Saturday, August 30, 2008

drying dishes

I used to detest washing and drying dishes. Now I tolerate it quite well, although I would be thrilled if someone were to sneak into our house and install a dishwasher. There is something nice about the rhythm of washing up after a meal, and how it brings things full circle from when the food began to be prepared, that makes it satisfying. Ah, the cyclical nature of housework. There's always more.

We're tickled to have some wonderful friends of ours here with us for a few days. They have a two year old, and she and Phillip get along famously, for the most part. They're the kind of friends who are just nice to be around, you know? There's none of that anxiety about the state of the house or other peripheral things when they're here. I'm learning that that's something significant for me.

After a beautiful meal of food we bought at the farmer's market this morning, doing dishes with the fabulous friends we shared it with is quite lovely indeed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

charlotte lane and other tidbits

Remember Charlotte Lane? Ingrid and I went there last weekend with Mr P. It was delicious. Definitely worth the drive to Shelburne. I bought myself a special treat - on of Hunter Street Silver's rings for myself! We also went to Frenchy's, of course. I wanted to do something fun and out of the ordinary before going back to work, so we did!
Phillip says 'Tea! Tea!" whenever he sees a teacup or mug. Lots of people we know drink lots and lots of tea, so he gets to say it often.
This is Sandford, the community where I grew up, as seen from my Dad's lobster boat. He took a bunch of us out for a little ride on a sunny afternoon last weekend. It was lovely, and it was Phillip's first time on his Bompie's boat. We saw another boat while we were out - I loved all of the shades of blue.
Here are some of the gorgeous tomatoes I've been telling you about. They grew too tall for their tomato cages, and some of the stems have keeled over. Most of the tomatoes seem to be fine, though.
Adam and I watched Sicko last week, and I have never been so thankful to be Canadian. My middle knuckle on my right (and dominant) hand has been very sore lately, and I thought I should get it checked out. It has been the most efficient process with almost no waiting. I called to make an appointment with my GP on Tuesday afternoon, and they took me first thing on Wednesday morning. I was busy yesterday (with my first work-related duties after a lovely summer), so I went to the hospital this morning to have the bloodwork and and an x-ray of my hand. Note: always go to the hospital on the day before holiday weekends! I had my blood taken within ten minutes. I've had to wait much longer before, so this was a treat. I went to the x-ray department to schedule an appintment, and because they weren't busy, they took me in right away and did the x-ray. The only problem was that the technician asked me to wait while she went to finish up, and she forgot about me. For about 20 minutes. I could have left, but I wasn't sure if they were done. But for all of that, I was in and out in an hour, without paying a cent. I love you, Tommy Douglas!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

giggly gus

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Phillip got a bit giggly after supper last night.

sale ends Saturday

I've been in a bit of a soaping sweatshop for the past few weeks, and here are some of the curing soaps. Just wanted to let you know that my soap sale ends on Saturday at midnight, so this is your last chance to snag a great deal! I have limited quantities of sale soaps, so don't miss your chance! Visit my Etsy shop here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

poppy pod

We still have some poppies hanging around in the garden, and the most beautiful part of all - the pods. I'm enjoying them very much.

Monday, August 25, 2008

dream bathroom

Remember my dream kitchen? Well, this is almost my dream bathroom. I have always wanted a giant soaker tub by a window, looking out over my garden. Add in a few stacks of my soap, and lighten up the green a bit, and this is perfect. Via The Inspired Room (where I see lots of beautiful home-y pictures, and where there's an upcoming celebration week you should check out if fall decorating is up your alley!)

the glass doorknob

The Glass Doorknob is one of the blogs that I read, and it's written by a blogger also named Sherrie (well, Shari - pretty close.) I couldn't help but think of her blog when I took this photo of one of our glass doorknobs yesterday morning.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

door

The front door is open - come on over! I took this shot in some beautiful morning sunlight, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. We have company this week and next weekend, so we'll be busy having a pleasant last few days of summer.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

frenchy's for the uninitiated

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Ingrid, Phillip and I went to Shelburne today for a lovely lunch and a visit to Frenchy's. If you've never been to Frenchy's, this is it in a nutshell! (Complete with random friendly man at the door.)

morning

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Phillip's word of the week - "Mor-ning!"
Other new words are "Ging-Ging" (Ingrid), "Nee-Nee" (Annie), and 'back'. And a bunch of others I can't think of right now. Hope you've enjoyed or are enjoying a pleasant morning!

Friday, August 22, 2008

my word-slinging sister


My sister, Marla, (or "Lar-la" as P calls her) and her husband are moving into their first house today. We talk with her on Skype every now and then, and now when P sees the computer, it's very loud 'Lar-la!' 'Lar-la!' 'Lar-la!' 'Lar-la!'s.

Larla's a whiz with words, and has a business writing poems for other people's special occasions. So, for example, if you have an upcoming wedding and you're expected to give a toast but have no idea what to say, you send her some pertinent information (names, quirks, funny stories) about the people involved, and she will write your speech (in poem form) for you. Nifty, eh? She does these for any and all occasions, and they're pretty good. Okay, they're really good and very clever, even though she used to call me 'Piglet'. There was an article recently published on NovaNewsNow about her.

You can see her Etsy shop here. There's an article about her here, with a picture of her cooking up some rhymes.

great giveaway at Simple Mom

This is one of my new soaps - Cafe Mocha. It smells divine. Made with coffee, coffee grounds, and a fabulous fragrance. I love it!

I know I've been mentioning lots of giveaways lately, but did I mention that I won one recently? Some beautiful soaps from Elizabeth of Gracefruit. They haven't arrived yet, but I'll surely post them when they do.

Other miscellany - my credit card company credited my card for the Well, Naturally incident. Yay!

So here's my point - there's a FANTASTIC giveaway at Simple Mom. Reusable produce bags, and the cutest little apron that I ever did see, amongst other great prizes. Just comment over here with your favourite thing about fall for your chance to win! Good luck!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

vandermint

I found this awhile ago at Frenchy's and fell in love. Apparently 'Vandermint' is a mint chocolate liquer from Holland (could you have guessed from the windmill?) I think it would look great on a bathroom wall holding toothbrushes. Really, though, how cute is that windmill?

monkey bread


I had never heard of Monkey Bread until I was in university. At a friend's wedding shower, I tried and fell in love with it. It's a very simple sweet bread, perfectly designed so you can pull off perfectly sized pieces to eat. This recipe uses the bread machine. I set it last night to be done the dough cycle first thing this morning, so by 8:30 we had a fresh bready treat to eat. Here's the recipe:

Monkey Bread

1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp water
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
2 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast (instant rise)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter

Add milk, water, egg, salt, butter, flour, yeast and 4 tsp sugar to bread machine. Select dough cycle. When cycle is complete, cut into a bunch of little balls. Roll each in melted butter, then brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place coated dough in bundt pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, approximately 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes. (If you're using a non-ring pan, it may take longer for the middle ones to cook.) Invert onto a plate, and serve warm.

Yeast tip: Rather than buying the $4 113 gram "Bread Machine" jar of yeast from the grocery store, at Yarmouth Natural (and probably most other natural foods or bulk stores) they have "Instant Yeast" which is the same thing, for a lot less. A 125 gram bag costs $1.25. As Phillip would say, "Niiiigh." (Translation: "Nice.")

And here's a little monkey who enjoyed a bite before his nap.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

scrape, scrape, scrape

A photo-less post? I know, it's bizarre. We're tackling a few projects this week while the sun is out and Adam has a few days off from work. One of which is scraping and touching up some of the exterior paint on our house. Adam spent a good part of the day scraping, while I only spent a short while. Progress has most definitely been made, and it will look so much better when it's done. And bonus - we got high quality paint for a buy one, get one free deal. Excellent. There are all sorts of other house-y projects which will hopefully be done in the semi-near future, making for short term chaos. All in the name of progress.

P.S. Anyone know how to replace random shingles? Or shakes, as some folks refer to them?

P.P.S. The tomatoes are looking FANTASTIC. (That definitely needed to be in caps.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

make hay (or paint doors) while the sun shines

It's been very foggy and damp as of late, so when the sun came out yesterday, I repainted our doors. 'Regal Red', it's called. And it matches my toe, which I just sliced open on the step of our kitchen garbage can. I'm not sure how. Well, I kicked it on my way by, which is how, but I'm not sure how something apparently so dull could cut through my flesh. I didn't even notice it was bleeding until I felt my foot sticking to the floor as I walked along. Ick. Sorry if that grossed you out. All bandaged up now, and doesn't hurt a bit.
On a brighter note, we bought some corn at the Farmer's Market on Saturday and had it for supper that night. It was both beautiful and delicious. Any vehicle for butter is A-OK with me.
And I just picked this book up at the library today (that's my Inter-library Loan slip sticking out the top). I love it. I'm only on page 17, and there are already a thousand crafty ideas swimming around in this little head. I'm starting to allow myself to not try to do everything crafty that's out there. But doesn't iron-on transfer paper to make beautiful custom skirts sound (and look) great? You can see the one I'm referring to in the third picture on this post. Anyway, the book is gorgeous, the photos (here comes that overused word) inspiring, and the instructions clear. And there's an old school note paper dispenser in one of the pictures which I adore. Like this one, only wooden and, well, old. I remember my mom having one in the kitchen when I was a kid. I wonder if she still has it?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

bridgetown rocks (either way you read that)

Remember how I said that the rocks in Bridgetown are crazy beautiful? Here are some of the ones I brought home.

baby shoe giveaway


If you have a wee one who could use some snazzy new shoes, there's a giveaway over at Now Entering Momville going on right now. The winner will receive a pair of Jack and Lily shoes of their choice! I think P's little feet would look so cute in the solid chocolate pair pictured above (the picture is from their site.) Ah, if only they were made of chocolate! Anyhoo, the contest is here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

des bleuets

Really, is that not the loveliest image of August? My mom, Phillip and I picked blueberries this afternoon at my aunt and uncle's blueberry patch. Local, organic blueberries, grown with care by my very own relatives! Phillip ate a ton of them, and had a great time crawling around in the sawdust. Now, on to the pie-making...

confession

So... here's part two of the cookbook story. No, we don't have piles of money sitting around to be spent on cookbooks. But I did join a book club (I can hear you now: "What? One of those annoying book clubs that sends a bazillion mailings out and drive you crazy like Columbia House when I was in high school?") Well, um, yeah. Because, for $28, I got the two Martha cookbooks shown in that previous post, The Food You Crave (which I was planning on buying for $33), The Giving Tree, The Daring Book for Girls, and the above. Martha's Cookies. Oh, my. It is an amazing cookbook, organized by texture. Full pictures of each recipe, both all together at the beginning of the book, and with each recipe. YUM. So, where does the Oreo come in? Well, we don't buy junk at the grocery store. Almost ever. But for some reason, (Adam pointed out that it was right after I got this book) I NEEDED to have golden Oreos. It was also suppertime, and I was starving. My belly hurt immediately after I ate 4 of them for (I mean with) supper last night.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

rain, rain, go away

It's been overcast, foggy, and/or cloudy for what feels like forever. Today, it poured, which was a welcome break - at least the weather was doing something and not just threatening to! I went outside this evening for a few minutes, and it was spectacular - the skies had cleared, and there was a gorgeous glow from the west which warmed the light on everything in the backyard. I picked a few straggling raspberries, checked out our blooming echinacea, and admired my sprouting lettuce. It was perfect.

I know I've mentioned it already, but I'm having a summer sale at my Etsy shop! There are bars for as little as $1.50. Less, even, if you snag one of my odds and ends batches of imperfect bars. Anyhoo, have a peek. I'm cleaning up and clearing out! We're going to be doing a bit of rearranging in the house, and my soap stuff will have a new space! Very exciting.

I have the feeling that *in a very, very, low whisper* summer is winding down. I don't wear a watch from the last day of school through the first one of the next, and easily lose track of days. But I looked at the calendar today, and it's mid-August. Part of me is looking forward to another school year, the change in routine, the smell of wood smoke in the fall, and wearing sweaters. But part of me wants to hang on to every last second of summer from my fingernails and cry. It will be really hard to be away from Phillip during the days again. And I certainly won't have as much time for soapmaking, blogging, housework, and all of the other things I enjoy so much.

A huge congratulations to T&K on the birth of O! All the best!

odds and ends

I have a very happy aloe vera plant in the pantry, which was once very sad. I also have plans brewing for an aloe batch of soap sometime soon...
Also in the pantry, is Phillip helping me cook. He likes the spice drawer.
And right next to my trusty Joy of Cooking, I have a few new cookbooks to enjoy. More about those later.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

more etsy faves



I just figured out that these will update as I add more favourites through Etsy. Meaning that if you're looking at this post a month from now, they'll be current. And maybe that stunning coat won't be there. You can see all of my Etsy faves here.

summer soap sale


I'm having a sale over at my Etsy shop! Have a peek!

Monday, August 11, 2008

scarves and bridgetown

We went to Bridgetown today to meet Lauren of Sleeping Forest Studios, who was so sweet and kind to us - she even fed us an amazing lunch straight from their garden. Remember Phillip's pull-quail? Made by them! On the way there, we stopped at my favourite Frenchy's, which is in Digby. I found the beautiful (and currently wrinkly) silk scarf above, and the wool one below.
I had no idea that the beaches in Bridgetown have such pretty rocks! No, really - they're all rainbow-licious. Yarmouth rocks look quite dull in comparison. Lauren took us to Hampton Beach, where I found some beauties and even brought a few home. They're so pretty that Phillip thought they looked good enough to eat.

To make it even more impressive, we drove up and over a mountain to get to the beach. Adam took the picture of us playing - shouldn't someone be watching that baby? Thanks so much for your hospitality, Lauren, and come down to our neck of the woods any time! Be sure to check out their Etsy shop, too!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

the great lavender harvest of 2008

I planted some lavender from seed last year, and it produced this one beautiful bloom!

great potato harvest of 2008

Like the tomatoes we had last year, these potatoes weren't purposely planted in our little vegetable patch. They sprouted from the compost we added earlier in the Spring, and I just let them grow. This one was picked by accident as I was staking some of our tomatoes, which are almost as tall as me!

Friday, August 08, 2008

before and after

I now have a sweet little cabinet to store my lotions and potions in on my dresser. The cute-in-theory-but-dreadful-in-reality little cabinet before:
I bought this at Frenchy's months ago, and only got around to painting it today. I just gave it one coat of cream coloured paint - I kind of like the distressed look it has with the darker paint showing through. But I had to put two coats over the "dishes".

And do you remember the creepy purple pixie-villain mirror I picked up yesterday at Frenchy's? For $4?

Well, here it is today, at home in our living room. Come on over for a cup of tea and enjoy it with me! I have some new books in from the library to look at, as you can see.

I mentioned this find yesterday - Phillip's new piano. He loves it just as much today as he did yesterday, and plinked away for a long time this morning.
And this bag of Melissa and Doug wooden toys?
Turns out that it includes the zoo animals,
a front loader and cement mixer,
and the train. A few of the dowels are missing, so I'll pop on over to the hardware store and buy one for $1.29. Not a bad deal!

Lastly, I whipped up (heh heh, just being punny) some Whipped Shea Belly Butter for a couple of friends who are due to have babies very soon. Shea butter, olive oil, and some fragrance and essential oils. Citrus-y yum! I think it looks like that delicious whipped cream cheese, actually. But it smells much better, and is unbelievably smooth on the skin.
Happy Thursday! No, wait - it's Friday, isn't it? Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

it's high time for some new Frenchy's finds

My favourite picture of today's finds - beautiful wooden bowls for Phillip to play with and eat from and throw on the floor with gusto.
My mom and I went 'up the line' (Clare area) to do a bit of Frenchy's shopping today. At the first Frenchy's we went to, Phillip found and fell in love with a toy piano. So his Grandmere bought that for him, and I hunted around in a bin for more pieces of a Melissa and Doug stacking train, of which I had found two pieces. They weren't to be found at that Frenchy's, but at the next one we went to, I found a giant bag with not only the train, but the pull-along zoo animals and a bazillion others, too. For $4.5o. Excellent! Here are the rest (pardon the dreadful picture, but I paused my blog-writing to take it so you could see what excitment this warrants):
A good scrub and we'll be good to go. I also found some other goodies, like this gorgeous purple mirror with a creepy pixie-vixen sticker on it. Really, though, the frame is hardwood and has such a beautiful shape and is in excellent condition (it's just ugly) and the mirror is perfect. A good scrub and a coat of paint (the pixie-vixen's already gone) and I'll post another picture.


These cute tiny chalkboards were 50 cents each, and I'm going to use them at upcoming craft fairs! Good idea, eh?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

boggles speaks!

video

pretty poppies

for now we see in a mirror dimly...
but then face to face.