Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 29, 2012

Things definitely seem to be getting back to normal around here.  The other day I woke up and actually felt efficient.  I made brown sugar and super-whole grain granola.  The granola has been on my list for some time now, but it is one of those projects that when you think about making it there are just too many steps.  Once you do get your butt in gear and make it, you think, "Why didn't I do this before?  What was I complaining about?"

Same goes for the brown sugar.  I'll never pay for it in the store again.  All you do is mix one tablespoon of molasses into each cup of white sugar.  If you want darker, mix in more molasses.
The granola is super whole grain because I used spelt flakes and kamut flakes along with my oats.  It's really yummy and I'm trying to convince the kids it's so much better than Cheerios.

We have been taking advantage of the summer clearance sales and got ourselves a new "outdoor living set": a.k.a outdoor sofa and chairs.   

Best idea of the summer I think, although very b-r-o-w-n.  To match the brown deck and brown-y bricks.  I headed off to Fabricland and picked up some outdoor fabric on clearance.  For $10 I gave it a punch of colour:

... and I have enough fabric left over to make a runner for the coffee table or some place mats for the patio table (which has now moved to our "lower" deck).

Yesterday we took a lovely detour on our way to Mountain Equipment Co-op in Barrie through the lovely historic main street of Schomberg. I didn't take any snaps but it was full of of the old, brick farmhouses; tea rooms, pubs and gift shops.  Whenever we drive through communities like these I am reminded that I live in one of the most beautiful areas of Canada and feel so blessed to do so.

Today we explored something else new, and that was the Monastery at Mary Lake.  This is a beautiful piece of property that was originally owned by Sir Henry Pellatt, who was the person that built the famed Casa Loma mansion in Toronto.  If there were pictures in the dictionary under "idyllic", this would certainly be the one.  This property in King County was his summer home, and in the 1930's he sold it to the Augustinian order to build a farm school.  We did not get to see the shrine today because of an event going on, but we did walk through the forest and part of the grounds.  We actually tired Libby out!  The fieldstone house was just a bit too far off the path for me to get pictures of.  As this is private property that the owners graciously allow visitors to walk the trails, I did not want to be too forward and go tramping up to the old house!  This is the most impressive barn though:

I am hoping the weekend's energy shifts into the coming week as well.  My Favourite Girl has a birthday on Thursday and I still need to stitch a card for her and think of a cake to make.  After that I should be able to get back to some of my W.I.P's  languishing away!

Have a wonderful day:)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012

Pseudo-normalcy: at last!  I think I almost got my groove back:)  Summer has not gone as completely as I had planned, but I am finally enjoying it.  We have had such hot weather.  Really, really hot weather.  It has made it hard to be outside and take Libby on longer walks.  We have been puttering around the house and just taking it easy for the most part.  The kids had a full day, week long summer camp last week and that made it easier to get things back to normal.

We are still getting to know Libby and loving all the little things we discover about her.  Libby likes to eat canned pumpkin and cottage cheese.  She loves her home made stew and sneaking up onto our beds when we're not looking.  She is a very, very good dog and we are very, very grateful!

I was excited to do some sewing for her.  I gave her bed a make-over from boring denim to pink bouquets:

I have plans to cross stitch a name plate to cover the "doggy" sign on the front.  All in good time:)

I also got rid of the yucky leash she came with and made a prettier one:

I saved the hardware from the old leash and used the same heavy cotton from the bed for the strap.  Mr Crafty World was concerned the fabric leash would snap so I encased a thinner strip of polyester webbing from a dollar store leash inside.  Now it's strong, washable, prettier, and more comfortable to hold than the webbed leash she came with.  I also added a D-ring to the handle loop so I could attach the cute little pouch that holds clean-up bags.

 I used the tutorial from Loft Creations website.  You can find it and other goodies under the tutorials tab.  I have plans to make her a few toys as she rips through hers with startling speed!

A couple of weeks ago I doggy-sat a friends dog, which was kind of an adventure when you're just getting used to having a dog yourself!  Every mealtime I encountered this behind my feet:

Yesterday the kids and I went off to Ikea so I could spend some of my doggy-sitting money.  I haven't been in a very long time and was excited to find some pretty new things for my kitchen.  

I love the bowls - they're made in France.  I washed them up right away and used them for last night's dessert: Raspberry Fool:

Lastly, I'll leave you with a few photos of flowers from my garden.  A little jug of summer if you will:

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5, 2012

Summer vacation.   Should be nice and relaxing.  Should be.  I have been catching myself wishing it was September several times in a day lately.  I am feeling tired and slightly overwhelmed.  My mind is rushing, rushing, rushing, yet I can't seem to keep up.  I suspect a large part of this has to do with this little arrival on the last day of school:

This is Libby; our 6 year old Jack Russel mix.  We adopted her on the last day of school with relatively no planning.  Actually, no planning whatsoever.  She's lovely, and we love her to bits already.  She's so good; we can actually leave her free in the house when we step out.  She's getting more affectionate and she is pretty healthy.  However, I am finding the change in dynamic taking some getting used to.  I worry about what I need to do to keep her healthy.  I realize that any summer plans to go anywhere have now been put on hold until we can find a reliable pet-sitter.  My house is a mess.  My normal routine has been obliterated with having both kids and now a dog in the house full time.  I am craving order and  routine and accomplishment. Oh, and about one hour BY MYSELF.
 I'll get there; I just had to vent.

It hasn't all been bad.  We are having fun getting to know Libby.  She loves to go for walks and all the fresh air and exercise is good for all of us.

I wanted to share some of my Canada Day decorations.  You remember I made the red and white bunting; well here it is hung up.  I like it so much I haven't taken it down yet:

I also made a patch-work flag:

Here is my red and white centerpiece:  a little leggy but it looked festive enough:

Of course we had food:

Red and white candy popcorn

 Cherry Tarts

Gingerbread maple leaf cookies

Red and white dipped strawberries

Mini maple leaf crackers using left-over pie crust dough

We had neighbours over for a barbeque and lit some fireworks in our driveway.  It was a pretty fun day after all the preparations were done.  Libby didn't like the fireworks at all, and hid under the kitchen table.  Poor thing: she probably wondered what kind of new people she got that make so much noise!

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