Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year and great expectations

as I write this note I have 40 minutes until midnight - I am trying to stay up this year. I just watched the movie Angels and Demons. Maybe not a very good movie to watch just before bed?
Glad to hear about your movie going Patty and also your win. My movies are watched at home and lately we have been viewing quite a few that we have bought at a flea market for 50 cents or 1.00 each. eg Dumb and Dumber, and Me Myself and Irene - both staring Jim Carey. Today we bought some Music DVDs at Walmart (full price) of Daniel O'Donnell. We have a lot of his music and DVDs and really quite enjoy his music. I cooked a full turkey dinner today for our New Year celebration and I must say it sure tasted good. Now for tomorrow I have lots of leftovers just to heat up. I am thinking of taking the tree and decorations down tomorrow so wanted something fast to make for supper. We had a very nice visit with Mike just after Christmas. He gave us a Keurig Coffee maker and ever since I have been experimenting with it - the K-cups cost quite a bit but today I bought an attachement where I can use my own coffee. Haven't tried it yet but I'm sure it will work just fine.. I now have 25 minutes until 2013 so best go and get ready - actually go to bed is more like it haha  Happy Nw year to you and my best wishes for a good and healthy year to come. Take care

More movies

yesterday we went to see Skyfall.  I think I enjoyed it a bit more than some of the older Bond movies, as this actually had a story line, with some thought behind it.  One of the concepts was whether the older ways of dealing with espionage  were as effective as the newer computer-based exchanges.  One way this was demonstrated in the movie was to have the older characters shown with every possible visual sign of aging.  I had to wonder if the wrinkles etc might even have been enhanced rather than concealed in the actors.  And, of course, the younger computer guy ("Q") was young enough to look like a high school kid.  After the show, we dropped into the casino and came out $500+ richer, so it really wasn't a bad day.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


After the yearly family exchange of movie gift certificates, we went to see "Jack Reacher" yesterday, after a very nice Pizza Hut pizza. We maybe see one movie a year, and this was the one I wanted to see. Both Loren and I have read several of the Jack Reacher novels, and I was really curious about how the movie might adhere to the books, especially with the controversy about Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher.  I think he did just fine, and if you don't go with a pre-conceived idea of what Reacher looks like, you would have no problem finding Tom Cruise believable. It's been along time since I saw Tom Cruise in a movie ( I'm not really a fan), and it was a pleasant surprise to see him playing someone who is his actual age.  Even when he took his shirt off, his body was that of a man in his mid-forties. And it was fun to see the author of the books, Lee Child, appear in one seen, as Alfred Hitchcock used to do.
Loren told me in an e-mail that he, Sheila and Jeremy went to see The Hobbit last night. I think we would both enjoy it, as we enjoyed LOTR, but  David very much wants to see Skyfall.  It appears to be disappearing from the local theatres, so we feel that this weekend may be our last chance.  The Hobbit will be around for awhile, So it looks like there are more movies in our future

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quiet Christmas

It was quiet around our house, unless you count all the hacking and coughing.  Rrain caught my cold, and Sandi already had one.  We played some cards and watched some tv.  We even ate supper in the rec room.  Nothing formal at all.  Of course we forgot our Christmas Crackers.  And Rrain picked them up really early so we would have some.  I cooked a roast.  I told Kris I wasn't sure of the weight and he glanced at it and said 5 pounds.  I weighed it.  4  & 7/8th pounds.  That kid is good!  I had to say 4 & 7/8th just so that he would be wrong.  Santa brought me all sorts of chocolates and candy.  I guess he doesn't want me to lose weight.  He also brought me towels and tea towels and scissors!  I seem to lose scissors all the time.  I couldn't even find a pair to open the package of scissors!  Back at work today.  It seems like I never left and I was gone for 7 days.  Lots of junk food here, too.  Yummy.   We have a huge ham to cut up for the levy at the legion.  It should last well beyonds new years day. I raised my glass on Christmas Eve, but we had friends in for a Christmas drink, so I had to pour my rye & 7 into my wine glass to toast.  Not quite proper, I know.   I slept quite a lot this weekend.  I was in bed by 7pm on Saturday and then people dropped in.  I got up and said I was just napping, but I only lasted until about 9:30 and I had to excuse myself.  Colds really suck everything out of a person.  We have no plans for new years.  I haven't made it 'til midnight in years so I don't expect this year will be different.  It is snowing a bit here right now, but no big storms in the forecast.  Moisture is good, but not that way.  Have a great new year ( and Happy Anniversary to Pati & Dave and Happy Birthday to Dave!) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Family at Christmas

Christmas went pretty well as expected.  Around 4:00 Christmas Eve, Loren called to ask if we could take our folding table with us, as his lady would be joining us and Amber didn't have a big enough table. Say What!! A gift!  We need a gift!  So we jumped in the car, and headed for Tim's, thinking it closed at 6:00.  Nope. Closed at 3:00.  So we fixed up a bottle of home made wine with a shrink cap and label.   Reading your blog about Mike going to visit his lady's family, gave me a glimpse of the opposite perspective to that of the family being visited.  Sheila turned out to be a very sociable and pleasant lady, who fitted in quite well. You should have seen Amber's face when Sheila brought flowers for the hostess.

 We got to Amber's shortly after 4:00, and Judy, her MIL, had supper well in hand, so this year I took it easy,  helped a bit where I could, and kept out of the way the rest of the time. We had agreed to open gifts after eating, and right after supper Amber quietly asked me if we had a gift for Sheila, and then got in a bit of a tizzy until she remembered some Tim's gift certificates she had put aside for Jessica's Brownie leaders.  So once that was sorted out we settled down to gifts. The children had kept busy most of the day with Wii.  It was a version that allowed everyone to participate, and it was really hard to get them to the table or to participate in conversation.  But that just gave the adults chances to talk, and we ended up not playing any games at all.  David had a nice chat with Sheila about home made wine, and has promised her a bottle of his rhubarb (I don't even get that, unless I specifically ask)

Amber was in much less of a panic than last year.  It was a laid back casual dinner and evening.  Made me think of the panics we had when we were younger  ( The Spinsters are coming!  The Spinsters are coming!), Even the panics we had when we lived on Woodside, as that house was always the venue for family events.  We even talked about it a bit.  But--at the same time I enjoy some of the fussy bits of a gathering.  The nice china , with serving dishes that match.  Tablecloths and napkins.  A table center, even if it is the same one we've used for 10 years.  The things that made it a special meal.  But the torch has been passed to the next generation, and my good Royal Albert china is in the garage.  Maybe it's true that the dinner is incidental to the family being together.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

As this day passes into evening....

...and we look back to the events of the past few days with glee, I send my good wishes to you. On this Christmas celebration, I think about so many memories and Patty, you summarized so wonderfully well, many of those thoughts. The toasting last evening was great and although I could not write about my toasts as well as you did, Patty, I nevertheless was overcome with very fine emotions. It always surprises me that when we begin to recall shared memories, the lasting impression of those events rings differently for each of us. I, too, remember the many dinners with the family, and the setting of the big table and the pictures taken around the front room. And I often wonder how we ever ( I speak for myself now that is) how "I" would be getting along without the benefit of this blog. I thank my lucky stars that you folks are always there. Lets keep this up for as long as we can, OK?
Now the meal is over and Harry and I enjoyed a delicious prime rib roast with all the trimmings. I brought out my special Christmas motive china plates, and we had Christmas crackers to pull, and watched National Lampoon with Chevy Chase on the DVD. I bought the trilogy for Harry thinking he might like it but I thought the Christmas with the Griswolds was one of the three - but I was wrong. It played Vacation, European Vacation, and Vegas Vacation. I spoke to Mike today who is in Newmarket at his girlfriends place, and he shared with us that they had "this huge family breakfast thing this morning" - when I said I had the usual cinnamon buns and oranges, he thought that would have been just fine with him. So maybe, afterall, some of my traditions have passed on to the younger ones????
I received a KoboGlo Ereader from Harry for Christmas and spent a good portion of the day trying to set it up - had to be connected to computer and then downloaded onto Desktop. Then I had to buy a book just to start to get going - Harry had been told by the salesman that there were over 300 books on the reader - but I think he meant that there were at least that many books available to be had off the Kobowebsite at a price.So although I am not ready to start a new book yet as I have one half read waiting, I shall start this one using my new Ereader tonight just to familiarize myself with how it works. Remember Cathy when you showed me yours this past summer - I was admiring it, but wondered if I could be able to handle the technology required to use it. Time will tell. I think I heard of a website that you can get free downloads, so I shall enquire more about that once I get more comfortable with the machine.
So, to all, Merry Christmas - hoping your time with family is wonderful! Love and Take care

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas toast

Our supper was late tonight, but in the middle of it, I raised my glass in a toast to my sisters.  Then I started thinking about families and Christmas Past.  I remembered the dinners at Lorraine's with the table stretching the length of the kitchen and then the length of the living room, with a "children's table" off to one side.  I remembered one Christmas when we visited a fellow Dad worked with, and then the party moved from house to house , enjoying the hospitality of most of the fellows he worked with, but not the McGraths.  I was very young but knew that Mom was furious, and we never did anything like that again.  There were Christmases that we visited Uncle Burt--not often, as alcohol flowed freely there.  Again, I think Mom put her foot down. I think she always had a fear of Dad drinking, as it had been such a problem in his family.  I don't remember "happy hour" being particularly happy in our house, but I do remember Mom and the sherry.  What a difference  when compared to the happy "happy hours" we saw when he was with Phyllis.  Overall, I think our best Christmases were the ones that involved Dad's family.  The Christmas I got married was a particularly weird/fun one, especially the day we made the sandwiches and drank all of the liquor that Dad had bought for the reception.
When my children were small, Christmas was small and quiet, unless we could get home.  But by that time, Mom was ill, and events were often organized quickly, at the last minute.  By the time we moved back to Winnipeg, you had both left.  Then there was the Christmas we visited Beth in Victoria. The trip down the Fraser Canyon,in a snow storm,  desperately trying to make the last ferry--and Don stopping to help fellow travelers.  The he got the speeding ticket and the police told him to make us share the cost of the ticket.   We made the ferry, though. Remember the cat getting up into the basement ceiling?  Then there was that licquere (sp?) you had brought from Europe, Beth, the one made with eggs.  All of you enjoyed it, but I thought it was gross.  I remember quietly sitting in a corner, in the middle of chaos, putting the last couple of stitches into a quilt, and being discovered by Phyllis, who seemed quite put out that I found time to be doing that.
Later, there were Christmas dinners at the house in Ft. Garry ( brain fart-can't remember the street).  One I remember had Phyllis talking about Christmas dinner and saying that overall she most enjoyed a traditional family meal, at home with family. Then she laughed, and pointed out that most of the people at her table she hadn't even  met two years previously.

And what did you two think about?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Strange days

I think I  mentioned that we were in limbo waiting for Christmas.  I have company coming in early January, so am delaying a major clean-up until after Christmas, although we're keeping up with the day to day stuff.  But we're both laid back, relaxed, and just "waiting".  Today I made the Melting Moments, and will ice them on Tuesday morning.  The gifts are wrapped, and under the tree, along with a can of Cranberry jelly.  I was very tired yesterday, and thought I might have a nap, but got caught up in a marathon of The Negotiator, and sat watching, in my nightie, most of the afternoon.  I can't remember myself ever just sitting on a Saturday afternoon--just not done.  Finally, I was just heading for the bedroom when the phone rang. It was the chair of the committee I've mentioned, and in the end, there were some computer things I had to do for her.  I understood that it was fairly urgent, as we are working toward an end of month deadline for the organization newsletter.  So, still in my nightie, I spent about an hour getting everything done, and off to her,  Not even a response  as simple as "info received". Needless to say, I never did get my nap.   During our conversation, she had said that she wanted to get stuff done as she was starting to get busy with her family  for Christmas.  I'm wondering if that means that she is not planning to do anything more until the New Year. As I often do, when someone's behaviour surprises me, I tried to figure it all out, and ended up wondering if she had ever worked outside the home.  Bet she hadn't. My first job, with the telephone company, taught me to not make any sort of commitment/promise that I didn't fully intend to meet, and all of my further jobs drilled in a sense for setting priorities.  I know that there is constant discussion about family/non-family priorities, and that some people would take me to task about how I view those different  priorities, but a deadline is just that, and the consequences for missing this one are significant.  One thing I learned working in health care, is guerrilla warfare.  I have been plotting her demise.  Probably won't do anything, but do find some satisfaction in the plotting.  ( and what else is there to do in bed, when I can't sleep?)

Late Friday we went to the library.  I got out three one-week books, but didn't start reading until yesterday morning.  Unless I play poker tonight, I will have all three read by bedtime.  That is how busy I am.  but since the library is closed most of next week, I think I better slow down.  Hard to do.  The third book is by Maeve Binchey.  I do enjoy her books!  So very different than the murder mysteries I usually read.

What this is all leading up to is the peaceful, relaxed feeling I have right now, and for which I am grateful. At the same time, I sort of hope I can get a little less relaxed, if I want to win at poker tonight.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snow and Toasting with Wine

Great combination. I was wrong - about the snow that is. Did we ever get a storm - gusts and blowing and snowing all afternoon and night. You could hear the howling and felt as if it were going to blow right into the house. Actually did.....I opened the front door early this morning  to take the dog out, and was greeted with a wall of snow about two feet high. Had to sweep a path to get outside - the gusting had piled the snow all along the front of our house and I couldn't even get down the stairs. Spent from 7 am to 11 am shovelling and clearing and even got the front roof cleared off a bit. I have no where to pile the snow so used the scoop and dumped it into the ditch along the street just in front of the house. Maybe tomorrow I can get the back roof done, and more cleanup.
I shall have my F glass full and at the ready for 7 pm (my time) on Monday evening. What a grand idea. Someone in Ontario won $50 million last night and guess was not me!! Take care
I can only get into the blog at work, and since I was off sick on Thursday & Friday, (One HELL of a cold) and don't go back to work until next Thursday I am back to email. I think raising our glasses at 6:00 pm (my time) is a great idea. I am assuming that we will have wine in them Kris and Sandi will be here late on Christmas eve (as far as I know) I will probably be in bed, but they know their way around. I have the roast in the freezer and I am making my mashed potato casserole today or tomorrow so it will be ready. We still have to cook the potatoes for the Community Christmas dinner, but we are not helping out this year.Today is the first day I have put clothes on, and I am already worn out from it. I have to get groceries later, so I hope my energy lasts. I'm just glad I seem to be starting to feel better. I would not have been civil otherwise. Things are settling down at work. there is really nothing we can do, so we might as well accept. I don't think it will be that bad. I know they are talking about a 50% reduction in staff over the next five years through attrition. If all goes well I could be part of that 50%, but I think I will have to work a bit longer just for the pension. You just don't expect to be sold when you work for the government. Time to find Kleenex. My nose is dripping on the key board. Have a great holiday season!

Christmas plans

May I suggest, that on Christmas Eve, we raise our Family wine glasses and drink a toast to ourselves, our families, past Christmases, and the year to come?   Perhaps we can coordinate it for 7:00 Eastern, 6:00 Central, so that we all get to bed on time.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Refrigerator cookies

I'm so glad you took the high road, with your lady, Beth. It sounds as though you feel quite good about your decision--and that is the true test.

We had made some of these awhile ago--one batch with walnuts and one with pecans-- but the flavour just wasn't what I remembered from home.  The recipe calls for shortening, and I had been using margarine, and the flavour was just flat.  I figured that shortening wouldn't help with that, so we made some with butter today.  The texture has changed, but I'm not sure about the flavour.  I figure they must be called "Butterscotch Refrigerator cookies for a reason.  Any way, we like the change, subtle as it may be.  Now we just have to try to save a couple to eat cold--not going to happen today.

We bought some chocolate bars from a fundraiser for Jessica's Brownie troop, and Amber delivered them last night.  We had one last night and shared another this evening.  I don't think we'll be fighting over the rest.

The committee I joined at the local art group has been having some problems.  I'm quite frustrated with what's happening, and David wants me to resign.  This is the first time I've volunteered for anything with this group and I want to maintain my reputation, so feel that I must continue, at least until the end of the year. To do otherwise will label me in an unpleasant way.  So now I have to find someway of converting this into a positive experience.  Maybe this is an opportunity for me to learn patience and discretion, and to learn how to keep the blood from running out of my mouth when I bite my tongue.

A local gallery has accepted a couple of my very small pieces.  They are very optimistic about selling them, and have advised me that they will call for more, in hopes of getting a quick delivery. Since each piece takes a very full day to make, I've been working on having 3-4 ready to go, as this is the peak selling period, and I would like to be able to deliver, on request.  So the past few days have been spent in the studio, but I think that sometime soon, I'm going to have to think about wrapping some gifts.

For today, I'm grateful that the sewing machine I bought is a work horse and not a show horse.

P.S.  I managed to save a couple of the cookies and the flavour and texture remain after 24 hours.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Great response

I felt as if we were all together and having a conversation over coffee. Thanks for such a fast and positive response - my thoughts exactly and confirmed by my best consultants - you!
I returned her email with a short and open and friendly acknowledgement. C'est la vie!
Waiting now for the big storm to hit - right now we are having freezing rain but promises for about 25 cm of snow over night and into tomorrow. I doubt that much but you never can tell. I just finished watching the movie ELF with Will Ferral that I bought the other day. I guess this goes into my Christmas box to be seen every year - it was very light and refreshing - just what I needed to relax! I made a new recipe yesterday - little melt in your mouth balls covered with icing sugar. I had to pull out your melting moments recipe Patty to check if it were the same and I think because it was very similar, that I know now what your cookies are like and no wonder everyone wants to eat them haha Fortunately I am the only one to demolish these. But I have a few rolls of refridgerator cookies  in the fridge ready for the urge to bake up some nice hot cookies whenever I feel like it! Not much else new except I found the knitting I was doing last year - the prayer shawl and picked it up again. I was surprised how nice it is, so now anxious to keep at it and see if I can actually finish it. Actually a knitting project is perfect because it can be picked up for a time, and dropped quickly if other things need to be done around the house. Take care

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


As  I get older, I find myself having regrets about circumstances that were never really resolved in my past lives.  This lady has made the first move.  If you are reluctant to give her access to your e-mail, can you not set up a temporary hot mail or G mail account that you could give her?  This would enable communication, and may lead to you finding yourself comfortable enough to give her the more direct e-mail.  Both of you may find resolution.

Or give her your e-mail address, and if problems come up, block her access.

live and let live

Life is too short to live with regrets.  Even if you hold a grudge inside, it slowly disappears if you let it go and move on.  Hopefully that makes sense

Egg nog and Almond Cream Sherry

The Andres Almond Cream sherry I have been enjoying for a while - one glass during late day or evening and just enough to keep me a bit sane haha, or to settle me down for bed. Today at shopping in North Bay, the Egg Nog was on sale and although I know I do not want to have it, and try to resist, two cartons appeared in my cart. Now I have no choice but to drink it , right? I tried a small pour of Sherry in a glass with the egg nog and was overwhelmed with the nice smooth taste. This I can really get used to but must still maintain some degree of control! I received an email from my friend Sue who was only the conduit for me to receive an email from my old boss at Home Care. She sent me greetings for Christmas along with many gorgeous pictures of owls camoflaged in trees and bushes. She sent it via Sue because she did not have my address. Now here is the dilemna - do I respond which would open up my email address to her and in some way indicate permission to send me directly?I had not wanted to correspond with her in this fashion, but am I being obstinate or what? Please answer as I would appreciate any advice. My last few years with Home Care were not too pleasant due to many situations involving her, and involving another Manager.
Anyway, getting cooler here now so may actually get a bit of winter back - still no precipitation except rain and sleet. But the roof is almost clear of snow, and for that I am very happy. Must keep a close eye on it though as things could change quickly. Likely spend some time watching a Christmas movie - bought ELF yesterday - starring Will FArrel but I have never seen it. Also bought You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks ands Meg Ryan. I watched Sleepless in Seatle with theses same actors,
just last week and enjoyed it so thought this might  be another  nice fluff movie for me as well. All of these movies will go back into a box ready to pull out again next Christmas - sort of a little tradition I have created for myself to sit by the Christmas tree lights and watch seasonal shows! Thinking of you both and take care for now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just checking in

Nothing new going on.  Yesterday, the Doctor gave me my flu shot and a shot for Shingles.  I've had Shingles, at least three times, and I understand that the odds of getting them increase with age.  I sure don't want to get them ever again.  The down side of it is the cost --$170.00, but even that is tax deductible.  The doctor suggested that David get it too, and we both had a good giggle about that ever happening. So now we are waiting for Christmas.  I could be in  the studio, but we just sit and read or watch tv.  Bo-o-o-ring,  but a matter of choice, and the privilege of making that choice, is something we must always be grateful for

I got a reference book on fish at the library to use with the fish wall hanging I'm planning.  At this point I've gone so far as to take it down to the studio.  I haven't opened it, but, if I ever get the urge, it will be there and ready.  I can see having to renew it at the library.

Today, I find that I feel peace in my soul.  I don't know why that would be.  Maybe because I've been getting more sleep lately, but I'm grateful for the ability to recognize it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two steps forward, one step back

Had a really rough day yesterday.  A rough night, got up this morning, ate breakfast and went back to bed.  A two hour nap and I was much better. See my doctor tomorrow, but probably only to renew some prescriptions. The appointment is for 6:45, so I may get in before 8:00.  But that just means that the lab will be open in time for any tests he may order.

Went to another water colour workshop yesterday. It was obvious that I was in over my head quite quickly, but I stuck it out.  I ended up with an acceptable finished product--a nice painting of old St. Andrew's Church, although the teacher had to do a little touch-up on my stonework.

David's sister is going down to Arizona, with a friend, right after Christmas, so there will be no Boxing Day gathering this year.  I'm not really surprised, as last year David and I were the only ones there for most of the morning.  Other than Christmas Dinner at Amber's, that was the only event we had on our schedule.  However, Gail has invited us out for breakfast this Wednesday, so we will see her, and have a bit of a chat.  Mind you, we still have an anniversary and birthday to celebrate, but that will be just the two of us.

Finally, I have achieved a new high total for my play money  winnings in Internet poker.  This has been a very long time coming.  I can remember May, having over 291,000 chips, and hoping to make 300,000 chips by summer.  Well, I got as high as 292,781chips this week.  It's fun to keep track, and doesn't really cost anything ( I put out that money, on my computer, this summer just for fun.  Oh Yeah!).

So, for today, I'm grateful for having the privilege of taking a nap, when I really, really need it.  I'm also grateful for fresh pineapple, even though it has a negative effect on my body, especially when eaten in conjunction with prune juice..

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Caved into temptation...

...and just made a batch of shortbread following Cathy's direction. I used some "sugar in the raw" because I had a package on hand. Blended it to a sort of powder but still a bit raw! Added the butter and blended with flour until the blender bogged down - turned it onto the board and gently mixed the remainder. Rolled it into a circle and baked as directed. I can taste some of the raw sugar that obviously did not powder well enough, but otherwise I concur "by george I think I've got it". At least I am pleased with it although as I recall,  Daddy's seemed to have a really fine melt in your mouth taste. I also have a pot of goulash cooking for supper - got the urge thinking of you both and making the shortbread. This is a dish that is not usually made here so will be a treat for me! Last night I watched Miracle of 34th Street and as with every other Christmas holiday viewing, truly enjoyed it. I have yet to see The Polar Express, and Home Alone. No snow today but yesterday had quite a bit- was able to get out just before supper and cleaned off the roof again. I can see this being a full time job if this weather keeps up - but on a happy note, I hear on the radio that the ski hill in North Bay will be opening tonorrow. Our lake here is iced over at the shore, but a stiff wind was creating heavy waves on the whole of the lake and although looks very cold, is a long way from freezing over and so no ice fishing huts yet! Take care

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Well put, Beth

and you're quite right.  Looking for some small thing to be thankful for, every day, is a means of forcing yourself to look for, or actively search for, the small things, and  expressing  your thankfulness, verbally or in writing, is a way of reinforcing the concept of finding happiness in little things.  ( It can also lower your blood pressure.)  I have tried several times to reproduce Daddy's shortbread, but never succeeded.  So you're ahead of me there, Cathy.

I have to confess that today's thing is a little larger than most.  Today my Tuesday stitchers got together for our yearly Christmas lunch.  The conversation, at one point,  turned to how long we had been meeting, and who was no longer with us, and what the group had meant to us over the years.  It would appear that there are now only three of the original members left.  Two have died, and one appears to be separating herself from us ( it was concern expressed for this lady that brought up the whole subject.)  One member just stopped coming about 10 years ago, we see her occasionally, and know she is well..  But we have two new members, who bring a whole different dynamic to the group.  All of us expressed our gratitude for the group, although we also expressed that we, as individuals, had never actually looked at the group in terms of what it meant to each of our lives. We have seen each other through loss of husbands, (x3) and cancer, (x2) and all the other problems that play a big role in women's lives.  I am the only one of the group who still has a life partner, and for that I am grateful.

 But I also have a small thing to be grateful for today.  I wore my new blue jacket for the first time.  This is the one I bought off a clearance rack for next to nothing, and then spent time regretting the decision, as it didn't go with anything in my wardrobe.  Doesn't matter.  Today I'm grateful for the jacket that left me feeling warm for the first time in days.  And worn over black it looks fine.  And today I had my first panini.  Quite tasty. But not something I will search out in future.  So, I'm also grateful for the opportunity to try something new.

There was an e-mail this evening from Amber telling us that Darren's Grandmother has passed away.  She was a big influence in his life, but was 97, and had been living in a nursing home for some time.

What a strange posting this has turned out to be.

90/10 trap

Good for you Cathy - you are following the 90/10 rule. My daily inspirational flip calendar is speaking this week about the 90/10 trap - it says : most of us tend to focus our attention, thinking, and conversations on the worst 10 percent of our lives. 90 percent of what happens during our day is usually pretty good, while the other 10 percent is usually problematic and filled with hassle. I've already encountered a few bumps in the road this week - and it is only Tuesday for heavens sake - but today I tried hard to focus on the 10 percent and it helped me a bit. I am hoping to keep this up although it is very difficult. I went to North Bay alone today as I had a few chores to complete, and since it was a sunny day, I spoke to myself about the glorious day, and spending time alone with my thoughts, and it helped to overcome that little bit of 10 percent hassle haha. Give it a try .... Patty your "thankfulness" each day is an example of focusing on the 90 percent, isn't it! Finished up a bit of Christmas shopping today and seemed to find exactly what I wanted without too much trouble - I was shopping for Mike's girlfriend - we really do not know her too well, and so Mike gave a few hints and I followed through with a few little gifts. Since we shall be together after Christmas for lunch and to open gifts, and since we have bought Mike several gifts from us, it was only appropriate that we get a few things for her to open. I wish I could make some of your shortbread, Cathy, especially as it seemed to parallel Daddy's as you mentioned, but we have too many cookies as it is, and I do not intend to make more as I will only eat them all - yum yum !! I managed to get the roof shoveled off the other day, and in time for the forecasted milder weather and possibly rain showers. I am almost finished knitting the winter hat I started some time ago - only have to sew the side seam and it will be done. I was determined to get it finished only as an accomplishment, not really because I need one, and to use some of the yarn that Harry bought this summer at garage sales. I might even attempt a pair of mitts but not really sure when. Well, I intend to put on one of my Christmas movies tonight to just sit and watch - hoping to settle myself for a good sleep. I have a bit of a cold hovering and even though I took some Cold FX tablets, it still seems to be just on the cusp of developing into something worse - hope not. Take care

Monday, December 10, 2012

By George I think I've got it!

I made shortbread on the weekend and it tasted really good.  I think I might have almost copied Daddy's taste.  I put 1/4 c of white sugar and 1/4 c of brown sugar in the food processor and powdered it.  I added 1 cup of butter and creamed it and then added 2 cups of flour and processed it.  It all mooshed together into a ball.  I took it out and pressed it into a circle (about 8 inches in diametre) on a pan.  I baked it for 30 minutes at 325F.  The edges were a bit brown but the rest was perfect.  Too bad it doesn't keep :)  I also slept on my new bed and my daughter bought us new pillows to go with the bed.  An all round good day.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Let it snow...

What a difference - yesterday morning I took the dog for a walk in the green and no precipitation. Within 30 minutes it had statrted to snow and by the afternoon we had about 15 cm - I was out twice to shovel, and still couldn't keep up with the downfall and blowing winds. The ploughs were out ovenight and I went early to shovel the driveway that was filled in. When the sun comes out I'll go out and clean up the rest of the snow from the cars and sidewalks. And I suppose I'll have to do the roof again. It will give me something to do anyway! We have bought our Christmas dinner and it is in the freezer waiting for the big day. A lovely looking prime rib roast and I shall have carrots and peas, and mashed potatoes and also will include dressing and cranberries. That should be quite a celebration, eh? Nothing else really new here, but I'll keep checking the blog to hear all about your activites. Take care

Friday, December 7, 2012


bought a box of Triscuits, and finally opened it today. This is in an effort to use up the cream cheese spread that I bought for one of the Kraft recipes.  Obviously I didn't read the box very well.  There are not just Triscuits, but Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits.  WOW!  Gotta get me some more of those!  And, with the cream cheese spread--fantastic.

We finally made it to the Forks this morning, as I had to delivery something for my friend Dianne.  There is a lovely skating rink, with a disco mirror ball, and very nice music, but totally deserted.  We were the only people wandering around.  There were more people inside, mainly eating, which figures, as there isn't much left there except food places.  Tall Grass Prairie Bakery was doing a brisk business, but they had just taken their famous cinnamon buns out of the oven.  We found the bulk food store still  there, that we have patronized for years, but they were out of maple sugar, although expecting a shipment soon, so please call back.  I expect she would have said that even if I had asked for Martian Todo bird eggs.

Just finished  a book by Faye Kellerman.  Very Dark and Very grim, plus a little weird.  It took me three days to read, which is much longer than normal, so I must have been struggling with it.  I don't think I'll read anymore of hers any time soon.

For today, I remain grateful for prune juice, and am also grateful for my awakening muse.  Yep, the brain appears to be starting to function again.  I may even post on my other blog again, some day.

Too many cookies

There are too many cookies in this house tempting me to nibble and nibble some more haha I don't seem to have much self control but instead, I am totally enjoying them!  I was watching the news on TV and wonder about all the awful things that are afflicting our world - I know the news tends to focus on the horrific, but surely there can be some happy happy stories? I go to bed hearing about pending war, and then listen first thing in the morning to find out the status of world affairs as I start another day. We are getting a few Christmas cards in the mail now - it is fun to read some of the  comments and what I especially like are those who write the "yearly" news letters of all the wonderful things they have done all year - and also the additions to the family as children and grandchildren have more children. Harry spoke with Aunt Evelyn yesterday and she is doing fine - talking about the plans for Christmas and saying how she doesn't want to go to her daughter in laws church on Christmas Eve because it is Catholic and she doesn't understand it - she wants to go to her own Church and sing carols. I guess her family is trying to include her in their activities as best they can but apparently it is not sitting too well with her? Harry's sister is having her two children home from university for the holidays and she is very excited - I think she misses them not being at home anymore. The son is in Peterborough, and the daughter is in Ottawa. It still seems strange not to be going to Harry's mothers as usual, but I am actually looking forward to being at home this year. Well, almost time to start planning for my big winnings tonight so best go for now. Hope you have a very pleasant weekend - not much planned for me but I have started to watch my favourite Christmas movies - and I think Miracle on 34th Street will be on the agenda for Saturday night! Last weekend I watched The Christmas Carol. And I still have White Christmas waiting to be seen - great fun Take care

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Incestuous Cacti

This is the most glorious display we've ever had.  Every year it seems to get a little better.  David  cares for them constantly, but a lot of it is benign neglect--and this has been the case  for years.  Ours didn't bloom for many years, but started just before we left the house on Woodside.

Today's forecast--freezing rain followed by blizzard conditions.  Go figure!  Glad I don't have to go out.  I was in the studio listening to the radio just before supper.  There has been some sort of accident downtown that has resulted in the lights at several corners blinking red both ways.  This is supposed to mean a four-way stop, but people are ignoring that and the result has been close to gridlock--with the freezing rain moving in.  I may complain of missing the socialization associated with working, but on a day like to today--no way!

Didn't win anything on the weekend.  Congratulations Beth.  David went out today and checked our tickets, then reaching into his pocket to buy new ones.  Somehow we only ended up with one for Friday, and none for today, but neither of us was willing to walk across the street to buy one.  So scratch tonight's draw, but we now have two for Friday.


And I was so proud of my little cactus with one flower - but since mine is of the same family I suppose I can just hope mine will grow up some day and produce just as beautifully!
I spent some time with our server Technician on the phone - not the same as having a geek come to the house Patty !! But I did get satisfation and rectified my concerns. This fellow was so patient and understanding and really helped me with the issue. Slow day today but productive in some ways. Tomorrow I go to North BAy for a purpose and hoping the weather will hold out. It is snowing a bit now. Last night we went to our concert and I must say how wonderful it was to get out and really have a good time. He (Scott Woods ) and his band put on a great show - well worth the going. We now have every one of his 15 CDs as Harry bought the final two last night. I listened to a bit of the music today and heard several of the tunes that I used to play when I was learning violin - made me feel a bit nostalgic about wanting to play again but that will quickly pass! I turned in a lottery ticket today and surprised it won $20.00 - it was the Lotto MAx from last Friday and I knew I had three numbers right but didn't know it would net that much $$$. So I bought another ticket for tonight and again on Friday nights draws.Here's hoping.... anyway, dishes and then to bed early for me. I bought a few more books the other day in North BAy but just not up to reading yet. I'm sure I'll get back to it soon, but in meantime just listen to a bit of radio before lights out!  Take care
David wanted to share the fantastic display we have with our Christmas Cacti.  Click once on the picture to get a better view of the blooms.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Great to see your message

This is great to have you respond directly onto the blog Cathy and I hope you will as lucky next time you try. If only you knew what seems to be the problem...easier to rectify! Keep trying. Hope you trip to the mall Patty was successful. It has been a quiet day here today - I am slowly bringing more decorations up to try to brighten up the front room in a Christmas mood. Just to have the Christmas tree up and be able to get up early and turn on the lights and sit and drink my coffee in the quiet and peace created brings me some joy. 'Tis the season, right? Harry got a food steamer free off of Kijiji and tonight we tried it - three layered trays over top the water reservoir - we tried carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, onions and hot dogs. All were cooked to perfection in the one steamer all together and very tasty. It really is quite an interesting way to cook supper and could become a favourite - I would have to try a few other food types and variety to be convinced. All for now...take care.


Every day I try at home and at work and today work let me in again.  Yes, I should be working , but NO, I am not going to pass up this opportunity.  We have lots of snow, but it has rained 3 days in a row (4 if you count today) and it is treacherous out there.  Yesterday the fog lasted all day.  Rrain was performing in 2 choirs at the annual christmas concert, so I went for the first time ever (It has been sponsored by the Choralliers for 34 years)  It was really quite nice.  There were 2 school choirs,  3 church choirs, 1 Hutterite choir, the Choralliers (female singers), the new Community Choir, and a Korean Choir.  The Koreans blew us all away.  Are they ever good.  The conductor of the Community Choir is one of the Koreans and Rrain says he is really good.  He demands the best from them, and challenges their abilities.  I am glad I went, but coming home was a challenge.  The fog was so thick I had no idea where I was.  We knew our road was coming up and I had slowed down to 20 kph trying to see it.  We made it home okay (obviously)  I am taking Wednesday off work to go to Brandon.  I won't go on the weekend or evening, but I will try mid-week.  I am the opposite of you Pati.  I hate the mall at this time of year.  Maybe it is because we only have the one and everyone from 200 miles around is there.  I want to pick up some small gifts this year.  I missed our Santa Claus Parade this year since they held in during the day of the craft sale.  Ours is like yours Beth.  Semi's, tractors, fire department and a few community floats.  OUr local mayor and reeves all travel in it in their cars. In the summer they try to have some sort of convertable so they can wave.  And in the summer we get all the antique tractors. (about 20) and the local car club with their "hotrods"  Work carries on. We are planning Mallories retirement tea. It will be December 14th in the afternoon.  We will have to box up all the mess in the office for that afternoon and hope we find it on Monday.  Her last day is December 31.  I better work.  Hope I can do this again soon.


You have so very accurately described the feeling I get around this time of year.  We have so few friends, and spend so much time at home, that the busy-ness and air of excitement rarely ever touches us. This time of year I love to go to the mall, and either just walk around, or sit and have a cup of tea.  I love the feeling of excitement and actually feel a part of that excitement, just by being in the crowds.

This is actually part of our plan for the day.  We have a few Christmas gifts to buy, and will be heading for the mall.  It surprises me to realize how little time we spend in malls these days.  We have few needs, and tend to meet those needs at discount stores.  It seems that the mall has changed every time we go there now.  Different stores etc.  Laura Secord has left our mall.  It was one of the original stores from the very beginning. But--we don't shop there any more.  Our patronage had dwindled down to buying two Easter Eggs at 75% off the week after Easter--and we didn't do that last year.  Our Bay store turned into a Zeller's a few years ago, and has now disappeared.  We hear that there will be a Target store in that spot soon.

Tonight is my monthly Ravenesque meeting.  I wasn't up to attending last month, and the ladies must have been surprised, as I'm always there.  Yesterday I  got an e-mail offering me a ride.  Now, the meeting is off south Pembina Hwy beyond the University, and this lady lives in Garden City, although she works around here.  I declined.  I need the practice driving, and I want to have my car to be able to leave when I need to.

David did well in his tournament last night, but unfortunately, didn't win--so no trip to the Bahamas this winter. Guess I just have to appreciate what I have, and be grateful that the warm weather is keeping out hydro bill a little lower.

Come and gone?

Winter, that is? By the looks and feel of things outside right now, apparently so. But I know it is just a temporary pause. The snow is gone, the roof is completely bare, and the outside ornaments look out of place but I know that too will change very soon. I took the dog downtown last evening for the annual Sundridge Christmas Parade and the Lighting of the Tree. Lots of people lined the street to watch as the parade come slowly by our vantage spot - police cars leading with lights ablazing, then a few township floats, and then Santa on a sleigh pulled on a trailer by a truck, and more fire trucks with horns and sirens and lights !  If we didn't have a volunteer fire dept the parades wouldn't be near as exciting haha The coffee shop, normally closed on Sunday had opened its doors and seemed to make a great business with folks dropping in, and the real estate agent had a table out front with coffee and treats to eat and balloons for the kids. All the business had windows adorned with decorations, and all in all very colourful and cheerful with the people all around. I did not follow the crowds down to the school where the tree was to be lite but instead came home. By then a soft light shower of dampness was falling - not really rain, but a heavy mist like feeling, so home I came to warm up. Scooby did not really know why I was staying downtown for so long as we usually just quickly go by the lake, up the main street and then home.It was nice to get out of the house, and particularly to be entertained - made me feel good! The other thing is that people see you there and you feel as if you are supporting the community activities - Cathy, you may feel the importance of this perhaps more than Patty, living in a smaller community.Well, the week starts again. Tuesday night we have tickets to see the Scott Woods Christmas Show in Trout Creek - two towns up the highway from  us. This is the Grand Champion fiddler from Fergus Ontario that tours around North America with his band -very entertaining show as we have gone now three years in a row - each at a different venue across this area - first North Bay, then Callander and now Trout Creek. That is what is on our agenda but as with any week, I am sure it will fill up soon. Take care

Friday, November 30, 2012

Yes, time is moving quickly

I have to wonder if it's the time of year or the time of life.  Our little tree went up today.  It's just a little 3 footer, that I've often put up on the table just outside the kitchen door.  But that means that I can't sit in my regular seat to watch tv, as there is no longer any light there.  For some reason, this year, I seem to be "nesting' a bit more than usual, and have been spending a little more time in the evenings watching tv--not that there is anything really worth watching, although tonight I found a short biography of the Marquis de Sade. Perfect,  since this week I abandoned my usual murder mysteries at the library, just not wanting to deal with any more "blood and guts" for awhile. The other library book I found, this week,  was a biography of Mick Jagger.  We'll see how far I get into it.

Anyway, the tree went up on a tv table between the tv, and the clock.  I think it will be fine there.
Three of our lights have gone in the last week.  Two of them just needed new tri-light bulbs, ( and try to find those in the stores these days!), but one needed a whole new wall switch. With the weird, weird wiring in this house, David had a terrible time making the change, it took a few hours, but he got it done!  And then a few hours later we realized that he had thrown the breaker for the furnace while trying to sort out the breaker for the light, and it hadn't been turned back on again.  Got a little chilly around here for awhile, but I'm impressed at how long the house will hold the heat.

I would like to think my brain is starting to get back in gear, after 6 weeks of stupid days, but it's not happening quickly.  I've reached the point of having  insight, but not yet reached the point of having incentive/motivation to take action.  It isn't that bad, when you can just sit back and let life roll over and around you--very seductive!  Not good for you, though, and even worse for those around you, so I've started to make lists again of things I must do, as soon as I can find the energy, and actually tacked a couple of them. So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I bought a new purse.  This one is bright blue,with dark blue polka dots, and lots of hardware.  A change from my usual  red or pink.  But today I found that the tail of my dragon key chain gets caught in the chain handle. The old red one gets put back in the cupboard, yet again.  I buy these things and use them until they break down in some way.  Then out comes that old red one, until the "right" new one gets found.  I've been using that red one for years--it will never wear out and have to be put in my coffin, when the time comes.

Some of my Christmas shopping is done, but I refuse to try to shop on weekends.  I also have started to refuse to try to go out on weekends. Regent and Lagimodiere is always busy, but in November and December it is just insane.  I actually got to go out driving today, despite the snow and sloppy weather. I survived, and am quite proud of myself.

For today, I am grateful for prune juice, and I'm grateful for a sale I found at the fabric store.  A fine day!

And it's Friday already?

So, where did the week go I ask myself and then think about the goings on and have no doubt. The snow has stayed and the cold has come so walking with the dog has been a challenge - scarf  on me, and sweater on the dog. And now the news says it should rain by Sunday with almost double digit temperatures, so I now worry about the snow on the roof. Tomorrow I shall get the ladder and scoop and clean it off about 3 to 4 feet up. Last year we had leaking water in the spring because dams of ice had built up and I promised myself that I would keep the snow from accumulating. Now I have to keep my promise if I don't want any surprises again in the spring. Baking done, and presents wrapped and my car now has snow tires on, so all in all a productive week. I don't have the tree up yet but perhaps this weekend will allow me to get that done? There is always time but as I walk the dog in the evening, I now enjoy seeing Christmas lights and also peek into windows - I see trees already up in a lot of houses and it looks so festive. Interesting that a lot of the trees have white lights only. I prefer the coloured lights on my tree - I love to get up in the morning, get my coffee and just sit and gaze at the lights and ornaments - relaxes me before the day begins in earnest. I haven't been reading much lately as my eyes aren't up to it at bed time. I listen a bit to the radio and then try to sleep. I hope you are sleeping better Patty - I am not lately and wonder why I just lay and lay staring at the clock on the radio - hour after hour and I still just lay there. I'm almost relieved when five o'clock finally arrives and I can get up - that's my usual get up time. Well, I seem to be rambling so better sign off and think about winning all that $$$ tonight. My lottery wish list is getting longer so hope something comes my way soon!  Have a good weekend everyone, and take care

Monday, November 26, 2012

keep hoping I can sign in, but not yet. I guess I will really have to get some time to contact my server. This last week was not the time to do it, but it is over. I had something every day last week Some were okay, but Friday we set up the Yellowhead for the sale. Anne, at the Yellowhead, remembered the trouble we had with the sheer curtains last year, and she had them all hung, and the tables all set up and in the area they needed to be We were out of there in only 2 hours! What a treat Saturday we were there at 7 am and I was on my feet until everything was packed up. We were done by about 6pm (Yippee) Keri, Kristy and I went to the Legion for a beer afterwards and we were so giddy we were laughing without the drink. We tried to stand up after sitting for a while and all of our feet were so sore we couldn't walk. (which led to more laughter) Sunday,Keri and I had the reading of Dickens' "A christmas Carol" only 32 people were there, but they were very appreciative. We were told by a couple of people that the local radio station had announced that the reading was cancelled I sure hope not, since it is a fundraiser for the Christmas Hampers We did a good job. All of the readers (none of the musicians... Meow) donated dainties and drinks for afterward All of the wassail that I made went. Good thing there weren't more people there. Margaret made ginger snaps and she let me take the 7 leftover cookies home (Yummie). today was work, and I was so tired that I actually told Elizabeth all my complaints. the result. A meeting that addressed some of the problems. I have to draft a list of jobs that I do, that someone else can handle, but if I can off load some of that my life will be so much easier. I also told her that I wanted a reclass based on all the extra work that I am responsible for and she said she will look into it. With all the government cutbacks I don`t expect much, but at least it has been noted. tonight I am making soup. Both Jim

& Keri had big lunches today, so no one was hungry (except me!) No Supper today, but tomorrow is another story. I am so tired that I have lost all my filters (see above bitches to my boss) so I think I will be in bed very early tonight. Jim ordered a new bed on Saturday. It was a one day only sale at Sears. An $1100 bed for $299. We don`t know if our order went through, though. He ordered it on Friday, and she had 13 orders to call in first thing Saturday. Hopefully we get one. Time to crash

Prune Juice

The original idea was that the prunes would provide extra fibre, but it won't do that if I don't eat it.  Won't buy them again.  I've used the juice before, and will buy that next time.

Fast trip done and now back home

Glad to have that over - left home at 3:45 this morning and after a quick turnaround at his brother's and a stop at grocery store we were home by 12:30. The roads were in bad shape going up with snow slush and black ice but coming back it had cleaned off nicely and the drive wasn't as anxiety filled. I just cleaned the van ready to take to Glass place in North Bay tomorrow. It will take about 2 hours so the man said he would drive us to the Mall to hang out - sounds like a real fun time !! I used to drink prune juice and got quite used to the taste but maybe you need the extra bulk from the actual prunes? Just a thought..... Short note for now, but its the thought that counts right? Take care

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cooking Prunes

My surgeon has recommended that I eat prunes.  We bought some and two mornings in a row I ate a few of them--slowly, reluctantly and with great displeasure.  So today I tried to cook them. ( David had remembered his mother boiling them.)  I had to check several books before finding instructions for simmering them for about 1/2 hour, so that's what I did.  Of course, then I forgot them on the stove, and they almost boiled dry.  In any case I ate 6 of them.  It was marginally better than trying to eat them out of the package, but I think this is going to be an uphill battle. The colour, the texture and the taste-Y-u-u-c-k!!

I have seen Intarsia, and understand that it requires a tremendous amount of skill to do well, but when done well it is quite beautiful.  When I was working, one of the nurses had a husband who did i,t and she would sometimes donate his work for charity auctions.  Very attractive.

After my painting workshop yesterday, I had wanted to have a quiet putter-y day today.  I ended up doing a bit of hand sewing while watching tv. The only thing I could find that was the least bit interesting was an Extreme Couponing marathon.  What was interesting was the teenage boys who are into this, even to the point of taking control of the family grocery shopping and using the family as almost servants in getting the job done.  I really only mention this because it gives you an idea of how boring and desperate my life can  sometimes be.

This week, David will be seeing the opthamologist about having his second eye done. His vision has changed a fair bit over the past couple of years, and I think it is really time.  This means that I have to go along to drive him home.  I think we'll both feel better once it's done.

Football game is still on.  David has been watching all evening, so no big poker tournament tonight. I'm pretty well beat after two days without a nap, so a glass of wine and to bed.

Skating again

Just returned from another outing of skating at the arena. This time there were many others there so it made for a nicer skate for me to have people around and not to be the only person on the ice. If I try to go every Sunday and get into the habit, then it would be a true activity for me to enjoy. I was doing the dishes at 12:45 and looked at the clock to decide should I go, or should I not. It would be too easy to let it go, but I was determined so in spite of not really feeling like it, off I went and truly glad I did! There was a person there from Sundridge who used to play in the NHL and he was doing fabulous turns and ins and outs, and circles and then came beside me to say it was good I was getting some exercise. I often go past his house with the dog. His wife's father, also from Sundridge, played in the NHL and just last week was honoured in Toronto by having a street named in his honour Ron Attwell Drive. There was a big writeup and pictures of him with the Mayor Rob the local newspaper about it. There is actually many ex NHLers from Sundridge and of course, the town plays that aspect up when advertising anything. Been a very hectic week - plumbing problems that I told you about, then HArry's windshield shattered, and yesterday I had to take the old cat to the Vet ( at emergency / weekend rates of course) as it was in severe pain and crying out trying to go to the bathroom. The Vet gave him a really good physical assessement and then an enema and told me to give it corn syrup for a few days. Have you ever tried to give a cat cornsyrup?? He also wants to see us back for an appt to take blood work because the cat has lost a lot of weight and his teeth are in bad condition which may be causing him not to eat properly.Tomorrow we are making a flying trip to Kirkland LAke to take Harry's brother some woodworking patterns that we made a special trip the other day to buy from a fellow in Powassa. This is the woodwork pictures you see with little pieces of shaped wood put together into a picture eg bird, or cat, or lighthouse etc. It is called Intarsia. The patterns were very expensive but his brother had heard about this man who was selling out and we looked up his whereabouts and visited his home workshop and we got a bit of a discount and bought 27 of them.Harry had some other boxes of stuff to take anyway so off we go in the morning. We have to take my little car (we don't get windshield fixed until Tuesday) so we cannot take the dog- therefore it will be a really quick trip -  3 &1/2 to 4 hour trip one way so the hours will add up! And that has been a bit of my week and hope you folks have had a better time of it??? We have snow here now and temps are really a lot colder than the double digits of last week. A bit of a shock actually haha Grey Cup is on today and since I won't get to see it, I can only visualize all of you glued to the TVs. The one channel we have does not broadcast many sports (CTV) Take care all.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Not an adventure

We had a short outing today.  A quick trip to the bank, over to the fabric store to pick up some bias tape, and then home via Tim's.  Driving home we talked about whether we had had an adventure or an excursion, deciding that it wasn't nearly interesting enough for an adventure. Climbing out of the car--panic--where's my purse? Then realizing that it was probably left hanging in the cubicle of the washroom at Tim's.  Hurried trip to Tim's, all the while discussing the steps in cancelling credit cards etc. Got to Tim's, pushed past the line up and spoke to the lady who had sold us coffee.  She started to smile when she saw me, and when   I told her my problem said " You mean the big red one?"  Yep, they had it--intact, money and all.  So perhaps, it was an adventure after all.

Off to a painting workshop tomorrow. This will be my first actual long outing.  I expect to be very tired when it's over, so David is going to drive me, and then pick me up ( there's not much parking around the building, in any case).  The workshop runs from 10:00 to 3:00 with a lunch break, and I can't believe the stuff the teacher wants us to bring--another reason David is going alone to help me.

The baking is taking its tole.  We have both gained a little weight this week, so time to go back to the old routine.  I found a package of tart shells in the freezer, with a best before date of May 2012.  We also had one jar of Cross and Blackwell mincemeat--purchased in 2007.  So we made up 6 tarts and cooked them off.  They weren't bad at all, so finished the bottle for a total of about 24.  But they're just about gone now, as we didn't want to freeze them yet again.  We're going to Amber's for Christmas dinner, and she has asked for some Melting Moments, even though Loren and Gillian are in charge of dessert.  so I guess I have to make those, but much, much closer to Christmas.  Loren and Gillian are taking an internet cooking course, and thought that this would be in ideal chance to practice a fancy dessert, although I have no idea what they have in mind..

Well, blogger is giving me grief about spacinf, and I can't see what I've typed, so obviously time to sign off.  Have a grat weekedn, everyone.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Crazy week so far..

..I wish it were the "wine speaking" but I haven't had anything! You know how I hate anything related to water issues in the house - like last spring when I had to tear apart the bathroom wall to access a leaky pipe - fortunately Harry was able to fix that pipe with a new pipe and joint. But for last few weeks the pump has being activated more and more frequently and try as I could I could not diagnose the problem. Finally over the weekend the pump was coming on every ten to twenty minutes and I could only lay in bed and time it - no sleeping - just looking at the clock. So Monday morning I cleaned up a bit around the pump and hot water tank, and made a bit of a path from back door to under the stairs and made the call to the plumber. He came in the later morning to assess my problem - of course, I was feeling terrible because of the mess but swallowed my pride and forged ahead best I could. The hot water tank was leaking and a few of the copper pipes so we proceeded with ordering a new tank and he directed me what to do in meantime if the problems exacerbated until Wed when he would come to fix. Wed the new tank was installed - they use plastic tubing now - no more copper.But the gauge on the holding tank kept dropping so he had to check for other leaks. I quickly cleared away in the downstairs bathroom and sure enough there was a constant noise in the toilet indicating that water was flowing. We have not used this toilet for maybe ten or more years and I thought it was turned off but apparently not - the valve was open enough and the water in the tank was just overflowing into the overflow tube. So a new valve was installed in there as well. To make a long story shorter, the issue seems to be rectified. I can expect the bill in the mail as he said he had to calculate it and would mail it to me. That will be interesting haha. I had to go up to North Bay Tuesday - Harry not feeling well so I went on my own to do a few chores and to pick up two CDs Harry had won on the radio. It turned out that one of the CDs was not that at all, but instead two tickets to see a live performance at the Capital Centre Wed night. So after the plumber left Wed we headed up to North BAy - Harry, feeling better, wanted to eat at the Kings Buffet again - it was a terrible meal - cold and awful. Never again I say! But visited Mike for a bit and then to the Centre. I was so tired I really did not want to be there but the show was OK and in the end glad to get out I guess. So it is early morning Thursday and I am planning my day - I think I will actually be able to do some baking - I have taken out a pound of butter three times now only to have to put it back because plans were interrupted. Maybe today will allow me a bit of latitude? And the poor dog has missed out on her usual long walks morning and night so I owe her a walk. Hoping things will settle down a bit now and we can get through the rest of the week unscathed?? Also during all my plumbing consulataions, an old friend telephoned - haven't heard from her for over two years. They live in Petawawa but we met them while in Victoria. She went on and on about their activities and family etc and then said they were going on a world cruise Jan to May 2014 and would we think about joining them. Say what?? It provided me with a silent and private bit of comic relief but quickly responded that it probably wouldn't be likely that we would be able to get away. Do other people actually have such lives? Lots to think about while I have another cup of coffee and kick start my day. Take care

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The wine speaks

Only because I couldn't remember the Latin phrase about truth being found in wine.  Yes, I'm having a good evening.  The latest batch is just right, and I have been enjoying it.  David hasn't been feeling well today, and has gone to bed, but I have had a good nap and now some wine.  "Nuff said.  I played poker for the first time in awhile, and actually won a tournament.  This is the first money in quite awhile--I was down over $12,000 (play money).  Maybe I should drink wine, while I play more often.

I have finished putting together the stock for my next sale, which is in May.  I'm still working on the design for my next major piece, so have been puttering around.  I pulled out the supplies for a series of small purses that I had planned as Christmas gifts.  Beth knows about these, but you may not Cathy.  This is a pattern and some kits that I bought while we were in the States last summer.  I made a couple of prototypes, which I gave to Jessica and  Samantha, but had planned to make up more.  I'm re-considering this. They have turned out to be a PITA to make, and the result is generally useless, unless you want a pencil case.  So, unless you let me know that this is something you really, really want, I am going to forget the whole idea.

Otherwise, life goes on. I have needed a new housecoat.  The old one is getting quite rough and "pilled".  Considering how often I wear it, it doesn't owe me anything.  We decided to start looking and found exactly what I want, at a good price, while we were out today.  I also found a casual jacket for 50% off the sale price--under $20.00.  Bonus!

I made the crock pot Beef Stroganov from the Kraft recipes.  Not bad, but not great either.  It could have cooked a little longer, but I don't  think I will bother making it again.  We have been eating a lot of beef lately.  Not good, so I will have to go back to the chicken and fish for awhile  (Yeah, sure!  David won't eat any fish other than Salmon loaf,  once in awhile.)  But we have been eating better, only because I have to eat so much in the way of fruit and vegetables, right now.

So, just checking in.  Hope everyone is fine--skating and attending meetings.  I have an art workshop on Saturday, which will be my first whole day away from home.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

So much talk about food....

and I am just as bad, with looking at new recipes, and trying some weird stuff. Glad you had a good party Cathy, and by sounds of it wasn't too much stress for you? How much in way of leftovers did you have? I tried a recipe for Magic Holiday Brioches - Salty Brick Cheese Brioche It had a beautiful full page picture of these buns along with the recipe so I was hooked. Yeast dough rolled up with a filling of alfredo sauce, parsely and shredded cheese. The recipe also called for bacon bits but since I don't like those, I left them out.  Very tasty but after eating four of them, a bit much!!
Skating this afternoon - great time for me as it is the first for this season. I walked over to the arena and put on my skates and out onto the ice I went - it is called public skating but I was the only one there for about 20 minutes - just me skating around in circles trying not to fall. Finally a few families came in but by then I was worn out and knew that if I did any more I would be really sore tomorrow.It felt so good to get some exercise and just plain get out! Not much new around here but I have been thinking about starting Christmas prep soon. My Maplewood Christmas castus is flowering finally. When I brought all the plants inside for the winter all the other cactus burst out in bloom except the Maplewood one so I was feeling a bit sad, but upon closer look today, there are many buds coming. I have babied that plant for so many years without it even growing much until about three years ago when it finally bloomed for the first time. Now it has grown bigger and obviously will bloom every year I hope. Mike came to Sundridge the other day to pick up his little freezer we had in storage because he is getting a bit of venison from his hunting excursion. The group has invited him to come back next year so I am very pleased that he has found a good group to be with and that he will have a place with them. I guess it is hard to get into it. Well, the night is closing in, and just thankful I had chance to get onto the blog - haven't been able to acces for a few days. And Cathy, I do buy lottery tickets faithfully but apparently, not the right ones haha Wouldn't it be lovely to get ahold of some of that cash! Weather has been great lately - sunny and mild, so I wonder when that will all change - it has been too much of a good thing for too long! Look out winter..... Take care
Holidays are over, so sad. We had our office party last night. Lots of food. Nobody played any games though. We had cards, and board games, but everyone just visited. Shirley's husband didn't make it. There was a retirement (read that you are laid off but we will let you retire so that our statistics don't reflect all the massive lay offs we have had) function at Riding Mountain Park that he had to give speeches at. Everyone else was here. Two different salads, a brownie cake, some really good cheese dip things (one baked brie, asagio? cheese dip, and some kind of cheese ball that could have doubled as a cheesecake (really good) plus turkey, mashed potatoes, a veggie casserole pickles, olives, buns............. I do so love my food. I got a call at 2am Saturday morning from what I thought was the security at the office (if the alarm goes they phone someone local) turns out it was a techie who had called security and they had given him my number as a contact. They hadn't been able to contact our server in 3 hours and said some switch need to be flipped?!? My intelligent response was "Huh?" I told him that I could go in and look, but I wouldn't know what I was looking for. I also told him that he could call me a noon on a workday and I still wouldn't know what to look for. He said he would come out and check on it (from Winnipeg at 2am??) Anyway, he was worried that the server being down would affect the people working on the weekend. I told him there would be no one there until I got in at 8am on Monday, so we both ended up happy. He didn't have to come to Neepawa in the middle of the night and I got to go back to bed instead of heading to town. He left a notice to check on Monday and he told me if the server was still down on Monday I wouldn't have to do any work anyway, so I thanked him very nicely. Wednesday is the VCC AGM and next Saturday is the VCC craft sale, Sunday we do our annual reading of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Then maybe I can take a break again. Kris & Sandi are coming here for Christmas this year. I know they have a lot more fun with Sandi's family. (large family with all the aunts & uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews), but I really appreciate that they come here every other year. I know it is quiet but I really like to see them. Now I have all the dishes done, some laundry on, the soup stock simmering, and curling on tv. What else could I ask for. Have a great week. And keep buying those lottery tickets! It's back to 50 million on Friday

ps  Curling??  Pati

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Finally made up a half batch of the cheese crackers.  Very unusual and very rich.  Too rich for David, and I find I can only eat one or two at a time.   I think I'm going to keep this one, but only use it for special occasions.  You talk about the expense of ingredients, Beth, and I think the expense of the cheese has to be considered as well.  I keep Craisins on hand, and eat them with my porridge, (high roughage and fruit) so always have a few to put in things.  But David doesn't care for them, so I rarely use them in baking.  And I usually have small bag of pecans in the freezer.  I'm amazed at how long nuts will keep that way.  Mind you, sliced almonds have about a 3 year limit.

We've been using our new bed for several months and quite liking it.  However, do we ever miss the heater that was in the waterbed!  Climbing into a cold bed is awful.

Otherwise, life goes on.  Recovery is "two steps forward, and one step back".  On Tuesday, at my stitchery group, we were talking about the effect of age.  One lady, in her middle 80's, has been told that she is in remarkable physical shape for her age, and she looks it.  Despite surgeries associated with cancer, as well as the chemo, she is now considered recovered, and  looks fabulous.  Another woman, closer to my age ( a bit younger) but widowed just over a year ago, is looking old, and even a little frail.  Knowing what I do about those two, and other women who were there, I have to think that lifestyle plays a bigger role than we think--especially socio-economic status--and I believe there is research that supports that.

For today, I have some committee work to do, then some sewing.  The last couple of nights have been spent vegging in front of the tv, something I haven't done in years--if ever.  When I was younger, I usually had some hand sewing to do while I watched shows.  Last evening, I was quite grateful to find a drama that was interesting, rather than the stupid reality shows that have been the only thing I could concentrate on lately.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No big storms yet...

...I almost feel paranoid looking for the onslaught of snow and wind but so far nothing. There is a dusting of snow on the ground but nothing to worry about. The heavy rain that was promised also did not materialize even though I had put the sump pump outside and ready. So yesterday because the temps fall so drastically, I had to bring it back in and thaw the ice formed in the pipe before storing it away for now. Now I shift into the "christmas" mode to start to get cards done, and decorations ready and soon the tree out of the basement etc etc. So I have been working in the basement store room trying to organize all the boxes of preserves done down this year and a few years past. There is so much it seems hard to think we can ever make a dint but I am going to try. So jam on toast and pickles for every meal will be the norm for now. Yesterday I walked up to the post office, and pharmacy, and of course veered into the Bin Store. I had the recipe for Kris Kringle cookies (Whats Cooking)  and bought the ingredients I needed. I sure hope I do it justice as I will want to justify to myself the expense of white choc and dried cranberries and pecans haha  Patty, don't worry about not baking for awhile as I seem to be doing double duty these days - and the best part is I get to eat it all!!
I sit here thinking about Cathy cleaning her house all day - actually I think I see you sitting right now with coffee in hand and a book open???  I am reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown right now - this is the book that they say was fashioned from parts of The Hermetic Code that described the making of the Manitoba Legislature structures- remember that visit I made where we all read that book? I would like to find it again maybe at the Library - who was the author - anyone remember? Mike is back from his hunting trip but his group is apparently still out for this week - he had to come back to work. They had four deer so far and he imagined the others may get a few more. So he shall get some meat but not sure how it will be distributed. For his first adventure of this nature, I guess it is good that he was somewhat successful ( even if it not my thing at all!!) Well, another day ahead of me so better go for now. Be thinking of you both, and hope you both have a "better" week. Take care

Sunday, November 11, 2012

cheese crackers

I checked the package of McLaren's cheese I had in the fridge. It's been there for over 2 years and has only a slight pinkish bloom on one side.  There is slightly more than half the package, so I should be able to make a half recipe and try these things out.  Just in case, I've put the cheese on the shopping list.

Speaking of recipes, I've been reading a library book and discovered a piece of paper inside that someone must have been using as a bookmark. It has several handwritten recipes, in what appears to be an elderly hand.
Smoochy Mouthwash
Rapunzel Cinnamon hair tonic
Peppermint hand sanitizer
Pepe LePeu It Smells Good in Here air freshner.
The last one even sounds like it tastes good; Simmer in a pot: Apple cider
                                                                                             Whole Cinnamon Sticks
                                                                                             whole cloves
                                                                                             dash of nutmeg
                                                                               and add a few drops of orange essential oil

We appear to have nothing to do except sit around and watch the snow and eat.  Tomorrow's dinner will be Saucy Swiss Steak from the Kraft recipes.  We tried this one before and really liked it.  I froze half and when we ate that, I didn't think it was quite as good as it had been on the first night, but quite acceptable none the less.  The next one I want to try is Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff--maybe on Wednesday.

We got at least a foot of snow, maybe as much as 18 inches.  David was out blowing snow this morning.  It's quite a social event with all of the neighbours out talking and helping each other.  Hard to say how much time is actually spent working and how much is spent socializing.  I notice that the young fellows across the back had their girlfriends  shoveling for awhile but when I looked again shortly after it was just Mom and Dad and the dog out there.

For today, with all of the snow, I'm grateful not to have to go to work tomorrow, even if we have to go out for groceries later in the day.
We tried the cheese crackers from the Kraft Recipe book. Made a half recipe just in case. Used a real teaspoon measure to drop them on the sheet, so they were quite small. Just a bite size. I cooked them for 14 minutes and they were just crunchy, not chewy at all. tried them with some jam, too. I can see they won't last long around here      Cat
Well, we had our first real winter storm this weekend. It was supposed to start on Friday, but by Friday night there was nothing. I bought all the important things to tide me over a storm stay.... licorice allsorts, jellie bellies, chips and taco chips. Obviously I couldn't let them go to waste even if it didn't storm. I should have waited a while. Saturday we had snow, but it stopped by early afternoon. Jim and I went to the Legion Banquet. We would have gone anyway, unless the road was closed. It was running late and dinner didn't start until after 7 pm. (an hour late) They had the Ladies Auxilliary 80th anniversary cake for dessert, so there had to be the ceremonial cutting and then it had to be served so there were no speeches until after that. It was so hot and stuffy that I went out for air and discovered that the storm had finally hit our area. Everything was covered and the wind was blowing. I went back in to warn Jim (they were still cutting and serving the cake). My headache was worse by then, but Jim had to stay to receive his 45 year pin. I ended up downstairs and missed all the presentations. Rrain had left much earlier and phoned back to say the roads were getting pretty bad. Lots of fun. My earache is almost better. This is the last day of the antibiotics. Between the antibiotics and anti-inflamitories I managed to collect some side effects. One killed my appetite, but the other needed to be taken with food. Between the nausea and the runs I actually lost some weight. Now to keep it off as my appetite increases. I tried putting my ear plugs in again last night to shut out the teeth grinding, but I woke up in a couple of hours with the side of my face hurting, so I guess the earache isn't all better. Our Loving well trained dog must be getting a tooth, because she has started chewing on things again. Her favourite is plastic wine glasses, but on thursday she stole my shoe and ate the insoles, and on Friday night, she ate the remote control for our PVR, again. We bought another, again, but this time we bought the $40 instead of the $60. I am so glad that Jim took it upon himself to train the dogs. This is my housecleaning week, and as you can see I am procrastinating. I am going to ease into it and do the easy rooms first and then move on to the ones I am avoiding. Jim has offered to do most of the basement except where the pantry is. that will help a lot. I have the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom (I know I will fit those cloths one day room) and the office (the I don't know where it goes put it in the office room) I think the last two may take at least a day each, if not more. I have a meeting on Wednesday night (teleconference) and my writing class on Thursday night. Beyond that I have to force myself to get this house clean. I know that if I break it down into rooms again, it won't be so overwhelming. I keep thinking "I just did this last year. Why do I have to do it again?" On the other hand, I don't have to go to work. Patty (at work) has already warned me that she will be taking a mental health day when I get back. Too bad the government doesn't offer them. Have a great week.

Friday, November 9, 2012


We have a Re-Store quite close to us, and we've been in there a few times.  They will try to sell anything that is donated to them, and as you said, the funds support Habitat for Humanity.  I have bought individual ceramic tiles there for use in a couple of projects, and even found some beads one day.  You really never know what will be there from old toilets to windows, and dining room suites, but no, not clothing.. The recipients of Habitat for Humanity houses often are able to put in some of their "sweat equity" by working there.

A very nice surprise today.  I wasn't able to attend my Ravenesque group meeting on Monday evening and today there was a floral delivery from them.  A very unusual flower, one I've never seen before.  Stunning!  What a nice gesture!

We got our errands done today.  I was able to get the game Loren had suggested, but we really had to look for it.  We finally found it in a Calendar Club, &games store, in St. Vital Centre.  Then I had to phone all of the people registered for the art workshop tomorrow and tell them we had re-scheduled it because of the travel and weather advisories that have been issued for the area.  One lady tried to argue with me stating that it wasn't snowing here so why were we cancelling.  But many of the registrants were elderly and widows, and they all wanted to talk.  I learned about a husband's hip surgery, how a 75 year old woman turns a mattress and what happens when she misses the bed, how you need to  paint your kitchen or bedroom often as that gives you an excuse to paint a matching picture--all things I was anxious to learn.

Now we just have to sit tight and wait for the storm.  Hope neither of you run into severe weather problems, but then we should be grateful for weather, it gives us something to talk about.


We went to Huntsville today as I mentioned in order for me to attend my appt, go to a new (new to us, that is) store called Restore, and then to the grave to pick up the flowers. I got to the Doctors and the receptionist said she was about an hour behind and if I wanted to go somewhere and come back in an hour it would be OK - she took my cell phone just incase. We drove across the town to the other side to look for this store but even before we got there my cell went off. The Doctor was just about caught up since she had a cancellation and if I could come back I would be seen right away! So we never actually got to the store. I got into the office right away, and then went through the usual process of height and weight, and then Blood pressure. I noticed that my BP readings were a bit high.Then the Dr came in and was quite relaxed saying it was so good to see me every year. Then started to ask about Mike and his deployment to Afghanistan - remembering all this info from previous visits. She talked on for some time in quiet engaged conversation and I got a totally different impression of her this time around. Throughout the rest of the examination she continued with light conversation even talking about herself a bit. I think she was not under strain like in other times when she was behind and the waiting room was full. It was actually a nice visit inspite of the reasons and procedures performed. However, she is now concerned about my BPs and I guess I should be too as I know they have been on the high side for a number of years. I have to take them and record and then send her a copy over the next three to four weeks. I did this before about four years ago so hope that maybe the readings will stabilize a bit . We finally got to the store and it was a Habitat for Humanity second hand store - furnishings, building materials and household articles, but no cloths. Interesting but I wasn't interested in anything! Anyway, the weekend weather report just on the TV states freezing rain and issues a warning for driving We are supposed to go to North Bay and do our thing with Aunt Ev so tomorrow morning will have to reassess and make a decision then. Have a nice weekend, and take care


I think the reason I report on my galivanting is  because  an out trip is a "big deal" in our very quiet lives.  One of my goals is to find ways to encourage these small excursions, just a a means of combating cabin fever.  There have been stories in the paper recently about the amount of cloudy/grey time we have had recently, and the effect on those with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I think this can affect anyone, even if some feel it more deeply.

Today I have to take some cheques over to the treasurer of an group I belong to.  She lives on Bartlet Ave, and has been quite worried that I wouldn't be able to find it.  I have re-assured her, by reminding her that I had been there once before.  Then we may head for the mall to start Christmas shopping.  Loren popped in Tuesday to  pick up his chickens, and those pictures you sent, Beth.  We talked a bit about what gifts his children might like, and I think I need to shop early.

This artists' group have a workshop planned for tomorrow, and I had volunteered to act as registrar.  Unfortunately the group chair has had other things on her mind, right now, and I ended up acting as liaison with the teacher, and sorting out things such as the forecast for heavy snow tomorrow.  The teacher is driving in from Gimli, and is quite concerned.  We have agreed to make the final decision later today, but the forecasts remain poor, and I think I'm going to have to find an alternative date for the class.  It will have to be at the art group building, a public seniors centre, and they really think I'm going to find a Saturday before the  the year??

Actually a craft sale and tea sound quite fine, especially if I don't have to make the tea.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baking today

Your message about baking (and eating) was very appropriate for me today as I did some myself.. I told you about making green tomato mincemeat ( page 174 KISS COOKING) to use up some green tomatoes in the fall. It turned out tasting good but bottled up for future use. So today I made a small batch of pastry and with it, made mincemeat tarts - just enough to have a good feed and see if the mincemeat would be ok in tarts which is the way I like to eat it. I am totally happy with the mincemeat and actually surprised it tastes so good not having had much faith in my ability to make my own! So I shall be making a larger batch of tarts later on so that I can indulge my passion. But I am wondering what kind of sauce we used to have on the warmed tarts - was it a custard sauce, or rum sauce or hard sauce or maybe it was just ice cream??  I walked to the Bin Store and bought some red and green cherries and pecans ready to make a batch of refrigerator cookies - oh, how I love them - freshly baked from rolls hidden cleverly in the freezer! Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Sue and pleased to get out and do something different. We had a good talk, and I showed her my pictures from the trip. She gave me  a gift of an owl ornament and a very practical owl bookmark which I am using already. And I gave her a gift of a piece of art done by fibre artist Pat Findlay ( haha) She was genuinely thrilled Patty, and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to show off your work - it make me feel so proud. Tomorrow I go to the Doctor in Huntsville for my annual - Harry and I will both go to Huntsville, as we will be going back through Sprucedale to pick up the flower arrangements on his Mothers grave site to store for the winter. His sister was supposed to get them but unfortunately her husband has been hospitalized and she can't get up there to do it so Harry volunteered. Actually her husband sounds in rough shape with respiratory difficulties with a few days even spent in the ICU. Both her kids are off to university now - one in Ottawa, and the other in Peterborough so she is basically alone now - I think feeling the empty nest more than usual as she really focuses her life on the kids. On Saturday we go to North Bay to attend a church bazaar as guests of Aunt Evelyn - she has called maybe three or four times already about us going so we sure better go - we will pick her up and go the grave of Uncle Walter first before going to the church for the tea and bazaar. On Sunday I plan to attend the local Remembrance Day service - we have for many years gone to North Bay because Mike was in the volley team but this year he is not - actually he is out hunting right now but says he plans to return on Sunday morning in time to join his unit at the cenotaph and then over to the Mess. Sounds as if we are just gallivanting about but it is unusual for us to be so busy all in one week.So time to call it a night - take care.

McLaren's cheese

My Kraft recipes finally arrived today, and I found the recipe you spoke of, Beth.  Actually, it sounds pretty good.  But, I know what you mean about spending a lot on a special ingredient.  Many of the Kraft recipes call for things I would never buy, such as grated cheese combinations.  actually, I would be more likely to buy something special and use half of it, leaving the other half to rot.  Sort of nice to use the whole thing for a special treat.  There were a couple of other interesting things in there such as the Kris Kringle cookies.  Sound like something I would love, although David wouldn't eat them  H-m-m-m.  I would end up eating them all myself.  H-m-m-m.  Have to think about that one.