Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Saturday the 7th day of May, 2016.

The sun is shining and the sky is blue.

You can smell smoke in the air which keeps us in constant thought of our neighbours to the north.

This is my story.

 

THE CAKE

This past Thursday night as Alvin and I were out on our nightly walk we happened to see our friend “P” outside in her backyard.

Alvin loves her and begged to come into the yard.

We immediately began to chat about the fires burning up north in Fort McMurray.

She told me that she had family living up there and how they had been evacuated and how her niece rescued neighbours beloved pets and others along the way.

My heart soared as she told me their story.

My friend also said that they are on their way to stay with them while things get sorted out.

As she was speaking my mind raced to “what can I do” mode.

I knew that the foodstuffs and extra bits of things in my pantry were at an all time low so I did not readily volunteer to cook something.

With no money until payday to start refilling the shelves.

There had to be something else.

Now I am not saying that I do not have anything to eat …. I am okay.

But to make something worthy of these folks it had to be special and that,I could not do at this time.

So I did volunteer my spare bedroom and my air mattress but my friend said they should be okay (they have a HUGE house).

On our way out of the yard we chatted about her flowers which by the way are amazing.

She is English, and truly has an English garden, no matter the time of year, so beautiful.

P offered me a fern as she has many ….. I accepted but we decided to dig it out on the weekend.

She gave me some bulbs last fall and I am proud to say that they are growing.

On our way home I was thinking that I did have a cake mix, yes a store bought one in my cupboard.

Usually I make from scratch but always good to have one on hand.

I knew that I had plenty of eggs and just enough vegetable oil and of course, lots of water.

So I knew that I could bake a cake and take it over on the weekend.

The only fly in my ointment was the “icing.”

I had only a small amount of icing sugar (clearly not enough to cover a 9×13 cake).

No vanilla, lots of butter, no canned milk and some condensed milk.

What to do?

I needed to borrow some type of milk.

So I went to one of my neighbours and borrowed a can of coconut milk.

That was all she had.

It would work I thought …. would not be quite the same, but okay.

So I baked the cake which turned out proper.

Then I went to work on the icing …..

Earlier I had taken the butter out of the fridge so it could soften before I made the icing.

I placed the icing sugar into my mixer bowl, followed by some cocoa, and butter which was not clearly soft enough but in my need to get this done, I went ahead.

I added some condensed milk and some of the coconut milk.

Started to blend.

The butter was not mixing so I turn off the mixer and went about some other business.

Returning a while later …. mixed some more.

Still not perfect.

Returned a while later.

This went on for over three hours …… that butter just did not want to break down.

Finally I mixed and squashed the butter by hand.

The consistency is not the same as usual as there was not enough icing sugar, no vanilla and no canned milk.

But it tastes good …. so just after 11:30 last night I put the icing on the cake.

It spread well as it was not thick.

I covered it with some sprinkles of coconut as I thought with the coconut milk it might add to it.

Also threw on some of our Steeped Tea raspberry sugar …..

The point of this story is not really about the cake but to my need to immediately help out.

I have learned that it is better to wait for some time than to rush in and not be prepared.

The cake is baked and I had my neighbour check out the icing and she said thumbs up.

So I am relieved.

Later today I will take over the cake for the heroes visiting our city.

It is not much but it is from my heart and that is what truly counts.

I have heard of so many stories of how people have given so much when they have little themselves.

It is “our way” ….. to reach out and help those in need.

We have an office up north that my place of employment is affiliated with that was destroyed in the fires.

Some of the employees at that office have lost their homes as well.

I volunteered to go up if they need a hand knowing that Alvin can easily go and stay with my daughter and son-in-law.

We continue to hear stories of bravery and heroism and they will continue for a long time to come.

We all want to help.

No matter what you give as long as you give it from your heart – it is enough.

Time to go and give Mr. Alvin a much needed hair cut.

I am thinking that I could foster a doggie if needed.

Special Hello to: all those people from Fort McMurray you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Always, Carol and Alvin

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Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Sunday the 4th day of October, 2015.

My cousin has gone home, went to Costco, my daughter brought Alvin home & stayed for a visit …. all happened yesterday.

Oh, and some laundry, too.

Whew.

This morning the sun is shining and there are some dark clouds looming to the south.

I wish that it would stay bright.

I am strongly considering pulling my flowers, cleaning up the flower beds, putting away the patio furniture and ornaments and raking for a third time the massive mounds of yellow leaves from the front lawn.

It is kind of sad as the flowers are still blooming and looking great (will take some photos to show you) but when it freezes it will make them near impossible to be removed from the pots …. likely from the ground will be difficult, as well.

The neighbour to the south of me is building a garage.

It is not a regular one or two vehicle garage but a structure that appears to be a medium size house.

It has multiple windows, stairs, will have cupboard/work bench and the driveway is not your average one.

It goes to the edge of his property touching the back lane but goes all the way around the garage at the back and sides.

I do like the fact that his driveway is flat and not on an incline.

Crazy ….. very big.

That is what is going on in my neighbourhood.

Well I had the most glorious visit with my cousin as I have already shared with you.

I had a great visit with my neighbour to and from Costco.

I was so happy to see me Alvin and to have my daughter back at the house (she is such an amazing human and I feel better as a person when she is here).

So needless to say not too much housework was accomplished …. although I did wash my clothes but then bedding and towels are today.  I have started.

Well I had better get this show on the road …. get dressed …. finished my coffee and perhaps pour some into a to go mug and then I can drink it while I am working outside.  Will see if I can convince or “trick” Mr. Alvin into getting into his harness so he can be outside with me.  I like him to get as much fresh air as possible.

Oh, quick story about Mr. Alvin as I do not believe that I remembered to share this with all of you.

Friday night after work my daughter and son-in-law came to pick up Alvin so he could go for a sleepover which in hindsight I am so happy that I did so …. they both came in to get him.  My daughter along with Alvin’s things  (toothbrush and such) got into the car …… my son-in-law was with Alvin (who had his leash on, of course) and they were at the driver’s door of the car (the driver side facing the sidewalk so I could see clearly).  My son-in-law bent over to pick up Alvin and Alvin collapsed his hind end to the ground (it looked so funny).  This happened three or four times. I will admit that I did giggle for a bit. He has never done this at any other time that I remember.  Finally my son-in-law bent over and picked him up remarking “Oh, Alvin you are getting heavy.”  I was in the open doorway at the time so hear him and agreed.  So both of us have to work on our mid sections.  But it was so cute when he just collapsed to the sidewalk when my son-in-law went to pick him up.

Have an awesome Sunday.

Special Hello to: all those folks who are trying new things …… good on you ……always good to stretch.

Always, Carol and Alvin

Thought for the day…..

Good Morning and Welcome to Thursday the 2nd day of October, 2014.

We are in the countdown to Halloween.

Last night with mention of you know what, I decided to quickly move the patio furniture into the garage and to clean out the remaining flower pots.

My son-in-law came out and helped lift the bigger stuff into the garage.

It was cool last night and the wind was blowing so I half expected to see some of the white stuff when I got up this morning.

But alas, Mother Nature decided to give us another reprieve.

Thank goodness.

I would love to have a long warm fall.

Where the white stuff did not arrive until say “Christmas morning.”

It has happened.

Perhaps this will be that year when it will happen again.

We can only hope and maybe dream.

Perhaps I should start visualizing a brown Christmas Eve.

I am excited on Saturday to start decorating for Halloween.

As I mentioned my kids have some great decorations …. now just to find them…..

Yikes, Mr. Alvin ….. we need your nose ….. that wonderful nose.

He is a hunter for sure.

Kind of gave me a scare this morning when we were doing our usual nap on the sofa when he stood on the arm of the sofa looking to the back door.

Very intently, I might add.

I hopped up and turned on the kitchen light from the sofa.

He kept looking and then got up and was sniffing by the back cupboard and also by the stove.

Paw up …. like the hunter he is.

My gosh, this had better not be another you know what ……

We will be keeping a close eye on this things.

We did check the outside of the house and did not find anywhere …

I cannot even fathom saying their name …. no, I cannot.

Well enough of that …..

He could have heard anything or smelled anything, right?

I hope that you have a great Thursday.

Always better when it is a payday.

YAY, now to pay the bills.

Thank you payday.

Special Hello to: all those folks who are preparing their homes for Halloween ….. have fun.

Always, Carol and Alvin

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