Try This at Home


Despite squirting minced onion juice directly into my right eye, I am having a pretty good day.

Recipes to me are mere guidelines, and unless I’m feeling particularly sad and vulnerable and morose and unsure of myself (man, why would anyone try to create something feeling like that?) I like to wing it and see what happens.  This drives recipe following people a little nuts.  But it’s kind of exciting and God knows I don’t live dangerously in any other way whatsoever.

Anyway I have avocados which will not last forever in my fridge and decided this morning to try making avocado ranch dressing, or dip, or a combination of the two.  Does anyone actually measure avocado?  Wouldn’t a normal person just take their chances and  use a whole one?  I don’t like to measure sour cream or mayo either because they get my measuring cups all gross, so I plopped a dollop of each into the bowl with the avocado.  I left out dill because I don’t have any.  For onion salt and garlic powder I figured the real thing minced would be even better.  Except for the part where putting onion chunks through the garlic press temporarily blinded me in one eye, I think that worked out well.  Then I added apple cider vinegar instead of white.  I don’t really know why, but why not, hey?  And finally salt and pepper and dried parsley. Also not measured because things like that should be to taste.

It all got mushed up together with the immersion blender (I used to call this the Braun mixer, but apparently other companies make them too and I like this slightly more sophisticated name which makes me sound like I know what I’m doing when it comes to kitchen utensils).

Dont worry, its highly unlikely this will be turning in to a cooking blog.  It’s a stage I’m going through, that’s all.

Daughter and granddaughter are coming over for W’s famous fish and chips this afternoon.  I will be contributing a salad, OR……avocado tartar sauce maybe.  Doesn’t that sound good??

Hope neither of them reads this before they get here…

What the Monkeys are Really Saying


Judgemental little shits.

They sit on a shelf above my stove and one day just relayed these statements to me by mental telepathy, which is pretty amazing when you think about it, with me being the only one of us to have a functioning brain, as far as I know.

Meal prep was very challenging when my sister and her family were here.  They were a mix of vegan, gluten-free, no dairy, limited grains, no grain-fed meat and restricted sugar.  My sister shared all kinds of great recipes and ideas and now I’m making my own salad dressings and using honey and maple syrup instead of refined sugar.  I know it’s still sugar, but you can seriously cut the amount.

Then the next weekend when my family came for Thanksgiving it was just a breeze making stuff that everyone could safely consume.  Even though I cooked it.

Honestly, I do concoct edible things.  I don’t know why W and the monkeys are trying to mess with my culinary self-esteem. He is now very wary about what I’m up to in the kitchen and avoids as if it’s poisoned anything containing…..

1. Zucchini or other unidentifiable green things

2.  Gluten free flour or any of those expensive nut flours

3.  Nut butters which are not peanut

4. Vegetables which appear suspiciously turnip-like and often actually are turnips even though I suggest they might be parsnips, which doesn’t really help.

5.  Healthy alternatives.  He would prefer the unhealthy version, thank you very much.

Well all this is making me hungry for honey nut cheerios.  With skim milk, because that makes it perfectly okay.  Right monkeys?

I have something to say to you guys.  Please keep your opinion to yourself.  Turn around if you can’t look.  Don’t eat if it’s going to make you barf.  And leave me alone or I’m moving you all to the basement.

Kids In the Hall

Yesterday I finished the hallway.  It’s a little weird how happy I am about that.  Only one picture allowed (new hall rules) so it’s my collage picture of some ancestors at various stages in their lives.
Because there is less light here the colour looks more orange and the white really stands out.


Ok, I expect that’s about all the time you would like to spend in my hallway admiring walls and doors. And a surprisingly clean floor.  Let’s go around the corner.

And turn left.  And then back up and turn right.  You know, so you don’t get lost.  New shelf rules too.  Two or less items per.  I just noticed one has three things.  Oh well.

image image
The colour behind the couch is called “tea dance”.  It’s looking a little more pink here than it does in real life.  And notice how different my “melted marshmallow” looks in bright morning light.

imageI’m not sure what this suspended slab of stone or concrete under the fireplace is called, because don’t mantles go above, not below?  Anyway, it was ugly and I always kept it completely covered in stuff.  It’s a perfect place for candles.  And other assorted junk.  And did I mention ugly?  Well now it’s covered in a grey textured paint which looks and feels like rough stone.  And I no longer feel the need to pile loads of crap on top of it.

My daughter made me take away those little elephants. She is ruthless.

And finally, my art corner.  Sadly neglected for now but not forever.

image imageBecause there has to be a mess somewhere.

I should have cut the grass today, but it was just too hot.  These days you have to get out there between thunderstorms. And despite all the rain, the heat manages to keep the grass looking half dead, especially in the front where it kind of matters.  Anyway, I had a nap instead.  Painting wears me right out and it sometimes takes days to recover from all my hard work.  Ha!  No, I don’t really believe that either.

I think we might be half way finished!  This is another picture from the kitchen because I forgot to add it last post.

imageIn case you were worried I might have chucked out the stove.

Back at it tomorrow.  Two bedroom ceilings on the agenda.  Or more naps. Hard choices to be made.

Take It Away

After the back entranceway transformation with all the baskets, the kitchen was up next for an update. The worn floor should be replaced, but frankly, I don’t care.  We replaced it once already years ago.  And the cupboards are old and kind of horrible on the inside, but here’s what I figure. Someone will buy this place and rip out the cupboards and the floor and be all pleased with themselves when it’s done.  So I won’t deprive the future owners of that pleasure and expense.  I just wanted the blue and sand and beachy theme gone and the ceiling white again with no stains and no gawd awful fluorescent light buzzing over my head.  Here’s how the cupboards looked before, going up to the ceiling.
imageAnd here’s how they look like they don’t do that anymore.
imageThat bit of white at the top really brightened things up.  There is a different mess on the counter in the second picture and the window frame is also now white.


I thought the backsplash tiles were white but here they are going from half-assed white to blinding white.

The colour we decided on for the walls is called melted marshmallow. It’s sort of peachy.  So yeah, I have gone from beachy to peachy.  This colour is now on the kitchen and living room walls and will soon be down the hallway because I just taped six doorways and all the baseboards there. I never counted how many doors there are in the hallway before but that’s a lot of doors.  They were all wood and now they are all white.  The hallway is no longer gloomy.  This is the linen closet door where I started.  Because I like to start at the end and work my way to the beginning.

imageBut back to the kitchen.


Because the walls were blue at the bottom and sandy yellow at the top they begged for this type of work in progress art by my creative daughter.  I’m kind of sorry we painted over it.  And even though the paint included primer, the line where the blue stopped was hell to get rid of.  So there are at least three coats of paint here, and this corner in particular where there is less light is a lovely warm almost orange.  Other places the colour looks much more pale.  So even though this colour is all over the place, it looks like different shades in different lights.


imageThere is a story behind the newly spray painted spoon and fork which I’m sure I have shared elsewhere.  This wall looked a little off balance to me before I added that plate on the left. Then all I could think of was hey diddle diddle the dish ran away with the spoon.  But look at that other wall with just ONE thing hanging there!  I’ve come a long way, baby.
This last one is in the living room by the front door where the colour is beautifully soft.

The best decluttering idea ever, which I’m so happy my daughter shared with me, is to remove absolutely every bit of decor that’s movable from every room in the house.  Then once a room is all fresh and clean and painted, carefully choose only things you love dearly and would be sad about if they were gone to add the finishing touches. Less is more.  And move all that weird shit you bought on impulse out to the garage.

Okay, wake up!  I’m done for now.  I will share my living room/art room journey next.

Or I might tell you about my dermatologist appointment because that’s where I’m headed this afternoon.  The excitement rarely ends around here.

Basket Overkill

If you think of me at all you may have been wondering lately if I’m dead.  Nope.  Not yet!  Just been super busy doing crazy things like staring at all my ceilings.  And seeing how many baskets I can fit on a shelf.

There is method to my madness in this particular case.  The above picture shows part of our newly spruced up back entrance.  The colour is ‘coconut milk’ and in natural light it looks lovely and creamy.  Indoor light makes it look more yellow and I love it either way.  The shelf on the way downstairs has always been a catch-all for piles of junk, (mostly belonging to and placed there by W) so this is my solution to having to look at three different Armoral bottles, weed killer spray, car wax and random tools on my way to do the laundry.

So far it’s working very well.  Mostly because W is not here.  But since there is no shelf space anywhere on which to set things down, hopefully when he returns he will use the baskets, or carry his shit off to some other location so it looks like we might have storage space somewhere out of sight like normal people.


Work in progress at the bottom of the stairs.


Paris pictures! More baskets! Such an awkward little space to photograph!

We are painting all the baseboards and window frames and wooden doors white.  We started with one door to see how it looked and I can’t believe what a difference it makes, so now we’re committed.   The front and back doors are done, as well as the door to the kitchen, the pantry door and the linen closet door.  Inside the pantry and linen closet have also been painted white, and cupboard and closet interiors are in progress.

It’s a slow (but very satisfying) process.  I’m trying not to think about the six doors and dozen window frames and bazillion baseboards to go.  Or all the crap that still has to be hauled out to the garage for the sale that may never happen.

My daughter is doing the ceilings. I’m way out of my comfort zone with those, except for staring at them and being amazed that I’ve been able to ignore their condition for so long.  The kitchen ceiling is done.  Gone are the gray water stains around the fluorescent light, the mystery discoloured splotches above the stove, and the random little red dots above the kitchen table caused by a freak accident involving an exploding ketchup packet in the 1980’s.

The old light is replaced too, along with updated fixtures in the hallways and the most awesome one of all in the art room.  I can’t take a picture of that yet until the ceiling looks less like crap.  These are not just stipple they are some kind of popcorn design stuff, impossible to clean or remove without a huge mess.  Thus the reason the ketchup stains were studiously ignored and allowed to slowly fade on their own.

In other more interesting news, today is my birthday.  I am very old.  I love that every so often the thirteenth of May falls on a Friday again just like it did on the day I was born.  Next sister was born on a Thursday the 12th, leading me to believe our mother drove around on bumpy roads and ran up and down the stairs a lot to get that one delivered under the wire.

The Fort McMurray wildfires are far to the north of us here, but people all over the province (and the country) have pulled together with aid and support.  Puts all my messing about with my house in to perspective when you think about so many homes lost and so many people left with nothing.  But no lives lost!  That’s pretty amazing.

Okay!  It’s art room window frame and sill painting day!  I started yesterday but had to take down the blind and sand the wall and patch some holes and clean the windows inside and out and tape everything and then I was too exhausted to pry the paint can open.  Told you I was old.  Hope I live long enough to finish this.

Sew Saturday

I’m not actually doing any sewing today, I just like alliteration.  And I used to sew using purchased McCalls and Simplicity patterns, and I found this hilariously funny.  I don’t know, blame it on lack of sleep.  Or how strange these outfits are.

I’m not even kidding, we used to wear those bloomer type get ups in gym in high school.
Be thankful those went the way of the dinosaur, and have a fun weekend.

This, That, or the Other Thing

Peacock, Giraffe or Glass of something bubbly? Decisions, decisions....

Peacock, Giraffe or Glass of something bubbly? Decisions, decisions….

The game of “This or That” can be extremely frustrating with its limited choices, don’t you think?   I find myself considering the two things and thinking ‘well, it depends…’ and wishing there were a third option.  So I made up my own game with the addition of ‘other’.

  1. Pancakes/Waffles/Crêpes Suzette
  2. Truth/Dare/Don’t Even Ask
  3. Stripes/Polka Dots/The Family Tartan Plaid
  4. White Wine/Red Wine/Double Harvey Wallbanger
  5. Black Coffee/Coffee with Cream and Sugar/Triple Venti Half Sweet Non Fat Caramel Macchiato
  6. Drive/Fly/Hot Air Balloon
  7. Jogging/Hiking/Sky Diving
  8. Ferris Wheel/Roller Coaster/Drop of Doom
  9. Gift Wrap/Gift Bag/Gift Card in a Plain White Envelope
  10. Dogs/Cats/Pygmy Goats
  11. Baby Doll/Teddy Bear/Voodoo Doll
  12. Make a Plan/Be Spontaneous/Fly by the Seat of Your Pants
  13. Roller Skates/Roller Blades/Roller Derby
  14. Phone Call/Text/Hand Written Note on Expensive Stationery
  15. Marathon/Sprint/Watching it all on TV
  16. Doctor/Dentist/Holistic Naturopath
  17. Cake/Pie/Brazilian Chocolate Brigadeiro
  18. See the Future/Change the Past/Live in the Moment
  19. Singer/Dancer/Circus Acrobat
  20. Piano/Guitar/Bagpipes

The purpose of these questions is supposedly getting to know someone, so let’s take it a step further and conduct a scientific analysis, like they do in those quizzes on Facebook.

If you picked mostly first answers, you are pretty predictable and, let’s face it, rather boring.  However, you are also calm, careful and charismatic.  (It’s always best to say something nice in these conclusions so people won’t hate your quiz and call it garbage.)

If you picked mostly second answers it means you take the time to consider the options and don’t just grab on to the first thing that pops up.  You are adventurous, warm-hearted and optimistic.  Seriously, your answers did indicate all that, I didn’t just make it up.

If the majority of your answers were of the ‘other’ variety, holy moly, you are just plain weird.  And by that I mean imaginative, mysterious and bordering on brilliant.  But mostly just plain weird.

Well, this nonsense is making me want to go take some REAL Facebook quizzes and find out who I was in another life and what kind of chocolate I most resemble based on my zodiac sign.  Important stuff.

Hope your Saturday is enlightening and fun.  But mostly fun. With a little weird thrown in.