The joys of house shopping

So, after a disastrous results on our taxes, hubby decided the way to avoid further fiscal nightmares was to move his private practice to our home and save on rent. Unfortunately, our home is not set up for a business, so…we’re now looking at selling and moving.

Finding our next home is a difficult task, mostly because we have very different opinions of what is a habitable environment. Two days ago, lovely hubby brought me to the middle of nowhere to see an ancient little school house on the verge of falling over. Never mind the smell as you walked in (a mix of cat urine and mold that made my eyes water) or the fact that the stairs had no railings and could be used to teach math angles, hubby was certain the place was a hidden gem.

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While the resident cat caught and chewed an innocent mouse in front of our eyes and cockroaches held a picnic, I tried to convince him that the Adams Family wouldn’t live there and the place was surely about to be condemned. Undeterred, hubby followed the giggling realtor to the basement. I took one look at the dark, gaping hole that led to the basement and refused to enter the catacombs of the house.

Obviously, we have different views of what a living environment entails. After the school house nightmare, I was determined to show him my version of a living home and found a lovely house with a basement that was high above ground and could easily be converted into an office. Did I mention it had a fenced yard for the dogs and a lovely pool? Also, it came without rodents, bugs or blood-thirsty cats.

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Hubby found a barn. Literally.

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The place had been restored and had a yoga studio at the bottom but there was no denying it was a barn. He was in love. I was more concerned with the tiny corner that was supposed to be our ‘ample living space’. I can ignore the tilted ceilings and the drawer-like space they claim was a closet but the kitchen/bathroom was a little much and the rooftop deck without railings was pretty dangerous.

The only thing that wasn’t small was the price tag. Apparently, barns are a wanted luxury because this number would make even Oprah’s eyebrows rise.

Obviously, this ridiculous situation is not over and you’ll definitely hear more about it. On a completely different topic, if anyone is looking for a slightly used school house, I know just the place.

 

Yum!

I’ve never, ever made risotto before but this one is super yummy. It’s pretty labour intensive, because it basically asks you to be stirring the rice for 45 minutes but it’s so worth the work. The taste was unbelievable! Even my meat-loving hubby loved it.

Here are some pictures and the recipe comes from Oh She Glows.

Oh, I did cheat at the end a put a dab of real butter into the dish. Just to be completely honest. Still, man alive, it was good!

A visit to the doctor and a new menu

Well, hubby was due to go to the doctor and I sat in. He still has high cholesterol, though better than before and the doctor advised us to follow a Mediterranean diet. I mentioned our previous attempt at a plant-based diet but he countered that doctors never recommend it.

His advice made us both think and the result was we decided to add some mediterranean dishes to our cuisine. Now, this recipe below was a first attempt at Mediterranean cuisine for me.

It comes from this site. And this is what we got:

Leeks and shrimp before cooking

the ingredients we needed

This was the sauce after we cooked the shrimp

The cooked shrimp

All of it mixed together

The final dish

It was actually really yummy. If you do give this a try, let me know how it turned out for you.

Hurray for Hubby!

Well, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t just let our two trees sit there and die. It was a job that was way too tough for me to do alone in spite of my amazing muscles. (ahem!). So, as soon as hubby was back from his therapy thing, I asked him for help.

The trees were behind these partition plastic things the drillers had put to guide the clay down to the drain. It hadn’t worked and the clay had accumulated into this massive puddle. It stinks, sucks any boot you’re wearing off your foot faster than you can say help and is a nightmare to wash off.

It was a coordinated effort between my hubby and I, but the truth is he did the bulk of the work, finally liberating the squashed fir trees from their prison and dragging them to the backyard. Once there, we had to protect them from our curious fluff-balls of dogs who immediately wanted to know what we were up to and then, of course, make holes for the new residents of the yard.

A good couple of hours later, we had planted, fed and watered our trees. We were exhausted and more filthy than I can describe. We stunk like the clay and had bruises and scrapes from the pine needles of our rescued friends.

Planted!

We were also jubilant.

Sure, our two trees are a little worse for wear and sure, they might still die; but we’ve given them a chance. It was awesome.

Only thing is…our yard now has 6 new trees…and it’s starting to look a lot less like a yard and more and more like a forest.

On water issues

Our well fiasco is still an ongoing thing. Apparently (as in, we didn’t know because no one told us), we share our well water with our neighbours. When they started doing construction, they cut the line that fed water to our well and…well we went without.

I moaned at length about that in a previous post, so there’s no need for me to go on here about how hard it is to have no water and how spoiled we are in Canada with water. No, no need. Instead, I’ll let you know that we do have water, albeit our neighbours’ because we reconnected the water line.

Still, we need a permanent solution and stealing their water is not it. So, we have someone coming in to drill a new well for us…sometime this week. Hopefully very soon.

Now, you’d think that’d be it. I’m done talking about water and taking up your time. Well, no. Our sub pump decided this was the perfect time to throw a fit and it broke yesterday. Ironic, because a moment ago I was moaning about how we had no water and without a sub pump, we’d be…well, flooded.

This new development almost send my lovely hubby over the edge. He shook his British head and declared we had to move. Right. Now.

He’s away this week, however, so I get to make the decisions and my first one is that we’re not selling our house.

The second one is where our well will go…hee hee.

 

Where I rescue a baby bird and feel like superwoman

We were going to my hubby’s office when I noticed something small and round on the asphalt. I couldn’t figure out what it was until it hopped awkwardly sideways.

It was a tiny baby bird.

My husband explained that a starling had built a nest inside a metal box for cables. Sure enough, there were twigs coming out of the opening on its base.

I’m no baby bird expert, but I do know that their best chance is with their parents and I know the parents do not reject them if someone has handled them. While my hubby watched from a safe distance (he doesn’t like touching baby birds–don’t worry I made fun of him for hours afterwards), I cradled the little guy in my hand.

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He was a tiny thing. A tiny ball of a belly with two ridiculously large legs, a knob of a head with a massive mouth and a shock of feathers on its top. Pretty wasn’t on his list of things to worry about but that wasn’t the point.

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He wasn’t scared of me as I picked him up. He just sat in my palm and looked at me while I explained to him what was happening. My explanation seemed to make sense to him because as soon as I lifted him into the opening of the nest, he hopped off inside. His sudden appearance set off a racket from his siblings waiting inside. Apparently, they had missed him.

We did our thing at Hubby’s work and came back to check on our nest. The baby bird was still inside and the mom was nowhere to be seen, so things seemed to be back on track.

I know it was a little thing, but it was the highlight of my day.

 

 

Adorable odd friends

I was all grumpy today because my car is getting fixed and it’s still not finished and my hubby showed me this video. It just made me grin like a silly kid. So cute!

How to NOT kill a wasp

  1. Find a British husband paranoid of wasps (the British part is optional but it does help in the cursing part)
  2. Get said husband to become obsessed with barbecuing on a beautiful sunny Saturday.
  3. Give husband a few potatoes to cook with onion dip to make them attract wasps.
  4. Have husband curse as wasps approach. (British curses add a certain gusto to the entire experience).
  5. Have said husband come into house swear he will kill the wasps, find a swatter and step outside only to run back in because wasp was ‘right there!’
  6. Have husband swear even more imaginatively than before involving all the wasp’s predecessors and progeny.
  7. Encourage husband to stay indoors only to have him bolt right back outside.
  8. Watch British husband dance around outside batting his hat at the air while the wasp meanders away completely unperturbed.

Where I can’t watch

Warning: there are some mild spoilers on this post about the Series: Game of Thrones. Stay away if you haven’t watched it or dislike any type of spoiler.

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My lovely hubby has been avidly watching the series Game of Thrones. That means, I have been watching it as well.

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I watched Season 7 with a mix of fear and delight. The story is just great and, though there was imminent and present danger, I was able to get through it without having to close my eyes too many times.

However.

Season 8 is proving to be something of a challenge.

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The two episodes we’ve had so far were a delight for me. We had dialogue, reunions and everyone was alive and healthy…The problem is that there is a terrible, terrible battle coming and…well, I don’t think I can watch it.

Bad things are coming…

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It’s really scary…

And, let’s face it, I’m a big, BIG, chicken.

So, what am I going to do? The only thing I can do. Let my hubby watch it, tell me most of it, freak out, wait a while and finally, while hugging my loyal doggies, watch the episode.

We’ll see how this goes…

Well, I made up this recipe. Completely made it up out of my little noggin. So the result is…well, I can’t really tell because it’s still in the oven, but I will definitely let you know.

I started by cooking some spinach in a pot. It cooks really well if you just keep stirring and it doesn’t stick. It turned out like this.Then, I made some tomato sauce. I sautéed some onions with garlic and added crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and some more tomatoes for good measure and then, once it was cooked, I blended it with the immersion blender. Oh! And I chopped some fresh parsley and some fresh basil to add to the sauce.

This was the basil

This was the parsley

This was my tomato sauce

And then I cooked some portobello mushrooms with some onion and garlic and olive oil.

This was the mushroom mixture after they were cooked. I also had to chop them up.

I then added the spinach (after I cut it into small pieces) and some roasted walnuts that I also chopped.

these were the roasted walnuts

this is me mixing it all together

Finally, I had some fresh pasta lasagna sheets and filled them up with the mixture, then put them in a glass bowl, wrapped them so that they would contain the mixture and covered them with tomato sauce.

Issues? Well, I didn’t measure anything. I might have overdone the salt in the mixture (so that’s going to wreck the entire thing).

Hubby is on his way over and he’s going to be my guinea pig. It’s my real first attempt at cooking without a recipe…and this could easily be a disaster. Oh! And here I was all delighted that the recipe is vegan…well, turns out that the pasta is made with eggs.