Saturday, August 18, 2018

A new day

That knowledge always brings a little hope. 

 David got the sink done.  I think it's more sturdy than the old one ever was, but it's also smaller.  A mixed blessing as that means more room to manoeuver in the laundry area, but we'll have to find out if it's big enough to cope with the size of loads  I sometimes put in the washer.  In any case, I get to wash out the four dye baths I've done over the past couple of days.  I'm trying something new that was suggested by the ladies at my meeting on Wednesday. I'm quite excited about the results I'm getting, but can't be sure until the pieces have been thoroughly washed.  For many years I used a special industrial detergent, but recently heard that Blue Dawn will do the same thing. Love the stuff and never have any any other dish soap around, but I'm not sure that I trust it that far.  Not a problem if I were just thinking of fabric used in art, but anything that I use in a charity quilt, must be colourfast.

No exciting plans for the weekend. David is about to head out to cut the grass, as there is a "garden waste" pick up on Monday.  I prefer to stay upstairs when he's dong that, just to keep a casual eye on him, in case eh has problems--not that he has lately--but better safe etc.  I'm hoping for a little studio time.  I haven't done anything other than purge and the four dye baths I mentioned, in almost a week.  Like any other addict, I'm in withdrawal, but determined not to push it, as being able to return safely to my studio is very, very important to me, right now.

Be safe and be happy, ladies.  After all, we now have something wonderful to look forward to.

Keep HER there please!

Life is difficult enough without help from your Woman in Red Pati so please keep her there with you! But please keep sharing your stories of HER adventures because I am enjoying the laughs too much.
I took Daisy along with her granddaughter to Huntsville Hospital for an 8 pm appointment for an ultrasound last night. I offered to drive them and glad I did - for Daisy and Michelle. Things are a bit tough there right now and I know Daisy enjoys my company to lighten it up a bit inspite of her increasing compromised situation medically. I cannot remember if I mentioned that her son was to come this week but then his wife fell and broke her arm so all the plans fell through for care. Now Michelle is staying for another week. Her mother owns a Hair Salon in Toronto where Michelle also works so times are tough for them complicated by Daisy's recent fall and subsequent issues. Daisy's son Mike now has to drive his wife to the Salon to set it up for her for the day, She is answering the phone and basically running things with one other hairdresser doing all the hair work as she herself cannot do anything physically with her arm in a sling and constant pain. What a circus for them! Driving down to Huntsville we spotted smoke rising from the bush along the highway and shocked to see flames rising above the trees and the air filling with thick black smoke. Fire trucks were rushing up from Huntsville along the highway ( cars by the way were not giving way for the trucks - must be frustrating for the emergency responders when this happens) On the way home, in the dark now as it was past 9 pm, I wondered if the highway may be blocked as a result but only encountered heavy Friday night traffic heading North for the weekend and as we passed the area, no evidence of continued involvement so thankfully they must have got the blaze under control. Michelle said she had seen a structure in full blaze on the way down, so perhaps it was a garage or maybe a home? With the dry ground and trees and the threat of forest fires I had worried the fire could have taken off worse.
Well, the  weekend is here and so I hope you folks enjoy a bit of rest - Cathy how are things there - have you cleaned up your garden yet? We are in the process of doing that now - but with each day Harry comes up with a new idea and things get interesting. Yesterday a dog wondered into the yard obviously lost so Harry secured him by promising treats. He had a phone number on his collar which I called but left a message only. It was about an hour later that Harry actually made contact and the fellow came over in a flash to get the dog. The dog has done this before and it was the same dog we helped the neighbour Ruth look after in the Spring that landed in her yard. The man was very nice and acknowledged that he had come this way before to retrieve the dog and joked that we must have his phone number on speed dial by now!  Take care.

Friday, August 17, 2018

that darn woman in red

Now she's been playing around in the laundry room.  I noticed a bit of a puddle on the floor while doing the laundry.  I had noticed this last time, as well, and mentioned it to David.    So, nothing but off to Rona for a new sink ( the store is closing and there is a sale on.  Don't want to miss that).  We installed the old one when we moved in almost 20 years ago, so maybe it doesn't owe us anything.  Besides, I can no longer get it clean from all the dye and paint that I use in it.  We brought it home, and I suggested that we not worry about replacing the old one today, thinking of the fact that I was only half way through the laundry, and I still had two dye baths "batching" in the old sink.  However, it is in the process of being replaced, and I managed to get what will be the load out of the washer and into the dryer.  Then, we ( the "royal" we) find we need to replace some of the connections to the floor drain. So off to Rona again.  I took a book and waited in the car.  He comes out without the new connections.  Seems that the old one was fine, and all that had to be replaced was the actual piece that is connected to the sink, not the part that connects onto it.  Problem solved.  But the donkey work of setting everything up continues.

The other thing that Woman in Red has done is eat all of my pasta.  I was sure I had several meals carefully put away in the freezer, but not so.  Since I only eat multi-grain pasta, we had to pick up a box of that while we were out. Not easy to find in smaller grocery store, and when you do, take extra money.  Tonight I'm cooking a big pot of multi-grain to freeze where she can't find it, and then more regular stuff for David's supper.  Never a dull moment.  

All I've manged to get done in the studio, other than 4 dye baths, has been more purging.  We took a big bag to the thrift store on our first outing today. This may be necessary, but is always emotional for me.  Very sad to be letting go, but a big relief to have let it go.  Very confusing to my soul, which may be why I a little weepy and short tempered.  Being aware of this, makes it a little easier to control.


Started to rain in the night - a very welcome relief for the dry conditions. Even if I did water last night I did not mind this as we have been promised rain but none has come until now. I had to go out with an umbrella this morning - the dog refused to move further than the front steps - to move some trays of planted seeds that I had to move into the greenhouse to prevent it from getting drowned. I do not think I made it in time and see that it is drenched - oh well, I'll look at it better in the daylight. 
We have started to pull plants out now and clear ground eg the beans and the peas will be next. Harry is all ready to prepare the beds to plant his garlic which will occur in a week or two.  I've weeded the plots and now he puts more soil and manure before the fresh newly bought bulbs get planted. Then covered with straw for over the winter. The process never seems to end haha!
Pati I am happy to hear that your trip to Pinawa was successful and now you can prepare for your showing with confidence. I watched The Quilt Show most current session last night and saw the tool in action for Die Cutting. I think this is quite an amazing tool but wonder about cutting the different shapes and lengths - would need the specific die to do this so one would have to accumulate several of them? I tried to look up machine on net but did not get too far yet with this search. 
The fires around our area are coming under control and nothing as bad as in BC right now. Still have NO FIRE BANS so no chance of making a fire this year. I actually gathered all my little piles of kindling and sticks with idea of getting rid of them. And to have the skies tainted by smoke as far as Manitoba demonstrates the severity of this years fires and is a bit scary to hear that this is probably the normal now. Perhaps it is a weird sight to see coloured skies such as you described, but it does not bode well for the cause and effects, does it?
Onto my bowl of oats and raisins that I prepared last night and put into the fridge for breakfast. I have not had this dish for awhile so looking forward to this treat. I can still hear some rumbling in the skies so I guess the rain storm is not over yet. That's OK as I would like an "inside day" to putter about. Take care.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


The meeting went well last evening, most things were sorted out, and the rest taken care of today( I delegated).  Today we drove out to Pinawa, so that I could see the Gallery where I will hang my stuff on Sept 1st.  There were construction delays-- 45 minutes to drive about 1km at 2-3 km/hour, in heavy traffic, most of which appeared to be heavy gravel trucks.  This made the trip, usually about an hour, just under two hours.

Dick and Vivian were busy with appointments, but tried to get to the gallery between appointments, to chat and have coffee with us.  The gallery was pleasant surprise, and I may be able to take more with me than I had thought.  This trip has always been without stops, so I didn't take my diuretic this morning.  However, there is a very new Tim Horton's, on the East side of Beausejour.  This will be a welcome stop whenever I make the trip again. I had stopped at The 59er, near Birds Hill Park, on the way out, after clearing the construction, but we stopped at Tim's on the way home. 

A very strange day atmospherically, not because of weather.  
The smoke from B.C./ Alberta totally obscured the sun, creating the strangest colour sky.  It was almost like low hanging clouds, everywhere, but the most unusual colour I've ever seen.  The man on the radio described it as almost as though everything was seen through a yellow filter.  He also described it as very "creepy", and I have to agree.  I had noticed it when I first got up, and wondered if we were about to have a tornado.  I had heard of a pending tornado causing the sky to turn a yellow/green, but this was really more of yellow/brown,.  As he said--creepy. 

Now to think about bed.  It's early, but just about time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I hope that I figured out the problem

I think that the "Woman in Red" has secretly been living in my computer.  It must be that or else my brain is rotting faster than my body, and if that was so, I don't think I would notice it.  I have been juggling contracts and arranging volunteers for three up-coming fibre exhibitions, all at the same time.  As well I have three exhibitions hanging on the first September weekend.  I am involved to a greater or lesser degree in all  three of them, and have been quite worried about how my physical endurance is going to keep up.  Now a good friend is trying to organize a fabric marbling day on August 30.   I so-o-o want to go, but know for sure I can't manage 4 days in a row of intense activity. 

And about those three exhibitions?  Well I got the contracts mixed up and have spent the last three days organizing volunteers for the hanging on August 31st, followed by a reception complete with Artists' Talks on Sep 7th.  After contacting everyone and sorting things out I realized that the volunteers aren't needed until September of 2019.

I was in tears right after supper, but then had to go out to a meeting, where I had to apologize to all of my volunteers and explain why they suddenly weren't needed for over a year.

Now, I would never have made such a mess of everything.  It must have been someone else, and I can only think of one person to blame--the Lady  in Red.

Who ever is to blame, I came home from the meeting and poured a big glass of wine, only because there was no B&B in the house.  That would have been so much more satisfying.

Physical woes....

Not easy for me to read your last blog either Pati knowing how much you cherish your abilities to work with fabric and fibers in creating your art, and verbalizing your fears for the future if those abilities fail you. In my day to day work around the yard and house, I, too, have experienced a similar sense of change in me and my body's ability to function and wonder what I can do about it. In my case the intricacies of fine hand work and cutting precisely are not as imperative as yours, but I still find I have to adjust strategies to alleviate my pain or my restrictions of movement just to get the job done. There must be help out there eg with tools, or accessories, to give you a "leg up"? You mentioned investigating such options. So lets do it..... lets see what can be had to help. I am anxious now to follow your journey to resolve and anxious that I shall soon be there with you two, Cathy and Pati to see you first hand and perhaps we can commiserate, or rather strategize, together?
Blooming hot here....when will it end? Just when I think it is getting better ...wham...another heat spell hits us. I cut the grass the other day and I literally had water running down my face and in my eyes. Then sitting down to rest after, it took me awhile (longer than usual) to recover. And watering takes a good two hours each day although I find some solace in this one task. And I find lots to eat as well .... yesterday as I roamed about the entire yard watering with the hose, I gorged on cucumbers, and tomatoes, and strawberries and even a few raspberries. 
I go to the dentist Thursday at 8:30 am to have that filling fixed - never look forward to this although there is a new dentist now in this practise - a younger foreign man who was really quite pleasant in my last examination - I guess I'll find out how he is at filling a tooth.
And my lady friend Daisy is not doing well - last week had a bad fall and the family took her to ER. No broken bones but for the last week has been a bit off. The local Dr did urine tests but the results were negative inspite of her up every hour or tow to urinate. Her granddaughter took her to ER again yesterday and they were doing Ultrasounds, and CT scans and bloodwork. She keeps me updated on the phone ( from the ER last night at 7 pm!) I shall call today and if they are home and up to a visit,(although I do no think they would admit her to hospital,) I shall go over this afternoon. 
And yesterday while we were shopping in the Metro in Huntsville my friend Ruth from across the street called asking me to come over for a coffee - a "girls only" visit probably with her sister ( the one from Holland) and maybe another neighbour but I was not sure who she had in mind! I wish I could have gone but it was not to be!
Time for breakfast and then the day begins...oh, joy and rapture,,,haha! Take care.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Not an easy or happy day

Yesterday, about 4:00, my shoulder and back suddenly told me that they had had enough and were not going to work anymore.  I know I had been pushing it quite a bit, and had been trying to pace the work, but obviously I hadn't been too successful at reducing the physical stress.  I did almost nothing for the rest of the day.  Any movement, especially of my left shoulder caused pain.  I applied heat and Voltaren liberally before bed, and managed to get some sleep, but any movement today is still painful.  This is the worst my shoulder has been since I hurt it June 25th.

The work I was doing was cutting fabric with my rotary cutter, and machine quilting--both are essential activities for the any sort of quilting activity--not only art quilting.  Since David's stroke, and thumb problem, he can no longer cut for me.   Paying someone else to do my quilting for me is not feasible. $$$

With all of the problems I've had over the past 6-7 years, I've had to change or adapt a lot of my activities, both in daily life, and in the studio.  Now I'm facing the possibility that I can no longer adapt.  There are generally speaking four steps in the rehabilitation response sequence following an injury that results in some sort of disability--adapt the persons method/basic ability  of accomplishing a task, adapting the task itself with the use of tools, finding a completely different method of accomplishing the task, or, finally, have the task done by someone else.  This sequence can be flexible depending on each person's unique living situation.   At this point I'm fearful that I've run out of viable options.  The only choice I have right now is to not do any studio work, in hopes that, over time, the shoulder will heal enough that I can consider going back into the rehab sequence, and re-visit some of the steps.  This would be quite a "leap of faith".  

Worry over all of this has resulted in a very uncomfortable day, and quite a few teary periods.  To top it all up, Poker Stars has been having technical problems, and even that sort of diversion isn't  available to me.  So my plan for the evening is to sit and watch re-runs of Antiques Road Show.  Oh Joy!!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Your weather

I almost hate to be writing about weather again but you folks there are still in the thick of it - setting records in Winnipeg for high temps for heavens sake!  And smoke alerts to add to the mix according to the Neepawa weather. I check every morning to see what is going on there. Please take care and stay in if you can. Here, it has been better - in high 20's to 30 and not so terribly humid. So I can go outside and work without feeling like I'm dragging myself around.
Surprise! My Bailey won first place in his category at the Mutt Show yesterday and won a trophy, a bag of goodies and $20.00. As a first place winner he was also automatically entered in the Best of Show but did not win that as I had expected as there were some very talented dogs on display. It was such a fun afternoon. Poor little guy came home and was zonked right out. And Harry went to the Foodland and bought us a bucket of chicken for supper with the $20.00 ......easy come, easy go!  I will try to send a picture via the email of him at the show if I can. 
Today it is back to work for me - I actually did not get much done yesterday except a batch of tomato juice so I must do the birds and vacuum today, and finish the wash. Ugh!  
The other day I broke off a piece of filling while trying to eat some ribs. I made short ribs in the oven ( not Daddy's recipe)  with just some BBQ sauce over top. They were a bit hard in places and obviously too hard for that poor tooth. I will have to make an appointment to get it fixed as my tongue goes there all the time now to feel the hole - why is that? I was not counting on having to go to the dentist right now ($).   Take care

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Shopping and Smoothies

On Thursday, my blender developed a nasty leak through the base.  I have to guess that the gasket died.  It has served me well for the last two years, so we were faced with getting a new one.  Given the heat, and the fact that it's the weekend, we headed out to shop before even having breakfast, hoping to avoid both the heat and the usual crowds of strange people at Walmart on Saturdays.  We had also run into a spaghetti sauce crisis, in that we had used the last bag from the freezer.  Once on the road, David mentioned that he didn't have any chili either, so that meant stocking up on supplies for that, as well.  I casually wondered if tomato sauce might be cheaper at Walmart, than Sobey's. So--we shopped for groceries at Walmart.  I tend to avoid this privilege as I know that Walmart has forced smaller grocers to close all over the USA, and then left the area, leaving many poor people without any access to food.  

This was an experience.  Walmart keeps prices down by using lesser-know brands, including "Great Value".  I have sometimes run into "Great Value"  or as it sometimes appears as "GV" brand, in the Giant Tiger Store across the street.  There we find it in frozen food such a pizza, and for that, you get what you pay for.  But I've never used any of their canned goods.  Guess I'm going to now.  They also had some unbelievable deals on meat, and I confess that we took advantage last winter, without any consequences.

But both of us are fairly firm on buying produce, and most of our regular meat at Sobey's.

I also found a new blender at Walmart ( which was why I went in, in the first place.)  Amber has told me how much she likes her "Ninja" blender and we almost bought one, until I realized that it blended upside down.  The first one I bought, when I started my new eating regime, did it that way, and this wouldn't suit the process that my book asks for.  We did find a nice "Kitchen Aid" one, for the Ninja price, and brought it home.  This meant that we both had a smoothie for lunch, and it did a very fine job.  I hope it last awhile.

David started getting out the slow cookers for making the spaghetti sauce and chili, when we realized that we had both forgotten that one of my slow cookers had died, last time we power cooked, and we had got rid of the two very old ones we had under the stairs.  We only have one!  So, it's spaghetti sauce today ( and for supper too) and chili tomorrow.  Much easier on both of us.

And tonight is my night to watch tv.

Not so hot...

Maybe I am just getting used to the hot humid weather, but lately it has not been quite so bad and actually quite liveable and workable! Hope it keeps up like this. Today is the Sunflower Festival - big celebration here in Sundridge. The weather is calling for showers and then a thunderstorm. Not good news for an outdoor event. The main street and waterfront is lined with vendors, and stage music and kids events. And of course the Mutt Show this afternoon at which I am showing our little Bailey. Hope the weather changes to the better.
The neighbours have arrived next door. We all had a long chat over the fence yesterday as we gave them vegetables from our garden, and she gave us a box of specialty chocolates from Holland, and some cookies and an authentic Delft plate which I have placed in the china cabinet to keep it safe. So for the next six weeks I will tend to avoid our back area as much as possible - I have come to really enjoy the privacy we enjoy the rest of the year when they are in Holland haha!  I noticed this reticence of mine last night when I was watering and almost forgot their presence when walking along the fence to get all the tomatoes - there they were resting on their back patio so I quickly tried to avoid eye contact and water the plants. Funny feeling. Next year they both retire and he says their time in Canada will increase - to what degree I do not know yet because they now have two granddaughters back home which seem to be the centre of their life.
I love your latest art piece Pati posted on Mouse Factory. The colours are beautiful and look so nice on the "rusted" background. It must feel good to create a 'fun" piece as you call it, after all the other work of dyeing and purging you have been doing. How will you show this piece - on a hanger or in a frame?
Well, time for breakfast and then get ready for the day. Sometime in between the activities downtown I must clean the bird cages ( my Saturday treat) so do not know how this day will shape up?
Have a nice weekend folks... Bye for now

Friday, August 10, 2018

Hot, hot hot!

Despite that, I had a couple of letters to mail, and books to take back to the library, so chose to walk over.  I wore the huge sunhat I got in Cuba, and actually made it there and back.  I didn't want to be stuck over the weekend, without books to read.

Yesterday was hot as well, so other than a coffee run, we've been staying pretty close to home.  David has tried to do some yard work, especially getting water to the front flower gardens.  He finds it easier to take it around in a 5 gallon pail than to try to get the hose around there. And the Hydrangeas are still very nice, especially as the one on the south side of the garden is in full bloom.  I really want to get a couple more.

It's so much cooler in the basement, and I spend a lot of time there.  Yesterday, I finished a small hanging to take out to Selkirk for a show in September.  I'll have to try to get a picture up on the other blog today.  A finish usually means a new start, so today I'm hoping to get the Damask Napkins I dyed last week interfaced (stabilized) and cut over the next couple of days.  Last evening I also got a new idea documented in my sketchbook.

Spending a lot of time reading.  The library books give a sort of synopsis on the cover, but more and more I'm finding that it doesn't tell me as much as I would like to know when I choose a book.  I picked up one yesterday that sounded like a nice gentle murder mystery.  The first 12 pages were an almost endless intense, feminist rhetoric.  What's more, there were so many characters introduced, some of them going by nick names, and with confusing forms of address,  ( e.g. everyone was "sister", but one person really was the narrator's sister.)  As well, the time jumped from past to present etc.  And that's just the first 12 pages!  

The problem is particularly true when I order books over the internet, which the library encourages us to do.  Don't even get to read the cover that way. But I have to say that the internet route is wonderful if I find an author I like, and wonder if he/she has written anything else.

Well, just about coffee time again, but today, I think I'll make it at home.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Morning coffee

Enjoying my first morning coffee while at the computer. It is a bit cooler out this morning and quite refreshing, but I know it will quickly heat up again before too long once the sun comes up.
Yesterday we ventured to Mike's for a visit - he was calling to see when we would come and it was actually difficult to schedule this week - Harry has Dr appointment today, and Saturday we go to the Sunflower Festival here in Sundridge and have entered Bailey into the Mutt Show. His category to be judged is a face only a Mother could love. There were only six categories and he did not meet the criteria for any of the other five so this one is it..... haha! We entered him only to show participation - the sponsor of this Mutt Show owns the local pet store and he encouraged us to enter to increase interest in the area. He gets samples from his pet food suppliers so we will get a goodie bag regardless for our efforts.
Enjoyed the visit with Mike as usual but it seems so fast - Harry is always anxious to hit the road right after lunch. Mike starts his University on Sept 5 and goes into the U this coming week to buy his texts - I think I am as excited as he is - he just doesn't show it.
Lots of work to get at today - take one day off and it piles up! Its more fruit leathers on the agenda today and I have to do down more tomatoes. The problem is always the conflict of the kitchen use - Harry gets to make his leathers (once I bring all the equipment up) and into the dehydrator, and then I wait to do my thing after. Great fun.
Hope all is well with you folks. My friend Sue sent more gorgeous pictures from her cruise trip along the inward coastal passage to Alaska  - I think she should be back home by next week? Nice to see what the rest of the world is like through others? But then I am coming to Winnipeg so that keeps my spirits up - cannot wait! Take care

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Not an adventure but rather a marathon

We had purposefully delayed a couple of errands over the weekend, with not knowing what might be open and what might not.  So, this morning I had a list of 7 errands we had to run, with a temperature forecast of 30, and a humidex of 34 predicted.  I plotted our route, and off we went, just before 10.00 a.m.  Our last errand, before my visit to Starbucks, was the mall.  We realized I had forgotten to add something to the list, and hurried to get that done, and then both, exhausted succumbed to the lure of the New York Fries kiosk on our way to the door.  So stopped for lunch--and a good lunch it was.

As we left Starbucks--stop #8 at this point,  David remembered that he needed a hair cut.  So off to the little barber shop close to home.  I sat in the car and drank my coffee while the job was done.  But I sure had to keep the car running and the a/c on while I waited!

Once at home I had a volunteer job to do that turned out to be much more than I expected, but I got it done, and could finally head for the studio.  More purging, and some steady hand work, but I did get to watch a tv show while working.  Was trying to do laundry at the same time. Carried a load of laundry upstairs and realized that it was time for supper.  Got another hour of studio work done after supper, and then came upstairs to relax and play a game of poker, but was interrupted by a phone call.

By now it's time for bed.  And how did your day go?

Weather and other things

We were pleasantly surprised to get a phone call from Jeremy on Saturday.  I didn’t answer cause I didn’t recognize the number but fortunately he left a message. He and Denise were in Neepawa and stopped in for a visit. The clouds were moving in and then the wind came up. They decided they better leave. Jeremy gave me a call later and said they didn’t even make it to the highway before they had to pull over. We had horizontal rain and hail. We got 3/4 inch in less than 20 minutes. Jim rushed to put the car in the garage before the hail damaged it and then he got stuck there cause the rain and hail were so strong he was scared to come back. It eased a couple of times and he finally made it back. Since it was his birthday we wanted to get to town for supper. Finally everything quit and I headed to the car. I no sooner made it to the garage when it started all over again. This time the hail was about nickel sized. Now I am in the garage and Jim is in the house. Eventually we made it to town for Chinese buffet. What a day. It started when I made him breakfast and burned the bacon and broke the yolk on the eggs. At least supper was good when we finally got there. I am assuming jeremy and Denise made it home cause I got no more messages. I know we wanted rain but not like that.

Monday, August 6, 2018

I guess it must be my turn

We've kept close to home for the most part, over the past few days,  Our only real outing was to head out to Selkirk, Saturday, to pick up the two pieces that have been on display over the past month.  Both came home in good shape.  We stopped at the A&W in Lockport for supper on the way home, as we often do.  Unfortunately, it was the worst meal we've ever had in that location.  But we did have coupons for free root beer.

Otherwise I've been in the studio, as was posted on the other blog.  David has been busy in the garden, doing a general clean-up.  The Virginia Creeper, all along the side and back fence, was impinging on the neighbour's vegetable garden, so dealing with that was a priority.  We put up a finch feeder, that has attracted no interest what so ever.  Once I saw a couple of birds at it for a minute, but that's all.  Too bad.

David has started using his bicycle a bit lately.  He doesn't go far, just 2-3 blocks, but it's a beginning.  Now the neighbour next door has talked about joining him, using my bicycle.  Lloyd is 15-20 years younger than David, so I don't see that he'll find the routine much of a challenge.

Supper is over.  Must be time to head downstairs again.

Dyeing adventures

Following along with your dyeing Pati on the Mouse Factory blog and feeling your anguish with the posted results. Actually I like the parfait dyes but can see how the fabric -the so called "muslin"- attempts would be disappointing (as you stated darn right "po'd" with it all). 
Another noisy thunderstorm during night which did not produce much rain again - thank goodness I had just watered everything before supper. It seems we are getting worse weather all the time, as is everyone, and expect this may be the new normal. I have been following the news about the tornado disaster in Alonsa and thinking about you Cathy and wonder if you get enough warning about pending severe weather for your area. It sounded as if this came up very quickly?
We are dehydrating crabapple mush into fruit leathers right now. We have trees hanging to the grounds loaded with crabapples this year. One such tree hangs over the fence into the Holland neighbours yard so yesterday Harry cut the branch off completely and then sat at the back taking all the apples off one by one. With these he blended them with honey etc and made the mush to put in the dehydrator. 
I had also cut and cleaned and dehydrated more herbs from the garden. Basil, thyme, oregano and sage this time. The little herb garden I fashioned is the best I have ever made and the herbs are overabundant. More than I can use but gives me an idea of how I can improve for next year perhaps.  I wonder if I can dehydrate cucumbers haha! - there are so many hanging off the vines I cannot keep up with eating them - how many ways can one eat cucumbers?  Speaking of which I better sign off and get my breakfast - cucumber sandwich anyone?  Take care

Friday, August 3, 2018

Long weekend

According to my clock you have 15 minutes Cathy until you can fly out of there haha!  One, two, three ....go!
The thunder is thundering here right now but the sun is shining and there are two or three drops of rain so far. I am NOT watering tonight - let the showers prevail if they come and I'll sort it out in the morning.
The neighbours next door from Holland arrive on Thursday for their annual 6 week vacation.  Today I fashioned some nice signs to go along with the cheap colourful leis we bought at Dollarama to hang on their tree in front of the house. I cut letters out of construction paper and glued them onto bristle board to read WELCOME HOME. Harry just has to put stakes on the back to stick them into the ground on Thursday and I'll take a ladder over and hang the leis then.
I have work to do this weekend including cleaning the bird cages thoroughly which I do every Saturday. So many cucumbers and tomatoes to do something with..... Cathy we were sitting resting outside this afternoon and I said I wished I could wiggle my nose and voila you would have some of them to counter your disaster of a garden you wrote about.  Harry suggested we could send them express next day delivery if we wanted - it would only cost $50 or $60 dollars I expect with no guarantees....(don't panic!) I think you may have to go to the grocery store instead haha!
So I hear more rattling and noise outside so maybe we are going to get the thunderstorm forecast, and the rain is coming down in torrents now ( I guess pumping may be my next job?). 
Here's to a very nice long weekend for all and enjoy whatever you plan but for sure at some time make a cup of tea and think of us others - that way we shall be together. Take care.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Gardens and other disappointments

Our garden is a total failure this year.  And I thought last year was bad.  The only thing that grew was the yellow beans. I dug up one potato plant last night.  It was planted in May.  There were two, ping pong ball sized, potatoes.  I have a few Roma tomatoes ripening, maybe about 12 off of the 12 plants I have.  No peppers.  No cucumbers. No lettuce, swiss chard, carrots, beets or onions.  The green part of the onions is still the same size as when I planted them.  There.  Now I have bitched.  One thing we were fearing at work was when one of the other offices got there hands on titles from Elkhorn Ranch & Resort.  I wrote up a manual to help them.  Too bad no one read it.  What a disaster.  I managed to round up most of them before it was to late and fix them.  Others were already accepted so I had to file documents to redo them.  I was not a happy camper yesterday.  I am sure they are all capable of learning how to do them, but they could have at least asked!!!!  Oooooh!!  A second bitch.   I am on a roll now :).  Saturday is Jim's birthday.  I am pretty sure he will love it if I take him out for Chinese food.  It is also my 20th work anniversary date.  I even got an email from the general manager congratulating me.  I'd feel special but I know he does it for all anniversaries.  A Winnipeg clerk that used to be in Dauphin and worked here a couple of times sent me a really nice email full of clip art of balloons and high fives and congratulations.  A nice surprise.  And now I have a long weekend to look forward to.  Hopefully there will be one cool rainy day that I can work in the house.  It is starting to look pretty scary.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Keeping up appearances

I was speaking with my friend Vivian on Sunday evening, and she mentioned that she might drop in sometime this week. OMG!  There's a reason I haven't invited any of my ladies groups over lately.  The living room rug was absolutely filthy,with food stains for visual interest. Since I had a disagreement, over  how it had been cleaned, with the company that usually cleans it, last spring, I haven't been able to find someone to clean it, at a price I can afford.  Last time Vivian dropped in, it was "demo day" for my kitchen  work, and there were two men with big hammers in the kitchen, and the stove was in the living room.  There was no way that I could have her here with the rug in that shape.  So I bit the bullet on Monday, and phoned the old company, and made a deal with them, and an appointment for today. Then I heard that Vivian wouldn't be coming. Oh Well, it'll still be fairly clean for Beth when she gets here.  Anyway, the fellows showed up this morning, and did a beautiful job.  I am well pleased.  Had a chat with the fellow, and found out that their main office is in the same building as the dentist we used to see at Bartlett and Osborne.  Their company, which was sort of small when I first used them, had been amalgamating with several others, and is now fairly large.  I gather that the dentist's office is somewhat smaller, and of course the dentist we used is long gone.  I think I remember seeing his obituary.  I do remember that Mom was his first patient when he moved in there, and I had thought that meant his first patient.  But a couple of years before I retired, I ran into a woman who had been a patient when he was doing clinical training in Toronto, before setting up his practice here.

David has been wanting to be more active lately.  A couple of weeks ago he took a ride on his bike and had a fall that left him "bloody but unbowed", and yesterday, he decided to use the pressure washer on the outside of the house.  We can't really see a difference, but the process sure left him wet and dirty.  Today it was off on his bike again, and some trouble with the chain.  Dirty hands and the need for quite a scrub.  Trying to build up his bike riding ability is turning out to be a bit of a challenge.

I'm thoroughly tired of the  needle book I'm working on and will be glad to see the end of it.  I'm starting to think that it may be contributing to the shoulder pain I'm having.  But I'm close enough to believe that I will get it finished tonight.  Better eat supper and get back to work.

Alaskan Cruise picture

I just received an email from my friend Sue with a picture of the Hubbard Glacier. She is on her cruise with her daughters up the inner passage to Alaska - imagine her taking the time to send a short message and picture! You never know.....

Busy is right!

Just read the Mouse Factory Blog and can see how busy you have been Pati. What wonderful work, and you say you are not finished yet with more to do with hand stitching. Your current needle holder that you say you use, is also very nice. I am assuming two of the pictures are of it? 
Rained most of today and with heavy rain this morning - enough to dampen the garden and hopefully to help the forest fires -the latest report has over 1000 people in one town on 24 hour standby to evacuate. It took me just over 2 hours to water our gardens last evening - I timed it. Thank goodness I don't have to repeat that again tonight. 
I had wanted to view the skies last night for the best view ever of the planets aligned, especially Mars which was supposed to be brilliant. It was overcast so I saw nothing.  Cathy I keep thinking of your fabulous 180 degree view of the skies - did you perhaps have a look?
More produce done today -Tomatoes anyone? Also my second quasi apple crisp with free fall little apples - nice taste actually. Now the best thing to happen today....I organized a cupboard in the kitchen to hold some of the pickles Harry has made, and found a box of Girl Guide Choc mint cookies - from last Fall- hidden at the back. Who would have done that I ask haha!  So we can really surprise ourselves sometimes eh? A cup of tea and a box of cookies - good for supper?
Have to go to take Bailey out. Hope all is well. Take care

Monday, July 30, 2018

Busy in the studio

but still finding time to head out for coffee and then a  few minutes peace, while drinking it in the back yard.  We bought a new finch feeder on Friday, and filled it.  Not much action until yesterday, and then only sparrows, although I did see a little bird with a rosy breast, that might not have been a sparrow.  I know that birds are a very suspicious bunch, and imagine it will take them awhile to take the finch feeder seriously.  David continues to fill the larger feeder at least once a day, so today I mentioned that maybe we might not want to spend that much on bird food.  A medium ( 20lb?) bag costs almost $30.

Sunday morning, I couldn't live with my hair, so showed up at the walk-in hairdresser in Walmart right at 10:00 opening, and had most of it cut off.  Feels much better.

Yesterday, while I was out in the yard, the neighbour lady across the back called me over and offered me 3 cucumbers, and an handful of radishes.  Had one of the cucumbers, the radishes, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a bit of chicken for supper, and it was just fine.  But my weight was up this morning, and then when I read the paper, I came across a comic that I ended up cutting up and posting on the fridge.  Usually I send them to you, Beth, but this one I kept.  A chubby, disheveled fellow was sitting at the bar and says to the bartender, "Maybe I need to stop eating so many donuts".  The bartender asks "why?"  The fellow says "They seem to make my clothes shrink".  So today, it was back to phase #1.  This time, I bought sole rather than cod, by mistake.  Knowing it is a more delicate fish, and only takes seconds to cook, I "fried" it up in a frying pan with a tiny bit of Pam, rather than baking it.  A much nicer meal than the usual cod poached in tinfoil.  Yuck!

I have actually started finishing the needlework project that I found awhile ago.  All of the stitching was complete, and I had the rest of the supplies, so why not?  There are several components to the task, but all of those are now ready to be put together, slowly and painfully by hand.  I'll try to take a couple of pictures.

Nothing urgent on the calendar until Saturday, when I pick up my pieces from the gallery in Selkirk.  I'll be glad to get them safely home, as I need them for the show in Pinawa in September.

Unsettled weather over next few days

Evident today at home when I had to water the plants as they had been left a day or two and obviously were wilting from lack of water? As I was watering rain started to sprinkle - so I am watering the plants with the sun almost shining and the rain coming down and me with an umbrella in one hand and the hose in the other. Does this seem right? All the while Harry was at the BBQ doing hamburgers. Crazy.
We went to North Bay this morning to shop and I also went to the Bus terminal and purchased tickets for my trip. Dates are as previously discussed - leaving Sept 12 from North Bay for WPG and leaving Winnipeg for North Bay Sep 19.
Hazy skies and the smell of smoke evidence of the fires just to the west over Lake Nipissing - these fires are not under control and encroaching on Highway 69 to point it may be closed - one report said the visibility was 0%. The weather conditions and winds are not helping but hindering attempts to fight. 
In North Bay I was able to purchase an overblouse and three sleeveless under blouse tee shirts all of which will be perfect for the trip. I believe I am set for clothing (I'll rectify if after making a master list, this is not so) - so now I will plan the other articles/items I may need to bring. This should keep my mind focused until I can actually pack and get on the bus haha!
In meantime, life goes on and I have produce to take care of. The apples from my one really good tree are falling off - birds or just falling- so I have picked these smaller freefalls off the ground and hope to make an apple crisp. This tree produces larger greenish apples that are perfect to bake.   All for now. Take care

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Made it home

David and Loren arrived home about 11:30 last night.  They both looked like they had a good time.  Not much talk about the football game, but this was David's first time at the new stadium, and there was lots of talk about the seats and elevators etc. Evidently the bus ride to and from, leaving the car at St. Vital Centre Park'n'Ride, was an experience for both of them.  David spoke of having to ride, packed in like sardines, standing up.  I can see David's concern, given his balance problems.  David was tired, as expected, and he's still sleeping, although I've been up for a couple of hours.

Yesterday we did our monthly shopping.   Missed a couple of things.  David likes to scan his Air Miles card at the grocery store, on days when there is a game on, as there is some sort of deal where names are drawn to win various things, whenever there is a touchdown ( I think that's how it works).  So we can pick up something today, and get the card scanned.  

Yesterday, knowing he would be going out in the evening, I tried to get the shopping organized so as to reduce the physical stress, as much as possible.  We were also doing a laundry, meaning that the beds linen would need to be changed.  This is a physically demanding job for both of us.

I had 7 different stores on the list, but had rated them according to how urgent the visit was.  We made it to 5 of them, and were still home by noon.  The last two, I would like to get to today.  One visit was #1 in terms of urgency, ahead of grocery stores.  That was Dollarlama--for new sunglasses.  Couldn't find mine anywhere, and wondered whether I had left them at Tim Horton's, after my massage Thursday.  Love my nice new ones, and the lady at the bank had a pair of scissors to cut the label off.  Until then I was wearing them with the label hanging down over my nose.  Isn't it amazing how appearances aren't as important when one gets older?
Unfortunately, I found the old glasses this morning, in the bedroom.  I'm not concerned, as they were getting scratched, and were ready for replacing, anyway.

We continue to be be blessed with lovely summer weather.  I'm getting out to the patio almost everyday.  For this, I am thankful.


Must have been a great night to watch the Bombers win their game against Argos at the Football stadium!  Celebration! Hope those in attendance had a fun time???

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Trip to North Bay today

I went to North Bay today on my own to Willie's to celebrate his Birthday which is today. I made the customary and expected Cherry Cheese cake and spent some time with him and his entourage. It is a good day when I can spend a little time there to visit and have a conversation even though we speak on the phone frequently, a visit means a bit more for me.
I shopped a bit first and noticed as I exited my car at the first store, the smell of smoke in the air. I cannot smell it in Sundridge but it was very evident in North Bay. Too close for comfort and apparently many of the forest fires in the area are still out of control.
I had to water when I got home as the forecast rain has never materialized even though around supper the skies darkened and I could hear thunder, it quickly moved off and without any water to moisten the poor plants!  I should not really say "poor plants" as they are producing in excess right now. I have so many tomatoes now to do down, and I have cereal covered with a ton of raspberries every morning. Thankful to Harry for picking the raspberries as I am not venturing into the patch at all and I can see them in my morning walkabout red and juicy and jumping out at me haha!
Time to close up ......take care.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Happy Anniversary

July 25, 2003 Cathy and Jim were married in a ceremony on their grounds joined by many family and friends. Now 15 years later, we celebrate their Anniversary with them  Happy days to you both. XX

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Now there's a concept!

Incestuous Budgies?!?

I'm exhausted!  Two days of excitement, trips downtown, and lots of walking--to say nothing of the emotional high of actually seeing world renowned art.  A day to be remembered, and the thrill of a lifetime.  The exhibit was larger than I had expected, and I had to sit down for a few minutes, several times.  We also parked on Memorial Blvd, opposite Memorial park, and it was a bit of a hike to the Art Gallery. This lack of endurance was a bit of a surprise to me, and not a pleasant one.  Not sure how to deal with it.  Obviously I need to increase my physical activity level, without hurting my knees or compromising my back.  

Needless to say, there hasn't been much going on at home over the past couple of days.  Meals have been simple, and housework non-existant  However, this morning, before I went out, David was busy tidying the garage, trying to find a little more room for the car.  I'm still a little nervous backing the car out, and that makes him nervous when I back the car out.  Hehe!  Just as Gail arrived to pick me up, he hurt his head somehow, and came in with blood all over his forehead.  We got him cleaned up, and found a fairly small lesion under all the blood.  It looks worse than it is, but I'm sure he's going to have a nasty bruise, as well.

So, all in all, I don't think either of us is up to much this evening.

It's raining!

Finally we have some rain that will make a difference - at least I do not have to use the hose to water.
We went to Huntsville today and ran into torrential rains and thunder and lightening. Even the Metro store where we shopped had buckets all over the store to catch the dripping water leaking from the roof.  So I felt for sure it would be the same at home and even worried a little about water accumulating at the front. As we drove further North it became dryer and finally stone dry here. Not a drop had fallen. So it was business as usual until about 4 pm when the sky darkened and the rain fell.....Yeah! It may not last but it is rain. It should also help with the forest fires to the West of us - unless lightening starts more.
I take the car to the Dealership tomorrow to have the strut replaced. I got a call a few days ago to say the part was in. I expect this bill shall be a bit high but will have to deal with it.
Update on the birds: my little chick is becoming so beautiful - with her feathers coming in she is filling out nicely and shows signs of a gorgeous teal colouration which I favour.  The first pair from which my chick was hatched and then abandoned, have already laid two new fresh eggs - so the beat goes on, the beat goes on...lets all sing along!.  Take care

The Bay

It is sad to think of that majestic store - once a favourite haunt and destination of mine, could be in such poor shape. But then I was just as sad when they tore down Eatons store. How many trips did I make to Eatons and to the annex to order catalogue cloths and try them on. But were there not some attempts being made to revitalize The Bay. I thought I had read it at some time in the Free Press?  Still glad that on one of my trips to Winnipeg that I visited The Paddle Wheel just before they closed it up completely.
No relief in the hot and humid. We had only a sputtering of rain - just enough to make it really humid again after a few days of relief.  I am working in the yard regardless and wearing my rubber boots which can be clumsy and hot but protect me in encountering the snakes that Harry says are still accumulating around the raspberry patch. Dehydrating herbs now as well as garlic from the garden. Harvesting the garlic can be a pain but Harry seems to be taking it in slow steps - as much as he can manage at a time anyway - which makes it easier for me. 
Just sent a message to my friend Sue who leaves tomorrow for a trip to BC and a cruise up the Inner Channel - all arranged by her two daughters as a Birthday gift. They have made all the arrangements and so they shall all enjoy a Mother/Daughter adventure. Nice.
Time for some cereal covered with fresh raspberries ...yum. Enjoy your visit to the Gallery Pati. Sounds interesting.

Monday, July 23, 2018

A non-adventure--sort of

Today Gail and I went downtown to visit the wonderful exhibit of Expressionist paintings at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, only to find the gallery isn't open Mondays.  We'll try again tomorrow.  But, we parked in the Bay parkade.  The parkade was under repair, as it has often been over the years.  The only public parking was on the top floor, and getting there was tricky, as Gail had brought her big van.  We got there and then went to enter the store, although there were no clear directions on how we might do that.  We found ourselves on the second floor, just outside the ladies washroom, which used to be one of the best ladies room in the the city.  Not any more.

 We survived, and then found ourselves in the furniture department.  On to the elevator, as the escalator was blocked off.  Not sure if we were going to make it down the first floor, given the poor condition of the elevator itself, and the weird noises it made.  On the first floor we found clothing, and every bit of it appeared to be on "Final Clearance".  Being female, we had to check it out.  Old lady clothes.  Your grandmother's clothes.

The building is very run down.  So very sad to see.  After walking to the Art Gallery and back, we returned to the car, and left.  We had spent only about 20 minutes in the parkade, but had to pay $4.00 for the privilege.  We both agreed to see if we could find alternative parking tomorrow.  At least we had a fair bit of time to spend over coffee.

Thinking that I would be tied up all afternoon, David and I had chosen our supper menu very carefully, but that just means that, maybe, I get to spend a little more time in.the studio this afternoon, since we just about killed ourselves doing all that housework. yesterday,

Sunday, July 22, 2018


We've heard a lot on the news about fires in Ontario, but not as much about Manitoba, although I believe there are a couple they're worried about here.  I was thinking about you when I hear they were so close to you.

Today was mostly spent working in the kitchen.  I've been so busy in the studio lately, that it's been badly neglected.  I started by cleaning the fridge.  With the garbage going out tonight, for pick up early tomorrow morning, it was a good time.  Now that's done, a couple of cupboards have been deep cleaned, and all the floor washed, including the back foyer, and stairs.  I was very proud of myself with the two cupboards.  Both of them are low and deep, and have pipes or wires running through the back of them, making it very hard to clean in corners etc.  I figured out that if I crumpled up a wet Swiffer floor sheet, and held it with my long handled reacher, I could get around the pipes and wires, while sitting in a chair.  Worked well.  The carpet that we have in the back foyer is getting badly stained, especially on the reverse side.   We just looked at it, vacuumed it, swept the back and put it back down on the floor.

Then it was time to head out to pick up a prescription at Walmart, and head for Starbucks.  By the time we got home the clouds had rolled in and the wind had come up.  No rain though, so I drank my coffee in the back yard.  There were two smaller rabbits eating grass at the foot of the tree, just a few feet away from me.  They were aware of me, but not bothered until the fellow next door dumped a bag in his garbage bin.  He was behind them and they both headed straight for me, stopped for a second to look at me, when they were a couple of feet away, and then just kept going straight--right over my feet and across the yard.  Guess they really don't see either of us as a threat.  The birds actually chastise David until he puts out more food for them.

Now, we're both pretty tired and will probably veg out in front of the tv.  There are two hours of Antique Road Show this evening.  Good enough for me.

Yes, I remember it well....

That was quite a day for you Pati and I had wished I could help you but the judging was yours. I kept myself busy and all in all a very interesting day. You were exhausted because of the weather, and the duration and also because of keeping your "cool and calm" attitude throughout the entire process. I admired you for your endurance, but we sure were glad to drive away that night, weren't we!
Some may describe my little chick as "scruffy", which is a good word. Here is what my printed literature wrote: ....the budgie chick resembles an unkempt miniature dinosaur, with a pleasingly ugly mix of down and pin feathers, and a lot of the character and curiosity that will stay with it throughout its life. I think that describes this little chick perfectly. The other chicks we have seen through hatching and care and growing, are mostly all very beautiful and each truly has a distinct colouration and character.
Just waiting for the rain to come as promised in the forecast. Today rain should start any minute and rain should come off and on over the next two days. This is what we need. The forest fires are ever so close to us in this area with the French River area and Killarney Prov Park been evacuated and some areas in southern area of Sudbury being put on alert. It is another bad year for these parts as it is in BC by all the news reports I am hearing.  What is the status in Manitoba now?
I am about to do something with the accumulating tomatoes sitting on the counter and Harry is out right now to pick again. This will be a daily process I guess as things start to ripen wildly. Take care.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Springfield Agricultural Fair

This morning we were off to Dugald for the Springfield Agricultural Fair.  Beth, this is the same event as you and I went to when you visited a few years ago.  The newer fibre group I belong to, had their current exhibition up within the display area, and needed someone to sit in it, and give out information.  Thank Goodness it wasn't as hot as that day we spent there.  This time we were only there for two hours, not 13,  and, I was able to get something to drink.  It sure brought back memories though.  

There was a large exhibit of bee keeping and honey making.  I found some honey and/or beeswax based, hand cream there.  It was unscented, and didn't leave my hands all greasy, so we bought a jar.

I sure was tired--after two hours of "performance art", and had a nap, but now I'm ready to head for the studio, Diet Dr. Pepper in hand.  Tonight is my tv night, but David is watching a football game this afternoon, so I may not have to watch my shows in the basement.  There is a lot of hand sewing piling up, so I should be able to keep busy while watching.

Friday, July 20, 2018

So Friday has come?

For me, idle thoughts and insignificant tidbits they are NOT as I look forward to all messages and read them several times enjoying  the communication so much. We all have such different lives it is a real treat to hear all about another's events, happenings, or thoughts, or even another's little bit of venting/whining, right?
The weather is still hot - really hot today. There was heavy smoke reported over North Bay yesterday and a bit of a check on the internet stated the cause was from fires to the west around Parry Sound area. I did not notice any disturbances here which is surprising but then it all depends on the wind direction I guess.
With one exception of walking to the Bank and Lottery store this afternoon, I was in the yard working from 7 am to 5:30 pm. I accomplished a great deal and it made me feel good to accomplish what I did, but I have to admit I am totally bushed! I should have a good sleep, shouldn't I?  I wore my big rubber boots all day weeding in the beds - I am still a bit taken aback to know there are snakes "in them there beds". At least if I encountered one, my boots would give me some protection from being totally frightened. Or maybe not? Harry has told me he saw one twice while picking the raspberries so I have to believe him.
I am backing off of the many feedings to the little budgie chick as it seems not to be interested now and has been observed to be foraging well in the cage.I shall offer her some before bed to be sure but last night I did not feed her from 6 pm until this morning at 5 am and even then she hesitated to take much. She is the weirdest looking little chick of any that have been hatched under our watch but she has character and personality and I give her credit for surviving her abandonment.  I have a picture of her and if I can I shall attach it to an email. 
So for now I shall bide you goodnight. Have a nice weekend.  Take care.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Idle thoughts, and insignificant tidbits

So glad to hear that you got out to visit, Beth.  These short stimulating interactions keep me going.

Tuesday a couple of my stitching friends and I visited Kathy, a long term hand stitcher, and member of the Embroiderers' Guild.  She lives quite close to me.  I'm not sure if her building is a co-op, or condo, but she certainly has a nice home, and well set up for someone who uses a walker.  She had a sort of plate rail that ran all around her living room, but with framed embroideries, rather than plates.  We sat down, and she served us ice tea, and shortly after, I knocked over my tea allover the chair I was in, my purse and fabric bag, and her floor.  It took three of us about 20 minutes to clean it all up.  Because of the walker, she has laminate floor, Thank Goodness. That event took the formality out of the visit.  Part of the time was spent reminiscing about stitchers we had known, many since passed on, and the pleasure they brought to our lives.  Obviously we're all getting older

Seeing all of her finished embroideries brought back to me the great pleasure I always found in hand stitching, and an itch to try it again.  A current problem with that is my lack of a thimble.  Last time I took my antique thimble to  the jeweler to have a hole fixed, he told me that the 180 year old gold was too fragile to fix again.  I can use it for small jobs, but avoid using it too often.  I had another one that I bought years ago from an English vendor, at a trade show.  We don't know what happened to it, but have suspicion that it fell in the garbage, and is long gone. Yesterday, I saw an ad on The Quilt Show, for thimbles.  The shape looked workable, and they had it in XS.  I ordered one.  Not cheap, especially with exchange and shipping.  I also remember the hassle you had, Beth with customs.  I sure hope it fits.

I've given away most of my stitching supplies, but still have embroidery floss, and a box of various silk threads.  I've also kept one project, tucked away for several years now.  I've brought it out and fondles it a few times, but could never bring myself to get rid of it.  Thinking about it, not really doing anything-yet.

I'm pissed!  Somehow, we ran out of boneless chicken breasts.  This is the meat we eat most often, thus, a crisis.  So Monday we went shopping and bought more, paying a healthy price for them--almost $60 for 16 breasts c/w filet, i.e. 10 meals/20 servings.  Yesterday, we found them on sale at a different store for the cheapest price I've see in years--$25 for 14 breasts c/w filet, i.e. 9 meals/18 servings.  That was at $3.98/lb.  I get excited when they come in a $4.88/lb. While we were out we also stopped a The Bulk Barn, ( Seniors' Discount day)and along with my nuts, I got two Panda Licorice bars.  I have them tucked away for the right time as well.

After shopping, I spent quite a bit of time reading in the garden.  In the end the ants won.  I sure wish I could afford to have Poulin's out again, but I've got to pay for that darn thimble.

And I think of Cathy, seeing the ocean and mountains, neither of which am I ever likely to see again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ah, cooler weather at last

Much better - can feel the breeze cooling down things now - house may need a good blow out but it is pleasant to be outside.
I planned two outings today 1) neighbour Ruth's 80th birthday and 2) visit to Daisy's.  I baked some cupcakes yesterday and iced them this morning - a tray to take to each outing. Headed over to Ruth's at about 930 and found her in her barn feeding her rabbits - surprise for Ruth "I didn't know you knew it was my Birthday" she said. At the same time another friend entered carrying a bouquet of flowers. This was the lady named Hilda who takes care of the rabbits when Ruth and Gerd are away except for that 10 days last Fall when I took over. So we all went inside where Gerd had the coffee on, and in between two telephone calls - one from her sister in Holland, and one from her sister in Elliot Lake, On we sat at the table and enjoyed conversation and a strawberry flange cake with whip cream. Ruth had made it yesterday hoping there would be guests to come. She was 'anticipating" right! How I enjoyed my time. It was good - short lived - but refreshing. This lady Hilda also has budgie birds and expressed an interest in acquiring two males if we would get rid of them. I said I would have to ask Harry which I did and did not get any answer really. Oh well.....
After lunch and some garden work, I then headed over to Daisy's about 1:30 pm - no one home! The neighbour who was outside in her garden told me they had gone to Daisy's cabin in the bush close to Aunt Evelyn's cottages on Eagle Lake. Oh! ....So I came back home with my cupcakes and probably will wait to call them until tomorrow and see how our signals got crossed and maybe arrange for another visit. Or maybe I should eat the cupcakes haha!
Since then I have done the watering outside, and sat on a chair under the umbrella with a cup of Honey Bush tea to enjoy, and now blogging before I get the birds to bed, and also myself.  Ain't life grand?
Right now though, I am thinking of Cathy and Jim travelling back home today after a wonderful vacation in BC. Probably anxious to get home and get some sleep? Lets hear all about it, eh?
Bye for now....

Monday, July 16, 2018

Flash Boom boom !

I was out watering this afternoon when the forecast "strong thunderstorm" started to roll in - first with loud noises and then with darkness and then bolts of light and then the skies opened up- I mean really opened up! Needless to say I went from watering with a hose outside, to pumping the water away at the front.  So heavy was the rain that the barrels filled and overflowed and tumbled down the sidewalk at the side and pooled at the front window. Same old scenario I have dealt with for years even after getting new eavestroughs. The eavestroughs solved one problem, but the flow of water down the sidewalk is another new problem.  But, I did not have to finish watering for today.
Pati I am so happy to see your new cloths and thank you for the pictures.The blue denim dress with matching shoes is very, very nice and looks very, very nice on you. I sure hope you have worn it out - perhaps to the Starbucks, or over to the Mall? And you are right, the beautiful flowers on the tshirt catches your eye and i did not even notice the horizontal strips. I love the overshirt - it is what I would buy and wear and looks good with the shorts. You made some fine choices with your purchases and I know you are well pleased.
I did not mention that on Saturday I was with the Geek Squad again for another marathon computer session - this time from 0830 am to 2 pm.  Since the last session on June 26 I was noticing frequent red flags in lower right corner indicating firewalls down and spyware etc not protected. Since I knew I might be awhile with the computer in use with the Squad, I choose to connect with them just after Harry left home for garage sales on Saturday morning, thinking I would be done by the time he came home. Not so.....They had to uninstall the Bitdefender Upgrade and start to reinstall it. The first time two weeks ago, it took 2 hours to download. So I waited and when it had downloaded and they had remote control of the computer, something went wrong and I watched as they started to reinstall it again. I typed in my little box asking what was going on? When I was told they had to reinstall I become quite anxious knowing that this was going to take way longer. Sure enough Harry came home at 1130 am and of course no access to computer for him. I was so happy when finally they were done at 2 pm and we could get back to normal. There are a few changes to appearance and other stuff (eg seems to take about 10 - 15 min to shut down now) but so far I have not seen the red flags pop up again - yet. I am so uncomfortable with having to deal with issues but fortunate that I pay monthly for the help I can get. It is worth it for me.
Today was supposed to be the last day of high temps and high humidity -the rain cooled it down a bit and so hoping that by tomorrow we shall have some better manageable weather.
I took the car to the dealer for service (oil change) on Thursday and it was time for inspection and brake inspection so I said go ahead - I got a ride home after leaving the car at 8 am. By 1:30pm I had not heard so took the chance and walked back to the Garage (took about 15 minutes of brisk walking down the highway - in hot and humid weather conditions at that!!) Seems they had found some issues (don't they always?) The brake pads needed to be changed and a front strut was leaking and had to be ordered to be replaced.  I still have to take it back once that arrives to be fixed. So, I ended up with a bigger bill than I thought (good old plastic to the rescue) and i still have another hefty bill to come since the strut is no longer under warranty (over 60,000 km on the car) And come next May I turn the car in for a newer lease. Oh boy...
Better sign off for now and feed the animals. By the way I just poured myself a wee shot of sherry to warm my innards and get me through the rest of the day. I already had my comfort cup of tea - I guess that wasn't enough haha!   Bye for now......

Sunday, July 15, 2018

In response to popular demand

A quick glance at the new clothes.

Here is the light cotton blue dress, complete with the blue shoes I had hidden at the back of my closet--for about 8 years.  I must have known then that I would be buying this blue dress.

Here are the shorts, and the blue over blouse.  The blue polo shirt is under the over blouse, and there is a white one in exactly the same style.  I figured everyone knows what white looks like, so didn't take a picture.

Here is the top that I like the most.  It's close to the style I feel most comfortable with, but the horizontal stripes are usually something I would avoid.  Love the flowers, and I think they take the eyes away from the stripes.  Unfortunately my "muffin top" shows with this top, but it's not like I can cut it off or hide it, so I live with it.

Moving my angst over here

Most of my navel gazing has been studio related and posted on the other blog, but what I'm obsessing over right now is much more personal.  Lately, I've been hating my body, mainly because I see the signs of aging, and the negative signs of weight loss. At my age you loose the fat, but not the skin.  I think I could almost take flight with the "bat wings" I have.  The choices I make are mainly to minimize the appearance of those changes, i.e, long sleeves, long pants, darker colours.  The stores where I shop mainly cater to either larger or older women, and the clothing available often features the longer sleeves and darker colours.  Secondly, the last time I had my hair coloured and cut, both jobs were done poorly.  The poor colour I have to live with for awhile, but I am looking for a new hairdresser, and plan to get it cut again fairly soon.

At some point I need to come to terms with the changes I see--they're not going to go away.  The clothes I bought yesterday may be the first steps in accepting who I have become.  Other than the muu-muus I used to wear around the house, I haven't owned a dress or skirt in close to 30 years.  I even wore a dressy pant outfit to Amber's wedding.  It's been years since I wore shorts.  I think I bought a pair the first time I went to Cuba--in 2005.

So, now, I have to actually wear the things I bought.  The shorts will be the easiest.  But, they will look funny with the large, black walking shoes I wear.  Egad!  What am I going to put on my feet? 

I know this is really a "tempest in a teapot", and not something most people worry about.  But I have wept over this issue over the last few months, and this first step will be the hardest.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Out Again

Beth, your comments stirred me to action.  Possibly because they echoed the comments the physio made yesterday, when he asked if I didn't own a pair  of shorts.

So, early this morning, we were off to St. Vital Centre, and the Bay.  In the past this is where I've bought my muu-muus.  I loved wearing them, but had figured that they were no longer sold there, or anywhere, and I was right.  But the store was in the middle of a "store wide clearance sale".  I found many things to try on, but ended up buying a pair of shorts, a pull-over knit shirt, that I like very much, and a blue denim-look  dress, just below knee length. All of these were on sale. I also bought a bundle of socks, which had also been on my shopping list.  They weren't on sale, but I still got 6 pair at just over $4 each.  They are a brand I really like, and can only get at the Bay

Then, David wanted to stop in Walmart to try to find the slippers he couldn't find in our trip to the local one yesterday. He found them, but not in his size. However, in our search, I found two pullover Polo-type shirts and an over blouse--all Alia brand, which is what I wore all the years I worked.  All three came to less than $30.00.  The best thing about my purchases is that they will all fit nicely into my current wardrobe.  I've made the mistake in the past of buying something I loved, only to find that there was nothing else, that I had, to coordinate it with.

But now we're home for the day.  Yesterday, I finished a third charity quilt top, complete with fabric cut for binding.  Today, I hope to start a fourth one, while monitoring my new clothes being washed.  All of them can go in the dryer. Hallelujah!  Once they are all  ready to go, I can use an assembly line process to get them sandwiched, ready for quilting.  I had hoped to have 6 finished by the end of August, and this will give me 5, with the basic cutting for several more also done.

And for supper tonight, I've taken a package of Daddy's ribs out of the freezer.  Always nice to have something handy, and not have to sweat over deciding what to serve.

In and cool?

Instead of "out and about" its a good idea to stay "in and cool". Lucky you to have a/c in these weather conditions. I still use the ceiling fans which helps a bit. But I must go outside. This morning I must water - the promised rain came in the middle of the night and turned out to be only a light, short lived sprinkle. I had depended on a bit more to relieve the constant dryness and need to water regularly. In spite of this weather though, it is surprising how well the plants are growing and producing. Yes, I must step up my consumption of tomatoes as they are starting to pile up on the kitchen counter haha!
Pati I would not be able to survive if I did not have the shorts and light shirts to wear outside. Even in the house I have to remove my socks and run barefoot to keep cool. That's why I mentioned long ago about wanting to make a skirt - so much more air flow down under with a skirt or moo moo - of course never got further than washing the fabric but the idea was good haha!
I have been watching my roses closely and patiently waiting for the little buds to open - the deep red rose is just about to open and if i went out right now (early) I would probably see a gorgeous rose.They do not last long but i surely do like them. I have four large roses ( two red and one white and one unknown as it has been hidden in the raspberry patch until i discovered it and cleared around it for more light) and this spring the lady from the lake gave me three miniature red roses which have bloomed long ago but are now growing and thriving beautifully in my little garden at the back. Small little pleasures that make me happy!
Thinking about you Cathy and sure that you are having a good time. Enjoy every minute and when you get home we shall look forward to hearing from you.
On with the weekend.....lots to do .....stay cool.....Bye for now

Friday, July 13, 2018

Out and about

Yesterday evening was the opening reception for the show in Selkirk where two of my pieces are for this month.  A very nice event, with music, and lots of people.  It was a pleasure chatting with people, but when the loud music started, we left.  Since it was still early, we proceeded to South Beach Casino.  It's been a very long time since we were last there, and I was interested in what changes there might have been, and there've been quite a few.  We stayed there for a bit, but wanted to be off the highway by dark, so headed home after a short time.

This morning, I have a physio appointment, and the mail came early, with a bit of a surprise.  We had submitted an amendment to David's income tax return, based on changes to our medical expenses, and, finally, there was the assessment notice. The amendment had been delivered, by hand, in mid-March, and we were starting to wonder if we would ever get any sort of response!  But now there is a little bit more money in the bank.  And David explained how he wants to spend it.  He wants new clothes, and he knows exactly what that will be.  Usually, I have to drag him kicking and screaming into menswear stores, but it looks like we're going shopping, right after my physio appointment.

After talking to my doctor on Wednesday, I've decided that this will be the last physio appointment.  Certainly the doctor doesn't feel I need to go anymore.  The biggest concern had been that I might develop "frozen shoulder", as many older women do.  I have good range of movement, with the exception of a slight reduction in external rotation, which could well be a relic from when I broke the shoulder several years ago.  Certainly it's not a movement that is used often, and only rarely in the outer range.  My concern is the amount of pain I'm experiencing after the physio treatments, often lasting for more than 48 hours, and interfering with my driving.

p.s. I talked to the physio, and he told me that it isn't my range of movement he's worried about, but rather, I have a "tendonopathy". Not a word I've ever heard of.  As well, he says I have strength issues.  So, we agreed that I would work on my own at home, and go back to see him in a month.  But, I did book an appointment for a massage.

p.p.s. We left here about 12:30, and have just been home a few minutes.  Five different stops, and we're both exhausted.  I mean really beat with the heat--humidex of 46.  But we did get David two pair of pants. One of them is on order, but he brought the other home with him.

I honestly can't see anything in our immediate future except vegging out in the a/c.  I half wish I owned a dress, or a pair of shorts.  But I put on the bottom half of an old bathing suit, and feel much better for it.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Long walk in store?

This morning I take the car to service at the Dealer - oil change and a check of the heater function is the order. Usually I just take a book and stay to wait, but since I have this little birdie who depends on me to feed her I shall have to walk home and then walk back to pick the car up when done.  I have done this frequently but not of late - it is not really far once you get rolling along the highway - it's just the thought in this weather. if i really wanted to i could have them drive me home and then pick me up - they have done this before but I don't think that is necessary.  Then i shall have to check for watering. i did it in the afternoon yesterday but it was so dry - perhaps a morning water would be in order?
The food dehydrator is in full force doing garlic scapes, green onions, and now fruit such as mangoes. I have tomatoes to manage this morning as well. And the darn bananas have ripened so I would like to make a batch of muffins - so I can eat them haha!
I just checked my lottery tickets and as usual, nothing for me in big numbers but a free play and those I'll take every time since they seem to be what I am going to win. I still dream big, though haha!
I am hearing about several options for Bus transportation to take over the soon defunct Greyhound into Manitoba. One is based in Thunder Bay and already does trips to Winnipeg - it's called Casper Transportation so I am going to check it out - just for fun!  And then I was thinking about the end terminal for Greyhound and turnaround - likely be Kenora? but how about the Manitoba border Info centre? Perhaps they will have to build a nice new terminal so that all the passengers can get kicked off there and have to walk to Winnipeg. I know I am being factitious but the whole situation have bothered me. Perhaps because I have always known that the Bus was an option for me. I should not worry about things not in my control, right?
Another day so here we go.....Bye for now..

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cathy and Jim

Happy travels to you both as you depart today on your adventure to Vancouver Island and the Birthday celebration and family reunion. So much fun to be had, and memories to bring back. Have a wonderful trip. Will be thinking about you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dreams dashed?

I wonder now, with the announcement of no Greyhound Bus service west of the Ontario border, how I shall ever dream of coming again to Winnipeg?  It seems my concerns though, may be totally insignificant compared to how disruptive it will really be for others who depend on such services as their only means of transportation such as for medical appointments etc, and access from rural, isolated areas. It just seems such a shame that such services that become for us as expected, can be snuffed out so randomly. It may be that private services will pick up now, but you can bet the prices will be adjusted upward accordingly. 
Just another change in our lives that we need to accept I guess.  So on with the day......

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Hot-"nuff said

Yesterday the humidex was 46.  We're just staying inside, and amusing ourselves as best we can.  But I still venture out for my coffee, early in the morning. Late, this after noon David went for a bike ride. Fell and ended up with a nasty case of road rash, on his left elbow.  He's been trying to get around the block once a day.  I wish I could join him, but I just don't have the range of motion in the left knee.  This evening he was out watering, and discovered buds on the second of our Hydrangeas.  They have been very late to bloom this year, and we lost one from winter kill.

Today I started a charity quilt.  I did the math, and had figured out quite closely, how many pieces to sew together, but by the time I had all the pieces together, there were enough for two full quilts.  Not sure how that happened. I have a small hand beading project I'm working on, but wanted to use the machine a bit.  When I'm doing the donkey work on the machine my mind can sometimes come up with new art projects.  ( weren't we talking about that a couple of postings ago?) I have the very basic beginnings of three reliquaries, with fabric, beads, and various embellishments tucked away, but unless I can come up with a starting point, it's no use trying to force it by starting.  I learned that lesson quite awhile ago.  

The physio exercises, for my left shoulder, are going well, but leave both my back and right arm sore.  Last time I was there, he told me not to push it, so I'm not.

It's that time of the year when we start to eat out of the freezer, so as to prepare for fall sales.  So, tomorrow evening we are eating steak.  A real treat, but we have found the last few years that the amount of things like meat, that we eat, is much smaller than it used to be.  That's okay.  There is no way we could afford to eat the amount of beef that we used to.