Friday, September 28, 2012

Just Beautiful

I couldn't wait another second to share this.
I'm crying over here and I need someone to join me.

Paying Off

I just had to share this photo of Jeff and Jason hard at work.
Rockin' the PPG swag.
Shield Autobody Edmonton
We've been missing Daddy lately since he's been working many late nights.
I'm happy to say though that this was our biggest month yet.
We hit 150% of our old record.
It feels good to know that the changes we've made lately have paid off.
The best change we made was taking on Jason as a partner.
Now we need to solidify our staff so these guys don't have to work so many hours.

Jeff also sent me this photo of a recent paint job.
They painted this racing stripe in black matte.
It's even clear coated with a technique that keeps the matte look.
Black Matte Racing Stripe Shield Autobody Edmonton
Black Matte Racing Stripe Shield Autobody Edmonton
We're all taking a well-deserved weekend off. 
Have a great one!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Adventures in Preserving: Can I?

I didn't think this day would come.
I always admired people who preserved their own food.
It looked hard.
It must be hard right?

Well turns out, it's not!
Canning is now on my list of Fall loves.
It was so satisfying to see my jars all lined up.
Canning
Even more satisfying was the praise from Hubby while eating spaghetti sauce with home-canned tomatoes.
These were the easiest as there were 2 ingredients.
I used these instructions and they turned out great.
Canning
I also loved Fiona's pleas for "Mowr pickle Mommy."
For these I used this recipe.
Canning
I made some Peach Jam with this recipe that I found on Pinterest.
I fell in love with Peach Jam when Diana gave me some last year.
I like it best when it's not too processed and there are chunks of peach.

The cherry on top?
Finally, I found something to do with all those plums.
Canning
The Plum Jam directions were from this site.
This was a great site for a lot of information.
I didn't really want as much info as they were giving but could see wanting this in the future if I start doing a lot more.

Canning was also great when you have a 6 month old starting solids.
I was able to process some fruit and veggies without the sugar to give to Cedric.

Now my family has some fresh tasting, preservative free food to enjoy.
Not to mention the mason jars look really great stacked in my pantry.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Harvesting

Remember how I told you about the garden I planted?
It was so beautiful.
It didn't last long.
At least I was honest with myself.  
I knew there was a good chance that it would be overrun with weeds and starved of proper watering.

I know myself too well.

Thanks to the rain, though, I did get a pathetic little harvest.
Even though it was barely enough to speak of, it still felt good to pick.

And of course we can always count on the plums.
By the end of August everyone in our house is sick of them.
If you like plums just come over in early September and you will most likely be sent home with a bag.
For now I will take comfort in what my friend Kim said while I was admiring her backyard.
"Cheryl, you're growing your kids now.  You'll have time for growing plants later."
Thanks Kim.
I'll try, try again next year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

100th Post

I can't believe I've done a 100 of these.
When I started this blog it was a way to communicate how the business was doing.
Over the months {as I'm sure you can tell} it has morphed into a more personal blog.
When I went to Mamablogs with Amber last week one of the topics was "your voice".

It got me thinking about what the voice is here.

It's always been my own voice. 
I've always written exactly what I think or feel.
Cheryl, uncensored.

However, when I started writing, just 5 months ago, the business was smaller and less complicated.
Now, as I've been saying, we're growing and changing.
It's for this reason that I've been feeling like it's not fair to represent the business with my voice alone.
This doesn't mean you won't hear about it.
I just want to try to use my voice to represent the whole group.

The business still affects our family in many ways so I will always write about that.
I also really can't resist posting about some of the crazy stuff that goes through the shop.
As I've said before, some people's vehicles just blow me away.

Did you notice the change in look?
I was feeling a little dark with the old template so switched it up for a lighter feel.
Better?  Did you prefer the old one?
I always love feedback, so bring it on.



Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend in the Mountains: Race Style

I did it!
The race I've been dreading has come and gone.
10k in 58:39, this is a huge success for me.
It's amazing how one hour can consume an entire weekend.
We ate and rested for the race on Friday.
We spent the morning preparing, the afternoon celebrating and the evening recovering on Saturday.
Finally, on Sunday, we took a little time to enjoy Canmore.
All in all it was a great weekend with great company.
Thanks to Matt and Julie for being a second set of parents to our kids.
You made it feel a little more like a vacation.
Melissa's road race








Friday, September 21, 2012

Dear Running: I Hate You, I Love You

You make me sweat, you make me ache,
You burn off all the things I bake.

You frustrate me, you've made me weep,
You make me get a better sleep.

Through sweltering and stormy weather,
I love how runners stick together.

Like when I feel I'm gonna hurl,
A stranger yells "you got this, girl".

{Actual event from Tuesday.}

I'm headed off to Banff today,
A relaxing mountain getaway?

Ha ha ha, sounds great, but no.
Ready or not, 10k, here we go.
Running with Chariot
{Note:  I couldn't even stop myself from rhyming.
Apparently I have been reading too many toddler books.}


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Now That's a Taping Job

We recently got in a cube van that needed some corrosion fixed.
I wanted to share not because of the actual fix.
I was just so blown away with the prep work that went into this job.

There's a reason I'm on the book end of this business.
I do not have the patience these guys do.
When I paint {walls} at home I don't prep despise prepping and do an awful job at it.

They got this done in 3 days.
{Even though it meant that 2 of them stayed until 9 and the other 2 until 11 Tuesday night.}
The entire thing needed to be masked, even the roof.
The second pic shows the paper door that they fashioned since the actual door had to be open for paint.
Prep job Shield Autobody

Prep job Shield Autobody
Paint was also an issue since this bad boy didn't fit into the booth.
Instead, two air lines and a portable duster were brought to the van.

The customer was impressed and happy.
Once again, that made all the work worthwhile.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Toronto Part 3: Challenges & Solutions

Challenge #1: Food
It's always a challenge to eat well on the road.
My solution:
Don't.
{I did carry around a bag of rice cereal for Cedric and added banana when possible.}
Chocolate dipped
Challenge #2: Sleep
It's tough to know what sleeping arrangement is going to work.
Especially with 2 kids.
For night #1 Cedric was in the crib, this was a fail.
He has taken to doing a 180 in his sleep but kept getting stuck at 90 and hitting his head on the bars.
Having Fiona in the bed was also not great...
for me.
She is now accustomed to having a double bed so I was left with a sliver.
{FYI: We just put her in what we already had.  I assure you, we didn't buy our toddler a double bed.}
My solution:
 I decided to switch it up for night #2 and Fiona got a kick out of being in the crib, success.
Cedric happily slept beside me in the bed, double success.
The other part of the sleep challenge when in a hotel is setting bedtime.
My solution:
We just see no sense in expecting Fiona to go to sleep before we do.
On this trip Gram {my Mom} bought some books and apps for her ipad.
This was a huge hit with Fiona.
{The Peter Rabbit book on app is amazing for toddlers.}
It was a great wind down and kept her occupied until we all went to sleep.
Toddler on ipad
 Challenge #3: "Accidents"
I'm happy to say that I'm not talking about the toddler.
She pottied like a champ!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming the little man.
If anything I blame the disposable diapers.
Every time I use them for travelling I get an up-the-back explosion.
What am I doing wrong?
This wasn't one of those explosions.
Nope.
This was much...
much...
worse.
This was an up-the-back-out-the-leg-in-the-shirt-down-the-pants-on-the-socks explosion.
But that's not all, no no, that's not all.
It was at a restaurant.
No problem, right? 
Just change him into the backup outfit that, as an experienced mother, you surely brought.
Mmm hmm, brilliant idea except, well...
Yep, didn't bring one.
It's in situations like this that I pull out my mantra.

Go with the flow.

I would like to take this opportunity to make a public apology to the people that had to witness this.

My solution: 
Wipe poop out of my son's clothes with paper towel, wash the pants in the sink and dry them in a hand dryer.
People have surprisingly little compassion for you while performing these acts.
I can't say I blame 'em.
 Challenge #4: Leaving Daddy at home.
We missed this guy so much.
In Fionglish: "Dad, I weawy miss you."
My solution:
Talk to him multiple times a day.
Lots of tickle time when we got back.
Preferably, take him with us next time.
tickle monster

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Toronto Part 2: Family

 I have often been jealous of those who have their extended family close.
My parents {Jeff's as well} moved out west when first married.
Their intention was for my Dad to finish school at the UofA then head back to Toronto.
I'm not sure just how Alberta became home. 
I assume opportunities presented themselves.
Before they knew it they had built a life for themselves out here.
Now, I'm an Alberta girl through and through. 
That hasn't stopped me from fantasizing, now and then, of living closer to all these wonderful people.  
{This is really just a taste, I managed to miss a bunch.}
One of my favourite shots is this one {below} of the oldest and youngest grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
My Gram has always liked pictures with significance like this.
{Fiona was not in the mood to stand still so this was me grabbing her as she ran by.}
When I took Fiona to school yesterday I told one of the teachers about our weekend.
She exclaimed "She has great-grandparents?  She's so lucky.".
I never thought about it, but she is fortunate enough to have 3.
Jeff and I both only have memories of only one.
My only memory was of my great-granmother in a hospital bed.
Jeff has me beat though with his memory of his great-grandmother being wheeled out after passing.

On that cheerful note...
We packed a year's worth of visiting into 3 days.
We managed to see over a dozen relatives.
The visits covered the spectrum from a hectic but wonderful lunch bunch to a fantastic leisurely lunch and afternoon with Fiona's Great-Aunt Julie.
As I said yesterday, completely worth it.



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