Thursday, 29 December 2016

Catch Phrases

Do you have a phrase that you say all the time? Something that people connect with you.

I recognize that I have such a phrase, catch myself saying it and know I'm repetitive with it. The phrase is "AT ANY RATE". I seem to use it at the end of, or to end, a conversation or discussion. I realize I say it and have often wondered if others were aware of my repetitive use of it.

Do they know and find it annoying? Just wondered.

Apparently I have another phrase that is common for me. "IT IS WHAT IT IS". My use of this phrase was pointed out to me by my brother. He saw a canvas in the store with this phrase on it and debated about getting it for me for Christmas.

He didn't, but mentioned it when we were on the phone the other day, and I used what I guess is my second most commonly used phrase.

I didn't get the canvas, but I did get a large ceramic hand making the "OK" sign. I like it, and have it front and center on my bookcase. It reminds me that even on the worst of days, I'm OK. I like that feeling and the constant reminder, so thanks to my brother for the gift that keeps on giving.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Traditions

Anyone who knows me, knows I love crochet. I couldn't begin to count the number of sweaters, afghans and hats/scarves I've made over the years.

A couple of years ago I started a new tradition, of making one item for each member of the family, and began with hats. We also started taking our Christmas photo with everyone wearing whatever I'd made that year.

After hats it was the boot style slippers, suggested by my daughter. Last year it was hats and mitts.

After listening to people complain about cold feet I decided socks were in order for this year. Thirteen pairs. The sizes ranged from my brother's size thirteen to my granddaughter's size 3. Some of the patterns were the same, though the yarns differed. The one pattern I made the most was one that had a lacy pattern, for the ladies, and bonus, had no heel but was done as a sort of tube sock, so easier to ensure a good fit.

I'll be hard pressed to come up with something new for next year, though I joked with the little ones that maybe I should make matching underwear, to keep everyone warm. That idea didn't go over well, they thought it might be too itchy. I'm still thinking.

I made my daughter a mermaid, and, as she loves the beach, it was fitting. I made my son a bear, as he's country thru and thru. I'm talking those afghan things that are enclosed at the foot.

I also made scarves and a number of sweaters. It was a long winter last year, so I made the most of my time indoors.

I hope there's a big yarn sale in the new year, I'm anxious to get started.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

No More Kicking

After the freezing cold weather, rain followed by snow, my car was coated in a sheet of ice and the windshield wipers buried in frozen snow. I wasn't going anywhere for a few days.

Yesterday, the sun was shining and the temperatures hovered just above freezing, so I figured I could release Velma, my car, from her frozen state.

The ice fell off the windshield with one good push and the rest was easy. Off I went to finish my last minute errands. Three stops later I struggled to get everything in the door. I had dropped the toilet paper twice from the car to the door, and frustrated let it fall inside the door and kicked it out of my way.

Ouch, Ouch, Ouch. Not the thing to do with the foot I hurt on the weekend. Lily, the dog I was sitting, continues to haunt me.

I got up early Sunday to let the dog out and smashed my foot into the table leg, right between the 4th and 5th toes. Lot's of bruising and pain. Figured I might have broken the little toe, but what would they do?

I can't wear any shoes but my crocs, and walking is still painful but the kick to the toilet paper was not the wisest thing to do.

So I'm limping, and having to persevere to stand and get a few last chores done. But I'll finish, the kids are expecting this last treat, and who am I to disappoint?

Monday, 19 December 2016

Lily...A Major Manipulator

I was taking care of my daughter's dog this weekend while the family was off to Ottawa for a hockey tournament. Lily, the dog, and I are old friends, and she has been my guest a couple of times in the last few years.

Having her in winter is not as problematic as summer, as she isn't as curious about the neighborhood, more in a mind to zip outside, do her business and rush back in the house.

I tend to treat her well, with hugs, petting and, of course, doggie treats.

But Lily, that sly bitch, would stand by the door and wait for me to let her out, anticipating her reward when she came back. This time I noticed that she sometimes makes a quick ( it is 10 below Celsius) circle and returns, making no stop to pee, doesn't even try to fake it for the gullible person, me, standing at the door. I have created a Cookie Monster.

Apparently the household at my daughter's home starts the day earlier than I do. I tend to late nights and late mornings.

I woke suddenly yesterday, early in the morning with a dog staring me in the face. Obviously she wanted out. I was slow moving, told Lil that she had to hold it as my needs took precedence. I hurried out of the bathroom and stumbled into the table, catching the large square leg between my 4th and fifth toe. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Damn, but that hurt. I limped over to let Lily out and was glad she was quick. I needed to sit.

Although there's not much swelling, there is some bruising and I would not be surprised if I hadn't broken my little toe. I have experience with this as I had the same injury to my left foot many years ago, had it X-rayed and bandaged, and spent a week on crutches.

Today, after walking to the curb to set my garbage out, my foot aches like mad. I don't think I'll be going too far for a few days at least. And, as Lily is back home with her family, I don't have the frequent trips to the door.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

New Treat...Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Christmas is so close, and I thought I was ready. Not!

I got waylaid with some Christmas baking. Made those peanut butter marshmallow squares I posted about before, and gave a tasty preview to the kids, and was delighted to see their faces light up. Anything with peanut butter is sure to be a family favorite.

So far I've made raspberry/rhubarb squares, brownies, and some 'kind of' shortcake. I found the recipe on the back of the cornstarch box many years ago and have made it every holiday.

I was searching the recipes on Pinterest and found an easy one for Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge. I made it yesterday and it was easy, and very tasty. My son and his family were here before my granddaughter's indoor soccer game, and the fudge definitely passed the taste test.

So, as I believe in sharing, here's the recipe.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add milk and vanilla.

Sift sugar, cocoa and salt together. Gradually add sugar mixture to milk mixture, stirring until well blended.

Stir in Peanut butter.

Press into a buttered 8 inch square pan. Cover and chill. Cut into squares.

Keep refrigerated.

You can cut it into small bite size pieces, very sweet and creamy and so good.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry

Friday night the cable went out, and rather than wait to see how long it would be, I switched over to my PVR and selected a movie. That is the one nice thing about the PVR, because the cable goes out, not frequently, but often.

All was back to normal when I checked Saturday, or so I thought.

My daughter sent me a chat message through Facebook, wondering if I was okay, mad, ignoring her or I suppose...LOL...dead on the floor.

That was when I realized my phone was out. I ignored it until Monday when I called the company. did all the things they recommended and still no phone.

I decided to check again, and found that the junction box for the cord, like an extension cord, was loose. so there was the problem. I may tape these connections, as the joiner is behind my sofa and not an easy reach.

I'm thinking my phone may have been out before Friday, and the glitch with the cable had nothing to do with it. There were a number of messages on my machine, and one sounding more and more irate when I had not responded.

I've called everyone back, made my apologies and will check my phone more often. I just don't use it often, so my bad.

All is good, and I'm alive and well.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Love, Love, Love Peanut Butter

My grandson had a friend over to play, and my daughter overheard him bragging...about one of my Christmas recipes.

"My Grandma makes the best peanut butter and marshmallow treats."

And, oddly enough, I have the ingredients in my cupboard. They are very simple, peanut butter, butterscotch ships and mini colored marshmallows. They are simple and sooooo good.

Melt 1 12oz bag of butterscotch chips with 1 cup peanut butter. Remove from heat, stir in 1 bag of miniature marshmallows. Pour into a 9x13 inch pan and place in refrigerator until cool. Cut into squares.

I noticed that some bags of marshmallows are smaller than others and it makes a difference, because you have too much of the sauce, not that it's not tasty, but it works better to have the right amount. I got this recipe from the Camborne Public School fundraiser cookbook, from 1982. So many of my old friends submitted recipes that I've enjoyed over the years.

I may have to make a second batch, as I know there are others in the family who love them too. It's so nice to be appreciated.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Decorating the Tree

My daughter and her husband are a blended family, two adults, four kids, a dog and a fish.

On Saturday I was at her home when they put up the Christmas tree, and this year it was a real trip down memory lane.

His parents sold their house this summer, and decided to distribute a great deal of their belongings to their three boys. This included Christmas ornaments. So, as ornaments were unpacked, there was talk of who gave him the ornaments, most often his Nana.

Grandmothers must like giving ornaments, as I have contributed a large number of the ones on my daughter's tree. About 11 years ago I decided to make the kids an ornament every year, decorations they could have for their first tree as an adult. A great number include photos, so it generated a lot of fun and laughter.

I had to go back, to start from the beginning, but it wasn't too bad as I just needed one for every year 1998 to 2000. Then in 2001 I needed two per year, then quickly, three, four, five and then six. A couple years ago the count became 7, and the families are complete, and as the kids have a number of ornaments. I decided last year...was my last. Besides, the trees are awfully full.

My son-in-law is an avid hockey fan, so, of course, he had a hockey ornament for the tree.

Instead of a star, he had a figurine of Gordie Howe, for the top of the tree. That was very apropos, as the tree is a true reflection of the family. And a beautiful one at that.