Sunday, 22 November 2015

Weekend Wrapup

It's Sunday evening, and I'm not sure how it can be the beginning of another work week already.  I'd sure like a weekend do-over if I could.  I didn't get half of what I ought to have completed done...I'll admit I spent a good of the weekend lazing about.

I did a little knitting, My daughter asked for a couple of dishcloths and these are easy to make. I picked up the craft wool at Michaels on sale, so although I could probably purchase them for less at Wally World, it gives me something to do in the evenings. I've finished one and have started the second.  I'm not the speediest of knitters so it takes me a couple of evenings.

The baby sweater finally made it into the mail on Saturday.  I'm hoping my cousin and her daughter like it!

I did a lot of watching football...some of it curled up on the couch which is another reason why the knitting takes me longer than it should.  

There were two Canadian university games on Saturday, and the CFL semi-finals today.  The first game today was the best, tied up in the last minute of the game before a late score gave the win to the Ottawa Redblacks.  The game between Calgary and Edmonton wasn't nearly as close and although Calgary tried to to come back, it was too little, too late.

Next weekend will be the finales for both the university (Vanier Cup) and the CFL (Grey Cup).  It's also the weekend I usually set up the Christmas tree. I did pull out a few things this weekend including the wreath for the door and my poinsettia.  But I'm having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit.  We've had such good weather, with the exception of a couple of days earlier this week.  I even had the sun room open for the cats today as the outside temperature reached 6C.

We did get freezing rain, snow and colder temperatures last Wednesday.  I had driven up to Saskatoon with a co-worker on Tuesday for meetings.  We were planning to leave mid-morning on Wednesday but we awoke to a inch or so of snow, after a couple hours of freezing rain.  Travel was not recommended between Saskatoon and a town about mid-way to Regina.  She had a call from her mom, while my daughter called me, both concerned that we'd be travelling that day.

We waited until shortly after 1 p.m. before venturing out.  The travel not recommended warning was still in effect, but the visibility had improved since the storm had moved on  I figured the sanding trucks would have been out, we were on a divided highway, and neither of us wanted to spend another night so we took the chance.  The highway was definitely icy covered, but for the most part I was able to drive with one set of tires on a dry patch on the shoulder of the highway.  It was slow going for the first 90 minutes or so, but once we got past the worst of it the highway cleared up and we were able to make it home in just about 3's normally a 2 1/2 hour drive so we didn't do badly.  There were a few semis jack-knifed in the ditches but they had come off the other side of the divided highway and appeared to have been there for awhile.  

Actually the worst bit of the drive was when we reached Regina.  There has been rain and snow here too and the residential side streets were skating rinks.  I hadn't yet changed over to my snow tires (did that Friday) so was quite glad to drop C off at home before heading home and getting off the roads.  Today's temps should clear up the least until the next snow.  We're forecast for flurries on Tuesday, but nothing like what has been falling in the mid-west U.S.  I'll take the 2-4 cm...thank you very much.

The cold is coming in soon, with temperatures expected to fall by mid-week.  Overnight low of -17C and daytime highs of -10C by Wednesday.  Too bad I can't join the cats on the couch and hibernate for the next few months!  

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sick and Tired

It's been a bit of a rough week for me but after the events in Paris, I feel slightly ashamed for how miserable I've felt over a simple cold.  So I'm going to erase much of this post that I started drafting earlier this week and get over myself!

Although I wasn't feeling well, I did go into work on Monday as one of my staff and I had an appointment out of town.  We spent Monday and Tuesday morning working out in the field, returning to Regina mid-afternoon.  Wednesday was Remembrance Day so I had a chance to rest and get a few chores down around the house.

I put together a pot of soup and the filling for chicken pot pie (recipe below).  With the weather cooling (though no snow...yet), I'm enjoying having the container of homemade soup in the fridge.  It's a quick and easy meal when I feel hungry and easy to take for lunch to work.

I went into work on Thursday but was home by 11 a.m. as I was feeling feverish and achy.  Back on the couch I slept most of the afternoon with bedtime at 9 p.m.  I woke up around 6 a.m. to call in sick to work (and feed the cats) then slept until nearly 9 a.m.  After all that sleep I was feeling some better.

I put together the pastry for the chicken pot pies and while they baked while I relaxed on the couch (with Saku) and worked on my knitting. This is the second baby hat I made, the first I did according to the pattern on straight needles.  I didn't like the seam up the back, so I cast on again to knit it on the four double-pointed.   The plan is to finish the outfit this weekend and get it in the mail to my cousin so she can see it before she forwards it on to her daughter. (It is finished here, but I've discovered a stain on the back that needs to be washed out - not sure where it came from 0 how annoying!)

Friday evening I was feeling well enough to go out for dinner with friends.  Much of the talk at the table was about the tragedy unfolding in Paris.  How dreadful, and frightening to think one could be sitting with friends in a cafe one minute and lying dead or wounded minutes later because of some mad men.  At that time it wasn't clear who was responsible but it was almost certainly the actions of terrorists.

It is so sad to think that no where is one safe in this world.  Our innocence was lost years ago, when 9/11 happened in New York, and yet for me, this time seems more personal.  Perhaps it is because these individuals walked among the crowds, at the sports stadium, at the concert hall, and on the streets near the homes and restaurants where so many gathered for a fun Friday evening.  No one noticed, while they went about their evil work.  They blended into the crowds and although at least one of the men was under the notice of the French government, that surveillance was not sufficient.

Who is to say it could not happen here?  I must admit that thought crossed my mind as I attended the Regina Symphony last night.  But I am certain we cannot allow fear to overshadow our daily lives, for doing so would be to allow those monsters to win.  Instead I sat back and enjoyed the music of Billy Joel and Elton John, with Jeans 'n Classics providing vocals and piano.  It was truly wonderful, and like so many others in the crowd I sang and danced in my seat and let the music take me away for a time.  The lead singer, Jean Meilleur's version of Elton John's "Circle of Life" was a beautiful rendition and a tribute to the victims in Paris.

So my rough week, turned out to be not so rough after all.  I may not have been feeling one hundred percent, but I realize I am more "sick and tired" of the ideologies of those who would bring harm to innocent victims.  It's a helpless I think will stay with me for a long time.

Today, my thoughts are with those who lives have been changed forever due to the evil men perpetuate on one another.  May they find peace and comfort in the outpouring of grief and love from around the world.


Chicken Pot Pie

3 chicken breasts - cut into bite size pieces
1/4-1/2 onion, chopped
Garlic - teaspoon of crushed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Rosemary, thyme, basil (or spices of your choice) - 1/2 teaspoon of each
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2 tablespoons flour, hot water
Salt and pepper

Saute chicken and onion in hot oil.  Add in garlic after chicken is starting to turn brown, and onion has softened.

Add in rosemary, thyme, basil,  stir into vegetables/chicken and heat for a minute or so before adding 3 cups of chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and add two cups of frozen mixed vegetables.  Mix flour into hot water, add pepper and salt* to taste to create a slurry and add to the pot.  Turn down heat and allow to simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.

*I didn't add salt because I'd used a bouillon to make the chicken broth and I figured there was enough in the flavoring.

I thought about adding dumplings to the top and having it for supper, but my son doesn't care for chicken I cooled the filling in the fridge to make pot pies.  Pastry has always been my nemesis but I used the recipe from the Crisco box and it turned out great, flaky and tender.  I used the recipe for a 9 inch pie, and divided it in four, rolling out about 2/3 of each piece of the dough for the bottom and the rest of the top.  The top was basically a rough circle placed on top of the filling and vented. It may not look pretty but it certainly tasted great....that's why there are only three pies in the photo, I ate the other one for lunch!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Random Saturday

Since yesterday's Friday funny was pretty lame, I thought I'd try to make it up with a better one.  Who doesn't love Maxine?  I aspire to be her someday...or a little more like her anyway.

We had a Bat Cave Day on Thursday at the office.  There are about 40 of us who are currently working in the lower level of the office.  The ceiling height isn't much more than 7 feet, the windows have been covered in film so that no one passing by can see the computer screens or paper work on the desks, and the old desks have 5 1/2 foot panels that are dark blue.  Hence the "Bat Cave" moniker.

Many people were dressed as heroes and villains from Bat Man - I stuck with basic black and said I was Super Mom, since I've had to rescue my children on more than one occasion.  :)

At lunch we had potluck and it always amazes me the variety of food.  There were meatballs and chicken wings, chili and stuffed peppers (pumpkin faces carved into the pepper), deviled eggs, vegetables, fruit, and OMG the desserts.

These are not mine, but the ones I made looked very similar.  They're basically deviled eggs with a bit of green food coloring, and a sliced olive on top - they are called Eye of Newts.  There were three batches of these, I'm assuming we all googled the same Halloween recipes.

We had lots of visitors from the other floors, to check out the decorations and costumes....and to grab a treat or two as well.


I haven't been blogging much lately and commenting has been sporadic as well.  Work has been busy and I've been working on a project here at home as well so there hasn't been much computer time lately.

My cousin B's daughter will be having her first child in February.  When I started work on this sweater they hadn't learned the gender of the baby so I went with yellow....though I must admit I was happy to hear she's having a little girl since the pattern is so lacy.

When this photo was taken, I still had to finish the edging up the front sides and around the neck.  I'd put it aside to work on the first booty.  I've since finished the second booty, completed the edging, and ripped back and re-knit a sleeve as I discovered I'd dropped a stitch.  *Head slap*

I took up knitting again last January after many, many years.  My aunt Mae had taught me as a child but I'd given it up for crocheting because knitting takes more time. (at least for me).

This is the first lace pattern I've ever completed and I'll admit I found it difficult at times.  The sweater is knit from the neck down (no seams to sew!) and I probably restarted it five times before I finally got it started properly.  And then I got into to the lace pattern and that took some re-doing as well.  There is one mistake that I'm aware of, though I don't know I could find it, so I'm hopeful no one else will spot it.

I've making a cap as well; it's on the needles right now and I'm hoping to get the knitting done this weekend.  I need to find three small buttons to finish the sweater and then will mail it off to B.  I'm won't be sorry to see it complete, as I've gone ahead and purchased a bunch more yarn...socks for my children for Christmas, Christmas ornaments for my staff, and I found a pattern for a cat bed.  I'm not saying which Christmas I'd planning to have these done....

While out in the Maritimes I picked up a print from a local artist at the Wolfville Farmers Market.  I had dropped it off at Michaels for framing a couple of weeks ago, and picked it up last weekend.  I've tried to get a decent photograph of it, but the light just isn't right.

I had it framed with three mats, including the red as there is bit of red in the church (too difficult to see here, you'll have to take my word for it.)  I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it's lovely reminder of a great trip.

We had our first bit of snow last weekend though it didn't last.  Today the temperature is up around 9C (48F) which is lovely for the little trick or treaters.  There are lots of homes in the neighbourhood decorated with lights and blow-up critters, pumpkins and the like.  By comparison, my little plastic jack-o-lantern (it plugs in) looks rather cheap...but it will have to do.  I'm not sure how many children we'll get but with it being Saturday I've bought extra and will simply turn out the lights if I run out.

Today I called to make my appointment to have the winter tires put on the car.  They're booked solid until mid-November.  I've booked an appointment for November cross your fingers that we don't get a lot of snow (or sleet) before then.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend everyone!