Wednesday, 11 July 2018

June Highlights

I'm really behind on this.  Summer is SO busy!

Here is one second everyday for JUNE...

June was end of school year trips and beautiful summer evenings and hay and a new baler and Grady's birthday and strawberry picking and meat birds and 4-H meetings and soccer and cupcakes!

I made this for Sophie's teacher who was retiring....

It's a cupcake cake as a bouquet of flowers.

I also made this for a kindergarten graduation.

And now it's July!

We've had some pretty hot weather and we don't have air conditioning in our house.  So now I have this epic new summer centerpiece for our table.

Yeah.  It was that hot.


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

One second everyday MAY, a Living Room Makeover and Buttercream Flowers

We got a new freezer!

And Jack put the basketball hoop up on the side of the machine shed!

Life is good.

Here is one second everyday for May.....

We had a coyote kill a lamb in the afternoon one day last week.  A neighbour was driving by and saw three coyotes in the field.  They had a lamb cornered.  He yelled at them and they ran but then when Jack took a look thru the field he found a dead lamb and another one had been attacked.  It actually survived.  We had the vet out and he figured that it would probably die.

So now we can't let the sheep over to the greener pasture during the day.  They are disappointed.  I can see it on their faces.

Our library celebrated 40 years with a butterfly release and I made the cake....

with chocolate butterflies.

'Tis the season for anniversaries and bridal showers and FLOWERS....

I gave the farmhouse living room an update.  It had a couch that was from the early 80s.  It was horrible but it did the trick for being a couch.  But then our guests that have stayed several times offered their couch to us.  It is white and leather and totally transformed the space.

BEFORE.  when I didn't really want to take a photo of the space.

AFTER.  I found some old screens in the barn and hung them up.  There are a few other things that I want to add to this arrangement but I can't seem to find the time to get it done right now.  This room also needs white flowy curtains.

I found that quilt in the barn and I stapled it to a frame.

Meat birds arrive tomorrow!


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Lotsa Meat, Basketball and a Bunny

May is nearly gone.

It's been busy.

I went down to the basement yesterday to get some burger out of the freezer.  The freezer that's giant.  The freezer that they didn't attempt to remove from the basement to put in the auction sale before we bought this farm.  The freezer that we believe the house was built around.

I nearly screamed when I opened the door of the freezer.  It had quit working.  The motor was hot. The cord was hot.

What's for supper Mom?


It actually wasn't that bad.  We did have a supper of meat.  But I had caught the freezer just in time before everything had thawed.

I've never cleaned out a freezer so fast in my life!  Luckily we had neighbours that had room in their freezers for the meat that we saved.

It could have been a lot worse.  The house could have burned down.

We had noticed on the weekend that the lights were doing funny flickery things and we couldn't figure it out.  Also the basement door kept opening all by itself....which was rather unusual!  Terry had even Emmett trying to tell us something??

UUUmmmm.....yes.  He actually was!  But we weren't paying attention!

We got a bunny.  Sophie is back in the 4-H Rabbit club and she was offered a bunny to 'borrow' for the summer. 

At least that's the deal that I made. 

She has been making a little agility course for it and getting it ready for the Cobden Fair.  It's gray and it's cute and she named it Ashes.

Basketball is all the rage here right now.  It happened rather quickly one night.  Jack and Lydia were out there using a cooler as the hoop because we don't have one.

And the next day the cooler was pretty much wrecked.  They busted the lid right off it.

And we went to Canadian Tire and bought a hoop.  But it still needs to be put up on the side of the machine shed.  Terry is reminded of this every time he walks in the house.

The sheep were sheared last night.  They are happy.

There have been lots of celebrations....the 50th Anniversary of our local high school.....we are married 21 years.....and the annual river run.

The garden is nearly all planted and so are the fields.

The rhubarb is ready!

4-H and soccer are in full swing.

And there has been cake....


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

A New BBQ on Tuesday

I tried to light the bbq last night but it wouldn't light.  It had had enough.  It was done.  I had been lighting it with a match for quite a long time but it was at its last.

So I went to town for a bbq today.  I looked around for a bit before I decided on one at Canadian Tire.  The guy working there was getting a bbq out of the warehouse for another gentleman while he was getting mine.  So we were both waiting at the cash for the bbqs to arrive.

When they did arrive they were together on a trolley.  I told the cashier that I wasn't buying 2...just one.  The other guy joked and said that I was first so I could actually pay for them both.  Then he got looking at mine and he said that he actually liked mine looked like a much bigger bbq.  He wanted to know the price and I told was actually on sale!

So as he paid for his then I got looking at the size of my box and I thought that that isn't actually going to fit in my car.  I told the guys working there that I thought I had a dilemma and they asked me what type of car I drove and definitely won't fit in my car!

We went ahead outside.  Me, the other guy with the bbq and two guys who were going to load the bbqs.  The other guy had a truck.  The bbq definitely would not fit in my car.  We started to make arrangements that they would take the bbq back in the store and leave it at the front and Terry would pick it up later with the truck.  One of the guys asked were I lived and I said just outside of Douglas....and he wasn't sure where that was but anyways the other guy that bought the other bbq said that he lived just outside of Douglas and that he could deliver it to my house.  We started talking and it turns out that he didn't live far from me at all and he knew exactly where I's the place with all the lambs and calves!  YES!

The two Canadian Tire employees were sort of stunned when I asked them to put my bbq in the guys truck.  The guy that I had just met.  They joked and said to ended up with her bbq afterall!

It was all a little bizarre.

A stranger that I just met drove away with my bbq in the back of his truck and I wasn't even concerned.  It's the Ottawa Valley afterall...

He could have lied to me but he didn't.  He delivered my bbq later this afternoon....just like he said he would.

And now we have to put it together....

It's been quite a day.  I suggested to the girls that we go to the library after supper this evening.  We go to the library once a week....usually on Wednesdays but sometimes on Mondays.  Those are the best times because that's when the library is open.  It's not open on Tuesdays.  We all know that.  That's the way it's always been.  forever.

But the girls agreed that we should go to the library and we went and there were no cars there.  And I said what day is it?....and we all said TUESDAY!  They thought it was Wednesday as well.

And we will try again tomorrow night.

We celebrated First Holy Communion at our parish on Sunday.  I made the cake for the gathering after.

I'm not sure why there are 5 names on one side and 8 on the other.  I was having mental caking breakdowns all weekend.  I also made a Spider-Man cake with the big diamond shaped S symbol on it.  I outlined it in red and then I made the S in yellow and then I got mad....because the S is suppose to be red and the background is yellow.  So I had to scrape it all off and redo it.  It took a whole lot longer than it was suppose too.

And also it wasn't Spider-Man it was Superman. Duh.


Saturday, 28 April 2018

Confirmation, the Mud Room and Flamingos

We have been celebrating!

Spring has finally arrived!

And we had 26 confirmation candidates confirmed at our parish last weekend.  Confirmation is always so special because it means that the bishop comes for a visit.  I was a catechist with the group so I was busy handing out programs at the back of the church and helping people find their family seat....I had put Sophie and Lydia in a pew.  When Mass was about to begin the church was full and their pew was full....and there was no room for me!  I told them that I would get in the pew just a couple of seats behind them but they said WE WANT TO SIT UPSTAIRS!  There is a gallery in our church and it's rarely used...but people were up there on this day and the girls had heard their feet on the steps.  I said...ok...let's go!  And we headed up the stairs.  The girls were thrilled! I didn't realize that they had never been up there!  I still remember the first time that I sat up there when I was a kid.  It was for a funeral.

This little video snippet was taken at the end of the Mass when they were trying to get organized for a group photo.

I made the cake for the gathering at the school after.

And I was asked to make a cake for one of the candidates for their celebration at home.

Sophie got her appliance this week.  It's wired in her mouth and it's a little annoying but she's doing alright with it.

I cleaned out the mud room yesterday.  The room that's not really mud.  This time of year is a nightmare because it's got winter and spring all mixed in.  I flung most of the stuff outside so I could find the floor.  Luckily it was a beauty of a day.  There were rubber boots and lined rubber boots and work boots and old work boots and winter gloves and spring gloves and hockey sticks and skates and vet stuff and winter coats and spring coats and stuff that's too small or all ripped or beyond cleaning.  It's all better now.  And I need to get some new mats.

I made this cake.

Ella was turning sweet sixteen and looking forward to getting her license and she LOVES flamingos.

I was a little worried about how it would all work out.  Sometimes you have an idea in your head but once it gets out on the cake it doesn't quite work but I was happy with this one.

I wasn't too sure about the flamingos.  I'm not too familiar with flamingos....and I've never decorated them on a cake before!  But as I started decorating I couldn't stop thinking about Ella's grandma, Lynn.  She was my 4-H leader back in the day...she was a great lady...and she passed a few years ago with cancer.

Ella's grandpa picked up the cake and when I mentioned about the flamingos he said that Lynn loved flamingos as well....that's where Ella got it from!  I couldn't believe it!  I think Lynn helped me out with this one!  They were all thrilled with the cake.


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Early mornings, Snow and Surprises

The alarm went off this morning.  Terry got up....went downstairs.

I told myself to get up.  JUST GET UP.  Darryl needs a bottle.  Busy day ahead.  Get moving.


I fought with myself.  I felt so tired.

Finally I sat up in bed.  YES.  I can do this.

And I looked over at the clock.


I thought it was 6am.  I thought it was time to get up.

Terry was outside doing his cow checks.

And I spent the next 20 minutes trying to get back to sleep.

When the day did start at 6am and I went out to feed the bottle to Darryl......whose name is really was magical outside.  It was a snowday!  And there was no wind and the air was fresh and all the spring birds were singing.....

It was the second snowday in a row.  The first snowday was an ice day but then it changed over to snow and it snowed all night.

The kids were excited to have another day at home.  I mentioned that it reminded me of homeschooling days.  And they said 'Ya Mom....


Dad's here.  and he was never here when we homeschooled.

And also we live in a different house now.

And also no one is doing school work.'


Ya I guess.  But it's just that no one flushes the toilet and I'm not used to having to check toilets during the it's sorta like the old homeschooling days.

So anyways, I had to take Sophie to her dentist appointment in Ottawa today.  Lydia decided to come too because she figured that she could get lunch out.  And she did.  So the three of us went for the appointment.  This was her third time there.  We pretty much go every week until they get the appliance in her mouth.

So last week the estimate was $1500 and this week the estimate is $7500.

I took a book to read but I couldn't read it because I pretty much just sat there feeling sick, crapping my pants.  She needs 4 baby teeth pulled and an appliance and elastics and braces and pretty much everything else.  And the thought of her going through all this just makes me ill.  And her mouth doesn't even look that's all the stuff they see on the panoramic x-rays and all the 'what ifs' that could happen.

In other news....

The zipper on my barn coat busted and I need a winter coat to wear to the barn.  It doesn't have to be just has to be warm.  I figured that I would have a look at Value Village.  At the coats.

And they are way overpriced.  And really old.

But who owns the money in the pockets of the coats at Value Village?

I'm just asking for a friend.


Thursday, 12 April 2018

Lambs, Cakes and Cookies

It's snowing.  And it's suppose to snow tomorrow and the next day and the next day...

There are over 40 new lambs in the barn!  They are crazy silly.  They jump on their mothers' backs and run laps and hop crazy all over the place.

There were 2 sets of triplets and they were all doing well until we noticed one day that one wee little lamb wasn't getting enough I've been bottle feeding him.  I think his name is Darryl. His brothers names are Darryl and Larry.  Or maybe he's Larry....I can't keep track of it all.  I feed him and give him love and he follows me around outside.

The lambing all went pretty well.  There was only one night that it was minus twenty and the wind was howling and Terry woke me up at 3:30am and said that there were twins on the doormat that needed some help.  They were COLD and wet.  I worked with them for 2 hours...warming them with the hairdryer and talking to them and rubbing them down.  By 5:30am they were drinking some colostrum from a bottle and 7:30am they were back out with their mother.  She accepted them back and they are all good.

We've never had this many lambs this quickly and with the weather so cold we need to keep them all inside.  So we let the ones that haven't lambed yet outside for the day and then bring them in at night.  I'm always keeping an eye on the ones outside because some of them can lamb pretty quick.  I knew that this ewe was going to lamb but I couldn't convince her to come into the barn so I let her lamb her first outside...

and then she followed me in when I was carrying her lamb.  She was still busy cleaning off the first when the second one arrived.  She seems oblivious to the whole thing.

I broke the sac and wiped its nose so it could she wasn't paying much attention to it!

It wasn't long before they were both up and looking for a suck.

And they sucked.  The lambs have sucked and the calves have sucked.  That's all we talk about....that's all we ask each other.....Did it suck?  Reminds me of this post from years  Nothing has changed!

There is no spring yet but I can dream of it with buttercream flowers....

Today I made slice and bake cookies for the first time.  I've been missing out.  These are gourmet amazing!

When Lydia got home she asked if I made cookies and I said yes and she asked if she could have one and I said yes.  And then she said WHERE are they?  And I are looking at them.  And she said those aren't cookies...those are pieces of bread.  But she took one bite and said....can I have two?


I doubled the batch.....and they are disappearing!

The recipe is from Sally's Baking Addiction.  It's here.  They are Salted Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Slice and Bake Cookies and they are yummy!


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

One Second Everyday, Lambs and Snow

Happy Easter!

Happy Spring!

Happy's a Wednesday on a's a snowday!  The yard was drying up so nicely and now it's covered in heavy wet snow.....and we are back to mud.

We had a busy Easter weekend.  We got the eggs dyed....I had to buy some white eggs at the store as our brown eggs don't colour well....

And the lambs started to arrive!  We have 25 now....lots of sets of twins, a few singles and a set of triplets.  We spent lots of time hanging out in the barn.

Lots of middle of the night checks as there are over 50 new calves out there too!

I decorated a couple of cakes for baby showers....

And this is our one second everyday for March....

I received news this morning about The Great Canadian Baking Show audition.  I didn't make the cut and neither did my cousin.  Hoping to hear if some of the others in my group made it.


Monday, 26 March 2018

The Great Canadian Baking Show Audition

March has been a complete whirlwind!  I'm so behind on this little blog.

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day for 2 weeks and did some March breaking in there too.  I will have to post about all of that....but FIRST....

I was invited to audition for The Great Canadian Baking Show last Friday in Toronto!

It took a small village to get me there....literally.....from figuring out how I was actually going to get I was going to get a cake there....

When you text people to ask if they have a plug in cooler for travelling and they want to know what exactly kind of a road trip I'm heading on....

The cooler is for A CAKE....and once word gets out about what's going on I suddenly have a cooler for my cake!

I needed to take a 'signature bake' with me.

I decided to make a chocolate cake.  Actually everyone told me to make a chocolate cake.  I didn't decide that.  I knew it would travel well.

But seriously everyone has had my chocolate cake.  It's been served at community events, bridal showers, weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, church events.....  I recently had a friend use my chocolate cake to entice her students to learn their multiplication facts!

I was thinking of filling it with my homemade butterscotch sauce but then I quickly realized that it would be all absorbed in the cake by the time it was served and the butterscotch sauce would have disappeared and it would look like a lie.  So I made a homemade raspberry filling instead.

This creation had to represent 'me' so I decided to top it with all the things that I make all the time.

First up....oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  These are a staple in my house.  Also, I grew up with these.  My mom was always making cookies.  Always.  And now....I'm always making them.  I'm the mom that takes 600 cookies to the 4-H Banquet!

Then I made a mini version of my butter tarts.  I used to sell pies and tarts at our local farmers' market.  The butter tarts would always sell out.  I would make two versions....plain and coconut/pecan.  I did both kinds for this cake as well.

And then....nanaimo bars.  They are my absolute favourite.  My weakness.  When I first got the audition invitation I thought....NANAIMO BARS!!  That's what I will make!  And then I thought....duh?? can't take a no bake square to a baking audition!  I knew I had to incorporate them somehow into my bake.  They are near and dear to my heart.  I believe nanaimo bars were my Grandma Helferty's favourite as well.  She was known for her baking.  I've been told that if you were ever invited to her place for didn't matter what she made for were waiting to see what she had made for dessert!  Unfortunately she was killed in a car accident when I was only 9 years old.  We found a container of nanaimo bars in her freezer a couple of weeks after.  I remember eating them knowing that she was no longer here to make us more.  So I learned how to make them and I have taught my kids how to make them.

I wanted to display some of my piping skills on the cake so I made some roses and flowers for the top and then I freehand 'doodled' on the sides.  I had a really hard time deciding whether to doodle with all different colours or just with white.  I eventually decided to do a ombre green underneath and then just doodle in white on top.

I had to add a wee bit of farm to the whole thing so I asked Terry to bring me in some barbwire.  He made it into a circle for me to put around the base of the cake and I made a few burlap roses to attach onto it.  He sawed me a piece of old barn board to set the finished cake on.

Then I packed it all in the plug in cooler and headed to The Big Smoke.  My sister-in-law Cecilia drove me.  We left on Thursday at 6pm and drove as far as Bowmanville.  We stayed in a motel for the night.

Then we headed to the audition in the morning at Cirillo's Culinary Academy.  I was a combination of nerves and excitement!

When I arrived, the group before us was leaving and amongst them was my cousin.  What are the chances of cousins both being selected for auditions?  That's pretty neat!

Seeing all the amazing creations coming through the door was incredible!  There was some paperwork to fill out and time to chat with others in the waiting area.  They let us know that we were some of the 90 chosen out of over a 1000 applications in the Toronto area.  I don't consider myself from the Toronto area so I spoke up and said that it must be for Ontario....yes? it took me 5 hours to get here!  I was asked...Where are you from??  And I responded with....'Up in the Ottawa Valley'.

And a gentleman quickly said "Where exactly in the Ottawa Valley are you from?"  And I said....'um, Douglas'...???  Like how could he possibly know where that was.

And he grinned and just said 'The Diddley'.

I nearly fell off my chair!  You have to be from the Valley to know that the Tavern is called The Diddley!  I asked him who he was and where he was from.

He grew up in Renfrew and we know a lot of the same people!  I can't reveal who he was as he went there under complete secret and he doesn't want anyone to know!  So funny....

So anyways,  we all had photos take of our signature bakes in the 'light box'.  I really need one of those.

And then we had photos of ourselves taken as well.

There were about 15 people in my group.  As we did our technical bake, we were interviewed by several different people.  We also had the chance to chat with the other bakers....and make some new friends!  It was a whole lot of fun!

And that was it.  I was home by 6pm.  I was only away 24 hours!

And now it's back to the reality of maple syrup.....

and cows calving...there are already 31 new calves now with one set of twins.....

....and baking more cakes!


Thursday, 8 March 2018

7 Years and a Yin Yang Cake

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The snow all melted and now it's snowing again.  It doesn't much bother me because it's March and it's not really cold out and it's all just going to melt anyway.  eventually.

And it's beginning to look like St. Paddy's....

Lydia looks like she's totally wired.  I kept telling her to open her she opened them.

It was green day at school today because March break starts tomorrow and they are never in school for the actual St. Patrick's day.

Facebook reminded me this morning of what they looked like 7 years ago.

Help my heart.

They have been practising their step dancing all week as the festivities start on Saturday!

I made this cake on the weekend.

I just drew it on free hand with the piping bag.  There are lots of mistakes!