Monday, December 27, 2010


Enjoyed a visit with Naomi and her boyfriend, Jesse T. this afternoon. Thanks guys for stopping by! :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups

1 C peanut butter
1/2 C icing sugar
1/4 t salt
milk chocolate discs, melted

Mix first three ingredients together in a bowl for filling.

I put a heaping tsp of chocolate in the muffin liner and pull it up the sides to create the cup shape. Refrigerate until chocolate is hard.

Add peanut butter filling.

Cover with a thin layer of chocolate and refrigerate. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pretzel Turtles

Recently came across this simple, quick treat online.
Pretzel Turtles


Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place pretzels on foil.

I could only find mini rolos so placed a milk chocolate disc on the pretzels first and then the rolos.

Bake at 250* for about 4 minutes until chocolate becomes soft. Place a pecan half on top upon removing from oven. Cool in fridge. Enjoy! :)

Winter Wonderland

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Smile for today

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia. ~ Charles Schulz

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Borrowed from Treasuries of Joy :D

It is easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song,
but the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with the years,
and the smile that worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through the tears.
(Irish saying)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brief update

Hope to be back posting more regularly after my temporary absence these past few weeks. What I've been up to: shipping chickens, cleaning barns, traveling back to AB to visit my family, preparing barns, and placing chicks! Tomorrow I'll be helping my neighbour get the barns there ready in the morning and help place chicks later on.

And a random tip:

I recently came across a tip to get the diesel smell out of clothing that actually works. Pour Pinesol over the affected spot and let sit 1 to 2 hours before washing. The diesel being a heavier oil needs a product that will dissolve it out. The Pinesol is part oil (mixes with the diesel) and part soap (mixes with the water) so I guess that is why it works. My jacket has a bit of the lavender Pinesol scent but I prefer that over diesel. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Canadian Wheat Board

Check out this video my brother just created about the Canadian Wheat Board.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


 My potatoes did fairly well this year considering how wet the conditions were. My family always looked forward to the new baby potatoes which usually were ready by mid July. We'd just boil them and season with butter and salt. In my opinion, potatoes don't get better than that! Too bad you couldn't keep them that size all season. :) They also make delicious potato salad which I enjoyed making a few times this summer.

 Not having very dependable storage/cellar this year I was trying to decide how I wanted to preserve the remainder of my potatoes for winter.  I ended up making Twice Baked Potatoes, fries, and hashbrowns.
I saved the med-large potatoes for fries and the small ones for hashbrowns.

I mixed flour, paprika, garlic powder, italian seasoning, and salt in a zip lock bag and then coated the fries before cooking them in olive oil. Some batches I omitted the flour and just sprinkled the seasonings on top of the potatoes while they were cooking in the frying pan.

I cooked them until just about done and then placed them on a cookie rack that was set inside a cookie sheet so any excess oil could drip off. I stuck the whole tray in the freezer and after they were hard removed them from the rack and placed them in a ziplock bag to freeze.


I cook them in olive oil and sprinkle salt over top a few times.

I spread a paper towel over the cookie rack to absorb any excess oil and also keep the hashbrowns from falling through. I let them cool like this on the counter, put them right into a zip lock bag, and then into the freezer. To cook I heat them up in the frying pan with a little bit of butter and then add rosemary and garlic powder.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

From the summer...

I loved having my garden right next to the house this summer! Back in Alberta it was about a mile away and usually required opening and closing two or three gates each way if we had cattle out grazing.

Tackled the garden shed while Mom was here. We pulled everything out, washed it down, and then I sorted through the contents.

I like before and after pictures so here is the result. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

6 months

Today marks six months since I moved way up here to NE Saskatchewan. Can hardly believe how much has happened this year and at times it has felt like somewhat of a whirlwind. Graham, Emily, and I first looked at the barn the middle of March and a week later made an offer. The whole process ended up being a bit of an ordeal but everything finally fell into place and we took possession the end of June.

I came up in May and took a 6 week crash course in raising chickens. : ) I had cattle experience so this chicken stuff was new. The operation was actually fairly simple to run but didn't quite feel that way when I wasn't familiar with all the ins and outs of it.

And then we had another element to deal with...rain. Our area along with many others across the prairie provinces had record setting levels of rain this spring. Growing up in the arid southern Alberta climate where, when it rained you pulled out your chair and sat in awe, I thought it wouldn't be possible to ever get tired of rain. Wrong! When the 8" average turned into 22" it gave a whole new outlook on rain. I was beginning to wonder if we shouldn't have bought an ark instead of a barn! Despite water issues in the barn and a thriving mosquito population, it still turned into a nice summer. I only had to water my garden a couple times and the yard stayed beautiful.

I spent a lot of the summer with yard care (mowing, weeding, flowers) and cleaning up around the yard and barn (whippersnipping, taking several loads to the dump, etc.) The well collapsed due to the rain so that had to be filled in and it seemsed as soon as you accomplished one thing, three others popped up. Now the yard is pretty much in order and all the yard work done for the year which a very satisfying feeling.

However, despite the challenges, it has been an awesome experience to run a place on my own. I love the area here and am quite happy to call it home. : )

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Optometrists just moved another step down on my list.

Recently I went to order contacts online to find that Ciba has quit manufacturing the contact I’ve used since I started wearing contacts. So, I was going to need a new prescription and contact trial fitting with an optometrist and then the company would be able to find a new contact that would work for me. Not quite as easy as it sounds though due to living a ways from civilization and finding an optometrist that doesn’t have a cow when you say that you want to take care of ordering your own contacts.

The closest Wal-Mart doesn’t have an optometrist come in so the associate gave me a couple numbers of optometrists in town there. Both were booked for two to three weeks and the one charged $110 for a regular appt. I thought $88 was bad enough! I pulled out the phone book and called another optometrist who was booked for a couple weeks but had a cancellation the following afternoon and could fit me in.

I’m usually not thrilled to go to optometrists due to past experience. Back in AB the office we grew up getting eye appointments at and buying our glasses and then contacts through turned miserable to deal with when we started ordering our contacts online. They were difficult to get information from and more or less told us how they’d help if we were getting the contacts through them. By ordering contacts online we were paying half the price that we were through their office! It seemed a lot of other folks were figuring that out too and so I think the optometrists were feeling the pinch and trying to intimidate their customers from ordering contacts online.

So, anyways, I went to my appointment and, while the assistants were friendly, I could already tell I didn’t care for the optometrist herself. She was a bit high strung and the type that thinks the care of your God-given eyes belongs to them. The appt went okay and then we were discussing eye health, contacts, trial fittings and all that kind of exciting info. I brought up the unacceptable question of ordering contacts online because it would be cheaper. That was more than she could handle and proceeded to tell me that “It made no difference to order them online and that I should just order them through her.” I told her that I could order the exact same contact for half the price of her charge. She came out and said that, “she was FRUSTRATED with me!” I felt like saying, “Hey, lady, the feeling is mutual” but I remained cool, calm, and collected almost somewhat enjoying it. Haha. She was perturbed and acted like I was saying there was no difference between an optometrist and the internet, of which she continued throughout the rest of the conversation to draw an outline of a computer whenever ordering online came up.

I asked her if I could get a fitting without ordering contacts and she said “No, and then quoted me $400 for the fitting and contacts for a year which would also include “having her on contract for a year.” Whoop-dee-doo, I guess that was supposed to seal the deal but, seriously, I don’t need someone to hold my hand through this “process.” Yes, I can read the prescription just as well as her to the contact company and save myself $200. Thank you very much!

Then she also recommended that I might want to update my glasses like she was enlightening me that they were out of style. Don’t you love when people point out the obvious?! I know they are but I rarely wear them and I’ve been easy on my glasses so that the only time I’ve needed a new pair was when I outgrew them. Anyhow, I probably will be getting a new pair since my prescription has changed and I will be wearing them a little more to give my eyes a little more of a break from contacts.

So, I’ll be going back to AB, getting a $15 fitting at Walmart so I can order my contacts online, and then heading over to Xenon’s who has given great service over the years to look for a new, more stylish frame plus save myself the PST. :D A money saving venture in every aspect. :D

I’m not anti-optometrist and they certainly have their place but you won’t see me looking for a “Have you hugged your optometrist today?” bumper sticker any time soon.

Now I'm curious what your experience has been with optometrists and contacts? Please share.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall pics

Never got around to posting fall pics back when I took them but wanted to share them still. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Glimpse into my holiday

The beginning of October I went on a 2 week vacation. First I went over and helped on our other farm where harvest was in full swing. Was only there for a little over a day but I finally had the opportunity to drive a combine...and a JD at that! Wish I could have spent more time there but it was time for me to fly down to IA to attend a good friend's wedding. Enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. The day after the wedding I flew over to VT where I spent the rest of the week with another great friend and her family. So many great memories! Will post a few pics and more will follow in a later post.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Per…what?? Yes, perogies. There are about 15 different spellings of this word and it just depends on what country you are from. They basically are a dough/dumpling filled with potatoes, onions, cheese, and seasonings. Usually they are boiled and served with sautéed with onions and sour cream on the side. I first tasted home-made perogies while visiting friends in Saskatchewan a few years back. They were very good especially since I had only tasted store-bought ones once which you shouldn’t even compare to the real home-made ones! :)

Many of the small Saskatchewan towns have a strong Ukrainian influence-the people, accents, churches, cooking, etc. If a conversation comes around to cooking, you can almost guarantee that perogies and sauerkraut will be discussed at some point. Recently I was served perogies when having dinner at a neighbour’s. I asked for the recipe and not long after she stopped by with the recipe and a bag of frozen perogies! Just last week I finally got around to making perogies which gave me two things: a sense of accomplishment and that I am on track to becoming a real Saskatchewanite. :) Now for the sauerkraut…well, let’s just stick to perogies for the time being. :)

Perogie Dough:

10 C flour
1 T salt
¼ t baking powder
1 C lard
3 C warm water
1 egg, beaten

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients; cut in lard. Add in water and egg. Mix all together to form dough.

Roll out dough to about an 1/8” thickness. Cut out circles 3” in diameter. My drinking glass rims were too small so I used my ½ C measuring cup. Place about 1 T of filling (recipe below) on center of dough, fold over, and pinch edges.

Note #1: The original recipe called for 4 C of water but I started with 3 and only ended up needing a little more than that.

Note #2: If you want to make the dough ahead of time it will keep in the fridge for a couple days. Just wrap dough in saran wrap so it doesn’t dry out



Boil about 7 or 8 med-large potatoes. Mash with butter, milk, salt and pepper. Add grated or small chunks of cheddar cheese while potato mixture is still warm so it will melt.

Caramelize or sauté onions and garlic. I used 3 large onions and 4 cloves of garlic and thought at the start I had taken the “tons of onions” recommendation from friends too seriously. The amount seemed a little excessive but after tasting one from the first cooked batch had I knew I had used the right amount. :)

For more flavour you can also add bacon bits, chives, dill, or parsley to the filling.

I place the perogies on a cookie rack set inside a cookie sheet and freeze them. This will keep them from sticking to each other when you bag them. Perogies freeze very well so, while this recipe makes a big batch of dough, it is great to make several dozen at once rather than having to make smaller batches more often.

Cooking Instructions:

Place frozen perogies in boiling water. Perogies will float when they are done (about 6-8 min.) You can add them to additionally sautéed onions with sour creams served on the side, if desired.

If you try this recipe I’d love to hear your results and opinions! :)

Few more snow pics from around the yard

Friday, October 29, 2010

First snow!

So, I welcomed the unofficial beginning of my first Saskatchewan winter.

Winter made her abrupt appearance earlier on this week. 6" arrived in less than 24 hours followed by 60 kph wind gusts. An inch of rain had arrived a day before before the snow, the snow itself was wet and then the temperature dipped several degrees below freezing, so that created a rough, icy surface practically over the whole yard. No it didn't give the same effect as the small homemade skating pond that you and your friends grew up playing hockey on dreaming about how you were going to make it to the NHL.

Now it is time to stock up on hot chocolate, apple cider, good books and a calendar to start marking the days down until spring! :) I actually don't mind winter minus the extreme cold temperatures but then I don't know anyone who actually enjoys -40C except for story-telling purposes. You can garner much more sympathy telling a story that took place in frigid temperatures with bone chilling winds.

Anyways, I intend to enjoy winter as much as possible though it might be mostly admiring it from the inside kitchen window. There is something refreshing about seeing the yard covered with a fresh, clean blanket of snow, snow capped roofs, wildlife tracks, and watching the snow flakes gently fall and sparkle in the sun.

And with that, I wish you all a happy winter!