Thursday, September 16, 2021

Thursday Tidbits


Well I thought that I would finish off the holiday photo's tonight. Then it will be back to regular scheduled programming.

The second night Harvey neeFed a nap so I attended the firepit by myself. This was a wildlife night, and if it would have been about bears (saw this one twice) I would have gone back to the cabin and read. Well this one was about our antlered and horned friends that reside in the mountains.

First off the lady spoke about our noisy friends the elk. She even brought an antler with her.

Believe it or not this antler is about 4 1/2 feet long and only took a few months to grow to this size. They regrow the antlers every year and each year they get bigger provided the bull is healthy and get enough to eat.

Next up was this antler which I am sure most will recognise.

This came from a smaller moose and that probably died at a young age.

Next up was....

A big horn ram. I was amazed at how the brain of these animals was protected from them ramming their heads together fighting over the females. Double skulled in front and the brain of the animal well cushioned. I also learned that since the horns continue growing they sometimes interfere with the rams sight. To counteract that the rams will break off the ends of their horns.

The last one was a fake mountain goat (turned out to be a puppet). While not quite what we all expected the explanation of why no horns made sense. These animals live way up in the mountains and are very shy so finding a horn or two is very difficult.

It was a wonderfully informative fire talk.

The next day we decided it was time for a hike. So we set off for one that was quite close to the cabins. 

But first the elk that were blocking our way out. We had to wait for these 5 females to leave the area before we could mosey our way onto the road.

Harvey leading the way. It was very quiet in among the trees.  Well at least until Harvey let out a huge sneeze. Boy that echoed.

The path behind us.

Lots of small hills and later on rocks and roots. However we reached a portion of the trail where the route was probably at a 75 degree angle, upwards, and covered by lots of small rocks. After gazing at it for a few minutes we decided that it was just too much for us oldies and turned around and made our way back. In actuality we walked/hiked much farther doing this.

We left the area and made our way across the road so I could take some pictures of the Athabasca River.

While this river is fairly wide at this point in it's travels the river is pretty shallow with lots of rocks and rapids.

The road continued to the east so we though we should explore further.

This monument is erected as a reminder that there was an internment camp during World War I for Ukrainian and other east Europeans. They were used to make the roads in the park. The monument is quite close to where the camp was situated. 

Traveling to the end of the road meant we got to see this lovely lake (Mystic Lake) and the Jasper Lodge across the water.

The next day we got up early had breakfast and I made up a lunch to eat on the road. We started to make our way home, of course we would be staying at Kurt's overnight before making the 9 hour journey home.

While we were driving on a lonely road just outside of the park we saw these.

A little harem of mountain sheep, though I still think they were mountain goats. 

So there was our little get away. I am actually hopeful we can take another weekend and go to Regina to take in some of the sights we never get a chance to see on our stock up trips. Perhaps later in November, or even in January/February when I have to go for my yearly check up at the OB/GYN.

Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Quiet Times

 For our vacation we once again got to visit our happy place. We head to the mountains in Alberta, but not those around Banff. We find that area to be much too busy for relaxation. Instead we head up to Jasper. It is much quieter, and we can relax surrounded by beautiful scenery.

We usually break up the trip there and back by stopping at our oldest son's place about 5 hours from the park.

Day one saw us arrive at Kurt's place and enjoy some time on his lovely deck.

He has things set up so nicely and we enjoyed an adult beverage (or two) as well as the stew he had made for us out here.

The next day saw us head to Jasper.

Our lovely cabin with Harvey already relaxing on the front porch.

The cabins are located on a bluff overlooking the Athabasca and Miette Rivers. I usually take my coffee in the morning and sit on one of the wooden chairs and gaze at the wonders around me.

That night the firepit circle had some entertainment. We had First Nations Drummers come and explain what the songs and drums meant. Of course I learned something new in that the drums are all handmade and named. 

Love her ribbonskirt, and the large circle in the front is of a wolf and is a drawing that she did herself.

This little fellow kept wanting to play his Mom's drum.

The next day we traveled into the village and walked around. Harvey bought a Buffalo skin wallet as his wallet is starting to wear out. I bought a package that contained 3 different teas. Not too sure how I am going to like them as they are all maple flavoured. We shall see. 

Home to the cabin and I took a walk around the site, of course ending up on the bluff once again.

Now the elk are in rut right now and you can hear them calling constantly so it shouldn't have come as a surprise to see this doe frolic in the water.. However I had to run back and get my camera so missed taking pictures of her splashing and jumping. I did get these once she tired out though.

Turns out she was showing off for a male across the river which I didn't see until he moved when she reached the shore. 

That's enough for today. I have more to show you all soon. 

Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Thrifty Tuesday


Not many thrifty moves this past week but there were a few.

Packed all food (except for a couple of items like eggs and milk) for our vacation.

Made a lunch to eat while coming back from leftovers from the trip and brought what we didn't use up home.

Darned a pair of socks today (the extent of mending for the week). 

Using up all that I can.

Borrowed 2 recipe books from Kurt that struck my fancy and found lots of recipes in the one I have perused. Some are even good for batch cooking which is what I would like to do, others that I have looked at make you cook a lot for one meal and then the leftovers can be made into other meals that are totally different.

I did my shopping today and I am hopeful that I bought enough to last us for two weeks. What with the Delta variant taking hold here I am hopeful of keeping visits out of the house down to a minimum. 

Used orphan balls and yarn that has been around for awhile in my knitting projects. Hopefully this will clear out space.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Menu Monday


I am back from holiday and raring to go. Well that could be a bit of an overstatement, I am ready to go as I have pretty much caught up on the household tasks. 

I will share pictures of our trip on Wednesday.

Since the oven is still out of commission (hopefully fixed tomorrow or the next day) meals will be stove top, BBQ or slow cooked. This does mean a few changes to what I had planned.


Hamburgers, sliced cukes and tomatoes.


Sundays leftovers warmed up in the microwave. This consists of rice and chicken in Honey Siracha sauce. Served with sides of sliced cukes and tomatoes. Perhaps some sliced green pepper as well.


A package of leftover chicken made into chicken a la king along with toasted homemade bread.


BBQ ribs, corn, rice, and sliced fresh veggies and dip.


Glace and eggs (cause if the oven isn't fixed this can be made on the stove top).


Leftover ribs and rice.


Hopefully I can roast a chicken. Serving it with mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and carrots. If not I will warm up some of the leftover ham and serve it with scalloped potatoes, peas and sliced fresh veggies.

Off to visit and try to catch up with you all.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, September 5, 2021


 I got so busy visiting with Kris yesterday that I did not post the salsa recipe I used. I am sorry, and so today before I get busy I will post it for all of you.

Picante Salsa from Company's Coming Preserves

4 1/2 lbs of ripe tomatoes, scalded, peeled and chopped

1 large spanish onion, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 medium red pepper, chopped

3-6 chopped jalapeno peppers

3 mild green chilies chopped

5 1/2 oz can of tomato paste

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp coarse pickling salt

2 tsp paprika

2 cloves garlic minced

I didn't have the green chilies so just added a couple more jalapeno's and a sprinkle of cayenne powder.

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil gently for about 60 minutes until thickened to desired consistency. Near the end of cooking taste to see if you would like to add more jalapenos. 

Pour into sterilized jars to 1/4 inch from top. Seal.

This is really good on nachos, quesadillas or burgers.


Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Frugal Friday

 The end of what used to be our work week, but now that we are retired is pretty much just another day.

So what frugal happenings have been taking place on the old homestead.

1.  It is still nice enough to hang the laundry outside to dry and with the breezes we have been getting things are still drying quickly.

2.  Windows were wide open for all but the last couple of days all day and all night. It did get warm enough over the last while that we needed to close them and let the air conditioner cool things down.

3.  Walked every day and I seem to be getting my steps in just fine. In fact one day I almost made 15k steps. Don't ask me how as most days I struggle to get 10 or 11K. 

4.  Using up produce from the garden and I hope to use up even more when we get home. I do think the cucumbers are slowing down a bit.

5.  Back to baking bread twice a week. We only go through 2 loaves a week (some weeks even less) and I was getting very lax about baking my own.

6.  All meals made at home from things I had on hand.

7.  Saved $29.34 on groceries this week just buying what was on sale and what was on my list.

8.  While this was not really frugal, I bought a counter top portable toaster oven. A big one. Eventually it will save us electrical costs as it does not use as much power. I just have to learn how to use it. 

Other than those things the appliance repair guy dropped by today and told me if he had the baking element at home he would be back tomorrow after giving us a call first. If not it would need to be ordered and could take 10 days or more to get here. Now I am really glad that I got this new appliance cause I know I will be making more eggplant parma before that.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Thursday Tidbits

 It has been an upside down kind of day. Things started off very well, but got worse as the day progressed.

I got up, had coffee and started the salsa. My recipe is one from Company's Coming a series of Canadian cookbooks that I really like as the ingredients are easy to find. I will share it with you all on Saturday.

We are not big salsa eaters and so these 5 jars will last us the winter. Still lots of tomatoes to use and I must figure out if I want to make more. Surprisingly the recipe said 5 pint jars and that is exactly what was made.

I then went shopping and I was in and out before Harvey was even dressed. That was after dropping the donation bags at the Salvation Army. The store decided to move a few things around so I had to do a bit of a search even.

After lunch I decided that I had better use up the eggplant and so started my Eggplant parma.... I turned on the oven to warm it up as I sliced and peeled the eggplant and got started with the coating. Hmmm, all of a sudden my stove made a strange noise. I didn't pay any attention and continued with my task. The eggplant was ready to be baked to a golden brown and was put in the oven. Surprise my oven would not heat up past 270F and it needed to be at 350F. So I kept fiddling and even though the temperature said it was correct it kept dropping. I left them in to see what would happen (they didn't get as baked as they should have) and read my manual. I think the baking element is gone, and once I figured that out made a call to someone to fix it. Lord knows when we will hear from him.

Now those trays of eggplant needed to be made into parma and I  had no oven to bake them. What to do.

Thank heavens we are able to buy a few things without worrying about where the money is coming from anymore (there was a time when that was not the case). I quickly drove to Walmart and searched the shelves for a large toaster oven. Found exactly what I was looking for (can you believe this large one was less money than a smaller one?) grabbed it and headed home. 

I did have to bake them one at a time, but at least there are 4 meals in the freezer.

All labeled, cooled and put away.

This one, however became our supper.

I was just too tuckered out to make the stew I had planned. I will do that tomorrow.

Now I just have to figure out where to store the rather huge new appliance I now have. Has to be fairly close to the kitchen because until the oven is repaired I will be using it to make meals. Next thing I will try is cookies, I think I have a small enough cookie sheet to fit.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.