Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Craft Swap !!

For the last two years, a group of ten of us have had a craft swap for Christmas. You make nine of your craft ... you know, like a cookie swap. The gifts range from pickles & jellies to sewn items to cards to wall hangings, tree ornaments, organizers, birthday books, jewelry, candle holders, wrapping accessories ... you name it. Amazingly, every craft is completely different. And so beautiful ! The nicest thing is that each person really cares about what they make and wants so much for everyone to like it. It seems to really be what Christmas should be ... a gathering of friends sharing homemade heartfelt gifts. Perfect !!
The evening is fun ... we eat, we chat, we laugh, and then we take turns passing out our crafted gifts. And each one brings "oohs" and "aahs" and lots of questions about "how it's made". Because each person is a crafter there is such an appreciation for the work and techniques. It is an inspiring thing !!
This year we had the swap at the store ... I didn't want to decorate at home this year ! So I cleaned up the spare room at the store and set up the table. I needed a tablecloth because the table is 4'x8'... none of mine fit. I found one that fit ... perfectly ...a nice burgundy ... nice traditional burgundy ... perfect size. I carried it around the store for a long time ... something wasn't right ... nice traditional burgundy ... THAT WAS IT !!! All my decorations are bright aqua, lime green, orange, fuchsia, etc ... I just can't seem to get into a traditional scheme.It looks beautiful ... when other people do it ! So I found 2 raspberry coloured cloths that would cover the table and I felt right again ! Can't step away from the brights I guess !!
Here are the crafts I made ... Holiday Planners ...
and S'More Kits to make in the oven. Just a fun little add on !
This year we had mustard pickles and raspberry jam (can't wait to try those !), a lovely clear ball filled with snowy little branches and berries + cookies, an exquisite mini star book ornament, an amazing Stickled candle holder that took HOURS to Stickle & ornament & zipper pull, a wonderful Birthday organizer (oh I hope it helps me !!),a sweet fleecy little hand stitched vintage stocking, beautiful homemade bows and tags, and a fab card holder. See for yourself !! Isn't the variety amazing ?!
Photobucket ... this was probably the 8th group picture ... our "official photographer" Charlie took pictures with everyone's cameras ...
Anyway, it was a great night. Today I am happily admiring all the great gifts and munching on leftovers ... today I will live on dips and Christmas goodies ... and life will be good !

So ... it is just 10 days to Christmas ...we went shopping last weekend and did pretty well ... just a few more things to buy for my family .I have some caramel corn to make, seasoning mixes,some more S'more Kits, a few things like that ... but no big deal. Our house is a kitten disaster ... okay, people disaster too ... we share the blame too !! But I am not decorating so we are just rolling with it ... who cares ?! So now everything seems easy for the holidays ... just delivering some gifts, making a few homemade treats, eating with family, visiting, seeing our newly engaged niece freshly home from Norway, all fun and relaxing. Christmas is really - for many of us - just 2 days so why do a month's prep for it ?? Relax ... chill out ... decide what's important ... and HAVE FUN !!!
Have a great week !!!
Here's a little update photo of Dillee ... why did we worry about how she would make out with the other cats ?? Really ... how will THEY make out ??

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

YawN ...yAwn ....yAWn ....

Nope, not bored. Not hardly ! T-I-R-E-D. TIRED. Pooped. Exhausted. Tuckered out. No steam. I think you get it.
I have been doing the proverbial "burning the candle at both ends" but I think I may also be torching the middle too... phew. We are always on our way somewhere (a good thing)or in the midst of something ( a good thing) . Add to that our stores are really busy (a good thing), there is a ton of stuff to unpack (good thing again), samples to be made(another GT), and renovations underway here at the store ( a good thing eventually ...) . Add to that a new kitten (an AWESOME thing) and Christmas coming ... YIKES !!! So its all for good happy reasons. But here's the real kicker ... I wake up in the middle of the night and start planning things and CANNOT GO BACK TO SLEEP ... too busy in my head !! So that isn't really helping although I have come up with several plans, projects, etc... Last night it was a window that SQUEEEEEEKED, squeeked, sQuEEEEked in the wind that sent me down to the couch at 4 am after several hours of "head planning & baking".
But I have come up with a few good ideas ... let me share !
1. my Christmas gift list ( that I was naive enough to believe I could get on Sunday ... one day ... nope, didn't happen)
2. my craft for the Craft Swap ... only problem is I've spent several OTHER nights replanning this so now I have too many options. I need a NARROWING DOWN night !
3. cats & kittens. And puppies and dogs. And who takes care of them when no one does? After looking after our summer cat family and finally finding them all homes, I began to think a lot about CAPS (Companion Animal Protection Society) and what a huge amount of work they have and what they are able to do. And what it must cost. And how on earth do they do it ? And how can I help ? So I have come up with A PLAN !!! here it is ... "THE COOKIE THAT CARES". I'm not sure how to raise money. I hate to ask people for money .. I think they should get something for their money. AND I love to bake but don't need to eat that much of it ... (see #9). So I decided that , once a month, I would bake BIG FAT CHEWY COOKIES or YUMMY SWEET CUPCAKES, package them up nicely, and sell them for a toonie each at the store. All proceeds would go to CAPS or a posted charity . The treats will be different each month but hopefully they will be a happy treat for those that want them. That way I can bake ( love it), feed people (love that too!), and help animals (LOVE THAT!!). So watch the blog for the first date ... hope it works !! Let me know what you think ...
4. the renovations to the store - all planned & prepared for. Perfect.
5. renovations to my laundry room for spring.
6. kitten & cat plans. Moving litter boxes, new beds, etc...
7. baked & cooked Christmas gifts ... and I even had time to plan the packaging ...
8. my decision to NOT decorate at home for Christmas ... this may actually GIVE me sleep !! YAY!! Last year was the first year in 20 that we decorated. It was lovely. But the cats lost their window seat and sleeping bench. They were not allowed to climb the trees. It stayed decorated until February. The boxes then stayed in the living room & laundry room until early summer. Not worth it ! So I am FREEING myself from that this year. A little tree (maybe) at the store ... c'est tout !
9. a better eating plan ... again. Back on the wagon !
10. my menu for the Craft Swap ... perhaps in direct conflict with #9 ...

So, you see, the time was well spent ...

Here are a few odds'n'ends that I am loving these days ...
Pioneer Woman's Cookbook ... except for the SNAKE on page 148. Now neatly covered up by Charlie ... (Blurry picture ... sorry ... I was too lazy to take another one ...)
(Why on earth would you want THAT in a cookbook ???!!)

All this FAB stuff from October Afternoon.
My box that arrived from Paper Trey Ink ... love their stuff !! Can't wait to try it all !!!

The dinner I made 2 nights ago ... homemade buttermilk waffles with raspberries & blueberries on top, drizzled with cloudberry syrup and a side of turkey sausage. I am NUTS about turkey sausage ... I don't even usually like sausage very much but the turkey ... yum ! (Maybe that dinner will make up for the soup & bread I made last night ... CANNED soup ...)

Hester ... who will soon go into storage ...sigh ...
Doesn't she look snazzy though with her skull hood ornament? BLING IT ON !!!

And of course all the funny cats that share our house and our sweet new Dillee !!
Have a great week !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

introducing ... DiLLee !!!

This is Dillee ! She's the newest addition to our family ... and I love her !
She is one of the kittens that was living under our step. Last week , Mama Kitty went to a great home (where on Day 2 she slept snuggled up in bed with her new person ...) and we started catching kittens. We caught Spike and B2 the first night and delivered them to my brother-in-law's barn. Then the next night we could only catch one - B1. We debated whether that was a good idea or not but finally decided that we might not be able to catch 2 at a time again. So we caught B1 and delivered him to the barn. Only "Mask" remained.
Now "Mask" was tiny ... about half the size of the other kittens . And "he" was all alone. Several days went by with no luck and we felt worse every day. He was eating the food we left out but was too small to set off the big box trap. So we moved to a chipmunk trap ... still no luck. He was terrified. We stayed up all one night , taking turns watching the trap, ready to pull the string. Still no "Mask". We decided, grudgingly, to leave the trap set all day. It would be better to be in the box, which we covered with a blanket, all day than to be hit by a car on the road. But we hated the idea of him being trapped all day. If we didn't get him that day we were going to stop setting the trap for a few days to regain his trust ... what little he had for us.
When we came home from work that night, the trap was sprung and a VERY ANGRY kitten was inside. We transferred a hissing, spitting, clawing little ball of fur to a carrier and took him in the house. He hated us. We were going to take him to the barn the next day ... but the more we looked at him, we couldn't. He was soooo small. He was sooo scared. He was the last kitten of our wonderful summer kitten family. We convinced ourselves that we would find him a home and then made the appointment for tests and needles...
So ... "Mask" is a GIRL !! And she is a purring, loving, playing sweetie. And she is ours. We stopped looking for a good home for her ... we already knew of one ! Anyway, she has the craziest hair you have ever seen ... like a guinea pig's ! She was the star of show at the Vets, having her picture taken, modelling a fab mohawk, munching treats ... quite happy. But she needed a new name, a girl name, a name that showed she belonged. Our Vet said "Phyllis Diller" because of her insane hair. Now Phyllis is a big name for a little kitten and hard to make into more names. But Diller ... hmmm ... Dilleee ... as in Silly Dillee, as in Dilly Bar, as in "She's a dilly", as in Baby Dill. Now that's a name ! So Dillee she is !
She will be making appearances daily at the Bead Store until we are sure the big cats at home won't beat her up ... so come on in and meet her !!

oh yeah ... a whole bunch of other stuff happened... a dead computer, a new hard drive, lost files & accounts, cloned information, a cancelled trip the the city ... BUT WHO CARES ???!!! We have Dillee !!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

You CAN judge a gal by her UNDERwear ...

Hmmm ... I went looking for turtlenecks and cardigans last week ... not that I need them today with this *spring* weather !! But , anyway, they no longer exist in the form I know them. Turtlenecks are made for the lawn chair weaving, Florida going, bowling crowd. (Hope I haven't offended anyone ...) . I am NOT wearing a turtleneck with little smiling mice on it ... or butterflies ... or any other creature. Has anyone heard of BLACK ? Or RED ? Or anything plain that doesn't have a doodad on it ? And cardigans ... they are made to wear in a climate controlled office over a teddy or a fake something ... not to be warm & cozy. So I gave up ... and I bought underwear instead.
So I came to the counter with my choices. The clerk looked them over, looked at me, and said "That is an interesting assortment of colours." Well ... yes it is. And that's why I chose them.
(A bit odd though that she would comment ...) Black & mauve stripes, red & white polka dots, blue & white squiggles. I figure that if I am in an accident someone will laugh and say "Oh. She wasn't boring. She must have been a fun gal !!" So there !!
So live it up ... buy some crazy underwear !!
... if only I could find skull underwear to match the hearse ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Guess who's at work with me today ?
MAMA KITTY. Yep, today is the day she is going to a HOME and a new FAMILY. She is laying by my feet right now, quite well adjusted to being inside. She is so sweet and loving - she really needs her own people. So one of Charlie's customers has a cat-loving friend who is going to take her. HOORAY !!
Now ... tonight will be "kitten trapping night". I am sure it will end up with Charlie scratched & bit to pieces, screeching kittens, and me bawling ... But it is all so they too can go to a home and be inside during the winter. My brother-in-law is going to take them as barn kittens so they can all go together. And that is good. We never were able to get them really tame so it should be an adventure ...
Do you know that we go to the grocery store every 2 days to buy catfood ? We feed 3 to 4 cans outside each morning and night (6-8 there) and then 3 or 4 inside. So we buy a couple flats of catfood every other day ... that's in addition to the dry food and treats ... sheesh... that could be why we never went on a vacation this year ... !!! But we have enjoyed them so much & it will be really sad to see them go.
But I am sure that there will be more ... it seems we are on some sort of "Kitty Underground Railway" ... "Yeah, just stop at the house with the gargoyles. They'll feed you and build you houses, or maybe, even take you into the BigHouse." Yeah that's us ... SUCKERS !!

So, in the words of creepy old Bob Barker ... "Remember to spay and neuter your pets." He has a point there !!!
And that is DORIAN, the Grey Squirrel that lives at the Feed Store ... cute huh?!
UPDATE !!! The lady just came to get Mama Kitty ... and she was really nice ! Mama Kitty got frightened and hid but came out when the lady got down and talked to her. She will be an INDOOR cat now and live with 2 rescued dogs and some macaws. I feel so happy ... Mama Kitty is going to a really nice home !!
And she is now "Cleo". sigh. A happy ending.

Monday, November 9, 2009

NUTS about cOCoNuT !!!

Do you ever get thinking about something ...something seemingly insignificant ... and then you think of all the ways you love it ? No? Oh, well ... I do . And this weekend, that thing was coconut.

Coconut ... I love it . Fresh, shredded, toasted, in chocolate ... YUMMO ! I love making coconut macaroons, morning glory cookies with coconut, coconut cupcakes, coconut dipped chicken fingers, and coconut cream pie. That's what started me on this chain of thought ... I was asked to make 2 coconut cream pies for a community supper. I make pretty good coconut cream pie (although the last time I made them for a friend's birthday, they didn't set properly ... ERGH ... but I did rush home after work and I fully believe that CC cannot be rushed. ) Coconut cream has to cook slowly in a heavy pot, stirred slowly and lovingly ( with coconut thoughts ...) , and the pot must be thoroughly LICKED afterwards !!! Anyway, I made these pies, had HIGH meringue which makes me smile inside , and delivered them to oohs and aahs. Then I had to make a keeper. You know how that is ... you bake for something and the sink is piled with sticky ( but licked !!) dishes , the air smells wonderful, but the counter is bare. Just not right. So I came home & made another pie for us. But this one was just topped with whipped cream & toasted coconut . ( mmm Toasted coconut ... isn't that a crunchy sugary sprinkle of heaven ?...)
That's the pie ... not looking too pretty as it is jammed in a lunch container but it will look mighty good at noon on a sleepy Monday !!

But ... more reasons to love coconut ... it is in all those yummy rum drinks . Isn't that really reason enough ??? Makes me wish I had a little umbrella drink right now ... Is it okay to drink at work if it is your own business and you have a little umbrella in the glass ... ??? Not like I would be swigging out of a bottle ... hmmm...

And then there is the yummy coconut milk. We were lucky enough to buy fresh coconuts in China Town in Toronto, have the tops MACHETED off, and a straw stuck in it. We strolled Spadina drinking the sweet coconut water and feeling pretty blissful. Life ( and our drink) was sweet !!
And last but not least , all those awesome COCONUT HEADS !!! Yes, we collect them and LOVE them !! They are all over the house. And they make you smile. So after you drink the brains and eat the flesh, you can carve the head !!! A ZOMBIE'S DREAM COME TRUE !!
Who wouldn't love that face ??? !! (YIKES !! Is that dust ??? I think I may have to clean those little babies up tonight ... In my defence, they are up high ...)
Anyway, have COCONUTTY DAY !!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Latest Project ...

You know, the 30 Day Crafting Challenge really worked ! I now try to work on something almost everyday. And I am really enjoying it. So ... I have decided to clean a little bit everyday ... for 30 days ... (and by then I may have found the couch) ... YEAH RIGHT. Kidding !! That would be like doing hard time. No way !! I'll continue to craft !

Here's my latest project !


Now I'm waitng for more of the Advent Boxes to come in so I can make one that isn't Christmas ... maybe to hold brads & other little bits.

I am also going to make some more of these
and these !
Maybe even this weekend !!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ooooo ... a new house for me ???

When you are a cat, everything is a potential new house ....
Even a Tassimo box ... ( more about THE AMAZING TASSIMO later !!)
"Who's out there ?!"
"Love the sun roof ..."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en !!



Friday, October 30, 2009

Odds'n'Ends ... where have I been ???

A hard frost this morning ... even some frost in PG which is really strange for us. Winter is coming !! Fine with me except for ... SOCKS !! My feet feel like they are being smothered ... so I will hold out until it snows ...
PUMPKIN PARTY ... we had our annual Pumpkin Carving party last weekend. There were about 40 people there ... we have moved it to the local hall because our house cannot contain all the carvers anymore. People showed up with great potluck dishes, pumpkins, and plans for those pumpkins !! The carvings were great and they looked fabulous all lit up. We ate, we gutted, we carved, we ate some more, we voted, medals were awarded, and challenges were offered up for next year !!
Our beautiful cake by Sara Bates ...
Deedee's UGLY GRANDCHILD ... hope you do better Ryan !! But a crowd pleaser as you can see by the medals ...
Photobucket VS Photobucket
The TRASH TALK was (and I quote ... sort of ...) ... "You're not winning Best Use of Power Tools for the fourth year in a row, Inkpen ... I'll BE BACK !!"
I have been working on my 30 Day Challenge ... still going ! I haven't missed a day yet ... it's been hard some nights but I am on it !!

Tomorrow is Hallowe'en so we have added a back seat to the car and will be gathering up our usual Trick-or-Treaters ... but this year they will ride in style !!

P.S. A little shout out to Abby ... hope your treatments are going well and helping ! The Thursday Morning Laughers have missed you and asked about you !

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I listed items late yesterday on ETSY ... and I have already sold 2 !!!
HappY DanCe !!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A few fun projects !

The time has been flying by and I have been happily puttering away in my craft room ... the 31 Day Challenge has been great for me. Many nights I haven't REALLY been keen on making anything but I have dragged myself to the table (usually after 10pm !!) and started something. And it's BEEN GREAT !!! (My baking frequency has suffered a bit but we can probably stand that !!) I love the time I spend creating and it seems like I have given myself a great gift. I have decided that when the month is over I am starting on a YEAR LONG CHALLENGE. Yep, a year. My challenge will be to create 5 days a week and keep a diary of it. I have really enjoyed the time and the process so much that I want to keep going. And, it is a bit of a habit now !
Here are some of the projects from the last few days. They are samples for the store as well as items that I will be selling in the store and in my ETSY shop. My next ETSY items will be jewelry...
Hope you enjoy the pictures and are inspired to make something yourself.
Have a great week !!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I am giving "THANKS !" for the fab weekend we had ... it was awesome !!

It had been a very busy week with lots of bus-i-ness at work and home so we were ready for a lovely weekend ... and that is just what we had !!

We went to the Pumpkin Regatta and Parade on Sunday. That is sooo fun. Windsor does an amazing job, lots of street booths and activity. The parade of pumpkins was great and the race was , as always, exciting and funny. We strolled the waterfront, ate fries and hot dogs, sampled the chili for the chili cook-off, bought cookies, and then cheered on the LOCAL paddler, Will Neily, who won !!! He has a greenhouse business in Paradise & always grew HUGE pumpkins as a kid.This time he paddled one of his home-grown creations right into first place !!


(Will at the finish line - too pooped to stand !!)

Here is one of the pumpkins ... they go to such lengths to decorate them - too bad they all become compost at the end !! ( ... if not FOOD FOR THE FISHES !!!!)

Here is the cookie booth that we visit every year...
... the cookies are really good but I really don't care... it's her fabulous decorations that I can't resist !! This year Charlie had the spider web & I went for the pirate. Her cookies are beautiful, her packaging lovely, and her booth just perfectly pretty. I look forward to seeing it every year. My only regret with her cookies is that Martha Stewart didn't get there to see them a few years ago ... I'm sure she would have been a guest on the show !! www.fancyschmancy.ca Check her out !!

We had lots of great comments about the car. Scott Brison even wanted to buy it !! We promised we would let him know if we ever decided to sell !!

On the way home we stopped for a few errands and gelato. Gelato Girl encouraged us to come up Tuesday for the final day ... so we are off tonight after work ! She shared her love of crystal jewelry so her tip this time will be a pair of crystal earrings ( which I better get made !! ) instead of the change from our bill . Should be a fun after work tour.
Gelato Girl put her earrings on right away !! That was nice !!

Monday was a great day ... kitten watching, driving around !, crafting like crazy, visiting, turkey dinner at my parents, looking at old slides, more kitten watching ... Does it get any better ??
I also worked on some Hallowe'en treat bags and a kit for the bags to sell at the store and in my ETSY store !!

Visit either spot to find out about them. The links are in the sidebar.
AND you can also see how the 31 day challenge is going on the store blog. I think I'm doing okay !
So tonight we are off to have our last gelato for the season, deliver the earrings, do a few errands, get some welding supplies, and then home to watch the FLURRIES that are forecast. I know it's early, but OH MY I feel that excited burble in my stomach that says FIRST SNOW !!! WAAAAAHOOOOOOOOO !!!

Have a great day !!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Hair ... new me !!

HO HUM ... that's been my hair lately. Tired looking and ... well...GULP...OLD. Yeah, really that's it - old. I have a lot of grey and I really like to celebrate grey. Grey shows that you live life and aren't afraid to show it. But my grey isn't in spots. It is fine thin hairs throughout my hair. So it really made my hair seem so faded . I didn't want to colour my hair. ( I hate seeing someone who is definitely past 40ish and they have DARK DARK DARK SOLID COLOUR hair ??Not natural !) SO I decided to get highlights. It's been years ! Charlie used to do them for me when we were first married ... crochet hook & skin scrapings. It just got too painful !! I only ever once had them done by a hairdresser - back in University days - and they were bright red at the front down to dark purple at the back ... what can I say? It was the 80s and I had a whole punk thing going on ...(loved Carole Pope!!) Anyway, had them done this a.m and I am NEW AGAIN !!! New hair, new me, new energy !!! Love it !!
Last night I did my challenge ... and it WAS a challenge !! I was REALLY busy but I am SUPER STUBBORN so I did it !! I covered a take-out box for Hallowe'en. Now it needs to be embellished.
I also grocery shopped, did laundry, made hot pepper jelly, cooked a pork stew for tonight, did dishes, did some party reservations & planning, ... and THEN did my challenge. SO I was pretty pleased with it all. I was planning to make a batch of almond oatmeal for my breakfasts this week but I had to scratch it - too pooped !! But tonight, with my new hair and supper already cooked ... WATCH OUT !!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Things Lost, Things Found, Things Given Up On ...

Another great weekend. Weather wise , it was 50% great. (Sunday was miserable but that didn't really matter too much.)We, of course, drove around most of the weekend. We need to get lots of "Hester Time" in because she will go into storage after Hallowe'en. Anyway, we went to Kentville on Saturday & visited our favourite Gelato Girl. (a scoop of pumpkin & a scoop of coconut for me, Charlie had his usual "dirt"). Anyway, she has been a bit freaked about the car, so we took the finished product to show her . More freaked. She thought we were going to chop it or something. "Oh MY GOD, It's a REAL hearse !!! " was her reaction. Then she asked a very serious question. "Do you guys have kids ?" She seemed relieved by our answer of "no"... Hmmm?
Anyway, had a nice visit, yummy gelato, a little inside scoop on next weekend, and a promised visit to the bead shop. Great !
Then we LOST&FOUND some things ... great things. FOUND a coffin key under the seat of the car - didn't know we had one. LOST Charlie's keys to the cruiser. FOUND some people following us all the way from Kingston Superstore to Middleton so they could see the car. (funny !!) FOUND Charlie's car keys for the Cruiser. Phew, relief !
Worried that we hadn't seen ANY kittens for a few days. FOUND them ALL + Momma in the apple crate house we made them on Sunday morning. HOORAY !!!
And the LOST (and actually NOT FOUND) trend continued the next day. We headed out for a cat show in Dartmouth and a bit of shopping. We spent 1 and a half hours looking and asked directions of not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5 people for the Dartmouth Sportsplex and NEVER FOUND IT !!! They all directed us to the wrong bridge. But upside ... we got to cross the bridge MANY times !! After that 90 minutes passed we passed too. We went for lunch and went shopping.
We made a few new friends with the car. A lady stopped me at the coffee counter at the Big Stop and asked if she could come & look in. OF COURSE !!! It is great to see the inside of a hearse up close & personal and then TALK ABOUT IT !!! Usually there's no talking after that experience... And then we had a big thumbs-up-freaky dance from a homeless/panhandler guy in the city. After the dance and some REALLY enthusiastic-not-for-blogs words, he threw his asking-for-money sign down and came over to frantically rap on the window.We rolled it down and got this question "What is the freakiest shit that has ever happened to you in this car?" "Uhhhh ... this??" No, we didn't say that. (But it probably was!) Too funny !
Anyway, came home late both nights but DID do my crafting challenge. Now, understand, I didn't make a quilt or a whole scrapbook, but I did glue, sand, stamp, and punch a bit. Every little bit counts !
Tonight will be the night to make hot pepper jelly so I'm not sure what I'll get done. And then later this week I plan to make & can applesauce. Creating/crafting will be in a squeeze for time but ... Fancy labels maybe ?

Friday, October 2, 2009


This was a bad month to pick for the CREATIVE CHALLENGE ... all we want to do now is DRIVE !!! But I'll do it !
DAY 1 of 31 : finished up 2 bracelets & gathered materials for another.
On to DAY 2 ...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another quick update - two days in a row !!!

Charlie the Cat Whisperer has been taming the momma cat and is now able to touch her head when she eats. Last night he patted her while he fed her. But that's not actually the news.
Our neighbour called out that she had one of the kittens in her house. She heard crying & found it on the beach wedged in the rocks. The sweet thing would probably have drowned if she hadn't found it. So she asked if we wanted to come see it. Charlie went over while I fed Momma AND TOUCHED HER TOO !! Then I went over. Well, it was Baby Mask !! Trotting around as if he owned the house ! She said the mother had brought him over and he must have fallen. Seemed strange that Momma would take only him away but there he was. We played with him & chatted, promised to try to find a home for him and came home. But she said she had him for the last 3 days ... we were sure we had seen Mask in that time. After we got home we peeked out the window with the flashlight ... Spike, B1, B2, and ... MASK. MASK ??? Yep. Mask. She had a smaller IDENTICAL , perhaps 1 month younger version of Mask ! There are 2 batches of kittens ... obviously with the same Baby Daddy !
Welcome to the future stray cat capital of Nova Scotia !!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FALL ... GLORIOUS FALL !! ... and a CHALLENGE for you !

I love FALL ... my absolute favourite season. And October is my A-1, Hands Down, Top of the Heap favourite month. I love Thanksgiving because it is so wonderfully "harvesty" with amazingly good food (much of it LOCAL) and no expectations of gifts or extreme decorating, just gathering and eating. What could be better ? It is also my birthday month and I LOVE my birthday ! I am happy to get older ... the alternative is riding in the OTHER PART of my hearse ... not so good ! and every year is more fun & exciting. So I am thrilled to celebrate my birthday and always try to draw it out to at least a week long festival ... childish & self-centered, I know, but I still do it ! And then there is our annual Pumpkin Carving Party. Love that ! And the Pumpkin Regatta in Windsor, the Pumpkin People in Kentville, beautiful flaming leaves, crisp nights, sunny days. And, then, the holiday of all holidays HALLOWE'EN !! It is simply the best !!
Fall also brings out the COMFORT FACTOR. Fires in the woodstove, blankets for TV watching, sweaters, flannel PJs, soups & stews, baking, comfort food. I have been in the comfort cooking zone this last week. Chicken, leek, and rice soup ( leeks from my garden !!) ... chili ... buttermilk cheese biscuits ... cabbage rolls ... butterscotch pie ( and no pudding mix either !). My next plan is Hot Pepper Jelly and then cooked pumpkin for the freezer.

But one thing is missing ... time spent sitting at my work table MAKING THINGS . SO I have decided to challenge myself to MAKE SOMETHING EVERYDAY for the month of October. Something... anything ... JUST MAKE IT !! It may be just a tag one day, or a card, or part of a bracelet, but it will be time spent creating & crafting. And it will be creating a time-use pattern that will hopefully stick for the whole winter. The rewards will be great !! I will post photos as PROOF !! (Hmm ...But what's to say that I don't madly run around the house taking photos of stuff I made 5 years ago ... KIDDING !!! I am not going to CHEAT ON MYSELF !!) But here's where you come in ...
Why not join me ? Try to make something everyday for the whole month of October. Work on a scrapbook page, stamp a few cards, string a few beads, knit a few rows, whatever ! Add a comment to say that you are in then update us throughout the month with what you are doing. I'll try to get photos from some of you to add to the blog. It will be a rewarding INSPIRING thing for all of us !!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


It is an absolutely positively GLORIOUS day ! Sun & lovely fresh air. We are off this aft to meet with the FLAME PAINTER and see her sketches ... I am getting excited again !! Then ... who knows - the world is our oyster !
Here are a few great things that I am loving today !
1. Fall . It can't be beat. Crisp days, sunshine, cool nights, apples, flamelike leaves ... PERFECTION !!
2. Blankets again at night. Oh, it is so nice to snuggle under a pile of fuzzy blankets instead of a skimpy sheet. MMMmmmmm.
3. Vicki's Fish & Chips. We went last night for the first time - oh, my. The special was a 3 pc fish and chips for $9.99. The 3 pieces were HUGE !! ( one came home for Mama Kitty & her babies) And the batter was excellent - thin & crispy. It was perhaps THE freshest, most white fish I have ever had - and I am fish-picky. Excellent !
4. Crispy juicy apples... and all they could become ... caramel apples I am thinking !
5. Pink Paislee "Amber Road" paper... oh so beautiful !
6. My new stamps from Close to my Heart. Lovely !
7. A whole wide open sunny afternoon ... ready for adventure !
Have a super weekend !!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fingers crossed ...

Phew ... finally some progress on the hearse front ... it was re-delivered to the painter last night who decided he wanted to make it right. And we have another artist lined up to do the flames. So now as we approach week #8 we may finally have the car we hoped. I'm nervous because there has been so much disappointment but hoping REALLY HARD that it will be great !
We have wasted the last 8 weeks, cancelled a parade, a party, our vacation, and a few other events ... so here's hoping that week #8 will be the lucky charm !!

And the kittens ... oh, they are so cute ! Last night we came home after dark. As we turned into the driveway, we saw a little furry tumble of bodies playing in the woodpile. They quickly hid amongst the logs but snuck out a few minutes to eat the food we put out. This morning their house got a little reno - a bigger door and a wee roof. Hopefully they'll snuggle in there out of the rain.

Friday Update ... this morning I started my day off with the most wonderful sight ... 4 little dry fluffy kittens tumbling out off their Kitten House. HOORAY !!!

Made a few fun projects this week ... seems like work and car obsession are taking up too much time ... but I did find a few free hours. Hope to keep at it.
I think we are off this weekend to a cat show. Never been before but have always wanted to. Should be fun !!

Monday, September 21, 2009

a-MAZE-ing !!!

This weekend we took two friends of ours to the Evans Family Corn Maze ... and it was amazing !! SOoooooo fun !!
We spent about an hour and a half in the maze collecting our stamps. We collected the same stamps several times ... but eventually we found all six and were then able to find our way out !! It was great fun running down the paths, finding the stamp mailboxes, coming up dead ends, and crossing paths with all the other "mazers". We then had a wagon ride around the farm, did the little hay bale maze, and played in the "cornbox". It was a great way to spend the day !!
In the words of my maze partner Brandon "This was the funnest day ever !!". What more can you say ?
It was a great weekend all round ... We did some of our favourite things & fully enjoyed ourselves. That's what life is all about isn't it ?!
Here are a few things we did ...
* went to Jonny's in Berwick for a Sweet Maria Burger. This takes a hamburger to new heights ... grilled pineapple, local bacon, homemade mayo, and thai chile sauce. MMMM yum.
(oh, and maybe a side of the crispiest yummiest sweet potato fries ever ...)
* found some great new Somerset Magazines. They truly are my crack !! I love them. Drool over them ...
* visited all the farm markets checking out the produce and getting a huge bag of apples. A fall ritual !
* built a kitten house for the little family outside.
Our cat Vernie had to try it out first !!
In human life we say life is sometimes a pressure cooker ... I guess in the cat world it is a Turkey Cooker !!

* harvesting my garden . I picked beets, early turnips, broad beans, celery, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, radish, leeks, red onions, and red cabbage. Not bad !!
* just relished the sunshine, our wonderful friends, our sweet funny snuggly cats, the funny little kitten family, the beautiful Annapolis Valley, and life in general. How sweet it is !!
Well, I just received a BIG box of the best looking paper, stamps, bling, etc... to unpack so I gotta go !! Have a great week !!
P.S. Merrilee ... here is a picture for you ... this is Baby Batman ... a bit blurry but they aren't yet the posers our house cats are !!

Friday, September 18, 2009

hmmmmm ... don't want to complain, moan, groan, and kvetch ...

At least we have those sweet little kittens to watch.
There ... that's my effort to follow the old adage "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything ..."
Yep, those kittens are great.
Seriously though, the kittens seem to be doing well but for some reason they have started sleeping in the thicket instead of under the house - even last night in the wind & rain. So this weekend we will build a "kitten house" of some sort to give them a cozy spot out of the wind.
And the car ... well .... Paint Shop #2 thinks that it may be another 4 weeks before the paint can be sanded off because it is too fresh. Everyday a new twist ... sigh
Oh well, we try to remember this :
1. Those kittens are sweet.
2. Our dream car will eventually be.
3. Someday this will be part of the funny story we tell about the car. Someday. Any day now.
Ha. Ha.
Oh ... I tried my Bread & Butter Pickles last night ( you are supposed to give them a few weeks to mature) They were AWESOME !!! Crispy, sweet, tangy ... oh my, they were scrumptious !! I will get some more cucumbers this weekend & make more .

What's on for the weekend ? Not sure.
Maybe pickles. Maybe a corn maze trip with our kid friends. But I'm sure it will be fun whatever we do.
Have a great weekend !!

Monday, September 14, 2009

WHAT A WEEK !!! But a wonderful happy spot at the end ...

Okay ... this week was a bugger . Ill briefly tell you why but then I want to get on to the good ... because that's how it has to be. And also because the pity party is over ( it was from 3am to 5am Saturday morning . You missed it. ) And we all like happy endings ... or at least a happy turn in the path ...
* some of it was this crazy longweekend effect that happens. It always seems that a week that starts with a holiday ends up being longer, crazier, and just plain weirder than most. A lot of people tell me that they too find it makes the week seem extra long. Maybe we just get out of our grooves...
* we had several appointments that meant we had to be in the Kentville area by 7 or 8am so that meant early mornings - some even meant being up bt 5:30 ...UGH - and RUSHING to get back for work.
* I picked up my new glasses. Don't like them. Too heavy, too big, too boring. Too expensive to change. Enough said.
* Had to take those very glasses back because of a flaw. But they were able to fix them. I think I was secretly hoping that it was a FATAL FLAW and they would say"Oh, you can never wear these again. Go pick another frame!!" But alas, not to be.
* We got our 25 lovely chickens for the freezer for this winter. I cut some up but it was hard work and I decided after 5 that I had mangled enough chickens & I would start putting them in the freezer here at the store. Opened the lid ... AHHHH WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT SMELL ????? oh my. I slammed the lid down. Then opened it again to discover that the freezer had stopped working and was thawed... and not smelling its freshest. oh boy. I scurried around, found a place for the new chickens at my parents, dug out the 8 chickens that were still cold enough to be okay, gave those out to people who wanted them, then closed the lid. We bought a new cord because we thought the plug had jiggled loose. The freezer started happily humming. Phew ! I prepared to clean it out the next morning but thought it wouldn't be too bad as it would be partially frozen. Hmmm....
* In the midst of "The Chicken Crisis" Charlie came back with the car from the paint shop. Now, understand, this has become the absolute CAR OF MY DREAMS. We planned a party around it, our vacation around it, I dream of driving in it ... IN it , not DRIVING IT !!! . I LOVE IT. He looked a bit concerned when he came in. Wasn't crazy about the flames ... I washed off the blood and went out to look. Absolute stillness and silence. I HATED IT. It cost about double what we had expected and was in no way what we wanted. Not at all. We parked it behind the store & there it sits. I have nothing to say about it. No comment whatsoever.
* I lay awake from 3 to 5 am feeling sorry for myself and planning how to get the freezer cleaned out before I had to open the store. I didn't realize that there would be another surprise ...
* the freezer was running in the morning - it just didn't work. So the smell had intensified and everthing was that much more rotten ... yumyum. I started my day by throwing out about 60lbs of beef, bags of chicken wings, 7 half chickens, and a bunch of other gross stuff. In the "good old days" it would have been all pitched in a garbage bag but of course now it all has to be opened and dumped in the green cart. What fun !! The only really disturbing part was the bag of human ears I found ... Did you know that frozen peach slices that have been unfrozen for a while look EXACTLY like human ears. EWWW ... Then the bailing began. I bailed out 5 inches of blood/water... 5 buckets. I have the bruises on my side to prove it ! Oh well, it was good to have it all done & the stink gone .
* decided I needed to re-evaluate the car as I wasn't in the best frame of mind when I saw it. Another look ...I disliked it even more. And have grown to dislike it more each day. It has not left the parking spot. I have no desire to take it out. Nor does Charlie. Again, nothing else to say.
We went home Saturday, listless, stoop shouldered, dull versions of ourselves, a bit defeated by the week . As I got out of the car I heard rustling in the blackberry thicket at the end of the driveway . I froze. Out came a ..... KITTEN !! A little black and white batman-mask-wearing kitten. He disappeared under the step. We searched everywhere but couldn't find him. But the greyness lifted & we were excited again !! We eventually went in the house. I looked out the dining room window - it looks onto the back of the thicket. A little black kitten emerged, then a fluffy white one with a black tail, and then another little black one. OH MY !!! We had a whole family. The Momma arrived the next morning. So we spent a very happy weekend watching "kitten TV" from the dining room and lowering food out to them so we wouldn't scare them. Charlie even built a long handled thing to pass the bowls out the window. So a crappy week pulled itself out of the dumpster with a lovely little kitten family !!! Ain't life grand ?!!

P.S. I hope to get pix of the little babies soon. As for all that other stuff ... I'm just ignoring it.
Have a great week !!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What colour is my neck ? ... GOLLY ! I think it's turnin' red !!

Oh,... after this weekend I am a bit afraid that I am turning into a redneck... yes, really.
My whole weekend revolved around metal, motors revving, grease ( on cars & on my food), smashing & crashing. AND I LOVED IT !!!!!!
We went to Digby on Saturday for the Wharf Rat Rally. It was awesome - even better & bigger than last year. We ran into friends - old & new.The weather was amazing. All the bikes ... all the skulls... all the beautiful design. Loved it. I am not a "biker wanna-be" - not really interested in having a bike BUT I love the design, shape, ornament, paint, EVERYTHING about them. They are beautiful !!
And , well, for the last 5 months I have been carefully eating whole grains, fruits, veg, etc ... but on this day it was Beavertail (ooo, deep fried dough ...), homemade potato chips, and ice cream. We went to visit friends after the rally and made it home for supper at 11:30pm. So ... cheeseburgers it was !! Nothing clean about that eating !!
So the next day it was up bright & early to hit the farm market for pickle & jam ingredients on the way to ... BASH FOR CASH !!! Oh , now that was awesome !! Cars smashing & bashing each other, fenders flying, tires exploding, ... well I could feel my inner redneck clawing its way out. And I could hear her too ... she was letting out some big screeching "Wahoos" ... hmmm ... I think I am becoming a redneck because my thoughts now are how much I would like to do it next year !!! WAHOO !!!
Anyway, it was an absolutely glorious jam packed weekend and I loved every minute of it. I vote for a long weekend every few weeks !!
Today I am SUPER busy trying to unpack another 4 boxes of wonderful stuff AND getting used to my new BIFOCALS !!! Maybe now I can bead & cut paper without using 2 pairs of glasses at the same time !!

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