Juicy fruits

Do you have a staff kitchen at your place of employment? I do where I work and people are constantly pulling hot items out of the microwave and burning themselves. I came across the pattern for these fruity trivets from the Purl Bee and thought they were adorable. And they were exactly what our sad, little staff kitchen needed to brighten it up. I loosely based the potholders that I made on the Purl Bee's pattern. I did not use doubled yarn like the pattern calls for but crocheted with a smaller hook to make them nice and thick. I went for the watermelon and lime slice because those were the colours that I had on hand. Nice, quick summer project.

The summer of doing things

After I found out that Mr. T would be away for eight weeks this summer studying in the next state, I made a commitment to myself that I would do things. All kinds of things. Things that I've always wanted to do, things that I didn't necessarily want to do in the beginning, and things that I hadn't planned on doing but did anyway. This kind of explains my absence on the blog and I apologize but N does such an outstanding job! By the way, N is doing her thing this week and on a much needed vacation.

So this summer, the summer of doing things, there was boating (and tubing rather unsuccessfully for the first time!).There was camping.There was visiting the farmer's market in Madison, WI.There was the Basilica Block Party.
There was going to Washington, D.C.
I don't know about you but I tend to get very comfortable in my routine. I'm kind of a quiet person too so making a commitment to try new things has really allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people, and experience some very fun things. Now I get to regroup for a few days until Mr. T returns home and then we're off to the beautiful Pacific Northwest for some family time.

What new thing do you want to try or have recently tried?

Family Game Night

The girls made a board game, and the littlest insisted on a Family Game Night.  She's always scheduling family activities because secretly I think she's in love with us.  I also think she has a future in event organization.  One thing with having children far apart in ages is that it can be a challenge to find common ground.  At the same time, the benefit is that they complement each other when teaming up on a project like this.  The littlest loves drawing and cutting, and the eldest loves writing and organizing.  Surprisingly we didn't have to drag the teenager out of her bedroom when it came time to play.  Thank goodness, too!  She was the only one who knew the answers to the green cards!   Playing this game was a buttload of fun. We all laughed and joked and smiled for an hour.   I wish that when my children grow up that these are the times they remember, and not the times mummy was mean and said 'no' to soda pop. (I realize that I've probably been 'meaner' than this, but honestly this is the stuff that really bothers them.)

In regards to my natural shampoo trial, I lasted exactly four days.  First day, I immediately noticed and appreciated the healthy amount of natural oils that had returned to my hair.  It felt great and crazy healthy.  Second day, my hair was put up in a pony tail.  Third day, I washed it, and this time, my hair felt thick and heavy.  Weird, but okay, I guess.  Fourth day, I felt the back of my head, and it was so oily.  I curled my hair around my hand, and it STAYED.  Um, cool if I was having it styled professionally, not cool to leave a stain on my pillow.   So, if I was to make a recommendation on this particular recipe, I would say it would be great used maybe once a week.  It's a bit frustrating, but I am not ready to admit defeat yet.  I will keep my eyes peeled and see what I can find.

Happy Winds-day!

Squeaky Clean

I made my own shampoo this morning and  washed my hair with it.  I'll pilot it out a bit longer and let you know how it goes.

I just combined 1/3 cup of tea tree liquid castile soap, 1/3 cup of water and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil.  It's just a small batch while I am in the experiment stage still.

Day 1: My mane feels squeaky clean.  Now I'm off to google hair conditioners.


Best Blueberry Muffins

As promised, I have what I believe is the bestest blueberry muffin recipe I've ever baked.  I found it in a James Barber (LOVED that guy!) recipe book that is no longer available in print, and I've tweaked it a bit to my liking. 

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Mix dry:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon

Mix wet:
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 egg

Mix the two together being careful not to overstir, and fold in 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.  Spoon into lightly oiled muffin tins, sprinkle a little sugar over top, and bake in a 400F/200C oven for 15-20 minutes.  Take out of pans immediately, and cool on racks.  Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy!


Blueberries Here, There & Everywhere

Just popping in to say that I still have probably 5 pounds of blueberries left!!!!   Please do not misunderstand me.   I'm far from sick of them.  this is a pretty sweet situation to be in.  So far I've made blueberry sherbert, blueberry muffins, blueberry salad and blueberry sauce.  I'm thinking blueberry pie next.

I definitely have to share some of these recipes as I am fully aware how mean it is of me to post these images of mouth-watering food and not point you in the right direction.  Mea culpa.  First I must put in a day of hardly working, I mean working hard.

Toot, toot.

Blueberries for Bee

The littlest and I took a little drive out to the country, and we spent an hour and a half in a sunny field of blueberries as wide and far as the eye could see.  She hummed little tunes and entertained me with silly stories.  We laughed and made a pretty good team.  We paid a pittance for our two big buckets of blueberries, and I haven't got a clue how I'm going to use up all of them because we must consume them quickly as I want to take her and my hundred closest friends next weekend - everyone should have that much fun.  Ever have those wonderfully blissful days you want to relive over and over again?


"dc" doesn't mean what I think it means

I've been putting off doing more crochet work because of my knitterly brain. Every time I looked at a crochet pattern that called for a "dc" I would read it as "decrease", like any good knitter would. This, however, in crochet language means to do a "double crochet". So stupid me finally figured it out and was able to whip up this head band with a (humongous) flower using this pattern. I think the flower is supposed to be this big and it looks kind of cute, in a brain slug kind of way. And yes, that's toilet paper behind me.

Sign Me Up

When I began knitting, I never once thought that one day I would find all things 'sheep' would send me loopy.  Then came the combination of two of my loves, and I had to be picked up off the floor - sheep AND food!  Not just any food - a cherry cake ball coated in white chocolate icing with four black licorice legs, vanilla sprinkles and a black jujube nose on a stick!!  How flippin' cool is this???  Thanks, Rebecca!

Now, T, it's your turn. Copy.


Procrastination Pays Off

It only took five years, but I finally hung up some of my pictures.  We eyeballed it and took about twenty minutes tops as only we do.   The three on the bottom are from Australia and the talented Inkberry Blue.  The abstract on top is a Christmas tree painted by the littlest when she was four.  She also drew the family portrait on the left.  You can't see the middle picture, but my sister brought it back from San Francisco, and it's very lovely.  And the two pictures on the far right were from a yard sale in Ailsa Craig, but I think they're paintings of Old Quebec.  The flowers are from El's grade 8 grad last week.  Each day I wake up and pass the bouquet, and it looks better than the day before.   Sweet!

Speaking of happiness, I finally got my hands on This Emotional Life.  I just need six hours.  And a grande vanilla latte.


True North Strong and Free

Thirty years ago my family and I arrived in Canada from a refugee camp in Indonesia. It was May when we arrived and we were freezing! We came with nothing but the clothes on our backs, some French with which to communicate with the people of Fredericton, New Brunswick, and hope for a better life.

My parents did not want to leave the only home that they ever knew and the home that they loved but I suppose that they deliberated thoroughly before they set out in a rickety fishing boat with four young children, hoping that the sea would take them safely to another land. We lived in the refugee camp for a few months before receiving word from the government of Canada that a small church in Fredericton would take us. I don't know what went through my parents' minds but I knew that they thought anywhere in the free world would be better than the uncertainty that laid ahead for the family members that they left back in Viet Nam.

So thirty years later we are still grateful every day to be Canadian citizens, to have been taken in and cared for by strangers, and to have the freedoms that we are so blessed with. And while I now call the United States home, I take every opportunity to tell people that I am from Canada. Happy Canada Day!