Vintage Finds #4

Good morning (or afternoon or evening, depending upon when you arrive at my little blog)! Here are a few more finds from the treasure trove that is my in-laws’s house. Hopefully this will get you to the weekend with a nostalgic smile on your face.

The FIL was an avid model car collector. There are too many to mention, but all of them are 1950s and earlier car types. Nothing newer I don’t think. We need to find a buyer for them. There are more than what’s in this display case, too. Sidenote: This case used to belong in our old computer store. It had a twin but I’m not sure what happened to it after we closed up. The dad had to chop it down a bit because it was too tall for his lowered ceiling in the basement. Still a nice custom made cabinet as it is. It also needs a home. Anyone interested?

When I went through the basement pantry and the upstairs kitchen pantry, I found a lot of old baking materials like this classic but short-lived Raspberry cake mix. Given my memory of this from my childhood, the older packaging design, and given it came out when everyone became aware of cholesterol in baked goods, I will venture to guess this box is about 30 years old. Easily. I threw all of them away but not before taking a few pictures for posterity.

At some point about 30 years ago (or more), there used to be a Mother’s restaurant in town, and my MIL worked there. She used to go in early to do food prep and make the condiments. And for a time, she used to make bear dolls with tiny brown Mother’s waitress uniforms with gingham aprons on them, complete with a tiny pencil and pad stuffed into the shirt pocket. I’m sure there are pictures of these dolls in one of her millions of photo albums. When I have time to locate it, I will post a picture of those bears. I promise. πŸ™‚ But for now, this is an old take-out menu Joe found stuffed into the microwave cart drawer. It looks like she grabbed it from the restaurant yesterday. Mint condition.

This was also found in the microwave cart drawer along with the Mother’s take-out menu. It’s a little softer around the edges, but still a nice bit of history. This booklet was distributed to give great facts about the how the CN Tower came to be, how big it is, and what purposes it serves. Very interesting. I love going up to the observation deck and walking on the see-through glass floor panels.

My family used to play this game when we were all in our late teens – early 20s. We used our own money (pennies, nickels and dimes mostly) but Joe’s family used old poker chips for their pot. This is a classic early edition of the game. You can tell by the package design and the Towers price sticker on the top corner. I have a lot of good memories looking at this box.

Who remembers how sad they felt when Towers collapsed in the mid-1990s? There was one across the parking lot from Algonquin College that I used to go to on my lunch breaks to pick up junk food, paper supplies and clothes when the mood struck me. Our families both shopped a lot at Towers while we were growing up. It was a staple department store for us.

More Vintage Finds #3

Are you ready for a few more? Here we go.

The FIL loved to collect. There wasn’t much he didn’t see value of some sort in, so when this craze from the late 1970s – early 1980s hit, he was all over it. This is a vest he’d wear proudly to point out certain buttons to me on occasion. He loved anything Canadiana, so there is a lot of that in his button collection. A LOT. Hey, he was very proud of his adopted country.

This vintage pinball machine was picked out by my husband and paid for by his father. Aside from a few parts that are worn and need replacing, this baby still works. Joe and his brother had lots of fun with game this as kids. (Excuse the mess. When we hauled the leather couch and chair up and out to the curb, we ended up throwing and piling stuff everywhere to make a big enough path. The couch was really long, and the passage way is tiny and angled.)

A fully functioning mini camera, complete with its tiny leather custom sewn case. Clear as day I remember these from my childhood. Someone in our neighbourhood owned one, and I fell in love with it way back then. Too bad you can’t get film for it anymore. It would be a great collector’s piece.

Hands up if you remember this type of tin cap. I do! My mother was always asking me to get the top off for her since she didn’t have long enough nails. Wow. It instantly brings me back to our old kitchen, standing beside her while she impatiently said, “Hurry up,” while she tried to make dinner for her small army of children.

There are two of these vintage deviled egg trays with snap-on lids in my MIL’s kitchen. The second one is all white while this one is yolk yellow. Ahh, deviled eggs. The staple of every home party since… forever? Probably. Well, certainly every birthday, anniversary, engagement, bridal, baby, candle, make-up, family reunion, etc party I was invited to. πŸ™‚

To this day, when I drink root beer, I think of A&W. I kid you not. I found this collector’s glass beside its twin in the back reaches of a cupboard. This would have been, much like today when you buy a root beer at an A&W restaurant, a souvenir glass customers bought with the drink to take home. And it was always served frosty cold. Always. Even today.

In all my years of baking, using candy products to make desserts, I have never seen this brand of sprinkles. It has to pre-date even me, and I’m almost 49. Can you imagine this being in the back of your cupboard for that long?!? I can’t. I rotate everything on the regular. This wouldn’t last two years in my house. I would force myself to use it all up, or give it away. But again, another lovely jar in a delightful label. I love it. Just look at the font in that label. That screams 1950 – 1960s to me.

A Few Vintage Finds #2

Another day, another small batch of vintage finds from the in-laws’ house as we clean it out in preparation to list the house early next year. Enjoy.

Nothing like some cookies with a side of guilt, no? This lovely cookie jar could be yours if you and Joe agree on a price he likes. πŸ™‚ (See the video down below.)

This is from back in the day (say, the late 1980s) when my MIL worked at Burger King, and they brought in their own branded condiments. I have a few of these jars at home sans label that I now use as hurricane lights. This glass jar is heavy. It won’t be knocked over by a gust of wind anytime soon.

Ragged Ann & Andy Pattern

Another Ragged Ann & Andy pattern my MIL has in her collection.

Back in the day, the FIL grew his own grapes on top of the car port trellis to make wine at home. He did this for awhile, but eventually he got tired of doing battle royale with the local trash pandas and broke it all down. Hey look at that econo size Bailey’s! That belongs to the SIL. Barely touched. And I found another one just like it in the pantry. Guess she forgot she already owned one in this cold storage cellar when she bought the second?

Ahh, nothing quite screams the 1970s like miniature DIY oil paintings. They were all the rage. We even did them in our house. My mother did up an Elvis one if I remember correctly. We hung it in our hallway for a few years before it disappeared. So tacky, yet so iconic.

A Few Vintage Finds #1

The backstory: My FIL died a few years ago, and year after that my MIL needed to be moved from the house into a retirement community so she could have constant medical care for her diabetes. In the time between her move and this past summer, my SIL was living in the house. Eventually she too had to be moved out into different retirement home because she needed constant medical care for her lung cancer.

The house now stands empty of any occupant, so we’ve been taking time here and there to pack up possessions, to throw out the old food, and to clean up as we go along. It’s a loooooooooooong process when you only have a few hours each week, but we have to do it. I decided early on in the process that a lot of the vintage things we’ve found would be of nostalgic interest to a lot of people we know, so I have been taking some pictures.

Would you like to see some? Okay, here we go…

Woolcrest brand sandwich bags that, we guess, are from the early 1980s. Found in the kitchen pantry closet. Only a few used. Note how the price is printed on the box. Companies only printed prices on when there wasn’t enough store competition to make prices changes up or down. Ahh. Remember those days?

For as long as I can remember while living on my own, food colouring came in plastic bottles that were shaped slightly less elegantly. But, I’m almost 49, and I remember these tall glass beauties from my mother’s baking cupboard clear as day. What a trip!

Although I don’t play the lottery anymore (long story), I do remember this being the wild craze every Ontarian chased. This would help the indecisive who didn’t have a numbering scheme to follow each week like family birthdays, or a SIN, (For real, people even today play their SINs.) This was also for those who loved random plays, who couldn’t deal with using the same numbers week after week. Now the lotto terminals generate the random plays for you. You don’t even have to pencil in the six numbers on a sheet like you’re taking a standardize test at school.

Those of you in the audience who know and worked with my MIL will remember her homemade Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls she lovingly made and embroidered with a heart over each chest. This is her very vintage pattern, still neatly folded up and tucked back into its envelope. There are a few boxes of patterns, but these few blew me away. I had a Raggedy Ann doll Santa brought to me one year. Every dog we had enjoyed ripping her limbs off like a total turd.

A few of you love the Royal Family. So does my MIL and SIL. This is a, I think, 75th birthday plate for the late Queen Mum. It’s beautiful, but it’s lonely now. I needs a new home. I’m not sure if anyone in the family wants it. Hit me up if you’re interested. Joe will probably want a few pennies for it if it’s to be sold, but you two can work that out.

These are the vintage aprons my MIL used to make everyone as gifts, or if you simply mentioned you needed an apron when she was able to sew. I love the idea of aprons, but I hate wearing them in a hot kitchen. It’s just one too many layers for my liking. Pam, is this the kind of apron you were going to ask me to make you?

We found these in the kitchen cupboard crammed into the far reaches, along with a lot of other VERY expired food that I ditched. I liked the packaging on these. I was curious as to when they came out, but couldn’t even guess. I didn’t have to wait too long after opening the box to find out. (See the following picture.)

This is a coupon for some microwave pudding thing that was printed on the back of the pudding box in the picture above. Check out the expiration date of the coupon. This clearly predates the standard best before dates on food packaging today, so that explains why I couldn’t venture a quick guess as to how long it had been in the house. And that’s not even the oldest food thing I found! LOL

There you go. A small trip down memory lane for the day. Hope you enjoyed it. There is a lot more of these pictures on my phone, but I would be here all day at this if I kept going. Tomorrow is another day, as they say. More then.

Coffee Chatter – Sunday Edition

Happy-Mothers-Day-Graphic-Design-4While I wait patiently for my mother’s phone line to free up so I can wish her a happy Mothers Day, I have been trolling around on Pinterest, pulling weeds out of the garden (it’s raining right now so I’m on a coffee rest break), and checking up on some online friends.

I’m not sure about your lawns but ours seems to be over run with dandelions this year. Last year was bad enough, but this year they’re back with a vengeance. I blame the local township banning all kinds of chemical weed killing products.

badweedsMy hips and lower back hate weeds more than I do. They will only allow me to bend down while pulling for a half hour at a time before they seize up on me. I have been thinking a lot about one of those pole devices that leave holes in the grass big enough for gophers to pop up out of. My body’s not getting any younger, and my next door neighbour lent me hers last year for a quick trial. My pride wasn’t quite to the place it is this year back then, so I passed on picking one up at Crappy Tire. But this year… I might just break down (before my back does). πŸ˜€

nappingGuess what? I guess I got too much sun weed pulling that I fell asleep on the couch halfway through this post. LOL I woke up and a few hours of my life disappeared. And it’s about to rain again. It started raining when I fell asleep, so perhaps I should just stick a fork in this day and put my PJs on now.

And no, I still haven’t gotten a hold of my mother. I have no idea what’s going on over there, but she did birth seven of us, and she is legally blind, so my best guess is she didn’t hang up the phone properly after one of the others called her to also wish her a happy Mothers Day. I will have to try her again tomorrow after work. *sigh*

hotcoffeePS: When I fell asleep, my freshly brewed cup of coffee was HOT. When I woke up it was cold. That’s quite the feat given how hot it is outside and in the house today. How long was I out cold, anyway!? Jee-bus! Oh, well. It’s nothing a few ice cubes couldn’t sort out. πŸ˜‰

[ All images found on google.ca ]

Christmas 2014 Tear Down

2015-01-01 12.36.37 An old tv production term still used to this day is “the tear down.” It refers to the tearing down of the set, lighting, cameras and furniture (desks, chairs, etc.) when a show has finished being shot or aired live. I haven’t worked in tv in a very long time, but that doesn’t stop me from saying, “Well, I guess it’s time to tear Christmas down around here,” in our home every year. Today I tore Christmas 2014 down.
2015-01-01 12.37.00 [ sigh ] Well, that’s another holiday season in the can, kids. Hope yours was all you wanted it to be.

Happy 2015, everyone!

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy 2015! Hope you were all able to stay up and see the new year being rung in. If you weren’t, don’t feel bad. My husband had a long nap in the afternoon, and he still turned in early. πŸ™‚

But, beforehand I was able to share this dinner with him. It’s homemade cabbage rolls with bacon on top, sauteed cabbage with kielbasa and onions, and served with rustic red potato mash.

New Year's cabbage rolls, sauteed cabbage with kielbasa and onions, and served with rustic red potato mash

New Year’s cabbage rolls, sauteed cabbage with kielbasa and onions, and served with rustic red potato mash.

It was all tasty, and we washed it down with this great non-alcoholic sparkling wine drink I found at the grocery store. I really like it. I’m not a fan of booze, or champagne, but I like the taste of this drink. A lot. We finished the bottle as I did the dinner dishes.

2014-12-31 22.48.45It’s about ten minutes to the big moment, and my husband is now sitting on the couch. I guess he wanted to wait it out with me after all. Aww. He’s a total sweetheart.

I’m not one for resolutions, but if you are, I wish you the best in keeping them. Conviction is the key. Conviction and a clear goal without any other voice in your head telling you change isn’t possible. It is. Totally.

Ok, we’re down to five minutes left in 2014. Get your drinks, noise makers and lips ready, kids.

Talk to you in next year!

Coffee Chatter – Saturday Edition

embarrassmentI know, I know. I keep doing this disappearing act on you. I’m sorry but life has this way of sucking up all of my time and attention. And to be honest, I really haven’t had much to say lately on anything. Ironic, right? Anyhoo…

IRSo, this morning’s coffee was a lovely Starbuck’s VIA Italian Roast pack that I spiked using the pumpkin syrup I made a week or more ago. I have to use it all up before it goes bad in another week, so the race is on. πŸ™‚ No latte for me today; just a straight up coffee, syrup and a splash of 10% cream did the trick. But, I did enjoy it with two (eek!) yummy, fresh buttery croissants, so I guess I win? Maybe? Hee.

Auntie Stacey’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup:
1C Sugar + 1C Water
2 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree (not the pie filling)
2 Tea Pumpkin Pie Spices

Stir the sugar around in the water till the cloudiness disappears before adding the pumpkin puree and spices to the pot over med-high. Bring all of the ingredients up to a boil. Let it boil for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so the sugar doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and let the pot stand covered for about 1-2 hours till it hits room temperature. Pour it into a jar with a tight lid and store it in coldest part of the fridge up to two weeks. Pour 1 Tbsp or more per mugful of any hot beverage to enjoy.

My summer break is almost over, and I still haven’t finished my damn Spring quilt yet. (snort) I’m slower than molasses in February when it comes to sewing this sucker. The biggest problem is, although my sewing table is big, it’s apparently not big enough to fit my quilt properly so I can do the actual quilting part of it (where you run the sandwiched material layers pinned together in place under the needle to create pretty patterns with the sewing machine all over).

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503A lightly less aggravating problem is there is so much material, I have to constantly hold it taunt and roll up the excess as I slightly raise my arms to run it thought the machine, and that causes improper posture which then bugs my compressed shoulder issue that causes the nerves in the same area to become compressed, sending pain and numbness all down my arms and fingers, so I can only do a few runs a day, and each run is taking on average five minutes to do because I picked a patterned stitch to jazz my quilting up instead of using straight stitches in random patterns.

stitchesOh, I just HAD to be fancy!! Had to be. Oy ve. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.

So, perhaps at this rate my quilt will be done in time for Spring of 2015? One can only hope. πŸ˜‰

Work is picking up nicely. Even though I’m on summer break, most of the staff that stayed behind are getting me to cover them for a few weeks here and there so they can have their time with their kids at one job, and the students at my other job suddenly realise summer school is ending and now they need time to study and complete projects to finish up in time for their regular classes to start two weeks later, so there has been many frantic S.O.S. calls being put out over the bat channel to see if I can cover them. Of course. I’m happy to help students who are serious about their studies. Always.

COLLARBONEslingAside from that, I have been busy cooking for my mother-in-law while her broken collar bone healed. She told me last night she doesn’t need me to help her out anymore, that she’s fine now since she’s out of the sling she hilariously kept wearing incorrectly the whole time she needed it, but we immediately noticed she’s very forgetful. Upon further chatting with her, the husband realized she’s not eating properly (and sometimes not at all as in only coffee for lunch) the way she’s supposed to as a diabetic, so I don’t feel right about not cooking for her anymore. I think I will continue to do so, but will keep a better eye on what she eats and when.

coffeeAnd her coffee maker seemingly died yesterday, so we bought her another one. When we got there last night, the husband unplugged the existing one and plugged it back in, and hey it worked. He then discovered another broken coffee machine in her basement sitting in a box beside a twin coffee maker to her existing one that was still sealed in its box. She insisted on keeping the one we brought her for some strange reason after that discovery, but we brought it home with us instead. It didn’t make sense to us for her to keep it, but to her it did. We’re still baffled by that. Especially after she made a crack about how the new unit comes with a two year warranty and she’s not even guaranteed to live that long herself. (raised eyebrows) Ok, then.

And then there was the equally confusing discussion with her about not needing a model with a timer on it since she’s retired and she only used the timer when her husband was still working, but he was retired for 25 years before he died in June, so… But, she insisted on the timer model despite being the only person in the house who drinks coffee, and that she brews it after she wakes up instead of setting it up before going to sleep. (head scratching)

ActifrySpeaking of my MIL, she gave her other DIL and me Actifry machines for Christmas last year. It’s been a very slow start for me to warm up to using it because, frankly, I felt it was a dud after multiple tries at making french fries in it according to the manufacturer, the recipe book it came with, youtube videos and lots of food blogger attempts (including Oprah’s famous gleeful video about her successful french fry try) and I STILL couldn’t get the machine to work for me.

I would put the fries in – whether they were freshly cut or frozen, it didn’t matter – and then the recommended amount of oil in, closed the lid and 20 minutes later I always found a wadded up pile of fries that somehow managed to fuse themselves together like a moon rock that fell out of the sky. So frustrating and maddening!!

That was back in January – March. Roll forward till about a month ago when I finally decided to dust the machine off and try again. My first instinct was to re-watch some of the same demo videos I bookmarked since I didn’t remember all of the prep involved. A few of those links had gone dead, so I had to do more googling to find new ones. There is one from a lovely New Zealand woman that was uploaded after my first attempts that states that if my potato has a high starch factor, I should use about 1/3 of the recommended oil, or none at all, to get the fries to remain dry and crisp up.

Ding-ding-ding, we have a winner!

Nowhere in the documentation or online was that ever stated by anyone else but this lovely woman. She was right on the money with this tip. When I cooked a batch without oil, only then did my yellow cooking potatoes crisp up into individual fries instead of a singly fry moon rock.

So this is what successful Actifry french fry baking feels like! Me likey.

mooshueggrollsTwo nights ago I made some very tasty Moo Shu (chicken and beef) Egg Rolls and put them into the Actifry to crisp up. OMG. These were the best non-oil fried egg rolls I have ever eaten, and I’ve eaten a lot of egg rolls in my lifetime. Haven’t I, Ellen? Not to mention frozen chicken balls straight from your dad’s restaurant locker freezers. πŸ˜‰ I even cooked all of the filling in the Actifry machine before rolling it up in the wrappers. It was a fair amount of time to make the egg rolls, but probably no more than making them to cook on or in the stove, really. Egg rolls will always have multi-cooking steps involved, so I don’t feel like this isn’t worth the effort. Especially when I consider I used a whole pack of wrappers with the amount of ingredients I cooked up and it came out to 18 egg rolls in the end. I used the leftover for lunches the husband took to work this week. He was happy to have them.

And then I challenged Oprah to out do my egg rolls in her Actifry. LOL (Ermine is going to love this story when she hears it. “Oprah? Stacey, are you insane?!?” And the answer will be, “Of course I’m insane! But, you already know that about me, Erms!”)

Michael Brown Receives His DiplomaAnd finally, onto something serious. I’ve been glued to the media and Twitter reports about the Ferguson, MO story since it broke even though I haven’t talked about it much in social media. I’m very upset about the killing of an unarmed black youth who was on the cusp of starting his adult life in college, about to make some of his dreams that he dared to have come true. That’s Michael in the above picture at the moment when he received his high school diploma. (He did something I never did – he graduated from high school. I’m one credit short but never bothered since I have two college diplomas instead. And there have been a few instances where that has hindered me while seeking employment.)

Such a horrific loss of life and potential for his family to be forced to deal with. And the cop responsible is in hiding. Why? If was a justified killing (which it most certainly was NOT), why didn’t he stay to file a report and face the public with his truth, his version, his account of how he felt that child should be put down like the animal this cop treated him as? WHY IS DARREN WILSON IN HIDING? What does he have to fear if he was in the right, if he was doing everything by the book that day on the street?

Oh… right. (nodding)

Jesus H. Christ on a cracker. That Wilson man better come forward to face his music before someone who isn’t a part of the blue brotherhood finds him first. It will not be pretty for him if it goes down that way. Even George Zimmerman stuck around, Darren Wilson. Are you reading this? Are you hearing what I’m saying here??

(sigh)

I have to change the subject now. I am too upset, and honestly, what can a white girl from Canada do anyway beyond keep this story alive online until some kind of justice is served?

And that is where I will end this chat. I’m sorry if I’ve bummed any of you out with my final subject matter thoughts, but you know me. I’m not one to hold back when an injustice has been done.

Coffee Chatter – Saturday

2014-04-29 17.36.21[ We have become enamoured with the local Wok Box franchise. It’s our new go-to takeout spot. For the days when I don’t want to make us lunch or dinner. ]

I’ve been thinking about takeout food today. And foods I’m so over. What’s on your list of foods you’re over? I need to know, so share! Here is mine:

Can I just say how exhausted I am of cakes, cookies, and desserts in general? It takes a lot to get me interested in any of them, let alone into the kitchen to make them. They’re just so… pedestrian at this point. I guess it’s because there is so much of each already in the world, and it seems like that’s all people think about on Pinterest. Sugary crap. I get it, I used to be the same way. But then I grew up, my hormones changed along with my taste buds, and here we are. I much prefer steak & eggs over a bag of chips and greasy hamburgers. (Sidenote: while spending a lot of time at the hospital, I discovered the hot Kettle Chips Tim Hortons sells for $0.99. Amazing! Perfectly cooked and salted? C’mon!)

I like burgers – I do! – but not all the time. I like pizza, but only when I make it at home. I like to use ingredients I know are fresh and tasty, not overly produced and globby. I’m a bit of a snob like that. I’m sorta kidding here, but one time we ordered a custom pizza made fresh in front of us while we waited, and by the time I got to eat it 15 minutes later at home, it was disgusting. The drive home was less than 5 minutes door to door, and still, it was a soggy mess. And it was overly salty and overly greasy, and the pieces were so soggy I should have drake them. I couldn’t deal after half a slice. What a waste of money, time and materials.

soggy pizza[ Not my picture, but my pizza slice was just as wet on the bottom as this one.]

Funny aside to this story is the owners of that pizza shop stopped by our store to hand deliver menus and coupons about two months afterward. I said no thank you to the coupons. They were stunned, so they asked me why. We had a lovely chat about that pizza I bought. Coincidentally, (or possibly not) 6 months later they sold their franchise location. Huh. Perhaps I was one of many to have a similar story for them to hear? Maybe. Doesn’t matter. The current owners are doing well and I haven’t heard anything negative about their pizzas since. Still. I won’t. I can’t. I refuse to let anyone else make me a pizza from scratch.

So, yes, I know! I know I have been AWOL lately. My father-in-law died, and his wife (my mother-in-law) had a mishap where she broke the tip of her collar bone and spent 13 days in the hospital. She’s home now but we’re all pitching in the help her with cooking and gardening chores she’s been banned from by the doctors. And I have an odd work schedule that’s due to expire in a month, so all of the things I wanted to do this summer are off the table. I will see what I can do in my limited time, but don’t expect much. πŸ™‚

selfwatering planterI am, however, growing some tomatoes from a dozen tomato plants I grabbed from my FIL’s garden after his funeral. They’re doing well in the self-watering container we built a few summers ago specifically for tomato and peppers plants to grow in.

My FIL was sick in the hospital almost a full month before he died, and he wasn’t feeling well leading up to that stay, so he didn’t get a chance to do anything with his garden this year. Nothing. Zip. Nada. After the funeral reception held at the house, some of us went out to look at his beloved roses and garden space to see what we could do to help the MIL out.

What we found was a bunch of tomato plants and leaf lettuce that had sprung up from the ground on their own from seeds that fell into the soil last year in a very random pattern and have really started to grow all on their own – without any human help or intervention. Amazing, non?

garden-2Here is a picture of his garden as of last week when we stopped by the mow and water the grass, and to check on the raspberry bushes like the MIL asked us to. Again, all of it’s growing out of control on its own. On. Its. Own. Look at how densely packed in that tiny space they are! I can’t even get to them to weed let alone count, but I’d guess there is close to 100 in there now. That’s thanks in large part to the beautifully fertile soil the FIL spent over 25 years cultivating. I used his soil in my tomato planter after I transplanted them. They seem to be flourishing well, too.

raspberries-2We picked a lot of berries that night. And I’m told, less than a week later, there are way more ready to be picked this weekend. I’m thinking about raspberry syrup right now. (stroking my chin) I already used a bunch from the first picking to make a yogurt parfait that I included in the husband’s lunch today.

2014-07-08 12.54.32And finally, the last thing I have been distracted with is this cute little preemie, my new niece. I knew you’d want to see a picture of Thea, so here you go. πŸ™‚

Don’t forget your children in cars!

baby-in-a-car-seatPUBLIC SERVICE POST

This is an extreme topic that needs to be discussed because every year we hear about at least one, if not up to a few dozen cases, where a parent who doesn’t normally have their baby in the car as they go to work and needed to be dropped out at a daycare ends up forgetting that child in the backseat as, typically, the temperatures soar. You can imagine what the outcome is. It’s all so sad.

Here is a fantastic thread discussion from Coffee With Julie with some some suggestions for parents tasked with driving with their babies in their car. BTW, if you think this only happens to parents on sweltering hot days, you’re sadly mistaken. It happens all the time – we just don’t hear about it unless the cops and blistering heat is involved, or the child dies.

Read this post, and I ask that you all pass it along to other parents. This is so very important. As a non-mom, I take this seriously enough to talk to all of you about this situation. And if we’re all discussing it enough, we’re bound to find a way to help prevent it from continuing to happen as commutes to work to get more and more distracting, and we try to multitask on the ride in to get a jump on the day’s workload using our smart phones, or as we drift away in a daydream as we drive in autopilot mode and the child is sound asleep. Out of sight, out of mind.

I hate to stat it that way, but I have forgotten valuable stuff in cars and on city buses as I tune the world out, deep in thought, and barely realise I’m about to miss my stop so I jump up and take off, never giving much thought to what I had in my hands, or didn’t, until it was way too late. I once left my full coffee travel mug on the counter at the convenience store beside my old apartment building on the way to work one morning, and hilariously and fortunately, it was sitting exactly where I left it when I ran into the store at 10:30 pm in a panic when that realisation hit me after a long and busy day. The clerk didn’t bother to move it for other customers. He knew I’d come back, but not when. (He was such a kind soul. I really miss not seeing him every day since we moved away.)