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Random Ramblings..

Springtime..

May 11, 2015
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Does anyone feel like we went from 6 ft of snow to flowering trees in a period of 2 weeks?!

I’m struggling to keep up right now with the winding down of homeschool, to the wrapping up of the co-op for the year, to the garden going in, to the switcheroo of seasonal clothes, to the having of company, to the keeping the lawn cut. A lot of balls in the air, and so the writing desire has ceased! My posts will be few for a while, or at least until I get the balls under control :)

The garden will be fully packed by this weekend, the seedlings are being hardened this week, so that hopefully, they’ll withstand whatever the weather can throw at them. A rototiller is on our list of purchases to keep the weeds down in the paths easily, but I can already see from that hot weather and a few sprinkles that my hoe will be getting a workout.

The acreage has been disced and is awaiting the planting of soybeans by the neighbour, we’ve relinquished our farming duties to him for this year, and I have to admit…it’s left us with some breathing room which has been kind of nice.

Our pear trees along the laneway are in full bloom and it’s just gorgeous, hopefully I can get some pictures on here!

The warm weather is finally here folks!! Hope you’re enjoying every second after the winter we had :)

Nothing of importance. (Don’t read this unless you are near dead with boredom.)

April 30, 2015
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So, if you read the title and are still here, you must be having a moment in which you have absolutely nothing better to do…Let’s see if I can make you feel better about yourself for spending this moment here, by seeing what randomness rattles through my brain. I promise you’ll want to get up and do something productive after slogging through these 10 profitless points.

1. Persian cats are a lot of work -I’m not sure if you realize this, but Persians sport what seems like a double coat of fur and it’s so fine, that its constantly winding itself up into knots. Ruby currently has 6 knots that I am trying to cut out. Ain’t nobody got time for that…..well…I guess I could be doing that rather than this…

2. Spitz sunflower seeds are also a lot of work –  Not a treat I typically buy, but the kids had been begging to try them and I finally gave in. I put the first one in my mouth while I was in the Timmies drive through to order an Iced Capp with one car ahead of me. I couldn’t get the darn thing separated in my mouth fast enough before it was my turn and had to send forth the entire mouthful out the window so I could speak coherently. Ain’t no body got time for that….well…I guess I could be practising my seed uncoupling skills rather than doing this…

3. I cleaned the garage yesterday- My 9 year old is an organizing enthusiast, she started it and I helped to finish it and boy, oh, boy does it ever feel good to walk to the van without almost breaking my ankle on stray boots. I even pulled the old dust-buster out and sucked up the goldfish in the van- so, so good.

4. Garden Patch – we’ve walked the garden patch a few hundred times now, searching for stray bits of wire from the old page wire fence that used to stand there..each time we find one it’s a little celebration. Feels a bit like seaglass hunting in PEI, except, you know, for wire..in the dirt… in Ontario. So… not really similar at all.

5. Costco Pizza – it’s what we’re having for dinner tonight. Not gonna lie, I love these nights…so, so, simple and easy cleanup!

6. Iced Capps from Tim Hortons –  Love this drink in the summer, problem is that darn calorie content 250 for a small and 360 for a medium. Yikes. (If only I craved the frozen lemonade at 120 cals…sigh)

7. This is getting really lame.

8. Not so lame – I have read through the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the bible) with the kids and I can’t wait to get into Joshua. Numbers was getting a little dicey, I can’t lie, I may have paraphrased a few things… some of those laws are a little risqué, ahem. But talking donkey? Total highlight.

9. I bought a ‘conversational style porch set’ from Lowes last week. We had previously used an older style glass table and chairs that my parents had graciously given us and it worked great for a couple of years, then the cushions wore out and the straps under the cushions wore out, and when guests would sit in said chairs, their bottoms would sink lower and lower until their knees were nearing their chest. As funny as it was to watch, it just wasn’t right. So, now I have a beach-y blue and black iron loveseat and 2 chair set with a coffee table (on sale and paid for with cash I had socked away all year – SCORE!). I’m working on setting it up and decorating a bit back there, will post pics when it’s all together.

10. We made it! Whew, 10 is a lot of useless thoughts. This actually required some effort to come up with. Oh, I almost forgot! I ordered a new cash budget wallet and it’s coming in the mail soon..it’s slimmer than the one I used previously, and has a snap instead of an elastic closure (which broke on my previous wallet) so I think it should last longer. Both of these wallets have been found on ETSY .

That’s all for now folks! Time to get back to work!!

The sign that would’ve saved me…

April 8, 2015
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We went to the auction again this year, and they have a new method of selling at the auction now…kinda wished they had employed this technique 2 years ago when I BOUGHT THE WRONG TRACTOR. sigh, if only they’d had the sign on a stick, it would’ve saved me so much embarrassment.

Here’s the tale in case you haven’t read it: Tale of 2 Tractors…

There wasn’t much to be had this year at the auction, at least not for us…(unless you count the fries from the chippy wagon). I had my eye on a few landscaping items, especially a beautiful Royal Star Magnolia bush that was about 5 feet tall. I lingered around that bush for awhile, waiting for the auctioneer and his posse to come around and start the bidding and by the time they got there, so did the rest of the world. I didn’t even get a chance to throw my card up, that thing sold higher and faster than the space shuttle. The Hubs had phoned our ‘tree guy’ before the bidding began, so we knew when to drop out…he told us not to go any higher than $60 and the bush sold for $115. (if you ever need an informative, and reasonably priced ‘tree guy’ or landscaper in our area, try – www.littlecreektreefarm.com )

After the auction we spent some time cleaning up around the house, and we were able to remove the laneway markers. IMG_1251

This is a clear indicator of spring…kind of like how Wiarton Willy, Jimmy the groundhog, or Punxsatawney Phil predict spring….this is how the Garretts notify you that spring has indeed sprung.

Speaking of the groundhogs…did you see the video of Jimmy this year?

That one makes my stomach flipitty flop, but that mayor stays so composed!

Have a wonderful day folks….and remember, April showers bring May flowers!!

 

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’…

March 10, 2015

The Hubs recently took me to a nice running shoe store in London as he was tired of seeing me hobble around the house like a wounded animal from the foot pain I’d been experiencing. I never thought I’d set foot in this store, as it’s called ‘The Running Room’ and well…the only time I’m running is when raccoons are chasing me or when (wow…I really, truly just tried to think of any other reason I run..and I couldn’t .. haha, shameful.)

At any rate, I went, hoping for some relief.  A super helpful teenaged boy analyzed my gait (what a sheer delight that was, parading back and forth in front of The Hubs and this athletic, gazelle-type creature,  who tried to figure out why my ankle had an inverse roll .. I wanted to say ‘it’s the weight, young man, three pregnancies and great deal of home cooking will do this’…but alas, I let him do his thing.. ) and he had me try on umpteen shoes. I finally settled on something that felt supportive and wasn’t too flashy…because, well, I just felt as though the flashy shoes should be reserved for those that actually sport….not to middle aged women with painful feet and cankles. (cankle=calfankle ..no real distinction between where the calf ends and the ankle begins. Or, my legs.)

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Anyhow, a couple of weeks later and my foot pain has decreased a great deal due to my indoor, un-flashy runners…that is, until yesterday. I was pretending to be super mom and I heaved the full wicker laundry basket onto my hip and the plastic laundry basket into my arm and traipsed down the hall, only to fall in a heap from the dreaded ankle roll. So here I am, shoeless, elevating my swelling cankle and icing it. Just. can’t. win.

It brings me back to another time in my life when I experienced an ankle roll … It was on our honeymoon and The Hubs and I decided to go and see an opera about John The Baptist..(No really.) I had gotten dressed up to the nines in my operatic ensemble …long jacket, hair up and a nice pair of sky high heels…I was feeling pretty good about myself. The opera house was nearly full, we were walking the aisle to our seats, and then it happened.. Ker-snap, rubber ankle right over the heel. Down I went like a sack of potatoes, nearly completing a full face plant on that coarse red carpet. (‘Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.’ Proverbs 16:18..I knew you were thinking it, so I thought I might as well just type it out.)

But, as in all things, there is a silver lining…I found this goody on youtube, and can totally relate to how this poor soul’s ankles must feel. Shucks, I’m so glad someone got this on camera, Have a great day everyone!

Taxes and the Time Change…

March 8, 2015

Well, I just finished off a couple of celebratory hamburgers for our ‘Time change’ party. We’re also celebrating by going to bed early…we here in the Garrett household forgot to change our clocks last night.

It went a little something like this … The Hubs and I were sitting in the den slowly slurping down our morning coffee after staying up late last night figuring out our taxes….(which were far from being figured out. Ugh, allocations, depreciations, and dividends had my brain muscles in a knot..) When suddenly The Hubs shot out of his seat and put his face 2 inches from the computer screen and shrieked ‘ DOES THAT SAY 7:45??!!!!’  (He has a flare for drama when it counts..) and there went our next fifteen minutes, all dramatic like, with the little one crying because she ‘couldn’t handle’ the rushing, the frantic breakfast and ‘sunday hair’ doing –  and woe to me, I just happened to apply the wrong eyeliner…by the time worship was over this morning I was Ricky the ring eyed raccoon. *sigh*. First world problems, I know.

We got home today and The Hubs and I went head long and head strong into tax returns and Lo, the Lord was with us. We have filed for 2014. *High Five!*

There’s a funny thing that happens when I experience mental stress…and it involves copious amounts of food. For instance, the profit allocation portion of the taxes required cheddar popcorn, and the Canada Pension portion required crackers with maple butter and finally the Netfiling needed a pepperoni stick…and then there were the follow up celebratory hamburgers. Can you imagine how large and in-charge I would be if I were an accountant?? Scary.

And yes. I did just mention in my last post that I had started an exercise program…it’s still happening, I’m just consuming the calories I burn and it’s a wonderfully cyclical feeling. Heh. As long as I still fit into my exercise pants…

(To my darling cousin whom I will be travelling with next month…stretch capri’s will be my mainstay, and to my dear friend whom is keeping me accountable in all manners of health…pretend you didn’t read this post, and I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you ate 4 slices of pizza…deal?)

 

A Tale of 2 Tractors…

February 25, 2015
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(There’s a shame factor that has prevented me from sharing this story until now. I still blush when I think about what went down this day..)

 

I could hear the calls from afar, shouts and hollars, the loud speaker ignited with the rolling babble of the auctioneer. The smells of the old and new items up for bid, mingled with the deliciously deep fried smell of the food trucks.

We had spent most of the morning walking through the buildings, scouting out the wares. There were sprawling wagons and tables of new and used everything. You name it, and it was there … don’t believe me? Name a few things…

Playground equipment, RV’s, couches, gardening supplies, tractors, hay balers, manure spreaders, golf clubs, dog food, rabbit hutches, paintings, trees, canoes, motorbikes, hot tubs ..and the kitchen sink y’all.

I had my eye on just a few specific items…the landscaping area had just about all I would need to get the lifeless dirt bed in the front of house up to snuff. Then there was the shiny pink bike that I knew Ashlyn could use, as she was becoming a little too big for the family hand-me-down, the red, blue and rusty number that each kid has learned to ride with.

And finally, the piece de resistance….a gorgeous little red Massey compact tractor that had all the fixins, a bucket, a back hoe attachment, and a mower….a gardeners dream come true. It looked like a spaceship compared to the clunkers it sat beside, and there were rows of them, none as shiny and new as my little red tractor. I oogled over it and when the Hubs said ‘put it on your list’ …I knew I had a chance.

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A few hours in and there was our pick up truck loaded with plants, bushes, trees, flower pots and nice shiny pink bike. My auction card had gotten a work out and I was privy to the ways of the seasoned buyer…the wink, the finger lift and the head nod. The callers knew to look in my direction,  waiting for the next item that struck my cheap fancy. As I checked my watch, I knew it was time to move my card outside  … I bid the landscape men adieu and went to find the tractor callers.

The Hubs decided that he would bring the truck load home and unload the auction items and the whining children…apparently the spring auction just wasn’t their idea of fun(….whaaaat?!)  He figured the pretty red tractor would be up for bids right around the time he got back.

He was wrong.

I slipped into the crowd gathering around tractors, and elbowed my way past the farmers young and old…(I stuck out like a sore thumb in my nike hat and pretty spring coat, – note to self: wear carhartt overalls and rubber boots next year…) Did I mention I was the only GIRL in the crowd of say 60 men? As I got near the front of the crowd, I realized I was JUST in time…the auctioneer trailer had rolled up in front of my tractor and was already calling numbers for the Massey…ACK!! I took a deep breath and was nonchalant about getting my card ready, always keeping in mind that if I show excitement, someone else will smell it and bid me up.

I couldn’t believe what I heard “three, three, three, who will give me thirty-five, three, threeeee..” I was stunned…the hands were slowing down and my little red tractor was only at $3000…The Hubs and I had previously discussed that we would only go as high as $5000, knowing full well it would be a miracle if it sold this low, when in reality this tractor should have sold for well over $10,000.. so my heart was aflutter at the thought of possibly bringing this beauty home!

I raised my hand for $3200 and waited, all eyes were suddenly on me. I have to admit, I may have felt a sinful moment of pride here as I watched the faces of the farmers stare.

I bid my way up to $3500 and that’s when I heard the sweet sound of victory, ” Going, going….SOLD! to the Little lady up front” … I was elated, being able to represent my husband at this moment was so great, He would be so proud of me, Proverbs 31 was here in the flesh…and being called a ‘Little Lady’ too? Well Shucks, this was my day!! I knew the farmers were still staring, so I decided to put a little icing on the cake and I let out a “Woo-hooooo” and did a really nice high fist pump to show my pride.

~This moment is etched into my memory so deeply, it shall never be forgotten. I bear a burden of shame for my pride. If this were a play, I would now be reaching for mask of tragedy and would be putting it upon my blushing cheeks. ~

I was still relishing from my big purchase when I heard the words that nearly brought me to my knees. I looked behind me to where the crowd was now….All of the farmers, gathered around MY tractor…and numbers were being called. I couldn’t compute…all along the auctioneer had been spouting numbers for the Massey tractor…which I thought was my red tractor…so what were they doing now?? I peered through the crowd trying to determine what was the last item that would have been sold, the item to the right of little red….it was a blue jalopy with the blazing black word “Massey” on it… the sinking feeling nearly killed me. This is when I realized at no point did the auctioneer distinguish between a blue or red Massey tractor, and I had jumped the gun…

I was the new owner of a 1968 Massey Ferguson 300.

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What kind of individual buys the wrong TRACTOR?? That would be me.

I did what any rational woman would do. I called my husband. Although he could hardly understand me through my shaking vocals, he quickly recommended that I speak with the auctioneer. I was sick….what if they wouldn’t let me ‘return’ it ?? what if I had just spent $3500 of our hard earned dollars on this big, ancient beast that really wouldn’t hold any purposeful spot on our farm?

I approached the back of the auction trailer and slowly opened the door (I might add that he was auctioning off the little red tractor whilst I was begging for forgiveness….oh the irony…) The woman who assists the auctioneer saw me and said  ‘Oh girl! Good for you for buying that tractor!! I was so proud of you!’… Ouch. My head hung low as I went on to explain that I had made a terrible misjudgement and was wondering if perhaps I could return my purchase, when the extremely loud auctioneer caught wind of my pleas. He did not release me in a gentle and forgiving manner, rather he roasted me within and inch of my life on his loud speaker and explained to the gathering crowd what I had just done. …

All I could think was ..Oh, Lord, take me now….if ever there was a perfect time in my life for rapture, this would be it.

I bore the shameful confession and apologized profusely when the auctioneer asked if I would please come and sit upon the little red tractor while he auctions it off…. I politely refused and walked away from the trailer with my knees knocking.

When The hubs finally found me, I retold the entire event from the corner I had currently been hiding in. The look on his face was of pure delight, He found such amusement over the whole ordeal. He made me repeat the woo-hoo and the fist pump wanting to see what kind of a spectacle I had made of myself…

You can thank him for photographing the tractors, he decided we needed proof of the event, and here, 2 years later…I guess I’m thankful to have them to show you.

I can just imagine the story that went home with the farmers that day … sitting around their dinner table telling the tale of the of the two tractors…and the crazy, fist pumping lady. *blush*

Apologies..

February 15, 2015
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Sorry to those who end up watching the hair cutting video, apparently she uses a couple choice words in there, I had forgotten as I watched this video a while ago, my apologies to anyone who was offended. Wish I could post stuff like that and not worry … but here we are in todays day and age.

Stay warm people, it’s cold out there! Sometimes when it’s -40 outside, even the inside freezes!!

 

Samurai..

January 9, 2015
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     It was a regular afternoon, I was happily chatting away the hour with a fellow mom, sipping coffee and enjoying a talk about things that interest people over 3 feet tall:) Our children were playing, three of which I could see through the big picture window in the living room, as they bounced away on the trampoline.
I took a lasting sip from my vanilla hazelnut blend, and peered over my mug rim…and that’s when I saw it…Saw him… through the window on the back lawn nearing the children.
He had an awkward gait, slow and laboured, more of a saunter – with a mission…my eyes quickly fired a message to my brain, which sent a message to my legs to ‘GET UP!’. Quickly realizing this wasn’t a familiar fellow…but a stranger, I ran to the back door as my friend looked on wondering what could possibly make me get up from our delightful conversation so abruptly.  I opened the door and instantly knew, this guy was sick.
I turned back to my friend and said ‘It’s a racoon, definitely sick, either distemper or rabies’, and I was off, to the garage I flew to grab the only thing I could think of that would keep a distance between me and the creature, and still pack a punch if need be.
A golf club.
Ya, you read that right ..unfortunately.


I pulled that putter out of the golf bag like it was my samurai, my adrenaline was pumping, I ran and practised a few slashes in the air as if I were a ninja. I came around the house with my warrior cry, “HIIIIIYYYAAAA!!!!”…hoping to distract the masked intruder away from the trampoline.

As my eyes met the scene in front of me, I faltered a bit, losing my initial boldness and replacing it with a disbelief. He had already made it to the children, drawn to the laughter in his zombie like state he was reaching up to them from beneath the black trampoline mat with his freaky human like hands, and was nearly licking their toes.
By this point, my girl was beside herself in fear, with her brother and his friend holding her back from scrambling out of the zippered net, thinking the creature may seize her ankles. I ran towards them shouting, gaining speed and waving my death instrument and that’s when his beady little black eyes met mine. The drums began to pound (in my head) … and I went straight for him.

(As an aside in this moment, I had a mental exchange with myself likened to Mel Gibsons Freedom speech in Braveheart…(all changes to the speech my own…))
Aye, fight and you may die, Leanne. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your bed, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell this coon that they he may take my life, but he’ll never take… MY FREEDOM!” 

As I ran towards him from one corner of the backyard, I noticed that my friend had come onto the back porch armed with what she thought constituted a death instrument….an apple. Ya, you read that right, unfortunately. 

She whipped that apple with all her might, her cheeks rippling with the force of chucking that red gala. It was of no use, he had his gaze locked onto me and my shiny putter and was approaching with intensity in his trance like state. At first I invited the chase, as I knew it was leading him away from the poor scarred children, but soon I realized it was on .. like donkey kong. He came at me with enthusiasm…each swipe of my samurai bringing more interest. Within 30 seconds I could handle it no longer, his creepy little human like hands were stepping too quickly towards me. I completely chickened out and hightailed it back to the garage as soon as I saw that the kids had scrambled out of the trampoline to the back porch. I ran and screamed like the princess I became, I whirled my samurai club around and around behind me, hoping to putt his head off. 
Once indoors, I locked the door…because you know…creepy human hands and all.


I held my poor shaking daughter in my arms while I called grandpa to save the day. The true farmer ninja came wielding his samurai of the heavy shovel variety, and saved the day. 

Needless, to say ..my request for a BB gun seems slightly more logical now doesn’t it?! (By the way, I did receive said gun for Christmas, and suffice to say I think it will make for a better deterrent than my ‘samurai’ 😉 

Finally, because I know you’re thinking how cute raccoons are, and because those previous pictures don’t give reasonable doubt as to their true nature….I leave you with this. 


You’re Welcome.

2015..

December 31, 2014
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All’s quiet on the homefront as I type this New Years Eve afternoon. We had a fun morning of going to see a movie, (care of Oma and Opas gift for the children this year, they even bought our tickets!) the choice was ‘Night in the Museum 3’. It was the typical humour we would expect and everyone found a one-liner to repeat afterwards :)

I shed a tear at the end when Robin Williams said his final line and put his sword in the air….who would’ve known while creating that movie, what a poignant moment that would become.

The children are all asleep .. including my big kid 😉 They’re all looking forward to staying up late playing Jenga, Uno and scrabble whilst munching on yet more goodies.

Here’s to a New Year full of new memories, new experiences, and new life and laughter. So thankful for Gods love and mercies in 2014, May you and yours always know His Goodness. 

Eve Squared.

December 22, 2014
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Then again, maybe it’s Eve to the power of three? Christmas Eve’s eve’s eve? Whatever you call it, it’s the 22nd of December today and the list of to-do’s is long and curled around my ankles, and yet here I am for some writing therapy!

Yesterday, the kids had their Christmas recital and as much as I LOVE my children learning all matters of musical goodness, the recital is the culmination of their lessons thus far and always brings stress and diva drama to our home in the days leading up to it. Their teacher has been great for our kids as she is so creative and kind of ‘out-there’ so it pushes them creatively, in a creative way…creating creativity….. *crickets*)

Anyhow, she herself is a phenomenal singer, guitar player, and pianist so she rubs off nicely on my three. This was Edens very first recital and she played a duet with her teacher which always sounds lovely, because what would be just a finger picking melody becomes a beautiful tune with the harmony being played as well. She was a hit :) Gabe played a Jazzy version of ‘We Three kings’ and he did great, God’s given that boy some talent in the music department and he just really enjoys his time on the piano.

Ashlyn began vocal lessons this year, following her stellar performance of Jamie Grace’s ‘God Girl’ last year for the end of year recital, in which she sang and played piano.  This time around she chose ‘All I want for Christmas’ by Mariah Carey.

yep.

MARIAH CAREY.

Have you heard the difference between Jamie Grace and Mariah Carey? Both are amazingly talented singers, but the VOCAL RANGE OF MARIAH, PEOPLE.

My poor red, she has learned a few things over the last month or two about a vocal breaking point and that God has not given each and every one of his children a voice that knoweth no bounds. But, alas, the show must go on and her teacher encouraged her to push through and perform the song to the best of her ability. And that she did, without a nervous bone in her body….(which is beyond me. I couldn’t have done it, now, or when I was 9.) That girls got nerves o’ steel and she actually has fun performing!

Today brings me a day of no piano practice reminders, of which I’m grateful for. It’s the little things, right? :)