testing the camera

So I am really new to this whole camera with fancy lenses and stuff. Mr Murfin owns the fancy camera and I have always shunned it in favour of my little in-the-pocket-point-and-shoot one which is much lighter and easy to carry on holidays.

So far all of the pictures on the blog have been from my  little camera,and are not too bad.  But we have this heavy big SLR so I need to learn how to use it.

Mr Murfin tells me to read the manual…..you would think someone who likes to read as much as I do would have thought of that, maybe. But I get nothing from it, it is too wordy. I need to learn hands-on. So when there was finally 10 minutes of sun I trooped off to the back yard to find some suitable shots. The great thing about digital is you just keep clicking, so out of all of the shots I took, at least a few worked.

The high bush cranberries again. I love the colour, and they are about the only colour in the yard right now.

I wanted to get the ice in this one.

 And another…

So those were the good ones. I also took a picture of the 2 “barns”

Not as good a shot but I love my 2 barns. The birds love that feeder too because if a couple of them (or the fat pigeon) sit on one side it tips and the seed spills out on the ground. Not stupid those birds. It also holds the suet blocks. I have to say I now have a strong opinion on the various merits of suet blocks. There’s a knowledge based I didn’t know I was lacking!

And then back inside where it is warm and more tropical.

Sunday at Hedgehog Hill

A little bit of this and that at Hedgehog Hill today. I discovered that nylon ski jackets and wood stoves are natural enemies… hole in my sleeve.

But I made a great everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-soup.

Started with celery, carrot and green pepper.

Decided to add those last few mushrooms and a can of mixed beans.

Looking good.

Added the rest of the coleslaw mix. I am that only one who likes coleslaw so when I buy some I like to find a way to use up the rest. Soup is a great way to hide things. A tiny little bit of rice, I find too much soaks up all of the stock. I also added chicken stock and various seasonings. I LOVE oregano, I put it in everything.

Yum! It was great, filling and warm.

I also finished another little project. This shelf came with the house. We moved it and I found a new spot for it on top of some pine drawers.

A bit too bland, maybe some….

Red Gingham!  Peel and stick vinyl shelf paper.

Done in no time.


A spot for my beautiful rose chintz china.

Saturday at Hedgehog Hill

Well there is much work going on at Hedgehog Hill theses days. We are very anxious to finally move in completely. We did stay over night on Friday, but there is no internet, no cable TV, and no shower. So really it is like VERY comfortable camping.

Still lots of banging and sawing and dust flying everywhere. I have caught up on the painting for the moment…oh, wait I have closet doors to paint, dang. Anyway I was general fetcher and holder and lifter and how-high-decision-maker on Saturday. But in between all of that I did spend time doing some fun things. I had to refill bird feeders. Now that the birds know we are there and have feeders, it seems like it is a constant battle to keep them full! It was snowing and the wind was blowing so I did not get any pictures of the feeders but I will try on Sunday when the sun is supposed to shine a little.

But here is what I did do.

I found a spot for the little shelf I thrifted on Thursday, and the green jug too. I keep adding things to this shelf so I will take pictures again.

I enjoyed looking through some new craft books I bought myself for Valentines day.

Sorry the picture is a bit dark. They are all wonderful and I can’t wait to start some new projects.

I have started a new crochet project. A ripple blanket based on the pattern from Attic 24. I am using the left overs from Miss Murfins afghan.

There was a little chocolate involved. Have you tried one of these bars? WOW I had to put it away or the whole thing would have been gone.

Then there was a big dish of mac and cheese. (Mr Murfins favourite)

And feet up in front of this for a bit before the banging and sawing commenced again.

A busy Saturday.

Thrifty Thursday

Oh dear, I am glad my thrifting went better than my picture-taking this week.

Today was a cloudy, grey day not at all good for taking pictures of my treasures. Then when I finally rigged up a kind of light, my camera battery died.

I did manage to get a few shots of some of my treasures. Not all of them, but a nice sampling.

I am cheating including the pillow in the background. It was a thrifty find, but I found it months ago. I thought it added some needed colour. Can you see the trend? More red! I just about knocked some poor man over when I spied the red metal tub. Got it for $5.00 and it still had a price tag on the bottom from Pottery Barn – $59.00 ! Score!

OK I will cool it with the exclamation marks. I plan to fill it with balls of wool by my knitting chair.

The two little tins are sweet. Sorry about the glare, I will get better at these photo shoots. The red one says Jacksons of Piccadilly Tea. I plan to keep tea in it … the other one is just too cute and was 50 cents, maybe good for little sewing things.

Not much better. I was very happy to find a copy of A Traveller in Romance Uncollected Writings 1901 – 1964 by W. Somerset Maugham. I am a huge Maugham fan and there are not many I don’t have. I also picked up a couple of other books, a novel that looks good, and a Company’s Coming cookbook – Stews, Chilies and Chowders. They always have good recipes and I have several bookmarked to try this weekend. Porcupine Meatball Stew anyone?

This is really the one I am most excited about.

I found a cute little wooden box I hope to rehab a bit and a shelf I will use to display some goodies, and some more cutlery, but sadly no pictures. Maybe next week!


Books and Libraries

You know how sometimes you glance across a room and the sun is slanting in a window in a way that makes the objects glow? Or possibly you just notice the dust accumulating on the floor..

I grabbed my camera not long ago because I knew I was moving and these books would no longer be on this shelf in this house…you know it was a bit of a sad moment, but also they looked beautiful.

I truly love books. Not only have thy afforded me hours of pleasure reading but I also just like looking at them. I can be struck to silence in a great library, I am drawn across a room towards a shelf of books, I am giddy with delight when I see the sign Book Sale Today.

No wonder then that many of our holiday photos are of books and libraries.

We were in Ottawa last summer and spent a wonderful afternoon at the Laurier House. It is the historic home of two of Canada’s most renowned Prime Ministers and political personalities. Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier made it his home in 1897; after Laurier’s death, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King moved in and stayed until 1948, when he bequeathed it to the government and people of Canada.

We had tea and watched a short skit with actors in period dress on the porch and a great tour of the house.

Of course I loved the library best.

Another day in Ottawa we toured the parliament buildings,

And again my favourite part is the library of parliament, once save from a devastating fire by its heavy door. You can’t take pictures inside the library, but even the outside is impressive.

I love that it is round.

Later in our journeys we were in the Thousand Islands and visited Singer Castle.

Singer Castle

I hope to find or make one of these one day!

Soon I will have pictures of my library shelves at Hedgehog Hill. What back-breaking work, moving books! But the joy of seeing them all lined up on the shelves is all the reward I need.

Happy Valentines Day from Hedgehog Hill

We had some blustery days this past weekend. A nice day to be inside with a cup of tea, a pastry, a few strawberries, and a loved one to cuddle with.

I love my polka dots! The mugs remind me of some expensive ones I have seen, but they are from the dollar store! Come to think of it so is the tray you can see in the background and the napkins… I find lots of polka-dotty goodness at the Dollar store.

Isn’t it amazing to have strawberries at this time of year? Yes I know they have a lot of miles on them, but as a treat I think they are OK once in a while.

Remember to say I love you to the mirror! Be good to yourself and buy yourself a little treat. It doesn’t need to be much, a good bar of chocolate, a single flower or a potted plant, a magazine you would normally think was too expensive, or some yummy bath salts. Then make a nice cup of tea and spend a half and hour enjoying your treat. You deserve it!

testing cake, well someone had to do it…

I have mentioned my addiction to Pinterest before…

I don’t usually look at the food pins, not that I don’t love food and cooking, but looking at those pictures makes me hungry for stuff I either don’t have or shouldn’t eat.

Mr Murfin will tell you that I am highly suggestible when it comes to food. Some TV commercial are hard to resist and I have to be carefull when I watch the food channel. Suddenly I will want lasagna, at 10 PM. Not a practical time to start cooking lasagna.

Anyway back to Pinterst. When I keep seeing the same pin for something that looks like a try-this idea, I eventually open it in case I am missing something. I was intrigued by the  3-2-1 cake.

So the basic idea is pretty simple. Mix a box of angel food cake mix and a box of flavoured cake mix. That’s it.

To make your mini cakes you put 3 tablespoons of the mix in a small microwave proof bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water, mix and microwave for 1 minute.

Sounds easy….

Combine the two dry mixes
mix 3 tblsp dry mix with 2 tblsp water
looked a bit spongy and a dull colour. But it was fully cooked in one minute.

It was sponge-y looking and a bit dull in colour, but it looked cooked.

The all important taste test!

It tasted good! As you might expect a chocolatety sponge cake. Light and airy. A dollop of whipped cream would have been nice….

I might like to try it with a spice cake mix, or butter pecan. I wonder if you could add anything else? It was certainly fast and did not make too much, just a little snack.

a thumbs up!

It might be a little too easy, so not a great idea for someone trying to loose a few pounds. But I think it would be great for people who live on their own, I’ll think I’ll take some over to my Mom.