Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Of screwdrivers and men

We have 2 computers at home; one is our regular surfing computer, one is my storage/music computer. Our main computer has it's own desk, and for the last year or so the other computer has been on my husband's workmate, as we didn't have another desk to put it on. He finally wanted his workmate back for it's original use, but unfortunately Ikea didn't make the computer desk I liked anymore. After much searching (and going through flyers, as I hate paying full price for anything), we found a desk and chair combo on sale at Zellers.

It came in a box and had to be put together (what doesn't these days?). We made a deal that I would put the desk together while he did the dishes (I HATE doing dishes), and if I needed help, he would help. I don't know if any of you have attempted putting things together, but I must say the directions (with no written instructions, all pictures) aren't exactly easy to interpret. My hubby asked, "What kind of screwdrivers do you need?" I looked at the screws and said, " A plus sign one and a star one."

He gave me this look. "What are their names?" I gave him a look. "Plus sign and star?" He sighed.

This is where I discovered that men really, really care about the names of screwdrivers. To me, they are plus sign, minus sign, square and star. Am I going to remember the "real" names, no matter how often I'm told? No. Do I care what they're really called? No. I think a descriptive name is much more helpful than knowing the name of whoever invented them. But for the sake of interest (and peace, I suppose), I will list here the real names of the most common screwdrivers. I guess I can also use this as a reference to look back on should I choose.

Phillips screwdriver: it's the plus sign. The screw would look like this:

Robertson screwdriver: it's the square. The screw would look like this:

Torx screwdriver: it's the star one. The screw would look like this:

Slot screwdriver: it's the minus sign one. The screw would look like this:

I'm sure there are others, but these are the main ones I know of and might actually use.

So, with a little help, I did get the desk together, and he did get his workmate back. It was kind of satisfying to be able to successfully put together the desk mostly by myself.

As I said, it's important to men, for whatever reason, to use the correct term for the various screwdrivers. But it's way more fun to see their reaction when you say, "Honey, could you get me a plus sign screwdriver?" Gotta get your fun where you can!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

And the heat just continues......

It's gotten swelteringly hot again, but this time we have the added bonus of high humidity, blech! Also a chance of severe thunderstorm, which I really hope happens, that way my migraine can go away.

Being my day off, it's cleaning and cooking (jam, of course) as per usual. Today I'm going to make sour cherry jam, and if I'm feeling super productive, maybe some wild blueberry lime jam as well. A friend at work gave me a big bag of fresh basil from her garden, think I'll make a nice lemony pesto sometime soon and freeze it.

I have stewing under the sink what I hope will be a yummy raspberry liqueur; my attempt at something like Chambord, made with black raspberries. It's been sitting there almost a week, tomorrow I will add some orange peel and a vanilla bean and let it sit for another 2-3 weeks or so before filtering it, bottling it and letting it sit for about 3 months. Looks good so far!

This year we have limited our balcony garden, as they were working on them and replaced the old rusty ones with new ones up until about a month or so ago. We saw these hanging planters for vegetables and decided to give them a try with some heritage tomatoes.

Has anyone else tried these? Not sure if we got the tomatoes out too late, they haven't started flowering yet. Fingers crossed!

At the same place we bought the planters, they had these neato small water gardens on sale; as I love waterlilies I could not resist:

The only problem with this is my one cat keeps trying to eat the plants!

If you live in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, or are planning on visiting it, I highly suggest a walking tour run by my friend Kimia called Grand River Walking Tours. It's highly informative and fun too.

And now, off to clean and make jam. Have a fabulous day!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Long hot days of summer

It's been a while since I blogged, it's been over 30 degrees Celsius for more days than I can count and we don't have air conditioning in the bedroom. When you're sleeping and you're cold, you can always add another blanket, but when it's so hot you're sweating like mad lying there, there's not much you can do. Thankfully last night and today we finally have some rain and a more livable temperature of  low 20's.

Of course during the hot weather I decide to make jam; I guess I really didn't have much of a choice given that we picked the fruit when it was ripe and it needed to be used pretty quickly. It's my first attempt at making jam and I'm quite proud of the results! So far, I've made a sugar-free strawberry jam, a strawberry margarita jam and a red raspberry jam. Just check out the luscious colour on the raspberry jam:

Raspberry is my hubby's favourite, I'm sure he won't be giving too many of these away! I was thinking that homemade jam would be a great Christmas present to give to people this year, that way I don't have to start baking a month and a half in advance (like I did last year with giant shortbreads).

This Saturday apparently there is a Cherry Festival in Kitchener at Cherry Park, I've never been (nor heard about it until recently), but I think I will check it out after work. Here is the link:

Cherry Festival in Kitchener

I think I might go back to where we normally pick fruit on Sunday and see if their black raspberries are ready. I'm thinking besides jam, I might try making a raspberry liqueur. Chambord is too expensive to justify buying, although the bottle is pretty neat looking.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Crafty presents

Later this week it is my wedding anniversary. I much prefer giving and receiving homemade presents, be it baked goods, preserves, hand made cards or whatever. It just shows you put that much more effort into making something specifically for that person, rather than just going and buying a gift certificate to the mall or something along those lines (although I am rather fond of bookstore gift certificates).

I think my hon is going to make me a nice dinner, which I am completely happy with. I have just finished making his/our presents, which is matching necklaces. I've made them from sodalite beads, which is a lovely blue and white stone,

interspersed with small sterling silver beads.

I saw leaves electroplated with silver, and ordered some, but they were not what I anticipated. They kind of felt like something pressed in tin foil. They looked and felt cheap.

So after much looking around, found some really nice silver oak leaves and got those. Bonus is that our wedding bands are stylized silver oak leaves!

Way nicer, huh? So a bit of work later, and the finished project:

What do you think? Pretty swank, huh?

It's a rainy day off for me, so now I'm off to bake a cake. If the recipe turns out, I'll post that too.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Grrr and Awwww!

So the Grrr! part is this: yesterday while doing laundry, someone in our building stole it right out of the machine! And no, it wasn't a misunderstanding, our bags were still on top, just the machine was empty. I mean, who steals laundry? So my hon talks to the super on duty and tells him about it; apparently this is an ongoing problem and there have been complaints from quite a few people but nothing is being done about it. He comes back to our apartment, tells me (and I don't believe him at first, cause really, who steals laundry?), we write up a posting to put in the laundry room and on the elevators. The super on duty comes up to talk to us some more, we show him the letter and tell him where we're putting it, he's all fine with that, wishes us luck. Not half an hour later, the regular super (his wife actually) comes up and berates us for putting up the letter in the elevator and that we can't write something like that, because people will be upset and see it as threatening, and basically sucks to be you but since I really don't like you I'll give you crap. What a joke!

Ok, so in order to not make this a rant and to see life in a more happy happy way, the Awww! part is this: if you live in the Kitchener/Waterloo area and have ever driven up Victoria towards Breslau, you may or may not have noticed on your right hand side a big ass nest sitting on top of a pole. It is an Osprey nest. They mate for life and usually come back to the same nesting site every year. This year, before they started building their nest, someone was thinking and put up a camera that looks down on the nest, so that we amateur naturalists can have a look at the pair and their babies. It's so awesome! So far 2 eggs have hatched with one more to go. The site also has links to other bird cams from around the world so that you can watch nature close up and personal. The link to the site should be included.

Sidebar: I love watching nature documentaries, but only the beautiful happy parts. When the music starts to get dramatic, I start talking to the TV, "Run, run poor bunny!" or whatever is going on. I know it's part of nature, doesn't mean I want to see it. I don't know how those film people can stand by and see poor baby turtles struggling to make it to the sea be picked off by hungry birds or whatever. I'd so be chasing those birds away!

So, some Grrr and Awww, because that's mostly what's involved in day to day life.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Ah, Brave New World!

Hmm, kind of hard to know where to start, especially with a cat on my lap licking my arm furiously in order to get my attention.

Someone told me I should do a blog, as I always give them lots of information on things that are happening around the area, neat things to be aware of and anything else they might be interested in. I must confess, I am a definite information junkie! My first love was the library and my love has grown to include the internet which is a vast library accessed by my keyboard (when my cat allows).

I think I must also have some ADD in me as new shiny things grab my attention quickly until the next newer shinier thing grabs it. Needless to say I have a diverse range of interests (and way too many bookmarks).

So this blog will be about whatever has captured my imagination at the time, or whatever I'm doing/thinking about at the time. Problem with my brain is, it just doesn't shut up!