Monday, December 31, 2018

thinking about dryers

I'm remembering the times that I had to use the laundromat.  Mainly it was when we lived in Edmonton, in an apartment, with two little ones, but there have also been times here when it became necessary.  Yes, lugging those heavy baskets around was a chore, but I also remember that the time I spent there became a few minutes of calm, in a hectic life.  I could take my book, and sit peacefully while the machines did their job.  Of course there were lengths of time when I had to tend those machines, or fold the results of their labour, but for some reason I always felt a little more relaxed when I left, than when I got there.

Today was mainly a "hurry up and wait" day.  I caught up with a few chores related to my volunteer activities.  Got all set up on David's computer to do a bunch of printing, and e-mailing, when the darn thing abruptly says that it was time for a hardware scan, and to please not attempt to use the computer while the scan was in progress.  Of course this was just as I had opened up my thumb drive, and started the first printing.  Couldn't even eject the thumb drive and move to another machine.  Just had to sit, and wait it out.  I have another batch of paper on the go, and am sitting waiting for it to dry.  I need a bath, but have to wait until the dishwasher finishes.  There is a load of wash to put on, but that must wait until after I finish my bath.  We have really become slaves to our machines haven't we?  Supper was leftovers, and we both had to take turns waiting to use the microwave.  And so it goes.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Everyone resting for now?

Have you all caught your breathe after that whirlwind of activity - with still more to come? Nice to hear about your outings Pati and by sounds of it maybe another to celebrate the Birthday on Jan 1!
All is quiet here - and I am taking down the decorations a little bit at a time leaving the lighted tree and the lighted red bird lights up until the New Year. That way if i wish to sit and enjoy some quiet time on New Years eve or early the next morning i shall have them for comfort. Then it all has to be stored away until next year -that is usually the hard part - where to put it all. Requires a lot of shuffling downstairs and another trip to the storage units, I know that for sure, and am preparing the labelled boxes now for that very purpose.
Today I must read the instructions for an electric pasta machine that Harry got at the dump store yesterday. We have one or two downstairs somewhere but here's another, and so I must try it out. 
In between tasks i try to sneak a chapter or two of the new book Kingdom of the Blind.  As always it is riveting but still the troubling and worrying undercurrents of personal and interpersonal issues - will they be resolved or will they be carried on to another book?  So enjoyable - hope you two can get your hands on it sooner than later.
Doing wash today - my dryer is still doing its job but i worry about it - making a terrible noise and drying is taking longer - I plan to use it until it actually stops, then I have been saving coins for a few months with intent of using the laundromat in town. it costs 3.75 cents for one dryer load - my washer still works so I may have to carry baskets of wet cloths in the car. I'll do what i have to do, i guess. No way I can get a new dryer into the house and installed so best not to even think about that.
So here's hoping that everyone will enjoy seeing the old year pass quietly and the New Year present itself to us peacefully and serenely - full of promise!  Take care 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Whe-e-ew! Sit down-Catch your breath!

The last few days have been a whirlwind.  We got a message late Thursday, that the part was in for my sewing machine.  We've been waiting since October for it.  This was after we got home from the grocery shopping that was desperately needed.  Grocery shopping was not a pleasure, as the crowds and traffic were worse than
they had been on Boxing day.  So after an exhausting day Thursday, first thing Friday, we were off to the sewing center w-a-a-y over on Route 90.  Got the machine in, and chatted with the owner, getting information on a rolling case designed for the machine. We've been talking about this for awhile ( over two years), ever since the last workshop I attended where the machine was needed.  That time, the workshop was in a local hotel, and we had used one of the large luggage carts to get in into the building, and down the halls.  Well,  it turned out that he had brought some( maybe more than he had been able to sell??) in for a pre-Christmas sale.  He offered to give us the sale price, and we took the offer.  He suggested that we pick it up, when we returned for the machine.  

We made a couple of more stops on the way home, and relaxed over lunch.  I spent some time setting up my old machine in the machine table and getting out the piecing I had tucked away to work on while the big machine was in for servicing. Then started to get ready to go out for dinner.  The phone rings, and we are told the machine is ready to come home.  Usually servicing takes at least a week, but they weren't busy and had got right onto it.  So, again, first thing this morning we were off to get the machine.  A bit of smoking plastic and we brought home my baby, and its new suitcase.  

We had agree to buy breakfast on our way home.  David decided that he wanted waffles, and that meant heading for Smitty's Pancake House.  Saturday morning, between Christmas and New Year's, and we couldn't get in the parking lot.  Backtracked a bit and ended up at the Pony Corral on Nairn. We were the only people there, and had three waitresses to look after us.  But it was very relaxing, no hassles, and no pressure--a leisurely traditional breakfast. We even brought enough home to create a casual supper for tonight.

Going back to Friday, we had decided to have dinner at The Olive Garden.  Got there fairly early and were seated right away.  A good thing, because they were sure busy after that.  Both of us found the meal too large for us.  Our eating has sure changed over the past few years, both with aging and with the planned changes we've made to our eating habits.  I had Angel hair pasta with Italian sausage, and a creamy mushroom sauce.  Very nice, and I would sure have it again. Ordered a dessert but I couldn't finish mine and asked for a "doggy bag". Then it was home again and called a cab to head for the Casino.  That way we could both have a drink during the evening,and not have to worry about driving home.  Came home just after 1:00am, with enough in our pocket to go  again, on the first, if we so choose.

Now we can look forward to a couple of days with no plans.  But there are books to read, and we have food and drink, and supper will come out of our "doggy bags". What more can we ask?

Friday, December 28, 2018

Happy Anniversary

Our best wishes to Pati and Dave as they celebrate their Wedding Anniversary today. We were all together three years ago and think so fondly on that time together to help with the celebrations. Today you shall have to plan it for two.......Have a great day!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Preparing for another storm...

This is to start tomorrow and into Sat with temps around 7 degrees and with it, freezing rain and then rain - then the temperature falls dramatically into frigid conditions again. What a roller coaster ride we have been having!
Now to the Family Gatherings... loved the Findlay picture - what a happy gang!  And I could see the backgammon board on the floor. I love that game - used to play it all the time - now I bring out my board and set it up and try to play with myself. Doesn't work! Hope the younger ones enjoyed it and plan to play again?  Was it your board Pati or did Loren bring it?  And Cathy I expect you also had lots of fun - and I see by your picture that Chloe was already serving, as a hostess should. She has the biggest smile so I know she was playing the role, right?
We are getting back to normal now, are we? What is normal? I have already started to put away some of my decorations and packing up the wrapping paper and ribbons and bows for next year. I shall keep my little tree up into New Years but then shall take everything down in earnest.
Today we received a card and letter from a couple in BC who we met in Germany and then again in Victoria when we lived there. he was actually Harry's superior in Germany. The letter outlined his decline to a residence facility now and she still alone in their house and pending a knee replacement in January.  We have exchanged cards every year. So i thought i would call her - haven't spoken with her since we lived in Victoria. She did not seem to know who I was or if she did , did not acknowledge it but kept her answers short and to the point and did not express any independent comments. I felt very awkward so ended the conversation quickly by wishing her well.  The same thing happened to me last year when I called a couple in Barrie ( we send cards every year - they lived across from us in Petawawa) after receiving their card with info about him having Alzheimers now. She was just as abrupt with my call as the one today was. So I ask myself, is my naive intention of offering support and comfort to people not welcome? So should I not bother anymore? Is there no longer any recognition for proffered social graces? Or am I just too old fashioned in thinking people will actually care?  
Now the good news..... I am reading Louise Penny's newest book received as a gift from Mike. It is going to be every bit as great as any of the others. I had to return the Jo Nesbo book I was reading today as it was due, but unfinished. But that's OK as I also received two PJ Tracy books and two Mark Pryor books so I am set for awhile.  Lots of good reading ahead for me.
Speaking of which, I must put the birds to bed and then jump in myself and continue with my reading. It feels good....Take care

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Family gathering

Went off well, and turned out to be one of the best get togethers we've had in years.  We had a good game of "31", and Loren took the young people through a learning session of Backgammon.  Supper turned out well, and then was cleaned up in "jig" time.  We used the new kitchen table for both eating and the card game.  Then got our photo during the Backgammon game.

I think everyone was pleased with their gifts.  I had asked for , and received some movie  passes.  David and I have been talking about seeing "Aquaman", and Amber and her girls had seen it yesterday, so were able to give us a bit of a review.  

All of them have gone now, and just about everything has been cleaned up and/or put away.  David is coveting the bottle of Crown Royal he got as a gift, and there is still some wine left in my "family" glass.  All's right with the world.

So here I am still....

Very pleasant memories made today and I look forward to a nice, peaceful sleep with my head full of all my happy thoughts.

My TOAST TO THE FAMILY went off as planned at 7 pm my time and you were all in my thoughts. XX

Cathy I loved the picture you sent. Looks as if at least one person at your party was having a good time!!

Pati... any pictures?

Time for bed. Take care

Monday, December 24, 2018

So here we are....

The day draws near, and are we all ready?  If my timing is right Cathy and Keri should be in Killarney right now and then Jim to follow tomorrow. Such fun!
I just finished all I am doing for today (except feed the birds again and put them all to sleep in clean cages haha!) I packed half the car to make it easier for early in the morning. Only have the food to put into coolers and haul to the trunk. But the food is all ready for the most part - ready to bake and boil and serve, and all nicely packaged in bags or casseroles in the fridge. 
I tried to play a DVD this afternoon and my suspicions that my machine is not working played out again so now I do not have a reliable DVD player. So no movies until I can rectify. My next move will be to use a DVD cleaner in the machine but that will not take place until after Christmas now, and I have to find it first haha! I still have my little portable machine though, so all is not lost if I get really desperate.  

Merry Christmas to all... a very safe celebration with your family. Have fun and enjoy every minute together.  XX

I’ve been quiet for a while

I haven’t been feeling great and then Jim got new phones that have made my life miserable.  Somehow both phones are linked so whatever happens in one happens in the other. Jim deleted the contacts in his old phone and the disappeared from his new one. All our logins vanished so I have had to start over trying to remember passwords that my phone doesn’t Agree with. (I have them written down!). Anyway, one more trip to the doctor today and off to Killarney. I hope Keri has cleaned out her car cause I have a lot of boxes to pack. Jim comes tomorrow since we have no dog sitters this year. I am really looking forward to this visit. It will be my first ever Christmas morning with Chloe. Or any morning for that matter. I will take pictures

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Well--now we have snow!

Several inches yesterday, and still snowing today.  David has been out with both the shovel and snow blower, but after a few minutes it doesn't look any different than before he started.  This has meant that I didn't get out to my friend , Gail's, for her open house yesterday.  Now we've both agreed that we don't need to get out today, so, we'll just wait and see about even a trip to the grocery store.

This means that today is for puttering around the house.  I have decided that it's time for a major change-over on the display walls in the studio, and have taken down just about everything. I'll need help for changing the hangers on the walls, so that will give me some time to think about what will go up.  I finished the second "snowflake" piece, took a hard look at it and decided that it would look better if I rotated it 180 degrees.  However, that would mean a difficult and tedious alteration, and one that just might not be possible, since it was already beaded and bound.  So it is hung as it was originally designed.

The Christmas Cactus is a disappointment this year, only two or three buds, and a couple of them appear to be drying up, to fall off.  It wasn't too great last Christmas either, but I seem to remember a nice display around Easter.  "Hope springs eternal", so I will allow it to stay in the house until then.

Finishing the blue "snowflake" piece has left me pretty well caught up in all of the studio work.  This is always a difficult time for me, as I don't know what to do with myself.  So, I will continue to putter, and probably end up with a pile of stuff out of the studio or closets to send to the thrift store.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Better again - no moaning or whining today....

......haha! Cold and snowy again so no worries about rain and water today.  Concentrating today on cleaning the bird cages, and vacuuming, and wash - you know all the fun stuff! Tomorrow I have two items to bake that I shall take to Mike's Tuesday to have with our coffee break. And then the next day, Christmas Eve,  it's prepare the meal items and pack all that we are taking ready for an early start Tuesday morning.
This year I am not able to watch my usual Christmas movies - I am behind schedule and probably won't get through them all before Christmas but that's OK as I can always watch them after - which may be a nicer idea as it may help the usual "down" I feel right after the big day.
So for now that's all. As Pati mentioned it really is a "sit and wait" time for now - hoping you both are fine and exciting about Christmas and family.  Try to remember to TOAST THE FAMILY at 6 pm your time on Christmas Day. I shall be thinking of you all especially at that special time!   Take care

Friday, December 21, 2018

Thought I should mention

The tea set that Beth sent almost 10 years ago, has reached Cathy safely, and will soon be on it's way to Chloe.  The journey was long, convoluted, and involved many people.  Just goes to show how the season can soften peoples' attitude, and make everyone a little friendlier, and work together.

What a mess....

I guess that I can get away with venting to you two - ignore if you want!
Rain all night! And need to be shoveling at the front goes without saying. In the dark it always seems to be worse so was glad to see the light of day come. Not that it changed anything but at least I could see. 
Just brought in all the full cookie tins that I had in containers outside, might as well be indoors where they can be accessed easily by me and believe me, I have accepted that challenge haha! And a roast which is now in the oven cooking. I was just out again and it seems to be letting up a bit which also means that it will be turning into ice pellets or freezing rain and then snow as the temperature is expecting to fall - it is 34 degrees as I write -the whole gamut of conditions experienced in one night and day!  I expect your weather is probably following a similar course but I am here and I do not like what I have here, thus my blog of complaint!
So how are things there?  Take careXX

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holding Pattern

Just a matter of sitting and waiting now.  This is often the way, at this time of year.  I still have to bake another batch of Melting Moments, and have the butter out warming up, for tomorrow morning.  I like to bake off my Butterscotch Refrigerator Cookies at almost the last minute, so I can see doing that Monday evening.  I don't plan a wholesale clean-up of the house, maybe just the bathrooms.  As David's sister, Gail, says,"clean up after people have left not before.  Otherwise you'll have to do it twice"  And,  I've decided to use my Christmas plates for Tuesday.  Nothing else, just the plates.  I really don't believe that paper plates are sturdy enough for a big dinner.

Tuesday morning, I'll put together a big batch of Scottish Oatmeal Dressing, and set out the two daintie trays I'll need.  I had thought of buying a bag of tortilla chips for Tuesday, as we'll need a salty treat as well, if we actually end up playing the game we have planned.  We've tried for the last two years to organize a card game, but it doesn't happen for some reason.  Everyone is coming a little earlier this year, so here's hoping.

Tried to make a batch of paper this morning.  I learned a lot through the process, and obviously, need more practice, but should have something to show for the effort.  I certainly plan to do it again.  I've also fooled around with another technique demonstrated on Design Matters TV.  I've done the basic work on an appliqued wall hanging of "A Partridge in a Pear Tree.  I've seen this applique technique before, but never tried it.  This is part of a more long range plan to create a couple of hand stitching projects to take to stitchery meetings.  There is an art quilt in the works, with nothing left but the beading, but I've found that I can't do that well, in a group.  After the New Year, I have another project to deal with, but one that will take a lot of word processing time.

All of this is in response to a feeling of being bored.  Most of my mornings are taken up with housework, but with just the two of us, there isn't a lot of that.  When I'm bored, I eat.  So I need something to take me away from the kitchen from about 11:00 a.m  until 8:30-9:00 p.m.  Reading doesn't cut it, and I prefer to be busy, in any case.

So here I sit, waiting for supper to cook ( it's in the oven). After I eat and clean up, there are 3 hours of "Dead Files", during which I will bead.  After that maybe one poker tournament, and then bed.  Today is taken care of.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Countdown - 6 days until Christmas!

There is a little wooden ornament hanging in the kitchen where I can change it every morning - Days Till Christmas it says. I got it a few years ago and always get a kick out of changing it. Silly little things amuse me, eh?
I made my trek to North Bay today and it was a good day for me. I was able to purchase a few items that I had written down as possible ideas for gifts for Harry, and then shopped for some groceries in No Frills and then headed over to Willie's with trays of cookies and some gifts for under their tree. Actually I even took a coffee machine as he told me on the phone that his just broke. So we had coffee and conversation and then he showed me the trailer on TV for the new Mary Poppins Movie called Mary Poppins Return. (I think that was it?) It looks interesting and I would surely like to see it if ever that will be possible - I guess when it comes out in DVD format.  And today while wondering in the Mall, I slipped into the Coles Book Store and touched the book Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny.  I read the inside cover about the story line and it sounds exciting ( yet again!) I can hardly wait to actually have the book in front of me and be reading.
Tonight I am really beat but I know it is a combination of the day shopping etc, plus not sleeping well for so long - feeding this little chick is taking a lot out of me. I was able to buy another tub of formula at the Pet Store in North Bay and glad of it as I was down to the last few spoonfuls in the one I had. Never want to be out of this as I do not know when I shall need to feed a new born.  Harry actually fed the bird twice while I was out - I had written instructions in detail but I know what my ways are having done it so much, so it is difficult to hand it over to another who is not familiar. haha! Oh well......
Expecting a ton of snow on friday according to forecast - sure hope they are wrong but then calling for mixed precipitation over weekend. Yuck! Christmas day should be OK for driving. 
So how are you folks doing with your plans for Christmas Day? Cathy are you taking anything for the meal? And Pati are you making Scottish Dressing again. 
Time to round up for the night. I hope to watch the latest Quilt Show tonight while waiting to feed the bird - it is this years special guest so should be interesting. Take care

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Making Paper

At this point, I'm just trying to gather the equipment I would need to make paper.  It's looking like the problem is going to be the mesh that she uses.

That website-Design Matters tv.-is a good one.  I've been more or less glued to it for over a month now. There are two of them involved.  Both have university degrees, one in embroidery and the other in art, from what I've heard them say.  They are a mother and daughter, and there is a young granddaughter in the picture as well-Amelie, about 6-8. The daughter, Laura, is currently being treated for cancer, and it's not going terribly well.  I have been aware of them for almost 20 years, and had even  bought one of their books.  Still have it, and have referred to it over the past year.  It is free to subscribe to the website, and there are free videos that you can watch, as well as videos that require membership.  They cover all sorts of techniques--some very interesting, and some just plain weird.  There is one on Motto pillows that is good for a laugh, and even a bit of crafty inspiration. At the sale at Gail's last weekend, another vendor pointed it out to me, without knowing that I had ever heard of them before. They both also have blogs, although Linda hasn't posted anything since Laura was diagnosed, last April.

Promised myself a relaxing day today, after a busy day, and a lot of broken sleep last night.  The computer has been giving me grief, although I think I have it beat now.  It has meant starting to use a completely different e-mail program, but not to worry, the address stays the same.  This afternoon, I went across to the mall, and got myself a manicure and pedicure.  None of the staff of the shop there speak English very well, at all.  For some reason, she cut my finger nails as short as they could possibly be.  I had apologized for having such short nails for her to work with, and I think something got lost in the translation, and that she thought that this was what I wanted.  But still, for me that was a wonderful way to relax--pure self indulgence.

Can't stop eating these days, and I know the problem is within myself.  Right now, I'm trying to appease myself with a mug of Honeybush, Mandarin and Orange tea, before heading to bed.  Hopefully, that will help me sleep.

How exciting.....

Just watched said video on how to make paper and I was really impressed.  Now I am anxious to follow your progress Pati - maybe keep us informed as you go along?  And then as you utilize your paper into whatever happens!
This afternoon was another exciting event that I took the opportunity to attend - A Christmas Cantata called A New Birth A New Beginning. It was presented by the Zion United Church Choir, from Sundridge.  They had the first show this morning at the United Church as part of their regular service, but the show I attended was a special show held at 3 pm this after noon at the Knox Presbyterian Church (same church where I rang the Bell on Nov 11) It was basically the story of the birth of Christ in narration / readings/ and song. How delightful! Before the Choir took to the front of the Church, the attendees were invited to sing along together a few Christmas carols - sort of a warm up I guess but still great fun.  Then the Choir paraded in formation from the basement up the aisle and to the choir stand at the front facing the pews. The presentation was about an hour in length - just right. All attendees were invited to go downstairs for "refreshment and fellowship" but as the time was getting on, I just came back home. Chalk it up to yet another opportunity taken into the great unknown haha! This is starting to be fun.  I wonder what will be next!
Just putting in time now until my next feeding with the little chick before I can go to bed. Tomorrow we are going to Huntsville to shop and then Wednesday I will be going to North Bay on my own, to take cookies and gifts to Willie's and then do a little Christmas shopping for Harry. And it won't be long now until Christmas will be here and we'll drive to visit with Mike. The next week or so will all come and go very quickly so I am determined to enjoy every moment I have with my family. Hope you folks will be doing the same.  Take care

The link is....

Take a minute to watch this video on paper making.

This is the site that I've been almost glued to over the past month.  My one month membership has lapsed now, and I won't renew for awhile, but there is lots of free stuff on the site.  I also went into the video archive, and bought Video archive #4.  Got a lot out of that.

Library holds

Went into the library site and pulled up "Kingdom of the Blind". There were 381 holds on the book making me 382.  Also saw that there was one copy available.  Said  bad word until I saw at the bottom that there were 76 copies in the system.  Shouldn't take that long, but then everybody gets it for 3 weeks.  Oh Well.

Re: making paper.  I'll post a link so you can take a look at the video I saw.  You'll laugh when you see the method, especially the part where you take it out to the garden.

Good Timing is right

Sometimes it just happens and I guess this was your day.

Louise Penny new book is called Kingdom of the Blind.
Hope you don't have to wait too long to get it - maybe your luck will carry you through.

Now.....tell us about your blender and making paper haha!!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Catching up

Beth, do you have a title for the next Louise Penny book?  I would like to get on the reservation list at the library, even if it hasn't been released yet.  I couldn't get into the second Jo Nesbo book I had, at all.  I'm now into the book "Dead Air" by David A. Poulsen.  It takes place in Alberta, so far, and is a mystery based on Canadian politics and radio and tv news of same, to a certain extent.

We went shopping this morning.  It really was a "gird your loins and head into battle" situation.  Walmart on the Saturday before Christmas!!  And you both know how I hate the traffic around Regent and Lagimodiere, at the best of times.  I was absolutely dreading the trip. We headed out just before 11:00. Hmmm!  Traffic not too bad.  The plan was to drop David off, and drive around the block until he appeared at the door.  Certainly, we didn't expect to find parking.  What's that?!  A handicapped spot right outside the door. Great timing! So we both went in.  A couple of days ago he had bought a package of socks, that he found he really liked, and we were after another package. ( Yes, he's been buying clothing for himself the last few days)  Found three more.   He now has 18 new pair of socks, and has thrown out all of the old one.  Thank Goodness! Then found some gloves exactly like the ones he likes. Still in a crate, not even shelved yet.  So we went through the crate, messing it all up, but found two pair that fit him.  Gloves are always a problem, given his very large hands.  I had been asking about the old blender , and where it went, so he suggested that we see if we could find a very cheap one, that I could use in making paper.  ( that's another story!)  Sure enough, we found one for about $20, that will be perfect for the task.  Off to the check outs, where there were only 4 people ahead of us. in the express line.  By the time we moved forward three spots, the line up was down the aisle. Great timing again.

Then it was off to Bulk Barn.  That parking lot was really full.  But what's this?  Someone pulling out in a perfect spot for access and egress.  Great timing.  Found what we were looking for and off to the check out.  Four people ahead of us.  Took a deep breath and suddenly there were 9-10 people behind us.  Great timing.

Leaving there, we headed east, rather than West, to buy gas.  One lane open, got the first spot.  Then off to the grocery store.  Traffic getting much heavier, but because we had gone East for gas instead of west, we had a clear lane all the way to the grocery store without tackling Regent and Lagimodiere.  Another full parking lot, but spotted one empty spot, right beside the handicapped spots, so only three spots from the door.  Great timing.  Found everything we needed, and more, and off to the check out.  There we waited.  The lady ahead of us must have been buying groceries for a family of 25, for the next year.   Knew it wouldn't last.

Then off home. Unpacked the car, had a bit of lunch, and I went back to bed for an hour.


That is the great pleasure of book reading....sometimes you enjoy and speed through and sometimes you pause a bit to catch the drift. I agree about the Harry Hole style of writing - I am into the second book but too early to tell. I may not continue with this series, but I want to see if it is the writing, or just me not getting into it right! I cannot seem to read much these days but I am sure that will turn around again once the new year arrives.
My friend Janie recommended the books of Kate Morton - have either of you read some of hers?  I am still on the list at the library for the next Louise Penny new release - not in yet. I also may (that is a may) get it for Christmas from Mike but if not, I can still get it from the Library. That is a book I will really enjoy.
Hoping to hear from Mike today - he wrote his last of four final exams last evening from 7 to 10 pm. I am sure he will be relieved and ready for a bit of a break over Christmas. I give him so much credit for his perseverance bu then he has so much more ahead of him if he is to follow this dream and be successful in reaching his goals.
Early again here but also a time of day I look forward to so much. Mild still and melting but we did not get the rain and freezing rain (at least yet). Today is bird cage cleaning which takes most of the morning for me - but someone has to do it...haha!  The little chick I am feeding is doing well so that gives me hope and a degree of satisfaction for all my efforts. Today I am reducing the interval of feedings to four hours and see how he manages.
Well coffee/breakfast time and sitting/relaxing time for me, and then on with the day. Take care

Friday, December 14, 2018

Another quiet day at home

Didn't even go out for coffee.  But I did end up on the Shaw support for a while.  I was trying to set up a group e-mail list.  Last time I did i, there was a little window on my e-mail that I had to click, and away we go.  this time the window was missing.   It turned out that I actually had to go into Google Chrome, and work through Shaw web mail.  worked fine when the fellow was on the other end of the phone, but a little later, when I found out that I had entered one of the e-mail addresses wrong, fixing the problem was a b---h!  I finally got it, but don't know how.

The ladies at my art quilt support group liked my "Black Ice" piece, so that eases my mind, and it will be entered in the show it was planned for

I now have a second white stocking in progress.  Unfortunately, my machine had difficulty getting through the thickness of a seam, when doing decorative stitching.  What a mess.  Impossible to cut out, or reverse stitch.  In desperation, I found a small small, lace  motif that will cover it up, once I figure out how to attach it.  At that point I gave up for the day.

I have just finished the first "Harry Hole" book, in the series you suggested, Beth.  Interesting book, quite a variety of characters, but I still had trouble getting through it, for some reason.  Normally, I can get through a book like that in less than 24 hours, but this one took me almost 4 days. But, I have another by the same author, and will give it a try.

This evening,I'm going to try some poker.  It's been awhile since I felt any pleasure playing, but with nothing interesting on tv, it will keep me busy and off the streets.

Christmas stocking

Just had to comment on the picture of the unfinished stocking Pati. It looks gorgeous - too nice to use maybe?  I tried to figure the length - maybe a foot or more? Some lucky person will be the recipient of that before too long I'm sure!
I just made a special batch of shortbread for Mike - he wanted some no or low sugar cookies - he tried some at an outing last week and described them to me and they sounded wonderful but I could not really find a decent recipe. This recipe I used was OK but not quite what I wanted - but he'll get them anyway when we go for Christmas, haha! 
Well ladies, this morning I got my hair cut - long time coming but so wonderful to get done. I always feel like a new person ( and one without hair by the looks of it!) It will be very easy to keep now for awhile but the only thing is I am sure the hairdresser tinged my hair with grey without me seeing her - amazing how the longer hair hid all the grey but there it is on display now.
I spoke with my friend Janie from Winnipeg last evening - usually we talk around birthdays and then at Christmas. She has her medical issues but seems to be accepting her limitations very well. Her son has a wee boy 14 months old so Christmas is sure to be very exciting for them this year. Her cousin and his wife who live in Alberta invited her on a Mediterranean cruise ( their treat) in May this coming year so she is going - she said she wasn't so proud as not to accept.  I wonder, do we have any cousins who might invite us to travel?????
Well back to work here - just looking out the window as it is above zero and threatening freezing rain but so far just a few flurries. In anticipation of poor weather the school buses were all cancelled though. I sure hope nothing strange comes our way.
Take care - have a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Not so much weird by me.....

...but more of a happy day (days) for you by the sounds of it Pati. Good for you to take it on and I know you will do the best job you can, and you are certainly capable of doing, by the way.  It brought back memories for me of times past where I was involved in similar activities. I liked it and often think I could partake again if things were different.  But then i recall a recent conversation with a lady about the Seniors Group ( called The Happy Gang by the way haha!) and she told of going to the annual meeting and how awful it was with total lack of decorum . That would NOT suit me.
Getting thinks done around here slowly but surely - just made a second batch of rice krispie squares which will go onto the goodie trays to be made up next week. Tomorrow and following few days promises to be mild with rain so any of our outside freezing will no longer be frozen - the cookies should be Ok but today I brought in some meat and also some gravy we have for the for Christmas dinner and some other items and put them ( squeezed them) into the downstairs freezer. It is the dripping and build up of ice and icicles all around the house that bugs me more. 
So almost time to feed the baby chick and then the other animals so best go. Besides I have a shadow hanging over me that wants to use the computer haha!  Take care.

Sort of a weird two days

I agreed to take minutes at a meeting in Selkirk on Monday, only to discover that I am now the secretary for the organization. I thought about it a lot, and made the decision to make the best effort to do the best job I can, taking into consideration my age and the health of both of us. Just prior to the meeting, I found out that there was also a meeting on Tuesday morning, which was to be an "educational meeting" with a representative from Canada Revenue Agency.  Not knowing if this might mean future work, or change of procedures, in terms of the secretary's duties, both the accountant and President thought it might be good for me to attend that one as well.  OMG!  This means getting up early two days in a row!  Turned out that there is very little impact on my work, but I sure did learn a lot about taxes and charitable organizations.

But I did it, and got up and drove out there in time to get a coffee and be ready for a meeting at 10:00 on Monday and 9:00 on Tuesday.  Then spent time familiarizing myself with the filing system on Tuesday.  I think I have it under control--so far.  Got all the typing done that I can, for the moment, after supper yesterday. But I sure was tired last evening, and even fell asleep--more than once--while watching tv.  Just because I was too stubborn to go to bed.

Meanwhile, yesterday, David did the laundry, and bottled wine, while I was away.  He was pretty tired too, and had a solid 9 hours of mask time last night.  This is darn good for him.

All of this didn't leave much time for studio work.  But I did get a bit of machine sewing done on one of the three Christmas stockings I want to have done before the end of the month.  For the past two years I have promised myself to make them for the special Christmas event at the gallery in Selkirk, but didn't get it done.  Next year I'll be ready.  I've also promised myself that on January 2nd, I will start getting ready for the class I'm teaching in February.  This is a new class, and I will have to prepare a whole document that will act as the basis of everything I say during class, as well as the basis of a handout, should I decide one is necessary.  In the past I've started the process too early, and had forgotten a lot of it by class time.  This has meant a full review and revision at the last minute.  I want to avoid that.  I don't anticipate the need to make any samples, which is a blessing.  But even the work I'm doing on the stockings has the potential to act as a sample, should the need become necessary.  

This morning was beautiful.  With the warmer weather we're having, morning means a delicate light mist, and hoar frost--always a treat.  While I was out yesterday, my friend Gail phoned, to tell us about the hoar frost, and ask if we'd seen it.  I hope this means that she was out taking photos.  I worry that her endless work on jewelry production, interferes with her art photography. She is known for her art photography, and has been published in magazines, although I don't think it brings her very much money. 

Okay!  Time to make more tea, and face the day. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Morning routine...

Always the same in the early morning for me - a bit of a ritual I guess. Get up, take the dog out, check the hydro meter, get the little chick formula made and then feed it, get the cats their food and feed them, and then start my keurig coffee machine and then turn on the computer ..I'm tired already haha!
The little chick is now two weeks old and is now starting to flourish. I went through a bad week of it not responding and thought it may go the way the previous little chick had, but for some reason, it had a turnaround and now seems to be ok. I still keep my fingers crossed as there are a few weeks left before it can go on it's own. It is in the same nesting cage as it's three other siblings and I think their presence and keeping him warm and stimulated has made a difference.The parents certainly have not contributed.
This morning we are driving to Sprucedale to drop off the Gift basket we make every year for the Saunders - the couple that used to help Mother. We have kept up this ritual all these years since her death -they in return give us a basket as well. We originally were going to go on to Huntsville to shop but the timing is poor to ensure the little chick gets fed so we will just come back home - the Saunders have had us in for coffee in previous years and if this happens we have no time to go to Huntsville.
Yesterday Harry went up to North Bay on his own to do his "shopping" for Christmas. It gave me a chance to clean up here at home a bit since I had wanted to bring up some of my favourite Christmas decorations - I need to make room for them in the front room. After he came home I took the car and drove to the storage shed and deposited several boxes there. Now I have room to please myself with decorating the way I like it at Christmas. But i sure was bushed - that and getting up to feed the little chick frequently is playing havoc on my poor old body!
So now is my time to sit and relax with my coffee before the actual day begins so I better get at it. Hope all is well. Take care.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Tea Set Revisited

Loren was over today to pick up the tea set, and spent a few minutes letting us know what his children were up to.  Jeremy is no longer fanatical about costuming, and is now researching what it might take to build his own computer, and Gillian is now working Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening at a pizza place.  She is evidently doing well in her studies.  Loren, himself, looked pretty good, and says that things are going well, and that he is now off his meds--a good thing.

The sale yesterday was better than last year.  There were many more customers.  I did a little better, but doing better than last year wasn't much of a reach.  I had publicized it as being the very last sale I will ever take part in, when I sent out the invitation, and at this point, I see that as true.  I have been invited back next year, without the expectation that I might sell, and purely for the socialization. I mentioned this to David, and he thought that it might be a reasonable idea. While there, I discovered that one of the other ladies, whose main product involves mixed media, is also a bit of a fan of Design Works tv.  She put me onto a video that I hadn't seen, and I watched it this morning.  Really interesting, and I now have it bookmarked.

There are a couple of meetings for me to attend this week, and then nothing until Christmas Day.  This morning, we took a look at the framed art I have stored in the closet in the computer room. We really need to make a decision about disposal.  I looked though the pieces a couple of times, and realized, that while there was a lot spent on framing, at the time, which says something about how I felt then, I don't have any emotional attachment to any of them, with one exception, and that may find a home on my bedroom wall.  Now we have to figure out what to do with them.  Only one of them has been signed, so I would be happy if they went to the thrift store, although we may offer them to the family, at Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Family dynamics...

As much as we have all pondered our families and wondered about how things came to be (or whatever) there are moments when we see it all come together. And we are amazed and proud. Here is another of those moments. I am so glad that Chloe shall have the fun of serving tea Cathy - I hope you will be her first guest!
Colder here again but for how long? Seems we are in for another round of mild weather shortly as well. I looked at the roof yesterday and can see the piles of snow over top inches of ice. It will be a hard spring if this keeps up and there is little I can do about it.
Looks like a cookie factory here right now and I have to do something about it. More cookies to be made today apparently.  I have to closer to Christmas make up trays and then transport them up to Willie's. We do not take a big trAY TO mIKE ANYMORE BECAUSE HE IS ALONE AND ALSO BECAUSE HE IS FOLLOWING HIS NUTRITIONAL REGIEME CLOSeLY.

Ok, I did it again. never watch as i am clicking away and pressing the caps lock key by mistake, so I chose not to correct it this time, Frequently i go back and redo it. Am I the only one with this problem?

I better close off and have my morning coffee haha!  So Pati I shall be thinking of you as you enjoy your day at Put the ART into Winter on Saturday. Have fun. And Cathy have fun as well!
Take care.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tea set

it seems that Loren took it into his own hands and solved the acquisition issues himself. I asked if I contacted Wes and asked if he would help us out I got a response that he had already asked Wes if he would help get the tea set where it belonged there would be no problem. Beth, Patty asked if Chloe would be interested in the tea set you gave Samantha and Jessica years ago. They have outgrown it and Chloe is just the right age.  Loren works with Wes at the union centre and I have a meeting on the 18th in Winnipeg with Wes... so Loren asked and Wes said “of course he would help” so he will bring the tea set to our meeting at Winnipeg land titles. I knew there were benefits to my union membership :).

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Freezing fruit

I've frozen more fruit this year, than ever before, especially grapes.  I love seedless grapes, both green and red.  But they package them in huge bags--far more than I could ever eat before the rest go bad.  So now I buy as little as I can, enjoy a couple of meals, and freeze the rest for smoothies.  Once or twice, during the summer there are big tubs of blueberries offered quite cheap, and they freeze well.  The other is strawberries, now that I've learned to freeze them whole, for use in smoothies.

My job for today is to make a "to do" list for the sale.  I realized, in bed last night, that I've done nothing, but bake some cookies.  I sent some photos to be posted on social media, but had done nothing about getting the pieces ready.  Today is also the first day to drop off pieces for the Manitoba Crafts Council show coming up in January.  This year they have asked for quite small entries--max 30 cm by 30cm, with a limit of one entry.  Luckily I had three 12 by 12's handy, and selected one to take in today.

Otherwise I've done none of my usual preparations for Christmas.  My Christmas dishes remain on a shelf at the top of the pantry.  Two naked Trees still sit on the chest in the basement.  What baking is done will be it, although I'm thinking of buying a tray of brownies--more for my benefit than anyone else's. I wonder if there will be enough Melting Moments for both the craft sale and Christmas.  I do have a pound of butter in reserve--just in case.  (who do I think I'm fooling?  Of course I'll find an excuse to make more!) But part of me wonders why I don't feel the urge to start doing more to get ready to celebrate.  Especially in this house where we have three separate celebrations within that one week.  Yep, this year makes it 53 years married.  

Yesterday, I decided to try to make some Coq au Vin like we had last fall.  That was a meal to remember, both for the food and the company. Checking the recipe, I realized that, while I've used the recipe as a starting point, what I'm really doing is my own concoction, and bears very little similarity to the original.  Probably the only parts that are the same are using chicken and wine.  Regardless, I tasted the sauce after it was cooked, and it tasted quite fine.  Mind you, that was after drinking the wine that was left in the bottle, while waiting for it to be done. Anyway, one meal of it for supper tonight, and one in the freezer.

What is a snowsquall?

Apparently we are in for it today and tomorrow. And apparently it is bringing lots of snow.  So I better brace myself, I guess haha! In contrast to yesterday which was bright and sunny. We went to Huntsville to shop but for some reason I was just not interested much, and when one feels that way, nothing really gets accomplished. It was NOT a trip like you described yours being Pati, and has left me a little disappointed. However, I guess time moves on and today is cookie making day for Harry (which by extension will include me)
I am up early this morning and have put in some work already and it is only 5:15. Feeding this little chick really sets up a rigid routine and one that must be kept. I cannot say it is growing any but it is surviving and my only hope will be that he continues - it is very hard on me to see him with his other three siblings who are actual looking birds now.
Thinking of you Pati as you prepare for your weekend Show - perhaps having the event yearly now will peak the interest of more people to attend - it would make it so much more interesting if people appear and see all the artists and their work. But then as you mentioned about last year, you also have the opportunity to mingle with your peers and share the day ( and share goodies by the sounds of it haha!) Enjoy, and be sure to report back to us - always interested in what you are doing!  You too, Cathy...what are you doing this weekend?
Time for my first coffee and Christmas oranges which I love this time of year.  Harry has been peeling them, and fast freezing the sections individually, and then putting into bags to eat later. it is amazing how one can freeze fruit to enjoy at a later time - we have been doing this with other fruits for a few years now.  Also great for pulling out of the freezer and making smoothies.
Take care..

Monday, December 3, 2018

My Thanks too, Cathy.

I managed to save the sheet you sent, and look forward to receiving the one from Beth.  I, too, have accidentally pressed the wrong key in the past and ended up with the e acute instead of the question mark, until I closed off.

We "girded out loins" figuratively speaking, and headed out to start our Christmas shopping this morning.  By luck, and serendipity, we got it all done in about an hour.  Shocked the heck out of both of us.  Of course, the checking account took a hit. We went into one store and bought $55.00 worth of stuff, and then found out that with a purchase over $50, we could get something else for less than half price, that just happened to be on someone elses list.   After we got home, I bought myself a collection of videos from Design Matters TV.  Guess that will be my Christmas, as well as anniversary, gift.

As of less than a half hour ago, I reached the point of having two new pieces to the point of hand beading, right before finishing.  I am very, very pleased.  I'll need to have some hand work with me while at the craft sale on Saturday, so will put the beading off until then.

And now, I've promised David that I will cook a supper for him.  Best get to it.

French - more about it....

Thanks Cathy for the email and attachment that you sent - I just logged on and there it was.
By coincidence earlier this morning I did a search and I found that sheet that you had given me ages ago. I copied it and put it in an envelope and sent to each of you. They were mailed this morning.
So hopefully we now have this request covered. Pati you can confirm once you get them all and decide if you can use OK?Another thing about your email Cathy, was that I could not find an icon on lower right side ( at least that i could see) so maybe my icons are not the same as yours. Regardless, i must be pressing some key while writing unbeknownst to me, to make the ? key change to french E acute. Crazy!  Another mystery for us to think about.....Take care

Is winter here again?

After a week of roller coaster weather - mild, melting, rain, freezing rain, ice pellets etc, it snowed last night and the messy torn up ice covered ground is back to a white cover this morning. The weeks forecast calls for cloudy days and flurries so maybe we are back on track?
Yesterday morning was particularly bad as the power went off about 6 am - always happens with ice and wind around here. As I had mentioned before i am hand feeding one chick every few hours which requires boiling water and mixing formula at the exact temperature - i had just fed him when the power went out .....but what to do now? I got out the Eliminator battery thing I have but it was dead so then resorted to candles with little dishes on top to heat water. It worked 'sort of" but not ideal. Fortunately by mid morning the power came back and i was able to get back to doing it right. I also plugged in that battery thing and have made a note to ensure to charge it every month just to make sure it will work next time. I think there would be enough power in it to boil the kettle if i would need it again but then that would have been enough for me.
Cathy years ago you gave me a printed sheet with the conversions of the english keyboard keys to make it french. i shall try to find that sheet and if so can copy and mail to Pati unless, Cathy you have it really handy and can send. We will see what we can do for you Pati as you mention you could really use that - probably more than I. But my problem is that somehow I press some key to trigger the question mark key to turn into the "e acute" and so far only way to stop it is to log off. I do not know what is triggering it to do that.
So here starts another week... hope it will be good for us all. I look forward to your messages - both of you - to tell me what is going on in your world.  it keeps me going..... take care.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Hey! I want in on this!

I would love to know how to use the French symbols once in awhile, and then get rid of them.  The e acute is one that I could use often in discussing sewing and embroidery terms.  Cathy, can you help us?

The day at Holiday Alley was a bit of a disappointment.  There were not nearly as many people through the Gallery as I remember from last year, but the music was wonderful.  There were more of us there than necessary, and I was able to leave about an hour early--and I was ready.  Had a short nap when I got home, and then didn't do much of anything this evening.  I'm off to my ATC group tomorrow, but it doesn't sound as there will be many there either.  I'm concerned about that group, but will go with whatever the group wants.  I so enjoy the opportunity to spend a little time with other artists.

Wish I were there....

....Pati I read about the Holiday Alley in Selkirk in the WFP and thought it would be a great way to spend some time. And now you tell us that you are there! Always glad to hear about your outings - sounds as if you are really enjoying this "opportunity" and I am glad for you - maybe even a little jealous of your outings as well, haha! 
Busy here though - I am hand feeding a little chick every two to two and half hours. And I am hoping that he will survive but prepared for the alternative if that is to be. 
Just made a batch of banana &choc chip cookies from a recipe Harry pulled from the net. He bought two bags of bananas at Wal mart the other day in the cheap shelf at $1.00 each and now they are spoiling ( I wonder why) so I have to use them up. I will probably also make a smoothie tomorrow.
Calling for freezing rain tonight and tomorrow - this weather is really not nice. The front of the house is slick ice and I am pouring the sand onto it to keep from slipping. Now you know why I go onto the road in spring and fill boxes with the road sand that is left from winter. I have done this for years and it saves the day over the winter time to keep the sidewalks and stairs fairly safe.
I am reading a new series for me called The Harry Hole Series by Jo Nembo. Mike put me onto it from a movie he saw called The Snowman written by the same author. I am enjoying it. 
Hope all is well with you folks. Whats up Cathy - I would use a question mark but the french symbol of É keeps coming up for the question mark and the forward slash instead. A long time ago Cathy you told me how to eliminate the french symbols from coming up - or to stop them from coming at all. Any ideas.
Must go... time to feed the chick and then read for awhile until the next feeding. What a life!   Take care.

Wonderful busy

This weekend is one I've been waiting for for months--Holiday Alley in Selkirk.  I was there more by happenstance than plan, last year, and still think of the day I had.  This year, I put my name down for a 3 hour shift last evening, and 5 hours today.  The gallery is warm and has chairs, so suits me.  The activities listed for outdoors, where the street is closed off and there is everything from a blacksmith to a music stage, appeal to me a little less.  There is also a indoor craft sale, at the end of the street.  I haven't had any interest in craft sales for several years now, but have heard that this one has some better quality crafts, that are worth seeing.  Not sure that I'll get the chance though.

David went with me last evening, taking a book, with plans to sit to one side, and read.  Didn't happen.  At one point he ended up beside the guest book, where he was told to ask people to sign.  Unfortunately, the crowds were so heavy that this turned out to be unrealistic. 

My level of involvement, with the gallery, has been relatively low over the years, but I now find myself taking a more active role.  I've been reluctant to do this, as I see a close organization, with many very competent women, all of whom appear to very much be in charge.  They have worked out some sort of system, amongst themselves, to minimize conflict.  I now have to figure out that system, and create a place/role for myself within it, if I want to contribute rather than sabotage.  What I think I'm seeing, is that they each take on responsibility for one segment of a larger task, and then stick rigidly to their own, now more limited, role, but each is  absolutely in charge of her prescribed area.   I hope to learn more today.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Yes, let's open our arms wide....

Yes Pati those are wise words and we have all been trying hard to take this advice to heart, haven't we?
I guess I am trying to do this very thing by going again to the quilt group today. It isn't really "quilt" only, as many of the ladies work on other hand work. One lady makes little girls fancy dresses, one lady was making clown dolls, several were working on needlework patterns, and some with crochet work. Yet several others were working around the quilting frame hand quilting the large size quilt top.  Since this was the final meeting before Christmas, and as I suspected it might be, the lunch was a sort of pot luck with ladies bringing in dishes: salads, pickles, deviled eggs, cheese and crackers etc and trays of dainties. I was not sure what to do ie if I brought a dish and no one else did, or not to bring. So I choose not to bring anything except for my 4 Christmas oranges. I felt a bit awkward but it did not matter. I choose not to eat from the table set with the food, but was just as welcome sitting at the table with the others. A few others did not eat either so I was not alone. Sometimes it is hard to find your way as a newbie in a well established group haha!  And since this was the last meeting until the New Year, I have quite a bit of time now to assess my continued involvement but I am glad that I have pursued it for this long.
Tomorrow we are going to Mike's to visit - he called yesterday wondering if we could come since starting next week he is into final exams for this semester, and will be studying and would not see us until our Christmas Day planned get together. He gets lonely i know, so I do not mind when he asks us to come. It doesn't hurt and seems to appease him a bit. He really wants to vent actually, as he is finding it a bit hard right now and has no one else to complain to when he comes home at night.
Still more snow but very mild making it melt from the eaves. The trees are covered with ice and snow - some branches broken under the weight, and some hydro outages in the area although we have been OK so far.
Time to go. I have to check the little chicks - one of the four hatched is not thriving - there is really no reason to try to feed it since I read that chicks in their first week generally do not survive if left by the parents. It is still sad for me though. Bye for now - take care.

Thinking about opportunity

Yesterday I started reading the latest Gail Bowen, Joanne Kilbourn series book, "A Darkness of the Heart".  There was a description of a well respected man who had recently died, "he lived with his arms wide open, ready to embrace new experiences, new people, new ideas."  This is contrasted to someone else who "...grew up with inner walls, within inner walls."  Is this not very much like the discussions we've been having about opening ourselves up to new opportunities?  Just those two sentences gave me a lot to think about.  Have either of you read any of her books?  I've read a few, but not all, and have enjoyed them immensely.  Such a change to read something based within Canadian political systems and locations, but a good mystery, none the less.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Not a good evening

Yesterday, David and I decided to cut the fruit cakes we made into smaller pieces for storage convenience.  Well, we were cutting it frozen, and wondered if it was cooked as well as it should have been.  Checking it today, after thoroughly thawing it, the answer is no way.  Even after over two hours in the oven, it still wasn't done well enough to serve.  This means it's in the garbage.  What an expensive mistake!  It isn't even good enough for casual nibbling.

I also finished the FMQ'g on my "Black Ice" piece.  I wondered if it need something more, so took pictures and posted them on the other blog.  Actually seeing the pictures, I knew that even beading can't salvage it.  Another expensive mistake, only this time in terms of my labour costs, as well as the supplies.

Beth, I think your wet snow storm has come this way.  It was fairly nice when we headed out to shop this morning, but had started to snow by the time we headed home, and was really snowing by the time I went out for coffee about an hour later. Heavy wet snow!  Not that cold out, but not that nice either.  Very slippery streets.

This month's shopping was an expensive one.  It seems that we were due to replenish many of those non-food items that can take up such a large share of the grocery bill.  But there is a bright side to that.  Because my bill was so high I qualified for a free gift. (no choice of gifts) I now have a lovely poinsettia in my living room.  And, since my bills are paid for this month, I can relax while eating KD.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Crazy weather

Maybe a sign of what the winter has in store for us? Obviously snow is first on the list. And today's snow is wet and heavy. Had a real time trying to shovel early this morning. Only managed the driveway and clearing off the car. The rest can wait.
I just came in from walking to the Library to return the Monkeewrench books I borrowed. I loved these first two and since I mentioned a few more of these book names to Mike as a possible Christmas gift, I do not intend to order more in right now. Mike mentioned the author Jo Nesbo and his series called Harry Hole. So I took the first book in this series out today ( called The Bat). Our Library actually has quite a few of his books so I should be Ok for a bit. I'll start it tonight.
Last night the Show we went to in North Bay was again very enjoyable. The Scott Woods band Old Time Christmas Special. Since we have now been to many of his performances, we have seen the same things done/ or the same jokes told, but still, the music is so good that this "sameness" does not distract from the overall quality and enjoyment. I only wish that we did not have to travel in this inclement weather - it was a nasty trip back home in the dark and rainy/snow.
Tomorrow we go to Huntsville for my Doctors appointment and then other chores. Yesterday we actually started with a few things for Christmas gifts which makes me feel as if we are progressing. I always start to feel a bit anxious when we have nothing yet so buying even the few items encourages me. The task does not seem so daunting now, even though time is starting to slip away with December just around the corner....
I feel really laggy this afternoon and would lay down if it weren't something I actually ever do,  haha! So I better get those dishes done and then think about supper and having my bath. Got to have my bath for the Doctors appointment, after all!
Have fun week folks. Take care

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Lots to do, but still restless.

There is lots to do in the studio, but I'm just not capable of the long hours at the machine I was my normal 20 years ago.  I did almost 2 hours of FMQ'g this morning, and was almost dizzy with exhaustion when I came out of "the zone".  Not good.  So we went out for coffee and potatoes, and then I spent another two hours sorting beads.  Barely touched the surface of that chore!  But I did find the metal washers that I need to add a bit of weight to the bottom of my "Tall Grass Prairie".  So here I sit, restless as all get out, but knowing that I have a supper to cook, so that David can watch his football game this evening.  Not sure what I'll be doing while he does that.

With all this funny weather, and despite the periods of extreme cold, we have yet to realize that the temperatures we're experiencing are normal for January/ February, and we should be wearing our heavy winter gear.  Today I sat in Starbucks waiting for David to do the grocery shopping, and saw a man come in  wearing shorts and winter boots, and a few minutes later a woman wearing very light sandals over bare feet.  A couple of days ago, when the wind chill was -27, I broke down and got out my new toque with the huge fur pom pom.  Finally got the pom pom off, and have been wearing it for the last two days, along with my parka. Dealing with Winnipeg "hat hair" again.  And here's Beth talking about rain.  Maybe I should just be quiet and contemplate my gratitude for owning a parka and toque, as well as my ability to actually buy coffee at Starbucks.

Lucked in at the library, finding a brand new Anne Cleeves book from her Shetland Islands series.  She says that this will be the last one.  I sneak peeked a the end, and know that, whatever the reason, the protagonist leaves his beloved islands. The Librarian told me that the book was so new that I was the very first to read it.  At the same time, I picked up "The Grateful Dead", the most recent in the Monkeewrench series by P. J. Tracy.  I have been on the waiting list for that since before it was even available.

So, while I shouldn't lack reading this evening, I'm reluctant to read them too quickly, because then they will be over.

Rain, Rain go away!

Just a quickie while I wait for my breakfast to bake.  I prepared an egg dish called strata last evening, put into the fridge and then into the oven this morning. Eggs of course, but layered with bread cheese, onions, peppers, ham - looks good and I am counting on it tasting great. I'll let you know....
It is 37 degrees right now and the warm spell came in Friday - I was out trying to shovel around the yard to clear areas and prepare for the water that i knew was to come. Sure enough rain and melting and of course, water accumulation at the front and shoveling of said water. Nasty!  However come tomorrow we are to expect 15 cm of snow!
We go to North Bay Monday to attend the Christmas Show of Scott Woods Band - we bought tickets last Spring for both his June show and now this Christmas one.  Hope the driving with all that predicted snow will be manageable.  Then Wed we go to Huntsville - to shop after my Doctors appointment at 9:30 am. Yearly appointment to renew drugs etc.
I made my date pinwheels and was a disaster with first batch i tried to cut and bake. Looks like little doggie turds but taste great. i froze the other two rolls hoping that I can cut them better frozen. I have a recipe for molasses cookies to try today.  I expect all the cookies I have outside in a rubbermaid container to stay frozen have all melted by now but hey, come tomorrow apparently they should freeze again and be covered with snow Oh joy!
Time to check my breakfast, make a coffee and sit by my coloured tree with the DVD music playing on the TV. Glorious! take care 

Friday, November 23, 2018

I was wrong

Got out a new pound of butter today and the markings on the package were exactly two cups.  Different brand of butter, so who knows.  David made another batch of shortbread from his mother's recipe, which means about 45 minutes of intense hand mixing.  At least she wasn't watching over our shoulders telling us that he was doing it wrong.  Then I bit the bullet, and dug in to make the Melting Moments--three full batches of them.  I thought that the old machine might be able handle a double batch.  Nope.  So I ended up finishing the mixing, again, literally by hand.  I was smarter by the third batch.  But-- ta da!--all of the Christmas baking is now done and safely put away, most of it in the freezer.  I was also juggling the weekly laundry--lots of trips up and down the stairs.  I'm beat.

I'm glad you got to the quilting group, Beth.  Sounds like you're getting to know the town a little better. (snort!)

I have a new project ready for the FMQ'g, but I know I'm in no shape for doing it. So this evening will probably be spent playing poker on the internet.

Fruit cakes, human and otherwise

The cakes were quite an experience, and probably not one I will want to repeat.  It started Wednesday evening when I fairly finely chopped two full cups of Turkish apricots, one apricot at a time with a big knife.  Up before David on Thursday morning, and got the apricots on the stove to simmer for 30 minutes with just as many golden raisins, and some water and sugar. Then they had to cool.  After breakfast I put the rest of it together, and it absolutely filled my biggest mixer bowl.  I was sure it wouldn't fit into the two bread pans it called for, but had carefully lined them with baking parchment, anyway, and it did indeed fill them both, but not overflowing, so into the oven they went.  The recipe said to bake them for an hour, but to check them after 45 minutes, as ovens differ.  They sure do!  They were checked at 45 minutes, and then every 10 minutes until they had been in the oven for 2 hours and 20 minutes.  I was worried about them burning, so tented them with foil, but in the end the outsides were very dark brown, and I'm still not convinced they are cooked in the middle.  They were very expensive to make, even with buying everything at the Bulk Barn.  We both tried a slice from the end of one loaf, and were not impressed.  They are in the freezer now, but I wonder if they should be aged before serving.  The recipe said to make sure they had cooled well before serving, so obviously  an aging process wasn't part of the plan.

I got a batch of Butterscotch Refrigerator cookies rolled and wrapped, and into the freezer, as well as two batches of chocolate chip cookies.  Have either of you every tried to get very sticky glace cherries out of one of those flimsy plastic bags that are used in bulk food stores.  What a mess!  Finished everything about 2:30.  It's been a lot of years since I had a whirling dervish of a baking day like that.  I had given Loren my good Kitchen Aid mixer a couple of years ago, when  I vowed to give up baking, and had to use the very old Oster Kitchen center mixer, that we've kept around for the meat grinder.  The old mixer objected to any sort of demand on it, so I kept everything to small batches, and finished everything with hand mixing, (literally by hand) thanks to David's help.  I sure slept well last night.

I used baking parchment on the cookie trays as well.  I like the stuff, and plan to use it more often.

I still have the Melting Moments to make, and that will involve two full batches.  Part of the secret to making those is to measure the butter very carefully, and not use too much.  The pounds of butter we buy are really a pound i.e. 454 grams.  I've made the mistake of cutting a pound in half, thinking that I will end up with two cups, but that extra bit of butter will make a significant difference in this recipe.  The batter must also be very well mixed, or there can be problems.  A simple recipe, but prone to problems.  They sure are good though.  David also wants to make another batch of shortbread, so maybe early next week.

How are your cakes Pati ?

Thinking about your baking spree Pati and wondering how your fruit cakes turned out. I am hoping you were very happy with results as I know what is involved in the preparation of these little wonders.  I pulled out my recipe for Melting Moments that you gave me and wondering about trying them again. First and only time i did they did not turn out - I thought i goofed up somehow but in reading it again it seems simple enough. Your family and friends seem to devour them with delight so i think I'll try again.  I also want to try a date pinwheel recipe i just looked up from our beloved Five Roses cookbooks.  Now Cathy are you going to venture into the culinary, and what have you designs on baking?
I went to the Quilt group meeting yesterday - I did not know what time it started in the morning so being early and finding the room door locked, I stood inside the outside doors ( to keep warm) for 25 minutes until the first lady appeared with the keys to open up. So now I know not to be there until 10 am! Another interesting day with very lively conversations about people I do not know and some that I did recognize by association - lots of gossip. One lady turned to me and said "you must be learning a lot". I guess this goes with the small community atmosphere and ways, so I will just tolerate it for now - as long as they don't start on that Elizabeth Pearce and her weird ways I should be alright haha!
We had troubles with the internet again just around 5 pm Harry could not log on so of course, it was all turned over to me to fix.
It is not pleasant for me to go through this common occurrence and process, and to make it worse, we have to call to the Server technicians who are located in Val D'or Quebec.  I lucked in and got one whose English was so heavy with his French accent that I could not understand his directions. It was a nightmare for me and after an hour unresolved. Bell Canada called a few minutes later (had been notified that I would need a service call to check my line ) and i said all was well. No way a Bell person needs to come in here. the line is working fine as a matter of fact i was on the working phone for heavens sake! I go to thinking about it again so called back and thankfully got a different technician (still a French accent but not as bad) I requested he mail out a new Modem immediately ( i had visions of Harry being without a computer well into next week) he said he had been getting an increase of calls from this area and was on with one person over an hour until he said "Oh it's ok now" So the technician said that it was just another outage from Bell and that i should be back on line myself. Sure enough i logged on and voila.  he and i had a heated discussion then about this common occurrence and why they never got notified by Bell so can tell their customers who call in with complaints,  rather than waste hours trying to trouble shoot over the phone with them.
Well now, it seems I have vented enough about this for now...... Thanks for listening haha! I guess it is on with the day ahead... we have two baby chicks just hatched and probably another to come today. I have my work cut out for me. 
Have a nice weekend folks and stay warm. Take care

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Fruit cake (?loaf?)

We decided to actually make the fruit cake from the flyer.  We figured that if you, Beth, and Harry, were confident that your cake could age well enough, if baked now, we would be okay.  So off to Bulk Barn for the rest of the supplies.  Unfortunately, I didn't take the recipe with me, so missed one ingredient, but with the time involved in chopping the apricots, and softening them, one of us should be able to hit the store, in the morning, so no delays.  This whole baking incentive was to supply goodies for the craft show, but I've now found out that one participant has a very strong allergic reaction if there are any nuts even in the room.  But I've bought all this stuff!!  So I will offer to make dessert for our Christmas dinner, and hope the kids agree.  Then everyone will be sent home with a goody bag.

Unfortunately both the craft show participants, and the family have requested Melting Moments.  Darn!  It's a little early to make them, but I will start the other things tomorrow, and see how far I get.

The trip to Bulk Barn was a hoot.  The place was a "zoo".  It's been some time since I saw so many old woman in one place all at the same time.  All of us were pushing carts, and we were all looking for the same things.  I guess everyone feels the need to address Christmas baking, with the end of November looming.  The line up to pay was across the store and down one aisle.  All of the cash registers were humming, (never seen that before) and there quite a few extra (seasonal?) staff wandering around.  Some of them looked as bewildered as the customers.  As an added incentive to shop, it was 10% off for seniors, to day.

The last couple of day, I've also noticed that a few of "do every few weeks" housekeeping tasks are indicating that the time has come.  Not a welcome thought. 

My rubber stamp snowflakes are finished, and today I did the stamping on one potential quilt top.  Worked very well.  Then, in my hurry to clean up, I forgot for a minute that I had backed them with illustration Board, which is a very dense form of card stock,(very, very dense).  As I was washing them, I realized that, perhaps, I shouldn't have soaked them in hot water?  I think they're going to dry okay.  I wanted to use them for another design I have in mind, and was thinking about the 5 days it took to make them.

So a lot to do over the next little while.  Can't say I'm looking forward to chopping those apricots.


Oh gooody, more snow to shovel this morning. Just had the dog out, and blowy, snowing outside. Makes one wonder just how much snow we are going to get over the course of the winter when it is only the last part of November.
Cathy I was glad to speak with you last evening and know how things are there for you. Hope you have a good day today and then a better day tomorrow and on and on......
Today we make fruit cake.  All the supplies were bought yesterday at The Bulk Barn and some preparation done when we got home - to speed up the process for today.  Pati are you going to make that recipe you got - I actually read it through - came with the flyer that we picked up at the store. Sounds very nice too. Harry choose a dark cake recipe from the internet. Costs a lot more to buy ingredients than buying a box of that cake on sale at the malls and stores - is it the Lions that sell them? But ours will be very tasty once all is said and done.
Take care folks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

We are here Cathy for you

So sorry to read the messages early this morning and to see that your load Cathy, is heavy right now. I am carrying you in spirit and hope this may lighten this hard time a bit.
Pati is right that you must think of yourself as well and take care. If you wish to call please do. Sometimes a familiar voice who listens to you and who loves you, can do a lot to allay the fears and anxiety of what you are managing now for Jim, and Jean.  It seems also that Larry is going through so much as well, and he has chosen to share with you - an additional worry I am sure for you.
Knowing that you have some support at work is a blessing Cathy - Elizabeth is there and always has been present if not actually able to manage situations, but taking the issues (documented) logically through the appropriate channels is the way you must handle it.
Please take care and heed the suggestion of one step at a time. XX 

Monday, November 19, 2018


What a sudden and heavy load for you to deal with!  Take it one step at a time, and you'll get through it, but make sure you get the rest you need.  Take Zzz-Quil if you have to but look after yourself.  Pace things the best that you can.  Your  role is to be there for Jim, as things progress.  Not easy, but you will get through it.  I'll be thinking of you over the next week.  Please, phone if you just need to talk.  


It has been one of those weeks. Less than a month ago Larry emailed me to tell me his ex-wife had died. I had met her at their son Benji’s  funeral. I ended up in the kitchen washing dishes with her mother. Then on Monday he let me know that his son Dan had died. His son Jesse lost his mother and only remaining brother in less than a month. He is not doing well. On Saturday Jim’s sister Jean stopped in.  Her husband Gary had passed away only a couple of hours earlier. Then to add insult to injury she fell on the ice in our yard. She is heavier than me and has had hip replacements. She couldn’ get up and we couldn’t help her. I have bruises on my arms and legs to prove we tried. Jim got tho little tobagon out of the garage and we got her on it and got her to the house. She crawled into the house and was able to pull herself up on the furniture . Definitely not a good day for her. She didn’t want to deal with gary’s kids so I had to phone Tracy and tell her that her father had died. She broke down but did say she wanted to phone her brother and let him know. She phoned me back later to ask about an obituary.  Jim is supposed to ask jean tomorrow. He refused to ask her on the phone.  So meanwhile I am caught in the middle. Now that I have depressed everyone let me tell you about work. At least Elizabeth understands what is happening and has given me some advice on how to deal with the disrespect and outright rudeness I am getting from Marquita. I did send an email (after Elizabeth reviewed it) to our office manager asking for him to try an intervention. I have no faith in his ability to handle the situation but at least I have the written record of asking for help. Now aren’t you two glad you are retired :). I told Kris today that neither Rrain or I can make it to Chloe’s birthday, but he said that was great. He doesn’t want her to be overwhelmed by family all at once so coming later would be better. That makes me feel
A bit better. Well, now it seems I have to phone Gary’s daughter and talk to her about an obituary. I will be so glad when this week is over. Love you guys. Sorry to be depressing :(

Tea Bags

The tea bags interested me as I'm always looking for a small portable project to take to meetings.  I'm sure I'll need more than 20, but it's a good start.  I don't know if this is something I want to post on the other blog, but I could always post a few pictures here.  My tea bags aren't yet dry, but I spent some time this afternoon,cutting out circles to top them with.

I also spent 2 hours, this afternoon, sleeping like a log, after sleeping very well last night.  Another dopey day.  This makes three in a a row.  Something is going on, and I guess, I just need to take it easy and wait it out.

Beth, please don't worry about a Christmas card for us.  We certainly haven't sent any out for years.  I don't think many people are sending them, these days.  The only ones we get are from 
Real Estate agents wanting to sell our house for us, and you.

I'm thinking a lot about fruit cake.  The recipe I got from Bulk Barn appears pretty straight forward.  David says that a good fruitcake needs aging, but I'm really looking at this as an extra dainty to take to Gail's craft sale.  Since it's in her home, she wants to be able to offer dainties and hot cider to anyone who shows up. If there is anything left over It can be served at Christmas. One way I can have the pleasure of baking without feeling an obligation to eat it all.  Mind you, the grandchildren asked for Melting Moments for Christmas.  Darn!  I had hoped they had forgotten.