I was recently at one of the local thrift shops and wandered through the housewares department. A thrift shop is a little like an appliance graveyard for trendy appliances of years gone by. I admit to being a bit of a kitchen gadget whore in the past and had done a major purge of all my wacky, single use appliances and gadgets. Well, I fell off the wagon and came home with a cotton candy maker for $10. Now what does one put in a cotton candy maker? Sugar? Yeeess, but what kind? I had no idea, so I did some Googling and read that people have put hard candy in their appliances, and I wanted to try it. I came home with Jolly Ranchers. Will Jolly Ranchers cotton candy?
Yes, yes they will! I am likely going to need dental work from all this sugar after! Jolly Ranches make great cotton candy! It sticks to your teeth like crazy when the sugary strands dissolve in your mouth though. I think I am going to need some practice rolling the cotton candy onto a stick too (I used a wooden spoon lol). I think Jolly Ranchers are vegan too.
It was an awesome day at the post office today. I found this unexpected package waiting for me. I LOVE getting surprises in the mail! So sweet and thoughtful! It made my day. To the lovely lady out east, thank you, thank you, thank you!
I’ve taken up knitting again. I saw this chunky yarn at the store on a cold day and I knew it was meant to be a scarf. The greatest thing ever about chunky wool is how fast it knits up. I managed to double the length while watching a movie on Netflix. The pattern is just one I thought up on my own which it just four rows of knitting and then ten rows of knitting and purling, while keeping the four stitches on each end knit with no purling. I was hoping the four rows of straight knitting would keep it from curling, but it still curls. I will iron it out once I am finished. We are expecting some snow Saturday and Sunday (yayyy! That is not sarcasm folks, I want me some snow!). I want to finish the scarf before Sunday as I am going for a walk along one of my favourite paths in Kitchener(and maybe some geocaching!). I lost my favourite scarf last year and in need of one. A scarf is a Winter necessity, along with long johns, a hood and warm mittens.
I am drinking my second martini of the night (raspberry vodka, casis and soda water with a couple black berries floating in it). It’s okay, but it needs work. I want it sweeter. Maybe grenadine? Apparently I like my martinis sweet as candy and loaded with sugar. I have until this weekend to get the martini phase out of my system; starting Monday I am revisiting Weight Watchers. It really does work for me, but I usually end up screwing it up because I get sick of counting points and being prone to binging, I’ll screw it up and then never get myself back on the wagon. I have managed to gain around 5-7lbs and my clothes aren’t fitting properly anymore. Enough is enough. Maybe I will finally stick with it this time? Maybe that flattering (err WAS flattering) red Ralph Lauren will be looking fab again by the holidays! Wish me luck!
I finally brought out the Blue Bomber after an all too long hiatus. I am not sure why I didn’t get out paddling last year. A lot of it was a combination of timing and crappy weather. Last weekend was the first time it really felt like Summer in the Kitchener/Waterloo area and to celebrate I went kayaking with a friend of mine. We went to Puschlinc Lake located just outside of Cambridge. I believe it is Canada’s largest kettle lake (it’s a tiny lake despite that feat). It’s great for kayaking but I think it would be really dangerous to swim in. It is very shallow, with a slimy, sinky bottom and tons and tons of reeds.
There were lots of great things to look at paddling. I got close enough to that baby turtle I could have picked it up; I didn’t. The lake was full of lily pads, turtles and dragon flies. There were lots of little water beetles that would hitch a ride on the boat occasionally as well. I saw some little tiny fishies, but nothing bigger than minnow sized. We weren’t sure what that chimney like thing was. It was just standing there by itself near the edge of the water. It looked like a chimney from an old house that was the last thing standing. My guess is they have bonfires in it; which would be pretty cool. For such a tiny lake, every house along it had a motor boat (this is a tiny tiny lake and we were surprised about that) and a couple of homes even had small planes.
Once we were finished paddling we stopped of at the Old Marina Restaurant and had the most amazing view of the lake while we ate. If you go there get the veranda seating. I didn’t overly like the Pico De Gallo appetizer I ordered for dinner, but I really liked the Old Marina Red Ale I had. That was the first time I’ve heard of this beer and it was good. I think they are known for their burgers (they have a veggie burger as well, but I am unsure if it would be vegan even without the mayo).
It was a good day and a good weekend. I hope you all got to get out and enjoy it.
I finally nabbed a community garden plot. I have been thinking of one for years and this was my year to go for it. I have never had a garden before and I have the blackest thumb out of everyone I know. My only claim to gardening fame it a straggly fig tree and a spindly avocado tree. I have neglected and over loved every plant I have ever owned. I am hoping that a sunny garden spot will be the place where my gardening skills truly shine (or at least will not result in mass plant death). The garden is located in a fairly busy park at one of Kitchener’s community centers and it cost a very reasonable $15.00.
This is what the plot looked like when I got it… a disaster. Today was the first chance I got to take a crack at it (I obtained it a week ago) and I figured it would take me an hour to clear out the weeds and dead plant material. I can actually hear my father laughing in my head (my father being an avid veggie gardener). Two and a half hours later and I was only 1/3 of the way done cleaning the plot out. By that point my back was aching and I still had to walk the dog and get dinner ready (does anyone else eat dinner around 9:00 at night? I really need to fix that). Being as I work full time, I think I am going to have to work on it a bit at a time.
From the above photo, you can see the results of a 2 1/2 hour effort on my part. My gardening buddies told me pea plants should already have been planted, so I stopped the weeding and planted 12 pea plants (four regular peas, 4 snow peas and 4 sugar snap peas). I have a brewing recipe for pea pod wine and it would be so brag worthy to not only say “Hey try some of my pea pod wine!”, but to also add “I grew the peas myself!”. Yep, these things excite me.
What are my thoughts so far? Gardening really IS hard work. I though people were exaggerating when they said that. I was wrong. It takes hours… HOURS. And most of the time you are in a squat position. Do all gardeners have nice butts? I think maybe they do. What do I expect to get out of this project? Well delicious delicious vegetables for one (hopefully), but if not, it will be a learning experience. Two and a half hours in and I already feel more connected to my community, the neighbourhood and the earth itself. During the very short time I was there I talked to four different people I have never met before and gave my body some much needed movement after a day at the office. I think a community garden may very well be a way to get more connected to the people around me and a fresh, healthy and vibrant new perspective on life. Peace out folks.