Sunday, March 31, 2019

Italian Feast!

Hello Friends!

I hope you're having a quiet, relaxing Sunday! I am. I took a quick 17-second video of the pets this morning, I love when they all hang out with me! :)

It's kind of a yucky day outside today. Our big predicted snowstorm turned into rain and it's a SLUSHY MESS out there. It's a good day to test if you have holes in your boots that's for sure!! The dogs didn't care so much, they were sniffing around for forest critters!

I mentioned on my Thoughts Blog yesterday that I was making a big ol' Italian dinner last night! It turned out so delicious. I'd kind of lost my kitchen mojo for the last few months, but I'm slowly but surely finding it again!

For the main course, I made pasta. Alex really likes my Linguine Puttanesca. I can't digest the Kalamata olives so I made myself something different.

My pasta was Cappellini with Fish and Olives. So fresh and yummy!

Fresh homemade bread with butter is an absolute must!!! I made my No Knead Bread - but this time I made it the same day as I started it. The recipe I usually follow indicates starting the bread on day 1, then putting it in the fridge overnight and baking it on day 2. No issues here, in fact, I noticed it rose a lot better when I baked it same day. 

For dessert, I made my Italian Cheesecake with Homemade Ricotta Cheese. We had red wine with the meal, it was a great success! For so much was very easy to digest! :)

A few days ago, I was playing around with some "scratchboard" style art. Scratchboard is actually done on a white canvas or surface, covered with black ink - and you scratch your design through. I used black acrylic paint as my surface and a white gel pen to scratch in my tree. :)

Here's another property I found on the realtor pages. But again, it's a property that will not suit the bank's criteria (no foundation). FIFTY acres with a little cabin for 40k. Small cottages, houses or cabins don't bother us if the price and location are right. We're always willing to build or add on over the years. Here's the link: 2749 Pleasant Ridge. (I love the name of the road too!) Gosh fifty acres of land... :)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Wrapping Up March

Hi Friends :)

I hope you're doing well! I managed to get out the other day for a THREE hour snowshoe trek, my gosh it was invigorating! It was a nice sunny day and again, hardly anyone was using the trail. 

Is your March predicted to go out like a lion or like a lamb? I just saw the weather forecast, and go figure...OUT LIKE A LION here with 20cm of snow over the weekend. Sigh. 

I was playing with my watercolours and acrylics this morning and came up with this lonely old tree at sunset. I decided it was probably housing some bats too. :)

Check out what I discovered this morning:

Planting a PIZZA GARDEN...I think this is really a neat idea! You plant all the ingredients you'd enjoy on a pizza! What a nice project! Although, I think I'd rather it look like this:

One can always dream...

I wanted to show you another little treasure of a house that I found. It has electricity, water and septic...but it's not on a cement I don't know if the bank will be okay with it. I'm gathering a list of properties to send to my mortgage specialist and I'll ask him to okay/veto the list in a week or so. It's a small house, but get's $49,900 with 32 ACRES!!! Here is the Realtor link: Little House With 32 Acres.

Here is the cadastral map that shows the acreage. There is a river running through the property! Isn't that just so dang cool? :) And the yearly property taxes are under $500. Very affordable. It's on the list of possibilities!

So...just like Bugs Bunny...I'm still on the hunt for that perfect home! :)

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Painting and Pooches

Have you noticed now that spring is (apparently) sprung...that time seems to be going by a little too quickly again? I have! I'm happy to say that it's mild (ha ha) enough that I can take all three furballs on a walk together again! It was touch and go for a while, the temperatures were still falling to -10C overnight and in the mornings. But the last few days they've been hovering around freezing, so as long as little Mr. Jack wears his hand-knitted :) sweater, we're good to go! :) No rabbit sightings this morning, but a wily pair of squirrels got their attention. One on each side of the road up the snow banks, chirping away!

We've been in a soup kind of mood lately. Last night I made Italian Orzo Soup, with some warmed up home-baked No-Knead Bread and a little green salad. I can't wait to grow my own lettuce again! My digestion has trouble with the store-bought stuff.

Cold Winter Night (acrylics)
Yesterday I pulled out my last canvas (boo hoo!) and decided to paint something, kind of Γ  la Bob Ross. I haven't painted a thing since early February and I actually had a lot of difficulty with this one. I didn't feel like I had it in me at first and nearly gave up...but I pushed ahead and I'm happy with the result! Since Alex and I are on a spending freeze...I decided I'm not buying any more painting supplies until we're settled, so I'll make do with what I have for now!

On that note, my friends know that I've been participating in Michael's weekly (then bi-weekly) Scribble Picnic. He would come up with a prompt and those who participated would paint/draw/scribble their vision. Well, unfortunately due to lack of time, Michael has put the picnic on hold indefinitely. But I'm going to continue to paint an acrylic or watercolour; and draw my Looney Tunes every week for fun, just to keep my creative side going! I will definitely be sharing those as I create them!

Still on the house hunt! This is such a nice little cottage. Here is the link on Realtor. (I think you have to agree to something before you can see the listing). It just seems so perfect for us, $35k, about 1 1/2 acres, in the woods, a little fixer upper...but the bank will not finance any property that has no electricity and no water...even if they have electricity and water, if there is no septic, they will veto the financing. Sigh...I asked what they thought of composting toilets, they said it didn't meet the criteria. So this house is out sadly! April is just around the corner, so I'm sure our dream home is too!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Lemon Tree and a Snowshoe Trek

Lookie lookie!! :) My lemon tree is coming out of hibernation just like me. :) Little lemon blossoms are popping up all over my plant, oh, it smells divine! I wonder if I'll get any lemons this year!

Yesterday I took a very long snowshoe trek along a trail in the mountains. I spent two hours and snowshoe'd 6 kilometers. It was so wonderful being out in Nature!

The most southern parts of the river were running rapidly.

As I walked more north though, the river was still covered with ice and snow.

Close ups of the frozen waterfall show the nice blue hue of the river!

Then the snow started...Alex and I spent a nice evening playing board games and sipping a cocktail in front of the fire with all the furries around us. 

Looking out my front door this morning, we got another 2 feet of snow overnight.

I think if it were up to Charlie, we'd have permanent winter! She spotted a few rabbits on our walk this morning. I tell ya, if I didn't have a firm hold of that leash, she'd be GONE...she's a Houdini dog!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Happy Spring Equinox!

Happy Spring Equinox!!!

I'm so happy that this day has arrived, even though you wouldn't know it looking out my window that spring has sprung!! Just the fact that the days are longer brings me so much joy. Tonight for dinner I made Poutine with Homemade Baked Fries. Delish! :)

For dessert, and to symbolize the Sun, I made some yummy Lemon Squares! It's also the Full Super Worm Moon tonight! It should be quite glorious if you have a clear sky!

I've taken quite a break from this blog! I think that once you get out of the habit of something, it's really hard to get it back. I thought often about writing here but came up with nothing! I have however been writing on my "Thoughts" blog. If anyone is interested, I started a 30 day Self Love Challenge. We're on day 18 now and here is the schedule so far: 30 Days of Self Love.

Because of my cabin fever all winter, I wanted to do SOMETHING to help myself, so I created that challenge and it has brought my mood up and beyond what it has been since the beginning of the year.

We are still in the midst of property hunting. There were some good possibilities and we came very close to planning a visit to a property in Nova Scotia, but after our broker sent us more photos, we realized it was TOO much work to get it in a livable condition.  The owners had bought the house at a "tax sale" for 11k and did a quick (and very cheap) flip on it. At first they listed it at 99k but had no bites, so over the years they lowered it to 65k. Even if it were half that price, it wouldn't be worth all the repairs that need to be done!  

Planning to buy a home in another province is tricky, you really need a good honest broker to help you weed out the ones that aren't suitable. We found this nice little house with 4 acres of land in New Brunswick. It was a great possibility, but then we discovered a big problem (for us). It has no wood stove or even a chimney. For the price they were asking, it would have cost too much to have a chimney installed and to purchase a wood stove. So the search continues! 

But crunch time is fast approaching! Our goal is to finalize a purchase by end of April, early May LATEST! Wish us continued luck! 

I have to say I miss visiting your blogs my friends. Now that my emotional slump is waning, I'll be back to my usual self, thanks for hanging in there with me! xx

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Back Soon!

Life, cabin fever and writer's block are in play right now. Must be February! 😱 I'll be back soon!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Yummy Dinners and Snow

Hello Friends!! ❣❣

I hope everyone is happy and healthy! Yesterday I had a nice surprise, Alex offered to make our Valentine's dinner - I was banned from the kitchen! :) I'd found a recipe for Giant Tacos and wanted to try them out, so that's what he made. One with beef for him and one with chicken for me. We have lots of leftovers...I love that!

This is the chicken taco, he also made a Homemade Enchilada Sauce to go with it! And he made my Nacho Dip to use as a nacho sauce. He did everything from scratch, including grinding the beef and chicken. I was very impressed and it was delicious!! :) He even took the dogs out and fed all the pets AND did the dishes...I was Queen for the day! :)

This is the video recipe for the tacos that I found on the Food Network if anyone wants to check it out.

Earlier in the morning, I made my Sugar Pie. We had that after dinner with some cocktails and chocolate while we watched old episodes of Cheers. :)

We haven't eaten meat in a very long time, but we were both craving it lately...we've had lots of meat dinners in the past few weeks. Last week I pulled out the dusty old meat grinder and made burgers. Alex had his with beef and bacon; I breaded a piece of Tilapia for mine - I love fish burgers!  I was one of those people who ordered the Filet-O-Fish at McDonalds!! :)

The backyard....the fence is completely buried.  We are having record breaking snow falls here in the Laurentian mountains. It's very beautiful, but the shoveling...

Friend and Foe!!! I have a love/hate relationship with this arm is all better. I have a little kink in my left wrist so I can't use it 100% yet, but the snow continues to fall and life goes on right? Next year there will be a snowblower in my tool chest!!! (I say that EVERY year lol!)

The ever shrinking path to the door (Susan I'm sure you can relate to this!). Every winter we start off shoveling a lot to make sure the paths are wide, but at this point (earlier than usual), it's just about 2 feet across! We are running out of place to throw the snow!

Weather permitting, I'm still keeping up with my daily Charlie walks!

Jack in the sun. :) My little fella knows how to keep comfy. Despite the snow, February brings a lot of sunshine with it and I'm so grateful for that!

Cute little farmhouse on Prince Edward Island

The house hunting continues. I've found some possibilities, but there won't be any visits until the spring. We really were looking for an off-grid property...but found out that the bank won't finance it with a mortgage...sigh. We have lots to think about; we may have to settle for a residential property with power - which means a little too close to other people than we want, but again...we are still pondering our options!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Scribble Picnic: Market

Hello Friends :)

The theme for today's Scribble Picnic is "Market". I figured I'd draw a day in the life of Wile E. Coyote as he's shopping at the Acme Market. He always has enough money for gadgets but never enough to feed himself right? :) Here is a Road Runner cartoon for anyone who wants to watch:

I'm such a Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies fan...I can't get enough of these shorts! I hope there aren't too many ads on this video, I have Ad Blocker so I don't see them!

Watercolour: I am DREAMING of a day trip next summer to my favourite market for fresh produce!!! During the winter months, I really miss the fresh stuff...

...speaking of that, the sixty pounds of potatoes that I harvested last September have served us well! We went through about 45 pounds already, holy potato! The last 15 pounds or so were starting to grow "eyes" so I took Mama Pea's advice and canned them. I kept 5 pounds of the best looking ones so that we still have some potatoes for french fries or baked potatoes. I realize that the next time I set up my old tires to plant my potatoes, otherwise known as my "tater tires", I will have to double them up!! Also, I need a proper root cellar! I checked the temperature in that unheated basement room and it was at about 10 Celcius (that's 50F)...not cold enough?

Gotta use those potatoes!!! Leek and Potato Soup was on the menu last night! Alex actually took the time to strain my soup because I don't like those stringy parts that always come with leeks, ain't that nice? :) I served this with a nice side dish of comforting garlic/Parmesan bread! (I flash froze a bunch of chives before Christmas and they are PERFECT for using in my cooking! Great way to extend the harvest!!)

What's Rain's kitchen without a pizza? :) This is a vegetarian version of my BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Most of the river around the village is covered with snow, only a few spots near the little waterfall are still showing the raging current.

I'll tell ya though, I wouldn't want to be in that water.

I'm still trying to take my daily walks with Charlie despite the deep freeze. She does pretty well with the boots on her! 

My arm injury is healing well (I strained it shoveling snow), I can function very well again despite still being one-armed most of the time; but I'm thankful that I have one good arm! This week we have rain and snow in the forecast, then back to winter by the weekend. Crazy weather!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Do You Believe The Varmint?


Hello Friends! :)

I've been fooling around with the digital art program again. It's fun, but kind of bores me to be honest! I think if I had a proper digital pen it would make things more fun. It's on my wish list for next winter!

Do you believe the Groundhogs today? They didn't see their shadow from what I've read, so that means an early spring. (Except stubborn Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia's Groundhog...HE saw his shadow...and I am planning on moving there eek!)

I often mention that I follow the belief system of my Celtic ancestors. February 2nd is called Imbolc (also called Candlemas). Today is the day halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, traditionally marking the beginning of Spring. Imbolc is the Fire Festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. Though you wouldn't know it in my neck of the woods!

This is what my world looks like today. So if I believe the following weather lore, I have some hope!!

If Candlemas day be sunny and bright, Winter again will show its might.
If Candlemas day be cloudy and grey, Winter soon will pass away.

Some Celtic Lore:

One of the more malevolent creatures in Celtic folklore, the Cailleach, would spend the day of Imbolc collecting firewood for herself if winter was to last a while longer. To do this, she would need a bright and dry day to collect her wood, so if Imbolc was wet and windy, that meant the Cailleach had gone to sleep and winter would soon be over.

Whatever lore you may or may not believe, let's all hope for an early spring! A Blessed Imbolc to those who celebrate! 🌻