Friday, December 30, 2011

Love to check for messages

and see news from you both! Glad you had a successful trip Patty and also happy that you are so close to the US shops and casinos that it really is a nice break to be taken whenever you so desire (or can afford haha) Sounds as if you also had a great shopping day Cathy so good on you both. Harry suggested dinner out tonight at the restaurant here in Sundridge that we like. He went out to check the mail and came back to say it was closed. I had set my hair in curlers and was feeling good about going out so was a little disappointed. I believe Harry saw this so went to the store and bought some food and cooked it up for supper – I wasn't to enter the kitchen so did not know what he was making! It turned out to be a nice supper after all in spite of the dishes that needed to be done by me – apparently this particular cook does not clean up after himself haha We don't have plans for NYE and never really bother about it – I usually start to take the decorations down while watching TV – may chose a funny movie to watch. I spent a good part of the afternoon sorting through gaming cards for Mike. I spoke with him today and he actually now wants all the cards – apparently the boys are going "retro" with their games night and turning to these games again – Star Trek, Star Wars, and Magic. I already have two big boxes of cards to take to him next week. The plus of all of this is that I will have a bit of space once I empty the cupboard and the fact that I actually saved all of this stuff after Mike moved out and wanted none of it at the time. Also, there are a lot of memories in that cupboard – some of his early art work, pictures, etc and the shelf also contains all of my old CHS yearbooks. I went to the dump yesterday and got rid of all my old Nursing textbooks – they are so old and out dated that were of no use to me or anyone else, but I shuttered to think of the cost of texts and just throwing them away bothered me.
I send best wishes to you for a Happy New Year – don't make any resolutions you know you cannot keep, but for sure resolve to keep up with this blog as it means so much to me to keep in touch. Take care

Frying Pans

Home Hardware had all their Paderno cookwear on for 60% to 70% off. We bought a 12 inch fry pan, and 8 inch frypan and a stir fry pan. They were still expensive but we could afford them at the sale price. I really hate cheap pans. I have my eye on their stock pots, but they are $90.00 on sale. I would still like one. Maybe the sale will end before I make up my mind and I won't have to decide. As usual, I didn't get all my cleaning done while I was on holidays. I sorted through the office and have a big box of garbage to burn. I also cleaned & sorted the "pantry" downstairs. I will always wish for more cupboard space in the kitchen, but then where would I put them? I would have kitchen left. This warm weather, (sorry Beth!) has been nice, but the flies keep waking up and crawling around. My floor seems to be constantly covered in dead flies. The cat likes to play with them, but they only amuse him for so long. Once they stop moving he loses interest. I was trying to budget a bit today and figure out how much money I have for this month. The bank still hasn't fixed the screw up with my mortgage. I phoned on Dec 17 and yesterday they put some money back, but it was $200.00 less than they took out. I phoned again and they said it was really complicated so they were turning it over to the mortgage specialist & I would hear within 24 hours. Later that day I got a call from the Royal bank. It was automated and had "personal banking information for Catherine I. McGrath" I followed all their instructions and the information turned out to be them telling me I was overdrawn and must correct the situation immediately. Of course I am overdrawn..... You took $450.00 out of the account! I sure hope they fix this soon. We went through the last 2 weeks $450.00 short and I couldn't access any money because my account was overdrawn and I don't have overdraft on it. There, now I have vented. At least we both got paid this week. Rrain is supposed to go to Winnipeg & Beasejour for New Years, but she has had a bit of the flu all week. (of course she got sick... she is on holidays too.) I hope she feels better today. Jim & I are staying home tomorrow night. Steak dinner, glass of wine and in bed asleep by 10:00 pm. How exciting. The Levy is at the Legion on New Years Day. Jim's friend Stef is coming for the Levy and spending the night with us. I think the two of them are planning on drinking beer and talking. Stef was one of Jim's best friends until we met, and I always tell him he should go to Minnedosa for some "Stef" time. Instead Stef will come for some "Jim" time. today for excitement we are going to town to buy a shut off valve for the kitchen sink. Last time we had to fix it we had to shut the water off to the whole house. Hope everyones Christmas and New Years (and anniversary) brings all the joy you deserve!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A very nice trip

We had a lot of fun Wednesday evening, after getting to Mahnomen about 5:00.  We opted for a less formal dinner, and I had a club sandwich, on a wild rice/cranberry bread that was a real treat. And as our special anniversay treat we each had a drink--Chivas Regal for David and B&B for me.  The two of them cost almost $25.00--so one each  was enough. We had a little more fun this morning, and I left Mahnomen up about $75.  This is very unusual, but has happened before--which is why we like going there--but it meant that I didn't have to restrain myself too much buying thread and beads in Fargo.  Bonus--David found not only the sweat jackets he was looking for--and at a very good price, but also some tee-shirts.  Amber got what she wanted and we were on the road home by about 3:00.  We had enough cash to pay the tax due on our purchases, but we were just waved through--another bonus!  The weather was fairly nice for traveling, and we did over 800 km in 36 hours, so we are grateful for dry roads and warm temperatures, with enough of a cold North wind to remind us to be grateful.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In the deep freeze

Wow! almost 30 below with wind chill and I was outside shovelling snow after the storm of yesterday. The ploughs this morning really dumped it in the driveway and it was heavy snow which gave me a real good workout. I needed some exercise, and just in case that wasn't  enough, I took a long walk today to check the mail, and buy lottery tickets. And all afternoon I was sorting through game cards from boxes and boxes in Mike's cupboard. But I had time to make an apple crisp with some apples that were badly in need of some attention (there goes all that exercise haha). We will likely go to Sprucedale tomorrow to check on the mail, and other things and bring a bit of garbage back. The garage is too cold to do any work right now and we really need Harry's sister to come and pick up some of her stuff before we can do much more in the house. I was able to watch Zorro last night and had a very nice evening of it. I forgot how funny it was, and so had a few good laughs, and anything with Anthony Hopkins and for that matter also Antonio Banderas is worth the watch, right? Hope you had a good trip Patty and that the roads and weather were OK – not to mention the shopping! Take care for now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Yesterday was our annual visit to David's sister, Gail, and her family.  I thought we had been told that the open house was between 11 and 2, so arranged with Loren to show up around 12:00.  Well, we got there --no cars, just a van a little way down the street.  What the H--l?  We slowly drove by and I saw a male figure inside, so David dropped me off and went down the street to park.  Well, I was standing in front of the garage doors waiting for David when Gail came running out of the house waving her arms in the "c'mon in" sign--they thought we were driving away.  I seems that the affair was from 10:00 to 2:00, and almost everyone else had left!  Anyway, Gail's daughter Lyala was there with her two children and Loren with his two--an unexpected pleasure.  We hadn't expected Loren's children to be there as they were to have been at a gathering with their step-father's family. Turned out that just about everyone in the other family were sick and gathering had been postponed. 

So it was more of a quiet Findlay afternoon than the chaotic Doucette gathering we normally attend.  And it was a pleasure.  We talked about the children, reminisced about time at the lake, and most surprising of all, Jeremy and Gail's grandson Harry appeared to hit it off.  They had a remote control helicopter that they flew around the house and basement for most of the afternoon.  Lyala's other child, Belle, has just turned 18 and received her small  inheritance from her Grandfather.  She is looking into using a portion of it to fund a trip to China, during which she would spend time volunteering at an orphanage!  I think Gail may be trying to encourage her to take a "gap year" before considering university.  Belle is somewhat dyslexic, and there is concern about her ability to cope with the university atmosphere and expectations.

Tomorrow we head down south for two days ( one night).  Amber is going with us.  I sometimes refer to this as the Findlay women's annual brassiere buying trip, but Amber tells me that isn't what she is looking for this time, and  I don't need any.  Actually, I'm hoping that David can find some new clothes while we're there.  He hasn't had much luck up here, and needs clothes more than he admits.  Amber had hoped that Darren could come, as well, but they weren't able to get anyone to care for the children, as Judy is working this week, and their usual "go-to" friend found herself a job just before Christmas.

Then home Thursday, and jump into a whole bunch of housework, as--surprise--the family is coming for supper on Sunday--including Gail.  Then my Ravenesque ladies for the afternoon and supper on Monday.
So I'm grateful for the pleasure of hearing from both of you today.

Licorice allsorts

What a shame everyone knows I like licorice allsorts as I now have enough to last for a while although I have already done justice to one box!! Two days past the big day and I am still thinking about it all with great fondness. I loved the picture you sent Patty – I always think that pictures of family sitting at the dinner table speaks volumes and this one did not disappoint me even if I had to look sideways with a magnifying glass haha And I was thinking about you Cathy at Chicken Delight again – I hear on the radio and read in the newspapers about all the "charity" dinners being served on Christmas day and have often thought this would be nice to do if my situation were different.
While at Mike's I noticed a new box of "Magic, The Gathering" playing cards – he used to play this game when he was young and I thought of all the boxes of cards I had in his closet which he abandoned when he moved out. He mentioned that his group of friends who get together weekly to play games have started to move towards some of the older favourites and one of the guys brought Magic cards to encourage the others. Mike said he went up to the gaming store and bought a box so he could play along since the others seemed to have their own still. So guess what I did – rummaged through his closet which has gained a considerable amount of other stuff in the meantime, and gathered two large cardboard boxes full of smaller game boxes full of cards. They are now at his house since we went to North Bay this morning for a bit of shopping. There are still boxes of other game cards eg Pokemon, and Star Trek, and Star Wars left to sort over but I'll give him a bit of space until I dump them on his doorstep haha
We bought some wrapping paper, and some ribbons on sale today, so I shall organize all the wrapping materials this afternoon and take them downstairs to store for another year. I also bought a VHS copy of the first Zorro movie which I hope to view tonight if all goes well. I have the second movie but not the first and have always wanted to see it again – maybe some day I can get a DVD copy but for now this will do. I was given the trilogy of Back to the Future last year by Mike and if time allows this week I plan to tackle those back to back to back. A marathon of sorts!
Flash freezing warning is in effect for this area tonight and it hasn't stopped snowing all day but the temps are still mild – calling for a drop of 14 degrees in a very short time period – hence the warning for flash freezing. But a walk to the lake this morning with the dog still indicates open water so I am afraid that the outdoor enthusiasts may not have a very good year – at least it will be a short year to be sure if it happens to freeze over soon – need at least a foot of ice to sled or fish. I'm ever so glad my ice fishing days are over – how many years did I have to pretend I was having a good time for the kids sake while all along so desperately afraid to go on the ice!  With that happy note, I shall jump into Mike's cupboard for awhile and then walk the dog. Have a good day!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas to All and to all a goodnight

Yes, I know it is boxing day, but the christmas sentiment survives. Chicken Delight was once again a success. We had a slow start but things picked up. At about 4 pm about 25 Phillipinos showed up for supper. We needed to heat more vegies and Turkey but to pass the time they sang Chrismas Carols. It was great. They had gone to Church and arrived after church. They did not mind waiting while we heated more food. We had the food, but we hdn't heated in case we didn't need it. Next year we hope that they will let us know that they are coming so that we can have hot food for them.. On the other hand the carols were great. Jean had new volunteers this year and I almost felt redundant. Two other people took over dishes and there was a new person on serving. It was great to have new people but you start to become possesive of your job. Jim says that with new people trained we can maybe take a year off. It was a success as usual. I may get tired each year, but I will be back again next year

Sorry about the picture.

We took it with Darren's camera and I tried to up load it with Amber's computer.  We had a heck of a time, and it was up right until it hit the blog.  At that time bad words were spoken and we abandoned the project.  Starting at the left we have Samantha, Judy, Gillian, Jessica, Darren, David ( the blue shirt), Loren, Amber and Jeremy.  After dinner we played Ninety-nine, Thirty-one and Oh shit!, while Judy and Samantha watched the new video's the girls got.   Then we all made our way home.  It was the first time I had seen Amber's new deck and hot tub.  The hot tub is insulated and will be used all winter.
It was a busy day, and everyone was pretty tired by bedtime.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Findlay/Shipp family

Of course, David is hiding behind Darren --intentionally.  Every time.  'Nuff said.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa is coming...

he has been spotted over Manitoba. It is already Christmas Eve and I am missing my family. I am so grateful to have Rrain here this year. We will be going to Chicken Delight tomorrow. The potatoes have been peeled (they were really small this year.... lots of peeling) the jellied salad is made. Tomorrow we cook and mash the potatoes and then we are off. The dinner is only 3 to 5 this year. It has been to six before and we usually run low on food by then but there is always someone coming in at 5:45 for supper. We don't seem tohave as many potaotes as before, but I know that Jean has Potatoe flakes that she can make into mashed potatoes if she has too. We watched Elf tonight and tomorrow night will be National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Traditions change but the spirit remains. I hape that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and that all your wishes come true

the quiet wait

We, too, are packed and ready to move over to Amber's tomorrow.  Now it's just a quiet evening, a peaceful wait.  David has brought me a glass of wine and a couple of slices of homemade fruit bread--a real treat that both of us enjoy.  I have Galaxie Spa radio on while I play with my computer.  We purposely baked the bread this morning so that we could have it tonight--and very fine bread it is!  I'm thinking of both of you, because Beth is right.  This time of year is about family-no matter how your belief system may have changed over the years.  And this year we have our families closer than ever.
Have the holiday you need, whatever form it takes.

'Tis the night before Christmas

...and all through the house, everything is ready for the next days rush!
We have boxes and boxes packed to take up to Mikes – everything from gifts to food to pots to dishes set to load up the van in the morning to spend the day at Mikes.
Here I am on the eve of Christmas sending my family my best wishes for a happy time no matter what you may be doing – it is all about Christmas and family, so with those thoughts I send my love to all. XXX

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm not for hire -sorry

but I did manage to put in a full day at Mike's and enjoyed the time if you can believe one gets enjoyment from housecleaning! I stopped at Walmart before going over to his place and bought a bath set for him as a surprise – you know rug, toilet seat etc . I also got a new shower curtain so that when I cleaned I could replace his others and bring them home to wash. I just got into the grunge work in the bathroom having taken down the old and was cleaning the tub when he came in from work. He had come home to shower and change into his uniform after having gone for his annual fit test first thing this morning. I guess I really surprised him! I quickly started to put up the new but by then he had filled a bag with his stuff and was headed back to the Armouries where he said he could shower. But he did comment on the nice brown colour, and the pattern of the new curtain and how much he liked it so I was happy with my little rouse. The little cat was shy at first but then came around and started to pay attention to me – I think because I was ignoring it and going about my work, and he became curious about me and why I wasn't trying to to pick him up. And of course of all days, the weather decided to produce freezing rain and snow showers which made the trip home a bit dicey but nevertheless safely ended. And I had a Tim's to drink on the way because I purposely stopped before leaving North Bay to purchase one – the line up must have taken 10 minutes, at least it felt that long and I was thinking the whole time how I didn't really mind sitting in line waiting for a coffee – I guess it is because it really is a treat for me and not an everyday occurrence. So back to home again satisfied that I did a good turn and it was appreciated by Mike. Now two days at home before we go up again for Christmas Day. Today is supposed to be the shortest day of the year  being Winter Solstice although it felt just as long to me. I guess we can be happy that starting tomorrow the days will be getting longer and bringing us closer to spring! Somehow I think we missed Winter as there is not much indication that it is here although I should watch what I say as we may be in for a big shock over the next several months. The radio announcer that has the morning show in North Bay was bragging this morning because he was flying out to Winnipeg this afternoon for Christmas – his family is in Winnipeg, and Powerview , Manitoba and for a few fleeting moments I felt a bit jealous. I remember the year I came for a short visit over New years because  Phyllis had come to Colins for Christmas – it was the last time I saw her actually so was very glad that I came. The trip was a nightmare if I remember correctly including losing my luggage on the return trip – then the carrier went out of business the next month. Anyway I seem to be reminiscing a bit too much tonight so better sign off and go to bed.  Take care

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

nanaimo bars

The same thief who took yours, appears to have taken ours.  Yes, a whole batch made for supper on Sunday and gone by mid-afternoon today.  Luckily I didn't tell anyone about the second batch that's hidden in the freezer for Sunday. Judy is taking baking, and I'm taking baking, but Amber still wants a special dessert, so we put her in charge of that.  At these family gatherings, I figure the one who supplies the house shouldn't have to do much toward the meal, but if it's that important to her.... 

The dressing recipe is
4 cups Scottish oatmeal, coarse ground, if possible ( **steel cut oats, not rolled oats**)
one onion finely chopped
1 cup ground suet
salt to taste--up to 1 tbsp
Add enough boiling water, or stock, to make a loose, paste-y (sticky) consistency

You can stuff the bird with it, or wrap in tinfoil and cook beside the bird for about two hours.  Serve hot.  The next day it can be stir-fried to re-heat.  The recipe can be cut in half, or doubled, with no problem.

Beth, it's so good to hear you more at peace with yourself.  Mike is lucky to have you.  If you were closer, I would even hire you--if the price was right.  I hope his housing works out well. 

Just enough time for a poker tournament before our tv show at 9:00.  And it's above freezing again!  While I'm grateful, I'm getting annoyed at having to repeatedly take my parka apart, so I can use just the liner.

They were here, and now they are not.....

..Nanaimo bars, that is! I made a wonderful pan of the darn things the other day – had an absolute great time fussy about, measuring and mixing, and getting it all right. They turned out fabulously and even after taste testing a third and a fourth square just to be sure, they were still very very tasty. I feel as if I have been eating myself through day after day and enjoying every moment. To be fair about the squares though, I did take a plate of dainties to Mike this morning so part of the bars went to his home and I really did not eat them all. Harry had his share as well. I even tried my hand at making Daddies shortbread and have been enjoying a few of those in between other snacks. Shameful? Not on your life – it has been refreshing to feel so much pleasure even if it is of the hand to mouth kind! I watched The Santa Clause last night on TV, and tonight they are showing Part 2 and apparently Wed night they will show Part 3. I 'm not sure I am that interested but have been trying to view some of the Christmas "classics" such as The Polar Express, Home Alone, and Miracle on 34th Street. I see that they are showing a lot of the animated shows eg Rudolph and Scrooge but these do not get my attention at all. There is no snow yet and by the sounds of the weather forecast we may likely have a greenish Christmas – it's great for the driving but I still miss the thought of snow on the ground. I am going to Mike's on Thursday to tidy up a bit – some time ago I promised him I would do this for him at any time if he so desired, and since we are going for the day on Sunday, and he is working all this week, I volunteered to go on Thursday which he accepted. Harry will go to Sprucedale to bring home another load from the garage, so I can go up on my own and spend some time at Mikes. I'll take my vacuum and cleaning supplies and make a coffee and see how much I can get done. The little cat keeps to himself as he is afraid of people in the house, but there are workmen working on the house over the last few weeks – upgrading to bring the house up to standards so the property holding company can either sell, or rent the other two units that are currently empty. Harry bought a big box of hardcover books at the auction last week, and so I have looked them over and do not recognize any authors but have started with one and will gradually try to read at them. This author is Barbara Delinsky which I have seen in the cheap stores where I browse and I think it is a romance book and probably most of the others will be as well which I really don't like but who knows, it will be books to read and something I enjoy. A good romance might just perk me up!! And the highlight of my day was to go into the Metro ( old name is A&P) in North Bay and found the Bob's Red Mill display absolutely filled with all sorts of goodies including Scottish oatmeal which I now have in my cupboard at home – thanks Patty for the lead, and thought you would like to know that I had no trouble in finding it! Now, what I'll do with it is still in doubt but I can always cook some up breakfast, right! Take care for now....

Monday, December 19, 2011

meal planning

I tend to think of any meal that has protein, starch and veggie as being a full meal.  We are now tending to only have one meal a day, with a couple of snacks.  Once in awhile I make porridge for breakfast, but usually on days when I don't expect to get anything until supper time.  Given the time of year our snacks are now mainly sugar--naughty, naughty!  The girls were over for supper yesterday--cranky, snarly, and out to get each other--constant squabbling.  Amber and Darren have an important adult only dinner on Thursday, so we'll have them again, for supper.

I remember Morris's store, but in my day it was Sam's store.  I must have been about 10 when it changed hands.  I think there is a very ugly, contemporary house there now.  Since Auntie Lorraine died, there is no excuse to go back to the old neighbourhood.  Even driving down Osborne St. is entirely different.  I see in today's paper that the old Royal Bank that used to be at Kylemore and Osborne is now a mosque!  Also in today's paper is something about emerging plans to change the corner of River and Osborne.  Some poor fellow is being offered $20,000 ( I think) to walk away from a restaurant that he's invested $100,00 in, and years of his life.

David tells me that it's bed time.  Good night all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How long 'til Christmas???

We don't even have our tree up yet. We keep setting a day to do it and then something happens. Personally I think that stupid dog will eat it. We are so behind here. We were supposed to send our presents to Maddie and McKenna (McKenna is Cheryl's youngest daughter... Cheryl is Tim's and we really like her!) with Judy when she went there for Christmas but we are too late now. We won our usual at Meat Draw last night. We were only there because it was Turkeys and Hams. I actually had fun because I phone Rrain and asked if she would pick us up if I drank and she said yes, so I had 4, count 'em 4 beers. Good thing she came. Of course we have to got and get our truck today. It is parked at Land Titles. Today I get to buy food, too. My list has been growing all week and if we want supper I better shop. I have hamburger so there is hope, but we have had goulash and hamburgers already. I think that I will make the meat roll that you gave me the recipe for, Pati. I have made it before and everyone really liked it. Tomorrow will be chicken. It's sort of funny that I still carry some of the habits from growing up. Saturday could be a fun meal, but Sunday was always a full meal. I remember Daddy giving me 50 cents to go to Morris's to buy Old Dutch Chips on Saturday and I got to keep the change. Change from 50 cents... times sure are different. Of course I would also get 25 cents to go to the show and buy popcorn. I didn't win the lottery last night, but maybe next week. (the eternal optimist) Jim is awake so I guess it is time for breakfast. Have a great weekend

Friday, December 16, 2011


Yes, I suddenly realized that it was the last weekend before Christmas, only this morning.  I had intended to do more baking, but had put it off to prevent it all being eaten before the Big Day.  Well, we've had a box of Brandy Beans in the house and they sure disappeared in a hurry, so I'm not sure that I should do the rest of the baking or not.  Will the world end without Nanaimo Bars for Christmas day?  Darn Tootin' it will!  My Ravenesque group have been invited over on January 2nd, and I need some dainties for then.  So maybe the rolls of cookie dough in the freezer will stay there until January 1st, and the Nanaimo Bars will get made for the family.

The ladies are planning a pot luck supper that day, so the kitchen will have ot be cleaned as well.  usualy they stay in the basement, but not this time.  I think the Chritsmas dishes will stay out until the 3rd, instead of being put away after company on the first--not that anyone has been invited over, but you never know.

Otherwise this promises to be a fairly quiet week.  We have no outings planned, lots of meals in the freezer, and I have a fair bit of studio work piling up. I've tried to put up the little pieces I've been working on, on the other blog.  A group of ladies have agreed to slowly work through an art quilt book together, doing the execises in an effort to improve our skills.  I'm finding it both relaxing and educational, and quite enjoying the challenge.  Both of the pieces I have recently put up have come out of that work.  I'm making a point of finishing them well, so that I can put them into the "boutique" at the up coming quilt show.  This may be a passive way of testing the market. there are also two major pieces on the way, both committed to exhibitions over the next 9 months.  So time to devote myself to studio work.

The other day it rained for several hours here, and then froze.  Looking for a silver lining, I'm grateful that the rain got rid of a lot of snow.  We're getting old enough to see both sides of a "white Christmas".  Now we are facing a forecast high of 5 degrees for Sunday.  More melting and icey streets.  So I'm grateful that we don't have to shop or go to work.

And so the last weekend before Christmas

...and what are we all about to be doing? I think I shall enjoy the time, sit in front of the beautifully decorated tree, perhaps have a wee nip, and maybe watch a Christmas movie. Or, perhaps I will go to Mothers and clean up some more – haha – the choices are so difficult these days! Finally the temps have dropped and we have a sprinkling of white stuff on the ground. Most of all though we do NOT have the constant downpour of rain, and the shovelling of water at our front window to contend with as we did the last few days.  I just washed my hair and put it up into curlers which I have not done for a long time. It is getting long again and I really have no time to make an appt to get it cut before Christmas so the next best thing is to curl it. Yesterday we went to the LCBO and wandered about looking for a few interesting bottles to buy Mike for Christmas. We have over the last few years tried to buy a nicely shaped bottle, or funny designed one and not necessarily cared what might be in the bottle although this year it tended to be whiskey. It is also hard to wrap a bottle in order to camouflage it because it keeps gurgling as you hold the box in different directions. I'm sure he'll guess anyway that it is a bottle of something so the surprise will be to open it and see what it is and what it looks like. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed this past summer and fall puttering around outside in the yard until now when I don't – I can see the difference it is also making in my shape, from lack of exercise and also from an increased consumption of baking. So I guess you can't win – was excited to do some baking but then I'm afraid enjoyed the spoils too much. I haven't had a chance to go public skating either, so I must promise to take better care of myself come the new year. That isn't a resolution either, but a promise to myself, so there is no chance to break it like so many other resolutions. Today I plan to tidy up here at home as best I can and once the low peak hours for hydro start to try to catch up on some laundry. Life can't get more exciting can it? Hope you all have a great weekend and I will look forward to lots of messages and news from everyone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I have to wonder if we all need hobbies that don't involve chocolate.  Maybe we should take up quilting--but no-- that usually involves chocolate. ( Go figure!) My painting isn't going well, but tomorrow is the last class and I think I should show up.  I don't want to be thought of as trying to make a statement, that I don't really mean. The flaw is in me, not the teacher. I think my ambitions outrun my skill level.

Today we ran errands. Took some receipts into Blue Cross, went to the bakery for bread, dropped a small parcel off at the thrift store, and then hit Walmart ( yet again!) for giant size colouring books for little girls.  We try to keep one or two around.  It keeps them busy, and somewhat quiet, while we're cooking supper and playing cards.  Yesterday there was a whole big shelf of them and two left today.  A whole wall rack of markers but no crayons.  Well, you can get crayon off the walls with a little elbow grease, but not marker.  So we'll have to try again after Christmas.  And we bought Brandy Beans!  It must be Christmas!  The only time they're in stores.

I found  a large Damask tablecloth at the thrift store, so now I'm planning a dyeing day, but I'll have to buy a little more dye first.  I've found that I tend to go back again and again to a purple/blue/burgundy palatte, so the dyes I have left, are mostly browns and greens.

I think I sub-consciouly try to plan small outings, just to get us out of the house.  Otherwise I can see us not leaving home for days at a time--maybe even weeks.  It has happened before in our lives and I never want to see those days again.  We need social contact, even if it's very informal, or we loose the ability to participate.

Social butterfly does good.......

I really enjoyed reading about your social outings for a few good reasons – you got to go out, and you got to enjoy time with friends. I often think about this and except for my semi annual lunch with Sue, I don't get out much.. But I make up my own fun as you know only too well. Today we went to North Bay and did a bit more shopping so I think that we might finally be finished for Christmas – I have to wrap yet but that is fun. But while on the road I suddenly thought of making Edna's cookies and of course thought of all the family get togethers that involved a bag (make that "bags")of Edna's cookies, and got all warm and fuzzy. I made a batch after supper and took great pains to follow recipe exactly, and watched each cookie sheet cook so that I could take them out of the oven at exactly the right time. Think I was going too far???? No, I made the best cookies ever and I had a wonderful nostalgic time.
The weather is awful – warm and melting and raining and foggy and miserable. Hoping it may cool down again by the weekend so we can get on with winter. The one's I feel bad for are the Ski Hills desperately trying to make snow but to no avail with these temps so warm so they can't open up. It doesn't look good for the next week either and that might spoil a good Christmas season for profits. The lake is still open which means no ice fishing or snowmobiles will be able to access until likely mid or late January provided it cools down and freezes enough. Time to go..until next time take care.

Monday, December 12, 2011

And eating, and eating, and eating---

This weekend is my "busy, busy, Chritmas social time".  Yes, as we get older our celebration tolerance gets   gets shorter and shorter--mine is now down to two days.  Yesterday ( Sunday) my long time friend Carolyn was in town. There were many people she wanted to see, and little time, so one of the ladies organized a "stitch-in" at a local retirement centre, complete with a catered supper.  While most of us stitched, Carolyn spent 15 minutes with each of us in a private one-on-one.  It made so much sense to do it that way, and it gave each of us enough time to catch up.  The supper was excellent, a served meal, complete with the largest Yorkshire pudding I've ever seen.  And Bramble berry pie for dessert.  It's been a very lomg time since I've had a double crust fruit pie.

Today (Monday)my little group --"the Tuesday night stichers that used to meet on Wednesday, but now meet Tuesday afternoon"--got together for our Annual Christmas Luncheon" at the local Olive Garden.  It was a very delicious meal.  I quite enjoyed it, and mentioned to David that maybe we could go there for lunch sometime.

On the way to the Olive Garden, I stopped in WalMart for a prescription and found decent zipper-front sweat shirts in my size for $9.00 each.  I've been wearing one of them since I got home and it seems quite fine. Of course, the rant about WalMart and their profit margin from another of my lunch companions gave me the guilts--for about 3 minutes. And  on the topic of food, David treated us to some of his Christmas shortbread for supper tonight.

So today is another day when I'm just generally grateful.  And how am I doing at finding small pleasures?Right now I feel good and life is going well.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm still eating so why not you?

I agree about the downfall of baking which results in the eating of same, but I also enjoy the baking and seeing the results - so be it. Especially when I use the right ingredients and everything turns out good! I just baked a sheet of refridgerator cookies I had rolled in the fridge since two days ago. They are just right fresh and hot from the oven and that is why I made small rolls – only enough for a cookie sheet and not too many that can't be eaten in one sitting haha.  I made nuts and bolts last year from your recipe but mine just didn't turn out so good and I'm hesitant to make another batch. Yesterday we went to the Scott Woods Show at the Callander Legion Branch 445 – started at 3 pm and went for a full 2 1/4 hours afterwhich we took part in a chicken dinner ($10.00 each) It was a most enjoyable time and I would say very timely as well to lift one's spirit! We sat beside three couples who were obviously best of friends and provided lots of fun and laughs which always makes an outing nice when you really go in not knowing anyone. We went to Mothers this morning and cleaned more of the garage – a must do activity but not necessarily a want to do activity. Mike went up to Timmins this weekend and since the weather has not been too good for driving, I will be anxious to hear he is back home later tonight. Anyway, I must go and eat more cookies and check the wash. Good to hear from both of you today when I checked the site, and to hear good medical reports from Patty, and housecleaning woes from Cathy as I can relate to all of it. I believe that I was in book withdrawal as I mentioned some time ago, because on Friday I went to the library and checked out another Steve Berry novel – his latest from this year, and immediately when I started to read felt a sense of relief. Funny how we get ourselves into these little rituals and seem to need them after awhile? Take care

Sometimes I really hate computers

My computer has once again been acting up, but it seems to be working again. I guess I just don't realize how old it is. We went to Killarney yesterday. I loved their old house in town, but they have really fixed up this new one. The took out a bunch of walls and opened it up so the kitchen dining room and living room are basically one L shaped room. They have a lot more plans to go. Sandi wants to keep going all winter so they can concentrate on the outside in the spring. I think it will be a work in progress for a while. Unfortunately I then come home to my house and really wish I could do something with it. Maybe when I win the lottery. We havn't done anything for Christmas yet.... still 2 weeks to go... why rush?. Maybe we should think about putting up the tree. They finally posted the job at work and interviews are supposed to be Dec 28th. We actually might have someone by February or March. You have to wonder when it takes a year to fill a position. I should be cleaning my house again. You'd think that after you dust it would be clean for a while but it just doesn't work that way. You clean one area after the other and by the time you are done you have to start over. Oh well... what else am I going to do with my spare time. Of course, I am playing on my computer and I can hear Jim vacuuming downstairs. I will let him keep going. We still don't have our kitchen cupboard doors on. Jim cannot seem to find the hinges that he needs. They are all just a little too smalll or too big. Nothing is just right. I made some nuts and bolts but that is it for my "christmas baking" so far. I will try shortbread tonight (maybe) If I make it I just eat it and I really don't need to get any bigger. Hopefully my computer will behave for a while now & I can keep in touch

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Good news

My doctor's appointment went well yesterday.  Weight down, B.P. down, no osteoporosis, but slight osteopenia, comensurate with my age.  So I'm to double up on the Caltate Plus.  David and I came home, and by the end of the day, had eaten a box of chocolates we had been given. They were so-o-o good!  And yesterday my cheque came from Selkirk.  Then a new high playing poker.  What more could I ask?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not much to say

but I didn't want anyone to think they were forgotten.  Loren called today to chat. He has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and is taking steps to have someone else pay for his $2500 c-pap machine.  He had paid privately for the assessment, and is hoping to get that back too.  He was describing the asssessment, which I gather took place in his own home.  All of the tubes and wires didn't cause too much problem, but the cat playing with the wires did!  He has had an idea about this for awhile, so I'm glad he's been looking into it.  It's easy for the sufferer to pass it off, but it can be fatal.  He's having some work done on his house.  The children's bedroom windows need to be bigger to accomodate bigger bodies, for safety, as they grow up.  I think Loren is starting to find dealing with teenagers "interesting", but he had some idea of what to expect from his former job.

I've been busy in the studio, but today was a painting class.  I have one more, in this session, but have decided not to go back after Christmas.  There are just too many deadlines looming, and I never want to find myself fighting to meet a deadline again.  I see the doctor on Friday.  Over the past while, I've been trying to stay away from salt--and, boy, do I ever miss it.  But I've also found that my appetite is less now that I'm avoiding caffeine.  So, I'm fairly comfortable going in. Sometimes, I dread the process, but I believe I'm in pretty good shape, this time.

I checked the recipe, Beth, and I forgot to write in the "do not substitute".  It should have been there.  We've both had cravings for chocolate chip cookies, and bought a whole kilogram of chocolate chips, only to find that they're quite old.  Not really very good to eat by the handful, so we may have to actually use them in cookies.  I got my e-mail from Kraft today, and there is a recipe for Nanaimo Bar Cheese cake.  Now, I ask you, what could possible be better than that?!?  Even Sex in a Pan doesn't quite measure up to Nanaimo Bar cheesecake!

Well, bedtime.  For today I'm grateful for having children who still talk to me about their lives, and considering how strict I'm being about my dieting right now, I'm grateful for even the concept of Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake.

New glasses

.....are on my face and have been for most of the day. I am trying to get used to the difference in vision from trifocals to bifocals. I picked them up this morning and then headed for a shopping day in North Bay. Harry had gone to his mothers, and his brother and sister were coming again today. I wore the glasses to drive and noticed a big difference but I'm still having trouble focusing to read eg for using the computer now, I don't have that third options for distance. It is quite a change between computer work, and for reading closer. I may keep my old glasses handy for awhile. I bought some real butter and have a batch of cheese tarts ready to bake. Hopefully they will turn out better than the last batch. I can still eat the first ones, but not the same crispy pastry taste. I bought a new Tim Hortons china cup for myself and used up the last of my gift card I got last year. I think there was a little over $2.00 left and I wanted to use it towards a lasting cause ie the cup. The girl made a mistake on my order and gave me a large coffee instead of an extra large so her supervisor came over and told me I could take the both because they would only have to throw out the first cup anyway. So I felt I had been given gold  ie an extra cup of Tims for free! I had a very nice day wandering around – I was able to buy a few gifts and intend to wrap them up while watching Miracle on 34th Street tonight. Very ambitious as I can feel myself waning quickly so time will tell. You know when you plan for certain activities and come he—or highwater you're going to complete the list – well, I just may find myself heading for bed instead and leaving things for the morning as I should have a few hours to myself before Harry returns form Sprucedale. So I better get at it........

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hanging in....

I'm still here and have just made some melting moments, and some cheese tarts. Now, I fear that my baking skills are badly in need of some improvements – I think more experience is necessary as I could not believe how rusty I am. I love to bake but just have not done any for so long. I also think that having the right ingredients is essential. For example if it says butter, don't try to substitute " I Can't Believe Its Not Butter" margarine haha Enough said...... Harry has spent a few days at his Mothers on his own while I puttered around the house doing odds and ends. There were a lot of garbage runs though when he came home with several trips a day there and back which takes its toll on energy and gas! His brother is to come tomorrow but even that is is doubt as her mother and father are both in Kirkland hospital and the mother has taken a turn for the worse. We made a trip to North Bay yesterday and got a glimpse only of Mike as he got home from Petawawa late Sunday night and was trying to sleep. I think I told you that the owner of his building went bankrupt and the Property Management Company that took over has started to upgrade the building – so Mike could not sleep well with pounding and hammering and vibration throughout.  I wonder what his future in his apartment will be with all this happening around him. Probably an increase in rent as allowed by law, or eviction, or maybe Mike will look for another place? Anyway, onward and upward. ps I logged onto the fast friday web site and thanks for the tip – I shall enjoy this viewing when I can – the comments section is most interesting.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Melting Moments

I don't know if these were a Christmas cookie or not.  They may have been something Mom made to feed to the Spinsters, but they have become a bit of a favourite at our house.  Amber will have to tell you about her experiences with them last year, when she made them for a cookie exchange.  They are really just a whipped shortbread.

Melting Moments
2/3 c. cornstarch
1 c. flour
1/3 c. powdered sugar ( icing sugar)
1 c. butter (do not substitute!)

Cream butter and sugar well, and add flour.  Drop by spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 15 minutes at 325 degrees F.  The recipe can be doubled. I ice them, shortly before serving, with a basic, lemon flavoured, butter icing ( be a little generous with the lemon).  If you ice them too soon, the icing becomes very hard and distasteful.  The uniced cookies can be frozen, but will also keep for a couple of weeks in a well sealed container.

I have 1 jar of Cross and Blakewell Mincemeat left. It has been in the cupboard for about 4 years, and I plan to use it a little closer to Christmas.  I haven't seen it in Safeway in years and used to sometimes find it in the Bay Basement, but I honestly haven't looked lately.  David likes the tarts, but no-one else does, so I just make a few each year as a treat for him.  The family used to enjoy the mincemeat in Matrimonial cake, and just about any mincemeat works for that.


It is the "peace" I enjoy, not piece as is written haha

Melting moments

Now that you have mentioned these again, I expect they are favourites?  I looked in my recipes and couldn't find a recipe so wondering, yet again, if you could send. I may not make them, but at least I will know what you are making. Perhaps I know them by a different name, but this name does not come to my mind. I have actually pulled out the tree and have it half assembled. There is a telethon on TV right now from 2 pm to 11 pm and Harry is watching so I may get in the way to be fussing with the tree. I lay in bed thinking where and how I could rearrange things so that it could go up in the middle of the mess and so far seems to be working regarding space that is. I always have liked to sit by the tree with only the lights on and enjoy the piece so getting it up will mean a lot to me. We got a great deal accomplished at Mothers today in the garage so things are looking up. Take care

Friday, December 2, 2011

When you have a minute.....

Beth, if you ever have a chance, you should take a look at the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge blog ( )  It is a fascinating site with many, many challenge quilts, made by people from all over the world. so good, some bad, some very bad! lol I have been a member for over 5 years (from the beginning) and, while I don't participate often, I love to look at what people do in response to the challenge.  On the blog, others are free to make comments or suggestions about the quilts, so it's also a great place to learn.

We made two batches of Mom's Butterscotch Refridgerator cookies today.  Yesterday it was the pinwheel and checkerboard cookies that we used to make at home for Christmas.  I plan to make some Melting Moments a little closer to the Big Day.  The ones we havemade so far, are tightly wrapped in rolls, frozen, and ready to be sliced and cooked, when the time comes.  Cooking them now would be bad for my waistline!

Mince meat tarts

What a nice message to read as I log on this evening. Thank you for the support. Today I created another "treasure of pleasure" and made mince meat tarts. I used Selection brand mince meat – can't find the old favourite Cross and Blackwell (?) nor the Maple Leaf so this was the next available. The pastry was also very nice made with Tenderflake. I have wanted to make some for a few years now and it seemed quite appropriate and  timely to do it today. I even had a notion to make some Cheese and Lemon Tarts but have resisted for the sake of my waist line haha. I will only eat them all and as it is, I have already had about four mince meat tarts today. Fairly good day with many little odds and ends accomplished around the house and yard. I connected the outside lights to an extension cord and so there was some colour tonight outside, and I put up an electric candle wreath on the wall by the piano so there was also some colour inside. Ho hum......Tomorrow we will be going to Mothers early to try to clean out the garage a bit more – what a lot of stuff to go through and many trips to the dump as well. Harry's brother is now planning to come next Wed so hopefully he can assist Harry a bit more?  Here's wishing you all a happy weekend. ps love your 12" X 12" challenge piece Patty that you posted on Mouse Factory.  It was bright and colourful and very cheerful!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Listen to your body

Beth, you have just come off of an extended period of relentless stress and physical labour.  Your body needs a break.  It was several months after I first retired before I could even begin to think about moving on.  I even napped everyday, and after I retired the second time, I napped everyday for several years.  You must look after yourself.  And, yes, you will notice the lower physical energy, but this isn't being unproductive, it's a very normal and necessary reaction to what you have been through.  In terms of myself, I feel as though I have just wakened from a lengthy sleep--somewhat like Rip Van Winkel.  But even that didn't happen over night.  It has been three months now, and only within the last 2-3 weeks has my need for a daily nap lessened. You are an expert at finding small joys and  pleasures, and I'm always love to  hear how you find ways to indulge yourself with them.

 Unfortunately, I am now very much more aware  of how neglected my house has become.  This isn't necessarily a good thing, as there are other things I would much rather spend my time on.  However, I managed to give the bath tub a good scrub out this week.  This is the first time in 18 months that I have been able to kneel down.  My left knee has been very slow to recover from my fall in July of 2010, and I hurt it again when I fell last January.  I just couldn't bear weight through it to kneel. If I had to guess what the problem was, I would have to wonder about a small fistula just below the patella, that had been draining off and on until about 3 weeks ago.

Today I went for a haircut, and there was a sign advertising three specials for the month.  One of them was only a couple of dollars more than I usually spend, so I indulged.  A special shampoo and rinse. then a scalp massage, a "precision" haircut, blow dry and styling.  She talked me into getting a very young style, although the cut itself can be styled into my usual, next time it gets washed.    I could have paid an extra $2.00 and received some free product.  As I was leaving I noticed a basket of the "free" product on sale for --you guessed it--$2.00.

So for today, we should be grateful for small, (hidden?)pleaseures, and our capacity to recognize them  and indulge.

I wish....

....that I could be as wonderfully busy and productive as you sound to be Patty. I bring to mind the word "mundane" to describe things here lately. Well, we went to Mothers again after two days absence because of the severe weather we had. The power went out again today and there are still approx 4000 customers without power at all. So I guess we are lucky to have fluctuating service?? We have enough snow to last for winter – and it all fell in the last two days after we had been enjoying nice Fall like conditions up until now. I also got some badly needed housework done this afternoon after returning from Mothers with another load. It feels so good to do housework – I like the idea that I have washed floors and cleaned up but no one could ever tell except me haha. I walked with the dog tonight after supper and purposefully went around the subdivision to look into windows. I like to see the Christmas decorations and really enjoy the walk and the viewing. We don't have anything in the way of Christmas up yet – we actually have no room for the tree right now in the front room and if truth be told, I am not really in the mood to put anything up. But I'm sure that will change or I will be forced to change. I wrapped gifts for Harry's sister and family over the weekend so have that done and all the cards were mailed today. The one thing I enjoy is playing Christmas music on my CD player, and starting today ( Dec 1) the radio station is playing Christmas songs now so I quite like that. On Sat Dec 10 we are going to a show in North Bay – Scott Woods Band – remember we went in June and I told you how good it was and Cathy I mentioned they were coming to Neepawa. Well, on Dec 10 they are back to North Bay for a special Christmas show at 3 pm with a dinner to follow at the Legion In Callander. I am not sure if the tickets we purchased cover the dinner but I'm sure we will find out once we get there. I haven't been reading anything for the last week and I think perhaps I am in withdrawal?? The optometrist called Wed to say my glasses were in, but because of the bad weather they weren't coming to Sundridge until next week so I couldn't even get my new prescription. I will be getting bifocals instead of trifocals and a new set of frames so I'm anxious to get them to see if I can "see" better. Cost plenty $$$ so they better be OK.  Take care for now...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a day!

All sorts of odds and ends today--and all of them cost money.  I went out to buy some beads for the second of my Milky Way series. We found some lovely white beads and I even bought a small container of Swarovski chrystals-bicone shaped.  Then we went to get a new camera card.  We were dreading that, as the last one cost us over $60! But not this time--$11.99!  The young fellow told us that not only is the technology much cheaper, but that the card is a much larger one and I should have no problem with high resolution pictures.  While we were there I stepped into the large woman specialty store next door.  This is one I rarely ( once very two years??) get into.  Well--I bought my new clothes too soon!  However, I showed marvelous restraint and only bought a pair of nice grey cords.  We got them home and discovered that she had charged me incorrectly, so David insisted that we go back and get it fixed.  So we decided to finish the Christmas shopping while we were out.  Luckily I was able to put supper in the oven on delay timer, so we came home to a hot meal.

 Now we have to get the house ready for Christmas before Amber and the girls come over for supper on Sunday.  David got the tree out and it's set up ready for decorating--a quick job that may just wait for the little ones to help me.  Next on the list is the Christmas dishes--always a bit of a chore and one I always need help with. We've also decided to make some cookies this year.  I had planned to do it tomorrow, but we both need haircuts so that may take precedence.

And--I'm keeping myself very busy in the studio.  It is so great to have projects on the go again.  However, not eveything goes well.  A couple of days ago there was a bit of a crash and when I investigated I found a plastic jar--about a 1 quart size-- of beads had fallen out of the corner cupboard where I keep them.  The lid had broken and there were beads everywhere.  We are still cleaning them up.  They were "junk" beads, and some I will probably never use, so we found another jar and off they go to the thrift store.  The basement bookcases have been sorted out yet again, and there are more books for the library, to be delivered tomorrow.

The bonus with all of the new energy I seem to have is that I am busier and working harder so sleep a little better.  So for today, I'm grateful  for having had a good night's sleep yesterday, that allowed me to just about finish the Christmas shopping today.

What you get, we get....

In middle of severe storm over last two days with intermittent power outages so will write a message while the power is on and I can have computer access. Was shovelling snow all morning and Harry just walked up to the mail as there is no way he could get the van out. His brother was to come from Kirkland this morning but that was cancelled soon enough. He will have to pick another day in next week to come. We have planned to go to Mike's home for Christmas day this year – we will cook a nice meal and have a good visit there. Mike thinks it is a nice idea. Every year he has come here (which I loved) and then to Mothers for the day – it was so hot for him he mentioned that he won't miss that aspect of Christmas now that tradition is no more. Anyway – must run and do more shovelling. Take care

Sunday, November 27, 2011


That is wonderful news Pati. I am so excited for you. My month from Hell is just about over now. The craft sale was yesterday and surprisingly it went really well. Considering it was being organized by 4 people that had never done it before. I was feeling a bit better by yesterday. I think Friday was my worst day. Our instructions were there, and I am sure they were clear to the people writing them, but "Put out signs.... be sure to check strings" Okay, where? Check the strings for what? It all came together and even the changes we made seemed acceptable. I ended up talking on the mic all the time. They must have been sick of my voice by the end of the day. We didn't have to change the music all the time because Rrain put over 6 hours of music on her i-pod and just let it roll through the sound system. If we do it next year at least we will know what we are doing (I hope) Today is the Dicken's reading. 1 to 4 pm and we are done. I was in bed by 8:00 pm last night and I think I must have fallen asleep as soon as I turned out the light and I think tonight might be the same. Now I can focus on Whitemud and the spring production which is 2 weeks before we host the ACT Festival. What were we thinking!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy happy

There is happy dancing from me as well for your great news Patty. Doesn't it make you wonder about your "sabbatical" and how it has played out – perhaps not to you, but to me it seems you have relaxed and concentrated on creating some wonderful pieces of art and your credibility justified by others and proven by their purchase of same? Just my two cents worth. Your happiness shines through in your message and I am so joyful for you.

Happy Dance

I was out in Selkirk today ( horrible drive in snow and icy roads) to volunteer in the gallery.  It was the last day of the show, and we were to pick up our pieces.  One piece sold earlier, and today a woman walked in and bought my other large piece!  OMG!  Selling one was phenomenal, but selling two is downright unbelievable!!

So today there is happy dancing in the Findlay household.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

my turn

It's so nice to hear from both of you.  I'm just up from a nice nap.  Have been trying to avoid them, but the devils sneak up on me.  The rental car we have is a Jeep Patriot and neither of us is comfortable in it.  David has complained in the past about the Seebring being small and close to the ground, but this thing makes me feel crowded on the road.  David says that it's because I'm up at the mirror level on other cars and it makes them seem closer.  I've ridden in a lot of vans and never felt as crowded. Tthe snow is just about gone with the warm days we've been having.  From minus 21 to plus 7--only in Winnipeg.  So ice is a big worry right now, especially in an unfamiliar car.  The repairs are going to cost us extra, as they found that the block heater cord had been chewed to shredds by "rodents".  Those cute little squirells wouldn't do that, would they?

I started  new class--sort of.  I found a group of ladies who are slowly working their way through a quilting /design book. I signed up last Thursday evening, only because I already owned the book.  Then I couldn't find the book, and had to order it off Amazon.  Did that Saturday, and was told it had been shipped on Sunday then received it Wednesday, just after the Tuesday night class.  So I've spent this morning working on the exercises, trying to catch up.  I'm not sure the first exercise is going well, but I'm probably the only one who will see it.  I plan to start the second exercise this afternoon, and get both of them to the point of hand stitching, before Saturday.  I have another day long volunteer session at the Gallery in Selkirk and will need something to work on.  The show comes down that day, and I would have had to go out  anyway to pick up my pieces.

Had a meeting postponed because of the Grey Cup, but David is interested. His parents used to have season tickets.  There was a lot of hoopla about the Eastern final being the very last game in the old Winnipeg Stadium. There was even mention in the Free Press about a lady who remembered seeing a football game in the old Osborne Street  Stadium.  I remember going to a circus with Grandpa McGrath that was in a big building on Osborne where the Great West Life building now is.  I wonder if it was the Osborne stadium?  I was very young, and can't remember a lot of detail, except Grandpa kept buying me food, until I was sick.

I wish I had been at the magazine sale, Beth, as I seem to be missing one of mine, and back copies are hard to find.  They now put them all on cd or dvd and sell them to you a year at a time.  If you ever see February/March 2010, please grab it for me. I've been a subscriber since the beginning, and know I had the magazine at one time, as I made something out of it.

We enjoy eating out once in awhile (--or maybe that's the "Royal We").  It's almost a little bit like a "date night", or as much of a "date night" as people who have been married for as long as we have would consider.  But the cost does add up.  I figured that our biking breakfasts were costing us about $150.00/month, and we really cut down this summer.  Of course, I was less enthusiastic about going out on the bike, if there was no breakfast involved, so we compromised on a drink each.  After the prices went up, the two drinks cost almost as much as the breafasts had, a couple of years ago.  But we've found the same thing at McDonald's, and only rarely eat there now.  I'm now noticing the lack of consistent biking this summer.  I'm probably in the worst shape I've ever been, and I'm not sure how to deal with that right now.  Although the way the snow is going, I could have been out on the bike today.

Any way, now it's down to the salt mine again.  Can get an hour's work in before worrying about supper.

Get well soon....

Isn't it great to take a sick day and stay at home and do nothing! Or was that housework you were looking at doing Cathy?
I spent a good portion of the day making out Christmas cards and just finished now. Harry came home from his Mothers about 10 am and went to bed. I guess he and his siblings actually got a lot accomplished yesterday. His brother left early this morning and has already telephoned to say he is safely back in Kirkland Lake (four hour drive). The plan is for him to return next Wed again to take another load back. He is taking some of the furniture so it makes a full and heavy load for him and thank goodness he has a truck.
Tomorrow we go to North Bay and hopefully will unload all these boxes of salt and peppers at that ladies home. Tonight at the local grocery store in town – Foodland - they are having their annual open house with draws and free samples of food etc so we will likely go over for 6 pm and see what we can see. Harry has been lucky on previous years to win gift baskets. We actually do not shop at this store because it is so expensive compared to the stores in North Bay, and the owners are not very friendly, but it is good to "be seen" as supporting locally. We have started to go to a local restaurant again after not going for about 2 1/2 years.  we went about once a month when I was working but then stopped when I was laid off. It seemed like a nice thing to do to start back again once Mother passed away and the food and service and ambiance is nice – Austrian /German food and German beer on tap and Viennese cafe so it is all good. A person could get too used to it though so must watch carefully because the costs can add up quickly.
Is anyone watching the Grey Cup this weekend and cheering on the Blue Bombers – I expect maybe Jim will so hope you enjoy the game – I can't get it on either of my two channels so will have to listen to CBC radio for updates. So long for now...... hope you get well soon Cathy haha

The Joy of Sisters

I have been reading the blog every morning and today I get to join in. I stayed home from work today, since I have been feeling "coldish" and tired all week. I have such a busy weekend with the craft sale and the Dicken's reading that I decided to be sick on work time instead of my own. This way maybe I will be feeling better by the weekend. I remember Mom's Brown Betty. Brown Betty is made with flour and Apple Crisp with oats. Too little too late, I know, but I have been following and now I have Mom's recipe! The weather has been up and down here. Lots of snow and now it is warm and melting. Just in time to freeze and have a layer of snow dropped on top of it. Oh joy! We have discovered that the 4 wheel drive on our truck is not meshing properly. Therefore we don't have it when we need it. Good thing we have warranty. The bash in the side has been fixed and looks fine. Since the truck was new, there is no difference in the paint and it looks the same. I love the truck, but I wonder if it is cursed? I know I am staying home to get some rest, but I see the laundry and the dusting and the cleaning and somehow I have to do something. We have our kitchen cupboards half on. The hinges we have won't work on some of the doors and we can't find any in Neepawa that will work. It makes it easy to get things out when there are no doors! :) After Sunday things will be slowing down here. The main projects will be over. Except that we are ripping out the floor in one room at Viscount so that they can put down the new one. They would install the floor for $1000.00 if we did all the prep work. (emptying the room and pulling up old carpet and baseboards) It was a pretty good deal, especially since we have a $1000 grant for the new floor. I think I will have something to eat and do something ambitious (like napping!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy moments

Yesterday I went to Huntsville for my tests and had a nice morning full of a few happy moments. It was not the tests that filled me with joy – just to get that straightened out! My appts were for 9 am and then 10 am but fortune was with me and I was out of the hospital by 0930 having had both completed. So I went downtown and into the new quilt store. I believe I mentioned that last month when I went to the doctor I slipped downtown to go into the quilt store and they were all packed ready to move out of the space and across the street into a new place. I had to reluctantly leave without having had a browse. Yesterday I ventured into the new space – a bit smaller but nicely laid out and very bright. The first thing I spotted was a rack with magazines for $1.00 so chose a April/May 2011 Quilting Arts that had an article on using "found metal" , and one on "stencilling and stamping" that had attracted my eye. I seem to be attracted to found items and haven't a clue what I shall ever do with any of them. I do a lot of thinking and visualizing rather than actual work but that can be fun and fulfilling in it's own way! Then I spotted a bin of FREE patterns – so sorted through that and got about 10 that I thought may be interesting reading. While looking at the shelf of books and other magazines my hand immediately grabbed Quilted Symphony by Gloria Loughman. So many memories from last summer (year and half ago)and I still even have that hand drawn coloured picture I made while with you, Patty. You were able to sew your piece right away that you fashioned, but mine is still in the raw paper form hanging on my cork board. And funny sort of coincidence, when I got home the newest Canadian Quilter magazine was in the mail waiting for me. So lots of reading to look forward to when I can get to it.
I made a batch of Daddy' ribs for supper and made rice to go with it and even had a bowl of brown betty left over to finish up. Talk about warm and fuzzies....So all in all my day was fine!
We are still working everyday at Mothers. I shopped for food in Huntsville at the Metro store in the Mall and then delivered it to Sprucedale on my way home from Huntsville yesterday as today Harry's brother from Kirkland Lake is driving down and to stay overnight with Harry tonight, and his sister has taken the day off work to be there as well for today. Hoping they can be productive. And I am at home with a long list of things to do. It is bright and sunny so I'm sure I can squeeze in a walk with the dog. There is skating at the arena from 10 to 12 noon today as well but I am afraid I shall have to skip that for today. My eye doctor appt is at 4:25 pm today here in Sundridge. It is great that one day a week he comes down to Sundridge from North Bay which makes it very convenient. So I have a full day ahead and better get at it. I just made a pot of coffee though (bad bad on me for making a second pot which I really shouldn't be drinking but decided to splurge haha) and having a cup while writing to you. Would be better to be sitting at the kitchen table with you both, but I'll take what I can....

Monday, November 21, 2011

the same

It's exactly the same recipe as the one Mom wrote, but has a little more info about method.  I would imagine you copied hers and added the method bit.
 You are sounding much more at peace with life right now.

Brown Betty

Excellent – exactly what I was looking for. After I went skating, without any major injuries to my body or dignity I might add, I came home and made a dish. I was thrilled to get this recipe as the others I have used all had rolled oats and weren't really as great tasting as I remembered. Now as for the hand written recipe, if I actually wrote it, then it really isn't Moms is it? But on the other hand, why not? I'll let you decide. To make it again though, I would reduce the amount of brown sugar in the topping as it was really sweet and I baked it a tad too long so will shorten the length in the oven next time as well.
We were at Harry's Mothers place all day wrapping salt and pepper shakers. Harry had a request from a lady who was interested so we wrapped all the remainder ( 445 sets to be exact) Harry let her know how many and she has now replied that she didn't really realize there were so many and that she cannot afford to buy them all. So now what do we do????? Harry's brother will be coming down again on Wednesday and he and Harry will load up his truck with stuff that Harry has boxed up as well as some furniture. My place continues to be filled up with each trip we make there and back. As well, the auction Harry attended Sunday afternoon produced yet more stuff. If I weren't afflicted with acedia, I might be worrying  haha! Tomorrow I go to Huntsville for my diagnostic imaging tests and plan to slip into the Mall for a browse and likely a Tims coffee – all by myself. There you go.......

Sunday, November 20, 2011


When I went to put the recipe back in the box, I found another one that is easier to read and in more detail.  I thought--I should mail this to Beth, she might like having something in Mom's hand writing, and it would give her a "warm-fuzzy" in the mail..  Then I looked again and realized that you had written it, Beth.  The only certain way to tell them apart is in the old fashioned way Mom made her "r's".  Shall I send it anyway?

21 below--say it isn't so!!

Yep, winter's here.  Put the lining in my parka yesterday, and then almost  waded through snow to brush off the car.  David had the snowblower out to clear the driveway and sidewalks.

I have Mom's recipe for Brown Betty, although I notice it is headed Apple Crisp.  One of my cookbooks actually has them both listed.  Here goes

Apple Crisp ( Brown Betty)

3 cups sliced apples ( approx. 6 apples)
1/4 cup sugar
few grains cinnamon

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar

350 oven ( can't read how long.  it is very faded)

Early Sunday

and here I am pondering the days activities. Already have a load in the wash and drier. With the smart meters and time for use pay periods in place now, I tend to do my washing on weekends as usually by 7 pm on the weekday evenings when it switches to the lowest rate, I am on my way to bed so not really in the mood for doing wash. Weekends are set at the lowest rate until 7 am Monday morning so I feel a bit more at ease taking my time.
To Mothers in am yesterday and sister Donna came for a bit so Harry was able to discuss a few things there at the house that needed to be decided upon. The salt and peppers shakers were all organized in nice little rows and counted now that most of family have chosen what they wanted to take. This morning at 10 am a couple from near North Bay are coming to view what's there with intent to choose and buy to supplement their current collection of over 1000. It would have been nice to say take it all, but then I understand they don't necessarily want duplicates. Harry's sister Donna will be there to meet them so it means we will not go today at all (unless Donna needs Harry) Harry plans to go to the auction this afternoon, and I plan to go to public skating at the arena – first time for me this year and actually last year too, as I couldn't ever make it. They had unknown hours posted for public skating and unless you went to the arena to check the times, you wouldn't know. During the municipal election campaign I told one new fellow that the use of the facilities would be better attended by public if hours were set regularly – then families could plan accordingly. What do you know, the schedule is now Mon and Wed 10 to noon, and Sundays 2 to 4 pm. Did I have any influence? – probably not but it works out better for me in the long run!
Yesterday I cooked a nice beef roast for supper and purposely planned it to be able to watch the CBC matinee Hockey game from Winnipeg featuring the Jets versus the Flyers. It was a good game and first I have seen start to finish in a long time. Winnipeg won – third straight win in a row, but I was just more interested in seeing the MTS Centre and the fans celebrating a team "returned". Now today Winnipeg Blue Bombers play Hamilton for Grey Cup Eastern privileges, but that I will not get on either TV channel.
Tuesday I go to Huntsville for Bone Density, and them Mammogram – get them both done in one morning. Hope the roads will be good for travel as there has been some snow and blowing in that area over last few days.
Now I have a question – to get a really good recipes for Apple Brown Betty – something like we used to eat at home? I can make up any number of recipes for Apple Crisp etc but it never tastes quite the same. Is there such a recipe that either of you have, or maybe one you've tried that fits the bill? Thanks
Time to face the day by having my last cup of coffee for morning, and take dog for a walk.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Out with the old...

I really should go through my clothes and throw out the ones I don't wear, but I am afraid I will have nothing left! I still keep around the size 12 pants because I may fit them again. Right... I have climbed to a size 18 since I started thinking that. I thought this would be my one day off today, but I ended up at a meeting at 9:30 this morning. The Holiday Festival of the Arts wanted to meet with representatives of VCC to see if we could work together. Rrain & Kathleen had talked about it and wanted to try it, so we said we would see what happens this year. I am afraid it is going to mean an awful lot of work for the 2 of them, but it would be nice to really become an art centre in town. Tomorrow is the ACT meeting and then in the afternoon is the cooking show. They are filming it at VCC to show on Access 12. Phillipine cooking and I saw the recipes. It looks sooo good and there is free food after the show. Then we gear up for the craft sale. I figure by December 1 we may have a break. We got lots of snow here too. Over my boot tops to get through the yard. I shovelled the patio and deck but that is it for me. Curtis has made us some new cupboard doors for the kitchen and he is going to help Jim install them this afternoon. The doors look really nice and are much to good for the cupboards. Speak of the Devil... they have arrived. Curtis brought the slippers we bought from his girlfriends mother. Leather moccasins lined with furry stuff. Very warm. I have them on now. I think I better go and hide somewhere before they ask me for help. I will try to take a picture when they are up.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I finally did it!

Something I haven't done in over 30 years.  Something I have bragged about not doing, and then felt very superior to those who do.  Been thinking about it for awhile but didn't think I could afford it, or would be comfortable with having done it.  I bought a pair of jeans.

Yes, I have been trying to keep my old work wardrobe going, but after 10-20 years things wear out.  I had two pair of pants that could be worn for a little longer, if only I had a top to go with them.  So yesterday we looked a bit at Walmart and the mall, then, finally ended up in Pennington's.  They are usually a little pricier, but can sometimes have better quality clothing than WalMart.  We found several tops and discovered that if I bought a pair of pants at regular price, any and all regularly-priced tops I bought would be half price.  I looked at two pair of pants.  One was a very nice, good quality pair of lined dress pants, but the other was jeans.  I have a pair of dress pants that seldom get worn, so the jeans won.  I now have eights new tops, two pair of pants ( a cheaper pair on sale, as well as the jeans) and a new housecoat.  This morning I threw out ( yes, garbaged) a pair of pants and two tops, and put two more tops aside for the thrift store.  I think there was celebration throughout the land when those pants hit the garbage, and one of the tops was ablouse that I wore to work for at least 10 years before I retired.

There was also good news in the e-mail yesterday.  One of my pieces in the gallery in Selkirk has sold.  So now we can afford to shop for Christmas presents for the little ones.  Amber is taking Jessica out for the afternoon, today, and is worried that Jessica is going to want to buy the CD she has been wanting, with her birthday money--the one that is already safely tucked away for Christmas.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


First real snow fall today but fortunately it will not stay for long. Snow squalls hit further south with a much larger amount of snow fall. I cleaned pots and dishes today as I mentioned I was going to do the other night. The pots are some Harry bought for his parents with copper bottoms. They are a good set but we really didn't need any more pots. The up side of all of this is that the set included a double boiler. Now remember our conversations of some time ago about cooking porridge in a double boiler. Since then I have looked for one at the cheap stores but was not lucky. So now I have one. My goal with the cleaning was for "perfection" ie spotlessly clean. After scrubbing for hours my intentions turned to "I guess that will do". At least I am content with the results and will actually use them. We went to Mothers again this afternoon and I cleaned the bar area in the rec room, and then we loaded more garbage and dumped it at the Sundridge dump. We have been hauling all the garbage here. This morning Harry headed up to a small town past North Bay to pick up an electric organ from Free Cycle and it is now sitting in the front room with all the other stuff. I tried it out and I think that I will be able to catch on fairly quickly and be able to play it but when? and also where ? will it find a spot in the house is still unknown. I love the Kraft book What's Cooking just like you Patty and find some really interesting but very usable recipes. I usually have all the ingredients and if not, I will adjust the recipe to fit my needs. I made some sliced potatoes with grated cheese in muffins tins (called galettes) for supper tonight and it was quite tasty. hope to finish the Berry novel tonight – it is taking so long to read as I can only get through a chapter or two each night as I am usually too tired and my eyes are too sore. I go to the optometrist next week and will be asking for a new prescription hoping it may help with my vision. I find I can't see anything with these current glasses – they are trifocals which I got when I was working and needed something for the constant computer use but now just want to read labels and books haha. All for now

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Slowing down

I knew last weekend would be a horror no matter what.  The car accident upped the ante a bit.  Everything is now back on track.  When David went into make the appointment for the repairs, the fellow took a moment and put the bumper back in place.  It is now completely safe to drive and even looks fairly good.  Yesterday was my last commitment at the gallery in Selkirk until the 26th, although I have a word processing job that I need to do for them in the next couple of days..  Monday was supposed to be a  day in the studio but seemed to pass in a bit of a fog.  I sat down in the living room while David was watching Antiques Roadshow and woke up when the program ended.

So now we just have the usual commitment for the next couple of weeks--my painting class and a quilters' guild meeting, then my stitchery group next Tuesday.  I had wanted to get a haircut, but the deductable has put that off for a couple of weeks.  Last time I had it done, I asked for a little more length--enough to tuck it behind my ears.  For some reason she left an area all around the crown quite long.  It means that I have to use my curling iron every day and have to blow dry it, for volume, whenever I wash it.  A bit of a bother, but I certainly admit that it looks much better with me spending a little more time on it.  I also have to use a little hairspray--not good in this house.

So, I'm grateful for time to sit and relax this morning.  I'm grateful for the recipes I got from Kraft this morning, as more than one of them shows potential.  And I'm grateful to David for picking up the slack this weekend when my mind and energy were elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rest and Relaxation are in order

By the sounds of your adventures, I would think a bit of down time may be called for. For all of us actually, but as I am acutely aware that may not be possible in our lives. So maybe a half measure of rest could be achieved. That occurred for me today – up to North Bay as usual for a Tuesday, and saw Mike which is refreshing. But as a highlight,  viewed the Portraits of Honour Tour display that is making it's way across the country. The artist has created a 10' by 40' oil painted mural with all the faces of the military men and women who have lost their lives in Afghanistan. Very moving tribute and I was quite touched. Try to see it if it comes your way. We did not go to Mothers today as planned so it is a bit of a rest (ha) We shall be heading out early in the morning though so will likely be a full day again. We had a full set of encyclopedia and science books and dictionaries dated 1962 that no one wanted so harry put it up on kijiji for "free" and actually got a response from a student at Canadore College in North Bay so we made a fast trip to Mothers last evening to pick them up and were able to deliver them today while there. The alternative was to dump them as no one today is interested in out dated reference books. Much has made it's way here and tonight I shall be cleaning up some pots and pans, and some pyrex loaf pans that I think may come in handy. So everyone have a quiet week if you can – I had my car in for winterization today and apparently the rear somethings are "warped" and will require replacement.  It has something to do with the brakes so I guess I better action that soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Whe-e-e-w! Rough day!---Rough weekend!

Friday was a stitchery day with my Ravenesque group at my friend Ann Marie's house.  Talking to Dianne the night before, she told me she wouldn't be coming, as she and her husband had found a new place to live and he needed the car to start moving some of their boxes.  So very early Friday morning, I was off to Steinbach to pick up Dianne.  A beautiful drive so early on a holiday morning.  I was able to see many, many flocks of geese rising out of the fields, along highway 12, to start flying south.  I was a few minutes early, so we took a quick trip to see the new house, although we didn't actually go in.  ( Check her blog if you want to know the whole story)
Then into the city and pulled into the visitor parking at Ann Marie's block, where I stepped on the gas, not the brake and drove the car into a high curb and a 8" pipe from draining the downspouts onto the parking lot and not into the suites.  I killed her ornamental scarecrow and loosened her patio railing as well.  The car looked grim.  I called David and we were both concerned about me driving it home.  ( thank Goodness Dianne's husband was coming to pick her up).  So my friend Rose Anne drove over and picked up David, so he could look at the car and then drive it home for me.  Rose Anne said that she would make sure Dianne and I got home.  We later found out that she expected to have to drive Dianne back to Steinbach--not just to my house.  We had a nice day and got home expecting to wait half an hour for Dianne's husband, who showed up an hour and a half later.  I thought I was going to have to feed her supper!  So I was exhausted, and went to bed early, as I had committed to spending Saturday out at the gallery in Selkirk as a docent.  But wait--I have no car!

Well Rose Anne, who was doing a demonstration inthe gallery Saturday, said that she would pick me up if she had to, and I was to call her in the morning to let her know.  David had hoped to be able to get a rental for us to use.  Nope, no-one will talk to us until I have had the car into MPI and received a repair estimate--and my appointment isn't until noon Monday.  So David taped the bumper together ( it was sticking wa-a-ay out to the side) with gun tape and drove me out to Selkirk.  I called Rose Anne and left a message on her machine ( her computer is down).  Well the joys of mis-communication!  While I was phoning her, she was sending me an e-mail telling me that she would pick me up at 10:15, unless I called to tell her not to.--an e-mail that arrived later in the day.  But, we had a great day.  We talked and laughed and each got a little stitching done, while being available for any visitors to the gallery.  I got home absolutely exhausted, went to bed early, and slept well.  Today it was off to Selkirk again, with a stop to pick up the fruit tray I had ordered for the refreshment table  at the reception.  Whoops!  They had made a mistake and prepared a medium sized tray not the small I had ordered,  but only charged me the price for a small.  So we ended up with a huge tray of fruit, most of which is now in my fridge.  It was an excellent reception.  Cousin Beryl Robbins and her daughter came, as well as David's sister Gail and her daughter and grand daughter.  We were busy from one to about 3, but ended up sitting a visiting amongst ourselves between 3 and 4.  David knew many of the people and stayed  the whole time.  But, until you've done this sort of meet'n'greet promotion, you have no idea how tiring it can be.

So for tonight, I'm grateful for somewhere to sit down--in my nightie--and the big glass of wine that I have at my side.  I'm also grateful that it's over.  I still have two more shifts as a docent, but one of them is on the last day of the show, and I would have had to be out there to pick up my stuff in any case.

shovelling snow?

Lets hope you keep all the snow there – I am in no mood to start shovelling snow around here right now although for the first time in many years I have the yard work completed ready for winter. I have received two notices so far for me to get into the garage for winter maintenance and change of tires so may try to action that this coming week. Every day to Mothers is getting a bit much but reinforces my desires to get rid of everything in my house right now! Yeh, I know – no chance, right?  But tonight I did actually bundle up a bunch of old magazines ready to take to the recycle resources on Tuesday – so that is a start. Your comments about cleaning up Patty, and my current experience with clearing out Mothers house are making me really nervous about this place. So I have decided to start with "my own" stuff because I should be able to make some headway even if by the littlest of strides. As long as I don't look too long in my front room which is piled with boxes and boxes full of stuff, and four wood cabinets from Mothers (that is, so far!) With going out every day, it leaves no time to try to sort out things here at home, and next to no time to check for messages or to send messages. This year for the first time in many years we did not go to North Bay for Remembrance Services. I turned on the radio at Mothers at 11:00 and listened to a short service and two minutes of silence so at least felt a part of the day. You know what I would love to do? Go to Vimy Ridge. So my new desire when we win the lottery is to fly to France instead of going across Canada on the train. Or maybe we could do both? I guess I'm getting silly so better go to bed and rest up for another day of work tomorrow. Have a great week everyone. ps Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in the eastern semi finals for the Grey Cup, and the Winnipeg Jets are not doing so great!

A lazy weekend

It was really kind of relaxing around here. I look at the dust everywhere and just say "So?" Everyone needs to procrastinate. The next couple of weeks are very busy with meetings, and the craft sale and the Dicken's reading and before you know it it's December! Yesterday I went to a HotTub party. There was Rrain, and Lynne Ranger, and Judy McDougal (Jim's ex wife) and we went to Kristy Draders house. We invited ourselves over but Kristy was all for it. We watched a movie and ate junk food and drank wine; Then went in the Hot Tub and drank wine; Then watched another movie and ate more junk food; Then back in the Hot Tub and more wine..... The guys showed up (Jim & Rodney Drader) We asked them to bring us wine in the hot tub, but instead they each grabbed and beer and climbed in with us! They really make lousy pool boys. Today I have done nothing. I should go and buy some milk, but I haven't. Mallorie is going to be away on Monday & maybe Tuesday. She left a message on my answering machine on Thursday night. She has gone to Calgary. I hope nothing is wrong. Her daugher lives there and her sons are both working in Alberta. I am busy next Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & SUnday. I need to rest up before hand. The next week is almost as bad, but then by Nov. 28 we get a short break. The caretakers at work still don't seem to know what they are supposed to do. We have complained to the Company, but nothing changes. We even had to shovel our own snow. It's reached the point where I am just going to clean off my own desk. We were supposed the leave it for them but even I can't take much more and that is saying a lot when you consider the condition of my house. My secret plan is to let it get so messy that Rrain will get fed up and clean (Do you think it will work, Kik???) Jim is making supper tonight. The Hutterites left some cabbage rolls here, so guess what we will be having. They look pretty good. Next week will be hit and miss because of being busy everynight so we might as well eat while we can. Hope things are going okay with the rest of you. Have a good week