Friday, November 30, 2007

She's a winner .. .

Thank you to everyone for sharing from your heart.
I loved reading every ones memories and ideas for grammies.
I gained such wonderful insights and as I read them and reread them . .
I pray those words will settle deep into my heart where they can produce fruit.
I was so excited to see who would win. This is the actual picture of the drawing.

Natalie, I'm so pleased to announce that you are the winner of my first bloggy giveaway.
Far more special than that . ..
You are the winner of the cross stitch that (though it may be a bit rough)
was made with love . . in honour of our lil' miss N.

Thank you everyone for participating and since it was so much fun,
I plan to do another one of these bloggy give aways soon.

Have a wonderful day my friends.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

please share

We are overwhelmed with all the love and fuss over our brand new granddaughter.

Thank you so much.

It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I'm so blessed to have such a broad spectrum of readers.

Some of you have been grammies for years already.
Some of you are joining in the fun at the same time I am.
Some of you have special memories of grammies in your life.
Some of you are young moms and know exactly what you appreciate in a grammie.
Some of you have a yearning in your heart for the relationship that a grammie gives.

All of you have some wisdom that I can glean from.
My desire is to be wise in my relationship with my grandchild . . .so please share.

To celebrate the birth of lil' miss N . .I am having my first bloggy give away.
Today, I would like to know what your best piece of advice for a new grammie is.

Maybe it's a special verse, or maybe it's a memory . .

I'll add your name to my jar and all comments posted today will have a chance to win
my first ever cross stitch and Cinnamon heart tree ornament.

The contest will close when tomorrows post goes up.

(How is that for scientific . ..I'm a grammie and my rules are a bit loose)

So, please I'll cherish all your bits of wisdom and your favorite quotes and Bible verses.

They will be printed out and saved for future reference.
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

night snow

I love the first snow of the year.
It is a forever memory of our engagement.
Perfectly frosted boughs.
I couldn't resist a few pictures at night . . .knowing that in the morning it could be gone.

I would love to add to my first snow celebrations . .

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday afternoon walking . .

Yesterday after a lunch of Blintzes, and the usual breakfast fare, we all set out for a walk.
Walking behind my men I'm always shocked at how similar Terry and Stuart look.
I know there is scientific explanations for this.
Still shocked.
I'm putting up some more Christmas decorations today.
Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Those who wait on the Lord

My beloved and I went for a drive on Friday. We saw these two eagles feeding in the water and then they lifted their mighty wings and soared into the sky.
Today is a day of rest, I trust it is also in your soul.
As we walk into this Christmas season, I hope you believe in the one who we celebrate.
If you do, you will understand the strength that the Lord gives.
Then . . .. you too will truly celebrate the birth of the one who we call Christ.
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.
They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run
and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31
Have a wonderful day my friends.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Poinsettia time

This is the time of year I venture out to our local nursery to admire the beautiful Poinsettia plants. They are displayed in long greenhouses healthy and vibrant.

How to choose?

I wouldn't mind this old cart to put in my garden .. Hmm . .not for sale.

I have the barrels at home but those poinsettias would last one night and they'd be Popsicles.
Have a wonderful day my friends, I'm off to do my Saturday work.
Is is just me or does Saturday work come quite often?

Friday, November 23, 2007

where's the peanut buttter?

We are having another spectacular morning on the farm. I crept out of bed early and crunched through the frost to the back of the property to have a peek at the sunrise.

Well if I've learned one thing from blogging it is that it is a source of accountability.
I told you yesterday that I was going to clean my fridge but I was soon a little sidetracked with office work. Then I came back a few hours later to have a look at the comments,
and when I realized that you were thinking you should clean your fridge too I felt compelled to get going on the task.

I took everything out and put it on the counter.
I removed all the drawers and gave everything a good scrub and started to shove it all back in.
Lucky me I had the queen of organizing over yesterday and she ventured over to have a peek and she set about organizing my fridge.

(big smirk here . . .I knew she would do it . .she just loves to organize)

Today, I'm giving my stove a going over too.
I have three hours to kill.
I'll work in my office a bit and do a bit of stitching.

Oh and by the way, if you don't have one of these for your stoves . .
run and put it on your Christmas list.
Even if you have a self cleaning oven, this liner is wonderful.
Everything wipes off so easy and there is no worry about those drippings in the oven.

Have a wonderful day my friends, we're off on a date after lunch.
Woo hoo.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

mini stitch

Hey . ..
I'm just working on a little something . ..
In a few days . . .I'll finish it up.
Today, I have a refrigerator to clean and a cutlery drawer that's calling my name.
Have a great day my friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

got flannel?

The frost is here. This morning getting out of bed was a little harder . ..

For a few weeks now, I've heard . . .where's the flannel?
So, yesterday I got out the flannel.
Odd isn't it how life switches . .
I was the one that needed the flannel warmth at night.
Now I don't.
He does.
I'm happy to oblige.
I smiled as I looked outside and saw the crisp frost kissing the last of fall.

Last night I heard . . .
"this stuff is like velcro . .
I can't turn" . .

This morning it was light when we woke.
Different from the last few days when I'm awake early looking outside at the dark morning.
We're ready for our Canadian winter.
Sleeping like babies . . .
Big sigh.

Have a wonderful day my friends, I'm off to bake a cake . . .

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The B&B office tree

This is the third tree of six that is up at the B&B. Imagine struggling through your emails, paying bills, and all the while having this twinkle in front of the window in your office?
This tree is laced with ribbons, lace branches and touches of deep red.

The hibiscus flowers are set among the branches . ..

Have a wonderful day my friends.
I'm in the mood to Christmas shop.

Monday, November 19, 2007

the things we do for love

Yesterday the kids all came for brunch. As usual Tobee came too.
He's such a good little pup, sitting quietly beside us while we eat. He roams around, particularly under Uncle TT's chair to see if there might be a morsel or two.
So, after lunch yesterday, I found a dog recipe on the Internet,
used the bacon drippings that Tobee longs for,
added some Whole wheat flour, cornmeal, grated cheese
(I just happened to have a dog shaped cookie cutter in the house . . . .)
and we had ourselves some biscuits.

Tobee could hardly wait to sample his.
I just get such a kick out of the way he holds his food.
It took him about 5 minutes to work through that crunchy thing.
This is old Otis, lunging for his.
I figure I deserve some sort of photography award to be hand feeding that boy and taking a picture of him at the same time.
The camera couldn't even reset in time to capture the one crunch.

I told him to mosey off of the porch and we would go back to our normal feeding arrangement.
I'll huck them and you catch them.

Later when it was time for Tobee to go home I sent him home with a doggy bag of course to share with his best friends Olive and Stanlee.

Have a great day my friends, I'm still tying ornaments.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nanaimo Bars

For those of us that have grown up with the Nanaimo Bar, it hardly seems possible that the rest of the world has had to go without this treat at Christmas time. I'm sure that Joyce had no clue that her famous bar would become such a favorite when she entered a contest in her hometown of Nanaimo. For the whole story you can click right here to read it. I have changed her recipe slightly and I've giving you my pictures that are not included in the recipe she provided.

I do recall learning to make these before I was a bride. I even made them for the day that I had my bridesmaids over to wrap the Wedding cake in foil and netting for our wedding favours. Sadly, that day I made a few errors that I am going to make sure you never make. So, pay attention to the little details and you too can serve the perfect little layer bar with your Christmas goodies.

First of all, you will want to use a 9X13 pan instead of the 8X8 pan. I like it nice and thin. You may like yours thicker, go for it. The other thing you will want to do is to line your pan with parchment paper or foil. If you don't do this you will not be able to lift it out to cut once it has been chilled.

The other thing you will need to do is to ensure fresh ingredients. Make absolutely sure your graham wafer crumbs are fresh. Taste them. Don't trust that because your package is sealed, they will be fine. Also make sure that your nuts whether you choose to use walnuts or almonds or pecans are also fresh. Taste them. The coconut I use is fine unsweetened. While you can use flaked or shredded, it cuts nicer if the bits are tiny.

So here we go .. . .

Bottom layer . . .
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter . . .this is important . .buy unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 farm fresh egg slightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup of graham wafers
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of fine unsweetened coconut

Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt it until it is nearly but not entirely melted.

If the butter is too hot it will instantly cook your egg in the next step.

Add the cocoa and sugar and stir until it is combined.

Add the slightly beaten egg.
Stir until well combined.
Put back in the microwave for about a half minute.
Your mixture should be a bit like a custard.
You may need to put it in for another half minute, stir and repeat until it has slightly thickened.
The egg should have now slightly cooked and thickened the mixture.

Add the nuts and coconut and stir until well combined.

Add the graham wafers last. Don't add all the crumbs at once. I have found that some makes of graham crumbs are more powdery and thereby can dry the mixture faster. I think you'll be okay with this amount of butter, but as I learned years ago, if the mixture is too dry, it will crumble and not cut nicely later on when it is chilled.

Your mixture will look like this . .nice and moist.

Spread the first layer into your prepared pan and chill for an hour.
Do not skip the chilling step.

Second layer . . .

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter . .softened
  • 2 tablespoons Birds Eye Custard Powder . .(non sweet custard powder meant to be cooked)
  • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 2 cups of icing sugar or (powdered sugar)

Cream the butter and add the custard powder and combine well.

I always use a wooden spoon in a glass bowl. Isn't it funny how we all like to use certain containers and spoons .. . (it's okay use your metal spoon in your glass bowl . .I can't see)

Add the Icing sugar next and stir slowly to combine. . .

Add the cream a drizzle at a time to make a nice smooth icing.

Beat it well with your wooden spoon until it is light.

Take your chilled crumb base out of the fridge and plop your icing on top.

If your some reason your icing does not look like this consistency either add a little more cream or a little more icing sugar.

With your off set spatula . .(what no off set spatula . .put it on your Christmas list .. go ahead . . . .I'll wait)

Spread it out nice and smooth or as smooth as you can.

Put it back in the fridge for an hour . .

Third Layer
  • 6 squares of semi sweet chocolate . .I just use bakers, but you could use a really good quality if you preferred. I find that the secret is real butter.
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

Put this in the microwave for half a minute.

Stir the chocolate at a half minute intervals until it is perfectly smooth.

You of course could do this in a double boiler.

Just make sure that no droplets of water or steam get into the chocolate or it will seize and you'll have a mess.

Take your chilled bar out of the fridge and put your chocolate on again using your offset spatula. Put it in the fridge to chill for one hour.
This is important.

The bar needs to chill until the chocolate has set but not so so chilled until the chocolate is hard. If this happens you will crack your bar when you slice it.

If it seems too hard let it sit for a bit and try again.

This is why you needed to line your pan . .

put it on a cutting board and use a thin knife to cut it.

I do hope you enjoy this Western Canadian treat. We sure have. Thank you Joyce for doing your hometown proud.

The square keeps really well if it is well wrapped in your refrigerator . You may have to hide it.

Have a great day my friends. I'm off to do my Saturday cleaning.

Friday, November 16, 2007

very clear unclear tutorial

I was looking for an appropriate picture for today's post when I came across this one from last Sunday's walk just minutes from our farm. It is one of my favorite spots since it is lined with Maple trees. I told my beloved to do an action shot and this was his best shot. The leaves have been receiving a good drenching the last few days and have likely lost their fun.

Okay, now for today's tutorial, Lovella style. I've been trying to figure out how to cross strike words from my post. I've always thought it quite fun and a bit more inside the mind of what one would really be thinking if they were to be really honest. I've searched in the help section to no avail. The other day I put out a plea and Joyful Kathi gave me the instructions. Thank you.

Unfortunately I'm a slow learner and still couldn't get it to work. So, I did what most clever moms do . . ..I asked my son. Not wanting to call him and disturb him at work, I sent an emergency email, requesting his help.

He sent me instructions along with this link. I have repeatedly tried to show you how to do this but now I'm so good at it. It continues to strike out my instructions . ..I'm laughing very hard now. So, click on the link and good luck. I thought I could show you if I wasn't in html but alas it works even in compose mode. Basically, you are going to use this <> sign which we will call the pointing outward arrows. So . .. put the first half of the pointing outward arrow and then type the word "strike". Then put the other side of the pointing out arrow. On the other side of the word you wish to strike out put another pointing out arrow and one of these / before you write the word strike again. Make sure you finish with the >.

I do hope this helps those of you who need a moment of comic relief.

Oh, and for tomorrows post, you will need . . .fresh graham cracker crumbs, fresh, walnuts and fresh packaged fine coconut. You'll also need some "real" creamy unsalted butter, some icing sugar, vanilla custard powder and some semi sweet chocolate. Run to town and pick these up because you'll need them if you want to try a Canadian treat.

Helloooo . .. .I'm updating my tutorial at 11 am. I realized that I have been as clear as mud. I decided to type the instructions , print them out . . .scan them, crop them and add them as a picture into my post. There you go. I'm exhausted. For my friends that say to me, "you must spend a lot of time of your blog" .. . .today . . .. you are absolutely correct.
Oh and I do hope this will help the voting poll.

Have a great day my friends. I'm off to do some tasting photography on tommorows post.

Now, if I may redirect all of you . .bloggers, lurkers, to vote on my very scientific poll at the top right hand corner of my blog.