February 28, 2018
We call it our Art Studio but this bonus
space in our home has several "zones
that we created to get the maximum
that we created to get the maximum
use of the entire square footage. One
of the bays didn't have a real purpose
until we decided to turn it in to a little
cozy play corner for our grandkids. It
is still a work in progress but this is
what we have now .... the pink wood
kitchen, a wood highchair and a lamp.
We have more toys to go here, along
with a wood table and chair set. Fun!
We choose to celebrate the births and
the deaths of our tiny, youngest children.
For our daughter's birthday last August,
we found the most amazing sweet cake
and dh brought home a beautiful and
sweet smelling bouquet of pretty flowers.
Our son't birthday will be soon, later in
March and I'm already planning his cake.
My first dollhouse that I started not long
after we moved in to this house. My baby.
Dollhouse #2 and then #3 on the go. I'm
just working on exteriors for now but have
many plans for the interiors. Exciting work
and now so much easier with the Studio.
.... of our upcoming trip to our favorite place
on Earth. Our cottage is booked, the flights
are set, we rented a car and now we just
need to finish up work here so we can pack.
Not going for a few weeks but I'm so happy
to have this in place .... go away Winter!
February 27, 2018
We stayed home on Valentine's Day ~ the weather changed our plans. Freezing rain and snow kept us home, safe and sound. Making the most of our cozy time together, I baked from scratch some cupcakes and tiny cakes for our at home celebration. A yummy night made better by treats, a warm fireplace and good company.
I've never had a green thumb. Growing up, my mom didn't have any plants in our house, our garden consisted of green grass but rarely any flowers. When my parents finally built a house when I was 14, I heard lots of chatter about finally having nice flower beds and even a veggie garden. But all we got was a fenced yard with green grass and one tree in the back and green grass and a dirt flower bed in the front. When we bought our first house, there were perennials and I was able to learn how to grow great outdoor gardens, slowly and then building on my experiences. Inside, however, was always a challenge. I would buy plants that were healthy and within a short time, they would die off. I chalked it up to not having a good sense of plant care but realize now that didn't make sense as my outdoor gardens were a success. So it had to be something else. What, though, I didn't know.
Our new house seems to have answered though this great mystery. Here we have a new and well functioning ventilation system, a lovely humidifier on the furnace and a ton of windows so our light is natural and abundant. I now have a little collection of 20 plants that I've managed to keep alive for the 2 years we've been here. And not only are they alive, but they are thriving! I've had to repot a few times as they all keep growing so well. My spider plant has sprouted "spider babies" and recently I tried to see if I could get those babies to root for my plants. I carefully pulled them off the mother plant and then placed them in water in on my writing desk in the window. And look what I have now .... tiny buds with a great root system. I have to go in to town to get another plant pot or two as I've run out. So excited to have tried this and the reward has been worth the time and effort. Now I've got 2 other plants that need to be split and 2 more outgrowing their pots. Loving that they each seem to have grown so well in our new house. Great light and healthy ventilation were obviously the issues at our other homes as this is the only things different from those houses to this one. Wish I had figured that out years ago ~ I feel like such a plant killer!
Do you have a green thumb?
Do plants do well in your home?
Often my writing desk in the turret is filled with sun at this time in the morning. But today, the clouds have come in and the fog has formed. It's supposed to be super warm today but it was cold last night so I'm sure the cold and the warm met and are duking it out up there in the atmosphere. I can hear the melting happening outside. Will have to take a little walk later. We made sure on the weekend that all our downspouts and the hose from the rain barrel are all set and ready for the water that is beginning to flow off the roofs. It's going to get noisy.
I have today off and I'm still in bed, cozied up and reading emails, blogs and my book. I plan to get up soon, have a nice, warm shower and make some lunch. This afternoon, I promised dh I'd whip up a banana/chocolate chip loaf for his meeting tonight at our house with our film crew. A little tidying and a load or two of laundry. And then the big job for the day .... gathering up our receipts (all in envelopes already and labeled) for our accountant so we can get our taxes in before we go away at the end of March. Taxes must be filed in Canada by April 30th, so we have lots of time but our accountant is a busy lady and I want to bring them in to her in the next week or so. Fingers crossed we won't have to pay any additional taxes this year. Our first year with our rental house last year was a bit nerve wracking at tax time but we had done enough renos and had enough deductions, that we ended up with a lovely tax refund. We've always done our own taxes but last year with the house and our investments, it's getting a bit complicated. I'm so glad now that we hired her as she worked her magic and it benefitted us well. This year, we didn't have many renos and I got a raise, so I'm now a bit nervous but we bought our RRSP's yesterday and upped our amounts, so with those tax deductions and our receipts, I'm hoping we'll have enough that we either get a refund, or we're right were we need to be (no refund, no additional taxes to pay) or if we do have to pay, it's modest. Wish us luck! I'm off to get this day going. The morning was lovely to sleep in and have no schedule. But now I've got to get back to reality and have a productive afternoon. Have a sunny great day!
February 26, 2018
At some point down the road, we'll build a new house again. This house, that took us so many years to get off the ground, has been an amazing experience. But now we're excited to do it all over again. Finding the right piece of land will likely take quite a bit of time. We're not in a big hurry. But I have started to gather photos and ideas in a file for reference. The picture above is one that popped up on my feed tonight and is now safely tucked away in the file. I LOVE the oval window on either side of the front door. We have 4 oval windows in this house .... 2 in our Master, 1 in the hall and 1 in the garage. I love the character but these ones have so much more. In my few minutes of spare time here and there, I'll try to find the source and add that to our list as well. Exciting to think about all the planning and decisions to make again.
February 25, 2018
We've now had our Antique Booth for 8 months
now and it's going not too bad. Sales are going
okay and we're having fun keeping our booth
stocked and tidy. Always fun to treasure hunt.
Recently we moved the big items in our booth
to the two outside walls and that opened up the
middle, giving more space and an open feeling.
Now we can put refinished furniture in. Excited!
.... this picture reminded me that Spring is
just waiting to blossom. The sun shone today,
the air was warm and the melting has begun.
I'm sure we'll have more snow, but today,
it looked and felt like we could truly be on the
other side of Winter. Wouldn't that be amazing?
February 23, 2018
It's sunny and warm and melting today but I had to post my "homemade soup" thoughts. When we first moved in to our country home, the weather was hot and muggy and sunny and all we wanted to eat was salads and fruit outside on the deck. At the weather began to change that Fall, I had to learn to use our AGA and get used to gas cooking. I started small with baking, then rice, then casseroles and finally full dinners. But my favorite has been creating homemade soups. This has turned in to a weekly event, even in the warmer months. We keep some leftovers from our lunches and dinners on the weekend and then on Monday morning, I start simmering and chopping, throwing in to the mix whatever is in the fridge and sometimes digging in to the freezer. A mosh posh of everything and anything. Once it's all in, then I let it simmer for quite a while until it's nice and thick and then make biscuits for dinner. On Monday night, after we've had our fill for the day, I then divide up the last bits for lunches throughout the week. Last week was cold and this was my lunch and after work "warm ups" as I call this little soup containers. Perfect midday but also for those times I'm home early and dinner is still a ways away. Yummy and easy. And a good way to use up leftovers.
Do you make your own soup from scratch?
How do you use leftovers in your fridge?
February 22, 2018
After celebrating with our kids on Valentine's Day, we decided to stay in town the day after instead of driving home when our work week was done and treat ourselves to dinner. It's been years since we've been to Olive Gardens. The last time we were there was with our family when my aunt and uncle were in town for a visit. It was great and the last time we got to spend with my uncle, who was in the last stages of a progressive illness. Not long after, we got the call that he had died. I'm glad we were able to share that visit with all our family and that we had such a good time, eating great food and creating some lasting memories, while sharing old ones through the night. I miss my uncle but am happy we had time together. And I'm glad he's no longer in pain.
The next time we were going to go out for dinner, we ended up at Olive Gardens again, but this time, the line up to get in was horrendous, the staff was rude (likely run off their feet) and we ended up feeling a bit discouraged, so we took our name off the 2 hour wait list and drove back to our little hamlet and found a local restaurant to have our meal. They had just stopped taking reservations, so it was clear that a lot of people were upset and the atmosphere wasn't what we were looking for that night. I wanted my previous experience to be the good memory that I'd cherish. Not the upsetting one we would have had if we had stayed. Not what we'd like to remember.
We were a bit concerned that we'd run in to the same issue as our last attempt but we went at 4 p.m., the day after Valentine's Day and it was the perfect time. No wait, amazing waiter and the food was so good. We did have to take little bags home with our leftovers as we couldn't eat all they brought us. And our waiter even brought us a bag of fresh breadsticks "for the drive home" he said as he pressed them in to our hands! It was wonderful to sit and talk for several hours and not be in a rush and just enjoy being served. Worth the wait and a new memory for our books. We plan to return soon to repeat this night.
February 18, 2018
Valentine's Day is a time to show extra love to those
in our lives. A fun day to be expressive and creative.
I've heard some grumble that we shouldn't have to have
a day to show love, when we should show it every day.
I agree but it's still fun to have this special day. I baked
cupcakes for my loveys, wrote beautiful words in sweet
cards, chopped up veggies to make homemade soup on
a rainy and slippery day. And enjoyed the gifts of love.
My dh remembered I had shown him an ad for Bailey's
Irish Cream in a brand new flavor for a limited time ....
Strawberries and Cream. I then promptly forgot about
it but he didn't. And it took some hunting to find this
new treat. When he finally found a shop that had it in
stock, they only had one left on the shelf. We're sipping
it slowly and loving the smooth flavor. Hope they make
it a regular on as it's soooo good and warms the soul.
How was your Valentine's Day?
Did you have fun expressing your love?
We came home on Friday to a cluster of
birds up in a tree screeching at us. By the
time I got my camera going, this was only
a few of the crowd as many had flown
away. It was so noisy, it was like a scene
out of the movie "The Birds" ~ impressive.
February 17, 2018
I missed posting on Valentine's Day
even though I had searched for these ....
.... sweet, vintage cards to wish my
readers a happy loved~filled day.
We celebrated with our daughters and
grandson. We feasted on home made sou
and biscuits (it was a freezing rain day),
and fresh baked cupcakes for desert. I
received a beautiful flowering plant that
we're still trying to figure out what it is
(picture to follow) and a chilled bottle
of Bailey's Irish Cream in a new flavor
called "Strawberries and Cream". I
will just say "delicious" ~ smooth and
potent! I truly hope that you were loved
and honored on this special day of love.
February 14, 2018
February 11, 2018
On a frosty afternoon, the sun is low but bright. I
love the view as it brightens our little front veranda
The deep snow we finally got is fluffy and I'd love
to jump around in it, but I also love how it's perfect.
No footprints or marks anywhere. Just pristine snow
and our curvy path from the front door to the driveway.
The lane out the front. The only cars that come down
our little lane are the residents that live here and guests.
The bright sun hitting the trees to the North of the front
veranda. In time, the sun faces and warms the veranda.
The view on the other side of the house on the back
deck, as it begins to move around the corner to face
the front of the house, finally setting before it hits
the garage and the art studio later in the day. Really
my favorite time of day and one I cherish as I walk
around the house. Makes our house our sweet home.
I had a dear friend over the other day to
help me with some paperwork and before
she arrived, I made some snacks to nourish
us as we worked. And she arrived with
some Starbucks to surprise me, so we
treated each other. We worked hard and
spent quite a bit of time laughing. My
family came home and she was invited
to stay for dinner. We got a lot done and
had a great time while we worked away.
My inspiration for Spring. I have
my Lavender seeds tucked away in
the fridge, waiting for seeding day.
And our bird bath is in the garage.
Now we just need the temperature
to rise, the snow to melt and the
ground to thaw. I did a quick count
and Spring is due in just 38 days ....
February 8, 2018
This sweet baby is exactly 5 years old
today. We were so fortunate to be there
on the day of her birth. It feels surreal
to see how much she's grown in such a
short time. She's off to Kindergarten in
the Fall and we are so very proud of her.
February 7, 2018
It's a bit of a gloomy day that I've woken up to. We're getting some snow and the sun is hiding. I've had lots of extra work hours the last few weeks. Started a pilot project last year bringing grief counselling and programming to local schools. And it proved to be very popular and successful. So now we're setting up different sites. An exciting time but lots of work and I promised my boss and my family that I'd take a day off this week. I chose today because I could see by the weather forecast that we'd be getting snow. I don't have to be at work tomorrow until 1 pm so that gives me lots of time to travel in if the snow is heavy. So far, it's not too bad. Makes it pretty outside. I love snow days when I get to stay inside. Here's pictures of the snow we got last week.
We had an early snowfall this year in October and then it was like the snow kept forgetting to fall on our region. Every where else across Canada was getting lots but we'd have a dusting here and there, or a flurry or two. Then in the last 2 weeks, snow like crazy has fallen! Big amounts as you can see by my little bench above. And our sweet "Secret Garden" bench below. We've had almost 2 feet of snow fall in this short period of time. My dh ran out of gas on the weekend for his snowblower so we had to shovel by hand. Good workout but oh that snow was heavy! Waiting, waiting so patiently for Spring.
Today, life in our little cottage is quiet as everyone is off to work or school. Just me and the sleeping pets. I had a surprise Skype call from a friend that brightened my day. Lounging in a warm bed with my tea and my laptop, the tv remote and my heated wheat bag. A bit of heaven on a cloudy day. Thankful for this day off as the wind howls outside and the snow swirls and dances around the trees.
Our Living Room in the warm light yesterday. I'm looking forward to curling up here later to read my "Country Living" magazine (the British edition) ~ it's always a month behind but so worth the wait. I love this room for it's serene calm and just enough sunlight filtering through our lace curtains. Cozy and quiet, but just beside the rooms that house all the action, so I'm not cut off from the life around me. Explains my personality ~ I love to be part of the action (aka my family), but I also need a healthy dose of me time. This room provides a perfect mix.
This little tree is now down and tucked away until next Christmas. The decorations were all wrapped up nicely and placed in their bins. A bit of a gap exists there but I'm working on what can go there so we can enjoy our space again. I had moved the matching lamp to a spot in our turret but should really put it back on the tea wagon. Of course I like the lamp now in it's temporary Christmas location so I'm torn. I may have to do some rearranging so it's just right and I like the look and functionality.
Well that's my little post on my thoughts for Wednesday. Wishing you a beautiful day, where ever you are.