Friday, October 30, 2009

Stress leave

Sometimes it is worth your while to start to make waves. As long as you keep doing what they ask, they will assume that no action needs to be taken. And that's not just my opinion, it is a fact of life in government jobs. It was explained to me several times at various stages of my career and also in my management studies. Just think about how much money they save by not filling a job. And stress leave can't be held against you in a government job. Are you really worried about future promotions? They have taken advantage of you and even interfered with your holidays. Do you have a case for grievance?

You find your strength and renewal in your volunteer work. If the job is interfering with that, then you may even have genuine case for stress leave. Protect yourself. No-one else will.

Be glad I didn't visit today. As of about noon, I've been getting steadily sicker. I hope it's a cold rather than the flu, but I'm starting to worry about the little ones coming over on Sunday. Amber phoned this morning to brag that Jessica was awarded a certificate at school assemby today for showing respect for others. Parents had been invited to see the award. Hard to understand when she and her sister fight so much. Amber said that there is an award given at each grade level, I'm guessing once a month.

just me

I am finally getting enough thoughts together to add something to this blog. Pati, I really feel for your dilema. It seems unfair, but in order to fight it you have to spend $$$$. And you really don't want to bad mouth her, but...... could obvious statements be made in her presense? You, "i am so glad that (insert name) gave me permission to use some of her (insert art form) Of course I have acknowledged her." It may go right over her head, but you never know. Jim has been painting in the kitchen. Unfortunately, what he has painted is so obviously cleaner that what is left that we have a whole lot of work ahead of us. They offered the position at work to someone, but as of today, she hasn't accepted it officially, and her start date has move from Nov 16 to Nov 30. I am so tired of trying to complete 2 jobs. It has been 4 months!!! Even after she starts, Patty has to train her, so I am still looking to the new year for a break! It has been suggested that I see the doctor and get a letter for stress leave. As of today I am seriously considering it. Everyday this week I have been close to tears at work. I guess I am just burnt out. Even my volunteer work is becoming stressful. I really don't want to be responsible for someone elses livelyhood. Sorry to be bitching, but I guess I am just tired. Whitemud is doing The Odd Ccouple in the spring. I offered to prompt, since I am too old for the 2 female roles. A friend read for a part, but she has been ignored. Don is asking other women if they will consider taking a role. I think that if someone reads for a part (and she is really good!) they should have a better chance than someone you just phone up and ask. This woman has worked her share of backstage (unlike the two women he is asking... neither one has ever worked back stage.. they are actors... not flunkies!) (bitch, bitch, bitch) After re-reading this post, I should probably delete it, but if you can't bitch to your sisters, what good is family?! I sure hope I win Lotto Max tonight

Love Ya

Copyright infringement

is against the law, but very difficult to enforce. The various groups I communicate with spend a lot of time trying to educate people like this, but it's really an uphill battle. The response is often "but I changed (fuill in the blank). At one time the law was that you had to change a minimum of 30%, but now you must make"substantial" changes. There is more of an expectation, amongst artists, that you give credit to your sources and inspirations--or more importantly, ask permission to use an inspiration from an outside source. Usually people are very flattered to be asked and a "yes" response is almost guaranteed. This "friend" has done things like this before--actually put some instructions from a class with Carolyn on her blog. At that time she was threatened with a lawyer (it's always nice to have friends in the professions), and the offending blog was removed, but we never really thought that she "got it" Obviously not! She is a member of Ravenesque, and now I have the quandry of warning other members, and/or becoming very reluctant to share with that group. I can't say too much or identify her on the internet, or I could be breaking the law, so I had to be somewhat vague on the other blog--Ravenesque sometimes read it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Be - I'm back

From where you ask? I was at Mothers for an extended visit.... that's right - a sleep over. She needed to produce a urine specimen and fecal occult blood specimens. If you have done these you know that you have to smear two smears on each collection pad and need to do this with three separate evacuations. Mother was in crisis as she does not have the visual or manual dexterity to complete. So guess who moved in to help !! No further detail is needed suffice to say the dirty deed is done and I dropped the required objects at the lab on my way home this afternoon. I did not sleep even one minute and I am so tired I think I'll crash into bed as soon as I am finished this note. The only good thing about it was that I took our dog with me and so had some comfort in having her to take out for a walk and to play with in order to put in some of the time. I did a lot of housework - vacuuming, laundry etc and of course the meals. It means so much for Mother to have someone there that I really cannot complain too much because I am helping.
Patty, I read your Mouse Factory Blog and feel terrible for you. How frequently does this happen? and is there not an Artist's unwritten ethical consciousness or even an Artist's "collective" that could band together to help thwart such conduct. I keep thinking about how particular you were to get permission to use those special hand made buttons on your work and to acknowledge that Artist. Feel proud that you have and keep such a high standard and professional ethical approach.
The other day this house was a bakery for Christmas Fruit Cakes - 21 loaves made! Took two days to get ready to cut up, to mix, to prepare the pans and to fill the pans. Then three batches to bake them all - seven loaf pans only could fit into the oven at one time. Then a trip to the LCBO for Brandy - and it went onto the cakes and not a drop left for a glass up to my lips! By the way they are not all for us - most given away to family and some for gifts.
Well must go..Take care

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Selfish me!

We did well at the fund raiser last night. As they often do in silent auction draws, the winner of one draw, draws for the next prize. One lady drew her own ticket for the next prize and graciously declined, asking them to draw again. And the next ticket drawn was mine! I had won two blocks of cheese, and some little signs to use to identify them on a cheese board. (Whoopee!) So I drew the next ticket and it was mine again! I don't think I've ever seen it happen twice in a row before! But this time it was for the prize I really, really wanted--a Safeway gift certificate--so I graciously accepted the second prize and brought it home too. My friend Rose Anne had gone with us and won a prize as well.

The dinner itself was nice, and well presented, but I thought a little pricey. Unfortunately, the lady organizing it for us had promised tickets at the door to five people who didn't show up. This meant that we had to pay for 5 extra meals. So roughly estimating things in my head, we didn't do so well with the fund raising. I have inside info, as I had to sign the cheque.

Overall, the whole affair gave me food for thought. The donated draw prizes were pitiful. Ticket sales were poor. We didn't reach our fundraising target. How can I get this organization to perform an objective evaluation of their activities? They will be happy to have made @$600.00. Nevermind that this took about three days paid staff time and as much, if not more, in volunteer time--our most valuable resources. I'm betting that the only people who might come back next year would be Board members and their families--and how long can you "milk" your Board. Successful fundraising needs to have outside support. We have some activities where fundraising isn't our primary goal ( Yes, I've spent the last three years actually asking them to list goals for specific activities--a strange concept), but in this case it was. Oh-h-h, maybe I should head for a corner and beat my head against the wall!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Be - Airwaves quiet

Hi! I check for e-mails from the Ravenesque group and there have been none so assume nothing is going on right now? On the other hand, I should be ashamed that my only external communications and consequently, my only excitement is to check for emails from Ravenesque! Although I did go into my Royal Bank accounts just now to try to reconcile but that just depressed me more.
You never said just where you got all these cranberries Patty - did you go picking or was there a big sell off of leftovers from Thanksgiving? I'd like to have all those jars in my pantry. And Cathy you don't have to worry just because you don't like cranberries although I can't figure out why - I love to cover my stuffing with spoonfuls of cranberries Yum...
Countdown to Hallowe'en. I spent yesterday watching the Curling Final on TV and filling little orange plastic pumpkin face bags with shredded paper and hanging them onto the tree at our front door. Wow, it just can't get any more exciting.
I had my physical on Friday and have asked my Doctor to send a referral to another Eye Specialist - I would like a second opinion about my failing eye site from that retinal bleed over a year ago. I called that new Specialists office today to try to book an appt - according to the recording I heard on the phone, it was closed until Nov 2 and he won't be back until after November 16 so I don't imagine I will be getting in to see him any time soon.
I go up to North Bay tomorrow for violin and the forecast and road conditions are calling for freezing rain- I hate this time of year when it is between seasons and you get rain or snow or ice etc. I'd rather just get into winter cold turkey and be done with it. But I will see Mike as I have to shorten his new dress uniform pants before Remembrance Day. He is back and forth to Sudbury over next week or two so his time is limited but I have arranged for him to run over to his house from work at noon and I will meet him there to pin the pant legs and then I'll bring them home to finish off. He is enjoying his work as an Instructor with the Regiment, but is very busy all the time and sometimes working over the weekends as well.
Well, time for bed. Take care for now

Whe-e-e-w! (Wiping sweat from brow)

I've been having a terrible time with the blog as the print had become so very small, that I couldn't read it! I tried to get tinto "Blogger Help", but the print there was too small to read and I could get nowhere. Finally I noticed the zoom level ( bottom right hand corner of screen) had been reduced to 50%. I can only figure that one of the children did something when they were over yesterday.

There are 19 4oz jars of cranberry jelly and 3 8oz jars, sitting on my table going pop! pop! I still have a bag of cranberries to make sauce out of, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. We are going out to a fund raising dinner for the Museum tonight. At this point, I would rather stay at home, but we've already spent $60.00 on the tickets. This week had been empty until this morning, but now It's starting to fill up much too quickly. I made the appointment to have my tooth pulled, but had to put it off until the first week of December, so that I wouldn't be running my booth at four sales with a hole in the front of my face. I'm sure not looking forward to this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Second try

I had planned to use Certo for my cranberry jelly, and put it up in 4 oz jars to use when there are just two of us. I was jsut hoping that someone knew whcih jelly recipe to use off the Certo sheet. Since I've been trying to eliminate beef from our diet and limit the amount of pork, we eat poultry 5-6 times a week and I'm desperately trying to find new ways of serving it, that don't use tomato sauce. Lately I've been trying whole berrry cranberry sauce and finding it quite nice. So maybe I need to do a little of both. Cranberry sauce for tomorrow and cranberry jelly for the rest of the year.

The Museum Board I'm on has been wrestling with a similar problem, Cathy, but much less aggresively. The curator has been there forever, but took maternity leave acouple of years ago. Since she has come back, she appears to have lost some ofher focus. She has always been a micro-manager, and has come oright out and said that she doesn't trust her volunteers to do things "right". ( The Board are all volunteers, you realize) Well, the only way she can hold things together, with the added responsibilities on the home front, is to exert rigid control over everything. This means that it is much easier to maintain the status quo than explore anything new. We have lost a few good Board members because of her rigidity. There has been conflict and one or two instances where the Board had been actively defiant of her wishes. The current Board Chair was getting to the point of actually initiating some sort of review, when she ( the Chair) was diagnosed with a particularly rare and nasty form of cancer this summer. Fortunately, we were offered the opportunity of receiving the services of a mentor through Art Stabilization Manitoba. This is going very well--so far. But I'm now realizing that there is nothing I can do to change anything--I get lipservice to my suggestions but no action. My term is up in February, and at that point I'll probably sever my relationship with the organization. Too bad.

Saw the endodentist yesterday, and she confirmed that the tooth is actually fractured, so must be removed. ( My dentist had asked for the consult in hopes that maybe it wasn't, and could be saved.) She actually put a microscope of some sort up between the tooth and the gum so that she could visualize the root of the tooth. I'm not looking forward to any of this, but hope it can all be taken care of before I go to Regina to teach in May.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I wrote a lengthy response to your comments, but put it onthe wrong blog. Since I can't transfer, I'll have to delete it from there, as there are other people who read it. I'll try to get something on here a little later today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This will probably get me kicked out of the family, but I don't really like cranberry sauce. It's okay, I guess, but I don't go out of my way to buy it to go with my turkey. The performance last night was really good. Poor Steve had one heck of a cold, but he was a real trouper. He kept apologizing for his "croaking" but he did really well. Jim & I joined him for supper. We had salad bar and roast beef, potatoes, carrots and gravy. It was only $10 each. We could have had pie, but we were both full. Val (the restaurant owner) sent 3 pieces of pie home with us. Steve was so excited that we sent all 3 pieces off with him this morning. We can always get more. Val is quite supportive of this concert series. She promotes it to all her customers, sells "seats" in advance, and pays for her and her staff to watch, even though they are working. She also gives the performers a free meal. ( I should mention that she has never been one of my favourite people, but I am realizing what a community supporter she is. I am impressed) It seems the next billet we have is quite famous, cause she has already sold 16 seats (with supper!) She told me that she will make sure there is a seat and supper for us, since Valdy is staying with us. They are talking about moving the tables out of the way for the performance and just having seats since so many people want to see Valdy. Val says (jokingly) that you can only see Valdy if you attend the other performances in the series. It seems a shame that he is so famous, just because he got radio play, when all these other performers are fantastic! Tomorrow is the fish fry at the Legion ( we work the upstairs bar from 5:30 to 7:30) After that I will finally get a rest. My meeting today was quite stressful for me. (As a member of the board) We were discussing the performance review of our director (you met her Pati.... Brenda) Having worked for boards, I know how difficult it is, and I hate to threaten her job. But.... we do have problems with her abilities. I guess I really hate confrontation, but something has to be done. She is stretched so thin that she is not doing her job. She just can't say no... she wants to be involved in everything (been there... done that.. not a good idea) I told them today at work that I am taking my holidays no matter what. I think they believed me this time. I hope so, because I need the break too badly to give up my time. It means a bit of extra work for them, because I have been doing two full jobs for 4 months. No one else is fully trained on either job, so they will have some rough patches, but I really need some time. If they don't get to it, it will be there when I get back. I'll worry about it then. For someone who has been in bed by 9pm lately, I have been really a night owl for the last few days. After 11 every night. This weekend I will crash....Love Ya

Be - actually I make Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Jelly can be made by following the recipe on the pectin powder or liquid. In this case you boil berries, and then filter out the juice and then make the jelly. But I make Cranberry Sauce which is good enjoyed fresh (kept in fridge) or sealed in jars. I like the taste of the entire berry - pulp and all. I'd love to hear what you do Cathy? I put my sauce on most anything including toast.
To make sauce - all I do is clean berries, put into a pot with a very small amount of water, boil until cooked, with sugar added to taste. I do not put too much sugar as I like it tart. During the boiling process I often use a potato masher to squish the berries. As it cools, the natural pectin in fruit and the added suagr helps to firm it up. We most often freeze the fresh berries because we get them in bulk ( ie many many berries hand picked) When I want some for muffins or to make more sauce I take out what I need. They freeze beautifully. But I have also made the sauce and sealed into jars and these turned out OK as well.
Speaking of jelly, this morning I opened my last jar of jelly that you gave me Patty this summer - I have been rationing it and enjoying every mouthful.
And another funny thing was receiving in the mail as a general mailing, the Annual Catalogue from EGLI'S Sheep Farm. I thought of our day trip there and to Dryden and still wonder why we drove so far? But still more interesting that they have such a broad distribution.
Anyway, enjoy all the news and check every day to see if there is a posting. Take care

Cranberry jelly

Well, Beth, I bought some cranberries. What do I do to turn them into jelly?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yes, French meat roll. We had some last week to use up the last of the turkey. I pour a tomato sauce over it made with a can of tomoto soup, 3/4 can of water or milk, and a dash of Lea and Perrins along with some grated up cheese--a good way to use up the dried up ends of the block. I heat all of this in the microwave, stirring periodically until the cheese melts. I find the meat roll seems to need the moisture of the sauce. Serve with a salad and fruit for dessert. Great! And there would be no reason why you couldn't use Pilsbury biscuit dough. If I'm making it from scratch I add a tsp of Keene's mustard powder to the flour.
Our trip was okay, but none of us was feeling too great. I was looking for a spring/fall jacket, and ended up with more of a parka with a zip in lining--in bright lime green. David preferred that one to the black one at half the price. He said that way he could always find me in a crowd. I also found a pair of slippers--something I've been looking for for quite awhile. Bought lots of beads and fabric, and , again, found pre-cut matts for $1.00-$1.50, so now I'm set for the up-coming sales. Actually sat down to do a bit of beading this evening and then realized that I was being an idiot. So now it's early to bed--I'm just exhausted. We got back around supper time.
Tomorrow I'm off to see an exhibition of fibre art from a professional group known as "Articulation". I've been aware of this group for quite some time and actually know several of the members. I was supposed ot go with my group--The Tuesday Night Stitchers that Meet on Wednesday Afternoon, but it looks like only one other member will be able to go. Then in the evening is our quilters' guild meeting. Never a dull moment around here--and we could sure use one!

Be - Recipes?

Funny you should ask about recipes as I have just made a new dish called Chunky Pumpkin Chili. I bought some of the ingredients I needed today in North Bay as I was up to have my violin lesson - every Tuesday at 2:30 pm. It is cooling now before I place it in the fridge but a few small spoonfuls seem to please the palate. Has pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice as part of the whole recipe which also has beef and chili powder and tomatoes, kidney beans etc. The leftover pumpkin puree from the can I will turn into muffins tomorrow. I had most of the ingredients on hand anyway except the fresh meat. Another new recipe I am trying will be for lunch at Mothers on Thursday - it is from the last Whats Cooking magazine and called Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie with cooked chicken, cheese, vegetables, cream of chicken soup and covered with refridgerated crescent dinner rolls although I bought the crescent roll tubes as they were on sale today. I will make most of it up tomorrow and then finish off in the oven at Mothers for lunch. What sorts of ideas would you like - I would imagine easy and simple. Slow cooker recipes are probably the best for you with your working during the day- you can put something on as you leave and come home to the delicious smell of supper. One meal I really love, besides Mom's Salmon Loaf, is French Meat Roll made with ground beef rolled into a tea biscuit dough - it is really good, and fast to make. I believe that you Patty put me onto this one?
I had a good day today which is surprising - little things made me happy. For example, I found a package of red licorice in my carrying bag that I had bought last week but forgotten all about until I was packing the bag for my trip to North Bay today. At the same time I rummaged through all my sewing stuff to find some interfacing that I knew I had ( rather than to buy more in North Bay) and found a book I had wanted to find with beading instructions. I had been tempted to look for a new book in the store today but now really happy I found this one. Simple things but they made my day in a small way! Small but significant achievements seem to keep me going on a day to day basis - as silly as that sounds.
Calling for poor weather tomorrow and the rest of the week ie SNOW! I have to go to Huntsville on Friday for my Doctors appt and annual physical. Would be a shame to have to miss this as I have been looking forward to it for some time now, NOT.
I bought a movie today - it is French. Now there is a really long story to this tale but time does not allow me to go into much detail. I really wanted the CD of music from the person who did the music for the movie but I guess in going into this French Store in North Bay to order it, it got "lost in translation" some how? Maybe someday I'll feel like watching a movie in French called Maman est Chez le Coiffure because it is now mine.
Well, enough rambling for now... I heard that Valdy is playing in Mattawa right now, a town near North Bay. Did he stay with you Cathy?
Take care


Not even mid-week but I have some free time. I came home to do another batch of tomatoes and I had it ready in less than 30 minutes. I don't have to leave for my meeting until 7pm so I have time! I have been going to bed so early lately, I don't know how I will stay awake for the rest of the week with something to do everynight. I am usually ready for bed by 7:30 and I am lucky if I make it to 9pm. This week will really be a test for me. I seem to keep repeating myself in these postings. I guess that just means that nothing exciting happens in my life. I've been reading recipe books for something new to try. Do either of you have favourites you would like to share? I would love to eat something different. I found a couple that really sounded good, but I would have to buy some specific ingredients. It seem a waste to buy something for just one recipe... especially if you don't really like it. Now that winter is approaching I want to try and plan my menus. I can't count on a quick bbq anymore. Maybe I will finally get my life organized. (mmmmmm...don't think so!) Oh well. It will be fun to pretend for a while.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

short note

Goodness, I hope we aren't settling into a routine of post once a week. Of course, if nothing ever happens, there isn't much to write about. Funny that you mention Wilno, Beth. I actually got a check from them for a wall hanging last week. Quite unexpected. There's still some stuff there, but I imagine it's getting a little shop worn and not likely worth paying to have sent back to me. The machine went into the shop Thursday afternoon. so I gave myself permission to play a little. I got out Lorraine's old Elna. It just didn't sound right, so I thought I better clean it out, and got out the manual to see how to take the throat plate off. Whoops! I had been oiling in the wrong place for the past few years. A little oil in the right place and now it sounds much better. I had thought that I might have to take it in for servicing as well. But I'm sure finding out how dependent I've become on some of the features of the Pfaff. I actually have to thread the neeedle on the Elna!

We're packed and ready to go, but we told Amber we'd pick her up at about 11:00, and it's only 8:30. Mind you we still have to buy both breakfast and gas. I get to eat oatmeal at Starbuck's but David is heading for Tim's for one of their breakfast sandwiches. I'm having to be much more careful since stopping that anti-cholesterol pill. We probably won't eat again until super, so I like to make sure we have a good breakfast. Not too much coffee--bathrooms are few and far between on #59. David prefers that hwy when we have lots of time, and there is a grocery store in Thief River Falls that carries a fantastic selection of cake and muffin mixes. Funny the things that we get excited about!

We usually don't get much traffic on Hallowe'en. We don't worry about it unless we are planning to be home. One package of chocolate bars usually does the trick. I just finished a book --British detective series--by Stuart Pawson. The book was The Judas Sheep, and the detective was Charlie Priest. It was sort of fun--lots of terrible puns--and I think I'm going to look for more in the series. Have either of you ever read anything by him?

Sunday again

It's supposed to be warmer today, so hopefully we can finish the outside work. I didn't even go into town yesterday. Just worked around the house. I am getting it tidied, and hopefully clean soon. Our billet is here on Wednesday night, but he will just have to suffer through the reality of my housekeeping ability. In theory I have November 9 to 13 off work. Hopefully it works out for me. I really need some down time. Maybe I can get the house clean! Spoke to Keri again yesterday. It is so nice to talk to her. I guess we are at the age that it is more like talking to a friend than a daughter. Of course I still lecture her like a mother, but that goes with the job. I haven't spoken to Kris since the beginning of October, but I will give him a call today. He never was much of a talker on the phone. You have to drag words out of him. But it's still nice to touch base. We never get trick or treaters here, so I don't have to buy candy. (which is good, because I would have to buy twice since I would eat the first batch) Jim is trying to root some cuttings from his Norfolk Island Pine. He found a website that showed how to take cuttings, even though it is a hard wood tree. I hope it works, cause his pine is looking pretty bad right now and he wants to start over. If it doesn't work I guess I know what I can get him for Christmas. He was working on the washing machine yesterday. It is not doing great, but I need it to last a while longer. This morning when I got up one of the hoses had disconnected and there was water all over the floor. Good thing it is in the basement. I guess it is time to go and work on my tomatoes. I stewed up another big batch yesterday and I will put them into freezer bags today. I am sure I have another batch ripe already. Have a great week.

Be - Cookies again?

I do not know what cookies means but I seem to have these pop up messages a lot and I really don't know how to rectify. I go to the various displays and don't change anything and then all of a sudden I get into the blog. So far so good.....
Wonderful weather this weekend and I hope it will hold for today as I have lots and lots of leaves to pick up. I racked yesterday but just into great big piles so today need to pack into bags. I am thinking that I have a few orange pumpkin leaf bags somewhere in the house so will look for them to display for Hallowe'en but if not, the leaves will go into plain bags and down to the dump. We purchased Candy yesterday and they are now all into nicely packaged hand out bags. Some for us and some for Mike to have - I imagine he will have a few kids at his new location. We tried to call him yesterday when we were in North Bay but turned out he was in Sturgeon Falls fixing the roof on a house belonging to a friend. I can't picture our Mike up on a roof but apparently he was! Not sure if one of us either Harry or myself will have to go to Mothers to hand out goodies - his sister usually goes but is waffling a bit this year. Mother hates Hallowe'en so we have to make sure it is totally organized and executed for her.
I met a friend, Sue for lunch on Friday in Huntsville at Swiss Chalet. Had a great visit and she talked a lot about her trips which is fascinating to hear. They have a trip planned to England in the Spring and it sounds wonderful. Her husband does all the arranging and looking up B&Bs and makes the reservations etc. Nice eh? She went to the Agawa Canyon near Sault Saint Marie - a trip I would love to take - by train into the canyon with the fall leaves colours and gorgeous cliffs and bridges etc. She sent some photos for me to see which made me want to go all the more. I showed her my pictures of McConnell Lake - she was interested to see my family - she is the one who purchased your work Patty at Wilno.
Well, time to go. Thinking about your trip to the south Patty and hope to hear all about it when you return. What are you up to Cathy?
Take care

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Be - Mid week news

Hi! Have a chance for a few words. Your story about your sewing machine gives me the chills as I should be getting my machine in for mainteance but keep procrastinating because I am still sewing with it. I did however make enquiries at the store and have been told there is no time frame as the maintenance person does it on his own time. They put the machines brought into a back room and he comes when he can to do the work. Oh !
I was thinking about you and your trip and the sudden rise in the Cdn dollar - never a good time to exchange when near parr with USA. But it is the fun and adventure of the trip, and not the shopping, right? Hope you have a great time. Take care both of you......

Sad days

My sewing machine is sick. I'm thinking that something happened to it when those young men moved it in Cook's Creek at the end of August. While I really can't afford to take it in right now, the machine is so old and hard-driven that I also can't afford to let routine maintenance and minor repairs go. So off it goes, late tomorrow, and it may be 10 days before I can get it again.

We're geting excited about our trip South. David is watching the Cdn $ very carefully on tv to see when would be a good time to exchange money--as if $0.005 difference is going to mean anything to us. Now, one of the things I had planned to look at while I was there was beads. With all of the beads I've bought lately, I sure don't need amy more. My corner cupboard is full, and I've run out of places to store them. But I do need matts, so we can justify a trip into Fargo for that.
So these days we sit at home, not spending money, and anticipate our trip.

Well, I have a lot of turkey to get rid of. I also made a lot of gravy so it looks like turkey in gravy for the freezer. Much easier than trying to make casseroles out of it. The cheesecake was a disppointment. I bought a large one at Superstore, and when we opened it there was no crust. The cake itself was fine, but not great, and the only thing that made it edible was the cherry sauce. The truth of the tale is in the fact that there are still a couple of pieces in the fridge. However, my DD invited her brother and his children for Christmas at her house. Later she phoned me in a panic when she realized that this meant that she would have to have some sort of gift for his children to open. Let them sort it out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Calm before the storm

We've decided to cook the turkey early so that we won't have to eat with a whole bunch of dirty pots all over the place. I can sure see why Mom always said that she missed a dining room.

Too bad about the hay bale. (snark snark) The rest of that show, except for the embroidered picture wasn't bad at all--some very nice pieces--I loved the Medusa, and I wish you could have seen it, Beth. Some of these things make me laugh at myself ever even considering that I might have the right to call myself an artist--and that Medusa is one of those things.

Yesterday was a good day, although I worked very, very hard. The morning was beautiful and sunny with no snow over night. The drive out was fine except when Dianne called me on the cell while I was in the median lane of Lagimodiere on the north side of the intersection of Lagimodiere and Fermor in heavy traffic. Thank Goodness Rose Anne was able to access my purse and answer the cell phone. I have made a personal vow not to use the phone while driving, and I have every intention of sticking to it. Later we went through a Rubbermade tub full of stuff from Dianne's Mother-Leonida. Then Dianne and I started sorting through a big bag of Victorian jewlery I had been given. We de-constructed the jewlery, and tried to save all of the beads. There were a couple of lovely Art Deco (Art Nouveau??) pieces with delicate pastel beads that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Most of the beads are Victorian Jet, and well worth saving. Both of us worked for aobut 5 hours, with a short break for lunch, then after supper, I spent another 4 hours on it. My hands sure are sore this morning. Now you need to know that the curator of the Crafts Museum had gone through it all before I got it and had assured me that there was nothing worth preserving--most of the pieces were damaged to start with.

On the drive home, when I was tired, we ran into two ice pellet squalls. I ended up slowing down quite a bit, but the road wasn't really slippery, so we were okay. I sure made some of the people behind me angry.

Well, Beth, I sure hope you have a better time at Mike's today. I think you were looking forward to this a bit more than the past two days. I'm half hoping we can get a card game today, even if it is the fast-paced kids game that Loren tried to teach us last time we were all together. Take it easy, Cathy, the best part of celebrating ( left-over turkey casserole??) on Sunday is having Monday to recover. I know what you mean about life getting busy in the fall, after most organizations have a summer break. This winter sees the end of two of my most demanding volunteer responsiblities. While I think I might welcome the "down time", I still shudder to consider having nothing to look forward to but spending endless days in the house looking at walls.

Long Weekends

It is really nice to be home on a Monday. A short week ahead of me. We did very little here for Thanksgiving. Both of us have nasty colds and really didn't feel up to doing anything. I made a casserole out of some leftover turkey we had in the freezer. It was okay, I guess, but with our tasters off we could have had cardboard. We're both feeling a bit better today. A little more energy. My cough has finally loosened, so it doesn't hurt my chest anymore. The house suffers because my weekends are my cleaning time, but very little got done here. Hopefully next weekend, because I have a billet here on the 21st. I'm glad you got into that sale, Pati. I know things were a "little" tense in the gallery that day. That round bale is not getting a good reception here. It is also not holding together well. You can see that it is loosing its shape already. Beth, you hang in there. You know that Pati and I are here no matter what. You can always vent and no one else ever has to know. The first snowfall here brought another death to the community. I guess she didn't realize how slippery it was and couldn't stop. Slid into a truck. We had been saying at work that people forget how to drive during the summer. We figured there would be an accident. We just didn't expect someone we know to die. My weeks are filling up with meetings and committments now. Casting calls, concerts, fish fries. Sounds rough, doesn't it! :) Steve Slade is here on October 21. He is mostly folk, with a little blues thrown in. Jim is going to go to the concert with me!! It will be an expensive week for us. The concert will be $15 each, plus dinner. (We figured we should have supper with him since he is staying here) And then the fish fry on Friday. We work the bar from 5:30 to 7:30 and hopefully the line up will have shortened by then so we can get food. Whitemud is doing "The Odd Couple' this spring. No role for me, so I have offered to prompt. It's a thankless job, but I know from experience that it is great to know that support is there if we need it. I have been seriously trying to figure out a weight loss program for me. My weight is out of control and I need to lose. Unfortunately, the support is not here. Why did I marry a scrawny runt that can eat and drink and not gain! So far it has mostly been portion size. I want to get on some sort of exercise program, too. I just have to commit to it. At least in winter the barbecues and fires stop and we spend more time inside. (is that good or bad?) Time to do something ambitious (yeah, right!) Love you both

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Be - Congrats Patty

Good news for you Patty, and I can tell by your message that you are happy and so, this pleases me!
Taking a quick look at messages before bed - and onto Monday. Feels good to have Sat and Sun over - I won't get into particulars only to say I didn't make too many errors and seemed to come out fairly unscathed???
Cathy, I called Keri yesterday to wish her Happy Birthday but she was not available. I promised in my message to call her again within this week. Hope you were able to reach her. It would be great if you could fly to TO for a quick visit - I could meet you there like we did before with Keri sourcing out the cheapest flight for you- think about it OK?
Heard on radio about all the snow and bad weather that hit you folks - sorry it came so early. We received a bit of that system today with snow flurries, snow pellets and cold winds but nothing stayed on the ground.
Take care

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy dance!

It seems that I have been juried into the MB Craft Council sale, for the end of November. Happy! Happy! Happy! I had thought I might have screwed up my chances when I mouthed off to Tammy in Neepawa. It's been a few years since MCC has had a sale, and I know they have high hopes for this one. Now, the entry deadline was extended--I wonder if it was because so few people applied??Hm-m-m. Maybe they were so desperate that they took everyone. Who cares?! I'm in!!

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, and then realized that the bedroom was quite light. the snow outside made for a very well-lit night and that included the inside. I think I experience this once a year with the first snowfall, and then forget until a year later. I'm supposed to drive out to Steinbach tomorrow, with my friend Rose Anne, but I'm going to wait until bedtime to make a .final decision. In the paper this morning was a list of the pile ups that occurred yesterday. A ten car pile up on Henderson, 8 cars at Regent and Lagimodiere, more at Dugald Rd and the Perimeter. amber had called just after supper, asking if we could watch the girls while she shopped for glasses. She had already spent 1 1/2 hours in the eyeglass store earlier in the day, and I was feelling like crap, so said "no". I also told her that she shouldn't be taking those children out on country roads in the storm. I'm sure glad I did and hoping that she stayed home. She had been over earlier in the day, and we had spent some time cutting snowflakes out of freezer paper--part of the preparations she is making for the work children's Christmas party. I had just finished tidying up the studio, and was about to start a new project. Well, I had to tidy up again.

I've been playing with beads. This has meant an adjustment in my thinking. I was planning out a small beading project, and realized that I was thinking like a stitcher--choosing threads and figuring out what stitch I was going to use where. So, now I'm going through the same exercise, but having to plan where I'm going to be putting beads--not stitches. A whole new way of thinking. But this will probably have to be put aside, while I make sure that there is stock for the two sales I now have. Whoopee! Maybe there'll be money for Christmas after all.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Be - countdown to the weekend

It's Thursday night and I am in countdown for the weekend now. We shopped this morning in North Bay and then headed right to Mothers to deliver her long list of needed supplies, stopping at home to drop off the food we shall be preparing here in readiness for the meals there. Tomorrow we shall start the prep and Saturday morning head for Mothers to be ready for lunch and then supper with Harry's brother and his wife - they shall arrive for lunch. Then we head home and finish prep for Sunday's meal and then head for Mothers bright and early Sunday morning. It will be a full turkey meal for Thanksgiving on Sunday with Harry's sister and her family also joining in at Mothers. Then we head home and finish prep for going to Mike's on Monday for another meal -this time a roast beef dinner. I am looking forward to this day with Mike and his friends, but would gladly give over Sat and Sunday!
Hope you will both enjoy your weekend and not eat too much! This year I am NOT making pumpkin pies and ever so glad. I love them but have absolutely no time ( or energy) to fuss with the making this year.
Patty, I phoned another store and have ordered a small yoyo maker ( sorry Cathy, I 'm still carrying on with this yo yo thing, aren't I?) If for some reason they cannot get it in, I'll let you know and maybe you could source it in Wpg. I am also having a great deal of trouble finding Mettler thread - I have ordered 6 spools from one store in order to finish this current quilt but not sure I can get it either! Such
Anyway, another long day has come to an end and anxious to get to bed in great anticipation of waking up to yet another long day tomorrow. Plus I have a book to finish.....Take care

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I was right

That damn tooth is turning out to be expensive. It is my first upper right incisor. It has been pegged, root canaled and crowned, in the past. Now it's probably cracked and will have to come out. They are sending me to an endodontist to see if there is any remote chance that the root canal has failed and re-doing the root canal might save the tooth, but they're not optimistic. So, if the tooth is pulled, they would still want to wait awhile for it to settle down before making any sort of bridge. So a TEMPORARY denture with ONE tooth on it will cost me between $500-$600. And since it's right in the front of my face, this isn't an option. Then the bridge will mean that teeth on both sides of it will have to be re-crowned. This will cost between $2500 and$3500. Another option would be to have an implant for $5500 or more. ONE TOOTH!!

Then yesterday the decision was made to cancel my class in Brandon for lack of registration. Thank goodness I haven't spent a lot on supplies. Still, I've finished the notes, and have a lot of samples, so I can still offer the class. But the samples I've been working on this week will be finished and offered at the sale coming up in early November. I had been sort of counting on the fees for the class to help pay for a couple of days down south, but that'll teach me to "count chickens before they hatch". We are going Oct 18-19, and Amber will be with us. She is anxious to visit a store for large women that sells lingerie. She pays up to $150 for her bras here but can get an equivelent bra there for about $35. Since I have a problem finding bras that fit, I'm anxious to try this place too. And, of course, I need to look for beads.

All of the children and grandchildren will be here for Thanksgiving. We'll have to eat early so that Loren's children can be returned to their mother by 6:30, but, at least, we'll see them. I tried yesterday to convince David that we should have cheesecake instead of pumpkin pie for dessert. He's okay with cheesecake ( I knew he would be) but drew the line at pumpkin cheese cake. I think I'll probably serve both. Normally this would be the time for the fall Lion Ceremony, but poor lion never made it out last spring. I'll have to make sure he gets out next year.

The garden is just about ready for winter, but we still haven't been to the lake to close down. It really has to be done within the next week or so. The nights are below freezing now, and that cottage isn't insulated well enough to protect the piping. There is also a wood carver in Kenora who has been given permission to scrounge deadfall, but doesn't want to go unless there is someone there. I'm sure he would rather do it before snowfall.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rough Weekend

Sorry to have been so quiet. I've been out of sorts since Friday, and just not up to doing much. A terrible toothache, which seems to have eased off during the night--which only means that the abcess has started to drain. I'm-again-very worried that this might mean $$$, but now have no choice but to call the dentist. But sleep has been difficut, and I haven't done much but doze since Friday.

Amber and the girls were over for supper, yesterday. Samantha has had a bad week too. She is cutting a bicuspid and has had a terible time with it. So we were quite a pair at the table, both of us proceeding very gingerly so as to minimize the pain while we were eating. Amber is trying to make a Hallowen costume for Jessica. Jessica wants to be Daphne from Scooby Doo. This means a very simple purple dress with long sleeves and lavender stripes. Amber got hung up on neck facings, but we got it sorted out, and then I just couldn't do any more, so she ended up taking it home to finish. And this girl made her self a winter coat, complete with linings and interlinings when she was a teenager!

Tonight I go with my Ravenesque group to Dianne's home in Steinbach. We plan to car pool, and Rose Anne and I will be travelling with a lady who is attending her first meeting. I've been to this lady's home and I think there might be a bit of culture shock when we visit Dianne. But Dianne says that she has emptied out a few more boxes, so I'm sure it will be better than it was last time I was out there. My dilemma is whether I should say anything at all to warn people about what they are getting into. I think Dianne would be terribly hurt if she ever found out I had said anything, but at the same time, this is really a former tenement where Dianne and her husband have cleaned up, and done some minor renovations. Most of these ladies come from fairly wealthy settings.

But--ta da--my piece Spirit of the Wind should be ready to take with me for show'n'tell I'm so glad to have finished this piece. I have a lot of deadlines looming, and I've been so obsessed with this that they have been neglected. Now I can settle down and get ready for the class I'm teaching in two weeks.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Be - Full week

I did not get a chance to respond to your message about the exciting day you both spent on Wednesday at the Viscount Centre and then for supper- best part was that you were together for a bit of time regardless of the frustrations all around you.
I never actually plan for a rest day - it will never come so why set myself up for disappointment? It seems lately that my life is full of doing this and that. Today for instance were up and at it by 7 am and into the cranberry marsh picking by 8:30 am. I could fill a page telling yuo about how one goes about getting in there but suffice to say it is a long and scary route. We stopped into Mike's after to have a coffee with him on way home. Have plans to go to his house on Thanksgiving Monday to make a meal for him and several of his friends which he will invite. We have done this before and everyone has a great time. In fact, it brings enjoyment to me to be a part of some fun. Saturday and Sunday of the long weekend we will be a Mothers - to make the meals for Harry's brother and wife who is coming and then for them and his sister and family on the Sunday. We prepare most meals at home and then transport. Who said we got out of the catering business?
Well, I have to go... Take care

Restful Weekends

Why is it that I look so forward to the weekend so I can relax and then I end up doing things all weekend. I came home right from work on Friday (skipped meat draw) I was going to sit and veg out. I cleaned, cooked, peeled, chopped and froze the last of the beets. I put on a pot of tomato junk to simmer. Did dishes. Sat down at about 7:45 just as Jim got home. He asked if I had had a nice rest!! Saturday I bagged and froze all the junk. Went to the office and cleaned while Jim went to a funeral. I figured it must have been a long funeral cause he never came back to help. Went down to the legion at about 11:45 to leave a message for him in case he showed up while I was in town. He was sitting there with a whole group. They had all gone there after the funeral and he said he was going to call me if I didn't show up! The nerve! Went home and puttered a bit and then headed back to town to work at a legion supper. I think I must be dangerous, because I turned on the dishwasher and sprayed water all over myself. Later I was rinsing a bowl and sprayed too hard and covered myself in left over coleslaw. Then even later I dumped horseradish down my shirt! Not a good evening. Got home at about 8:30 and was just beat. I decided that today I would do nothing. Well, three loads of wash are done and I hand washed a bunch of dishes. I made a big pot of "clean out the fridge" soup and sorted all the tomatoes in the garage. It is now 10 am. I think I will rest. Jim is on his second bowl of soup. He says it is good. At last a success! I have two meetings this week and Jim is supposed to take Carl to Winnipeg. He has to be there on both the 7th & 8th. I think Jim may stay over with him. I'm not really bitching about my weekend. I actually think it is kind of funny how our lives go. Everything I did was by choice. I could have refused to work the supper and done nothing all weekend but I chose not to. I guess deep down we all have a sense of responsibility. Enjoy you day. Love Ya

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More frustration

Yesterday Cathy and I learned more about frustration. We were part of a group trying to mount a show at the Viscount Cultural Centre. It started at 8:15a.m., when David and I arrived at the art gallery at the corner of McDermot and King--right in the middle of the Exchange and right in the middle of rush hour. The lady we were supposed to meet wasn't there and didn't arrive until about 8:40. Then the gallery door was locked and the lock broken, which meant a long distance call on my cell, which got us in a back door via a combination lock. Up until then we had been in a cold and gutted space on the third floor of this old warehouse. Then we had to move a cargo van load of very fragile pieces down to the main floor( thank goodness for a small elevator) then down steps to the street, along the street for half a block, and load them into the rented cargo van. One of the pieces was so big that it wouldn't go in the elevator, and had to come down three floors via a narrow and boxed in, winding, staircase. with every trip we had to go through the same routine with this combination lock, and through the back door of the gallery. by the time we were loaded it was 10:00

Then it was off to Neepawa. Well, on hwy 5 I got a call from the lady athe the Viscount Centre. It was 11:55 and they were closing for lunch. We had no way of communicating with thelady inthe cargo van who was somewhere behind us. ( she had had to stop at the office before leaving the city). So we found the Viscount Centre by about 12:10--never having been there before, and made a quick trip to the Land Titles building to use the washroom, and then back to Viscount Centre to tell this lady what was happening. I sat outside the Centre from 12:20 to 12:50 waiting for her. Then she arrives and chastises me somewhat because she had arrived at about 12:10, found no-one there and gone for lunch!

The ladies at Viscount were great. They helped us unload, and provided every assistance in setting up. Cathy got off work at 1:00 and came over to lend a hand as well. BUT--the lady in charge, the one with the cargo van was one of the most indecisive people I've ever met. We would discuss how something was going to be displayed, the Viscount ladies would scurry around getting the equipment etc that was needed, climbing ladders and generally working their fannies off. Then she would change her mind, and demand that it be done a different way. She refused to even consider using fishing line in the hanging of pictures and quilts, although--and you know this Beth--it is good enough for the Canadian Quilters Association in their National Juried show--as well as any other show I've ever been associated with. I think by about 3:00, every other person in the room was ready to kill her. I think that part of her problem was that she would set up one or two items in a little vignette, without considering how it would look in conjunction with all of the rest of the items in the room. Then, when it was all set up, she would look around and decide she didn't like it. A couple of times, I even said to her, that I was looking at how things went together and what sort of "line" one or two pieces were creating.

Now, I had a small breakfast about 7:00, and by 3:00, with no lunch, I was getting a little"testy". I probably said some things I shouldn't have. I have applied, through the organization she works for, to participate in one of the biggest and best fine craft sales in the city. We are supposed to hear by Friday. Want to bet that I don't get in?

And what were Dave and Jim doing all this time? Well, after buying some chickens, turkeys, and bird seed, I think they spent most of the afternoon sitting around drinking wine with the Hutterites. All the way home David talked about what he had seen, and the stories that an old gentleman told him about early days on the Colony. I think he had a great time, and I really owe Jim a favour for showing him around and entertaining him.

Cathy, that was a fantastic supper, although I think I could have eaten anything by that time. I realized, on the way home, that other than that glass of wine, I had had nothing to drink after the coffee we bought on our way out in the morning, in Portage! I'm going to process the veggies you gave me over the next day or so. If I remember, the potato recipe in the book said that it could be frozen for up to 3 weeks, but I wonder, have you kept it longer? It would be great if it could be kept for, maybe, two months?