I scored this great trellis wind gauge thingy from Freecycle. I can't wait to add it to the perfect spot in the garden - I have a clematis which I think will enjoy taking over it. In case you've never heard of Freecycle, it's a great way to get rid of stuff, or to get free new to you stuff from people in your area. Definitely worth checking out!
Today was a stunning late September day - it was over 30 degrees in much of Nova Scotia although not quite that warm here. The three of us went for a walk to the library, where Phillip and I read a number of books, and he spit up all over his shirt and needed to be changed. We had lunch at the Old World Bakery, which was yummy, as always. Phillip and I hung out with my sister in the yard this afternoon, and I did some yard work and gardening. It was a fantastic day! And I harvested a few (very small and tasty) carrots from our garden, yummmmm! They were delicious, along with local baked potatoes for supper.
This is one of the better ways to get Phillip to try to roll over - he works so hard to get a toy into his mouth that he rolls his whole body toward it. I thought this lip smacking action was pretty cute.
We had a pre-wedding reception for my sister on the weekend, which is why posting was absent for a few days. The colours were pink, orange, and chocolate brown, and I was in charge of flowers. These were some of the leftovers. Did you know that stargazer lilies have bumpy bits on the speckles? I didn't until yesterday.
We had an awesome walk on my dad's woodlot on Sunday, the first day of fall. Adam took these pictures. We saw a beautiful babbling brook, found some scat we think belongs to a bear, watched the leaves rustling in the breeze, and just enjoyed each other's company. It was lovely! Did you notice that Phillip's waving in the last picture?
These are the melted and charred bits of the old range. It burned almost through the metal back plate-y thing, too. Scary! The kitchen windows were wide open all night with a fan running, and it still stinks down there.
Here it is - the new range! I stopped to check out what they had in store at Sears, and what good timing! It looked like a yard sale in there. It turns out that they're re-doing all of their floor displays, so they're clearing out certain items. I'm getting the above range (which has been sitting in the display) for over $100 less than it would be if I ordered one new. Yay! It's pretty much exactly what I was looking for (smooth top would be glorious, but that one is about $100 more). It has two terrific features I'm especially thankful for. One is a hidden bottom element in the oven, which will make for much easier cleaning, and the other is a stove top which lifts up like the hood of a car so it can be easily cleaned. I'm quite excited, as I've never had a new oven to play with. I won't have to fanatically rotate things to avoid burning the back right corner! Hallelujah!
I took these pictures of Phillip this afternoon when he was playing with his dad, before the incident du jour.
We were going to have some friends over for supper, so I had lasagna and bread in the oven. Phillip was taking a short nap, and Adam and I were looking at the pictures I had taken. Then we noticed a melty plastic kind of burning. Of course, we thought the worst - that it was the computer. So Adam sniffed around and looked at everything, and it wasn't. We went all around the house to try to find the source - the smell was strongest in the kitchen, but there was no discernible source. I opened the oven, and it just smelled like lasagna and bread (which was pretty tasty, by the way!). It was getting pretty awful, so I got Phillip and went outside while Adam kept searching - turns out it was the top part of the stove - there was smoke coming from behind the dials. The stove is ancient and came with the house, so it's not a big loss. And it will be very nice to have an oven large enough to fit my pans in. But we weren't exactly planning on another major purchase, right after the new computer. Sigh. Anyhoo, we called the friends and asked if it was OK for us to take supper to them, and they graciously agreed. We had a lovely time, and Phillip was a gem. As usual.
I made this roasted fall vegetable soup today for lunch. The recipe is from Everyday Food, and you can find it here.
It's made with potatoes, squash, and carrots, which were all from the farmer's market. I found it needed a bit of salt, and I think that maybe if a bay leaf or two were added and left to simmer, it might be even better. Yum!
Adam, Phillip and I went to Wallace Brothers Farm this afternoon to pick some apples and pears at their weekend U-pick. Last September was our first time there. The first thing Adam said when we got home was "Should I start peeling now?"
The crust recipe I use is here; there's only butter, flour, sugar and water in it. It calls for 3 cups flour; I used 2 white and 1 whole wheat.
I don't really use a recipe for the apple part, I just add some sugar and cinnamon to the cut apples, plop them on the bottom crust, and add the top crust. And a decorative apple for good measure.
Enough of the pretty pictures - on to the funny part. I try to seem somewhat put together for the most part, but all of that went out the window during this whole pie process. I had a bit of leftover dough, so I made a few little apple tarts. I was trying to dislodge one from the very hot muffin tin, when I touched the pan with my pinkie. My finger instinctively flew to my mouth, which ordinarily wouldn't have been a big deal. Today, however, I happened to have a glass bowl in the same hand. Up flies my hand, the bowl whacks my left eyebrow, which sends it sailing, in slow motion, arcing through the air and exploding on the pantry floor. Good grief, what a mess. And of course, we keep the broom in the pantry, behind where said explosion occurred. Alas, it's all cleaned up and Adam just came all the way upstairs just to tell me how tasty the pie is. So I'd better go have a piece!
It's that kind of a day. It's raining torrentially (so I guess it's more than soggy around the edges) and Phillip and I are hanging out at home, enjoying each other's company.
I made some granola bars this morning, from a recipe adapted from this one. They're great for healthy snacks to take along on a walk or to work, and you can add your favourite dried fruit (or chocolate chips) for whatever variations you want to try out! Raisins and chocolate chips is an excellent combination. Here's the recipe, with my modifications:
Mix together in large mixing bowl:
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 c packed brown sugar (they still taste fine with a little bit less)
1/2 c wheat germ
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
Mix together, then add to dry ingredients:
1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 c honey
2 tsp vanilla
Add dried cranberries and almonds, stir to combine and press into greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven, let sit 10 minutes, and cut into bars. Remove bars from pan after they've cooled.
Phillip is quite the little bookworm! He loves being read to and looks at the pages until you turn them. And as you can see, he's sitting up beautifully, with a little bit of help. And yes, his tongue is out again! I think it's default is 'out'. Maybe some teeth will help to hold it in! Happy weekend!
On our Frenchy's trip yesterday, I found these Children's Place slippers for Phillip. They should be just the right size when the weather gets cooler, and he'll need something cozy on his feet for around the house.
Everything requires thought when it comes to stuff for Phillip, and sometimes I wonder if I'm overthinking things a bit. I found this crib sheet awhile ago, but I just found the skirt yesterday at Frenchy's. The sheet dilemma - it has cars on it. Very cute cars, but we don't want Phillip to think that people have to have cars, or that they're a 'boy thing'. Even though we have a car (which, since I've been on maternity leave and not driving for work all of the time has shaded the grass in its spot so much that it's died. Yay!) Now that I read that back, I think that's overthinking a bit - we have a car, people drive cars, it's not a big deal to have a few cars (and planes and boats and stars) on a crib sheet. Surely we'll be able to talk to him about responsible living on this planet and all of his learning won't come from the sheets he slept on as an infant!
On to the skirt: I'd been looking for a plain white one - hard to come by! I found this one yesterday, and the ruffles were the thing. Are they too girly? Should I buy it just because it's girly, to prove a point? We're not trying to make Phillip into a manly man, and it's fine if he wants to wear pink. Back in the day, kids were often dressed the same, regardless of sex.
Anyway, the sheet and skirt are there and staying for now. I know that it's really not a big deal, and I think it definitely makes the crib look more inviting.
When I arrrived home yesterday, after a lovely day spent Frenchy's shopping, the shed caught my eye. "Oh," I thought. "Adam must have been working on something around the shed." But as I got closer to said shed, I saw that the upturned soil was not the work of human hands, but that of a neighbourhood dog. Cats often go under our shed. Dog sees cat; dog chases cat; cat runs under shed; stupid dog digs up around two full sides of shed to get to cat. Argh, what a mess!
Are these not the chubbiest feet ever? It looks like Phillip's toes are going to pop right off. We went for his 3 month check-up this afternoon, and he weighs 15 pounds 11 oz and is 24 inches long. I think he's actually a bit longer, but he was screaming and pulling his legs up when we were there, so the doctor was having a hard time measuring him. At 4:15 the other morning, he had his legs stretched out straight, and I measured 27 inches. He's a tall one!
To those of you who won the soap, I dropped it off at the post office this afternoon. This is a bar from that batch. I didn't dry it for very long, so it may be soft when it arrives - just leave it out in the air for a couple of days so it can harden a bit, and it will last longer once you start using it. Enjoy!
I was taking a few pictures in the garden...
when I noticed someone sneaking into them.
Clematis seed thingy - I think it's beautiful!
The cutest little pumpkins from the farmer's market. Currently serving as a centrepiece, but perhaps I'll use them as serving bowls for soup. Mmmm, I love pumpkin season!
Picture from here. I met up with another mom and babe from prenatal class on Friday to go for a walk on the waterfront. Phillip was hungry when we met up, so I fed him, changed him, and was just getting him secured in his stroller when - SPLAT! We were hit by a massive spray of seagull poop. It was on my sweater, t-shirt, and back of my neck. Also on the stroller, Phillip's pants, one glop on Phillip's forehead, and surrounding my feet. The other mom (who I don't know very well, so I was a bit more embarrassed than I would have been otherwise) was kind enough to help me get it off of me, and she pointed out that the worst of it missed us!
Yes, folks, I wrote 'wax your mailbox'. I have been instructed by the box my new mailbox arrived in that I should wash and wax it every few weeks. It also merits the heading 'IMPORTANT'. Are there people out there who are spending their Saturday afternoons washing and waxing their mailboxes? Am I missing out on a key to successful life as a human? Where have I been all this time? Why didn't anyone tell me sooner?
Congratulations to Jessicah, SarahC, and Mama! Adam drew your names this morning. E-mail me your mailing addresses (grahamsherrie at yahoo dot ca), and I will send some soap off to you as soon as it's made; hopefully this week. Any preferences for type? I'll see what I can do to accommodate those. Happy washing!