in time for the Weekend.



I often take things as a "sign" and seeing this today I jumped to the conclusion that I was meant to make these this weekend and so I shall.  
 You may, or may not, hear from me soon. 

Because if they are good.... well, you get the picture.









Method:

- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries and lime juice. Fill with ice and add simple syrup and gin. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.
- Fill a Collins glass with ice. Double strain into serving glass using a cocktail strainer and its strainer or a mini fine-mesh strainer to prevent the blackberry seeds from going into the glass. Add tonic water and stir gently. Garnish with a few blackberries on a skewer.
Note: To make simply syrup, combine equal parts of water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. Cool before using, It will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Photo credits:
Ingredients (with the exception of the tonic water and gin) from Fotolia.com
Tonic water courtesy of Fever-Tree
Gin courtesy of Hendrick’s Gin

Intermezzo Satin highball designed by Erika Lagerbielke from Orrefors






Thursday, 16 August 2012

She Calls me Brenda - That's Not My Name

I don't know what to say any more.

She has been calling me Brenda since 2003.

I know she has me confused with another woman from the elementary school in our neighborhood who's name really is Brenda.

Today she ran across the parking lot, "Brenda!, Brenda!"

I paid no attention because I respond to Mom or Joy.
and  sometimes "Hey!"

She must think I have a hearing problem.
It matches her remembering problem.

Sheila,  For the Millionth time!  That's Not My Name!


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A Mother of an Invention


I pride myself on being a sewer.  I have two industrial sewing machines and two home version sewing machines. 
 I have made wedding dresses, bathing suits, leather purses, jeans and countless costumes and  assorted garments for our boys but yesterday this is how Son #1 left the house to go to work.




My First Aid kit contains a roll of Duck Tape and now too, so shall my sewing room.

And to think of all the time I wasted actually mending things for them!

Necessity, you are the Mother of Invention.

And Duck Tape, I have always loved you.





Tuesday, 14 August 2012

No Plan and No Map Video Do-Over



Video in YouTube for you Suz!

( It is not so pink once he jumps and I stop pointing toward the sun.)
(and I usually don't sound like this - it sounds like I have the rope around my throat - but in my defense I was scared beyond words)

This is my mantra.

#anxiety girl



Here's the video.




No Plan and No Map

Week One 
Lightning, thunder, rain,  and life in a small trailer turns into a car trip to Kelowna to shop, eat, shop, eat and stay in a hotel.
We had one day of boating, tubing and wake boarding and the other nice day we went to a pool party at the neighbors.
Several cocktails were consumed - it's okay I was on holiday!


Week Two
This is the Without a Plan and Without a Map part and done in a borrowed not too modern motor home.

We drove 
We shopped
We drove
We ate
We drove

We saw where The Husband grew up -yikes! (quite remote and a very small village)

We took the ferry
We saw a snake (I HATE snakes)
We saw bears, deer and a raccoon
We drove


We bungeed - well not me I'm afraid of heights

We zip lined - again not me  (heights)

 We hiked

We travelled in a motor home which is an experience not to be missed .  ugg

We stayed in a resort

We surfed -not me - (someone needs to hold the stuff)

We skim boarded - (not me - someone needs to keep Archie the Dog out of trouble)

We ate

We laughed.  And laughed and laughed - I think too much fresh air is not a good thing for your brain it makes everything funny.

We played in the tidal pools

We ran into our neighbors who were as stunned to see us as we were them.

I did laundry

We stopped in Lytton, Savona, Vancouver ,Nanaimo,  White Rock, Tofino, Uculet ,Cathedral Forest, Parksville ,Coombs, and Hope,
In Lytton I tried to buy cheese and the clerk said the only cheese they had was inside the smokies.   ?  !  

We are glad to be home.

I am putting all the photos at the end so that you can silently say, "Oh God here she is with slides of her vacation" and then quitely slip away to get a cold beverage...........

Too close to home to get out of the motor home.

Maybe we'll just drive and never get out.

Anyone want to hike to the waterfall?  no..  no.. no.. sigh.


Parksville sand castle contest.  We were not the builders, just the gawkers.


Driving to Tofino


  No. no echo here.


This is where Son #1 lost a $50 filter to his camera and we had to convince him The Vacation was not ruined.

It is 32 deg C here while you wouldn't know that by the attire.


The husband is an adventurer - he rode his bike from London to Greece and back! (he didn't cycle the entire way he did take a couple of ferrys). I would have flown home from Greece.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I would have flown back from the first ferry crossing which is the English Channel.  



I think there's something dead in here - or maybe someone's sandwich - but Archie the Dog is determined to get it.


Archie the Dog hopped onto this log by himself and the nearby tourist thought he was an agility dog.  HA!  He only has to be agile enough to hop up on our bed.  He had fun though.








This is Tofino.




This old boat has been turned into a "hotel".  They were calling a B & B except they didn't offer the second B.









MacKenzie Beach where we stayed in the motor home and also found the great Crystal Cove Resort.



Chestermans Beach.

See the tiny black dots in the upper left side of the photo - this is where the surf lessons were taken.

Arm indicates 'I'm going that way'




Leg indicates "darn it!"


Wet sand indicates its not as easy as once thought



Five hours was just about enough of this for them.



ahhhhh, the smell of dead ocean things!



A bit chilly.  Next year Florida? 


Crystal Cove Resort.
Much more comfortable than the motor home......



....which we had to leave at the front gates as motor homes not allowed.



They are always waiting for me they say but when we get to where we are going it's "mom did you bring the....?"




Things I hate to step on when I'm in the water.


This kite surf almost drove Archie the Dog insane!  He ran off down the beach to attack it and when he saw just how large it was he spent the rest of the day growling but with his tail between his legs.


Long Beach surfing was most unsuccessful but they had a wonderful time.


Long Beach - 22 km in length



More Long Beach





Downtown Ucuelet



Cathedral Forest

Zip lining over the Nanaimo River.

 Bungy over the Nanaimo River!



And finally, the video of the Bungy Jump.  The voices are myself and Son #2.  Speaking was very difficult but considering the dry mouth, while holding back the urge to puke, I think I did okay.


video

Okay, that's it.  Back to reality.
Next post - vegetables and crafts (or maybe not).