Monday, 27 February 2017

Old Drawers, Paper Plates, A Birthday and Cakes

I have been really busy with cakes the last couple of weekends.



And we gutted the kitchen at the farmhouse....the farmhouse that we rent out.  The kitchen was really dated and so was the floor.  We are moving the cupboards from the house that we used to live in over there.  We just moved in December to Emmett's.



So I have cleaned out a lot of cupboards and closets in the last few month.  Purging.  It's great.



I had a whole load of stuff to take to the Sally Ann but I was out of boxes so I just packed all the stuff in all the old kitchen drawers that we didn't need anymore.  The lady at the Sally Ann was thrilled with all the stuff that I was bringing in...and then she said 'won't you need your drawers back dear?'.  I told her 'no'...actually she can have those too....so long as that was okay.  She said it was.



They accept old kitchen drawers at the Sally Ann.




I remember quite a few years ago I had been cleaning and purging and I had bags of garbage and bags for the Sally Ann...lots of clothes that the kids had outgrown...and they were all sitting by the door.  Grady was about 8 years old at the time and he was helping Terry load the garbage for the dump and I told him which bags were which.  There was quite a few bags for the Sally Ann that day and he said 'WHO is Sally Ann...and HOW many kids does she have?'

It was funny.


So with working on the farmhouse and doing cakes and all the rest of life going on....I was feeling a little tired the other night when I was putting the homemade pizza in the oven for supper.  I thought...I'm sure I saw a big stack of paper plates somewhere....I will use paper plates tonight!  But as the pizza baked I was trying to figure out where I had seen that big stack of paper plates.  Was it at the old house....at the farmhouse?  I couldn't figure it out.  I actually think it was a dream.  A whole bunch of paper plates.  That's what I dream about. 

We used the regular plates.  The paper plates were only a dream.


This girl turned 19 on Friday.


And it was a snow day.  It was a snow day on her birthday last year too! Only it didn't snow this year.  There was a freezing rain warning.  Only I don't remember it freezing rain either.

And I had a whole bunch of cakes to decorate.

And by the time I got to Johanna's cake I was worn out...and there was lots of leftover icing from the other cakes.  So I mixed all the different coloured icing up and asked Sophie and Lydia to decorate it for me!


She ended up with a sort a ugly coloured purple green cake...but the decorating was fabulous! She didn't care much about the cake because she got to have a party with friends in the garage.


Brenda

Friday, 24 February 2017

Square Dancing

Sophie is old enough to join 4-H this year!

She has been going to the Square dancing club every Friday night for the last 6 weeks and on Friday night they had their achievement.  All the parents and grandparents and neighbours were invited to see these kids dance.



She was in a square with all girls....she actually had to be 'a boy'....and she didn't mind a bit!  These girls were fun!  What is it with boys not wanting to come and square dance with all these lovely ladies??  One day they will be wishing that they did!


After they put on their show then they invited all the guests to join in.  She grabbed her Dad.  So sweet to watch them dancing together.





Brenda

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Family Day Weekend

We celebrated Family Day last weekend.  I love family day weekend.  It's one of those holidays that you don't have to worry about gifts or decorations or food.

Just grab some hot dogs and marshmallows and drinks and go to the bush and build a fire.

We did this on Sunday with friends....it was another sleigh ride day...



I brought along a bag of homemade cookies and when I got them out, Sophie asked if I had brought the icing.  Yes.  Icing.  My kids think that you can't eat cookies without icing.  Someone overheard and said..ya? icing?  did you bring it?  I explained that it's all the icing leftover from decorating cakes...all different colours in one container.  It's not really very pretty.  They said...so?  we would have ate it.  No. sorry.  I didn't bring the icing!  The cookies all disappeared anyways without the icing being there!

Then again on Monday we had another fire with just ourselves.

That's the way we celebrate family day.....taking some time to build a fire and eat hot dogs and marshmallows.






Only the kids have really grown.  Before they used to jump in front of me yelling 'take my picture' 'MOM...take my picture of me doing this'.

They don't do that anymore.  Now they look at me funny...why is she taking pictures of us?

Just trying to capture the memories.

These two will still pose for me....



Brenda

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

St. Valentine's, Marshmallow Igloos and a Doodle Cake

It's St. Valentine's Day!

We are huge celebrators of this day.  HUGE.  Just kidding.

I overheard a conversation last week...

What day is Valentine's Day this year?

I think it's the 14th.

I think that's the same as last year.

I think it's always on the 14th.

Yes....smart little cookies.  They got it.

At breakfast the smorning Jack asked me when Valentine's day was.  I said it was today.  He said oh.

So yeah....we don't really go all out on this one.

But I love going through all the little valentines that the girls collected at school.  Especially Lydia's because she brought home some that didn't even belong to her!  I showed her that some of these aren't actually hers...and she just said that it didn't really much matter.  I guess.

We had a snowday yesterday and we did this....


You have no idea how long it took to set that up!  They just all kept falling down and we'd try it again.


The Annual Douglas Frosty Fun was on the weekend.  So much good community fun!  I went out on Saturday and told them that I wanted to help out....I was willing to do anything.  They put me at the edible craft table!  YES! YES! YES!

I had so much fun helping kids make these....


MARSHMALLOW IGLOOS!

We also made snowmen and inukshuks out of big marshmallows and licorice and toothpicks.

I made another doodle cake on the weekend.


They requested 'purple....do whatever you want'.


So this is what I did.  I just doodled.




Brenda

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Some Small Miracles

The sun is out the smorning!

We haven't hardly seen it in the last month.  Things were starting to feel droopy....


Without the sun, the snow couldn't even melt off the barn right.  It just slowly fell off...this was a few weeks ago.  We were all just hanging on...waiting to see the sun again.


Things were so dark day after day....but now the sun it here!

It's a small miracle.

The other morning I was washing the eggs....like I do every morning.  One had a really bad crack.  Sometimes I salvage it if it has a crack and put it in a bowl in the fridge with other cracked eggs.  But this one was pretty bad.  And usually I just put it in the compost pail....and move along with washing the next egg.  But I suddenly felt the urge to throw that egg outside.

I went to the doorway and I decided I was going to whip that egg as hard as I could.  Just see how powerful I could throw that egg.  That egg was going to go places. 

And as soon as I released that egg I heard that dreaded noise.  The noise of it hitting the top of the door frame. 

Oh. my. gawd.

Is that egg going to come right down on my head?  It was only milli of milli seconds it all happened and I squinted my eggs....threw my arms over my head....and braced myself for the worse.

And then I heard it land.  On the ground.  Just outside where everyone walks.

It was a small miracle.

It had ricocheted off of the top of the door frame and went out...not down!

I could just hear Terry saying....did you drop an egg?

Ya. That's it.

But he didn't mention anything about the egg.  Maybe it snowed on it.  Maybe the dog ate it.

Another small miracle.

So I cooked this 30 pound turkey on Sunday.  We had been given it as a 'thank you' gift at Christmas time but I just hadn't gotten around to cooking it....and it was taking up a lot of space in the freezer!


It was massive.  We invited my parents over for supper but we could have invited all of Douglas.


It was ridiculously delicious but there was so much meat.  So many leftovers.

I made a huge pot of soup on Monday and yesterday I made 4 turkey pies and put them in the freezer.  And now there is just one container of turkey to eat up.

And when the kids came home from school yesterday and they looked in the fridge for something to eat and saw that most of the turkey was gone....I think that they were thinking....

That's one small miracle.

Because they were tired of eating turkey!

Brenda

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A Surprise Lamb!

Farming is so unpredictable.  You never know what is going to happen.  Animals are unpredictable.

I actually thrive on this.  I'm always ready for anything.  at any time.

We keep the hens on one side of the new horse stable and bring the horses in to be in their stalls on the other side.  It works well in the winter time because the hens need to be warm to lay eggs and the horses like to be in for the night.  We let them out during the day.

So the other morning I opened the door to go in and feed the hens and gather the eggs....when I was suddenly face to face with Pearl.  Not really face to face....she is way bigger than me!....but there she was ready to go outside.  She had broken her clasp and she was on the move!  And by the look of the alleyway of the stable she had had some fun with the bale of straw that had been left there.  It was scattered everywhere.  I just took a hold of her halter and led her to the yard.

A couple of days later I went to feed the sheep and one was stuck with its head between the rails.  It was stuck pretty bad and I tried to help it but I couldn't get her to move her head in the direction it needed to go.  I knew she was still okay as she was chewing her cud.  I don't think she had been in that position for very long.  I called Terry and luckily he wasn't very far away....on a tractor....and he came to the rescue.  We got her head unstuck and she just sort of shook it off....she was fine.  I told her not to do that again!

Last Friday the kids had a PD day....home from school.  I figured that I could put off going outside first thing....as Jack was home and he could feed the sheep.  After all....he is the shepherd....he knows those sheep way better than me.  But he had just went out when he came back in....

Mom....there is a lamb out there.  And she might be having another one.

Say what?  A lamb?  Today?  Now?

Lambs aren't suppose to start to arrive until March.  This was totally unexpected.  She isn't even in a warm barn....and we all know that a cold lamb is a dead lamb.  She didn't even bag up.

I immediately put on my winter stuff and got outside.

And it was decided that the lamb needed to come in....to the house.

I gave it the total spa treatment with my handy dandy hair dryer.  It was pretty wet as the mom really had no interest in licking it off.


Jack told me that this ewe didn't have enough milk last year for her lambs.  Great.

And she wasn't having a second lamb out there.  It was just afterbirth.  Now that's actually great.


I made up a bottle of colostrum for it to drink. Then it was warm and comfortable and full.  It had a little sleep and then when it woke up it was ready to dance....all over the house.  It didn't matter how big the box was...it was getting out!


I convince the kids that it had to go back outside.  We moved the mom ewe up into a stall in the warm horse stable.  We would put them together even though she probably doesn't have milk....and hopefully she wouldn't completely reject it and be mean to it!

I couldn't handle a lamb being in the house for much longer....I had planned to bake the six cakes for the rainbow surprise inside cake early that morning.  Now the floors needed to be scrubbed!

When we reunited them, they settled in nicely and the mom was happy to have it's baby back.  She doesn't have enough milk....I've been feeding it a bottle at least a couple of times a day.  And it's doing well.

And what will happen today?......I have no idea!

Brenda



Monday, 6 February 2017

Busy Baking...

I've been busy baking.

I bought a swirl colour 3 coupler set made by Wilton....at Michael's.  I saw the price and thought....that's twice the price that it's worth...but I had a 55% off coupon so I figured that I was good.  Until I got to the cash and was told that I couldn't use the coupon because all the baking supplies were on sale for 30% off.  You sly dog Michael's.  I still got a discount.  But I paid more than I expected.  Then I was in Canadian Tire and they had the same product...only the price was cheaper than the 30% off price I paid at Michael's.

I'm learning.

Anyway....I had some fun with it...thinking ahead to Valentine's Day...


And then I had leftover icing and another cake so I did this...


I had left the decorated cakes on the counter and I overheard the girls asking...who are these for??  And then the comment....she put them on our own plates...they must be for us!!  They were thrilled.  It isn't very often that they eat a decorated cake!

I made this very tall cake for a 10 year old loves cats and rainbows and the colour blue...


It was a surprise inside rainbow cake....6 different coloured cakes all stacked up on top of each other! 


This Cinderella cake was for a special 5 year old.  She had an amazing Cinderella party....


I actually didn't really plan this cake out before I started decorating and I really like how it turned out!


It's all those little details that are so important....




I haven't baked up some pies in a few weeks and it was good to get that rolling pin out again!  I was asked to donate a couple for a live auction celebrating over 100 years of Junior Farmers in Renfrew County.


The last time I donated pies to a live auction they sold for $2400 and $2000!  I believe that that was a once in a lifetime event.  I actually didn't think a whole lot about it but then someone told me that it was really quite remarkable....something I could one day tell my grandchildren.  It is pretty amazing that someone would pay that for one of my pies!...even though I know that they are really just supporting the person or organization that the money is going to.  Live auctions are always fun...and everyone seems to love pie.  I'm thrilled that my little donation can go a long way in helping someone out.

Brenda