Thursday, October 27, 2011

Those Were The Days Part 2

A Lovely Array


Down in the valley one morning
Amidst the overnight dew,
Some lovely flowers were gathered
From the soil in which they grew.

Each beautiful flower that morning
Appeared as if trying to say,
Do not neglect to place me
Somewhere in the lovely array.

The dew drops sparkled like diamonds
Out there in the summertime breeze,
Where I heard the voice of a Robin
Among the whispering leaves.

After the flowers were gathered
And placed in a nice array,
There were lots and lots of good wishes
Enclosed for a special day.

The beautiful flowers that morning
Out there in the summertime dew,
Were gathered for someone that's special
That someone special, was you.


Composed by
Peggy Korman



Peggy spent most of her day in an iron lung.  She suffered from debilitating migraines almost daily, but still she could whip out a poem faster than most could read the Saturday comics.  When I met Peggy I had written a few simple verses of poetry, and after a time I let her read my work.  I remember her beautiful face beaming up at me from the iron lung, she said "Dale, keep writing... don't ever stop."

So I did write -  more and more as the months and years rolled along.  Peggy always was my greatest inspiration and also my biggest critic.  

I admired her spirit, her passion and her determination, because while she would compose her verse in the quiet hours of her seclusion in the lung, she adamantly insisted that she also type the verse out herself.  

To do this Peggy had to be removed from the iron lung, or the rocking bed, and she had to have a chest respirator attached to her chest - sort of a portable lung, if you will.  But Peggy was completely paralyzed from the neck down - so her head was placed in a halo brace for stability, her manual typewriter was placed just so on her wheelchair tray, and a rubber-tipped stick was placed in her mouth.  

One letter at a time, she typed her words - perfectly spelled, perfectly formatted to the page, and perfectly written.  

She wrote the above poem for my 21st birthday - what an honour and today - what a treasure!

Thank you Peggy, for everything you taught me about, Poetry, human kindness... and life.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Those Were The Days Part 1

I must either quit cleaning my craft room, or clean it more often.  Actually I was not cleaning, but looking for a pattern in one of my many bookcases last evening when I came across a binder I had not looked in for over 20 years.  In fact it might have even been longer, but the minute I opened it I was transported to another time, and another place.

Back to 1977 to be exact.  Back to the first position of my nursing career when I accepted a job as a general duty RN at the King George Hospital here in Winnipeg.


The King George Hospital was one hospital of three, that was then known as the Municipal Hospitals.  The George was built in 1914 and at the time it was built it was considered the most modern hospital in the world for the care of people with communicable diseases such as typhoid fever, diphtheria, small pox and TB.

It became internationally renowned during the poliomyelitis epidemic outbreak in 1953, and when I started working there in 1977 there still remained 30 some patients from that polio outbreak still living permanently in the King George Hospital.

It was an eye opener for a newly graduated nurse to venture into such a facility, especially on the post-polio ward where I was to work.  Yes, we learned all about polio in nursing school - but not about iron lungs, rocking beds and chest pieces.

To work on the post-polio floor was to step back into time to 1953..  All but 2 of the patients still slept in the iron lung at night and for part of the day, and when they weren't in the lung - they were on rocking beds.

Our younger generation might not even have ever heard of such equipment - I hadn't really either - but I learned quickly.. and I grew to love these very special patients that were actually more like a family than anything.

All of the patients who lived on the ward in 1977 had entered the George in and around 1953 as young adults.  Some, were husbands and fathers, some were wives and young mothers... some were in love and intended to marry, some were single.  They came from all over the province and from all walks of life.  None of them ever returned home.

Polio - now pretty much eradicated thanks to inoculations received routinely as children, is more often known for it's paralysis of limbs, especially legs... but in extreme cases as the ones from 1953, everything from the neck down, including the lungs were paralysed.  Without the iron lungs, these people would not have survived.

One of the first things we were asked to do as new employees on this floor was to get in the iron lung, pop our head through the tight rubber collar so it was outside of the lung and have the lung closed.  Of course it was not turned on, but really it did not need to be.  Imagine that all of the world you can see is what is reflected from a little 8 X10 mirror suspended over your face.

For my patients -this was everyday life.  They were completely dependent on nursing staff for every normal function of life we so take for granted.  If you opened the lung - they were deprived of lung activity, so everything we did for our patients had do be done in 2 minute intervals.  Most of the patients had learned how to frog - breathe( a technique of swallowing air, but it was a technique that could only be used for a couple of minutes at most .  Some were better at it than others.

Some patients were able to be removed from the lungs in the day time and placed on to a rocking bed.  They tipped back and forth all day long moving the diaphragm up and down - like breathing.  We gave bed baths, bedpans and fed patients all the while the beds were rocking.  I had a terrific waistline when I worked here because one had to move with the bed - so it was 8 hrs of stretching at the waist.

All of this - and much much more was in the binder I uncovered last evening.

Next -  you will meet the special people that changed my life in such a positive way, so many years ago.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday Insanity!

Saturday was a weird day.  I had the house to myself (which hardly ever happens) for part of the day so I planned all kinds of projects to get me through the day. 

I was going to really clean my house - ha!
I was going to mend and hem the pile of clothes lying around on my ironing board, right beside the sewing machine.
I was going to iron the other pile of clothes sitting at the other end of the ironing board.
I was going to knit some on the scarf I started for the Special Olympics project.
I was going to finish my swap item for Charlotte.
Did I mention I was going to really clean my house??

I saw hubby off to his conference, poured a cup of coffee, grabbed the laptop and signed in to Facebook.  Somehow I landed on a FB page of a group I belong to of Manitoba Crafters and I was merrily browsing the posts, seeing what everyone was up to, when I noticed an add for a Christmas Craft Sale in November.

I followed the link to the site, and the more I read, the more excited I became.  Remember my last post?  Well here was just the type of sale I had been longing to find.  Local CRAFTERS only, cash only, no business or commercial vendors, no Visa/Master Card or Interact - just a good old-fashioned kind of sale.

To apply one was to send 3 pictures of your work, or a link to your web page/blog, whatever, and they would get back to you if your work was something they wanted in their sale.

Finally!!! A promoter who wanted to see the quality and type of work you did!  I was pumped!

The sale date was November 26th - so I quickly calculated 9 weeks till the sale, then figured how many items I could get done, and I was completely pleased to think that just maybe  I could pull it off.

I still had time - registration had to be in before October 14th!

Are you getting this picture yet?

I fired away three pictures, an email and a link to this blog, and was so excited to think I could be in a sale after all... I went looking for my #10 thread and started crocheting a bear.  In the back of my mind a shopping list began to form for our trip to the states this weekend.  How timely was that?  Perfect - I could really stock up on items I'd need.  Wow!

But I didn't stop there...

I fired away yet another email to my friend Dee who makes the most fantastic cards, and who worked with me at our sale last year.... Dee..... look at this fantastic sale... hurry you could get in too, maybe!

The next thing I know, hubby is home, and he was barely through the door and I was telling him all about the sale.  He scrunched up his face, kinda tipped his head to the side, but didn't say anything... at first.  He went down to his office to unload his stuff, and when he came back he asked me if I was feeling okay!

Okay?  Are you kidding?  I'm Great!

"How are you going to do this sale?  Do you have a lot of stock?"
"No, but I have almost 9 weeks!"

There's that look again....

"Dale it is almost the end of October... a week away from November!"

OH - OH - as Chip would say!  What did I do!

Back to the computer - fire away yet another 2 emails - one to the promoters apologizing for my late application, and another to Dee...

Well maybe we'll just forget Saturday even was.  Yeah, we'll just wipe that one right off the board!  Good plan!

Except this morning in my email was a reply from the promoters with an application form, posters, and a nice note saying how wonderful it would be to have me in their sale...

Oh my....how was your Saturday?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Craft Sale Season Begins!

You might think it's early, but there are several Christmas Craft Sales this weekend.  Most of us are not thinking of Christmas yet - but some start their shopping early and so I guess these early sales are directed at catching a few of these shoppers.

Christmas Craft Sales have really changed over the years.

To begin with they used to be "Craft Sales".  Meaning all the sellers actually made the items for sale!  This is a real peeve of mine.  I get all excited to attend a "Craft" sale - only to find, after I've paid my entrance, that it is 80% vendors and 20% crafters.

Are there any other crafters out there that feel this way?

Whatever happened to the days when a crafter had to have their product judged to even be able to even get into a sale? Yes, it was a pain - but the sales were fantastic. Customers returned year after year because they knew the merchandise was excellent. They came to see - they came to buy!


When I do a sale it represents months and months of work, time and effort I have put in to my product.  Vendors are not "Crafters".  Well maybe they are, or once were - but they have opted out for a new way of selling and making money without all the time, and labour...

To clarify - by vendors I mean - dealers selling commercial products such as Epicure, Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware ... that sort of thing.  How did it come about that they have been included in "Craft Sales"?

My other peeve about craft sales is some of the shoppers themselves... they want cheap.  I understand the economy is not great, and believe me crafters do take that in to consideration when they make and price their items... but come on people... if you would rather pay ten dollars for a plastic mass-produced made in somewhere ornament - than a handmade one of a kind made by the person you are looking at ornament - then shop at Walmart!

I cannot tell you how many times someone has made me an "offer" on one of my bear ornaments - like I was selling in a Flea Market! 

Aside from my specialty bears (Brides/grooms and custom made orders) my Bears are the same price they have been since 1988.  How many things that you buy these days can you say that about?

When you exhibit in a Craft Sale or Show you are often asked to complete a survey after the sale is over.  This is our opportunity to speak out... tell the promoters the truth if you don't like something - speak up.  We have to get more vocal about our venues.  We pay them to allow us to sell our items in our table rentals and our auction donations... we deserve to be able to sell our product!

The alternative - gone forever will be the the opportunity to purchase custom hand-crafted items and that, my friends, is a very sad thought!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY!


Can you remember what you were doing 27 yrs ago today?

I can...

That's right, I was getting married to My Best Friend, The One I Live For, Laugh With, Love.
That's what our wedding invitation said:
Today I Marry My Best Friend,
The One I Live For,
Laugh With,
Love.
Truer words were never spoken.  He was my best friend then, and 27 yrs later, he remains my best friend. BFF!
We have had a wonderful marriage.  It hasn't always been easy, but we have always weathered our storms together - side by side - holding tight to each others hands.
Happy Anniversary Gary!
Thank You for 26 wonderful years together.
I Love You!
I have to tell you - we have the crummiest wedding pictures anywhere... actually all we have is some proofs, none very well done at all.  I have been scanning them into the computer, more to save whatever images we do have, because the prints are starting to fade quite badly.  

Then I thought - Why don't I work on these photo's and make them more like the beautiful photo's of today?  So to Picnik.com went I and my scanned photos. 
Here's what you can do with crummy photo's.  The above photo looked like this originally...

and the ring shot...

Here is another one I cleaned up.


What a difference a little technology makes.

So now I've found myself yet another winter project!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where have all the Yarn Stores gone?

Long time passing?
Where have all the Yarn Stores gone, long time ago?
Where have all the Yarn stores gone?
Young girls passed them everyone.
Oh, how will they ever learn?
Oh, how will they ever learn?

I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me at home yesterday after work.  Remember that Mary Maxim baby ensemble I ordered last Thursday?  Yep - it arrived yesterday!

Wow is that excellent service or what?  Less than three working days to have something shipped from Ontario!  How come other companies can't do that?  It is a big package. -  12 balls of yarn (6 of each color) which I'm sure is actually going to be too much for the three projects, but maybe not... and the pattern all in a zippered plastic container with a handle.  Now that's classy. 

I certainly could have not gotten this much of this quality of yarn in any store around here, so it was a good deal. 

I used to order a lot of stuff from Mary Maxim - and I have never ever had a problem with either their merchandise or their service.

Certainly with reliable yarn stores disappearing and the department stores selling less and less yarn - this is a reliable and reasonable alternative.

Remember the days when every large department store had wool and yarn, and needlepoint kits?  In my stash of yarn I still have the odd ball of yarn inherited from Mom's stash from Sears, Eaton's and the Bay.  The Bay had wonderful wools and yarns... well that was quite some time ago, but still we who love to knit, crochet and stitch are pretty much reduced to ordering from mail order or online places to get our supplies.

The same can be said for material.  We used to be able to by material in many stores - now, here in Winnipeg we are down to one general Material outlet, and quilt shops. It is pathetic, really, but I guess that is the sign of the times - for every material/yarn/craft store that has gone by the wayside - 20 electronic stores have opened!  That is our new reality!

Perhaps instead of knitting with needles some of us should be devising a method whereby we can design, create and make a garment on the computer - and press SEND - to a knitting machine attached to the computer - and  - well yeah - you guessed it... 20 minutes later you have a perfect product knitted by a machine -

Remember - you heard about it HERE first!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nothing like a Swap!

While I am sort of on the topic of Craft Buddy, I thought I would share some pictures of our recent Fall swap.

Craftbuddy.com is a craft forum I belong to on the net.  I have been involved with this group of crafters for almost 5 years now.  We are a collection of mostly multi-crafters, some have craft business where they sell their wares online, some do the sale circuit's, some own shops, and others like me, work on consignment and special orders.  In the group are spinners, knitters, crocheters, doll restorers, wood workers, painters, photographers, beaders, card makers, soap makers, just to name a few.

We haven't done a swap in awhile so when one member suggested it, we all jumped at the chance to participate.  Usually there is a theme, and a few rules such as cost, sometimes materials, colors, but usually we keep it pretty basic and let our creative hands just work.

This time around we did a fall swap.  The item was to have a fall meaning or colour, and not cost more than 10.00 in materials.  Swap was to be completed and mailed before Oct 31st.

Almost everyone has not only completed their item, but has already swapped and received their gift.

My swap partner was my good friend and fellow doll lover Eva.  Eva is a fantastic seamstress so she made a complete "Back to school outfit" for my Chatty Cathy Doll... what is more fall than back to school?









Of course I was delighted because this doll has been wearing blue jeans and a sweater for much too long.  I made the books and holder to go along with Eva's outfit.

My swap to Eva was a Fall wall hanging.  I took a big chance and challenged myself.  Of all the things I do sewing is my least favorite and my most frustrating craft.  I'll blame my Mom for that ( but that's another post!).. about the only time her and I ever butted heads - it was about sewing!

The little quilted wall hanging I did for Eva didn't turn out too bad - but still I was not 100% happy with it.  I got the pattern on Freepatterns.com.
http://www.freepatterns.com/detail.html?code=FQ00210&cat_id=1


   Some of the other swap items include note paper and cards in an autumn theme.  A fall scarf, a beautiful knitted doily in a sunflower motif, a wooden lamp decorated with fall characters.. to name a few.
swaps&ttt 009 (2).jpgdoilyforcarol.jpgIMG_1542 (260x195).jpg

CIMG1252.JPGFall Swap from Sue.jpg

There are still a few pictures missing...

Next up  - A Christmas Ornament swap, due Dec 31st.
My partner for this swap is Charlotte - shawl designer and knitter extraordinaire... and NO - I will not be knitting something for Charlotte!  She's a REAL knitter - not a knit and purl variety such as I!

I have almost finished my swap item, and plan to mail it to Texas where Charlotte is when we go to the states next weekend.

We are all like Children waiting for Santa, when it comes to these swaps, but really - it's just the thought that someone I have never met is spending time making me something that I know I will treasure for years to come  - well for me - that's the most special part of our swaps.

Thank You fellow CBer's... you make the world a much better place...

Craft on -

Monday, October 17, 2011

What is a picture worth?

I know I have mentioned one of the sites I belong to (CraftBuddy.com) before.  It is one of my favorite places on the web to be, and the friends I have made there are the best.

Last week one of my CB friends told us that someone she knew had inherited an heirloom piece of crochet, and this person needed her help to finish it.  The story had a de-ja-vu feel to it for me.  Then I remembered why.

Back in the 1980's my Mom had done something very similar.  Some long-lost cousin, of some long-lost cousin had found a partially crocheted bedspread in a box.  There was a lot of thread still wrapped in paper but no instructions.  The woman who found it, didn't know how to crochet anyway, so she sent it to my Mom, hoping she would be able to do something with it.

Mom wasn't delighted - she loved knitting but only tolerated crocheting.  But in Mom's style (never say no) she sat down and worked out the pattern, wrote it down, and then proceeded to work on the project which ended up taking all summer, until she had completed the bedspread.  Then she mailed it to the person who had found it to begin with.

I knew I had a picture somewhere of the bedspread taken just after Mom had finished it, so I went looking for the picture one evening last week, so I could show my friend on CraftBuddy.

I found the picture after about an hour of looking through pictures, but I was in no way prepared for the wallop looking at it gave me.  I flipped the picture over and read what Mom had written on the back.  She had dated the picture summer of 1982.

My first thought was - she was gone by March 1984 - less than 2 years after this picture was taken.  I flipped the picture over and really looked at her again.  She looked healthy - no sign of illness - but then I remembered she coughed a lot when she came up the stairs from the basement or when she over- exerted herself.  I wondered if she felt healthy, or maybe she wasn't feeling well, but just didn't say anything.  Then I wondered why I had never wondered that before!

I felt her loss so keen at that moment that I could almost not stand to look at the picture.

It was a strange reaction to something I have seen many times before, but maybe this time I was truly "seeing" the real picture.

Finally my eyes checked out the bedspread, which was the whole reason I had looked for the picture to begin with.  I no longer cared about the stupid bedspread, but I was impressed by the amount of work and the size of the piece.  I consider myself a pretty talented crocheter - but I have yet to tackle a project of this magnitude.  And she didn't even like to crochet...

Wherever that spread ended up, I hope it is still being treasured by the ones who get to touch it everyday.
They have a piece of Mom that I will never have - a treasure in itself.

My craft buddy friend has almost figured out her pattern.  I don't know if she is going to finish the piece given to her, or give it back with the pattern.  Either way, I hope the people who asked for her help appreciate the time and effort she has spent on the project.

By the way - the lady walking in the background was our neighbour Iris.  I have known her since I was 7 yrs old.  Iris is now 102 yrs of age and lives in the nursing home across the street from me, so we are still neighbours. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Babies on the Way!

I have several baby gifts to get made in the next few months and I find I am tired of many of the items I have made over the years.

There are so many things one can make for a baby gift so the decision is difficult.

I love to do blankets.

This was the last one I did and I'd do it again, but really I'd like to try something new.

So I started the hunt.  I looked online, I looked in all my pattern books and thought I had it narrowed down to a few - and then I got the latest Mary Maxim catalogue in the mail.

Well there went all my ideas and decisions!

But I did find one that I absolutely love, and I think one particular couple will like it as well so this morning I ordered the pattern and the yarn and I can't wait until it comes so I can get started on it.

I have no idea if they are having a boy or a girl - but these days baby blankets don't have to be the traditional pastel baby colours. 




Ruffles Turtle, Blanket & Bib

Isn't this the cutest set you have seen?

In the meantime I have started knitting a winter coat for Molly.  She has been removing the fur from her side for a few years now and has quite a bald spot happening there.  It started off from a food allergy but has become a habit she just can't seem to break now.  She is by nature a fairly nervous girl, and when she is over tired or has been too wound up she licks and chews her side.

She's 8 now, and winters here are harsh, so I am making her a soft double knit coat to cover her bald spot.  I started it last night and will probably get it done by next week - then it is on to scarves for the Special Olympics. 

I like to do several things at once so I'll add the baby ensemble in to the mix as soon as I get the pattern and yarn.

The weekend looks like it is going to be a busy one working outside cleaning the yard... we are buried under elm leaves in our yard, and it has been raining for the past 2 days so you can imagine the mess we have to clean up both in the gutters and on the ground.  It is supposed to be sunny but colder this weekend so I plan to drag out my woollies and stock up on hot chocolate - and get the job done....

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time to Give Back!

Are you rich in talent? Do you have a bit of time you could use to do something for someone else?  Do you have the desire to "Give Back" to someone or something, but not sure what you could do?

If you can knit or crochet - even at a beginner level - I have a project for you.



It's called  THE SCARF PROJECT - and it runs in both Canada and the USA.  It is a project to supply scarves to the athletes, coaches and volunteers of the SPECIAL OLYMPICS Winter Games in 2012.

The information for the Canadian Games can be found here: click on the story of the scarf project and it will take you to the pdf file on the project.
http://www.stalbert2012.ca/en/

The information for the American Games can be found here:
http://www.scarvesforspecialolympics.org/

If you need patterns for your scarves here are some links for those...
http://www.scarvesforspecialolympics.org/patterns
or you can use your own patterns or make one up.

The pattern does not matter - but colors do.

For the Canadian project this time around the colors are blue and white and a "touch of red" - just like the logo.  I recommend using Red Heart Super Saver yarn - as it's inexpensive, durable, washes well and makes a nice warm scarf.  Colours  0886 Blue   and 311 White  or Red Heart Soft  4600 White and 2624 Royal Blue or 9820 Mid Blue would be my choice.

The American project this time around are using the colours red and navy.  Red Heart Super Saver  387 Soft Navy and 319 Cherry red or Red Heart Soft  4604 Navy and 9925 Really Red.

Lets show these very special athletes our support by doing something special for them. Your help and support would be greatly appreciated...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today is the First Day...

Of the rest of your life...

If you think these words have been used over and over again since they first appeared on posters in the 1960's, you would be correct.  Google them and see what comes up. 

There are inspirational sites who use this phrase, there are song writers and performers who have used this phrase; there are ordinary people like you and I who cling to this phrase; and sadly there are some who scoff at this phrase.

Today I am going to use it for me.

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE.

I say it with conviction, and determination, and a firm belief that it is true (for me) on many levels.

Yesterday I visited my oncologist - a routine 6 month check-up much like the ones I have been attending every 3-6 months for over 5 years.  What made yesterday different was that yesterday marked the end of five years of cancer treatment for me.  No more nasty drugs, no more feeling like I am fighting for my life every night when I take my meds before I go to sleep.  No more feeling like I have to "do something" to be able to stay alive and living.

I left his office with tears in my eyes - tears of joy, yes!  Tears of fear - most certainly... but as I walked back to work, I felt pretty light, thankful, and renewed, and the thought came to me that tomorrow really is the first day of the rest of my life.

I have a rest of my life - thanks to the past 5 years - and I can't wait to get started on it.

I am not the same person I was 5 years ago - I am new, this is my first day... I can start again and do things different or do things the same - the choice is mine.

Someone (on the internet) wrote that this phrase is " A cop out for those who seek to use "psychological mind trickery" in hopes of starting over.  Kind of like how people who do video games, when they mess up they punch reset and start over."

I'm laughing at this comment - in fact I'm rolling on the floor laughing at this person.... kinda like!  LOL! ROFL! 

All I have to say to this person is - my hope for you is that life never challenges you more than that of your beloved video games...

 This IS the beginning of a new day,

and

Today IS the first day in the Rest of My Life!

Thank you, Dr. Fox, Dr. Momoh, Dr. Lezack and Dr. Gerber - for helping me reach this very special day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Going back 40 years.

Just over a year ago, I inherited a box of pattern books from one of my girl friends.  She was clearing out her father's belongings and she found not only the pattern books but a sizable stash of yarn that had belonged to her mother, which she also donated to me.  At the time I briefly flipped through the books, but then got busy with other things and forgot all about them.

This past weekend I decided to clean and organize my craft room, and what did I find?  The box of books.

So I dumped them on the floor and spent some real time looking at the treasures I had inherited.

Most of the books are Canadian knitting/crochet pattern books from the 40's to the 70's.  Some of them I already have, because I also inherited my mother's collection some years back.  There are some wonderful patterns from BeeHive, Patons, Canadiana, Monarch, yarns, and many older patterns that are not associated with any yarn at all.

Also in the box was a May 1971 issue of Family Circle... the price of the magazine?  25cents!  Now that is a treasure, to be sure.  I opened it up, and time sort of fell away for me.

I would have been 16 at the time of the publication of this magazine - just getting my driver's license, just getting my first paid part-time job, just thinking I was a real grown-up, perhaps?  Looking at the pictures in the magazine, I could almost feel 16 again!   Okay - maybe that's a stretch....

The crafts of the day (in 1971) were Macrame, and Needlepoint and Embroidery... in fact there is a whole pull-put section entitled Treasury of Needlework Stitches - which is just that - 6 pages of different stitches with directions and illustrations.

The article that caught my eye was entitled "How to Cut Household expenses by 10%."  In this article they had a Monthly Budget Expense for a family of 4.

Check this out - remember this is for a Family of Four!

Food, including meals out  -  $206.00/month 
Housing, including fuel, utilities, furnishings - $215.00/month
Clothing and Upkeep - $76.00/month
Transportation, including car - $79.00/month
Personal care - $21.00/month
Reading and Recreation - $31.00/month
Medical care, including insurance - $50.00/month
Other goods, services - $23.00/month
Gifts, contributions - $25.00/month
Life Insurance - $16.00/month
Occupational expenses - $8.00/month

for a total  of    750.00 per month (for 4 people)!

What happened to us?  How did we get so far ahead - or should I say behind, ourselves.  I don't know about you, but I pretty much spend their monthly budget for food - weekly!

Yes our wages are much more than those of 1971 - still in all I would be willing to bet that at the end of the day - they still had more cash in their pockets than we do today!

Another article that got my attention was "Pep up TV dinners".  I quote " With a few deft touches you can enhance and glamorize handy TV dinners in a matter of minutes.  Simply by adding sauces, spices, herbs and garnishes to the tray-pack dinners, you can turn out tempting eye-appealing meals."

Okay, so maybe some things have changed for the better....

Dinner anyone?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Man Update

I hope you are busy working on your pumpkin man yard decorations for the Pumpkin Man Challenge.

Remember  pictures emailed to me by October 20th and I'll announce the winner October 31st.

I've change my mind on the prize - hope you don't mind - the prize will be a Avon gift basket loaded with great products.



While hubby was cleaning leaves from the gutters this morning, I started working on the body of my Pumpkin Man.  There is no shortage of leaves in my yard, or any other yard around here for that matter so I began stuffing bags.... and stuffing bags... and stuffing bags.

The body is pretty much done, and I did have a terrific helper, as you can see.  Molly still is not sure what to make of this headless creature in her yard!   Isn't she adorable!



So I'm heading off to do my grocery shopping now - Have  big Thanksgiving dinner to cook on Sunday, so need some provisions... hopefully in my travels today I will come across the perfect "Head" for my man.  Then all that will be left will be the embellishments I add to his clothing....

Happy Friday everyone...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Flapper is finished, Turkey to follow!

It's been a beautiful week weather-wise in Winnipeg this week, yesterday we even broke a record for highest temperature EVER in October ... we got to 31.8 C. which is roughly 90 F.  Not bad for Manitoba in October.  Our normal high should be somewhere around 13C so as you can see we are far above where we should be. 

Hopefully the warm weather will stick around for the weekend as it's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada an a lot of people have plans that include travel. 

I am cooking my Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday.  I can't wait for the turkey dinner and pumpkin pie for dessert.  YUM!

Remember the little china head doll I was going to dress as a flapper?  Did I tell you about her?  When I visited my 92 yr old Aunt Margaret last year - she handed me a small (about 8") China head doll that she had made. 

"Do you like her?"  she asked.
"I love her"...
"Then take her home with you, and make her something nice to wear!"

I designed and crocheted a flapper-style dress then decided to hand -sew sequins to the bodice portion of the dress.

I had forgotten all about this project, and the doll had become buried in a pile on my worktable.  Last weekend I was moving piles - well trying to clean, actually; and I felt something hard in a pile of fabric.  I discovered the China Head doll and then remembered that I was working on a dress for her.

It too awhile to hunt down the dress but I did eventually find it in a plastic bag with some thread a needle some sequins and a pair of scissors.  So I took it to work and all week I have been hand sewing sequins on the dress on my lunch break.

I finished the outfit last evening and here is the result.  I think she turned out pretty cute.


Chip even donated a feather to complete the look....NO, I did not pull is out of him - he shed it all on his own!

So, now I have one less project to finish.  Up next.... pumpkin man.... the leaves are bagged, all I need is to find a pumpkin the right size.

Have you been working on yours?