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Monday, 2 January 2017

January 2nd 2017

In years gone by, the week that begins January has been notoriously stormy. There have been bus cancellation days for schools and even road closures. So, it was rather pleasant and surprising that today started out with such beautiful sunshine.


It was lovely to have a cup off coffee at the computer with the sun streaming into the kitchen.


Scooter the tailless cat appreciated the pathway I made for him on the porch.


Sampson the stripy cat also enjoyed having the sun on his face. (That's his contented expression).

Yesterday I finalized the packing up of Christmas. I never seem to get it repacked in the same way each year and so I ended up with some things that did not fit in the giant Rubbermaid boxes and had to be stored separately. Now all that is left is a naked tree. I will leave the moving of that outside to the husband and I will (of course) vacuum up the needles which will wedge themselves between the floor boards.


Today we delivered our daughter back to university. It was a perfect day for driving. We were determined to have a shwarma lunch on our way to her dorm. Because we live in an area with very little cultural diversity, we like when we can go to places that offer a variety of cuisine. I had the chicken with rice and lentils and husband had the beef. Daughter had hers as a wrap. Son decided he was going to stay home and sleep, so he said goodbye to his sister this morning and went back to bed. (Priorities) Husband and I asked for mild meals but there was still a nice kick to them. There was so much food, we brought our leftovers home and heated them up for a late supper. So good!! I would love to be able to replicate it at home but I have no idea which spices are used. I suppose I could look it up. I always laugh when I watch cooking shows and the recipe calls for a particular spice or ingredient and the host suggests you buy it at your local Asian/ Mediterranean / Middle Eastern food market. Well, that would be about two hours away!

As I type this post, the husband is watching a movie that he recorded called, "The Robe". There are  Romans and marble columns and many well-draped women. It stars a young Richard Burton. Isn't it funny how all other civilizations speak with an English accent! I'm not much of a movie watcher. I will sit in the same room, but I'm often on my laptop, or with a book. I'll get up to put a load of laundry through, or tidy up the kitchen, or some such mindless task. Sometimes I think I'm a little bit attention-deficit.

While we were in the city, we were on the hunt for some new prints to put on the walls of the den (the room I had recently painted). I was disappointed with all the same cheap frameless "paintings" of either abstract looking birch trees, floral skulls (???), swirly colours with a shot of glittery silver, or just text printed on cheap wooden backgrounds. I really just want some nice framed prints of old-fashioned still life (think fruit on a simple wooden table in subdued colours), or some kind of charming furry animal (hare maybe, or fox), or even a couple of botanicals. But I was not enamored by anything we saw in the chain stores. However, we aren't in a position to purchase any originals either. I think we need to go looking on the internet and find something tasteful, casual, rural... I'll keep you posted.

Well, there's my life in a nutshell. Hope everyone is well and moving forward with their new year's resolutions (eye roll due to breaking pretty much every resolution I've ever made).


27 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about finding affordable art that isn't mass produced. I've been looking for something 'striking' for my dining room for ages. Difficult to judge paintings on-line. I would be interested to know what you choose.

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    1. I will post about it and everyone know how the search is going.

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  2. Life's small pleasures. Sun through the window! Our view though is green, so lovely and green now.
    A meal out that is something exotic....a laugh there. If we go to the city nowadays it's usually an exotic sandwich on the way home. Still a different routine.
    I don't make new year resolutions any more. Just asking for failure.
    And movies....I'm the same. Can't just sit and watch. A half hour series is more my style. I have to knit or blog or do something else while the movie is on.
    Hope I can get some of the decorations down. Had enough of celebrations

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    1. Today is dull, grey, and it rained. I'm glad we had a chance to be out in the sun yesterday.

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  3. I packed Xmas away yesterday. It all looks lovely and bare now. Our January has started cold and frosty but no snow, yet. I need to look up shwarma.

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    1. I didn't know what it was before yesterday, but kept seeing signs on restaurants that advertised shwarmas when we take or pick up our daughter. As it turns out, it is meat on one of those great big rotating skewers served either with rice or on a pita. It is delicious.

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  4. Do you have any thrift stores, antique stores near you? That's where I have found some great pieces inexpensive.

    I had a cat just like your sampson once, his name was Tigger. And I LOVE your tail'less cat, beautiful even without!

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    1. Unfortunately we don't have any great antique stores near by. Many years ago, we used to go to estate auctions, but even those are few and far between now. It's alright. I'm in my great rush. I'd rather have a bare wall than put up something I don't like.

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  5. It sounds like a good holiday and fun to take your daughter and come home with Middle Eastern food! Thank goodness for the internet to order those wonderful but uncommon spices and cooking things.

    I looked up a schwarma recipe. The NYTimes one had cumin, paprika, tumeric and cinnamon. If you have any trouble getting those, let me know -- I can send you some when I go to London later this month. My regular grocery down the street has all of those. The recipe looked pretty easy and I think I might try it, too -- I like Middle East food as well and have never made it!

    Good for you on the Christmas. Much of mine will remain, though I took down a lot yesterday -- mostly Santas and decorations. I'll try to get the big tree and any of the trees with colored lights by the weekend. I get very depressed de-Christmassing the house, so I'll probably leave up the two "winter" trees till Equinox or close, as much for the light as anything. And bring up the snowmen, now that I got more real estate from Santa removal!

    I haven't seen The Robe in ages. A good movie. And your cat photos are terrific! Cheers!

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    1. Well, that's not too bad. I have all of those in my spice drawer right now. I was expecting something quite exotic!

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  6. What a pretty tree. Nice to have up, nice to have the space back again.

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  7. Jenn, may I suggest you try Michaels Crafts, they have lots of unframed prints of all types & then you can pick a frame right there & have them do. Ah yes to the removal & putting away of Christmas, I am using the excuse to keep Mr Man happy that I have thrown my back out & cannot lift the boxes (col). He gets his way again with a tree up at 12th night.

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    1. There is a Michaels in a town about 45 minutes away. I may try that next time I am there. Does 12th night mean 12 days after Christmas? That means January 5th. No thanks, too late for me.

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  8. Jenn, have you ever considered doing a painting yourself? In the Pembroke/Renfrew area we have lots of Paint Nights. For about $50, you usually get a drink and snacks and a lesson by an established artist. They are great fun and you can surprise yourself!

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    1. Oh good lord, no! I come from a very artistic family and I'm the least talented and trained of the bunch! The lesson and the experience sound like fun, but I wouldn't put my results up on the wall. You must be braver than I!

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  9. Uh, sorry, but I won't be able to have coffee with you this morning.

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  10. you should see if there are any local little art fairs on weekends around you, but then given your level of snow, not likely for a few months. Hmmmm, have you tried Target, Walmart, or Hobby Lobby?

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    1. Thank you for the suggestions. We don't have Target or Hobby Lobby in Canada. Walmart is here, but not a place where I would find the sorts of prints I'm looking for. It'll happen, no rush.

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  11. I laughed with Sampson's contented expression! That's cats for you. I have a female that looks just like him. Contented look and all :)

    It's hard to believe the holidays have come and gone already. My younger daughter is here for a few days but will head back home tomorrow. Home. It still sounds so strange every time I say it. That she's moved out and away to another city. She'll always be five years old in my mind and being on her own feels surreal! :)

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    1. Tabby cats are so universal! We met a real cool tabby in the Dominican Republic! It must be tough knowing your daughter is moved out already. -Jenn

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  12. Jenn, The sun shining across the snow looks so pretty. Love the cats. Glad your girl is back to school safely. Hope all was wonderful throughout your holidays. 77 more days till spring...LOL...I am ready. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. Just 77, Susie? Why, there's light at the end of the tunnel after all!

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  13. I must send out a sorry to Adam. I deleted your comment by mistake!

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  14. If you have any photographs that you've taken and love, send them to be made into a photo on canvas. Landscapes of the area around where you live..that might have meaning to you. Most companies have gotten so good at it, that you can have a sofa size image reprinted nicely. Just a thought!

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  15. HI Jenn....
    Love a sunny winter day...need more!
    Enjoy your week....
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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