night sky

Camping in the cold

Last weekend we went out to Phyllis Lake for another weekend of camping. Abby, as usual, had to come with us as we can’t leave her home alone with her diabetes. Luckily she enjoys camping.

cat going camping
Abby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday was beautiful and we had a nice fire with some fishing. We didn’t have a lot of wood with us but discovered some huge logs from a tree that had been chopped down. So hubby got to work chopping, however, our axe didn’t like that wood and the handle snapped in half.

broken axe camping
Broken axe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then Saturday came, another beautiful day with fishing and sun.

lake camping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It started raining later in the day though so no fire and we were confined indoors for the evening. We fired up the generator as our batteries were running low and while it was going decided to watch a movie. Sunday it was bloody freezing as we were packing up to go. Felt like winter as it was only 6 degrees and the wind was so cold. Brrrrrrrr.

Friday night was pretty fun as I had my camera out and was attempting some sky pictures during the evening. I went down to the lake as well and got some interesting long exposure shots. I’ll post them once I edit them off my camera. I did try some time lapse photos on Saturday (my first time doing that) and it was really fun! It takes a lot of time and shots to create a short movie, holy! This one took about 30 minutes to create but I thought it was pretty cool:

Phyllis Lake

 

Canning tomatoes and making salsa in a weekend!

Canning Tomatoes

This past weekend was a busy, working weekend. My sister came and we spent the whole time canning tomatoes! What a time it was as I’ve never done before. I asked her if she had and she graciously agreed to come and do it at my place (crazy, I know).

I was supposed to buy about 35 lbs and she would buy 35 lbs and we would make about 40 jars of tomatoes. But I don’t use scales at the store and mismeasured (is that a word?). As the scale I used was in kg and I thought it was lbs … whooops. I knew I had too many but it wasn’t till I got home and totaled it up that I realized I had 103 lbs!! I texted her to her know (and so she didn’t buy any!). I also mentioned she should bring more jars, haha.

tomatoes
Picking up tomatoes at the store
tomatoes and jars
All ready!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She arrived Saturday afternoon and we were ready to start by chopping up all those lovely tomatoes, getting jars ready, boiling water and trying to get organized. I was glad to have a dining room table to use (although we never actually eat dinner on it!). It was a long day as we were still canning at 12:30 am. Poor hubby had gone to bed but I’m sure he was worried we were going to burn the house down as we had propane burners running in the garage (with the door open, of course). Still it was probably dangerous for us to be using them!

tomatoes
Chopping the tomatoes
tomatoes
Canned jars of tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Salsa

Sunday we had to trot out for supplies as we’d decided to make salsa as well (what exactly were we thinking??? good grief!). The crazy part is we had to buy jars of tomatoes (WTF?). This involved a lot more chopping than tomatoes as we had onions, green peppers, red peppers to chop and a million cans to open. We were worried about the weight of the pots on my glass cooktop, so did some on there and some back on the old propane burner.

This time it wasn’t raining so we were able to put it out on the deck at least (so it was closer). Poor sissy got stuck with stirring hers out there while I had 2 on the inside burners to tend. This meant stirring for 3 hours! Oy. I don’t know how you don’t end up with it burning at least a little to the pots as they need to be bubbling. Holy cow, it was a lot of stirring. Wine was also involved with the stirring :-).

salsa
Cooking salsa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the salsa was cooked down, it was time to get it into jars. What a messy job that was! It went all over the damn place even with funnels and such.

salsa
Time to can!
salsa
Canned salsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finished up the day by about 9:30 pm with 60 jars of tomatoes and 28 jars of salsa, so more than we had planned on making for sure!). I’m pretty lucky to have such a great sister to come and spend the weekend canning tomatoes and making salsa. It was a fun and crazy weekend and very tiring! Thanks sissy, love you loads!

tomatoes and salsa
All our canned tomatoes and salsa

Latest Knitting Project

I had promised myself I would only work on one knitting project at a time … unfortunately I am unable to comply with that! Currently I have 2 large afghans on the go and maybe 4 baby blankets. I just can’t resist when I see new yarn and want to start a new project! It’s an addiction of some sort I think. Or maybe I just can’t focus on one knitting project at a time.

I’m working on a beautiful green knitted blanket that is made up of butterflies. It’s one of the hardest blankets I’ve made and must concentrate intently when I work on the pattern (I’ve spent a LOT of time knitting backwards, rather than forwards).

I also spied some beautiful variegated yarn on a site called Ice Yarns. The company is actually located in Turkey (crazy, I know) but they have the most beautiful colours and the prices are great, it’s just the shipping that costs you, but it works out the same as buying here. So I’ve started another blanket with the lovely yarn I got (of course it arrived in a few days, so then I absolutely had to start another project!).

The one I work one during breaks at work is this knitted pink blankie. The yarn is Snuggly Wuggly and so darn soft. The pattern I picked is from Our Best Knit Baby Afghans called Blue Tranquillity. It’s a nice easy pattern that I can do quickly (as I’m a slow knitter) but I think it looks quite pretty.

knitted baby blanket
Baby blanket

What to do with all these little knitted baby afghans? My plan is to donate them to a hospital near and dear to me for their maternity ward. I’d like them to be given to mothers with stillborn babies. I think it would be nice to have a soft blanket to hold your baby. I’m hoping they won’t refuse the offer as I have yet to ask them. If they do, then I will find somewhere else that could benefit from them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitting – a rush to the finish

blanket-knitting
Baby blanket

Today I met up with a dear friend for lunch and a visit. She comes to visit me every few months since she retired (lucky, isn’t she?).

She recently became a grandma so I wanted to make something for her new granddaughter. I started knitting a baby blanket several months ago but got side-tracked with other projects and kept thinking I had lots of time to finish. Well, that wasn’t true as I ended up working late last night trying get it knitted in time for our meeting today. Nothing like leaving things to the end. Sheeesh. I was able to finish it though, get it washed up nice and wrapped. Phew.

I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. I used a jacquard yarn that I hadn’t tried before and I also had to do the edging separately and sew it on (another thing I learned). It’s nice to be able to make something yourself and give to someone as a gift.

Good day for shopping!

Had a great day running a couple errands. First stop was at the craft store to pick up some new knitting needles (some verra bad kitties had chewed my metal ones making them very scratchy to work with) and a couple pictures frames. As I was checking out, I realized it was 50% off one item day but I didn’t have my coupon with me, no big deal. The lady behind me though stepped up and asked if her coupon could be used twice, the cashier said yes and she offered me her coupon. How nice was that? Thank you anonymous craft shopper!

BagAfter that, it was off to the fat ladies clothing store (yes, unfortunately I have to shop there … although hopefully for not much longer!). Usually I don’t like the sales people helping me but when the lady asked, I said yes, why not. And I’m glad I did. She was so incredibly helpful in finding pants and a top for me. I even let her see me wearing them in front of the mirror (another thing I never do! I usually hide in the changing room). She then gave me suggestions on what fit, what didn’t, what looked good and helped me get the right size. The best part is I was a size smaller than what I thought :-). It really gave me a nice boost to my confidence to have something that fits nicely. So, thank you sales lady!

Funny how little things, like people being nice, can really make or break your day.

Birthday Boy!

Had a lot of fun this weekend as it was hubby’s birthday! We usually have a birthday/x-mas party to celebrate (just an excuse to get together with friends really). Friday was crazy busy as I spent 5 hours cleaning and tidying, oy. Probably a good thing to have a party every once in awhile so you do a big clean on the house, haha.

On Saturday the party began around 7pm. Sean cooked a huge beef prime rib and we had all the fixin’s, taters, salads, buns, millions of appy’s and snackies. The meat was cooked perfectly, OMG, and so delicious. There was only a tiny bit left over, which was great.

Sean bought himself a new guitar (an Ovation) for his birthday so I had to get him something else. His dad had drawn a picture for him many years ago for Christmas when he was 17. It was of Jimi Hendrix. When hubby moved here from Britain, he didn’t bring it with him and had asked over the years for dad to send it. I believe we’ve even asked when we’ve gone to visit, but no luck, dad wasn’t letting go of it since it was part of his decor now.

Over the past several months, I had been working with my mother-in-law in the hopes of getting her to convince dad to send the picture. She kept saying he was going to send it, but nothing ever arrived. It took a look of convincing and then I think she just brought the hammer down (as they are divorced) and I had it within a few days!! I was pretty surprised to find it in the mail, now I had to scramble to get it framed in time! Luckily I was able to and have it ready for the party.

Sean was pretty surprised/shocked when he took the paper off, saying “No way!!!”. He didn’t believe it was the original … but it was! I’m so glad I was able to get a little piece of home for him to hang up here. I know it meant a lot to him and that makes me happy. Best surprise ever! (well, except for the year I got him a Gibson guitar after saving up all year for that! He was extremely surprised with that one too).

The party was great fun with about 20 friends and finally wrapped up around 5 am, haha. It was fun to just relax and have some laughs.

Here’s a pic of sweetie with the drawing:

Sean and Jimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later on in the party, the guitar came out and the piano for some sing-a-longs and solos. Here’s the boys doing a barbershop quartet I think:

Sing-a-long