Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween


I don’t remember this Halloween but I do remember that Mom made my costume from some old drapes, or maybe they were samples from her father’s furniture store.


No costumes for us this year though – we don’t even get any kids this far out in the country. We don’t even buy any candy anymore (unless we want our own stash).

Food Freedom Day

Today is the last day of food freedom for a few months. That’s right, I’m back on the Eat 2 Live 6 week plan for at least 6 weeks. Some of the weight I lost last winter has crept back this summer, so…

As a last hurrah we had company for supper on Saturday night, and then went to friends for supper last night.

20111029_Joellen-don_001Jo Ellen – note the Transformer on the counter 20111029_Joellen-don_002and Don the bearer of tempting gadgets


Sunday night Trudie created a real feast for us with venison, home made pasta with a seafood pesto sauce, roasted vegetables, shrimp, and a lovely dessert. I was SO STUFFED that I wished I had worn my bigger jeans! Diet advice often advises to wear tighter fitting clothes to make you more aware of eating too much – I supposed it worked in that I was aware, but it sure didn’t slow me down!


Today we thought of having pancakes for breakfast mainly to try out the homemade maple syrup that Trudie sent home with us but guess what – we were still too full from supper last night!

The website for Eat to Live had a good post a few weeks ago on why certain foods are good for us and how they act on our bodies.  See article here. It is a good reminder that what we eat does more than just fuel the body with calories. We can either help ourselves to stay healthy by eating the right foods or we can just blame fate. 


Saturday night Don brought over his new toy, an  Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 – I immediately fell in love (with the transformer not Don). It is both a netbook with a nice keyboard and then whoosh, the screen releases from the keyboard leaving a tablet with a touch screen. Sweet. It runs Android, is Wi-Fi enabled, and is basically everything I was looking for, except it’s not a phone, nor is it 3G or 4G enabled. But since the smartphone I’ll be getting is able to be a Wi-Fi hotspot we’ll have it all covered. Hopefully Black Friday comes along soon so that we can go shopping :-)


All these devices though leaves me with a question – how can I best integrate the data that I want shared across devices? Are there some programs that I run now that might be replaced by something that lives on both windows and android and that can run in the cloud? I hate double entry and am already doing enough due to coordinating between programs that do not talk to each other – not one program will do everything that I want and by moving to three devices I’ll be complicating things something fierce! Maybe the Google Docs & Calendar will be my answer – I’ll have to give up on some of the best of breed functionality that I get with my suite of windows products… more analysis required!


Spike after a bath – he was muddy from head to toe after playing by the pond!


Happy Tails Trails!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another Retiree Joins the Ranks Of the Deliriously Happy

From all my happy talk about retirement you would think that I had a horrible job but that wasn’t actually the case. For the most part I enjoyed working and believed in what I was doing. Data Management / Database Design was one way that I described to people what I was doing. It’s close enough but not 100% accurate. Firstly, I was responsible technically for Rochade, a data dictionary/repository. And then I helped the developers to design their data structures in a way that minimized redundancy and maximised for flexibility and reportability. And then I nagged them to create documentation for these data structures so that they could be entered into Rochade. All pretty boring and incomprehensible for anyone not in the field for sure. At times I did feel that there was no real meaning in what I did, after all I wasn’t saving anyone’s life, but I was saving taxpayers dollars – I think/hope.

I had a wonderful time yesterday attending a friend/ex co-worker’s retirement lunch. It was fun to see my old co-workers although they might not have been as happy to see my grinning from ear to ear happy to be retired face!  Chris, Bernard, Jo Ellen and myself were coffee mates, sharing a roasted brew every morning at 8am for years and years. We first lost Bernard 3 years ago, then it was my turn almost 1 year ago (already!) and now with Chris gone it is just a lonely Jo Ellen. She’ll probably follow us pretty soon. 

20111028_church_001church downtown near the old office




20111028_dogs_006When we got home the dogs were wild with joy – they aren’t used to us being away anymore and I think they man (or should I say dog) the window to watch for our return. I wonder if they think we’ve gone away forever?





After some wild running around Spike crashed with his toys.






We had a night of minus 7C so we are really glad that we got the trailer winterized and emptied of freezable stuff. It is supposed to be warm in a few days so we’ll unload all our clothes and linens just in case there are mice (although there are several traps set up).

Last night we watched a really good program about George Harrison’s life. He was an interesting guy with talent in so many fields. One clip showed the Travelling Wilburys recording a song – I didn’t realize that Roy Orbison was part of the group, but it made me want to dig up a few of his songs.

Today we are running around cleaning up the house (a bit) and getting supper ready in the crockpot (Butternut Squash Risotto) cause we are having company over for supper :-) Jo Ellen and Don should be here around 4:30 so we’ll have lots of time for a good jaw before supper is ready. 


Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.
Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No More Leaks

We’ve had a busy week! No time for sketching practice. No time for the treadmill. Lots of time for eating bad food…

Monday night we went to the racetrack with our neighbours Trudy & Leo for the $9.99 buffet. We’ve never been so thought we would check it out before the weather turns snowy (perish the thought). It was a pretty decent deal – the food was standard buffet fare with a roast beef and roast pork as well as a few fish and chicken dishes.

When we “joined” a few weeks ago for the $1.99 breakfast (remember the RV Sale) they included a $10.00 certificate for the Casino so after supper we headed into the labyrinth of noisy slot machines. It felt like entering another world – glitzy, but somehow seedy as well. People were tethered to the slot machines with little green, blue or yellow umbilical's feeding them dollar bills and pressing a little button. Aside from the bing and ring of the machines it was eerily quiet – people weren’t laughing and joking and generally having fun – it was very serious stuff. I just didn’t get it. Maybe if we had not lost all of our $10.00 we would have been hooked, but luckily we did so we were out of there with no money lost.

We picked up the camper from BGM Auto body the other day – three leaks found and all fixed. It just goes to show that having this test done on a regular basis is a good thing. They found one leak around the door, one around the propane compartment and a third around the water cover. They were all small leaks that had done no damage, but if we had let them go, who knows what damage they may have done?


We got the camper winterized. Hopefully we got all the spots but I think we did. We even learned a new spot from Brian at BGM. Did you know that behind the screen of the freshwater hook-up there is a little valve that needs to be winterized? Neither did we, but it’s done for this year. 

We went into town Wednesday for some appointments and also to check out the smart phones. After much research and reading of reviews I had it narrowed down to 2 phones only one of which had a working demo phone at the Rogers store. And as it turns out both are only 3.5G, not true 4G for the LTE network. Since LTE is being rolled out in our area we’ve decided to wait. Speaking of reviews though, many of them don’t even mention the call quality! They go on about whether it’s dual core, blah de blah blah, but don’t even say if it makes a decent phone call. I did come across one site that mentioned it, but unfortunately the phone I was most interested in got a poor grade. I went through so many reviews it got confusing one would review the Samsung with glowing marks, while the next one found all sorts of flaws…

Meanwhile, I’m collecting information about which apps I might like – that’s going to be the fun part for me. Hopefully I can get really good at typing on the thing cause I’d like it to make notes of stuff I think about that I want to write about later. Today we had friends (Bruce and Tina) over for lunch – other retirees ;-)  We can do things like lunch entertaining on a weekday – what a concept!

I liked the quote below – it’s what I try to do everyday, and while I may forget at times, it helps me to have an appreciation for the little moments in life. So my pleasures for the last few days: getting the trailer backed into the laneway almost perfectly ; every time I walk into the camper I get a wave of pleasure – it’s just so homey and ours ; seeing beautiful white mushrooms all nestled into their package ; visiting with friends ; eating the crisp side of a biscuit (they turned out really well today) ; not a pleasure at all – emptying the camper of all the food and other stuff that can freeze – it’s all ready for freezing weather now, tomorrow or Saturday we’ll take out the clothes and linens – mousetraps are also installed…


My uncle Alex Vonnegut, a Harvard-educated life insurance salesman who lived at 5033 North Pennsylvania Street, taught me something very important.
He said that when things were really going well we should be sure to NOTICE it. He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: maybe drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade, or smelling the aroma of a nearby bakery; or fishing, and not caring if we catch anything or not, or hearing somebody all alone playing a piano really well in the house next door.
Uncle Alex urged me to say this out loud during such epiphanies: "If this isn't nice, what is?"

Kurt Vonnegut    American Author

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Are You Reading Too Much

I came across this blog post today “Are you reading too much?”. It poses an interesting question and made some good points. And brings up the irony that I am probably reading too much otherwise I wouldn’t have come across it!

Today I spent much of my computer time investigating Smartphones. We are thinking that now might be the time to make the technology leap. In some ways it is surprising that I don’t already have one as I am most certainly a gadgetteer!

I think I’m going to go with an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S Infuse 4G), but haven’t totally ruled out an iPhone. Any suggestions?

Last night we had a great  supper at my Mom & Dad’s. There was ice cream and birthday cake, as well as presents. 

20111022_mom-dads_014 20111022_mom-dads_011

And to make it a more special evening Olaf and Tammy called on Skype and made a surprising announcement – I’m going to be an Auntie again :-)  It’s too bad that they are on the other side of the world though :-(   


We got outside for a bit today – it was cloudy on our way out the door, but by the time we got to the field there was sunshine – lovely.



Some repairs to the fence.




That’s enough for now – I have to pull the keys off my keyboard as I have some sticking keys which makes it a devil to type :-(

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Full Larder

I  was standing at the kitchen counter today cleaning up roasted red peppers, it’s not my favourite job but I was filled by such as sense of peace and contentment. I didn’t feel rushed like I did when I was working, but could instead just enjoy the process. I’ve always had a sense of… humm I can’t think of the right word… but when I’m doing things like baking bread, preserving food and often when cooking as well - it feels good – maybe like pioneers must have felt when they had a full larder.

Retirement is good.

Pleasures? Eating some freshly cut sweet juicy pineapple ; watching the dogs run for their crates as suppertime – on your mark, get set, GO! ; screwing a few of the legs of the screen shelter to the deck – it was very satisfying feeling the screw grab into the wood ; smelling the red peppers roasting on the bbq ; still eating the occasional tomato salad – last night’s might have been the last though – and darn, I bought some basil and forgot to use it ;

The list didn’t do me too much good today – I got caught up in my scrapbook software… but that’s okay ;-)

2011 Memories 2-009

2011 Memories 2-010

It’s Jeff Goldblum’s birthday today – normally I wouldn’t mention a celebrity but there’s a story … At our morning coffee break (in the olden working days) we had a list of names that we would repeat, usually because all 4 of us had tried to remember their name but had to resort to goggle. I’m sure you’ve all been down this road - “remember that guy, you know, the one that was in that movie…”. So we had a list of half a dozen or more names: Francis Gary Powers, Marisa Tomei, Jeff Goldblum, and here’s how bad my memory is – I can’t remember the rest, or even if there were any more!

I, uh, don't think I'm, y'know, so different than your average, y'know, average.
Jeff Goldblum

Friday, October 21, 2011

Burps from Bubbles

We ended up picking up a couple of t-bone steaks yesterday so of course as soon as we got home a bottle of bubbles was put in the fridge. I don’t know what it was about this one but it went straight to my head and also gave me lots of burps – oh my. At one point I had the slightly tipsy realization, “Here we are drinking bubbles and tomorrow is a work day” - we both had a good laugh :-)


I’ve been thinking (not very seriously) of getting a new camera. I’m not always happy with the quality of the photos that my current one takes (Cannon Powershot SD940IS), although it is so nice and small that I have it with me almost all the time. The woman who writes Me and My Dog blog just got a new one that seems to take great photos (Nikon Coolpix S9100). She got it at Costco in the states but I don’t see it on the Canadian site. Hers has an 18x zoom, but the closest model at Costco has a 10x zoom, which I guess might be good enough. Here is a review of the S9100 from Steve’s Digicam. Maybe her photos look so much better than mine because she’s in all these great locations?


Try # 2, not any better, maybe even worse. I’ll keep trying though!

Pleasures? Aside from the bubbles - Looking at the big pile of fresh produce on the kitchen counter. Two big bags of peppers ready to be blackened and peeled, two pineapples, one ready to cut up today, lots of tomatoes, two huge butternut squash – I see  a squash risotto in our future, a few pears and oranges, a couple of sweet onions, some hot peppers, bananas (always bananas) and a big bag of white kidney beans – lots of healthy eating. ; getting a bit of clean up done in the basement – I now have a huge pile of magazines and really ancient books for recycle plus two shopping bags of horse magazines for a friend – I’m not finished by any means but even one step forward is a step in the right direction (and I crossed another thing off my task list – maybe it is working!). ; looking at the evening sky as it goes pink and beautiful – the photo is from the gate looking across the road. ;


Happy Trails!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Big Wind

The howling wind woke us up several times in the night – it seemed that the house might blow down around us! I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be in a tornado or hurricane and hope never to find out. When we looked out this morning we could see things from the deck tossed around the yard as if they were just toys. Even the empty frame for the shade tent was pushed off the deck. There were some branches down from trees, but nothing major. My first thought was for my friend Ruth who’s house was crushed by a large tree last  year – I hope everything is all right with them.

I checked my blog yesterday and saw that I have a new follower – Levonne (her blog is here). She and her husband were full-timing in Sunny California (what a dream!) but are now thinking about putting down roots, at least temporarily. I plan to read past entries in her blog to get a feeling for what California must be like. I envy people who can just up and go…. I’ve found that I am very much a homebody but hope to overcome that soon so that I can shake some of the dust off my heels!

I’ve been having trouble getting things done lately – I either can’t think of what to do, or I just don’t get motivated to get up and do it. So the other day I downloaded a new gadget for my Windows 7 desktop. It’s a task list that sits right on the desktop, easily seen and easily updatable. I’ve only had it a few days so I’m not so sure how much it’s going to actually help, but I do like computer bits and bobs, plus it is so satisfying to cross things off! It has gotten me onto the treadmill a few times so I guess that’s a success eh! And I crossed off 4 things today, sure some were easy but still.

When I’m on the treadmill I come up with all sorts of blog ideas and insights but I never remember them later – I wonder if I could take notes while I’m walking? Oh, here’s one insight, treadmill time is not the best time to practice mindfulness! Instead, if you want the time to fly, fire up the mp3 player and get the brain working on some problem or another.

See below for the result of persistence – day 3 of Sketching (lesson 5, part 1 – pitcher). I’ve made a commitment to myself that no matter how bad I am I’m just going to keep at it. At least people reading the blog can feel superior and laugh at my childish efforts  :-) Don’t worry, my feelings won’t be hurt!


Pleasures? The smell of fallen leaves in the fall, such a sweet smell that evokes pumpkins, turkey and other warm things ; buying beautiful big lemons ; the warm taste of lemony lentil soup – perfect on a cool fall day ; getting one thing done off my checklist ; the frugal feeling I get when I buy something for a really good deal – even something like salad dressing for 0.69 feels like a good deal and makes me feel virtuous – even if I may not have needed the item – dooh ; the golden colour of the vegetation around the pond as the sky to the west clears to let some of the low, late afternoon sun shine through. It almost looks like it’s glowing ; scoring some bits of meat for the dogs out of the discount bin at the grocery store ; checking out a little fabric store in a nearby town that we normally just drive through – I got some cotton  yarn that I’ll use to crochet some dish cloths ; thinking about Tommy Douglas on his birthday – he was instrumental in implementing universal health care in Canada. Because of this I was able to get the treatment that I needed when I was first ill without worrying about how it would get paid for. I saw a doctor once a week for three years without the additional worry of how it would get paid for. I now get regular blood work done and see my dr. on a regular schedule without fearing that my insurance company will drop me. That peace of mind is worth so much and should not be taken for granted. Thank you.

Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world.
Tommy Douglas

I've no patience with people who want to sit back and talk about a blueprint for society and do nothing about it.
Tommy Douglas

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lunch with Meryle

Today I had lunch with my Mom and Meryle. We spent a few hours gabbing about families and other such matters – it was really great :-)


The trailer went in today for it’s bi-annual leak test. We learned to do this the hard way… The spring after we purchased the current trailer we noticed a bulge on the curb side… further investigation revealed delamination. A leak test showed that a window seal had come undone. Luckily we have a top-notch repair place nearby but $ouch! After that we vowed to have this test done on a regular basis. We’ll find out the results tomorrow.

I finished reading “The Edible Woman” this afternoon. I’m so glad that I read it again, it was so worth it. It was one of those books that I feel like reading again just as I finish the last page. I haven’t read any other books by Margaret Atwood but I’m sure the library must have others. I’m not a mystery or adventure reader, I like to read books about people and their experiences. The last two books, both by Canadian authoresses have been right up my alley.

More work on my scrapbook – gosh I can get so caught up with this. I like that I can add text into the pages. There are places that you can get your albums printed into books for quite reasonable prices – that’s my goal. I used to spend huge amounts of money printing before digital cameras, but since then I rarely print anything. I still go back to my old photo albums every now and again and would like to do the same with the photos from the last few years…

2011 Memories 2-001


In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
John Muir

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Christina’s 50th Birthday Party

It was my friend Christina’s birthday party today and what a party it was. She and her husband are dairy farmers and since many of their friends and relatives are also farmers she had her party in the middle of the day on a Sunday so that everyone could attend. There were at least 70 people of all ages, many of them immigrants from Switzerland.

I met Christina many years ago when I had Dora boarded at Twin Pines. Christina took lessons there and since I didn’t ride Dora as often as I should I asked Christina to ride her as well. After Dora came home to live we kept in touch but didn’t get to see each other very often – our schedules just didn’t mesh. However, when I got sick and was home for 6 months she came and visited with me once a week. It was exactly the kind of social contact that I needed (thanks Christina). After that we have managed to keep a somewhat regular schedule of coffee’s. Sure life interferes quite often but we still keep in touch, even if it is just email during the busy times. And hopefully she knows that I’ll always lend an ear ;-)

Hans had cleaned out the machine shed (hardly a shed, more like a mansion) to make room for plenty of tables and chairs. They had decorated nicely with a fall theme.

At 1pm the centerpiece of lunch arrived – a roasted pig. Oh my what a tasty beast it was – I don’t think I’ve ever had such tender meat. There were tons of salads and sides, not to mention desserts – all of Christina’s friends had contributed to the meal – yummy!


We had a lovely time, meeting new people and renewing acquaintances with others we had briefly met before. It was so interesting to talk to people with such a different background from us. We normally “hang around” with IT geeks, but today the company was mainly farmers (such a refreshing change!). In many ways it reminded me of branding gatherings that I attended as a child out west – I felt strangely at home.

The ladies all pitched in arranging food and dishes, cleaning up and washing the next round of dishes. Little girls with blonde hair and braids giggled in the kitchen with dish towels in their hands. Men stood in clusters, talking politics, crops and other such topics. Some of the talk was about how this current generation doesn’t appreciate what they have and want instant gratification. One older gentleman who had done a lot of hard work over the years (it showed in his work roughened hands) laughed when we asked if the younger generation knew the same hardships.

When we got home I took the dogs out to the field for a run. They went crazy running in circles. I will never tire of watching them run and have fun – the unbridled joy is infectious.






Saturday, October 15, 2011

Glassware Where?

Last night we had a lovely supper with Kari, Trevor and Meryl. Kari is 5 years younger than me, but is my Aunt! Meryl is my grandmother by marriage – step-grandmother I guess that is. We were lucky enough to have Kari and her husband Trevor move to our end of the country a few years ago. Since the mid 70’s we’ve lived in Ontario while the bulk of our relatives are in Alberta – so it has been nice having some family nearby.


Kari brought over a birthday present, some lovely glasses and a pitcher all packed in a lovely basket. She is an amazing present giver putting my attempts at reciprocation to shame. The funny thing is, just the other day I was thinking to myself that I would like some new glasses, I’ve had the old ones for almost 20 years (oh my, no wonder I was getting bored with them!). Thanks Aunty Kari ;-)


But now I had the troublesome task of finding somewhere to put them… unlike Mother Hubbard my cupboards are far from bare. I ended up taking out some of the old ones and will pack them up in the basement. I won’t get rid of them as I still do like them… I think I’ll designate one of the storage room shelves for stuff to rotate into and out of use. One of the blogs I read is called “I’m An Organizing Junkie” – her name is Laura but that’s where the similarity ends… she’s really good at organizing her home.

Pleasures: the smell of roasted red peppers and related to that, putting up (freezing) a huge pile of peppers to warm our tummies in the long winter ; seeing all the bright red “burning bushes”(?) gracing people’s front gardens ; cleaning a spot in the kitchen cupboard for new glasses and then using one with ice water and lemon juice with my lunch ;

20111015_sketch_001Sketch practice day #2… a cauliflower that I grew tired of filling in (so many squiggles) so I chopped the top off and planted a few flowers (very doodly flowers) into its crown. Next time – be patient and don’t try to be “creative”.


Art depends on luck and talent.
Francis Ford Coppola

Friday, October 14, 2011

First Trips

We headed off with Mom and Dad to a local RV sale today. There were several dealers gathered together at the racetrack/casino which makes it really convenient to see many different types of campers. First we had breakfast at the casino – $1.99 with the coupon for a full breakfast with coffee – what a deal eh! When we signed up for the coupon we also got $5.00 to use in the slot machines. Carm won $4.50 which paid for over 1/2 our breakfast! What a deal :-)

Then it was off to the sale. Mom is thinking she might want a wee little travel trailer or class C, Dad is not so sure… But this was a great place for them to see a whole pile of options. We had lots of fun looking at the giant class A’s and huge 5th wheels as well. And yes, one of the Bighorn models that we like was there too, I just kept repeating my mantra – I love my camper, I love my camper… Anyway we all made it out of there empty handed!

I wonder if Mom and Dad will be taking a first trip sometime soon?

Merikay (one of the blogs I read) is talking about taking her first trip in their first RV (see her blog What an exciting time – I remember our first trip well – I was almost out of my head with excitement. Since we purchased the camper in the fall we had to wait till the following spring for our first trip. It was agonizing… So I spent the winter sewing stuff, making checklists and preparation lists. Since I’m a big time computer junkie, I created the one below in Excel. I’ve tailored over the last few years and now I’m pretty happy with it. I do a page for each trip, keeping it up-to-date online and then printing that page out for the last day or so. I make notes on it including anything else to pack, and also notes about the trip. Then I save it in my book. I do look back at them and use it to build the next months list.

Anyway, I promised that I would give a peak at my organizing spreadsheet (sick eh!):


Our first trip was in April of 2007. I was crazy with excitement. We went to a little park not too far from home in case we needed anything, plus it was the only one open that early. And as an added bonus it has an indoor pool (only slightly scuzzy). It was a perfect shake down trip. Close enough to town to run in for some shopping on Saturday (we needed a vacuum), but still somewhere not in our laneway (we had camped in the laneway a few times already). It was fun playing house in our new little camper. Here are a few of the photos – I had somehow lost the photos from our first and second trips. But at least for the first one I had added them onto my website so have a copy, but the second trip – gone.

Our First RV Trip (away from the laneway!)

2007_0404_drivewayHere we are hitched and ready to go. 2007_0404_signAlmost at the campground. You can see that the trees are still bare.
2007_0404_dogs_outsideBella and Kabira weren’t too sure what was going on. They adapted quickly and now love going camping. 2007_0404_campsiteWarm enough for shirtsleeves! We didn’t have our Pseudo Lafuma’s yet (knockoff recliners – I think we had them for the next trip out though).
2007_0405_carm_sofa1Carm relaxing on the sofa. It was a funky material but I made a washable slipcover in denim. What is it about RV designers that make them decorate with unwashable fabrics – we are CAMPING! 2007_0422_trailer_decor_01_carm_tableI recovered the banquette cushions as well.
2007_0405_making_coffeeCarm making coffee. 2007_0422_trailer_decor_02_lrOur little living room.


What fun we had (and are still having)!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Finally Something Good that Grace will Eat


It is a drizzly day here so it seemed like a good day to put away some food for the winter. I’m not skilled enough to actually “can” things, plus I’m way too scared for that but we did get some things put away into the freezer. Most of the credit goes to Carm as he chopped up the giant butternut squash, cut up and roasted the red peppers, while I just made soup and a version of the butternut squash risotto for Grace.

It turns out Grace just loves the squash dish that I made last week so since it is reasonably healthy I made a batch just for her. I added some extra carrot and 4 red peppers to add another dimension of health, but otherwise the recipe was the same. We all did a taste test – Grace, Carm and I. YUM it was good and had a nice hot overtone from the hot pepper that I got from my friend Christina (thanks!). Grace wanted to be fed spoonful's like a baby, tipping her head back for the spoon. Once was cooled I froze it in batches. Getting her to eat healthy meals can be a challenge – she’s a junk food gal – so this brown rice dish will be good to have on hand (and will be a good snack for us in a pinch!).20111013_graces-food_002

Cooking is an amazing thing isn’t it – just this morning there was a pile of raw vegetables and dry rice – a few hours later a tasty meal – it’s like magic!




This afternoon we headed back over to the farmer’s garden to get more butternut squash. It’s so cheap this time of year and I can use it in so many recipes over the winter and as a bonus it’s full of good nutrients. I just wish I had a cold storage room.

Remember yesterday I mentioned buying a learn to sketch kit from Costco… well… I forgot how frustrated I get when things don’t come easily to me. But! I will make myself persevere – it will be good for personal growth! The first lesson was to take a basic shape (circle, oval, etc.) and use it as a basis for a sketch of something around you. As you can see I was at the kitchen island where pineapples, pears, and Grace’s slow cooker rice were around me. Hummmm… More practice required!

20111013_sketch_002 20111013_sketch_001


Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
Frank Lloyd Wright