Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A week of uniforms

This past week was monumental for my oldest daughter. She earned her vest at Awana and she started Brownies. It is so cute to see he all dressed up in the uniforms. I have to admit though that I really liked the Brownie dress that I wore, over this uniform she has! Here she is last two years ago, when she joined. First one, she is pledging and then she is getting her pin and scarf.

Battle of the fleas

We have two cats, Angel and Spook. Sorry for the horrible pictures! I dont have many pictures of them on my computer. They are indoor cats, but this year, somehow they have got fleas. Now in all the searches I have done online, it says this is very easy to happen. Thankfully we have NOT had it happen in the past years. Neverless we are now having to deal with this issue. We did, I am ashamed to say try the Control brand of drops on them. I have since read that it is not very effective and pretty harmful. I have been combing the cats daily, that alone has seem to have done a lot. I had read that bathing them with a mild detergent, and letting them sit for a few mintues before rinsing them kills a lot of the fleas. We have an area in our basement that is in the reno stage that the cats "hang" out in, and we know it must have a fair amount down there! Eeek. Strangely enough, I have always been one that would get eatten alive if there were fleas around, and I am getting no bites now. So we will be looking into a flea bomb, or other alternative this weekend. I have certainly had my fill on flea information, doing these searches. Yuck they are ugly creatures and darn adaptable too. I learned that

  • they can stay in the pupal stage from 5 days to 5 weeks, in the absence of a host.

  • the adults emerge when vibrations let them know a host is near.

  • a sand flea is just a common flea, breeding outdoors.

  • the entire life cycle of flea can require two weeks, to two years!

  • they can jump 7-8 inches vertically and 14-16 inches horizontally

  • there are over 2000 species in the world

apparently while they like dry areas outside and will keep in the shaded area, a good rainfall will kill off a lot of larva. I am planning to purchase some Nematodes for next year. They eat the larva in the grass, among many other great benefits to the yard.

So I have a battle ahead and just thinking about it makes me want to scratch!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spicing things up a bit

To add some spice to my day, I decided to make some salsa. I made a tomato, red/green pepper, corn and garlic salsa... extra spicy.

Turkey Vultures

I have a over sized couch in front of my living room window. Its deep and comfy, dark brown corduroy and I enjoy sitting with my back up against the arm of the couch, with my legs up. In this position I can look at the water. It is lovely having a water view even if it is somewhat, between rooftops. The water is a gorge, so while it is tidal, it is calmer than crashing waves (which I would love equally). It is so alive, there is always something going on. There is the rowing club on the other side, I look almost directly at it. A number of Dragon boat groups practice out of there. We get some seals and otters, especially when the herring come in to lay their eggs. There is a large park to one side of us and between the water and the park we see a lot of different birds. One bird we see quite regularly here is the turkey vulture. The picture that comes to mind when you say vulture, is usually not a pleasant one. But they are very graceful fliers. They are not strong flyer's apparently and we, more often than not, see them coasting in the air currants. Today I was surprised to see a huge number of them together. I did a bit of a search and they are migrating right now and their groups can reach 100's. Well I didn't see quite that many I did manage to get a couple pictures of the circling.
The pictures open up to full size if you click on them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Call me Martha

I am starting to feel all domestic, or domesticated (hmm? lol) I did more canning today. I canned 11 jars of pears. It felt like an accomplishment and that seems pathetic! I may actually buy some more pears tomorrow and do a few more jars. My kids love canned pears and the price of the ones in the stores is horrible. The large noname can is 1.97 and it has two pears in it. That's crazy. Anyway, I will see how energetic I am and what kind of mood Hanna and Leah are in tomorrow.
So as I was pealing pear after pear, I couldn't help but think about the people in the past that had to can things. This was not a choice, there were no stores open til midnight for shopping convenience and probably not a lot or money to shop with anyway. We always like to think we have come so far, but really have we? Seems like we are always busy with a lot of things, that dont really matter...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Flax Meal

This morning seemed like a good time to grind my flax seeds. I had bought a huge bag of organic bulk seeds at Super Store for about $5. I always keep my seeds, and when ground, the meal in the freezer because flax will go rancid if left out.
So I got out the coffee grinder and ground away. It takes so little time to do it. Maybe 5 seconds for each batch in the grinder.

I am trying to get back to my low carb lifestyle and I use the ground flax for muffins. I find them wonderful for breakfast.
1/2 C butter
4 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c of heavy cream
3 tbsp of veg oil
Mix together the above ingredients

1/2 c splenda
1 c of flax meal
1 1/2 c of protein powder
1 tsp of b.powder
1/2 c of coconut

Mix together the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients and mix well. Bake for 15 min at 350.
A friend and I have tweaked this recipe until it is the way we like. I sometimes add some almonds to this and also some Epicure pumpkin pie spice.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

With a cough cough here and a sniff sniff there

Well the weekend is drawing to a close and I am feeling a tad better. The overwhelming desire to stick my head under the pillow and the blanket up over that is easing. I still don't feel that great but I am hoping I got enough rest today that I will be able to function this week. If not I guess I will just do the best I can.
The weather was mild this weekend but has the very destinct smell and feel of fall. I love that. It is invigorating and comforting. Something about the smell of wood smoke and ripening leaves, damp soil and the hint of rain. I guess part of it is about having a change too. I enjoy summer, but we are always so busy from morning to night, fall is about time slowing down.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just another day

Today was a whirl wind of activity. I drove Kristin to her friend to school this morning. We car pool with this friends Mom as the school is a 20 minute drive away. So getting the girls up and ready in the morning is not one of my favourite things, perhaps its because I am not much of a morning person myself! My kids seem to take after me, lol. They need a little(okay a lot) encouragement to get moving. Hanna and Leah always greet me with wonderful moods and that lasts a short while, until the get frustrated over something. Kristin hates getting up and needs her time to wake up fully before she is her genial self. I have learned to leave her be, as much as I can.
So after the trip to school we needed to stop at the grocery store and get some milk. I use these trip as an opportunity to point out to Hanna and Leah colours and shapes. I ask them "what do you see?" and they come up with some great things, in toddlerease that is.
So after we got home and had lunch and playtime, it was nap time. Ahh some days (okay most day!) It is my most looked forward to time of day. I actually get to accomplish something, or sit down and read something etc. But today because I was not feeling well, and because the girls have not been feeling well or sleeping well, I was really tired. I decided to have a nap when they did.
I was to watch two other children this evening from suppertime till 8:30, so I needed some energy. I will have them again for 6 or 7 hours tomorrow.
I sure hope I get some sleep tonight....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day flying by

Today, after taking my daughter to school I ran a few errands. When I got home I used up the last of my blackberries from yesterday and made some more jam. I made blackberry/pineapple this time. It was a concoction I came up with yesterday. The little taste I had after it was finished cooking was delicious. Such a brilliant colour too. The yellow from the pineapple deepened the blackberry red and made it rich and yummy looking. Hmm, wonder how long those three jars will last :)
I had just got the girls to sleep when I heard a roaring in the sky. I just had the chance to grab my point and shoot and step out the door. Right over top of me, and I do mean RIGHT OVER TOP! Was the Snowbirds. I had only a split second to hit the button and get this picture.

We have been dazzled with their performances a few times but I had never seen them fly this low. I don't know what was going on today that had them in town. Other times we have been able to see them it was because of the Queen visitin, or a Canada day celebration.

* I found out that the Snowbirds are performing this Sunday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fruits of my labour

So yesterday I had an opportunity (thanks to my Mom, who watched the girls!) to go blackberry picking. I was able to get a bucketfull, which was more than I thought I would. This year hasn't been the best for blackberries around here. While picking I saw the biggest spider. I included a pic of it, none of the pics are very good. All were taken with my blackberry phone and it was windy. But because he was SO big, (and that is not an optical illusion, He really was that size in comparison to my hand)I had to include him. I am not terribly afraid of spiders, but that guy commanded some respect. I was a little less eager to stick my hands where I couldn't see after seeing him and the few relative that were around.
Now, I am trying to live a low carb lifestyle, so jam is not in the picture for me. However Kristin, loves jam so I have an excuse to make it. I have very fond memories of picking blackberries with my Grandma. We would walk up the road they lived on, past a lake and pick bucketfulls. Then we would head home and I would smell that sweet blackberry smell all through the house as she was cooking it. She made the best jam (and pretty much everything else!) and it tasted even better on her homemade buns. So it gives me warm fuzzy feelings to make it too.
This morning I got busy and made the berries into jam. I was going to can pears today too, but I am not sure if that is going to happen. I was up at the wee small hours with Hanna, so my energy level is dragging.
I drove my Mom to the bus yesterday evening and then took the girls to get an icecream cone. Beacon Drive in, it is the BEST icecream. We pulled over and watched a cruise ship leave port while they ate. Again the pics are off my phone, so they are not the best. But where else but Victoria can you see a sunset like that, a cruise ship leaving and a helicopter all in one pic lol.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Having twins

Pretty much every time I go out with my twins we get stopped. It is not quite as much as it was when they were tiny. Now that they are two they quite often get upset when people come up to them, so I guess that keeps some people at bay.
We are often rushing, sometimes because of lack of time but most times because there is only so much two, two year olds will tolerate. Sitting in a stroller or a cart when they want to run and seeing a ton of stuff they want to get their hands on is a recipe for disaster if you are going slow. Add nap times and any other factor and you tread very lightly (err quickly!?) around them. My girls are very sweet and pretty even tempered but they are not good shoppers, neither was my older one. My children want to go, go, go. Anyway, there are times when I am more than willing to stop for a moment so people can see the girls. Elderly people are very sweet most of the time to the girls. Also when there is someone with a small child that wants to come over, I usually take the extra time.
I answer questions a lot. Most of the questions I get tend to be the same from everyone.
1. "Are they twins?" There is an evil side of me that has always wanted to answer no to this silly question! I mean it seems pretty obvious, well to me.
2. "Are they identical?" Yes, they are and that just fascinates people. The next few questions I get are always after that one. "Which one is the bad one?" That question really peeves me, its rude and lets face it most kids have moments when they are not perfect but would a parent really ever label one of their twins the "bad" one! "How can you tell them apart?" Hmm well in our daughters case, most of the time I don't have a problem. Sometimes when I can't seen them straight on I am not sure. Looking back at baby pictures sometimes I have to go forward or back to see who was wearing what outfit.
The other comments that drive me crazy at times is when someone walking by us says, "Oh double trouble" they always think they are so smart saying that, lol. Honestly if I had a dime for everytime I have heard that one I would be doing pretty good. But the one that I am always rather hurt by is "better you than me!" I always smile and think in my head, yeah you got that right!.
I love my girls. They have turned our world upside down :) no doubt about that! But I couldn't imagine not having them. There are days, when I think (I admit it) I am not doing a great job at parenting them. I get tired and sometimes it feels like there is so much to be done and not enough of me to go around. But thankfully we don't ever fail at parenting in one day. We get another shot the next. I do the best I can each day and make sure I give out lots of hugs and "I love you." Cuddles are great times two :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good deal!

Search & Win

I like trying out ways to cash in on things. Legitimate "things" that is, and ones that actually pay or give out what they are promising. Lately I have let others be the guinea pigs and haven't been so quick to jump on any bank wagons. I am sure a lot of you have heard about "Netwinner"!
So I signed up with Prizewish. Once you are signed up, you do searches to earn "prizebucks". Then you can cash them in for rewards. You can also do shopping through them and earn more. I have only done searches and so far I am waiting on my 3rd Starbucks card! This one is a no brainer, very easy and pays out as it says. I can also vouch for the fact that I received my cards very quickly, in about a week. SO I have included the link (and yes I would love you to sign up on my link, my promo code is 150938 :) We both win if you do! Happy winning

Friday, September 12, 2008

I am attempting to get organised

The past week I have been making a valiant attempt to get more organised. Our house is small, too small for us. We are in a two bedroom and there are five of us. When we were thinking about having a second child we had already decided that we would be moving in the future, but that we could "cram" one small baby in for a little while. Well as our luck goes, we had twins. Then the selling plans went out the window after they were born because our new roof failed and we had to have out place completely gutted. We lived in a hotel for a month and a half and a vacation home for another two and a half weeks. It was quite the adventure!

Anyway, we are closer to selling but still have some big things we want to get finished in the house to get maximum dollar.

As we are still here and who knows for how much longer, I need to get things cleared out. I have been doing a very in depth clean. I realised that a lot of time as I took things out and sorted, it was kind of done mindlessly. I would put things back that should of been thrown out. Case in point, a solitary earring that sat on my desk for who knows how long. I don't even know who's earring it is. But every time I cleared off my desk, I would put it right back in the same place it had been. ???? Okay so enough of that. I am really looking at things now. Do I need it? Is there a good reason for keeping it? If it is something I think I might use in the future, would it cost much to replace it then?

It is taking me a lot longer to do this, but at least it is actually getting done properly. The pictures are of my hall closet that we have made into a pantry, of sorts. The desk, which was a horror show. Honestly it was like at the circus, where the clowns just keep coming out of the car. My husband couldn't believe how much stuff had been stacked, piled, and crammed in, around, under and on my desk. It was spread all over the kitchen table and counters. I really should of taken before pics of the closet and desk before I cleaned, but wouldn't of wanted anyone to of seen it!

I have come to the conclusion that I am a hoarder. It has taken me a long time to accept that. I always thought I was a person that came across great deals. Someone who liked to be prepared. Even my stocking up on enough Kleenex to keep us going for a few years didn't help it register in my head. After all it was a good deal, I actually made money buying the Kleenex. So in my head it was justified that I was able to line the closet to the ceiling. lol. Now don't get me wrong, coming to accept that I am a hoarder does not mean I am planning on stopping! I love getting a deal. Its a real rush. But I do need to prioritize until I have more space to put my "deals."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Look what my passion vine grew!

I saw this growing on the vine the other day. Today it had turned yellow and was coming off the vine. I don't think it was ripe. It is small, only the size of a large grape or a really big acorn. I have never had one on the vine before so I was rather intriqued. When I cut it open, it doesn't smell like you would want to eat it, so I don't plan on trying it!

So this is it

I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while and as you can see if finally made the dive. I am probably crazy to try and add one more thing to my life! I am trying to do some more "me" things. I will feel a lot more human if there is more to me than being a Mom. Right? Well that is what I am telling myself anyways, so if you disagree just humour me :) Right now I am having a few minutes peace because Kristin is at school and H and L are down for a nap. Lately I have been trying to not have a nap in the day and go to bed earlier. I read somewhere that hours that you are asleep before midnight are equivelant to 2 hours. Not sure how accurate that is, but it sure seems to help me feel more rested if I go to bed at 9:30-10 instead of 12. If I can accomplish what I need to do in the day time I CAN go to bed earlier.