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Monday, February 26, 2007

THE LAST OF WINTER

A good Monday to you all! This past weekend was hubby's birthday, and the partay went well, food was devoured and as today happens to be a "taken day off" for me, I just finished the clean up. In a few weeks time, I'll be hosting another birthday party for sister Pammie!


We've had a lot of nice sunny days of late, and the other day I decided to head outside with camera in hand to capture the beauty of the sparkling snow. (Trace there really IS beauty in it! LOL)


SOFT FOLDS



SHADOWS



MELTING SHARDS



SPARKLE



HIDDEN GARDEN



FRONT WALK



PILED HIGH



AGAINST THE BLUE



Soon now, the snow will begin to leave us even quicker as Spring arrives. I'll be glad for being able to start walking to work again, but as always I will miss the snow in many ways. If only we could have it without it being on roads and sidewalks, there would be no shovelling and driving would be easier. Ah well, we cannot have both!


Hubby bought a new shredder on Saturday, as our old one wasn't working all that well anymore and he got some birthday money from his sister. This time he got a cross cutter with a nice pull out drawer. It shreds in tiny pieces which I like too. I have a ton of old bills to shred and as we don't have a fireplace this is the safest way to destroy them. The nice thing about this shredder is it takes I think 10 sheets of paper at a time, so doing all my old bills won't be such an ordeal.

It is a "MailMate" and he got it at Staples Business Depot. It also takes credit cards, CD's and DVD's, staples and paper clips.



So far I really like the job it does!


I'm off to get some things done around the house, so have a good day everyone, and until next time remember to take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Friday, February 23, 2007

INSIDE JOB (finally done!)

So you may remember my telling you how when we got the new dining room furniture (that is much bigger than the old piddly assed stuff) that the dining room chandelier now hung over the chair at the end of the table, instead of in the center of the new table?



Well, hubby FINALLY got around to solving that problem.

It would have been a lot bigger job for him to move the electrical in the ceiling, simply because we would have had a huge hole to patch. So, I suggested swagging the light over onto a hook.

So we measured the ceiling to where the middle of the table is, and hubby stuck a long screw in that spot. Long enough so he could find it up in the attic.





And, up he goes!



All winter long I wanted that chandelier moved, but it was waaaaay too cold up in the attic to do it. The only thing separating the ceiling you see here from the cold winter air is a layer of shingles.



He got the job done in 2 evenings and now it's finally not lop-sided in there.


AND nobody will bang their head on the fixture anymore either!

Good thing it's done now too, because this weekend I'm having a birthday dinner party for him at that table. The old fart will be 56 on Friday!

Speaking of which, it's Friday, the day before the partay at my house.


The pork chops are ready to trim, and tomorrow I'll pop 'em in the oven to brown, then add mushrooms and mushroom soup.



And I just baked a cake. (cherry flavoured)



I put cream cheese flavoured icing on it. YUM. AND I made a little grave out of a cute "over the hill" tombstone candle. Heh heh.



Well now, laundry is on the go and I need to do some ironing afterwards. And most importantly I need to get this house cleaned! So chicks and dudes I'm off and running. Have a great weekend and don't forget, take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

DINNER AT THE HIPPIE CHICK'S

It's been since Friday night now and I still have internet connection!! WooHoo! ***crossing eyes and fingers, knocking on wood!***


I have always bragged how I can take a less than perfect beef steak and make it tender and taste just like roast beef. And I made that for Mr.HippieChick and myself this past weekend. I've been asked before just how I do that, and I thought I'd explain, and with pictures too.


First, I trim and cut the steaks into medium sized pieces. Then in a bit of Olive Oil, I brown the heck out of both sides of the steak after seasoning both sides. This is important, as the browning is what gives it so much great flavour.



Once browned well, here's the secret. Add water, enough to just barely cover the steaks!

Let this simmer so that it is gently boiling.

With me still?


I also made some potatoes, and here's the whole shebang on the stove cooking. I have 2 frying pans of steak on the go here.



Now here is the second part of the secret: This is the exact point when you take the steak out of the pan. Just before it has simmered dry, when there is a coating of really great juice on the bottom of the pan. I turn the steak over in the juice so that each piece going on the dinner plates are dripping in it. This juice is just like "beef jus" you get in a restaurant to dip your steak sandwich in. It's FULL of flavour!



And here are my world famous Dill and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes. I cut 'em up into small pieces so that once boiled I don't have to mash so long. Here they are ready to mash, with a little butter, some dill and salt added.

Once mashed, I add sour cream instead of regular cream or milk.


And dinner is served! I wanted a salad in the worst way to go with this but I didn't have the ingredients. Actually I enjoy this steak the most with just a salad on the side. YUM!



A close up of the steak, I don't know if you can tell by the picture, but it is just like tender roast beef.


It was deelish!

Another great food item to have with this steak (in place of potatoes or salad) is fried cabbage. Sautee onions and cabbage and let it sautee down to where it's all just starting to turn light brown. It's so good!

Well that was my long weekend, and I must say I did get some extra rest and caught up on some sleep too. Next weekend: Mr. Hippie Chick's birthday party. Can you say, "old fart"?

Hope you all have a great week ahead. Take good care of each other!

PEACE!
Love Jude

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'M BAAAAAA-AAAAAAACK!

Let's hope for good this time? Sheesh!

Long story, but over the past weeks they've tried everything to fix this internet connection issue for me, and eliminated many things as each time they tried something different it didn't work.

I've MISSED you guys and hated not being online all this time. Today, a young guy from the cable company came out and he replaced everything, even down to fishing new cable line downstairs through to up here. As usual, when he left everything was working. And as usual, it then crashed right away. So...... he comes back at the end of the day and ends up going out to our back alley where the cable box for the street is, and puts in a new cable line temporarily for me over the snow banks and up to the house. He hooked it up and now everything is SO FAR working again. Next summer they'll have to come out and rewire it all underground for us. In the meantime we'll have to be super duper careful not to catch the cable line with a shovel, or later a lawnmower. Good grief.

This young guy was so helpful, so courteous. When he left tonight he said if this thing goes down again not to even call the cable company, just call him! He left me his phone number. Cool huh?

This had better work, I'm sick of having no internet! Thanks to you all for hanging in there with me, I promise that as long as this connection stays up I'll be checking in on your blogs over the next couple of days. I've got TONS of catching up to do, and 150 or so emails to sort through! (Kate, Tracers and Lexy I see some from you all, I'll get to them pronto)

*******************************************

On the osteoarthritis thingy: last weekend I talked to a pharmacist and he said it could very well be the sulphate in the Glucosamine Chondtroitin Sulphate OR it could be the Glucosamine itself that was making me sick. So sister Pammie spotted a jar of Glucosamine liquid, one tsp. a day (instead of 3 pills a day) and I've been taking it without any problems whatsoever. It will still be a few months before I can see if it's helping though. And in the meantime a good friend of mine (thanks Bob!) has told me that Shark Cartilage helped him extremely quickly (he noticed a difference within days!) so if the Glucosamine doesn't help with the ongoing pain, I'll be trying that next.

******************************************

Okay! Went out during a snowfall today and shot some pics of sister Pammie's doggies. Such cuties!



MISTY



LADY (or BUGS)



MISTY CLIMBING THE SNOWBANK (the one almost as tall as me)




And near the top, she loves laying in it and burying her face in it to eat the snow:




THE TALENTED SNOW CLIMBER



(At the back door) Can we go in the house now Auntie???



*******************************************

I hope you all had a good Valentine's Day too, it's never too late to send love so I'm sending you some now!

Okay folks I'm not going to take any chances, I'm hitting "send" while I can. This is a long weekend for us here in Alberta, we have a Monday holiday called "Family Day" so I'll be around until Tuesday, hopefully doing a lot of online catching up.

Take good care of each other, and until next time..........

PEACE OUT!
Love Jude

Friday, February 09, 2007

AS PROMISED....

When I made some homemade Christmas gifts I promised back then that I would post pictures of the finished products, so I think it's time I did that.

I had made some scented glycerine soaps, and scented bath salts, if you remember.


For bath salts, this year I made 3 scents, Geranium, Tea Tree and Vanilla:

+ =





I also made some soaps in Orange, Wild Cherry, Lemon and Lilac scents:


+ =






I love making these kinds of things. I also make sprays, one is Lemon and it's great for use as an air freshener, and the other is Lavender which I use for linens, like my bedding. It can also be used as an air freshener.

I've made a Healing Salve which works wonders, and lip balms. Must be the hippie chick in me but I could make these and sell them, it's so much fun.





On to another subject briefly, my internet connection is NOT FIXED. The new modem worked fine until this morning. I've been on the phone to them twice this morning already, and it seems they think the settings for signal strength are now "too high" for this new modem, so they need to send someone out to change the settings. And guess what? I have to wait another **@@!! week for that to happen because they can't come today while I'm home and they don't work evenings! So once again I have to wait until next Friday. Can I swear??? Bleh!!

I just did a temporary fix but who knows how long that will last. I wanted to get this posted at least, so hopefully I'll be able to finish before it goes out again. In the meantime if I'm scarce online again until next Friday you'll all know why. *SIGH*

Take good care of each other, and have a great weekend!

PEACE OUT!
Love Jude

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

FINGERS CROSSED!



See all those little green lights lit up? That's my new modem, and the whole point is that those little green lights ARE all lit up! I got so frustrated for the last weeks looking at the green lights on the old modem going out or blinking, and not having internet access because of it.

I'm keeping my hopes up that this mew modem will do the trick, so far so good! (I stuck a pencil there so you could see just how teeny this thing is too. The old one was much bigger.) If this connection lasts for about a week, then I'll know it's probably okay. The old one would be fine for a bit and then die on me.


Again this week I'm working an extra day (Saturday this time) but at least we now have 2 new hires that we are beggining to train this week. Hopefully by a month or so they'll be trained enough to work on their own and I won't have to work any more extra shifts. I'm so unbelievably effin' TIRED.

I got my test results back from the doc, and at least now I know why the pain is ever present. I have osteoarthritis. Common for people my age and older. In the meantime I've done some research and with arthritis it's the cartilage around the bones that has gone missing/or being depleted, making much pain when the bones rub together. I am looking to try Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulphate..... I know tons of people swear by that stuff and it does help to repair the cartilage. It's either that or I'm on pain meds forever and the ones that help like Ibuprofen, you can't take on a daily basis without screwing up your digestive system. I had proof of that last fall.

Anyway, I bought some Glucosamine on Sunday, and took the first one with food late in the afternoon. A couple of hours later I was so sick!! Turns out the side effects can be nausea, headache, diarreah....... and I got 'em all. So I haven't taken any more until I can find out if there's another product with this stuff in it but that is easier on the system. Wish me luck! If anyone out there takes this stuff or something similar without getting sick, please tell me about it!! Thanks.

It would be nice if I could actually touch my hands behind my back again. My arm/shoulder joints are the most painful. Ouchie.

Well peeps I'd better get ready for work, so have a great day and I'll catch you soon. Take good care of each other!

PEACE OUT!
Love Jude

Monday, February 05, 2007

AARRRGGHHH!

My so-called "fixed" internet connection wasn't fixed afterall. Going after work tonight to exchange my modem for a new model. If that doesn't work, I'm switching providers! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.......

I managed to get a connection this morning but it usually only lasts a short while. I'm getting ready for work but had to get on here briefly to let you know why I haven't been around the last 24 hours on your blogs. Hopefully after tonight I'll be up and running again ~~ for good!

Take care of each other, and PEACE OUT!

Love Jude

Friday, February 02, 2007

INTERNET, SUNRISE AND PHOTO CONTEST




I am on a day off!! I'd do a happy dance but I'm too damn tired and my feet are too damn sore from another extra day of work this week. Since the end of October I just feel like I see too much of that place and not enough of home, although I do love the people there.


So this morning the cable guy shows up bright and early (thank you that gave me time to NAP, yay!) and my internet connection is now FIXED. It's nice to have super fast speed again too let me tell ya. All it needed was one of their splitters instead of store bought. Who'd a thunk it??


They had the January Photo Competition over at Opacity this past week, but right in the middle of it the server went down for a couple of days so there weren't many entries. A few of us put in our 3 entries and there were 3 tied winners. (I'm one of 'em) The theme was "Worst/Best Christmas Gifts/Moments". Here's the link to "Opa": OPACITY PHOTO COMP. I rather loved the coloured shot of that lighthouse, wow!


I am waiting for a call back from my doctor with the tests I had done. I've already heard from him that I can go ahead and fill my Lipitor prescription, but I'm worried about the pain in my joints, mostly my arms. He was testing me for arthritis and eliminating that and something else to do with Lipitor. I should hear back this afternoon.

In the meantime, my sister Brenda is turning 50 on Monday so her hubby is having a surprise dinner out with family and friends for her this coming Saturday. It's a restaurant in West Edmonton Mall, and he's reserved a theme room for them for the night in the hotel in the mall as well as a one hour massage for her. Nice huh? But, it's a surprise so shhhh! She doesn't read my blog so no worries there.

Today I wanted so badly to stay off my feet but laundry has to be done. At least I got a nap in around noon so that's a blessing. Lordy I've been tired! And as I get a ride into work during the winter with one of the ladies from work (too cold to walk that far) I have to get up earlier and go in earlier as she starts work earlier. The other morning as I was waiting for her I snapped this shot of the sunrise.



It was the very next day that we got a snow and wind storm from the damn North Pole. And then the NEXT day we were back to sunny skies. Good grief! LOL

Well chicks and dudes that's it for this post. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend; take good care of each other!

PEACE OUT!
Love Jude