Difficult Words

Beginning last weekend when I had every intention to post a blog entry, our lives were upset. Our beloved Bella began to show signs of distress caused by a heart murmur. This had  been diagnosed a year ago and  she was receiving medications twice a day. We changed our plans to ensure that we made each remaining moment for her as lovely as possible, including a car ride to a nearby ice-cream stand, and lots and lots of cuddle times.

Bella became a member of our family eleven years ago when I found her for sale on kijiji. I was immediately drawn to her beautiful eyes and said to MDH that we had to rescue her.

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After five days of ups and downs we knew it was time to do the humane thing and take her for that last, dreaded car ride to the veterinarian. Unfortunately this task was left to MDH because I had to be at work. He assured me that Bella behaved more bravely than he did.

At this time I will share two significant quotes:

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from my collection:

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Dedicated to Bella -forever in our hearts.

Crafting a Souvenir

Following our field trip to Graycliff I wanted to make a  souvenir/ gift for DC who initially had suggested the trip. Amongst the photos  taken were a few that included him which could have just been emailed, but I wanted to do something different.

Software was used to make the photos look  faded and vintage  before being  printed  on glossy paper. With inspiration from Youtuber Nik the Booksmith,  I proceeded with the next part of the project. She generously offered a “Polaroid” template to download. I printed several copies on glossy cardstock. The centres of each “Polaroid frame” had to be cut out with an Xacto knife.

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After gluing the frames to the photos they were added  to a small booklet which I had made from cardstock. It included space for DC to write his memories of the day.

Using Kraft cardstock, glue, string, brads, and a paper punch I crafted  a “folio” type folder  to mail the photo booklet to DC.

I happened to have a rubber stamp with a favourite travel quote which I stamped onto the back :

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It wasn’t exactly an apt quote since we had a destination in mind, but we did have a few detours along the road to Graycliff, so I guess one could say we “got lost”, if only for a few moments.

This project turned out to be only the first step on my journey to altered books.

Shabby by Design, or Accident?

The porch off our kitchen has evolved into a shabby enclave. Years ago I gave up fighting the rain, heat or humidity that made exterior painting such an unrewarding, futile exercise and just let the paint crack and peel into its  current shabby appearance.

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I have propped up an assortment of old doors and shutters to create a sense of privacy and protection from chilly north and east breezes. Seating is provided by wicker chairs whose seats are slipcovered with fabric purchased many years ago on one of our road trips. (I loved the pattern and colours so much that I bought the entire 50 metre bolt.)

The buoys on this part of the wall were collected over the years, souvenirs from various trips to the coast. There is a fishing shack by the harbour outside Orleans, Cape Cod that had a wall covered with buoys and  it was the inspiration for this display. porch-3

The bird house was home to a wren family this summer and has been shelter to sparrows during the winter.

This shabby  oasis is my favourite place in the spring,  summer and early autumn for enjoying morning coffee, or afternoon tea, for reading,  watching birds, listening to frogs, crickets and trickling water from a nearby water fountain.

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This Thanksgiving weekend as I rock away on our porch I have made up a list of things that need to be done before winter arrives. Storing the wicker furniture in the cellar, bringing the geraniums into the house, draining water from the fountain and taking it apart, storing the doors and shutters in the barn all need to be done – but just not yet!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 

Labour Day

A few weeks ago as I was driving home, I encountered road construction and was signalled to stop to allow oncoming traffic to pass. It was one of those all too frequent sweltering days that we’ve suffered with this summer. As I waited for my turn to drive on, I thought about the people who were working on the road and having to do their job under the blistering sun and enduring the horrid asphalt smells.  I couldn’t help but think how glad I was that it wasn’t my job.

On reflection, there are so many jobs that are quite demanding and dangerous that I couldn’t do and wouldn’t want to do. But I, for one, am glad that there are people willing to do them. On this Labour Day it is worth a moment to thank all of them for making lives better and easier for us: fire-fighters, road crews, letter carriers, high-rise window washers, steel workers, miners, farm workers and … the list is long.

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Another Zucchini Recipe

If you have zucchini plants growing in your garden, chances are that it is now providing an abundance of fruit.

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If not watched carefully, the fruits grow into mammoth proportions. This has happened to us a few times this summer! Fortunately, there are hundreds of ways to use zucchini of all sizes. DH has chopped up the really large ones to make into relish. I have spiralized a few to make “spaghetti”, sliced several lengthwise to make “lasagna” and shredded the smaller ones to make into zucchini bread.

Gluten-free Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 small – medium sized zucchini, shredded

6 Tablespoons cocoa

2 cups almond flour

6 tablespoons gluten free all purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered stevia (or sugar, if preferred)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

3 large eggs

6 tablespoons extra light olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 4 small loaf pans.

Shred the zucchini and put into a paper towel lined colander to absorb excess moisture.

Using a wire whisk, combine all the dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

Stir the eggs and oil together.

Press as much moisture as you can from the zucchini, then  add it and the egg mixture to the dry ingredients.  Mix everything together and divide into prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool completely before slicing.

Tip: This zucchini bread freezes very well.