Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Be - Wow! It was a trip for me as well...

I followed your every move Patty and think I also tasted your every bite whether New York Fries or Laura Secord. Sounds as if you had a great outing together and by your message there is still more to come!
I walked up to the big celebrations this afternoon - the Olympic Torch made it's way down the Main Street of Sundridge at precisely 3:58 pm today. It was over in a flash but very well orchestrated. I had watched a special on TV some time ago about how precise it is being managed and I would have to say they are succeeding. I also cannot image the amount of public money being spent on the whole affair - wonder what it could pay for if used for poverty, or hunger, or lodgings for those that are in need? Well enough ranting...for there is yet another celebration awaiting Kris as he takes the torch and does his run. I will be watching intently as it winds it way through Manitoba and Brandon.
Patty I have to tell you that when I used the red Delectible Mountain quilt that you gave me on the bed for Mike over Christmas ( I pull it out for special!) I was surprised to spot some very familiar fabric - there were at least three I recognized from that quilt that I used in the nine patch that I just made - you maybe recognized some of the fabric too?
Last night on TV they interviewed the author of Hermetic Code and he states that he sent a first print copy to Dan Brown years ago when it came out, and now the new novel from Dan Brown called The Lost Symbol has some very coincidental similarities to the Hermetic Code. The Lost Symbol is based on the Free Mason connection with the Capital Building in Washington. I really enjoyed reading the Hermetic Code when I was in Winnipeg a few years ago - did you like it Cathy?
Well, life goes on here - had to make a quick trip to Mothers this morning - her homemaker was there and the washing machine quit full of water. Long story short...Harry and I drove to Huntsville and ordered for delivery of a new machine from Leons to come on Saturday. For an extra price they will take away the old one ( once Harry empties it tomorrow) I also brought all the laundry home and did it here ready to take back tomorrow. We will also have to go on Saturday so Harry can be there for delivery and hook up the new one, and I can keep Mother in the living room out of the way!
Anyway, time for bed - just heard all the fireworks going off at the waterfront - today was the Sundridge New Years Eve Family Celebration in conjunction with the Torch Relay so there were the usual activities at the Arena and waterfront. We can see the fireworks from out our front window and can certainly hear the loud ones so its like actually going down to to see them which I try to avoid.
Take care and Happy New Year to everyone. Will be thinking of David on his Birthday Jan 1!

too much hand work

My wrists have started to act up again. So--in the interest of joint conservation--David and I cruised the mall after going out to pay our bills, instead of coming home and working. We had a ball cruising dollarama and ended up spending almost $25.00, mainly on crafts. Now I can spend the whole evening sorting it all out and putting it away. Do you know how many sequins you can buy for a dollar? About 1000. We actually had lunch at New York Fries,then decided to check out Laura Secord for dessert. We had hopes that there might be some Christmas chocolate on sale. We saw Hallowe'en chocolate on sale and--ta da--easter eggs. So, our Hioliday treat to ourselves was a Laura Secord Easter egg.

It was great doing power cooking today. Because my wrists were so sore, everything got put in the Crock Pot, instead of stirring it on the stove. We've just finished building three lasagnes for the freezer, and have at least two meals of spagetti sauce cooling off. There is chili for supper. David says that there is absolutely now more room in the freezer for anything. But this means that it could be a month or two before I actually have to cook a meal again. Whoopeee!! Mind you, the counter is coverd with dirty dishes.

David had asked if we could go to Baked Expectations on his birthday, but we phoned and they won't be open. So we plan to go tonight. There is no way we want to be on the road tomorrow. Now, just think of how much work I'm avoiding and how much fun I seem to be having. While I wouldn't wish sore wrists on anyone ( they sure interfere with sleep), there is an up side to having to change my behaviour and find activities that don't involve fine hand coordination or power grip. Unfortunately, it also means that I'll have to minimize mouse/computer work for the next little while--but I am practising using my left hand for the mouse so that I can play poker

Sunday, December 27, 2009

down days

I now have a test class for my Regina classes scheduled for late January. This resulted in an OMG moment, but now I've settled down to work. I knew what I wanted to do, but really didn't have any concept in my brain to pull it all together. So I've been spending the past few days researching design elements, and waiting for inspiration. Finally today, I decided to take a break from the books, and set up the exercises I wanted the students to do. Once I started to type, the flow of ideas started and my concepts have come together. Now I just have to get them on paper and test them myself. I feel I've made real progress today, and I'm quite relieved. I was getting very worried as this class just wasn't coming together. Still a lot of work to do, but at least, I have a sense of direction.

No, we aren't planning to head for Ichiban. Amber gave us some gift certificates for a local bar. We've eaten there before, and like the food. I really wish we could agree on a movie to see. I half wonder if we shouldn't be renting movies, but we both enjoy the poker too much. We may go for a drive in the afternoon. David loves to drive, and we can't afford to drive around Minnesota and North Dakota any more. Besides which some of the highways are still closed there. So it will probably be the interlake for us. Usually I take my camera and try to find artistic shots, but I left it at Amber's on Friday. I think it would make David crazy if I took my sketch book.

Anyway, it's late Sunday night. Too late for more poker. So time for a shower and off to bed.

Be - Snowy day now but we had rain

The rain came on Boxing day - threatened freezing rain so we headed off to North Bay early yesterday, Boxing day, to take Mike back. It was a bit slick on the highways but then after we got back home it poured rain which I hate in the middle of winter. Today it is colder and snowing so maybe all is back to more seasonal weather. I have cleaned up a bit around the tree, and done some wash but otherwise feeling more like I'm in a "twilight zone" right now - can't pinpoint the feeling but probably has something to do with letdown after the big anticipation of Christmas and having Mike here for awhile. I am sure it will soon pass as reality rears its ugly head again.
Mike gave me a new DVD player because mine was no longer working - he knew this, so figured it was no good coming to visit if we couldn't watch movies so bought one as a gift. It was great actually as we watched many movies he brought with him that he knew I would enjoy and then yesterday and this morning I have watched others eg the Randy Bachman music video from the Montreal Jazz Festival that I got some time ago but never saw.
Otherwise all is the same here - hope your Christmas was enjoyable and by the sounds of it from both of your postings it was. And anxious to hear Patty if you and Dave will be celebrating your Anniversary tomorrow Dec 28 at the Ichiban?? Happy Anniversary to you both.
Take care all...

Saturday, December 26, 2009


This was actually the first really poor weather Christmas we have had in a while. It has been really cold, but not storming in a while. I have blisters on my hands from peeling, cutting and mashing all the potatoes. We got to Chicken Delight at about 12:45. Dinner was supposed to be from 3 to 5or 6 and deliveries at 4pm. Well........... of course we were late, but we were over an hour late. Nothing seemed to go right. I got Jean to turn the carrots on early this year, but unfortunately it seems another volunteer thought they were on too low, and turned them off.! Then Jean wanted all the deliveries out before whe let the people eat... with the weather what it was, Jim had over 20 deliveries to make. People kept phoning. I guess they waited to see if they could get out and then decided not. About 20 minutes after he left, Jim phoned to say he was stuck. The Neepawa Press photographer was there (a family friend of Jim's for years.... One of Tim's friends) Well, with the help of the translater, he got 4 of the Ukrainian immigrants into his 4 wheel drive truck and off the went to free Jim.. It seems all they did was lift up the car and move it out! Allan then took 3 of the deliveries that were on side roads, and left Jim the ones to the Manor and Kinsman Courts and the main street. MEanwhile, the handi van had returned to pick up people and they hadn't even eaten yet. Maybe next year things will go smoother. Jean didn't have much left over meat again, but wouldn't you know that there would be a whole bunch of the darn carrots left! It makes for a long day, but it is fun (in a warped kind of way) I have some ideas for next year, One involves not cooking carrots! Today I plan on puttering at home which is a good thing since it is still blowing out. Maybe tomorrow clean the office and then Monday will be my day to do nothing. Both Keri & Kris phoned yesterday which was nice, even though Kris and I played a bit of phone tag. I picked up the phone and it went dead. So I called him back and he picked up the phone and started dialing.. I was saying "Stop Dialinig... I'm talking to you" He started to laugh and hung up the phone. I called him back and we finally connected. He says he heard me talking and was going to answer but accidently hung up. It was worth all the confusion though. They had 12 yesterday and are expecting 29 today You know, this is fun. It's aready after 9 am and I haven't done a thing except make tea and drink it. I could get used to this. Jim is up now I think I will go and be nice to him! Love Ya

Down time

Home again. A pleasant day, but tiring. I fully understand menopause now. While it may be uncomfortable, thank Goodness, it means that women our age don't have small children. They are a miracle in small doses, but it sure was good to get home and open the wine. We had a short time to play Farming Game and introduced Loren's kids to it. I think they enjoyed it and will probably play it again. Poor Amber was trying to function on about 3 hours sleep, which meant that I ended up doing a lot more than I had expected. Actually it was more organizational stuff, and tidying up, but I was tired last night. I took pictures and, of course, left the camera with Amber. She got a very nice camera as a gift, so we can maybe look forward to even more pictures.

The drive both ways was stressful. Very windy and blowing snow going out, to say nothing of how slippery the roads were. While we were there--it rained--and then continued to snow. The cars were covered in layer of ice, which David slowly chipped off while standing in cold, nasty wind. Driving home, in places, the roads were almost drifted over. No passing, although that didn't stop people from trying. When we got to the yard, the driveway was drifted over, but not so much so that David wasn't able to force his way through--bottoming out all the way. He'll be out with the snowblower this morning. On Thursday, we discovered that the snowblower was very low on gas, and desperately needed an oil change. Thank Goodness he took care of that, or we would be in big trouble today.

We're planning on heading over to Gail's for a "Open House" at noon today--if we can get the driveway cleared. I think I'm more worried about the driveway and street at that end. At least we are just off a main road, and as an ambulance route, it gets cleared very quickly. As well, we have a city councellor living on the block. We've sure lucked out that way over the years. When we were on McMeans we had some sort of big wig on the block and our street and lane were cleared before anyone else. And then on Woodside we had a fellow with a loader who contracted with the city, and would clear the street on his way out to work.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I think we'll be sticking pretty close to home over the next few days. Dianne had invited me out to spend tomorrow with her in Steinbach, but I will probably put that off until next week, when the roads have been cleared.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Be - waiting game...

Hi, I have a minute right now to write a few words - may be the last time until after the big day! So I wish you both a very Merry Christmas and hope that you shall enjoy the time with family and friends. I am just waiting for Mike and Harry to arrive from North Bay. Today they helped with the delivery of 780 Christmas baskets for the needy through the Santa Fund in North Bay. Mike has participated for years as Military as has Harry to assist and support Mike and the effort. Harry even went last year when Mike was oversees and nor directly involved himself.
I did last minute cleanup and then shopped for food, and prepared supper ready to cook when they arrive home.
Patty please tell David that the little slip of the Christmas cactus from home that he gave me many years ago has a small bud on one of the branches. Now, he also needs to know that the plant has not grown much but has struggled and continued to live with much tender loving care so when I saw this bud I was overjoyed. I saw this little bud as a message for me - what the message is I don't know but things happen in mysterious ways, don't they?
Well, must go and make a salad, and get the dishes ready for soon Mike will be here and I can't tell you how happy it makes me!
Take care, and lots of love.......

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Good for you

I know what you mean Beth. It was an accomplishment just to stand up there and be part of the event. Our Mother drilled into our heads that we aren't good enough to be part of something like that and/or a lady never draws attention to herself. We all need to be part of this sort of thing. It doesn't matter how big a part, just being there is often a validation of our worth.

Cathy, I'm so glad you got to see Kris and Sandy, and that it was a good day for you. Funny, but my son knowing how to cook has made a difference in his life, too. I think it's just a reflection of what good mothers we are, making sure that our children have all of the tools they need for life. Lately I've been seeing Amber cook--after many years of her convincing Darren that she didn't know how.

We, too, are cooking on Thursday. Then packing it all up and slepping it over to Amber's on Friday. All of my family will be together Friday. Amber has even planned to play some games. She has asked us to get there between 11:00 and noon so that I can make some cinnamon buns. then she wants games until supper at the usual time. Darren has invited a friend, who would otherwise be alone. I sure hope he likes to play cards, but I can also see it as a means for Darren to get away from the family for a bit when he feels the need. ( I use the bathroom and a book for 5 minutes of catch-my-breath time) Jesica is very excited about "my cousins are coming". She has always been a little in awe of Loren's children.

But for now, we are just in a holding pattern waiting for the big day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Be - I am now a performer!

Well, it leaves much to be desired but tonight I attended and participated in one of my music school's Christmas concerts. The owner arranges for the school to play at various events eg the mall, nursing homes etc as a promotional for the school as well as to allow students to play in front of others. Tonight from 6:30 to 7:30 I went to one of the Nursing Homes in North Bay to join in as a student- my very first performance. I really wanted to go to "initiate" myself so to speak.... I figure that if I am going to learn to play that I should also start to demonstrate to others - that is to others than the cats, the dog and Harry's Mother! I thought it would help to improve my confidence a bit as well as show support for the school. The program had about 27 songs and dancing numbers of which I was actually able to attempt 5. These were the only ones that I had learned. For the other tunes, I stood there with the others and held my violin and smiled and sang along. The speed of the tunes played was much faster than I am able to play and consequently I mostly just tried to play a few notes when I could without embarrassing myself too much. I will call it a success for me personally as I achieved what I set out to do and that is to attend and attempt ot play. So here's to me...........
Now we are in the countdown for Christmas and I have been tidying up and making space for Mike to sleep in his old room. And we did the "big" grocery shopping for Christmas dinner yesterday. Most of the food stays here and on Thursday we do ALL the food preparation and then haul it all to Mothers Friday morning. Same old, same old...
Anyway, bedtime. Good to hear from your both via the blog and it seems we are all on the same wavelength about a lot of things which we probably would never be discussing together if it weren't for this means of communication. Thanks, and take care.

We are soooo alike

I got up this morning at 6:30 and fed the cat, turned on the kettle for the tea and let the dogs out. Before I fed the dogs JIM WAS UP!!! it just disturbed my whole morning. It's not that he did anything, but my routine was shot! Does that mean that I am caught in a rut? I soooo value my time in the morning. Even if I have to feed the pets, it is my time. How dare he get up early!! Oh well c'est la vie! My day with Kris and Sandi was great. Kris cooked fish for supper. (keri says that Kris is a g00d cook in self defenses..... should I be offended??) It was sooo good. Keri got her Christmas box on Sunday... The post office delivered it... on Sunday!!!! It wasn't much..same as Kris and Sandi got.. but it was heart felt. Maybe tomorrow I will have my Cathy time.... love ya

Quiet time redux

I've been thinking about this a little more and I think I may have figured it out--just a little. When we were involved mothers, especially if we were working at the time, the only time we were "off duty" was in the early morning before the family got up. In the evenings we were usually exhausted and only loooked forward to sleep for ourselves, but those few minutes in the morning were a calm oasis. Even if our lives have changed, that remains a fond memory at some level.

OMG I've turned into a grandmother! Spent time last night crocheting "dummy" strings for mitts. Does anyone have a better name for them?

And my weight has remained stable for the past month--pretty good for December--or else a reflection on how pitiful my social live is.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quiet time

I know just what you mean. Even though most of my day is spent alone, in the basement, I treasure that quiet time with that first cup of coffee. No music, but this is the time I can sit in my nightie and check my e-mail and the blogs. I, too, put on a Christmas cd yesterday, and will probably play more over the next few days. I've always treasured my moments of solitude for psyhic, internal renewal, but now I spend so much time alone that I also find joy in just walking through the mall--especially this time of year. I guess I'm still trying to find that balance. I'm always glad to hear that you both are getting out socially. I dread the next few months when we are, somewhat, forced to stay inside because of the weather. A couple of my volunteer commitments are ending soon, and I won't even have that excuse to get out of the house. When I first retired, I would get so "antsy" that I would take a book, and go and sit in the local Starbucks for an hour or so. I may start that again. I know my friend Shirley will always go for coffee with me, but sometimes it's the solitude I crave.

Shirley is a fairly competent 76 year old who has chosen to live an an assisted living facility near Concordia Hospital. She has her own apartment, but has opted for communal meals rather than cooking for herself. She is fairly happy but, the number of residents with emerging dementia is driving her crazy, and she just has to get away once in awhile. She still drives her own car, but will let me drive if we go anywhere. I'm being fairly careful about how much time we spend together, as I think she might become too dependant on my presence, but still enjoy getting together with her once in awhile.

Saw another new doctor Friday, and he has agreed to take me on as a patient. He examined me and expressed confidence that the lump in my breast was nothing to worry about. But he also assured me that he would get the results of the diagnostic mammogram I had in September and, if there was any question, refer me to a specialist. So I have another appt with him for mid-January. He also gave me a seasonal flu shot, so now both arms hurt. The appt is for shortly after my tooth is pulled--yes--the insurance permission finally arrived and that whole thing is a go.

Have little girls for supper tonight, and a pot roast ready to get going. It's almost going to be a "clean out the fridge" meal. The last of the fresh veggies--carrots and a turnip--for "pip'n'squeek", and apple crisp to use up the apples I bought in October. I'm still in the habit of making sure that it's a good meal from the days before children, when it might be the only good meal Amber had all week. Spoke to Loren yesterday. He has the children for the next week, but has to work, so he's taking all half days for the week, working in the mornings and trying to get home in time for lunch. I hadn't thought about it, but Jeremy is now 12, and has taken a babysitting course, so leaving them alone for awhile is quite legal. Loren said that he has left them a couple of times for a little while in the evening, and feels that everything will be fine.

I, too, got a very nice card from Kris and Sandy--one of only two I received from "real" people. Maybe I would get more if I sent some out? Ya' think!?

Beth, are you still planning to make a fish for the Ravenesque banner? I hope so. The ladies have asked after you. We have decided to make them free standing and pin them on with broach pins, so you could put it together and just mail it to me.

Be - Early Sunday morning - nice and quiet

I was up early again this morning - put the Christmas tree lights on and sat with a cup of coffee and all the animals, listening to some Christmas music. I went to bed listening to Randy Bachman's christmas show on the radio so I am getting my fill of mood lifting nostalgia.
On Friday evening we went up to the West Ferris Legion just at the south end of North Bay to atend the TGIF dinner and entertainment. It was Old Time Fiddling put on by a really good fiddler from North Bay and his little band of players. It was an enjoyable evening. Harry had gone into this persons store in North Bay on Wed and purchased a small amplifier for my violin as a Christmas present ( opened early obviously) and this man started to play for Harry right in the store when all sorts of customers were also waiting - he loves to play his music and mentioned to HArry that he would be playing at the Legion on Friday. That is why we went. Apparently he is playing again on Jan 22 but during the show he mentioned that I was starting to learn and may be I would play something on Jan 22. To which I commented "no".
Well, Harry just got up so I must go for now. Take care and let me know how your weekend went = especially Cathy visiting with Kris and Sandi - by the way we received a lovely Christmas card from them Cathy - it was so nice to hear from them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

T'is I again

The weather is great right now and there is no snow... We are going to Killarney on Saturday, and the forcast is for snow, or not snow.... don't you love the weather. Pati... I do so love your work,,, I have no artistic experience to go by, but as just a person.. I love it. We had a meeting last night. It is stressful, because we are trying to divide one job into two, and the person in the current job, even though she is overworked by her own admission, does not want to give up any portion of her authority. We offered her the job that we felt she was most qualified for and was most interested in, but she contered with a proposal that she kept what she does and gets more money... the problem is that she cannot do what her job is now... she is just not qualified for it all. Why did I think that volunteer work was fun... I had given the board the name of a friend of mine that is experience in human resources... I don't think she expected to come in on a controversy. On the other hand, I just talked to her and she really understood what I was explaining and had no problem with dealing with it. I have tomorrow off again (yippee!) Killarney on Saturday... and then a 3 day week... and then a 4 day week... who said worked sucked.... oh wait.....that was me! The kitchen is slowly coming along... I think I may have to do some forceful hints, but what the heck... it has taken me 9 years to get this done... I will prevail!!

Love ya

Christmas Concert

Yesterday was Jessica's first school Christmas concert, and we went to the matinee. We were early enough to get good parking and good seats--and that's a whole bunch early! I hadn't realized that her school went all the way to grade 8. They obviously have a very thorough music program there, and, of course, every grade had to put on a number. The first two were the rythym band and they were pretty bad, but then they got into a play representing a talent contest and I was surprised at how inventive they were at both the numbers themselves and how they managed to get every child involved in some way. Overall we actually enjoyed it, to the point of laughing ( approriately) at some parts. Being French immersion, most of it was in French, but they had narrators who provided any translation necessary. Amber had arranged that we took Jessica home after the concert, and she was all "puffed up" at the importance of having her Grandparents pick her up early from school.

We had to bring her home because Darren needed to go and get his dog from the vet. The poor thing has some sort of hip dysplagia, and they had removed the head of his femur. I've heard of this being done for people, but didn't realize that they did it for dogs. And they sent him home within 24 hours!! So a very unhappy dog, and worried children. I hope it all works out. When everything is said and done, they are going to do the same thing for his other hip.

So tomorrow I have to introduce myself to yet another doctor. I half expect him to say that he can't take me on--that I have too many potential problems. He's associated with the Manitoba Clinic, so I have hopes that referrals will be a bit more easily done. And if he doesn't work out, I still haven't cancelled my January 22nd appointment with the female doctor I found last August. This is an appointment to discuss the urgent, repeat mammogram I had last September--the appointment that has been pushed back beyond all reason--in my opinion.

And I got a Royal Flush playing poker last night! Haven't even seen one of those in over a year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Be - Did you want some more snow?

I think you were requesting some snow, weren't you? You can have all you want as we have lots to spare and more coming down as I write! We are also getting your cold snap - going to 25 below tonight but I think it may not be as bad as you have been enduring lately there.
I have a few minutes to write a bit this morning - Harry has gone shopping on his own today. I was in North Bay yesterday for my violin lesson but ended up having so many tasks to complete that it took most of my day and I never saw the inside of a store to do any shopping of my own. Oh well, a few lottery tickets, and scratch and win tickets will have to do I guess!
Mike had requested a Christmas gift from us - which is good to have an idea of what to buy - but he cautiously asked us over the weekend if we actually bought it, and if we did, could he have it right away? We bought him an "I Pod Touch" - the technology eludes me - and so, I delivered the wrapped gift to him yesterday as he had two friends there at his home over the lunch hour from work who were going to help him upload, or download or whatever one does to get it working! He was very happy and appreciative - so that was enough to please me as well. Gifts that are successful are always good.
On the other hand, Harry's Mother needed a new electric kettle so his brother bought her one and she opened that gift when we were there on Monday as we knew her other kettle was leaking a bit. Well, she is "not amused" with this new one - does not like the shape or how it works ( sits on a docking station) So today Harry will buy her another new kettle the same as her old leaky one in an attempt to keep her happy. Harry has already told his brother so it won't hurt his feelings. We also bought her a gag gift that she opened early too. It was a bag of Wheat Fluffs cereal that apparently she used to enjoy eating all the time when they lived on the farm. HArry thought it would be a nice surprise for her. She was happy when she opened it but since trying a bowl she has complained that it has no taste and she doesn't like it and even asked HArry if it was "old" etc. Lots of complaining that Harry and I have to manage best we can.
Anyway, must get back to some work here at home. Oh, my appointment with the eye specialist that I was to go to today was postponed and now I am not going until January 25! I was so anxious to go to see what was going on with my eyes and now will have to wait this much longer. Hopefully it will turn out OK. I think of you Patty and your saga with your teeth and give a little chuckle about all the little troubles that seem to beset us!
Take care

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm Bo-r-e-d!

It's too cold to go out. I spent most of the day hemming pants--and I did it the long way to help the time pass. All we seem to be doing is sitting around waiting for Christmas. It's been two weeks and I still haven't heard back from my dental plan. Surely they aren't going to say that they won't pay for the bridgework because "it's cosmetic". I now have a vision of getting the permission in time for me to celebrate Christmas and our anniversary with a hole in the front of my face!

The second problem with being bored is that I eat. I seem to have been on a binge for about a week now. Thank Goodness we don't have any goodies in the house, although David baked sourdough bread today. Anyway, just a quick note to let you know that we're still here. Not much snow, but I think Beth got all of that. Sure is cold though.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


We had a bit of a surprise. David had deposited all of the cheques from my sale at the end of November, and we were waiting for them to clear. I bought all of my Christmas gifts, and we were really broke, so went to check if the cheques had cleared. There was far less than I had thought in the account, and we're taking the car in tomorow for a full check up. This is only covered under warrantee if they find something that is covered. So some concerns, but when the bank statement arrived, we found the money from the cheques in an entirely different account! So our skrimping all month has left us with enough that we may be able to go out for our anniversary, depending on what the car costs.

Our anniversary is one thing that I try to celebrate in some way every year. Even birthdays ( except for the children) sometimes slip by, and Christmas ( again, except for the children) has never been a big celebration within the Findlay family. Our favourite place is that Japanese restaurant we took you all to--Ichiban. They have been extending the walkways around downtown, and have built a section right over the Japanese garden that was in front of the resaurant--I wonder how this will affect the place--it was hard enough to find before. This is our 44th anniversary. Forty-five is Rubies. I wonder if David will give me rubies next year. LOL

Today Amber is taking the children to her Christmas party from work. She is on the organizing committee, and so far we've been heavily involved--mainly in arranging for a throne for santa. Every child gets a picture with santa, and a gift, as part of the cost of the party. Well, Amber and I shopped for fabric, screen printed the snowflakes on the fabric to fit over grids for a backdrop. I made up the curtain to fit over MY grids, borrowed an extra grid from Dianne, and have agreed to let them use the big white wing chair from my living room for the throne itself. Now, this morning, we find out that we are delivering the grids to the hall and setting them up. My Spidey-sense tells me that we'll probably have to take them down and bring them home as well.


Well, it's not even winter yet and the temps are -51 with the windchill! We lit a fire in the rec room and snuggled down. Back to work tomorrow. I didn't do that much this weekend. I got the laundry and vacuuming done on Friday, and we worked meat draw again (won our usual) Yesterday we cleaned the office (I cleaned the office ... Jim got his H1N1 shot) Then we went down to Jean's. The Hutterites have built her a porch and were going to cut down some trees that were in the way. They would not listen to anything Jean was saying, so she asked Jim (the token male) to come down to support her. I guess they met half way, because they are going to bring the porch in the way they wanted, but they cut down the trees Jean wanted. (they would have leaned over the new porch, and looked like they might even fall on it) Jim went back to the legion at about 4pm, but I had had a warm bath and put on my jammies by then. I was NOT moving. Today I have no plans, but I think I would like to get the bathroom clean and start on the kitchen. Our vent pipe is frosted over, and everytime I flush the toilet, I think it is going to come back up the bathtub drain..... I do so love winter. Pati, you will have to keep us posted on Dave. It sounds scary, but you said the Doctor seemed positive about things. You know we are both here if you need to talk. Christmas is almost here and I have done absolutely nothing. I think I will see if Kris and Sandi want to come and visit sometime in January. Of course, Jim signed us up for crib, so we have to work around the play offs. (Jan 9 & 23 so far) All Keri wants is striped socks, nuts & bolts and short bread.... and, of course, money. Since I have no money, no shortbread and really poor nuts and bolts, I guess she is out of luck again this year. I hope by January I can get caught up on some of our bills... why does everything seem to come due at Christmas? Its a really poor time to be this broke. Oh well, pay day is Friday and it will almost get me out of overdraft. Time to get some tea... have a good day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Be - Lots of snow but we are still OK

Thanks for thinking about us here -especially with the state of snow emergency being called by local officials. It is true that within a few days we went from grass to over three feet of snow but might as well let it come all at once! We have not been hit as bad as Huntsville and area which is just south of us. I was at Mothers Thursday and Friday ( another sleep over) to do baking and spent much time shovelling as well. Harry's sister lives in Huntsville so we heard via phone calls how it has affected them. The ski sloops are happy as could be because it was looking dismal for them last week.
Today we go up to North Bay - to do a few chores and then go to the Symphony Performance at 7:30 pm. I am looking forward to the show but not necessarily the effort to get up there to attend. When I came home from Mothers yesterday afternoon I put up our Christmas tree and decorated it best I could in a short time frame. I love to sit and look at the lights so was anxious to get it up but we have been so busy it seems, I wondered when I could do it. Bite the bullet and forge ahead I guess gets the job done in spite of being so tired from last few days of shovelling and being at Mothers baking non stop. And then at 7 pm when I thouhgt jammies and cuddle on chesterfield to watch TV was in order, Harry suggested we go over to the auction barn and listen to the "jam" - a few guys get together every Friday night to jam. Got home at 9 pm, in time to get ready to watch Spectacle with Elvis Costello at 10 pm. All in all a busy few days.
So must go to tidy up at get ready to hit the raod again.
Good to hear from you and thanks for nice comments about the quilt I made - it took a lot of time and energy and struggling from doubt about process to get it done.
Take care

Friday, December 11, 2009

Difficult news

David was at the Dr. yesterday to have the stitches taken out of his face. The lab results were back on the growth that was removed, and it has proven to be a melanoma. However, he was assured ( the Dr. read the lab report to him) that there was enough of the surrounding tissue included that they are confident that they got it all. But this meant that the Dr. decided to treat the other spots o his face and head a little more aggressively, so he used liquid nitrogen on 6 of them. He first outlined all of them with a special pen, and they can't be washed, so poor David is running around with all of these very reddened, blistering spots on his face, each outlined in blue pen. He has also been told to go back at the first sign of any new spots ( which tells me that new ones are expected) and that he must wear a hat year round.

Dianne spent a little time with me on Wednesday. Roseanne had sent us an e-mail advertising a bead sale, just a couple of blocks away, and I wanted to get there early, so at 2:00 we were waiting at the door. As part of the first 10 customers we got 15% off the already discounted merchandise. It turned out to be the remnanat of the store that had closed in Osborne Village as well as new stock she had brought in. She plans to try to operate out of her home. So we spent more than we could afford there. While we were there Dianne got a call from her husband (on my phone) asking her to pick up a package in Garden City. Then we were off to Poco Beads on Archibald, because, for some reason they were having a bead sale as well ( very quickly re-scheduled from some time next week). I was strong--and didn't buy anything at Poco--I was too embarassed at how much I had spent at the other place. Dianne invited herself for supper, so we had to make a stop at the grocery store on the way home. A pleasant supper ( that's when I showed her the picture of your quilt, Beth). Then, Dianne had a meeting at the race track and I had a quilters guild meeting. But my car wouldn't start--and I was supposed to pick my rider up in 10 minutes. So Dianne offered to drive us to our meeting and then head out to her meeting. Can you imagine the kurfuffle--Dianne in an emergency?

Anyway, the meeting went fine, and no-one noticed the cell phone I had in my brassiere--which rang twice during the meeting--Thank Goodness not when I was at the podium speaking. After we left, David remembered that we had road side assistance as part of our warrantee, and got a boost. Then he spent 2 hours driving around trying to charge the battery. So, for now, the car must be in the garage plugged in. The garage that is full of bicycles and a canoe. And it must be backed in. because the plug is by the door and on a short cord. Did I mention the canoe and bicycles? So David has to drive it in and I have to guide him. Which means both of us out in minus 29 every time we use the car. However, we have an appointment to have it checked out Monday morning. Thank Goodness again for warrantees.

NOthing else on tap for the next few days--not even company for supper Sunday. Amber is taking the little ones to the Christmas party from work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

baby sister is put in her place!

You are both so artistically talented!! I went to the blog to show the rest of the office my kitchen and they were so taken with your work, Pati..... Then I got the mail and your pictures were in it, Beth, and everyone looked at me and said...."your sisters??" Everything is so beautiful!! Beth your quilt looks so comfortable... I know that sounds weird, but it is a compliment... I just want to cuddle with it. I have tomorrow 0ff work... I am making no plans.. if I stay in bed so be it.. (of course we have to work meat draw again tomorrow, but what the heck... maybe we will win something (not!!)) Debbie, our new person started on Monday..... She is still struggling with the work, and details, but she talks to herself and she is semi warped... she fits in just fine.... I am soooo glad that she is not up tight etc... she was at first (of course) but she was soon on the receiving end of our humour she started giving as good as she got!!! She has a sense of humour and can see the "Other" side of a lot of comments. Patty, (our artistic staff person )loved the posting and picures... she also wants to write, so Kik is looking into sources for her. Just to reinterate in case you missed it.... I have tommorrow off work..!!!!!!. I have already told Jim that he will be feeding the animals while I sleep... we'll see. I am sooooooo going to do nothing! Okay, so I plan on emptying the cupboards and getting ready to paint... but if I don't do it... so lazy can you get... talk to me later.. I will tell you how lazy I can get!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quilt pictures

arrived today. What a great quilt, Beth. You must be very pleased. It's so very good to see the little squares used--finally--after they spent so many years in my house! I have a whole bunch more, if you need them--or feel that you're on a roll! (lol) It looks quite fine, and the colours all seem to work together--as they often do in a "scrappy" quilt. Thank you for the pictures. Your choice for backing works very well with the whole thing, and the sashing--front and back--pulls everything together nicely.
p.s. ignore Dianne

Radio station prizes

We have that sort of thing here as well. A lot of it here is accessed through the internet. One of the ways you get the points is to actually go to different sponsors and get a special code to enter in. It sounds as though it's proven worth while for you, Beth. We've never bothered to sign up although we listen to one station pretty well consistently ( the old CKY that was our mainstay when I was young). Maybe I need to re-think that, although symphony tickets have never been offered, to my knowledge. Since we're now facing three+ months of being confined indoors, there may be a lot more radio listening in my future.

Cathy was right. We had really wanted to travel in day light. David's vision is not good, and seems to be getting worse. I'm finding it more and more difficult to drive a night. I can understand why older people become less and less socially active. I want to avoid that sort of thing, but it's really an up hill battle.

Having said that, today will be our last day without appointments for awhile. I received my Quilting Arts magazine yesterday and there is a technique in it that spurs my interest--and not much does these days--so I'm going to try to explore that a little. I also found a technique in a "Stitch" magazine that I want to take another look at. Both are collage techniques, and use similar materials. The Stitch magazine is borrowed and has to be returned tomorrow evening. I was getting a little "antsy" about it until I remembered the copy function on my printer. Duh!

Now I've screwed up completely. I tried to add the picture here, and it's not moving! I had promised a picture of my entry into the November Fast Friday Fabric Challenge. I hand painted little neurons, then free motion quilted them and then added beads. I'll put more on the other blog.

Monday, December 7, 2009


You deleted that picture!!! Thank you!!! Beth, you missed nothing.... it was not!!!! a picture of me..... I am sure that some warped alien accessed the picture and altered it.... I do NOT look like that. Ihope that you can grasp the green... it is not moss, or forest or mint.... it is green. I wish that Pati and Dave could have stayed longer, but they probably wanted to get home in daylight anyway. It was so good to see them (and try to get the picture posted) A new experience for me! I am soooooo excited about getting the rest of the house done....... good thing I plan to live to 100!!!!!

Be - Thanks for the tour

I was so looking forward to hearing from you both today and I was not disappointed - you even sent messages/pictures while together at Cathy's. The weather I can see outside your window in one of the pictures shows all the white stuff vividly. I guess it is true then that winter has finally come with a vengeance. This weeks forecast is out to prove this to be correct, as is the view from my front room window to see the snow flying around wildly.
I went to Mothers today alone as Harry wanted to help out his friend at the auction barns. He will go tomorrow and put up her Christmas tree, and then I will go again on Thursday to do the baking and spend the night.
On Saturday night we are going to North Bay to attend a Symphony Christmas Performance. Harry got these tickets through the radio station - I think I told you that we enter words and codes every day to gain points - then we can spend the points in purchases or auction items etc. This is how I got my digital camera, the $500.00 gift certificate last year, and pending winning another $200.00 certificate if I win this latest auction - all using the points we have accumulated.
But for now, it is bed time. Again, good to hear from you and hope your drive to Cathy's and back wasn't too bad Patty? Take care
We were out to Cathy's today to return her Marriage Quilt, and to see the kitchen renovations in progress. I took pictures of the new cupboards over the stove, but Cathy, herself, got in the pictures and ruined them (LOL). At her request they have been deleted. Those cupbards have moulding on the doors, and have been painted white, with some nice hardware. Cathy tells me that she got lots of extra hardware, which will be used on the remaining old cupboards once they are painted. The other walls will be white , and the jury is still out on what colour the remaining window frames will be--white ( probably) or green. I voted for green. They are planning to paint the living room as well.
The previous post had a picture of Cathy's kitchen taken from in front of the stove/window and showing how the opening has been enlarged. Now the whole living room is visible and you can watch and hear the tv while working in the kitchen. The above picture is taken from the top of the stairs. Nice back view of Jim, and you can also see the back of David trying to run down the hall so that we don't catch him in the picture

take two

My kitchen.... It took a long time to figure out how to do this, so enjoy!

Take one on the kitchen pictures (ooops)

We tried to post pictures of Cathy's kitchen. Since neither of us really knew what we were doing, (my camera and Cathy's computer) instead of the picture we were trying for, we got a nice image of someone on her first day of school

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Not a bargain after all

Pati here
A couple of shopping trips ago we found utility turkeys for $0.96/lb. We bought. Like Cathy, I've been craving old fashioned comfort food, so we hauled the turkey out to cook for the family today. Lately we have been cooking poultry ahead of time so that we can clean up the kitchen a bit before we eat, ( sure miss that dining room!)and David decided to cook it yesterday. What a tough old bird! There is no way it can be eaten as is, so this morning we are making casseroles, in hopes that long moist cooking will help it out a bit.

Christmas shopping and gift wrapping are done. I need to buy two small gift cards, but I know those are cheap at the dollar store. I plan to have the little ones help me decorate the tree when they are here today. All of the Christmas china is out, and yesterday I started the house cleaning. Why am I ready so early, you ask? Pure procrastination--nothing is going well in the studio, and I'm avoiding the place. I forced myself down there yesterday with plans to start finishing the beaded purse I've been working on over the past month or so. I had the finishing fabric half cut out, and carefull tucked away ready to go. Do you think I can remember where I put it??!! After an hour of tearing the place apart, I gave up. Then I decided to work on another piece that has been difficult to plan. I sketched out embroidery lines, and went for supper, came back and realized that it just wasn't right, so erased the lines. The deadline for that piece is tomorow night. It seems that whenever I make myself go down there, the result is frustration. At this point I'm thinking that my best option might be to eliminate all possible deadlines, and work for fun for awhile. There is only one deadline I can't avoid, so this might be a reasonable option.

I have been havong a few memory failures lately. I remember another elderly stitcher, who ultimately developed Alzheimers. Her first symptoms were the inability to plan/design work. She would gather together all of the supplies, and then not be able to continue on. Don't want to go there!!

I watched Fargo last night. A few weeks ago, I read a book in the series about the lady police chief/sheriff/ or whatever the heck she is, and had heard that Fargo had been based on the same series. It was somewhat hard to get into, but worth it in the end. I think they messed with the character of the lady, compared to the books, but I think it was only in an effort to emphasize the counterpoint between normal people living their daily lives and the anti-social/psychopathic lives of the bad guys. I wish I could remember the name of the book author--I would like to find some more of the series.

So here's David bringing me my coffee, all dressed and ready to start work. Guess I better get moving.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sleeping in

It's amazing how much I look forward to the weekends so I can sleep in and then I am wide awake at 6 anyway! We worked meat draw last night and won our usual. No wonder I have to buy meat! Tonight I am working a supper at the legion and then tomorrow I promised Jim he could set up the tree. He has been painting in the kitchen for quite while now. He said it would go much faster if he didn't have to patch and sand so much. I like the look of it already. The west wall, where the opening to the living room is, is now painted green. The opening has been enlarged, and all the trim is white. The rest of the walls will be white, and the cupboards will be the same green, with white doors. I am looking forward to the finished product. Eventually, (hopefully before summer) we will get everything painted. Winter sure hit with a vengence. I am not prepared for the cold! I still want to wear my fall jacket. The new person finally starts on Monday. It has been a long 5 months. She came with holidays to use up, so I gave up my Christmas but I am taking the first week of March. It says a lot about my summer when I still have 18 days of holidays to use up by March. She is also going to Mexico in February. Life must be rough. I just hope she stays for a while. Jim has crawled out of bed. We had a miscommunication last night. Because we haven't been sleeping well, he said we should try a different bed. I moved everything into the other room and went to bed. He came up later and just climbed into the old bed. I must admit it was nice having an entire bed to myself. I took a chicken out for supper tomorrow. I feel like a nice old fashiioned meal with chicken and mashed potatoes & veggies and gravy (I'm getting hungry!) I saw the Doctor yesterday. He has put me back on an inhaler. He says it will help to loosen up my cough, which I have had for a month. Right after I tried it I could feel the difference so it seems it will work. Time to convince Jim he should cook me breakfast. Love Ya

Friday, December 4, 2009

Life is routine??

hardly at this time of year. I went in for the flu shot Wednesday morning. Today, I'm up before 6:00 because my arm is too sore to stay in bed. David expressed concern because, in his opinion, I take too many pain killers, so no Tylenol. I should be able to nap this afternoon. This will be the first Friday night I've spent at home in awhile, so get to watch ""Til Debt do us part" tonight while I'm beading. I'm hoping to take some stuff into the gift shop of the Costume Musem of Canada today. The Executive Director spoke to me at the craft sale last week and I called her yesterday. She is actually someone whom I've met in my dealings with the Red River Ex. Better my stuff is there, even if I have to pay a commission, than have it grow mouldy in my basement.

Yesterday, there was an Embroiderers' Guild meeting. My friend Carol James was guest speaker, but I've heard her talk before, so I took a little quiltlet I'm working on for the Fast Friday Challenge group. I managed to get all of the beading done, so now only have to finish the edges before I post a picture on the internet site. The deadline is noon tomorrow. The challenge was to use a microscopic image of something for inspiration, and incorporate paints and/or dyes into the process. I hand painted a small piece with my memories of neurons from the cytology course I took in 1964. Then quilted it and yesterday added little squiggles with beads. I used whatever paints I had on hand, in mainly primary colours, and was stunned when it was finished to realize how much it reminded me of Aboriginal art. I'm having real trouble getting motivated in the studio, and I'm hoping this project will "kick start" the process.

Otherwise we spend our evenings and sometimes our days playing internet poker. David arranged to transfer 100,000 of his play money chips to me, so now I can play for awhile without worrying about running out of chips. Before Sunday, I want to have all of the Christmas gifts wrapped. Some are quite big, and I have nowhere to hide them, so want to keep little eyes from seeing too much. We have decided not to make Nuts and Bolts this year--I may have already mentioned that.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Be - I have had "cookies" problems again

I have not had time to fuss about with this blog until now - I had messages that prevented me from signing in and just now able to enable whatever "cookies" were needed to sign in. I can't really understand it totally as it happens only intermittently but my guess is that if you do not sign in on a regualr basis it will acknowledge this by not allowing you to get in.
Anyway, it has been a busy week. I had another sleep over at Mothers in order to do her Christmas cards. Next week I'll go again to do some baking for Christmas. Tomorrow we go up to Kirkland Lake for a day trip to visit Harry's brother and wife. It is calling for some snow and squalls so hope the weather will not be too bad for the drive.
I have signed up for a workshop on Saturday related to my violin. A guest is coming to present specific workshops geared to ability level - I have signed up for the beginners session from 10:30 to 12 noon. It will be 1.5 hours of learning how to express yourself better through the music and your playing, how to join in to jam sessions, how to accompany others etc. I think it will be most interesting and comes at the right time for me as I am just beginning to feel comfortable about playing. At 4:30 pm those that wish will join together for dinner and then back to the centre for a real "slow jam" session lasting to about 7:30 pm. It is a long day but I figure I could do some shopping between 12 noon and 4:30. I know Mike needs to do some grocery shopping and I could do some Christmas shopping so the time will go quickly.
Well, I had my mammogram Wednesday and also took my hearing aids into the shop for a cleaning and maintenance. Wow! Hard to find exciting news to share with you both, eh?
Take care... I better go to bed as we are to be up at 3 am for the early start to a 4 hour drive to Kirkland Lake.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

(Insert primal scream here)

While I was out yesterday two things hapened. A letter from Sun Life stating that they would not authorize the plan the dentist submitted without further information. My extraction is scheduled for tomorrow, and I'm not going to let them pull out a front tooth without some plan in place to replace it! I've organized my schedule to minimize any social interaction during the 7 days that I would be without a front tooth, and now that's down the tubes. Still it will make the funeral tomorow evenign a ittle easier to bear.

Then David tells me that my doctor's appointment for Friday has been re-scheduled for Jan 22nd as she will not be working during December. This was the follow-up to the mammogram I had done in September regarding the lump in my breast. I don't think this doctor is going to work out, so now have to start the search all over again for a new one. Meanwhile, I still have a lump--and I'm running out of pills.

All of this has so bothered me that my brain went into gear about 4:00 this morning, and I've been up since 5:20. I have a heavy duty meeting over supper tonight, followed by a Board meeting at the Museum, where I have to take minutes. Oh Yeah! Today's going to be a good one!