Friday, April 29, 2016

Oh Cathy...

How very, very nice that she was able to take you with her.  And what a wonderful tribute to her!  Mothers are allowed to take some of the credit for this sort of thing, so rest on your laurels for awhile.  You deserve it.
I have several large projects looming on the horizon, so have been trying to clean up the small ones.  Or maybe I'm just procrastinating out of fear of leaving my comfort zone. Regardless,  I'm puttering in the studio.  Part of this is gathering supplies and getting ready to tackle the big projects.  I need to dye fabric, so have been washing and rinsing lots of cloth.  I've also been preparing shopping lists of supplies--which turned out to be nothing, as I discovered that I had a lot of the supplies that I had thought I needed to buy.  I did most of the prep work for a huge hand stitching project that I anticipate will never be finished in this lifetime, but I can sit during my one hour of tv per day and slowly work at it.  And "no", it doesn't involve "hexies".
We've done some shopping the last couple of days, and have to go out again this afternoon to pick up some pills that David needs.  Supper is in hand, the laundry almost finished, and I hope to be able to do some work on my most recent "reliquary" this afternoon.  It's been on the back burner too long, and should only take a couple of days to finish.  There is a show coming up that may be appropriate for it.
Since my diet allows one cup of coffee a day, I've been making the most of it, and stopping by Starbucks, when we're out.  This takes the place of the French Vanilla Cappuccino that I've had from Tim Horton's at 3:00 every day--for years.  In the psychological parts of the diet book, it talks about seeking satisfaction from strong flavours, as one means of combating boredom and dealing with cravings, so this is my strategy.  This week, I've been dropping 0.2 or 0.4 of a pound almost every day, and while this doesn't sound like much, when you do the math it is a very acceptable rate for loosing.
David just came to get me, so I guess it's time to head out.

How eciting

So often I am reminded that "life is family", and here is the perfect example of how we are a part of it all. Congratulations to Rrain for her accomplishments, and how proud you must be Cathy!
Yesterday I was in North Bay and visited with both my children - maybe not for awards and recognition ceremonies, but still and all, they are my kids.
Today we exchange our vehicle for another. I was just out to do a final clean out before we go for 11 am appointment.
Today also is major greenhouse work - things are getting out of control haha! So big and strong are most of the tomatoes now - we have to harden them and leave them outside for a few hours each day. So by time you take them out, its almost time to bring them in........lots of fun!
So almost weekend time....enjoy your road trip to Killarney, Cathy. What are you up to Pati?
Take care

Banquets and Pride

Last night I attended the local Rotary Club Paul Harris Banquet.  I went as my daughter's guest. It was very interesting.  Rrain was MC, so we sat at the "head table"  I was beside the District Governor, Ken Krebs.  Rrain was the recipient of the Tony Otten Award.  Besides a certificate and a medalian, $1000 is donated in Rrain's name to the Rotary International Foundation.  She was introduced by another Rotarian and as he listed all her accomplishments in our community I was overwhelmed to hear someone else recognise her for all her involvement.  She is a very busy woman.  She is also, in the history of Neepawa Rotary the first female recipient.  She has set a lot of precedents for this Rotary.  I wonder if they will ever recover from her :) .  Tomorrow we are all off to Killarney to see the other source of pride in my children.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Puttering can be good...

Sometimes I just love having the time to putter. Whether its in the house, or outside. Lately there have been clearly defined tasks to complete so not really much puttering per say. But up until now it has also been coldish outside and not really pleasant.  Starting tomorrow we are to see an improvement with higher temps and warmer sunny days. We set up the table and umbrella and chairs outside on the back patio where we sit often. Mind you I had on my coat and hat and mitts and a nice warm cup of tea in hand- but it was a start. Half the patio area is still covered in ice and snow but Harry gave it a go and shoveled a lot of it scattered around, so it will not take long to melt away. Right now the street cleaner machine is going up and down sweeping and watering down the road.  I'm glad I beat it to some of the sand/gravel to store for winter before it came along.
So the bird bath is no more - funny we should have mentioned it in your Anniversary Poem haha! But actually, if the pieces have been scattered amongst the gravel in your yard, then you still have it, right?  So where will Mr Lion be placed?
Time to get busy. I have a list of chores for outside.  I am expecting the GM dealership to call this week saying our new car is in - had to lease again but got some deals for doing it early. Still juggling numbers and payments and $$$ in my head so hopefully it will turn out OK. Have to pay GM for excess kilometers but knew that coming into the deal.
Take care all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Puttering again

A putter-y day here yesterday, as well.  After the busy-ness of the weekend, I wanted a few minutes to myself to sort out where my studio work will go next. I did fairly well at the sale this weekend, but still have stock to take to the next sale which is in June.

Loren and Sheila were over for a bit on Sunday, and we talked about the kitchen.She helped me wort out the rationale behind decisions and then guided me a bit in making those decisions. She also pointed out things that we hadn't even thought about.  One was the probable need to add a sub-floor under the area of the present counter, as it appears that there has been more than one layer added tot he kitchen itself.  Both she and Loren recommended one contractor, but emphasized the need to get several quotes, and check out possible references carefully

Did I mention that, when sorting through the photos recently I found an envelope with a lock of Mom's hair from when she was three years old?  Anyone interested?

No snow here, so yesterday we had a fellow come over to clean up the yard.  Hi did this for us last year, and we had been pleased.  The price was certainly right.  Well, this year, for the same price, he showed up with an assistant, ( we think it was his father)in two trucks with three machines.  Took  six big yard waste paper bags off of the lawn.

Also, David finally got rid of the bird bath.  We've had it for between 25 and 30 years, but it was still sad to see it go, especially when he had to take a sledge hammer to it to break the pieces down far enough that they could be added to the gravel we have between the garage and the fence.  So he's spent today cleaning out the spot the bird bath had been in. There was quite a hole as we had made a deep and secure base for it. 

I'm spending the day doing prep work for the four projects I hope to start in the near future.  I had thought I was going to have to buy dye and even maybe some paint, but did an inventory yesterday, and only need one colour of dye. So will probably just pick up a smaller bottle at the art store here, instead of ordering it from Toronto and paying for UPS courier delivery.

It's snowing

Up early as usual, took the dog out, as usual, and it is snowing!
Yesterday I was outside and did raking, and cleaning up, and put little fences around rhubarb patch etc. I even shoveled up five boxes of sand from the street to store for next winter. 
Maybe I shouldn't have done that? Maybe the gods thought it was winter again?
Time for a coffee. Have a good day.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Memories take two

I think a lot my memories  re-surface recently because of a conversation with Debbie.  It was to her house that i sought refuge after school. I know that daddy went down and spoke to Debbies parents about "something"  I know that after that conversation I always went to Debbie's after school until someone else was home.  Debbie is very frustrated with her Mother.  In our conversation she actually spoke about how much she now hates her.  I guess her mom has become a very bitter and vindictive alcoholic. (she is mid 80's now)  I remember that she always welcomed me and never said a thing when I came over every day.  (I also remember her coming down the street in her housecoat when Debbie was staying with me (Daddy and Beth went to Bissett).  She wanted to make sure we were home (Hello!Telephone!)  I know there were a lot of things that Debbie didn't  tell her daughter about her early years ( Elisabeth had a very serious heart condition at birth and at one point her father got Debbie arrested for some reason or another.. he is a QC lawyer.)  The police told Debbie they were led to believe that Elisabeth was a toddler and Debbie was keeping her from her father despite a court order...meanwhile she was a sick baby that Debbie was still nursing and no court order!  Debbie never told Elsabeth any of this because she wanted her to have a relationship with her father.  It seems Debbie's mom told Elisabeth everything. She is also making a lot of mean comments about being abandoned etc etc.  Debbie has P of Atty for her Mom so I told her to check into the terms and see if it contains the "continuing despite mental instability" clause.  That might make it easier to get medical help for her mom.  .  Her daughter is getting married in July and Debbie really likes the guy.  He helps Debbie a lot around the house with "man" things.  i guess we all view life in different ways and have different memories.  I remember Debbie\s  Mom letting me stay there..(despite the housecoat incident.). she remembers the mean comments that have been made over the years. You cannot know someone until you have walked in their shoes.


knowing that I have a busy evening ahead of me and that yesterday was "not a good day", I've let myself putter today.  My eyes fell on two shoe boxes of family photos that we found a week or so ago.  So, I went through them.

Oh My!  lots of photos of the three of us as children, and our friends.  There is a very nice one of you, Beth with Irene Smith and Billie deWolfe.  There were ones of Beth and I cooling off in laundry tubs at the side of the house. A few of us with either the Overwaters or the McCraes.  Even one of Auntie Flo and Uncle Jake with Anne as a babe in arms.  There are a few of Beth and I at Sandy Lake when Mom was pregnant with Cathy. Then a whole series of Cathy's wedding pictures with Jim, also Kris and Sandy's wedding with Phyllis and the fellow with the pink hair.  Sure fooled him when the "photographers" changed his hair colour to brown!  Thank Goodness!

There were quite a few of family gatherings at Auntie Lorraine's, including one of the men using a ladder to take the window off the bathroom because somebody always locked themselves in!  These included many of the McGrath family.  I'm always impressed with Daddy for being such a good looking man, and it shows when you see him with his father and brothers.  There was one of all of the cousins, including Eileen Nordstrom and Bernice McGrath (Uncle Bert's daughter).  I saved a few that I thought current family might be interested in, including you two.  So when you come to pick up you "family" coffee mug, Cathy, you'll have to spend a minute deciding if you want any of them.

and here's to mis-understandings...

I had no idea that neither of you knew Mom's diagnosis.  Auntie Ruby told me years ago, and I had understood that she had spoken to both of you, as well. Around the time Mom died, they ( the medical community) were just starting to understand that there were several different types of dementias.  While Mom's type had originally been called Pick's Disease or Alzheimer-Picks Disease, it was one of the very first to be identified, and that was because it has a genetic component.  The primary diagnostic feature is a very early onset.  Her first symptoms were noticed while she was pregnant with you, Cathy. She was also prone to post-partum problems, and that confused the issue.  Just the fact that we have all survived this long without any symptoms means that none of us carry the gene, and none of us could pass it along.  On a lighter side, this doesn't mean that we can't get Alzheimers as we age.  Oh goody!  There was also a question of alcohol with Mom, although it was never a major factor.  Remember all those bottles of sherry?     ?Self medication?

Yes, the two of you bore the brunt of the problems, as I was out of the house.  I have always resented Daddy for not recognizing the problem and attempting to deal with it.  Both Lorraine and Grannie seemed to think Mom was a little weird from the very beginning, and I have sometimes wondered if there wasn't something much longer term that has never come to light. Depression?? But Daddy was of a generation and socio-economic group that preferred to solve their problems quietly and privately.

Beth, I'm sure you were behind her being assessed by that quack of a psychiatrist, the one who thought you were the problem.  That sort of got the ball rolling, in terms of getting her treated.
We know now that getting her out of the house was only part of the solution.  I regret that you had to see the whole thing through, Cathy, more of less on your own, and I know it coloured your life, and still does.

Getting up early

The animals had me going crazy last night so I am up early - and besides, Harry wants to go to North Bay early this morning. It is the annual "put your unwanted stuff on the curb" day. Maybe we'll come home with more treasures?
I was happy to read your message Cathy, although I wondered if perhaps my week of sending inspirational sayings might have stirred up emotions in all of us. It did for me. I really am thankful for this blog because I feel closer to both of you than I have ever been. I always feel "apart" living so far from you both. Even the jokes about "the bus" lend a bit of relief for me sometimes....I can always get "on the bus", right? And I did at Christmas!  I also wonder if our times together are often so abbreviated that we haven't really had time to get through superficial conversations, and into the deeper meaningful aspects of relating with each other as sisters such as you have indicated in your message (now that we are all adults as you wrote) And as a point of clarification, I also was not aware of Mother's true diagnosis until discussed at the Luncheon, so I don't think anyone has been singled out as not been aware. There are things all of us are not aware of  - this is why we now have the opportunity to share together as we chose, without distinction of age or rank. As I said, I am really glad you were able to share your thoughts with us in your message.
So here's to another fun day. I'll let you know how my "hunting" expedition went in North Bay.
Take care XX

Friday, April 22, 2016


I do not think of this as a week of frivolity.  I love of both of you so much!  i guess to be honest I feel like both of you think of me as the baby sister.  I am, however, over 60 years old!!  But, yes, I am still the baby sister.  Both of you have medical backgrounds.  That separates me from you in one way.  You are educated in one way, but I am educated in another.  Our upbringings were different.  I have very few good memories of Mom. My main memory is of her is spending hours rubbing my chest when I couldn't breathe.  You both have memories of her that I can't share. Neither of you can understand what it was like to have a Mother that didn;t know who you were.  I remember the resentment that Beth felt when she had to work a shift in Intensive Care and then come home to make supper because I hadn.t come home from school. (I couldn't come home. She stabbed me with a knife because she thought I was breaking in) I also realise that this is not something that the three of us have ever discussed.  Maybe the two of you have.  I know that it was only this last year that I was told that Mom did not have altsimers.  (remember that my computer does not have the last letter of the alphabet)  That means that for over 40 years something was kept from me (the "baby" sister).  I am sure that part of the fault lies with me for not asking the questions, but I guess that goes back to the medical vs agricultural backgrounds. (do either of you know the life cycle of the woodtick? )  On a lighter note.... remember Auntie Lorrain saying that whenever Mom showed up at her door with a bowl of something she would make it into cookies!?  She said that we must have had some of the strangest chocolate cookies ever! I remember Mom and her ladies ( I know you have a name for them)  I remember running outside one day when they were there and announcing "I can pop out of my front bum!"  Mom must have been so embarrassed!   I know I hurt Daddy when I moved out, but he was always talking about the two of us and what we would be doing in the years to come.  I felt trapped.  i was so glad when he met Phyllis. They were so different, but she gave him life. ("I'm spending the night at the widow"s house.... in Colin's room mind you) You two probably never got that line :) Remember at Daddy's memorial service (I know you weren't there Beth) when Colin talked about the first night that Daddy & Phyllis spent together away from the house.  Colin said that daddy was so emrarressed and was twisting his hat in his hand  This is such  a strange post from me.  I love both of you so much

Finale for this week.....

So you both survived my week of frivolity - it was fun for me.

Hope is not a feeling of certainty that everything ends well.
Hope is just a feeling that life and work have a meaning.

And I suppose you wonder why I persist with these idiotic sayings all the time? I read from my perpetual daily calendars every morning, and with some of my favourites I may often repeat them to myself throughout the day, for example:

As long as you can carry on one more moment, you'll never be defeated.

It all helps with one's well being, and helps to have a purpose whatever it may be - we all have our own reasons, but most important, we all have each other. 
So it's back to the usual day to day messages for now. But here's one last saying - I actually think I sent it once before but its message is still so poignant:

If you can't get through the mountain, go around it.
If you can't go around it, go over it.
If you can't go over it, sit down and ask yourself if getting to the              other side is all that important.
If it is, set about digging a tunnel.

Take care and have a great weekend - will be thinking about you Pati at the Show.  Looking for a summary come Monday from you?  What are you doing Cathy?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Quite a tale...

So maybe your workplace can be full of sunshine and fun after all - sitting out on the stairs and enjoying the day??  However, if it were me, it would have been a bit scary as well.
Isn't it wonderful that our gardens are showing signs of life - thank goodness for Spring. 
I'm happy that we will all have read Dr Phil's 20/20 Diet. Cathy, I may not be following the regime as successfully as Pati, but I got so much out of the suggestions - about life in general, and strategies for managing same. I am thrilled also for you Pati, and sharing your results with us. Of course, we are cheering with you! 
I am about to finish watching another TV episode of Magnum PI with Tom Selleck before I head for bed. Seems to be only time I can actually sit and watch. I want to be able to tell Mike that I was watching them, since he gave them to me.  Then I can start to read as I went to the library and took out another book this afternoon.
So thinking about your exciting days at work lately, Cathy, and Pati's exciting sounding breakfasts, here's a fitting saying:
Always new. Always exciting. Always full of promise. The mornings of our lives, each a personal daily miracle!
Take care.

When it rains it pours

and I am not talking about water.  This week at work we complained about the smell. (OMG - REALLY FOUL!) We figured a ballast had gone.  Nothing happened, so yesterday I contacted the main building manager and told him that we had no response to our first complaint. Right after I left that message the power went out in half the building.  He phoned me back and told me to contact John's electric for the ballasts and he would contact the government electrician for the power outage.  That was at 1pm.  I went to shopeasy and when I got  back at 1:15 John's Electric was already there and 10 minutes later the government electrician showed up.  Suddenly all the power in the building went out.  It seems that it wasn't the ballasts on the lights, but our main breaker had melted!  There was no way he was letting any power into the building.  The two electricians then headed off to John's Electric to see if they had a main breaker in stock.  (We teased them about having found a friend to play with:))  Being a nice day, we sat on the front stairs for 2 hours.  They came back with a breaker but it was 200amp and our building is only 150.  They put it in anyway, and now our entire building has to be brought up to standard (and it is a heritage building so that is a real hoop)  Meanwhile, we were waiting for trainers from WLTO to work with us on a new project.  They showed up while we were  all enjoying the sun.  We have power but they are checking on us regularly.  Today we had at least 7 men in the basement (One of the trainers asked if we could keep them 'cause she was single and wanted a choice)  On another note, we sat outside til dark the last couple of evenings, but now it is really cold again.  BUT!  I have rhubarb, and Irises, and Johnny Jump Ups all around the yard.  The swelling in JIm's eyes has gone down.  He keeps telling people that either I got him with a 2 by 4, or that's what happens when you piss Cathy off.  I requested Dr. Phil's 20/20 diet from the Library.  I am reading it, but usually with a bowl of chips and a 7-up :(.  Maybe I will take enthusiasm from your success, Pati and try it myself.


David tells me that our rhubarb is also up, although I can't yet see it from the kitchen.  We're also seeing life in our peonies. (can't kill those suckers--no how!)  And this morning my weight was such that I can now state that I am down 10% of my body weight and working on a second 10%.  This means that I've lost all of the weight I gained in Neepawa, and then some.  Hopefully, it also means that I have passed the point where I stalled out the last two times I tried to lose.  Now, having told someone all of this, I feel challenged to keep going, so I'm willingly consuming my breakfast of non-fat, non-sweetened yogurt, rye flakes and sunflower seeds.  The down side of this is that I'm starting to see the excess skin that can become a problem with excessive weight loss.  Don't care--I'll hide it under my trousers.

I went to the local quilt guild meeting last night.  A former neighbour of Lorraine's told me that her house is being fully renovated with additions on the front and one side, and that the owners have been out of the house all winter.  Another, quite elderly, lady, who used to work with Lorraine at the Craft's Guild, offered me a collection of all of Lorraine's souvenir quilt-related pins.  She invited me over to her home, for tea, one day, soon, to pick them up.

This weekend is the Art Group Show and Sale.  I'm working late both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, but want to drop in Friday evening  to see if I might get some feedback on my small purses.  I also promised my friend Gail that I would show up for Friday evening Wine and Cheese. Otherwise, I expect to spend most of the weekend catching up on housework, and working on the piece I have in the basement.  It's not going well-'nuff said.


Just had a walkabout the yard with my coffee and the dog. Surprise, the rhubarb is shooting up - in the midst of ice and sprinkles of snow. And then I found the iris shooting as well. And then a robin flew onto the fence - my first robin sighting although I heard they were around.
These are great new beginnings!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Beautiful day and lots of greenhouse work

Today I transplanted the little marigolds that were planted in mass. They are called Kracker Jack and will grow very tall, with large gold/yellow flowers. But each little sprout has to be taken out and transplanted alone in a pot. Everything is growing so fast and so big. Hard to find space for them. Still have to keep them in the greenhouses as it is cold at night and the heaters have to go on at night.  I heard on the news something about "snow" coming this weekend - I hope I heard it wrong haha! We need more potting soil so ordered two more bales and have to pick them up in Trout Creek at the garden centre by 8 am tomorrow morning. So it will be an early start...........
So, Manitoba has a new PC Government now- what do you think of this change after so many years with NDP?
I made an appointment for Friday to visit the GM dealer about the lease and discuss arrangements for inspection and into a new lease come July.  Apparently (since I received two letters already) they want you to start about three months ahead of time. So tomorrow I will have to clean the car really really good!
It's halfway through the work week Cathy - downhill now so take a deep breathe and a big sigh of relief.  And Pati, have you had any time to breathe , or are you totally immersed in your studio adventures??
The saying today in my calendar read: It is better to complete a small project than to leave a big one half done.  I had a little chuckle with this one and thought of you both.  Does it sound a little too true, and how many times have we been in this kind of situation haha!
Take care

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What about this one on a day like today....

Take Spring when it comes, and rejoice. Take happiness when it comes, and rejoice.  Take love when it comes, and rejoice.

I take these quotes right from the little daily booklets I have and so often what is written on any particular day seems to be "right on" for what is happening .

I had a look at that blog, Pati  I loved her sketches as well - and if I had as beautiful a garden as hers, I would want to sit and sketch there, too! Gorgeous isn't it.

Luncheon today with Sue. Another very enjoyable visit. Plans are in the works for an even larger group to join together in Sept or Oct. This is growing I think as others hear about it and want to come?   A friend is what the heart needs all the time.

Time for bed - I'm tired. Lately, my night time reading has suffered, and I even had to phone to renew the current Library book I'm reading.  
I am trying a new tea tonight from Traditional Medicinals Relaxation Teas called Nighty Night.  Here goes.......

Check this out

I stumbled on this blog.  The most recent post is about the pleasure she finds in her garden and the April 13th blog shows sketches of her life.  Very simple sketches but sort of cute and worth a giggle.

Monday, April 18, 2016


How can I embrace the concept?  I love my sisters, and think of them often.  I worry about them, but cheer them on emotionally. I want to support them in any adventure they have, because we all need the support most when  things are not perfect.  If we see nothing but smiles, how are we to know when the need is greatest?

Beth, I love hearing about your daily inspirational messages. Please keep sending them.  I get something out of every one of them, even if not on the exact day.  Cathy, we have all been blessed with a fine intellect, so we've all faced many situations that make us impatient. We understand.  I have been told that I "don't suffer fools", which is probably just another way of saying that I, too, lack patience.

I have now had two days of working in the studio on things that please me.  I recognize the need for time like this, for myself, when I find myself becoming impatient with those around me. The solitude helps me "center" myself. Now life in intruding again, but I feel better able to face it.  I sense that you gather strength in your garden, Beth.  Do you find the same thing when you spend time in your garden, Cathy?


I feel like I have an advantage in this since that is where Spirit's name came from.  Jim came through his minor surgery okay. I  know I shouldn't call him "Frankenjimmy" but I can't resist.  The swelling has gone down now, but he has stitches instead of eyebrows. ..frankenjimmy :)  The snow melted and I just came in from outside.  Another nice evening.  We got our taxes done.  $200 to tell us that I did them right.  Jim even apologised for not believing my results.  Next year will be different since I asked for an extra $50 off of every cheque.  I should get some back next year.  I told Elisabeth that one of my major faults was lack of patience.  Her answer.... at least you are not a doctor.  (patients?? budda boom budda bing) I lost patience today with Shirley.  If only she wouldn't argue with everything you tell her.  On the other hand.... beautiful evening.  I am really happy with the weather right now.  I made clean out the fridge soup on Saturday.  If only there was a recipe for that.  It is delicious and I can never repeat in :(  I will, however, eat it :))  Today, first thing, I got a call on doing Tax Sales.... not expected and sort of overwhelming.  I think they must be a bit anal in Winnipeg cause part of the instructions involved lining up all the information so it looked good.  mmmmmm?  I shall do my job and smile.  Only a few more years to go  (barring that elusive lottery win that is coming!)

Today was happy for several reasons...

I was out in the yard this morning - it is so great to actually feel that Spring has indeed arrived.  I set up two of our large ornaments - Cows! I put them up at the very corner of our lot by the intersection - mainly to try to create some privacy into the yard - this is where I like to sit by my fire, or in the morning with my coffee. 
I raked a bit where the snow has gone around that same corner but since it is still a bit wet, I stopped that for now.  The sun was shining for most of the morning. The forecast called for "light rain" but that did not start until about 4;30 pm this afternoon. I am sure that we will not be getting the heavy rains that you have described there in Winnipeg and area. Cathy you must have had a real time driving through it - but good for you to endure especially in a strange car. 
I watched three episodes of Magnum PI this afternoon while puttering in the kitchen area. This DVD of the first season was a gift from Mike and Erin. It surprises me now, to see how superficial the whole show actually was but at the time, I loved it!!
I just had a leisurely bubble bath in preparation for going to luncheon with my friend Sue tomorrow - I am looking forward to visiting with her.
I am now about to start the Food and Beverage Diary on the internet- takes in 7 days by filling in detail all foods eaten each day, (I've described it to you before) and then I get a $25.00 Visa card if completed fully.
So it was a good day quote for today: Most smiles are started by another smile.  So lets go out there and smile folks.....people will wonder what we've been up to, haha!
Take care

Sunday, April 17, 2016


This shall be The Three Sisters Inspirational Week

I was just sitting outside at my fire spot (no fire but that will come soon) with a glass of wine in hand and enjoying the glorious sun starting to set in the west but still strong enough to envelope me with wonderful warmth and light. It inspired me to declare this shall be our inspirational week. l was resting after a full day of outside work - in the greenhouses and setting up our outside eg water barrels. and hoses, etc etc.

I spotted my McConnell Lake souvenir - my plastic pink table - I set it up beside my chair and remembered my many pleasures from the Lake.

I remembered fondly my sisters. This is my inspirational quote for today:
Stop everything and take five minutes just to lean back in your chair, close your eyes, and think of those that you love. Send them your love in prayer, and with blessings for those for whom you care.

So here is the challenge........let's hear from you!!
Lots of positive vibes..lots of great stuff...lots of love XXX

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Anything s possible.

I have to take each day as I see it.  I check Manitoba weather on the WFP and get an idea of what might be coming my way. Today was warm and sunny and we took advantage by working in the greenhouses all afternoon. Still putting on the heaters at medium temp and turning off in day. Hoping this will continue as I hate to see the hydro bills accumulating any longer than necessary.
So keep your snow please Cathy!

Okat, I lied

That IS snow.  At least I Know it will melt soon  Thursday we sat outside until 7;30. Today it  snows   That is not s fun


That is NOT snow!!!!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Home again

What a day to go to Winnipeg!  It POURED!  Rrain lent us her car to go to the hospital.  Firstly for the better mileage (although fighting the wind and rain took its tole) and secondly, it fits so beautifully in the parkades.  It was a very quick procedure.  Jim now has two curved cuts where most people have eyebrows.  It did change his eyes.  Right now they are not drooping at all.  I am so used to his eyes drooping that I keep looking at him because they don't.  His is pretty sore right now.  He is thinking of sleeping in the recliner so that he won't toss and turn and rip open his stitches.  Probably a good idea since he is a really restless sleeper.  The surgeon phoned a few minutes ago just to check up on Jim.  Unexpected.  Tomorrow I get to clean the fridge.  What else are weekends for.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Food for thought

I've been thinking about the concepts you mentioned in your recent blog post, Beth.  Does this sort of conjecture not fit nicely into the discussion in the Dr. Phil book about setting goals?  Even if we do decide that the sky's the limit and dream of impossible goals, can we not break these down into smaller, do-able "bites" that could lead to, at least, partial achievement of those goals?

You and I discussed how unrealistic it would be for me to set a goal of losing 120lbs.  But, you pointed out that a goal of losing 10% of my body weight, matched with a realistic ( following the book), time framed action plan is entirely realistic and achievable.  In the time leading up to your recent visit, you set a goal of saving a certain small amount of money every month.  Again, specific, realistic and time framed, and therefore achievable. Even our purchase of lottery tickets is a demonstration of a specific--one ticket on every 649 draw, achievable--an expense of $5.00, and time framed--2x weekly.  We make it realistic by describing it as a purchase of hope--which it is.  I don't think any of us really expects to win, but the hope keeps us going.

So maybe a small private objective can be met by mentally making a specific, achievable, time framed goal, with an associated action plan.  Even if all you can realistically consider is to find an extra half hour to devote to you.  Your action plan could be to reduce the amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen on your birthday. Plan on utilizing a previously prepared meal from the freezer, and dress it up with a small purchased salad or jar of pickles, and serve ice cream for dessert.  Even if this just results in half an hour to spend on something special for you, you have accomplished your goal.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thank you

Your messages were well received by me today - one always looks forward to such greetings. Thanks to you both.
The idea of a "secret wish" resonated in my head as I took the dog for a walk to the Lottery store just now.  Good place to start I guess. This time I scratched out my own numbers instead of quick pick - think it will make a difference? Cathy you still use the same numbers don't you?
I wonder what one would /should wish for oneself. What really matters?  I'd be interested in your opinions. 
If one dreams outside the realm of reality then the sky is the limit, but if one comes back to reality, and looks realistically, what would make it special? Many variables of course, but it is fun to think about.
Sunny today - which indicates greenhouse work again. I gave up shoveling figuring that soon it will all melt anyway. Besides, I
twisted my back last time and it has bothered me ever since - I even tried two #3's the other night! 
So here's to a wonderful day for all of us!  Take care

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

And today is Beth's birthday!

Happy Birthday Beth,  and I hope it's a good one.  My wish for you is that whatever you secretly wish for yourself happens, even if you're the only one who knows.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A weekend of fun...and work....

Good to hear Pati and Dave are back home, and that there was quality time spent together with Cathy and Jim while in Neepawa area.
I thought a lot all weekend about your Workshop Pati, and how things were going. Sounds as if all was fine - one always finds a few areas to improve whenever one does lectures, demonstrations , courses etc. I always found weak spots in many of my presentations and I gave quite a few in the course of my career, as did you.  So you'll tidy that up quickly I'm sure, and be ready for the next request to teach.
Mike and Erin invited us for Lunch today - only day they were both off work. The weather has been awful lately and more snow last night and with freezing rain this morning. All school buses cancelled again. Harry cleaned off the car and took it around the area to test the roads. He thought we would be OK to head up to North Bay. so off we went. Was dreadful but he took it slow and we arrived safely.  We had a wonderful visit and Birthday celebration. Erin made sandwiches and salad and veg with dip, and then we had decorated Cupcakes - four different ones. I have heard that the latest fad is for Cupcakes -these were tasty and intricately decorated- she got them at Sobey's Bakery.  I was given a gorgeous Owl vase with fresh flowers, a bag of licorice allsorts, and DVDs - the first three seasons of Arrow.(I'm going to love watching these Pati as I didn't get to see many of the season 1 or 2 before I stopped trying to watch on TV) and the first season of Magnum PI with Tom Seleck. Mike sure knows what type of movies to get me haha  
By the time our visit was over, the weather had cleared up and the snow was starting to melt. The highway back home was clear and dry.
So looking forward to your continued messages folks - it was really lonesome over the weekend. Can you believe all I did Sunday was watch The Masters Golf Tournament  on TV and sew hexigons!
Take care

Home again

As I expected, the diet went out the window, and I gained a couple of pounds, but I dust myself off and start over again!  No "poor me", just persevere.

We saw Cathy and Jim at the Legion meat draw, and then went back to our room and spent the evening quietly.  A basic but decent motel.  It has been around for awhile, but effort has been made to spruce it up.  Cathy told me that all of the beds were fairly new.  there was a very nice breakfast room and, again basic, but respectable breakfast--fruit, toast, cereal, yogurt and "make-your-own" waffles, all available.

I was very nervous getting started on Saturday, but once I dove in things went quite well.  A catered lunch from the local cafe--cream of cauliflower soup and sandwiches and the ladies brought pot luck desserts.  Sunday, was the section of the class that had never been taught before and there was one area that I'll have to re-work but it was sort of neat to see various people suddenly "get it", or find one technique that really spoke to them.

Saturday evening we went to a "Beer Tasting" at Viscount Cultural Centre, after having having dinner at a local restaurant with Cathy and Jim.  There were a variety of beers, good snacks, and live music.  I really enjoyed the music.  A lot of Celtic influence, some maritime influence, and covers of a few well known songs in the same vein.  But then early to bed, as we were both exhausted.

While I had been working Saturday, Jim took David out to see the production facility at Twilight Manufacturing.  I think he learned a lot about kitchen cabinets, and brought home some samples of the types of doors they make and the types of laminate surfaces they offer.  Someone will try to come around to see our setup, so they can give us an estimate, but they only provide the cabinets, not any of the other things we think we are going to need, although David says that they will try to work around an existing back splash,

Coming home we saw what appeared to be some really nasty weather, but managed to travel around the edges of it, only running into some minor snow around the Portage by-pass.  We sure saw some nasty looking clouds though!  Highway 16 has been re-done and was a pleasure to drive. Finally home, and out for supper.  We were both exhausted.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Just waiting

Now we're all packed but still have over an hour before we have to leave. Not ants-y or anything. lol  We're both sitting and playing Candy Crush, although my hair is dry enough I could probably use the curling iron now.  I want to give it time to cool down so I can pack it.  I was awake half the night rehearsing in my mind what I was going to say to teach various aspects of the class.  This means a lot to me, and I'm really apprehensive--at this point.  I know I'll probably be much more relaxed after the class actually starts.

I'm also concerned about what I'm going to eat this weekend.  I started the day off with a big bowl of oatmeal, milk, and cranberries.  Not on the diet, but I expect we'll have no lunch and supper will be late.  I've packed hard boiled eggs, raisins, prunes, rye crackers, and slivered almonds in hopes of covering breakfasts, if necessary, suppers, and snacks.  Lots of water packed as well.  I may well bring it all home with me, but I'm planning ahead, as the book says.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thanks for the info...

Your weekend sounds busy and very inviting - and full of promise as well, especially if the Saturday tour of the furniture factory proves beneficial. So, I shall look forward to the summary message when all is said and done and Pati and Dave are home safe and sound. Best wishes for a successful Workshop Pati. You have ensured you are well prepared so all will go well for you.
Huge winter storm came through last two days. It was forecast to bring lots of snow - and it did not disappoint! It is like winter again.
Tomorrow I get my hair cut and this always tends to boost my spirits a bit.  
So until our next communication, I shall be thinking of you together again - have fun!

Plans for the weekend

I just realized that we hadn't answered your question Beth.  Cathy and I plan to get together Friday after we get to town and get settled.  We may just play cards, we haven't decided that yet, but I need an early night.  Saturday, there is a beer tasting at Viscount, and Cathy is going to get us tickets.  She will be working, but Jim will be a participant, so we'll have some company during the evening, and be able to taste some beers as well. On Saturday itself, David and Cathy are trying to get together with Sam to find out more about the kitchen cupboard production facility out there.  I think we'll be busy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

More than wish you luck..

Congratulations Pati, and I'm with you all the way. You are managing this new change in your life very well, and I think about you frequently, and wondering how you are doing, or what you are making to eat! haha

What a crazy day. This afternoon we had a blimp with the power and then everything went to a dull light ( like a 'grey" out) except the major items like computer, TV, microwave and of course the greenhouse heaters which all would not function at all! I phoned quick and reported this problem - the lady said they had had no similar reports of problems so took my name address and phone number, and said she would report the issue. So maybe I thought,  it was just us ....and I panicked and ran around the house trying to troubleshoot. Maybe after all this time, the heaters decided to blow everything. Down to the fuse box, up to the rooms, down to the basement again trying every switch and devise and trying to coordinate the fuses with the switches. All the time wondering if I would have to ave Hydro men in, or Fire men in and thinking about the worse case scenarios. After an hour I called back ( on my cell phone now as we have no analogue phone line either for some reason) I asked what the process would be for the Hydro to come and check it - I was confused by her responses until I realized that she was saying there was a problem in the Sundridge area and not just us- they had men working on it already. Relief! So we spent a few more hours working in the greenhouses and I was about to get the propane heaters attached and ready to light when .....yeah! the power came back on. About 4 hours total we were out this time.

Best thing today is that the Library called to say my next Gamache book had arrived. I picked it up - this time it came from Fort Frances. So I shall go to bed, keep the little kitten company until he decides to go to sleep, and I shall read. Tomorrow will come and with it new beginnings. What do they say on The Quilt's a new day, every day.
Take care


I have now lost more than 10% of my body weight.  This means setting another goal, which will be 10% of my current weight.  Wish me luck!


I had my second and last appt with Dentist early this morning. The root canal procedure is now complete. Lets hope it will heal completely and I'll have no further discomfort.
I just put on a loaf of rye bread into the bread machine. Wanted to try the rye flour for some time now.But going into the cupboard to find the ingredients reinforced my need to clean it out and reorganize. Eventually in spite of best efforts everything gets all jumbled around and I have a hard time extricating containers.
Sunny but cold today and warnings for more snow tomorrow - 10 to 20 cm. Harry wants to work in greenhouses this afternoon so I expect that is how the day will go.
The new kitten continues to run the house and other animals. Hoping he will settle in and I can get a good nights sleep soon. haha. 
Thinking of your week Pati and approaching weekend with Course all ready to go. And what plans are there for getting together you two?  Let me know so I can plan to be there as well (in spirit)
Take care

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Some of the alligators have been fed.

My ATC's were finished yesterday.  They aren't great, but still took about 4 hours to make.  So, I'm off to lunch today.  I've had to miss the last couple of months, as I just wasn't able to make cards in time for the swap.  This will give me tomorrow and Tuesday to finish the written portion of the resume document, as my friend Gail may drop in Wednesday to help me insert the photos--which I haven't finished taking.  I also have to have my handout for next weekends class copied for 15 students.  Still have to buy the folders to put it in.  Maybe we can go out today after I get home from lunch.

My weight has stalled right out, even though I thought I was doing okay with the diet.  So, as of today, I've gone right back to the beginning and am starting over again.  I'm very aware that this es almost exactly  where I stalled out last time I was able to lose a bit of weight.

Watched The Quilt Show this morning, with my tea.  One thing demonstrated was cutting up a finished quilt and re-purposing it.  I have found a decent quilt in my stash that I can't give away, for specific reasons, that just might be suitable for trying this sort of thing out.  The re-connecting/sewing technique is one I'm quite familiar with.  I've also reached the point of hand-sewing the binding down, on yet another decent quilt that I found when we were going through the trunks.  This one can be given away. 

It's relatively cold here, with lots of snow.  Hard to think of spring, unless you see all of the geese freezing in the snow.  Stupid geese!

Saturday, April 2, 2016


This is the way I see it...You are doing research - and therefore, I don't think you are in over your head. Of course, if you thought you and Dave would be doing all the work yourselves- like you did to paint the walls, and redo all the fronts of the cupboards a few years ago - then, yes.  This is a project where you "Call Gary" - was that the name of the show we watched when I was there.  It was call "someone" anyway! With the work you propose, it would take an expert or two to design and produce. I sat with my coffee early this morning ad looked at my kitchen and imagined what I would dream of doing. It was great fun....I thank you for this diversion and look forward to following along with you.
We have a new little kitten. That makes three cats again (along with our dog, and two budgies). Harry has been sort of suggesting another for awhile. Willie had five kittens the end of January. Four of the five have been given away and yesterday I went up to North Bay to do some chores and had a good look at his fifth little one. I came home and told Harry I had held him, and then nothing would do but we had to have it. So up we went this morning and brought the wee thing home. All afternoon it played and ran around and inspected and tried to play up to the other animals - the other two cats are particularly curious and a bit standoffish. Now it is sleeping. It ate a lot so maybe was a bit hungry we think? So here we go again......

Friday, April 1, 2016

In over my head

Today we went to the Home and Garden Show.  Pretty well a waste of time and money, but I did bring home a brochure that may prove to be a help.  There was only one display that had anything to do with kitchens, and that was for the very expensive Flo-Form counter tops.  I did get the designer's card and she advised me to stay right away from any sort of back splash with small tiles as they are a bugger to keep clean (  I had already figured that out!)  Too bad, as they are all the rage on the home renovation shows we're seeing on tv.

The brochure I mentioned was a general glossy flyer  advertising local home renovation companies. Going through the pictures showed me that some of the things I want are available--for a price, I'm sure.  This was a great re-assurance to me, and I'm feeling better about the whole project.  I've definitely decided that we are going to have a contractor.  Neither of us is prepared to serve as our own contractor.  That's a real minefield!  Some of the articles tell me that I will need a designer, some say I need an architect, and others say I need both. There is obviously a lengthy preparation process, before anything gets done.  This process ends when a contract is signed.  I've asked Loren if there might be any chance Sheila could help or advise me, through that process.

Whatever happens in the long term, we are going to have to start looking through showrooms.  Unfortunately, the really competent companies don't need showrooms 'cause they're booked up for the next 50 years.

Only a week until we head for Neepawa. Sure hope you're going to have some time for us, Cathy.