31 Mar 2014
March 31, 2014

2014 Gardenscape Is In The Books

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The smell of hyacinths was the first thing to greet visitors at the 25th year of Gardenscape. Thank you once again to the staff and organizers of this event.

Charter House Interiors had a great time, we met so many new people, existing customers and friends. We will have photos on our website charterhouseinteriors.com later this week.

Ken and myself would like to say HUGE thank you to our staff who pounded in some very long hours setting up, working the booth and tearing down. Mona and Scott worked so hard, went without meals because we were incredibly busy (and survived on granola bars and gummy worms we had in the store room). Thank you Betty who helped out part-time and sold a lot of fire burners for us. Thank you to the ‘newbies’ Shannon and Chantalle who took a quick lesson and then baptism by fire.

There was a great deal of interest in the Princeville, our outdoor sectional. The fabric was perfect and people liked the comfort. Once again, the cantilever umbrella was a show stopper and the ‘crayola crayon’ colors of our adirondacks attracted people like moths to a flame. And speaking of flames, people were mesmerized by the outdoor fire table. All these things can be seen on our website or in Charter House on 1st Avenue.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

BUSINESS PLUGS: Our web designer Kevin Pryce stopped by for a visit with his friend Lee, and jokingly asked if I was going to blog about him. Looking for a great web designer with the best follow up service? Check out Lime Communications.

Saskatoon Home Magazine: Amanda Souldre is owner and publisher and left a box of magazines in our booth. People snapped them up so quickly, we ran out.

JOKE OF THE DAY: My brain is giving me the silent treatment today.

HAPPY MARCH 31 BIRTHDAY TO: Gordie Howe 86, Ewen McGregor 43, Angus Young 59, Christopher Walken 71, Al Gore 66, Shirley Jones 80, Richard Chamberlain 80, Rhea Perlman 66, Gabe Kaplan 69, Herb Alpert 79, Tom Berenger 65, and Pavel Bure 45.

30 Mar 2014
March 30, 2014

Outback Steakhouse Bloomin Onion Recipe

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Outback Steakhouse Bloomin Onion Recipe

If you have ever been to the Outback Steakhouse then you have probably seen the very hard to miss bloomin onion appetizer.
This is a favorite at the restaurant and it sells like hot cakes. I came across this photo on facebook and was determined to find a home recipe. The real key to making this good is having a great dipping sauce recipe. I think I found it!

I have added the video of the show Top Secret Recipe “Outback-Steakhouse” see the end of the recipe


  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 24 ounces beer
  • 4 vidalia onions (I use walla wallas here in Calgary)

Seasoned flour

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Creamy Chili sauce

  • 1 pint mayonnaise
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1/2 cup tomato chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Outback Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne


  1. Alrighty-forthe seasoned flour
  2. Combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne-mix well.
  3. Creamychili sauce
  4. combine mayo, sour cream, chili sauce and cayenne-mix well.
  5. Dippingsauce
  6. Blend everything together well and let sit for 2 hours-refidgerated- or overnight.
  7. Andfor the batter
  8. Mix cornstarch, flour and seasonings until well blended.
  9. Add beer and mix well.
  10. Cut about 3/4 inch off top of onion and peel.
  11. Cut into onion 12-16 vertical wedges but do not cut through bottom root end.
  12. Remove about 1 inch of petals from center of onion (You can place the cut onions in cold water for a few hours to help “open” them up — just make sure that you drain them well).
  13. Dip in seasoned flour and gently shake to remove excess.
  14. Seperate peatls to coat thoroughly with batter.
  15. Gently place in a fryer basket and deep fry at 375-400 for 1 1/2 minutes.
  16. Turn over and fry 1 1/2 minutes more or until golden brown.
  17. Drain on paper towels.
  18. Place onion upright in a shallow bowl and remove center core with a circular cutter or apple corer.
  19. Serve hot with chili sauce and dipping sauce.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Don’t worry if you’ve had a bad day. Remember, there are people who have their ex’s name tattooed on their body.

HAPPY MARCH 30 BIRTHDAY TO: Celine Dion 46, Eric Clapton 69, Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), Robbie Coltrane 64, Warren Beatty 77, Justin Moore 30, Ian Zeirling 50, Tracey Chapman 50, John Astin 84, Mark Consuelos 43,Peter Marshall 88, Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA) 88, and Adam Goldstein (DJ AM) (1973-2009).

29 Mar 2014
March 29, 2014

Gardenscape 2014 Is In Full Swing

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Wow! We have never…and I mean never, saw the crowds at Gardenscape stay until the bitter end at 9:00. Met lots of very nice people and said hello to some old friends.

If you are thinking about going to one of the best shows of the spring, have a look at the butterflies hatching in a room in the foyer…it is a small miracle in front of your eyes.

Wander down the the artists area, local artist (and friend) Betty Aasen has her work displayed on a board there and it is good.

Pictured here are some of our hot sellers of the day. The hanging glass jars are nearly sold out and the twig bird houses are selling fast. Fire burners always sell quickly and we’ve been happy to demonstrate our 11.5 foot cantilever umbrella.

A HUGE thank you to the staff who give up so much to help make this a success for us. They certainly deserve a couple of days off after this.

Gardenscape opens at 9:00 Saturday morning and closes at 8:00 in the evening. Sunday is 10:00-5:00.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: I have some good ideas for the weekend. But I will need bail money, a good lawyer and an alibi.

HAPPY MARCH 29 BIRTHDAY TO: Scott Wilson 72, Lucy Lawless 46, Elle ‘The Body’ McPhersen 50, Terry Jacks 70, Justin Tuck 31, Cy Young (1867-1955), Pearl Baily (1918-1990), Sam Walton (1918-1992), Jennifer Capriati 38, Brendan Gleeson 59, Bernie Madoff 76, and Philip Ahn (1905-1978).

28 Mar 2014
March 28, 2014

42 Household Tips You Should Know

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42 Interesting Household Facts that are good to know
Follow me for more interesting stuff

1. Sticking bicycle chain- Pam no stick cooking spray

2. Pam will also remove paint and grease from your hands.(Keep a can in the garage for your hubby)

3. Pam cooking spray will dry fingernail polish

4. Body Paint- Crisco mixed with food coloring. Heat the crisco in the microwave, pour in to an empty container and mix with food color of your choice.

5. A Slinky will hold CDs or Toast

6. Budweiser Beer conditions your hair

7. Cool Whip conditions your hair-Leave on 15 minutes

8. Mayonnaise will KILL LICE, it also conditions your hair

9. Brewed Lipton Tea makes your hair shiny

10.Peanut Butter will take the ink off of baby dolls

11. Peanut Butter will get scratches off of CDs-Wipe off with a coffee filter

12. Athletes Foot- Use Cornstarch

13. Use Cornstarch on Barbie dolls to help get the tight clothes on-sprinkle it on and watch those clothes slide right on

14. Pour vinegar on your hair to remove heavy dandruff

15. Stinky Feet- Soak in Jell-O water

16. Puffy Eyes- Preparation H

17. Chigger Bites- Preparation H

18. Bee Stings- Meat Tenderizer

19. Paper Cut- Use chapstick or Super glue to close it

20. Elmers’s Glue- Rub on your face and let it dry, peel off and see the dead skin cells and blackheads disappear

21. Sunburn- Large jar of NESTEA into your bath water

22. Minor Burn- Colgate or Crest Toothpaste

23. Did you BURN your tongue? Sprinkle sugar on it

24. Tye Die T-shirt- mix a solution of Kool Aid in a container,tie a rubber band around a section of the t-shirt and soak

25. Preserve a newspaper clipping- Large bottle of Club Soda and a cup of Milk Of Magnesia,soak for 20 minutes and let dry.Lasts for many years!

26. Toenail or Fingernail FUNGUS- Apply VICKS Vapor rub

27. Kool AID to clean dishwasher pipes- put it in the detergent section and run a cycle.It also works on toilets

28. Kool AID can be used as a dye in paint. Also can be used in Dannon Plain Yogurt as a FINGER PAINT.Your kids will love it and it won’t hurt if they eat it

29. Arthritis- Spray WD 40 and rub in,it KILLS insects too

30. Keep glasses and goggles from fogging by coating with colgate toothpaste

31. Wine Stains- pour on the Morton Salt and watch the wine being absorbed into the salt

32. Remove labels off glassware with peanut butter

33. To remove WAX- Take a paper towel and iron it over the was stain,the paper towel will absorb it

34. Baked on food-Fill container with water and get a BOUNCE fabric softener sheet,soak overnight and the food comes right off.You can also use 2 EFFEREDENT tablets soak overnight.

35. Listerine for dirty GROUT

36. Crayon on wall- Colgate toothpaste and brush

37. Keep FRESH FLOWERS longer, add a little CLOROX or 2 BAYER Aspirin. You can also use 7UP instead of water

38. Fleas in your carpet- 20 MULE TEAM Borax-Sprinkle and let stand for 24 hours. Repeat if fleas come back

39. Grass Stains-KARO Syrup

40. Stains on CLOTHES-Colgate Toothpaste

41. Grease Stains-Coca Cola- it will also remove grease stains on driveway overnight. We all know that it gets acid erosion from car batteries

42. When you go to the grocery store to buy BREAD,have you ever wondered which is the freshest,so you squeeze for freshness or softness? Did
you know that the bread is delivered fresh to the stores 5 days a week? Each day has a different color twist tie. Here are the days and colors of twist ties.
So, if today was Thursday,you would want the red twist tie;not the white which is Friday’s(almost a week old) The colors go alphabetically by color Blue-Green-Red-White-Yellow,Monday through Saturday,Very easy to remember.I thought this was interesting.I looked in the grocery stores DO have different twist ties,and even the ones with the plastic clips have different colors.

ALSO, Don’t forget that GRAPE GATORADE works for MIGRAINE HEADACHES-Powerade DOES NOT work.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: If at first you don’t succeed…skydiving is not for you.

HAPPY MARCH 28 BIRTHDAY TO: Vince Vaughn 44, Reba McEntire 59, Dianne Weist 66, Kate Gosslin 39, Lady Gaga 28, Conchata Ferrell 71, Ken Howard 70, Brett Ratner 45, and Annie Wersching 37.

27 Mar 2014
March 27, 2014

Even If You Aren’t Vegetarian…Enjoy A Veggie Spiral

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The life of a vegetarian is much harder because there isn’t a whole array of dishes to their liking. That’s why when you come across a creative adaptation of a recipe you are keen on trying it right away. Here is how to make a tasty veggie spiral. The necessary ingredients are:

• two russet potatoes;
• a zucchini;
• a yellow squash;
• three large Roma tomatoes;
• a couple tablespoons of olive oil;
• a large sweet yellow onion;
• two cloves of garlic;
• half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese;
• some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper;
• dried thyme, for taste;

First of all, leave the potatoes unpeeled, but make sure they are properly washed. Then slice and cut the onions in half. Spray a baking dish with olive oil and preheat the oven to 375″ Fahrenheit, while you put on to heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Pour in the onion and sauté for the next 10 minutes. Mince the garlic and throw that into the mix as well. Cook for another minute. Put the mix onto the dish and cover with extra layers of sliced quarter of an inch zucchini, tomatoes, squash and potatoes. Place them in a spiral design and season according to taste. Add another tablespoon of oil and put to bake (covered with tin foil) for the next hour. Halfway through sprinkle Parmesan all over. Serve while it’s deliciously hot!

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: A new study has found that women with large bums live longer than men who mention it.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1973 Marlon Brando wind the Best Actor Oscar for his work in The Godfather, but he declines the award.

HAPPY MARCH 27 BIRTHDAY TO: Mariah Carey 44, Fergie 39, Pauly Perrette 45, Nathan Fillion 43, Quentin Tarantino 51, David Janssen (1931-1980), Michael York 72, Nathaniel Currier of Currier & Ives (1813-1888), Gloria Swanson (1899-1983), Tony Banks 64, and Maria Rasputin (1898-1977) daughter of the famous Rasputin.



26 Mar 2014
March 26, 2014

Framed Art – Literally

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What would you do with an already busy room? What could you hang on a wall that wouldn’t compete with another piece of art? Round up a series of pretty frames, remove the art, spray paint them in a unifying color scheme, and arrange them on a wall.

Even if the art inside a frame isn’t your style, a pretty frame is still a secondhand score. Use these in a bedroom to display jewelery. Remove the mirror or art from the frame, spray paint it, and using the old art as a pattern, cut cardboard the same size. Also cut a thin piece of foam or batting the same size. Find a plain fabric and cut it larger than the cardboard. Put all three pieces together and insert into the frame, wrap and paste any excess fabric to the back of the cardboard and secure the cardboard into the frame. Hang on the wall and use T-pins to hold jewelery in place.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: If you’re happy and you know it, thank your ex.

HAPPY MARCH 26 BIRTHDAY TO: Steven Tyler 66, Diana Ross 70, Leonard Nimoy 83, Kenny Chesney 46, Keira Knightley 29, Amy Smart 38, Vicki Lawrence 65, Michael Imperioli 48, T.R. Knight 41,Teddy Pendergrass (1950-2010), Martin Short 64, Robert Frost (1874-1963), James Caan 74, Jennifer Grey 54, Marcus Allen 54, Alan Arkin 80, and Larry Page (co-founder of Google) 41.

25 Mar 2014
March 25, 2014

Add Grab Bars

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Grab bars are one of the simplest ways to make an existing bathroom more accessible, and stylish designs can be found at your local home improvement center. The most important thing to remember when installing grab bars is to find the studs and mount the bars directly to them. Miss the studs and you’ll be pulling out more than the bars when you put your weight on them.

JOKE OF THE DAY: I try to fall asleep, but my ADHD kicks in and it’s like, ‘one sheep, two sheep, cow, duck, horse, Old McDonald Had A Farm, Heeeey Macarena.’

HAPPY MARCH 25 BIRTHDAY TO: Elton John 67, Sarah Jessica Parker 49, Aretha Franklin 72, Danica Patrick 32, Marcia Cross 52, Gloria Steinem 80, Laz ‘Tsu’tey’ Alonso 40, Kiowa Gordon 24, Howard Cosell (1918-1995), Paul Michael Glaser 71, Katherine McPhee 30, James Lovell 86, Jeff Healey (1966-2008), and Anita Bryant 74.



24 Mar 2014
March 24, 2014

HomeStyles Show 2014 – Diane Weber Booth, Featuring Charter House Furniture

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March 20-23. The 2014 HomeStyles Show put on by the Saskatoon & Region Homebuilders Association, is over for another year and it appears to be a success. We attended the show Sunday afternoon when things are supposed to be winding down and the crowds thinning out, but there was still a good amount of people visiting.

We talked to several of the exhibitors and they indicated interest was way up from last year. Many had sold product and many had booked jobs, which is good all around.

Diane Weber Interiors and Charter House Interiors paired up to exhibit talent and product. Diane is no stranger to the decorating business but it was her first time exhibiting at a show and she did not disappoint. There was tons of interest in the final product but it wasn’t without challenges.

First, Diane was going to do a bedroom but space constraints and heavy, bulky, hard-to-move furniture wasn’t going to have the ‘wow factor’ necessary for this type of show. Plan B was…a classy dining room, but that didn’t showcase her talent for ‘the fine details’ like it should. Finally, Diane settled on a living room display with a leather sofa and love seat, a media/fireplace unit, funky lamp, coffee and end tables and all the accessories to add the final touches.

Congratulations, Diane, the booth looked great!

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1973 – The album “Dark Side If The Moon” by Pink Floyd was released, remaining on the charts until 1988, the longest run in history.

TIP OF THE DAY: Energy Booster. When you start feeling fatigue, drink two glasses of water. The most common cause of fatigue is dehydration. Dehydration can cause: problems focusing, mental fogginess, short term memory, dizziness and sluggishness.

HAPPY MARCH 24 BIRTHDAY TO: Jim ‘Sheldon Cooper’ Parsons 41, Payton Manning 38, Steve McQueen (1930-1980), Chris Bosh 30, Jessica Chastain 37, Lake Bell 35, Star Jones 52, Lara Flynn Boyle 44, Valentin Chmerkovskiy 28, Harry Houdini (1874-1926), Louie Anderson 61, Clyde (Bonnie & Clyde) Barrow (1909-1934), Tommy Hilfiger 63, Robert Carradine 60, Joseph Barbera (1911-2006), David Suzuki 77, and Kelly Lebrock 54.

23 Mar 2014
March 23, 2014

Cool Idea For Rubber Boots – Turn Them Into Planters

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This is a super idea to get the kids involved in gardening. Once they have grown out of their rain boots, poke a few drainage holes in the bottom, attach them to the fence with washers and screws and fill them with dirt. Have the kids choose what they’d like to grow and help get them started. If you don’t have enough boots, you can purchase them at a discount store. They add a pop of color to the yard and they are functional. Be sure and praise the kids when their crop is ready to ‘harvest.’

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

SAYING OF THE DAY: Don’t underestimate the older generation…they got their education without the help of Google and Wikipedia.

HAPPY MARCH 23 BIRTHDAY TO: Mo Farah 30, Chaka Khan 60, Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977) (this guy really is a rocket scientist), Joan Crawford (1905-1977), Kerri Russell 37, Princess Eugenie 24, Richard Grieco 48, Roger Bannister 84, Mark Cherry 51, and Rick Ocasek 64.

22 Mar 2014
March 22, 2014

5 Signs Your Dog is in Pain

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Seeing our pets in pain is never a fun experience, and it’s something every dog owner dreads. Whether it’s a fresh injury or simply our aging elder-pups, we want nothing more than to help them. But it’s important to remember that they can’t always cry out to us when in need. Dogs aren’t humans, so they don’t speak our language. The best thing we can do to keep them comfortable is to learn theirs. Dogs display their pain in certain actions and behaviors that may seem subtle to us. Not everyone is a canine behavioral expert, but these five symptoms below will help you determine whether or not your loved one is in pain.

1. Excessive Grooming – It’s normal for dogs to lick and groom themselves, but it’s not normal for this to become an obsessive behavior. If you notice your pet tending to a localized area he’s never noticed before, or has just recently started spending a lot more time there, it could be a sign that he’s hurting. Pets will often groom places that are sources of pain in hopes to clean and care for the wound, even if there is no open wound present. Be sure to keep an eye on the area and inspect it gently.

2. Heavy Panting – Panting is normal behavior that shouldn’t surprise any dog owner. Even when the panting is heavy, certain circumstances allow for it such as extra hot days and strenuous exercise. But if you notice heavy panting out of nowhere, it could be stress-induced. This stress could be caused by pain your pet is experiencing. For whatever reason it may be, unexplained heavy panting should result in a trip to your veterinarian.

3. Inappetence – Lack of appetite is often the result of some sort of discomfort. You don’t feel like eating when you’re not well, do you? Our dogs don’t either. They simply just don’t feel like eating, especially when it’s painful to walk all the way over to the food bowl. If you notice any sort of inappetence in your pet, it’s important to seek veterinary attention right away, as this could be a symptom of many dangerous ailments.

4. Shyness & Aggression – You may notice that your dog is starting to become more and more antisocial. He may stop running to the door to greet everyone and avoids petting. Or you may notice that your little one doesn’t want you picking her up anymore, or cries when you do. If this happens suddenly, it’s reasonable to suspect pain as a probable cause. In some cases, you’ll find your normally overly friendly companion has become aggressive. If you notice your pup is hiding away and avoiding attention, be sure to check them for pain. It’s best to have a veterinarian do this, and it’s very important to remember not to take it personally if your dog does growl or snap at you. They aren’t necessarily trying to hurt anyone, they just have no other way to tell anybody it hurts and they don’t want to be touched.

5. General Behavior Changes – Besides shyness and aggression, you might notice that your pup doesn’t want to walk up stairs anymore, avoids jumping and climbing, or doesn’t want to chase after his beloved tennis ball. There are the obvious signs such as limping, but it’s important to also watch out for stiffness or arched backs. Dogs in pain often lay only flat on their sides, rather than curled up in their beds. They might be slower moving, sleeping a lot more and seemingly disinterested in things they used to love. Another sign is unexplained accidents in the house. It’s often very painful to get up from lying down (which you also might notice), and sometimes pets just aren’t able to make it outside fast enough. Sometimes the squatting to urinate and defecate is avoided, and you’ll notice that your pet will start leaving messes in her bed. All of these things can be attributed to pain – often in our older dogs, but sometimes in our younger ones as well.

Being able to identify early signs of pain can lead to a much more comfortable outcome for both you and your dog. With early veterinary care, you can often start treatment before the condition worsens, regardless of cause. If old age is the culprit, you’ll be more aware and educated on keeping your loved one comfortable and happy through his latter years. By keeping our pets happy, we keep ourselves happy too. And there’s nothing more important than sharing a peaceful, lighthearted life with our best friends.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: There are days when I wish I could wear a DO NOT DISTURB sign around my neck.

HAPPY MARCH 22 BIRTHDAY TO: Dave Keon 74, William Shatner 83, Reese Witherspoon 38, JJ Watt 25, Andrew Lloyd Webber 66, Elvis Stojko 42, Stephanie Mills 57, M Emmett Walsh 79, Werner Klemperer (1920-2000), Wolf Blitzer 66, Bob Costas 62, Tanya Raymonde 26, and May Britt (wife of Sammy Davis Jr.) 80.