Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Be - and yet life marches on...

I think it is the latter - taking a moment out of an otherwise whirlwind of activity/chores/requirements or whatever, but it is absolutely a godsend for me to check the blog as regularly as I am able in order to keep in contact. So it is equally important for me to write a few words as I am able. I went to North Bay today to go with Mike to take his drivers test for the next step in the graduated process to get his permanent civilian licene. His current licence requires that he can drive only with a fully licenced driver of at least four years standing. It seems ludicrous for him to go through this (but a legal requirement) since he is so highly trained and qualified as a driver instructor / examiner with the Military. He passed today but kept his mouth shut when the "young" examiner cautioned him on a few points that Mike knew not to be true. Now he can drive on his own, and must wait for another year before he can take his final test. I stopped into Coles bookstore and purchased a book for myself - it is nice to treat yourself once in a while. I bought a book called The Prayer Shawl which includes the history of the making of such shawls, the process of how to ensure the making is meaningful, and also pictures and patterns. It is beautiful and even if I just read it rather than utilize it, the purchase will be worthwhile. I have lots of wool on hand and lots of needles of different sizes, so I intend to start on a simple pattern. I would still like to purchase a shawl pin from Mary Maxim - on sale this month - but will probably never put an order in. Fun to look at though Take care.

Quiet site!

Life must be quiet and serene for all of us. LOL  Or else we've all finally gone around the bend and can't get it together to post.  I have my final visit with the doctor today, and hope this means that I can now sleep without the eye shield, although it didn't really bother me that much.  I just couldn't see diddly with my left eye occluded, and no glasses on.  My biggest hope was that I would be alble to see the computer screen bette, but that didn't happen.  I'll hang onto that hope for when the other eye gets done in June.  Once my lifting restriction is over, I feel that I should be getting down to some serious cleaning around here.  Almost nothing has been done since I hurt my shoulder, although David has managed to keep on top of most  of the routine things.

Getting busy will get both of us off our butts and more physically active.  Our lifestyle lately has been to eat and read, eat and watch tv, and eat and play poker, so some sort of intervention is necessary.  The hardest part of that is actually doing it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Busy weekend doing nothing

I really got nothing accomplished this weekend, but I felt quite busy! I guess that's what happens when you shop and clean and rehearse. You are on the go, but it looks no different when you sit down! I did sit outside with Jim and have a glass of wine when I got home yesterday. Back to work today... I really have got to win that lottery. I didn't bake any cookies, but I did buy flour and sugar when I was shopping... that's a start! We have been cleaning out the freezer and the shelves, so I was buying some basic items on Saturday. $130.00 and nothing to eat! We had frozen pizza for supper last night. (on sale... $4.99) Jim goes for his barium test this week. He got the van out and running yesterday, so I can take it to work on Wednesday, instead of him dropping me off at 6:30 am! I didn't get permission to start work early, so I would have had to sit around for over an hour. I might as well be at home sitting around. We finally got through the entire play yesterday. Of course, being spring break, not all the actors were there. They still want me to be meaner to Bud... and nicer to the guests..... all in the same scene. I guess I really will have to act a bit this time. I have a meeting next Sunday, and I think they are going to want a rehearsal too I will have to do a 1/2 and 1/2 on both of them I guess. At least it is an ACT meeting, so they understand that rehearsals are important. Especially at this late date. I still can't believe that it is the end of March and we still have so much snow. They are predicting a very late seeding this year, if at all. And, of course, flooding everywhere. I need to end these blogs on a brighter note. Today the sun is shining!! Yeah!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Edna's cookies

Oh Beth, I laughed when I read your post.  I had just sat down to take a quick break after taking the last tray of Edna's cookies out of the oven.  Instead of a double batch we made two single batches.  The first one only got 2 cups of flour and was a little too crisp, while the second one got an extra 2 tbsp of flour and appears just right. Getting into personal care is very difficult, and something to be initiated before the day comes.  Most people don't look far enough ahead to make it work as a smooth transition, so it becomes a crisis intevention and everyone is traumatised.  Very unfortunate.  I hope it works out for the couple, who are obviously close to you.

We were out for supper with Loren and his children on Friday night as it was Jeremy's birthday.  A very popular pizza restaurant and very busy.  The staff were overwhelmed and it took almost an hour for our dinner to arrive.  It was noisy and hectic and both David and I were exhausted by the time it was over.   Loren mentioned that they were probably going back again next month for Gillian's birthday, and now we're wondering if we could deal with a return visit.

Be - A few words to keep connected with you

Lately, limited access to check blog and write a blurb! Just to let you know I'm still here. Harry went off to an auction and I am trying to accomplish a hundred tasks at one time. Just took out a batch of Edna's cookies (I know....enough) to take to Aunt Evelyn's in North Bay. Tomorrow I shall be going North while Harry goes South to his Mothers on his own. Aunt Evelyn asked for my help. She has reached the point where she can no longer manage with Uncle Walter - wishes to place him but it is not that easy in Ontario (probably no where else either?) So I shall go for the day - taking lunch. On hold - just received a call from one of the sons - they may be calling an ambulance to take him to hospital - I suggested they try to call the Doctor first who could clear the way for admission. Life can be so distressing. I should sign off for now. Glad to read all the news on the blogs - both this and the Mouse Factory. Every one is so busy......Take care

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Comments section

It would appear that anyone with the ability to actually post on the blog, isn't allowed to use the comments section.  Good to know.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gearing up for a busy weekend

It's friday afternoon and I'm getting ready for an eventful weekend. I'm going out with a girlfirend tonight, dinner and shopping. I'm hoping to go to CDN Tire to buy a new set off pots. $240 and that's 70% off! I've been looking for awhile as the finish on the inside of my pots has started to come off. I really don't care for that kind of seasoning in my food. I've also decided I can't wait any longer for the desk I want to go on sale. I've been looking at the desk since last summer. It's a simple writing desk as opposed to a computer desk. It's my hope that by having the desk for the computer and printer, I can reclaim the kitchen table. That's tonight. Tomorrow, I have Samantha's gymnastic class and then go home to wait until I can drop her of at Darren's mom's for the night. Then I'm off to join Darren and jessica at the Victoria inn by the airport. It's Banquet night for the MBRC - Manitoba Bohunters Records Club. Darren and Jess are planning to be there for noon to help with the setup and then a swim in the Dinosaur themed water park before the banquet starts. I figure I'll get there just in time to get them out of the pool to go for dinner. Last year Darren came home after setting up and then had to race back so this year he decided to get a room. That way we also don't have to worry about driving home as of course we'll each have our own vehicle. (The dogs will be dropped off at teh breeder's Saturday morning.) Then on Sunday, Jessica will drag us back to the pool before checkout time. And of course, we have to pick up Samantha and drop off Jess for her turn to sleep over at Grandma Judie's house. Great Fun! Then, I start two weeks of being at the office full time as I accepted another acting position for two weeks. Good thing I'm getting rested up today!

Oh great, my girlfriend just called and said she might not be able to make it! I don't care - I'm still going shopping!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Surgery details

The surgery was nothing.  I was awake, with just a general relaxant, and less than 30 minutes in the OR.  I had to be driven home, because of the mild sedation.  ( I wasn't even aware of any change, but it was easier to remain still during the procedure)  I had to wear an eye shield until this morning (about 24 hours), and while sleeping for 2 weeks.  I had to start one type of eye drop 24 hours before surgery( antibiotic)and for a week after, and the second one when I got home after surgery ( a sort of anesthetic) and for two weeks with gradually fewer applications.  The vision in my new eye is fantstic--better without my glasses--but I have to wait a while before doing anything about that.  Anyone I've spoken to says to go for it, the sooner the better, and anyone who has it ( and a few that didn't get it)recommends the more expensive flexible lense--which  I have--a smaller incision and reduced chance of complications.  I'm not allowed to do any heavy lifting or straining for a couple of weeks--but I can live with that.  LOL
I don't know why you would wait, but on the other side of the coin I remember the problems Phyllis had.

Be - the Comments option

Well, I'll be d...... thanks Cathy for telling me about it and thanks to our younger and more literate contributors who brought it to our attention but also probably just assumed I would be aware of such an option. Now I shall be watching each blog a little more for Comments.
Glad to hear from you Patty after your surgery - I am using your experience to gauge how soon I shall take my own adventure down the same path.
Both greenhouses have two heaters now - one electric and one propane. We had to buy two propane heaters as we are in a deep freeze this week and into next with a temp of minus 20 called for tonight. At a setting of "low" one propane tank can last about 3 nights so we need to get them filled frequently but if it will get us through, so be it. Take care

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

home but not happy

The eye appears fine, but I have to wear the shield for 24 hours.  Ihis means that I can't wear my glasses.  I'm stunned at how poor my eyesight is without the glasses.  I can't read, watch tv or get very far with the computer.  I didn't hear from you Beth, so have to assume that the parcel didn't arrive.  I know I was joking when I mailed it and said it would be a birthday present, but I sure never expected that it just might REALLY be a birthday present.  Maybe if there is no joy tomorrow, we'll have to initiate the claim procss.  I wonder if they will really pay $100 for a package fo scrap fabric--even if the fabric did come from japan?

Okay... I'm blind

I logged out and looked at the post and there at the bottom is a link for comments! I never did find Kik's (too far in the past) but I did see Amber's. I am sorry about Romeo, Amber. I know how it feels. One month we said good-bye to Brandy and Garfield only days apart. Sometimes life sucks

Blogging... the next generation

I was talking to Kik (Keri/Rrain) today. She would love to be part of the circle of McGrath women. She will be contacting you Pati, as soon as she gets her new computer up and running. (no, she didn't need the expense... Yes, she needed the computer) She told me that she has actually commented on some of our posts, but I never noticed. I am not even sure where you could tell if someone commented. Maybe we should make a comment ourselves and see where it shows up!! Rehearsal again tonight. We REALLY need to get this play under control. We have yet to go through the whole thing. I went to a birthday party after work. Germund is 87 years old today! We had cake and beer (wine in may case.... rum in Germunds) I am taking the last of my holiday's on Friday...5 hours. I will work from 8 to 10am then I am out of there for a whole 2 1/2 days. We have rehearsal on Sunday... maybe we will go through the play, but it is Spring Break, so all the teachers will be away. One Day.........

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Amber came over and did out taxes tonight, and, yes, we will be getting a refund. A big relief to us. David wants to spend the money getting Daddy's clock repaired.  I hadn't thought of that, but it seems like a  reasonsable idea.  It hasn't worked in a few years.

Be - Tomorrow with love..

I thought that subject would catch your attention Patty, as I shall be thinking of you and sending all my love for tomorrow and each day after.
I am soon going to have to get my cataracts done - at least in my left eye but waiting to see if my retinal stress will settle done some. It is getting colder at nights for this week so we have lit the propane heater in the one greenhouse for tonight. Would be a shame to lose plants now after so much time and work has gone into them so far.
Listened to the federal budget and subsequent discussion and assume we shall have to go to election again. Not too much to choose from in terms of parties and leaders (my opinion) so it will be interesting to follow all the campaigning!
Take care

Monday, March 21, 2011

Being a "child of the sixties"

Sometimes I need to think back about what we believed and how we behaved--as women.  I know, Beth, that you once told me that you didn't believe in all that feminist nonsense, but you, too, have done things, as a woman, that our Mother wouldn't believe possible.  Recently, I've been exchangeing e-mail with a woman in the Southern States  (North Carolina, I think), who is about the same age as I am.  We appear to have lived parallel lives with raising children ( with the help of understanding and supportive partners), returning to university, both more than once,  and holding down responsible jobs.  We've been reminiscing about what we did to make it possible and what the feminist movement was trying to accomplish.  We did it in hopes that our daughters, ( "daughters" in the largest sense--the next generation of women) could have choices in their lives.  I know many younger women are choosing a "June Cleaver" type of life, and while it's tempting to think "what a waste", our battle was to give them that choice.

So, where is my brain this morning, and what have I been drinking?  This morning I received an e-mail announcing a guest speaker at my local art group.  It turns out to be a young ( thirty-ish))woman I know and admire, but I had no idea what sorts of things she has accomplished.  The accompanying resume was a real eye-opener. Not only has she done some really neat things, I also found out that she has been nominated as a "Future leader of Manitoba"  I was actually moved to send her a private e-mail expressing my respect for her accomplishments.  I have to recognize that she has no children, and is not currently in a romantic liaison, so probably has more time and energy than all of us put together, but, regardless, she deserves credit for coming so far in her chosen field and we desererve credit for creating the type of society where a young woman has those choices.

Wow!  I'm glad I got that off my chest!  I'm sorry you won't be going to Nationals, Cathy.  You and Jim could probably have used the opportunity for travel as a sort of vacation.  But it was still good to see you, if even for just a few minutes. Yesterday was the AGM of my artists' group and I'm no longer Chairman of the Board, although I've promised to attend meetings over the next year, to be there for questions and support.  (The new Chair is a middle-aged Mennonite woman who has never chaired a meeting in her life.  More feminism?  Her name is Gail and she is a photographer.  You both may have met her in Sioux Narrows where she was in the next booth.)

 Now I just need to prepare for my cataract surgery on Wednesday.  I've had a problem getting the eye drops I need, but have been promised them by this afternoon.  I thought I might be coming down with a cold, which would cancel the surgery, but I've been taking my echinechea (sp?) tea and eating oranges, and it seems to have gone away,  So I plan to engage in non-demanding activities, get lots of sleep (Oh Yeah!), and generally make myself  healthy, and ready for whatever may happen..

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It wasn't in the cards....

We tried, but right from the first game we knew we were down. We only won 2 games and were skunked once. At least we didn't let down our partners. They weren't much better than us. THe 1st and 2nd place winners were only 1 point apart. I'm glad I lost by a lot and not just by one point. The banquet was quite nice on Saturday. The food was better than lunch! They had a shuttle service for participants so I was able to have something to drink, too. I chose wine and it was really nice. The bartender upstairs had wanted plastic wine glasses but they would only buy him small drink glasses, so he was filling them up when you bought wine. Pretty good deal. (and I had more than a couple!) There was a band downstairs and we listened for about an hour. Then when we left, there were 7 of us headed to our hotel at the same time, so we all got very friendly and stuffed ourselves into the van. It was pouring rain when we left Winnipeg but snowing when we got home. We have had quite a bit of snow here since we left. The only bad road on the way home was #5. It was all deep slush. But we made it home and the dogs were both here to greet us. As soon as I opened the car door Chi was trying to climb onto my lap. And she knows she is NOT allowed to get into the car. I guess they were both lonely. Nika didn't eat any of her food. I have tomorrow off work, so I don't have to do anything for the rest of today. I hear a book calling my name.........

Saturday, March 19, 2011


David and I are anticipating a refund as well.  My biggest fear is that I've screwed up and won't be getting it.  Like Darren's mom, mine is already spent.

We met Cathy and Jim for tea this afternoon.  They had registered at the West Kildonan Legion, but still needed to check into the hotel.  She told us that it's supposed tobe a very nice hotel but they've already been warned not to go into the parking lot after dark( say what!??)  We met at Tim'sand all four of us faithfully rolled our rims and won nothing.  Cathy had never heard of a plastic Rim Roller, so we all know what to get her for Christmas.  Not that she spends a lot of time at Tim's.

I'm glad Amber made it.  Cathy said that Keri reads it often. Would you like an invitation Keri?  Or can a computer whizz like you find your own way in?  E-mail ( me an e-mail addy for you to use.  I'm sure the ones I have are out of date by now.  We all just have to remember that anyone in the world could be reading the blog.

Be - Welcome aboard Amber

Amber, I still don't know how this blog works but except for a few occassions when I was told my "cookies" were no good, I can log on OK and do my thing! Patty was the one who got it all set up so I give her credit for getting us communicating. I did our taxes all the time until about 5 years ago when it was getting too complicated and now I take them to a good place in Burk's Falls ( the next little town 22 km south of us). I will soon have to take them again as I think we have received all the paperwork we need. Always a real treat to be told I owe the government more$!
To Mothers again today - now three days a week on a regular basis, Mon, Thurs and Sat and whenever else as necessary. I have been listening to the news about Libya today and live in dreaded fear my Mike might have to go there - bad enough in Afghanistan. He has been in the bush since March 11 and I wonder if he is hearing all the news about his beloved Japan. He is so fond of the place and was planning another trip as soon as he raised some money. He has friends there that he met while visiting and with whom he still communicates. He should be home late Sunday or Monday. We shall be going to North Bay tomorrow again to do a grocery shopping for him and feed his animals (two degus). Well, time for my date with Randy Bachman so I better sign off. I wonder how Cathy and Jim are making out at the Tournament? Take care


Well, now that I know it works, I guess I'm expected to say something.
I purchased a tax program yesterday using my coupon from work, so I only had to pay $15. Darren's mother has been on my case to get her taxes done as she's expecting a refund. Well, this is the year she started collecting a pension, so her income increased slightly - just enough that she now owes on her taxes. I couldn't phone her and tell her. I couldn't handle telling her the bad news and listening to her ask "what am I supposed to do now?" (She has always received a small refund in the past and had already made plans for the money.) Darren offered to call her - Thank goodness! Sure enough, she started crying. I am so glad I wasn't the one on the phone with her. I haven't even started working on ours yet as we don't have to file until June, but maybe I should. After a few years of both of us paying, I actually got a refund last year. Maybe it'll happen again.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hello Amber

who has been approved for the blog but is having great difficulty posting anything.  I don't remember what we had to do to get on, but I think it involved signing in with a google account.  Everything appears tickedy boo on the dashboard.

Be - Cribbage

This is the weekend and I am thinking about you Cathy and Jim and send my best wishes for a lot of luck to go along with your expertise playing at the Provincials. Most important though, have some great fun!
We got our maple syrup today at the sugarbush. I also bought a jar of maple syrup cinnamon sugar that I shall try on toast tomorrow morning, and I can already taste it in my mind.. yumyum! Take care (today I bought the winning Lotto Max ticket for all of us)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Be - Mugs and Tea

Isn't it a wonderful feeling to come home with swag in hand. I am pleased for you. I am very fussy about the feel of a mug in my hands and the feel of the mug on my lips so I can appreciate what you have been going through. I am thrilled to announce thatI have found a tea that I love. I think I told you both before about a Hot Chai Tea that I have bought at a specialty store in North Bay (when I think I can splurge on the $4.75 cost) Well, I tried a Celestial Seasonings herbal tea called bengal spice and I am smitten! It is described as "an exotic flavour adventure with cinnamon, ginger and cardamom with a hint of vanilla to add a bit of creaminess" But it tastes the same as Chai tea, if not much better. After trying a sample at home, I went into the Metro Store (new name for the A&P store) and bought the last three boxes they had on the shelf at the time. Not all the stores carry Celestial tea. And for Christmas I was given a large pottery mug that I have now designated for my bengal spice tea. So as you celebrate your new purchases, I raise my mug of bengal spice tea to your success. Now, I have no idea how to help you with your wine problem - that will have to come from Cathy and Jim as I have never made wine from kits, and I know from tasting theirs that they make wonderful wine. Take care.

Offending the gods

Yes, it must be true, Beth.  I've offended someone.  The second of my good coffee mugs is now cracked.  And one of the ones I bought Monday has a rough spot on the rim, that can't be felt with a finger but can be felt with lips and tongue.  Today we were out by Polo Park and took a chance going into the Bay there ( I needed a washroom--again)  It took both of us but we found four mugs of a suitable size and shape--all on sale.  I brought them home and measured, and they are all 16 oz--bonus!!  Three of them are quite good quality, and the fourth is a neat shape and colour.  So my next plan is to  get rid of the ugly ones we got at Domo as a gas premium.

And the wine kit we started a week ago has failed to ferment.  It's now sitting in the middle of the kitchen hoping that the warmer temp will kick start it

 How's that for an exciting day?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Be - Glad you had a good day

It is fun looking and that's part of having a good day. But you came home with couple of mugs and wow! a new purse. I am always looking for a really glitzy purse - remember when we joked about having one Patty? I have seen a few possible offerings on a discount table but none were glitzy enough for the price being asked.
I think Amber already reads the blog, does she not? So she certainly knows how the flow / content evolves from day to day (or bogs down on occassion depending on the moods of the contributors haha) So go for it..
Tell Amber I bought that last set of Stampin Up called Ity Bity Backgrounds - it cost $2.00 for set of four as it was no longer 50% off as the others were last week.
Take care

Monday, March 14, 2011

A silly day

We had fun. Spent the day out and about.  Beakfast at McDonald's was awful.  Won't try that again.  Finding the perfect coffee mug is proving difficult.  There are some nice ones out there, but most are much smaller or more shaped like a cup--low and wide at the top.  The low wide ones won't fit into my coffee maker.  I looked at some rather expensive ones and the quality wasn't there.  The rims were rough, for some reason ( lack of quality control?)  I was surprised as they were a good name brand.  I ended up getting two that were only $4.99 each, but with beautiful smooth rims, a good size and the right shape for the coffee maker. However, I will continue my search.  I saw a lovely Royal Albert mug, exactly the right size and shape, but of coure, not okay for dishwasher or microwave--and only $42.00!  Actually I may save my pennies and take another look at that one.  I have a very nice tea mug, that I inherited from David's mother.  It is actually decorated for the Order of the Royal Purple, probably at the factory.  There were two of them and David's sister didn't want them.  The other one is a cheap thing that appears to have paint or decal on it--a home done job.

But--tada--I bought a new purse--bright scarlet.  I don't have any clothes that it will go with other than my black ones.  I keep running into strange/funny men.  We bought the purse at the Bay and the salesman allowed us to dicker with him on price.  Weird!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Too bad!

I always check the blog before I go to bed, but I appreciate the thought.  Yes, I'm looking forward to tomorrow just because I'll be getting out of the house--I haven't been out since Thursday.  We have a lovely car in the driveway that I've never ridden in, and I found a credit card with a little room on it and I may just choose to buy two coffee mugs.

Amber and the girls came for supper tonight, and Amber told me that she won't be able to come again for a month.  It's been that way for four months now and I'm starting to feel that I'm loosing her.  I don't know what's going on in her life. I told her how much the blog has helped us keep in touch with each other, and she asked how she could participate.  I wouldn't do that without talking to you both, and I'm not sure how it gets done, in any case.

Happy Birthday

Hopefully you don't check the blog tonight and this message will great you first thing tomorrow, Pati. Happy Birthday! I hope your day is full of love and laughter.
I see you are mastering the fine art of posting pictures. They look beautiful.
Beth, did you want to come to my house and do dishes?? Okay... we'll skip the dishes. I've left them for Jim to do, anyway. I had a wonderfully lazy day to day. I sat on the couch and read a book and watched tv. (how stressful!) I did make us a late lunch/early supper. It was quite good if I do say so myself. And I must confess that all this talk about cookies made me want to bake. No ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. I made Apple Crisp instead. Trouble is, the recipe makes so much! I'll be eating it for days. (what a shame)
Again, have a great day Pati.

Two little girls

Two little girls with their Easter bonnets--from last year.

Be - Dishes and greenhouses

Today we drove up to North Bay to check on Mike's place and feed his animals. As I expected there was a counter full of dishes. So as Harry did the animals, I did the dishes. I think he got the better of the two jobs. Both Mike and his new roomate Zach have the best of intentions and really do keep the place relatively tidy, but there is this thing about dishes! I just imagine how happy they will be to come back from the Winter exercise to a clean kitchen (so they can start all over again haha)
We did shopping for Mother to take tomorrow (which is now filling my fridge) and I even got treated to a Tims for the drive home. Then, we opened up the second greenhouse which involved clearing out all the stored garden stuff (now hidden in the snow under a tarp) and moving one of the heaters from the big greenhouse. Then I mixed soil and hauled water and helped to tranfer plants from one to the other. I have just closed it up with a blanket taped over the door hoping that both greenhouses will stay above freezing tonight. You can only imagine the amount of time, energy and work that goes into this thing called gardening!

So Happy Birthday to you Patty - will be thinking of you all day and hope that you will be fortunate to buy yourself another china mug as a birthday gift. Best wishes XXX

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A horse from the other viewpoint

Oh Cathy! One of the things I've been able to enjoy since I retired is not being in charge of anything. But there's another side to it as well. David was wonderful to me when I couldn't look after myself.  He was willing to do anything I asked, including dressing and bathing me.  He made sure we had meals and clean clothes.  He drove me where ever I needed to go.  And I ended up feeling totally useless.  I hated having to ask for help.  It was a very difficult time for me because of this, and the need to feel more independant made me try to do things I shouldn't have.  But for one day--yes--a beautiful dream.

Be - Sorry, cookies are gone

but you have given me an idea...I could bake to my hearts content and ship them all off. You never know what might come in the mail one day..
Hey Cathy, all I can say is "been there, done that" But I hear what you are saying. This is what I do ...I take special notice of what could be good for me out of these situations creating happiness for me from within. Example, today Harry announced we were going to the Maple Sugar Bush to buy maple syrup because he heard it was running. So out we went up to Powassan (20 minutes north) to Matthews Maple Syrup. They did not have any syrup done from this year yet because the day temps have not been high enough and what sap they have collected is too high in water content. But, they had two Clydesdale Horses giving sleigh rides through the bush. So I was thilled and enjoyed every minute of the ride. Harry knows the owner and when he asked where he was, the other workers said he had gone to the official annual "First Tapping" ceremony at one of the other Syrup places. So as it was on our way home, we went there. Lots of people and cars etc but they had the Ontario Provincial Police(OPP) Canine Unit demonstrating with their dogs, and again I took great pleasure and enjoyment in watching this and listening to a most interesting show. So tonight I have something good to think about......this approach lets me take life one day at a time, and so far seems to keep me going (one day at a time!) Well, time to go to bed and listen to Randy Bachman on CBC. By the way, I cannot get the Brier on the regular CBC channel anymore and since we don't have anything but 2 channels - CBC and CTV, I am losing all my favourite events (all going to TSN) Take care XXX

If wishes were horses....

Have you ever wanted a day just for yourself (silly question) A day when you didn't have to worry about repercussions... a day when you could do what you wanted and someone would take care of you? Wouldn't it be nice to have a day when the "other" person in your life put aside their wants and actually cared for you? I am such a fantasizer. I guess you both know what I mean... Meanwhile.... cookies... I am more than willing to test them for you..... just send them my way

Ripple effect and more birthday plans

Today I lost (broke) a coffee mug.  It was one of three that I bought at the Royal Doultan Store many years ago--all 14oz, microwavable, fine bone china.  These three mugs have controlled the routines in my kitchen for years.  With just two of us, we don't do dishes every day, so I have developed the routine of putting the dishwasher on when I have three dirty coffee mugs, and I use one a day.  It has become routine to hand wash any dishes that can't go in the dishwasher on the same day, so that my kitchen is clean for a few hours every three days ( I like the way it looks when it's clean, but not enough to keep it that way).  So how will I know when it's time to wash dishes?  What if one day I get mixed up and wash dishes too soon? This must be fixed!

We got some coupons in the mail for McDonald's.  Of interest, were the buy one, get one coupons for breakfast items.  We could both have breakfast for $2.99!

So my birthday plans are firming up.  Breakfast at McDonald's, and then a search for a replacement coffee mug.  It won't be easy.  Most places we usually shop don't stock fine bone china.  We will probably start at St. Vital Centre, as there is both a McDonald's and a Bay there.  In a pinch there is always Sears as well, where I've had good results in the past.

Oh Whoopee!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Be - weather makes no sense

Just reading your description of Manitoba weather Patty reinforces how crazy this spring is, or is going to be, because apparently it is to last for some time yet. Highways closed again today, buses cancelled, white out conditions in some areas, and right here at our house we had rain, and then snow flurries, and I have no idea what I will wake up to? Best not to worry about it but can't help thinking of my Mike who leaves at 4 am in the morning for his 10 days of training in Gogama which is also having snow and freezing rain, and sleet etc. Good time to go winter camping?? Just so we keep cookies in our thoughts ( I know, you probably think we've flogged that to death already?) I set out this morning to have a go at a batch of Edna's Cookies - for research purposes, of course! I followed the recipe exactly using Imperial margarine, and so far I haven't eaten a cookie that wasn't right. I still have to continue with my experiment though until I have tried every last cookie and crumb in the box just to be sure! Have a good weekend and call me if we win the $50 million! Take care

Only in Manitoba

It is grey and dirty and awful looking out there but the temperature is +2.  We've had rain scheduled for the day with a blizzard later this evening.  Special warnings on the weather channel about slippery roads.  So we've decided to stay home tonight.  HAH! As if we would ever plan to go out!
We were starting to get worried about how much this rental car is costing us.  David spoke to the adjuster at Autopac and got permission to look for a cheaper rental.  We were paying $17.00/day over and above our coverage, and it was adding up.  Well, he talked out dealership into giving us a much better car for --hold your breath--$4.00/day. We now have a very nice looking Chysler Avenger--but without heated seats.  We still don't know exactly what we'll end up paying the dealership, as we had some routine maintenance scheduled before the accident and it'll be done while the car is there.  So we're probably looking at about $600.00.  And this after I spent almost$300 on pills yesterday.

So why am I telling you all of this?  Beth, I got your card today asking what great plans we had for Monday.  Nothing!  But maybe I'll win at internet poker--for a change.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


It is a little different than stamping on paper.  You want your paint a little thicker. This is why I more often use acrylic paint than Seta-color.  if you want to use the Seta-color, you can get a product from Jacquard called "SuperClear", that will thicken fabric paint. Or, I've heard of them getting Aloe Vera gel at the drug store that does the same thing.  ( I've never done that myself) I prefer to put it on with a foam brush, and I pat it on rather than stroke it on. Stroking can cause it to pool in the recesses within the stamp.  Test it on scrap fabric first, to make sure you know how thick to apply the paint.  The trend now is to have the stamped mark appear degraded.  You can do this by not covering the entire stamp with paint.  This causes a portion of it to appear to have disappeared. I wish you knew which magazine it was.  I have them all, but wouldn't know what I was looking for. You'll have to visit and spend a couple of days going through magazines with me.

Be - fabric stamping

It would be stamping on fabric that would be of interest to me. One of the past Quilting Arts magazines had some really good examples and story about stamping and I spent some time this afternoon looking for it. I thought I had saved it as I did several other magazines of interest. But I guess that it was given away. Last year I packed up a few boxes of books and magazines that I gave to the mother of a friend of Mikes who was having her womens group over and were going to fight over them - or so she said probably in jest! Anyway, I had to get rid of excess and this magazine with this article must have gone. Isn't it always the way - you never need something until you've gotten rid of it but I can't keep everything and do my best to control what I can here. I won $5.00 on my lottery ticket from last night (don't laugh) It is a win regardless of the amount because I turned it into another ticket so we all still have a chance at "the big win" for Friday night. Take care

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I haven't bought Stampin' Up stamps for years but my memory says the sets are anywhere from $20 to $60 each.  Yeah, you got a bargain.  Amber is involved with scrap bookking and knows much more about it than I do.  I've been to a couple of homeparties.  You should see if you can get yourself invited to one.  If you can located a representative she may know of a party that she can get you into.  Nobody cares who knows who you are-- all they want is numbers and hope you end up buying something. The vendor lady has a project that the group works through one step at a time.  It's usually designed to demonstrate as many of her products as possible.  Since I do my stamping on fabric, I tend to use fabric paint or acrylic paint more often that the stamp pads.  I've also used the embossing stuff they have, but found that much of it is cheaper in Michaels.  And since I use it to make paper /acrylic beads, the source doesn't matter.  The best project I ever got involved in was using the stamps on some natural surface 4"tiles. We stamped them in black and then filled in the colour with felt markers, then sprayed it with a fixative before putting small gel bits on the bottom to turn it into a coaster.  I use mine in the studio all the time to put my drinks on.

I've always used margarine in the cookies.  I tried soft margarine, and they werren't bad, but usually use Parkay--and have for years.  Anyway, we old folk need to fill our time with something, so experimenting with cookies will be our project for now.

Be - call me curlylocks

Yeh, I got my hair curled today and I am very pleased. I have chosen to go to a new hairdresser in town so this is the first permanent I've had by her although I was also very happy with my first haircut just before Christmas.
Now back to cookies -I thought I was the one with brain problems Patty because all of a sudden I was drawing a blank when you posed your question. So, it is Edna's recipe that I use as I just compared the ingredients you listed. My copy is only titled Cookies - Basic Recipe - Mom. I have never cut back on the flour but have found out that what brand of margarine you use can make a difference. Actually my recipe calls for shortening but I most often always use margarine in my baking. Also, the baking time varies from batch to batch so generally I check the progress of cooking closely and err on the side of "softness" when I take them out of oven because they always harden up a bit when cooled. I hope that you can find out what seems to be causing the hard rock cookies - is your stove temperature accurate?
I bought some rubber stamps at the Recycled Resources store on Tuesday. Now I think I got a real deal - three original packaged "Stampin Up" rubber stamps in new condition: 1) On Gossamer Wings set of nine stamps 2)Love It set of six stamps and 3) Bodacious Bouquet set of nine stamps - all for $3.50 !!!! What do you think - was it a good deal? Now I have to figure out what to do with them. I guess I'll have to buy another "how to" book, eh?
Well we are right back into another winter storm with expectations of another 15 to 20 cm of the white stuff today and into tomorrow and then, if you can believe it - RAIN!!! We worked in the greenhouse this afternoon - putting up two new shelves (we went to the dump looking for pieces of wood and after plowing through snow and crap measuring boards I said enough and drove to the Hardware store where Harry bought two 4 ft planks), and transplanting - I mix the soil and haul the water back and forth from the house. We still don't have the second greenhouse up and running yet because of the crazy weather.
Take care

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Edna's cookies clarified

This is Mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe that came from our grandmother's friend Edna.

1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/3 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt

add any thing such as nuts, 3/4 cup chocolate chips etc

It's the extra 1/3 cup flour that I'm questioning.  If the margarine is really soft and sloppy, I have cut it back a bit.  Have you ever tried doing that to produce a softer texture ( not a soft cookie but crisp and easy to bite)?  I know you have to beat the sugar and fat enough to dissolve the sugar in the the fat, or the result can often be heavy and hard, but reducing the flour a bit has soemtimes workedfor me too.

Do you think I have brain rot to be worrying about this?

Be- Clarification re: cookies

My recipe box got another going over after your question about "Edna's Cookies" (I enjoy going through recipes - just like you Cathy in liking to read Cook Books) It appears I do not have a recipe for that specific cookie but I was assuming all along that it was the recipe I have called Basic Recipes for Cookies where I add chocolate chips. And then I remembered us making cookies last summer Patty at your place and used that same recipe. So now I am confused (doesn't take much, eh?) but I recall the name Edna's Cookies. So is there an explanation to unconfuse my confusion? I know Patty that all this doesn't address your concern about your "hard rock cookies" but it did give me something to think about!
I am getting a hair permanent tomorrow at 10 am - I go for so long and then I can't stand my hair and need to do something NOW! which is what happened today. We came home from North Bay and I immediately went to the phone to make the appointment.
The good news for you Patty is that you are healing regardless of the unexpected information about what was broken, but isn't it interesting about how health care is being managed these days - one must advocate for oneself because noone else will. We took Harry's Mother to the Health Centre in Burk's Falls Monday to get an xray of her arm that has bothered her for over a month. The Doctor saw her last month and gave her a cortisone needle in the shoulder inspite of my suggestion to Hrry to get an xray because I suspected it could be a fracture. Anyway, we await the results - actually I hope there is no fracture otherwise she may get a cast or sling and that would mean increase in care and more "sleepovers" for me.
Harry's sister's daughter (16 years) left today for a school trip to Kenya to help to build a school. It has been planned for over a year and a half with fund raising events etc so now she has actually gone and it gives Mothers something to both talk about and worry about! We got a phone call from her at 7 pm tonight to let us know Donna (sister) had heard from Julia (daughter) from Montreal where they were tranferring to a flight to Switzerland. She returns March 19 so guess we shall be talking about it every day now.
Anyway, time to sign off for now. I finished the top of the quilt I was sewing on Sunday, and finished the book I was reading last night so I'm feeling a bit lost without an outlet right now - better just go to bed! Take care

Orthopedic clinic

again today.  Saw the physio ahead of time and she was pleased enough to discharge me.  As before, xrays and the resident interviewed me before the Big Man himself came.  So the we're looking a the xrays and I ask the resident what is that?  He says "Oh that's the displacement where  you broke your clavicle". Funny, no-one's mentioned that before! This explains so many things such as why I can't lie on my left side, why the pain was  just about the level of my bra strap instead of out further toward the actual joint, and why there was a strange jerk whenever I moved certain muscles..  Actually I think the jerk was the first doctor who told me I hadn't broken anything and just had a muscle strain.  And to think I had been worrried at the time about bothering them in emergency when there was really nothing wrong with me.  Anyway, I've been assured that there is good evidence of healing and I can use the arm "as tolerated"  Assholes!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Me? Bake?

I have to confess that I have not made cookies in years. There is no one here to eat them but me, and I really don't need any more weight on my body. Kris became the cookie maker in the family. He makes wonderful chocolate chip cookies. Of course, they are his favourite and he never turns them down. I keep reading cook books and thinking about cookies and muffins, but I know they will just end up in the freezer to be thrown out later. It's too bad you can't bake just 6 cookies... enough to satisfy the craving. Instead I eat candy and potato chips (and I wonder why I weigh so much?!) My last day off before going back to work tomorrow. I am puttering and avoiding reading my script. I will study it again before rehearsal, but it seems so hard to learn the lines without someone to give me my cues and correct my mistakes. Of course I get enough corrections at rehearsal. Every year we wonder how we will ever be ready for the production and every year we manage to pull it off. This year will be the same.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Edna's cookies

David and I have been making cookies, the last batch being chocolate chip.  We've been having trouble with this recipe.  They have been hard little rocks.  We went backto our old margarine, and beat the margarine and sugar more than we had been.  I even remembered to add the vanilla, which I haven't done in years.  But no melt in your mouth cookies--more like pave the walk cookies.  I have a vague memory of Mom saying that the extra 1/3 cup of flour was optional to adjust for the temperature in the house.  Makes sense to me as the margarine would be softer in a hotter house.  What  have been your experiences?  I would hate to think that my new mixer is the problem.

Another year goes by...

It was a good day yesterday. We played crib in the morning and I had some great hands. Didn't quite double skunk Jim, but almost. Then we cleaned the office (yippee) and we did go to the legion, but only for a beer. There was a cookbook on the table with some great recipes in it. I might even buy it. (as if I need another cook book) Jim wrote down 5 recipe names and I found 3 on line, so I will be trying some. Jim watched the opening match of the Brier. I fell asleep at 5th end and woke up at the last rock. Nice nap. I didn't get my pizza for supper, but only because Rodney and Kristy phoned and asked if we wanted to go out for Chinese with them. (It was Rodney's birthday on the 4th) Somehow it wasn't a hard choice to decide between a pizza at home alone or Chinese in a restaurant with friends. Their kids were there for supper, but both disappeared quickly to hang out with friends. I guess you can only be seen in public with your parents for so long. We came back here for a drink (and to watch curling) but we were all so full and tired that it took us 2 hours to finish one drink. It was a good day. Today will be quiet. I need to read my script some more. Act 2 tomorrow. Jim will be watching curling all day. I will write notes to people (on line). I have the curling on, but they always replay the great shots, so I will watch when everyone yells. Have a great week and thanks for the vent

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Be - What a great day....

...for two reasons:
Firstly: It is Cathy's birthday and we all got to celebrate this special day with her! Hope you got to eat your supper "wish"of beef and mushroom pizza. Happy Birthday to you. I always feel it is important to hold to our traditions of selecting and getting what we want to eat for our birthday supper.
Second: Today I got to speak with each of my two most favourite sisters!
Now I plan to go to bed and read a chapter or two of a book I'm reading( Clive Cussler The Silent Sea) and listen to Randy Bachman on CBC.
Good night and Take care both of you! XXX

Friday, March 4, 2011

Small pleasures

Beth, we've talked about finding those small moment of pleasure.  The ones that keep us going.  Could your few stolen moments to work on your quilt be part of that? I remember a moment of time during our visit to you at Christmas 1980.  With all of us, and our animals, in your house, there were many moments of chaos and excitment. But I had some hand work with me ( as I always do) and had taken just a moment to calm my thoughts.  Phyllis came across me sitting in a corner and stitching and expressed great surprise.  I don't remember her words but she said something like " You always find time for yourself, don't you".  My inner response was "Yes, I do or I go crazy" , although I don't remember saying that out loud. 

Some people thrive on being social, and some people thrive on isolation.  The difficulty is in finding the balance.  As women, we are used to denying ourselves and our needs, so we find socially acceptable ways of having our needs met.  In the world we grew up in, you could keep your thoughts to yourself and find inner peace or restoration, as long as your hands were busy with something useful.  Often, that was exactly how it worked for me.

So having said all that, can you tell I had a rough night and am functioning on not much sleep?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Be - Maple icing

One of my favourite memories is the maple icing Mom put on her banana cake and you just reminded me of it again. I can almost taste it as I write - and I wish I had made it. But then, I would also be the one eating it so probably best left off! Bad enough that I made a pineapple upside down cake ( also a recipe from home) at Mothers today for lunch and brought some home which I also had for supper. And I wonder why I gain weight? I am looking forward to getting into the yard come spring as I always seem to lose a bit - I guess the exercise and lack of temptation to "graze" contribute rather than any honest attempt on my part! I sewed together two rows of blocks for a quilt today. My goal is to do a bit of something, if not every day ( may not be possible) but at least every week. This is not an exceptional pattern - 3 cut pieces of fabric make one block 12"X12" and I have 5 rows of 4 blocks and then a border. It is from a "Turning Twenty" book Cathy - so called because you use twenty pieces of fabric called fat quarters which are each 18"X22" in size. You can buy fat quarters at the fabric store already cut and nicely folded into a neat package - remember, presentation is everything and it is much easier to grab a few (too many that is haha) than to ask for a metre to be cut from a bolt. So the stores sell more this way, right? A few of the pieces of fabric are oriental patterns so I thought Mike might like it because he loves Japan so much. Who knows, I actually might finish it! Take care


I wonder if that's the banana cake recipe that I use.  The little girls love it and I will make it for them as a special treat.  Maple flavoured icing, of course.  Auntie May also used to make a topping for the cake.  I think it was just beaten egg whites with enough sugar beaten in to make a pourable mirangue (sp?).  So very, very rich!
Heard this morning that there is more damage to the car than was thought.  The dealer is applying to autopac for another $1000, but we've been assured that this still won't put it into the "write-off" category.  We may not get it back as quickly as thought--we were hoping for Monday.  Meanwhile the rental is costing us $12/day, and it's adding up.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Be - "Aunty May"

Well, did that title stir up any memories of the past for either of you? I had three ripe bananas that needed to be used and wasn't wanting to make muffins so I looked through my recipe box and found a recipe "Mays Banana Cake" which I must have copied from your box of Mom's recipes that you have Patty. So as I mixed up my cake I was flooded with fond memories of a time in the past, and of Aunty May. Today I took the time to search out my boxes of sewing notions, and fabric, and projects that were hidden in the basement. I think my inspiration (and action) stemmed from not finding bobbins or thread at the store and knew I had some somewhere, and also from reading your Mouse Factory blog about working all d in your studio Patty, and producing such wonderful art work. So I cleaned up the back room where my machine sits, and then set up some of my things to make it look like a "studio" (albeit very small in area) Now I am looking forward to doing some work. And I did find thread, and some bobbins, so thanks for the offer Patty but I should be good to go for now. Take care (ps the cake I made is delicious)

Defectuve Merchandise

I know what you mean.. I think the Swiffers are defective. I had to through mine away before I had even finished dusting the ceiling fans upstairs!! I am glad your car is fixable, Pati. Beth, what exactly is Mike's job. I am really not clear on what he does. I am just typing this quickly because I have a rehearsal tonight. We can't get the Roxy tomorrow so we have moved it to tonight. Have to cut this short now. Just took a phone call from a man In McGregor. HE wanted to know about tickets for our play. He is bringing a bunch of people with him. But now I have to leave for rehearsal. I used all my spare time on a stranger!!

Good morning!

Cathy, you never warned me about how quickly the Swiffer Duster gets dirty.  I had to change it before I was even finished the main floor, let alone the basement. 

Beth, would you like me to see if I can find some bobbins here?  I haven't seen Mettler thread in awhile.  It has petty well disappeared around her, and I wonder if you can still get it anywhere.

Last night, for the first time, I managed the whole night without my sling.  And last evening I watched an hour of  " k.d.lang Live at the Rehearsal Hall".  Excellent!  Our show at the gallery came down yesterday, and there's a good chance that a second piece ( not mine) may have sold.  It's always good to sell anything, but selling two is really nice.

So we're all finding some way of individual expression, with Beth and her violin and Cathy with the performance art. It sounds as though both of you are finding both challenge and satisfaction.

As to spring --people around here are dreading it!  There is as much concern about the Assiniboine as there is about the Red.  News last night was all about preparations taking place in the Brandon area.  so here, we need to worry about water coming from two directions. The huge machines they have bought to break up ice into smaller pieces to prevent blockages under bridges etc.are something to see.  Many armed monsters!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Be - Winter to be with us until May?

Apparently, we are in for a long wait for Spring with a few more months of winter. This does not sit well with me in light of one greenhouse now full, and threats to open up the other greenhouse tomorrow. What did you say ??? The news just ended with pictures of Winnipeg sitting at minus 37*. You folks must just be loving it, aren't you?
Glad to hear about your car Patty. I agree about smaller cars for running around. For the last few weeks we have been using my car instead of the van and it does not work well for two people and the dog and and all that we carry back and forth. Just for me alone it is great - even filled to the ceiling with all my summer trip luggage. But to be using it every day for groceries, and boxes, and garbage to the dump, and picking up old lumber at the dump to bring home- its not so good.
We had coffee at Mike's again this morning on our regular Tuesday run to North Bay. He leaves March 11 for two weeks in the wilderness bush of Northern Ontario - around Gogama area. It is winter survival and tent training for the troups under his charge. I do not think he is too impressed, but it is work, and with work comes money.
I was given a very hard waltz tune to learn last week for todays violin lesson, and since practice was minimal, it did not go too well. But that is to be expected, and since I love the tune, I look forward to practicing better this week. It is only for me and my satisfaction, so I figure all is well, no matter what!
I went into the Sewing Store to see about servicing my machine - the lady on duty ( she was not the owner) said she had never heard of my make, and they must not be making it any more. Then I asked for the special Husqvarna Viking bobbins, and they had none, and then I asked for the Mettler thread I wanted and they had none, so I left empty handed and quite disappointed.
Thats my day...take care.

Good news

Our car is being repaired, not written off.  So we only have to find money for the deductable, and the warrantee-required maintenance that we had been anticipating this month.  But non-the-less, it's still a wake up call about long term planning for replacing the "beast".  We've sure learned that neither of us would be happy with one of the small run-around-town "city" cars that we see.