Sunday 26 February 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

First off, still no grandchild.  When I talked to D earlier today, she mentioned she cleaned the b/f's house today.  Perhaps she is finally nesting.  It would be nice if she'd show up here and clean up her room.  (Sheesh, she's 35 years old and I'm still nagging her to clean her room).

She wasn't the only one who was bit by the cleaning bug.  I got some of my housework done on Friday, but Saturday was a write-off.  I lazed around, reading, playing on the computer, and watching television for most of the day.  This morning, though I woke up after a great night's sleep, and got busy.

By lunchtime, I had washed the kitchen, front foyer, and bathroom floors, vacuumed the living room and hallway, scrubbed down the bathroom fixtures, wiped down the kitchen cabinet doors, folded the laundry, dusted, gathered up the garbage and took it out to the bin, and cleared out the television cabinet. makes me tired just to list it all.  

I even ventured into the baby's room and did a quick tidy in there.  I organized the closet, put away boxes of diapers, picked up some paper and bags from the shower, and got the bassinet set up.  D is planning to have the baby sleep in her room for the first while so had picked up a second-hand bassinet.  I'm not sure where she plans to have him sleep as her room is a disaster and I'll be damned if I'm going to clean it up for her.

Okay, enough crankiness.

No photos but we seem to have a cat living in our backyard.  We're not sure if he lives nearby and just visits, or if he's living under the deck.  My son spotted him a day or so ago and pointed him out to me today.  He/she (since we haven't gotten that close) is a long haired gray and white cat, very skittish, and quite large...but that might be the fur.  We put out some dry food for him just in case.  I called the Humane Society to see if they would trap him.  They won't, as they don't deal with cats "running at large".  They told me if we can trap him in a shed or the garage they will come pick him/her up.  We'll keep an eye out and move the food closer to one of the sheds.  Hopefully he's just visiting and has a home to go to, but based on what we've seen I doubt it.

I had wondered that I haven't seen any bunnies in the yard for awhile.  It makes me wonder how long the cat has been around.  Or maybe they've found somewhere else to hang out.

Thankfully it hasn't been very cold, though was cooler today than it has been for awhile.  We got a skiff of snow, just enough to cover the driveway.  With the sunshine it is pretty much gone again.

I've been watching the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian Women's curling most of the weekend.  Tonight is the final; the skip of the Manitoba team is from Saskatchewan so, of course, I'm rooting for them.  My brother called, he and his children are cheering for Ontario because they have Deadpool on their sweaters.  I had to ask what that was....  

Just as well I'm watching curling and not the Oscars.  I wouldn't have a clue what was going on. 

Have a great week everyone!  

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Still waiting

My daughter saw her doctor today.  He asked her to make another appointment 8 days from now.  He also told her he won't induce labour until March 5.  

She's not happy!  I can't help but feel a little sorry, I remember how uncomfortable those last few weeks of pregnancy can be.  Hopefully little E decides to vacate the premises sooner than that.  

Sunday 19 February 2017

Waiting game

Well, the countdown to E's birth is truly at hand.  D called me Friday evening to say she thought she might be in the early stages of labour.  It was a false alarm, baby is still not here but there are definitely signs that it won't be much longer.  His due date is Thursday and I'm sure hoping he'll arrive by then.  Not only because she is getting so tired of being pregnant but I'm getting excited to meet the little guy.

Work was busy this week with the project I was working on.  The four to five hours we spent each day reviewing the material was both interesting and challenging.  It was good to hear different perspectives between HQ and the field, but it was also quite startling to hear some of the differences.  I think we managed to reach a balance and the final product will be useful.

Before, between, and after the sessions I was busy with my everyday work.  When I left the office on Friday, I felt satisfied I had everything caught up to the point where, if the baby were born this weekend, I'd be ready for a break.  I will spend a couple of days at home with D and E, helping them both settle in.  (Part of the reason is purely selfish too...I'll get to spend some quality time with baby).

As a result this has been only a two-day weekend.  I haven't got much done around the house, just some general tidying, vacuuming and laundry.  Oh yes, and cat litter box cleaning.  While I clean it during the week as well, it's become habit on Saturday morning to start a load of laundry, then go clean the cat litter, sweep and wash the floor in the furnace room (where the cat litter boxes reside), take out the garbage, then wash up before doing the dishes and tidying up the kitchen.  By the time that's done, it's usually time to move one load to the dryer and start another.  That pretty much took care of Saturday morning.

During my nail appointment that afternoon, one of the staff came into the store with her foster dog, Xavier, a golden lab/husky mix.  What a beautiful dog (and most likely a foster fail)! The rescue was visiting the mall with several young dogs, so I wandered down after my appointment to meet them.  They were adorable, but I suspect the cats would not approve, so I headed off to do some grocery shopping.

Back at home, after putting everything away, I settled down to watch the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (women's) curling.  D arrived home around the same time and we sat and folded laundry (me - mine, her - baby's).  Later in the evening I went over to C & N's for their annual beach party.  They leave for Jamaica next Saturday.  It was good crowd of people, including neighbours, the Friday night dinner crew, and some retirees from our office.  

Today has been pretty quiet, both D and C slept in this morning, and the curling started early.  I made a pot of coffee, took my cup and curled up in my chair with Sasha to watch.  Later, I helped D put together a vibrating/musical chair for little E before she left to go back to her b/f's place.  I suspect I won't see her until I get a call she is heading for the hospital.  

Our weather has been fantastic, above freezing every day.  The snow we got a week or so ago has been melting quickly.

This first photo was taken last Monday, while the second was taken this afternoon.

It's cloudy, overcast and windy today but still warm.

In fact, I think it's time to head outdoors and finish clearing the driveway of the remaining snow and ice.  I face north so it needs a little help!

Have a great week everyone!   

Monday 13 February 2017

Recipe - Banana Bread

Because you had a couple of questions, I thought I'd share the recipe I've used for a bazillion years for my banana bread.  And I'm not entirely kidding.

The recipe is found in this old cookbook.  My high school home economics* class used it as the textbook.  When I graduated, my parents gave me a copy as a gift.  If I remember correctly it cost $25....40 years ago that was a pretty penny.

I've used it ever since and it's pretty much my go-to for many of my favorite recipes.

Without further ado, this is the recipe.

2 cups sifted all-purpose flower
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fat (I prefer peanut butter)
3/4 cup sugar (I reduce to 1/2-2/3 cup since there is sugar in peanut butter)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons orange rind (optional)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)

Line the bottom of a greased 9 x 3 inch loaf pan with a strip of waxed paper.  Preheat oven to 350F.
Cream the fat, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy.  Add orange rind and flavoring.
Measure the flour, mix and sift dry ingredients.
Mash 2 small bananas (3/4 cup) add 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon orange juice and milk to make 1 cup.  (I often use 3 bananas and reduce the milk)
Add dry and wet ingredients to the fat mixture, about 1/3 at a time, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, stirring after each addition, beating until smooth.
Scrape into the loaf pan, let stand 15 minutes.  Bake at 350F until tester comes out clean, 60 minutes.  (That's about right for my oven)
Invert on a rack; cool before slicing.

The peanut butter adds a nutty taste, and as suggested, chocolate chips are a great addition too!
And it smells lovely while it is baking too. 

You can see by the splatters this is definitely one of my faves.  Enjoy!

*Is home economics even taught in high school anymore?

Sunday 12 February 2017

Time Flies

Wow, another weekend is drawing to a close and it's already mid-February.  Wasn't it just Christmas?  

I had Friday off, and this week I did not go into work.  
Last weekend we got several inches of snow - which my son cleared.  Check out the double shovel action.  

We got a couple more inches this week so that was my job Friday morning (one shovel only and no photos).

The cold weather finally broke on Thursday and it has been steadily warming up.  - 6C as I write this with -2C forecast for this afternoon.  I may even be able to open up the sunroom for the cats as it has been sunny most of today.

I did my weekly grocery shopping on Friday and started the laundry.  And that was about was a lazy relaxing day, I even took a nap with the cats in the afternoon.

Saturday was much the same, I finished the laundry, cleaned cat litter, vacuumed the main floor, and cleaned the bathrooms.  The rest of the day I read, watched some television, and had a nap with the cats.  Do you sense a theme?

This morning I woke up feeling a bit more energetic and by 8:30 a.m. I had the dishes done (I'd left them soaking in the sink last night), made up some taco meat for salads and wraps and a meatloaf for sandwiches for the upcoming week, and washed the kitchen floor.  I sat down to catch up on blog reading with a cup of coffee, checked the television schedule and that was it...I'm done for the day.  There are several provincial curling events on today, with four games to be broadcast.  Bet you can guess what I'll be doing the rest of today!

I'm actually looking forward to going to work this week.  I'll be spending much of my time working on the project for HQ.  I'm looking forward to working with two of my favorite people who work in Ottawa.  We're doing a technical review of a pilot of a new system to be used by the supervisors in the field; it's always exciting to be part of something new.

Speaking of something new, the grandson is due in less than two weeks. I'm a little worried that my daughter is not demonstrating any desire to nest.  While it is typically a sign that birth is imminent she seems content to hang out with her b/f and his friends.  I asked her last weekend if she was intending to live with J after the baby was born; she said no, that she would be living here.  We'll see how long that lasts...   

Last up, I'll share a couple of (lousy) photos I took last night of the full moon. I'm not sure what setting I used but it obviously wasn't the right one.  I should have gone back in the house and re-set but I didn't think they were that bad last night.  

These were taken while the sky was still overcast.  By the time I went to bed (after 11!) the sky had cleared.

The moon was so bright it lit up my bedroom.  I may try again to get some better shots tonight.

Sasha has just come to tell me it is time to open up the sunroom.  The temperature is 12C out there so with the little heater, he should enjoy the afternoon.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday 5 February 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

Another weekend is nearly over...and I really don't want it to be.  Though I had Friday off, I ended up going into the office for a meeting to deal with another situation that came up on Thursday.  The person I needed to meet with was leaving for Mexico this weekend and I didn't want to wait for two weeks until he returned.  

So Friday ended up being a busy day. After the meeting I ran some errands, picked up some groceries, went home to put those away before heading to the salon for my nail appointment.  From there I went shopping for a new pair of dress slacks as I had tossed out a pair this week that were simply worn out.  Of course I found tops instead of slacks - though managed to snag a pair that will do...they were pretty inexpensive so I expect they will wear out sooner rather than later. 

Back at home, I had time to watch a bit of curling before heading back out to pick up my son from work.  Home again to feed the cats before I went out for dinner with the Friday night crew.  When I got home I was feeling a bit off, but just put it off as being tired. 

Well, I guess I was actually feeling the preliminary effects of a migraine.  I woke up about 4 a.m. in such pain that I could barely see. I stumbled out to the kitchen to find some pain meds.  Though there are several choices in the cupboard, in the state I was in, I could only find Advil night-time which contains a sleep aide.  I took two pills and headed back to bed, tried to relax and wait for the meds to kick in. They apparently did, as I slept until nearly 9:30.  Sami and Saku both tried to wake me before that but I just couldn't do it.

Saturday was pretty much a write-off.  I was still feeling the effects of the migraine - I always feel off, a bit woozy, and not all there the day after - and didn't feel up to doing much.

I spent much of the day watching curling, and between ends and games, got my laundry done.  I can't just sit and watch television - I have to have something to do, so started knitting a scarf.

I wanted something simple, this is a rib pattern (similar to corduroy) that takes little thinking.  I'm using up scraps from various projects of similar weight yarn.  The hardest part is estimating when I've used up about half of the leftovers.  I'm not concerned though as I really won't care if it is exact...this isn't meant to be fashionable, just functional. 

This photo looks a bit washed out as the colors are darker than shown.  

Today, I've been a bit more ambitious.  I went to bed early but still managed to sleep until 8 a.m.  Sami did try waking me earlier, but I kept dozing off.  Poor cats will be off their least until I go back to work tomorrow.

We've been getting lots of snow today.  Big fluffy flakes, though it has been tapering off some in the last hour or so.

I gave my son a choice, clean cat litter or shovel the driveway.  Guess which one he chose? had nothing to do with the cats.

From what I can see we probably got about 2 inches of fresh snow.  It's light so I'm thinking it won't take long to clear it.  Hopefully it will pack into the ruts on the street...we won't see a snow plow until spring.  If the forecast is correct, we'll be above freezing by next weekend.  Maybe we won't even need that snow plow.

I watched most of the Pinty's Grand Slam women's final this morning. In between ends I caught some of the Saskatchewan Men's Tankard (provincial).  Both were good games.  This afternoon will be the Men's Grand Slam final and at the same time the provincial Tankard final.  The remote will get a work out again!

When I wasn't watching curling and knitting, I prepped some chicken for tonight's dinner, put away my laundry from yesterday, made the bed, baked a loaf of banana bread, and did dishes. 

I make my banana bread with peanut butter instead of margarine or butter and I cut back on the sugar.  I couldn't take it to work, as there are co-workers with allergies, but we sure enjoy it.  In fact, I think that is why my son finally got out of bed....the smell woke him up.

It's just about time for the start of the next round of curling.  I should have just enough time to clean the cat litter.  Guess I'd better get at it.  

Have a great week everyone!