Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a day!

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

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

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

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

What you get, we get....

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

Sunday, November 27, 2011


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

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy happy

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

Happy Dance

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

So today there is happy dancing in the Findlay household.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

my turn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get well soon....

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

The Joy of Sisters

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy moments

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

the same

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

Brown Betty

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

Sunday, November 20, 2011


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

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

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

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

Apple Crisp ( Brown Betty)

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

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

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

Early Sunday

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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Out with the old...

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

Friday, November 18, 2011

I finally did it!

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

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

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

Thursday, November 17, 2011


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

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Slowing down

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rest and Relaxation are in order

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

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

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

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

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

shovelling snow?

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

A lazy weekend

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A few tears but a big job done

The bulk of my books are gone.  It has taken almost two years, but I slowly sorted through my fibre/craft books, and now, they have all gone to new homes.  At one time I had one of the best focussed collections in the city. By doing the job myself, I made sure that they went to appropriate places.  It still represents a big step for me.  While I understand the need to do it, I still expect that I'll go through a bit of a mourning process.  So much of my life was invested in those books.  I have one shelf left out of two 7" book cases, but what's left is pertinent to my current interests.  So about 2/3 of my supply stash is gone, most of my periodicals, and now the books.  However, I'm not yet ready to get rid of my collection of dvd's.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh Dear-got people worried

Amber came over yesterday (to try to get the pink lip gloss off my white wing chair--"nuff said?)and expressed concern about our moving, and now Beth asking for details.  David has found that the garden is getting to be too much for him, and we have replaced a flower bed and the vegetable garden with grass.  I'm not moving around as well as I was.  So we both recognize that we won't be in this house forever, and one of us, alone, wouldn't be able to manage.  So we are giving extra priority to attempting to maintain the value of the house, as it is really our "nest egg" for the future.  This is what was behind replacing all of the flooring,a few years ago, and the painting that was done this summer. Leveling the garage floor is a future project, and we now know we need to do some work on the heating system.  We may not sell for 10-15 years, but time passes quickly.  It's hard to believe we've been here for 12 1/2 years now.  Remember that day, Cathy, and the police coming in response to the alarm?

Re: the heating system.  Our carbon monoxide detector went off Monday.  Gave the trouble bleep a couple of times and then went silent.  We've both been battleing headaches and the desire to sleep constantly, so, putting it all together, I got on the phone.  The fire department was quite willing to send a bunch of firefighters over with sirens blaring, but I was more interested in getting information.  We had the window open and were feeling better. The fire service dispatcher ( non-emergency) suggested that I call HealthLinks.  Now, HealthLinks make me crazy.  I can understand their reluctance to give out any information unless they ae able to see the whole picture, but I wanted information on the symptoms of CO poisoning.  That's all I was asking for.  However, she needed to do a full nursing assessment, so was asking for my personal identification info, my medical history and a listing of all of my medications.  I thanked her without identifying myself,  and hung up. ( I know they have call display)  Then I called the gas company.  They said to keep the windows open, go out and walk around the yard if we felt the need, and they would have some one out within two hours, probably much sooner--which was the response I was looking for.  Now we know that we have a negative pressure problem--not CO.  This means that when the furnace is going, it draws much of the available air in the house, so if the waterheater turns on, the lower inside pressure will cause it to vent inside the house, rather than up the chimney-- increasing the CO2, not CO.  He suggested that we have a vent installed in the laundry room, that will allow outside air into the area, when the internal pressure is lower than the  ouside pressure.  Makes sense to me!  Otherwise the heating system is in good shape ( he replaced a small piece of cracked metal tubing while he was here)

Now, I have to look forward to my painting class this afternoon, and then some shopping.  I have two grandchildren with birthdays this month.

where to start....

Hard to jump in with any interesting messages when I haven't written for awhile, and life here continues to carry on in it's usual manner! However, exciting yesterday as we went to North Bay – saw Mike for a bit, and did some shopping. Harry needed a new catalogue book for coins so dropped into the Coles Book Store . Immediately I spotted the long awaited volume number 4 of the Christopher Paolini Trilogy  - yes, there is a fourth book just published so they are calling the series now the Inheritance Cycle ( the other three books being Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr) All about a Shadeslayer and Dragon Rider about to save civilization. It was on sale for $20.00 so I could not resist as I have purchased and own the other three. I look forward to getting into this huge novel but intend to finish up the latest Steve Berry novel I am currently reading albeit, slowly. Cathy, I believe you have read the other books as well.
Today Harry is at his Mothers, as both his brother and sister will come also and it will be the first opportunity for the three of them to discuss ``things``. Ted is driving down alone this morning, and Donna has taken the day off work. Harry and Ted will spend the night there as Harry will help Ted to load up some glass fronted cabinets that he requested.
For myself today, I plan to make an apple pancake – the recipe you sent to me Patty ``The Like Original Pancake House Apple Pancake``. That will be my treat! Patty, you mentioned something about the idea of moving in a few years so I am curious as to what you will be looking at – downsizing to what – condo, townhouse, or apartment. Well, I hear on the news, and see pictures of all the snowy weather you are experiencing in Manitoba right now. Hopefully it will dissipate on its way east! It is raining here right now, but the temperature is milder and therefore, no snow for now. I have the yard all in order ready for winter. On Monday afternoon, all by myself (Harry went to his Mothers) I hauled out the huge heavy ladder and attempted to clean out the eavestroughs full of leaves. I did a great job except I had some difficulty carrying and moving the thing, and consequently, I have a few bruises and stiff joints to account for my trouble. Harry still wants to put a new door on the greenhouse which it will need before spring comes, and seedlings are planted and the heaters are in place. I expect we will be out there in the wind and snow one day trying to install. On that happy note, I bit ado for today.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Good analogy!

Looking at my calendar for the next couple of weeks, today's peace is to be treasured.  And since there will be little girls here for supper, that peace may be short-lived!  Have been trying to clean the studio.  When I had students here a couple of weeks ago, one of them left some dirt on the floor, and I finally got around to washing it--NOT!  Could not lift the stain, no matter what we tried, which lead us to look around for others and we sure found them.  David thinks it may be moisture  or something else coming up through the concrete floor underneath.  I could have cried!  All of the money we spent on having that new floor put in and now we have big ugly stains in it.  We have spoken of selling the house in a few years, and this will be a problem should that day ever come.

It's true that when you look for work to do, you find it.  I can see that I will have a week of housework someday soon.  I hate to do work , and not be able to see a difference, so, of course, I have to leave it until I'm sure that the difference will be noticed.  I think the time is here, so plan to tackle some of it over the next week, because, come Friday, I won't be around much for almost a week.

It's early in the day, so I'm not really sure what I will be grateful for come bedtime, but right now I'm grateful for finally winning a poker tournament last night--my first first-place finish in almost two months.

Friday afternoon we drove out to a huge art sale at the racetrack.  There was so much to see, such a variety of styles.  A few of the artists were acquaintances and we spent time talking with them.  A windy day and hard on gas, but it was nice, for both of us, to get out.  And I got a treat--Timmie's French vanilla.  It has a little coffee in it, but tastes wonderful!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hi, it's me.....

and a moment to send a long overdue message. An analogy I could use that seems to describe things right now is that of being in a hurricane. I have never been in a real hurricane but imagine that the last few weeks I have been in the turmoil of the high winds and rain, and now I am in the "eye". That means I expect to be thrown into the turmoil again soon as we sort through the remains. Harry is at his Mothers place with his sister today and I was able to stay home and do some badly needed housework. But I did manage to walk over to the library to return an overdue book, and past the Red Brick Cafe where I bought a coffee to sip on while I made my way to the Lottery store to purchase some tickets which I haven't had for some time. So it sounds as if there is some semblance of normalcy for today anyway. Harry's sister insists that he take the old chair in the living room that he always sits on, and on which his father sat, and apparently his grandfather. So this morning I carried, on my own, the easy chair we had in our front room, and put it outside to be taken to the dump, and cleared a place for the chair I expect to be coming. It comes with a foot stool so will need a bit more room, and it is one that leans backwards (similar to an easy chair) so needs a bit more space behind. His sister is mournful to the point of tears still so she will need a bit of time to feel better. We were at Mothers yesterday where I cleaned up, did all the linen and remade all the beds. Harry started to pack up family pictures and when his sister came in about noon she became very upset because she wanted some time to be in the house alone and see it just the way it was. So Harry and I left. He is back there today with her and it appears things may be a bit better. Time will ease some of the anguish but it makes it harder for Harry who wants to forge ahead and get everything done as he needs to as POA and Executor. Anyway, I'm happy to be back on track with the blog for now, and glad to see all the messages and glad to have two sisters who are thinking of me. Amazing how those zen hugs travel over the miles haha XX

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Good Day

The horoscope for Picses said that today would be a good day and it was.  Not for any big, earth shattering reason, but rather for several little reasons.  David helped me get veggies ready for the stew I planned to cook in the Crock Pot this morning--or should I say that David did the veggies and I supervised.  So supper was well in hand by 10:00.  Then we headed for the doctor's office to get those ugly black stitches out of his nose.  As we pulled into the parking lot another car was pulling out of a handy spot, so we just pulled in.  The other car stopped and the woman came over and offered us her parking receipt that still had almost 3 hours on it.  The wait was short and the stitches came out and now he is almost back to normal.  Still some swelling and a scar, but these should disappear over time.  A quiet relaxing afternoon.  I finished the quilting on my most recent piece and now it's ready for binding--which will wait for finishing until I use it Tuesday to demonstate for a student.  A short nap and enjoyed supper--which wasn't cooked to death despite being in the pot for a lot longer than expected.  We both won money playing internet poker tonight, ( it's been a long drought) and then I actually got to watch Prime Suspect, before reading my e-mail.  A very nice note from an acquaintance saying she had been out to the gallery and was very, very impressed with one of my pieces.  This is another artist whose opinion I respect.

Now I'm grateful for those laid back relaxing days when life just feels good--and I'm grateful for the privilege of a good shot of Southern Comfort at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Cat came back....

it seems to have posted so I will try again. Of course I can't remember all the garbage, oops, I mean interesting information, I put in the ones that disappeared. We still have 3 young ex-Hutterites sleeping here. They came back to visit and were denied permission to stay at the colony. The really sad part is the preacher that denied permission is one of the fathers. They've snuck on in the past and stayed at Sam's, but the preacher said he would be searching the houses for them so they didn't want to get anyone in trouble. Hence..... 3 young men. I can't remember if some of the things I said were sucessfully posted or not, so I may be repeating myself. Patty and I got up the nerve to speak to the boss, Elizabeth, about Mallorie. She is forgetting so many everyday things that we are worried about her. Some days she is fine and other days she comes to us with questions that are really basic. Anyway, Elizabeth said that she had noticed that the quality of work had dropped. She was putting it down to Mallorie breaking her arm and the related stress, but now we are not sure. Elizabeth was going to contact some HR specialists on how to broach the subject with Mallorie. SOmetimes I am really grateful that I am not the boss. We've had a couple of cooler days and nights here, but the weather is still holding. We still really need some rain. We have had very little since the spring. I need to organize my office here at home. I started, and as a result I now have 3 piles of papers on the floor. The trick is to now sort them out. Rrain got me to sign up for a writing challenge this month. I think she said the goal is to write 50000 words during November. I am having enough trouble just coming up with the idea! I asked if I could write 100 - 500 word stories (more my style) She says that is not really the idea. Oh well. It is already time to get ready for work and I haven't even finished my tea yet. Time sure goes by when you are having fun. Must be why the work day seems so long. Today I will be grateful for technology because it keeps us in touch.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trying again

I've been trying to post for a while. I had a nice long one written and when I posted it it disappeared. I checked drafts, and all that was there was the title. I deleted that in frustration. Anyway, I am still here, but I am not going to post a long story in case it disappears again. Don't you just love technology.