Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Unlocking my inner Italian...(Armenia is close to Italy, right?) Well, whatever.
This time I had some rich beef stock from roasting beef short ribs. To that I added some chicken stock and a bay leaf off my sweet bay bush.

Then it's lots of fresh veggies (zukes, carrots, onion, bok choi or collards). I like to add cannellini beans and farfalle pasta. For meat, Italian sausage and shredded shortribs. Great on a chilly Fall evening served with slices of sourdough brushed with garlic infused olive oil and toasted. Yumm!


Yep, Mr. A and I made it to 25 years, against all odds according to some.
Chris & Susan gifted us with a fab basket of our favourite wines from New Clairvaux, great snacks and some killer chocolate.

We reciprocated with a great dinner of roasted lamb shanks and an evening out with the 'rents at the Eagles, where we danced the night away. Watching your parents dance is almost as bad as thinking about them having....well, you know. But we did manage to get Chris out on the dance floor for a spirited twist with his mum.


The frosty morning threat is looming so I picked everything left on the plants.
The pimento peppers usually are a dark shade of red by now, all ready for roasting and packing in olive oil, but not so much this year. So I just cut them up and froze them to use in chili.

The tomatoes will rest in a box covered with newspaper in the hopes that they will ripen for a nice tomato platter at Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Heating season is near...so we had our old system upgraded.

Here in the garage is where the old heat pump furnace fit with the hot air going into the floor ducts.

This is the new unti...a 94% efficient gas furnace. It uses modern technology so we have a "dual fuel" system...the heat pump unit outside works until the outside temp get lower than 40 degrees and then the gas furnace takes over the heating duty. This spells relief in the bill paying department as we no longer have to rely on the electricity-sucking heat pump heat strips that were trying to heat during cold weather to the tune of about $100+ bucks a week! Oye!
The electric company (Pacific Power or Pathetic Power as we call it) did a number on folks here in the 1970's & '80's touting heat pumps as the way to go...yeah, if you love a $500 per month electric bill in the winter! Seems that heat pumps are great for cooling and do fine for moderate climates in the heating department but are not good for our colder winter climes.

All plumbed up. The vent is not metal but pvc pipe going out of the right side top of the unit. It is so efficient that the exhaust is lower than 55 degrees and doesn't require a double-walled metal vent pipe through the roof.
Okay, maybe it's hard to get excited about a furnace but it is nice to look forward to being warm this winter when the snow flies

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Seems like fixing up an old house never ends! We found a product at Costco that is supposed to keep the gutters from getting clogged with leaves and needles. We thought we'd get it done before the storms came in this week.

The inserts come in 4' lengths and are some kind of coarse foam stuff.

This is what happens when you've been up on the roof too long!

The sections come 8 to a box so a box does 32 feet of gutter. I think that we used 7.5 boxes. Now we'll see if it works!!!