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