Monday, March 31, 2014

absolutely wonderful

I've bookmarked it and plan to forward it to friends.


I hope this link works for you.  Keep your volume up!

Nothing on the calendar this week

At least there wasn't when we got up.  And I was seeing a whole wee to spend in the studio.  Well it was nice the think about.  We now have shopping trips, appointments to welcome my rug home and get the baseboards back on the basement, and an appointment to sort out some money for the local art group ( I have it and the treasurer needs it, which means that I go over to her house on Bartlett).

I have been feeling better since we got home from Cuba, and am actually managing to spend some time in the studio.  We are also getting some power cooking done.  Did up three meals of Daddy's ribs in the slow cooker on Saturday, and today have my biggest slow cooker absolutely full of tomato meat sauce for spaghetti and lasagne.  My middle size slow cooker is full of chili, and there was enough hamburger left over for a meat loaf for supper--something we haven't had in ages.  Saturday night I cooked hamburger hash for supper--or as the Scottish side of the family calls it--mince--again something we haven't had in ages.  Neither of us enjoyed it, I think because I no longer use Seasoned Salt, which was my mainstay of seasonings.  Without salt it was flat and unappetizing.  Scratch that from my list of "go to" recipes.

I've been trying to think  of what other parts of our trip I can tell you about.  I think I mentioned that one day we went for a ride in a horse-drawn cart.  We asked the fellow in charge of the entrance portico, and he called -by phone-to get us a cart.  "Twenty minutes" he says.  Well we sat by the entrance for over an hour watching all of the comings and goings, quite enjoying ourselves--constant activity.  Finally our cart arrived pulled by a decrepit looking horse, and driven by Hector, who spoke very little English.  The ride was to the nearest town and supposed to take an hour and a half.  This was along the highway with cars and buses roaring past us.  The area was hilly and the views were wonderful.  We saw fruit plantations, cattle, many goats,and a number of different horses in fields.  I was quite taken by the difference in the appearance of the horses.  Some looked healthy and well taken care of, and some didn't.  The other thing I frequently saw was hens with chicks, along the edge of the road.  

The town was small, but contained a number of apartment buildings.  These all had many balconies and every balcony was a different pastel colour.  We had timed our trip for when the children appeared to be getting out of school--all in their uniforms. Other parts of the town were obviously poorer.  The signs of poverty were heart rending, mainly the houses, which made me think of the old shed at the lake, small dark, unpainted, and falling down.  But every house appeared to have a small vegetable garden. Where ever we saw people, they were well dressed.  Obviously appearance is important.

We were both upset at the horse drawing our cart.  He appeared underfed, and frightened.  Hector was quick to use a whip, and there were often hills that were just too much for the horse, with Hector getting down from the cart and pulling it along.  At one point there was a trail along the edge of the road on an uphill portion, where sand and gravel had been laid down to provide better traction for the horses.  ( There were quite a number of carts taking tourists around)  We declined an offer to take us to a "mini-zoo", and our ride was a little shorter than the 1 1/2 hours, but I'm glad we went, for the scenery if nothing else.  But I have to say that the time we spent waiting for the cart, and watching all of the buses and taxis--most of them vintage American cars, very well restored.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Oh no, I wanted more.......

I loved my little escape with you. And having the map really did make all the difference- good idea. So if you wanted to send more, I wouldn't mind at all!
I am trying to get used to yet another new keyboard that Harry bought. It is weird. Called Kleen Keys it is very flat and made of rubber and you can apparently put it in water to wash. But the strange sensation of typing is foreign right now - I guess until I use it more and become more familiar. The space bar is just a little square at the bottom and I keep missing it.
Today I uncovered my sewing machine -against all odds! But I am determined to do some sewing. I had cut out some pieces to sew into a block a long time ago and found them too, so if all goes well  perhaps tomorrow I  may have time. Last night I captured the computer and enjoyed about 1 1/2 hours of The Quilt Show. I was behind in watching the current show so viewed that with Tula Pink's creations and fabric lines, and then saw a few shorter segments that were on the Daily Blog. It was refreshing. I just went to the Grocery store and bought ingredients to make home made Subs which are now eaten. Nice and fresh tasting. Sometimes when we are in North Bay we will buy Subs at Mr Sub. And often I don't really enjoy them. My daily inspirational saying today was rather good so thought I'd share with you both:  Trouble, like a washing machine, twist us and knock us around, but in the end we come out brighter and better than before.
So back to reality, dishes and feeding the animals before time for bed. Saturday night and Vinyl Tap with Randy Bachman on CBC - always look forward to this. Thanks for the little adventure in Cuba Pati. I really liked to see it all. Take care.

Okay, let's go--

Let's start at the bottom, south end, of the map. You can see a circular road that touches the building just to the left of the Lobby bar.  Where it touches the building is the formal entrance portico.  The portico can fit 1 2/2 tour buses end for end, or two side by side., just in the little space where the grey of the corridor meets the road.  In the last Cuba post I showed a cart being charged.  That was to the right of the entrance.  What appears to be a circular drive, was actually where the road goes around a fairly steep hill.  This is the hill we had to coast down when our cart ran out of juice.

This is the lobby bar.  The fountain you see, on the right, was taller than I am, and actually flowed during the evening.  The entrance is to the right of this picture, so we are moving along the corridor between the lobby bar and the actual reception area, which also contained two different travel/tour agencies, the bank, and washrooms.  I don't have a picture, but over the lobby was a second story. In any of the other areas where you see windows, such as the lobby bar, they are only openings in the walls to provide light. The picture below was taken around noon, but as you can see, the lighting was very subdued during the day, so as to moderate the heat.

This shows facing South along the corridor between the lobby bar and the lobby, from the intersection marked with an "X" on your map.  This also shows the balcony off the second story above the reception area.  I hope this gives you and idea of how long the actual corridor is, so you can compare it to the corridor to the buffet, which is to the left of the "X" on your map.  The picture below is that corridor, again facing South, from about 1/2 of the way between the buffet and the corner by #8 on you map.  Number 8 is no longer a reservation desk but rather a Cigar Bar, which was quite busy in the evenings.

To the right of this corridor was "The Square"  This was often the site of evening shows and where we saw the wonderful flamenco dancers, but so hot and sunny that we avoided it during the day.  Below is the only picture I have of The Square, and doesn't show much except the  constructions that appeared to have no obvious purpose. This was taken from the same corridor but just outside the buffet

The next three pictures show "the Patio".  this is a huge area of pathways and landscaped areas.  Just to the right of the buffet, on your map, it is shown as a big blank area.

 Below is looking from the buffet toward the 24 hour Snack Bar, on the left, and the portico leading from the Theatre to the Snack Bar on the right.I don't have a picture of the Theatre, but it was covered but open air and quite large, easily holding 500 people or more.
 I 'm not sure what this is below, but believe that it shows the buffet, from the patio.
Finally, to provide scale here is the Store, which is shown on the patio on your map directly North of the "X" I drew.

In my last Cuba post I mentioned how pleased we were when the driver/porter told us to go to the Snack Bar instead of the Lobby when we came for meals, as it was a much shorter distance to walk across the Patio, than through the corridors between the Lobby and the Buffet.  We also discovered that we could stop for Happy Hour, at the Snack Bar on our way to meals (any meal, had we wanted)

Enough,  I hope the map helped, and that I haven't bored you to tears.  I promise--no more!


Yes, I received the map yesterday and had a good look. I have it at the ready for when you start to give us details. Busy yesterday with water patrol around the house. Mild with rain so I had to do the roof again, and then do extra chipping and shovelling all around. Today will be mild but overcast so maybe a bit of an ease in my work?  You folks have a nice weekend. I listened to interviews with some of the stars coming this weekend to the Junos to Winnipeg including Randy Bachman who along with BTO members will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. By coincidence, Harry bought me a copy of Randy's lasted book "Beyond the Tap' with more of his stories. Haven't read it but looked at snippets so far. Take care

I lost this message so maybe I have luck to retrieve and send?

Lost it

Friday, March 28, 2014


I did.  It looks like you had a really great spot for your stay!  Close to the ocean and the pools.  I had a hot bath and now that it is dark I am heading for bed.  I plan to read for a while but if sleep overtakes me I am not going to fight it.  Have a wonderful weekend

Have either of you received your map yet?


Thanks for letting me vent.  It isn't really bad, just right now is chaos.  I worked 8:15 to 5:20 today with no coffee breaks or lunch.  There is no email on the accounting computer, but Winnipeg was sending out emails every few minutes.  Back and forth all day.  Then our phones started to act up and we could only answer the phone that was ringing.  We couldn't pick it up from the phone we were at.  AND, of course, I got an alarm call at midnight last night and had to go to the office.  At least all these things are happening at once and everything should be easy and quiet by next week.  Tomorrow I go in at 9am and work until I am done, but it shouldn't be more than a couple of hours.  I think a nice hot bath is in order right now.... I just wish it was a hot tub and not just a bath tub.

My two cents.....

Thanks Pati for expressing so wonderfully those helpful and supportive thoughts. We are with you Cathy no matter what and especially now with this "chaos" coming to the fore as the transition begins in earnest. Please write as you wish because it is received in a like manner of honesty, support and with the greatest of love. XXX

Hm-m-m? May you live in interesting times. Curse or blessing?

This is obviously a difficult time for you.  I can see the gov't at work when , after months of preparation, the end result is chaos.  Can we provide a forum to vent, and stamp your feet?  Don't cut us off--we may be the only people on your side.

This is the time to make sure you take care of yourself.  Have you any stress reduction strategies you can beef up?  Shall I send my stress reduction cd up on the bus?  Not a joke!!  I find using the right music as background goes a long way  in modifying my mood.  Is there any way you could subtly introduce some aromatherapy into the office.  Lavender and Oil of Begamot worked for me.  Just remember that if you can smell it, you have used too much.  If not in the office, could you use a bit in the car on the way home, so as to create a bit of transition period and not take the stress into you home/sanctuary?  Does Keri have any herbal teas that you could use?  I find Tension Tamer wonderful--so wonderful that I use it sparingly.  How about one minute of deep breathing and relaxation every hour?

I assume that the next little while will prove a testing ground for all employees.  Not easy to deal with.  Have you tried to develop a strategy to deal with "worst case scenario".  If bad comes to worse, how will you deal with it?  If you have played "what if---", knowing that you have a plan can go a long way toward making the situation bearable.

Maybe I'm making things worse, and I apologize if that is so, but remember that we're on your side.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Maplewood catus

I don't have one, but that is probably for the best since I tend to destroy things I care about.  This is transition weekend at work.  i will probably not be saying much for a while.  Overtime tomorrow and I work again on Saturday.  Monday is in between Government and Teranet.  Half my work is for one and 1/2 for the other.  I just have to try to remember which is which.  Despite a directive that no one was to take holidays this week, both Elizabeth & Shirley are off tomorrow and Elizabeth is off Monday.  Sandy,our casual was told she is renewed for six months.  Shirley, who has a term is confirmed to the end of June.  I got a letter extending my acting status to March 31, 2014.  Hmmmmmm  I wonder what I am doing on Tuesday.  I know I am whining... I am just a little burned out this week, plus I have a cold.  Poor me! But, I will be glad when this transition is over.  I think every second email I get is.... "Oh, and your need to do this when............. yadda yadda yadda.  I recognize that all the managers in Wpg and burning out too.  I spoke to Evelyn today (I had to email her b/c her instructions made no sense what so ever)  She called to explain and then they made sense.  What she meant was nothing like what she said.  She admitted that she doesn't think things are going to work out like expected ... we will wait and see.  I know I am bitching.   Give me some time to get through all this and I will be much better......I will talk again in a few days

A bud you say--

I remember how excited we got with the first bud on our cactus.  It can take awhile to open. 

When we got home we discovered that the bud on our orchid had opened.  That one had been growing for a couple of months, and now there is a second one starting to show growth.  I have spotted 17 other sites where there may be a potential bud.  We are just hoping that the drop in humidity with the big humidifier in the basement hasn't harmed it.

Grocery shopping today.  We haven't been since we got home, and neither of us is looking forward to it.  I watched Arrow last night, and it just keeps getting sillier.  Last night there were three "heroes" and one super villain running around.  but it filled the time.  Tonight I want to catch the debut of Surviving Jack on CTV.  Good reviews.

Buds on my Maplewood cactus

This is the exciting news for this morning. I placed the cactus closer to the window as a light source some time ago and just like Pati suggested, it worked. I see at least one bud and hopefully more to come. I consider this cactus like my baby and have nurtured it for years now with good results after years of nothing. Sorting through basement stuff yet and finding all sorts of treasures. yesterday it was all the bags of saved baby articles - clothes, first shoes, blankets, etc and some articles that you made Pati like a quilt, bib embroidered, and a nightie. Several sweater sets that I knit and also Harry's Mother did. What do you do with it all? The small room in the basement is starting to clear and yesterday I envisioned a sewing room or a "studio" could actually be a possibility! Maybe things are looking up? Anyway, morning has broken, and the day begins with my nice coffee which I look forward to each morning. Take care

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

So mail is coming my way.....

... I have something to look forward to. And oh how I love "maps". I poured over the pictures you have already sent and got myself understanding the little area of the water bar pretty well haha Thanks for sharing your fun. In meantime, life goes on here and seems something akin to Groundhog Day as each day seems to be the same. More snow and cold, more greenhouse keeping and plant keeping, and more trying to finish that knitted throw. Ain't life grand? I made a most delicious beef stew yesterday in the slow cooker. I am so glad that you folks have encouraged me to try the crock pot more often - I always felt that it was too much trouble to bring it up from basement, and get it going but now I realize what an ease it is! I have a few good cook books dedicated to Slow Cooking and although I don't follow the exact recipe, it does guide me nicely. The other aspect that I like is that I am going into the freezer and starting to use up food from there. Nice to see the space diminishing a bit and making use of food already available. On with the day...take care

Monday, March 24, 2014

my plan

I want to post some more pictures, of Cuba, but realized that what I most want to convey to you is how huge this place really was.  I am going to mail each of you a copy of the site map we were given when we checked in ( at 4:30 am, mind you).  I hope that with the map, the pictures will make more sense.

The final assessor was here this morning.  Things have gone very well, and it looks like they will not be replacing the floor in the basement, nor will they be fixing the china cabinet.  It is a little distressing to think that we will be loosing our "no claim" deductions on the house insurance, but it is only for three years. In my opinion, if was almost worth it to not have to deal with the mess ourselves.Just the rental of the fans and humidifier will take most of the deductible, and we still have the two rugs they are dealing with.  I wouldn't have had a clue how to deal with the good one, and the other one ( a remnant bought to keep at the back door) would probably have just been thrown out.  We can't do much more right now, until they replace all of the baseboards that were taken off, so the studio remains chaos.

Over the weekend, I attended a two day painting/colour class.  I left feeling less satisfied with myself, and realize that, if ever I have to give up sewing, the painting will not make an acceptable replacement. 

This week there is another large quilt show At the CanadInn Polo Park.  I have saved a big portion of the money I made last fall, so that I can go and buy supplies from some of the vendors--especially thread.  Th company in Dundas where I mail order my specialty threads will have a booth, and I will actually be able to see the colours of what I buy.  To be able to shop, I am going to try to rent an electric scooter for the weekend.  so today will be spent exploring that option. 

Good Morning

The start of the last full week of March begins - should be nicer outside but what can we do?? Last night went down to almost minus 30. I quickly walked past the greenhouses on my early walk with dog - I can't see the inside thermometers through the windows because I have them covered and also because the ice coats the inside of the window - not usually a good sign! Have to wait until it gets lighter and hopefully the sun will shine and warm them up. I had to go to the storage shed yesterday to get more of the cover up blankets because the ones I had were so frozen they were stiff I couldn't cover very well with them that way. Ugh!
Yesterday I had a craving for comfort so made Mom's banana cake and even added maple flavour icing. I used up some ripe bananas and also satisfied my urge. Also made an apple pie and it was especially good this time - so much better than a store bought one. I also made some meat sauce and had spaghetti for supper. So you can see I was really in need of comfort food haha
Have confirmed dates with friends for luncheons and so this gives me something to look forward to and also an excuse to get my hair cut. Will go on April 23 to meet friend Sue in Huntsville for just the two of us as the tradition really started, and then on Sat June 21 there will be five of us meeting in Huntsville again. The extra person is another of the old gang who I haven't seen for years. It will be nice to get together and enjoy their company and conversation. It has to be a Sat because she is the only one of us who still is working.
So, have another good week. Hopefully it will be without any major issues for us all. If only we could wiggle our nose and dispense with the snow. Don't know where all the snow and melt is to go when it finally starts to melt away. I guess that is for us to wonder and worry? haha Take care

Saturday, March 22, 2014

All beered out

The VCC beer tasting was last night.  We sold out, which is great, but we only had 80 tickets.  Lotsa of beer went, and it was a different crowd from last year.  Swamp Gas played for beer again, but most of the guys bought tickets to support us.  Wonderful music.  They had me at the Guinness table (big mistake!)  I had Guinness, Guiness Black, Harp,Kilkenny, A cream beer (also by Guiness but I can't remember the name) and Innis & Gunn.  I sold out of all but 2 cans of Kilkenny & 2 cans of harp, and some of the Guinness Black.  I hope they made money, 'cause my feet were/are sooo sore. Jim played spoiler and had the badk annonuce that Canada won the 1/2 draw at the Worlds.... You could hear a mixture of Yeahs! and Oh No!  I was taping it!  One more week until I "officially" no longer work for the Government.  It is getting a bit hectic as the "Powers that Be"  realize things they hadn't thought of.  I got a letter yesterday.. They extended my acting status at work until Mar 31, 2014.  Yippee!  I have a job for another week!   Overtime next Friday and Saturday as we get everything switched over for Monday Morning. I am on the accounting end in Neepawa, so I have to make sure the programs and Visa machines etc are working.  I also have custody of the gifts that Teranet is giving all the new employees.  I wonder if they will be as nice when we are totally under their control.   I guess it is time to draw up my shopping list and head out again.  I have a meeting on Sunday that I am supposed to take the lunch to, so I better have something to feed them.  Have a great week.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Always something positive in any situation?

....Like drying clothes faster haha....good to hear from you again. What a shock for your return adventures. You should have lots of hot water now. When our tank went I should have noticed the pending problem because I didn't have enough hot water. Now it is quite nice to be able to wash cloths and do dishes at same time! Enjoyed seeing your pictures but it was a quick look and hope today to spend more timing viewing. We are having more snow (as I supposed we all are) so busy with cleanup and greenhouse maintenance. In meantime still trying to finish that knitted throw with all the little squares. Have it constructed now and crocheting a border now. Another trip to Midland Auction pending in next few weeks so have stuff ready to package up, Right now it is Hockey Cards - Harry has many many binders full now - we made a quick trip to Huntsville the other day in the snow to buy more inserts to put the cards in but they sell better when displayed this way rather than just in boxes.  Well, the day begins again so better sign off for now. Hope your day goes well Pati and soon your issues resolved to where you can get a bit organized. And Cathy hope your week was restful - I know you had to work - was it yesterday? but enjoy the weekend and your planned social activities best you can. Take care

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Odd thought

It is surprising how quickly "hang to dry" and "dry flat" clothing actually dries when you have three industrial fans and an industrial dehumidifier in the area.  The plumbing  people came and fixed the leaky water meter.  No charge.

Basement up-date

The restoration company has been and set up fans and dehumidifiers in the basement.  My formerly beautiful rug is off to be dried and professionally cleaned.  The basement is total chaos.  They will be coming back on Monday to check for the extent of the damage.  The biggest worry appears to be whether the water has seeped under the linoleum.  If so, the floor in the larger part of the basement may have to be totally replaced.  The cabinet under my hutch, where I keep all of the crystal you sent us from Europe, Beth, is damaged and will need repair.  David bought both pieces and finished them himself, specially to hold that crystal, many, many years ago. 
After they replaced the hot water tank, and turned the water back on, the connections between the water meter, and the water system developed a significant leak.  I called the city, and was told that it was our problem--quite nicely, of course. the restoration fellow suggested that we call the company that installed the water heater, as this is sometimes associated with the installation process.  So they will be out this afternoon.
And now I get to start the laundry.

My week in Cuba

Everything turned out better than I really expected.  In the warmer weather I found myself able to function better--not well--but better.  We both took a hint from Beth's philosophy of looking for the small pleasures, rather than expecting impossible things.

We started out in a second floor room with many stairs, but on the second day, the travel agency rep offered to have our room changed.  We were moved from the second floor in a quiet corner of the resort, to a main floor room in the middle of everything.  However, the lights didn't work, and the key cards didn't work, so we were treated to a parade of workmen, few of whom spoke much English.  but within a day, everything was done.  We found out that key cards require batteries that have to be changed periodically, as do the batteries in tv remotes.  More than one part of the lights was out, and they had to get into the wiring, so that meant an electrician.  Everything could have been fixed the first day but when the electrician knocked on the door half an hour after we went to bed, we asked him to come back the next day.

Our room really was in the middle of everything including the entertainment pool where there was something going on all day, 
Below is the view from our entrance way.  Each room runs across the whole building with an entrance on one side and a  sitting balcony on the other. The red-roofed structure in the first picture is the Aqua Bar.  In the next picture, it appears again on the left side of the second picture. Then the tree in the last two pictures is the same, so you end up with a bit of a panorama.

The Aqua bar and attached pool was where we did most of our swimming. 
This is a view of the bar from the center of the pool. the white rail fence you see to the left of the bar is at the top of a waterfall into the next pool, which is very shallow and mainly used as a kiddie pool.

"Hola!" from Cuba.  there are actually ceramic tile covered bar stools under the water for patrons to sit on.

 This is me in the center, from the "dry" side of the bar.
Here is David in the middle of the pool, taken from where I was sitting at the bar.  Behind him you get a good view of the waterfall into the pool. Actually, the water system in each of the pool is self contained and re-cycled, but the plumbing is well hidden and disguised as "rocks". You can also see one of the flights of stairs going up the hill behind him.
As the pools descend, there is a flight of stairs on either side.  David ended up having to walk up them one day,but I avoided them like the plague.  The bottom of the cascading pools is just above the beach, and at the kiddie pool below the one with the Aqua Bar, But the two are really closely attached, almost on top of one another.

I didn't get to swim in the ocean, although David went one day to look around.  There is a reef aways out, and between the beach and the reef the water is quite shallow.  Ideal for families, but not good for me., There was a beach bar, and food stand. One day, David suggested that we get a hot dog from the beach bar for lunch.  We had to get a cart to take us there, and when we told the fellow what we wanted to do, asking him to wait while David fetched the hot dog, he drove as far onto the beach as he could.  While we waited, he was telling me that he and his family live quite close to the beach and often have an early supper , then spend the early evening at the beach.  After eating our hot dog, he took us back to the main reception area, where we went to the buffet for ice cream and fruit for lunch. Some odd looks from the serving staff there!

The Porters, who also drove the little carts, were the people we interacted with the most.  Some of the carts had three passenger seats and some two.  All but one of them were battery powered, and keeping the batteries charged appeared to be challenge, perhaps because the terrain was so hilly.  Often they would not use power on down hill sections.  One time the cart ran our of power, going up the hill on our way away from the main reception area, and we came back down the hill via gravity.
This cart is having its battery charged.  Behind it is the lobby bar, and the whole reception and lobby area was open air, although with a sturdy roof.

This is getting very long, and I'll post some more later.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Safely home

But art this point we have been up for well over 24 hours, so it's shower, sleep and maybe wake up in time to worry about supper.  Pictures and adventures to follow once I get my brain in gear.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sounds like a good plan.....

Glad you are being sensible and going to enjoy your time off.  There is a warning out for pending winter storm with 10 cm snow and freezing rain tomorrow and into the night. Something to look forward to???
My friend Sue sent out a request to the other girls and I to set a date for our Spring Luncheon together. So perhaps there is some light at the end of this long horrible Winter and I can look forward to the Annual time out with friends.
Here's to Pati and Dave who will be returning late tonight ( early tomorrow) after a glorious week in the sun. Can hardly wait to hear the highlights - welcome home.
Time for me to open the greenhouses and do some watering.  Take care

Best laid plans

I had decided to work on my upstairs, cleaning and tidying, this week.  Then, Jim decided he wanted to move the old, downstairs, microwave.  4 hours later the entire bar was re-arranged.  AND the microwave is plugged in and working...  I will probably have to be back at work by Thursday, so I think I will relax a bit today and putter rather than work.. I need to get one fun day in.Our rehearsal for Whitemud was cancelled last night.  Margaret ended up in the hospital. They think the start of it was a clot in her lung.  Last I heard she was resting and waiting to be sent to Brandon for an MRI.  We figured Margaret and her husband gone the rest of us would be too worried to concentrate on doing a good job.  Now, of course, next week Jim can't make it and the next week Ron will be gone.  Good thing we are doing a radio play and have no definite deadline for completion.   I cheated last night and had a Delisio rising crust pizza for supper. (3 for $10)  It was surprisingly good.  I might go back and pick up a couple more if they are still on sale.  Quick and easy when you don't feel like doing much.   Tonight we eat out of the freezer.  I know I have soup and stew and chili and lasagne down there.  I just need to pick one.  I also have a ham bone in there.  I just don't know what to do with it ( I detest pea soup)  All the clothes I gathered up on Sunday are gone.. out of the house.. never to be claimed again.  I really liked some of them,but they were do they say it.... 30 pounds ago!  :)  Our new windows will be delayed arriving..... the snow is still too deep to get near them.  It means our hydro bill will go up a lot for 5 years,(to pay for them)  but in the long run it will help.  The one in our bedroom really leaks air and is covered in frost most days.  The seal in the living room is gone, so you view the world through  a foggy haze, and the kitchen window has to be hammered shut every year because it always has a gap in it.  I am still going out to get a lottery ticket for tomorrow  One of these days I will win, retire, and we can all go on a holiday.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Day of the Green

Happy St Patrick's Day to us all. Hard to believe when all I see around me is white snow and ice and mounds of piled snowbanks eclipsing one's vision. But I hear Spring draws nigh???  I am also hoping that Pati and Dave bring back some sunshine and warmth with them on their return ....OK?
Well, Cathy, I wish you a happy happy week of relaxation - let us know what you are up to? Take care

Sunday, March 16, 2014


You are right - eating well can make a big difference in how we feel. And I think it is too easy to decide not to have anything or to just nibble. I am just as bad sometimes but then my body tells me so and I smarten up. We start another Survey on NielsenScan today for one week. We have to log in every day what we drank, ate and nibbled on for every meal. So I keep a little log each day and then at end of day log it in. Need to know brand, and location of purchase etc so much of my entries are made up as I really do not know.
Yesterday turned into a wonderful adventure. It was blowing and snowing but we drove up to Powassan ( about 25 minutes up the highway towards North Bay) and found the United Church. The BookShop as it is called, is located in the basement of the Church and as far as I can figure out is volunteer run. It is only open Thursday for two hours and Sat morning for three hours. But what a selection and all organized so well as to author or interest or topic. Very crowded but that's really how you want to see a used book store right? I was amazed at how many Stephen King books there were and of course, much to my delight - there it was Wolves of the Calla. Just what I was after for so long. But to add to the excitement, in the same basement but in a different area, they were putting on a Pancake Breakfast so we indulged again and had a delicious breakfast with lots of bacon and sausage to go along with big fluffy pancakes and juice and coffee.( that would make two breakfasts for me because I had already eaten at home haha) Harry met his contact and got his coins and then off home to mind the greenhouses. Had to water and Harry planted more to go in. I had to adjust the one heater in the little greenhouse  as a few plants froze the other cold cold night. Just can't count on any consistent temperatures right now so just hope for the best. Middle of March and we still have such horrible weather all over - you and us!
Well, today should be spent at home doing laundry and I think a trip to the dump but hoping to stay close to home if possible and no rambling. The closing ceremony for ParaOlympics is on today but I doubt if I will watch as needs the computer to be on - I am not using my laptop much anymore so have to take time at desk computer when I can.
That's all for now - I shall have another coffee as the morning comes to life, and then on with the day Take care

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Why do we bother

I was up early this morning and got 3 loads of wash done, went through all my clothes and tossed the ones the "will fit me again soon" (yeah, right)  Cleaned my kitchen drawers.  I really want to figure out a way to optimize the storage (or lack thereof) in my kitchen. I went to the store and bought cleaning supplies for this week.  Now I am back home and all I want to do is sleep.  Jim isn't hungry and I don't feel like making supper for myself.  I think that is one of my problems.  I don't eat properly and when I do eat it is junk food.  No wonder I can't loose weight!  I will have to go into work for a little while next week.  I never had a chance to show Shirley how to do inventory and it has to be done by the 21st at the latest.  I may have to go in anyway.  We are overwhelmed with work right now.  I would like to just get behind and make WPG realize that we need help... but...... I don't know what will happen.   VCC is having another Beer Tasting on Friday.  It was a lot of fun last time, even if I had to serve beer the whole time.  We were hoping that we would have more people with their servers card this year, but I think it will be the same old people.  I know that Jim would like a chance to take part this year instead of serving the whole evening. (me too) Even it we are serving the whole time, it is a fun evening.  Today was cold again, but it is supposed to improve by tomorrow.  The streets in town are insane.  Because of the thaw and freeze the ruts are crazy.  If you get caught in one you are doomed.  I honestly thought I was going to hit a parked car yesterday.  I got caught in a rut and was heading right for the car.  I managed to stop and back up and get out, but it was tough.  i better get some real food.  Have a great weekend Beth, and I hope your "Birthday Trip" is wonderful, Pati

On Holidays, are we??

Are you now off for awhile Cathy? So what ever will you do with your time and surely not housework or Spring Cleaning! Actually Spring isn't really here yet so you can rule out that haha
Today is the Ides of March - funny how of all things this little bit of knowledge has stuck with me all these years since school. Freezing rain and then a nice cover of snow was our picture from last night. But in a quick check of the greenhouses they faired well with milder overnight temps. We are off to Powassan this morning - Harry is picking up some coins and I want to see if the Used Book Store is open - still looking for #5 of The Dark Tower series called Wolves of the Calla - can't find it anywhere!  Roads will be a bit slippery so better sign off and get ready. Take care

Friday, March 14, 2014

Birthday Greetings - again

I love this time of year - so many family Birthdays and celebrations!  Happy Birthday to you Pati. But, oh my goodness - hasn't she flown off to Cuba to celebrate in style? Here's wishing from afar that you have a great day and get to eat out at a wonderfully elegant restaurant to toast to another year!  Have fun!
In meantime we are still awestruck with the weather back here at home, and do not know from one minute to another what on earth is going on! Yesterday minus 30 degrees, and today 7 degrees. Our greenhouses are having to hold their own but I did cover them up with a few more sheets to try to keep some of the heat in for these wickedly frigid nights. Oh where is Summer - will it ever come?
But all is well as I expect to win the $50 million tonight. Now it is off to bed to read more of Stephen King and The Dark Tower novel #3 called The Wastelands.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone - Take care

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Very long day

We headed out for Kirkland Lake yesterday morning at 0530 am and travelled up to attend the visitation, the service and then over to visit at the luncheon - all for the funeral of Deanna's Mother. It was a strange day - lots of people we did not know - which is not uncommon at funerals, but the service was strange. One niece of the deceased gave the readings ( followed a Catholic format) but lost her way in the papers she had and then took about 5 minutes at the lectern going through the book to look for the reading she was to give. The priest sat in a chair at edge and tried to prompt her but she seemed determined to find the right page and kept flipping back and forth. There were no flowers except those from Harry and I, his sister Donna and family and two from Deanna and Ted, and from her brother and wife. The funeral home filled in with artificial arrangements that in my opinion detracted. I know flowers are not necessary and although no mention was made NOT to give flowers,  it is still generally something immediate family does. And the daughter of Deannas brother (granddaughter of deceased) used a tablet to record every part of the service standing at front facing the audience even when the priest was giving the prayer and blessing. We got back home about 5 pm only stopping at the Cheese Factory ( a treat for us when we go up North) and for gas in North Bay.
Last night the temp dipped to minus 30 again with no relief in next day or so until Friday when it is to be 1 degree. There is no longer any rhyme or reason to the weather patterns. I just know I am sick of it all and wish for a quick return to Summer (hopefully without the mess of the thaw and worry about water!) Thinking about Pati and Dave as I write this note - you shall have a great "getaway" and feel revived when you return to face the pending Spring - will look forward to your first report. In meantime are things there?  Take care

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


All packed and suitcases by the door.  We've both had showers and are dressed and ready.  Just waiting for Loren to get here to take us to the airport.  This is the scarey time.  We have no idea what we are in for, as we are going somewhere entirely new.   A strange feeling--a mix of apprehension and anticipation.  I'll post when we get home.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

And here comes more snow....

I just tucked in both greenhouses for the night and sure enough here comes the predicted snow. The little greenhouse was fired up this morning and already has plants in place. Harry spent a good portion of the day planting seeds and all the little boxes are now on shelves in there as well. I guess we are in full production now with all the associated ongoing work involved to keep things going before us. We will be driving to Kirkland Lake on Wed to attend the funeral of Harry's brother's wife's Mother who died on Friday. I have yet to freshen up the funeral attire - suit and shirt and find something suitable for me to wear. I cut Harry's hair last night so that much is done haha  It will be another long drive going up for the visitation starting at 10 am, then service at 11 am followed by lunch, and then back home. I hope the weather will cooperate as I dislike this trip even at the best of times. Well, here is my wish to Pati and Dave for a fabulous trip and a most enjoyable week of rest and relaxation. Have great fun and will be anxious to hear again from you on your return.
I'm on my laptop without a power source so will keep this short. Take care all..........

Friday, March 7, 2014

Beautiful Winter Day

We had been talking earlier about what a nice day we were having.  Still a bit of wind chill, but otherwise a nice day.


We were just outside shoveling and blowing snow.  What a beautiful winter day.  Too bad it is almost spring!

Memories of a great day

Another birthday has come and gone, but I had a great day. Keri took me out for lunch. ( I had Confetti Vegetable soup... I wish my soups were that good)  Despite the weather, Kris and Sandi made it from Killarney and we all went to Brahmas for supper.  They brought me a new plant... a bromeliad that was flowering.  Just beautiful!  And a tree ornament that Kris said was to hang on the plant :)   Jim was going to buy me a birthday beer before supper, but when we got to the legion, Lisa bought me a beer and then Bonar bought me a beer!  Jim lost out 'cause there was no way I was going to have 3 beer!  Lisa also gave me a card and a bag of Hawkins Cheezies.  It's sort of a joke since I sometimes pop into the Legion at noon and buy a "bag of lunch"  (cheezies)    I got my birthday email from Larry.  He sent along a couple of pictures from our trip in 1997.  I sure look young and skinny.  It was funny in a way, cause one of the pictures I can remember exactly where we were and what was happening!  (Selective memory??)  I got a whole bunch of birthday wishes from mu Facebook "friends" too.   And an email from a woman at Brandon Land Titles.  I asked her how she knew it was my birthday, and she said she had no idea when or how it got there, but it was on her Outlook calendar!  Dennis stopped into the office to give me a big birthday hug.  His wife's birthday is on Monday, so I told him he had to give her a big hug too... He said he gives her a big hug every day!  What a sweetie!  And now I have both today and Monday off work,.. four days in a row.  Lovely!  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Counting the "sleeps"

David did a trial packing yesterday, and it looks like we are going to have lots of room.  He has a small bag for "carry on", where we'll put all of my pills and a change of clothes for both of us.  Today we were off to see a lady about our taxes.  Our biggest concern is the amount he will have to pay for Capital Gains. 

Tomorrow I have arranged for "hand facial", which is probably the manicure without the polish ( Good--because I have no nails left), and a pedicure.  I have discovered that a pedicure is cheaper and much more fun than seeing a foot care nurse.  I'm taking my new sandals so that we can match the polish to the pink leather on the straps.  Ah, Vanity--and at my age too. 

Part of the money I acquired in December was ear marked for having a couple of my finished tops quilted by a long armer.  I got two of them back this week. ( See other blog)  Much excitement on my part.

Now all that remains is to finish off all of the perishable food in the house before Tuesday afternoon.  Should work out, but today we find we are running out of milk.

So we are down to sit-and-wait.  And it snows.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Cathy1

Have a great day, and I hope it is everything that makes you happy!
Love Pati

One of us is celebrating today

And I think it is Cathy!! Hoping you have a great day Cathy and know we are thinking of you.
Enjoy your Dinner out with Kris, Sandi, Jim and Keri. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

So cold!

We had to go to the library and bank yesterday, so bundled up and headed out.  The cold air hit me and I was cold.  I have taken to sitting in the car whenever possible, while David runs into thing like the bank.  While sitting there, I noticed that the a/c was on.  Car was a little warmer after I took care of that.

After we got home I still couldn't get over the cold.  Finally I went to bed--the only place I could feel warm.  When I got up David brought me a pair of polo pajamas bottoms that he had used as long underwear when he was working on the big snowplows.  Darned if they didn't fit, so I wore them for the rest of the day under my jeans, along with a long-sleeved T-shirt, a heavy duty hooded sweat shirt, and my hreavy compression stockings.  David was cold too, and the wind was strong and cold, so we turned the thermostat up, and were much more comfortable for the rest of the day.  I think I'm going to wear them again today, along with an undershirt, under my clothes--although we have NO plans to move out of the house.

Unfortunately, it looks like David has the beginnings of a cold, so we'll have to pamper him today.  But then, it really is his turn.  We have been blessed so far this year.

Sunday morning greetings

I sit with my hot coffee, some orange sections and freshly toasted cinnamon raisin bread - the raisin bread I made yesterday in the bread machine!  I also made some meatballs in the crock pot following your instructions Patty and was thrilled to have them for supper and enjoyed them. I had taken some ground beef out on Friday for supper but Harry spotted Medallions on sale at Foodland so we had them instead which meant I needed to cook off the ground beef. Your message came at the right moment haha   Staying close to home these days with the cold snowy weather persisting in taking over our lives and annoying me to no end. But then you folks know all about that - I hear so many news reports and updates now from Winnipeg about the terrible weather, and then I spoke with Cathy on Friday and got a first hand update. Nice to speak with you Cathy. You, too, are looking forward to some vacation time so I shall think of you both as you enjoy some well earned time - Cathy maybe you should look into a spa day or something to substitute for Patty's Cuba experiences?  Still sorting through stuff here - yesterday I counted and wrapped 119 Olympic Glasses and boxed them up - Harry put them on Kijiji but I don't know if anyone is interested in these glasses anymore? I finished a small hooked Christmas hanging and will store it away for next Christmas decoration, and now sewing together thousands ( I exaggerate) small knitted squares to make a throw. Them have another box full of knitted strips to sew together for another throw. All of these have been conveniently stored in the basement for years. I had to shovel again yesterday and must get into the greenhouse today sometime to water. I haven't opened the door for last few days because of the extreme cold and not wanting to lose any heat if possible that the sun produces through the glass during day. Starting Monday for a few nights the temps are supposed to be milder so that may help before another cold surge hits us at end of week. We are likely going to Midland on Tuesday according to latest word.  Well, the day starts now, so I'll bit farewell.  Take care.