Friday, December 31, 2010

Be - the big night is here

and I am ready with a bag of chips on the table and a glass of wine to be poured. I plan to stay up to see 2011 enter and have a line up of TV shows to take me to the magic hour - truth be told, I'll be lucky to make it to 9 pm !!!! But when I wake up, I shall be 50 million $ richer - that is unless one of you wins instead of me? It has been quite a week and I'll be glad to see the back end of 2010 exit. One can only dream of a better year to come. Right now it is 8 degrees and pouring rain - just what we need on top of all the snow.
So I wish you both a happy new year - best wishes and love XXX

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sort of glad it's over

Yesterday was a very strange day! I thoroughly enjoyed my class. woprked full out, came home and had a nap. Ate a couple of jujubes before lying down and my tummy didn't like them. We were early for our reservation at Ichi Ban, and went to the bar to wait-and wait-and wait--over an hour. There was obviously some sort of problem as the bar filled up and the lobby, but finally we were seated. I have to admit that by this time I was feeling a little frail, but attributed it to the glass of wine I had while waiting. The place was full, and very, very noisy. For some reason they were playing Christmas songs loud enough to be an annoyance, and of course, there were many holiday parties full of good cheer. If we hadn't already been seated, I think we would have chosen to leave. The food started to come and we both noticed the salt in everything--and more salt--and more salt. By the time the main course was cooked, I was worried about throwing up. We asked for the cheque before dessert and left. My digestion remained upset for the rest of the night. I had bought a sandwich on my way to class in the morning, and I'm suspicious about that. However, we both felt distressed about the atmosphere at Ichi Ban. Our first time there was almost 24 years ago, and until recently we have enjoyed it, but I don't know that we'll be going back again.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everything at once

It seems all the special days happen all at once for you Pati, but Merry Christmas, Happy Anniversay, Happy New Year, and last but not least, Happy Birthday to Dave. Our Christmas was busy, but quiet. Sandi ended up getting sick on Christmas Day. She was at Chicken Delight, leaning on the counter and getting paler and paler. Kris took her home (our home) and she curled up on the couch with the dog. She swears the dog never told her that she wasn't allowed up on the couch! Kris came back and worked his heart out. He was serving meals, picking up old ladies that the HandiVan forgot, cutting meat and doing dishes. He even made up a plate to take home to Sandi. She didn't eat it, but Kris enjoyed the pie. By the time the day was over I thing we served about 80 people again. Next year the poster will say that dinner is from 3 to 5. There was no end time on it this year and people were arriving after 5. We didn't run out of food, though. Jim had 16 deliveries this year, but he had a volunteer driver with a 4 wheel drive truck. Of course, the weather was great this year and he wouldn't have gotten stuck, but he didn't mind being chauffered around. My feet were really sore by the time we got home. I was on them pretty steady from 2 to 6:30. I tried to sit down to eat, but people kept coming in so I ate in stages. Nothing hot by the time I got to it, but I did get a stuffing ball this year! We did the office yesterday so today is a day of doing nothing. Jim has offered to make supper. (stir Fry) so I am relaxing. I will have to start learning my lines for the play though. The first rehearsal is on Monday and we aren't allowed our books. My problem is I keep finding other books to read. Could be interesting. Saturday is the Levy at the Legion. Northern meats donated a 14 lb ham, so Jim and I will be slicing that up Saturday morning. Jim's friend Stef (from Minnedosa) is going to the Levy with us and spending the night. It will be good for Jim to have someone around to visit with. I am sooo looking forward to not going to work tomorrow!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Busy time but productive

I'm glad to see Amber wanting to establish family traditions at Christmas, but part of the idea was to share the load and not rely on Mom and Dad to supply and cook the whole meal. I'm glad you mentioned coolers, Beth, because that gave us an idea of how we could take everything out to Lorette. We had quite a carload between food and gifts, and a table. We were sure we had forgotten tinfoil ( essential for cooking scotch oatmeal dressing). We phoned Amber to see if she had some or if we were going to have to turn around and head back home to get it--answering machine. But David thought he might have packed it, so we pulled into the Rona parking lot and started to unpack the trunk of the car--and there it was!

So we had a good meal, with everyone sitting down together. Do you remember the meals we used to have at Phernambucq's with tables lined up through the kitchen and into the living room? I think we sometimes had as many as 24 people eating there. Poor Jeremy had the hiccups--and had been having them for over a week. They had taken him into Urgent Care twice, but his ADHD meds interfere with the medication for hiccups, so there had been some adjustments made ( I think they took him off the ADHD meds--the hiccups were really, really bad). So game playing was interesting. Loren had given everyone a "heads up" the day before and had suggest that we not play a game, as it could get Jeremy too excited, but he brought a really stupid game with him, saying that they had played the game earlier and that it seemed to keep Jeremy focused and calmer. It was one of those games that you have to play a few times to figure out what's going on, so everyone spent an hour getting totally confused. Munchkin--a card game based on Dungeons and Dragons.

Yesterday we went to Gail's for lunch, along with the rest of her family. They took a family picture while we were there and gave us a copy before we left. I took a look at it today. There are such strong family resemblances, and none of them age well.

But today! I spent the whole day doing gelatin printing! I had planned to do it this week and today was the day. What fun--and very productive too.

Tomorrow, I have a one day class with a very highly respected local artist, and then we have reservations at Ichi Ban. Amber and Darren gave us some money toward our meal, which David very quickly stuffed into my purse, so that it wouldn't get lost. Got home--no money! So whose purse did he stuff it into? Luckily we realized it right after we got home, and called right away and found it. However, Amber is holding it for us, so the meal will come out of my pocket until we can get together with her.

But the bottom line in all of this is family. We all had time with our families this week. Some of it might have been difficult, but there were good times too. I still wish we could have been together, but we can still have that dream, and hope for next year. We all need hope.

Be - Here I sit

with a Chai tea in hand, tree lights turned on and some Christmas music playing in the background. I know that Christmas has come and gone but it sets a nice mood for me still. I was just thinking that only four days ago (Thurs) I was sitting here in this same mood anxiously awaiting the arrival of Mike. It goes by so fast doesn't it? I just made a box of stove top stuffing and opened a tin of cranberry sauce so that I can enjoy a bit of the taste of Christmas as well ( boy, am I ever desperate!) I had very little of the real thing on Christmas Day and most of the leftovers went home with Harry's sister with a bit staying at Mothers. Harry's sister gave Mother a foot spa as a gift - you know the electric ones you put water into and plug in and have warm foot bath and massage. So you know who will be doing that, don't you? I set it up today and she got her feet done. I guess this will now become a weekly event along with her weekly bath. I helped her put all her gifts away - she has to decide where to put things and then know exactly where I put them.
Once I got back from Mothers, I tried to practice some violin but got caught up in cleaning up things here and putting Christmas stuff away, and stripping Mikes bed linen etc. It is easy to get distracted when you see so much to be done. I received a little hand held recording device as a gift - perfect for recording tunes that I am learning - the instructor will play it for me so that I can listen and practice each week. Up to now I was using an old cassette recorder I had. This little device looks like a large cigarette lighter and has so may applications for use I shall have to read the directions carefully. I am not really good at understanding this new technical stuff so wish me luck. Well, I am going to go and eat my stuffing and cranberries now ( Merry Christmas to me!)
Take care

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Time is flying by

This time of year I always think of family. It is not my favourite time of year (I still dread fire.... what are the chances of it, though) Kris and Sandi will be here, but I will miss Keri. She won't even get her parcel in time for Christmas. We will be at Chicken Delight again. I am worried about Jean. She has been diagnosed with arthritis, Gary is disabled by his stroke, and her son, Michael, has been diagnosed with Spinal Cerebral Ataxia. He is in Neepawa right now. I don't know for how long. Jean never tells us these things. Glenda phones from BC to update us. I think it is just a sister thing. Never having had a brother I don't know it they share the same way we do. I don't even have my house clean yet. Good thing that Kris is used to my housekeeping abilities. I have next week off work. I am looking forward to the down time. I think I need to relax for a while. I really wish we could all be together again for a while. I think I need some sister time. We always seem to laugh when we are together. Even if we laugh through our tears. Have you ever noticed that I write down my thoughts as they arise, without any rhyme nor reason. I miss you both very much and hope your holidays go smoothly and you can take time to enjoy them. Love you very much

Be - Peace - I'm in a different place but...

the same feelings and thoughts are mine to you both. I, too, have taken a moment for peace before the rush, and decided to log on and see whats new.
Harry has left for North Bay to help with the Christmas Santa Fund Food baskets. 750 baskets were filled last night and so this morning they will be loaded onto Military trucks and civilian cars/vans and out to the community to be delivered. Mike is in charge of organizing the Military part so he will be one tired man after this busy week. I will be glad to see him walk through my front door tonight whenever they return home. In the meantime I am rushing around to get the house sort of cleaned up. Mikes bedroom is all set, so I only have to vacuum the house and straighten up the bathroom and kitchen. Then I have to get started on the food prep for Dinner Saturday. As usual we do the prep here at home and haul it all to Mothers early Christmas Day. I have a fridge full now and two coolers on the floor. My challenge this morning is to fit the huge turkey into the fridge for further thawing. I put it into cold water overnight and now have to get it into the fridge. Lots of fun!
Enjoy each hour and each day over these next few days of "family" celebration, and know that you are always on my mind. Take care and love.......

Last Peace

Pati here
I'm up early today and quietly enjoying the last of the peace until next week. There will be some last minute baking today, and shopping and last minute gift wrapping tomorrow. And then the rush and activity of the holiday--including Boxing Day at Gail's.

This is when I have the time to think of family, and to review my memories. I know we'll all be doing very different things on Saturday--some because they're important to us and some because we feel a duty to see them done. So I'm thinking of you both and hoping your holiday fulfills your hopes and that you spend the day with the people who are important to you--whatever you end up doing.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Last evening we had carollers! I haven't seen that in years. David answered the door, called me, and then retreated into the living room. There were quite a few of them lined up down our sidewalk and into the driveway. It looked like someone was standing beside the house taking pictures, so I have to wonder if we were the first house they had come to. They sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and then one girl stepped forward and handed me a paper plate full of dainties!!? They were from the church across the street. I have to guess that it was a youth group as most of them were younger. If you remember, I had told you how the neighbourhood was annoyed at the Church for putting up a huge illuminated sign at the corner of Munroe. (November 1st the brightness of the sign was cut down--we think in response to complaints--and for the past couple of weeks it hasen't been illuminated at all.) Now I'm wondering if this carolling was an attempt to repair the relationship. This church has always tried to maintain a good ties with the local community.

Amber and the girls were over for supper yesterday. She has a problem in that she has to go into the offfice every day during January, as she has accepted the temporary Team Leader position, and she has no suitable clothes to wear! We looked through my closet, but Silly Mom wears colours other than black, and too-casual old lady clothes. However, I pointed out that a simple black t-shirt and pants can be dressed up quite nicely with a coloured jacket and necklace, so she may borrow a couple of my jackets.

My head has been screwed on wrong for the past few weeks. I was thinking that Christmas Day was Sunday, and had planned everything with that in mind. Now I have to re-organize my schedule--busy that it is. Dang!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Busy, busy?

Everyone must be busy as the conversations have been quiet. I have a minute now as Harry just went to the store and I was able to log on. We are in countdown mode here - shopping for groceries for the Dinner at Mothers Dec 25. I have been trying to complete the wrapping of gifts so that I can take a load to Mothers tomorrow. I will be going solo again as Harry has chosen to go to North Bay to do some personal shopping for gifts. I haven't had that luxury except that one day two weeks ago when I went to violin and then to Mikes on my own. One day I would like to decide not to go to Mothers - a sweet dream?
Anyway I shall send my best wishes to you both for Christmas. Write if you can and tell me what each of you have planned. Take care XXX

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bad weather all around

I came home from work at lunch today. I have 9 days holidays left and I figured that this was a good day to use a couple of hours and come home. I don't think I got over 50kph all the way. I couldn't find the road and just sort of trusted I was okay. By the time I reached our road I was so glad to be close to home. I sort of eyeballed the hydro poles and tried to judge from them. I'd think I was doing good and then I would realize that I was right on the left hand edge of the road. I phoned back to the office when I got in and told them that I might not be in tomorrow until we could get out of the yard. To top it all off, Jim tried to blow some snow to keep ahead of the downfall and the blower won't work. They've closed all the highways around Neepawa except #5 south (the road to our place) If it is still open I can't imagine what the other roads were like. Elizabeth left around noon, but phoned to say she was home but her car didn't make it. She thought she was on the road but ended up in the ditch. And she has 4 wheel drive. Debbie didn't head home when Elizabeth did, because she didn't think she could spare the holiday time. Now she is stuck in town overnight. And the temperature has climbed. The snow is melting and then freezing. Not a good mixture. Other than that nothing is new. I went for more blood tests on Monday and now my arm is deep purple where they took the blood. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. I still haven't won the lottery so I guess I have to keep working a while longer. There is alway tonight, though! Since Christmas is only 1 1/2 weeks away, I guess I should do some planning soon. I am such a procrastinator!! I am making some nuts n' bolts right now, but I can never compete with Kris. He makes such good ones. But it isn't Christmas without them. ( and rice krispie cake with red and green cherries in it!!) I'm not sure what to do with all this extra free time! Bonus! I better stir the nuts n' bolts. Love Ya

Bad weather

The tv says your area is being very hard hit, Beth, but that all of the ski hills etc are quite happy. Always a silver lining, eh? I'm not sure what you mean about unsecure wireless, but then, I've never used my laptop, on the internet, away from home. Our router is hard wired into the system, and the sphere of wireless service is relatively small--into the back yard but not out of the yard. It's such a joy to be able to use the machine anywhere in the house--but I sometimes wish that we had separate e-mail. Right now, everything comes into both machines. The other side of that is that even if I do business on the laptop, I can save stuff into the desk top.

After a chat with DH about $$, I have signed up for a 12-hour hands on course on using PhotoShop Elements. Very little of the demonstration course I took a year ago has stayed iwth me. I sure hope I do better with this one.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I feel as if I have been through an Arctic winter these last three days. It is only now beginning to clear up. More snow than is space to shovel it, and wind so blustery it almost turned me backwards, not to mention wind chill temperatures of 25 to 30 below. I hurt all over from the exertion of shoveling. I tried to go out regularly to try to keep ahead of the drifts. Then the snowploughs finally came and dumped mounds at the end of the driveway (several times). So Patty I agree that your "Only in Winnipeg" sentiment and it has nicely carried over with me to life here in Ontario and helped me to survive. Congrats on posting your picture. I am still having to type one letter at a time in slow motion just to get a message off to you both - it is so frustrating and time consuming - so you will have to forgive me for my short messages. I have even thought about getting myself a laptop but then realize I would have no way to get onto the network -I wouldn't want to chance unsecure wireless use. So in the meantime, bundle up, stay warm and take care....

Only in Winnipeg....

Time to go out yesterday morning. I had on my undershirt and a t-shirt, and thought " It's only December, I shouldn't put on a sweater under my parka, or I'll have no way of keeping warm when winter comes and it's really cold". Then I thought--the wind chill is minus39--it's not going to get much colder thatn that--and if it does I'll stay home. So off I went in my brown trousers, lime green parka covered in blue paint, navy blue gloves, red scarf and purple purse--the Red Hat Ladies have nothing on me!!

Went to a pizza party and art critique at the local artists' group last night. Interesting. I ended up sitting with the instructor from the silk painting class, and her parents. We actually had a good talk and I learned a lot about the group. Time well spent from that perspective. I think the fellow who had put together the critique session had expected more out of it. He had compiled a slide show of retrospective work of three highly respected artists, and had --in the notice that went out--invited discussion about the pieces as they were shown. However, we were all seated in three rows in front of a 50" screen, so discussion might have been possible with your neighbour, but certainly not with the group.

Today, my "Tuesday Night Stitchers, that Formerly met on Wednesday, and now meet Tuesday Afternoon", are going out for lunch. We all dress up and have a wonderful time.

Tomorrow is a quilt guild meeting, and Dianne is coming in to the city for a couple of quick business meetings and then over here for supper, before we go to the meeting. Last time she did this, my car refused to work, so Dianne drove both me and the lady who usually rides with me to the meeting. Hope we have better luck this time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Did it!

got it up here. I decided to try, before it was completely finished because I can't put it up after.
At least now I know how to do it.

Cookies and Cuban Music

Have been trying to make cookies. I found an old recipe, but I don't think it was one from home, rather one from when my children were small. You have a basic refridgerator dough, and then make variations. One of my favourites is pinwheel cookies, and that's what I was trying. First batch was overcooked--tasted burnt, although it didn't look it. Nothing to kill the appetite like burnt chocolate. The next batch I tried cutting a little thicker and cooking for a minutes less. Well, they cooked for the regular time and still taste slightly raw. Now, I used to be a good cook. So what's the problem? Well, I figure that Someone is trying to tell me that I don't need any more cookies.

Spent some time today cleaning and sorting in the basement. Tackled the drawer in the entertainment centre that holds the VHS tapes, as we had no idea what might be in there. We found some Disney tapes, a Peter, Paul and Mary concert, part of the Lord of the Rings, and an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter--go figure. Couldn't find my "Sweatin' to the Oldies", which is about the only one I would choose to keep. Also took a look at my CD's, and found two that I had been given and never listened to. One is the Bueno Vista Social Club and the other is Ruben Gonzales. Both of them turned out to be the most delightful Cuban jazz. David enjoys jazz aas well, so these are both sure to become part of our music mix.

Today was also Amber's work children's Christmas Party, and she is on the committee. So a man came and took my white chair fromt he livingromm, for Sant's throne, and my gids as well as Dianne's. Brought them back exactly as promised. Other than that it was a typically slow day in the Findlay house.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Memories for sure....

I viewed the video also, but really couldn't make out too much. It is a bit spooky because it hasn't been a week since I was talking about Ronalds Shoe Store. I cannot remember how it came up in conversation, but Iwas telling Harry about how we would all make the yearly trek up to the Store for new shoes. And you are right Cathy it was just in time for school to start and we all could go with nice new shoes. I often wonder how Dad could afford it but I shall always remember how he made me feel so wonderful when Ronald would bring a selection to look at and I could try on whatever I liked. You wonder if Ronald didn't know exactly what Dad wanted him to show us. The other store you mentioned was a Hardware / clothing store and I can still picture the owners - a nice couple and she had arthritis in her hands. And don't forget the Pharmacy on the corner of Osborne and Morley. The sanitary pad boxes were wrapped in plain brown paper. There was a little "antique" store just between the Hardware and the Pharmacy and Mom and I went in and I bought a rocking chair there and had it in my bedroom at home - when I got married and left, Dad and Harry took it apart to fit into the car. I used that rocking chair for both Willie and Michael and still have it here. I guess we could go on and on couldn't we ?? It feels good to mention these memories - what I can't recollect, one of you can!
I had a wonderful day today. I went to North Bay on my own - the violin instructor requested a change in day from the usual Tuesday, to Wed for this week and next to accommodate a conflict in her schedule. So even though we went shopping there yesterday, I went back again today. I was able to buy some Christmas gifts, and even went over to Mikes and he put a pot of coffee on and we had a real nice chat. I splurged and bought three china dinner plates with a Christmas motif. I have always envied you Patty in having a "set" of Christmas china to put out each year. So when we were in Value Village yesterday, I spotted these three matching plates and decided I could use them when Mike comes for Christmas - each plate was 99 cents!!
Well, to Mothers tomorrow again so better sign off for now. Take care.

I remember

that store. It was just south of Morley. It was pretty much a hardware store when I was very young, and just seemed to evolve into more of a low-scale department store. I remember wanting a black jacket with white leather sleeves--they were all the rage at one time. I must have been about 13. I worked for a week in the canteen at Riverview Community Club to make the $9.98 to buy it.

Ronalds Shoes

After reading your blog I went to the Free Press Web Site. They had a video of the fire. I remember being so excited whenever we went there because it meant new shoes and usually a new school year. There used to be a clothing store on Osborne, too. I think it carried more than clothes... maybe hardware??? I remember Daddy buying me my favourite coat there. It was a wool/camel hair jacket with a matching skirt. I loved that coat. I kept wearing it long after I outgrew the skirt. I think by the time I put it away I couldn't even do it up any more.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ronald's Shoe Store

burned down last night--the whole building is gone. Read about it in today's paper. The building was actually owned by Ronald's wife, and -yes-both of them are still alive although in their 80"s. There's some memories for you, Beth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Be - let it snow, let it blow

Wow - looking out the window all you see is white - blowing snow all around. I went out after supper to shovel in attempt to keep up and clear a bit before a snow plough comes by and leaves a pile in the driveway. I just took the dog out now and the walk and cars are covered again . It must really be winter? A mad rush over the weekend to get the Christmas decorations out of boxes and arranged all around. I just put the finishing touches on the tree and it looks very nice. It isn't hard to realize that we have animals -especially a little mischievous kitten. The bottom branches of the tree look very bare compared to the top half which is laden with lights and ornaments. From past experience it is too tempting for some fun and play to knock all the balls off the tree. Last year the kitten tried to climb the tree- I would see movement and there would be two little eyes peeking at me from halfway up the tree. I hope he has grown up a bit since then but I'm not counting on it. Already the two cats have been chasing each other around the base. As I do every year I bought another red bird to go on the tree and join the other mostly feather red birds. I look for something unusual and this year have a ceramic ornament which I quite like. I need to enjoy all the little amusements I can in my life haha.
At Mothers today Harry put up her tree and decorations while I did her bath, and a wash and her pills, and made lunch. She says she doesn't want anything to do with Christmas and don't put the tree up etc. So we wrapped up a gift for her and put little written hints in big letters all on the outside. Now she has something to look at and try to guess what is in the box from the descriptive hints. This will keep her amused for awhile.
The best news is that I have Daddy's clock working again! When I came back from my trip I had to start it (no one had kept the weights pulled up) But for some reason the hands were frozen in place at 6:25. So for all this time I thought it was broken and so never bothered to really play around with it until yesterday. I moved the hands backwards anticlockwise about one complete revolution and heard a click and suddenly when I went forward clockwise again, the hands were free and moved past the 6:25 spot. It is so wonderful to be hearing the chimes sound again and to look at it and see the right time. Again, a small amusement that means so much to me.
Well, I better get to bed - tomorrow it is the trip to North Bay. Take care.

things move quickly

Saw my doctor in mid-November, and was referred to an eye surgeon. Saw him today and now have cataract surgery scheduled for the left eye on September 16 and the right eye three weeks later. They've also put me on their cancellation list, but it's a lengthy one. Having made the decision, I want it and I want it NOW, but not to be. He warned me that 1/1000 looses their eyesight, and that if there were any problems, they wouldn't do the second eye. Thinking of Phyllis and another fellow, who lost the vision in both eyes, reminds me of the truth in that statistic.

I've been trying some of the recipes, Cathy. I think we're getting a little tired of cheese and tomato but I'm trying another one tonight--just cheese this time. Funny that you're going for a larger crock pot and I tend to use my very small one more and more. I don't cook many roasts though. One of the recipes was for a Beef Stew Provencal, which was cooked in the crock pot and used sweet potatoes rather than white ones. It had zucchini in it as well. I made it with pork and I thought is was quite fine. David didn't like it, but then I think deep in his heart, he prefers plain cooking. That sort of thing is just so boring, when you're trying to plan a new meal every single day.

Tonight is my monthly Ravenesque meeting, this time out in Steinbach at Dianne's. I'm riding with a friend, as night driving is getting more and more difficult for me. We have to bring back one of Dianne's grids to use as a Santa backdrop at Amber's childrens' party for work, next Sunday. She uses the big white chair from our living room as the throne, and, if you remember, we painted blue fabric with snowflakes for the backdrop last year.

She has claimed a table and chair set from Darren's Dad's house. It sounds as thought it's in much better shape than her old set. An old girlfriend of Rodney's helped clean up the house and has clainmed some other pieces of furniture, and I think Darren is quite grateful to her for help and support over the past few months, even though she and Rodney hadn't lived together for a few years. They've been told that they have to drop the price on his house, before it will sell. Bad time of year to be trying to sell waterfront property in Netley, but Darren is anxious to get everything over and done with asap. There is a funeral home in the family, who took care of the cremation, and it sounds like they charged a good price for it. A neighbour has made a ridiculous low-ball offer for the house. How pitiful! The man was robbed when he was living and now they're robbing him again.
I was sorry to hear about Darren's Dad. I know you were expecting it, but it is still a stressful time. And speaking of stress, it sounds like things are tough sledding for you again Beth. Remember we are here for you and a phone call lets you say everything you want without offending anyone! Nothing is happening here, as usual. We went to meat draw of Friday (actually, Jim went to meat draw and I cleaned the office, but I was there before the draw) Hardly anyone was there. I guess they were Christmas shopping. With no one there you would think we would win something, but noooo. One of the men working was a double winner!! We bought a 7 qt crock pot on the weekend, but I couldn't seem to get it to go on low. My stew was boiling and cooked in under 6 hours. Jim was going to fiddle with it today and see if he could figure it out, before we resort to taking it back. I wanted a big crock pot since ours is only about 3.5 qts and we can't even fit a roast in it. We also went to the wine store for a new kit, and Bill had an apple cider kit there for 1/2 price. He saw me looking at it and told me to take it. It had been in the store for a while. He even gave me new yeast for it. If it doesn't work we are only out sugar and time and if it does work we have to give him a bottle or two. Pretty good deal. I really have to get some housework done soon. Even I am noticing things. Especially the animal hair on everything. They are nice to have around, but all 3 shed!!!! Things have slowed down a bit at work which is good, because the mines and mineral searches have really taken off. We started a reference data base, but we just don't have time to update it. Oh well, keeps me busy. I'm almost scared to say anything, but I don't have any meetings this week. I wonder what I have forgotten? Time to go back to work (darn)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pit Parties and Earl grey tea

I sure hate to see you being used as a workhorse or taken advantage of, Beth, and yet I know there aren't many alternatives or options within the situation. I wish I was with you to help you with your burden, or at least share the load.

Mother-in-laws are truly a mixed blessing. I have to be very careful what I say about Davids mother, especially around any one in the family. David knows about the difficulties I had, and I think his father had an idea too. But at the same time, I know how kind she was to you, Beth. I'll be interested to see how Darren's Mom fits into the current situation. She is quite willing to have the children in her home overnight--a one bedroom suite with a roommate--but the children love her. She was still married to Darren's Dad, after over thirty years separation, but Darren has been assured that this won't interfere with executing the will. We will be celebrating Christmas with her, at Ambers, and she is already talking about holobchi and pyrogies. I know she isnt too bright, but she managed to raise her child and care for her own mother while working three low-paying jobs. We have heard nothing more today. Although we had the children last night, while Amber and Darren spoke to the bank about him taking over as Executor. They had a full day today, and then are going out to her Christmas Party at work tonight. She is on the organizing committee and felt an obligation, but I think it might be good for both of them to spend some time socializing without the children. A friend, Sandra is baby sittting, which she does a lot. I just hope they both had enough sleep to enjoy it. So we take one day at a time.

I came back to edit this as I realized that I had missed the Earl Grey Tea. You may or may not know, that postage costs have gone up over the past year. It now costs more to mail a package of Earl Grey tea than it does to buy the stuff. We also decided that it isn't in our best interest to have big bags of salty nuts'n'bolts in the house. So if I make any, it won't be until just before Christmas, when I can take it to Amber's to share. I know how much of a tradition this sort of thing is, and I feel badly about letting it go, but there it is.

Be - pitty partys abound.....

I just logged on now and read your message re: Darren's Father. Not unexpected but nevertheless upsetting for all. It will be a great help to Amber for you to care for Jessica and Samantha. Likely you will go to Lorette? so safe driving.
I had the pleasure of a "sleep over" at Mothers Wed night. Just after 7 pm Harry got a call from his sister to say Mom had just double dosed with her sleeping pills and someone should go to stay and monitor her. She told Harry Mom would need to be checked for breathing and should be wakened every two hours anyway. So......away I went into snow squalls and zero visibility driving conditions. I won't get into particulars about how I seem to always be the "go to" person. But I gave myself a great pitty party all night as I sat up and listened to her snoring all night. Of greatest importance to me is that she will not kick the bucket, or otherwise injure hersef while on my watch!
Yesterday afternoon I finally heard back from the Doctor - sure enough my samples showed Campylobacter bacteria infection. Not 30 min later the Public Health Unit called me for a detailed assessment. It is a "reportable infection" which I knew, but didn't know how follow up would occur. Could you detail your entire diet menu? Questions such as "What did you have for breakfast three weeks ago?" Then I had to hear about Preventative measures such as taking the temperatures of all meats you cook, and about washing my hands. I am still not back to normal, but you can be sure that unless I am dying, I will not seek further medical attention on this.
So back to housework here at home. Trying to get gifts wrapped, and get some decorations ie the tree up. Mike will be coming here again for a few nights, and to come to Grandmas for Christmas dinner Dec 25. I always enjoy him - he will bring some movies and I like just relaxing and talking with him. Take care

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Darren's Dad

died early this morning. He had been in hospital for about 1 1/2 weeks and had been deteriorating quickly. Don't know anything else, yet, but I anticipate that we'll be on call all weekend for things like baby sitting.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Musings from the "Poor House"

It's been one of those days. Sunday the toaster oven stopped working. Monday we bought a new one, brought it home and read all the instructions, even baked a batch of muffins in it. Tuesday morning it wouldn't stop making toast. That is, after the toast was cooked, it just kept on working--a real safety hazard in my opinion. The book had said that a bell would ring and the oven turn off. So back to WalMart and after much discussion, bought a new toaster oven. Working fine so far. Tonight at supper time, the microwave just stopped working. ( I had been suspicious a couple of weeks ago, but today was the day) So, off to Wal-Mart again and buy a new microwave. Brought it home, plugged it in and set the clock. Digital numbers are screwed up. Tried to boil water. Nothing works. So tomorrow it's back to Wal-Mart. The only reason we shop there is because they have such a good return policy. I wonder why?

Now, we were broke for this month a week ago--and today's only the first. Thank Goodness for plastic money.

Tried to make Daddy's shortbread today, and used my nifty shortbread mould. Wouldn't cook. Finally took it out of the oven after an hour, and rolled the rest of the dough into balls to press with a fork. And today was the last painting class. And I've been working so hard on my latest sewing project that last evening my wrists said "no more", and I'm barely half done.

Tried Nanaimo Bar Ice cream. Nice custard-y flavour, nice bits of chocolate, but the damn stuff is full of coconut!

So that's my "pity party" for today. I hope your day went better than mine.