Saturday, April 30, 2011

This is spring?

I don't know about the rest of you, but we are in the middle of a blizzard. The highways are closed, and we are anticipating 20 to 30 cm of snow. It is already piling up in the yard. Fortunately I have a bottl e of wine and a new book. It is really ugly out though. We went to town this morning and bought our groceries and cleaned the office. It was freezing rain when we left home, turned to ice pellets while we were cleaning the office and was blizzarding when we left town. The highway wasn't closed when we left town, but when I checked on line, they must have closed it right behind us. Home is a good place to be during a blizzard. But it is the end of April!! This just isn't right. Time to put on my pajama pants and a sweat shirt and sit down and read. Jim has a James Bond movie bookmarked, so reading is high on my list. Hope the weather is better where you are!

Friday, April 29, 2011


I think what you observed is just a natural part of the jouney of life.  The events/passages DO become part of the social life of a community, and even more so in a smaller town.  And as you age, the type of event where this occurs changes. We've now reached the stage where it is our contemporaries who are dying, so our socialization takes place at funerals.  When we were younger, and it was family members who were dying, we were more often tied up in the organization of the event, and our role in it, and our emotional resposne to it, but now we are one step removed and socializaiton becomes our main role.

I took my fibre work into display at a three day art show this afternoon, and it was well received. Not that any of it had sold by the time I left later this evening.I spent an hour talking up my work at a special pre-viewing in the hour before the show opened, and then did a stint on the refreshment table.  Sunday I do a shift selling silent auction tickets.    It would be quite a validation to actually sell a piece, but I took in every framed piece  have.  Now that it has been shown, I can never show it again there,and they have two shows a year.  They also have a small area where you can put in a box of stuff either shrink wrapped or in clear plastic bags.  I had just wanted to put some stuff in there, but had been told that I had to mount a display, so "tis done!

Be - The problem with hair..

It seems to me that we all seem to have "problems" with our hair. Whatever the problem may be for you folks, I have never been a hair kind of person as my hair does what it wants to do regardless of whether I try to style it or not. And, I have never been a styler either so it has been pretty much comb it and see what happens. When I reach the breaking point, I call for an appointment asap and get it cut short, or if I can, get a wash and wear perm. I love the winter time as I can wear a hat and cover it up whenever I have to go out in public. That changes now that spring is here. I like your hair short Cathy, as it looks good on you. Amber, have you thought about a style similar to Cathy's short cut? It would be real easy to get ready in the morning! I have always envied your nice thick hair Amber, but I can understand your concerns.
We went to a visitation at the Funeral home yesterday - we actually rarely or never go but felt we needed to go for this person and his family. I was shocked to be standing in line waiting and hear others around me gawking and talking about who was there eg "Oh, there's so and so." and "so and so just came in.." Then I spoke to another person after who told me people do come and take note of who else is there and tend to visit and talk with everyone as if this is the purpose of the get together. Small towns....?
We have been having lots of rain lately and it becomes a juggling act to plug in either the heaters in the greenhouses, or the water pump outside. Can't run all at same time. Fortunately there have also been temps at night slightly above freezing.
Got my fill of "fairy tale weddings" today on TV - now I hope we can get onto other things eg the federal election? What a change in the polls over the last week - makes you wonder what results will be Monday night. I guess I'll have to stay up late to check it out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Settling for easy

I've always hated my hair. I can't comb it because if I do, it puffs up like an afro. It took me years to figure out how best to deal with it - never comb it! I really hope that my girls hair stays as manageable as it is now. That said, I almost always feel better after a good haircut. My problem is that my hairdresser quit doing hair about 1 1/2 years ago. I've tried a lady in town who was pretty good, but I've only seen her once. I really prefer how my hair looks when it is short and styled properly, but I just can't handle styling it every day. It takes at least 20 minutes to style it if I wear it short and I just can't do that every day. With my hair being longer, I can do my hair in 2 minutes which makes a huge difference early in the morning. I'm thinking I will keep it long until the fall and will then try cutting it short again then.

Feel So-o-o Good

A big part of feel so good is in doing something for yourself.  I love having someone do something for my hair, it's just a "feel good" thing.  Enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hair, or lack thereof!

I had my haircut today. I feel sooooo much better. I guess I have to admit that I am no longer a long haired hippie (okay... the "hippie" part maybe, but that's just a result of middle age spread) It's not really a big event, but is was for me. I feel years younger. Of course it is all grey now, but that is okay. It is short.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Coffee doesn't cut it

Sorry, Beth.  I've had the news channel on all day while I've been working and the only acceptable beverage is champagne.  I admit that I was only listening with one ear ( the good one I hope) and it seems that champagne is being consumed everywhere, even in the line ups that are starting to form on the streets. Several times they talked about tradition vs contemporary. Evidently, for the last two weddings, the footmen on the back of the carriage carrying the couple to or from the church were actually armed police.  It struck me that this was following tradition as wasn't that the function of footmen?  To lay their lives down to protect whomever was paying them?

Our weekend was a bit of a downer.  Loren was quite sick.  He's in Toronto this week and I sure hope he's feeling better, and able to get full advantage of the training he's receiving.  I understand that he and Keri have a dinner date.  David now seems to have caught whatever it is and is totally miserable--coughing and hacking.  We both slept for a couple of hours this afternoon as neither of us got much sleep last night. Amber was having difficulty with Samantha, who refuses to --now what word do I use--defecate or poop.  I know what word we were using Saturday night.  They were getting desperate, even talking with Health Links.  Amber bought suppositories on the way home and they tried that without success, but the next day, when they threatened to try again, Samantha quickly took matters into her own hands, disappeared for a few minutes and took care of everything without any further fuss.

Do I miss those days of child care--in the least--NO!

So this week I'm playing in the studio.  No commitments until I have to deliver my items to the art sale.  I only have a couple but will take them in, as I have promised to do so.  They are having a special reception Friday evening, and I'm expected to be there for at least an hour.  Nothing more until I have a shift overseeing the raffle table, on Sunday.  However, we're all expected to donate either dainties or money to the refreshment area, so I'll have to make up a batch of Melting Moments sometime this week.  I got the butter out of the freezer this morning, and then realized that I had given all of my corn starch to Amber when she had to make some dainties just before Christmas.  So off to WalMart to buy cold medicine and corn starch--quite a combination

Monday, April 25, 2011

Be - Great stories

Hi to you and thanks for some great stories to read as I log on after the marathon weekend just completed. Not wise to describe in any detail, suffice to say it was most interesting. Today I was left with the "spoils" ie changed and washed all linens, vaccuumed throughout, washed chesterfield covers, and even took Mother for a walk outside. I decided to vote today at the advance polls just in case something comes up next Monday (its a Mother visit day) and I might miss out. So I have no chance to change my mind now and can only wait until May 2 for outcome. I plan to watch the Royal Wedding on TV on Friday morning - apparently I could start watching at 2 am to see all the preample but realistically will watch the actual Wedding starting at 6 am. I shall have to plan on my outfit to wear and what hat to adorn my head as some of the silly news stories tell of people dressing up and having real parties. I thought my pyjamas and housecoat would work just fine with a cup of coffee and toasted bagel in hand! It promises to be a short but busy week with my dentist appointment on Wednesday which is the only "free" day I'll have - I call Wed and Fridays my free days as there are no planned Mother days or North Bay days but in reality, they tend to be just as action packed as the others. Tomorrow we plan to visit Uncle Walter in his new quarters at the Long Term Care Facility to which he was moved last Tuesday. It is a little out of North Bay in Corbeil at the real birthplace of the famous Dionne Quints - the old hospital has been turned into a Care Facility. I played violin at a Christmas concert there last December and found it to be quite nice in the main entrance area and dining room but Aunt Evelyn says his shared room on the second floor is quite small. We shall see for ourselves tomorrow. I went onto Wpg Free Press web last night and watched a few videos of flood situation. I don't know much about the Portage Diversion - when was it built? Very scary to see footage, but I expect worse to be in the middle of it all. Hope you remain safe. Take care

Friday, April 22, 2011

On the back of a semi you say----?

did I ever tell you about the time I was in Truro Nova Scotia for a conference, and a friend bought a dorrie?  A six man dorrie?  There was no way she could bring it back to Winipeg in her check-in luggage, and we never really heard how she planned to do it.  This was in May.  That year, for the Icelandic Festival on the August long weekend, there had been some funding provided to build a full-sized replica of a viking ship, somewhere in EasternCanada, which was loaded onto a semi and shipped through to Gimli.  As it arrived in Winnipeg, nestled under the bow of the boat was the dorrie.  After a few days in a back yard here in the city, the dorrie was shipped North to this lady's summer home.  We never heard how this all came about, but I later heard that her son was a trucker and had got either the job of bringing the Viking ship through, or a different job that allowed him to take the dorrie North..  I remember during the conference hearing about how she and another female friend,both middle-aged ladies, had had to go and row the dorrie around the bay to test it out before she bought it.  I also remember during our supper one night, when the conference leader was making announcements, she mentioned that a woman from Manitoba had bought a dorrie as a souvenir.


That is sure something you don't see much of on the prairies. Unless they are driving through town on the back of a semi! I have been really looking forward to my 4 day weekend, but now I am not so sure. I have scrubbed out the tub and cleaned the bathroom and kitchen and living room... so when does the "holiday" part start?!? The snow is slowly disappearing here, but we still have drifts in the yard. We did find the garden yesterday! It is supposed to be warm and sunny on Sunday, so we are planning a steak BBQ. The first of the new season. It should be really good. Jim wants to buy a new wine kit tomorrow. Something different than the fruit wines he has been making. I would like a dry white, I think. I bought a bottle for the cast party and I enjoyed it. I was even polite and shared with a couple of other people. We were short staffed this week so Elizabeth had Lisa come from Portage. What a wonderful worker! She started on whatever was there and when she was done she just went and found something else that needed doing. She even did a couple of the "crap" jobs that had been sitting around. We even got caught up on our searches! It was a nice way to end the week. I get my hair cut next Wednesday. I guess I should have made the appointment before the play, but it's only a week to wait. I decided I didn't want to be one of those old ladies with long grey hair. The cast all said what a nice shade of silver my hair was.... did anyone say... My you are prematurly grey.. no one as young as you should have grey hair.... noooo of course not. But when you are in a play called "Sex Please We're Sixty" they realize that you probably earned your grey hair. I think that I have done enough cleaning for today. I have a book waiting for me. Jim is watching TV, so I shouldn't feel guilty about taking a break. Have a great week!

Kenora Harbourfest

Your post, Beth, made me think of the boat parade that was a feature of the Kenora Habourfest in past years.  Kenora had a somewhat similar history of $$$wooden boats in the early 20th century, and every August Long weekend there was a parade of these magnificent wooden boats along the harbout front in town.  Many of them came from mansions built on islands, and the " boatman" would be assigned to trnasport guests and supplies back and forth as needed.  With the advent of fibreglass, many of these beauties disappeared, but come out to play once a year.  Over the past few years, we've avoided Kenora on the long weekend because of the crowds, and line ups ( remember 35 minutes  to get through the Tim Horton's drive-through)

We're spending today doing housework to be ready for tomorrow.  One task will be to scrub the bathtub.  I've dreaded this task ever since my fall last summer.  My knee was so bad that I just couldn't kneel down.  It was starting to get better when I fell and suffered exactly the same injury in January.  Nobody was worried about the poor knee, given the fractured shoulder, but I knew there was a problem, as the blood was causing my pants to stick to the wound .  (Same pair of pants both times.)  David scrubbed the tub itself a couple of weeks ago, but now I have to do the rim and the tiles around the tub.  I haven't had a bath, just showers, in months, as I know that just means scrubbing the "beast" more frequently.  The caulking around the tub needs replacing again, but that will be a job for later in the summer.

Be - Have a cup of coffee with me?

I just made a fresh cup of coffee and taking a few minutes to send Easter greetings. Hope you all have a pleasant and peaceful weekend as we celebrate Easter. The sun shines brightly this morning so hoping it will take away some of the snow that still covers much of the ground. The CBC news these past two days speaks of nothing but great concern for the flooding in Manitoba right now and I can't help but thinking about it. I checked out the Wpg Free Press web site but not much there to see. Last night I walked the dog down to the lake - there is still some ice covering the centre but the shores are flowing - it is interesting to see how the lake ice gets blown to the shore in great giant heaps - yesterday morning there was nothing at the government dock and yet last night it was piled high and pushed well onto the dock area. I felt the frozen crystals and chunks and quite amazed at how natures changes - it is dynamic - a month ago cars and snow mobiles and people covered the lake, and now it becomes an open space for boatcraft, and soon tourists! While walking past a house located close to the dock, two men were fixing a boat - an inboard motor chugged away, spewing water out the outlets at the back. On closer examination, it was a very large wooden craft from the 30 /40's era that once were sported about the lakes in the Muskokas (read $$$$) It was being refurbished with coats and coats of varnish to bring backs his character and charm. The men welcomed me to come closer and stated the engine hadn't been started for 26 years and both were thrilled that they had it going. Then they opened up the double garage to show me a smaller but equally as charming wooden boat that they wer restoring as well. Apparently they have 6 or 7 boats of the same genre, and have won awards at the annual Gravenhurst Boat Show ( a specialty show for restored older wooden boats.) We have been to the Gravenhurst Museum and have seen some of thes spectacular boats. So I headed home in a happy mood glad to have run into this scene and been part of the history lesson I was given. Goes to show you that you never know who lives in your neighbourhood and what they are doing, and one needs to keep an open mind and open eyes in order to appreciate everything around them. These are the little pleasures of my life.
Now I shall start to organize everything we shall need for the weekend. Pots, pans, utencils, serving dishes, food etc.
Heres hoping you have a nice Easter, and I shall likely check for messages again in a few days! Take care

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Glad to see the end of the day

At least snow looks fresh and clean when it first falls.  We have reached the dirty dusty grey stage of spring.  Not a pleasure to go out, or even look out the window.  We did a bit of shopping for the weekend, stopping at Dairy Queen for a cake.  Who-o-ee, are they ever expensive!!  When we got home I took a look at the studio work I had spent the whole morning working on, and realized that it was crap.  So there was a little meltdown, a few tears, and now I plan to try to get some decent sleep tonight and remember that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life--whatever that holds.  While we were out I told David that I had enough Southern Comfort to last until the end of the month. Looks like I was wrong.  However, I bought the bottle in early December, so it lasted quite awhile.

Well, I did get a good nights sleep, and hope today goes a little better. I wanted to tell you that we, both, have recently been reading adventure novels by Randy Wayne White, and enjoying them.

 I hope everyone has a great weekend, fully realizing that holiday weekends for the four of us are often very different than they are for others.  I know that I'll be spending a couple of hours on Sunday teaching a friend some needlework!

Be - Let it snow, let it snow,

Yeh, we got it and we're still getting it. I wanted to take a picture and send it but I don't know how to post a picture, and besides, you all know what snow looks like haha. I just want it to go away. I bought some new cloths at Recycled Resources and Value Village on Tuesday - three blouses, a pair of dress pants and a pair of jeans all for less than 20.00. I was thrilled today to try on the jeans and realize I had to sew a few tucks in the waistband because they were slightly too big. I tried to use the sewing machine but it laboured so I had to hand sew. Patty, didn't I see you sew some jeans for Jim one time - is there a special needle or foot or something that you used? Today started early with me cleaning the turtle tank - not an easy or fun job. Then lots of work with plants, and greenhouses and hauling plants into the house - the front room has two tables covered with tomatoes and flowers ready to haul to Mothers for Harry's brother to take back with him after his visit at Easter. By the way I just realized that I typed front room automatically and not living room. What term do you use - we always called it front room at home, but then we have all used living room in discussions. So what is it called, really????
Mother's homemaker did not come today because of the road conditions so tomorrow my chores shall be doubled to now include changing her bed and doing the laundry. I better go to bed to rest up haha Take care everyone.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Be - Easter

So you will be making Easter dinner eh Patty? Meatballs sounds good to me but in our case, we have a three day menu prepared and we did the shopping today and then delivered it directly to Mothers except for what we needed to prepare here at home. I was glad to get it to her fridge and house because I really do not have room to be storing it until our next visit Thursday, let alone the hauling in and out, and back and forth.
I closed up the greenhouses tonight and brought around the snow shovels to the front in anticipation of 15 cm of snow by morning that the weather forecast is predicting. I am hoping that it will not actually materialize but expect some snow and rain to come our way.
Mike called last night to say he got a contract to work and was leaving for Meaford this morning for at least one month with possibility for extension. Short notice, but he was hoping for something to come along so grabbed it. Meaford is outside of CFB Borden near Barrie so the drive is not bad - about 4 hours. The irony is that his friend who is in the regular force in Alberta is enroute to Afghanistan and on two weeks leave in North Bay right now so Mike was a bit upset to have to leave. He is hoping to get off this weekend though.
I had my last violin lesson today for this session and summer. I have several tunes to practice over the summer. Also I decided to follow up with looking at buying a new violin. I have the phone number of the man in North Bay and sometime in the summer I will arrange to meet the instructor there to help me buy. Time will tell... Take care

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Taught a four hour class on basic beading today.  It was a class with a lot of information in it.  The first time I taught it, it was to ladies who didn't use a needle regularly, and it was only scheduled for 3 hours.  We barely got through half of it, so this time I lengthend it to 4 hours, the students were quilters, and we still had trouble covering everything.  But it's done, and now I have only the art show at the end of the month.

I'm tired, and maybe a nap is in order, but I wanted to touch base with both of you first.  I always look forward to the weekend, as I know Cathy has time to post.  It's always good to hear from you, Cathy.   It sounds as though the play was a bit of a hoot for all of you.  I sometimes think that things like that would be boring if everything went well.  Both of my children have told me that they'll be here for supper next Saturday.  Say What!!  Okay, I can deal with it, but only because I have a bunch of meatballs in the freezer.  We cooked the turkey yesterday.

The play's the thing, eh?

Well, it's all over now. All that build up and then we are done. We even had the set down and the theatre cleaned by 9:30 this morning. Mostly because even though we had the theatre booked, they rented it out for this afternoon and we had to be out early! I sure hope we don't have to pay full rent! We managed to pull off the play, as usual. Even though on Thursday, I left the stage and then came back on to finish my speach! The audience laughed, and I guess that is why we do it. I am still not sure what I am going to do tomorrow night, though! Now I get to clean up my own house. I ignored it totally for the last week, and you can really tell. The laundry is in, the vacuum is out, and I am on the computer. Sounds fine to me! Now I get to have my hair cut again. They managed to have me in a bun and my hair down for the end, but it took a lot of work. No wonder I keep my hair short! Hair spray, rollers, curling irons, gel!!! What ever happened to wash and wear? Once all the work is done I intend to sit and read a book. Yeah, right. As soon as I sit down I'll notice all the dog fur under the coffee table, or the spill on the floor. Next weekend.... I have four days off. I will work then. The ACT Festival is coming up soon, so I will still have a theatre fix for a little while longer. It's snowing out again. Just when I was starting to see my garden. We still have some pretty big drifts in our yard. It's hard to believe that Jim had the potatoes in in April last year. Summer will come soon enough and we will be complaining about the heat and the bugs. There is just no satisfying us. Time for curling.... (thats on ice, not on my hair!) Have a great week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Be - thank goodness for bad weather

It gives us something to bitch about instead of what is really going on in ours lives haha. It is cold, and miserable and rainy - the weather that is ! Patty, I read your message about sales/ shows and I am very happy for you. I know you will enjoy the time "fooling around" and be sure to let us know what sorts of interesting projects you are doing. I am working on a few little items as time allows - a bit of knitting on my shawl, and a bit of yoyo makings with which I hope to eventually embellish my quilt top. And also the usual with Mother, and the garden etc. I wanted to watch curling this afternoon on TV but they had a hockey game which I guess will be the norm over this next month with the playoffs and Stanley Cup. I just looked at the clock and it will soon be time for my date with Randy Bachman - I look forward to Saturday nights at 7 pm haha. Hope your weekend is going well. I listen to the news about the flooding but they are not saying much of anything right now. Cathy, we wait patiently until your play is successfully finished for words from you- we know you are busy and concentrating on your role but thinking about you every evening just as the stage curtain goes up! Take care

Thursday, April 14, 2011

So glad you had a good time

sometimes we old fogies wonder if it's worth the effort to get dressed and go out, but it sounds as though it was well worth it for you.  And, Cathy, it sounds as though you might have a treat in store if you follow-up on the show in Neepawa.

Amber and I had a good morning at Giselle's.  Lots of time to talk, and a couple of very nice estheticians.  I was quite pleased with the way she treated me.  Last time I had one who didn't like the way I held my leg ( painful hip) and told me so.  Since I've been wearing joggers in the house, I no longer have the horrible caluses that I inherited from Dad, but my skin is very dry, and needs regular attention.  This is a bit of a relief to me, as I've suffered from calluses all my working life, and they were quite painful at times.  And bonus!  We were able to take advantage of a monthly special and ended up with 10% off our pedicures.  At Giselle's prices it was worth it.

Then this evening, David and I had supper a the local buffet we like.  We ordered off the menu, but wanted to be there as it is moving this weekend, and we may not be able to visit as often, in future.

Be - The Show was fabulous

What a great show we attended this evening - the Scott Woods Band. I am so glad that we went and well worth the effort to go up to North Bay for the evening. After going to Mothers in the morning, we headed up to North Bay around 2 pm and started by visiting Uncle Walter at the hospital. Aunt Evelyn was there so we had a really good visit with them both staying for about 2 1/2 hours. Then headed over to the venue (first got a coffee and a muffin at Tim Hortons in the hospital - do all hospitals now have Tim Hortons on site?) It was held in a church which made for a wonderful setting, and lasted about 2 1/2 hours with an intermission. A real variety of music focusing on the bands lead Scott Woods on fiddle. It is a family band with his mother on piano, sister and nephew and then two others. Scott played different roles in different costumes mixing stories, comedy, and tunes with a railroad theme as the show was titled All Aboard. Cathy they are playing May 18 at the Roxy in Neepawa and it might be a night out worth looking into. You would enjoy it I am sure. Anyway, time for bed. Take care

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Be - A great day to have a Birthday

Today was gorgeous and I took full advantage of the nice warm weather - maybe a good idea if you folks are sending me the cold conditions you are enjoying right now. I started my day at the Dentist - it was my yearly checkup but I have to return in two weeks for repair of that tooth that fell apart on my trip to Winnipeg last summer. I doesn't hurt me but I should have it repaired as my tongue always finds it way to the broken tooth which becomes a nusiance. Then I worked outside the entire day raking, cleaning up, shoveling sand, placing furniture, setting up trellis for the sweet peas, and generally just enjoying being outside. Me and the dog - she sat out chewing on a stick or just watching people and cars go by while I did my work. She was great company as she didn't complain once! Thanks for all the birthday messages - I truly think one's birthday should be celebrated and enjoyed as one's very special day. And by the way I also had two pieces of Mocha cake that Harry bought for me which probably added greatly to my enjoyment of the day. So tomorrow will come soon enough and I shall wait with great anticipation an entire year for it to come around again, so we can do it all again. Take care

Happy birthday Beth!

I hope you've had a great day.  It's been bitterly cold here, and it took me a minute ot figure out that-- Yes, it is cold when the temp is minus 8 and you're only wearing the liner of your coat.  Duh!  So, Beth, you have cold and high wind coming your way.  Had a call today offering me a slot to have my other eye done tomorrow.  Amber and I have an outing planned, and David and his sister are planning to go to the lake on Friday, so I said "no".  I'm sure that they won't call again.  The first eye gets dry and "scratchy" at night, and I sure wouldn't want to be dealing with two of them that way. Can't you just see me wearing two eye shields at night?

Have a big pot of Daddy's ribs in the oven for supper.  Lately I've been cooking the ribs somewhat differently, but David really doesn't enjoy them, so backto the old reliable.  I bought the Company's Coming book on Healthy, Slow Cooker Recipes. It was on sale, of course.  I would really like to develop a bunch of that type of recipe, for those days I want to spend in the studio.  We spent the whole morning out shopping, because we got the flyers yesterday, and were going from store to store "cherry picking".  Got a cheap turkey at Safeway.  We still have a couple left from the ones we got up near Cathy's last fall, but when I find gradeA for 0.99/lb I grab them.  So turkey this weekend and then freeze a few extra meals.

A quiet evening planned, and then bed early for the big day tomorrow.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The quandry comes because I enjoy all of the things you mention, Beth.  The packing. carrying and sitting around all day doing nothing are very very dependant on David, and that really isn't fair, although sitting around reading all day is often what he does at home.  But--to participate in the shows, I must have stock, and that is time consuming and uses lots of supplies.  I thoroughly enjoy playing and experimenting etc, but that also takes supplies.  What I really need is a balance between time spent producing stock and time spent playing.  Timing is also important.  Right now I have no new pieces.  To move away from the craft shows, and more into art shows or exhibitions, I need new pieces.  If I could physiacally do the work, there would be no problem, but I just don't have the endurance any longer.  Nor do I seem to be able to find the same level of creativity that would result in new pieces, but that may be related to taking the Tylenol extra strength.  I was in the process of weaning myself off them when I had the eye surgery and found I needed tham again.  I was taking them fairly often following my fall last summer and then quite regularly following my fall in January, just about the same length of time as my creativity has been diminished.  I also seem to be fighting allergies.  I had four allergy attacks in the week after the eye surgery, and I'm very suspicious of the sulfites in the eye drops I was given.  David took me into urgent care, and they said they would refer me for testing, but I've heard nothing yet.  I have an appointment with my doctor soon and will talk to him about it, and I now carry an epipen (Kachimg!).

The Queen has nothing on us when it comes to "annus horribilus", and old age is a bitch

Be - with luck, I signed on to a message

I took an extra moment tonight to check for messages and surprised to get Cathy's, and then Patty's from after her sale. Cathy was almost out the door for a day of rehearsal so I can imagine she had a really fun day! haha And glad to hear you weren't too tired Patty to let us know how the sale went. I guess you are in a quandry of sorts about sales and effort. Profits would be paramount, but I would also think you need to factor in not only the small $$ returns for your work as you stated, but the time to pack, organize, travel, unpack, set up and then do it all again on your return. Are these shows an opportunity for exposure that could lead to other others say on the more extensive (expensive) pieces you are showing? Could the time be better spent on some creative studio experiences, or get togethers with like minded artists? You are the one to make up your mind as to what direction you shall go, but you can be sure I shall be supportive. Anyway, enjoy your beading this week. I too shall be experimenting with beads by fashioning a hand made shawl pin from a pattern I discovered by reading more from my new book. Should be fun to try and may even turn out. Take care

Sale is over

I made a bit of money, but not  a lot.  However, I now have very little of my lower priced stock left.  Decision time.  Do I make more, or drop out of the craft sale business?  For the next week I need to teach myself to bead, since I'm teaching it next weekend, but I'll have to decide about my future in the next few days.  I've always done it as a means of recouping the cost of making the larger items, but they don't sell. Only the small stuff sells.  And the small stuff pays me only a few cents an hour for my time.  Several people told me this weekend that my prices are too low, but if the stuff doesn't sell at low prices, how can I expect it to sell for more?  A-r-r-g-g-h!!

Practice practice practice

You'd think we would finally get it right , but with so much illness and absenses, we are still a couple of weeks behind and the play is on Thursday! We will have the set for the first time today, so I know the rehearsal will be a bit ragged as we try to find our positions. Not to mention the fact that we can no longer see what is happening on stage and will have to depend on cues to make our entrances. So many of our cues are visual so we have people back stage with "peep holes" to push us on. We had a few days off this week, because the theatre was in use, and I think the break was needed. I was getting pretty tired. Our snow is finally starting to melt, but we still have 4 foot drifts in our yard. A friend from Glenella (north of us) says all of his snow is gone already. We should be so lucky. Last year Jim planted the potatoes on May 1st. This year we still can't see the garden.! Now that the fields are starting to clear off the deer seem to be moving back. There have been 11 in the field next to us this week. They don't even move when we drive by... just lie there and stare at us. We are finally starting to get caught up at work so we can relax a bit. People are so use to the prompt service we have now that they phone and complain when they don't get their searches the next day. They used to have to wait a week! Time to shower and get ready for rehearsal... my week will be very repetitive. Work and rehearsal and production and if I am lucky, sleep.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Checking in

Amber here. Well, I'm done my acting again. I'll be happy to work at home again. I hate going into the office every day, all day. I really am spoiled with my teleworking position. They aren't approving any more until further notice so I realize how lucky I am. The one thing I did look forward to every day was the drive and watching the river. My route doesn't take my over the red river, but it does take me over the "creek" on provencher. I don't think I've ever seen it so high. There is also one spot along the highway where the seine river comes very close to the highway and there is a house with a young family in it. They were written up in the newspaper a couple of years ago and had just moved into the house and were expecting their first child at the same time as they were trying to sandbag their house. Well, the water is higher than I have ever seen it and it's right up against their sandbags. I have no idea why they bought the house. They must have known the potential for flooding is a yearly thing. Anyways, I always slow down and take a good look at how high the water is on their property. Last year, the fields along the highway also looked terrible and are getting close again this year, but I guess I haven't lived here long enough to know how much water in the fields is normal. I don't think there is any concern for us here in town. The town has been working on getting ready for awhile now and seem to be doing a pretty good job.

After two weeks of no gymnastics, we are starting up again tomorrow. Soccer will also start late April or early May, so that will keep us busy as well. Darren has also agreed to do a fourth week of guiding this May. Originally he was only supposed to de three weeks, but both the outfitters and the clients were begging him to do the fourth week in addition to the first three, so we talked it over and and decided he would do it as well. This will also help pay for the boat he just put a deposit on. Apparently he got a super deal. Do they ever stop using that line? It's a boat that has been purchased by the city for use with the flood fight. Once the city is done with them, they are sold off. So whether the city uses them or not, it's still a good deal. He gets first choice of three of four boats.

We picked up Romeo's ashes today and I don't plan on telling Samantha about it. Jessica understands it all and is fine, but Samantha still doesn't understand what death means. I've had to tell her five separate times that Romeo isn't coming home so I really don't think I can handle telling her he's in the urn. Maybe one day, but not now.

I'm very much looking forward to next week - I'm taking a few days holidays to do nothing. Actually, I'm really hoping to get some cleaning done around the house. Mom and I also have appointments to get manicures and pedicures. It's been almost two years since my last pedicure, so I'm really looking forward to it.

signs of spring

we all have little signs, pecular to our own circumstances.  We were driving by the taxation building today, and I saw the geese, and immediately thought of how excited we get when we see the first goslings. The first geese seem to arrive earlier every year! I also look for the first sign of rhubarb, and think I may have spotted some today, but through the kitchen window, so I'm not really sure.

It's been raining steadily all day.  We have "big sale" tomorrow and Sunday.  Last year this sale happened on the first warm spring weekend, and everyone stayed home to look after their gardens.  ( That's a guess.  I don't know where they were, but they weren't at the sale.)  This year rain is predicted all weekend.  I guess I should pack my stitching.  I'm not excited or looking forward to this at all.  If |I hadn't paid very well for the table,  I don't think I would be going.  and trying to pack and unpack the car in the rain horrifies me, even if David would be the one getting wet.  I don't have any other sales scheduled for this summer, and I'm not concerned about it. I just hope I make enough money at this sale to buy some inks I want to play with.

so I expect to be exhausted when we get home tomorrow and a basket case by Sunday evening.  I may not be posting until early next week, so have a good weekend and enjoy spring.

Be - News focus again on Manitoba

Inevidable, every spring our thoughts turn to the Red River and the flood levels. The CBC radio news has had something the last few nights. Tonight it is of the area north of Winnipeg where ice is damming up the waters and flooding the homes. The other night it was about Brandon and the concerns about the Assiniboine high waters. Every year I take out my book about the 1997 Flood and reread it cover to cover. I hope you folks are managing OK. Does Amber have reason for worry around Lorette or travelling back and forth? I went for a bike ride today!! I uncovered my bike from its winter resting place and brushed all the leaves and cobwebs off, oiled the gears, and the brakes, and pumped up the tires. And off I went down the road and back. I know it was a very short ride, but it was a ride and I shall try to keep it up best I can. Tomorrow I go to Mothers on my own again, as Harry is going to an auction. I have planned a simple salmon casserole - Cathy I think a recipe I got from you, thanks! And I bought a pumpkin pie so I know I'll enjoy lunch. haha I shall offer to freshen up the spare bedroom in anticipation of Harry's brother coming for Easter. At Thanksgiving last fall I wanted to change the sheets but Mother objected so strongly I left it go. Strange! The temps are double digit during the day ( 10 degrees) so the snow might disappear before too long. I uncovered my two green coloured Muskoka chairs and wooden table and placed them on the picnic patio - this always makes me feel good. Iwill take my coffee and sit out there often in the summer - very peaceful. Hope you all have a nice weekend. Take care.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Be - the week that is..

As our Father used to say in times of great need Cathy, you are the best in repeating this just the right way for proper emphasis - so go ahead and say it right now for me, OK? There, now we can get on with this message. My hands are particularly sore and swollen this week and I have to think why- three things likely contributing 1) outside work - shovelling and raking gravel from the road and piling it up until I can put it on our yard ground and driveway which are still covered with snow and ice 2) opening up all the plastic bags full of compost that were thrown into the compost box over winter and piling it up with shredded papers- much still frozen yet and 3) I have been knitting! The only truly joyful of the three has been my knitting of the prayer shawl I chose from my new book and I sure hope that this pleasure will not be compromised too badly by the arthritis flaring up. And to think I only have about 6 or 7 more months of outside work to get through. I bought two tickets for Harry and I to attend a live musical show next Thursday night in North Bay. My violin teacher had them for sale and in a sudden impulse I decided to go. It is the Scott Woods Band - he is a Grand National Fiddle Champion and apparently puts on a nice variety show. My teacher says she usually joins in for a few tunes when he comes to North Bay because she knows him, but since she is 8 months pregnant right now, she has asked another of her senior students / instructor to play instead. I really go out on a limb when I commit to having to go up to North Bay for an evening performance especially since we'll be at Mothers that day as well, so here's hoping it turns out for the good. Easter plans are coming together as Harry's brother and his wife have confirmed their visit. So we shall do the catering as usual. Harry had his E-Bike stored in Mother's garage over the winter and today took the charged battery up with us and took it for a spin. He is hoping to get out more this summer, and as I mentioned to you folks before, I also want to use my manual bike a bit more. Wonder if I can actually achieve this goal? Anyway, time to close - I bought three Lotto Max numbers - one for each of us -so we are bound to win tomorow night! Count your money now, ladies! Take care.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hard to say what's coming

Every time I look outside the weather is different.  Yesterday we had sun, rain and snow.  All I really know is that the nights are warmer and the days brighter.  Most of the snow is gone from our yard, and I can now wear joggers out, instead of waterproof insulated boots.  My shoulder has been bothering me for the past two days and I've been taking it easy.

A quiet weekend.  Amber invited us out for supper Sunday night, and instead of dessert, we had ice cream cones--our first of the season.  Monday evening was the monthly meeting of our Ravenesque group.   There were only four of us, as others had other commitments.  It was a less frantic meeting, with chances for quiet conversation, something that isn't always possible when the whole group is there.  Sometimes I value those quiet times.  I feel that these are the times when you can really bond as friends, rather than just enjoying socialization.  A subtle difference, I know.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Be- Oh,no! It must be coming...

When I hear snow in Manitoba, that means it is coming east and I will soon be getting it. We had a little dusting last night but the mild temps quickly melted that. But we have mounds of snow from winter still left yet to disappear. What a change from last year - this time last year we were out in our shirtsleeves doing gardening. Cathy, have you planted any seeds yet? Tomorrow to North Bay. We will visit Uncle Walter at the hospital. I called his room phone and he answered - Aunt Evelyn wasn't there. He sounded OK and looks forward to our visit. It must be a real change for them to have him in Continuing Care now and not at home. It was too much for Aunt Ev but now she goes to hospital every day which would be just as exhausting. I heard from my friend Sue by e-mail. Her Father died last week at 96 years. Her Mother died two years ago. Sue was a caregiver having to drive 7 hours into the Eastern Townships past Ottawa but faithfully took turns with her brother who lives in Toronto. Another sister who lives in Ottawa backed out last year from burnout as did her other brother. Its a tough responsibility as I am sure you all know. Ayway, take Care.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Fools!

Snow snow and more Snow. I was supposed to have an ACT meeting in Neepawa today, but the President phoned early this morning and cancelled. Instead we will have a teleconference at 1pm. She is from Virden, and when I spoke to her later in the morning they had about 9 inches of snow. Ours is not that bad, but it is heavy and wet. It is easing up now, but the wind is howling. Some of the trees are bent over with the weight of the snow. I hope the wind doesn't break them off. Other than that nothing changes. The play is less than 2 weeks away and we still haven't gone through the whole thing. Hopefully tomorrow. Work was long on Friday. We had a system wide failure on Thursday and they wanted someone from each office to be there at 7am and let them know if the print outs had run, and to check all of the work done on Wednesday to make sure it was accepted. Since it was also our fiscal year end, I couldn't come in at 7 and leave early. I ended up staying until after 4 even though my regular quit time is 3:45. I sure hope they are going to approve the overtime, since they requested it. I'm so easily distracted. I went to get my cup of tea, realized the garbage was full, took it down, checked the freezer (I defrosted it this morning) Came back up, went back down to get a new garbage bag, and returned to the computer. I forgot to get my tea. I hope my mind is more focussed for my teleconference. I still haven't won the lottery. Back to work tomorrow. I'll keep trying. I have faith (of course so does everyone else in the country)

Be - Two small achievements

I will grab hold and celebrate any small success I can, so this morning I trialled the buttonhole foot and application on my sewing machine. I am practicing in order to do some requested sewing for Mike. It will work so I shall try to do the actual garment this afternoon. And last night I sorted through a box of found yarn, and chose some colours and ply that sort of match, and planned a prayer shawl to knit from my new book. I actualy cast on and have four rows knit already. It will serve as a pick up project me but because I am having to count stitches to make the ribbed pattern, I will need to work without interruptions. I love a new challenge and this should most certainly be a challenge! It is nice and sunny and warm today and you can almost watch the snow melting away before your eyes. Shortly I shall head for the greenhouses and do the watering. In meantime I celebrate with a nice coffee freshly brewed in my french press. Enjoy with me!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Money with wings

Yes, we got our income tax refund today and the $$ just flew out of here!  But we've paid a few bills and I re-stocked some of my studio supplies.  David even bought himself a new belt!  Wow!  So now I get to spend the rest of the afternoon sorting and putting things away downstairs.  We worked steadily this morning getting a supper ready to go in the Crock Pot, so that I could spend the rest of the day in the studio,  HoHoHo.  It's now 3:25 and all I've done is put a load of laundry on.

But--Bonus--I called Misericordia to have them put the cost of my second lens on the credit card, planning to then pay off the credit card and save a trip across town.  She asked me for my surgery date and then told me that by that time the province would be covering the cost of foldable lenses, and that I didn't have to spend the $300.00.  So we both celebrated at Tim Horton's while we were out.  Didn't win anything though.

Be - Good Friday to all

and as I sit here the sun is shining brightly and the temp is above freezing, and the water is dripping off the roof. That doesn't mean that we are free from the cold weather. This is good for the maple sugar producers as the sap flows best with cold nights and warm sunny days. But for our greenhouses we still need to light the propane heaters at night as well as the electric heaters. Sunny days will keep them warm during the day without extra heat. I just made a butterscotch pie to take to Mothers tomorrow. The filling was from a box I had to boil with milk, and it is not firming up very fast in the fridge. I may have to "drink" it for supper on my own, and plan an alternate dessert for her! I went on my own Thursday and will again tomorrow as Harry is suffering with gout right now and mostly in bed. The greenhouses , and a lot of the logging on the computer also become my tasks totally during these times. Thus this message written in the middle of the afternoon. Hope you have a great weekend - already April and I can't wait for nicer weather and get out more. I have been taking the dog for at least two long walks each day mostly for exercise for me. And here I sit with a tea and a lap full of cookies to eat - go figure, eh? I would like to get my bicycle out early this year and dedicate more time to ride it. I think I was out once or twice only last year. Take care.