Sunday 18 February 2024

Sunday, February 18, 2024

 "Fool's Spring" is definitely over and winter has returned. We have had a tremendous amount of snow over the past couple of days with more coming today. The drive way was shoveled twice yesterday and will need shoveling again today. (We have a big double driveway that normally is cleared by a man with a tractor and snowblower and we pay him for it, but I think he is on holidays right now.) 

Yesterday I spent a lot of time cleaning the house - really cleaning. Tub scrubbing, taking everything off dressers and night tables and thoroughly dusting. I bought the Method brand wood cleaner a while ago and like it. It has an almond extract scent, one I can tolerate. Many cleansers are too scented for me, sending me into a post nasal coughing fit. 

Scooter sheds in clumps (long haired cat) and I am forever picking up after him. I call our upstairs hallway the path of fur. I also baked an apple cake. 

Today, we are all getting together (us, the "kids", and Nana) for a little visit and early supper (Nana gets antsy, thinking she should return back "home", which is her nursing home, so we try to eat earlier). It will be cabbage roll casserole and garlic toast tonight. Apple cake is for dessert.  I'll make the casserole today, ahead of time. 

Thanks to everyone who commented about the air fryer. So far, I think I have realized that I am using it for too long each time. However long it says on a package to put something in the oven is definitely too long in the air fryer. I have made frozen pre-cooked chicken wings (I don't really like wings, but son does) which were o.k., frozen french fries which were stupendously better than done on a cookie sheet in the oven, Marc Angelo pork souvlaki which I over cooked the first time and was better with less time the next, and pieces of fish which I breaded myself which were pretty good. 

I am glad I did not go out and purchase a new one. I see the air fryer as something like my bread maker and instant pot. Used a lot at the beginning until the novelty wears off and then I get tired of how much space it takes up on the counter and re-arrange something in the pantry and store it away, then rediscover it again months later...

Tomorrow is Family Day, a made-up holiday in February. I have no idea why we have it, but we do. I decided to have the get together today, so the working kids could feel like they truly had a day off to do absolutely nothing tomorrow. 

I purchased some root touch up for my hair. I've dyed my own hair now for quite a few years. It usually looks fine. I go for a "dark blonde" which is actually more like light brown. I decided to break things up a bit and bought a highlighting kit. It even has the cap with the little holes to pull the strands through. We shall see how that goes. I might, perhaps, give you a before and after (but only if it turns out o.k.) I've highlighted my hair before, years ago. It turned out all right. I just won't go crazy and pull the hair through every little hole in the cap, that might be a bit too much. Any other brave souls out there who colour their own hair, or have even dabbled in highlights?

I have been substitute teaching a bit here and there. For the last couple of years, the government allowed retired teachers to sub. a bigger amount of days before it affected their pensions. This year, however, they kept the number of days at the minimum amount, so I have to be careful and spread my days out over the course of the school year. It is silly that they haven't increased the amount again because schools are still having to bring in "emergency" people. That means it could be anybody from a university student without a teaching degree or to someone's grandma. She could be the nicest lady, but regardless she has had no training and doesn't know the ins and outs of the rules we must abide by in teaching. 

I've spent enough time at the computer (yes, I'm using an old desk top right now), and must carry out fresh water for the chickens' heated water bucket, making my way through my path in the snow. I hope you all have a good rest of your weekend and happy Family Day to any Canadians out there!

Sunday 4 February 2024

"Treating Myself" Feb. 4, 2024

 I am now the proud owner of an air fryer. But, if you know me, I didn't go out and buy a $199.00 Ninja special edition or whatever is out there. I bought one from somebody in a neighbouring town for $40.00 through Facebook marketplace. It has barely been used from what I can tell and came to me very clean, along with the manual. 

I've been curious about air fryers and this is the perfect way to decide if I would really use it all that often without making a huge commitment. 

So here's my question: for those of you who have already taken the plunge into air fryer world, what do you make that's really great, convenient, surprising, yummy, etc.? Also, do you line the tray with anything?

Thanks ahead of time for any and all suggestions. 

Meanwhile, it is a beautiful morning, in my opinion. There is a thick layer of frost on all branches and it looks magical. It likely won't translate well into pictures, but here are a couple:

As you can see, we don't have much snow. I'm not complaining. Have a lovely Sunday!