Sunday, January 27, 2008

He likes it!


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He likes it! This little top measures 56 X 77. Last winter Mary had posted a similar idea on her blog (Making Scrap Quilts from Stash) and I thought it was just too cute. Kids really love the fun novelty prints - so why cut them up? I had almost the entire thing done in about 2 short nights of sewing (last winter), except I had one more panel set and then I was thinking - add the 6" border and the top is w-a-y too long for my son. So, it took a year or so for me to sit down with my seam ripper, remove the extra panel, do a few little cuts across the borders already in place and then sew the final bottom border on. It took me all of... well, about 1 year and maybe an hour? These things take time, you know? The extra panel will be used either as a curtain valance or for 2 pillows.
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Nothing like a little trip (that means s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g) to motivate me to get this top finished up so I can measure - need to buy some extra soft flannel for the backing. Sooo, what's on my list? Thread. I am down to my last spool of gray thread which is just about an emergency around here. No such thing as just running out to the store for a spool of thread! Backing for this quilt, the little bargello quilt and my Grandmother's Choice quilt (almost, almost done so I just measured it and added the remaining 2 border measurements). I really like flannel backed quilts, so flannel for all 3 of those quilts. 2-3 fat quarters of dark country colors for my Dresden fans. Yardage for alternate squares for a scrappy 16 patch. Yardage for background fabric for string stars. I have 1 quilt all cut out, but am missing 1 piece of focus fabric - so I need to get that so I can get to sewing it! That is is on the quilting front!!! I need 2 zippers for garmets I am making, cordoroy and fleece for pants for Little Boy and lightweight interfacing for a reversible Bistro apron. I absolutely can not think of another thing I need or want. Of course, Little Boy is sure to find a novelty that he will want to add to his collection!





I don't know if you can see this or not - but the novelty print is nautical lighthouses, etc. The navy has white stars and the lighter blue has a really cool wave like pattern! Can you tell by the photos - Little Boy likes it!

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Here is a photo of just the top - with the novelty print facing the correct way - ripples and all after Little Boy was rolling around on it!




Saturday, January 26, 2008

Looking for perfect rocks



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No, not diamonds - perfect beach rocks! Beautifully rounded, polished smooth. How is it that I find myself on the beach on a cold winter day looking for rocks? It all started when I decided to use a very lovely wedding gift that was intended for bread (and never used for such) as a rock display on my dresser. "But why Momma, why, why, why are you putting rocks there?", asks my son. So I explain to him - they are pretty, they look nice and most important of all, they remind me of all the happy times I've had at the beach with him looking for them. "They are happy memories?" Yes, happy memories.
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Well, don't you know, the very next day it actually warms up to about... 7C (45F) which is really feeling tropical considering we've had -11C (12F) during the days lately, dropping all the way down into the -20's at night. And yes, our pipes froze - including the septic line, but everything is all fixed now, phew. Anyway, back to my story - the tropical part - the 7C day. Nice day means outdoor play time. I ask Little Boy what he wants to do. He wants to go to the beach and look for more rocks.
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Here is a photo of our favorite rock picking beach, not to be confused with another beach that is more sandy where we look for sea glass and not to be confused with another beach where we like to find periwinkles. Each beach is a favorite for its very own special reason. At this beach we arrive way over where the trees are and walk the entire length to where I took this photo.
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So, we put on our warm winter clothes, pack the thermos of hot chocolate, unearth the beach pail from the summer gear (to carry the rocks once we find them), find a suitable bag for Elmo to come along in - Little Boy is ever faithful to Elmo and don't you know, Elmo would not be happy at home all by himself missing out on the fun. And, no - we can't just put Elmo in the pail because some rocks are bound to be wet and we don't want to have to w-a-s-h Elmo's blanket. Oh, and EXTRA mittens in Momma's pockets (along with tissues) because we all just know that at least 1 pair is going to get wet, right? Alrighty then, we are off! Don't you love the walking stick?
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We walk to the beach through the woods, all the way along the beach carefully selecting our rocks as we go -we have to be picky because Momma will only carry 1/2 a pail - these little rocks get HEAVY as you walk along. Little Boy wanted me to be sure to tell you all that he also found a little piece of sea glass this time around! We go down to the boat ramp where we sit and drink our hot chocolate and then home along the road. Walking across the rocks is sometimes tricky so we tend to do the "loop" instead of going back the way we came. Here are some photos of Little boy picking his way along the easier rocks headed down to the water - at the section of larger rocks I hold his hand as they tend to roll a bit when you step on them.



















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If you are looking for us - we are out collecting more happy memories!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Smoke Shed Quilt Project

Here is a photo of the 3 quilt blocks I made for the group quilt project. The fabrics are lovely - none of them from my stash as my stash is mostly calicos. But never fear - where quilters are gathered, someone is sure to have the perfect fabric on hand! The fabric for my blocks were contributed by 3 different ladies in the group and look how perfect it all looks together.


These blocks are representative of Herring Smoke Sheds which used to be a vital part of the local industry in our area - and I will share the history of the sheds in another post.

Here is a photo of some of the tiny pattern pieces! Someone else in the group gave me a copy of the pattern all traced out on freezer paper. I cut it apart, ironed it down on my fabric, stacked 3 layers of fabric and cut all 3 blocks at the same time - adding the 1/4" seam as I cut. Thank goodness for freezer paper or else I am not sure how I would have ever kept track of all the pieces (each piece of freezer paper is labeled).


And here is a photo of what our group project looked like today! The blocks are just tacked onto a background for the time being - we are waiting for the fabric that was ordered for the sashings/borders to arrive in the mail! I am really enjoying my quilting group.







Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Star Progress


Not exactly "stellar" progress, but progress! Most of my sewing time this past week has been spent on making 3 blocks for a group project... photos to come. The blocks were very detailed and time consuming - so it felt good to sit at my machine for 5 minutes here and there and work on these zippy stars inbetween! My Wonder Cut Ruler stars - all 12 of them! On to the sashings and border... I am thinking the floral (star centers) for sashings and inside borders and the peach for the outside border... or I could do dusty rose sashings with floral cornerstones, floral inside border and peach outside border.... or, or, or??!.. I'll have to take a good look through my fabric on hand before cutting anything first. For this photo the blocks are on a dark blue carpet.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thank you cards in the mail!


Here is a sampling of the thank you cards Little Boy made using stickers and rubber stamps. They are for Christmas presents and party invites. They are all double sided - he "signed" his name with a handprint, LOL! Don't you think that everyone will just love that little handprint? "Because Momma, actually I am way more better at making hand prints than writing my name". He really likes the word actually!
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We still have 2 more left to make, but what was already made by mail time today made it into the post.
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He enjoyed making them... they don't have to be fancy, it is the thought that counts. Besides, if I tried to get all fancy - chances are they would never get done! So, I just let him pick out the paper, the stamps, the stickers - and go to it. I wrote the thanks inside for him, he "signed" his name, and off we walked to the post office. Even better, we worked some outdoor time into this project.

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Yippee!!! I've been trying to finish this up all week... most of the 1st batch met a pair of wavy design scissors somewhere along the way... goes to show - once you get something done - get it OUT of the house, quickly!
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Oh - and a funny thing - the lady at the post office is ALWAYS asking me if I wouldn't rather just buy a book of stamps instead of always buying individual stamps for whatever I bring in to mail. Today I told her - no postage stamps allowed in my house - last time I bought stamps they ended up stuck onto a craft project and I could not exactly rescue them all from layers of paint and glitter glue. Ha, I think she now understands why I always turn down the stamp purchase offer! We can get 2 BIG sheets of glittery stickers at the hardware store for $1 and get lots of milage out of that $1 - a much, much better deal than a book of stamps I think!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meet my Miele

Meet my Miele, or at least... one of them. These are the best vacumes ever! Let's see - I have the much bigger version (called a White Pearl which has the motorized beater brush) - I got it over 12 years ago, but it is especially heavy and since I have berber carpets now instead of plush - I really don't need that beater brush. But still, it is a good vacume, just not my favorite.
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My favorite would be this white one... I also have the yellow one . I had the red one too, but one of the housekeepers from my business "allegedy" stole it (among other things) and fenced it for - get this - $80. Sigh. 2 years later and I am still a bit peeved. My only consolation is that when whoever bought it tries to buy vacume bags - they will probably keel over at the price of a box! Ah, but they are good bags, have allergin filters, etc., etc. And good luck to them even trying to find Miele vacume bags in our area in the first place.
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I USED to have a 2nd white one too, but when someone adopted my little dog I was so happy that she was going to a good home that I gave the person a vacume to go with her. I'll save that story for another blog post though.

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Anyway, let me tell you the GOOD things about this particular vacume. First off - it is strong. Very, very, very stong. Sand - not a problem. Dog hair - not a problem. Tons of suction. Tons! Something stuck way down in a crevice in your car? This vacume will get it. So - suction. That alone should be reason enough to buy it, but there is more...
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You can get a little non-motorized beater head for this vacume (which I have, but it has a bad habit of sucking up all my long hair and then twirling it around and around into a hopeless mess that has to be cut off with scissors - so I don't use it!). OK skip that idea. But - you can buy a super wide head - that is the head I have one it. The head that it came with is just about useless in my eyes, but this super wide head - well, it is super nice! You can set it for smooth floors or carpet. And - lots more attachments in the canister that I use for blinds, cushions, tops of heaters, ceiling beams, louvered closet doors... if you can vacume it - I pretty much do. Miele also makes a nice looking super lightweight vacume, but I haven't bought one because there is no place to actually store your attachments on the vacume and I use the attachments a fair bit... , beside the fact that I already have enough vacumes, but it might be a good choice for someone who wants a very lightweight vacume that still has enough power to actually vacume!

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Swivels - the head quickly and easily swivels so you can vacume every single square inch under your bed. I love vacuming under the bed. Honest. It just drives me bonkers if I can see any film of dust under the bed (we have wood floors in the bedroom). This is a bit funny because when DH first met me I thought under the bed was the ultimate storage area and now I don't even allow a speck of dust under there!

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Very quick and easy to just unsnap the entire hose unit to vacume out your drawers, corners behind the doors, slider tracks, etc. I do this very often as I am vacuming. When was the last time you vacumed out your drawers? Well, if you had a Miele you probably would because it is just that easy. Zip and you are done.

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Very quick and easy to shorten the wand so you can vacume each stair as you go up.

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Power level - you can set it down to very low to quickly vacume your scatter rugs when you just want to hit them quickly and not bother picking them up to shake/beat them outside. I use the low setting to vacume drapes sometimes too.

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Extra long power cord.

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And - should something go wrong with your beloved Miele - the store is usually pretty good at fixing it.

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I vacume about 3-4 times a week, sometimes more. For a household of 2 adults/1 child. Ask my husband. As soon as I see one little speck of something on the floor - out comes the vacume. Main walk ways are always vacumed while I am at it. I always go into each room, shut the door and vacume the door corner. Those 2 things I always do - the rest gets rotates... I might do the drawers, the heater tops, the windows, couch cushions, along the beams... If I know that I am going to mop the smooth floors (kitchen, bathroom, wood floor in bedroom, hall) since I just vacumed afterall - best time to MOP, then I won't do such a deep clean vacume in the other rooms. The kitchen/bathroom gets mopped usually 2X a week, but I only mop the bedroom 1X a week (it is a wood floor so I only use Murphy's in there). If I am mopping with Murphy's about every other time I will even go a step further and usually wipe down the wood furniture with Murphy's before mopping. I mean, Endust and Pledge is good and all, but nothing beats a good wiping down with a damp Murphy's rag... end tables, bedside tables, table tops, bed headboard, footboard, rails and in-between each and every bed slate, desk top, the little ledges caused by the carved design on my doors (I think they are called double cross doors), picture frames, windowsills, tops of heaters, stair banaster...., etc.... So, if I figure on mopping, I let the deeper vacuming slide for another day or two. After mopping wood floors I quickly remop with a dry mop - moisture on a wood floor isn't good for it - and I don't like spots anyway.

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Anyway, 2 days ago I not only did a BIG vacume, but went ahead and did the entire Murphy's routine. So, I was very annoyed when - in the middle of a cold Canadian winter - a FLY comes out of nowhere and gets snagged in a cobweb that somehow I missed. Grrrr. Tomorrow I am definately getting out the vacume to get all the wall corners- all the way UP where the ceiling beams are.

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The strange thing is that while I've always been great CLEANING, I've never been good at clutter. I used to move all the clutter around, clean and then put it all back. But I've been working on the clutter aspect and have pretty much all my flat surfaces cleared off and polished now (INCLUDING the top of the fridge!). Ever since I started feeling better I've been on a campaign to get RID of the clutter, get rid of extra things, organize what is left, everything in its place/a place for everything. It is going to be soooo much easier and faster to clean with 1/2 the amount of stuff in the house! My house isn't completely where I want it to be yet, but these things take time... and I am not giving up! In the process, I am teaching my son good habits!

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When I had my son my doctor told me - no driving or vacuming for 2 weeks. I was ok without being able to drive, but I was going absolutely batty not being able to vacume. And then this summer - I was sick and just not up to vacuming. Most of the time I would dust/dry mop the bedroom and call it good and Little Boy was happy to "spot" mop the kitchen floor if I gave him a wet rag and asked him to clean the spots on the floor. I was saving my little bit of spare energy for enjoying my son, not cleaning. Other than these 2 periods, I pretty much vacume - alot. So, is a Miele worth the price? Well, I've had this one for probably 8 years... and I have less trouble with my vacumes than my sewing machines. While I am happy to sew on just about any sewing machine, I really don't like to use any other vacume than a Miele!
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Anyone still reading??? This is my 300th post. I really wanted to post something monumental, but all I could think about was that fly which got me to thinking about vacuming. It is that fly's fault. Blame it on the fly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shoveling Roofs

It snowed again so our state of snowlessness is now over. Which means that we spent a fair amount of time outside today sliding with that wonderful sled, playing snowballs... and shoveling roofs. We have a series of connecting flat roofs and they all need to be shoveled when it snows. Because of the wonderful wind we had some big drifts up on these roofs - a couple of feet in some places.
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Thankfully we do have that big red roof with a nice steep pitch!

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Oh, and don't worry about my son - he is way back from any drop off edge - even the one where it looks like he is sitting on the edge - that is actually just a little ledge that drops down about 2 feet to another flat roof.

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Here are some more shots from today - pretty, isn't it? The birds are from yesterday - you can tell a storm is coming when that many birds appear! They are finches. I throw extra seed down on the ground... the apples are left over from the apples we picked this fall from our tree - there is a little red squirrel who likes them!

Wonder Cut Ruler Stars

My Wonder Cut ruler and I got seperated last time I left Austria, but lucky me, DH brought it back this last trip. I've been thinking about making another star quilt using it... except my book with instructions is... where? Not sure, but not where I am! No matter, there is a website with photos and directions. So, I go over there and take a look and still am not entirely sure I remember exactly how to do this (if you buy the ruler - although not necessary - I highly recommend that you get the book too!). Anyway, I send an e-mail to the maker of the ruler - Alice of Walter X2 (Wonder Cut Ruler) and don't you know - she answers all my questions right away. Isn't that great? Because now I can get back to using this ruler, which really is super easy to use once you talk your mind into using it.

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I made Cars & Stars using this ruler - here is a photo (minus final navy blue border) from March 2006. The star centers and cornerposts are a car novelty print, hence the name!

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Below is a photo of the fabrics I am using this time around. I think there are 3 yards of each (except the blue which is probably 1 to 1.5 yards). I've had this fabric for a very long time (one selvage says copyright 1992) - I thought it was pretty when I bought it and I still do! The big hold up in starting was me trying to decide if the 2 peaches/mauve -whatever color you want to call it (because one is more peach and the other more dusty rose)- went together... and finally I decided to just go ahead and make up a sample block(s) to see. Sometimes you can spend more time thinking about something rather than just sitting down and doing the doing, you know? I think it looks pretty good together, what do you think? So, now I am doing and I've got 3 blocks done and the strips cut for the rest. Should go pretty fast from this point!

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Haven't tried this Wonder Cut Ruler out yet? What are you waiting for???




Monday, January 14, 2008

Is this a good sale?


We have ONE grocery store in the area (Atlantic Save Easy)... it takes me about 2 1/2 hours to get to a different store, which is also a Save Easy - so might as well drive ONE hour further to get to the BIG grocery stores (bulk wholesalers, restaurant supply stores, Wal-Mart, and my favorite, Atlantic Superstore). But, how often do I want to go 7 hours round trip just to get to the grocery stores? OK, so it is borderline emergency when I start running low on Basmati rice, but otherwise... I pretty much shop at the Save Easy.
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I hate, hate, hate the way Save Easy advertises their sale prices. Usually the BIG price is in pounds (hello! this is Canada where everything is measured in metric, but pounds looks ever so much cheaper). The small print will tell you the kilogram price. But what really gets me is that they will also advertise the price of food in GRAMS. Which means I have to get out a calculator to even start to figure out the price of food.
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Thank goodness for http://www.onlineconversion.com/ - I can quickly figure out things that I never can remember - like 1 pound equals 453 grams. To get price of pounds into kilograms multiply by 2.2. Math is not my strongest point so I have to think a bit to work through these numbers and then triple check eveything, but if you see a mistake, don't feel badly in letting me know!
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So - can you see that bologna for .79 at the bottom left, $1.79 shaved turkey or chicken breast and $2.09 sliced cheese running along the bottom? All those prices are for 100 grams each. Looks like a good price, right? Let's just take a second look at that bologna, OK? That is .79 for 100 grams. Hummm ok - so I know that 453 grams is 1 pound. So .79 divided by 100 to get the price per gram (.0079) multiplied by 453 equals $3.58 pound multiplied by 2.2 is $7.87 a kilogram. The shaved turkey/chicken breast comes out to $8.13 pound or $17.87 kilogram. And that cheese? $9.46 a pound/$22.08 a kilogram. Why oh why don't they just tell you that up front? Well, we all know the answer right? Probably no one would buy it. I mean, doesn't $2.09 for cheese (100 grams) sound a whole lot better than $22.98 (per kilogram?).
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The row right above the bottom row has nice looking fish filets for $3.49 (400 grams). So for the fish...priced per 400 grams is still fairly easy... $3.49 divided by 4 is .87 per 100 grams divided by 100 to get price per gram is .0087 X 457 is $3.49 pound/$7.68 kilogram. So, that means the fish is all of .38 cents more a pound than the bologna. But doesn't .79 look so very much cheaper than $3.49. It is almost the same price! Who knew?
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And that shrimp - it is priced at $6.99 for 454 grams and it says that there are 31 - 40 per pound. Do we all remember that there are 453 grams per pound? Since this is priced at 454 grams, let's just call it $6.99 per pound too which is $15.38 kg. You think they could just put the price for this in pounds/kilograms so you don't have to look twice? You can figure .17 to .23 for each shrimp (all peeled, deveined and cooked).
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The sausage is priced at $3.49 for 300 grams ($5.27 lb/$11.59 kg). Everything else is pretty much priced by the pound with the smaller print showing the price per kilogram.
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I won't be getting those whole fresh chickens at $1.99 lb/$4.38 kg this week because I already have 3 big frozen turkeys in the freezer from the after Christmas sale - for a whopping .99 pound/$2.18 kg. I have a few turkey recipe casseroles I want to try out and I think that they will all freeze well so that is part of the plan for the week - getting one of those turkeys cooked and made up into various casseroles, soup, etc.
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Some of the other things on sale this week is Ragu speghetti sauce for 99 cents a jar and tuna fish for $1.99 a can, boneless blade roast at $2.49 lb/$5.49 kg, Atlantic salmon filets at $5.99 lb/$13.21 kg, 3 pound bag of carrots for $1.29, cantaloupes for $2.49 each and boxes of clementines for $4.77 (that would be for 2.3 kilograms).

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mini Blocks & a binding

16 mini 4" scrappy blocks are finished. Next step is the 7 center blocks which will be stem stitched embroidered leaves. After measuring - my original plan wouldn't fit on the dresser top, but this idea did and I think it looks even better than what I was first planning.


I've been working on other things, here and there too, but no photos yet.

And - you might remember that sometime over the summer I was sewing fun pictures on to 2 flannels to make Little Boy a blanket. He had picked out this mauve 4" blanket binding at Marden's (I think it was about 20 cents a yard?) but the entire project came to a stop when I realized I didn't have this particular color thread. Well, this week I got the great idea to just use thread that I do have - blue and green threads to match the flannel fabrics and sew it all down using a decorative stitch on my machine. I think it came out pretty good (not perfect, but that 4" slippery blanket binding stuff is tricky!) and will use this idea again for kids quilts/blankets.



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Warm Snap!


Weird as it may seem - even though just a few days ago it was below 0 - today we washed the truck. All of a sudden it warmed up, big time! OK, well to about 11 C which is 52F so some of you might not consider that warm, but for January in Canada - that is warm! The snow melted. Little rivers are flowing down the streets. The truck needed to be washed and I needed something to entertain Little Boy outside so I unearthed the hose down in the basement. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone, right? Little Boy had fun, got himself completely wet once he figured out how to set the clip to keep the hose on - point the hose at himself and take a shower and then proceeded to have a grand time in the resulting mud patch.
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Ah yeah, I did undress him directly in front of the washing machine and we ate hot chicken noodle/vegetable soup. Not sure how long this weather will last, but at least the truck is clean... for now - and the washing machine is working on the clothes! Yup, these photos definately show exactly WHY I like to have more than 1 complete set of "outer clothes" on hand. What's a Momma to do? Little Boys like mud. Yes, it is good to own a washing machine!
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Just to refresh our memory - shall we take one more look at what the trees looked like just a FEW days ago!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Cleaning sinks

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Here is something new for you - yes, I know - I am almost up to 300 posts and have never shared this little secret with you... I like to clean. And vacume. And mop the floor. And wash dishes. And, and, and... well - you get the idea. Really. I like the smell of a clean house. And I like to consider myself pretty good at cleaning. If I can tackle the clutter I would be even better and I AM really working hard on that department.

But for the time being, let's get back to the cleaning, shall we? I am going to start sharing my cleaning tips with you all here as I think of them. And I kind-ov have to think because all these little techniques are things I really don't think about - I just do them as I go through my day and things need to be done.

The first thing about using tools for cleaning that could also be used for... say - scrubbing vegetables - is to clearly LABEL it with a Sharpie marker. So - this is my SINK brush, not to be confused with my FOOD brush. This great bristle brush is sold as a set of 2 for $1 at the Dollar Store. These are great brushes for getting spider poop off your wood floors (those little white dots that collect under pieces of furniture), the grease build-up in corners of the kitchen floor, the dirt lines around the base of the tub/toilet floor. But wait - that would be the job of the FLOOR brush, right? Oh, and they aren't so bad for scrubbing vegetables too! Hence - clearly labeling your cleaning tools is key! Besides the fact - I keep cleaning tools seperate from cooking tools, BUT you never know who else might be around, they grab something, set it down and then it gets put away in the wrong place. Yikes. And - no I don't label "K-sink" and B-sink" because really - these 2 sinks are W-A-Y far apart from each other so no worries there, but I guess I could next time I have a Sharpie in hand. But in anycase - Sharpies are cheap.

As you can see by my photo - I like a bar of soap which I keep on a little plastic soap thing (3 for $1 at the dollar store!) and Little Boy prefers the foaming soap with a pump. Fine. Anything to encourage good handwashing habits... anyone know the story of Typhoid Mary? For regular bathroom sink handwashing - I prefer any regular bar of body soap - for actually bathing - nothing can beat goat's milk soap in my opinion!

Anyway, when cleaning the sink, there is no way that a sponge will get all the soap scum/grime that collects around the very base of your faucets. Spray the area, let it soak for a few minutes, a few scrubs with the scrub brush and viola! Nice clean faucet base. I buff the fixtures so they don't have water spots. I hate water spots on fixtures!

That is it for the bathroom sink. Now the kitchen sink - that is a whole 'nother story.

Kitchen sink... have you ever brought your water to a water lab to be tested? If not - you should if you have a well - not a bad thing to know exactly what you are drinking. Anyway, if not the directions say to throughly clean your faucet with bleach and then to let the water run for 10 minutes. This does 2 things - the bleach kills the bacteria on your faucet and then running the water makes sure that there is no bleach in the water sample because if there is bleach - you won't get an accurate test result. Kill the bacteria on your faucet? That little line got me to thinking about the whole kitchen sink thing so now...

I SPRAY my kitchen sink faucet and handles with a bleach/water solution... alot. Think about it - you wash your hands, turn the sink off, cut up some chicken, wash your hands. Right? Except you turned the sink on with chicken hands/washed your hands/turned the sink off - aha! you just touched raw chicken faucet with your "clean" hands. Ew. See my point? Unless you install one of those handy-dandy foot pedals to turn the sink on with your foot- my doctors office has one of these - but I don't think one of those is coming to MY kitchen anytime soon. Besides, bleach/water and a new empty spray bottle is cheap (ummm - do I need to tell you to clearly label your new spray bottle?). And works. Kills bacteria. Sounds good to me. Yeah, I like a CLEAN kitchen sink. And faucet handles. Gotta have clean faucet handles or else - what is the point?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hair Accessory Organizer


All my little hair do-dads were driving me nuts and today I came up with this idea: sorting items in an old wooden silverware tray.
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I have a) elastics, b) clips/barrets, c) bobby pins/clips and d) combs. I might re-think the combs because I could use that spot for smaller barrets, but this is what it looked like tonight when I took the photo.
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It is an improvement.
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Today is Tackle it Tuesday over at www.5minutesformom.com - go take a look to see what everyone else Tackled today! And no, I could NOT figure out how to add the cute computer graphic to my post - maybe next week.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Icicyle Tree

We had snow, then a bit of warm weather, then about 2 1/2 more feet of snow, then very cold weather, and now it is warming up, all the way up to 0 yesterday.
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Before the BIG snow (and after the "little" snow) it was warm and the trees were covered in icicyles. The photos don't really do the icicyles justice because when the sun hit them they were all sparkle-y and rainbow-y... still, I thought the photos would give you an idea of the winter beauty.

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And here is a photo of Little Boy and me out getting fresh air! Right before it got really cold we actually went out "night sliding". The spot lights shine on the sliding trail and lights it up at night and I figured... why not? I knew it was supposed to get very cold so might as well try to get a bit more exercise in while the getting was good (I still can't believe I actually got a bike ride in recently as we have lots and lots of snow now!). It was really fun and Little Boy was super excited to go sliding at night and then come inside for hot chocolate... believe me, it wasn't really late as it still gets dark fairly early, but he had the feeling that he was sliding in the middle of the night, I'm sure!
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On the super cold day we went to the library - just to get out of the house. Along the way we stopped to admire the ocean - which was "steaming" - the air was so cold! It was really beautiful with swirls of steam that looked a bit like fog rising up off the ocean and being swirled around by the wind - but with a brilliant blue sky instead of fogginess. I wish our library was open on Saturdays - we could have used an outing yesterday, but it was 0C so at least we got out to go sliding.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Tiny Scraps


These are my tiny scraps - the littliest ittiest bittiest pieces of fabric that I save. Aren't they darlings? You can see the curved edges from cutting out my Dresden Plate blades on some of these - after ironing those edges are trimmed straight with the rotary cutter. I am thinking that I will cut each square 4", but maybe 4.5" or even as large as 5". I am a bit undecided about that!
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My intent is to make a nice little table runner for the top of my dresser. I am using all "fall" colors with a touch of brighter yellows, blue and purple for a bit of "pop". A "controlled" scrap quilt, with tiny pieces - my favorite kind of quilt - or table runner in this case. These little blocks are super fun to make. I have lots more done too - just outside of the edge of the photo.
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I am thinking an outside "border" of these blocks with an inside cream border embroidered with leaves and then 2 rows of blocks as the center. I just don't have any embroidery pattern, but I am sure that there has to be a free site somewhere on the internet - if you know of one, please let me know! If I can't find what I am looking for maybe I could even draw my own leaf pattern.
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My quilt group meets up again next Thursday and I hope to have a neat, tidy stack of blocks all done to show them - they who probably thought maybe I was just a slight bit crazy to keep all those tiny trimmings from my Dresden Plate blades, but were to polite to say so! LOL.
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I have a little tote of "bright" colored tiny scraps too... once this one is done I just might have to make a "summer" one with embroidered flowers, or an all blue one with embroidered snowmen, or an all red one with embroidered hearts, or, or, or!!!! Oh yes, I do love my scraps!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Dinner for Two

This is the dinner DH and I fixed... just for the 2 of us for New Year's Eve! Little Boy had his own menu as he seems to be going through another picky eating stage, sigh. But he was very impressed that we were having such a special dinner with THREE candles on the table! Traditionally for New Year's we do a meat fondu with lots of salads. Our salads included: a cubed potatoe salad with mayo and vegetables, pasta salad, bean salad, cucumber salad, tuna salad PLUS store bought bruschetta, spinache dip, goat cheese and a pate. And we had garlic bread. (Had we been in Europe DH's sister would have fixed a multitude of different fish salads as well). Did I mention that all this food was just for the 2 of us? Goodness! But a special occassion calls for a special dinner and we both really enjoyed it. Besides - it kept us nicely in left overs for a few days. Oh - and dessert - yum, yum, yum... we had chocolate fondu with strawberries, banana and rum pound cake. Mmmm. Just before 7 pm we tuned in to an Austrian radio station, did the count down and then they played the traditional waltze and we were in bed well before midnight our time!

On New Year's Eve we also exchange little good luck charms. This year we had marzipan charms and little glass ones. Little Boy also got a stuffed pig. They might be hard to see but there is a horseshoe, pig, chimney sweep, lady bug, mushroom and 2 more pigs - these are all traditional good luck charms.
P.S. Excuse the bare sheetrock - we are, as usual, in some sort of state of construction.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Looking to 2008

Goodbye 2007! Hello 2008! Usually I like to post a photo of some special moment during the past year (ok, usually being for the previous 2 years because before that I didn't even know what a blog was!). This year I looked and looked through my photos and was at a loss... I've already shared lots of great photos this past year on my blog but there are so many more...


Finally I settled on these - me at work and 2 of my son playing at the beach (I love to see him have fun! Doesn't that make the "work" part worth it?).






















I don't know what 2008 will hold for me, but I will:

*Appreciate every day that I am feeling well and my family is healthy. I was pretty sick for about 6 months this year - but am better now and am slowly getting my energy back. Plus, I had that big scare when Little Boy had that awful allergic reaction. Good health is definately something to be thankful for! Being together is an additional plus - we were apart from DH for about 6 months this year - entirely too much time apart so hopefully that will change this coming year.


*I will continue to make PLAY time a priority. Having F-U-N is so important.


*I have been fiddling around with printing favorite recipes out to share - I cook alot and amazingly enough - most of my favorite recipes are scribbled on the back of scraps of paper of some sort - I know - sad for someone in the food business! So far in 2008 I've typed in 4 recipes - it is a start! I look forward to the day when I have all my favorite recipes organized in a photo album. I feel strongly about this because I realize that so many special memories center around different foods. An album of favorite family recipes can be a real treasure!


*And, I really need to back up all my digital photos (I even have the external hard drive - I just have to figure it out), plus order prints of favorites for a good old-fashioned photo album that you can hold in your hands and pass around. Other photos need to be scanned!


*The paperwork still needs to be organized! Doesn't it always?


I am sure there are more things too, but that is enough for me to concentrate on for now!


I didn't list sewing at all - one of my sisters once said that me and my sewing machine is like a smoker and their cigerette - not long apart from each other! Obviously I will sew!


So, here's to 2008. Health, Love, Happiness, Peace.