Aug 30, 2021

Loose Change

What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars worth of pleasure.
— Gene Perret

When I was cleaning the old couch set last week before getting rid of it, I naturally went through the cushions. I found a scrunchie, but that was it. There was no loose change.

Remember the days when you could go through the couch cushions and come up with a significant amount of change? Is this a sign of the times (no one carries loose change in their pockets anymore), a testament to my housekeeping, or just a sign that no one used the couch set much? I wonder . . .

I had a regular doctor’s appointment recently and as has been the case for the last year or so, it was done over the phone. My doctor was on maternity leave so I had a substitute doctor. I really liked this one’s enthusiasm – I think if I’d been seeing someone like her when I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it would have made a world of difference.

And no, that’s not a slight against my current doctor, but the one before her, who’s retired now (thank god!). Anyway, one of the things she was very enthusiastic about was something called “time restricted eating.” The idea is that you only eat for a set number of hours each day, in my case eight hours. So . . . if I eat supper at 6 p.m., then I shouldn’t eat again until 10 a.m. The “fast” is supposed to bring my blood sugar down.

My first thought is, if I don’t eat anything for 16 hours, of course my blood sugar will be lower. It’s the eight hour time frame when I am eating that I’ll still need to worry about. But she was so sure about this that I’m willing to give it a try.

Now, I’ve already been trying to limit my snacking and seldom eat after supper at night. We usually eat between 6 and 7 p.m., and I get up between 6 and 7 a.m., so technically I’ve already been doing a 12 hour fast.

I intend to test my blood when I get up, as usual, and then again before I break my fast for the day to see if there’s much difference. Of course there will be, but I’ll be interested to see if the early one starts going down.

I’ll also keep track of my weight. What I’m really hoping to gain from this experiment is to lose a few pounds. It seems logical when my worst snacking times are now going to be outside of my 8 hour eating window. If nothing else, maybe it’ll cure my snacking altogether.

I’ll keep you abreast of what happens.

Aug 23, 2021

That’s A Wrap!

It’s taken a bit of doing, but I think we can finally call the main floor of our house done.

The bathroom was renovated a few years ago.

The dining room received a new table and chairs about the same time.

The kitchen was renovated just this past year.

There is new flooring in the kitchen, dining room, living room, and hallways.

And we finally have new furniture in the living room.

First, we had to wrestle the old love seat and couch onto the front porch for pick up by the charity we were donating them to:

They were calling for heavy rain that day. Although the sky looked pretty threatening, it never actually rained. We covered them with tarps at first, but after our new set arrived we used the plastic it was wrapped in so the charity didn’t take our tarps by mistake.

And you might take note of the blurriness of the photo. No, it wasn’t fog. It was so humid out that the lens of my camera fogged up. LOL

Once the old stuff was taken care of, we had room for the new couch:

And the new loveseat, flanked by our new recliners:

Now here’s the weird thing. One of the reasons we got new furniture is because the old stuff was too big for the amount of space we had. The new stuff measured smaller, but the couch seems to take up the same amount of space that the old one did. The love seat might be a fraction smaller, but not much.

With the old set it was tricky positioning my recliner so I could actually recline, and I couldn’t recline all the way. Now, even though it looks like a tighter fit, I have no problem rocking or reclining. So if they’re the same size, like I’m thinking they are, why does everything fit better?

I think it’s the shape of them. There was a lot of wasted space with the old set. Compare the old love seat to the new one:

Old love seat:

Note the curved arms that stick out over the ends. They take up space and give nothing in return. And the poofy cushions to rest your back on were another pet peeve. You had to keep readjusting them to find the sweet spot of comfort.

Now, compare it to the new one:

Note the difference in the arms – straight down, no wasted space. In fact, if you took out the cushions on either side, you probably have more seating space. The new love seat is also a little higher than the old one, which makes it more comfortable to sit on.

So there you have it. The main floor of our house is done. And come to think of it, so is the basement – new floor, new furniture. Now all that’s left is the upstairs.

But that will be a reno for another day. ;-)

Aug 16, 2021

Grocery Shopping and Heat Waves

Life is like waiting in line at the grocery store. You wait, you slowly move forward, you pay the price, then you exit unsatisfied and broke.
— Erin McCarthy

You know what one of my pet peeves is? Grocery shopping.

I didn’t much like it before the pandemic, really didn’t like it during the pandemic, and still don’t enjoy it much now that things have opened up a bit more.

I mean think about it. You go to the store, put everything on your list into your cart, take it out of your cart to pay for it, bag it up to put back in your cart – and there always seems to be more after you’ve bagged it so you end up having to stack the bags or carry one – then load it into your car, drive home, take the bags into the house, then unbag everything to put it away.

There’s gotta be an easier way. And no, having groceries delivered isn’t the answer. I like specific brands, and I’m not about to trust someone else to pick out my produce.

And while we’re on the subject of produce . . . the yellow beans have pretty much run their course, I’m letting the few that are left ripen into seeds for next year (in other words, I’m tired of picking them) but the green beans are just getting started.

My neighbour was away for the weekend and I almost picked the ones on her side of the fence (the friend who was looking after things for her told me she wasn’t going to) but my basket was overflowing as it was. And I’ll probably have to go pick more today – I think I need a bigger basket.

Meanwhile, the bumper crop of green cherry/grape tomatoes is starting to ripen. Holy smokes that’s a lot of tomatoes! And meanwhile, the neighbour’s cucumbers have started to appear on my doorstep (she’s sneaky like that). I need to dig out my uncle’s recipe for icicle pickles, as I recall they’re made with full sized cucumbers (cut up) and not the small ones.

Oh! And I got some really nice looking kale from another neighbour that I’m going to try making kale chips out of. Have I mentioned what a friendly neighbourhood we live in? Quiet too, for the most part.

I think the weather has a lot to do with the abundance in our gardens. First we had a lot of rain, then we had a lot of heat – gardens like that sort of thing even if we don’t. Now it’s kind of a mixed bag of heat and rain.

Last week we had one day that was so humid that the windows fogged up on the outside. I used a squeegee on the deck door so I could see. Hey, at least the glass is clean now. LOL But we never got the major storms they kept promising. There were storms all around us, but we barely got anything.

It was so hot last week that even the daughter came swimming with the grandbaby and me. The only problem was the pool was so warm it wasn’t really refreshing.

I’m really hoping that the storms they’re predicting for this week don’t pan out either, especially the rain we’re supposed to get on Thursday. Thursday the Habitat For Humanity ReStore people are coming to pick up our old couch set and they want it sitting on the front porch. Then the Brick is bringing our new couch set and I’d really rather it not get rained on.

So cross your fingers that once again the weatherman is wrong. I know I will be.

Aug 9, 2021

It’s Heating Up

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?
—Henry David Thoreau

I think summer is finally here. We may not be suffering from the extreme heat they’re still getting out west, but they’re not getting our humidity. The humidex means that when our temperature is 29 C (84 F), with the humidity it actually feels like 39 C (102 F).

Had a busy week (well, busy-er than we normally get) last week. Tuesday I spent the day getting some salads done for my sister’s visit, and I made her a scripture bread. Then Wednesday she came to visit with her oldest and youngest grandkids.

Thursday I had my annual mammogram, always a fun time (not!). I think the technician thought I was kidding when I told her she wasn’t allowed to find anything. One cancer is enough, thankyouverymuch.

Friday we had a nice, long visit with the grandbaby, a large portion of which was spent in the pool. A lot of this had to do with us surprising her with a floating unicorn. Previously she had a shark that was big enough to ride on, but the first time in the pool this year the seam on the bottom let go. The unicorn is actually a little bigger, and a lot more stable for riding.

Saturday the daughter and I went to Peterborough to the giant craft store Michael’s, who didn’t have the one thing I went all that way for. There had been some kind of accident on the highway we take to Peterborough, and we had a rather long, but thoroughly enjoyable (unmarked) detour through some woods and farmland, ending up at the Peterborough Airport. On the way home we chose the opposite side of the highway, which was also pretty scenic. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed just driving in the countryside with no real idea of where I’m going.

The thing I was looking for at Michael’s was one of those large, magnifying glass things with a light for doing craft work. My stitchery group has been trying to meet once in awhile in the park, and it was pointed out that I’ve yet to make my name tag. It can be done on anything, as long as it’s hand stitched, but most of them have been done using cross stitch on aida cloth.

I’ve always found cross stitch hard on the eyes, so naturally I decided to design my name tag using red beadwork on black aida cloth. It’s going to look really sharp . . . if I can see well enough to do it. Hopefully I can find my magnifying thingie online. At the very least I’ll need bright light and my glasses.

But just in case, among other things I got at Michaels’s was some white aida cloth which I can see just fine. I suppose coloured beads on the white would look all right too, just not as sharp as the red on black.

We also went to Fabricland where I finally got the lining material for the stitchery bag I made. It’s going to be awesome too . . . if I can figure out how I’m going to put it together. I’d kind of like it to have a zippered compartment (yes, I remembered to buy a zipper) in the center, with open compartments on each side. Of course first I’ll have to clean off the dining room table before I can play around with it. LOL

But in any case, looks like I’ve got lots to do to keep me out of trouble this week.

And now, because my phone won’t let me transfer the picture of the grandbaby on her unicorn, here’s a picture of our resident pond frog.

Aug 3, 2021

Harvest Time? Already?

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.
—Gertrude Stein

Holy moly, just what kind of super beans did my neighbor plant in my garden? The picture above is the fourth time I’ve picked beans and they’re still coming. In fact, the plants are still blossoming. And the beans growing through the chain link fence are just starting. You can’t just let them go to waste, right? It won’t be long before I’m buried in beans!

We’ve been having them steamed with dinner several times a week, but I gotta say I’m starting to lose my affection for them. I don’t care for beans that have been frozen and I’m running out of people to palm them off on give them to. Anyone ever try pickling beans before?

While I still greatly appreciate my neighbor planting my vegetable garden, I should have paid more attention to what she was doing. Because of the over-abundance of beans last year I’d planned on scaling them back to just one row – I’ve got three rows out there this year. No wonder I’m overwhelmed with beans.

And let’s talk tomatoes. I like tomatoes…cooked in stuff. The hubby likes cherry tomatoes in his salad. Me? Not so much. I like big tomatoes that can be sliced for sandwiches or used in spaghetti sauce, which is why we normally just have a few cherry tomato plants on the deck.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the tomato plants in the first of my two gardens, the plants that have grown almost as tall as me, turned out to be cherry and grape tomatoes. And the plants are covered with little green tomatoes. The stalks are weighted down with them. Anyone know what else you can do with cherry tomatoes besides put them in a salad?


Next year I’ll be able to take control of my vegetable gardens again and you can bet I’ll be doing some careful planning over the winter. That’s half the fun, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, if anyone has any recipes that use both string beans and cherry tomatoes, please send them to me!