Friday, August 31, 2012


I am a bit down tonight. I got a phone call from Kris and he is unable to come home after all.

Hopefully he will get home next weekend. It is always great to try a new recipe on him.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Day of Retirement

Today can be classified as my first real day of partial retirement.
I started the day with a nice long walk when I would have usually been leaving for work.
Then I moved on to working in the garden getting more produce ready
for the freezer.
All in all it has been a very lax, lazy day. It is so nice not to have to
worry about what to wear, or when all my regular
household chores are going to get done.
I may enjoy this partial retirement thing.
Everybody have a wonderful evening.
God bless.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

The past few days have seen me finishing off a few sewing projects that I had started awhile ago.

First was this tunic top, made with fabric I bought at a church rummage sale. I added the lace around the bottom of the sleeves and the next one I make (also from fabric bought at a church rummage sale) I plan on adding some to fill in the neckline a little bit.

Then I moved on to finally making my new bathrobe. I bought this material months ago but just did not seem to want to get started on it. Now it is done and I wonder why I procrastinated so much. It is so warm and cuddly and the hood will keep my head warm after I wash my hair in the evening.

Now I am going to start on a few Christmas gifts for Kurt, Kris and Harvey. I have a fairly large piece of knit material and I figure there should be enough to make each of them pj pants. Part of another gift done (well done by the end of the week I hope).

The garden is being harvested slowly but surely. Today was spend processing carrots, tomatoes and peppers for the freezer. I may be doing a few more bags of tomatoes tomorrow.

Here is the start of the tomatoes and peppers. There will be a many more freezer bags before I am done.

The start of the 5 gallon bucket that Harvey brought into the house this morning. I ended up getting 25 packages done. Now another 20 or so and I should have enough for this winter. I will then grate some for cake, loaves and muffins for the winter.

I just love a well stocked freezer. Don't have to worry so much about the rising prices in the grocery stores. This makes staying on the old budget much easier.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Reading and A Book Launch

Yesterday I attended a book launch at our public library. I have been waiting for this for a very long time. You see it was the book launch down here for my niece Melanie's first novel.

It only lasted an hour, but I finally managed to get my copy of her book signed.

That is not me in the picture, but that is Melanie sitting down and signing copies of her book.

Her book is about 2 women, one a Canadian and one a Ditka woman from South Sudan. Melanie spent almost 2 years in the Sudan researching her book and we think she did a bang up job of her first novel.

This is a picture of me, Melanie, Autumn (another niece) and Nancy (my sister in law, Autumn's Mom). I hate having my picture taken, but to make Melanie happy I posed for this one.

The title of her book is  While the Sun is Above Us, and it will really open your eyes to the slavery and child soldier issues in the South Sudan.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A New Friend

While we were on our holidays enjoying the tranquil moments at Jan Lake, we made a new friend.

This little fellow would visit us every day after we had been out fishing. It got so he/she would eat right out of Harvey's hand.

Me, our friend usually avoided. Except one day.......

We were sitting at the table pictured here, talking about how we were enjoying the time away from phones and the regular hustle and bustle of our day. Our friend decided it was time to make my acquaintance.

I saw her/him running along the railing and thought nothing of it. This was a regular occurrence and usually Harvey would have a peanut or sunflower seed to give. However this time something strange happened. Our friend ran right by Harvey and continued along the railing behind me. Still nothing new as our little friend would run down the steps behind me.

This time she/he stopped and all of a sudden I felt little paws on my shoulder. Harvey says my eyes grew round in surprise. Within seconds there was a sudden weight on my shoulder, and turning my head very slightly, there was our friend perched on my shoulder. A little bit scary and thank heavens the visit did not last long, but visions of various horror movies ran through my mind.

I am the photographer in the family and our little friend did not stick around long enough for Harvey to get the camera, but the memory of those paws on my shoulder remain to this day.

I really am going to have to get Harvey to keep the camera handy at all times.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Salsa Is Made

Today I finally got a chance to make the salsa. Not this salsa
This was a picture that our oldest son brought back from Spain for his dad. We really must remember to get it framed one of these days.

I meant this salsa.

Every ingredient except for the tumeric and pickling salt came from our garden. Six lovely jars to use this winter when we are snacking.

It might be a great deal of work to get the garden harvested and processed but it is very much worth it.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Making Salsa....Or Not

Today I was going to use up some of the lovely tomatoes from our garden.
See the lovely basket full.
Did I get to make it? No way at least not during the day.

So what did I do?

Helped my wonderfully handy hubby fix the front door.
Couldn't really do much else as he was always calling me
to hold something, hand him something. Or hold the
door so it wouldn't fall out.

It is finally in and the rest he can do on his own.
Perhaps I will make Salsa tonight!

Everybody have a wonderful late afternoon and evening.

God bless.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Apple Pie Filling

Yesterday I talked a little about making apple pie filling and trying to can it for the first time. This is the first bag of apples I got from my neighbour. I got two of these and being the frugal person that I am there was no way I was going to waste them.

I tried to can the finished product, but even after going through the hot water bath in my canner, only three of the 6 quarts sealed. And I don't really trust the seal.

The second bag I prepared I put into freezer containers. I feel so much better about it. I think I am going to stick with freezing from now on.

We have a great many ripe tomatoes on our plants and on the window sill in the dining room, I think that tomorrow will be Salsa day!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


On Saturday Harvey and Kris decided to go to their favorite fishing hole. Usually these fishing trips result in lots of catch and release. This time however they surprised me.

They caught an 8lb jack which was actually brought home.

Just look at the size of it!!! Harvey filleted it and the fillets now reside in our meat freezer. Yummy.
I stayed home and cleaned house I also made apple pie filling. This year I tried canning it with minimal success. Out of the 6 quarts I put in the hot water bath only three sealed and I don't trust the seal on those. May just have to go back to putting it in freezer containers.

Everbody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


On a forum I frequent a question was posed as to whether a person was happy or not.

Good question.

I have been struggling with an answer for the last few days. I know that I am contented with my life, but does that consitute happiness?

I, for one, don't think you can really measure happiness. I know that there are times in my day that I am extremely happy, and others where I just feel a sense that all is right in my life. Contentment I have in abundance, there is nothing I need that I do not have, or have the means to get if I really need it. But is contentment happiness?

I guess I will find out the answer to that as my life progresses. All that anyone can do in my thoughts is be as happy as they possibly can be in each and every situation they meet. Life can sure throw you a few curve balls once in awhile and how a person copes with those curve balls could really change if you are happy, contented or just plain putting up with life.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Purple Day

Today was a purple day around the Phillips' house.

My neighbour dropped by late last night with these lovely reddish purple plums from a tree in her backyard. Harvey loves these plums and will more than likely eat them with no problem what so ever.

Then I went out to the garden and picked three of these beautiful eggplant. I have found out over the past few years that nothing beats the taste of fresh eggplant.

I have been craving Moussaka ever since we planted them. Guess what we had for supper today!

First I washed and sliced the eggplant.

Then after boiling the peeled slices I layered them in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Poured the prepared meat sauce over top and then the cheese sauce.

So far so good. Supper is looking scrumptious!!

Here it is out of the oven and ready to eat, served with crusty bread it made a wonderful meal with very little cost. There is enough leftover that I froze a TV type dinner for Kris and we have enough for another meal in a couple of days.

So very good and very filling.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Early Start On Christmas...or...Using Up the Yarn Stash

Between all the produce coming in I have been trying to use up my yarn stash a little bit. Kurt says he has never seen a wall of yarn outside a retail establishment before.

Just a small portion of my Wall'O Yarn. Do you think I might have a yarn fetish?

I never have to look to far to find the exact yarn I want to use for a project and now that I am no longer working full time, perhaps I can work on cutting this back even more. After all, I need room for patterns for sewing.

So I managed to get a few gifts done for this coming Christmas.

I managed to get 4 of these scarves and hats ready for my three neices and their mother. Four gifts down and oh.....10 to go.

And some wash cloths or dish cloths, whichever you choose to use them for. Actually 4 of  these I made for myself as my old ones were getting in very rough shape.

Now I am working on some socks both for myself and to give as gifts to a couple of very close friends.

Slowly making a dent in the yarn stash and making a dent in the gift list as well.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Using Up Those Pesky Cherries

Earlier this week I got a bit energetic and decided to use up more of the cherries on our trees. I just can't seem to let things go to waste if I can figure out a way to use them up.

First I mixed brandy, vodka and sugar in a large bowl. Stirring until all the sugar was dissolved.

Next I added washed cherries to each jar and poured the first mixture over top. Placed these in a cool dark place. They have to be shook every few days but in about 3 months we will have some lovely Cherry Liqueur to sip on in the evening.

Everybody have a great evening.

God bless.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Visiting Our Youngest Son

Today we are going up to Regina to visit with our youngest son, Kris.  This picture was taken at Christmas this year just after he and his brother had finished the family dishes.

It seemed we were going to get to see him at home this weekend, up until the 5 pm phone call.
This is how it went.

"Hi Mom."
"Where are you Kris, have you left yet?"
"No, I'm still in Regina. Had a bit of a problem with the car this morning."

Okay at that point I am thinking accident on the Ring Road!!
"What kind of problem?"
"All of a sudden I heard a funny noise. I had a heck of a time turing off the busy road."
"Hmm, let me talk to your Dad."

Walked outside with my cell phone.

"Hun, Kris had car trouble going to work today."
"What happened?"

So while I was explaining to Harvey what Kris had told me, and relaying more information on said problem from Kris to his Dad. All of a sudden it dawns on me and of course Harvey at the same time.

"Kris, when was the last time you had your power steering fluid checked?" This out of both our mouths at the same time.

"Uh, not sure."

"Go and check it and call us back."

Turns out with his type of car you have to almost take it apart to reach the reservoir. But this is what Harvey thinks happened, his power steering fluid is very low so he told him not to panic.

After hanging up the phone Harvey looks at me and says "Do they make books for dummies on things like this? I really don't think that I passed on a mechanically inclined gene to either of the boys."

I think we are going up to check and make sure this is what is going on, plus get Harvey some wine making supplies, plus go fabric hunting (my job for this winter is to make a quilt for our bed), and visit with Kris.

Of course we will look at other things while there. Like a metal arbour with gate for the side of our home, and perhaps some fishing equipment for Harvey. We will have a nice meal out, and the best thing of all a visit with our youngest son.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blogs and more Blogs

I spent part of today reading and looking at other peoples blogs.... and I came to one conclusion. That conclusion is (drum roll please) mine is extremely boring.

Its more a journal of my everyday life than a blog, but that is what I know. Writers say write about what you know and understand so I guess I am following that rule. Now just to spice up the way I write to make it, you know, more interesting.

Sighs, this is going to take some thinking about.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cherries and More

Thought I would share with all of you what I have been up to the past few weeks.

First, I picked more cherries and got them into the dehydrator.

After they dried, I put the finished project in a bag or two.

Yummy, these taste so good in baking. I managed to get three bags done so far this year between dehydrating herbs from my pots.

Next came Pickles in a Bucket. I love these as they stay so nice and crunchy. Best yet they are ready to eat in about 2 weeks.

Lastly I froze 7 bags of beets. I have more that I am getting ready to freeze today.

All in all it has been a busy time in the Phillips house.

I don't have pictures of the beans I froze or the cherries we picked to make Harvey's wine later. Things have been very, very, busy!

Tomorrow it will be more dehydrating of herbs. Hope to share some pictures with you once again.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Over the years I have tried and tried to grow bouganvilla. Finally something seems to have clicked. This is the best I have done in my life time.

I am so happy. This winter I plan on bringing it inside and trying to keep it alive for next summer.

Harvey planted corn again this year after a couple of years not growing it in the garden. It sure has gotten tall.

I am looking forward to all the lovely corn on the cob we will be eating this fall. To put the height of this corn into perspective the fence is 6' tall on the right hand side.

Things are changing now that I handed in my resignation from my Educational Assistant position. I am actually sleeping in and I find myself more relaxed as the days progress. I know I will miss the children (they actually become a part of me I am with them for so long), but the politics and back stabbing will not be missed at all.

I am looking forward to quilting, knitting, cross stitch and any other hobby that I manage to fit in. Perhaps even taking a few online classes or taking up gourmet cooking. Life has endless possibilities and I am looking forward to them.

Everybody have a great evening.

God bless.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Working in the Garden

Today has been one of those days where I work in the garden weeding and really get nothing else done around the house. I watered my plants, picked and dried cherries in my dehydrator. That was enough for the day.

I did get some bread and butter pickles made yesterday as well as another batch of yellow beans frozen for winter use.

I made 8 jars of bread and butter pickles. Those will taste good this winter.

I am really trying to use everything my garden produces this year. However the cucumbers are growing like crazy, and I have a feeling my friends are going to get as tired of me dropping some off to them as they are with people giving them zucchini!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.