Thursday, March 31, 2011

The lighter side

Have you ever looked up the word "light" in the dictionary?  There is light, the noun; light, the adverb; light, the adjective; followed by more variations such as lighten, lighter, lightly etc.  It is a writer's nightmare and a bloggers dream...well not really  - but that did sound good!

I am heading to the "lighter side" week by week.  My weigh-in yesterday revealed that I am down 20 lbs since January 1st!  My early morning trek to work is now accomplished in the morning light, thanks to daylight savings time, and the evenings are lighter, longer - well past 7:30 pm to be exact.

Being lighter is physical, and it's also emotional.  Unfortunately the emotional side of lighter is often more difficult to obtain.  In our society more emphasis is placed on the drama of life and living.  Our magazines, television shows, and newspapers are filled with it.  A story about a woman who can perform 550 tasks at one time and is stressed to the max, will hit a magazine cover much quicker than one of a woman who is giddy with happiness because we are trained to believe that we should somehow strive to be more like the woman who can perform 550 tasks at one time, than the woman who is giddy with happiness.

I can't tell you how many times I have sat in a room full of women and listened to them trying to out do each other with their life trials and tribulations.  I have yet to be in such a room and hear a competition of expressed happiness (lightness).

It's a known fact that laughter(lightness) is good for us. Laughing adds years to your life, smiling takes years off your face.  The lighter side of emotions is very very good for us, doing what makes us laugh is very very good for us.

I'm here to help you "lighten" up.  Here are a couple of videos that I know will "lighten" your day.  Forget the things on your list of  "to do's" that you temporarily set aside to read this blog... instead do yourself a favor - visit the "lighter" side for a few minutes... it is very very good for you.

Enjoy -

and last, but not least -

I don't know about you, but I feel a whole lot "lighter" now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No More Weather Talk!

I have decided that there is absolutely no sense in talking about the weather, Spring, or otherwise - so for now, I'll leave that topic alone.

How was every one's weekend?  We finally finished our dinning room, and I love how it turned out.  Check it out!

This is a difficult room to photograph because it is small and cut up, but you'll get the idea anyway.  Don't you just love my curtains?  I am so proud of them.  I did all 5 windows for $33.00... and I need to thank my SIL Jane for the idea of bringing the curtains down from the top - got the idea from her window treatments last year when we visited them in Chicago.... Thanks Jane!

So what's next?  Our bedroom.  Six years ago I painted all the walls a deep blue.  Now I am going to have the fun job of trying to cover that deep blue.  But I have discovered Home Depot's, Behr paint that is primer and paint in one.  It costs twice as much as other paint products, but covers in one coat.  The dresser that is now in the dining room was cranberry red.  I used this paint and it covered with one coat. 

I am thinking of painting the walls in the bedroom a dark vanilla.  It's somewhere between a soft yellow and gold.  I am going to paint my headboard and chest of drawers the same espresso color I used on the dresser for the dining room, and accent with black and white bedding and curtains.  Well that's the plan anyway, but right now I'm taking a bit of a breather.

Climbing the ladder was a killer to my knee, and so I need to rest it a bit before the next big project.  I'll be having surgery on that bum knee, but will have to wait 6 months to a year for that to happen.

I haven't progressed very far with loading items on my Etsy shop, but now that the dining room is done, perhaps I can get back to that this week.  I have been researching some of the Vintage items I will be selling - I want to get the correct information to my buyers for each and every item... ahhh the Internet is a wonderful tool.

Well off I must go  - have a productive day, everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is It Really Spring?

All the calendars I checked say that March 20th was the first day of Spring. Really; Seriously... are you sure?

I'm thinking Spring might have arrived for some of my friends down south, in fact I know it has, they have been out gardening... but here?  I'm not so sure.

We've had quite a bit of melting, and there is a lot of really big puddles, and yes the snow piles have dwindled somewhat, but truthfully, the wind still has a bite to it, and most of Manitoba was under a winter snow warning yesterday - Thankfully that snow warning did not include our City - but still!

Here's what I think.  Mother nature is doing her very best to ensure we really enjoy our summer this year.  Last summer was so soggy and rather cool, the winter was extremely cold with lots of snow, so we are all counting the hours to beautiful warm dry weather.  After what we've already been through - weather wise - anything will be a vast improvement, and we will be extremely thankful to Mother Nature for giving us sun and heat and beautiful weather..

 My father is a firm believer in The Old Farmers Almanac.  He has used it all his life as did his father before him.  Dad planted his vegetable garden according to the moon cycles every year, and he always had abundant crops come harvest time.

So I decided to take a peek and see what The Old Farmers Almanac had to say about the summer season to come.  This is for our region, it's easy to check yours by logging in to

So here is what is in store for us:
April and May will be cooler than normal (great!) with near-normal precipitation (I'd like more details here).
Snowfall above normal with late snowfalls in early -mid-late April.  (Guess I asked for details, and guess they are saying snow for all of April?)  Probability of frost after May 22 is 50%! (You've got to be kidding me!)

Summer - yeah  - now we're talking - drier than usual (Yeah!) above normal temperatures in Manitoba.  Hottest temperatures occurring in early to mid July and mid August.  So Denise - I'll be over for a swim in the pool on Friday July, 8th - mark your calendar!

Then I looked up how this planting by the moon thing works, and as I was reading I heard my father (in my head) tell me the basics of this system of planting. 

Above ground crops are planted during the light of the moon (new moon to full moon).  Below ground crops (root crops) are planted in the dark of the moon, (from the day after Full Moon until the day before New Moon).

There is a Chart for each area with favorable planting dates for each crop which corresponds to each region of the country.

So now I know what to expect this spring and summer!  All I can say is Mother Nature could be a bit kinder to us Manitobans any time soon.

Have you marked your calendar, Denise?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Catching Up

I hope my readers have missed me... it's nice to imagine that someone might look forward to reading my babble... and if you have missed my babble I do apologize for being away for two weeks.

What a two weeks it's been too.  I wish I could say it's been a blast, instead I'll say it's been life as life is.  Some good, some not so good... but nothing more than one can handle.

Gary's second surgery was a little tougher than the first - he still is showing off his shiner...  His vision wasn't as immediate as the first one, instead this one evolved over the past couple of weeks.  It's all good now, thankfully, and he even was able to do some computer repairs this week which made him very happy.  He has returned to driving, which made him happier still.  After 18 months of sitting in the driver's seat, I have moved over to the passenger's side of the van again, and it feels weird!

The day after Gary's surgery, my sweet little Churchill passed away.  I had been expecting this as he was slowly declining since Christmas, still it was a shock and a very sad day for us all - me especially as he really was my bird.  What has surprised me is how the dog has reacted to his passing.  They sort of shared a room, and were always together.  The bird would call Molly in and feed her, and since his passing, she has been very listless and seems sad.  She had a couple of days where she wouldn't eat, and she wouldn't even sleep on her bed, which was near his cage.  I guess we don't realize the impact our pets have on each other.  Churchill was with us for 20 yrs, and with Molly all her life...

The week ended with Hollywood invading my space.  Last Friday a production crew set up shop right outside my door (literally) to shoot the upcoming Christmas movie... Beethoven Saves Christmas.  The star of the movie Beethoven, wandered around infront of my house for about 18 hrs.  They managed to transform my neighbourhood into a Christmas wonderland, with decorations and Christmas floats, and then our winter city proceeded to give the whole set a very authentic winter day by producing a Manitoba blizzard.  We had a good chuckle watching the human stars shivering in their $1000.00 coats...

The day after the blizzard, my neighbour and I drove out to a local garden center to order our spring bulbs.  You gotta love how gardener's minds work!  We thought nothing of venturing out in the very cold day where the snow was yet to be plowed from blowing and packing in some roads...we almost got stuck twice and were the only customers in both centers, but we did manage to order our lilies, as well as purchase our spring seeds.

This week I have been busy painting and redecorating my dining room.  It has taken me the better part of the week to get the trim (mostly windows) done and this weekend we are going to attempt to replace the flooring with some new laminate.  I have ordered new window treatments, and still have to paint one piece of furniture, and hang the new light fixture and then that room is done.

I'm working on a few items for my Etsy shop which I have neglected for so long.  I might add a few vintage items to my Victorian Crochet items.  When I get it all loaded up, I'll let you know.

Happy weekend everyone...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dream Big!

I received my T&T catalogue this week, so I have really been thinking about my gardens and what I would like to do with them this year.  Of course the garden I see in my mind, and the one I will eventually see in my yard, are most likely two very different gardens, but I do believe the word for that would be "Dream". 

I tend to "Dream" BIG!  I was told I should always do that... so I do.  Not that many dreams come true, but some important ones do and have... so I'm not stopping now!

So back to the gardens - I love Lilies.... any kind of Lilies.  I would say they are my favorite flowers, followed closely by daisies.  My love of Lilies comes from my Mom.  She had a beautiful collection of Trumpets,Day-lilies, and Asiatics... from bulbs she swapped and traded with people all over Canada and the USA.  She joined a group of gardeners who divided and traded bulbs every year, so every year she had the opportunity to acquire a different color, or species to add to her collection.

Several years ago, I was out at my Aunt's place in the country.  My aunt had the most amazing perennial gardens when I was growing up, but with her advancing age she had quit gardening and had pretty much let her garden go to seed and weeds.  We had just moved into our home, and I was planning on tearing up my lawn to make gardens so I asked her if I could take a shovel to her perennial beds.  I knew she would say yes, and she did. 

I spent hours digging, and when I showed her the fruits of my labours, she had a story to tell me about almost all the plants and bulbs I had dug up.  I showed her some onion looking things and she told me that they were some Lily bulbs that my Mom had given her - big white ones, that had a strong perfume... and I knew that I had the same Lilies that used to grow at the front door of my parent's home.  That started my love affair with Lilies.

As I paged through the T&T catalogue I was delighted with the new varieties of Lilies.  My Mom would have loved these new colors, shapes and varied heights.  So next week I have a date with my neighbour to take a drive out to T&T seeds to buy some bulbs... (she's a gardener too... with much more space for Lilies than I ).  The one I am really hoping to get is this one... Lily Wizzard

If you would like to see some more beautiful specimens check out T&T seeds. 

It's Friday, and next week Gary has his second eye surgery ((Monday).  We are hopeful for a successful surgery and a quick recovery.  I might be scarce for a few days while I take care of my patient.
Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In Like a Lion

It's another blustery day in Manitoba today.  Cold with a nasty North wind blowing the snow all over the place, so I guess this meas that March has come in like a Lion.  That's a good thing, isn't it?

We've had so much winter that it seems kinda counter-productive to wish for a stormy day, just so we can hope the saying will be accurate, but hey - I for one am going to count on this little bit of poetic luck.

So officially we are IN like and Lion - and we'll be OUT like a lamb... you heard it here first, folks!

So that means that I really can start daydreaming about my gardens, my yard, painting my house, all the things I am waiting to do this spring and summer??

I didn't get my seed catalogue in the mail, so I had to order another, but hopefully it will be here next week and the planning can really begin.

I know I promised you the first installment of my new book for today - but it's just not ready to publish here yet.  I don't want to make myself look inept - so I am going to hold off a bit until I have more done, and until what is done is checked and re-checked until I'm happy with it.  Sorry about that.

In the meantime, I received a couple of really easy cute shrug patterns.  I just love belonging to all the sites that send out free patterns.  Just when I'm thinking or looking for an idea - one pops in my inbox and all I have to do is buy the materials and get busy working on yet another project.

I was looking for a shrug/sweater pattern for spring and summer, and either of these patterns if done in a lighter yarn would be perfect for those cooler summer mornings, or evenings.

So if you have a minute, and you are looking for something like this to make and wear, check it out.

Have  great day...