Tuesday, 27 September 2016

I Made a Pumpkin Dump Cake

Since it is almost October and pumpkin season, I decided to make a pumpkin cake.
  I know Dump cake doesn't sound all that appetizing but really it just refers to how easy it is to make this particular cake.  Now this recipe does take a little more effort than just dumping everything into a pan.  You do have to whip some of the ingredients.  

There are many, many recipes for pumpkin dump cakes but the one I followed was offered by Karly on her Buns In My Oven blog so you can get her full instructions there.  This particular cake required a can of pumpkin puree, a yellow cake mix, 4 eggs, a can of evaporated milk, sugar and cinnamon.  

You can see the two layers in this photo...the crunchy layer and the bottom custardy layer.  Kitchen chemistry I suppose is why that happens.  They provided different taste sensations with my favourite being the crunchy part.

I decided to ice mine with a basic cream cheese frosting that worked well with the pumpkin/cinnamon flavour.
This recipe made a large cake...I worried the batter would be too much for the 9 x 13 pan but it worked perfectly.  The longer this cake sits the tastier it is.  
Needless to say, I've got one delighted hubby.  

Monday, 26 September 2016

4 Things I'm Loving This Week

MacIntosh Apples

 are being harvested locally.  Just love them as a part of a snack with a little cheese and cilantro (which proves I will eat cilantro with anything).

This book,

 the 2012 Giller Prize winner, 419 by Will Ferguson.

  Another book that has been on my list for awhile and finally I got my turn to read it.  I guess most people have heard of the scams where you are offered a share of a large sum of money in exchange for helping someone transfer it out of a foreign country.  These schemes are tagged 4-1-9 named after the former section of the Nigerian Criminal Code. This book takes you into the life of the person getting scammed in Canada and the people who are orchestrating it in Nigeria.   I am enjoying the scenes in Nigeria so much I'm skipping other sections and reading my way through Amina's story.  Wonderful descriptions.

Fresh eggs

 Son-in-law has had real success with his chickens laying.  They are averaging three eggs a day from the four chickens.  They have been adding fresh green vegetables to their diet which the chickens love, and this is turning their egg shells browner.

They must be happy chickens especially with such a good diet.

The Hydrangeas

How pink those hydrangeas are turning.  So pretty in the early evening light.  I think I am in love with them.

They are definitely going out in a rosy glory.

And this is not a thing per se but I'll add it anyway

More Time

This week is the first without obligations for me back at the old house.  I can concentrate all my efforts and energies on this house and my hobbies.  And hopefully get that little sewing room completely organized.  Looking forward to browsing this book and thinking of something autumy to do.  That cover piece certainly has all the glorious fall colours.  And I do love pumpkins.  

I'll be busy this morning reading some blogs and checking out autumn patterns.  Happy Monday!

Friday, 23 September 2016

I Wish

If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets.

                                                      Frank Herbert

I wish I was home again
Truthfully this is a sometimes wish.
I see photos of my grandparent's house and wish I lived there. All of my life, wherever I lived, I always said I was returning to Newfoundland when I retired.  Sometimes  people would bring up the weather or the lack of amenities, how much it cost to fly out of there or whatever.  My stock answer was always, you don't go home for the weather, you go because it's home.

  I know exactly how my life would be each and every day.  I know I would look at the ocean with the same appreciation for its beauty that I always felt and wrote about so ineptly as a student.
So it is a little ironic that here I am living four provinces away from Newfoundland. And enjoying it.
Here my views are mostly pastoral and there is such beauty in that too.

In my more naive days I used to believe Life Is What You Make It for the most part.  That was my motto when I lived in communities that were considered isolated.  Now sometimes I think I am a little too tired or too old to call up all that mind over matter stuff and just want life to run smoothly regardless of where I'm living.
 I'd like to hear only good news; my friends all having lovely grand babies, see photos of wonderful vacations or lovely birds at the feeders and every test result be a good one.  Wouldn't it be nice if when you turn a certain age, that's exactly how life could go.
Now there's a wish worth wishing for.

 Anyway, enough about that.

Last look at my FINISHED Floral Bouquet.  Both of my grandmothers would have loved this.

Happy Belated Autumn Equinox!  Time has a way of slipping past doesn't it.

I know I love it too.  How about you?

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Thrift Store Finds

As promised, I want to share a few charity Thrift store finds with you.  It seems I haven't had the time to stroll through any store lately, let alone take the time I need for searching second hand store shelves.  But last week I took most of one morning to do just that.

I do love transferware plates.  This one is Royal Stafford and a common design, Asiatic Pheasants.  But I liked the black and white and the middle size of it, bigger than a salad plate but not as big as a dinner plate.  Sometimes that is just the size you need.  It was still sporting a Winner's sale sticker saying $5.99 and I paid  $1.99.

A dozen quilting magazines and one quilting book that I'll show you in more detail sometime.  I can't wait for a chance to go through these and ogle the fabrics and projects.

A very pretty pink leather case. It did have a manufacturer's tag still attached and looked like it had never been used. I guess it could be used for makeup or pencils or whatever.  I love the feel of it, very soft.  I looked around because I thought it might be part of a set but couldn't find anything matching like a change purse.  I don't know yet what I'll use it for. I'm thinking it could be very handy for travelling.
And this item makes me wonder why would someone discard something so good.  I'll never understand how some of the things I see in thrift stores wind up there.

I know many people don't like to buy clothes that have been previously owned but sometimes I do, especially if it is an expensive brand name and something I've coveted as is the case with this....

An LL Bean Barn Coat in a mauve/ purple colour with brown corduroy collar and cuffs and the best part, it's an insulated coat so will be great for winter.  It looks brand new, certainly shows no sign of wear.  I looked on ebay and saw one just like mine selling for $42 US and I paid $14.98 so I am very happy with this find.  And it suits my log house! lol

When I checked out, the lady commented on both the little purse and the coat.  She explained that they don't get first dibs on anything coming in.  The rule is it has to be put on the shelf for one week and then if it isn't sold, they can buy it.  She said she was sure someone had their eye on my things. (But maybe she says that to all the customers.)

So I had a relaxing morning looking, took home a few bargains with sales helping a good cause and it all cost less than $25.

Monday, 19 September 2016

A Goal, Crocheting Plastic, Hens and Chicks

I'm learning from some of the best stitchers over at Floss Tube on Youtube.  Some of them have a monthly action plan with a yearly goal. Goals are good, I'm thinking.  So far in my stitching world, I have been flying by the seat of my pants more or less, with not too much thought to finishes, except to show you all. I have learned what a serial starter is and realized I am not one, well maybe a small s one.

That being said, I do have a goal, a big one for this year.  I want to get my projects framed.  I know you've heard me say this before but this time I mean it.  I now have lots and lots of wall space to hang a lot of items.  And a large  inventory of finished pieces...

Cost be what it will....

You can tell my pleasure really is in the doing...

Do you have a plastic bag stash?
 I have one despite trying really hard not to grow one.
This little video appeared on Youtube and I love the idea of using up plastic bags for something good.
I was surprised to learn how many plastic bags you need to make a sleeping mat.
But what a great idea and I'm sure there are lots of other things that can be done with them as well. Kudos to these ladies who are volunteering their time and talents to a worthwhile cause and putting hundreds of plastic bags to good use.

Did you get a good view of the harvest moon?  This is one taken of it over the Rideau showing our Canadian Parliament Buildings there on the right.

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Back down to earth,
In my back yard

Someone planted Hens and Chicks around each of the basement window wells.  They are doing fine in these mostly shaded areas though not as large as I have had them grow previously.  Nevertheless, this is a care-free plant I love and it was on my list to add to the garden.

Some of these are very tiny; didn't know they could be so little.

Here a few have bolted into Hosta territory.  ( I was thinking hostile territory as I typed that; but who knows, maybe this area is hostile to little Hens and Chicks.)

I'm typing this out on my backyard deck; it's just cool enough to need a sweater so the season is changing.  Not a Monday goes by without me thinking of the work world.
Hope your week is off to a good start where ever you are and whatever you are doing.

Friday, 16 September 2016

States of "Done-ness" and Odd Little Creatures

If you look you will find....

I went through every single bin and tote I have in the sewing room.  I pressed all the little pieces of fabrics and trimmed the raggedy tails and sorted everything by colour.  I uncovered a couple WIP's that had been tucked away for one reason or another.  I have made a decision to bring each of these to some state of 'doneness' before beginning anything else.

Meanwhile I finished stitching another of the blocks I had appliqued last May.  It is relaxing to do this.

The colours of this block match my living room curtains so I think I'll make it into a cushion for the couch.

I saw this fellow making his way around one of the patios while I was weeding.

 I was a little shocked at its size.  It was bigger than my little finger and in these parts, we don't see caterpillars that large. And it was an unusual limey green colour.  I took a couple of photos before moving it outside the fence to the trees beyond the dogs' reach.  I noticed it had quite a grip and wasn't that easy to pick up.
  Later I looked it up and was pleased to see that it was the caterpillar of the Polyphemus Moth, also large as moths go...4 to 5 inch wing span.  Oh I wish I could see one.  We don't keep outside lights on at night so I don't know how I'd go about it.  But isn't this a beauty!

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The only provinces where you won't find this moth are Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Another little visitor hanging around the back yard patio...

A gray tree frog.  I've seen two of them and it is hard to know if it is the same two as they change colour which has to be just about the neatest feature a creature could have. Not very attractive even as frogs go but I love spying them.

Speaking again of 'done-ness', I will show you the fully finished Floral Bouquet next week.  And I'll talk about my next cross stitch project, Strawberry Fields Forever by Blackbird Design.
 Oh and I'll also show you a few great finds I came across at the thrift store.  Hadn't been there in ages and was so rewarded for dropping in.

 Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

45, A Movie, and Harvest Festival

Why No Stitching Last Weekend

  I had to spend Saturday you-know-where tidying the greenhouse and sweeping out the barn.  Hubby had to do the mowing again and so it goes.  I brought home the gardening tools that I had stored in both places that the movers had missed.  There always seems to be more.  Like I had completely forgotten about the tall bird feeder stake on the front lawn; it was a rather pretty one with wrought iron leaves and green beads so this time I remembered to get it.

 Hope I'm not boring you to tears with these 'house' updates.
However, though dog tired, we were both in good humour leaving because "the end is in sight", at least the moving of items is.

Sunday, I had an outing with Daughter and Little Grandson.  The Lanark Harvest Festival is a traditional September gathering in this area. There were  lots of booths displaying locally grown food, honey and maple syrup and also artisans showing their wares.  I'm sure wherever you live, there are many such events staged at harvest times.

All the animals got along in this smallish pen- goats, pigs, hens, ducks and donkeys.  For a loonie, you could buy an ice cream cone full of feed pellets and feed the goats. They also ate the cone.
And Grandson got a ride on a pony which he loved. Gosh, he loves horses.

45 A Movie

We watched a movie, 45, starring Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling.   I enjoyed it very much.  It is about a couple who are just about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when they receive news about the husband's former lover.  This is fascinating to me...the notion of the seemingly ideal marriage, the underpinnings of which are, in reality, ever so shaky.  As the song at the end says "how do we know our true love is true".
Trailer is here...

I love Charlotte and enjoyed  her roles in many movies as well as Dexter and Broadchurch more recently.  She was considered quite a beauty in her day and did lots of modelling, but did you know she is also a singer.  And her voice, that also famous sort of gravelly voice, can supposedly be attributed to lots of cigarettes smoked with the filters torn off!

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