Spider man, spider man

Looking for an unique Hallowe’en costume! Look no further, you too could be spider man, albeit one with a twist.  All you need is a stepladder, LED flashlight and a broom.

Himself cleaned the vents on the heat pump today which is no small feat considering the heat pump is half way up the high ceiling in the kitchen.

The line of dirt he noticed on the vent turned out to be a massive spider web.  The only nice thing about wearing bi-focals and being short, is I rarely notice the spider webs on the ceiling.

As he was up-close and personal, he decided now was the time to check for more of those nasty little webs.  I shone the flashlight and he did the sweeping.

For my friends and family next time you are visiting look up, look way up and let me know if you see any webs dangling.   Based on the amount of webs we cleaned, the bunch of you need glasses too!

IMG_6918 IMG_6919

Posted in Home Sweet Home, My long suffering husband | 1 Comment

Not your mother’s cauliflower

I’m enjoying an extra long weekend as I don’t return to the office until Thursday.  We celebrated Thanksgiving in Fredericton with my daughter, son-in law, grandchildren and great granddaughters.    My grandson is an incredible cook, so he prepared the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.  He rubbed the turkey with brown sugar and salt before roasting.  This made the baked skin a rich dark brown.

My daughter  contributed the appetizers,salads and twice baked cauliflower.    This gluten free, low carb dish could easily become my favourite way to serve cauliflower.   In fact, there were quite a few comments of ” I would have eaten cauliflower as a child if my Mom baked it like this”.   One version of the recipe can be found  here.

The dinner was topped off with pumpkin pie, no bake lemon cheese cake and flourless chocolate cake.

I’m cooking a 9 pound free range chicken today and of course twice baked cauliflower.


Posted in Home Sweet Home, Recipes | 3 Comments

whole lot of quilting goin’ on

Since the middle of July I have completed 5 quilts……………..which absolutely amazes me.   I took my daughter’s advice and worked on them diligently.

The lattice quilt shown here was probably the oldest of my unfinished projects.   I started it just before the new milliuem and now it is finished.  It will be a summer quilt with a sheet batting rather than heavy cotton battingtrelliswhite

I’ve already posted about the scrappy round the world quilt.

This week I packed up the last three sending them off to Fredericton to be machine quilted by my talent daughter.

The two small ones are nap size quilts.   One is for my great niece Alivia who was born in April.  It’s a difficult quilt to photograph due to the light colours.   The rainbow quilt is my favourite.  I love how it turned out.   It’s amazing how a bunch a scraps can turn into something so pretty.

The bottom quilt is a full size quilt and will be a Christmas gift.   It’s based on a pattern titled strip off quilt.




Posted in Quilts, Sew Mam Sew | 3 Comments

The colour in our garden

The roses, brown eyed Susie, hostas, day lilies, sun spots, milkweed, delphiniums and fox gloves  have faded away. It’s sad to see the leaves turn and the flowers die back but our little garden is still blessed with a few bright spots.


These beautiful lilies are filling the yard with an incredible fragrance.  In August I came across boxes of bulbs at Sobeys marked down to $1.00.   We planted them thinking they would not appear until next spring.   The side garden is very warm, with good soil which apparently is the ideal spot for bulbs.


The anemones were also $1.00 a box.   Before planting these bulbs I read that few people have success in the bulbs flowering.  Luckily this little one didn’t read that review.


A month ago we purchased 3 planted mums at Cedar crest Gardens.   Not only do they have the best prices on plants, the nursery is guarded by two very friendly rescue kitties.


This little guy is from Cedar Crest Garden’s mark down bin.   Only one of his solar eyes light up but I still think he’s adorable.


This is my favourite colour in our fall garden.  After  working most away most of the summer Himself built cold frames and planted lettuce, spinanch, kale, taoist, carrots and sugar peas.   For the past week we have eaten greens straight from the garden.   With 3 minutes from the earth to the plate, salads have never tasted so good.


Posted in Garden | 2 Comments

A perfect Saturday

The weather man predicted rain and high winds so we decided to stay  home rather than running the roads today.   With nothing really planned, it turned into the perfect Saturday.

As I searched through the house for autumn decorations Himself was busy in the side yard covering his raised beds with plastic.  Last Sunday he planted kale, spinach, carrots, lettuce, rocket salad, swiss chard and tatosi (an Asian green).   Most of the plants have already peaked through the soil.

He received Nikki Jabbor’s the year round vegetable gardener as a Christmas gift form our grand-daughter Sarah.   This book has become his garden bible.

His only complaint about the book being  while she has written an excellent book, her husband does all the work.    This from the man standing there using a Martha Stewart leaf punch to make paper preforated discs for my autumn banner.

autumn mantle

Posted in Home Sweet Home, My long suffering husband | 1 Comment

Scrappy quilt around the world

Earlier this summer I vowed to finish off my UFOs  (Unfinished Objects).   I waded through numerous unfinished quilt tops, packing each in it’s own container, dutifully labeled.   Quite a few only needed another block or two, or a bit of binding.

My daughter Andrea spent a Saturday with me, sorting fabric, stacking UFOs and bringing lonely blocks to life by sketching the quilts including details on how to finish.   She made me promise not to start another quilt until I had finished at least one of the UFOs.

It was all worth the effort.   This quilt has been only two years in the making, compared to others that have been waiting to be finished since 1999.


When I finally finished the top I showed it to Himself, who muttered, “too busy for me”.  This past weekend we picked up the finished quilt at Andrea’s.  She worked her magic on the quilting and binding.  She also washed the quilt to make it nice and crinkly.  Himself put claim to it announcing it would make the perfect bed quilt.

He’s right, it is the perfect quilt to snuggle under while napping on the couch.

2014 scrappy indoors


Here’s a close up of Andrea’s skillful hand at machine quilting free style.

2014scrappy quilting

And don’t worry about Himself needing a quilt.  There’s still quite a few waiting in the boxes to be finished.

Posted in Home Sweet Home, My long suffering husband, Quilts, Sew Mam Sew, The world's best daughter | 1 Comment

Monarchs and Milkweed

Himself cultivates a good size area of milkweed, both cultivated and wild. He does this for the Monarch butterflies.  The Monarch lays her eggs on the sprouted milkweed.   In five days, the eggs hatch into tiny yellow, black and white banded caterpillars.

monarchs and milkweed

The caterpillars eat enormous quantities  to grow 2,700 times their original size in only two weeks. In three weeks the caterpillar will enter the pupa stage and then an emerald green chrysalis.  Two weeks later the beautiful Monarch appears.

The Monarch milkweed relationship is quite ingenious, as the plant’s “milk” is acidic and poisonous to some animals.   A monarch caterpillar feeds solely on milkweed, absorbing this poison to last its lifetime, making the Monarch foul tasting to most predators.

2013 was a very poor year for Monarchs. Scientist believe it as a result of drought and an absence of milkweed plants. (See Globe and Mail Article)  Not one Monarch graced our milkweed plants.

Last weekend Himself and my son in law spotted a couple of butterflies amongst the milkweed, making us very hopeful.    This weekend our milkweed was a flutter with butterflies.

Help these little guys out by planting or cultivating milkweed in your garden.

monarchs are back

Posted in Garden, Home Sweet Home | 2 Comments

Raspberry Crack

A few summers ago I stumbled across this recipe while looking for an easy way to serve up a basket of raspberries for Sunday dessert.

Recently I served this dessert to my son-in-law and he proclaimed it was the best dish of raspberries he has eaten.  “A perfect blend of the tartness of the berries and the sweetness of the milk. ”   And he is right, it is the perfect summer dessert, always a hit and so simple to make.

In our house we call this raspberry crack, as it soon becomes addictive.

This morning I read the reviews on the original recipes and never considered trying it with blueberries or bananas, but I certainly will.

Try the recipe and let me know.

raspberry crack


Posted in Recipes | 1 Comment


My daughter usually gives very good advice.   On Tuesday she spent the day at our home as her family like thousands of other Frederictonians suffered from a lost of power.

After a good chat about her recent weight lost (well done Andrea), and a delicious supper our talk soon turned to quilting.  I was lamenting on all the unfinished projects sitting in my closet.  Shamefully I admitted I would not be surprised if I had 30 quilt projects in various stages.

In typical Andrea fashion, she wrote me a list to get my quilting projects in order.   Titled Project Sorting, by priority, it goes as follows

1. Completed tops – needs backing, needs quilting

2. Tops – almost done. Sort by how close to done, can work on as you want to.

3. Tops started.  Decide if you want to continue.  For the rest, pile or sort in Ziploc bags or containers.

4. Tops not started yet. If fabric not cut, set aside til ONE quilt done.  Then you can cut

5.  Jelly roll race quilt  (her suggestions to use up a lot of  2.5 inch strips from an uncompleted project) – look it up!

Sure it sounds like tough love, but my daughter has generously agreed to machine quilt my creations.  I just need to provide the top, batting, fabric for the back and the binding.  She even volunteered to cut the bindings for me.   What more could a quilting Mom ask for.

This morning I began sorting through boxes laying the contents out on Himself’s bed.  After spilling the contents of two small boxes, I was overwhelmed.   There were finished blocks, cut squares of various sizes and hst blocks and fabric and quilt patterns  I have not fondled in months.    To motivate myself and resist the urge to start yet another new top, I kept rereading the priority list and chanting WWAD – what would Andrea do!

My daughter does give good advice but as a rebellious Mom, I just need to take it……………… and hide the pattern for the vintage propeller quilt, even though I do have quite a few blocks that will work.

vintage propeller quilt





Posted in Quilts, The world's best daughter | 4 Comments

Batten down the hatches and your composter

Tropical storm Arthur is visiting the Point today.  The winds are howling, the trees are bending and the rain is lashing against the windows.  The birds have retreated to the safety of the woods behind our home.

The strong winds lifted our compost barrel straight into the air.  Luckily it landed straight up 10 feet away.

The power has been flickering off and on but we have a generator and thermos of tea and coffee at the ready.

How do you plan to weather the storm?  We will  spend the day reading, napping, fondling fabric and enjoying our first feed of this season’s strawberries.

Now if I could only convince Himself to drive 18 km to pick up the Globe and Mail.strawberries






Posted in Home Sweet Home | 1 Comment