Friday, July 30, 2010

So Ends My Vacation

The month has come and gone. What have I accomplished? It certainly doesn't feel like much that's for sure! I suppose I've got a fair share of projects completed but so many weren't even touched.

I got most of the baby quilt done. This was one of the last pictures I took. I was doing the basting of the three layers so that I could start the quilting process. I haven't taken any since but I'm almost done the binding. Just working on the corners now.

Then there is my garden which as gone a little crazy. I've had more cucumbers than I could shake a stick at! So what's a girl to do? Yep that's right. I got to work yesterday and made a dozen jars of pickles. While I was at it I decided to put up some tomatoes and some more jam. Peach/Blueberry and a batch of Spicy Peach. I've got more peach slices in the freezer to do up but had to stop because I ran out of jars and sugar. I'll pick up more this weekend and finish the job on Sunday.
I need to resow the beans in my garden. The bushes are pretty much spent and I know that I'd like to be able to freeze a lot more for the winter. Might as well since I'm on a roll!

Today was spent in a nice manner. The only work I did was to do a sink full of dishes before I picked up the kids. It was actually a good thing since I had gone and finished watching the season finale of Grey's and was so worked up and upset that scrubbing away at the dishes was oddly calming. Ah the hidden joys of domesticity.

Have I mentioned how much I hate doing dishes by hand. I have a brand new dishwasher loaded with all the bells and whistles but it's still sitting in the box in the kitchen. Very annoying. We've been piling things on top of that box which is even worse. It's like the stupid box has found a home that will likely be for some duration.

Our last hamster died. Only 2 short weeks after the bird died. It was really their time. They had actually lived far beyond their expected lifespans. No credit to us. Those poor things didn't get a whole lot of love. I'd feel so guilty for Earnest, who was always sickly that I'd tie big stalks of basil to the cage wall so that he could nibble away but really nothing lured him up from the bottom of the cage in the final weeks. The hamster should have kicked it months ago.

We now have a moratorium on new pets. We are down to just Snoop II the fish and the dogs. No more new pets. Not until the dogs and fish have passed and the boys are much older. At least this time hubby didn't flush them.

Back-to-school shopping is almost completed. I just need to get the labels sewn into their clothes which they will share again this year. They are still the exact same size. So odd. I think all we need to get now are new indoor shoes and lots and lots of new socks.

It is nice to have gotten a few things accomplished. Just wish I could have cloned myself so that at least one of us could have sat and finished a book this month.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh Boy.....!

I had a few spare moments yesterday. Boy did those go poof, as soon as, I wandered into my garden and discovered that my cucumber plants, which were taking over the planet, had in fact over produced.

By the end of my whirlwind of work I had harvested a recycle bin full of cucumbers. Some suspected to be too big and therefore a bit bitter leaving me to have to taste them before I determine if I'll use them. I had also uprooted three of the plants leaving a gaping hole in my garden box. Rest assured in about five minutes that hole will be filled in with the pumpkin vines. No need to panic! *snort*

On top of my cucumber misery I also have more green bell peppers than I can shake a stick at and I'm left wonder if I should look for other means by which to preserve them. If I marinate them and seal them in vacuum bags and freeze the packages I might able to store them for the whole of the winter. Actually, I'm sure that would work famously. It just means a lot more work.

There are also a bunch of tomatoes threatening me from the vine! I guess this will be another week of busy hand work on top of a full work load from the ladies. Some where in there I should attempt to work in some "housework" time. I wonder if it's too late to offer up the teeth drilling without anesthetic option!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


OK! Time to come clean. Not that I'm feeling particularly burdened by my secrets, I've actually just run out of things to blog about this week...ok so for the last week.

I've been putting in a lot of hours lately but on nothing that's really super fun. I thought that with the boys in daycamp all month that I'd finally get to just relax. Nope, didn't happen. Not even for one day and it's been three weeks already.

Then there is the return to Diet Coke. Ahhh that sweet elixir. We went on a trip to London this last weekend and I had a few on the trip down and indulged whenever we stopped to eat. Horrible, just horrible. I was so dehydrated when I got home that it felt like I was going through withdrawl. I'm almost convinced that's what it was. So now whenever I wander into the kitchen it's like I'm actually hoping there will be a cold can of the Devil in my bar fridge. How terrible! So I'm hitting the Perrier a bit harder than usual.

My running is coming along but I have to admit that some of my love for the sport may have vanished or it's buried under my fear of re-injury. I finally covered a 5K distance last night and was pleased that I didn't even feel a twinge but in all honesty. I would have killed for a few extra walk breaks and will admit to dragging out one of the walk breaks by stopping the clock until I felt better. I'm hoping that was just a bad run. I do admit that summer running is my least favourite. I just don't like the heat.

Beyond that there really isn't much to report. My plans for the rest of the week are to get some work for the girls done and put aside then to finish the quilt. Go visit a girlfriend who has just has a new baby, cuddle said baby. Then to pick a room and start clearing out the clutter and get it shipped off. Oh and a bunch of laundry!

Perhaps by putting it in writing it will make it happen.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Project Week

This week has been dedicated to sewing projects (and one bathroom cabinet organized). It's odd that every July, I start to get this nesting thing going for me. It always hits at the same time and it usually has me cruising the fabric stores and yarn shops.

I've had this stash of quilting material burning a whole in my project bag for a little while now but have never had the time to sit and design, cut and sew the patchwork tops. Well today I more than made up for that, despite having E. home from daycamp because he had two back-to-back bad decision days.

We headed out early to drop L. off at camp and then hit Micheal's for last minute notions. Then had breakfast at Wimpy's Diner. Ok, only because there wasn't another coffee shop anywhere in the vicinity and since I had already parked my car in front of the fabric store I didn't want to drive anywhere. Once 10 o'clock rolled by we were in and out of the fabric store with the last bit of material I needed for this project.

Once home the tunes went on. E did his thing and I worked on cutting and arranging the blocks. Next came out the machine and before I knew it, it was time to go and get L. Luckily, leftovers in the fridge meant that I could skip making dinner while I focused on finishing up the quilt top.

Now it just requires me to purchase the binding, batting, and backing material then I can assemble it and start the quilting process. I ought to be done the entire quilt by next Friday. I want to keep going on it while it's still hot on the machine. Otherwise I might get side tracked and wind up finishing it next summer.

Oh I also picked up new yard for hubby's scarf. Last winter I started to make him one but hated the yarn that he choose so much that I couldn't go on with it. It was a cheap black polyester. Totally not worth tying in to knots let alone wearing as a scarf. I'll get on that project first thing in September but I'm hoping to finish up another quilt in between.

Here are snaps of the capes I made the boys. This week's theme was superheros.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Weekend in Review

Friday was a dreamy day. Ok so it rained a lot and I was very busy but it was a good kind of busy. I got all the cake baked, buttercream prepared and fondant done up and waiting for the moment when I could decorate the cake (once I put the boys to bed). Then headed out in the rain to have a wonderful lunch with Sheree.

After lunch I had an hour to blow before picking up the kids so I spent it lingering over a Starbucks coffee and the book stacks. Of course I came out with another quilt book. Then with my creative juices charged I bee-lined right to Whitby Fabrics and purchased almost all the fabric I needed for my new project. There is just one fabric left to obtain in order to do the patchwork top. The allusive soft sage green flora print.

The rest of the night was spent decorating this cake. Cute isn't it? We did L's birthday in the Toy Story theme. Though this year I decided to take it slightly easier. I was originally going to sculpt the figures from gum paste but went with the plastic figurines that he could keep. This actually worked out even better because he loves these little guys.

When all the candles were lit it was quit the sight! I still have to download all the pictures from the weekend.

We took the boys to Cedar Park to do some mini putt and then a nice picnic. After we rested a bit we headed into the splash pad. Wow was that fun. For hubby and I there would have been zero desire to go over to the big slides. It was way too much fun just to stick it out in the kids area. We couldn't have gotten more wet.

Yesterday was an odd day. My time no matter how I planned it out was not my own. I was in and out of the house all day. Finally after the boys went to bed I got to work on two superhero capes for the boys. I was up until 11:30 but the results were so cute. My little heart.

I love being a mom.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crying "Uncle"

OK! Come on already? I was hoping to enjoy my summer vacation but instead I find that I'm hiding in the house because the heat is so oppressive. The only time I've ventured out this week has been to water the garden just after dropping the boys at day camp. Running out briefly to shut the sprinkler off. Then running back out to collect the boys and bring them home.

Today though, I spent a little bit more time out in the garden. I was harvesting herbs because a dear friend of mine was kind enough to loan me her dehydrator. This thing rules and I have to seriously purchase my own since I'm finding more and more uses for it! Today I'm dehydrating lemon balm, basil, thyme, cilantro, sage and mint. As soon as I've got that done and put up in jars I'll head back out and harvest some of my lavender and lemon basil.

Even after taking the scissors to the herb garden I still have a lot more to take out. It's amazing what good fertilizer and a couple of hot days can do to make things shoot up. I've also noticed that my containers of basil need to be divided and distributed. Perhaps I'll do that after dinner if the mosquitoes could hold off.

I've noticed that not only are the mosquitoes bad this year but the flies are just ridiculous. Was the rain to blame for that too?

Now on to the topic of putting myself back on project status. You know that I started the year off with such a fabulous start. Finally getting my eating in line with my new active lifestyle then poof. Running injury. Full stop.

I have admitted that with the injury my eating got completely off track. I still ate the healthy stuff but peppered a lot of my emotional eating with the bad stuff. Attitudes relaxed. Well yesterday I committed to me again. Since I've gotten the all clear from The Good Doc to get back to training (but mindful training) that it's time to get back to business. No more wallowing. So yesterday I decided to honor this commitment.

Though I got off to a bad start with not eating breakfast I was able to ignore the bad cravings and make a very healthy lunch of roasted pepper hummus, kashi flaxseed crackers, a smidge of light cheddar, apple, carrots and a pinch of strawberries from my garden. Washed down with several glasses of ice water with fresh mint (from my garden of course). I munched on half an apple that L decided he wanted to share with me before dinner. Because I didn't make a very good plan for dinner we had sauteed rainbow swiss chard with onions, garlic and mushrooms. I did up two sunny side-up eggs to lay on top and had some 12 grain bread.

After dinner I headed out to a friend's place for a chat and resisted the wine and fruit offering and stuck to a couple of frosty glasses of ice water. I didn't even have a craving for anything else. Came home and poured myself into bed, finished reading Twilight for the third time and fell fast asleep.

Today I tried to have breakfast before taking the kids to camp but puttered around too long and wound up not eating until noon. Fortunately I was able to fight down the craving monsters again and gave into a big batch of organic oatmeal with honey and raisins made up in a nearly empty jar of organic peanut butter. Sooo good! I have a feeling I'm good until dinner time. Which will be grilled pork chops with a Greek styled tomato/cucumber/feta/red quinoa salad. The cucumbers and herbs being supplied by my ample garden box.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Holy cow, it's so hot out. Seriously freak'n hot.

The kids are off to summer camp and I spend most of my days worrying that they are too hot. I'd sure feel better if it cooled off some so that I'd know for sure they'd be ok.

I've been out each day giving my gardens a good soak and I believe the pyramid box is taking over the back yard. Cucumbers are coming in like gang busters and I'll have to either do some serious canning (ok so not in this heat!!) or be giving them away. Soon people will avoid me like they would the Christmas Fruit Cake.

Dinners have been grilled affairs with light salads and even then hardly touched. The a/c is on but the house is set to a steady 78C and if I'm upstairs then I put on the ceiling fans. Anything to keep consumption down. All laundry is done on the line but it feels like penance just putting it out on the line.

I'm not looking forward to running tonight. That really says something. Normally I'm totally all in for going to Run Club but this heat really has me feeling like the poor little Popsicle dude in the picture up there.

Perhaps an iced tea on the way home would be a great carrot for that run tonight.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back Sliding

As I've mentioned earlier this year I put my Diet Coke addiction on project status. I believe I had been dry since January but over the course of the last two months I've slipped back a bit. Not full on chugging but one here and there. At a movie theater, on a quick stop at the convenience store, in a restaurant surrounded by pop drinkers. I've caved. I'm not proud.

I had forgotten how nice the dark fizzy was. Sitting in a cool bowling alley slurping from a tall cold plastic bottle. Oh the the mighty have fallen.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Canada Day

I love these laid back summer holidays. We didn't have much planned for the day except to spend it together as a family. Waking up early which was a novelty. I can thank having a really crazy disturbing dream for that. It was the kind of dream where I say to myself, I don't want to dream this anymore, this is too warped, then wake up. Enjoying a vat of coffee in my new Running Mommy mug (which easily fits 32oz of coffee) and puttering on the porches.

I had hung my flags the night before and enjoyed opening the door to see it. I just wished I had gotten them up earlier in the week. I feel like this holiday crept up on me, what with all the upheavals around here lately. I'm really off my game.

After the kids were fed and dressed hubby headed outside to start the landscaping projects and I made my first batch of strawberry jam. I discovered after picking through my jars in the basement that I only had one box of 1 cup jars so that was my imposed limit for the day. I grumbled and made a mental note to hit Canadian Tire first thing tomorrow morning for a few more boxes. Then on to strawberry picking (if it's not too late).

The moment I took my jam out of the processor I was greated with instant pops. Wow, that's the first time my jars ever sealed that quickly. Usually it takes a few minutes but before I could wipe the water off the jars the seals were all set. Amazing. I hope my next three batches cooperate as well.Taking my lunch out to the deck I enjoyed watching the kids play. L. was happy in the big pile of dirt. He had more dirt on him then there was in the pile. Typical. E. was on the deck in the gazebo creating games with his lego pieces and a die. We took turns playing this new game with him while we took breaks from gardening. I got some fabulous plants at Sheridan the other day all marked 50% because they didn't move quick enough. Some of them a little worse for wear but are already showing signs of recovery with the little TLC they've had in the last two days.

Here is an update on the back yard. It still looks messy but that's because we have a habit of dragging things behind us. We still have three garden beds to work on but the garden, fountain and deck beds look good. A vast improvement.The garden yielded so much broccoli (this is just one of the dishes of broccoli) that there was no way I'd be able to eat it while it was fresh so I blanched and froze a few batches for the colder months. I did however eat the Swiss Chard. I took out the broccoli plants since I had exhausted them and put in three more Swiss Chard plants. I got the nice big pepper in before something cold eat it. The strawberries are trickling in but I give most of them to still warm from the sun to L. who likes to follow me out to see what wonderful yummy things I'll pull from the garden next. The beans are starting to flower and I expect that I'll have a few beans to pick starting late next week if the sun stays out.

I've had to climb up and retrain the cucumbers because they were taking over the planet. I spent more than an hour tending to them yesterday and I have to say that it doesn't look like I accomplished anything. What I did wind up doing was trimming back some of the foliage and extra troublesome vines. This gave the needed room between plants. I've got the starts of 20 cucumbers in the works now. Just need some good hot days.

We have finished dinner which was a couple of organic steaks, smashed potatoes and corn-on-the-cob and ice cold Corona. We are now (im)patiently waiting for dusk so that we can take our fireworks over to the park and light them off then enjoy everyone else's. I hope with the breeze it will hold the mosquitoes off. I still intend to dounce us all in this great chemical free mosquito repellent before we take off.

This was a very nice productive happy day and will be very quiet once we pour the kids into bed after the firework displays. It feels like a great start to the summer!