Friday, February 9, 2018


Have you noticed how much earlier the sun is up in the morning, and how much later it sets in the evening?

Where I live the glow of the sun can still be seen past 6pm now, and the morning is bright before 8am.

Chip is my little sunlight meter.  He has been getting up much earlier this week than he has all winter, and that is because the sun is up earlier.

It's days like these that lift my spirits.  I know it is cold outside ( we have a -39 windchill this morning) but the change in the amount of light around us is the best indicator that spring is on it's way.

The time change in March will mess with our minds, but it will be short-lived, because by then daylight wont take a backseat to winter any longer!

I am placing my final seed order today.. mostly flowers and herbs this year, as I still have lots of vegetable seeds from last year.

I have also researched building a wildlife pond for my yard.  I already have toads galore - now I want some frogs, dragonflies, damselflies and all those good insect predators that can help control pests in my gardens.

While I was researching wildlife ponds I came across a series of videos on YouTube, done by a 25 yr old woman from the UK called "Katie's allotment. "  I don't know much about the allotment system in the UK, but this young woman got this tiny pot of land, built a garden shed on it ( with the tiniest  stove and kitchen cupboards in it that I have ever seen ) - she cooks herself meals right from her garden out there.  Then she built raised beds, planned her garden patch, planted fruit trees, made a wildlife pond, built a fence from pallets, built an arbour from twigs, and now she is talking about putting chickens on there as well... well I think she is just amazing - to say nothing of entertaining... and I have only gotten to the end of the 2014 season of video's.

I love the way the Brit's garden.  Their gardens are so organized, and they pack so much into them.  But what I really like is the visual appeal of them, a vegetable garden does not look like a boring vegetable garden, but a English country garden, full of colour and structures like arches and trellis, and such.  Their gardens allow for everything - plant growth and also bird and wildlife growth - just the way true gardening should be.

If you have an interest, and some time you want to kill - check out Katie's 62 videos.  I started at the beginning videos, and have been working my way through them.. She gardens 12 months of the year, and gets 2-3 crops off her little allotment, each year.

Her YouTube channel is  Lavender and Leeks... and her videos series are called Katie's Allotments.

To get you started here is the video tour of her garden shed...prior to the stove addition... that comes later.  This video is only a few minutes long, and most of her videos are under 30 minutes, so a great thing to watch with your cup of coffee.

Katie also writes a blog where she shares her love of gardening in her allotment, and she shares really good recipes of things she cooks right from her garden...

You can find her blog here...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 8, 2018


Our son sent us this picture the other evening on messenger.  Without being told where he was - I knew exactly where he was standing the moment I saw this incredible dome.

And in a blink a memory popped into my head and I was standing there too.

I was seven or eight years old the first time I saw that medallion domed ceiling.  I, along with several other girls my age had been taken to this place to see the movie Sleeping Beauty.  It was the very first movie I had ever seen in a theater, or anywhere else for that matter - maybe that is why it is forever etched in my memory...

 That would not to be the last last time I would stand and look up at that dome, not by a long shot!

This beautiful piece of Architectural History is in the Metropolitan Entertainment Center in downtown Winnipeg... lovingly referred to as "THE MET" by most Winnipegers.

The Met was built in 1919 by the Allen brothers, and originally named the Allen Theater.

It was a Palace of Theaters, one of many that the Allen brothers built and ran in Canada at the time.
It was massive - the main auditorium and Mezzanine held 2,500 seats.

The Allen brothers declared bankruptcy in 1923 and the theater was closed.  It was then purchased by The Famous Player Corporations and renamed the Metropolitan Theater  in 1923.  It reopened in August 1923 with a trombone concert by Vaudeville musician Grace Brewer Allen and the feature film Circus Days.

from the Winnipeg Free Press in 1923

In the late 1960s and early 1970's I would visit this theater many many times to watch whatever current movie was being shown. It was usually an all- day Saturday outing with my friends.  Hop on the Grant bus - first stop Eaton's to shop, then to the Met to see a movie, and then have something to eat at the little restaurant right next door.

You can barely see that little restaurant beside the theater in this picture, and I don't remember the name of it... Denise - help me out here!
The restaurant was just as important as the theater, to my friends and I.  Reason -  you could get your tea leaves read there!

I remember the first time it was suggested we do this.  Denise had been with her friend Judy, and they had gotten their tea leaves read, so naturally it was suggested we try it.  I was terrified.  I remember thinking that my Mother would kill me if she knew I was doing such a thing.  It all had such a forbidden feel to it.
But I was brave, and in the end terribly disappointed with the results.  No knight in shinning armour for me -at least not then!

Sadly the Met closed in 1987, and it sat vacant for 25 years. 

It was purchased by Canad Inn's and was completely restored to its former glory.  In 2012 it reopened as the Metropolitan Entertainment Center.

It now is a multi purpose venue - restaurant, dinner theater, and event center.

It remains one of Winnipeg's most beautiful places to visit.

Jon, was standing under that dome when he took the picture, because his fiance works at the Met, and he was waiting for her to finish her shift so he could accompany her home.

Who knew all those years ago that a theater I sat in as a child would someday still play an important role in my own child's life!

Life is truly amazing - is it not?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


I want to share a very special story with you today.

This story is written by my niece Alanna, and it happened last week as she and her son Thomas were waiting to board a plane for home, after spending a few days in Vancouver for Thomas' chemo treatments.

Thomas has childhood leukemia, and has been having a very difficult time with his treatment.  He goes to Vancouver every three months for special tests and chemo treatments, even though he also is receiving chemo at home in his local hospital.

This story will rejuvenate your faith in human kind, it might even make you believe in angels...  Grab a tissue - you might need it by then end - I certainly did.

The Airport Story!

The airport story..
Thursday morning we arrive at Vancouver airport to return home. This time I got Thomas a wheelchair to sit in since past experiences are long 45 min wait standing to go through security. Just like most mornings Thomas was nauseous and his back was really bothering him from the day before L.p.. every time we go through security in Van. We always get pulled to the side so they can search through his chemo bag.😔 but this time the most unusual thing happened.
There were 2 lines today doing the searches. It was now our turn to approach to have our bags gone through. Due to the amount of extra meds we came back with I had put our toiletries in one of the back packs which the security lady grabbed first. The chemo bag was still on the rollers after being xrayed. I told the lady as I pointed to our orange chemo bag... that is my son's chemo bag... we just had chemo yesterday and unfortunately it has a big thing of powder and meds and gels.. everything he needs that he has to take every day. ..
The security lady stopped and looked up at me.. she looked me in the face and said " can I say a prayer for your son". I said of courses you can.
She picked up a pen. Pulled back the sleeve on her jacket and asked me what is your sons name so I can add him to my list ? I said Thomas.. she wrote the T...
She stopped looked up at me and said....
O well that is going to be a easy name to remember. I will most definitely remember that name.. I already say a prayer for another little boy named Thomas he lives in Kelowna and also is fighting cancer.
I stood there kind of in shock. Listening to her talk.. she said... I have been praying for this little boy in Kelowna for over a year...
I had called the wrong number. I left a message thinking it was for my sister's husband Thomas.. And sang happy birthday.
I got a call back from Shelley and she told me about Thomas..
At this point.. I am looking at this lady I'm so confused and I have goose bumps. My brain is trying to think who's Shelley? Then.. out of my mouth I said to the lady. That's my Thomas. We are from kelowna.. my ex husbands girlfriends name is Shelley.
Well the lady stared to freak out she was shouting her name at me like I should know who she was.. she was crying jumping up and down o my Thomas.. o my Thomas.. she came running out from behind the computer and table right up to Thomas sitting at the side in the wheelchair. Thomas and I both not knowing what to say or do she was hugging gave him a kiss on his head.. And was shouting... I have been praying for you my boy for over a year... let me show you on my phone she said.. then she stopped herself.. And said o no I'm working I can not bring out my phone I will get in trouble.
Thomas and I at this point were not sure what had just happened so we left and went down to our gate for departure.
I called Todd and told him what had just happened. His response was no way. Its really interesting how Shelley and her connected I will tell u about it latter. Now i am really curious... As we sat at gate A7 I look at Thomas and said.. we need to go back and get a photo with her. When we got back up to security she was telling everyone what had just happened and then there we were again. Everyone was staring at us from all the excitement. It was like she had won the lottery.
We waited for her to get off shift. We got a photo and she handed me her phone to read the messages between Shelley and herself.
I started to cry goooo figure.. at Christmas Gurcharn sent Shelley a message... " I wish you and your family a merry Christmas. How is Thomas doing? I pray for him every day. I wish I could see a photo of him so I can put a face to his name😇.
I was lost for words. Thomas and I were stunded and emotional.
This beautiful soul. Called a wrong number singing happy birthday to Thomas thinking it was her brother in law. Shelley called her back thinking that it was someone that knew us and she told her Thomas was sick at children's hospital. They both have been keeping in contact for over a year and nothing has never been said to Thomas nor I for that matter. Shelley did not send Gurchran a photo since Todd said she did not think it was her place but on Thursday.. Gurcharn got her wish, Thomas live and in front of her. God works in mysterious ways 😇
I must say this photo and that day have my heart so full because not only have we met a new friend but Seeing both their smiles... well it still gives me goose bumps 🎗😇 #childhoodcancer #ourjourney

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


I just love it when something you didn't plan to do, turns out better than something you did plan.

Remember the hubbub of not being able to find the kind of "old fashioned" Valentine book, I wanted?  Well in the end, we did find one on-line, but as usual, I waited too long for that option to be of any use to me this year.

So I have been stewing about sending Valentines to the two sweet little girls who are now part of our family.  I didn't want to send the usual type, I tried to make some cards, but I didn't like them at all, then I thought I would crochet some hearts - naw... that's cheesy...

Then I remembered a pattern I had made an angel bear with last year for Thomas.  It's done in felt, and terribly cute.

Adapt it to a Valentine Bear!  Brilliant!

I love the cute little bear that I ended up with.  I decorated a couple of envelopes and now the  Valentine Day drama is over!

I am sure you are are so relieved to hear it!

I am going to pop these in the mail today, and hopefully the girls will love them!

Now I have to get back to finishing the baby blanket for a new baby who should be arriving this month.  I have almost finished knitting all the squares, and then I just have to put them together and that project will be finished too.

Guess I should start thinking about Easter now, so I don't run into the same quandary as I did for Valentine's Day!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 5, 2018


Today would have been my Aunt Margaret's 100th Birthday!

I think of her so often when I am sitting up at my computer in my craft room.  I have pictures of her taped to the sloped ceiling right beside my desk.  So often when I am thinking about what I should write, or how I should say something - I look up and to the side - and there she is... and my words somehow flow.


She was such a major part of my life, as a child, as a teen and most especially as a young adult and right up until she passed last October.

  She is gone from this world, but she will never be gone from my heart.

Her favourite colour was purple, and her favourite flowers were pansies, so when I saw this picture on a wonderful site that I follow on Face Book, Chic & Antique, with Ankica Herceg Juricevic - I knew I would be borrowing it for Aunt Margaret's Birthday!

Happy Birthday in Heaven - My Most Beloved Auntie.  I miss you so.... Your passing left such a huge hole in my heart - but memories of every time we have spent together have filled that hole to overflowing!

These wonderful little flowers, are just like she was - bright and happy - no wonder she loved them so much!

She was my very first pen pal... and she was my very last pen pal.
When I was a child, any child's magazine (and yes there were magazines especially for children) had a section in the back dedicated to finding a Pen Pal.  Children could leave their name and address from all over the world with the magazine and the magazine would publish them.  All you had to do, was pick one that interested you, and write a letter.

I had a pen pal from Holland for many many years, and I know some friends who still write to their childhood pen pals, even though they have actually never met face to face.  

Now a days one would say that the same thing could be said for people we meet on social media.  We communicate with so many people we have yet to meet.

Perhaps it is similar - but when you start that communication as a a child and carry it through your entire lifetime, through every stage of your life - it really is something very special indeed.

Aunt Margaret wrote letters to adults and children alike.  She wrote to my Mom and Dad all the time, but she also wrote to me as a child.  If you answered her letter, you received another, and so it went.  We wrote to each other faithfully until she could no longer write, which was only a year or so before she passed away.  Her letters were sometimes a challenge to follow, because she had her own abbreviations for things, and she packed so much into a letter that sometimes you had to put the letter down to let your mind catch up to her writing.  She sent jokes, patterns, pictures, quotes, stories, seeds, and you pretty much knew every thing that she did from each day spent since the last letter. 

No one writes letters like that anymore.  

I have saved a lot of her letters over the years, and a day like today is the perfect time to get them out and have a read.

Maybe that's what I will do today!

Happy BD!
(how she would have put it in a letter)


Friday, February 2, 2018


I saw something on the news the other night that I just can't seem to quit thinking about.  So much on the news is so disturbing, I sometimes wonder why we even watch it every night, but the piece I can't stop thinking about really has disturbed me.

It's about children.

They have done a study here in Manitoba and found that 43% of all school-aged children between the ages of 7-13 here in Manitoba suffer from some type of mental health illness.

My mind says, they have to be wrong - please - they have to be wrong!  My heart says - Oh Good God, what have we done to our children for this statistic to be true!  The rest of me is in complete and utter shock.

That's almost half of the school aged children in this province, and we are not even talking about teenagers!

My mind immediately starts running through families with children I know to be this age.  Children who I know, children I am quite sure have no mental health issues.  Does this mean that they too will suffer this way in their young life eventually?  Please tell me why?

And the "why" - well it is never mentioned along with the statistic... Why is that?

I have definite ideas about the "why" of a society in which children suffer from depression, suicidal tendencies, drug addictions, and everything else that mental health issues encompasses.

Perhaps the most obvious is that a lot of children no longer are allowed to be children.  To grow and develop mentally, cognitively, physically, emotionally, in the normal pattern of childhood.

They now have to be little adults, little clones of the society that doesn't have time to wait until the normal patterns of childhood have been successfully learned.  They have to fit into a world of movement, of rush, hurry, anxiety, stress, and they have to fit into that world as a functioning entity, whether they are capable of it, or not.

Open your doors and windows in the summer or go and stand outside in your neighbourhoods for awhile, and then come back in and report to me how many children you hear playing outside.  If you live near a daycare - you might get lucky - but I am quite sure if you don't, you will not hear much in the way of children noisily playing outside.

I'm not living in the real world, some would say - or  - MY God - how old fashioned!

Call it what you want, but there is a vast difference between children of my generation and children of today.  For one thing 43% of all children of my generation  between the ages of 7 and 13 province wide did not suffer from a form of mental health illness.

That says a lot to me - old fashioned or not!

My old fashioned belief, is we need to get children off technology to start - no bloody wonder they are depressed - look what social media does to adults!  They need to get off computers, cell phones and most of all gaming machines.

Children need to learn creativity - and in that I mean real creativity.  Teach children(boys and girls alike) to knit, sew, bake cookies, build a birdhouse, plant a garden, write a letter and send it snail mail, play a instrument, babysit.   Volunteer at nursing homes, volunteer at Children's Hospitals... give them chores and make sure they do them... let them play - real play - ride bikes, go for walks, play ball in the street, read books...

Children need structure, not electronic babysitters.  They need good nutrition, fresh air, fun, rules, attention, and love.  They need a Mommy or a Daddy or both....

What have we done to our children?  Whatever it is - we have to stop it now.... it's not working! 

We are destroying the best part of ourselves if we destroy our children...

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Happy Tuesday everyone!  We are one day away from saying cheerio to January 2018, which means one day closer to saying hello to spring.

You wouldn't know it looking outside here though.  Its a real January day, for sure.  Today is supposed to be a mixed bag of weather, a stormy kind of day, and I think it's safe to say, we won't be seeing any sunshine today!

It's warming up to above freezing temperatures today ( for a very short time) but the wind will make it feel like -30.  We are expecting some freezing rain, some snow, and some blizzard conditions.  The heavy snow is to the north of us, but I think we might still have some dicey conditions on highways and roadways today.

It's a good day to stay indoors.  I topped up all the bird feeders yesterday, and we went on a Walmart run to top up supplies and groceries, so let it storm!

Our closest Walmart is 40 minutes away.  Can you remember the very first Walmart you were ever in years ago?  One that was in a Mall, small, narrow isles, shelves packed all the way to the top?  Well that is the Walmart that still exists out this way.  No Super Walmart, no groceries, just a plain Jane Walmart. 

It's a bit frustrating when you are used to the larger stores, especially when you are used to purchasing a certain item from a larger store, and this smaller one doesn't carry it - but still, I am thankful for the store.

I did manage to finally find the right sized circular needle to start those adorable flower hats that I want to make for our two sweet little future grand-daughters.  So there is one project I can do on this stormy day!  And I did find yarn to finish the baby blanket I am making as well, so I have lots to keep my hands busy.

But while I find my hands are so easy to keep busy, my mind is wandering so much towards spring.  I can't tell you how many videos I have watched over the past weekend, on how to build a wildlife pond for the back yard.

I already have a lot of toads in my garden - I am constantly digging them up in the garden, but I would also love to attract frogs, dragon flies, damsel flies and such to my yard. A wildlife pond is essential for this.  I think I have researched enough to give it a try this spring - my only obstacle will be finding just the right location for it to do some good.

Oh and Walmart had seeds out yesterday - so I picked up some more varieties of herbs, and Shasta Daisy seeds - one plant I totally love, but do not have in any of my gardens here.

So, time to get this day started for real.  Whatever you do today - make it count.... this day won't come again.

Stay safe everyone!