#WeekendCoffeeShare – A Jumble of Things

weekendcoffeeshare

Thank you to Diana from Part-Time Monster for hosting this wonderful group!

If we were having coffee, I’d be serving it in my brand-new café au lait bowl and pretend we were sitting in a Paris Café.  Since we were pretending, the horrors of last night would never have occurred and we would feel blissfully safe and unconcerned, watching the passersby go about their business.

Café au lait

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how pleased I am with my sons who helped to clean up the yard and put away all the backyard paraphernalia.  I’m sure Mick would have been pleased with the way we packed everything in the shed!  There are still a few things to take care of, but the majority of it is done!

There was only one walk worth mentioning, and that was with my sister and her two dogs in her hometown of Varennes.  I stupidly did not bring my camera and only took one photo with my phone!  It was such a gorgeous day and we finished the walk with breakfast prepared by sister herself.  Upon my return home, I noted the apple Fairy had passed again.  Still don’t know who they are from!!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I cannot believe that in November, my roses are still blooming… mayhaps not as wild and bright but blooming nonetheless!  And one day, a shrub is on fire with colour and a small windstorm later, denuded!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that there are wonderful people out there, just willing to lend a hand or offer their time for no other reason than “just because”.  My eldest, Iain wants to join the military so my sister’s neighbour, Aldo, who has appeared in this blog before, and is military man himself,  offered to not only speak with Iain to explain the ins and outs of joining but also offered to bring him on a tour of our very small base in St.Hubert, so he could see and ask questions to the men and women on duty.  There was a bonus as we met for lunch first at a small market with a food court right near said base and where many military folk go for lunch.  As I was picking up my lunch, Iain and Aldo were chatting with a guy from the Air Force.  All of a sudden, Iain’s choices widened.  Will be interesting to see where this goes.  I am beyond grateful to Aldo for taking the time to do this and for following up and offering to help him prepare for the interviews and whatever else he will need in the near future.  Aldo, you are a prince amongst men!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I was pleasantly surprised by the Whitehorse concert on Thursday evening. This duo, made up of the husband and wife team of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClellan, were something else to watch.  Just the two of them, but with a few bells and whistles.  Luke would get on the drum, beat out some beats and the beatbox would take over so he could move over to his guitar.  Speaking of guitars, that last picture… shows, what I suspect, is his “baby”.  It has such a raw sound that both my date and I were totally enthralled with.

I was especially pleased to have discovered a new talent (to me, anyway) as the opening act.  Ms. Fiona Beven, a lovely English lass, has a voice that is a mixture of India.Arie and Corinne Bailey Rae.  Just her and her guitar or ukulele… wonderful.

2015-11-12 20.43.48 Whitehorse2015-11-12 22.25.46

If you are not tired of me yet, I would then add a few random things.  Anyone who sits and chats with me knows that I talk and talk and talk and subjects jump from one to another, to the point that, once I am alone, I wonder if the other person had a chance to talk and, did I finish any one subject?  As an example:  I just received my latest book purchase and cannot wait to start them. Assuming I shall find time to read!  And I grabbed the jar of roasted pumpkin seeds and am aghast at how few are left!  No matter how much I try to ration them, they will not last forever.  Iain and I are huge fans.  Truth be told, if Mick were here, there would be none.  I had to hide the jars from him!

Oh. Em. Gee.  In all my chattering, I totally forgot to mention that I started a new job yesterday!  At my friend Tina’s suggestion, I applied for a Christmas Season Job at Pier 1.  I figured it would get me out of the house and away from my stove and give me the opportunity to meet people and exchange, and, if I’m any good, sell them items!  I’ve always loved their store (MY store, now!) and fell in love with their Christmas commercials from a few years ago.  “Find what speaks to you”… what a brilliant slogan… This was one of them (hopefully the link works as all the others were made private).

Now that I’ve talked your ear off, so to speak, do tell me, how have you been?  What have you been up to this past week?  Truly, it’s my turn to listen, and I will gladly pour us another cup.  Please do share!

 

Gratitude Sunday… on a Holiday Monday! October 13, 2014

Here in Canada it is our Thanksgiving week-end. It always falls on the second Monday of the month of October. That means turkey time at Mom’s with the whole family (or most of it, anyway!) As a result, we got home very late last night and, well, The Walking Dead season premiere had played so there was no way we were going to wait until today to watch it!!  By the time we watched that and of course, Talking Dead well, it was past 1 a.m….

Now, I was going to put yet another fall foliage picture but really… don’t want to bore my readers!  Instead, I have a not-so-good-quality quickly-taken snapshot of mother and daughter love (hope they don’t mind my plastering their likeness on my page…)

Lisa, Jennifer & Kellie

So, without further ado, here is my list!

Gratitude List

  1. Walking Dead is back after seven – yes – SEVEN months!  So happy as this is weirdly family viewing time…

  2. Thanksgiving means going up north to my mother’s, spending time with her and my sisters and their families.

  3. The colours are still gorgeous despite it being mid-October already.  Usually by this time, they are more sparse.

  4. So grateful for the support from my Blogging Family – you are there just because and that is a wonderful thing.

  5. My camera has given me a huge appreciation for what is around me.  Ever since I got it, I have been clicking away noticing things right under my nose that I never (or not really) saw.

Sunny Days

I woke up this morning to the sound of the blind gently slapping against the window.

At 6:45.

On a Saturday.

Closed the window.  Though I love the sound of rain, I hate the click, click of the blind.  Went back to bed and just lay there.

After half an hour I gave up and made myself a cup of tea.  I would have pressed the button to get the coffee going but as I am such a wonderful wife, I did not.  The smell of coffee would be enough to wake Mick up and he’s allowed to sleep in occasionally.  Like I will tomorrow. Right?

So after reading all the wonderful blogs I’m subscribed to and leaving my two-cents’ worth in comments, and since I don’t want to wake the household, well, here I am.

Oh, it is now 8:30 and I hear the blind go up in the bedroom.  Mick comes up to me and says:  “Where’s the coffee?  I’ve been lying in bed for a bit and still can’t smell it!!!”

Figures.

So, where was I?  Oh yes… Yesterday was an absolutely splendiferous day!  We knew they were calling for rain today so yesterday was time to take advantage of the clement weather.  I had promised Zeke a walk so as soon as the boys were gone and I had my breakfast, off we went!  There would be more work to do in the kitchen later so we had to get in our special time early.

I thought I’d share a few images taken…

Because, after play, comes work!  Mick trimming the cedar hedge (way overdue, as far as he’s concerned but with the painting, work, etc. it is what it is!)  and moi, more canning!!!  Did batches of tomatoes and two batches of pear jelly/honey

What does today hold?  Well… let’s see.  I still have a bag of apples just waiting to become jelly or sauce or crumble…

Tomorrow?  We are definitely having a pyjama day.  Delicious breakfast. Coffee.  Movies. Wine and cheese. Maybe a nice pasta for dinner… we’ll just have to see, now won’t we?

Taking a Break

Once I finally got the house to myself, I set to work: dishes (how do they pile up so?), grape jelly, dishes, apple jelly, dishes, Maple-Apple Muffins (recipe below – finally!) and more apples cooked down to make another batch of jelly (methinks the next one will have mint) – remember, I have oodles of apples to use – I decided to take the pooch out for a walk. I have promised him we will get in a 45-60 minute walk every day.

What a glorious day for it! I mean, seriously, it’s October 10th and I was dressed in shorts, a tank-top and flip-flops for goodness’ sake! It hit 25 degrees Celsius! Whoop! Whoop! I know this is probably not a good thing with Global Warming and all but, living in an area where the winters can be pretty ferocious, we have learnt to enjoy the heat whilst we can!

That said, Zeke and I made our way to “Teletubbie Park”, as we have so named it. (When we moved to this area, the boys were in grades 2 and 4 so we walked with them before the school year to show them how to get to their new school and not get lost. We discovered the lovely hills right next to the school and noticed how much it looked like the ones on that most annoying of children’s shows – which OF COURSE our boys loved when they were small).
2013-10-10 15.23.38
OK.. this is not the best shot to really sense the hills but anyway… 😉

Zeke

Zeke

Zeke really enjoys when we come here because I let him run off leash so he can sniff away at all the delicious scents unhindered. The day was simply to be enjoyed and I regretted not having gone out sooner. Silly me!

We then continued our walk through the neighbourhood, enjoying the colours and the last vestiges of various flower gardens. These too have a lovely look to them as they gently, in the case of certain hydrangeas; or, violently, in the case of the fire bush, change colours.

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

On our way back home, we passed a bunch of rose bushes laden with rosehips… Would that I could be certain the City does not spray them with pesticide (though I seriously doubt they do) and that they were not right next to a boulevard in daily contact with exhaust fumes… I would so love to transform them into jelly!

Rosehips

Rosehips

Now, as promised, here is the recipe for the apple muffins. I have this wonderful go-to book that I return to again and again. It is Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too, by Susan G. Purdy. As the name suggests, it contains a bunch of low-fat but fabulous tasting recipes. So, no, I cannot take credit for this recipe!

Vermont Maple-Apple Muffins

Maple Apple Muffins

Maple Apple Muffins

Ingredients
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice or skim milk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp maple or vanilla extract
1 medium tart apple, peeled, cored and finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsifted whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole wheat flour, sifted it and added the good stuff to the batter!)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Topping
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Position rack in the centre of the oven and preheat it to 355oF. Coat a 12-muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine first 9 ingredients. Beat well with a wooden spoon, then stir in the oats.
3. Set a strainer over the bowl, add dry ingredients. Using the back of a spoon, stir and sift the dry ingredients onto the egg mixture. Stir well to blend.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until tops of muffins are well risen and crisp and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for a few minutes, then use a fork to lift out of the muffins and cool completely on the rack. Serve warm.

217 calories, 4 g protein, 5 g fat, 0.5 g satfat, 40g carbohydrate, 199 mg sodium,18 mg cholesterol

Oh! And a little funny to end this one. In this particular recipe, it is specified 1 medium apple, “about 1 cup” of apples… great!. What about when it is stated to add one apple, which one would you choose?
apples