Friday, May 31, 2013

Cardi Is Done!

We are getting a lot of wind, rain and cool weather... not exactly what we need or want, but it is what it is.  Hopefully it won't last all weekend, it would be nice to have one nice weekend, but I refuse to dwell on the weather.

Instead I turn to my UFO's.  Wow three completed this week - awesome!  Could be I am on a roll?  I doubt it, but still it does feel nice and it is a little inspiring.

One of my readers says she is inspired too - that's great - sometimes it's all we need is to see someone else's finished projects to get us moving in the right direction.

As promised here is my finished Summer Cardi..  I really love this pattern, and I know I will get lots of compliments on it if it ever warms up enough for me to actually wear it comfortably...

This cotton has a few colours in it so I will be able to wear it with different outfits.  I am very happy with the way it turned out.

So now I'm going to start making daisies...I think I will go with the multi-coloured version of blanket, like my Aunt's - but will perhaps put it together with a funky color like lime, or melon or hot pink.  I'll see what inspires me by the time I get the daisies done.  I will however need to make more than one a day...

These daisies are a great stash-buster project.  I have bags and bags of bits of yarn that I hope to use up on this project.  I knew I was keeping them for something special.

Have a great weekend everyone - get working on those UFO's and hopefully I'll have a pile of daisies to show you next week!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'll Give you a Daisy A Day Dear!

I am almost finished the cardi, I could have finished it last night but I got a terrible headache so put it down - didn't want to ruin all my nice work.  Hopefully I will be able to show it to you tomorrow.

Now for my grad gift idea...

This graduate is a female, who will be going to University away from home this fall.   I am not sure if she will be living in a dorm or if she will be renting an apartment with other students, but for the first time in her life she will be away from her parents and her brother for a long period of time and for awhile she will be feeling like a duck out of water - or maybe not... one can never tell about these things.

Females love cuddly things - my opinion is that all students living away from home should have a cheery afghan on their bed.  I don't think young women have changed much over the years - they love to wrap themselves in something when they are lonely, sick, when they are studying.  So I think I'll make an afghan...but I want something different - some playful - funky!

Enter the 1970's...

Years ago my crafty Aunt Margaret made a daisy afghan.  The flowers were white with yellow centers and they were joined with green yarn.  It was beautiful.  It was very much like these.

Beautiful!

These daisies are not crocheted, they are made on a daisy loom and are 2 or 3 dimensional.  The ones in these pictures are 2 dimensional.


When Gary and I went down to see Aunt Margaret a couple of years ago I had a couple of off days.  Being the mothering type, she went into her linen closet and came out with a afghan and covered me with it.

It was a daisy afghan - with every color of daisy you could think of... I fell in love with this little afghan instantly.  When it was time to go home she presented me with a little package.  Inside was the afghan,




 and the daisy loom for me to someday make an afghan of my own.



  I am so spoiled, am I not?



I did monkey around with the loom several times, but I have done nothing with the daisies I have made.  But now I think I finally have an idea what to do with them....

I haven't counted how many I would need, but I do know if I make this - I'd better get started!

Do you think a soon to be college gal would fall in love with such an afghan?


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

She's At It Again!

I have managed to complete a couple of UFO's over the past few days.  Sadly I have so many that I really don't know which one to work on first!

I was looking for a piece of fabric on the weekend, and low and behold I came across the little strip table runner I had started when?  Maybe February or so?  I pulled it out and unrolled it and my first thought was - OH THERE'S WHERE ALL MY STRAIGHT PINS ARE!  I immediately remembered why it was still in the closet and not on my table.  The project went completely fine - until I started to apply the binding on the edges.  Yes - well - I am binding challenged, that is for sure a fact!  The binding was 1/2 sew on, but it wasn't even and the corners were hideous...  I was going to roll it back up and shove it back - further back -  in the closet and then I decided I really needed the pins - so why not finish it!

I took it out to my rocking chair in the sun room, along with a pair of scissors and some thread and a needle and I hand-stitched the back of the binding on the the runner - Voila - done!




It's not the best work I have ever done, but it is my first completed quilting project after all!  The binding is really hideous, but in finishing the project I was able to see what I had done wrong - so I'll know better for the next one... she says!

Project #2 -  was to finish knitting a little Cathy sweater I had been knitting for a friend.  It took me all of 20 minutes to finish it - makes me wonder why I had stopped in the first place.  Done!


Project #3  - The summer cardi - this has been sitting in a bag hanging on my workroom closet door for a few weeks.  I had one more row to work for the body, block, assemble, and do the border...  This WILL be finished tonight... after a yearly Vet visit with Molly, dinner, dishes, some laundry and a blow by blow account of Jon's interview this morning with an International Engineering Firm.

Pictures tomorrow of this project completed  - I hope!


And then?

Well I have an idea...

I want to make a special grad gift for a Special Grad.  Of course I am already late  - graduation has taken place, but I'm sure I will be forgiven in this case...

I'll run my idea by you tomorrow...


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A special Treat!

Yesterday at the end of my post, I promised I would bring you a special treat from Iris.

Of course you already know it has to be an indirect treat - but treat it is.

These cookies are the ones she would hand over the fence to us children.  They broke the ice after she moved into the house next door - because up until the cookies were shared, we were not too pleased to have new neighbors that had no small kids.

I've made these for myself and my family for many years.  They remain a favorite.  I have taken them to work and always take a copy of the recipe along with me, because after one bite - I am always asked for it.

So here are Iris' Ginger Crumbles... you won't find a better cookie anywhere...

Enjoy!



GINGER CRUMBLES

1 cup lard ( I use shortening)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1/4 cup Molasses
2 cups (scant) flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves

Mix ingredients and chill overnight.
Roll into balls and roll ball in white sugar.  Flatten balls with the flat bottom of a glass and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake in med oven (350). 8-10 minutes.

Don't forget to make a pot of tea to have with the cookies, or a glass of milk for the kids...



Now I am going to have to make some of these this weekend... perhaps I'll make some extra to take to the neighbours as I'm sure she will be needing much baking for all her visitors.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A FENCE IN HEAVEN!

Last week was a sad week for us.  Two good friends passed away - one longtime, and one not-so longtime.

My friend Iris, who I wrote about just a couple of weeks ago for her 104th birthday is gone.  She passed peacefully in sleep and one can only Rejoice in her life and her peaceful death after 104 yrs!

Our neighbour, Gordon passed on Saturday morning.  His journey was much more difficult, he had multiple cancers and fought them all long and hard, but sadly he did not win.  He is without pain and is in peace now.  RIP Gordon...

As I've mentioned before, Iris and her family moved into the house next door to my parent's house when I was 7 yrs old.  In the 50 yrs I knew her, she was much more than a neighbour and a friend.  At times she was a Mother to me and she was always Grandma to my son - but she was also a very close friend of my Mother's while they lived side by side.  Mom and Iris went to the same church, and were active in the church together.    They spoke everyday -  and in the summertime, it was always over the chain-link fence between our yards.

I imagine they have continued that custom now that they have been reunited  - so I wrote this for both these special women that meant so very much to me...

For Mom and Iris...


A FENCE IN HEAVEN


Somewhere is heaven, there is a fence,
With a beautiful garden close by;
Across the fence, two women converse;
Under an endless blue sky.

They’re both dressed the same - in shimmering white;
Gold halos and pristine white wings.
Their feet have no shoes, their wrists hold no watch,
Their fingers no longer wear rings.

They both look quite young, all age signs are gone,
Disease and afflictions, gone too;
They have not a care – not even one,
They have no more work to do.

It’s been thirty years, since last they did stand,
Across a fence such as this.
They talk about family and neighbours and friends,
They catch up on things they have missed.

After awhile when talk is all done,
One says “Come, walk with me.
Just through that gate waits loved ones and friends - 
Many you’ll want to see.”

With hands held together they walk through the garden,
Towards the most glorious light;
Where sunshine is endless, where beauty abounds,
Where never again is night.

And they are there waiting, just as she said,
Loved ones and ones who are dear.
It’s known in an instant, and then evermore,
So happy she is to be here.

Somewhere in heaven, there is a fence,
With a beautiful garden close by;
Across the fence, loved ones converse;

Under the endless blue sky...




Tomorrow - a special treat, from Iris!

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Fantastic Find!

I stopped into the thrift store last weekend on my way home from plant shopping.  I went there to see if I could find some gardening pants - you know the stretchy comfy loose type that allows one to bend and move with ease.  Didn't find pants, so wandered to the back of the store where the toys are.

I was not really looking for dolls (she says), but there sitting on the shelf was a cute 1960's Baby Wetums.  I have the identical doll which I had as a child, but mine it quite a bit larger than this one.


the price was right so I picked her up.  
As I was reaching up to get her off the shelf I stumbled over something that was on the floor.  I looked down, and OMG!
There at my feet lay a 35" Patty Play Pal Companion Doll!


Patty is from the 1960's and although I have seen this doll many times
on my doll sites, I had never seen one in person.  

This doll is very valuable, and very sought-after in the doll
collecting world.

And she was a horrible mess.  Her hair was matted and dirty and
someone had painted all her nails with black polish.
I grabbed her from the floor and no one was gonna get her out of my grip!

Home we went - and right into the bathroom they both went.  The hair on Patty was so badly matted that I decided to try and comb out the tangles before I washed it.  Gross would about sum up the experience.  The hair was sticky and filthy dirty, but after 3 hours, I pretty much had most of the tangles out of it.

I washed and conditioned her hair three times and finished with a Downy treatment to soften her hair.  I was surprised  - I did not actually pull out much hair.

Here is the results of over 4 hours labour....

I have never seen hair on a doll like this.  It is gorgeous, thick and so soft.  

I removed the nail polish very carefully, so now all that is left is making an outfit, finding some shoes and Patty will be as good as new.

I was complaining just last week that I needed a doll to work on - 

I got a doozy!

Have a great weekend everyone - 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

A little co-operation!

This past weekend was a long weekend here in Canada.  Yes -  we still honor Queen Victoria's Birthday with a statuatory holiday every May.

Traditionally it is the kick off to the summer season.  People head to the lakes to open their cottages, campgrounds open.  It is the weekend that a lot of Manitoban's plant their vegetable gardens because rarely do we get a frost after Victoria Day... so it is a busy weekend, any way you look at it.

This year it was a bust!  It rained all three days and the wind was so strong that many people - me included, pretty much just spent the weekend indoors with a book, or an ipad, or a Kindle or such!

My intentions were to head out on Saturday morning, early - hit the plant stands, buy my annuals and vegetables and then spend the weekend working in the gardens and planting my pots etc.

Nada...

I did go out to the plant stands - and I did buy a few plants for the flower beds - none of them annuals.  I did buy a couple of tomato plants, a cucumber, zuccini and some herbs... and quite a few packets of seeds, but nothing for my pots.  Oh and I bought a hardy rose bush... Joy!

Don't know why I bothered, all of it, except the Rose Bush which I planted in the rain, it sitting under a tarp on my patio table.  I am hoping to plant some of it tonight after work - but we are getting dangerously close to frost the next two nights so I am wondering if they should just stay where they are.  If the weather forecasters are to be believed, more wet weather is coming this weekend...

Is this the kind of growing year we are going to have?  Cool bordering on cold.  Wet bordering on saturated?
After a couple of years of heat and drought the moisture is welcome - but to a point!

I will admit, however.  There is nothing quite as pretty as the green of new growth that appears after a few days of rain.  The grass, trees, and plants have all popped with the most beautiful green foilage.  We won't see such a color again until next spring, so we should stop and admire it now.

In the meantime it would be a very welcome change to have some heat and clear skies for about a week.  June is our rainy month, usually - so nows the time to plant.

Come on weather - co-operate!



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Condolences

If you are like me, you will have spent the past few days focused on the tragedy that occurred in OK.  My sincere condolences to all those who lost their homes and possessions, but even more my prayers for those who lost their lives and for the loved ones who remain behind.

Watching the video and listening to the stories one can't help but wonder how something like this can happen.  I know you can't prevent a tornado.  But for God's sake, in this day and age with all the technical advancement, why can a monster such as this not be predicted or seen and warning systems utilized.  We have smart phones - why don't we have smart weather trackers.

I find it difficult to not lay blame on someone.  Why is it that developers can develop the most sensitive instruments to detect something the size of a pin head - but they can't detect something that is 2 miles wide?

Developers spend more money than I even know the words for, developing things for our entertainment and pleasure, for our "Convenience" in life.  Technologically we are advancing at sometimes a very alarming rate... but yet - Mother Nature still can silence us all in mere minutes...

It seems that we as a human race still are not focused on what is right.  There is a much bigger picture out there and we are not getting it!  

Perhaps it's time we started  -


God Bless those precious souls that lost their lives in this storm, and those that remain behind to mourn them.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Birthday Greeting from Mom!

Tomorrow is a very special day.  Our son Jonathan turns 25 yrs old tomorrow.  Happy Birthday Jon!

All Mother's love their sons... I think that is pretty much a given.  I love my son, I'm proud of the man he has become, and I respect him greatly because he is so deserving of it.

After being out of school for 6 yrs following high school Jon returned to school (college) last fall to take technical drafting.  It was a tremendous decision to return to school.  He didn't really love his job, but he did like the freedoms that making money from a full-time job allowed him.  He made pretty good money and he spent really good money.

But he was in a rut, he wanted more, had no idea what he wanted, and really had no idea how to get it - and so the hunt for a career began.  I can't really remember how drafting came to be his career of choice, but as it turns out, he chose well.

He started school in September and after a few rough weeks where he learned to be a student again, he was sailing.

Jon always was a good student - but he never pushed himself  - he got by, and he was always okay with that.  Because of this he always considered himself a poor student - to the point where he believed he could never succeed in College or University.

To say he has done well is a huge understatement.  He has excelled far beyond his own expectations.  He has 1 month left until graduation, and was told this week that he will be getting an award for his year's accomplishment.  He has won - "BEST OF THE CLASS of  2012/2013".

Can you see my button's popping!  I tell you they are pinging all over the hardwoods!

His employment prospects look excellent - but best of all - he loves what he is doing.

This is all any parent can hope for really - that your child excels - certainly.  But having your child be happy in what they are doing, is the ultimate.... at least that is the way we feel!

Congratulations  Jon,  job well done!

We are so proud of you!

Happy 25th Birthday, Son!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rain Rain on my Window Pane!

The first weekend of the summer is about to hit us, and the weatherman has predicted rain - not showers - but rain for the entire weekend possibly spilling over into next week as well.

This is not great news for the gardener who wanted to spend all day Saturday buying annuals, fertilizer, vegetables and seed - and then spend the rest of the weekend planting.  I know a lot of people had just such plans for this weekend - me included!

So instead of being outside - I get three inside days - whatever will I do with myself?  That's a funny thought considering we have just spent the past six months pretty much indoors.  I didn't ask myself that question then - did I?

Well if I can't be outside I guess I have to make the most of my time indoors.  Last weekend I did major cleaning in the house (in anticipation for not doing it again for awhile because of gardening).  So any cleaning will be minor.

That leaves crafting - Yeah, Yeah!  I have stacks of things started, some almost finished.  I have a few naked dolls on my work table, I have embellishments to make for my fairy gardens, I have summer Cardi's started and orders to fill.  I have a grad gift to make (and send).

But no - what I'm thinking is that I should head over to the fabric store and buy some fabric and make myself a couple of summer dresses for work.  WHAT!  Me the "I don't care for sewing," seamstress!  Yeah   - that's what I feel like doing if I can't be outside gardening... go figure!

Of course that is today - tomorrow I might completely be in a different mind-set.

That's how it goes, some days....

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Perfect Summer Cardi!

Today it's back to crochet talk... sorry guys!  Thank goodness for hour long lunch breaks at work, otherwise I would have no time to get any crocheting or knitting done at all.  Gardening has been taking up most of my spare time after work and on weekends, but I have been working on a couple of projects as well.

I am working on some knitted doll sweaters that I want to send to a doll friend of mine, but while knitting in the back of my mind I have been thinking about making myself some summer cardi's.  My summer wardrobe really needs an overhaul in the worst way.  So little by little I have been trying to update my wardrobe for work and for everyday use.

I see women wearing the cutest cardi's when I walk around the hospital.  I even checked some out at the mall - but I would never spend that kind of money on something I know I can make myself.... so On-line I went - in search of the perfect Summer Cardi.

I found quite a few light cardigans in crochet - of course I printed them all, and then I headed to my stash to see what I had on hand to make them with.

I decided on a very basic one to start with.  This is a lovely and quick pattern I found from Crochetvolution.com.  called Veranda Cardi.  I have started one in an off-white cotton with little splashes of lime, cantaloupe and strawberry  - I can't wait to get it finished!    It would be nice to have several of these cardis in different colours.   Several people have seen this pattern and have asked if I would be willing to make them one so, looks like I might be making quite a few of these in my spare (???) time.

This young designer has lots of wonderful ideas and patterns on her site - you won't be sorry you visited this site!
Check it out...

http://crochetvolution.com/summer-2013/veranda-cardi

The next cardi I'd like to try is from the Bernat site.  This one is a cute Lace Cardigan, that would be perfect for those summer evenings when you just want a little something on your arms.  I have some bright coral-pink cotton that I think I will use for this cardi.

http://www.bernat.com/pattern.php?PID=6335#.UZOARJpAwcQ.blogger

If you still need more inspiration, check out Ravelry.com - there are many cute cardi patterns there as well.

There you have the perfect quick summer project  - Summer Cardi!

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gardening Mamma!

Yesterday was a fantastic day... the weather was warm - hot even!  I went to get my hair cut and the place was packed with people needing to shed their winter mops for something cooler - the hair dressers were very happy!

I spent another 3 hours in the garden in the evening - moving plants and getting my little patch empty where I want my vegetable garden to be.  I am determined to prove that one can grow enough vegetables to sustain a family of three in a very small space.  My plan is to grow - UP!

We'll see how that goes.  I still have 2 more perennials to move out of there before I can start to build my vegetable garden space.

I have neglected my plants for a few years, I must admit.  No wonder I have lost some of my favorite varieties.  But I am determined to right that wrong this year and get my gardens back to where they were a few years ago.  Hopefully I can inject new life here and there and improve the overall look of the yard.

I want to try a couple of Hydrangea's this year, a lime - coloured one and the Endless Summer variety, which blooms all summer long in pink and violet.  My neighbours have not had much luck with these so I thought I'd give it a go and see if my yard will work better than theirs.  My yard is difficult in that in the summer months it does not get a lot of full sun.  We sit under two large Elm trees that tends to block most of the afternoon sun, so I need to choose my plants carefully - and choose where they live, even more carefully.

I have a very overgrown Virgina Creeper growing on the south side of my house.  I love them, but they do get very invasive if left unattended.  So last evening I pulled down over half of the vines from that side of the house.  I was about to throw the vines in the yard waste bag, but then decided to get crafty instead.  I made 2 very nice large vine wreaths from the vines I chopped down.  They will have to dry for a few weeks, but they will look awesome decorated with some silk flowers for the front and back doors of the house...  How's that for recycling!

I have been working on some knitting and crochet projects - but I'll tell you about those tomorrow, and give you some great links for making the perfect summer cardi -

Happy Gardening



Monday, May 13, 2013

A Lovely Day!

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend and that all the Mom's had a special day, yesterday!

I had a great weekend.  I found some energy lying around on Saturday so I put it to good use really giving my house a good cleaning.  I washed all my floors, set my sun room up for the summer months, re-potted some house plants and generally spent the day doing what I should have been doing the past few weeks,

Mother's day was a lovely day.  I got to spend some time at the thrift store (always exciting for me - but I did not find any vintage dolls - sadly).  I got to spend some time in my garden, which also is something I enjoy so much.  The weather was bright and quite warm in the sun, but not so hot that I overheated like last time I worked out there.

I had a wonderful home-made spaghetti dinner, and a great evening spent with my two favourite men.  All in all a perfect day.

I saw the cutest thing while I was working outside.  I have a small birdhouse, that Jonathan made for me years ago from some old boards taken off an old house ( where my mother grew up in the country). I have this little bird house in the garden in front of my sun room.  The past few days I have been noticing birds flying by the window but we have a lot of birds around here, so I didn't think anything of it.

I was raking leaves off the garden and this little tiny bird ( I think it was a finch of some kind) landed on the roof of the bird house.  It had a pile of feathers in it's beak and it just sat and watched me as if to say - "Do you mind leaving so I can put these in my house?"  I didn't move so it flew away...  In about 2 minutes it was back, this time on the roof of MY house.  It still had all the feathers in it's beak, and it looked so funny as it watched me rake.  I decided to give the little one it's wish - maybe it was a Mom - or soon to be a Mom making her nest, and it being Mother's day I could not interfere with that process.

As soon as my back was turned, the bird slipped into the house.  I could hear it scratching away in there.

I'll have to watch more carefully over the next weeks.  We may have babies for the first time in our little bird house... how wonderful!

I wish I had had my camera handy - it would have made a great picture -

Friday, May 10, 2013

What is a picture worth?

I apologize for my very sporadic posting this week.  My Mac has decided to misbehave and while hubby works at getting it back to proper working order I have been left working on my back-up computer - which is an old laptop PC which seems quite antiquated to say the least.

At least I have a back-up computer.  I am thankful for that, and in my case it hasn't been totally horrible to be on it, aside from the fact that it is painfully slow on the Internet - which I am pleased to say I, myself, was able to fix - somewhat.

In a lot of ways it has been somewhat of a discovery for me to return back almost 4 yrs.  When I got my Mac I just left things as they were on the PC, so this week I got a real snap shot of where my life was 4 yrs ago.  Kinda cool, in a scary sort of way.

One of the first places I went was MY PICTURES.  Who knew I had so many great photos on that computer?  You might be seeing some of them from time to time here.... watch for it!

Here's one I found that really spoke to me...

You would not believe all the things this picture told me.

I am one of those people that really look at a picture.  I find most people really don't.  I have always been this way, and I think I join quite a few in my family who love photography and the stories that a picture can tell.

This is me, I don't know the date, but I can tell it is in the month of June - because the peonies are blooming. I am dressed for my dance recital (tap dance)... that's kind of obvious, I didn't normally wear bows in my hair or certainly not on my shoes.

Here's what else I see  in the picture - 

I always knew my mother to be a pretty awesome gardener.  She had beautiful flower beds and huge vegetable gardens... she took much pride in her gardens - but hello - Mom -  sorry to say that is a pretty sad looking garden. So that tells me she was not able to garden that spring.  This could have been the year she had 2 major surgeries in a row - that might account for the lack of beauty, or it might have been the year that she cared for my dying Grandmother in a hospital bed here at home.  Or maybe it was because she had 5 children and usually 1 or 2 foster children as well... that might also account for the lack of attention to the garden.

 Three things tell me it was a very hot spring.  The grass has not been cut, and looks very dry, the soil along the house has compacted - you can see a line where it was before, and someone has taken the storm windows off and put the screens on already.

I'm pretty sure one of my brothers was behind the camera - I would never have stood that way if it had been Mom or Dad.

I got all this from this one little picture - how awesome is that!  But more awesome for me was the journey it took me on.  The remembering that we had Grandma in a hospital bed; foster brother and sisters; a large family; and a very awesome Mother.

I think the focus was supposed to be on me - but thankfully not everything is about me!

Well almost not everything!


Happy Mother's Day to all the special Mom's out there this weekend....



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Days like these...

I haven't had a real messed up filthy dirty doll to work on in a long long time, and like one of my FB doll friends said in a post yesterday - "I NEED A DOLL"!  We, who are like her, all chuckled in sympathy for if truth be known, we all feel the same.  Those of you who are not like us just think we have more than one screw loose - we know this...

We all have our "Things".    The "things" in life that make us happy, content, proud... for some it's keeping a pristine clean house; for some its a garden to die for, for some it's cooking like a world renowned chef - some need lots of clothes, some need weekly spa treatments... I could go on and on.  For thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of us - it's working on a run-down little doll who once gave some child an incredible smile and maybe more than a little contentment of their own.

Some of the thrill is in the chase - the finding of the doll in the first place - especially if it is one you have always wanted yourself - such as my love of Chatty Cathy.

For some it is the thrill of finding the worst looking doll in the worst condition ever, and restoring that doll to a thing of beauty once again.

Whatever it is, it sure is addicting.  I have been to three different thrift stores in the past week, searching for a filthy dirty little urchin who needed some loving care, and found none.

That's quite unusual.  I usually find some kind of doll, even if I don't buy it - there is usually a doll or two there - but this week there has not even been one to leave behind!  It scares me to think that another doll person might have moved into my territory!

Last evening I went to a thrift store that usually has some dolls. None!  I was walking around the store feeling sorry for myself, wandered over to book section - picked up a book.  Wandered to the clothes - found a brand new pair of capris still with the original tag on - picked that up.  Then I wandered into the sewing/craft section.  There on the shelf was a box.  As soon as I saw the box I knew what was inside.  It was marked 3.00.

It was a breast prosthesis.  A 400.00 breast prosthesis to be exact.  It was the right side and the right size.  I did not leave it there.

 I have one - not nearly as nice as this one was, which I got free after my surgery from the prosthesis bank at cancer care.  Obviously the staff at the thrift store had no idea what this was, which is sad because the prosthesis banks at Cancer Care always need prosthesis for new patients.

So I took it home.  I washed it with Palmolive dish soap ( the only thing you are supposed to use on these) and I tried it on.  Perfect fit!  Wow I got a $400.00 Boob for $3.00!

Of course since finding this treasure my mind has been on the previous wearer.  God Bless you sister, where ever you may be.  I will wear your breast proudly and when I no longer need it, I'll make sure it gets to the right place next time around...

Days like these - are treasures!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Very Zen Moment!

I have always been under the impression that gardening produced a Zen -like experience.  That thought should be revamped just a little bit, I think!

Perhaps, gardening in the middle of summer, when all one does is sit on the ground and pull weeds or move from flower to flower dead heading - now that's Zen...

The type of gardening I did on the weekend in more apt to kill you, than to cure you.

Seriously - digging out and moving shrubs and climbing rose bushes is downright dangerous!  I had what looked like a small shrub (can't remember the name) and a grown rose bush to dig up and move on the weekend.  The shrub, a pretty little thing was growing too close to the house, so I wanted to move it out into the garden proper.  The rose bush was only producing in early spring due to the fact that once the Elm trees got their leaves, the Roses' area became too shady.  Both very good reasons for a move.

How hard could it be?

It was not overly warm, I was dressed in a pair of sweats, and a short-sleeved t-shirt.  I had socks and ducks on my feet.  With garden fork in hand I set to conquer my task.

The bush came out after about 15 minutes of digging and pulling - it was transplanted in the perfect spot in the garden.

The rose-bush - not so much.  Ever try to get around a mature bush?  Well I will back track.  First I had to un-weave said rose bush off a trellis.  Oh that was fun - I'm still finding thorns in my flesh!  Then it was try and dig around a mature rose bush.  "Around and around and around we go - where we stop nobody knows! "

By this time I am becoming somewhat warm.  But instead of stopping and getting a drink of much needed water - I continue.

45 minutes later I am seeing double, can't breathe and have pretty much sweat out every body fluid I own.  And then  poof - it pops out of the ground - well sort of!

I had just enough in me to carry it to it's new home throw it in, rush to the back door of the house and then I collapsed.

I thought I was having a heart attack, but I was not.  I was over-heating  - big time.  I began to shake, I couldn't speak, I couldn't even move.  It took a panicked spouse to strip my clothes off down to the bare essentials and get the cool water to me.  Even then it was another hour before I was semi-normal (whatever that is)!

Definitely not and experience to be repeated any time soon...

O my goodness - I take that back - That was a very Zen - like experience after all!

Friday, May 3, 2013

TGIF!

Are you as glad it's Friday as I am?  Gee it seems like it has been an exceptionally long week for some reason or other!

I for one, am very glad the work week is almost over - and the weather is supposed to turn warm again so perhaps we will be able to spend the majority of the weekend outside like we did last weekend.  The huge snow pile between our house and our neighbour's is now gone - so now we can get to our storage shed.  I am very anxious to get in there for several reasons - the first being that most of my larger gardening tools like forks, spades etc are in there.

Secondly I have a vintage (1960's) woman's glider bike which I intend to sell which needs to come out of there for a clean up.

Thirdly - the umbrella for our outdoor table set is in there - it too needs a wash as does the table, before it too goes on Kijii for sale.

I thought I would play catch-up with some posts I have made of late.  Catch you up on some things I have been talking about of late.

Firstly - my neighbour Gordon, did have his brain surgery last Thursday.  He did very well with the brain surgery, but the bone cancer in his arm has caused him a lot of grief and just yesterday he finally made it to a room on the ward from the surgery step-down unit.  His brothers are now here from New Zealand to visit him, so hopefully he will be well enough to go home so he can spend some quality time with them while they are here.

I managed to finish the surprise Chatty Cathy that I received from Kodiak Alaska a couple of months ago.  Remember the one that was in pieces and missing an arm?  She is done - all except needing 2 new teeth which I will try to get to this weekend if I have time.  I did a boil perm on her hair which turned out wonderful if I do say so myself... check it out...





This was so much fun to do - can't wait to try this technique on another doll...










And here she is (minus teeth).  Her face will look much better with teeth...




I think she turned out pretty nice.

And I am excited to say I have my first official doll restoration on the way from Regina Sask.  It is a cloth-bodied baby doll who needs a new body and some wig work.  She is also has a monkey that needs work -so I am excited to get this opportunity to work on some new projects.

So on to the weekend we go - have a safe and happy weekend everyone - will talk to you again on Monday!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Am I becoming a Foodie?

We had snow again yesterday, not much, but enough to get everyone grumpy again.  Somehow grumpiness leads to food - have you noticed that?

I fear I am becoming somewhat of a foodie.  I swear my mind reverts to food at the least provocation.  So alarming!  I blame the weather!

However - not every food I think about is rich in calories!  Here is a soup I made on the weekend.  It turned out fabulous and was enjoyed by everyone.  It is going to be a "keeper" in my recipe book,  for sure.
It's a hearty soup - has everything in it you need for a meal, so all you need to eat with is is a roll or a biscuit, or perhaps a small salad.  

Minestrone Soup

2 tbsp cooking oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1/1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery


6 cups boiling water
3 tbsp beef bouillon powder

3 x 14 oz canned tomatoes broken up
2 cups grated cabbage packed
¾ cup thinly sliced carrots
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder

1 cup elbow macaroni

14 oz canned red kidney beans with juice

Grated Parmesan cheese.


Heat cooking oil in frying pan.  Fry ground beef, onion and celery until no pink remains in beef and vegetables are soft.  Put into a Dutch oven, or stock pot.

Mix boiling water and bouillon powder.  Add to pot.

Add next 7 ingredients to pot.  Bring to boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil slowly for 15 minutes.

Stir in Macaroni and boil for 10 minutes more.

Add kidney beans with juice.  Boil until macaroni is tender, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.  Makes 12 cups soup.



I made this lovely lemon cake to finish off my soup meal.  I didn't have any poppy seeds so made the cake without - it was lovely and light - and lemony!



Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

104 Years and Counting!

A dear and long-time friend of mine had a birthday yesterday.  She turned 104 yrs young.  Happy Birthday Iris!

I first met Iris when I was 7 yrs old.  She and her husband and daughter bought and moved into the house next door to my family home... I didn't like her.  In my child's mind, she and her family were the reason my playmates (3 girls and a boy) went away, and I held it against her for a very long time - well at least until she started passing her yummy ginger crumbles across the fence at us.  Then she became the nice old lady who lived next door.  That was 50 yrs ago so that would have made her 54 - younger than I am now!  Amazing!

Iris was a great neighbour to all her neighbours, but she became particularly close to my family.  When my mother passed away, she became my mother-figure.  When my son was born, she became his Grandmother.  She celebrated birthdays, holidays, special occasions, and attended school plays, choir recitals, choir festivals, grandma-teacher days... she was always there.  When I moved into my first home, she was the girlfriend who helped me unpack my china - she was 90 by then!

Iris was always full of humor, whit, knowledge.  She traveled the world and had wonderful stories to tell of her travels and the people she met on them.

She was an awesome story teller.  We spent many evenings hearing stories of our young city's growth.  Being born in 1909 - she witnessed most of it.  She watched the Hudson's Bay Store being built, as well as many other city landmarks.

My favorite story is one she told me several times.  She knew I loved hearing stories of the early 1900's so she often led me down the path to that era with her charming tales of days gone by.

One of the rites of passage into womanhood in her era, was the fitting and purchase of one's first pair of kid gloves.  This happened around age 13 or so.  Gloves weren't sold off the rack back then, they were displayed in a glass showcase.  You choose the particular style of glove you wanted and then you entered the "GLOVE SALON" to have them fitted.

Iris would demonstrate this as she told the story.

The Glove Salon was an actual salon located in The Hudson's Bay Store.  It was very elegant - Victorian... lots of velvet and brocades.  You were directed to a very high chair and told to sit.  Beside the chair was a high narrow table with a plump red velvet pillow on it.

The glove attendant would enter the salon, with a gold-gilded glove box, that contained the pair of gloves you had chosen.  She would bring the table close to the chair and position your elbow on the pillow - with your forearm  vertical and your hand pointing to the ceiling.

She would carefully unwrap the first glove from it's delicate tissue in the box and line it up to your hand - fingers first.  Then she would gently insert your fingers in the gloves fingers, and one by one work your fingers in to the gloves.

Gloves were not meant to be too tight, and certainly not too loose.  The perfect pair fit was well - "Like a Glove"!  According to Iris the glove was only perfect if the fingers had to be "worked" on, both in putting on and taking off the glove.

If you ever watch old 1940's movies, you will notice women doing this very action with their gloves as they put them on and take them off.

Once the gloves were fitted on to the wearer's hand she was instructed to flex her fingers and hands to make sure the gloves felt fine.

The gloves were re-wrapped into the tissue, put back into the gold box and tied with a fancy ribbon - and so you had performed your first rite of passage.

For Iris this would have been in the mid-1920's.  I just love the story, and I will never forget the image of her showing me how this was done.

Iris is still my neighbour - she now lives in the nursing home across the street from us.  She still knows who we all are and she still loves to visit - although her short-term memory is not great, she still can get the room in stitches in a few short minutes.

Happy Birthday, my dear friend... you are so loved!