Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Friendly Manitoba

We got home on Sunday and the snow had receded.  YIPPEE!  Today we have a snowfall warning.  We only have about 6 inches.  North of us the highway is closed and they have over 15 inches.  Ain't life grand!  We are at home and the snow continues.  At least we have 4 wheel drive and should be able to get out tomorrow.  Meanwhile we have hamburgers cooking and a night of season finales to look forward to.  I plan on winning the lottery on Wednesday to off set this weather.   I might be persuaded to share

A couple or three things today...

The car is back in my driveway but still not sure what is wrong with it. The key will now go in, and also come out so it no longer locks - as of right now. I am to try it for awhile and give them feedback. So tomorrow I go to Huntsville to meet my friend Sue for our regular Spring luncheon together at Swiss Chalet. I shall remain positive and assume I shall have no troubles with the car! Another thing is that the water pump is not acting normal so I am worried. I spent the entire morning clearing a path and cleaning up a bit or best I could, and then placed a call to the plumber. I haven't heard back from him yet but tomorrow would not be a good day regardless so hoping for a Thursday appointment if possible? Also, we have another wild bird in a cage in our living room. Harry found it yesterday in the yard - it cannot fly apparently, so we have it in a cage to nurse it back? I have its cage close to the two budgies and their bird song is so wonderful and constant that maybe this black bird will feel at home! I met our new neighbour this afternoon. He was out raking his yard. The older couple left Monday and this fellow came from Holland to stay about a week, and then leave until July when he says he'll be back. His wife who I have not seen so don't know if she is also here, is the sister of the neighbours living across the street. That is where he is staying during this week while here. The older couple left some furniture in the house  and their gorgeous bedroom suite, and lawn tractor and snowblower all part of the private sale of the house.  Harry peaked out our back window yesterday and found the new man, and the across the street neighbours looking into our yard from next door. I've also have had that look and frankly it appears to be similar to a dump! We have so much scattered around. Maybe it is a good thing that they are not going to be full time live in owners for awhile haha Anyway, thats it for now. hope your Ravenesque meeting went well Patty. And hope your work is better Cathy with more staff now to help out! How did you enjoy your ACT weekend? Take  care

Monday, April 29, 2013

Little things

Your blog is such a good example of the theory that some small pleasant thought, memory, or deed, can set the tone of your whole day.  We don't have to actively look for or create these opportunities, but we have to be prepared to seize them when they appear.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vivid description...

Hi, and quite a picture you painted Cathy - I could see you "vegging" out but then who says a nice glass of wine in a comfortable space is not all we really want - no party animal in me either haha!
The daily calendar I have this year is not quite as consistently inspirational as last years but from time to time jolts me with a good one - "Better to light one candle than to curse the dark - Chinese Proverb" I thought it was great and one that I can repeat to myself when the need presents itself. I took advantage of it yesterday when we went to North Bay. Harry wanted to go to the Bin Store for doggie treats and while there I spotted the Tim Horton kiosk across the corridor. I thought of you Patty and said to myself "why not" So I crossed over and got in queue behind approximately 15 others - the line was outside the kiosk area and down the mall corridor a bit but noone seemed concerned least of all me. I got a nice coffee for myself, and Harry wanted a ice cappucino and so with a Tims in hand, off to the car we went. It is amazing how good it felt for me. One must take advantage of such opportunities right? Anyway, I had to go back to North Bay today on my own, but had some car problems. At the gas station I couldn't get the key out of the ignition. Struggling for about 10 minutes and finally it could be removed. from the gas station I went to Walmart because Harry wanted some spray clear acrylic paint for lawn ornaments he is painting. As I stopped the car the same thing happened and no way would the key turn or come out. Fortunately I was still able to start the car so decided to head home. I backed the car into the driveway and left it run for Harry to try but it will still not work for him and a squirt of WD 40. The key is stuck/locked in the auxiliary slot of the three positions (Off and Auxiliary and Start) so I guess it is off to the garage again - My car was at the garage for three days last week getting multi work done - far more required than I ever expected. I was wondering if Patty, you and Dave went out for a Birthday meal to celebrate Gillians B'day? I pictured you having another apple pancake and my mouth was watering just thinking about it. well, I'm bushed from my exciting days plus all the outside work, so off to bed for me. No wine to sip! Oh well - apparently the LCBO employees will be going onstrike just before the May 24 weekend. Should I stock up? I read the article in the Free Press about Point du Bois. I was there twice when Daddy was working there - once with Gary an old boyfriend and then with Harry when we visited once. I loved the area and even spent time camping around there and Wallace Lake in my wilder single days - say what, and when was that you ask?  haha Take care

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Party animal

I am not.  It is not quite 10 pm and I am sitting in my Hotel room ready for bed.  ACTFest time.  Watched plays all day today and there are a couple more tomorrow.  I don't think of myself as anti-social but I just want to veg.  Patty is back at work on Monday, so my workload will be much lighter. I am not sure what I will do with all my freetime!  We are hoping that most of our snow will be gone when we get home.  It was beautiful here today.  We went outside at every break.  I really want the snow to be gone.... it has been here far too long.  Rrain is here too, lying on the couch.  We left Jim at the dance. Rrain might go back, but I have had a shower and have my nightie on.  A glass of wine and into bed.  Sounds good.  Short and sweet message tonight, but at least I can get onto the blog whenever I want.

How to get a "free" gift card

Your blog post, Beth, brings to mind some advice my friend Rose Anne got when she went onto a site for hoarders.  Evidently the biggest hurdle is getting started, so the first task she was given was very simple  "Polish your kitchen sink".  She told us that she couldn't believe how that simple task was a catalyst for so many.  In order to polish the sink she had to wash dishes, but to do that she had to figure out which were clean and which were dirty, and then she had to decided whether she really wanted to wash all of that crap.  then she had to find space to put away all of the clean dishes, and so it goes.  Polishing her sink took a full day and resulted in several large green garbage bags going out the door.  Since then, it has taken her well over a year, and the offer of a larger apartment, but she did sort and move all of her stuff last fall.  I don't know if she has emptied all of the cardboard boxes yet, but she knows what's in them and they are neatly piled.

But, on the other hand, if you get rid of stuff, and there is an empty space, there is always the temptation to fill it.

So, what about the gift card.  The local Superstore sometimes will give you a $25 gift card if you spend more than $250 before tax.  Well I spent over $240, on Friday.  So, rush  back into the store to spend another $8.00.  Spent almost $18.00 to buy some steak I didn't need,  and taco seasoning.  What to do with the steak?  Put a Beef stew in the slow cooker this morning, and decided to make some Swiss Steak.  Not a favourite meal around here, but okay once in awhile.  David was in charge of portion control, and all of a sudden I had 4 meals of steak laid out.  Got it down to three, but it will take us months to eat it all, and it took a couple of hours labour.  Made me wonder if it was worth it, but then I remembered last month when money got a little tight toward the end of the month, and $25 worth of fresh fruit and veggies was quite welcome.

Yesterday, I received an invitation to teach my Free Motion and Machine Quilting workshop at Gwen Fox Gallery, in Selkirk.  I had left some preliminary information with them on Wednesday, knowing they had a Board meeting on Thursday.  Looks like it paid off.  This is for the expanded two day workshop and I will be teaching on two consecutive Saturdays, later this month.

Today's paper had a big spread on the town of Pointe du Bois, and the story that Manitoba Hydro is closing the town ( it's a "company" town, and they can do that)  All of the people have to be out within a few months, and the only store in town must close by the end of June.  Made me think about all of the summers when Dad had to work out there.  Wasn't it usually about 6 weeks at a stretch?  I remember that he used to spend his spare time picking fruit in the bush.  He would then bring it home, and Mom would just ignore it until it went bad.  So he then started to make his own wild plum jam, and, if I remember, kept making jam for many years, even after he and Phyllis moved to BC. That wasn't the only time she did that.  One summer I spent a week or more with Auntie Margaret out near Toulon, while she made some school clothes for me.  I spent time picking wild Cranberries and proudly brought them home to Mom.  She left them sitting by the door, until Dad threw them out.  I wonder if she was just annoyed about it, or, more likely, didn't know what to do with them.

Enough drivel.  David is doing well, I have some thing to look forward to over the next month, and so I am grateful

Friday, April 26, 2013

Doing something.....

I heard an interview on the radio last week about people who need to "declutter" and the person said you have to do something  - so start by each day for a year getting rid of ten things and by the end of the year you will see a difference. I have been thinking a lot about this and started to do this very thing - with my things. It has been simple like shredding paperwork or sorting through a box of assorted sewing notions that I will never use. and today organizing shelves. when I went through a bag of scrap fabric yesterday, I found a project that I stated several years ago - an appliqued coffee cup onto a block - very rough start of a project but as I looked at it, and ironed it flat, I realized that I was on the right track - so maybe here is another item for me to reattempt. I started a list of unfinished projects - may never get to them but it is fun to see how creative I have been, or could be haha! The ice is almost off the lake - one morning this week I went down and only saw the rotting ice on the lake, but when I went back at night, the wind had caused an enormous pile of ice across the town dock where I walk each day - it was huge and covered most of the dock and very high and broad. I took a picture with my phone and came home to send but realized I have no connection from my phone to the computer - so even if I now know what to do with pictures, I don't have what I need to do it! So here is a greeting to you both to have a good weekend - I shall call when I win the millions $$$$$. Have you heard that Lotto 649 is changing and although the price will increas to $3.00 a ticket, there will be a guaranteed $1 million prize each draw. This is nice to hear however will probably not impact me in any way - I can't seem to get the right numbers no matter what draw I enter. But at least I am trying and when I walked up this afternoon to the lottery store with the dog, not only did I buy a ticket, but I also bought a bag of Old Dutch potato chips and ate them on the way home! So there! Take care

Thursday, April 25, 2013


On reading the fine print on the Tim Horton coupons, I find they are only valid in Winnipeg.  Must be the volatile market here. Yesterday I enjoyed a Mocha Latte.  It tasted like they had simply added milk to the Cafe Mocha.  Well, I can get that for half the price if I just ask them to give me a double shot of milk in my Cafe Mocha, but if it's free-- I'll take it.  More worrisome is that we are just about out of soft drinks, and they haven't been on sale for awhile.  I refuse to pay almost $7 for a case of 12 cans.

David appears to have come through the eye surgery okay.  He slept a bit this afternoon,but has also spent time reading, watching tv, and on the computer.  He finds that he has to rotate them,or the eye gets tired.  Like I did, he is experimenting with Dollar store glasses to find the right pair for his various activities.

Yesterday I spent part of the day volunteering in the gallery in Selkirk.  One of the small purses I had in the gift shop has sold--a nice surprise.  On the drive, I noticed that the Pelicans are back on the river up there.  There is open water for them, but I don't think the ice has really broken up yet--probably this weekend.  They looked like blocks of white ice floating along, until they stretched their wings, and you could see the black tips, not to mention the obvious shape.  While I was there, I worked on beading my blue whole cloth quilt.  I had set up an adapted method to work, and got more than 3/4's of the job done.  Then today, while David slept, I got quite a bit more done, and should have it finished tomorrow.  I had been worried that I would never be up to finishing it, so am quite relieved.

So we are settled in for awhile, with nothing urgent scheduled, except David's return visit to the opthamologist at 8:10 tomorrow morning.  Another day to be up before breakfast, but with coupons we'll be compensated!  And for that I am grateful.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Giant Tiger

North Bay just opened it's first Giant Tiger store on Saturday. We have watched the construction of this new building over the winter - amazing actually how fast these things go up and especially how they finish the inside and have it all stocked so quickly. We went in yesterday and NOT the opening day on Sat - apparently the parking lot was full with little room to manoevre that day. It is in the smaller Mall in North Bay along side a No Frills store, the Galaxy Theatre complex, and other stores such as Winners, Hart and Stitches. I bought a bag of 20 pairs of mens socks for $10.00 - I go through socks quickly and thought this would be a deal. I always have to consider the tightness of the sock around my calf but these seem to be OK so far - when I get a hole in the heel now I can just throw it away and grab another pair. It is a disposable world! My car is in for its Spring inspection and change of tires today. I told you Harry's van is on the road now, so I could take my car in finally. The drivers door is a little off the hinge - The Manager says it is the pins and needs to be fixed or else I may lose my door - I guess? The oil indicator was down to below 10 % and the light came on the dash - I never usually leave it this long. We don't get coupons like you do Patty - probably no incentive in a rural area. We have won a $20.00 gift certificate on the radio andgot lunch at Mcdonalds in North Bay. It was a bad move as it was March break and every kid and their parent was in there too. We didn't think we would go back.I also had no idea what the food was they have weird names for hamburgers and drinks. Mike's lady works at a Mcdonalds in North Bay while finishing her University and she doesn't really like it, but takes what she can. Juggles courses and online studies with her work shifts.And Mike is finishing his course also online ( I don't know that I could do a course on line) He was in Alberta for a Military tasking and is a little behind in his homework now. When we saw him yesterday, he was starting to panic a bit to get caught up.Roads are starting to be fixed now after the rain and destruction. Still several detours right in Sundridge. Harry's sisters road washed out so she has to take a long detour from her house to get onto the highway to get into Huntsville for work.. We saw pictures of the downtown area - we were there shopping a day before the rain came and now the whole area is covered with water. More frightening is the fierce flow of the rivers through town and the force it is showing going downstream and flooding over banks and roads and covering houses. it showed one water area where there were five docks washed along the edges = torn from thier moorings. It will take awhile to get back to normal but unfortunately, great worry as it is to rain more on Thurday and Friday this week.. I shall have to be on guard myself here at home to manage the rain again. I am looking for my yellow rain suit but can't find it, I was soaked through two or three sets of cloths the other day running around in the yard! Well, almost time to get at it for another day - coffee is done, and the dog is looking for her morning walk. Take care

Monday, April 22, 2013

Strange facts, and general whimsy

Did you know that we have had over 20,000 page views of this blog?  There has to be other people reading it. Too bad they don't leave comments, but do we really want to hear --  " What drivel!" or " Who cares?".

The snow is now only waist height in the front yard, and hip height in the back.  It has disappeared from the south facing flower bed beside the garage.  Yesterday I noticed that the rhubarb is up, and yesterday we had two more inches of snow. Cold, wet, heavy snow.  You really can't kill rhubarb or peonies.

 I don't often read the silly e-mails that I get and even less often forward any of them. I did send the one with the cat in the snow,and today I will be sending you one with a whole slide show of pictures, all reflecting a very warped view of the  reality of winter in Canada.  Some of them are obviously staged, but still worth a giggle.

Today our mail was exciting. There were coupons from A&W, but none for onion rings.  There were coupons from McDonald's, that we probably won't use.  Shaw wants to sell us something, and three realtors want to sell our house.  Shooting Star wants us back, but they've raised the price of their rooms, so forget it. There was a lot of other crap but then, at the bottom of the pile, Rejoice, there is a god, coupons from Tim Horton's, and good ones, too.  Never seen them before.  I can only think that the competition between Tim's and McDonald's is really heating up.

Got into the studio today, and finished up some "donkey" work that has been plaguing me.  This meant that I have been able to take the first steps in a new piece.  While sorting and cleaning up I found two pieces that had been started and put aside for some reason.  Both have merit and both could end up being suitable for the Pinawa sale in July.  so, over the next couple of weeks I plan to devote a fair bit of time to them.  My Ravenesque group is coming here on May 6th, and I'll need to have something to show them. We have a couple of new ladies joining us for the first time, and I feel the need to demonstrate that we are serious artists.

So, in closing, just let me say that I am grateful for Tim Horton coupons.  Hurray!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Just put the greenhouses to bed.....

...and even though it was sunny today, and we had the heat down to almost nothing, it is supposed to be minus 10 tonight so up goes the heat and on goes the covers for the nighttime. Tomorrow we go to North Bay early to try and get some large glass windows advertised on Kijiji - Harry is wanting to repair the big greenhouse roof this summer - two winters ago the glass on the roof shattered and we covered it over with clear heavy plastic which has got us this far but it really needs a more permanent solution. However the good of this is that the van is back on the road. It has sat in the driveway since January so Friday I called the garage and they towed it into the shop - turns out to need a new battery (covered under warranty thank goodness) So it is now running again and I am glad to have the both vehicles available. Fo r that period since January, we have only driven my little car. And of course my little car would not accommodate big pieces of glass windows thus the van is now functional!
For Sat May 4 we bought tickets to see the Scott  Woods Show in North Bay. This is the show I have told you about - great fiddle music and entertainment. They will be in Neepawa at the Theatre Cathy - maybe you might want to have a look?  Well, time for bed - I will not be watching the Juno Awards tonight but they are on the one channel we have - CTV. Take care

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quite a few hard days...

....I realize that my woes with water pale in comparison to threatening flooding in Manitoba but it has been a real challenge these past two days. Made my winter look tame! Such torrential rain and thunder lightening yesterday - unrelentless the entire day. And power outages as well. We had two sump pumps going - one in front and one at the back and it still got the best of us. Then when power went out, the old hand and shovel went into full force. I just went from back to front in a rotation with growing frustration, water in basement through the window well at the back, and a few tears to add to the water haha. The good part was the higher above zero temperatures and for that fact, the greenhouses were pretty much left on their own. No heaters on, and few covers but they managed well in spite of it. It is supposed to be even higher temps today but the rain persists as I write this note. I am managing it OK for now. I put on a Daniel O'Donnel music DVD and I am sitting with my crochet prayer shawl working at it, pumping water and drinking coffee! However, the snow is disappearing. Roads around the area have sink holes and are closed including Highway 11 just north of North Bay. To put it into perspective though, I am hearing the lastest reports from Manitoba and does not sound good. I will soon put on the WFP website which I follow every Spring. I send my short greetings for today and wish you a good weekend hoping you are not in too much distress right now with this wonderful display of Mother Nature. Take care

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quick note

I was just talking to Kris.  He has been working very hard opening the new store in Boissevain.  Now that it is opened and he has a brand new store to work from, he has applied for and been successful applicant to be meat manager at Killarney Co-op.  Bigger store, more money and he can walk from home if he wants.  I think part of him is sad that he is leaving the brand new store, but most of him is glad to get the job in Killarney.  He applied because he figured it may not come open again for years.  And, oh yeah,  they are getting pet goats!


The Marzipan slice wasn't cooked as well as it might have been, but otherwise worked well. Fairly expensive to make ( 5 eggs and two cups of butter, along with other ingredients), and very rich, but David and I have just about finished the 9" by 13" pan.  I had hoped to put half in the freezer, but since it wasn't quite cooked, there was no point.  Right??  Strange this week, as we were out three days in a row picking up odds and ends at the grocery store.  I figure the three bags of odds and ends cost about $125.00.  I'm finding that I have to buy fruit and vegetables more frequently than once  per month, and am now going to have to re-jig the budget.

Otherwise it is cooking and recipe time.  I went through the shelf of recipe books I have, and ended up throwing out most of the magazine type of recipe book, including almost of those I bought through Weight Watchers.  There is only one that I have used in the last 5-6 years, so all of the rest are gone.  I think what I'm experiencing is the outcome of not being able to address those spring time urges to clean up the nest and make a fresh start.  Started writing down the recipes that I've accumulated over the past while, either off the internet or from friends.  Going through the recipe box I discovered the recipe for David's traditional birthday cake from years ago. It wasn't really a cake but rather a mix of whipped Cream and canned pineapple over a graham wafer crust with a middle layer of an icing made with eggs.  We had originally found it in a little self-published recipe book we got while in Kapuskasing ( published by the ladies on the base, I think). I had thought I had lost the recipe at some point when we were in the house on Woodside, but here it was, neatly printed on a little card.  I haven't told him, and wonder if he even remembers.

I've also been cleaning out closets, and then was "forced" to go out and buy a couple more T-shirts.

Today I am grateful for having Blue Cross coverage, and for having a husband who is willing to help with the "grunt work" of sewing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Long day..

...started at 3:30 am when the rain was getting heavier and so up I got and out side to set up the sump pump and shovel puddles of accumulated water around the back of the house - I fear it coming into the basement. Have you ever held a flashlight in your mouth in the dark while trying to shovel water and mud? Then up to North Bay at 630 am to pick up Aunt Evelyn at 730 am and over to the Hospital for 8 am for her scope. everything went very well and we were back to her house by 1130 am. The instructions included the proviso that a "responsible adult be with her for 24 hours" Now I was not anticipating this but stayed with her until about 3 pm when things were just fine and I decided to come home. I just spoke with her on the phone and she is fine. We had a nice lunch together and she was not showing any signs of compromise nor did she indicate any difficulties. They gave her versed so she said she didn't even know she had the procedure! It was actually a nice break for me and if one could say such an event could be enjoyable, I enjoyed my day! I am also very happy because I got lots of birthday cards yesterday and today in the mail - I was feeling a bit down on Saturday because there were no cards - can never tell what Canada Post is up to with delivery schedules anymore. Warmer temps and sun brings a bit of melting and one can see the snow quickly leaving. Mind you still lots to go, but refreshing to see things changing remarkably every day. However, I don't really know anymore what to wear outdoors - today I wore my light spring coat to go to North Bay, but also put on my old winter jacket to walk the dog down to the lake this evening. It feels out of place now, but I don't have a comparable lighter jacket to put on. I figure noone is really looking at me, but on the other hand, they are probably thinking poor thoughts about that old lady who always walks her dog! I am anxious to get to bed tonight as sleep has eluded me lately and I am ever so hopeful that I might have a good night.. I made stuffed peppers for supper last night - had a great urge to try them and as I had an abundance of ripe peppers in the fridge, and over ripe tomatoes on the counter, it was a good choice to use up ingredients. Turned out very tasty even if I do say it myself. I always like to hear about your adventures with new dishes - hope the marzipan slice was everything you hoped for Patty!  Take care

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finally, a busy day, and more about beer

Planned to do some cooking today.  I have been looking for a soup recipe that doesn't require that I first cook a turkey and make stock.  I had thought I found one. in a Weight Watchers cook book--Spicy Black bean and Sausage Soup.  I had just about everything I needed except 1/2 cup of beer.  Now where do you buy 1/2 cup of beer?  First we tried the grocery store, thinking that they often have individual cans in their drink coolers, even if it is alcohol free-beer.  Nope, they only had it in six packs for $9.99.  So off to the liquor store to buy a six pack of real beer.  Except they only sell it in 12 packs, and we would have had to wait until the vendor opened  to get a six pack.  But David found a single can in the cooler at the liquor store.  It was one of the local breweries, not a big name, but fine for the soup. So I chopped onion, and cooked sausage and put the whole thing together.  First taste David turned up his nose and left the room.  I persevered a bit and finished a bowl.  Then it started to fight back so the whole thing went in the garbage.  At the same time, I was putting together a pot roast, also from a Weight Watchers recipe.  I have made this before, and if I follow the rather expensive recipe, I end up with a very rich and tasty stock.  We have this planned for supper, so I may get my soup yet.

 Then I made Marzipan squares, from a recipe that I spent a fair bit of time searching for this week.  As I read it, I became a little uncomfortable as I realized that she had left out ingredients, that were actually referred to in another part of the instructions.  The cake part is cooked and tested, seems okay, but has yet to be iced.

All of this was in an effort to test out the new mixer and can opener I acquired this week.  Very nice appliances. Both Cuisinart, and more expensive than I usually go.  What to do with the old ones?  Well, the can opener cost me $10 about 5 years ago.  Garbage.  The older hand mixer was also a good one, but has had a short in the cord just about since I got it, so no point in even sending it to the thrift store.  Garbage, again.

And it snows.  Deep, wet, heavy snow.  Several inches of it.  Just about the worst thing that could happen right now with pending floods  And it is much worse down South.  I seem to remember this happening in 1997, when they ended up calling it the "Flood of the Century".  Just saying!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday, the day of rest..

at least for me, if not for Rrain.  She is performing twice today at the music festival.  I am planning on going in for at least one of the performances, but right now I am not feeling very good.  And it is not because of the beer tasting last night.  All I had to drink was the one beer that the guys from the Farmery Brewery bought for the volunteers at the end of the evening.  I had put aside some of the open tasting bottles for us to taste as we cleaned up, but one over zealous worker emptied them all out while I was moving stuff.  Oh well.  The two breweries represented there donated so many prizes for draws.We weren't expecting anything so it was all a bonus.  I didn't win any of them, but there was a bar sign and a bottle opener left over that Lynne & Rrain gave me.  Rrain & Kathleen did such a good job on organizing this.  And it was fun.  The band even played for beer instead of money.  And I think all of them bought a ticket to attend, too.  I am just hoping that the left over beer doesn't freeze in the back of our truck.  It got pretty cold last night (Again!!) and we aren't taking it back until tomorrow.  There was less left than I expected, but we are still taking back quite a bit.  Since Jim and I worked all evening we never had a chance to use our tasting tickets so we each traded them in on a whole beer. I picked a Fort Garry Red Ale and I think Jim picked a Muskoka beer from the Farmery.  There sure are a lot of beers in the world.  My table had one called Old Engine Oil (and it looked like it)  It was a very thick porter.  We got our offers from Teranet on Friday (My new employer)  There was a $500.00 signing bonus in the offer so that was a nice surprise.  I am staying with them since there are really no other government jobs in Neepawa and I am not moving.  there is a good chance for a promotion right now since there was quite a "brain drain" of older employees choosing to retire.  Teranets vision has employees doing Provincial work from their own regional offices so I could get one of the (so called) Winnipeg jobs and stay in Neepawa.  We will see.   I have been up for over 5 hours and have done nothing but one load of laundry today.  Definitely a day of rest (my feet hurt!) Have a great week..

Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy birthday, Beth

And a special one it is.  I hope that during the frolicking and cavorting and general celebration, you can find a few minutes to yourself, just to sit and enjoy the day.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's hard to "think summer"----sigh

When the snow in the front yard is still shoulder height, and the backyard is waist height.  We are still wearing our parkas.

BUT--above zero temperatures are forecast for Saturday--and NO SNOW.  I walked over to the mall today to mail a letter, and it was great. I feel so much more invigorated.  I should do it more often, and maybe I can--on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hello out there.....

Just enjoyed another episode of Arrow - but the sequence of shows does not seem to follow consecutively. But at least this way, I get to see some past shows and this updates me on events and people? Wow, some weather eh? I have the snow shovel handy for this weekend but I have to be sure to bring in the sump pump so it doesn't freeze but then I may need it if it rains and the water accumulates ...and so it goes, never knowing what will happen. Took the income tax papers into the Accountant today - hoping not to have to pay too much this year. She indicates that next year will be better because I can claim as a senior and get additional credits haha  We worked in greenhouses this afternoon - things are growing very well. The next door neighbours who are moving yelled over and both Harry and I went and got a printer, and a wheelbarrow, and some vegetable baskets and an old hand meat grinder. They are moving in two weeks and already the house is full of boxes and they are trying to get rid of stuff because they asked if we wanted these things. We don't need a printer but have this one sitting on the front room floor right now - what to do with it? We had tea and cake at Aunt Evs yesterday - she had invited us to drop in while in North Bay - was a celebration for my birthday. She has to go for a gastric scope and possible esophageal dilatation next Tuesday so I volunteered to take her - she is grateful to have someone go with her. It may be a long day depending on how things go with the examination and treatment. I went to my doctors Monday to have the form signed to authorize payment for that one drug I told you about - she is so nice and pleasant and told me it is always good to see me especially since there was nothing wrong with me! I told you I was having trouble with the KOBO - screen freezing up so I have called them twice already and not getting much satisfaction. They were supposed to email me a form to complete to possibly get a new machine, or have this one fixed - only thrree months old but I do have warranty on it. I am starting to get annoyed and wonder if I am getting the brush off. I shall persist! So I am not reading right now although I have looked over my library of unread paperbacks and think I may just pick one out and get started with it. So have a nice rest of the week - downhill now to the weekend.... and lots of snow! How are you managing there, as I hear on the news the horrible weather you are experiencing right now. You are wise to send it east to me haha Take care

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Recruitment techniques

I guess if you are in a cult, you have already succeeded in recruitment - afterall, didn't you get me started with Arrow!  The problem with me watching though, is that most of the scenes are at night in the dark, and since I only use rabbit ears, the reception, at best, is snowy and fuzzy. So I often can't really see the whole picture and thus, the eye candy is also often a blur. I'm sure I would be amazed if I had clear reception - that's why I enjoyed watching both of your TVs when I was there. I also do not get curling - did I tell you this before? so I log onto to the website to see the results. But I am sure that something about it will be on the CBC radio news since it is the gold medal game tonight and Team Canada from Sault Ste Marie is playing - just started an hour ago so there actually may be some score already.Rain rain and more rain today - our yard is looking like a mud pile in places and the old sump pump was set up outside again. Tomorrow I go to the Doctor for her to sign one little form to allow me to get one little drug paid by the province. It probably will end up that the province will pay her more money for this visit than a years supply of pills would cost! At the flea market yesterday I bought a hand made dark brown coloured macrame evening purse for 2.00 - my intention is to attempt to bead it with decorative embellishments - from a pattern in one of those new Beading books I bought. I`m all excited to try it but apparently I first must gain access to my stash of beads - they are in my studio - I just have to locate them. I even have a nice little three drawer container in which to place the beads I chose to use. Also tomorrow I shall make a loaf of bread in one of our bread makers to ensure it works OK and then we shall take it to Mike. They have a bread maker but Mike says her loaves come out small and hard. Since we know this particular brand of bread maker of ours works really well, we will give it to him. So out of the five Harry bought we will only have two left since he gave one each to his brother and sister, and now one to Mike. Ah.....
Well, bed time, and no reading as my KOBO is non functional. Thats another story for another time.Take care

Thinking of summer

Yesterday morning was wonderful.  It was damp and somewhat misty.  You know,- not rain, or wet mist, but rather the soft gentle ephemeral atmosphere that makes you think of Celtic legends and fairies.

We went to Walmart, and walking in the door there was a display of sandcastle making tools.  I have never seen anything like this before.  They were plastic and mainly containers/molds ( buckets) that were shaped like walls and turrets etc. There were also shovels that had shaping blades.  What a neat idea!

Today I was out to Selkirk to the opening reception of my friend Val's one-woman fibre art show.  I know how hard she has been working on this, and was pleased to see a variety of pieces using a variety of techniques.  Very nicely put together. (Cathy and Keri--this is the lady who made the ladybug piece in the From Away show)  The added bonus was that I knew most of the people who were there, and was able to touch base with several acquaintances, and even some friends.  As a result, when Dianne comes over tomorrow, another friend, Trina, will be joining us.  Dianne plans to come around 11:00. We will spend the afternoon together, have supper, and then head to Ft. Garry for our monthly Ravenesque meeting. Trina has offered to drive me and bring me home.    I told Dianne that if she was going to be here for lunch, I would feed her home made tomato /lentil soup and she promptly said she would bring a sandwich.  So now I am feeding all of us supper, but have a menu planned that meets with everyone's approval.

Just before I left the reception in Selkirk, there was a group of us talking about "Arrow".  I had no idea so many local ladies watch the show, but we all agreed it wasn't because of the acting, but rather the eye candy.  It seems that I have joined a "cult".

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I was NOT the winner....

Someone took home the $40 M last night but it was not us. Alas, back to the drawing board.
And we all sound as if we are fed up with this weather so lets focus on Summer rather than Spring and maybe things will change? I am using a new keyboard and cordless mouse that was purchased yesterday and it is surprising how even a slight change in keyboard can set you off a bit. I know keyboards are supposed to be essentially the same, but still feels different and therefore a few mistakes are made. I was amazed with viewing your Mouse Factory blog Patty and sat looking at the closeups with my jaw dropping. By coincidence, the other day in Value Village I purchased two small books Decorative Beading and Beading For The First Time. There is a sample of a bookmark using peyote stitch with instructions and I think I could tackle this to start. I have all sorts of beads and I did do this stitch at Quilt Canada in Ottawa years ago. I will never challenge your expertise with beading, but I can pretend I can do some little things to appease my desires.haha We got to the Sewing Centre yesterday and I had the machine done. The needle threader was off and he fixed that ( I knew this and told him before he started so he was willing to have a look and straighten it if he could) He also said there was a lot of red fluff deep inside - this would be from the nine square quilt I did with red thread. I was able to clean out a bit inside the bobbin area at the time but I guess it had accumulated inside as well. Overall very pleased with process even if my machine was in very good condition without too much use. Maybe I should change that, and try to get back at it??? It got especially cold last night so I will have to check inside the greenhouses sooner than later today - the electric heaters keep them above freezing but not much higher - early this morning both were reading around 40 degrees F on the thermometers I have hanging inside the window but that doesn't always tell the real story for all the shelves and condition of some plants not directly in line for heat from the heaters. When I look at the yard with piles of snow and ice I wonder if we will ever get the ground ready to plant these things. Anyway, I have a coffe beside me and a toasted tomato sandwich for my breakfast and will get ready to start another day. Have a nice weekend, Take care

Friday, April 5, 2013

snow & freezing rain.....

hmmm.  In the words of Gomer Pyle "surprise surprise surprise"  What else could we expect.  Actually it isn't as bad as they forecast (so far)  I think most of it must have stayed south of us. Busy day at work and then to top it off once again we won nothing at meat draw.  I have a meeting Sunday so I have to get everything done tomorrow.  It wouldn't be bad if I hadn't thought the meeting was next week and saved up all sorts of house stuff for this weekend.  Good excuse to do nothing.  I really have to go shopping tomorrow.  We have some dried and canned stuff but I am right out of fresh things.  I want to convince Jim to make a big batch of spagetti sauce for Sunday.  That way I won't have to get anything ready when I get home from my meeting   Next Saturday, besides being Beth's birthday, is the beer tasting.  They have ordered some really wild brands.  Nothing national... all smaller brewerys.    Next week I have to move into Mallorie's office.  My area is large with 3 windows.  Hers is very cramped with 1/2 a window.  I talked to the facilities manager and he put in a work order to remove the window air conditioner and replace the opening window.  That may make the room seem less like a cell.  The furniture is large and fills the space.  there is also a lot a garbage in it to be sorted.  As if I will have time.  I had hoped by acting status would be reflected on my pay cheque this week but it wasn't.  I guess the longer it takes the more back pay I get. (I hope!!!)  It is early, (9:38) but I was up at 5am, so I am getting kind of tired.  Jim is asleep on the couch beside me.  He has taken to sleeping for a couple of hours every evening and then being up until 2am!  It is my bedtime by 10pm.  And speaking of that.... I am off (with my book) 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Getting old......

is boring!  Quiet times. David has been sleeping a lot, but less and less as time passes.  Our doctor agreed with the diagnosis of food poisoning, but darned if we can figure out what it might have been.  David is proceeding very, very carefully with any foods, and all quite, quite bland. Can't say I blame him.

The fellow did pick up his wall hanging yesterday, and the cheque is in the bank.  Now I have room to hang one of the new ones. Tomorrow I plan to take some pictures of them for the other blog.  For some reason, I seem to have bit more energy these days. Could the black stockings do that?  Or maybe it is anticipation of spring.  I, too, was out fighting the wind today, in my parka.  I've also been looking around and thinking that the house is looking a bit "dated".  Not that we can afford much.  Maybe it would look better if I just washed the walls?  Like that's going to happen!!  But I do know that it's time to re-paper the bathroom, so maybe I can deal with my unnatural urges by looking through wallpaper books?  And my towels are getting ratty. I would have done something about that,but I can't seem to find the colours I want, and having the "wrong" colours would make me crazy.  We are also talking about new bedding, maybe deep burgundy, this time.  It's always nice to have dreams, even if they never quite come true.  And yes, I have lottery tickets for the weekend.

 I have been reading books by Peter James about a British detective named Roy Grace. There is quite a series of them, with some interesting twists. But nothing planned for the next few days.  Maybe I'll manage to get into the studio.  If that happens, I will be grateful

Thursday already?

Week has gone quickly but certainly not because one is having fun as the expression goes? I pretty much have given up on spring and nice weather - no sense in fighting it - winter will be here for a few more months I guess.... haha. Apparently the weekend promises to bring more snow. I walked downtown to check the mail this afternoon and the wind was so strong I feared of being blown away. Can you imagine bundled up with winter jacket and scarf and hood closed tight around the face and still being cold and miserable? But we did receive a DVD of Daniel O'Donnell that we ordered  so I had a chance to sit this afternoon and watch a bit of it. Of course I was marking coins for Harry while viewing the musical! Tomorrow we head for North Bay early as I have the first appointment for servicing my sewing machine Friday morning at 9 am. The Home/Shop is on the other side of the Airport east of North Bay so hope I can find the place. I contacted the business on Tuesday - she had been leaving messages at someone's place for a few weeks and had not heard back from me - wonder why? I also wonder who was receivng her phone messages and getting a bit annoyed? She had a wrong phone number to contact me apparently. I don't expect any problems with the machine but a good cleaning and servicing will be most welcome. I looked at the receipt and it was bought on April 9, 2005 - that's exactly 8 years ago. Patty will be having a fit hearing this but there aren't really that many miles on my machine either. I do thank you Patty for encouraging me to proceed with this servicing though as I know I will be glad I did. Hope all is OK with you both, and thinking of you as we approach another weekend Also hoping that Lotto Max will come our way tomorrow - I got two numbers on the Encore for last nights 649 draw - that's five dollars !! Things are looking good........ Take care

Monday, April 1, 2013

What a weekend

Sorry to hear about Dave.  Puts everything into perspective doesn't it?  Our dog Nika was sick this weekend.  We thought she might have had a stroke on Saturday night.  We took her to the vets today and she says Nika had a seizure and not a stroke.  She says that she has a brain tumor.  They could do an MRI and biopsy but at her age is would be mean to do it to her.  Nika is on prednisone now, which may reduce the size of the tumor, but will most likely just help her deal with the seizures.  It could be days or months, but the vet did tell me what to look for for signs that she is getting worse or is in pain.  Meanwhile she is happy, but has poor balance, poor eyesight, tilted head, confusion, yada yada yada, but she knows us now.  (on saturday she was so confused she didn't know who we were or where she was).  Why do we have pets?!?   It is really cold here now. Hard to believe they were in the fields by mid-march last year.  There is soooo much snow and there is more forecast this week.   We have a beer tasting here in a couple of weeks.  I think it will be fun to try some different beers without having to buy a whole bottle.  I have to be one of the servers but hopefully we will have enough that I will only have to work one shift.  IF not, oh well.  That will teach me to get my servers permit. I think I am busy every weekend this month.  Keeps me out of trouble.  (oh darn)     Hope the snow stops for you, Beth and that Dave feels better real soon.  It's April.  The weather has to warm up soon!

Always the unexpected creeps us on us

and I am sorry that Dave is unwell, with just cause to head for help in emergency by the sounds of it. I am wishing you both good health very soon. As the one standing around in the Emerg ( I know as I've been there recently).it is especially unsettling as we really have no role or influence on outcome. On a happier note, I am pleased that the man from Pinawa has resurfaced after such a long time, and that you will sell the piece and have him take it away. All of Sunday I was thinking of you and Diane having a few good laughs in the studio, and little did I know what you were really doing.
I cannot describe to you how I felt today as the snow fell and the temperatuires dropped.I thought it was maybe an April Fools joke when I could not see out the front window because the snow was falling so heavily with brisk winds whipping it all around. Still a bit of snow falling as I write this but nothing like today. I did get a bit of housework done though, and sorted through the paperwork and bills piling up and got that sorted for tomorrow.s trip to North Bay and the bank. I even organized our Income Tax paperwork and will probably take them into the Accountant this week - usually no hurry as |I always have to pay so wait until towards end of April. So perhaps it was a productive day afterall. Take care

Best laid plans etc

David wasn't feeling well Saturday afternoon and by bed time was very sick, throwing up etc ( all of the etc's).  He declined help and decided to sleeping the spare room, but I had barely got into bed when he came out and suggested that he needed help.  So off to emergency, where we were resigned to a long wait. (Saturday night of a long weekend, in emergency--what a zoo!!)  But, for future reference, passing out in the waiting room moves you up the triage list quickly.  He was a pretty sick boy.  No firm diagnosis, but suspected food poisoning and severe dehydration.  The doctor didn't want him left alone, and I was allowed into keep an eye on him.  So we were both there all night. He dozed a bit, while they were pumping fluid into him through both arms, but I didn't.   I called Dianne at 7:30 Sunday morning, from the parking lot and we agreed to re-schedule--don't know when, but probably next Monday, when she will be coming to town anyway.  We got home and slept for most of the day.  He's still not doing that well, still sleeping a lot, but has a doctor's appointment for tomorrow.

Had an unexpected phone call today from the fellow who bought my big piece, "Inua: Spirit in the Wind", in Pinawa last July.  He asked if he could come by on Wednesday, to pay for it, and pick it up.  Surprise!  I had totally given up on that.  Mind you, I had envisioned all sorts of cruel fates for him, for not following up and causing me to lose two other valid sales.  And I was darn sure that it wouldn't appear at the sale this year.  So a pleasant event, and I'm very grateful that I didn't say anything that I might have now regretted.  Now let's hope he actually shows up.