Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pictures of The Witch's Island For Mrs. Nakamura

Recently, one of my most faithful commenters requested that we post up some more pictures of the Witch's Island. We've been busy painting the front hallway and I have to say that Hubby is extremely fussy about painting. It has taken two weeks, so far, just to paint four small walls and the mouldings. And there are still two walls to go (trim included)!

So, we haven't been able to get out to take any new pictures and, feeling a bit guilty, I went trolling through our picture files to see just what we had on hand. It turns out that we take a LOT of pictures of our neighbourhod and the most difficult thing is picking out the best and most represntative shots. Most of these were taken in the fall of 2008 or the summer of 2007.

Mrs Nakamura, you asked and we are happy to oblige...


Our neighbours are harvesting their field of corn in October 2008.

The fall colours lighting up the hills behind this cow pasture.

The cows are coming over to see why we are standing by their field. Hoping for snacks, maybe.

This is cottage-country along the river a few miles from home.

This horse has a terrific view from his corral.

You would never know that there is a comercial apple orchard down that lane unless you saw the signs on the highway.

The recent rain and the dark day really brought out the red in the clay of this road.

How would you like to wake up to this vista every day?

The late evening sun is bursting off the birch trees across the road from home.

The backyard in late October 2008.

This is the walkway to one of the local beaches.

The beach is just over the dunes on the horizon. You can see why the walkway is elevated.

We came to this beach in July 2007 while on our bikes. We were riding on one of the local trails and this beach was about 5 kms. from the start.

These pilings used to support a fishing pier a lot of years ago.

Walking on the beach at low tide.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Clothes Pegs, and other thoughts...

These are the pegs we found in the old peg bag.

Clothes pegs, who would have thought that there would be so many different kinds of wooden clothes pegs? In my experience, there are well engineered pegs and some that won’t even last their first hanging. I’ve had some of each and others that fall in the range between, but believe it or not, there is a Ferrari of clothes pegs.

I was transferring my clothes pegs from the old peg bag to my new waitress apron and it struck me that I had quite a varied selection of peg types. I’ve put up a few pictures of the best and the worst just to show you what I mean. It seems to me that the bigger the curl is on the spring the better the peg holds the clothes on the line and the more it resists skewing to the side and falling apart. Luckily for me, I found some of the Ferrari types at Lee Valley Tools. I ordered some earlier this winter along with an indoor clothes line but the pegs were back-ordered. Honestly, who is hanging out so many clothes in the middle of winter that there would be a run on clothes pegs? Oh, maybe people like me.

I really try to cut down on our electricity bill as much as possible because we heat our house with an electric boiler. We built a R2000 home, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to try and save as much electricity as possible. With Hubby coming home with wet boots and clothing after working outside all day and needing them for work the next day, the drier has to be running along with a heater on the boots to dry them out. He does have two pairs of boots in rotation but they still take time to dry out. Wet feet make for a very unhappy Hubby! Using the clothes line, either the one inside or the one outside, reduces our need to run the electric appliances.

These clothes pegs do withstand the wind, which saves money because they don’t twist apart and fly all over the acreage. We don’t want to be chopping up clothes pegs with the lawn tractor and we really don’t want to be chasing clothes down the hill, so it is worth the few pennies extra to buy Ferrari quality pegs if we can find them.

Our mantra is “don’t buy cheap goods, buy goods, cheap”. Clothes pegs, included!

Ferrari clothes pegs!

Close-up of the Ferrari pegs.

Poor, lonely, weird clothes peg!

Regular pegs. Do you se how much smaller the spring is?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shells and Driftwood

After the beautiful mild winter where we had temperatures of nearly 20 C in early March the cold and snow have returned in April. So we need to think warm thoughts to remind ourselves that spring is indeed here. What could inspire those thoughts more than the beach? I love beach-combing in my bikini (that got your attention, didn’t it? Alas, bikini days are gone but Hubby still has some pictures of me in a sexy orange one from years ago) and almost every time we go I come back with one or two pieces of driftwood to add to my collection. Shells, too although there are only so many different types here on the Witch’s Island.

So here are some shells I’ve gathered from various places (the most colourful ones were bought at a local store) and some of my best driftwood pieces to date. I say to date because, Beach Queen that I am, I will be looking to grab some more this year. One thing about living on an island is that there is always lots of beach to comb. I’m truly blessed because I have a great place to live.
I hope you all enjoy the pictures.















Thursday, April 15, 2010

My New Multi-Purpose Waitress Apron

So I’m shopping at my favorite boutique (what, you don’t know which one?) and I come across this waitress pouch. Next thing I realize, I’m at the check-out desk and I’m buying it without really knowing why. Now that I’ve got it though it’s all becoming clear. This pouch does it all. Really!

Bud Light, anyone? Somebody? Anybody?

I bought it for convenience while hanging out the laundry, no more reaching in the clothes peg bag which is usually ten feet away down the line and twisting in the wind. Now I just pick up the clothes from the basket and reach into my pouch at the same time for the clothes pegs. How convenient is that?

Hubby thinks this is great, too. Why you ask? Well, because it can carry beer to your thirsty husband after he has cut the acreage, rotilled the garden, limed the lawn and is getting ready to BBQ dinner. I may not be a waitress for a day or ever but I guess I can bring him a beer. I better get a good tip, though. Don’t you think?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We're BBQ'ing Again!

What comes in a really big box and takes almost 1 ½ hours to assemble? Our new BBQ!!!

We have been looking at BBQ’S for over two weeks now and this is the one we both liked the most. It is a Coleman model and is mostly black. This is something that I really wanted because I found the stainless steel on the last beast to be a royal pain to keep sparkling clean and new looking. The price was right, too at just $499.00 but next week I‘ll receive a $100.00 back because they are going on sale. We’ll just have to bring in our receipt and they will (HOPEFULLY!) refund us the difference. This seems like an incredibly stupid system. Why not just give us the sale price to begin with? I guess the store is betting that some people may not bother to go back and get the money. NOT THE WITCH, though. We will definitely be going back to get our refund, the taxes, too!

After we got it all assembled (something that required at least an hour and a half and by the way it’s a good thing there is a engineer in the family to show Hubby what the instructions meant) we had hamburgers which were to die for. This BBQ will cook 25 of them according to the manufacturer, which seems to be some new kind of rating criteria. The store we bought from had all their BBQ’s rated by amburger capacity. Why hamburgers and not, say, chickens or maybe hot dogs? We cooked 9 burgers last night so that we could freeze some and there was room for lots more, but I don’t know if we could have put 16 more on the grill. This seems like kind of an arbitrary system to me.

Buying a new BBQ now means that you also have to buy a new propane tank to go with it. They have changed all the regulating valves over to a new system with a new thread pattern. Now the old tanks will not work and are obsolete. I guess that the landfill sites weren’t full enough. Is this just another consumer rip-off scheme to make you spend more money? I don’t know but now I have a tank to sell. Maybe they will exchange it for the new type.

Our new BBQ has a great feature to measure the propane left in the tank. The tank hangs off a hook inside the base of the BBQ. The hook is attached to a hydraulic sending unit which is then attached to a dial on the front of the BBQ. The weight of the tank shows whether it is full or empty. What a great idea!

So now, here’s a consumer tip for you. The store offered to assemble our new BBQ for us for a fee of $25.00. Hubby sneered and said that he would be building ours when we got it home. Let me tell you, BBQ s definitely take lots of time and tools to put together and the assembly results in lots of garbage to dispose of after wards. It may be worth the $25.00!
Packaging1

Packaging2

Packaging3

As for us, Hubby and I had a blast building it. Now we’ll just see how long this one lasts. I will be buying a cover for it sometime this week as I do think it will help stop the rust from starting. So far I’m very pleased. BBQ season has arrived!

I wish I could show Hubby's face because he was so perplexed at this point.

Here are our 9 burgers cooking. Does it look like there is enough space for 15 more?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter, Everybody!

Happy Easter to you all from me and my trio of Happy Bunnies. They like to sing but they're not too well co-ordinated. Still, they make me smile.

video

What did you get this morning? I got a nice card, some chocolates and some groovy new rubber boots. Easter, it's almost better than Christmas.

The Witch's new groovy boots.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools Joke.

This morning Hubby was getting out of the shower and I came rushing in telling him that he wouldn't be going to work this morning because the basement was flooded. He looked at me all worried and questioning but I managed to keep my poker face in place. He toweled off quickly and started to race down the hallway. Sorry, Hubby! At this point I started to laugh out loud like a hyena as he turned back to look at me. He got a very puzzled look on his face and then the smack on the side on the head kicked in. APRIL FOOLS!!! I had him hook line and sinker.

We had a great laugh.

Then on the way to work this morning I spotted a Snowy Owl sitting in a farmer's field right near the road. I said "lets go back" (thank god he didn't think this was a joke) and we turned around and spent ten minutes looking at him with the binoculars we keep in the car. He looked very much like this picture I found here.

A beautiful Snowy Owl in a picture found at romantic-chateau.com

What a beautiful bird and a great start to our day.