It’s raining. It was raining yesterday and it is supposed to rain tomorrow. BUT, the weekend just might hold some sunshine. I am thinking to hold the weather man to that forecast, as a little sunshine would be a nice thing after a soggy week. Being trapped inside all week means that for sure I will be heading outside to enjoy some of that sunshine. If you do too, don’t forget to pack a sweater, as temperatures will be decidedly cool. If we get those rays, it will be worthwhile though.

So do you have plans for your weekend yet? I have been reading about The Lost Soul Stroll in Downtown London and am thinking about checking it out. Not sure what I am talking about? How tolerant is your fear factor? Are you interested in a little local history? Well, if you’ve a mind to learn more about some of London’s “true tales of murder, disaster and mystery”, then this is an event for you. Begun in 2005 by Chris Doty (historian/documentary filmmaker)  and Jason Rip (playwright), participants have been taken through the streets of London with a host of creepy characters to illuminate some of the Forest City’s seedy past. The Stroll this year starts at St Paul’s Cathedral at 8pm sharp and winds along a dark route for 90 scary minutes. For stalwart souls who are game for the spooky spectacular, the Stroll is held this weekend on October 20, 21, 22, as well as next week from October 25th thru 29th, with a rain date to be held on October 30th. Tickets are a steal at $20, but sell out fast, so contact the website or find them on Facebook for more details.

Sad state of electrical on Charlotte St.

Speaking of scary, I know that you are dying to hear how FOLLOW THE FLIP is going on Charlotte Street this week. Thankfully, we have been keeping dry inside working on the electrical. The fear factor is pretty high though! BWAA-HA-HA! Well, not really that scary, but there is a lot of work involved in upgrading the electrical system of this century home. When we pulled back the walls and ceiling, what do you think we found, but knob and tube wiring. Not surprising for a 1901-built bungalow, but it does require moving into this century’s safety standards. Once the electrical has been done, we might even be able to start working on warming the house up with some insulation as well. That was another thing that was conspicuously missing when we blasted through our demo, but it won’t be a problem for long. It can’t come too soon in my books either, as sweaters are now a must when I am working away on this Flip.

If sweaters are a must in your home too, do you know what the problem is at your house? Have you had your furnace checked by a licensed HVAC technician yet this year? I know you changed the filter recently, but having your furnace inspected is always a good idea too. A technician will check for carbon monoxide leaks, test your thermostat, look at your blower operation, motor, fan and gas pilot safety systems, as well as inspect your chimney and flue for debris and damage. Some of these things you just cannot do by yourself, unless you happen to be an HVAC technician. If you are an avid DIY-er though, there are a few things that even you can do. If you are so inclined, you can do a little cleaning of your furnace. Make sure to ALWAYS turn off the furnace’s gas line and electrical source before doing ANY home maintenance projects. Once that has been done, then remove the furnace door and vacuum out any dirt, dust and debris from the base of your furnace, as well as the gas burners. The fan belt on your furnace should also be checked for cracks or fraying and replaced and tightened if necessary. A little maintenance goes a long way in extending the life of your heating system. I cannot stress enough though, that if you are at all uncertain about how to proceed with a furnace inspection yourself, then PLEASE leave it to a professional. They have the skills and knowledge to handle anything that they might come across and that just might save you money at the end of the day.

If you need something else to warm you up by the end of the weekend, how about a nice hot pot of soup to take the chill from your bones? This recipe will make enough for dinner, plus lunch next week. Yum!

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken stock
8 skinless chicken thighs,(1-1/2 lb/750 g)
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup frozen peas or cut green beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3 cups egg noodles
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

In large saucepan, bring chicken stock and 3 cups (750 mL) water to boil. Add chicken, onion, celery, carrots, thyme, salt and pepper; reduce heat, cover and simmer until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 30 minutes. Skim off any foam. Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold.

Remove chicken and separate meat from bones; cube meat and return to broth. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight containers for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator, about 36 hours. Return soup to saucepan.)

Bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Add peas, corn and noodles; cover and cook until noodles are tender but firm, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

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