Mar 28, 2017

Spring is in the kitchen!

Spring on a plate!  The breakfast we served this morning couldn't have a better title, just green, green, green!  Our vegetarian guest gobbled it up, so it was a hit!

Our repertoire of gluten-free offerings also continues to improve.  These coconut flour based muffins not only are gluten-free but also refined-sugar-free as I used honey and agave to sweeten them up.   
The only thing we have not mastered is vegan dishes... So as long as you're still eating eggs we can create a satisfying and eye-pleasing breakfast for you!  (If you have an awesome, fool-proof vegan breakfast recipe you'd like to share, please do!)

Mar 22, 2017

Shiny and bright!

Winter affords us the time to tackle small, niggley things like doors that don't close properly and wobble, and painted-over hardware.  This time we took on our parlour, entry, basement and bedroom doors... 

As you can see in the picture below, taking off a strike plate can reveal a surprise: a chewed out hole that needs wood filler. (Yes, the frame is pretty banged up too.)  Once the hole was cut clean and any loose wood glued in place, the position of the strike plate was checked and corrected and reattached... after a good cleaning, that is!  
Sadly, a lot of the hardware in this house was painted over.  Steel wool could only do so much, so paint remover had to be used.  This turned out to be quite exciting, for as the paint came off in chunks the decoration on the brass plates was revealed!  Wow!  

When you're here, take a moment to notice these lovely, little details!

Next up:  the parlour door!

Mar 9, 2017

In transition

This time of year can be hard on the nerves, with the thermometer flip-flopping from maybe-it's-Spring to deep Winter, the dirty snow melting into mud, gravel on the lawns and lost recycling turning up in clumps under the crusty snow.  But there are visual wonders too, like spotting this gorgeous, algae-like frost on our concrete steps...

...and the first wee snowdrops pushing through with determination, and then surviving the temperature yo-yo!

And it's a good time to bake!  I almost think these almond croissant beauties look like Easter eggs!
We've had thunderstorms already, and +15C, while now we're going back to -11C... so we've covered the patches of tulip "thumbs" and hope to save them from ruin... Tuesday brought us a rainbow and this stunning sunset... wow.   So who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Mar 6, 2017

Book real estate

In our third year here, patterns are definitely emerging:  B&B winters are slow, but that's okay because there's a lot of touching-up, fixing, renovating, etc... to be done.  We've taken full advantage of this time of year and finally got on to of our own affairs, which included bringing many loads to the local thrift shops! 
  Not so with books, of course.  You can never have too many books... but eventually you run out of places to put them all!  So it was that I desperately needed more shelves, NOT just for books but our collected rocks from a vacation in Utah.  

Market Road Antiques in St. Jacobs came to the rescue!  Obviously we wanted something that looked a bit older, but was still in good shape and could shoulder a load.  We found this piece in one of the stalls and went home to measure our space.  It would work!  Then we asked a friend with a truck (thank you Olga!) to help transport the shelving unit, and it was home!  

The unit is stamped "Vilas Canada" on the back:  it turns out that Vilas was manufacturing in Cowansville, Quebec, and made furniture from 1950 - 1980 according to this website.  

From this blog:  "Canadians of a certain age are familiar with Vilas and Roxton, reputable furniture makers, who produced maple and other hardwood pieces in the rustic American style.  There is a lot of this furniture around from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s; it’s very solid and well-made but definitely stuck in a time warp."  

Along with all sorts of homeless treasures, my rocks went from this:

to this:
A place for everything and everything in its place.