Renovations Continue

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Wow…where has the time gone since I last posted?  Sorry folks, but renovations are taking priority right now and there is simply not enough time in the day to get everything done that I need to do AND be able to write some really good stuff here.

I know, I am falling by the wayside, but don’t worry, once the reno’s are done and the garden plants are on their way with minimal babysitting I will have more time to dedicate to my musings.  I hardly have time for knitting and weaving and barely manage to squeak in about an hours worth of knitting before collapsing in bed.

Yesterday the sun was shining  but with a forecast of doom, gloom and lots of rain for today and the next couple days, I concentrated on the outside, getting my garden bed in order and creating a new one.

We, hubby did a half demo of the upstairs bathroom on the weekend, ripping out the walls of original 70′s wall tile encircling the room, then it was off to the dump to dispose of the wreckage.  While he destroyed walls, I was painting the new bathroom downstairs and with him being overhead, it sounded like he was going to come through the ceiling with all the hammering of walls to pieces.

Here is the upstairs bathroom….nice enough don’t you think?  How about the custom temporary towel bar? I know, you wish your bathroom looked like this….

IMG_20140428_161545 (2) IMG_20140428_161604 (2)I must get back to painting now ~ Yippee!  Actually, I have been painting since the weekend and am almost done the new bathroom.  I would love to post a pic, but right now with the walls painted white primer and a white ceiling plus no lighting on a gloomy rainy day equals nothing to see.  Once I get the finish colour on I will crank the lights up and take some photos.

I am signing off for now, but here is an FYI for you, I do have a couple new recipes in the works, one I am still test driving and is *almost* there, the other is from a friend that is a fantastic side dish for a roast beef / prime rib dinner that you will be happy to add to your regular rotation.

Hasta Luego!

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Opening Day

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April 18, 2014 ~ Dear Diary….

Today is Opening Day!

After a very long, very cold and very snowy winter, we arrived at the Northern Homestead in balmy +6C weather grinning like a pair of fools.  Home at last.  A few thin clouds stretched across the northern sky partially obscuring the sun as it tried to cast its warming rays to the now thawing earth.  With the forecast heading up to +11C for the day, the remaining snow’s days are numbered.

We stepped out of the car and stretched, grateful the long ride was over and our legs were now free from the car’s confining cabin.  I grabbed my keys and headed to open the door of the cottage while hubby unlocked the garage.  On the way down the walkway, I surveyed my now visible gardens, which 2 weeks ago were still locked in Mother Nature’s icy grip under 2 feet of snow.  Small green tips from the lilies were peeking through the dark damp earth, finally coming awake after a long winter’s nap.  I grinned even wider at the sight of them.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing the first green sprouts of Spring.

I unlocked the door of the cottage and stepped inside.  Brrrrr.  With the furnace being off since we closed up January 5th, it was now warmer outside than in.  Hubby flicked on the power and set the furnace to heat.  It sprang to life with a hum before settling into a heating rhythm.  Next he headed down into the crawl space and switched on the heat tracing for the water line to let it work its magic before heading back to the car to help me unload.

We emptied the car of its contents but before I went in to unpack, I wandered the property surveying the mess winter left behind and to check the status of the bird feeders.  Both were empty. No surprise there though as I had filled them up 2 weeks ago on our last visit.  I am sure the seed supply didn’t last long with all the hungry avian visitors in the area.  As I headed up to the garage for the bucket of sunflower seed I noticed funny looking tunnels burrowing into the grass.  There were excavated piles of dirt here and there, mostly around the bird feeder located lakeside with a few tunnels over by the septic weeping bed.  Mice.  All winter long I had noticed tunnels in the snow, but didn’t think they would tunnel in the lawn as well.  More remedial yard work was in my immediate future.

With the birds fed and happy (they were at the feeders less than 15 minutes after I filled them) and the cottage warm enough, I went inside to unload the cooler, tote bin and small luggage bags.  30 minutes later the place was filled with food, clothes and necessities and it felt like I had never left.  As I stared out the window watching a small flock of Goldfinches monopolizing the feeder hubby was in the crawlspace trying to get the water line going.  I listened for my cue to turn taps on as he primed the pump and 1 1/2 hours later, water flowed from the kitchen and bathroom taps. Success at last.  Now I could finally use the facilities after the long drive and 2 Timmie’s Teas later.

I headed back outside to start on the yard work as with only being here a couple days, there wasn’t much time.  I grabbed the rake, wheel barrow and grass seed and proceeded to rake out the mice tunnels and re-seed those areas.  Next was to remove the pine needle mulch from my upper herb/flower bed.  I pile about a foot of pine needles in the fall on it to protect the bulbs and perennial herbs from the numbing cold.  After that it was on to raking the downed tree branches and winter windblown leaves, piling them into the wheelbarrow and dumping them in the back forty.  Once complete, the lawn was fluffed up like a thick, soft towel fresh from the dryer.

As I was about to head up with the wheelbarrow and lawn tools, the familiar chirping call of an Osprey caught my attention.  I looked up to see a male performing his Spring mating flight rituals to an oblivious female.  She soared away from him out over the lake ice, seemingly unimpressed by his flying acrobatics.  He continued calling to her as he soared over the trees and out of sight.

With the yard work done for the day, hubby and I sat on the deck in the sunshine watching the lake ice slowly melt around the edges of the dock and shoreline.  Soon we’ll be able to hear the sound of lake again as it has been noticeably absent since it froze last November.

DSC01111We sat in the deafening silence, cherishing our little slice of heaven and toasting the coming season.  May it be filled with warm sunshine, plentiful gardens and a whole lot of fun.

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How Did This Happen?

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Normally I am a very neat, organized and tidy to a fault person.  It could be said I am OCD about keeping a tidy house.  Just ask my kids/husband or any random neighbour off the street.  They will all tell you not to even try moving anything a millimeter in my house lest you incur my wrath.

 This is my living room and kitchen in there current state.  It is driving me absolutely BANANAS.

DSC01085The couch is hosting the patio umbrella I made, it needs to get put back outside whenever Mother Nature is done with her surprise snow squalls this Spring.  The boxes under the coffee table and end table are things ordered for the bathroom renovations.  The blue wrapped thing in the dining room? That is the patio table glass awaiting said Spring  to be put outside (it almost went out last weekend).

DSC01086This is stuff to go up north this weekend, duvet fresh from the drycleaners and random tools, hangers, TP, books and my computer case.

DSC01087 This box is a sink and counter top for the downstairs bath.

DSC01091This even bigger box is the bathroom vanity….in my kitchen…

DSC01093and what living room isn’t complete without a garden nursery?  All my little green charges are coming along nicely, with some *adult* plants to watch over them and make sure they don’t get unruly or party all night long.

Seriously, this is sheer torture asking me to live like this.  Hopefully in a month’s time, everything will be back to normal…or I will be driven stark raving made by clutter.

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How To Make A Bean Bag Heating Pad

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We all get aches and pains now and then which require the use of a heating pad, but sometimes the “traditional” heating pad that you plug in is impractical not to mention it uses up costly energy.

Instead, here is a super quick way to make your own bean bag heating pad using scrap cotton fabric and your choice of fillers.  I can’t stress enough that 100% cotton fabric is the only choice to use, if you use any other type of fabric, you run the risk of melting it in the microwave (definitely not desirable).

Fillers can be any type of dried rice, hulled grain (like wheat or barley) or small dried beans.  You can even add a fragrance for some “aromatherapy”, like Lavender or fragrant essential oils.  Just mix the fragrance and fillers and place in a seal-able container and allow to sit covered for a day or two to distribute evenly.

DSC00972To make the heating pad, cut one rectangle (or whatever size/shape you desire) of cotton fabric large enough for its intended purpose.  This piece was a remnant of the table runner I wove and measured 19″ wide x 11″ tall.

DSC00975Fold the piece in half with right sides together, then sew up the 3 sides leaving a 3 inch opening.

DSC00981Turn right side out and press seams flat.

DSC00983Now add the filler to the bag.  To make it easier, make a funnel out of a plain piece of paper and pour the filler into the bag.  Only fill the bag about 2/3rds full as you want it to be flexible.  Slip-stitch the opening closed and voila! your very own bean bag heating pad.

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Bean Bag Heating PadTo use, just heat in the microwave on high for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.

I have been using mine after each loom threading marathon session as it is an awkward, tedious and muscle fatiguing job.  I just drape it around the back of my neck and let the soothing heat radiate and release the tension for about 20 minutes and then I am able to get back at it.

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I’m Back!!!

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You do remember me don’t you?  The short, blond chick who loves ice in her beer?

Anyway…

Talk About Epic Technological Failures.

BUT,

I have returned to the Internet Airwaves refreshed from my forced 2 week exile.  You would think I would have taken advantage of the time off to enjoy a vacation somewhere warm.

Nope.

Instead, hubby and I have been busy with a new bathroom install, an existing bathroom renovation along with plenty of other *Spring Cleaning* activities tossed in for good measure.

It was probably a good thing that the Lords of Technology decided to mar my well laid plans for titillating internet conversation (Ha! that does sound pretentious doesn’t it? I know, it’s so not me) in order that I could actually F-O-C-U-S on getting some stuff done around here.

Anyway, I am back alive and well so look for some fairly regular posts, and if your good, maybe I will send the Easter Bunny over to poop chocolate eggs all over your house for the weekend.

Hasta Luego!
That means “Until Later!” in Spanish…basically, it means I’m outta here for now, I got a million things to do before Easter….

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