neighbours

neigh·bor  [ney-ber]  Show IPA  noun

1. a person who lives near another; 2. a person or thing that is near another; 3. one’s fellow human being: to be generous toward  one’s less fortunate neighbors; 4. a person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his other fellow humans: to be a neighbor to someone in distress.

Neighbours can be great, ours are thankfully. They all welcomed us to the neighbourhood which was really nice and have been very friendly ever since! Last week one of our neighbours stopped by since he was trimming their side of the hedge and asked/offered if he could do the top on our side which meant that we would have a bit of cleanup. Naturally I hesitated and then said yes and thank you! Upon trimming the top he offered to do the sides as well…clearly I didn’t want him to feel he needed to do our yard work so I was like ‘oh don’t worry’ but he insisted it wasn’t a big deal. So we suddenly had a nicely trimmed hedge. YAH!

trimmed hedge

After making hoards of strawberry jam I thought it might be a nice gesture to give them a jar of jam as a ‘thank you’. So I attached a little note with twine saying “Thank you for taking the time to trim the hedge! Enjoy, H & R”. I dropped it on their front doorstep before I went to work yesterday. Hopefully their family enjoys our little thank you.

jam (sorry about the bad BB pic)

I greatly appreciate friendly neighbours. They are pleasant to talk to, considerate of our environment and always make sure their children keep the noise level down (even though we keep saying we don’t mind!). Yah for wonderful neighbours.

P.S. we have a plum tree in our front yard!

Happy Friday (TGIF)!

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raspberries

Tonight I came home after work and saw all kinds of beautiful and rich looking raspberries in our backyard.

raspberry bushes

Since R wasn’t home I thought I’d take a few minutes to grab whatever was ripe. Well there was plenty more than I has expected!

yummy raspberries

Moose didn’t understand why she couldn’t eat them!

I thought I would take advantage of the surplus of berries and make some raspberry tarts. Yum. They turned out pretty well; tart, moist and yummy.

Tarts!

Can’t wait to pick more looks like we will have them growing for a while longer!

Happy Wednesday (night)!

project starter

I have realized I’m an awesome project starter. Not finisher. I’m not sure if I get to overwhelmed or just tired of the same task or I hit a level of frustration and start thinking up another project that would be more fun. I always have a running list of DIYs I would like to accomplish or an even longer list of things that still need to be done around the house. I love the pretty picture but honestly sometimes I wish someone else could do all the work, not us.

My lists usually come with an unrealistic timeline that is usually 99.9% unattainable. Overtime sure, but not within the days/week I usually allot myself. I’ve always been that way. I love keeping busy, I am not good at sitting and doing nothing. When I ‘watch tv’ I am usually on the computer surfing the internet and reading blogs looking for more ideas or working on another DIY. So keeping busy YAH but keeping focused NAH.

I wish I was better able to finish projects and I didn’t become so…complacent?…yup complacent with what is left. A recent example – our bathroom. Everything EXCEPT the shower curtain I need to sew is complete…I just am not in a rush to do it but if I did then BAM one room could be fully off the checklist. BAH alright I really need to do it.

Prioritize. Maybe that is all I need to better learn. Overall in life I tend to be quite organized (however looking at the state of my house now you would never think it) and able to multi-task and prioritize. Something I have had to always do for work to meet my deadlines. But why can’t I roll that into my at home life?

Am I the only one out there? How do people push through something they are just so tired of looking at around their home to get the task fully complete? When you are trying to work through a whole house of renos how do you prioritize? At the end when you complete a project I know the feeling of pure satisfaction. But maybe I just want to do too much at once and need to focus my attention to one room at a time. That is after I finish unpacking all the boxes! sigh.

rain rain go away

I don’t want to continue the nursery rhyme because we have had enough rain for this “summer” and I don’t want it to come another day! Seriously – for the past 5 weekends we have had rain…and just about every 2 or 3 days (at least) in between. It seems to never end!!

the rain from our front door

water rushing down the road

We live in a desert and we don’t have irrigation for our lawn or gardens. This year we have only had to water our property twice! If you live in a desert and understand how dry it really can get you would realize this is a huge feat.

Unfortunately the rain doesn’t leave me overly motivated even though there is plenty to do around the house and we have company (my sister from across the country! and my brother from 8 hours away) coming to visit in just over a week. All I really know is that I’m hoping the weather isn’t quite so bad when they are here.

Even Moose is tired of it!

I’ve been waiting for weeks and weeks for the rain to stop long enough so the wood window sills and frames would dry so I could finally paint the outside of the house! The weather persons keep saying that we should have high 20s and sun after Canada Day weekend…so now I wait.

so really…rain rain go away

Happy Canada Day Weekend!

four new chairs

I found an ad on craigslist.ca for four solid wood chairs. I like the lines of the chairs and the fabric on the seats…well I figured I could change that. I called the seller to confirm that the four chairs were $20 and not $20 each. Success! I picked them up on Saturday and saw printing on the underside of the seat, and low and behold they were made in Hanover Ontario (close to where my husband grew up).

        

The company name on the underside of the chairs is Knechtel Furniture Ltd. I tried to do some research to determine when they would have been built but can’t find anything for sure. Here is some information I found on the Bruce County Museum website.

[Daniel] Knechtel expanded the operations again in 1884, building a brick factory in Hanover. Over the next three decades, Daniel’s business acumen and initiative made the firm one of the largest furniture factories in the Dominion.

. . .

On December 20, 1900, the main plant at Hanover burned with a loss of $100,000 and 250 jobs. With the aid of a $10,000 grant from the village, the present four-story factory was opened on the old site on December 20, 1901. By 1905 Knechtel furniture – from tables to hall racks – was being distributed from Cape Breton to Vancouver.

. . .

During the Great Depression, in 1934 and 1936 respectively, the Walkerton and Southampton factories were closed, as was the warehouse in Winnipeg. The Walkerton plant was purchased by Bogdon and Gross and the Southampton plant by Hepworth Manufacturing Company. Business was confined to the two Hanover plants. Since the reorganization of the 1930’s the firm has been known as Knechtels Ltd.

After Daniel Knechtel passed away at the ripe old age of 92 in 1936, his son J.S. succeeded him as president. He had only held the position for two years when he also died in 1938. His son Karl took over the company at that time until his sudden death in 1972.

Knechtel Furniture Company was the third oldest furniture company in Canada.

Knechtel Furniture Company was a stepping-stone for many in the furniture industry in Bruce County. Many employees from Knechtels moved elsewhere and started their own furniture manufacturing companies.

Bruce County Museum source

I’m tempted to assume that these chairs were built prior to the 1930’s since the underside of the chair reads “Knechtel Furniture Ltd.” not Knechtels Ltd. But maybe I’m wrong since I’m quite sure the company did make furniture until the 1980’s. I’m going to try to do more research to see what else I find unless anyone is able to provide me with more information.

I have fabric I bought when our local store was going out of business, it is white suede. The underside of the chair says the fabric was originally white so conveniently I have changed the seat fabric over to the white and it looks much better.

before

after

Yah for dining room chairs! Out with the cheap folding plastic chairs and in with the ‘new to us’ solid wood chairs!

Happy Wednesday!

our first anniversary

Today is our First Wedding Anniversary! I have no idea where the past year went! It is crazy how time just flies by.

I loved our wedding…we got married in Ottawa Ontario Canada. Having grown-up in the east and now we live in the west it was a good meeting point; not to mention we did meet in Ottawa about 7 years ago.

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We were married at an Anglican Church and our reception for 125 guests was at the Museum of Nature. A beautiful venue (in my opinion anyway) where we hosted our detail oriented black and white themed wedding. It was a day I will never forget. One of the most memorable aspects of our wedding was the love and support from our friends and family. They travelled from almost every province, from BC to Nfld and even from Switzerland to be there with us. It was an incredible feeling to have all of these special people in our lives there just to support us. Something I will never ever forget.

I remember working on details galore for months on end, coordinating everything right down to the pearl in my fascinator (which were from my late grandmother’s necklace). We named our tables after places we had each lived throughout our lives, made our own signage for the bar/photobooth/guest book/etc., had a DIY photobooth, our guest book (which was a photo book of Ottawa people signed throughout), we made our place cards with local wine corks we had collected from friends, designed and wrote our own menu cards and thank yous, provided washroom baskets for any item someone may have forgotten…you name it we tried to get it done. We had people comment on the attention to detail which made me happy to have spent so much time piecing things together (I’m a total type A personality).

We had wonderful family and friends who helped make our day extra special. A few extra special hands made our wedding cake – my cousin who is a baker now in the UK did our wedding cake which I loved and tasted amazing. My father built the cake stand which in the evening was just glowing with mini lights and the driftwood was a touch from the east coast. My cousins and my beautiful bridesmaids and our mothers helped assemble all our centrepieces from items from their garden (which I might add are always stunning). There were many other family and friends that helped us run errands, provided us accommodations and were very giving to R and I; for all those things we will be forever grateful for helping us.

I am looking forward to many more years together with my wonderful husband. xo

The photo credits go to our fantastic photographer (Derrick Rice) from Union Eleven.

what do seeds, sun and rain give you?…strawberries (in our case anyway)

Yesterday my life revolved around strawberries. Two friends and I went to a local Organic U-Pick Farm to get strawberries for jams etc. and we were picking by 9:15am.

              

(please keep in mind I was on a farm picking strawberries so my attire was based upon comfort, easy of movement and weather conditions, I was certainly not going for style)

Two hours and 8lbs + 13.5lbs + 15lbs of strawberries later we were ready to head home. I think our chatting got the better of us before we realize how many berries we had picked!

here is what 36.5 lbs of strawberries looks like!

I spent the rest of the day making strawberry jam, strawberry-rhubarb jam, a strawberry-rhubarb crisp, and washing and freezing almost two ziplock bags full of strawberries! It will be enough to keep us going for a while! Here are some of my in progress shots of cooking and baking (including rhubarb from our back yard!).

           

I was very satisfied with how it all turned out but now hopefully the jams all taste really good! (I also love how in our crawlspace/cellar I have lots of storage space for canning. Let the fun begin!)

     

We are already planning our next outings for blueberries and blackberries!

Happy Sunday!