Things we've been up to lately....
I'm so far behind on posting that I thought I'd do a separate post with pictures... I've been reading along and there's so much going on that I should be commenting on but am too scatter-witted and internally-focussed at the moment to organize coherent thoughts!
We have taken to heart the EAT/Julie Job/de-clutter mantra and have made a fair bit of progress in that regard. We started before Christmas with painting the kitchen. GB can attest to the fact that there have been paint chips taped to the kitchen wall for at least two years! We finally made a choice and Randy painted the kitchen BM 'Soft Fern' just before Christmas. It now looks like this:
The walls used to be the same color as the cabinets. Notice the black conical thing on the stove... It's a tagine that Randy bought me for Christmas. We really like the Moroccan restaurant that opened nearby this summer so we've been trying out some tagine recipes ourselves. We really like them but I'm inclined to spice them up a bit more. We couldn't find a local source for the main spice mix and asked the owner/chef of the restaurant where to get it - he gave us some of his supply! Now I'm searching for preserved lemons and may end up making them ourselves.... The tagine is not 'authentic' because it doesn't have a clay base, buy it cooks meat fabulously tender and I think we'll end up experimenting with adapting a lot of recipes to cook in it.
We're in the midst of a thorough de-clutter of the house. The office/library has been the biggest target so far. Boxes and boxes of books went to the Salvation Army and we eliminated some bookcases to make a more comfortable seating area. We moved the seed-starting plant light shelves in the living room to the basement to make room to put the fig tree that used to be in the office in the living room instead. We are waiting for a new wooden bookcase to arrive to go in the living room to add back some bookcase space! The bookcases left in the office now are primarily for my garden books, movie DVDs, some of Randy's old LPs and good hardcover 'literature' books.
After, from left to right around the room:
(You might notice that I got my hair chopped off in between the 'during' and 'after' pictures - that's in anticipation of the upcoming 'punk-Frankenstein' look that will be happening in mid-Feb. Longer hair and not being able to shower for a week or so is not a happy combination as I learned before - better to cut it all off in advance. I'll need another trim before the 16th...) Today we replaced the lamp by the loveseat with one that matches the one by the chair. The fig tree had dripped sap on the loveseat lamp over the years and it was toroughly in need of replacing!
Blue stayed with us from Dec. 16-Jan. 9. He's always happy to be here but happy when 'daddy' comes back for him:
Just before Blue went home, it looked like Copper might need to be here too for a day. Since Blue can be very iffy with other dogs, Suzanne brought Copper by the week before and we went through the introduction walking-together routine. Surprisingly, Blue was quite good; it was Copper who was pushy/cranky! After an hour of walking and supervised time in the house, it was looking good that they'd get along. As it turned out, Blue's 'parents' came home a day earlier than expected so there was no overlap. GB - that probably bodes well for trying to introduce Phoebe to Blue so that we wouldn't have to worry about overlaps of those two. Since Phoebe and Liam got along great, if Phoebe and Blue turn out to be compatable too, that would add to flexibility in options for Phoebe-care if needed - once Phoebe is off the disabled list, as I'm sure she wouldn't be able to resist a certain degree of rowdiness with her little buddy and friend! :-)
Speaking of dogs, it appears we have some new neighbours across the back fence:
We've had very little snow so far this year but, when we do get a few flakes, the town has been salting the roads like mad! Misty does not like salty feet so we got some booties to try. She was not impressed!
Since he retired, Randy has got quite serious about exercise. He always liked going for long walks but has been doing a lot more of it - and running too. Since it's dark so early, safety in the dark was a concern as was cold on his face. He must be quite an intimidating person to run into on his night-time walks/runs:
At the end of last week Randy got his fancy new camera so we're all set to compare how we see the word in 'his'n' hers' photo sessions once nice weather returns!
We haven't been doing much in the way of day-trips lately, although we did go to see the King Tut exhibition at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) last week.
So that's a summary of what we've been up to over the past little while....