Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hello; my name is Sandy; and I'm a slacker AND a rotten mother!

I've been a blogging slacker lately!
I miss you, my blog friends.
But, getting rid of 3 kids in one month is arduous work.

  • Carolina is safety back home in Mexico. Adios my sweet little girl. And thanks for all the half full bottles of shampoo and lotion, the black umbrella and those last few squirts of your expensive perfume you left me in your room.

  • Molly is in "the big city" (Toronto) and learning to be grown-up. Thanks for the beautiful Asian-inspired print, lost Mommy-underwear, 13 empty water bottles, 2 extremely crusty cups and 1 hold-your-mouth-and-don't-breathe covered plastic bowl of science experiment you left me in your room ............... and oh yeah! your contribution to these: I miss you terribly, love you deeply and pray for you every night. Fly! my pretty one. Fly!


And of course, after they leave there's the clean-up and re-organization to be done. Elly moved into Carolina's bigger room, Libby moved upstairs to Elly's smaller room, and Sandy got out the vacuum, cleaning supplies, industrial sized garbage bags, storage boxes and paint!.

Is it wrong to 'child-proof' your home when they finally move out? To say "Have a nice life." "Call me once in a while" and "Please come home to VISIT me every now and then"


Elly leaves on Thursday! She'll be back at the end of August along with a young Brazilian girl. So, I'm trying to clean and organize now, because 2 months of indulgence and irresponsibility are ahead of me! Ask me if I'm excited?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fertilizer Friday Jun 24.11

It's Friday! Yayyyyyy!
So, it's time to join Tootsie at Tootsie Time for Fertilizer Friday.
This week, I'm going to introduce you to my other garden --- my little veggie patch with the local Community Garden. This is the 3rd year that the Community Garden has been in operation, and as well as growing literally, it grows in popularity every year. It's hosted by a local group of green-minded people and endorsed by the Town.

The Town allows us use of a lovely piece of property in the heart of everything and near the river. This year, there are 21 raised beds, 18 of them given for individual use and 3 are community beds. The produce we grow in the community beds will be given to the local food bank or stored for use at the community Christmas dinner.
This is my little bed: 2 lemon balm herbs, 4 tomato plants, 3 rows of green & yellow beans, and a rather sad row of Swiss chard. I'm so happy to be able to grow veggies again, and I only planted on May 24th so I'm sure I'll enjoy a good harvest. Here are one of the more lush looking beds with broccoli, kale and beans. My garden looks over and aspires to be just like it!We also have a great looking plot of garlic. Did you know that all of the garlic purchased in our supermarkets comes from China? At least, up here in Canada it does. Shocking really! I've never grown garlic before; in a couple of weeks when the little bud ends (whatever they are called?) curl around on themselves, we can cut them off and use them. .
No more gardening for me until next week. This weekend calls rain for Nova Scotia; so I'll be once more holed up in the basement painting and moving on with my new project!


I hope that whatever you're doing, you enjoy yourselves. Happy weekend!

Monday, June 20, 2011

What We're Reading

Today I'm joining What We're Reading #5 hosted by Ricki Jill Treleaven at Art @ Home .
I love when I can share a book with my daughters or vice versa. My middle daughter, Molly, is an avid fan of fantasy. She got me hooked on this book by introducing me to the first episode of the HBO series. Then she promptly left home taking her books with her! The nerve! I was forced to buy my own copy of book one.
I've been reading "A Game of Thrones" since June 11th and have just a few pages to go. The HBO series is almost spot on with the book and is very, very well made with some top name actors (such as Sean Bean) playing the parts..
First published in 1996, "A Game of Thrones" is the first book in an ongoing series by American author George R R Martin called "A Song of Ice and Fire". It's won quite a number of awards, and apparently has a number of spin-off items such as cards and games.
This fast-paced fantasy book set in a somewhat medieval time period. It's a lot of reading and a lot to remember with the 7 kingdoms of Westeros and just as many "noble houses" full of Lords and Ladies. There are fierce warriors and brave maidens, strange creatures and scary ghosts and goblins. But the characters are so well formed and likeable (even the nasty ones) and the descriptions so vivid and imaginative, that I find this book rivoting. When I'm not reading the book, I'm thinking about reading the book as well as looking forward to watching the corresponding episode of the HBO series.
Be warned: these books contain violence, swearing and sex. However, if you're a fan of fantasy, I'd highly recommend this book.
There's never any need to ask me these days what I'm doing tonight!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fertilizer Friday Jun 17.11

Another lovely Friday has rolled around. The sun is shining, and it promises to be nice for at least 2 days. Time to check on both my gardens.
In my flower garden, these are some of the things that are blooming.
New for this week is my 1st poppy to bloom, the yellow day lily and the Painted Daisy. I also captured the Jupiter's Beard plant which will open any day now - that's such a prolific bloomer. And at the top right corner, is a plant whose name eludes me at the present.
After all, it's only 7 am here and I haven't had my Wheaties yet!
Happy Friday everyone. Please visit Tootsie at Tootsie Time for more Fertilizer Friday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rednesday Jun 15.11

It's Rednesday over at It's A Very Cherry World! with SueLovesCherries. And I had forgotten to show you my newest splurge.
I went out seeking yellow sandals, one of my current challenges. And do you think I could find a pair in Lunenburg County? No! Nor have I seen a pair in the many stores I checked out in Halifax. Oh dear! But I did find a double-whammy treat -- comfort and redness. I bought a pair of my very favorite brand of shoes, Naots from Israel. They are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, and I was tickled to find these on sale.Add a little summer-time toe polish (and please ignore the red blotches on my pasty whites!), and Voila! I am ready for summer!
Alas! The cool, damp temperatures these past few days are not very summery. So, I added some extra redness to the (literal) pot this week. I made a delicious, new-to-me spaghetti sauce recipe. Let me share it with you. I got it online from RecipeZaar.

Jolean's Killer Spaghetti Sauce

3 Tbsp oil

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced green peppers

1 large diced garlic clove

1 1/2 lb ground sirloin

1/2 lb ground pork or veal

2 - 6 oz cans tomato paste

1 - 14.5 oz can tomato sauce

1 - 14.5 oz can stewed, undrained tomatoes

1 - 4.5 oz can undrained mushrooms

2 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1 tsp oregano

4 tsp sugar

5 Tbsp chopped parsley

7 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

In large dutch oven, saute onion, celery, green pepper and garlic in oil until partially tender; push aside in the pot. Add ground meats and brown; chop into rather large chunks - not too small. Mix meat and sauteed veg well. Add tomato paste, sauce and stewed tomatoes and stir. Add mushrooms with liquid and stir. Add all spices including the grated Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly.

Bring to a boil; stir and simmer for AT LEAST 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently. Serve over pasta with additional grated Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

I didn't have sirloin or pork or veal; so I used mild Italian sausage. I didn't have celery so I left it out. And I was a little leary of the Allspice and Nutmeg, so I used half of what they called for; next time I'll use it all. And this wonderful mixture simmered on my stove for roughly 4 hours and made my house smell great.
It was gorgeous! If this spaghetti sauce were a man, I would marry it. (Or have a hot, passionate, long-term affair!) It really was killer spaghetti sauce!
I give this spaghetti sauce "9.5 granny panties and full-support bras out of 10".
It was red hot and soooo yummy!

Thrifty Tuesday - Weekend finds

A few weeks ago, I ate the most delicious whole wheat bread made in a bread maker. Up to that point, they didn't interest me. I love bread (but don't eat a lot of it for its obvious hip-inflating properties!). But many of my students don't eat a lot of bread -- if I take out a whole loaf, most will go bad; or they want what I refer to as the 'ready made styrofoam white sliced'. So, I've come to the conclusion that a bread maker would make just the right amount of bread for one or 2 people.
So I says to God, I says, I do ... "God, I'd love to find a cheap breadmaker". And ain't He a good Daddy because I went out Saturday morning for fresh fruit and there was a yard sale on the corner. And as I slowed for the red light, my bionic eye saw a breadmaker. Blinkie-blinkie into the left lane.
$5 people! $5 and she was mine. However, she doesn't have a manual (and I've never used a breadmaker before); and I cannot find a copy online as the owner suggested. So I ask for your help.
It is an older model Philips, and this is what the front panel looks like. If anyone has a manual for a Philips breadmaker, I would so much appreciate a copy. You could perhaps scan and email it to me? OR if anyone could give me directions on how to use it -- which buttons to push in what order etc.

Thank you bloggy world.
I already know how to use these three little dishes: they're the perfect size for ketchup, mustard and relish at summer barbeques. Aren't they cute; 50 cents each..
Enjoy your Tuesday. After a lovely hot 'n' sunny weekend, it's grey and cool in Bridgewater .... perfect for working inside as there's no draw to be in the garden with the slugs.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Thank God it's finally Friday. And of course, it's Fertilizer Friday with
If you're a gardener or a lover of gardens, please remember to stop by Tootsie's blog Tootsie Time and have a look.
Although my garden is in sore need of weeding, it's blooming beautifully.
Yet again this year, I have one lone Iris bloom in my front bed; there's another lone bloom in the back bed that will open soon. Perhaps they are star-crossed lovers and lone to be together! This is year 2 for my Jacob's Ladder, and it's loving it's location. How pretty it is.Another of my yearly favorites is the Meadow Rue.The periwinkle is such a pretty flower as well with it's shiny, leaves and petite blooms.Mountain Bluettes have just begun to open in the Larry bed.
And this is a beautiful little plant. I believe it's a kind of Lamium.

Happy Fertilizer Friday everyone! I hope your weekend is wonderful.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tasty 'n' Tearful Tuesday

I tried out one of the recipes from my new "Cake Mix Doctor" cookbook for Friday night's pot luck dinner -- Lemon Poppy Seed cake. The recipe included the mix, 3 eggs, vanilla yogurt, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/3 cup oil, 1 tsp vanilla and a vanilla instant pudding mix. (I didn't have the pudding on hand, so I substituted instant lemon pie filling.) I baked it in a bundt pan and glazed it with a simple lemon juice, grated zest and icing sugar glaze. It looked and tasted great! Very moist (perhaps a bit more so) and extremely lemony: just the way I like it. I would definately make it again (but I'll use the pudding mix next time.) .
Why was I making a cake? It was the end of year goodbye party for all the foreign students. Some are leaving before June 24th, the last day of school.

We said goodbye to our little Mexican student, Carolina, who flew home on Sunday. It was hard to say goodbye and very tearful for some of us who opted to hide under the Canadian flag! We were together for one last family supper Saturday evening -- my own enchilidas, salad and a carrot cake just for Carolina because it's her favorite. Well, we did help her eat it.
We also said Bon Voyage to Molly who has gone to Toronto for the summer to stay with her sister (and learn how to live in the BIG city).

I am tear-stained :(

And somewhat bloated from all the cake!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fertilizer Friday - Jun 3.11


These are some of the plants I bought at yard sales last Saturday: Geraniums, Columbine, Creeping Jenny, Ajuka and Starflower -- from $2 ea down to 50 cents ea. (Sometimes it pays to get there really late!)

I planted my flower box at my entrance with Gernamiums and Ivy. They're such lovely greeters at the end of a work day.

Look who's running away and trying to hide under the Solomon's Seal! He looks kind of sneaky; I wonder what's in his sack?

And here's what's blooming this week. .
I have a hollow section in the side yard that I someday want to plant and develop; but it'll cost a bit for topsoil etc. So over the past year or two, I've been tossing in sticks and leaves and the end-of-season dead annuals -- sort of a flower garden compost. Look what I found growing there. The pesky deer found them before me; but now I've "Skooted" them, I don't think they'll like the taste of the hosta!

For more gardening fun, I'll be checking out Tootsie and friends at Tootsie Time today. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - June 2.11


I had a fun day of Yard Salin' on Saturday past. There's not a lot that I need, so I didn't get much. (Well, except for plants ..... but they don't count, right?) But I thoroughly enjoyed my morning, meandering from sale to sale, eating cupcakes and buying Key Lime Pie.

  • .A pretty bowl for 50 cents; won't my soup taste good in this!

  • A little vintage sugar bowl for $2; isn't it "sweet"!

  • A great file box (complete with a dozen hanging files) for $2

  • And books ... lots of books: you can never have enough cheap books.

  • This Cake Mix Doctor book (50 cents) which is full of great ideas for making different cakes using a cake mix as a base. I strolled through it last night and highlighted dozens of recipes I want to try.

  • And this lovely selection of books: the Roget's Thesaurus (for my daughter because when you're writing, it's indispensible); a travel journal (for my next big journey -- always hopeful!); a beautiful 2010 Guideposts daily devotional; and a book I've been wanting for a while, Little Bee. Each of these was $1 each.
I'll highlight my plants on Fertilizer Friday. The weather is finally turning for us here in Nova Scotia and my garden is loving it.

But now, drop by Leigh for Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville and Coloradolady for Vintage Thingie Thursday at Coloradolady.


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