My transition from cluttered to simple living.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mmmm! Chocolate Chip Cookies!!


1 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

Blend until creamy...

Add 2 well beaten eggs and blend again!

In a separate bowl, mix ... and add to the shortening mixture...

2 cups of white all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda.

 Add at least 1 cup of chocolate chips.  (I add more.)

Bake at 375 * for approx 7 or 8 minutes...or until lightly browned.

These cookies are excellent!  Baked at home.... Enjoy!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Best Laid Plans....

When I woke this morning, I lay quietly, enjoying the sound of the falling rain, and knowing that today I would have the opportunity to stay home and complete some projects. I LOVE this time of year, and I love the opportunity to "Cocoon."

I mentally compiled a list of the projects that have been hanging over my head and divided my day, assigning so much time to each task.

First on my list of priorities is to complete the binding on a quilt I am making for my grandson...

The second item I would like to work on is this painting which is only half finished...

So I made my way downstairs, only to discover, that my dog had other plans on how I would spend my morning. "Someone" had left her out of her "doggy room."

She has a deathly fear of storms and tried to escape the storm outside by creating one inside.

She has settled now and is back in her doggy room with our other dog who has no issues.
In case you are wondering... our Labrador would have NEVER done anything like you guessed the Jack Russell terrorist, you have won the prize of the day! Her!!! (I may throw in the "Someone" who left her out as an added bonus.) Just email your address. I will pay the shipping and handling!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

A Tribute

Sometimes "it" just needs to be said.  This is one of those times.  

My dad, Lawson Archibald Allison, was born in Weston, Ontario, to Fanny and Archie Allison, on August 28, 1921.  He was raised as an "only child" and was loved by many aunties and uncles.  This did not spoil him as one might expect.  Dad worked as soon as he was able, and his jobs were numerous and varied.  He especially remembers, with most affection, jerking sodas at the corner drug store. 

At an age when the teens of today are hanging out in malls and looking for trouble, dad enlisted, and spent his youth in the service of his country.  He wanted his loved ones to grow up in a world that was safer and kinder than what he was seeing at the time.  Many years were spent away from his family but this is a time he seldom speaks about.

After the war, dad studied to become a teacher and went on to teach English Literature in High School.  Many of his students still keep in touch after all these years, and some have gone on to become accomplished writers.

My dad did not venture far from home when he chose his lifelong partner, and he and mom raised my brother and I ensuring that we we always felt safe and cherished.   I can honestly say that we never wanted for a thing.  How fortunate we were to have parents that made our happiness and welfare a priority.  

Our teenage years were troubling at times, as we grew up in the 60's. and "testing the waters" and challenging our parents' values was a privilege we owned.  We claimed that privilege because we lived in a country that was free, and it was free  as a result of the efforts of young men like dad... many of whom never came home.

Over the past few years I have had the privilege of living close to my dad in the same small town.  We have shared road trips, Sunday dinners and "the best chocolate donut in the whole world!". 

Too often we wait to publish a post such as this until after the person that we have loved and respected has departed this world.  We need to change that practice, and tell the ones we love,  that we we know that they hear us.  

So, dad... one more time.....thank you for all that you have done, and for all that you continue to do.  I love you.

poppy on tricycle


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Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Done!

My passion is creating. I sew, quilt, crochet, knit, and paint. My problem is, that after I have mastered a skill, I am ready to move on to another, and I have many unfinished projects in my home. I feel a strong sense of guilt when I come across a bag containing a pair of socks. or a pair of mittens...unfinished. I have lost count of the number of hooking projects I have started. (I forgot to add rug hooking to my list of endeavours.) I have several quilt tops in various stages of completion. Although these projects are neatly stashed, the knowledge of the state in which they reside clutters my mind and causes an anxiety of sorts. So, this year, I have stopped buying and committed to finishing.

When we visited my sister-in-law, Jan and her husband Keith, and daughter Meredith, in Sault St Marie in June, I purchased more fabric after visiting my favourite store..."Joanne's. " I also purchased a pattern book and started, yet another, project. Thankfully, I have learned to start a seasoned theme project well enough in advance that I have the ability to finish it before the occasion THAT year. I finished this little gem last night.

MY next little project will be to finish the quilt that I started for Dustin two years ago. I stitched the binding on by machine last weekend and all that remains to do is to hand stitch the binding on the back of the quilt, and date and sign it. Alexia is next in line for a quilt. and then Halen and Delia.

If I never left the house for the next year, I could not possible complain of boredom. The sense of accomplishment I feel after I have finished a project gives me such a lift and inspires me to do I will post pictures of finished projects throughout the coming months.

What unfinished project do you have stashed away?


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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Drumroll, please! Delia Eva Proulx.  Delia entered our lives this afternoon weighing 9lb 7 oz.   Her big sister, Alexia, thinks she is pretty swell.  We have to agree!!!!


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Friday, September 18, 2009

Dedicated to Mom

Today I would like to dedicate this post to my mom who passed away seven years ago.

They say that time is a great healer. I am not sure. I don't miss her any less but I guess I have got used to not having her around...although...I believe that there are times that she is very close and has assumed a role of our guardian angel.

Mom was a wonderfully talented lady. She was a great cook, a marvellous dancer, and had a wicked sense of humour. She was artistic and could knit, crochet and hook rugs, but rug hooking became her passion. She loved times spent at Trent University where she honed her skills and kept her friends in stitches.

Diabetes altered the course of her life but I cannot EVER remember her complaining about her twice daily needles, nor did she ask her family to deny ourselves those things that she could not eat. She was an example of strength and courage.

Several years ago the Art Gallery of Ontario called for entries of 4x6 portraits to be included in their display entitled "In Your Face." All entries would be archived and kept as property of the AGO after being displayed for several weeks. I jumped at the chance to do a portrait of my mom as I wanted her image to live on. I wanted her presence here to be remembered and recorded and noticed. I struggled with what medium I should use and the answer became simple. I would use the medium she most loved....wool strips hooked into burlap....rughooking.

So more time... Thank you for the inspiration and the example. I love you.
Lorna Lorraine Allison

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm still here...

Our computer crashed this week, and I have missed posting and visiting with my new community of friends. I am promised that our MAC will be up and running this weekend, and there is that, and a new baby to look forward to next week.

Little girl #2,(grandbaby #4) will be making her grand entrance by Monday. She will be a little bigger than our other babies so far, if the US technicians are right... so much more to love.

Her mommy, her daddy and her big sister, Alexia are anxiously awaiting her arrival...and she will be great-grandbaby #5 for Poppy.

Until next time then, take care!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our trip to PEI

This summer we vacationed in PEI.  We had driven through this Province once before but did not stop long enough to enjoy the scenery.  This year dad, Wayne and I decided to rent a small cabin and spend a week so that we could really enjoy a little of what Prince Edward Island has to offer.

Hubby likes the road less travelled, and this is what we came across on one of our tours.... a family of geese....  (Notice the rust coloured earth?)

Lupins galore!

Jelly fish washed up on miles of beaches...


This time we were able to stop long enough to smell the roses which grow wild in many spots.  The aroma is delicious!

More pictures of PEI to follow in upcoming posts.  How did YOU spend YOUR holiday this year?


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Friday, September 4, 2009

A Little "How To"


My daughter has expressed an interest in learning how to can peaches and as we ran out of time last visit. I thought I would post a very quick lesson on how to do that. attention...

1. Choose peaches that are ripe but firm.  I find that Freestone are best, as the peach separates from the stone easier.

2. Thoroughly wash jars in warm soapy water.  I use pint size to serve the two of us.  (Even though they come from a store in a sealed box, wash them.  You do not know who has been handling them.)

3.  Rinse your peaches well. Wash your sink.  Fill it with clean COLD water.  Drop your peaches into water that has come to a boil.  When their skin has dulled, remove them.  Immediately put them into the sink of cold water.  Their skin should slip off and if it doesn't, put the back into the boiling water for a minute or so and try again.  Put the peaches into a bowl that is filled with cold water and add 1 tsp of "Fruit Fresh" which is available at the grocery store.  This will prevent them from turning brown before you get a chance to jar them.

4.  Prepare a saucepan that is big enough to hold one cup of sugar and 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and turn to low setting.  You may need more syrup depending on how many peaches you want to can.

5.  Place empty jars in a pot with enough water to cover them and throw the rings in with them.  Boil ten minutes.  In a separate pan boil lids for 5 minutes to sterilize.

6.  Slice peaches into each jar. Cover with syrup.  Leave 1/2 " of space at the top of the jar.   Use the handle of a wooden spoon to gently push the peaches down and cause the air bubbles to rise.

7.  Place the lid on the jar after making sure the rim is dry. Then place the ring on.  Tighten.  (Finger tighten...Don't reef on it.)

8.  Place in Canner with cold water to cover the jars.  Boil for 20 minutes.  Remove from water carefully and place on towel or newspaper.  As they cool you will hear the jars pop and seal.  When cooled, check to see if the lids have sealed....Store. 

You will appreciate all this extra work in the winter when you taste these peaches....  Why is it necessary that we start preserving our foods?   Well, when you preserve your own food, you know that it is clean and fresh.  Buying local lessens the impact on the environment.  Have you ever looked at the labels on cans?  Most say picked in Canada or the USA and shipped to China for packing.  Can you imagine the amount of fuel that is used to do this?  Think of the impact on the environment.

I don't want to be an alarmist, but we should all be prepared.  Prepared for what?  Unemployment, rising food cost, and loss of power to name a few...  We need to be able to feed ourselves and our families in times of crisis.

One last note... Don't buy a Canner or supplies when you can borrow your mom's.  Need advice?  Call home. or better yet, talk to your brother the chef.  He makes a mean spaghetti sauce!

Good Luck!!!

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