Thursday, November 22, 2012

Not A Good Morning- A Move

This whole week has been trying on me. Every time I think I have accomplished one hurdle three more pop up. Today was no different. One of my issues this morning was that my blog no longer has photo space ( already). I refuse to purchase more photo space so have begun yet another blog as Thank-you for your patience.

Monday, November 19, 2012

John Deere Wedding and Smocked Dresses

Friday night I began smocking the dresses for the flower girls at my daughters John Deere Wedding.When I think of all the beautiful, lacy dresses with hundreds of hours spent smocking these dresses in the past, the idea of picture smocking farm scenes just seems appalling. But this is what I am doing.

The dresses are a very fine green gingham, 1/8 inch squares to be exact. I found the fabric...........well the fabric screamed out to me and was on the 40% off rack until the end of October. I bought enough for my granddaughters who are in their mom's wedding and thought well if daughter doesn't like I will smock them anyway for summer dresses.

Daughter did like them and this is the smocking plate I am using......
with some changes. The corn is going and I am making sunflowers instead. There are two babies in this wedding coming down the isle in wagons. I cannot smock this depth of rows on a baby dress. So the two babies will have sunflowers smocked across, which I have yet to figure out what I am doing, but that is for a later date. I also am not doing the cabbages below the tractor. One dress is a size three, and 16 rows is quite deep for a small child.

As of Sunday night, this is where I have gone to.....
This believe it or not is 6 hours of pleating and smocking. Picture smocking takes a lot of time. Note the barn door to the right of the large 'X'? Well I mucked it up last night and tonight tore this whole section out and redid it.
This is how far I am at bedtime tonight. Eight hours of smocking. The barn still needs outline stitches in black, which I will do when I have black on the needle for the tractor. So far the wheels have been the biggest challenge. I will start with the big tractor wheel tomorrow.

This afternoon on my way home from the city, I stopped at a friends house because she has been missing in action the last three weeks. She had breast cancer two years ago and I was worried about her. So I dropped in. She was fine, just on new medication that makes her feel awful. Now this lady always meets you at the door or outside, never asks you in. Well today she did ask me in. Said she had fabric she has been wanting to give me but couldn't get to it in the closet. Could I help? Okay now I thought she meant she couldn't reach it in the closet and my tall stature could! Was I wrong!! She is a hoarder!!! Couldn't get to the closet. I must have moved 20 boxes into the hallway to get to the closet. Good news was I came home with enough fabric to make myself 8 skirts and two dresses and the lining. I  felt totally dirty when I came out of there. I stripped at the door of my kitchen and threw my clothes in the wash, and then washed all the fabric. Yuck! How on earth can people live like that? Needless to say, it made my house seem really clean and smelling nice ( food in the slow cooker helped), and gave me this desire to want to clean. Hope that desire lasts into tomorrow!

Friday, November 16, 2012

George is 16 Today

The puppy pictures of him are all glues into my farm log book and I would have to scan them in. Too much work! But here he is at about 10 years of age and here he is now.
Looking less like a Shepard and more like a wolf.
He is 60% wolf or so the vets tell me, and a remarkable stature which is why he has lived so long, that and being spoiled. The girls here call him " Mom's suck!".
Shepard's have a lower hip line and get terrible hip displacer. George now at 16 has a wavering hip and no long will go on long walks because it hurts. But he does not have these hip issues, because I am told he is wolf.
I bought him from the human society when he was 4 months old. I was to be his third owner already. I had to sign a waiver saying I would not return him. the lady at the Human Society kept telling me " You know how big he is going to be?" I said yes I knew, but that was what I wanted. I had a passion for German Shepard's and I needed him to protect my children from bears and wild animals here on the farm. It is comforting to know that they were protected wherever they went on the farm.

As a puppy he proved to be hard work. Oh he never messed in the house. Him mom had trained him to do his business in the woods. But lamb ears were something to be chewed and if you wanted a drink, suck on a cow teet, free meat in the hen house. Oh the fun and games of it all! He never would play ball, or stick. He would look at you like you were mad to ask him to go get it. He would never pull a sled like my girl Shepard's before him. No he was content to herd dairy cattle into the barn at night time and get them all roiled up so they wouldn't milk. He was lucky I didn't kill him the first two years. But over time a ewe butted heads with him and it hurt. He then slept with the sheep rather then try and eat them. My nastiest of Herefords kicked him sky high one morning ( I saw it) and that was his free milkshake days over. Going after a chicken meant mom chasing him with a baseball bat. No more chickens for him. Although it took him 12 years to forget that porcupines put quills all in your face.

That said he loved the kids. Walked everywhere with them. Protected them from strangers that came on the farm. The milk truck drive and the oil truck drive carry dog cookies with them. The Hydro man still hocks the horn, won't come out for fear of him.

These days he sleeps most of the day. He walks with me to collect the mail at the end of the lane. Follows me into the garden and sleeps while I work .

He is deaf, and his eye sight not what it use to be. He no longer barks, he circles 20 times the spot he is going to lay down in and usually falls outside that ring. I think he has dementia as well. But like an old man, you just want to hug them.

George is 16 today. the longest I ever had a dog.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baby Shower Invitations

I am throwing a baby shower for a young mom in December. There will be about 50 women invited to this shower. I needed an inexpensive way to invite all these ladies. It took me a week of thinking and browsing ideas on the Net and coming up with something affordable.
This is what I came up with.
I haven't applied the sticker yet because this invitation is my template for the rest.

I bought 50 sheets of pastel coloured paper at Micheals that came to $2.22 after the 40% off coupon and taxes.

The stickers, which I really wanted something a little bigger but was not in the budget came to $7.68 at 50% and taxes. I got 56 stickers for this price.

The invitations were printed on the computer with all the information.

Last night I cut 14 of them out. It is going to take time, and then to draw stitch lines on them all. I however won't need envelopes as I can write the names on the back side and can hand them out.

Grocery Challenge Week ending Nov 18

Grocery Challenge this week ending November 18

Budget: $300.00

Fresh Co
sugar  1.77
2 x brown sugar @ 1.97each = 3.94
2 x icing sugar @ 1.97 each = 3.94
Penne pasta .97- .75 coupon = .22
Total $9.87

Valu Mart
Pedigree dog food 17.99-5.00 coupon= 12.99
Special K  3.99
NN Graham Crumbs 2.99
PC chocolate chips 2.79
2 pizza crusts @ 3.19 each = 6.38-50%off= 3.20
banana's 1.55-50%off = .78
tax 1.60
Total $ 27.61

Ground Beef 12.07

2x milk @ 4.13 each= 8.26
peanut butter 3.99
Total $12.25

No Frills
yogurt 2.99
Honey Buntches of Oats PM Walmart 2.00
Marshmellows 1.99
peanuts 2.79
soda crackers 1.99
frozen corn 2.29
Life cereal 1.97
2x whole wehat bread @ 197 each = 3.94
hot dogs 1.00
banana 1.66
2 x blueberries @ 1.47 each = 2.94
raspberries 1.47
cauliflower 1.49
apples 4.97
mushrooms 1.97
taxes .62
Total 43.07

Total grocery budget for the month is $300.
Total coupons used this week $5.75
Total spent: $104.87
Total Spent so far :$268.92
Total left to spend for the month: $31.08

Groceries this week turned out to be a little more then I expected and the only meat I bought was hot dogs which goes into a winter stew recipe I have. At $1.00 I couldn't justify NOT getting them,and ground beef which is already made into dishes for later this month. The good news is I have everything for baking to get us through to mid-January. I have enough Shoppers points to buy milk/ cheese and anything needed to fill this months budget. 

The grocery flyers came out yesterday for next week. There is NOTHING I see on sale or specials I need to get. So next week will be a fruit week,( and dog food) for me. I think I can make this month okay. I noticed prices have jumped. people will pay anything at the holidays! I also noticed more pre-made items in the flyers.

Went to Super Store with my rain checks of ground beef yesterday and they have none in stock.........still! I shall use them in December with a new budget. That said I don't shop much in December. I can't tolerate the amount of stuff that meets the eye. It gives me anxieties, like I need to get out. Items are piled high and there is way too much on the floor. Walmart is the worst! Superstore is getting there right now with their Insiders Report items. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Montessori Photo

My four year old. Her Montessori picture.

Girls Aran Knit Sweater

I made this sweater for my four year old way back in the spring. Then tucked it on the shelf in my closet. Last week I found it and noticed I had not put any buttons on it. Got some yesterday.............finally. Now she can wear it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pink Baby Sweater

I finished knitting this little sweater for my third granddaughter two weeks ago, but finally purchased the buttons for it yesterday. It is 6 month sweater which turned out quite nice.

Flurries this Morning

We had flurries coming out of the sky this morning after chores were done. A little reminder that winter is on route.

Gill you asked me about black tarp yesterday. I get mine at Home Hardware, but any dark tarp will do. The darkness does not allow light to penetrate through. You might ask at a building site as wood is often bundled in a plastic like tarp that is black on one side and they just throw it out.

The idea of piling leaves in a garden is good but creates a lot of acid in the soil. Fine for bulbs and natural plants from the area where the leaves come from but not so for a lot of vegetables. You will need to neutralize the soil come spring in a vegetable patch. I find ashes work well. Just till it all together with the soil in the spring and compost. Peas don't grow well where leaves were put. Instead of peas you get mushrooms. Experience speaking here!

I am mostly home today. Need to get dog food. Vegetarian night. I am making a vegetable pot pie. So a simple meal.

I bought buttons yesterday for sweaters I have knitted. One for the new baby and one for my four year old. Ironically the wool was given to me, the buttons cost as much as the wool would have! Hope to get these sewn on whilst the girls do their schoolwork.

I have a baby shower that I am planning for 50+ ladies on December 8th. I am fine tuning the invitations this morning and dreaming up some entertainment for the group. I have ideas but need to find information to fulfill the idea. I am also limited in space as the shower is in a house.

Then I hope to clean out the hall closet where we keep our Bible literature and movies. Our VHS has finally died. I am disappointed because I copied all Road to Avonlea and Anne of Green gables from the TV back in 1991 to VHS. I think mom still has a machine she isn't using. I am hopeful, but if not I shall have to throw these movies out. I refuse to buy DVD's anymore. I am sure the DVD system is short lived too. We get three DVD's a week from the library.Three for selection, but rarely do we see two let alone three. readers in this house and the computer has a lot to offer as well.

Life here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemaking Monday : November 12

The weather here:

 is damp this morning the promising of a fantastic warm( for November +16C or 66F)  and hopefully some sunshine.

Right now:
I am waiting on the 21 year old, as we are heading to the city for doctor appointments and some winter shopping.

How I would dearly love to just stay home and enjoy this last warm spell before the air is cold and crisp and I am much more inside.

Reading Pile:
I have a knitting book by the bed on knitting baby socks.
Betty Crocker cookbook for the heart
Bible reading of Amos

Monday: stewed meatballs, Egyptian salad, peas.
Tuesday: vegetarian pot pie
Wednesday: meatloaf, rice and carrots
Thursday: chicken tights, mashed potato, spinach and beets
Friday: potato and sausage with kale
Saturday: Pizza
Sunday: Leftovers and salad

My To do List:
*get more black tarps to kill off the grass and prepare the ground for a new garden
* mend yet more socks, my shawl and repair the zipper in my winter barn coat
* finish Mike's other sock
* start to smock flower girl dresses for daughters wedding.

On My Needles
socks in Dk for Mike in an unusual size.
also pleated fabric for smocked dresses for the wedding

Looking Around the House
I have done a lot of cooking this weekend for a barn raising this week. I had to make enough stew  and brownies for 20 men. That is a lot of dishes ! Also need to get some dusting done. The house is clean but don't speak to me about the barn.

From my Camera
Dawn here at Locus Lane Farm

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Baby Smocked Nighties

Daughter has been told to be prepared for a premee baby this time around, as she has had faux labour a few times and has been rushed to the hospital only to come home again. This baby due date is January 23,2013, but who knows what will happen. I have smocked two nighties for the baby.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Our old Eco-fan would no longer run. Dearest had over heated the cook stove last winter and the sring that propels the fan died. I wasn't going to get a new one, but I broke down after a few damp cool nights.

The cook stove is at the far end of the kitchen and it heats the house but without a fan, it only heats the kitchen to 'hot' and the rest of the house is still kind of cool. I can't believe the difference this little fan makes.

I can knit in comfort once again!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Covering the November List

Dreary day out today, also feels a little cold inside the house. So After school got underway here I got to work from my November list.
I cleaned out the bench in the kitchen. Found some "lost" mitts, that I have been hunting for. So this was a bonus!

Then I tackled the hope chest in the livingroom, which took a lot longer then I thought. A box full of unwanted items left this house in a grocery box. Lots of ends of wool, and craft items. I shall bring them to the mission house this afternoon. The chest is cleaned out and everything put in smaller containers in there.

It feels good to have that done. Now I don't feel guilty about sewing today.

Give me a Hole

Give me a hole and stick my head in it!
I get up very early in the morning. Actually at 4am, get the woodstove going, put the dogs out, take care of over 125 animals, come back to the house, hang out last nights laundry and deal with issues of a family in the morning heading all different directions. If I drank coffee, I do not! I would be permentally drunk on the stuff.

Wednesday morning, as every morning went on as this with the exception I was going into the city with Dearest. To save on gas we have been doing this routine now for just about a year. He goes into the office I deal with the folks.

Back track three weeks ago. While I was grocery shopping with my Dat I spied my old girlfriend from high school down one of the aisle. She was a knock-out in high school and was still pretty as ever. My first response was to run up to her and hug her. Its been 30+ years since I saw her. Man we use to spend hours on the phone at night chatting away, lunches playing card games, sitting at high school sporting events. A lot ran through my mind in a few seconds. But Dat needed my help, and instead I dealt with duty rather then want. She was gone. My heart went through my feet.

This week when I got changed into my( 'work at my parents house so I can scrub their kitchen floor') skirt, threw my hair up in a bun, no make-up but thought I looked good enough ( well -anyway !).

In the afternoon on Wednesday I was in Fabricland getting fabric for daughters wedding and who should bump into me with her 13 year old son? The same friend. 

I was demobilized! Mortified.........oh my! What did I look like? I wanted to find a hole and throw my head in it. I smiled and greeted her son, ( the youngest of four boys I am told). Man she looked good for 50! Young and pretty as ever. I felt old and worn. I just had spent 5 hours with my folks, and three hours with barn yard animals. The emotions inside me were near tears. We spoke of our families. She gave her son a glowing report of me in high school............... but that was so many years ago now. I probably seemed like 100 years old to him ( you know how teenagers are about their parents). I just smiled. They were in there looking for wool. I had to chuckle because it was ovious she didn't sew or knit.No wool in this store, just fabric. I asked her what she needed wool for? She said mitts. I directed her to the right store and told her the best wool and what was on sale this week. She is still a space cadet! A pretty space cadet! 

I found out where she works and will go there one day when I'm looking real nice and we'll do lunch together.

In the meanwhile I had a teary session in the car. Getting old gracefully?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Selling Note

I was in the city yesterday. Normal routine of caring for my folks. However I got there early and other then cleaning up and groceries there wasn't much to do. My folks were eager to get out after lunch so I took my leave and actually completed that long list of things to do that has been hovering over me for over a month.

One thing I had been wanting to do was replace a string on daughters violin and get both of ours tuned properly.

The fellow I use to go to ,loved music and people. He would replace the string and tell you if you could play him a tune it was half price. Gimmick I know, but he never charged more then the price of the string. Then in return he would play you a tune. It was a jolly trip each time. But he sold out and retired, leaving us with other choices.

I decided to go with the oldest music store in the city yesterday. Not only was the string twice the price, but I was told to put a new tuning foot on my violin ( which is about 75 years old), to the 'tune' of $18 +tax. Then I watched him tune it ( with much complaining because it is an old violin) with a electronic tuner. I have to admit this electronic tuner would save me time and trips in to get my old baby tuned, if I bought one at $20.+tax.He showed me how it worked. Of course I loved it but................

I payed for the $6.00 string and tuning. Will tune my own to my daughters ( I know cheap huh!), and forfid the new gadgets for now.

I'm not sure this is a normal routine of this particular store, to show all the bells and whistles, to make you believe you need these things or a "Christmas you need wish list", after all it is the season!

I'll stick to what I know. Thank-you very much. I'm a cheap scape!

Grocery Challenge Nov 11,2012

Grocery Challenge for the week of Nov 11,2012

Budget for the month $300.00

This shopping trip:

2 x Lion Chops 6.49 - 50%= 3.23 ( 10 pieces)
Honey Shreddies 3.99
Chicken Tights 6.19 ( 14 pieces)
Total 13.40

No Frills
2 Black Diamond Cheese(300g) @ 2.47 each = 4.94
Family size Multigrain Cheerios 3.49
NN Instant pudding .78
NN peas 2.29
PC chocolate chips (1kg) 6.99
yogurt 3.89 - 3.89c= free
2 x bread @1.87 ea = 3.74
cinnamon bread 1.99
Italian sausages (20) 6.71
banana @.67lb = 1.61
celery 1.47
clementine 3.77
English cucumber .69
mushroom 1.97
green onion .57
box of baby spinach 4.49
8 tomatoes 2.57
Total $48.07

Shoppers Drug Mart
2 x 1% milk 4.13 each =8.26
Total $8.26

3 x semi sweet chocolate squares @2.00 each =6.00
chicken bullion 1.00
Total $7.00

Hot chocolate 3.79
Raspberry tea 2.49
Total 6.28

3x cranberry juice  free
2 cow tongues for the dogs free( yuck!)

Total grocery budget for the month is $300.
Total coupons used this week $3.89
Total spent: $83.01
Total Spent so far :$164.05
Total left to spend for the month: $135.95

This week was a frustrating visit to stores. I shop No Frills because that is where my father with dementia likes to shop. He knows the store. However Sales from Freshco could not be matched at NoFrills because of sizing issues. I found myself doing the math on my phone to figure out weather the deal was better at NF or if I should make another trip ( across the city) to FC. I stuck with NF and different options.

We are eating three vegetarian meals this week verse the two we usually do. One always being soup. I got some vegetarian magazines from the library with some India dishes in it that look really good. I will incorporate this in our home schooling somehow to make it fun.

I went to Superstore to get the ground beef on for 1.98/lb and round roast for 1.98lb . This store is huge,( I rarely go there) but neither item were in stock, so I got rain checks from a lady that shouldn't be working there because she treated me like an alien when I asked for rain checks. Good thing about her lack of knowledge of rain checks is she didn't put a quantity down. I could buy the store out of ground beef with this rain long as it fits the budget! Not having the beef put a damper on my set menu planning for this week. Shall have to dig around for alternatives.

Started to stock up on holiday baking supplies.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


A sure sign of November. morning frost as the temperatures dropped to -8C ( 20F) last night. This morning the beauty layed all around us. Well its all how you look at it! Despite the cold air I hung a line full of sheets and towels. The sun came up early and hopefully will remain the whole day.

I am home all day today. Cooking meals for a few days and keeping the woodstove roaring. The sun is pleasant and keeping the house pretty warm.
I have begun a pair of socks for a gentleman friend with large legs, whilst sitting in the sunshine helping with school work this morning.

On Sunday after worship I have always told the kids to hang their clothes up right away so as I do not have to do more ironing. Last night when I was putting the days laundry away I spotted the four year old attempts of being good. Oh! Her dress was hung on a hanger but.....
So were her tights! Good job little one!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homemaking Monday

A nice sunny but cold day here today. Just above the freezing mark, but seeing the sun was pure bliss.

Right now I am: Finishing up smocking the second nightie for my new granddaughter due in January. Today I was outside for most of the day and when I came inside cleaned out the furnace ducts for that just in case the furnace comes on! Hopefully not. Hopefully the cookstove will keep this big old farmhouse warm. It is to go well below the freezing mark tonight. My old dog is laying here on the kitchen floor, instead of the barn floor.

I am Thinking: That I can't remember where I put the polar sheets for our bed. Would love to have them for tonight but gave up looking for them! I think they are in the suitcase in the sewing room but its a lot of work to get them down. I hope to have more energy in the morning.

On My Reading Pile: A little boring in this department as I need to get to the library. I have a few Vegetarian magazines to give me ideas of meatless meals. .

On My TV( computer): Waiting for God ( a Britsh comedy about old people in a senior home)Some days I can relate to them.

On My menu for this week: Just when one thinks they are organized..... ! Hum lets see what there is in the freezer???

On My to do List: Tomorrow the winter boots have to come out the grainary. Find those winter sheets. Clean out the wooden bench in the kitchen. Strip the beds and wash the sheets and hang them out in the so called (cold) sunshine tomorrow. Make a menu?

What am I working on: Just completed smocking second baby nightie. Am going to start a pair of mens socks out of Aran wool. Never made any with that heavy a weight before. Hope to sew up the nighties this week. Grocery list, so I can make a menu.

Looking Around the House: The house is in good shape. Clean. I am in the process of cleaning out hiding spots and getting rid of items not used, needed or wanted. Simplifing.

From the Camera:
Chochin my rooster. He is missing his female companions as they are now all in the freezer. Ate one tonight ( he doesn't know yet). He has always been a feisty rooster but now thinks I'm his best friend and follows me everywhere.I took this photo while in the kitchen and he is on the window sill, outside.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Grocery Challenge week ending Nov 4/12

No Frills
Beatrice Yogurt (12) 2.99
Catelli Fettucci 1.47-.75 coupon .72
Dog food   9.98
Oatmeal crisp   3.49
PC ranch dressing   1.97
1kg chocolate chips   6.99
NN pepperoni stick   3.49
1.45kg banana's   2.14
cucumber   .97
.68kg grapes   1.42
.69kg oranges  1.95
box baby spinach 4.49
.40kg tomato   .67
taxes     1.30
Total $42.57

Shoppers Drug Mart
2x 4L of 1% milk   free ( used gift card from last week)

Telford Egg Farm
30 eggs  $5.75

1 whole wheat bread free
1 multi grain bread free
6 whole wheat kaiser buns free
3 sub buns  free
12 whole wheat buns free
Cheese bread$ 2.24
Total $2.24

Taylor Beef Farm
5lbs ground beef $4.79

No Frills
4x 1kg Kraft Peanut Butter PM FC (3.77each) 15.08
3x 500g Honey PM FC (3.77 each) 11.31
garlic .47
Total $26.86

Family Budget for November: $300.
Amount spent this week:$82.21
Coupons/ gift cards used $10.75
Amount Left to spend: $217.79
Under  budget by $217.79

This was a grand week as Jim gave me a lot of day old bread, so I didn't have to buy or make any myself. It was a disappointing week as No Frills didn't have five of the items on my list this week. I put them on for next week. Bought enough eggs for the  month and peanut butter and honey till sometime in the new year.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st

The beginning of November and the beginning of a new challenge for me. To live within our pension budget amount. I must admit it is scary. Some bills came in yesterday a bit higher they the set amount for that column. But I am determined to make this work.

I opened up a bank account yesterday at President Choice Financial. I tried on-line the day before but they wanted a credit card for identification. I don't own one. So I went to the Super Store yesterday after caring for my folks and opened one up. It has free banking and checking and free grocery points when using their bank card. At present we are with Scotiabank and my fees are about $14./month. What made me decided to go PC was when I ordered new cheques last month at the tune of $42. for 250 cheques. I thought never again. So this month I will be fooling around with PC figuring out how it all works, on-line and by telephone, debit ( something I have never used). Then transferring money from one bank to another as the year rolls out. I wasn't sure weather to use PC or ING, but after much reading found there to be little difference. The PC banking is just more convenient.

I have a few projects I want to do this month at the house.

1. give eldest daughter all the un-used storage containers.
2. Clean out sitting bench in kitchen
3. Clean out DVD/book closet in hallway
4. Clean out my hope chest ( where I store my wool/cotton and some pattern books. Really think about what I am keeping.

From the sewing room.
1. Finish baby sweater for new granddaughter ( jan)
2. Make socks for a friend with diabetis and large legs
3. sew up smocked dress for youngest
4. Knit baby botties to match sweater
5. begin smocked dresses for flowergirls for daughters wedding (July)

This should keep me out of trouble ( or into it!) and busy as the dyas get shorter.