Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So long 2008 - my old friend .

Here it is ... New Year's Eve . And we are supposed to have a blizzard tonight ... I know this two ways ... the weatherman said ( not the most reliable!) and I have a beating pounding sinus headache (very reliable !). But it will pass ( the headache ... well the blizzard too I guess !!) So I feel like I should reflect on the year . ....hmmmm ... okay, I have. And it was freakin' great !!
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" to very loosely quote Dickens. But it was. I had some of my best times - best Christmas, wonderful birthday, super vacations, great Sunday afternoons, amazing Tuesdays, whatever. It was mostly all great. Every day was a great big cupcake and most days had sprinkles ... and many had a cherry !!
If you hate gushy, then stop reading. But really, Charlie is wonderful & my life with him gets better every day. My family is super. My friends are amazing and help make my life the adventure it is. I adore my cats, love my house, love seeing the bay of Fundy everyday, enjoy my work ... all superb !!
There were a few really hard spots this year and the bruise on my heart is still there - always will be. A few special people were lost this year. I miss them terribly but hope they are in a golden spot where they have peace & no pain. And I hope that their families have found a way to find a little joy . I feel for them with all my heart. I am at least grateful to have known & loved these wonderful people.
I have had the chance to create this year ... not as much as I want but getting there. That has been the best. And I have found kindred spirits in the world of creativity & that is even more satisfying.
I don't have a word for this year because I am not much of a narrow-it-downer ... more of a collector ... I could have a whole dictionary ... but I think these words would be part of the bigger plan ... SHARE ..... ENJOY ... CONTROL ( I need to acquire a bit of it !) ... EMBRACE ...LOVE ... GIVE ... RECEIVE ... SAVOUR.
Reflect on your year, savour the great times, acknowledge the sad, then turn to the new Year and embrace it ! It's gonna be a great one !!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The MOST Wonderful Time of the Year ...

Well, the big day is almost here. And, I think, this may be the best Christmas yet. Because we no longer do framing, we are not working like Santa's least loved elves every night, almost all night. We have our house at a reno-point and temperature that most can find comfortable. We have the time, the space, the friends, and the level of relaxation possible to "have a little Christmas". And this year it all fell into place !
The Craft Swap kicked it off. That was wonderful - a group of lovely like minded friends sharing what we love best. A nice festive evening - and the beginning of an annual tradition ... and maybe more. And the trees ... I really do love them.
Then came the "Gramma's Popcorn" marathon. Caramel pecan popcorn for all. I made up batches of it & delivered little chinese take-out boxes to bank people, posties, just people who touch your life on a regular basis in a positive way. Some for customers who are a joy to see each week. I don't bake so it was great to have a little treat to pass out. And it felt great !!
Then we were off to shop - and it went so easily we were a little freaked !! But we got nice gifts for family & friends - we found what we really wanted for them so that was very satisfying.
Then a gathering of the band to share the joy of the season & exchange gifts. A lovely afternoon filled with laughter & heartfelt friendship. That night we went to the Living Nativity and sang carols in a wonderful - quickly ! - falling snow. It was quite special.
Then Charlies' step mom for dinner. We love her dearly but never seem to drop in quite as often as we should so an evening and a meal with her was a real treat. We need to get together more often. After we delivered her home, we delivered presents to nieces and family friends. We got to watch the excitement of younger friends as they rattled and shook wrapped boxes trying to guess what they held. That kind of Christmas excitement is so fun !!
Tonight my family will come to see the trees and have a little visit. After they go, we will probably open our gifts from each other ... tomorrow is a busy day at Mom & Dad's. So a quiet evening of gifting will be perfect !!
So the day hasn't even arrived and I have enjoyed Christmas far more than I have in years. Now to find a super way to ring in the New Year. Why stop at Christmas ?!
I hope all of you have a most wonderful holiday & really feel that you have the best life possible !

Friday, December 19, 2008

10 Things I know Today

1. Christmas is coming - regardless of whether we are ready or not. So why sweat it ?
2. Friends make my life so sweet !
3. Cats can apparently knock over a Christmas tree. And that's okay.
4. Caramel corn can make you new friends.
5. Winter is the coziest nestiest snuggliest time of year. I don't understand how people can't like it.
6. All the little lights & snow make me supremely happy.
7. I can't make my Grandmother the calender I planned. We have been told that she is failing and very frail. My aunt believes this will be her last Christmas. My heart breaks and I can't make her something that maps out time. I think an album of our life & adventures might be better. Let's live in the moment and forget about what might come. I'm very sad but denial is my buddy right now.
8. We have someone or something every night until the big day and I am delighted with that. I love busy.
9. Christmas is big and it isn't how many cookies we make (thank goodness - batting zero !!) or the value $$ of our gifts. I have always loved giving someone something little or unexpected, the lights, the good smells, a hug, money in the Sally Ann Kettle, good will among all of us. That is Christmas.
10. Clarence ... you are right ... it IS a wonderful life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Passport to Christmas ...

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This is what a happy Christmas and wonderful friends look like ...
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And these are the amazing creations they came up with for the First Annual Crafters' Swap ...
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And this is what Christmas looks like in our house.
And to all a good night ...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

GETTING AWAY or GOING TO ... ???

I was telling someone about our unplanned extra night in Toronto because of the flight cancellations. They said, "At least you got an extra night away." Hmmm... later I got thinking about this. I always say we are "going away" or "going to". I can honestly say that I never think of a vacation as "Getting Away". We are always going TO something or somewhere. I really can't think of anything we would be "getting away" from. And that ROCKS !!! Our life is A1, Prime Cut, Top of the Heap,First in Class ... you get the idea. Many people want to get away from hectic lives, crummy jobs, too many kids, etc.. We have NONE of that !! Our house is happily quiet, life flows along, sometimes it is hectic but we like it that way. We have nice "jobs" - I hesitate to even call it jobs. We enjoy our work. Of course, there are days I might wish I could stay home, but then I get here and it is always fun. We have no children so we don't have all the running around and craziness that some families have. I know some think it is selfish but our time really is just ours and it is wonderful. We love our home, our cats, our friends, our families ... there is NOTHING to GET AWAY FROM !!! Our vacations are always to a place where we can DO a lot , see a lot, visit a lot, etc... They are hectic and non-stop ... and WE LOVE THAT TOO !!! How happy I am to have a life that I don't want to escape from. I want to be right in the middle of it, living it large !!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What a great weekend !!

I had a WONDERFUL weekend !! Charlie & I went to Toronto. The "official" reason was bead business. The "unofficial"? FUN!! We did do the bead business and it was great. My supplier had a small bead show set up of Unicorn beads from California. They were amazingly beautiful - they almost seemed luminescent. So I gathered up some of those, visited the Swarovski Room for another little bundle, then off to the warehouse for a few hours of shopping. By 1pm I was OUT OF ENERGY !!! We had slept for 3 hours then had driven to the airport. By the time I finished shopping we had already been up for 12 hours and hadn't eaten for 8 ... no wonder the energy level was low !! So we subwayed our way to the city, checked in, and went to eat. Then we visited all the wonderful Christmas sites.
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This was the Swarovski Christmas Tree at the Eaton Centre. It is breathtaking !!
Then we went to see the windows at The Bay. There was a Santa's workshop, a series of Christmas story windows, and a series of fairy windows. All incredible !! Then up to one of my favourite places on earth - CHRISTMAS STREET at The Bay !! Room after room of Christmas decorations all in various themes. The variety is amazing and the details are fabulous.Then we hiked around the city seeing all the various sites, bought a few gifts, and went back to get ready for our big event - the tree lighting at Nathan Phillips Square.
This was an amazing evening. It is right in front of City Hall and there are all sorts of little booths set up. We watched the skaters on the outdoor rink, bought hot chocolate (and a monkey hat for Charlie - he looked so cute !!)and just took in the atmosphere. Then the stage lights came up. The first act was a funky choir who got the whole crowd going. Then a number called "We Must Be the Light". During that song, the switch was thrown ! The 300,000 lights on the magnificent tree lit, as well as 1000s of lights on the trees, rink, fences, walls, ... everywhere !! It was wonderful. Then the musical acts came on - Toya Alexis, Alex Cuba, Serena Ryder (one of my favourites !!) , and the Canadian Tenors. Imagine being in a crowd of thousands of people, all nationalities of the world, and we are all singing Feliz Navidad. It was surreal !! The Canadian Tenors sounded like a choir of at least 50 instead of the 4 that they are. Their Christmas Carols had us all singing. But there was more ... the FIREWORKS !!! Burst after burst of amazing colour ... waterfalls of golden lights, sprays of electric colours... oh ... so beautiful !! The fireworks were set off from the top and front of city hall including 2 men with pinwheels of pyrotechnics strapped to their backs who descended the building while lit !! The crowd went crazy for those two brave souls !! The fireworks just built and built with soaring music - the crowd was ecstatic !! It was one of the most beautiful shows I have ever seen !! By the time we went to bed, we had been functioning on 3 hours sleep for 21 hours... a bit tired !!
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The next day was The One of a Kind Gift Show (more sock monkeys & Damn Dollies for the collection !!) and then a bit more shopping including Propaganda on Yonge and That Paper Place on Queen. Then sadly, we had to say goodbye to the city and head to the airport. Little did we know ... our flight - and everyone else's - was cancelled. So an extra night at the very posh Sheraton ($11 for a bowl of oatmeal !! And no, we didn't eat breakfast there ...) and home on Monday.
All in all , a great Christmas treat !!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Gift ... of so much


I was all set to blog about our trip to Toronto and how great it was ... but I came back to a gift that is almost indescribable. And nothing seems more important than that right now.
I have a dear friend from childhood whose whole family was a huge part of that very childhood. Her Mom was especially important for all kinds of reasons. And this spring she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She dealt with it with the very loving support of her family and the absolute grace that was her. She died in the fall and the world seemed that much paler. She was a woman of such grace, charm, and humour. I loved her. When she would stop in to my store I was always really excited in the fluttery way that you are as kid when someone really special arrives. That's how I felt. And sadly, I always felt that I would have years to feel this way & enjoy her presence. I was wrong.
But there is some good that has come out of this and that is that the childhood friend and I have had the chance to visit, correspond, and be out there floating in each others lives. And that is special.I know where to find her & I want to keep in touch. When I see her, I am filled with a rush of sweet childhood memories & feelings, and I feel her Mom's presence. And I love the person she has become as the adult version of that wonderful girl Brenda from years ago.
So ... I come in to work today and I find a basket that was left by her. It has 2 casserole dishes in it that belonged to her Mom. That has significance to me and it was so thoughtful. The tears begin. Then I read the card. More tears. My heart is so full at this point.(actually , its getting hard to type as this is so blurry...) In the card is a picture of her Mom from Christmas of 2005 wearing a beautiful necklace that Brenda made for her.And in a lovely bag is that necklace. I can't tell you how I felt when I saw that. It is a solid tangible memory of Barb. Because, you see, Barb wore it in to show me because she was so proud of it. So it is also a memory of how much Barb loved her daughter and how proud she was of her endeavors. It means so much. All I can do is cry because my heart is absolutely overflowing. That necklace meant so much to Brenda when she made it, so much to Barb when she received it, and it is a priceless treasure now. Thank you all for enriching my life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A few Projects ...

I have had a few heavenly days at home - gluing, cutting, glittering, ... LOVELY !!! Here are some photos of what I've done ...
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These are some cards I made with the basic Grey Wassail papers.
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And this is a gift bag using a Santa from an Etsy CD and a bunch of other stuff !! Photobucketit !

And this little guy appeared in my bed Monday night ! His name is Iggle Piggle.He is from a kids' show of some kind ... don't know & doesn't matter ... I love him !! He is so vague, no hard lines, just a sweet smile. Who wouldn't love him ??
Have a great day !!

Monday, November 24, 2008

IT'S A MARSHMALLOW WORLD ...

WOW !! WOW!! THE SNOW ... all that beautiful SNOW !! I can't believe how much we had ... it was amazing !! We got up Saturday & headed out to work ... got as far as the house next door where we drove in to a BIG drift. We just barely got through it ... we waited for the wind to stop so we could see ... and what to our wondering eyes should appear ? Well , a LOOOONG stretch of even bigger drifts. We were NOT getting through there !! So we turned around & went home to wait for the plow. AND IT WAS LOVELY !!! A STORM DAY ... NO SCHOOL !!! WAHOO !!
The plow went by a little after 1pm so we saddled up & headed to town, partner. The road was already blowing in - we knew we had the usual 1 hour window of off-the-mountain-time. So we fed the cats, checked the phones, bought some milk & storm food, rented movies, and headed back home. But not before I stood in the middle of the parking lot & surveyed the glory of it all. And, it WAS glorious !! At that point it was lightly snowing, not windy, and sooo beautiful. Big SIGH. And then we were off !! It was a very tricky slippery slidey lean-forward trip up the mountain with no snow tires. YIKES !! ( I always lean forward in the car because somehow I think the weight shift forward helps propel the car up - I'm sure if Charlie did it too we would have even less problem, but he doesn't seem to see the scientific merit ...)
Next day was the same - a wee trip to town - don't stay too long, you'll never get back up the mountain - and then more of the same. The same ? By that I mean, being home , warm & snuggly, with no where to go and nothing important to do. THE BEST !!! Snow days are the greatest !! So great, in fact, that I am taking another one today. Charlie was able to get to work but I'm sure two of us in the car would never have made it ....
My only regret? My feet and legs are now in clothing prison ... UGH !! I had to put on long pants and a pair of socks . I could hear the feet screams all day !!! But I DID NOT WEAR BOOTS !!! No way! Clogs & socks - that is as far as I will go !! Sorry feet !

Friday, November 21, 2008

Something to Ponder ....

"Our stories are singular but our destinies are shared."
This is a quote from Barrack Obama's speech the night of the US election. When I heard that, I immediately scribbled it down -(it was almost 2am and I was fairly certain I wouldn't remember it the next day !) They were words I wanted to remember. They still give me little shivers. Every day I am reminded of how we are all out there living large, living our singular lives, and then we mesh out into the lives of our loved ones, and those lives are then a shared part of ours. And then we are all part of something bigger. Our actions resonate in lives we aren't even aware of. It makes me see that we all have the power, in one way or another, to bring about change or to improve things. My small action can start a chain reaction which could bring about something much bigger. A smile, a bit of kindness, a donation, writing a letter, even biting your tongue and NOT saying something ... who knows where it all might lead ? We have all seen and felt how far mean & cruel acts travel - surely kindness can go further.
We often feel helpless against the big world issues but I guess if everyone decided to improve their little corner of the world , the big issues would become smaller & maybe even unravel. Food for thought.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

GROUNDBREAKING and GROUNDCOVERING DAY !!!

Hello !!
Yesterday was historic and oh, so special !! IT SNOWED !!! I saw a flake in the afternoon - yes A flake. I was excited but hoped for more. By 5:30 it was more. Windy blowy snow. And when we got home , it was snowing in PG too which isn't always the case. I looked out at 11:30pm and the GROUND WAS WHITE !!! I was so excited to finally see it !! ( Still in barefeet though ... it will have to be a lot more to make me wear socks ..)
AND then it was also a GROUNBREAKING DAY !! I learned to write under pictures and also to resize my photos. EVIDENCE : post below. The proof is in the post ... And there may be the slightest sign of my early frustration with the resizing. It wasn't working so I changed a few things and a bit snappily super downsized the photos. Of course, the resizing worked that time so I have TINY photos. Next time though they will be fine. All a learning curve !!!
So learn something great today ... and touch some snow. Or let it touch you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

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THANK
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YOU
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MYLETA !!!
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OLD DOG LEARNING NEW TRICKS !!!
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A FABULOUS Day !


Wow, another fabulous day !! Spoonster, Skully, and I headed out for adventure yesterday and our trail took us to Berwick (adventure capital of the valley !!) We went to Wheaton's & it was beautiful !! All the lovely Christmas decorations and the heirloom pieces ... so amazing !! Then we had a delicious lunch - best salad I may have ever had ! - and great conversation. The warmth of our friendship is awesome. When I sit talking with these two I really am unaware that there is anyone else around. We are our own little unit. Talk & laughter flow freely and everything is right in the world. We are in our happy place. And as a wise spoonplaying postie said "I love you guys !". We made a few more stops & our magical day had once again FLOWN BY ! We headed home with our treasures , stories to tell our beloveds, and our happy thoughts. Life really is the best !! The only thing missing was Haddie Bit but next time.

How do you like the photo - isn't that funny ? That is Emma & she flopped over and fell asleep in my fall tray arrangement. Apparently, pumpkins make excellent pillows ! May your day be that comfy & relaxed !!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

hmmm ... let's catch up ...


Well it's been a wee bit since I posted anything but I can't think of anything remarkable to tell you !! Time has flown by, been busy, been not busy, cooked, ate , slept, laughed, loved, shopped, ... the usual... and wonderful usual I might add. But nothing remarkable or photo worthy. So instead I am turning my mind to what I want to do for Christmas. This is big as "nothing" is my usual !!!

THE BIG LIST OF THINGS TO DO FOR CHRISTMAS 2008...

1. Have a Christmas party with my friends. (okay, that's weird. My friends - as opposed to what ? People I don't know ??)

2. Maybe put up a tree. Not any tree - my fluffy white tree all bedecked in funky festive splendor. We'll see - there is mounting pressure . Bribes even ... right Laura ??

3. Make a kick-ass advent calendar - not sure why. Counting down the days is definitely not my thing !! I could care less bit I think it would be a fun project to make.

4. Make most of the gifts I am giving friends & my gramma. And , most importantly, ENJOY making the gifts. Not that frantic, "Oh my God, why did I not just buy something ?!!" I want this to be THE EXPERIENCE as well as the GIFT.

5. Think of something special for my customers - they are pretty rockin' people !!

6. No cookies. But I do want to make little bags of popcorn, nuts, etc... to give randomly.

7. Cat stockings. (self explanatory, I believe)

8. Maybe buy a few gifts. Well thought out gifts. With meaning.

9. Not get caught up in crazy buying.

10. I am not crazy about Christmas ... you may know that ... but I want to try to embrace the spirit of giving, sharing, and love for my fellow people that Christmas is supposed to be. That's my goal.

The Jewish have a philosophy that we should all be a light unto the world. NOW THAT is my goal. I have a little bit of work to do but I am going to try !!

Have a wonderful day & look for FLURRIES (yay) tomorrow !!!



Friday, November 14, 2008

WHIRLING DERVISH

That's what I am. A whirling dervish. It's one of those things I always heard as a kid... "What are you, a whirling dervish?" ... but I actually never knew what it was. A Dervish is a religious person from Turkey and the whirling comes from an exuberant spinning dance that sends them to religious ecstasy. I saw them once on TV and was fascinated to actually see what it was.
So that's what I am .... except you won't see me whirling down the street ... I may even seem a bit distracted or tired. But INSIDE I am a WHIRLING DERVISH. I have become CONSUMED by making-doing-stitching-cutting-gluing-painting-glittering-binding-soldering-printing-writing .... on & on. I have all these burning desires inside of me to CREATE. And I am. But while I do I am being inspired for MORE and MORE and MORE ... Every word, colour, texture, phrase, sight, sound, smell, ... brings me to more ideas. A friend will show me what she has made or discuss what she wants to make and I see little tree roots shooting off in another direction with something else. I feel my mind & heart spinning spinning spinning spinning spinning ... whirling dervishly to ecstasy. Wow - I am over flowing with inspiration. But I feel like I need to slow it down somehow , harness it , grab it & shove it in a jar. It is a glorious feeling but sometimes I think it might consume me !! Hmmm ... eaten alive by creativity .... oh, well, it would be right up there with drowning in a giant pina colada !!
Create something spectacular this weekend !!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CREATIVITY BUFFET & Look Elsewhere for Modesty !!


Okay ... first things first ... those crappy days ? I kicked them in the bum and sent them packing !! But now I am in shock that it is approaching the MIDDLE of November ??! No way !

It's been busy and slow the last almost week. The perfect balance !

A little recap ... We went to Eisners newly re-openned restaurant ( mixed reviews there), went to New Minas & by sheer accident bought a few Christmas gifts ( love when it just happens AND they are on sale !!), spent ALL DAY Sunday at home (bliss !) , stayed home Monday & then went to a birthday party & had a great time !, then home Tuesday for more bliss . Watched 2 movies : The Happening (liked it) and 88Minutes ( really good thriller).

BUT most importantly .... I created !! If creating is the food of my soul then my soul was at an ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET !!!! I made 2 books - one "The Book of Pancakes" for our friend's birthday and the other "The ABCs of Life" for my friend Brenda's birthday. Then I made a rockin' candle holder. Then a Basic Grey book that I AM IN LOVE WITH !!! Oh, by the way, if you were expecting modesty - WRONG PLACE !!! I always am sooo happy with what I make , lovin' it & proud. No fake modesty here !! Then I made a FAB cone out of this gorgeous flocked paper, and then ANOTHER book with My Mind's Eye Be Merry. I AM SOOOO THRILLED !! It was hard to give up the paper palace & trot off to work this morning ... but it will give me a chance to get more supplies .... and I have ANOTHER box of yumminess to unpack. Anyway, great times all around ... you have some great times today too !!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Turn Around is SLLOOOOOOOW...

Okay, yesterday didn't improve too much ... I spent 1 & 1/2 hours balancing my chequebook by making the same mistake 50 times ....I forgot stuff .... I wrote the wrong account # on a payment and it was among the missing ... BUT I had my POLLYANNA glasses on so I was determined not to let it get me. So the day was okay because I was sure it was going to get better. Here's the upside - it didn't really reach a whole new level of worse ...
So today IS going to be better. I have already poked the side of my eye on a peg hook, had a vacuum not want to work, seen massive amounts of cat puke, the raccoons did NOT pick up their garbage that I left yesterday, but I bought myself a coffee and I am DETERMINED to have a good god damn day ... no matter what !HAHA !!! You can't get me bad day !!
Have a great one - I will !!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let's Turn this Sucky Day Around !!

Okay, so far ... TODAY SUCKS !! I have a headache, my email didn't work I spent 1 hour getting that going, my US - freakin'whatever-B port won't recognize my camera so no photo ( and I had one to share ... ergh!), there is garbage all over the backyard from a destructive crappy raccoon ( my strategy there is to ignore it until later when I am feeling a bit nicer !!) ...
SO LET'S TURN THIS TRAINWRECK AROUND !!! NO MORE CRAP !!!
I think I'll tell about my last 4 days... that will be cheerier !
* went to Halifax for my dad's birthday. Had a fun day & bought some nice things ... and wonderful magazines. Had a nice dinner. Good times !
* I SAW JUPITER !!! How cool is that ?! I saw it through a super duper telescope so I got to see the moons & cloud on the surface. THAT ROCKED !!!
* had the bandmates over ... fun as always, even though I may have let them down a bit. But I'm sure it happens in all great bands .
* went to another BIRTHDAY DINNER ... yep, that's right, I have stretched my b'day to a full week. Had a great time with the Phuong family and my pal Jason. Thanks for the card Jason ... you are too funny !!
* spent some quality crafting time... did a "JOY" foldout and almost finished a little book called the ABCs of Life. Happy times !!
* had my family over for supper for Dad's birthday. Good pork stew, crusty bread, and angel cake & fruit. Yum & relaxingly easy !
* watched the US election and felt that maybe this is the dawning of a new era ... hope so !
( Now if only we could pick someone good here ...)
Okay ... these things are all putting a better spin on the day. Things are looking up !! Have a good one !

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wait November !! I Still Want to Talk Hallowe'en !!




Oh, Hallowe'en was great ! I am not ready to leave it or October yet, so you, big ol' November, can wait. Maybe I'll give you an extra day at the end if you're good too !!


This month has been WONDERFUL !! We had so many fun times & busy days in October. Always has been my favourite month but this just upped the ante. We had our Outrageous Act morning, our Mermaid Party and all the fun prep, The Pumpkin Regatta, The Second Annual Pumpkin Carving Party, a Pampered Chef party, many birthday parties (heehee - love it !!), Bead & Eat, the almost completion of THE ROOM at home, some crafting time, some reading time, new windows, a fun trip to Halifax, the stone cottages, and then, on top of it all, we get to TRICK or TREAT ??!!! Wow, our karma must have been super freakin' good this month !!!


We left work last night & rushed to the Superstore ... for cat food ... but also to see what was on sale for Hallowe'en . Ooo... the mother lode !!! We got 4 sets of cool lights and 2 furry headbands - mine with purple spangly bats & Charlie's with spider webs complete with spider. We were ready. Off to get Brandon & Jason. Brandon was a crazy little saber wielding ghost but Jason had no costume. That's cool - another chance to dig through the mark down stuff !!! So we got him a cape & a mask & a big knife. So then we had to get weapons ... felt vulnerable with 2 knife wielding kids ... so big old Viking style axes for us and a huge furry spider and a purple witch hat. Then we were good to go !!!


We TRICK or TREATED and had a great time. Then we came to Middleton to track down Spoonster a.k.a. DIANA ROSS. But ... we heard the fire siren. Ahhh ... a childhood memory came flooding back. We used to go to the firehall every year and go on the firetruck. That's right ... ON TOP of the fire truck !! How COOL is that ??? Then the truck would go through town with its load of costumed kids, sirens wailing and lights flashing. As a kid , it was AWESOME !!! So the kids lined up for their ride. Charlie went along. Brandon loved it - wanted to go again. Charlie & Jason , who both have longer legs than the average 6 year old, found it to be a bit painful. Charlie said he tried to use his Viking ax to cut off his leg that had gone completely numb but it wouldn't work. We then continued our search for Diana ... found her in her nightgown & sparkly eyeshadow ... but we all got to see pictures of the show !! We then played with Stephens skeleton in a cage "Hey, let me out of here !!" and then we delivered the Halloweenies home complete with BIG BAGS OF CANDY !! A little more visiting, some candy eating, and some more laughs, and we too were on our way home. Another great Hallowe'en !!
oh, here's a funny little story ... Jason went to one house where he said the man knew him, called him by name, but Jason didn't recognize him. Hours later we realized Jason's costume was "Jason" from the movie Hallowe'en . The guy simply knew the movie !!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

WAHOO !!!!!

Wahoo !!! It's HALLOWE'EN !! It's sunny !! We put the puking pumpkin out on the step. I delivered sticky caramel apples this morning and have passed out licorice treats at the store. Tonight we will pick up our sweet baboos for TRICK or TREATING and make the rounds. I may wear a CAPE. ( love that cape - makes me feel fierce ...)
THIS IS THE FREAKIN' LIFE !!!!
I LOVE HALLOWE'EN !!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

SCARY STUFF ....

Yeah, it is scary .... not Hallowe'en but the fact that it is almost November, then December, then the year is done ! Wowsers !!! Now, I am not freaked out about Christmas - it comes & goes whether we are ready or not so I don't care - but I AM freaked out that another year has flown by. No make that RUSHED by at BREAKNECK SPEED !!! Where the heck did it go ???
But why am I worried ? Did I have an assignment to pass in ? Are my goals and projects going to
be verified by some big task master and I'll fail 2008 because I was too busy HAVING FUN ??? Who cares then ?! Yes, I did have tons of fun ... I believe that the ordinary day to day can always be left til later but the chance to see a friend , go on an adventure, or do something really fun ... those things are fleeting. The opportunity comes & goes, the laundry or dishes will always be there. So I have no regrets but I want time to slow down - I enjoy every day so much that I don't want them to spin crazily past ... SLOW DOWN !!! Let me savour you !!!
P.S. Here's something exciting ... chance of flurries tonight !!! I LOVE the first snow .... and the second, and the third .....
Happy Hallowe'en all you lovely spooky ghoulies !!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whew !!

Wow !! What a WHIRLWIND of WONDERFUL !!! My birthday was 3 days long preceded by a Hallowe'en party - is that AWESOME or WHAT ??!!! One would have thought that Sunday was really enough but no ... there was more !!! Skully & I were going to go out for a lunch but that too was a decoy. It was actually a surprise lunch at Spoonsters with Skully, Hattie Bit, and "Susan". There was delish soup,desserts, and even more presents ... talk about SPOILED !!! We had a great afternoon laughing & JUST PLAIN BEING !
Then dinner at the folks with more cake, presents, ... Lovely. So the birthday comes to an end but it was all wonderful.
So last night was our Bead & Eat ... a group of us get together once a month to bead, eat, and chat. Okay, chat, bead, and eat. More like it. I have to admit that I have had the same bracelet on my tray for the last 3 B&Es... last night I held it up many times, stretched it out, pretended to work on it ... but I actually just wanted to be there with all these wonderful people & enjoy their company. I had no beading goals. But, I digress ( what's new ??!) . Anyway, when snack time came, I heard the refrains of the Happy Birthday song ... and VOILA ! a carrot cake with candles appeared. How wonderful are these people ??? Anyway, another great evening with great people.
Tonight I hope to make candy apples for my pals and chill a bit . The pace has been fast but oh, so exciting !!
MY LIFE ROCKS !!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

ABSOLUTE PERFECTION !!!



That is what this weekend was . Perfect. Absolutely perfect.


Saturday night was our Annual Pumpkin Carving party ( done it twice in a row, that makes it annual...). Our friends gathered to carve pumpkins & decorate cakes all in pursuit of the fabulously valuable and much coveted medals. The ages ranged from 7 to ...older ... But age meant nothing !! The pumpkins were carved - and oh, my ! The bar was raised this year ! - and the cakes were coated with icing & then mounded with candies, sprinkles, and sugar. We had a few new people to the contest this year - and one totally new to all of us - and they joined in like old pros . They even came prepared (okay, the second trip...) with templates, hair and teeth. Food was served, prizes were awarded,there was some vote fixing..., a birthday cake & wishes were served to our friend Bao, and then .... A PERFORMANCE BY THE BAND ... with guest members. So much laughing - an excellent singing & playing. We are definitely at THE TOP OF OUR GAME !!!


It was such a great evening - being with these people that we love and just having fun.


Then came Sunday ... what were we going to do on this warm October day ... not sure. Charlie said he had to give Arnie a hand with something so off we went. SURPRISE !!! It was actually a road trip ... oh, and such a good one ! Six of us piled in the truck and we were off. Six of my favourite people in the whole world and we had the whole day ahead of us. We went to see the wonderful, magical, storybook stone houses. It really felt like a splendid Lilliput village. I would not have been one bit surprised to see an Oompa Loompa come out of any door. Inside they were again truly storybook - red gingham & calico, tiny round chairs, dishes all in bright colours, ... "Alice ?? Are you and the Mad Hatter in there ?" MAGICAL !!!


But the day did not end there. We went to the BARN !!! I have never been, always wanted to go. WISH GRANTED !!! Paulette was so kind to open up so we could go in ... and to feed the hungry Charlie ... She has beautiful things & I came home with a little pile of special treasures. An album was added to the pile as a free gift so that will be the basis for my "Perfect Weekend" book. THEN, MORE ... off to The Port for an excellent dinner . Then back to Myleta & Arnie's for cake and presents. THE CAKE - yummy real true old fashioned vanilla cake with pink frosting. Now THAT'S a birthday cake !!! And the presents - such wonderful thoughtful and hysterically funny gifts !! I am not going to be one of these people who say presents don't matter - who doesn't really love a great present ? And these were awesome - they were all so well made or so well chosen and each one meant so much. I LOVE them !!


So , see what I mean about the perfect weekend ? My days were filled with activity, exploration, creativity, and laughter. I spent the whole time with Charlie who fills me with happiness and all these special friends. It really doesn't get any better. My life is so great & each day is only better . I cannot ask for more !

Friday, October 24, 2008

Toast ... does it know how good it's got it ?

Last night we made a little journey to New Minas. Hunter/Gatherers that we are, we came home with a bunch of stuff. Great stuff .... cork tiles to make a bulletin board, a pink file box, pecans, mascara, a CD player for our travelling gigs, a reading lamp with elephants on the base ... you know, the NECCESSITIES . But we got a little something SPECIAL ... a new electric blanket !
We have very little (ok, none!) heat in our bedroom so we have an electric blanket that we turn on an hour or so before we snuggle down to dreamland ... But they really only seem to last about a year & then they are really just an ugly coloured blanket that has a bit of strange stiffness. No heat. No snuggle power. So a new one it is !!!
So last night we put the lovely new navy blanket on the bed, put on clean flannel sheets, set it on high and wandered off to watch TV. About 1 am we toddle off to bed, slip in ... and ......... Ahhhhh.
I began to think "This must be what bread feels when it slips into the toaster". Does bread know how good it's life is ? I doubt bread has ever thought about it - but it should !
That's all .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

okay ... here's a little thought ....

I was watching my favourite show last night ( or my "family" as Charlie calls them ...) John & Kate +8 and I had an epiphany ... well , maybe not an epiphany, but a real AHA moment. Kate said that they needed to try to parent more from love than from anger. Hmmm ... think about that. Instead of reacting to what annoys you, you should train yourself to react to what makes you happy, soothes you, pleases you, etc ... ( well that was my take on it anyway!) Now I am not trying to tell anyone how to parent since it isn't something I have ever taken on, nor have I wanted to. But I have been trying to be like this in my life without really having it put into words. Thank you, Kate !!
I have always complimented parents on well behaved children because I think that is so important. But lately I have been really living every day this way myself ... or at least trying. I savour the happy moments & the relationships that create them. I thank people for their kindness. I tell people that I love them. I send notes (emails...) to say how great something was. This isn't to be some freaky Emily Post - this is to relive the happiness & make sure others know what they do for me and what they mean to me. I want to leave this world with all those that I care about knowing that I care about them. No grey area. There is no better time than now to tell others that you care & to reflect on all the GOOD in your life. It seems to magnify it by , oh I don't know, at least a GAZILLION !!!
Now I'm also not saying that people & things don't PISS ME OFF but I am trying to not let that have the same importance as the people & things that make me blissfully happy - because why should they get as much airplay ??!!! Would you rather eat the food that you hate or the food that you love ?? Well, same thing ... spend the time on the happy bits and give the cold shoulder to the yucky bits.
Its all a work in progress but I can honestly say that my life is profoundly different now - and I thank Kate for putting into words why !

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

aah, It's a Mermaid's Life !


Oh, what a fun evening ! The first ever Mermaid Cocktail party was held on Saturday night.
We decorated Hattie Bit's house in a mermaid theme - sea shells, glittery blues & greens, mermaids, flickering candles, sea-sparkly fabrics, fish lights, ... It was beautiful !!
Then we made pitchers of drinks - all based on colour of course !- and set up the bar with little umbrellas ( Because life is too short to not have little umbrellas, says the magnet on my fridge ...) and fluffy fruit picks thanks to Mona & Bonnie. The food was then piled on the table & the guests began to arrive. Fifteen of us in total !!
Some of them brought instruments, some made instruments, some had made special jewelry ... it was lovely !!
We served drinks, played a few fun games, laughed, ate , drank , and then we ENTERTAINED ! That may be a loose term for what we did but we ourselves were certainly entertained !! There's something very liberating about a long flowing PURPLE wig !!!
Sadly the evening came to an end. We passed out free passes to the "Feel Good Bus" as the mermaids went out the door. It was so much fun to spend an evening getting to know other women who have that same zest for life. Women got so involved in working, careers, and doing "it all" that we seem to have forgotten to have friends and just enjoy. So forget all that other stuff ... take a good look at your life, make a concerted effort to make some friends, and schedule in a little fun ... you will love yourself for it !!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

THANKSgiving Weekend














What a lovely weekend ... truly something to give thanks for .... the weather was AMAZING. It was that beautiful warm, sun dappled, golden kind of weekend that makes fall so special. You know you HAVE to be outside to soak it up and that there is a limit to how many of these beautiful days that will be left. It was heavenly !!

I am thankful for these things from this weekend :
* the gorgeous sun & warmth
* the beautiful treasure of coloured leaves. More beautiful than jewels!
* mango gelato at Cara Mia
* some great finds while shopping - clear glass balls, great glitter, some super little spangles for
our party "cupcakes", a WHOLE FREAKIN BAG of cake decorations for Hallowe'en.
* the Pumpkin Regatta at Windsor & running in to our lovely friends there !!
* the beautiful cookies made by the lady from Windsor - they feed your soul as much as they
do your tummy !
* did I mention the weather ???
* a day of puttering. Blissful !!

And , on a sadder note, I learned this morning that we lost from this world a very special person named Dena. I met Dena years ago when she was receiving treatment for cancer and a customer & mutual friend thought she might enjoy cross stitching to fill the time. She was a lovely person & I rooted for her in her fight against cancer. Every time I saw her & she seemed well, my heart did a little happy dance. She had a few more battles but won them. She was just a lovely person & full of life. I would see her now & again (cross stitch wasn't the great solution ...) and was always thrilled to see her & to see her doing so well. By this time she had taken up beading & was getting ready for a craft sale & asked to borrow my display forms. When she returned them, she apologized for being late but explained that she had just been diagnosed again but that there was no solution or hope. I don't think I will ever forget that day - us standing in the store hugging & crying and , really, her being the strongest one. I marvelled at her. Then came an invitation to her 40th birthday party, the one doctors said she would never have. We went & it was maybe the most beautiful party I've ever been to. There was food & cake, Elvis impersonators, a band, dancing, balloons, flowers, presents, wine, fireworks, and PINK everywhere. It was Dena's favourite colour. As favours, she passed out little cards with a poem she had written & a message. The message was that if you were there you had touched her life in some way & she thanked you. She also wanted you to live every day to its best , enjoy life, and that she would see us all again someday. That was a year ago. Although I only met her about 5 or 6 years ago, and I didn't know lots about her, she was an inspiration to me. I was humbled when I saw her because she was so "Dena". She made it clear to me that we all have to love & live to the fullest. And she did. Her life was an amazing example of how to do that. Thank you Dena & may you be at peace.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

OKAY ... 2nd post in one day. But ENOUGH ALREADY !!!

Okay, I think I have a fish stink curse or something today .... I come to work to my find a hole in my store window. A NUT ( like nut&bolt nut) was through the window. So ... sorry profit ... won't be seeing you this week. Then I realize that I didn't bring any lunch for us. But there is a loaf of bread so we're okay. BUT there is a fruit fly in the bread bag. Charlie doesn't care but I do. He can eat fruit fly sandwiches if he wants but not me. So I opt for another bowl of yogurt & granola. Somehow my hand FREAKS out and I dump the WHOLE BOWL towards the floor. I say towards because not much of it actually fell on the floor. It instead glopped on all the power cords, plugs, phone lines, speaker wires, and spare phones that are on that section of floor. WHAT A MESS !!!
I wipe it all up, get the vacuum and promptly suck up a loose piece of carpet thread and the vacuum is STUCK to the floor. Sheesh !
In the midst of this I wait on a customer who tells me to have a nice day. I thank her & return the sentiment but IN MY HEAD I am thinking this : "Thanks, but I thought it over this morning, and I opted for a totally f*cked up day instead. But maybe tomorrow."
But ... I had a lovely time with my band this morning & I didn't get electrocuted cleaning yogurt off plugs & adaptors so I refuse to see this as a bad day !! BUT GO AWAY FISH STINK CURSE !!!!

FISHY WISHY makes my stomach SQUISHY

Okay, I don't like seafood. EXCEPT ... haddie bits & haddock fish&chips in thin batter/crumb. That I LOVE !!! But every few years I go crazy or senile or just plain stupid and think that maybe I secretly do like fish and I am going to cook some. Now how I am keeping that secret from myself, I don't know & I really SHOULD question that part - but I don't.
So there is a perfectly lovely fish man who sets up beside the store every other Wednesday. His truck is like a little store & VERY CLEAN. NO SMELL. This all played into my DELUSION. I bought haddock last night to cook for supper. Then he gave Charlie a sturgeon steak. Again, NO SMELL. Home we go ( after many delays & side tracks - story of my life !) . I dredge the fish in an egg, dip in Panko crumbs (love those little crispy suckers !!) and lemon pepper. I fry it until golden brown - still no smell. It looks yummy. I put the UGLY sturgeon steak in the pan & it begins to cook ... and SMELL !!!! Now, don't get me wrong, not a bad fishy smell but a sea smell like I was out on the SS Minnow ... but it is a smell none the less. And , as most people know, I am a smeller - I smell everything ...paper, food, clothes, my hands, other people's hands, my cats, ... I have to sniff it all. And, not bragging, but I have en excellent sense of smell ... I am almost a freakin' robot when it comes to smells. So smells are a huge part of my sensory perception and anything a weeeeee bit strong or not-enjoyable-by-me is TOO MUCH. I was gagging but decided that I was being a baby and, anyway, I wasn't eating that shit ...oops STURGEON. So I plate up my food (after washing the flipper and before Charlie could touch the ugly with it). I sit down , take one bite, I HATE FISH. I made KD for me.
Then the NIGHT OF LONG SMELLS began. The house smelled, my hands smelled, my shirt smelled, my water bottle smelled, ugh .... I sprayed Fabreeze, I lit a candle, I sprayed that old toxic -make your eyes water- bathroom spray. Charlie said "Well, our eyes will soon be burnt out". "At least we won't be able to see the stink" was my very clever retort. He had to go to town at 9pm so I happily went to breathe fresh un-stunk-up air. When I came back, the wall of stink misery hit me. Charlie says he couldn't even smell it. I am desperately hoping that the stink will be gone by our Hallowe'en party in 16 days ...
Later I looked in the fridge for my water. Not there. I asked Charlie if he knew where it was. Comedian that he is, he answered "Oh, I didn't put it away because I didn't want to stink up the whole fridge." hahahaha... He doesn't understand the curse of the gifted sniffer.
So I have realized something ... I still don't like fish.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My, How The Days Fly By .....


Hello !! It's been several days since I posted. Time flies by ... and posts do not fly onto the computer when you are AT HOME with dial up.
We did make the voyage to the big city on Saturday & had a lovely day. Got some things for the Hallowe'en Party and the Mermaid Party. Super !! All in all, a nice day !!
We stopped on the way home to make sure everything was a go with the Hallowe'en Party - had to consult with my "Co-Planner" Brandon. Yes, it was a go ... so let the prep begin !
The next day was a great day at home - puttering, reading, cooking, then a little trip out into the real world. Then BLISSFUL MONDAY !!! I stayed home again & it was awesome. I read, watched some great Hallowe'en party TV, organized my craft room, measured for shelves & racks, played with the kittens, typed up stuff, planned a few projects, and just plain revelled in being HOME. These photos show you what a day at home looks like ... can't you feel the BLISS ???
I am really loving all the people speaking out these days with the ABC campaign (Anyone But Conservative) ... Danny Williams of Nfld has led the charge, now David Suzuki is advocating the same type of voting, a group of musicians including Sarah Harmer & Ed from Bare Naked Ladies have done a song for it, and the list goes on & on ... I LOVE Canada and have always been soooo proud to be Canadian. But I am dismayed & sometimes embarrassed to say so these days ... Canada is not what it was. We are in a war , we are sacrificing soldiers in a battle that goes nowhere, we are not leading the charge to make the world a better place, and we are talking about environmental targets in 2050. Come on ! This is not the glorious red & white maple leaf forever Canada that I love. So I too am on the ABC bandwagon - always have been. If you know me, you know that I wear a pin of Stephen Harper with devil horns ... and THAT I AM proud of !!
Have a great day ... and give some thought to what kind of Canada you want to live in.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Week ... GONE IN A BLUR ... Weekend Approaching

Wow, where has the week gone ? I remember a shiny Tuesday when I stayed home ... and read ... but the rest is a blur. There was a fun party planning evening with some of the Mermaids ... there were several nights getting home from work at 9:30 PM... but where is the rest of it ? And where are the witty stories about what was done ??? Nowhere. Hmm.

Oh well ... the weekend is approaching. Some of my pals are off on a FAB weekend of paper/friend bliss and I am so thrilled for them. They will fill up their creative souls, I am sure.
I am SORT OF planning or hoping for a Saturday afternoon in Halifax. I am jonesing for a little wander through Carsand Mosher's aisles of loveliness .... don't need anything but when did that ever matter ?! And then a stroll through Michael's for Hallowe'en items. Never can have too many !! And Home Sense ( our adoption agency for GARGOYLES !) always has AWESOME stuff. And I need a cardigan because I feel WONDERFUL FALL CRISPNESS out there. Lovely.

oooh phone just rang ... warning call from my beloved ... "Do NOT go to the greencart"
me : "Maggots ?" Beloved : "Balls & balls of them. Thousands. DO NOT GO".
You know you're loved when you get THE WARNING. Thanks Hon !!

Back to my plans ... here's a secret plan for next week ... I am going to try to stay home AGAIN ... maybe 2 days !!! WAHOO !!! I am wondering where we (women) went wrong. "Oh, I want to work" and " I need to work outside the home to be fulfilled" Yeah ... fulfilled up to the exhaustion mark !! To make me feel whole & fulfilled , I need time at home doing things I love to do. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the store & my customers. And it is a job of my own creation - lots of people work at bad jobs & I've done that too - so I am grateful. But I am saying that it eats up 6 days of my week ... and last time I checked, there were only 7 . So that leaves very little .... So this winter it changes !! I will work harder & smarter when I am there and build in this time at home to satisfy my inner "creator" ... she's tired of being on permanent hiatus !!
Have a great MAGGOT FREE weekend !!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A day at HOME !!!

Yesterday I stayed home. I worked really hard on Monday and STAYED HOME TUESDAY !! That's big for me. I plan to do it more this winter. I really LOVE IT !!!
I got up at 8am and got showered & dressed - I hate to sleep in - to me that seems like I am wasting my precious time !! Then my wonderful stay-at-home day started. I did some householdy type things then made breakfast. I decided to read after breakfast. It was the first thing on my mental list of "Luxurious Stay-at-Home Stuff". I was reading "The Friday Night Knitting Club" and had been really enjoying it. I read ALL MORNING. Then I had lunch, called a pal, and decided I would read a bit more ... Then the book took a DRAMATIC I-NEVER-SAW-IT-COMING moment. I was hooked. I read on and on. I wept, I wailed, I threw my head back & sobbed .... oh my. Then I made dinner. The day was done. I had read all day !!! But, oh, it was delicious !!
The book, by the way, is really good. EMOTIONAL but good. I love stories about people ... and these are the kind of people I like. The characters are a group of women who hold each other up and make each other better. There are women who need help and women who are strong. And eventually those who are strong also realize they need help too. And the ones who need help become strong when needed . It was very much like real life & I loved those women , warts and all. It made me think of my lovely supportive circle of friends and the gratitude & love I have for them all.
Later that night, I watched Oprah which I rarely ever do. But I saw that it was about Christina Applegate & her breast cancer fight. I admire her very much. So I watched it and I saw Nancy Brinker (I believe) who started the Susan G Komen fund in honour of her sister. That is the organization that started the whole thing - the pink movement, the Walk/Run for the Cure, and the huge movement of women supporting women. More tears. (Weepy day !) But it was an honour to see the woman who I feel created a huge "sisterhood" of hope, love, and support. Amazing.
So , all in all, a GREAT day of reading, reflection, and utter gratitude. Here's to the women of the world !!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Okay ... 2 quick - but EXCITING - things ...

I know ... I was "Letting it (everything) Ride" ... but I have 2 exciting things to say ...

My NINJA POWER returned briefly last night. If you had driven by my house last night at 6:30pm you would have seen it !! I was balanced on a plank, up in the air, in pink pyjamas SMASHING GLASS out of a window with a PITCHFORK !!!! It was AWESOME !!
DESTRUCTOR LIVES !!!
( I think that would be my monster/superhero name - DESTRUCTOR!!)
So it was a surge of power ... more of a blip really ... but power none the less. It's coming !!
Then, this morning ... I had a tour of the inner workings of the POST OFFICE !! I LOVE ...let me say it again ... LOVE to go behind doors where people don't usually get to go ... it's been a thing with me ... maybe even a competitive thing ... for years. SO it was a GREAT WAY to start the day ... THANKS BRIAN & SPOONSTER !!!
Okay, I have a pretty good feeling that I will be back to FULL POWER by Monday. ROCK ON !!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

no ...power ... must get going ...



I think this is me ...

This picture was taken on Yonge Street in a salon window. I LOVED it !!

But that is how I feel this week ... lazy, tired, POOPED !! I want to lay on the back of a sofa in the window watching the world go by ...(wow ! that's a weird picture in my head now ...) We PLAYED HARD on our vacation putting in 13 or 14 hour solid days of walking, travelling, seeing, laughing . Then we came home , and thinking we were invincible super heroes, jumped back into the daily grind + extras like it was no problem. PROBLEM !!! I am at best a faded super hero ... I'm tired and , as my friend Phuong says, have no power. I had all kinds of plans of wonderful things I was going to do but my main activity after 10 or 11pm seems to be sleeping on the couch with my head at a weird angle ... ( by the way, the couch is not in a window ...) So I am taking a breather from plans this week and LETTING IT RIDE. My power will be back next week and I will be up to my ass in life again !! (I am still up to my ass but it is dragging so much that life could be a 1/2" puddle & I would be that deep !!)

Here's to NEXT WEEK'S POWER !!!! So near I can smell it !! WAHOO !!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

INGENIOUS !!!

These two lanterns are my favourites ... because they are so unique & sooo labour intensive.





The dragon lantern is made of tiny vials of coloured water that are assembled & then lit from inside. Tens of thousands of vials are needed to make the display.













The Porcelain Palace is made of porcelain spoons, bowls, cups, plates ... etc . This year they used more than 250,000 dishes. AMAZING !!

Hope you enjoy them !!!

Chinese Lantern Festival











This is one of my favourite things that we've done each time we've gone to Toronto. We have gone to the Chinese Lantern Festival for the last 3 years. It is an amazing display of HUGE traditional Chinese silk lanterns. There is a different theme each year. This year was famous buildings and animals of the world. The colours and detail are amazing. Chinese music plays and the lanterns stretch along treed paths & down to the edge of Lake Ontario. It is overwhelmingly beautiful. Here are a few pictures !!

Monday, September 22, 2008

THE GOOD ... THE BAD ... AND THE UGLY




THE GOOD : all the wonderful things we saw, the fabulous neighbourhoods we strolled, the great food, the FAB entertainment, the lovely people we met, the amazing weather, the AWESOME COOL stuff we bought ....


THE BAD ... AND THE UGLY : MY FEET !!! oh, my .... the first night I developed BIG blisters ... and then I continued to add to them everyday !! But I was there, there were things to see and MILES to be walked - so I did !! I went through 2 boxes of band aids, 3 pkgs of corn/blister cushions, 1/2 tube of Polysporin ... our bedtime routine involved peeling off all the band aids (which eventually looked like beige socks there were so many !!), breaking all the blisters, covering my feet with Polysporin, then putting on a pair of Charlie's socks. Repeat nightly !! I walked like a hobbly old soul the first half hour of the morning & last hour of the day. Cute, I'm sure !!


It was a great trip . The best part was having each other all to our selves - no other responsibilities or people to look after- just us. It was wonderful !!


But I am glad to be back home because life here is pretty darn sweet too !! I missed my cats, my friends, my family, my blogs, my pillows and my slippers. I am ready to jump into my next project here & get back into my daily routine !!


We have lots of Show & Tell ... and presents !!


I'm HAPPY to be back !!


Monday, September 15, 2008

whew ... Monday is Recovery Day !!

Wow ... good thing we didn't fly out this morning - I need a day to recover !! Busy busy - but wonderful & productive - weekend !! Friday night we had to pick up & deliver beautiful roasting chickens ... lovely !! Then errands, then a visit with my family, then it was 11pm and still no cake baked for the goat BBQ !! YIKES !!! So that cake became a jellied salad - genius !! that is so much easier !!! .... and I actually got to bed before 1:30 ! WAHOO !!!
Saturday was an insanely busy day at the store ... I was pooped by 1pm. "Energy - come find me !!" We decided to visit Charlie's stepmom & bring her a few chickens for the winter freezer. great step as she was also going to the goat BBQ but had terrible directions. So we took her with us ! Off we all went ... and what a party !!! There was a band (that I played with ...) , a huge tent FULL of food, roasted chickens-turkeys-roast beef-goat-hotdogs-hamburgers ..., horse rides, bonfire, anything anyone could want. It was amazing !! And , best of all, my sister in law was there whom I haven't seen for years ! It was just a wonderful evening !!
Then Sunday ... let the cleaning marathon begin !!! I finished up (pretty much) the wonderful craft/dining room, then we cleaned the house from top to bottom , stem to stern, and then did laundry. Oh my ... it was a an exhausting day ... the last laundry went into the dryer at 2am ... PLAIN TUCKERED OUT !!!! But it was a great weekend & we rocked that cleaning thing !! WAHOO!!!
Here's to a bit of a slower day ... and then LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN !!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

busy days ... busy nights... odds'n'sods



Last night was a "buck buck buck" busy night. We covered the valley gathering chickens so they could go off this morning to be ... I'd rather not say ! I say "we" but that is really the royal "we". I met the filled truck after the gathering. I really didn't want to see the birds - I like to see them as chicken from the grocery store, not beings. So I never even stole a peek....


Another task was to find a camera strap before we go away. Not too hard ... that's what I thought too !! But apparently impossible unless you want a tiny wrist strap. Even camera stores look at you like you're asking for the moon. Hmmm ... airport shopping it is, I guess !!


BUT ... the shopping was not a wasted venture. What I found completely made up for their lack of everything else !!! I am sooooo pumped about this baby !! I love him !! Skully we found your separated-at-birth twin ...

Anyway, a bunch of running around this weekend, a BBQ serving GOAT !!, a cake to bake for the goat BBQ, laundry, packing, finishing ( yes, still !!) finishing the wonderful room, cleaning the house, organizing cat supplies, giving the cats EXTRA love & affection to hold them over while we are away, picking up chicken in the form of MEAT, and probably 50 unexpected-roll-with-it things !! Fun as always!


Have a busy chick chicky day !!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

B&E ... Bead & Eat ... OR ... Back Up & Enjoy ...

Good morning !
Last night was Bead & Eat , the first of the season. And it was lots of fun. We beaded, we talked, we ate, we talked, we laughed, we talked ... It was wonderful to see everyone again - kind of like going back to school - and wonderful to have some new faces too.
But I say "Back Up & Enjoy" ... more & more I find myself, in the very moment, stopping to look around and marvel at the goodness of my life. I am truly living "The Good Life". When I am in a group of happy laughing people, I will stop and think how much I love these people and how to-the-core happy I am to have found them. I often look at Charlie & just marvel at how much I love him. I really feel that I have FOUND and MADE the very best life for me. And I say MADE because I really do think your life is what YOU make it. You build your life, you establish your outlook, you seek out people who make you happy & suit your personality. I'm not saying there aren't blips in the path, mistakes, people who don't fit, and poopy days. But you learn, you move on, and things all work out. And life is CRAZY GOOD !!!
Go out there and have a Crazy Good Day !!!
oh ... almost forgot... we saw a peacock (!) casually strolling along Shore Road this morning on the way to work. Go figure !

Monday, September 8, 2008

I am the NINJA , Koo Koo Ka Choo

I was a NINJA this weekend !! It was awesome !!
Let me back up a bit ... we were working on the wonderful room, repurposing some old shelving. I wanted the backs out as they were a bit water damaged & the wall colour would look so nice showing through. I suggested that we KICK them out because it would be really fun ! Charlie said the shelf would probably collapse ... always practical ! So we carefully took the back off. The next one he said "Maybe you should kick this one". HA !! HIIIIYYYAAAAAAAAAH! I gave it a mighty NINJA KICK and smashed off the middle board. WOWEE !!! Then another blow - this time the board didn't move - a bit of an "OW" for the ninja's toe... So another kick to the other side - again removing a board. I told Charlie to take a turn , no point in hogging all the fun ! He PUNCHED the back (never thought of that !!). I did too ... but I am not much of a puncher - it really hurt- so I went back to kicking !! What a great time !!
I am sure I was meant to be a NINJA ... but there are only 3 other Ninja style times in my life that I can remember. One involved a giant ceramic piggy bank , a fencing maul, and the "glass pit of doom". That was unbelievably awesome !!
The other involves a trip to the Construction Debris site with a friend (and much smashing of glass) while the other centres around bushels of tomatoes. Ahhh, the great memories !!
I have a NINJA SKILLS pin from Etsy that I used to wear but there was a bit of a really non-ninja style accident and I am not as fond of it. It fell in the toilet one day - after the toilet had been used but not before it was flushed. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO " was my comment - drawn out like in the slow motion shots in the movies. I was torn - I couldn't let the poor little ninja pin be flushed away with poop but I also could not PUT MY HAND IN !! What to do ??? Aha! A Ninja thinks on her feet. A nice little wine glass as a scoop, and a few swift Ninja moves & the pin was in the sink. Many Many Many sprays of Windex ... and the pin still lays there ... someday I'll forget about the little pin bobbing in the toilet ... but the memories are too fresh right now ...
Anyway have a KICK ASS NINJA DAY !!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Storm Warning ...

It seems there may be a bit of a storm. Hannah is on her way and she is bringing rain & wind. So loose things in the yard will be gathered this afternoon and cushions will be brought in. We have fresh batteries ... and NO PROCESSED MEAT !! So while there is nothing overly threatening about this storm it is a wonderful excuse to hunker down and stay home. I love being busy & out on the go. BUT... it seems that snow storms & quasi hurricanes are the perfect excuse to just cuddle down & nest. And we all need a bit of that. So I am looking forward to a weekend at home, puttering around, setting my new room to rights, doing all the little (or even huge after a while !) chores that don't always get done, reading, cooking, etc... So hope everyone is cozy & dry this weekend . Enjoy the down time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

okay ... today is not the day I hoped for ...

Today started with such promise ... then bad news. I got the news that a wonderful lady who has been a presence in my life since I was very young had died. Not unexpected but a time stopping moment none the less. She was a fun person, always ready to share a laugh, kind & caring, thoughtful, and just really great to know. Her whole family is very special. The most outstanding trait of the whole group is their crazy sense of humour. Always funny. I hope that they can snug together & get through this somehow. I am sure they can because they all love one another very much . But oh so difficult.
But I guess this just proves , as this type of thing does time & time again, that you need to live the life you want. Love people with all your heart. Tell them you love them. Do what you want. Share all you can. Don't save dreams & wishes for later - get them out now and act on them !! Don't waste time worrying about whether you should or shouldn't or what people will think ... just jump in and enjoy. Drink life up with a great big slurp and go back for more ... LIVE WITH ABANDON AND HAVE NO REGRETS !!!

Yesterday, Today ... Ain't Life Grand ?!

Yesterday was a FULL and BUSY day ... just like I like 'em !! Mammogram first thing in the morning. That always makes me happy because it seems so proactive - like insurance !!
Then I unpacked beads for hours & hours ... but all so pretty and interesting. Later in the day I had a lucky little meeting with "Chewie's Mom" so I got to catch up on the little orange cat and her perfectly happy new life. That was great !!
A few more pounds of beads and it was time to go for our gig ... yep, our band's gig !! We were all having dinner at the Pub and then staying for open mike. We set up a FAB percussion section at our table & played along with all that we could. I have to say it was the oddest assortment of music FOR A PUB that I have ever heard. there was operatic rock ballads ... somewhat church choirish ... and funeral parlour /keyboard tinkerings ... and microphone eating/sometimes terrifying/ very intense singing .. all okay in their own way in their own element ... but at a PUB ??? Thank goodness that pace picked up with a rousing Harper Valley PTA ... we could really jam with that !! Theresa is SOOOO on the bus !!
This morning started off with 2 bunnies & 18 young girl pheasants on the way to work. Happy sights !! Then a haircut - yay !! no more fro !!. And now to settle down to more beads - another HUGE box arrived yesterday. But it could be something like screws or lug nuts or Kleenex or panty liners or .... you get it - something NOT exciting ! So I will be in a happy bead place today and I know my customers will LOVE the stuff I have unpacked.
Have a sparkly day !!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Goals & Reality !

Just a quickie today ... I have come up with my goals for this new school year ...er...FALL. As you can see they are all attainable, don't you think ?! But today's goals are a bit more real and REALLY need to be attained !! Can you guess what I'm doing ? If you answered "BEADS" , you are correct !!! I didn't actually get everything cleaned up in August like my Pollyanna -self wanted so I have a bit ... okay, a LOT ... of carryover. And I bought BAGS & BAGS of beads as well as had a parcel of them arrive yesterday. I also expect a couple boxes today. So ... nose to the sparkly wheel !! But I have to admit, I never care if I get it done ... it will be there to deal with the next day too !!
And HOORAY - tonight it is off to the Pub with my buds for dinner & musical entertainment ... for ALL !! Have a singsong day !!!
P.S. I do want to find an odd talent that I could do on TV ... forgot to put that on my goals list.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Motorcycles, Peaches & Jewels ....


Ahhh ... what a great LONG weekend it was !! We went to the Wharf Rat Rally in Digby. I was in SKULL HEAVEN !!! There were so many beautiful skulls and rows & rows of glistening bikes . It was a beautiful day with so much to see and no hectic schedule ... we strolled, we enjoyed, we laughed ... it was wonderful. And we spent it with two of our favourite people so that was the icing AND cherry on the cupcake. We saw an awesome painter ... 5 minutes , a few cans of spray paint, and some cardboard ... all you need apparently !!We learned some great new expressions (!!!) and had some great laughs. We learned that dogs can be twins (?!), you are what you eat, and that sometimes little boys grow up and don't remember Spider Man. (okay, that one was a bit sad "Dude"...)

Sunday was a busy "get-er-done" day for errands and things . Then a call out of the blue that set up a trip to Annapolis the next day and the mother lode of bead purchases (YIKES !!). And a stop for lovely fragrant peaches , a visit with family, and then home.

Back to work today and that's fine ! I have tons to do and most of it is shiny so who could complain ?!! Gotta go ... have a great one my friends !!

Friday, August 29, 2008

DILEMMA - DONE !

The dilemma is over - I crunched the numbers, mulled the possibilities, took off the rose coloured glasses, and just thought "oh Poo!" . So I have made my choice and everything will stay the same. The iceburgs, walruses, and cruiseships have been genie-blinked away and there is once again smooth sailing ahead. AHOY !! And happy long weekend !!

Ohhh ... the difference a 2 minute call makes !

Yesterday I was toodling along, secure in the knowledge that everything was planned for our vacation . No problem. Then I answered the phone ........ Now this isn't a bad thing but there is no clear response & potentially TONS of phone calls and rearranging .......... The phone call was from the new salesman I recently met from my biggest bead supplier. There is a BIG jewelry fashion show from Czechslovakia (spelling - I know !!) the week AFTER we are in Toronto. I was aware of this - it was just a bit of not-so-great luck and I-wasn't-trying-to-plan-the-timing-well.. Oh well . C'est la vie. Anyway, Erwin called to see if I was coming. No, I explained, I was going to be in Toronto the week before. His response was "How can I keep you here for it ? " Well, I love Toronto but 5 more days by myself would be a bit much. I know I have commented on how funny I find myself & how entertaining I am ....(heehee) but I think I would run out of things to talk to myself about after a while . Or worse, come up with a WHOLE LOT MORE to talk to myself about !!! So it seemed like a simple response. Then he offered ENTICEMENTS !!! They are quite good - okay REALLY good. So now ...hmmm... what to do ? Rearrange our vacation - which means rebooking flights & hotels (ugh). Or do I stay & try to get someone else to meet me there - which means finding someone to work because I can't leave the store closed 2 weeks and more airline changes & arrangements. Or do I befriend someone on the street & just hang with them for a few days ? I am sure that the Ravioli Man that we saw a few visits ago would be up for it but ... I'm not sure .... Or do I just pass ?
So while it is a no-lose dilemma it is a dilemma .The horizon looked perfectly flat & clear and now there is a series of iceburgs, walruses, and cruise ships ahead - there is a path but it sure as heck isn't clear !! But the obstacles are pleasant & a path has to be chosen. I am off to mull it over for a few days !

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WAHOO !!! Its a CRaZy CaT WorLD !!!











Last night we put down the carpet in the NEW workroom/craft room. It was FREE - my favourite colour !! - because my parents had taken it out of their living room & we scavenged it. I LOVE FREE !! So, anyway, enough about my infrequent cheapness !!! We got it rolled out & the cats went insane !!! The room had become a GIANT CAT TOY ! They rolled, wiggled, squirmed, jumped, yahooed, sprang, danced, ran, ... you name it. It was amazing to watch ! Then we put the desk together ( which, I have to admit, we bought at Staples & got an awesome deal because it was a floor model ... and ooops, look its damaged... you'll take more off ... okay ... what if we disassemble it ourselves ... cheaper again ? Okay DEAL !!) Again, CAT-A-RAMA !!! They crawled all over the desk, in the cubbies, batted at anyone below, just plain CAT FROLICKED !!! This morning we came down & Emma was chasing her tail on the desk. After they went off to eat, I looked at it . It certainly had seen a night of great activity - it was COVERED in hair !!




I think we are all going to love this room !!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

BuZZZZZZ OFF !!!

The summer people across the street from us have a bug zapper. And it is on 24/7. For two months solid so far ... Our bedroom windows look out onto the beautiful bay of Fundy ... and the bug zapper. We have a fan in our window which now runs at night as white noise to block out the bug zapper. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for this fact - WE DON'T HAVE BUGS !!!! So most nights we go to bed hearing this BZZT ....BZZT .......................BZZT.....BZZT - condensation or the odd moth. But the reason I am even discussing this is because when we went to bed last night a little after midnight , it was POURING RAIN. POUNDING DOWN. TEEMING RAIN. So we heard BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
... now I don't mind noise ... I sleep with the radio or TV on .... I can sleep while people talk or snore ... BUT THAT NOISE ... I may lose my mind if it rains too many nights. I think he may be testing something for Guantanamo Bay Prison ... oh, yes, it will make you talk. you will tell anything if it means they will SHUT IT OFF !!! If I had any secrets I would run over right now & spill them !!
Made cupcakes last night - in the food processor !! That was cool & easy. They had vanilla bean seeds in them and the batter was sooooo good !! The baked cupcakes - not so much. Oh, well , next time I'll know not to waste the electricity & just make the batter !!!
Anyway, must get to BEADS ... the deadline looms ( and there are pounds & pounds to go ...) !! And I hope to have a visit from my band mate today. Tonight is carpet laying night & furniture assembly. So ... busy day & glad for it !
I'm off !!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Endings & Beginnings ...

This is the last week of August so I have WORK TO DO !!! I have GOALS this week and they can be summed up in 2 words ...FINISH and TIDY. I plan to tackle every part box and bag of beads in that scary room. I want all trays full, all hooks filled, all MIA beads ordered by weeks end. The fridge needs to be cleaned out, moldy bread ends greencarted, dishes washed, floors vacuumed, bathroom scrubbed (ugh!). This is the LAST WEEK OF AUGUST ... CHOP CHOP !!

Then comes FALL - Love it !! September is really my New Years. I have not gone to school for almost 25 years but every September is a new start with new goals, dreams and plans. September is the new sneakers, it is the fresh notebook, it is the sharp pencil, it is the spankin' new backpack, and it is a time of fresh new hope & promise. Next week I will have all my plans & goals for this year (and some of them are doozies .. may even include an Olympic medal ...) but for now I have an old year to finish up in style and a locker to clean out ...

Be sure to love your day !!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to reality ... but it is Crazy Good too !!

You know the post-vacation blues - when you've had so much fun & lived in a whole other dimension & frame of mind that it seems so hard to come back to reality ? Well, I never got that !! The Mermaids Gone Bad Club adventure was SPECTACULAR but coming home was just as sweet !! As we were coming home I didn't have that regret that you sometimes get ... I was reveling in the great fun & friendship and excited to tell Charlie all about it. I think you know that your life is pretty darn sweet when there is no Valley of BooHoo in between !!

So now, instead of shopping & touring, my day will be filled with beads, customers, cooking, a bit of laundry, and MAYBE cleaning up at home a bit ... or reading a magazine ! But again, the "everydayness" is so comfortable and blissful that it is great too ! So remember to look around and reflect on how great your "here & now" really is too !! I truly am lucky to have both !!

... a few of my favourite things ...