Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grampa...he's on my mind today

Last winter we lost my grampa...He was 87 and it was time.  He lived a full life and it was so hard to watch him decline the last few years.  He was larger than life and taught all of us so much.  As kids he spent a great deal time with us.  We lived 6 hours away and our summer vacation was normally split between each set of grandparents.  He took us fishing, hunting, name it, if it had to do with the bush then we did it.  I remember riding in his truck, never with seat belts on, there were usually too many of us in the truck for that!  He had an eight track tape player and we listened to fiddle or country music.  It was such a thrill to ride with him.  He "air" fiddled while driving, he would take his cigarette and turn it back into his mouth and it would come out still lit and drive like a madman, (all at the same time!) we never went that fast, but when you are little it sure seemed like it.  We followed him on trap lines and then sat in the basement and watched him skin a beaver and then stretch it out on a board with tacks that he would hammer in.  It was the coolest thing to watch, especially when you are about 8!  He knew a Doctor who owned a cabin on a lake and the man owned all the property around the lake too. Grampa just happened to have a key for the lock on the only road access in!  We would take our lunch that Nana had packed and we would be off for the day.  It was clean, clear water and full of bass.  We would go the night before and catch frogs for bait.  My mother was mortified that while we were catching frogs grampa taught us how to throw a rock and kill the snakes that were in the pond with all the frogs.  He really didn't like snakes, spiders...or mice!

Grampa on Green Lake

It has been a lifetime since we were last on Green Lake.  I think I was 12 or 13 the last time we went there, but the memories will last forever! 

He taught us all how to shoot a gun and took us bird hunting!  Hubby deer hunted with him for a few years, but hubby never really got to see him hunt for real.  By the time he started hunting, grampa was only hunting from his truck and not walking the bush like he used to.  Walking the bush with him was always interesting.  He was so used to going alone that he would forget that we were following and the branches from the trees would snap back and get us...usually in the face.  We would go into ponds and creeks to check minnow traps and then take the minnows and put them in the live well in the creek just behind the house, so when the fisherman came for bait we could follow and help pick out and catch the minnows again!  I think he sold them for about two dollars a dozen back then.  Under one of the big trees he had a box of worms too.  Again the fisherman would come for bait and we would go and pick the worms out of the box and sell them too. It always seemed like such an adventure and there was always something to do.

One of my earliest memories of him are going to visit him when he was logging.  It seemed to take forever to get to where he was working and the machines were huge!!  I think my favorite memory as a child was when he had a campground on the river.  When we were growing up, pop was a big treat and very rarely did we ever have any.  I will never forget opening the big old lift top fridge and getting to pick my own can of pop.  It was white cream soda.  I think if I remember rightly he had a pop machine that had bottles too, with the bottle opener built onto the front of the machine.  He had 2 cabins that he rented and people rented out spots for their trailers.  There were flat green bottom cedar boats that he had for the tourists and they were all tied to the wharf.  We called them docks, but he called them wharfs.  I don't have any pictures of that campground, but can see it my mind as if I was there yesterday.  He gave up the campground when the lease ran out, but it wasn't long before he had another lease on more property and he started all over again.  I sometimes get very frustrated with the owner of our campground.  The owners live on the property and rarely come out of the house.  Grampa never lived on the properties where his campgrounds were, but always knew who was there and why.  After supper we would all pile into the truck and head out to see what was happening.  He drove to the campground and stopped to talk to everyone there, made sure everything was fine.  He would back there again in the morning to see if there had been any trouble during the night.  In his later years he rarely got out of his truck and would just shut it off and sit and chat with his campers. He would sit with the truck shut off and it would still be in gear. When he would go to start it again he would often forget that he had to put it back into park for it to start.  Everyone knew him and he knew everyone that was there.   

I think about him every day....I have gone to visit Nana and although he hadn't lived in the house for the last 2 years of his life, it seems so empty without him. Even when he was in care, we knew we could go and see him.  Nana has changed very little in his room.  His bed is still made, his wheelchair and walker are still in the room.  Even the baby monitor that they used (Nana's room is upstairs) is still on the dresser.  I miss him....he was a good man!

The house he built with his father!  Nana still lives there today!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Project 365-18 days in!

I suppose 18 is an odd number to post my progress.  I am really trying to be creative with my shots and stay away from the same shots everyday.  Now that fall is here the trees are changing daily and the amount of leaves falling is increasing too! 

Fall Berries

It's a rough life

Sugar on Tomatoes

Candle, unlit

First Frost

Lone Angler

Early morning Fog

Just starting to change



Water Droplets

Along the highway


Halloween is close

Pretty Yellow

Through the screen

Our new resident


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Cake!! I made a Dragonfly Cake

On Saturday my child turned 7!  I still can't believe that she is 7..Wow..

I had no idea what kind of cake to buy this year and a friend joked that I should make one.  This is the first time in 7 birthdays that the child didn't get a store bought cake.  I've always ordered a theme cake from the grocery store and this year I didn't!
I started by searching online to see what kind of ideas were out there andand found this website.  I had first decided on a Lady Bug and then the thought of making and using Fondant scared me so I kept looking  and after browsing decided to try a dragonfly. 

I then had to figure out how many cakes and what sizes to bake.  I started out with 2 bowls to make the head and a rectangle pan for the body and 3 round pans for the wings.  I think I f I was going to do it again I would use all rectangle pans and 2 bowls. I used Pyrex bowls and lined them with parchment paper to be sure that the pieces would come out without breaking. I made part of the cake chocolate and the rest was regular white cake which I added pink food coloring to the pan I used for the body.  I had a great time doing it and it was loved by all!!

In the oven

Starting to build

I used tinfoil that I had torn too short to cover the board as my template

In progress

Parchment paper to cut the wings

The larger wings

Ready for icing

The leftovers

Wings are done

Cake is done!!

I used 2 different colors of icing and purchased sparkles and some black licorice strings to make the antenna's and outlined everything else with a tube of black decorating gel.

The cake was a hit and loved by all...especially the birthday girl!!

Ten on Tuesday

10 Things in Your Refrigerator Right Now

After a day at Costco yesterday this one should be rather easy!!

1.  Strawberries, I want to make Banana Strawberry Jam this week!
2.  Left over pork roast from last night
3.  Milk, chocolate and white
4.  Feta stuffed Jalapeno peppers..mmmm
5.  All kinds of condiments, some doubled..we closed the trailer last weekend
6.  Fruit..lately we have been loving oranges and there are plenty of apples too
7.  Left over Chinese food from the birthday supper on Friday
8.  Eggs
9.  Real Maple Syrup that I bought for making Pumpkin Butter
10.Lots of butter left over from the Butter Cream Icing from the cake (pictures and post to follow)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Very Long Day

I'll just throw some pictures up here for tonight.

I've been baking for school tomorrow and for the birthday party tomorrow night..
Until later..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Post Number 25

I think for Post Number 25 I'll give you 25 things about me!

1.  My given name isn't Annie, it's part of it though
2.  I'm in my mid 40's
3.  I suffered infertility for many years
4.  I endured many treatments that didn't work
5.  We adopted our daughter
6.  I've been married twice
7.  I once quit smoking for more than 2 years
8.  I've been a smoker again for almost a year
9.  I smoked for 25 years when I quit
10. I found it very easy to quit
11. It was even easier to start again
12. I'm not a big drinker
13. I love to knit
14. And give it away
15. Some of my best friends I met online
16. I'm trying to better homemaker
17. I don't mind doing laundry
18. I hate putting it away
19. I would love to go to Buckingham Palace one day
20. I think I know what I want to be when I grow up
21. I'm not a very good swimmer
22. I hate sewing from a pattern
23. I love my camera
24. I am learning to slow down and take pictures
25. I love Roller Coasters

Maybe at post 50 I'll tell you more about me!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I often wonder how many people live with depression every day and don't realize that there is anything wrong.  I spoke with an acquaintance on the weekend.  I have known this lady for a few years now and we have spoken many times, but never really had a good discussion.  We talked about changes that my hubby has recently made regarding his job and the topic turned to the lack of extended health benefits that we no longer have.  She mentioned that we could purchase our own plan.  This I was aware of.  The problem is that with most of the plans as soon as there is an existing condition they don't cover the medications associated.  I mentioned that my medication wouldn't be covered anyhow and then we got onto the topic of what I was on medication for.  It turns out that she too suffers from Bipolar Disorder or what is referred to as Manic Depression.  I would never have guessed in a million years that she suffered from it.  She seems to be so happy go lucky all the time, always stops to chat and has a smile for everyone.  It turns out most of it is a show.  She stopped by on Sunday morning as I was getting ready to go and take some pictures and she stood on my deck in tears and told me it was a really bad day and she really needed a hug.  I hugged her and held her tight.  I can relate to those bad days, but I tend to pull away and I'm not sure I would have been able to stand and cry and ask for a hug the way she did.  It did give me strength.  I know I'm not alone fighting the sad feelings and the mood swings.  There is no way to tell what kind of day it's going to be.  I woke up on Saturday knowing I had to face a funeral and then head off for the rest of the weekend.  I was feeling good before I left and I am not sure what triggered the crying attack.  Was it the funeral itself?  Was it the mention by the priest of another friend whose funeral was held in the same chapel 18 months previously?  Or was it just a day that started out good, fell flat in the middle and then after talking to someone else who understood it leveled out and I was able to get through the evening?

This time of year (change of the seasons) is a difficult time for anyone who suffers from Depression or those that suffer SAD or Seasonal Affective DisorderIs it a coincidence that I was very close to breakdown in April and into May and then leveled out again for most of the summer and am now on an upswing?  I have started crafting, knitting, and reading again.  Maybe it's just that my medication has started to really become effective for me and I will soon be back to my old self.  It could be too that we are back into a routine and I know I no longer have to return to my job as per my Doctor's instructions and that alone has eased some of the stress.  Who knows?

There are so many unknowns with depression and those who suffer from it.  It took me a very long time to learn that just because I was feeling better it wasn't OK to stop taking my pills.  It was the pills that were helping me feel better.  It still took time for me to realize this spring that I was crashing.  I know all the warning signs, but there is still a stigma associated with any Mental Illness. It is still a subject that isn't talked about. It needs to be talked about and people need to understand that there is no way to avoid it and that it's OK to tell people or to ask for that hug when you need it. 
I feel fortunate most days that I have very understanding friends and family.  My employer on the other hand seemed to have no understanding that I couldn't help how I was feeling or that a good nights sleep wouldn't cure it all.  I have chosen to surround myself with those who do know what it's like, can feel sympathetic, and don't judge me because this is how my body works.

Hmmm..wondering.  I think it's been a good thing today...

Ten on Tuesday

The topic for this week is
10 Ways to Have a Happy Birthday

1.  Cake!  it's all about the cake!
2.  Celebrate with friends, and share the cake
3.  Have a dinner with family
4.  Look to the year ahead and not dwell on last year
5.  Instead of gifts, make donations to your favorite charities
6.  Head to your favorite restaurant and enjoy
7.  Spend the day doing what you want to do, ignore what you have to do
8.  Go to the spa and enjoy a day of pampering
9.  Sleep in, be served breakfast in bed
10.This is your day!  Just enjoy it to the fullest!!

Last week was 10 reasons to watch football and I've never been a fan so I skipped it!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Last night I tried to upload more than just the one photo.  Of course none of the others would load and I was starting to get a little bit peeved.  After posting I realized that I had logged into a different gmail account and that prevented the pictures from uploading.  This is something I know....

Depression will often mess with your concentration. 

Hubby and I spend Friday night at the funeral home for a friend who died far too young.  Late 40's is too young in my opinion.  Hubby was working Saturday so I attended the actual funeral service alone.  Going alone didn't bother me, I knew a lot of the people there.  It was at the end of the service when for some reason, it hit me.  And it hit me really hard.  By the time I got to my vehicle I was sobbing, and you know those kinds of sobs when you can't catch your breath.  That was me.  Some wonderful friends pulled up beside me to see if I was ok and I knew that once I calmed down I would be fine to drive.  On the way home I stopped at my mom's and got a mom hug that of course can fix anything and was then on my way.  I was getting ready to head to camp for our final weekend of the year, packed our bags, found some food and was ready to go.  I couldn't find my house key so I decided to go to the garage and take the one from there that we have in case of an emergency. The keypad on the garage door wouldn't work so here I was trying to figure out how I was going to lock the house and then put the key away and use the keypad on the garage to lock the door.  The keypad wasn't working so I figured the batteries were dead.  I had no idea how I was going to lock both and leave the key for hubby in case he didn't have his.  I called him and it was him who finally made me realize that there is a huge door in the garage that you can fit your car through, and that we both have remotes in our vehicles to close the door.  I didn't have the logic in my brain to figure that out. 

Depression often causes problems with concentration.  The most obvious of solutions are right in front of you and you just can't seem to make them work or even how to solve a very simple situation.  Depression isn't all about crying and sadness, worthlessness and being can affect all aspects of your daily life.  Sad but so very true........

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quick Pictures

Too tired to blog are some shots from the weekend!

OK so it's only one picture.  Blogger is having an attitude tonight and I don't have the patience..
Until tomorrow


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where to start today...

I had a good cry last night and although I'm still feeling a little down today I will make myself get things done.  All in all yesterday was a productive day...

I started by blanching and peeling about 30 red tomatoes and then I spent another 8 hours boiling it all down to make Tomato Jam.  It is excellent on meat and can almost be used like ketchup.  This is another recipe from my grandmother and so far everyone who has tried it, like it.  I think it might be good in meatloaf.  I normally use either tomato soup or salsa, but maybe I'll go and get some hamburger today and try it in a meatloaf.

Beautiful Red Tomatoes
In the pot with sugar added
After cooking for 8 hours and adding spices this is how it looks!

I made another batch of the green tomato relish and then I tried something completely different.  Zesty Peach BBQ Sauce.

At the beginning!

I should have wiped the jar before the photo!  I ran it through the food processor and I think the next time I make it, I will chop all the ingredients that way.

I like peaches and thought I would try it.  It is delicious.  I found the recipe in this book.  I made a double batch and with the little bit of left over that didn't go into a jar, hubby put it on the pork chops last night while he cooked them on the BBQ.  I made a small mistake and instead of adding the hot pepper flakes using a teaspoon like the recipe said, I used a tablespoon.  I scooped a bunch of it out and it has just enough bite to make it zesty, but not the bite that has you looking for a glass of water.  I was really happy with the way it turned out!  I am just about out of jars and I still want to make some more Lady Eaton Relish and try a Pumpkin Butter too.  The small jars are going to be perfect to put into baskets for Christmas.  I plan to put tags on them listing the ingredients and maybe some ideas on how to use them with your meals.  Home made Christmas is coming along nicely!

The hat that I had on the needles is finished!  Unfortunately it didn't fit the intended recipient so I have cast another one on and hope to have it finished tonight or tomorrow!

I still have enough of the orange yarn left to make the bigger one and the smaller one just might get mailed my cousin!

I am hoping for another productive day.  I think I will take a break from the canning and will clean the kitchen and get some laundry done.

It's a wet cold rainy day that feels like November...maybe I'll just turn on the fireplace and sit and knit....hhmmmm

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bad day......

I am having a very hard day today.
  • I did my 365 picture and will upload it tomorrow.  
  • Did a whole bunch of preserves today including Zesty Peach BBQ Sauce
  • Found out last night that a 48 year old friend of ours passed away suddenly
  • Too many tears...will blog tomorrow.......

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On the Needles

It's the time of year again when the mornings and evenings are too cold to not have a hat on the kids, but too warm to have a winter hat on.  Last night I decided to cast on a simple roll up hat for a friend who has a one year old little boy in daycare and has had a few ear infections.  I hope to have it done tonight and will post the finished hat when I am done!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Project 365

Now that I've been using my cameras again I have decided to try a Project 365!
I am going to take pictures everyday and post them...wish me luck!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Morning Photos!

I love the fall for early morning pictures!  I am by no means a morning person and i suppose 7:30 doesn't really amount to early morning, but for me to outside with camera in hand says a lot!