Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Grandma Ness’ Meat Pies

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

The Ness’ get together on New Years day. It’s something we’ve always done and we’ve always had meat pies or Tourtière – but the kind from Manitoba, not Québec.

We thought we lost the recipe card this year so after lots of looking around I decided to post the recipe online – just in case.

Bugs on the windshield

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

On a trip down to Niagara for Easter weekend I noticed on the way back home to Mississauga that there were bug carcass all over the windshield. I guess spring has sprung if the bugs are on the highways. Go away rain!

Christmas Present Utilization Day

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Today I got to break out both the new meat carving set and pneumatic impact gun.

Carved a block of back bacon with the Classic Wüsthof carving set for breakfast. Then later that afternoon Chris and I put on his wife’s winter tires using a FatMax 1/2″ impact gun that works with my Motomaster twin stack compressor from Canadian Tire. The impact gun cost more than the compressor but the gun needs to be more efficient since it only has a small volume of air that the compressor can provide.

I’m very happy with both!
The big problem of the day was that we found a nail in one of the winter tires going on the car.

Meat Pies & A Rack of Lamb

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Lo and I made up the meat pies again for this years New Years Day party in Niagara at my Grandparents. My Dads cousin remarked that only Scottish folks get together on New Years Day because they didn’t have enough to drink on New Years Eve.

This year our variation pies were made with venison graciously donated by Nick and Annyse. Apparently Nicks family got two deer this year so there is plenty to go around. We added a bit of regular pork to try and keep it from drying out too much. Bacon fat also helped during the browning. Both pies got way more vegetables than the original recipe calls for – it keeps the pies moister and changes the texture for what I think is the better. Nothing fancy just your basic common soup stock veggies – onion, celery, carrot and garlic. The originals didn’t have any garlic in them since some people in our family are a little sensitive to it.

We stayed in this year and had a quiet New Years Eve roasting a rack of lamb and all the trimmings. Next year we’ll throw on a New Years Eve party again. It’s just a lot of work but I do like the commute from the living room to the bedroom at the end of the night.

Christmas Eve Snowshoeing

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Lauren and I always spend Christmas Eve dinner with her father and his family. It is the starting point for our winter trip around Lake Ontario for family visits. We have stops in Toronto for brunch and Niagara for dinner on Christmas day.

We both had the day off this year so we did some snowshoeing in the Durham Regional Forest north of Whitby. It was a nice little trek to prepare us for the Christmas eve feast.

The main trail is a well marked double track walking/skiing path. It just helps if you take some time to read the posted maps correctly. There are some interesting side trails you can take as well but you’ll have to crouch and bend your way through evergreens loaded with snow drooping all around you. The main path is very well maintained though and you’ll have no problems there.

Thanksgiving Weekend 2010

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Lo and I did lots of hiking between family dinners and re-caulking the side door. We went up to Kelso Conservation Area to walk the edge of the escarpment looking at the leaves changing. Looks like we got there just in time as they have really nice colours. This part of the trail happens to be part of the Bruce Trail.

Then we packed up and took off with Chris and Denise to The Cheltenham “Badlands” north of Brampton. So many people and kids rolling around in the red clay dirt. Quite a few covered head to toe in red dust. Kind of PEI like. ;)

Photos from the weekend. If there are trees it’s from Kelso, red dirt is from the badlands.

Vibe Oil Change – Wrong Drain Pan

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

I got out the tools to do an oil change on the Vibe tonight before it rains. 14mm box wrench, oil filter and filter wrench, 3/8″ ratchet and extension. The brand spanking new rino ramps were cut free from their packaging and I was all set to go.

The Vibe is a standard and I drive an automatic every day. I can drive standard — it just isn’t pretty. The rino ramps aren’t that high, only about 8 inches or so but became obstacle number one. I couldn’t get the vehicle up on them since our driveway is sloped too that extra slope made it really hard to get her up on the ramps. Lauren put the car up on them no problem for me.

Pontiac Vibe Front Brake Job

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Lauren’s 2006 Pontiac Vibe (aka Matrix in sheeps clothing) has a pretty standard breaking system. The front are discs and the rears are drums.

Today Kevin and I did a front break job. New pads, rotors and fluids. It was a pretty standard job and is really well explained over at Generation Vibe in this post. They don’t talk about bleeding the brakes — and you probably don’t have to do this if your fluid is regularly changed anyway. We did bleed the brakes when we were done, but that isn’t included in the post above.

The only thing to add is that I used a 19mm socket to push the slide pin rubber boots back into place after removing them to clean and grease them.

Parts came from Napa and cost about $175 for rotors, ceramic pads and some brake grease. Be sure to have lots of brake cleaner on hand since the rotors were oiled and bagged. They need to be cleaned off before they can be installed – I do this anyway even for dry rotors. I tend to get greasy fingers all over them.

Danby Freezer

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Bought a 8.7 cubic feet Danby Chest Freezer for the house today. Finally the DQ Dilly Bars will be frozen and we can buy BBQ meat on sale and consume it later!

More importantly we can now defrost our fridge freezer to try and stop the unit from peeing all over the floor.

Guest Room Reno

Monday, February 15th, 2010

This long weekend between a Birthday, family visits, Valentines day and Chinese New Year we were able to do some work updating the guest bedroom.

First I ripped off all the old trim and mouldings in the guest room. Ended up having to chisel off the old door mouldings as they were stapled onto the finished frame pretty tightly (with glue).
Then we did a lot of sanding of the ceiling and walls.
A fresh new coat of ceiling paint went up.
Then a coat of prime went on the walls followed by two coats of paint.
A new dome light was installed to replace the 1970’s style builders light.
Lastly I got to test out the new 18 guage brad nailer and drag out the old mitre saw by installing the new mouldings – which we painted on saw horses in the basement.

Still need to caulk the space between my poorly mitred joints – it probably doesn’t help that the walls aren’t square. Next time I’m going to try to “cope” the inside corners of the baseboards. Then install some doorstop to connect the baseboards to the floor. Fill all the nail holes and call it done.

Then I can set my sights on the master bedroom for more of the same.
I’ll see about getting some before and after pictures up. I think we have some old ones from when we ripped out the carpet.

My back definitely hurts but it is amazing the difference some paint and sweat can make.