Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's Begun!!

I was notifed by the City of Brockville a few months ago that starting in July right through until October that the city is tearing up a section of King Street...from Cedar right through to Beecher Streets. According to my trusty map of the city, this includes 4 city blocks...smack dap right in front of my house!! They are replacing the water and sewer lines. So this means, lots of digging with a very loud jackhammer, lots of trucks, (noise, noise, noise!!) and the worst of all...dust/dirt/grime!! I am not looking forward to the next 4 months! The day that they dig up the street in front of the house will the exact day that I trying to sleep cause I'm on the night shift! Oh Lord!! I'm trying to keep positive about the whole thing...it's only 78 days of construction, (that's if they don't get into a pickle of some sort!) Perhaps I should just move to the cottage and take up residence there. I could bake a batch of "coconut raspberry tarts" and bribe them to just avoid the section of the street in front of the house...hhmmm!

Monday, June 29, 2009

It Was Good Enough for Dorothy...

The renovations at the front of the house are finally completed. However, the front door needed "something", a "zinger" perhaps to make a statement especially when living on a main street in Brockville, Ontario. Why not red? Ruby red? Dorothy had ruby red slippers in the "Wizard of Oz". They were magical!! But I also thought that it might be too much!! I would be known as the "deranged lady who lives at 385 King Street with the appalling red front door"!! So I compromised and chose a different shade of red. The color is not red, but, pardon me is, "Brandy Wine". I wonder what would happen if I slammed the door three times, and repeated "There's no place like home"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Claim to Fame...

Okay, you got it out of me, twisted my arm hard enough to reveal my most sacred/prized recipe of all..."Coconut Raspberry Tarts". This recipe has made me very popular and I'm ready to give it up!
(Actually, my mom gave me this recipe many years ago which was passed on to her from one of our old neighbors).

Take a dozen premade tart shells (Okay, I confess that I cheat!!) and put 1/2 tsp of raspberry jam (actually, I've done strawberry and mixed berry jam which also works well) into tart shells. For the topping, use 1 cup fine coconut, 1 cup of white sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp butter (plus) 2 tbsp water. Divide mixture evenly into tart shells. Bake slowly at 350 degrees till brown (about 10-12 minutes).

There you have it. It's painfully ridiculous and so easy to whip up!! Everyone thinks that I spent hours slaving over a hot stove. Make up a batch of these tarts and you can pretty much bribe anyone!! (Okay, I've done that too!! All I have to do is wave a few of these babies in front of Paul Taylor of www.taylorsewing.com and I can pretty much get him to hand over the keys to the shop!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Magic Trick!

My good friend Jean Boyd recently put a blurb on her blog
http://www.blogger.com/www.jeanboyduppercanadaquiltworks.blogspot.com about "Texture Magic" from Superior Threads http://www.superiorthreads.com/ I'm a real sucker when it comes to cool quilting products. I was really intrigued by this one. I'll walk you through the steps. I started out by rummaging through my stash and found a fat 1/4 of a really neat fabric that had texture in the design. I then layered the fabric with batting (batting gives the texture extra loft) and then the Texture Magic on the bottom to create a "sandwich". I then stipple quilted the entire piece using one of my recently purchased threads from Superior Threads. Did I mention that I'm addicted to thread? It's true! Thread is in the "gotta have it" & "can't live without it" category. Fabric, wine and chocolate can also be grouped in this category. Where would I be without my addictions! I then flipped the entire piece over, filled my iron up with water and let the steam do the work! The fabric started to pull up during the shrinking process. It kind of reminds me of "smocking" when it was done scrunching. Pretty neat eh!! Too cool for school!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Part Two...Drywalling!

The drywall is up...and I did it myself! Hey, if you can patch a quilt, then you can easily drywall a kitchen wall! Looks pretty good if you ask me! Lucky for me, Neil owns every tool known to man!! He was kind enough to let me borrow one of his cordless drills. Next step, mudding! Hey, if you can ice a cake, than you can easily mud a kitchen wall. Stay tuned!

Time Capsule

In the corner of the kitchen there used to be an "ugly bench" that ran the full length of the wall below the window. I recently had a new kitchen floor installed and decided a long time ago that the "ugly bench" had to go! I started taking it apart and came to realize that it was a decoy to cover up the heating duct that was protruding from the corner. Before I started to cover up the holes left behind with drywall, I came up with the idea of a "time capsule". Since the house is almost 100 years old, I often wonder about the previous owners. I came up with the clever idea of putting a time capsule in the corner with the thoughts that someday, someone will come across it many years from now. I included in the capsule the latest copy of The Recorder & Times (Brockville's newspaper), a Loeb's grocery flyer (I've always been interested in the cost of things from many years ago), a picture of us and of course one of Dakoda, coins with 2009 stamped on them, a fat 1/4 & thread (cause I am a quilter), Twix chocolate bar (did you actually think that I would bury one of my favorites. I was concerned that I might have a chocolate craving in the middle of the night and out of desperation, make a hole in the wall to get to the chocolate bar. Twix is definitely not one of my favorites so there is no temptation of "Breaking the Glass, in Case of an Emergency"). I included a note with more information...the price of gas/litre, who the Prime Minister of Canada is, and who won the Stanley Cup in the NHL. I could have added more things but the jar was getting quite full. The corner and the hole in the kitchen wall is now covered with drywall. Yes, I did it myself!! I will post a pic when the corner is completed. Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Father's Day!

I know I'm a bit early, but next Sunday, June 21st is "Father's Day". Pictured here is my Dad, Stan Zurbrigg. Dad was born and raised on the family farm and continues to help out even though he is retired. It's true...you will never take the farmer away from the farm! Dad continues to help with the working/planting of the fields and enjoys every minute of it. When he is not helping out on the farm, he enjoys his weekly outings at the nearby Tim Horton's in Harriston to catch up with the latest news. Now that the weather is warm, he bikes uptown to pick up the mail and of course chat with someone along the way. He always seems to run into someone that he hasn't seen in a while. Mom never knows when he is going to return home! Dad has a habit of calling me on a Sunday morning just before heading to church just to say "hello". I look forward to these calls!! He always has a story to tell. Now you know where I get it from!! The apple doesn't fall from the tree. Happy Father's Day, Dad! With lots of love from your family!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Planting Season on the Farm

Even though I moved away from the family farm over 20 years ago, I don't think that I will ever lose the "country feeling" and will remain a "country girl". Spring was always a busy time of year on the farm with the plowing, cultivating and planting of fields. Pictured here is my youngest brother Leslie, who continued on with the family business (He's a grain broker which means that he buys and sells grain to area mills) which my Dad started many years ago. I remember this picture all to well! Every spring, Les would plant a kernel of corn in Mom's garden and he would continuously compare his height to the growth of the stalk. He kept this ritual up for quite a few years growing up on the farm. He now plants many acres of corn but I don't think he's no longer interested in comparing his height to his crop. (See the rubber boots? Les was never seen without them!! He slept in them too!! As a boy!!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another Week!

Needless to say, the past couple of weeks has been extremely busy! Renovations involving lots of decisions to be made, renewing the mortgage (they are more than willing to give you lots of money but the thing is that over a period of time, they want it back!!), withdrew care on my 1995 Camry (parked it for the very last time). It was time, I managed to roll the odometer to 376,000 km but it was tired and needed to go to car heaven!! So adding to the list of things to do, is seeking out another car. Thanks goodness Neil is the shopper and LOVES to car shop!! Am I lucky or what!! I hate every minute of car shopping. I think it's the "blah, blah, blah" that goes along with it! I just want to get in and get out under 3 1/2 minutes. Neil graciously took on the task of finding me another vehicle. He did good!! This week I noticed that things are coming to a close and slowing down (whew!!). I am really looking forward to spending some quiet time at the cottage this summer with Neil, kids, family and of course Dakoda.