Friday, December 28, 2012

Vanilla Bread

Today is the first time I have done any baking in over two weeks.  I made bread,  cookies and some lemon cake.
I usually make something else while I am waiting for the bread to rise and this morning I tried a new recipe for oatmeal cookies.  It was a fairly simple to follow so I was tossing in the ingredients without a great deal of attention.  It called for both vanilla and lemon extract so I measured out the first flavouring and added it to the batter.  Then I stopped and realized, to my horror that I had just dumped two teaspoons of vanilla in the bread dough!  Instead of moving it to the table while making the cookies, it was sitting on the counter right beside me. The cookies have turned out okay and the bread is now in the oven so I will soon find out what vanilla bread tastes like.
It could have been worse, I guess, but I better confine my cooking to one dish at a time until I am sure my head is completly back to normal.  It is still a bit fuzzy-obviously.

Tomorrow, we are going to my in laws for a delayed gift exchange and then on Monday to my brother and his wife for new year's.  I am glad our little car is fuel efficient as it seems as though we are often travelling to see someone.

If you are living in an area that got or are getting the snow storm please stay safe.  It didn't come north this time so we are able to get out and about.  It is cold but the sun is shining brightly so I will bundle up and take Heidi for a walk later.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Visitors

Looking for the Buffet?

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  Ours was peaceful.  We did our traditional things; watched The Christmas Carol, opened gifts, ate and relaxed.  It wasn't what we had originally planned but life is often that way.
These deer were on our driveway enjoying the sun and end of hunting season.  The little shrubs along the road were just the right height for an easy brunch nibble.
My printer broke yesterday.  I have been having problems with it and it finally didn't work at all so, as we were going into town anyway, I bought another one.  It cost less than an ink cartridge and has all the features I needed.  In other words, it works.
We still haven't completely recovered our heath but are considerable better. We both have a cough that seems to have taken up permanent residence and don't have all our strength back but we are thankful to be upright.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

For Unto us a Child is Born

Merry Christmas to everyone.  Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my life with you this year.  I wish you all a safe, happy and blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Egg Nog and Bare Ground

I am a day ahead.  All day long, I thought it was Wednesday when, of course, it isn't.  Doesn't really make much difference but it is an odd feeling.  I didn't go to quilt group on Monday because of my husband's illness so that is probably what has thrown me off mental schedule-not that it takes much.
I have just got back from taking dear hubby to the doctor's.  He has bronchitis and was given a prescription for antibiotics.
I hope this speeds him on his way to good health.  I have been sweet and patient now for almost a week and I can hardly stand myself.
We still have a bit of snow on the ground but it is pretty mushy.  We may get a brown and soggy Christmas.  I am going to put out my nativity sets tomorrow to try and get some festive cheer in the house.  I'd sprinkle a little eggnog on the light bulbs if I had any.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Change of Plans.

I didn't expect I would be here to post anything this week but, here I am.  We had to cancel our trip to England at the last minute because my husband got ill.  I am not feeling one hundred percent myself but am able to function which is good because the chickens need tending, wood brought in etc.
We are both very disappointed which is putting it mildly.  It takes me a long time to mentally get ready to leave my home and I was at that point when everything came crashing to a halt.
Of course, it is not just us that is affected.  My nephew, whose wedding was the reason for all this, is now short an usher.  To make matters worse a number of other people have also cancelled because of illness, falls etc.  I won't even go into the financial repercussions.
So, we are all trying to adjust.  In our case, we are trying to focus on the coming Christmas.  My husband is still in bed but has a doctor's appointment for tomorrow.
Prayers for us all would be appreciated.
To put everything in perspective, is the horrible news from Connecticut regarding the mass shooting of all those little children as well as 6 adults.  Everything else pales beside that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Delay

Why I Love Winter

I have finished-I think-all my cards and some will be sent when we go into the village this afternoon.  The rest will be dropped off in Orillia and Toronto on Saturday on our way to the airport.  They will get to their destination much quicker when sent from a larger community.  We cut back on our list this year because of the postage costs and are sending more e cards.

For those of you who have been waiting for me to announce that my quilt book was ready, I have decided to wait until after the holidays.  I am too busy as is my editor.  I think that customers will have more time ( and, hopefully, money) to once again think about quilting related purchases as we start into a new year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas in June.

I just submitted my latest article for the Quilt Pattern Magazine.  You would be justified in thinking that it was possibly about Christmas or the new year and, while I did touch on this season, that wasn't the main topic.  Magazine articles are written six months in advance of the publication date so, while it is December when I wrote, it will be June when it is read.
Newspaper articles also have to be written in advance but, depending on how often it publishes (daily, weekly etc.) the lead time isn't as great.  For example, I write a local column for the Burk's Falls paper and send it in Sunday evening so it can be read on Thursday.  There still has to be some thought as to the readers perspective but not as much as with other publication.
If a person is submitting an article to an editor in hopes that it will be accepted, they need to think even further in advance.  It takes a long time for something to be approved, terms agreed upon and then sent for editing and publication.   If I were submitting a pattern with a Valentine's theme to a magazine, I would probably do so at least eight months before February.
One would think that with all this thinking ahead that writer's would be the most organized people on earth but I don't think this is the case-or at least it isn't for me.  Writing an article in June about Christmas doesn't result in me starting to make gifts or my fruit cake.  Like many other people, my preperations are left until the last possible moment.
This year, I have had to get ready a bit earlier as we will be in England for Christmas.  I am almost done.  However, because of my trip, I will not be posting until almost the end of December.  I may write a few words from my sister's computer but I expect I will be quite busy.  I expect you will be also.
So, you will hear from me a couple more times this week and then you can concentrate on your own Christmas celebration.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bargain Shopping.

Heidi's Christmas Photos

Evening in the Back Woods

We went to a department store that was closing down and did some shopping today. 
It was an  unplanned trip but when our Heidi's caregiver said she would like to have her for a few hours, we took the opportunity to shop.  Everything was at least 30-40% off so we were able to stock up on essentials such as soup as well as get a new kettle and toaster which we needed.
I hate to see stores closing especially when it means that employees are going to be out of work but the upside is that you can get some discount purchases.
We had a big lunch while we were out so I don't have to cook this evening.  After I get a few house chores done, I can have a relaxing evening.  I have started knitting a sweater as well as a new applique project so lots to do while watching television.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Time's A Fleeting

The time is getting closer for our trip to England-a week on Saturday.  I spent an hour trying to get some information from Air Canada without any luck.  They are experiencing higher than normal number of calls.  Isn't that another of those 21st century phrases that are great indication of poor customer service?
I have started to pack.  I never know what to take for clothes.  Doesn't matter if I am going overnight or for an extended stay in another country. And, of course, you never know what the weather will be so you have to allow for various conditions and temperatures.
I finally finished my maple leaf quilt and added the label.  I wanted to do something extra in one corner and just couldn't decide.  Finally appliqued a heart with a name and date embroidered on it. sometimes it is the little extra details that take the longest.
Tomorrow we are taking our wee dog to her caregivers for a pre- visit.  If Irene hasn't seen her for a bit, she likes to have Heidi over for a few hours so she (Heidi) can see that we do return. Irene is an absolute God send.  I hated leaving Heidi at a kennel because she would just bark until she lost her voice.  Most of the other dogs were so much bigger than her so she couldn't be left to play with them which meant she was crated the whole time except for walks.  Not much fun for an energetic little dog.  Irene takes her for an hour walk twice a day and Heidi gets the individual care that she is used to.  Still hate leaving her but I know she will be well looked after.
Sun just came out.  Hurray!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Photos and Lists

All the snow if gone from the back woods.  We are back to dead leaves and dead appearing trees, however, I do see a few snowflakes fluttering down so perhaps the ground will soon, once more, be white.  It is always a bit dreary when the weather can't make up its mind as to what season it is.
I must admit that, although I love the snow, I won't be too disappointed if it stays warm enough to hold it off until our flight leaves.  After all this preparation, I don't want to be sitting in an airport waiting for the weather to clear.
Yesterday, we got our photos taken for the family calendar.  Our niece is a photographer and she puts together a calendar for her grandparents using pictures of family members.  Our Heidi is going to be included this year and got to do a little posing on her own.
Jayme was good enough to take a few snaps of me so I can use one for my book etc.
I have made a list of things I need to get done today and so far I am making good time.  I am going out after lunch for a hair cut and some 'in town' things and then need to get at the magazine article that needs to be in before we leave.
Hope your personal 'to do' list isn't very long.  Try to find a few minutes here and there to remember why we are doing all this.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Internet Blues.

Just a quick note to let you know I am still alive and busy.  I have to go out today and likely won't be back until late so I thought I would just write a bit now.
On Saturday, we had our Christmas parade in the village with a record number of floats.  Friday night was the annual lighting of the tree, so our season has now officially started.
I have been having a lot of problem with my Internet service again.  If you live in a rural area and are considering getting the turbo stick (that operates on cell phone waves) do not do it.  It is the most frustrating system I have ever had.  Bell doesn't seem to offer any solution-reduced rates, booster so I just keep phoning and complaining.  My contract doesn't finish until next September.  I haven't called yet to see if I can cancel because they aren't living up to their terms but will look at that after Christmas.
We won't up to 12 degree weather this morning.  Our snow is gone and none is forecast for the next while.  If it stays like this, everything is going to start blooming again.
the lack of Internet and busyness has made it difficult getting the last bit of the book done but I am hoping for this weekend.
Will keep you posted.