Thursday, 2 April 2020

April Goals

I'm going to start off today's post with 3 things I'm grateful for. Believe me, I had a hard time stating just 3 because there are so many more I could list as we enter Week 3 of Social Distancing in Ontario.

1. I'm grateful I'm a Canadian! Despite political differences, I feel our Country is being led by capable Politicians who are doing their best to support all of the different scenarios that are changing hour by hour. For the most part, people are abiding by the directives and treating one another with kindness and respect just what we are known for.

2. I'm grateful I live in a large home with a backyard. I have lots to keep me busy. I don't have to worry about running into people in corridors and elevators. I feel for all the people in more difficult circumstances.

3. I'm grateful I have long hair. While I am desperately in need of a trim, I can get by with a ponytail and feel for those people that rely on regular visits to a salon.

Now onto the Goals.. First a brief revisit of last month...

1. Go the the gym once a week. ( I started off well for the first 2 weeks of March, meeting my goal with 2 Aquasize classes then of course, the gyms closed) I have no excuse not to do some workouts in my basement to DVD's etc but I can't seem to find the time.

2. Do 5 Donation requests for Looonies for Lindor fundraiser. I did get started on this and now it has all come to a screeching halt. I am continuing to prep for the Event as is my team and we will see how it all plays out down the road.

3.Find a Retail store to carry my card line Paws for Thought. I DID find a great little store, love the owner Danielle, it's called Artisanal Design. She's on Instagram and is very entertaining. Of course, then the bottom fell out for small business and she has been forced to close so I haven't moved forward. I DID make an Instagram account and you can find me there. Pawsforthoughtkw. Maybe down the road I will devote more energy to this.


1.  Continue making Thinking of You cards. I have been sending quite a few cards. I think everyone needs some cheering up right now.

2. Finish making my blankets. I have 4 to go. I really enjoy this activity so I should be able to complete this no problem.

3.  Continue purging old photos. I have 8 photo boxes of photos. These are just my own personal ones. Remember when we used to develop rolls of film?  And then the digital age arrived and we did doubles and more of every picture. I'm having a hard time getting rid of any family pictures despite having 25 plus scrapbooks. My ultimate goal this month is to maybe get a start on my Mom's side of the family Heritage album. I recently found this photo of me and my Dad and I had never seen it before.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

A Walk around Kitchener's Civic District

I'm happy that we can still get out and walk around. I've never taken the time to explore the Civic District in Kitchener so when a family member suggested we meet in that area, I thought it was high time to take a look around. There are many beautiful old houses and some interesting history too...
Green Gables used to be a tea room and I think Bed and Breakfast. It looks abandoned now. The Christmas tree is laying on the front lawn.
Lots of high rises next to the historic homes.
My favourite part is the covered breezeway? Love this one.
Beautiful churches.
The stonework says Zion Bible School. Sadly this congregation dwindled to nothing and the Church had to close its doors.
The Waterloo County Gaol.  The story goes that when they were updating the area they found the bodies of 3 prisoners who died in the jail buried in the Courtyard. Built in 1852, this is the oldest surviving Government building in Kitchener. Very interesting. 
Entrance to the walled garden. I thought it was the exercise yard but apparently that is still visible around the back.
Fantastic updated Public Library
The Firefighters Memorial.
It's really interesting what you can see when you slow down and take the time to stroll about. 

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Signs of Spring

I'm trying to stick to my 8 blog posts a month. Need to keep my 4 Readers engaged. It's a little more challenging now that the days all look the same but I'm enjoying moseying around the neighbourhood with senior Maya while my neighbour has Lindor out. This is my favourite season and reminds us that the Nature is still unfolding and our lives will go on.

 Rhubarb is usually the earliest (after the Robins). I moved it to my school garden last year and it seems to be doing well.

Finally captured a legit Robin shot...
The lilacs buds are starting to swell...
And this is so cool, the pussy willows in my Christmas arrangement start to come out...
And finally a few days ago when there was still a bit of snow, I spotted a crocus trying to bloom..
It's gloomy and raining a lot today, but that just means Spring is coming. My favourite season.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Kodiak Waffles

It's starting to feel like Groundhog Day over here. Week 2 of staying home. Every day seems to be pretty much like the day before, lots of dog walking, lots of talking on the phone and some crafting. Not too much cleaning. Still not enough time for THAT! 

I have been grateful to have the dogs for company and I finally got a chance to try my friend's waffle maker that she lent me over a month ago. I was thinking about buying one but have to make careful decisions about additional appliances due to storage issues. I also wanted to try the Kodiak mix that everyone raves about; high protein and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

I loosely followed a recipe off the internet and they turned out great...
Kodiak Waffles
1/3 cup dry mix
2 Tbsp of water, ( I used about 3, it seemed thick)
1 egg
a sprinkle of cinnamon

Oil waffle maker after preheating and the waffles are ready in about 2 minutes.
*if you replace water with milk, one cup has 21 grams of protein

I used a sugar reduced syrup and it was just like the regular stuff. I may have to give this waffle maker back but for sure I will be purchasing my own. BONUS: if we ever go into full lockdown, I won't starve, this box of mix will last me for a good year.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Taco stuffed peppers

Ontario has amped up its restrictions to the Covid virus outbreak. As of today, all non-essential businesses will be shut down. This is such a surreal time. I'm lucky I can stay in and am grateful for all the people that still have to go to work to keep the basics of the Country going.

So I'm using up what I have, trying not to waste any food since there still seems to be significant shortages at the grocery stores.

I've made these peppers once before but I didn't write it down so I had to look everything up again. They were really good and one was plenty. I think I can freeze the rest. I'm going to give it a whirl anyway.

Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
(That's what I used)

1 onion, chopped and browned
1 lb ground beef browned.
Stir in some water (about half a cup?) and seasonings
Add almost one full can of tomato sauce.
2 peppers, split in half
Meanwhile cook about 1.2 cup of Minute Rice (or your favourite rice)
Add to meat mixture when cooked.

Portion into pepper halves. Bake at 350F about 45 min. I covered mine with foil and then baked it about another 5 min at the end after I sprinkled on some cheese.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Coping with the new "normal"

Like everyone else, I am grappling with how to cope with this new scenario especially now that things are escalating in Ontario. I worry about if my family is safe, how the International University students are going to get home now they are kicked out of residence? I worry about how people on marginal incomes will be able to buy supplies and how small businesses and charities will survive.  I even worried while I was vacuuming this morning about what happens if I run out of vacuum cleaner bags and there is no way to buy more.

So I decided to make a list of what I CAN do...

1. I can try and stay in as much as possible. While I have a big list of groceries and supplies that I would LIKE to have, I can make do.

2. I can keep in touch with my family and friends via text and phone and I can even send a few more handwritten cards and notes.

3. I can take some time to purge and organize (STILL COLLECTING FOR MY CHURCH, the community will be even more in need when this blows over) if you want to save things for me.

4. I can spend more downtime, crafting, resting and reading. I had a feeling the library would close so I got all my holds and I have many more books on hand.
5. I can spend more time with my dogs, I plan on trying to get a minimum of 10 000 steps a day until school reopens or the middle of April. One Month.
6.  I have 8 more blankets to tie. Yep, I can do that in the safety of my home...
All washed and ready to go.

7. I can get my tax stuff together and file all the things in my office that have been shoved into a drawer for a rainy day. Well it looks like that rainy day is here.

8. I can have time to Spring clean my house. In order to avoid distraction, I'm going to pick one room at a time and go from there.

So I'm choosing to look at this difficult time as an opportunity. I'm also limiting the amount of time I allow myself to watch the news and I'm going to hope for the best! If we all pull together early in the game hopefully it won't go into overtime.

Wash your hands and stay safe!

Sunday, 15 March 2020

March Swap Card

Whaaaat? I'm ahead of my regularly scheduled posting.  We decided to move our monthly card due date to the beginning of the month, rather then the end. It always seemed like we were behind. So our April card will now be due at the beginning of April rather then the end. Looks like we are going to have some time to make that happen with the current Pandemic that is going on in the World.

Keri had requested a Pet Sympathy card to have on hand so I obliged with this one using my favourite kraft and a lovely sentiment from Taylored Expressions...
Keri used her Splotch stamp and then heat embossed it for extra sparkle to make this card....
And some cute little butterflies from Michaels. So nice to see the fresh Springy colours. May the little things, bring you joy!

Stay calm, people and clean your door handles!

Monday, 9 March 2020

February Swap Card

Let's keep it going....
I always get asked for Sympathy cards and I just love the monochromatic tones of this card. Very classy!
I used the MFT stitched blooms that I just LOVE. I didn't have the right size sentiment so guess what? I did it on my computer. I have no knowledge of how to download fonts etc, I just choose one in word that looked pretty good and it worked out great.

Keri used a stamp set from Simon Says Stamp... I just can't get over how cute that little puppy is in the bicycle basket and the rainbow clouds. Stunning!
And the inside...
We have so much fun every month revealing our cards and its a good reason to get together and catch up.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

March Goals and Habits

Before we get to the March goals, lets see how February played out...

1. Send one card. (I actually sent 4 cards; 1 Sympathy, 1 Thinking of You, 2 Valentine

2. 15 minutes of stretching or yoga or strength training (Hard FAIL!) I think I did this twice although I did locate my weights and bands, I'll keep trying this one.

3. Spend 15 minutes cleaning up computer (emails, photos etc) I regularly try and delete emails but I need to spend a little more time cleaning up this old computer

I also did pretty well, keeping up with my Jan Goals; keeping sink clean, Reading( 3 books in Feb) and blog posts (only 6 so short by 2 but not too bad)

March Goals
1. Go the the Gym once a week. After keeping my gym on hold for over 3 years, I needed to make a decision. I'm committing to once a week, likely Aquasize but we will see how it goes.

2. Do 5 Donation requests for Loonies for Lindor (I'm a little early with this but it's very time consuming so I wanted to get a start. Plus you have to approach a large number to have any success.

3. Find a Retail store(s) to sell some of my cards. I finally got around to organizing my cards and I found that I have over 500. So I pitched my product to one store and was successful. More on that once I sign the contract and have gathered a sampling together to pitch to another store. Well I don't expect to make a ton of money, it's fun to see if someone will buy your product and I really need to make room for more.

Friday, 6 March 2020

January Swap Card

We are getting caught up. FUN FACT! Keri and I started this exchange in August 2016. We've fallen behind but we've never missed a month. I think that's pretty good. Surprisingly we both did Lawn Fawn cards.
Keri used the Skating Mice that she actually won in an on-line give away. So cute...
Here's the stamp and die set she used..
I used the Taco Birthday set. I found my card a little basic but I added some stickles to the party hat and some sparkly enamel dots and I thought it ramped it up a bit...
Here's the stamp set that I used....

I'd better get posting. I'm falling behind in my biweekly post goals. Where does the time go?

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Where did February go?

The winter months are when I usually get caught up on some of the household organization and chore list but they are flying by and I'm not sure where the time is going so I decided to take a quick look back and see what is filling up my days.

First off there is lots of this...
Lots of getting together and catching up with friends and family.
I'm attending Planner classes at Two Scrapbook Friends and I'm completely addicted. I want to work on this ALL THE TIME!
I've been busy volunteering and doing a little contract work for my favourite charity; Autism Dog Services.
I've been collecting a lot of items for my Annual Charity drive for Waterford Church. They will be so pleased once I manage to get it all down to them.
I had a fun cookie decorating session with my little peeps for Valentine's Day.
My weekly puppy classes, this one was at Waterloo Regional Airport.
Watching this guy play his last high school game of Basketball. Bronze medal finish in WOSSA.
SO that's just a quick glimpse into my month. I ran out of blog topics so I thought this would work. Trying to meet my goal of 2 a week and we haven't swapped our cards yet for the last 2 months.
Well, I'm off to shovel.