Friday, 1 December 2017

March of the Snowmen

Earlier this year, I purchased a craft magazine that had these cute "salt and pepper shaker" snowmen in them.  What a great way to repurpose old shakers I thought.  In my travels, I have been picking up these shakers at 2nd hand shops.  I was surprised at how difficult it was to find them.  I guess there are others that had the same idea that I did.

When time permitted I molded a head for them from modelling clay and baked "carrot" noses in my oven.   It was fun.  Decorating them is a job seeing different characters come from each one.

I now have my snowmen on my sideboard in the kitchen making the room a little more festive for the winter season.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

One person's garbage is another person's treasure

While driving home the other day I spied a wicker planter in someones garbage, tossed on it's side sitting by the road.  I couldn't help myself.  I stopped the truck and set it up straight and gave it look.  There was a few holes on the side, some of the wicker was missing but in my mind I saw a beautiful Christmas green's holder.   It would be perfect sitting on my back deck with lights twinkling in it.

Up went the back door and I loaded it in.  I could feel my mind racing.  Should I try to repair it first by teaching myself how to do wicker weaving or wait till the spring to do that?  I could spray paint it white and wait till it dried and then decorate it, or leave it as is and let the greenery enhance the planter.  The greenery won out.

So here is my new planter gracing the back deck.

Filling the planter with greenery

Figuring out how to hide the holes 

I guess the bow is a little big, but bow making is not my specialty lol.

Add a few lights to make it sparkle!!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Fall Colours

What an amazing day!  We couldn't believe how beautiful the weather way. The temperature reached 22c this afternoon.  A lovely day for exploring, golfing and enjoying the fall colours.  We were up early and went looking for a place to photograph the sun coming up.  We weren't disappointed with the beautiful display.

The colours were amazing


Beautiful sunset to end the day

Monday, 16 October 2017

Family Golf - Innisbrook Golf Course - Barrie

The morning dawned with a mild sprinkling of rain.  Oh boy we thought, we better pull out our rain suits as it's going to be wet.  Today was our family golf game.  This year it was organized by Jim and Debbie and the BBQ was going to be at their house later in the afternoon.

Ralph and I decided to leave earlier to see if we could photograph some of the leaves changing colour but sadly the rain increased and neither one of us desired getting wet before the round.

By the time we reached the course the rain had stopped and it was actually a pleasant temperature. Everyone was in good spirits today.  We missed Lawrence and Teresa this year as they were away at a wedding.  As a result we had 3 - threesomes set up.  Linda, Debbie and Yolande, Henry, Homer and Ralph and Jim, Ed and I.

We tee'd off at just before 10:00, hoping that the rain would stay away.  It warmed up nicely as we played and the sun even came out for a while.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.

We enjoyed a fun awards ceremony after our game.  Congratulations to Debbie for having the closest to the pin - Ladies, Henry for having the longest drive and closest to the pin - Men, Homer for having the low gross - Men and to Grace for having longest drive and low gross - Ladies.  Ralph and Grace also won the combined (Men and Ladies) low gross.  Everyone had fun and it turned out to be a beautiful day.  Even the rain held out until just before dinner.  Thankfully Jim and Debbie have a large enough basement to hold the crowd that had assembled for the bbq.

We were thankful that Mom , Harry & Marian and
Laura and Jay and the family were able to join us as well
for dinner.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Adventures with butter

Today, since it wasn't feeling like a gardening day, I decided to make some home made butter.  I've been wanting to do this for some time now as I have read that it's delicious and you can vary the flavours by adding herbs, salt, honey (whatever you desire).  Since this was my first attempt, I thought I would stick with a plain sweet butter (nothing added).

For my first batch, I started by adding 3 - 1/2 litre containers of whipping cream.  It seemed like a good idea.  The recipe said to place your food blender on high and set the timer for 8 minutes.  It seemed reasonable to me.  So I added everything and went about cleaning the kitchen while the cream was churning into butter.  To my dismay, when the timer went off, the butter had gone too far and was back as liquid again.  Hah, hah.... A lesson learned.  I really didn't want to waste the cream so I put everything in the fridge to chill it down (as I read that if things get too warm, it will do this) and waited about 45 minutes and tried again, this time with a watchful eye.  As soon as I saw the butter separate from the liquid I shut the food processor off and scooped the butter into the cheese cloth and then squeezed out the left over liquid (referred to as butter milk).  I then dipped it into ice water to harden the butter before putting it into containers.  I was surprised at how little it made.  I had visions of at least 2 lbs of butter but it was less than a pound.  No wonder it costs so much in the store.

I decided to try again, this time using only 1 - 1/2 litre container to see how that would work and how much I would get.  This time, it seemed like there wasn't quite enough liquid in the food processor and it took longer to separate.  I waited patiently although not far from the processor.  Like magic it started to separate, so I scooped it up into my cheese cloth and squeezed out the liquid and then immediately dipped it into the ice water.  This batch made 1 small container (which is actually perfect for Ralph and I as we only use butter periodically when cooking).

I'll save this for soup

The butter milk is poured off

This is a dinner plate - the amount of butter here fits into two small round containers.

All in all I ended up with 6 containers of butter using a total of 3 litres of whipping cream.  I also have 1 1/2 bottles of butter milk which I think I can use in soups to enhance the flavour.  It's definitely not cheaper to make your own butter but I will say that the taste is amazing.  If you like the taste of cream you will definitely enjoy the butter.   It was a fun experiment.

Unlike it's name, the butter milk it rather sweet

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Homeward bound

Sadly today is the day that we are heading for home.  Ralph and I were up early and went down to the beach to take a few pictures of the sun rising.  It was a beautiful morning.  As we were photographing the sun coming up, I envisioned several people coming to the beach with chairs and a a coffee.  I was envious of them and the opportunity to sit and enjoy the beauty that God has given us.  I wished that I could sit there (if only for an hour) to enjoy the sun, feel the warm wind on my face and listen to the birds take enjoyment of the new day.

We had the truck all packed by 7:45 and went down for breakfast.  We were on the road by 8:45 and arrived in Morgantown, West Virginia by 6:30.  The drive was good, although we did experience rain along the way.  I was happy for the rain as I didn't feel as bad leaving with rain along the way than if it was sunny and warm.  The temperature was still really nice (25c) and it was still 22c when we arrived in Morgantown.

During the drive here, I worked on developing my "bird" pictures.  I think I worked on them for about 8 hours (and I'm still not finished). I'm happy with the results.

It's the end of a very lovely and relaxing vacation.  I'm sad that it's over.  

View while driving through the mountains in West Virginia.