Thursday, November 24, 2011

Claire is On the Move

Our precious ten month old granddaughter Claire is on the move. She is now crawling and pulling herself up on the furniture, giving herself the extra support to take a few steps. We witnessed this new exciting movement of hers last Sunday knowing she had reached yet another stepping stone in her young life.

Exciting is one word for it, another could be heart-stopping! I am a bit of a collector, well more than a bit...Whenever I venture into the Salvation Army or the Re Store outside of town, I often head right for the dishes and china section. If a bowl, plate or tiny china piece has a flower on it, a violet, daffodils, you name it, then I think I need it! So scattered around my tables are little, pretty these all have to be hidden away or put up very high.

I also have a lot of indoor plants about eighteen at last count. The violets are up high and so far little hands can't reach them. But this past Sunday my one of two red clover plants lost a leaf to our little mover and shaker..

So being a loving, doting grandmother I follow her around, watching what her eyes will be attracted to and her fingers itching to investigate..she seems to enjoy books and I couldn't even begin to count how many I have. But I don't mind her pulling them all off the shelf, they are easily restacked later. Once she is walking I will have to rethink a lot more of each room's arrangement, we can keep up with her now, but what about when she starts to run?

As I started my Christmas decorating I had to think about each decoration and would it be safe for little busy hands if Claire decided she wanted to put it in her mouth. That is where nearly everything ends up. We took her little socks off so her feet could get a better grip on the floor when she pulled herself up to stand. While playing on the floor with her, I look down and there is her white sock hanging out of her mouth...the room pealed with my laughter, she's so adorable..

We are expecting a phone call any day now that her first tooth has broken through, another milestone. How often does my hubby say: : "I wish we lived closer!"..Yes, that would be fun alright. We would just love to babysit for a whole day. We think everything she does is precious of course, watching her take two tiny fingers to pick up a piece of muffin and feed herself. Blow bubbles when her mouth is full of avacado! She can do no wrong in our eyes.

I've just been thinking that with Christmas not that far off perhaps her mother and father would like a whole day to go Christmas shopping without having to push a stroller, maybe this is our chance to offer to babysit all day! A whole day for the memory books....Where's the phone?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Outsmarting the Smart Meter

Someday I may have to explain to my granddaughter Claire why Nanny Lannie only bakes on the weekends or after seven p.m. at night. Then I can tell her about the summer in 2010 when men trundled new contraptions called Smart Meters all over our town and replaced our old ones. I can also explain that around July of 2011 those Smart Meters went into effect by the Hydro One Company to regulate our hydro usuage. Sunddenly we must relearn how and when to use our electrical power so as not to add more cost to our bills.

Some changes came quickly, some more slowly. Did I remember to unplug the toaster this morning? Are the lamps in the spare bedroom unplugged as it isn't used regularly? The vacuuming should get done on the weekends but do I really want to do it then? Weekends are for quality time with hubby.

The laundry has to wait until the weekends, a dark load one day and a white load the next. If it's an emergency then it can be done after seven p.m. but then I'm folding up laundry later in the evening. After supper is my relaxing time, time to watch a movie or read a good book. The government is playing havoc with my down time!.

If I want to bake tarts, a pie or some brownies, then I try and do it also on the weekends. Not that we need desserts but if company is coming it's nice to have a treat after supper. It hasn't been a big change to start the dishwasher after 7 p.m., I had trained myself to start it around ten p.m. and since most of the time there is only the two of us for meals, we just run it twice a week.

Jim goes around behind me turning off lights, leaving me almost sitting in the dark! I'm not used to this. I'm a person who likes light, the more the better. We go around checking all the lamps making sure we've changed the old style light bulbs for the new longer lasting ones.

I was almost having anxiety attacks when the summer B.B.Q. season ended and I knew I'd have to start cooking suppers on the "electric" stove inside! Now I knew we didn't want to wait until after 7 p.m. to start eating so could I figure out a way to do it more economically? We had so many tomatoes over the summer I froze batches of spaghetti sauce, chili and bowls of tomato/meat sauce for soup. Once thawed the reheating of the above meals could be heated in the microwave. Perhaps turning the heat up higher on the stove would start things cooking sooner so I could turn the burners off quicker.

If we want a roast or chicken done in the oven, save them for the weekend. How economical will it be to do things in the slow cooker now when some recipes take anywhere form six to eight hours to simmer? I think I'm going dizzy!

We have adapted to the new rhythm of weekend laundry, it's now become a habit. The dishwasher in the evening was already a formed habit. The baking is getting a bit more settled in my mind, perhaps Saturday mornings would work for that.

The supper meals are still a bit of a mystery as to how to avoid long oven or stove top use, perhaps we could eat out more, there's an idea! Or have a night with sandwiches, Jim loves sandwiches. (his idea).

The government has got us in it's grip this winter as we must cook inside and we need to have the furnace going, at least those of us who don't heat with wood. I'm going to get out a few months hydro bills and compare the cost to see how we are doing.

Now don't get me going on the water bills!