Monday, December 27, 2010

Here I am !

Um ... well , I haven't posted for a while. It's all Christmas' fault !!! Not how you think though ... I don't like Christmas very much and since I am trying to adhere to the adage "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" ... I opted out of posting. I was afraid it would SLIP OUT !!! So, here I am back & totally delighted to be done with Christmas !!
But New Year's ... I love you !! Not the late parties or kissing strangers or silly hats & barfing drunks ... no, I like the promise of a whole new year ... another chance to realize my dreams, to build on what I did last year, to get things right, to meet new people, make new friends, learn new things, try whatever. Can't you just feel the possibilities ? I can and I can't wait !!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone !!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Storm ?

What if there was a REALLY BIG storm ... and you missed it ?? That's what happened to us ! Over on our little shore, we are a world away from the Valley ... or 10 minutes., whichever ! Many times in the winter , we hear all the cancellations because of snow. We look out the window ... "Whaaat ? There's no snow !!" We leave the house, turn the corner ... SNOW !!! So we are never really sure what lies beyond the curve of the road. So imagine our surprise this morning !! We had no power but we also had no power the night before. (go figure !) There were some gusty winds and flashes of lightening but really ... the house didn't shake, the windows didn't rattle, nothing serious. The gargoyles were still sitting on the step. Even the plant pots and other things not gathered up yet were all where we left them. It was far less the the regular nor'easters that we get all winter. So we were shocked to hear of all the trees down, wires fallen, trucks blown over ... wow. We navigated the mountain road, avoiding the LARGE trees and wires down, we looked in amazement at all the toppled signs and trees. Feed Man's sign was ripped from the building and the steel was peeling off the roof ... Crazy ! It must have been quite a night in the Annapolis Valley !
Here's a little note ... Sunday DECEMBER 12... picked tiny red cabbages from my garden in a t-shirt, the brussel sprouts are still growing. Monday DECEMBER 13 ...we let the fire burn out in the furnace in the a.m. ...midnight ...17 degrees. Can you believe it ???

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ThINGs I NeVeR GeT TiREd of ...

* MAMA MIA ..."here we go again. How can I resist ya ? " I can't . Simple. Loved it again !! Amazing. Uplifting. JOYOUS !!!!
* Spaghetti & Meatballs ... what's not to love ???
* Walter the kitty snuggled up to my back every night ... never get tired of that little puff of warmth !!
* Cheese ... just because.
* Bryan Adams new CD "Bare Bones" ... hit replay ... and again.
* Minute to Win It - back on starting tomorrow night. I am an absolute junkie !!
* Anticipating snow ... glorious snow ... please !!
* Kind of ignoring Christmas ... we do and I like it !! We don't decorate or send cards or carol or put up a tree. And I like it !! I do bake, make treats for those I love, try to find one nice gift for each special person, and buy cat presents. And I like it !! And when Boxing Day rolls around , we are done. And I like it !!
* Tea ... glorious tea ... how do I love thee ? ... BIG LOVE Baby !!!
* Facebook ... yep, I'll admit it ! I like it ! I like knowing what friends & family are doing. I like having a quick morning message with those near & dear. Much more than I like a phone call ... I don't like those much at all !!
* Having help at work ... this makes me giddy. And on task. And productive. And much happier to be there pricing pricing pricing. I even clean bead trays because I have help. Not tired of that for sure !!
* It's a Wonderful Life ... never ever get tired of that one !! I watch it every time I see it on the guide. I always gasp at them dancing/falling into the pool. I always get all heart gooey at the "lasso the moon" line. Never tired of that movie.
* Paper, beads, glitter, glue , paint, fabric ... all those lovely elements.
* Laughing. I do it a lot. And I like it. (heehee)
* The smell of soap.
* Magazines ... and their crisp promise that soon I will have caught up all my To-Dos and SOON I will be able to sit & flip their beautiful pages !
* The Annual Craft Swap ... the amazing women that participate, their wonderful projects, yummy food, creativity at it's best, laughter & great companionship. I will NEVER tire of this, my favourite holiday tradition ... almost my only one !!
* The promise of tomorrow and all it may bring ! Good night all ! Sweet dreams ... and cross your fingers that I don't snore as much tonight for poor Charlie's sake ... !!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am SOOOO excited !!

Wow !!! I am sooooo excited !!! Life is cracking along and bringing joy with it every day ! I have so many things coming up that I am THRILLED about ... I can't contain it !!!! WOOT WOOT !!!

Mama Mia - as a big happy fun family outing - in Halifax in 11 sleeps. I cannot wait !! Charlie & I saw it in Toronto and were OVERWHELMED ... have always wished I could see it again !! Sooo... we are ... and with a whole crowd of people that we love & adore. All heading into the city in a van full of excitement . (Too bad it wasn't like a Partridge Family van ... that would be so cool !!)Should be an amazing night !!

Birthday parties galore this weekend ... what's not to love about that ?? Cake, good meals, great company, presents given, laughter & excitement. MARVELOUS !!

A Craft Swap ... in (gulp) 2 1/2 weeks ... this may be my favourite part of the holidays !! Ten of us gather to swap handmade items - like a cookie exchange but it is all manner of crafted items ... cards, candles, jams, ornaments, ... anything. We laugh, we "TA DA" our goodies, we eat, we have a great evening. And then we get together in a year's time to do it all again. It really is great fun !

Busy Busy Busy plans for work ... and I have a partner in crime so I am really excited. Together I think we can realize all the dreams & plans I have and then come up with more. We work together well and are ready to take the world by storm ... EXCITED !!!

And then there will be the caramel corn making marathon, the hot pepper jelly day, bits'n'bites, baking, crafting, making Christmas gifts, hunting down the perfect Christmas gifts, visits, dinners, Friday night date nights, a fun promised baby sitting evening , crafty crafty things, ... oh so much !!! Soooooo excited !!!!
( I am pinching myself ... is this all real ?? Hot damn !! It is !!!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

my so-so life ...

Yes, my life is so-so ... SO SO SO GREAT !!! Haha !

You know I have spent too much time despairing about how busy I am and feeling overwhelmed but underneath the fuss I always feel a great current of gratitude. So here's a little recap of why I am so busy and so freakin' lucky !!!

* I have been working HARD everyday and most nights until fairly late on stuff for work - I am LUCKY to have a good busy business that I ENJOY.

* I was making pies at 12:30 at night for the community supper - I am HAPPY to LIVE in such a nice community. And I got home late that night because I was ENJOYING myself out with family at dinner. And I am THANKFUL that Charlie got to have along visit with his brother .

* I was party planning late the night before the event ... fussing and stewing over details. And this was because I was HONOURED to have a SURPRISE birthday party thrown by some of my favourite people in the whole world. They were worried that it would be hard to get me there because I had so much to do ...but family dinner ? I always MAKE TIME for fun , family, friends. That's what life is really all about. Who cares if you have to stay up later to finish other things ?!

* Presents from two super excited children. I was SO TOUCHED by their thoughtfulness & excitement. They had made me a beautiful coat hanger decorated with drawings that were really special to me, had chosen a gift at the store that is SO me, and illustrated a card with all things that mean a lot to me. The fact that they put so much love & care into what they did and their excitement really overwhelmed me. I am so FORTUNATE !

* A set of measuring cups ... made by a dear niece who spent several days at the Clay Cafe painting them BY HAND with wonderful Hallowe'en images ... I loved them but when I realized that she MADE them, I had to stop talking. The lump in my throat made it impossible. The LOVE I felt was incredible.

* The excitement level at this party as described by my other beautiful niece as "5 year old birthday party excitement" was PERFECT !!! The cards, the dinner, the amazing & so delicious cake, the fun and FAB presents, ... it all added up to a wonderful evening. Won't forget it !!!

* A good crowd of family & friends to carve pumpkins. Special people who, due to health reasons have to pick & choose what they can do in a day , chose to come there ! Their participation meant so much to me. The chance to feed all my friends & loved ones was WONDERFUL. The help and participation of everyone - THRILLING.
And SO MUCH chili ... YIKES !!

* Tons of Facebook birthday messages, cards, visits, calls, presents, dinners, ... all make me feel SPECIAL and that feels GREAT !!

* The wonderful support and help of a special niece ... helping me plow through all the kits for Christmas , and doing it to PERFECTION. So GRATEFUL !

* A great GIRLS' ROAD TRIP to the city - fun, laughter, serious talk, food, shopping, tea, ... all wonderful.

* The only sad thing was my birthday evening ... for years & years, my Grandmother always called me after supper. I looked forward to it ... even waited for the phone to ring. This is the third year with no call ... I miss her so much. But I am GRATEFUL that I had such a wonderful relationship with her and that I had such an amazing Gramma. She will always be a big part of me.

So ... it has been an amazing week ! I am busy but busy being HAPPY !!! I'm sure if you were a hermit & no one loved you, you would never have to worry about how & when you would get things done !!! Ain't life grand ?!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Hi !! Did you forget about me ... or think that I forgot about you ??! NEVER !! I have been super busy and also had the flu followed by a 25 day cold. It seems to really like me - won't leave me. Ah, but someday, it will tire of me .
This post is all about ... er ... eating and taking bites. Shocking that I would be so keen on such a topic ... I hear you snickering ... And its also a bit strange as a lot of it was almost a month ago but it seemed pretty great at the time. And still does !
One Saturday after work, we set out for lunch. We ended up - after a long story that I will spare you - at the Tin Pan in Port Williams. Cool place. The tables are covered in hundreds of business cards, tickets, and bits of odd money. Lots to keep you exploring while you wait. the wait was long but WORTH IT !! We had a breakfast and oh my. Buttery scrambled eggs - and I mean scrambled, not overcooked and then chopped up ...a pet peeve of mine ... The sausage were crispy, the bacon was just plain darn bacony, and the ham ... well I gave that to Charlie. (My desire to be Jewish has made me really not like ham ...) But the toast ... I don't really like toast. But this ! Well, it was thick slabs of fluffy crispy buttery goodness. Pillowy really. Yes, pillowy. You could sleep on it ... except you'd have butter in your hair ... And it came with 3 pots of HOMEMADE jam !! Strawberry, raspberry and spiced apple. HOMEMADE !!! Ahhh my.
And see that glass at the far right ? Charlie ordered that ... and I coveted it. It was a milkshake that came in a tall-filled-to-the-top glass and the metal container too and it was ... CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER. I have never tasted anything like it. It is incredible. ... leave me with my thoughts for a second ..
Ah, okay. Then we went away the next day too. And , again, we ate. We really are good at that ... sadly. But this time it was German. It was AWESOME. Schnitzel so crispy, spaetzle, even the veggies on the side were amazing. Oh so good. I totally recommend a stop here if you are on the way from Lunenburg to Mahone Bay.
Then we went on to Peggy's Cove.
I had never been before ! I always thought, "I have beautiful rocky shores and a lighthouse right outside my front door. I don't need Peggy's cove". Okay... here's the eating part ... I EAT MY WORDS !!!! It is MAGNIFICENT !!! WOW !!! A glorious day !
And since then ... what have we done ? Worked , played, slept a tiny bit , played and worked some more. We have been to a sweet boy's birthday party, had a Nerf war, had our Friday night dates, been to the city, made hundreds of kits for work, picked loads of tomatoes, laughed a lot. Pretty much good.
Now I am taking a bite out of fall. I had decided last year that I was NOT having our annual pumpkin party. Too much work. Then I had family talk about how they were looking forward to it. Some already had pumpkin plans. So I waffled and debated and waffled some more. And at the last minute, I changed my mind and said "okay" . But not before I made some big changes. I had to cut it down. It was so big last year and just too much. I didn't even have a chance to have fun !! So I had to cut the list back to family and family friends as well as the folks who have come from the very beginning ... and I am really sorry that some will be left out but I just couldn't do that again. Bigger isn't always better. Back to basics !! So I have just finished making 8 big batches of chili and soup comes later this week. We'll eat well anyway!!
So, the Purolator lady just brought me a big box ... I must go take a look and start in on it . Have a great one !!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Time ... Busy ... Time

I am busy these days. But this is not a post to whine or complain about it. Or list off what I have done or what I need to do. It is just a statement. I am busy. And that makes me happy.
I feel that I need to pack as much into my day as I can. I like to fall asleep (often on the couch ...) knowing that I have spent my time wisely and done what I could that day. Now I don't mean that I worked all day or changed the world. I just mean that I did some work, created, played, loved, laughed, and enjoyed every minute. I don't get everything done that I want nor do I see everyone that I would have liked. But I come close. And that makes me happy.
Use your time wisely ... use it do your work well but use it to read, to hug your family, to cuddle your cat, to treat yourself, to make something, to bake cookies , to garden, to be silly, to visit loved ones, to throw your head back and laugh, to sit by a bonfire ... whatever will bring you and those you love the most happiness. Be good to yourself. Be content.
Here is my favourite quote ... I have it in a frame over my sink so I can read it while I wash the dishes. I love it. It makes me TRY to stop saying that I don't have enough time ... I do. It's just how I chose to use it.
Don't say that you don't have enough time.
You have exactly the same number of hours
that were given to Helen Keller, Michelangelo,
Mother Teresa, Leonardo daVinci, Thomas
Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
H. Jackson Brown

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Story of the "Blues" ...

It was a very hot Sunday. Too hot for the Bash for Cash ... we would fry. So ... let's go in search of peaches.
So ...
Blueberry Girl
Photobucket and Blueberry Boy Photobucket headed out. There were no peaches so they decided to drive aimlessly along - that's the best way anyway ! They came to this place .
Photobucket And loved the awesome 3 dimensional berries on the sign. As they approached, they were chased by this wild (fake) bird !! (I know it looks like an eagle but it was ... giant ... and really scary ...)
YIKES !! RUN !!!
So they ran into this place ...
And they rejoiced !!! It was a restaurant ! So they had a beautiful lunch beside the indoor fish pond ... and drank delicious Blueberry Breezers. (yum)
Then they bought these ...
Photobucket (ohhh ... so good !!)
And then Blueberry Girl made this ...
Yum again !!! (pecans in the topping make so much difference !!)
And they lived happily ever after ! (soon to be a major motion picture ...)
And a few days later , they got their car back !!!
Happily ever after I say !!

Friday, August 27, 2010

In the Moment ... not "Outside the Moment"

Hi !!
What a week its been !! Full of activity, cake, and fun !
We had a big ol' bash at our place on the weekend ... lots of family and all the offspring family that comes from generations growing up and adding more delightful people to the family. The cats ran for cover or hid on shelves as the crowds arrived - so they went into lockdown in a safe place upstairs ! We threw open the back doors, built a sand & boardwalk path, lit up a UFO runway for night ... and started the party !! We ate tons of food, gnoshed at the Candy Bar, played ladder ball and washer toss, tried to play Beanbag Toss the EXTREME PEYTON version ( okay, close your eyes, throw it over Mommy, it's cheating if you stand up. What ? You got 6 bags out of 8 in ? No points for you - you need ALL 8. Who wants to win next ??) We had a bonfire & big fat "MARMALLOWS '. We wore glow necklaces & twirled sparklers ... and only a few people got burnt and only a few cried. So I have to say it was a success !! It was a happy night filled with love, friendship, and good family. Once again, there was no where else I would have wanted to be.
But where are the pictures, you ask ? In my head and in my heart. At one point, I thought about going for the camera . And then I thought "no, you'll miss being here in the midst of all this happiness" . I would rather be in the moment, enjoying that very moment, than be on the fringe watching through my lens. So no pictures.
We have spent a few nights at CAPS building walls ... in this case it is sort of the Royal "WE" ... I simply hold the end of the board & measuring tape. Quite humbling after the carpentry excellence that I showed on the deck ....
I have been baking my buns off ... haha ! hardly !! But I have been baking up a storm - for the party & CAPS - this week alone I have baked Whoopie Pies, 2 cheesecakes, "Better Than Crack Brownies" , and "Big Blonde Caramel Bars". And it is all gone . The CAPS baking sold out the first day ... but luckily a sweet niece ( or maybe an angel !!) emailed to ask if she could bake for me on Friday.(Thanks kari!! XOXO) HALLELUJAH may have been secretly what my response was !!! So last night I spent the nicest evening watching HER bake, drinking tea, laughing hard, and watching & listening to great music ... a great way to pass a few hours ! Here is my favourite from the night ... I love the words, love the pictures, love the heartfelt sentiment. Celine Dion, eat your heart out ! THIS is a love song !!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

another week, another 50 projects, and another 1000 laughs

Another week ... gone ... GONE !!! I am in shock that it is almost September ( happy happy, mind you) but hard to believe !!!
We have KICKED ASS this week !!! Charlie & I built a new step & deck on our house. And, this time, I am actually not using the "Royal WE" ... it really was "we", honest !! I screwed down all the deck boards, stair treads, and spindles. I think I'll soon have my own show on HGTV ...haha!! It was really fun though ( power tools !!!) and I was really happy to be able to do more than pass things and hold the end of the measuring tape. AWESOME !!! ( oh yeah, and I didn't even hurt myself once !!)
MY HANDS, MY FEET, MY CARPENTRY WORK ... check out those safety shoes !!!
Then I suggested we beef up the top rail into a chunky shelf so now it can hold many things ... beers ( for that once very 2 years we drink them !!), gargoyles (now those we actually do have in abundance !!), and lovely flowers - just to name a few ... I LOOOOOOVE it !!!
Now we are on to clearing a path through the overgrown backyard so we can easily come & go from the Secret Garden ... I think this may be a scythe action thriller !!!dundudndundudn ...

We went to the EX on Monday so Charlie could present some trophies that he sponsors. Our young friend Brandon was waiting for us - he always helps Charlie present them each year and then we spend the evening together. Now this kid is highly entertaining. I could care less if I went to the Ex but I love his company !! I call him Little Prince because he somehow, with charm & grace, gets us to do his every bidding ... amazing talent !! And he just smiles this big "you know it's true" smile when I address him as such. Here are a few snippets of our conversations & activities ...
* after having several wrong handed attempts at shaking the trophy recipient's hand .."now that wasn't AWKWARD !!"
* "I am having such a cupcake craving" ... and so the hunt was on ... and we found one !!
* "Pam, can you help me build a website - I want to invent games & post some cartoons I drew."
* " You know that car Charlie was going to help me build (actually it was a BIKE !!)... well I think it should be an automatic so I just have to SAY "turn left" and it will."
* "This year, you know how we come to your house for Thanksgiving - its a tradition - well my parents can go home after we eat & I'll stay and Charlie can help me with the website. Then you can take me home."
* "I'm almost out of quarters. Let's go over to that game where you put the quarters on the colours so I can get some more." We went with me doubting very much that the Colour Game was much of a banking/investment opportunity. He filled his pockets with quarters , winning almost every time, and then announced "I have enough, let's go back to the bowling game." If you believe it, I guess it does happen !!
* "okay, let's go see the alpacas - you can name them."
* "I want to invent Chocolate River Pie ... you know, when you cut into it, chocolate sauce runs out." Now that's a thought !!!
Anyway, it was a great evening because it was spent in the wonderful company of the Little Prince and his older brother who is also under his spell.

This weekend we are getting ready for a big BBQ party - I can't wait !! I have bought POUNDS of candy for a "Candy Bar' . The food lists are made, the fridge is full of loads of various meats, the propane tank is full, the biggest marshmallows I have ever seen are sitting in the pantry just waiting for TOASTING , the big glass drink dispenser is scrubbed and waiting for iced tea, the cooler is ready for ice & drinks, the games have been arranged, chairs set up, tables ready,baking lists prepared, grocery lists in hand, ... I CAN'T WAIT !!!! We are having appetizers (Trailer Park Boy Wieners , stuffed mushrooms, and mini quiches) , then powering up the BBQ for beer can chicken, sausages, burgers, and chili dogs. Then dessert - Whoopie Pies ( my current obsession), cheesecake, and "Better than Crack" Brownies. Then after we have stuffed ourselves, we will start the ladder ball & washer toss tourneys. And then, when we have played our hearts out, we will settle in for a bonfire, sparklers, s'mores, and a beautiful sunset. SIGH ... I am happy all over already !!
Oh yeah ! I also picked my very first fully ripe tomatoes !!! AWESOME !!!

Well, gotta run ... we are off for our Friday night dinner date ! Have a great weekend !!

Friday, August 13, 2010

How SWEET it is !!

EDIT ... WOW !! I am the Queen of Blurry photos ...

LIFE, that is ! My, it has been a great ride the last few weeks ... everyday is a whole new fun adventure with more people to laugh with and enjoy.

We have been "crack-a-lackin" at renos & cleaning up the house ... and with that work comes great rewards. (Damn, I would have cleaned up sooner had I known !!) A new TALL upright gleaming white COLD freezer ... and I am in love with it !! No more falling in on my head for a pork chop !! It is like a giant door to cold food heaven ... open it, and TA DA !!! ... ice cream, Eggos, my ice cream maker, ice cubes ... (that's all so far) ... wonderful !!! And the ice cubes ... don't be thinking that they are little square cubes ... PERISH THE THOUGHT !! ... No Way !! ... puzzle pieces , skulls, and ... the best yet ... are you ready ? ... dentures !!! We are scheming how to make them pink & white so they will look like REAL TEETH in someone's drink !!! ( I am giggling in anticipation ... mature huh ?!!)

And what else ? Well, space, organization, somewhat cat-hairless floors, clean dishes, books & magazines neatly stacked or shelved, organized cupboards, folded laundry, nothing expired, .... can this really be our house ??? Today it is !!!

A new ring ... I love it ... sparkly and so pretty. I feel so GLAM !! Happy happy !

A visit from a DEAR DEAR friend. We visit every year and it's just like I might have seen her last week at the grocery store. We don't miss a beat. It is a friendship that has endured more than 20 years, marriages, big moves, gaps in communication, and thousands of miles between us. It is a friendship that is so special and so important. Yet ... low maintenance. We are simply happy to see one another & sit in one another's company. We had planned to meet for dinner but at the last minute, we decided to BBQ at our place ( hmmm ... maybe it was that clean house effect again ?!) so it was spontaneous & without planning ... I usually plan & try to "huge-up" everything so this was a change. I bought a few chickens on the way home, shoved their poor little bums on to beer cans, & threw them on the BBQ ... sorry chickens ! Made a pan of Trailer Park Boy Weiner Appetizers, a Caesar salad, and put the beers on ice to chill ... and then just waited for them to arrive. We grilled up some steaks & potatoes, loaded the *new* picnic table, and settled in ... eating, talking, laughing, just enjoying the moment. Then we loaded in the hearse, down to the beach, and then back to our secret garden for a bonfire and star gazing. And the heavens obliged ... falling stars were our reward. It was the most wonderful evening and I knew there was no where else I would rather have been.

Last night was our Friday Night Dinner Date with Charlie's brother & wife. We look forward to this all week ! It's great when family is family AND friends ! Tonight we are off to a bonfire & washer toss match. Next weekend we are hosting a family BBQ Bonanza ... yeah, I'm already trying to "huge-up" the event ... can't help it ... "go big or go home" is my motto !! ( Or, "damn Martha Stewart, I can do it too !!" ) And then we have a list of house reno things door, new step, clearing out brush, clean closets, tick, tick, tick ... But it's all great and I am ready to tackle all this stuff ... the "after" is so worth the effort !!

On the Hester front ... ready for painting !!! So in the next few weeks she should get re-flamed and be already to go once again. YAY !!!

I think that's it ... I'll try to do something exciting so I can have a SUPER EXCITING POST next week ... but in the meantime I'll just keep living this sweet sweet life !!

See ya !

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What A WoNDerFuL Day/Week/Life !!

Oh what a great ride it's been !! This week has been amazing !
Dinner Friday night with family in our standing Friday Night Date ... laughed so hard I thought I might need medical attention ... or a bathroom !!! (you know how it is ...)
We got up early & went to the Port George Jamboree Yard Sale before work on Saturday morning. GREAT IDEA !!! Look what I found !!
Photobucket I LOVE monkeys and S&Ps ... so perfect find !!! Look at their funny expressions ... not your AVERAGE monkey S&Ps !!!
I found this from the same man ... all there, no chips, wonderful. Not that chips usually stop me ... if I love it I don't care if there are chips. I figure we all get a little chipped by life and people still love us !
And then these little SPRITES !!! They just make you happy !!! Love them !!
After work we headed off to New Minas for a reason I can no longer remember ... it doesn't matter though because LOOK WHAT I FOUND !!!
Photobucket I love it !! I put it right in my work room (in the last few remaining inches of space ...!!) and it is perfection !!!
Then Sunday we decided to have a family picnic supper before the guys went haying. I was making sandwiches & Whoopie Pies when the phone rang. Someone asked for me ... actually a VERY FAMILIAR voice asked for me ... OH MY GOD ... it was my dearest university friend that I haven't seen or talked with for 25 years !!! I plopped right down in a chair in shock & talked & talked & talked & talked ... and forgot all about the sandwiches I was making ... ( sorry guys if they were a bit dry ...). It was the most wonderful thing !!! I lost track of her after I graduated. The last time I saw her was at our wedding. A few years ago I saw her brother's obituary in the paper and an email for condolences. I sent a note to her but never heard back. Turns out the email link to me hadn't worked ! She had 411'ed me but no luck. So since she was in the province, she checked the phone books. I was thrilled !!! Afterwards, I realized that every story I have ever told about university includes Katherine. She was such a fun and fantastic friend ... I am so lucky to be back in touch with her !! HALLELUJAH !!!
Then I found a friend from high school that I so admired and always enjoyed on facebook. Reconnected there too !!! Wonderful again !!
And ... sweet friends come in threes ... my wonderful "half of my life" pal has arrived in Nova Scotia and we will soon have our annual visit. Super !!!
Hmmm ... what else ... weeded my amazing garden .. ready to pick lettuces & watercress, broccoli rabe is almost ready , and the eggplants have purple flowers on them. Rockin' the veg world !! WOOT WOOT !!
I started working on my Twelve Weeks of Christmas Kit Series for the store ... sat in my lovely room, with my lovely cats, glancing at my FAB new shelf and those sweet little sprites, sipping tea, and I CREATED my brains out. It was FABULOUS !!! Can't wait for next week.
I also drove this week ... shocking if you know me ...
We have also been at CAPS drywalling ... finished the ceiling in the main part and stood up a wall last night. Exciting !!! I say "we" but I usually just hold things, hand things, help lift things, and ask (too many) questions ... "Why?" "Why do you put that there ?" ... a girl's gotta learn !! BUT, last night I got to NAIL !!! Just once but I was PUMPED. I have to admit I took about 20 poundings to get it in but I let out a big old WAHOO and arm pumped after ... it was AWESOME !!!!
Anyway, the thunder is scaring the POOP out of me, So I have to go !!
Enjoy the week and ROCK WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING !!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is it really almost August ????!! YIKES!

Time sure has been flying by ... or melting & dripping by !! The last few days have been much better. But it has been a SUPER BUSY month regardless of the heat.
We have been planning some renos at home and were waiting for it to be cooler ... but that day wasn't coming so we jumped in !! My kitchen has had the old pantry counter ripped out and new stainless steel shelving added. Baskets & bins will make it all more organized. A new cookbook shelf is rapidly being filled ... yikes , another obsession ... and a baking shelf has been organized with lovely sparkling jars full of ingredients. I've filled totes with my ever expanding collection of cupcake papers, Hallowe'en candy EYEBALLS, coloured sugars, and all things yummy. It is all starting to come together ... now if only I could get the "temporary" table covered in all the odd pans, jars, ... out of the living room. Soon. Soon.
I have several boxes filled for the CAPS yardsale and more to come, I'm pretty sure. But I also had an email about 700 salt & pepper shakers ... I just put 2 sets in the yardsale box and was feeling pretty IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE .... now I feel all that absolute non hoarder control SLIPPING AWAY !!!
We went to Halifax on Saturday and scored some great new "Jack" things ... that's "Jack" from Nightmare before Christmas ... I love him and all the fab art that goes with him. We both now have great mugs to drink from and a great skeleton car antennae thingy. Pretty sweet ... might give us our skull fix until THE HESTER RIDES AGAIN !!! And, on that note, she is coming along really well. It will be a while before she can be painted but it is looking very FALL POSITIVE !!!
I picked up the new "Whoopie Pies" cookbook ... last night was sample run night ... tried out the Classic Whoopies with Marshmallow Filling ... so far so yum !!! Another flavour might be in the works as well as another batch of the originals for tomorrow's CAPS baked treat.
The other book ... okay - ONE of the other books (BOOK JUNKIES !!) was the Ultimate Guide to Root Cellars ... riveting reading I suspect ... but I am excited about having a root cellar ... I can then store all the bounty from my amazing little garden. Tonight I have to weed and then stake my tomatoes ... I have 31 tomato plants ... anyone wanting to attend a tomato festival ... ???? Anyway, I planted it 3 weeks ago and it is growing LIKE CRAZY !!! I have turnips (thousands!!), sugar peas, sunflowers, beets, black radishes, regular radishes, yellow squash/zucchini, green zucchini, 3 kinds of potatoes, basil, corn, ornamental corn, birdhouse gourds, broccoli, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, red & green cabbage, cauliflower, parsnips, WATERCRESS !!, spinach, leaf lettuce,onions, mesclun, red peppers, jalapeno, tomatoes of all colours & shapes, tomatillos, eggplant, and melons. PHEW !!! That was a lot to remember !!! I love it out there in my little patch ... patches .
I also spent a few days doing a MAJOR CLEAN-UP and ORGANIZATION of my work space ... studio ??? like they say in all the mags !! .... and I LOVE IT !!! My table is bigger and everything is all around me. I look out at the water and over at my sweet cats, all sprawled on their new bench. This is happiness !!
Next on the agenda is finishing the kitchen ... getting rid of that table in the living room ... and starting on the upstairs room that will be the laundry room after some shifting. Exciting times !! (wink wink !!) But in between all this we are planning a few big ol' BBQ parties, building some ladder ball games for the ULTIMATE TOURNAMENT, and just plain kicking back. Someone said on her blog to be sure to pause and enjoy summer and while that is a good idea ... I have to say ... PAUSE and ENJOY IT ALL !!! Everyone looks forward to summer to have fun but WE CAN HAVE FUN EVERY SEASON !!! Kick it up, plan something every month. LIVE IT LARGE !!!

Wow ... I have babbled on like a waterfall ... have a great week !!!
Pictures next week !!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hmmm ... what's new ?

Not much new, I'm afraid ... it's been TOO HOT to be out there creating adventure & controversy. But here's a few snaps of the last few days ...
we had to take Emma to the Vet last week for a limpy leg ... now, she weighs about 20lbs and isn't keen on new places ... I had her at the store & she disappeared ... WHERE ARE YOU EMMA ????
Here I am !!!
Photobucket hidden in a cupboard of plastic bags !!
Now what was DILLEE doing at home while Miss Emma LouLou was at the Vet ?
Just chillin' thanks !!!
Then our next big event was a NEW BED !!!
Emma had to check it out ...
Hmmm ... stomp around, check it all out ...
Yep, it's good !!!
How about a second opinion ...
Earl says "TWO PAWS UP !"
By now they have all had a turn on it and I see more of the Cleopatra beds in our future !!
And, on a totally different note, this is my funnel ... I love it !!!
I just realized the other night how much I like it so I snapped a photo. I bought it in Toronto several years ago and it is just like Bob Blummer's when he had the Toastermobile. Cool huh ?!!
And here's our latest adventure ... a new travel trailer !!!
No, a DUMPSTER !!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a dumpster ... very therapeutic ... a big ol' clean up is coming and I am pumped !!! It just needs to get a bit cooler ... and my ANNOYING COLD needs to disappear !!
And lastly ... look what I saw from my front step last night ... I LOVE WHERE I LIVE !!!
Have a great weekend !!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I gotta tell ya ... I'm crabby . No actually - CRABBY. There , BIG letters seem to express it better. I am really crabby. My cameras are not working to do my blog post for the store - I've wasted the last hour & half with them. I am HOT ... and not in a Paris Hilton kind of way. I hate summer ....... wow, there I said it. I do. I really do. It's not popular to hate summer but I don't care - I do. I LOVE fall and I LOVE winter . But summer ... I fail to see the beauty. HOT, sticky, thunder & lightening (terrified) , frizzy hair, maggots in my green cart, stink from the green cart, fruit flies, sinus headaches from the weather, coolers for groceries, sleepless nights, ... what is there to love ??? Where are the sweaters, cozy blankets, non-stinky green carts, apples, cool breezes, pretty snow ... ???
I am a NON SUMMER PERSON. So I am trying to convince myself that summer is not as bad as I think ... here goes .... ummmm .... I do have one BIG thing ...I have my garden. That is all I can think of ... but it does mean a lot to me. But you know, I could build a greenhouse and garden all year. Wipes that one out.
Do you have any great reasons why summer is good ??? Please share !!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yep, REALLY up to my ...

Well ... I haven't blogged for a few days because LIFE was in the way !!! My, it's been a week . I can really only give it a 5 out of 10. That's low for me.
On the PLUS side, we did get the garden planted and added a book shelf to the kitchen. I did enjoy a piece of my niece's FAB cake . I saw people I love and enjoyed that. I watched my Queen. I snuggled cats. I spent time with Charlie. All PLUSES.
BUT we did get our car ( our beloved Hester car) smashed up to the point that it is pretty bad , had the skull that we loved explode into a million pieces, get mixed up for a birthday party only to arrive at the end instead of the beginning, spent the last few days in insurance matters and giving police statements , watched the horrific riots in the city I love, and my chest is green and yellow from bruising ... and the bruises are only starting. SO the week LACKED a bit ...
BUT ... again ... that's all over and we are facing a DAY OFF and it is CANADA DAY ... one of the best days ... so , I think I am feeling a definite improvement in the future !!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Are they KIDDING ????!!!

Oh my ... a new low in advertising. Last night I saw a diaper commercial ... unbelievable. I find most of the diaper commercials quite weird ... the kids look to be ready for school and the diapers change colours, have magic pictures, whatever ...
But last night was way beyond that. Way beyond ... anything . A little boy struts confidently into a cafe and all the women stop to stare ... like they were staring at a movie star ... a movie star their OWN AGE. Then I heard the background chatter ... or did I ? Did they really say that ??!!! "I pooped in my pants. It's a number 2 but it only looks like a number 1. I poo in the blue." WHAT????!!! By this point I am sure that I am hearing things. That can't be.
Then these words pop up along the bottom of the screen.
"The coolest you'll ever look pooping your pants. "

Get outta town !!! EWWWWWWWWW !!

On a totally different note - sure is !! - we celebrated our 25th anniversary on Tuesday. Hee hee ... I say celebrated but that is a bit of an exaggeration - I'm not sure you could call what we did a "celebration" !!! We got up at 4;30am and drove to Port Williams to pick up boxes of day old turkeys. We did stop at MacDonalds for a quick breakfast on the way to work !! Then we spent the day at work. By the day's end we were both SUPER tired and HOT. So hot and so tired that we decided to just go home ... and eat Kraft Dinner. So that is how we celebrated 25 years of wedded bliss. Pretty freakin' fancy huh ?!!
( I was going to buy the Extra Creamy KD but decided that we would save that kind of decadence for our 50th !!)
But actually, it was fine ! We had a day like many of our days together have been - sort of crazy, mixed up, unscheduled ... doing what has to get done ... but doing it together. And we found great joy in the day ... we were proud and happy to have been married for 25 years, 25 years of pretty smooth sailing. It is hard to plan a 'special day' because most days are already quite special - we laugh, we share, and we enjoy the day. We are not lacking anything really in our lives so we have no great wishes. So the day seemed appropriate and just the first on another string of many more. A day of great joy & love no matter what we did !!

Monday, June 21, 2010


IS this real life or fiction ? You decide ...
* great day at work. Fun wonderful customers.
* a beautiful present - a ring made for me by a sweet customer.
* Charlie gets a present too from a customer - lobster.
* a visit from both nieces at work.
* lunch at Pearl's on a sunny beautiful day. Ice cream too !
* a lovely afternoon at home on the shore.
* BBQ t-bones & corn for dinner out on the back porch.
* after dark ... sitting up in the secret garden , listening to Hal Bruce play at the hall, beside a crackling bonfire, roasting wieners, drinking tea, checking out all the moon craters with our new telescope, watching the stars.

real life or fiction ??? REAL FREAKIN' LIFE !!! And I am so happy to say that it is mine !!! How lucky can I be ? sigh ... one happy gal !!!

( oh and I bet the cats were pretty happy too - they also scored lobster & a bit of T-bone steak ...)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sometimes things just suck ...

Sometimes things really just do suck.
We got the news that the little tortoise shell kitten from under the floor ( I think 2 eyes) had died. I was heartbroken. Everyone did everything that they could for her but she was a "failure to thrive" kitten. But it is so heartbreaking. I know that's nature and life and whatever but I live in a head space of sugarplums and happy endings. I always think things will work out. Naive I guess.
It was a bad ending to a LOOOONNNG day. We had started at work 2 hours earlier than normal and ended an hour later than usual. In between we had sold 2500 chicks and all the things that go with them. It was a loooong day. Then the sad news. I just sat and sobbed. But then we went to Anna's (C.A.P.S.) and snuggled kittens and it helped put a much better perspective on the day.
I don't think you can be sad at CAPS ... all those lovely cats, sweet kittens, and big hearted people. It is really the best of humanity. I love it.

So ... in other news... not much. Work, chickens, cats, work ... all part of the circle of days. Gearing up for our 25th anniversary ... that's pretty exciting ! And a 5th birthday next week ... probably just as exciting for the little girl as our anniversary is to us. Father's Day falls in the midst of all this as well. I have new shoes, our garden is almost all plowed, I have a box of blueberries and a bag of cherries, and I have read a few good books lately. What more can I ask for ?
Have a great week !

Thursday, June 10, 2010


DUNDUNDUNDUNDUN ... It's back !!! The dehydrated Brussels sprout !!! Last December I harvested my Brussels sprouts and put them in a colander in the sink. Little Dillee kitten snuck up and snitched a few ! She ran around with them in her mouth, throwing them, and playing fetch. We thought we found them all. A few weeks later a perfectly hard dehydrated Brussels sprout showed up. It was a wonderful toy ... it rolled perfectly and bounced down the stairs. Now ....7 months later ... it has resurfaced !!! Dillee dug it out of a basket of toys where she must have stored it for the winter ! She was running around tossing it in the air on Tuesday. Under the kitty bed it went and then she would have to fish it out. Under the bed again. Quite a great game !!
I brought the camera home to take a picture but it has again disappeared ... when will it return ?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A PRELUDE to the KiTTy CaT RoLLeR CoAsTeR ...

I have had so many fun comments, emails, and in person conversations as a result of the last 2 blog posts I thought I would share the stories of some of our other cats. So today is "The Story Of WALTER".
Several years ago in the fall we started to notice that something was getting into our recycling in the wood shed. This continued for several months - we assumed it was a raccoon. Then Charlie caught a glimpse of it one day . It looked like a cat. So he made it his mission to find him. Every time he went to the wood shed he would hear the scurrying of the cat as he ran & hid. So one day he sat there for ... well, forever ... until the cat came out. A few hours later & Charlie had touched him. The next step was picking him up. Well that was it ! The cat put his little cat arms, one on each side of Charlie's neck, in a little kitty cat hug. Hooked !!
So we took pictures of this cat we had started calling Walter & took them around to the neighbours. No one knew who he belonged to. By now it was winter but it was really mild. But still we worried about Walter. So we put a bed in the furnace room and started feeding him there. Our furnace room is attached to our kitchen and each morning we would hear him meowing at the kitchen door for breakfast.We really wanted to find out who he belonged to ... he was too friendly to be a wild cat.
As time went on we realized that no one was looking for Walter ... he must have been abandoned. So we started looking for a new owner for him. A few people were interested ... they would think about it. Not what we had hoped ... or was it ??
I was home from work one day and heard my cats kicking up a big stink in their little outside run. There was Walter trying to visit with them. I brought the cats in and went back to what I was doing. I heard a noise at the kitchen window ... Walter was looking in and meowing. Oh my. I felt terrible because he seemed so sad. Unable to look at him, I did the mature thing and put a towel over the window. That didn't stop Walter - he climbed up on the roof of the cats' run and looked in the kitchen door window. MEOW ... (that's "Please let me in" in case you don't speak cat ...) I put another towel up and went into the living room. Walter did too ... he came around the house to that window. I then got a sheet of styrofoam insulation and covered that window ( too big for a towel). By the time Charlie came home from work I had covered all the ground floor windows with styrofoam & towels. I was crazy with guilt about this poor cat outside ... I'm sure Charlie thought I had lost it !!
So we were then even more determined to find Walt a good home ... but he did it for us.
That night we had a snow storm. We went upstairs to bed but I was awakened a few hours later by a CRASH . I got up to find the upstairs window smashed ... Walt had CLIMBED THE ROOF in the snow ( about 6" on the roof !!) and had made his way to the upstairs dormer ... guess he knew that's where we were. Our big girl cat Emma had seen him peeking in the window and lunged ... and smashed the window. This was great for Walt - he strolled on in ! So we grabbed him & put him in the bathroom . We checked out Emma for glass and she was fine. We wanted to keep the cats separated because we didn't know if Walt had any illnesses. SO he slept in the bathroom with a litter box and food and the rest slept just outside the door ! Charlie patched the window with some heavy cardboard and we all tried to get some sleep.
The next morning we put Walt back in the furnace room . Again that night I heard a sound. I checked the window - it looked fine. I went down stairs to see what the trouble was ... it was Walt laying on the rug in front of the wood stove !! He had pushed the cardboard aside just enough to wiggle in. Again he had climbed the roof !!! He was staying and that was it ! So back to the bathroom he went for the night then off to the vets on the morning for a check up and then the other 4 cats all went for needles. From that day on Walter has been a big part of our family !!

The HOLE !!!

Here's a picture of the hole !! I guess that vapour barrier may be no good ... haha!! Anyway, it's all fixed and once again covered with a shelf and totes & boxes ...all is normal (?) again !!

Monday, May 31, 2010

And NOW for PART 2 !!!

Remember I said I wanted to get off the KITTY CAT ROLLER COASTER ? Well, little did I know that we were approaching the part where they warn you to keep your hands & feet inside the ride because it is about to get CRAZY !!!
First, let me say that we picked up Walter & he was doing really well. He goes back tomorrow for a recheck & hopefully his dental work. Fingers crossed.
ANYWAY .... yesterday I had a MINOR meltdown about doing dishes ... it seems like I spend half my time doing just that. So I announced that I was washing the dishes and then NOT making supper - I refused to dirty another dish that day. So Charlie went to get a pizza. Alone in the house , I went into my craft room to work on some card kits for the store. It was really quiet ... peaceful ... then I heard MEWING. I listened really carefully and I DID hear it ! So I went outside thinking there must have been a fifth kitten ... I could hear it outside too but it sounded like it came from under the house. I ran in for the carrier in case I could catch it. But no sign of it. Then the mewing stopped. I waited outside until Charlie got back, but no further noise.
After the 'dish-less supper' I went back to my craft room to work ... after a bit... more mewing. I called Charlie in but he said it was a bird. Now, I just said, "hmm. okay. " but never for a minute did I not believe it was a cat. I knew what I heard.
A little while later ...more mewing ... and it was definitely mewing. Charlie heard it and agreed. But where was this kitten ?? We searched the wood shed, the loft over the wood shed, the furnace room. We then took the gyproc off the wall in the furnace room and explored the wall cavity. Nothing. I kept returning to the craft room and could sometimes hear it, sometimes not.
Then Charlie went up in the attic. Nothing. The mewing got louder and then LOUDER. By now I am in tears because I know there is a kitten somewhere and it is probably needing help. It had been 5 days since the mothers were taken away.
Charlie decides to crawl under the house. We have no basement, just a crawl space that narrows to about 8" at the back . The noise was coming from the back but under a room that is separated form the crawl space by a rock wall. But maybe the sound was playing tricks on us.
I layed on the floor listening ... the mewing was getting more frantic and there seemed to be 2 little voices. I kept talking to them and telling them we would find them. They kept mewing back. It was heartbreaking. Then I hear Charlie's voice below the floor saying "I see you". THANK GOD !!
I ran to get the carrier and went to the trap door. After a lot of difficulty... crawling on his belly with a flashlight in hand ... Charlie hands up 2 black kittens !!! But there was another... and it was behind the rock wall & not moving much.
I ran back in and could hear a faint mewing so we knew the other little one was alive. The kittens had crawled through a little spot where a rock was missing. The other 2 were strong enough to come out on their own. But not this little guy. Our only option ... and we didn't care ... was cut a hole in the floor. We first had to move a 7 foot shelf LOADED with stuff ... a few bottles on top smashed after they hit the door jamb as we frantically pushed it out of the room. Then totes & totes of supplies. (Remember this was in my craft room ... no empty space or bare floor there !!)Then paper racks got pushed aside, carpet was cut, desks were moved, carpet flipped up. Then a 2'x2' hole was cut in the floor ... then through another plank floor, ... and then OMG a third plank floor. Finally, crowbar in hand, Charlie pried up the last boards. WE shone the flashlight down and there was the kitten, He hung down in and grabbed it ... then another. Oh my ... the last 2 were finally safe except they were very weak and couldn't really walk. They just shook and cried.
Once again we sprang into formula mode , mixing it up, filling the pipettes, making milky cat food, gathering blankets & heating pads ... oh, it was all too familiar !!
Anyway, after an hour or so we had everyone fed and warmer. They were all looking well but were even tinier than the first batch. We slept on the couch and chair, sometimes with the kittens snuggled up to our bellies to stay warm. Did I say slept ? Sorry. Not true. It was 4am before we got them full enough to sleep. Then it started again at 6:30 so we had a brief 2 hour CAT NAP. That was it. But thankfully they were okay . They wouldn't have lasted much longer - it had been 5 days with no mommy.
This morning they were picked up and will probably be at CAPS or a CAPS foster home by afternoon .
I have the greatest respect for the CAPS foster homes ... that is hard work , feeding those little babies every few hours. HATS OFF !!!
Well, hopefully that will be the last installment of the KiTTy cAt RoLLeR CoAsTEr ...
Baby Bat Face
Two Eyes
Baby Bear Cub
One Eye ... becoming 1.5 Eye

Friday, May 28, 2010


Stop the ride !!! I think I need to get off for a minute !!!
YIKES !! Yesterday we took our sweet little Walter to the Vet for some dental work. He had seemed thinner and had bad breath . An exam found that he had 2 bad teeth. So we set up the appointment but decided to do other tests as well just to be sure. Thank goodness because a kidney problem was found. Now, I won't lie ... I was gutted when I heard that. We had only one experience with kidney problems and it was bad. Anyway, he had to be re hydrated before he could have surgery and would have to stay and wait until today. So ... yesterday was not a great day. I was pretty sad. But the word seemed to be that he could have medication and it would be managed. But still.
So the day starts like that. Then I get my cakes out for the Cookies for CAPS and one is ... well ... not great. It seemed to have fallen and was more like fudge than cake. Charlie said it was okay but I thought it was gaggy sweet & yucky. I did still have a Rhubarb Cream Custard cake though. Anyway, I decided to bake something else that night.
But then, the time came to go home. I dragged my feet, found errands, all sorts of things ... I hate to go home when one of our animals is missing ... the house seems too empty.
Finally we went home, pulled in the driveway, and heard a screechy sound. I sat listening, trying to figure out what bird it was ... hmmm ... do we have a cardinal ? ... hmm... HEY, THAT'S AN ANIMAL !!!! And yes, it was a tiny little hungry screaming kitten marching right up to us. We picked it up ... then the next one ... and the next ... and the next. Four little hungry babies !!
EDIT : Allow me to introduce you to the newest CAPS family ... L-R... Pamela (she's the one who lead them all out to us ... she's also the loud one ...hmmm ), Emma, Sara, and Charles.

Well now we had a mission ! In the house we went, gathered milk and food, blankets and little boxes of litter. We fed them , cooed over them, and warmed them. Then off we went with them in a carrier looking for bottles & kitten formula. We ended up with a recipe but had little luck finding all the ingredients. Try finding Infant Vitamin Drops and PLAIN Tums at Needs !!! But we mixed up what we could , fed them, and got them to fall asleep.
(Then I had to start madly baking ... 2 dozen cookies and 2 pans of squares later I was ready to drop !!)
Meanwhile, our cats were VERY ANNOYED and trooped off to hide upstairs. We ended up sleeping on the couch and in the lazy boy with the kittens while our cats enjoyed the queen sized bed upstairs !
I swear that there is an Cat Underground Railway with a sign that says "Go to the ugly house in PG and they'll help you."
This morning, with the help of our CAPS friends, the kittens were picked up and taken to the Vets to be checked out, then off to CAPS to be fostered until they can be adopted.
Now I am back to worrying about Walter but hopefully that too will turn out well and tonight we will be taking him home to our happy little cat house !!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Up to My Ass in ... Rhubarb ?! HALLELUJAH !!!

EDIT : hmmm ... the baked rhubarb with orange zest & vanilla beans ... ewww ... not so much ! So this weekend I will try out Rhubarb Cheesecake ...
I'm in a bit of a random mood ... mind moving off in 50 directions at once these days ... so random blog post ...

Here are some things I know or love ...

1. Rhubarb ... love it. My goal this year is to use up every bit of its spring goodness. We have THE BEST rhubarb ... ruby red & sweet. Gorgeous. It came with the house ... we've never done much to it. But it is faithful and true. Every year I use some & give some away and the rest bolts. No bolting this year ... I am on a mission to make RHUBARB EVERYTHING !!! Rhubarb drink syrup, rhubarb jam, rhubarb in the freezer, rhubarb cheesecake, ... on and on ...

So far I have made Rhubarb Custard Cake which was SPECTACULAR !!! It was soooo good. And so easy ... Wanna make it ? Here's how :

Mix up a golden yellow cake mix as directed. Now don't think this will taste cake mixy because it doesn't. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with 4 cups of chopped rhubarb, 1 cup of sugar. Then pour a pint of whipping cream over top. (strange, huh?) . Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Cool and then chill. (okay we ate it while it was still a bit warm and it was yummy then too !) But as it chills it forms a lovely rhubarb cream custard on the bottom topped by a thin layer of cake. SOMETHING MIRACULOUS HAPPENS IN THAT PAN !!! Try it - you will love it !! Add a dollop of whipped cream and experience bliss !

2. Rhubarb stepping stones ... another project using the leaves & cement ... hope to do that this year !

3. HALLELUJAH by Leonard Cohen (or anyone else who does a good job) ... can you ever hear that song too often ? I think not.

4. The mothballs are back. (see posts from Feb 2009) See ya Mr. Stinky Cat !!

5. Our niece Amy is graduating from MSV tomorrow... so proud of her ! She has a great job already and volunteers with several wonderful groups. A great girl ... I would love her even if she wasn't family !!

6. Gardening ... soon time to put mine in ... I love it like a child ... fuss over it & am in awe of its developments. Veggies ... I love you !!

7. GEMS GEMS BEADS BAUBLES !!! I have tons of new semi-precious beads and I have been beading up a storm ... oh so pretty. My inner crow is sooo happy !!

8. A long weekend ... time has come for lovely fires up on the hill in the secret garden with friends, BBQs (I have been at that for a while now ...) , tailgating with the COFFIN BBQ, slowing down & chilling. Ahhhhh .... I can feel it now !!!

Well, that's it for now. Have a great week and a WONDERFUL long weekend !!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

oh to be 8 years old !!

I'm not saying I want to actually be 8 but I love the honesty and straightforwardness. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Cool.

Last night we had an impromptu birthday party for a friend who just turned 15. Cake and fun ice cream flavours, a rousing game of Pictureka, and then cards and cash - he's a 15 year old boy - what else would you get ?? Anyway, fun time.

His younger brother's birthday is the next on the calendar. I asked if it was soon ..."TWO WEEKS AND TWO DAYS" was the answer. Nothing coy or vague. Here it is. Like that.

So then I asked what he wanted for that upcoming special day. Most people hem and haw, hedge a bit, maybe say"oh nothing". But really, they want something. We all do. But when you are eight, you say "There is only one thing I want. A weapon." WHAT ??? Okay, I misheard him. It was (phew) "a WEBKIN". "The pig." Turns out that he has a house built, complete with a calendar, a bed, a palm tree and sand, and a poster for said pig. I asked what if we bought him one and some one else did too ? Here is THE PERFECT answer. "Oh well I would have a family". Love that !

So he then informs me that he should write it down for me so I don't forget. (in my defence, I NEVER have, but I guess, when you are 8, all these old people might seem forgetful !!) So he did. And he added "supplies" underneath. That means craft supplies - something we usually give him as well. Guess he needs more !!

As we chatted about Webkins, I mentioned the clothes they wear and the on-line games. They were amazed that I knew this. Apparently it is supposed to be an elementary school secret ... Later in the evening, he told me that he remembered something else he wanted for his birthday. Clothes. For the pig. But he already has Tommy the Leopard and he was expecting a donkey and a wild pig from his mother's sister - not aunt mind you. So, he would need 4 sets of clothes, 2 for boys (leopard & pig) and 2 for girls (wild pig and donkey). Now I never would have known the gender so good thing it was explained !! Next, I am handed a second note with all the details. I am all set with my "birthday wishes documents". Now, don't get me wrong. This is not a spoiled child - he would never say anything if he didn't have his full list ticked off. This is a case of "I asked" and "he answered". And I love that. Of course you know what you want. Of course you are excited about your birthday. So spill it ... let it all out. Why can't we all be 8 ?!

So I guess tonight , we go shopping. I sure hope that the Pig is not a rare creature !!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

oh, so much ...

Where do I start ??? So much has happened ! We have moved into the witness protection program and have taken up new identities ... We are right now searching the country for a new home town . Exciting !!!
oookkkkkkkkaaaaaaaayyyyyy ... NOT REALLY !!! it just seemed better than saying "Where in heck has the time gone ??!!" and "Sheesh, have we been busy !!" But it's been day-to-day, get'er done busy so none of it is overly exciting. It is exhausting, rewarding, fulfilling, sometimes annoying ( I won't lie !!) but not really "let's sit down and I'll tell you all about it" worthy. Let's just say things are getting done, time is flying by, some things are NOT getting done, dinners are being shared with friends & family, some are being eaten in front of the TV, birthdays have been celebrated, babies have been born (NOT TO US !!), money has been earned & spent, sleep has been had, cats have been snuggled, plans have been made, cakes have been baked & sold, cars have been fixed,and laughter has rolled along . Life has been SWEET and it has been enjoyed and lived in. That's all I've got today !!
Get out there & DO SOMETHING !!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Strange Little Story ...

Here's a strange little story for you ... I'm still shaking my head a bit over it.
Last night, I thought of a friend of mine that I hadn't seen in probably a few months. Wondered how she was. And then, like a chain reaction, others crossed my mind. A friend and customer from years ago from Bear River, another customer whom I hadn't seen for months, and another who had been diagnosed with cancer that I often thought of. The thought process took just minutes and that was it.
The first person in this morning was the lady from Bear River. Hmm. A few customers later the other customer came in. Then the friend who had been busy for the last few months. Then the customer who had been diagnosed BUT successfully treated for cancer. All in the same day. All with no connection to one another. Strange...

Friday, April 9, 2010

buuuuuuuusssssssyyyyyy !!

*Been super Busy ... but it's great !
* renovations at the store and a load of samples ... check.
* a great beading afternoon with my four nieces, their kids, and my sister-in-law. A great afternoon ... loved spending time with them, loved their creative sparkle, just loved it ! Followed it with a pot luck and then family game night. Pictureka ! Interrupted only by another visit to another favourite family to deliver Easter goodies and play the mini card version of .... Pictureka !! A GREAT GREAT day !
* more renos and sign planning ... check.
* baked this ... mini pumpkin bundt cakes filled with sticky cranberry compote, with maple syrup pecan topping , drizzled with warm vanilla sauce and whipped cream. YUM.
* a trip to Pearl's ... always fun & spring-y !
* so many plans in my head that I am SPINNING !!!
so ... that's it in a quick nutshell ... life the last week has been busy, yummy, sparkly, kitteny, and full of love. What more can I ask for ?!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


The first year we were married, we lived in town. We had a little dog that I adored. In the morning we would tie him out for a few minutes because dogs couldn't go loose in town. On April 1, Charlie left for work. Then the door opened and he came back in. He was so upset ... he had backed over the dog. WELL. I fell apart. I wailed & screamed & tried to run out to get to the dog. Then the look of horror on Charlie's face ... had to fess up. It was an APRIL FOOL'S PRANK. The LEAST FUNNY EVER. I guess it seemed clever at the time. Maybe he had been raised by evil clowns and that would have been funny to them. It took a long time for me to realize what he was saying ... and then I EXPLODED !!! I was livid. I considered backing over him ...
Anyway ... last prank in our house ever. (But we do revisit it every April 1st ....)

Just a footnote ... Charlie isn't an evil clown and is very sweet. I adore him and NEVER consider, now, backing over him ...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Month ... New Plans !!

Wow ... this is a whirlwind week coming up. And I feel like I haven't blogged in forever so here's a little catching up !!
My computer was at the "computer spa" being repaired and re-invigorated. I wish that for $30 I too could have a new piece of memory dropped in ...
This last week has been busy ... the CAPS cookie sale was great. I sold out and was able to give CAPS a nice first cheque. My goal is to raise $1000 this year for them ... and I am on my way. Charlie & I went to visit them at CAPS ... AMAZING place !!! The cats are clean, happy, not in kennels, blissful really. Lovely place and amazing work done by very dedicated people. I am so grateful to them for what they do.
I am working on a lot of changes here at the store ... new space, more demos, more samples, contests, weekly projects , a little hand crafted (by me) section of items for sale ... I am REALLY EXCITED !!! It has been a lot of work ... with lots more to go, but it is SUPER fun !! There is tons of new product arriving and I really want to do it justice so the creative wheels are spinning. I enjoy all this gorgeous stuff so much ... no minimalist here !!
Then there are all the spring projects at home ... you know, the ones from last summer that got postponed over the winter. And the garden. And driving in the hearse. And BBQs. And seeing all the family that has been away at school. Oh so much ... isn't it great ?!
This weekend will be a work/play combo. I am happy for the extra day to work on all my April changes. And then Sunday is a beading get together with nieces & sisters in law ... FUN !! ... followed by a potluck and family game night. Can't wait !!!
So ... I'm off ... challenge kits to make up and stock to price. Hope you all have a super Easter weekend and are having days full of love & laughter. Kiss a rabbit, eat a chocolate egg, nibble on jelly beans, soak up the sun, make something cute !! Live large !!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

An Ode to ... BEEP

BEEP ... BEEP ... drink of the '80s.
The sad news came out last week that Farmers Dairy will no longer produce BEEP. Lack of demand. Nutritionists released statements saying they were relieved.Done.
Wellllllll ... let me tell you - I am SAD !!! BEEP is my childhood, an icon of my youth. I have spent the last week searching for BEEP , just to savour its sweet funny flavour one more time, to no avail. But today Charlie hit paydirt !! I am the proud sipper of a litre of Beep as well as a cute little baby BEEP. (Although my little BEEP used to be in a tiny milk carton.)
BEEP was JUICE when I was a kid ... now it is deemed to be almost TOXIC !! Not even allowed in schools !! ( can you believe that ??) It is an odd mix of apple, orange, apricot, and prune juice & concentrates but it is yummy ... and the second ingredient is sugar ... not sure if that has anything to do with the taste ...
Anyway, I am spending the day with a cup of BEEP at my side and spreading the joy that was BEEP. Everyone so far has said "I love BEEP !" and the memories of school lunches start bubbling forth. It really is a great part of our growing up ... and I think we grew up okay !!
So as the '80s start to become extinct (much like unicorns ...) we need to pay tribute. Tell me your BEEP stories. BEEP if you love BEEP. Search your local stores, buy a BEEP and raise a glass. Here's to BEEP and that innocent childhood we had !! BEEP BEEP BEEP

(what's next ? Munchos ?)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Acts of Love

LOVE. It is a wonderful thing. It makes the world go 'round. It hits you in the eye like pizza ...

The songs all talk about love ... romantic love ... big earth shattering love. But my favourite love is good old every day acts of love. Love given daily and freely ... so that you overflow with it yourself and send it on to others. Love from spouses, friends, family, strangers.

There is not a day goes by on the beautiful spinning planet that I don't feel love. There are so many ways to share it ... not just those big movie declarations !

A husband who makes you a hot cup of tea. A cat who gives you a few licks before snuggling into your lap for a nap. A friend sharing his skill and guidance to teach a group of us a new project. A customer who loans you a tool so you can see if you like it. Another who brings you a coffee every week. A book loaned. A mother-in-law who Facebooks you to say that she loves you both and to have a good week.
A boy who works for hours on a work of art as a a thank you ... a masterpiece of the heart. (love you Logan xoxo!!). A young Dad who scrapes all the sprinkles off his little daughters ice cream because they weren't quite the right choice. A Vet's office staff that remembers your kittens name and makes a fuss over her every time you go. Sunny hellos from my customers every week ... and tales of how they would really miss me if I quit. CAPS staff caring for those who have no voice. no power.
A niece who bakes and decorates 54 (yes, 54!!!) cupcakes to help with a fundraiser. A lovely customer/friend who lets me carry her in my heart as my only Jewish friend. Another who comes weekly for great conversation and brings me statues from her garden for my memorial garden that I am building for my Gramma. A Dad who always helps when we need him. A CAPS volunteers who happily announces that she is down to 34 cats that she is fostering.
A waitress who pats your back while she chats with the table. All Acts of Love !!
I am humbled to see these acts of love and am even more humbled to be the recipient. What a wonderful life !!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Olympics ...

I was a huge fan of the Olympics. Years ago, Charlie & I would set our alarm and get up in the night to watch the events when they were in a totally different time zone . We would stay up all night watching and then go to work . ( It was an exhausting 2 weeks !!) Another year, we cut out huge rings and put them in our store window. Then we made stacks of the appropriate colour medals and posted them in the window each time Canada won a medal. We drove through town, horn blaring, and flag waving when Canada won hockey gold. Trust me - we were the only ones in town doing it ... lots of odd looks ! We would subscribe to extra sports channels and EAT & SLEEP the Olympics. They were an amazing thing.
I say was. Because the Olympics have changed for me. They now seem to be less about the athletes and the coming together of a world. They seem to be more about entertainment, celebrity parties, doping & cheating, protests against judges & other athletes, big shows, huge budgets and overspending, sponsorships, funding, and "personal bests" instead of that huge hunger to do it for your country. I loved "HIGHER FASTER STRONGER" much more than "Who has the best funded athletes" and "Who offers bonuses". Or "Where did George Clooney party last night?" The athletic events themselves take a back seat to the commentators and all that goes on outside of the competition. We often don't even get to see events if Canada isn't in them. Too bad really.
( This may all change in 2012 because, as some of you know, my goal is to participate . Yes. That's correct. As a an athlete. I chose ping pong as it is probably the only sport I could hope to do ... and I do have the Wii ping pong now so I can start training ... next year I hope to get a table ... and then "Watch out London... here I come ... ".)

BUT ... that being said, I can't just give up on the Olympics. I LOVE Canada and I LOVE the IDEALS of the Olympics. So I watched the Opening Ceremonies ... flicking back and forth ... I just couldn't help myself. Here are a few of the highlights and low lights for me ...

*FIRST has to be the slam poet Shane Koyczan and his poem "We are More" ... loved it ! It made the whole event for me.
*All the interpretive dance and special effects ... okay , not so much for me ... I had to escape to other channels ... I hate that stuff ! I honestly thought that guy walking in the special effects field and floating in the sky would never stop ... ( But I loved the Joni Mitchell song that he floated to !)
* The 106 day Torch Relay ... for the people, of the people ... genius idea !! Millions of thumbs up !!
* The sorrow of the Georgian Team was heartbreaking. The death of their team mate is so sad.
* HALLELUJAH by K.D. Lang. SPECTACULAR !!! Remember the last Olympics she performed at ... Calgary in the wedding dress ? Anyway, KD singing my favourite song EVER ( you rock Leonard Cohen !!) in a sea of sparkling lights... Breathtaking.
* Loved all the quotes from CanLit.
* The audience members capes forming the flags of different countries ... beautiful !
* Misha B. singing the Olympic anthem ? Pass for me. Sorry.
* The Olympic flag bearers ... a very interesting mix. Well rounded choices. Betty Fox, Anne Murray, Romeo D'Allaire, Donald Sutherland, Julie Payette, Villaneuve, Bobby Orr, and - love her - Barbara Ann Scott . ( Isn't she amazing ??). Great thought went into that.
* Loved the little lights that the audience had ... not as crazy about the cardboard drums.
* Flame lighters ... thrilled to see Rick Hanson especially.
* Thought the long trek outside to light the cauldron lost the oomph of the ceremony and ended the show with a bit of a whimper. ( But I am also not much of a Gretzky fan so , who knows, maybe that had something to do with it ... )
Anyway ... let's get on with the REAL Olympics ... the sports events !!!

So ... that's what I thought ... leave a comment to tell me what your favourite part was ...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2 pOSts in 2 DaYS ... must be a record for me ... and a LIST

* a Brussels sprout
* a dehydrated Brussels sprout (later)
* Ferraro Rocher wrappers
* a wrapped cough drop
* small scissors
* pens
* pencils
* nail clippers
* dozens of Dixie bathroom cups
* small inkpads
* milk caps
* spinach
* apple peels
* potato peels
* kleenex
* full sheets of note paper
* tweezers
* a pencil sharpener
* very heavy beanbag turtle & horse from Bali
* my"Damned Dollies' - handmade dolls from a Toronto artist
* the Eiffel Tower (okay ... a replica)
* the CN Tower ( again, a replica, but I'm thinking she could do the real thing ...)
What are all these things, you ask ? These, my friends, are some of the many items my kitten Dillee likes to carry in her mouth while she runs. It is too funny !! Her other talent is totally annihilating rolls of toilet paper ... and maybe I should get mad and make it clear that is not good behavior ... but it is so funny to see this little cat go ballistic on a roll of TP and then sit in the ENORMOUS cloud of white shreds. I laugh now thinking about it ...

Anyway, Dillee was spayed 2 days ago ... and she has been on HIGH ENERGY ever since .... running, climbing, NUTS !!! Because she seems to have so much energy, I will be calling today for MY vet appointment !!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

hmmm ... what's up with this day ...

Here's the day so far ... but don't get me wrong - it's great !
1. hardly any sleep for the last 2 nights ... Dillee had to be spayed on Tuesday so that meant no food after 8pm. So we needed to take the food up which meant 5 cats with no food . The direct translation of that is "NO SLEEP FOR PEOPLE". They foraged all night ! Then last night we brought the newly spayed Baby Dill home. She was fabulous ! But crazy. I asked Sara if the incision is where they actually put in batteries - she NEVER STOPPED ALL NIGHT. Crazy running, climbing, jumping, running over us , on and on ... So another night without much sleep. And we tried. We thought she would calm down and rest if we turned off all the lights ... you know, trick her into thinking it was night. Yeah, great idea. We ate dinner and sat all evening in the dark. We got tired but she didn't !!
2. I have priced about 300 strands of beads in the last week or so. Pretty happy to have gotten that done. Not so happy this morning to find that all the barbell tags have popped open or fallen off !!! THEY DO NOT STAY STUCK !!!! So I have spent most of the day TAPING every tag together. GRRR.
3. Just ate my lunch ... chicken and mayo that expired in October and then a pudding cup that expired in August ... Hmmmm ... do you get the idea that I am NOT on top of things ??!! Hopefully it won't cause me to expire....

BUT ... have you seen that sparkly diamond like snow out there ? Have you felt that warm gorgeous sun ? Have you noticed how blue the sky is ? How can I care about all that other crap when it is a day of glorious proportions out there ???!!! Enjoy the day my friends !!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A little somethin' somethin'

Here are a few things I made this past week ... I have cleaned up my work room and am on a roll !! The Creativity Journal has really helped me to stay in the groove. I try to always clean off my table at the end of a project and leave the journal laying there ... like an invitation. And it works !! ( my, I am easily influenced ...)
Anyway, this week I experimented with a collaged canvas ... and it was FUN !!! I got to play with Claudine Helmuth paints, inks, sprays, ripped paper, Mod Podge ( although I always call it MODGE PODGE ... flows better ...) metal bits, stamps, whatever !! Here is my first attempt. I already have another canvas painted and waiting !!
Then I took stock of all the paper I bought when I was just in hungry paper-buying phases ... what on earth will I do with it all ????? So I am making it up into small albums. I will sell some in the shop and on ETSY and some will be gifts. Why not ? The first was a kit I bought at a silent auction. Now, why I bought a kit, I will NEVER know ! I HATE kits !! I am such a stubborn ... ah ... person that my life motto is "You're not the boss of me." And that extends to anything creative ... I will not follow a pattern or directions ! At card classes I always had to use the other side of the paper ... stubborn. (It's not always my best trait, I'll admit ...) So , anyway, I have this kit, all packaged page by page. So I dumped the whole thing in a pile, threw in a few other things, and put it together HOW EVER I WANTED. I looked at the directions when I was done and the 2 projects were nothing alike. So now I am starting on all the other stuff I have ... crankin' them out !!
We went to my niece Kari's birthday party this past weekend. She made her own cake ... she was inspired by Sara's beautiful Hallowe'en cake to start decorating cakes ! Her cake was a sweet little garden with rows of little peas-in-pods, carrots, radish, and lettuce - all made by her ! It was adorable ... I'll try to get a picture from her. Her next cake was a fish bowl complete with rocks & goldfish ... cute ! But here's the best part ... she has asked to be the "Guest Baker" for the CAPS fundraiser this month. So she will make the treats for the week of the 25th ... I can't wait to see what she will make !! WOOT ! WOOT !
Well I have a big box of beads calling my name ... better go be productive !! Have a great week !!

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