Posted in grandchildren, Random ramblings


Apparently I have been a bit remiss as a new grandparent in the blogging world. Those that know me well wonder why there seems to be so little posted about Baby A.

I am two things. First off I am totally thrilled and over the moon to be a “Nan” or “Gran” or “Gramma”. I don’t care what she calls me as long as my kisses and hugs surround her. So far she and I are off to a great start on that front. I stop in for cuddles and baths and the odd feeding. I am, occasionally, helpful to momma and dad which is really why grandparents are supposed to show up. But mostly I’m there so Baby A and I can bond.

Second off I am trying to respect both Baby A’s and her mother’s request for privacy. Now that was the case in the first week but since then I’ve felt reluctant to parade tons of photos through all my feeds. Maybe I’m not sharing well or maybe I’m trying to find that elusive balance.

I know that I Broke those rules  most days when I blog. I also find that when I share a lot in this public forum that my friends always seem to know my new stories. I won’t give up blogging though as I love putting pen to paper (as it was once and I don’t think that the saying has evolved yet) and recording my thoughts and feelings. Having said that I don’t like going too overboard. I follow a blog where the writer is a nurse, farmer’s wife and mother. She does a ton of advocacy for children’s health and for agriculture as a whole but she also blogs every child’s every milestone. Another blog I follow usually has her children modeling their clothes (that she sews them) with backs to the camera. My son’s friend posted a pregnancy photo but then no news long past the due date. I finally had to ask if the baby had been born and if everything was ok. Apparently their child won’t be appearing on social media at all. One of my young colleagues said she doesn’t care that she’s turning Facebook into Babybook as she’s so in love and wants to share. 

So you see what I’m trying to achieve. First off she’s not totally “mine” to share and secondly I want some balance in both the blog and their privacy. Tonight though my daughter publicly shared their newborn photos which I’m choosing to share a few here on the blog (with her permission). It’s a tough job narrowing down the great photos to chose from! 

Bernie (aka Nan)

Posted in Food, Projects


I had a request from my son for a special birthday cake. I was so pumped it wasn’t an angel food cake (see previous posts about how much I dislike making, icing and eating this “cake”) that I instantly said yes to the challenge.

He wanted a piecaken. Never heard of it?  You know the turkey stuffed with the duck stuffed with the chicken. I think it was created by the same crazy person who invented turducken. It could also have been invented by someone who just couldn’t decide if pie or cake was their favourite for dessert. Obviously we live in a world of over indulgence.

So the flavours chosen were raspberry and chocolate. Works for me as I have lots of garden raspberries and make a killer chocolate cake. I did do a little bit of internet research about creating one of these. Retrospectively not enough! 

We made a small pie it had to fit into the 9″ springform with space along the sides. It cooked up well and the parchment paper meant it was going to slide into the cake easily.

Chocolate cake is like one on my signature dishes. So the next part of making the cake is easy. Until you get to the part where you marry them together. There are no photos of the actual process because all hands were kind of busy.

So that was the tough part right? Now to pop it in the oven, pull it out and ice it. Or so it seemed. But if you have ever cooked a cake you know it can be tricky to get it cooked perfectly. If you over bake it then it’s dry, too little and it will fall and be gooey. So I checked it several times in assorted places. All seemed to be cooked so I left it too cool in the oven. The hash tag on Instagram was #whatcouldgowrong. Ah yes well…

It was interesting to note that the middle and outside were cooked and the ring of the pastry was gooey. Hm. Not good. We cut the top off, patched the hole with cake from the top and put on the ganache toping. The theory we worked off of — we’ve all eaten raw cake batter off the spoon.

The verdict was that it tasted good but more work is required to get it perfected. I suspect strongly that my next dessert club offering will be a piecaken. More research is a prerequisite to the next attempt though. If you’ve successfully made a piecaken please share your tips with me. If you want to come for left overs of this one let me know!


Posted in Random ramblings

Cracking up 

This could be a post about how funny certain days of the week are at work. Or it could be a post about how Rick Mercer cracks me up. 

In reality it is a post about climate change and the effects I notice. Like how it’s mid February and the ice on the big pond, not just the little ones, is heaving and breaking up. Less than 2 weeks ago it was so brittle cold and now it’s so warm that the little snow we had has gone. Like it’s April not February. It’s melting in the trees and the coulée. 

Technically it’s still winter so it should be blue skies, cold and he ground white as can be. -10 is ideal but -30 is ok. Did I mention there should be snow? Our sbow shoes sit on the dirt by the back door.

It stresses the trees out in a huge way to have these mega warm days.  Without the snow cover crop, pasture and hay land will be dry come spring. Three snow falls is not enough. Meanwhile Halifax and the east coast continues to dig out from a crazy volume of snow. Vancouver has probably had more snow than us this year. 

The skating pond is totally unsafe now. The thaw meant that the bench is now frozen about 6″ into the water. Won’t be going anywhere till it thaws again and we have rubber boots on.

In the meantime I shake my head at idiots who believe climate change isn’t real. For heavens sake they were talking about it back in England at the Royal Exhibit in 1851. It’s real. Ask anyone who has lived in the same location for 50 years and they will tell you how the weather has changed. Makes me wonder what the prairies will look like in another 100 years. Will the dust bowl of the 1930’s return. 

All I want is for some snow and  sunshine to return this winter.


Posted in Projects

Fresh Trails Pond Style 

I’ve wanted to do this since we moved to our big wide open prairie space. It’s crazy that it’s taken 8 years to make it happen. I guess the stars were finally aligned although really it was more of a wind, ice and snow factor that played a role.

Yesterday’s actual event was conceived on a late cold December night, the result of a lot of fun and laughter.  Continue reading “Fresh Trails Pond Style “

Posted in Projects

Why Math Matters 

Or why to stay in school and pay attention. 

Despite a less than stellar math teacher I made it through high school because my best friend grew up to be a math teacher. So she’s brilliant that she could teach me then. 

My husband is also smart like that. His helping the kids with math and my helping them was like night and day. His math skills now get used in different ways but they still rock. 

Here is a practical application of math. That sadly is beyond my math skills but man I’m a good painter.

Voila — one basinett stand created by grandpa and painted by gram. 


Posted in Projects

A unicorn parade 

I think the world needs more unicorns. It would be a kinder happier place if the unicorns dropped in to visit or where seen fleetingly in the sky at dusk. 

Turns out my daughter believes in unicorns. She’s convinced her pretty mare Mia is secretly a  unicorn. Hard to argue with that one hey! 

So when she found out, via ultrasound, that this first grand baby of ours was going to be a girl a unicorn parade was born. It’s truly amazing how many super cute unicorn items she has found. The “guest book” at the baby shower was a plush unicorn that we all signed. Well played on the part of Lexi, part of the shower planner duo. A boy nursery would have been deer antlers but instead there is a unicorn “head” on the wall in the nursery with a coral frame around it. 

So when the consummate shopper, our daughter, found unicorn fabric she was all over that. I have subsequently gone back and bought 3 more panels of it! That has been the “base” building block for many items I have created. The big ticket item, the quilt, is the only one without unicorns but the fabrics all intertwine. 

Side 1 baby burrito
Side 2 baby burrito
Car seat cover
Inside Car seat cover or bassinet blanket
The Unicorns for a mobile
A whole cloth quilt
THE QUILT! Ready for the monogram
All created before the wee one has arrived!

I’ve had so much fun sewing for this little one!! I bought extra of the flowered fabric as I am pretty sure it will look darling as cap sleeves and the little collar on a baby blue dress! Such fun days ahead!