Tuesday, 14 August 2012

How to Get a Telemarketer to Hang Up


So yesterday, I answer a phone call at work. The gentleman on the other end starts in...

"Hello, ma'am. My name is blahblahblah and I'm with blahblahblah and blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah..." with a voice that clearly says, "I'm working from an outsourced country." You know the kind...the one with an accent so thick you can't understand a word they say. And he's yammering on at 100mph so I haven't a hope of understanding him.

So I say, "Stop," but he keeps on going. "Stop! STOP! STOPSTOPSTOPSTOPSTOP!!!" He finally stops.

"WHO are you with?"

"My name is blahblahblah and I'm with blahblah Yellow Pages blahblahblahblahblahblah..." and he keeps on yapping.

"I'm sorry. I'm not the one you want to talk to. I'm not the boss. She'll be back in September."


The rude b*****d just hung up. No "OK," or "I'll call back later." Just...click.

The guy was so fired up to make a sale that he didn't even take the time to find out if he was talking to the right person.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Good-bye, My Friend

Today I'm mourning the passing of a long-time and faithful friend. We first met in 1996 and our relationship steadily grew. Sometimes it would be a month or more between visits and sometimes we would get together a couple times a week. My friend was always there on my busiest days, helping out and making sure my family was taken care of. Sure, she had her quirks, but don't we all. Sometimes her quirks would annoy me but, when push came to shove, I was very happy to have her in my life. Whenever I needed her, she was there.

In the old days, when a horse broke its leg, it would be shot. Today my friend broke a leg.

Good-bye, my friend. I hope the slow cooker I got for Christmas turns out to be as good and faithful a friend as you were.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sweet Relief

The past week and a half has been brutally hot...in the 30 - 35C range with a humidex of 40+ some days. That's 86 - 95, heat index of 104 for you non-metric folks. Normal summer temps here are around 22C/72F. The weather folks start putting out heat warnings at 25C/77F. (You southern folks can laugh. It's ok. lol.)

For you folks living below the 49th, 25C is probably a nice summer day, but for us folks who live waaay above it, 25 is almost unbearable and 35 is just plain crazy (and rare). The hot, hot days have brought thunderstorms and damaging hail. A few farmers have had their crops destroyed and many people have lost their gardens and flowerbeds. All that time and effort all spring, gone in just a few minutes.

Today has seen steady rain almost all day. It's cooled the house off (finally!). Perhaps we won't have to put on the AC in our bedroom tonight.

This week's forecast is predicting 25C for a couple of days. You know it's been hot when 25 doesn't sound hot, at all. For us northerners, anyways.

Have a good week, everybody.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Another Shopping Spree

Grampa had an appointment in the city on Thursday so we did some shopping while we were there. It's a 3 hour drive to the city so we like to make the most of any trip there. He wanted to stop at Golf Town so I went to Michael's which is just 2 doors down. Here's what I came home with:

 There's a purple loom missing. I was playing around with it and forgot to put it back in the package before taking the pic. I bought it as an activity to do with La Princesa but I discovered that loom knitting isn't as easy as I thought it would be. The instructions that came in the package weren't worth sh*t so I had to head to YouTube to learn how to use it.

Random yarn I bought for the colours. I'll figure out what to do with it later. That small ball beside the green skein is where I pulled out some guts to practice on the loom with.

More random yarn for an as yet undetermined project.

I've been wanting to make myself a shawl and I fell in love with this yarn. It has a thin thread of gold glitter running through it and it'll be perfect for dressier occasions. Now I just need to find a pattern.

I also got this yarn to go with the multi-coloured baby yarn I bought on my last trip. And some stitch markers. Cuz I might decide to knit my shawl. Not that I actually know how to knit. I kind of do but I'm much better at crocheting. I might try sweet talking my mom into making it. She's the knitter.

It's been hotter than God's basement the past couple of days and will continue to be so for the next week. The temperature range will be from the upper 20's to the lower 30's. Celcius, of course. Humidex will be in the lower to upper 30's, all the way to 39 Monday and Tuesday. For us folks in the Great White North, that's HOT! I expect that copious amounts of beer, the quintessential Canadian beverage, will be consumed.

Yesterday, Grampa set up the portable AC in our bedroom. I hate how noisy it is. But it does keep the room nice and cool. A little too cool for me. I usually end up adding a small blanket on my side of the bed. I'm sure that Grampa is half polar bear. He feels the heat much sooner than I do.

I've been working on a couple of projects. I'll post about those another day. In the meantime, stay cool, my friends.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Rainy Day Baking

I had booked today off work in case I was sore from my shot. I'm not. I felt fantastic all day! Yay!!

It was a rainy day today, the sort of pouring from the sky that one could shower in if it wasn't so darned chilly. The wind seeped into the house and almost made my normally very hot feet wish for some cozy slippers.

Since it was cool, I decided to do some baking to warm the house up. First up was banana chip muffins.

Here they are in all their delicious glory. Minus one. Quality control, you know. I tried many, many recipes but I could never find one that wasn't dry. A friend gave me this one and it's now our family favourite. It's very moist. You don't have to drink a gallon of milk afterwards.


3/4 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 or 4 medium bananas
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour cream

Preheat oven to 325F. Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Mash the bananas to make 1 1/2 cups. Blend the  mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk into the margarine and sugar. Mix the flour, salt and soda and add to banana mixture. Fold in the nuts. Pour the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan or a 5 by 9 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 1/4 hours. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan.

Gramma's Notes:

-Greasing and flouring the pan is very important. The bread is guaranteed to stick to the pan if you don't.

-I don't use salt in my baking. I suppose it has a purpose and someone with a culinary degree could tell me what it is but honestly, to my simple palate, baking tastes just fine without it. I figure a person gets enough salt in their regular diet that it can be eliminated from most baking and meal prep.

-We don't much care for walnuts here at our house. DD3's friend is staying with us and has braces so she can't have any nuts. So I tossed in a bag of Chipits Mini Chips. I'm not sure what the weight on the bag is. I forgot to check but it's probably about 1.5 to 2 cups.

-I've used both buttermilk and sour cream (not together) and both work fine.

-For muffins, I double the recipe and use the giant/jumbo muffin cups to make 3 1/2 dozen. I bake them at 350F for 25 - 30 minutes.


Next up was ginger snaps.

Just look at all that spicy, crackly goodness. Naturally they're minus the obligatory 2 or 3 for quality control as well as a dozen that I sent to work with DD3 when she stopped by.

The recipe is from Company's Coming Cookies and can be found on page 111. What I love about these cookies is that they're soft. The ones I remember my mom making were hard and she and Dad would usually soften them by dipping them into their tea. As kids, we didn't care but now that I do the baking, I care...lol.

I worked on La Princesa's afghan a bit but only got 3 squares done. I'll post photos another time. Some housecleaning, laundry and work on my Spanish course (that red binder in the background) filled up the rest of my day. Oh, and some time spent on my blog list, drooling over and admiring everyone else's creations.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I'm a New Woman!

I had an appointment today with the nurse practitioner to get a cortisone shot for my right shoulder. I saw her last week, after enduring months and months of rapidly decreasing mobility in it and she told me I had frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder can be career-ending for hairdressers but I can honestly say that it hasn't affected my ability to do my work. If it was my other shoulder it could be a problem, though.

I kept reading and hearing about how excruciatingly painful these shots were so I was psyched up for the worst. PHHFFTTT! What a baby I was. It hardly hurt, at all. No worse than any other shot I've had.

She had me do a couple of mobility tests and the results were immediate. I wish I had done this sooner!

I was so happy I was almost in tears and I gave her a big hug. She said it usually hurts the next day and that I might not love her so much tomorrow. I told her that I would always love her for giving me back my mobility.

I don't have full mobility, yet. It'll take weeks for that to return and there's no guarantee that I'll ever be 100%. I don't care. I feel like I have an 80% improvement and I'm happy with that.

On the crochet front, I've started La Princesa's afghan. I wanted to work on it a bit tonight but it's hot and humid and we don't have A/C. My hands are just a smidge too sweaty so the yarn won't slide through my fingers. I took tomorrow off work so maybe I'll have a chance to work on it then.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Spidey-ghan Ta Da!

I finally got the Spidey-ghan done. I found the pattern at Stitch 'n Frog . I had a lot of fun making it because I'd been wanting to make one for our g'son. I was thrilled to find a pattern instead of having to create one myself.

I made it with Loops and Threads Necessities. I've never seen Necessities named on anyones' blogs but that's what it says on the label. I used a 5mm hook. I only made a couple of changes. The pattern doesn't say to add a round of black after the first red section but I wanted the separation of colour so I added that. I found the tips were curling too much so, on the last round, I did a ch3 instead of ch2 and adjusted the finishing round. They still curl a bit but not as badly as they did at first. It measures 43 inches in diameter.

Edit to add: The pattern calls for a ch3 for the web lines. I had to change it to ch2. Also, it calls for 14 oz each of red and blue. The yarn I bought came in 7oz balls. I used about half of the second blue one but only a bit more than 3/4 of one red one.

It still bubbles in the middle. The picture doesn't adequately show how dome-like it is. I had no idea why it wouldn't lay flat until I went to measure it and discovered that my points weren't lining up. Somewhere, waaaaay back in the beginning, I miscounted and ended up with only 11 points instead of 12. ARGGHH!!!  Oh well. Little Man won't mind.

Here's a photo of it smoothed out some.

I quite like this pattern and plan to make another round ripple in the future but, next time...count those stitches!!!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Shopping Spree

I'm almost done the Spidey-ghan. My next project is a pink and black afghan for La Princesa, our 12 year old (and only) g'daughter. I had picked up some pink when I was in the city but it wasn't really as "hot" as I had wanted. So, this afternoon, I headed on over to the town down the road to hit up Walmart and see what they had.

I think the pink will be about right. Check out the colourful one on the right. I have no idea what I'm going to make with it. I just loved how bright and cheery it is so I picked it up. I'll figure out what to do with it later.

These ones will turn into a blankie for our newest g'son who will be 1 in August. His room is done in these colours. Hopefully his mom doesn't change things up before Christmas. I got the last 2 balls of brown so his blankie will be mostly yellow.

I got 5 balls of the upper one. I fell head over heels in love with the colours. It has a fine shimmery thread running through it. It's soft but not snuggly soft, if that makes sense. I might work it with a strand of white to make the colours more subdued. A friend's daughter is expecting her first baby (a girl) in September. I think this would be beautiful done up in a baby sweater, but I'm not sure how it would be received. Modern moms don't seem to use the "old school" sweaters. They all use fleece hoodies. Maybe I'll just make a blanket with it.

I only got one ball of the lower one to see how I liked working with it. It's sooo soft...like petting a kitten. I'll probably make a hat or a scarf for La Princesa.

So, there you have it. All squirreled away before Grampa can see it and complain...lol. Not that he does but he might raise an eyebrow since I already have a humungous stash. What he doesn't know won't hurt me, right?  LOL

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Happy Birthday to DD3

DD3 is 22 today. She and her friends had planned on floating down the river but it was rainy and cool so they changed plans, going out on the town instead...such as it is in our little town.

The tradition in our family is that the birthday person gets to have whatever they want for supper. She chose blueberry pancakes, her absolute favourite thing to eat. Grampa cooked up some breakfast sausages on the bbq. The man needs some meat, after all.

Next week, 2 of the g'kids have birthdays and then it's Father's Day on Sunday so we're having one big get together to celebrate them all at once. It's just so hard to get everyone together and, with everything within a week, this is the easiest way to go.

DD still lives at home so we had to do a little something to make the day special for her. Tonight's supper was very low key, though, as it was just us.

She's grown into such a fun young lady. She has a razor sharp wit. The quick comebacks just roll off her tongue. She's kind and thoughtful but will call you out if you're being an ass. Which is really quite funny to see because she's only 5'3" and weighs all of 100 pounds. Mini but mighty...lol.

Happy Birthday, Chica.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Spidey-ghan Progress

I started this afghan a little while back. Progress is slow because I work part time and I have 2 bum shoulders that don't allow me to spend a lot of time crocheting in one sitting. I can only manage about an hour a day. Sometimes I push it to 2 hours but then I pay the price the next day. I wish I could spend hours and hours like I used to be able to but, hey, at least I can still do some, right?

I'm using Loops and Threads Necessities that I picked up at Michael's when I was in the city recently. The colours are actually a bit darker than the photo shows. I'm using a 5mm hook and you can see that it's puckering a bit. I tend to crochet on the tighter side so maybe I should be using a larger hook. I dunno. I'm no expert. Maybe it'll block out. My g'son is only 5 and won't care that it's not perfect.

This is my first round ripple so I'll work out the kinks on the ones that will be loved because they came from Gramma, not because they're perfect.

Monday, 28 May 2012


I've been working on the Spidey-ghan that I found over at Stitch 'n Frog . It'll be a Christmas gift for my 5yo g'son who is a huge Spiderman fan. I'm almost done the second red section and it's not as big as I had expected. I may end up adding more rounds than what are in the orginal pattern. As soon as I figure out how to add photos, I'll show you all how it's looking. I think he's going to love it.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

You Don't Have to be so Grouchy

I witnessed a rather disturbing scene while at the grocery store this morning. The players shall be known as Young Lad (who looked to be about 15 or 16) and Old Bat, who appeared to be between 70 and 80. Now, before all you 70-80 year old ladies get offended, I would call a 30 year old an old bat if I saw her exhibit the behaviour I witnessed.

Old Bat was standing at the till and Young Lad came up to her with something in his hands. I'm guessing that she had forgotten an item and asked for a stock boy to go get it for her. Whatever it was that he had brought up front for her mustn't have been the correct item. She says, "Oh, for God's sake. I'll just go get it myself!" With that, she brushed Young Lad aside and stormed off to get her oh-so-important item.

I wish she could have seen the look of dejection on his face. And I daresay that had someone been so contemptous towards her grandchild (assuming, of course, that she has any), the Mama Bear that resides within all mothers would have charged forth and she would have torn a strip off that person.

How many times have we, who are a generation or two older, moaned and groaned about the perceived laziness and ineptitude of the young kids now in the workforce? I'll confess to doing it. But here was a young fellow who was DOING HIS JOB and he got summarily dismissed by this cranky Old Bat.

Now, it's been said that everyone is fighting some sort of battle. Perhaps she had some stressful things going on in her life and Young Lad bringing the wrong item was the "final straw". Maybe someone really *did* piss in her Cornflakes this morning.

Or...maybe she just thinks that being "of a certain age" entitles her to be demanding. Perhaps she was a spoiled brat when she was a child and lives with that feeling of entitlement that we, who are a generation or two older, abhor so much in today's youth.

Whatever her reason, I simply can't imagine that it was good enough to warrant treating Young Lad with such disdain. Especially when he was DOING HIS JOB.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Lemon-Herbed Chicken

I work Mon, Wed and Fri. I cook bigger meals on my off days so that we can eat leftovers on my work days. I rarely get home before 6:00, so leftovers make a quick supper on those days. There are 4 people in the house so all recipes are adapted for that. Here's my adaptation of a new recipe that's going to be added to the repertoire.

2 Tbsp salad oil
6 chicken breasts, butterflied
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning

Cook chicken in hot oil until browned on both sides. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce to low. Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes or until chicken is tender.

My Notes: You can also use lemon slices for garnish but I omitted that. Also, I almost never measure out any spices. I just sprinkle it on until it looks right. I usually end up using twice the spice that any recipe calls for. The measures above are what the recipe called for. I made gravy with the soup drippings to pour over boiled potatoes.

To make leftovers with this, we'll cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and cut the potatoes up small. Add the gravy (with a bit of butter/margarine if there isn't enough gravy) and leftover veggies. Fry it all up and serve with a salad. Taste-wise, this is my favouritest (that's a word, right? lol) leftover. This is also a great stretcher when there isn't really enough of any one thing to make separate plates for everyone.

I forgot to get a photo of tonight's meal. Shame on me!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

May Long

This is a long weekend in Canada, Monday being Victoria Day. Our two eldest daughters are camping at a local campground, about 15 minutes away, with their husbands and children. Grampa and I drove out to spend the afternoon with them.

It was such a lovely day. Blue skies, warm sunshine with only a light wind. The very dry winter and spring we've had so far meant a fire ban that was only lifted a couple of days ago thanks to some much needed rain.

You know how smoke always seems to follow one person? No matter where that person sits, the smoke goes in that direction? Today I was the chosen target. Ugh! I stink. It's well worth it, though. I got to spend some time with my 4 favourite little people.

Boys sure do get dirty, don't they? My mom always said, "You can't have fun if you can't get dirty." I guess those boys had a whole lot of fun.

I thought about taking some crocheting out with me but I'm glad I didn't. I don't mind the smell of campfire while I'm at the site but I don't really want to smell it for days after. Any work I might have taken would have stunk.

And on that note, I'm off for a shower and to get out of these smelly duds.


Well, hello, all you beautiful people in Blogland! I'm a 50-something who loves to do all sorts of crafts. My favourites are crochet, sewing and cross-stitch. I've dabbled with knitting but I prefer crocheting.

Grampa and I are only 2.5 years away from retiring and are looking forward to leaving the workforce. We bought ourselves a little condo in Mexico a couple of years ago and spend some time down there each winter. It will be our Snowbird home when retirement arrives.

We have 3 beautiful daughters and 4 even  more beautiful g'kids...1 girl and 3 boys. Things are certainly different with boys.

I'll be sharing little snippets of our life along with some of my projects. I'm looking forward to "meeting" other crafty souls.