Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A New Year, thank goodness

Wow, I kind of disappeared for a few months there, sorry about that.  2012 was not my best year, and leaving it behind and learning from it is just what I plan to do.  2013 is shaping up to be OK so far.  If the snow would start to melt again it would be even better.  It was melting nicely and my garden planning and yard improvements were well under way and into the planning stages, until......the dump of the ole white stuff.  I am about done.  Valentines Day came and went and I began dreaming of slightly warmer weather and the possibility of green grass.
(as requested by my February birthday daughter, vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing and pink chocolate heart cutouts)

(my favourite breakfast and my families newest favourite cookie,  the deepdish chocolate chip cookie, the pic doesn`t do it justice, but one is the equivalent of 2-3 of my normal size cookies :-) so yummmmmy good )
Well, that was just what it was, a dream.  My plans for the yard and garden have not been tossed out just yet, but put on hold for the time being.  We shovel off the deck every snowfall, and the remainder melts quickly as the sun struggles to shine.  Our solar panels are craving the sunshine just as much as I am.  I am eager to pull out the deck furniture but alas that is on hold for now as well. 
This is just the beginning of a return to my blog for me and I will do my darnedest to return weekly and keep this up to date.  Time flies whether we are having fun or not, so I will put on a happy face and try my bestest to have fun again.
Peace out for now.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Where have I been???

Wow I certainly haven't been here in a long time.  Summer has come to an end, Fall has arrived, school is in full swing, and I feel like I haven't accomplished much.  I have not taken many pictures over the last month that's for sure, and crafting and building projects haven't happened either.  I have organized, and I have cleaned and deep cleaned.  I have baked and baked and baked.  Camp has not been visited in a very long time, and I miss that more than I can express.  Hubby has been super busy lending himself out to anyone with a building, demolition, renovation type project there is.  I have acquired a wonderful collection of old doors, I love old doors, and free old doors is even a bigger love.  Pinterest has absorbed so much of my time lately that I am embarrassed to tell you just how much time I have spent searching and pinning so many different ideas, pictures, recipes and DIY things.  I have been working on a little something for myself.  A dream I have had for a couple of years now, and I just lack the courage and self confidence to make that dream happen, and yet I continue to work on it, in hopes that the moment will strike and I will follow thru with what I would love.........

The kids are busy that's for sure.  My oldest is 13 and she is fully involved in her cheer leading. Three times a week plus a tumbling class makes for a busy time, add a school sport or two in there and she really has no spare time to add another activity to.  My other two kids want to do an activity or two, but I'm holding off for a little while longer.  I feel a little guilty in doing so, but they haven't harassed me too much with the nice weather holding out so they can ride their bikes and  play outside with friends, so until the weather takes a turn I will be happy the way things are.  All of my kids are fish like, so swimming will be on the for sure list, plus maybe a trampoline class or hip hop adventure.

The fall is my favourite time of year, and my motivation usually kicks into high speed, but not so much this year.  I am enjoying and over indulging in staying home, I love the comfort and familiarity of my surroundings.  I have been working on a list of things to do in my home, and crafting and redecorating a little are written on said list.  I have made a few sweater pumpkins and love them.  They are easy to make and love how they look in my home.  Fall decor will break out in a full explosion this week when my kids are in school, after a volunteer day at school and another day at the soccer field cheering on my youngest two kids at the school tournament, plus a couple of appointments in there   OK, I am hoping praying that a fall explosion will happen this week.  I know baking will be happening.  My plan is for peach muffins with a streusel topping and lemon coconut oatmeal cookies.  Pictures to follow in my next post.  Maybe that will be motivation enough to get somethings done and share with you.

Happy Fall time everyone
Chat soon

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

End of Summer Chaos!

I don't know where to begin.  This summer has flown by, as it usually does every year, but this year has been busier than ever.  I haven't had as much time at my Happy Place :(  So that is my major bummer, I crave the peace and serenity.... The kids have actual schedules now.  Seriously, my oldest had babysitting jobs to get to, Cheerleading practice throughout the summer, Dentist appointments, what on earth???  Mom's taxi was busy this summer, and not in the way I wanted, geez!  The dentist appointments were my mistake, and I won't schedule such things during future summer vacation time, but having my iphone alert go off that something is scheduled on a day, just is not my idea of summer vacation.  I am a teeny, tiny bit eager for the kids to return to school now.  My son is very excited to return, the girls, well.... a little quieter in the excitement department...

I look forward to my creative juices being allowed to flow and craft ahead.  My 'studio' area is a complete disaster.  I have been stashing things in there throughout the summer, with anticipation that I will return and do something with it all.  That time is soon upon me, and I can't wait.  I have so many ideas in my head, and I have made many notes and sketches.  Pinterest is quite an addiction for me now, I started off slowly and now I waste  so much time dream about so many many things.  One thing I pinned many months ago was a rock collecting piece, that you make into feet.  Ok, I explained that poorly so let me show you what I/we, as in my family, collected and created;
The rocks were collected from Lake Superior on a couple of our boating excursions, so they are, for the most part smooth, the wood board is from an old pallet that was behind our shed.  It's one of the good ones with heavy oak boards.  Perfect for such a craft.  I sanded the board down, and with construction grade adhesive, glued the stones to the board.  One foot for each of us.  Just a cute memory from this summer.  I still haven't made or created very much this summer.  We have had some good times at camp, the lake is cooling off, but with our sauna fired up it makes it bearable, our pet chipmunk at camp is becoming even more friendly and not shy at all, he follows me around, hoping for a hand out of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or peanuts.  Apple slices or dog food will do as well.  T-Bone was having a snooze when the chipper lounged out in his food dish.  Poor T just wants to play and chipper wants nothing to do with him, lol, I know one day he will be on my heels as I go into the sauna too....And, summer just wouldn't be complete without an injured child in my house.  Honestly, my oldest just has some bad luck.  She is very active and I guess that's the problem.  When she tries something new she repeats it and repeats it until she gets it.  She can now do a back walk over, but, not for a little while, as her right arm is in a cast due to a broken wrist.  (opposite hand in which she broke her thumb 3 times) She is already planning, once healed of course, that she wants to learn to do back hand springs.  Geez, heal first child, before planning your next injury, please..... Good times, good times.
Family arrived from out West so we have this week to do some catching up, dinners, laughs, and reminising.  We all gathered today to lay to rest, the ashes of my hubby's 2 brothers that passed away last fall and this spring.  Seven siblings became five in such a short period of time, truly sad, but they are not forgotten, memories last a long time. 
I tested my baking skills this evening and surprise, I still remember how, muffins are made and the cookie jar is full.  Ok, yes, I have baked this summer, actually made some pretty yummy treats, but the cookie and muffin thing is a must during the school year, so it was a warm up of how the school year must continue.  The dreaded lunch making starts next week, my kids start school on the 5th, so I have those three days to ease myself back into things.  The real chaos actually begins the following week.  Sports will start, practices, birthday parties, homework, sign here, sign this, I need this, we forgot to buy me that, fundraisers, alarm clocks, running to the bus on time...blaaahh!  Fun times, fun times.  I will return soon with an update on the chaos of my family and hopefully some progress in the my craft, DIY, baking, sewing, painting obsessions.  Only three more appointments this week, two dinners, and camp day with our good friends.  Happy end of August to everyone, hope the fall starts off well for you all.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Cool winds are blowing...

I sit here in my cozies, with my Sherpa blanket and a warm cuppa decaf, the window open just a touch as a cool breeze blows in.  I am in denial that the end of August is fast approaching and the first day of school will be upon our family once again.  We have had some fun times at camp, swimming and fishing, laughs with family and friends, memories were made, and now, trying to fit in as much as we can during the last couple of weeks of the month.  I am finding it tough to fit in a family trip for our annual back to school shopping.  It may have to be in September with coordinating the kids schedules and appointments and fitting in a couple of more nights at camp.  The kids all figure that is just wrong and what's the point........*sigh* oh the joys.  Is it really so wrong to do back to school shopping once the kids are already back to school?  I think we may just squeak in a short over night (or two) adventure and purchase a few things, it always works out somehow.......

I 'm going to open up and tell you that this summer has not all been good, fun times.  To be honest, life has shot us some lemons this year and thank goodness lemonade is one of my favourite summer drinks.  (I even bought a couple of glasses from a couple of young entrepreneurs set up along the roadside on a warm summer day.)  I think we were given enough lemons to make lemon tarts, pie, lemon curd, lemon loaf and even lemon bars.  Yeesh........ we have survived and I thought maybe a few humorous pics would about cover my thoughts;

As my hubby and I celebrate 15 years married today, and we reminisce about all we have done together, and how much stronger our relationship has become, I realize that the lemons we have been handed really aren't as plentiful as I originally thought.  Life will always have it's ups and downs, and continue to challenge us.  We will survive :)

OK, that's enough, on to smiles and happier thoughts.  I really don't wish for summer to end, but I gotta tell you that Fall is my favourite season.  I noticed a few days ago that the leaves on the maple trees at camp are beginning to change already due to our cool temperatures at night.  That got me thinking.....  I love to wear cardigans cover ups, sweaters and hoodies.  I love comfy cozy clothes and warm blankets, tea or coffee in the evening.  Making homemade soups and biscuits, cooking and baking.  Decorating for fall as the leaves begin to change colours, the smell of apples and cinnamon, pumpkins and basically, all things fall.  I have had too much time away from all things crafty and homemade.  I have collected some furniture treasures that need my attention, and a list of projects that need to be tackled.  So, that being said, once school starts in September I will have more time to myself and more time to get things completed.  Maybe I really do want summer to be over, shhhh, did I really say that?  Oh the fall breeze blowing the leaves and the sunsets at an earlier time, a crackling fire to stay warm with a hot cup of apple cider, mmmmm.  Apple cider, Apple pies, Apple crisp, Apple sauce, and Crab apple jelly.  That's a whole other post.
Stay warm and cozy my friends,

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Smiling at the 'Simple Things'

I just have to start out with a 'simple thing' that made me smile and put my hands up as in praise to the lord.  I came home from grocery shopping and my oldest jumped right in and helped carry groceries and put them away, I never even asked.  That simple thing is what makes me smile.  I am not about the material things, bling, or luxury items.  Truly simple things are what make me happy and smile :)

Well, we had a great vacation back home, and extended our stay by one night.  We ALL had fun, and relaxed.  We swam daily, usually more than once.  Paul went fishing twice a day, and successfully even, lol.  We went boating, tubing, my oldest and youngest learnt how to water ski, picnicking on the beach, more swimming, some relaxing on the deck, and, on the dock, late nights and not too early mornings, made for some great memories.
A view from the deck of my kids tubing behind Papa's boat.
My bestest hairy buddy, T-Bone, watching from the lawn in a perfect spot to see the action at the lake and keep an eye out for the pesky squirrels and chipmunks that kept him busy during the day.  He isn't much of a swimmer this guy, but he loves to splash around in the lake, he cracks me up, it's a funny sight, as he paws the water and tries to catch the splashes with his mouth, again, and again. 
A little simple fun, the tube is tied to the dock and it's a floating raft to dive off of in the deep.
Some lunch time entertainment as we enjoy our picnic on the beach.
The peaceful view from the dock in the evening,   A little serenity right there!
Caught and released this dude, just not as many around anymore.  They were everywhere when I was a kid, bummer all the construction that goes on ruins their habitat and egg laying ground.
Just a little tasty treat made, post holiday, mango salsa, with a nectarine or two as well, yummy.
Mangoes chopped, nectarine chopped, red onion chopped, red pepper chopped, fresh cilantro chopped, a little salt and a whole lime squeezed of its juices.  All measurements are to your own taste, use as much of something as you prefer.  It tastes better once it sits for a little while in the refrigerator.  I used unsalted organic tortilla chips, but the Tostitos multigrain scoops are yummy as well. 
I am so enjoying the weather we are being blessed with, and not doing much else than having fun with the family, projects are building, but, are on hold for yukky days, and once school restarts in September.
Thanks for stopping by and will update with more family fun soon.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Hometown visit

The family is heading to my hometown for a little trip to relax, do some fishing, swimming, and have a great visit with my parents.  We haven't all gone to my hometown in a couple of years, so to pack us all up and head out is a bit of an effort.  Hubby's boat  has to come with us, as it's his new purchase this year, and he is more comfort table fishing out his own boat, then borrowing my Dad's.  The small Northwestern Ontario town is surrounded by lakes, with great fishing.

I do love my small hometown, and appreciate it when I finally get a chance to visit.  It was a great place to grow up as a kid, and my kids love to visit and take part in events there as well.

A girl friend's float plane.  My hubby, Dad, Uncle and cousin went on a fly in fishing trip some years ago and had an amazing time, successful fishing and many laughs.
Blueberries are plentiful in that area.  Filling the freezer is a must to get thru the winter, as store bought blueberries are just not the same.  Blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry pie, blueberry jam, sheesh blueberry everything, yummmm....
A good ole shore lunch of fresh caught pickerel, fried potatoes and beans are what everyone should have a chance to sample.  My parents live on the lake so coming home and having dinner of the same, is just as yummy.
Enjoying the sunset while relaxing in the evening is a great way to end the day.  Put your feet up and reminisce about what fun things we did and what we will do the next day.  Eye lids are heavy from all the fresh air and excitement, and a great sleep is a guarantee.
Hope everyone is enjoying summer and all it has to offer.
Chat soon

Thursday, 12 July 2012

School is out and we are having fun...

Holy, I haven't been on here in a while.  School ended without a hitch and the kids immediately began their usual;  late nights, not so early mornings, swimming like crazy, friends, quick lunches and dinners to return to the water fun.  Now I did manage to get gifts together for my kids teachers, king of last minute for the final product, I only knew what I wanted to do at least a month before, but hey, that's how I roll lately.  Just not as organized as I usually am.  Oh well, it all turned out just fine.
I started with this first.  Yummy, and I got my idea from here Northern Cottage, which is one of my favourite blogs I follow.  You can also find a variation on Pinterest, but I liked this one best and found it before I found the one on Pinterest, so I went with it.  I did try to find 125ml jars, but couldn't find any at the time, now that it is closer to harvest time here, jars are abundant, oh well, again.  More caramel dip for the teachers and none left over for us, except a small sample that didn't last long.  Not even a chance for dipping apple slices, just fingers, hahaha.... So a jar of caramel dip, and 2 apples in a cellophane bag tied with string and a cute tag attached.  A cute and yummy twist on the apple gift giving for teachers.

Each teacher received a basket of yummy treats to start their summer off with a smile.  Baskets were from Dollarama, and all other treats were bought or made by myself.  Just a little something to let them know how much they are appreciated.  Our small rural school is fantastic and giving homemade goodies is always a great way to show how much these teachers mean to us.  Truly, we are a huge family there, and we get to know each other a little more than most teachers, kids and parents.  The number one reason we purchased our property and built our home where we did.  School zoning, at one most amazing school. *sigh*  OK, enough, move on to our summer fun.
This is our dock at my Happy Place (camp).  It has been through a lot over the years, and winters have been tough on occasion, but, this year it was found in one piece at least.  Other years not so much, lol.  We have arrived in the spring to find half the dock drifted down the lake, or the side boards cracked and broken, repair after repair, it still keeps us above water, and always the main place to have fun in the summer.  We were missing a rung on the stairs, and a cross piece at the front, but it functioned well until our other chores were done.  This is what the dock looks like almost all summer.  Every bit of summer "stuff" is collected on and around it.  Canoe, kayak, surf board, noodles, butterfly nets, bucket for frogs and minnows and any other critter that may come along, goggles, snorkels, fins for swimming like a mermaid or dolphin, your choice.
A day without a boating adventure across the lake would just never do
The traditional picture of a cute critter, now I should say that I am not a fan of squirrels, I'm more of a chipmunk person, but this young little guy was just so cute.  Look at those big eyes, Our regular chipmunk has some competition in the cuteness category, lol
My Happy Place would not be complete without our beloved sauna, built by my hubby.  This makes staying there even more enjoyable. Whether it's cold or hot out, a sauna just feels good.  
At the end of the day, a cozy fire is a must.  We may or may not make smores, we may just roast marshmallows, we may crack some peanuts by the fire, or, just sit quietly, listening to the crackle of the wood, and the loon calls in the distance, as we reflect on the wonderful day we had, and how much life has to offer.  Dance like no one is watching (it's kind of fun to do now and then)  Life is good!  Stop by again soon, I will return, I promise, there is just so much fun to be had, I get carried away.  This weekend promises to be another round of good and memorable times, my parents come to town, birthdays to be celebrated, and laughs all around.