Monday, June 24, 2013

So Summer Has Arrived!

The fist days of summer have proved to be much too much for many in this country.  To the west of us people are trying to cope with rain, storms, flooding, loss of property, loss of homes.  Places like Canmore and also Calgary, High River, have been devastated by the raging Bow River - and communities east of Calgary now face the same fate as high river levels travel East with the river.

Thursday evening we too had a storm blow through here in a short time, large amounts of rain fell, flooding establishments such as the newly constructed Ikea and other facilities in that area.

Yesterday again, more heavy rain, but this time no wind associated with it.  It just came down all day long and never quit.  Basements have been flooding, sump pumps are water-logged and we are all saying, enough already!

The trees are loving it though.  I looked out the window while I was making supper last night and in spite of the water everywhere, I had to smile at the Elm tree out my window.

I haven't seen moss on that tree in a couple of years... take a look...

My picture doesn't show it well, but it is green with moss right to the top, except for the underside of that one branch... It looks like it has been painted green...

When disaster abounds, Mother Nature still can give us something wonderful to see.

My heartfelt prayers to all those who are experiencing challenges from the last few days weather activity.

Please stay safe, everyone!

On a much happier note - today is my wonderful husband's birthday.  Happy Birthday Gary!  

Enjoy the day, everyone!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy First Day of Summer!

Well so much for good intentions.  A co-worker of mine told me about 3 dolls she saw at a local antique store on the weekend.  She of course couldn't wait to tell me about them on Monday morning when she got in to work.

One was in pieces, she said - and old, and she really wanted to just take her home, but she didn't.  By the way she described the doll I thought she must be an old composition doll.  The other two were more modern - one a small rubber doll, and the other a plastic doll she said.

We talked about them yesterday at work and by the time it was time to go home I knew I had to go and check them out.

And you probably know how this ends already.

I just couldn't leave them there alone... and I was right - the old doll is composition... and now she is mine.... all mine!

She is in very rough shape, but I don't care about that.  She is probably 1920's or 30's and has so many memories stored inside her old body pieces.

I am in love...

Can you just imagine the little hands that have held her through the years!  So awesome.

She needs to be restrung (to put her limbs and body back together.  I have not done this before so it will be a new learning experience for me.  Then I plan to crochet her a beautiful gown and bonnet fitting for a doll of her era.  And I have a carriage just waiting for a doll like this.

The other two dolls are terribly cute.  One is a rubber 1950's doll, I believe she is in her original clothes and shoes.  She has had a bath and I have hand washed her clothes and this weekend I will curl her hair and fix her dress.  The other is a plastic doll - not her original dress, but not a horrible dress either.  
She needs a new outfit - but she will have to get in line.  

There are a few waiting ahead of her...

So no work was done to the patio last night - I got a bit side-tracked... but in a very nice way, I might add.

Nothin better than working on my dolls...

Except to say Happy First Day of Summer..

Happy Birthday to my dear GF Sharon,
And last but certainly not least.

To our son Jonathan who officially graduates from college today.  Not only will he receive his Drafting Diploma, he also has won the Best in the Class 2012/2013 Award, and graduates with a 99% average.
We love you and are so proud of you Jon... 

Have a great weekend everyone... see you Monday....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Making Pretty is Hard Work!

Work is progressing on the patio area of our home.  I spent hours after work yesterday potting more annuals  and decorating the trellis I bought so it is more a room divider now, than a trellis.  I have pots of ivy, impatients and some lights strung all over it so it will cover the trellis and provide a shelter from the more unsightly part of the back yard (The area where the bins are stored).

So far I am happy with my efforts.  Molly is happy with the big carpet - set down on the patio, just for her - so she thinks!

Then I moved on to the water feature I wanted to create.  I don't have much space so it has to be table top but I thought I would try and use some everyday stuff I have lying around.  The base to hold the water is a glass punch bowl I have had for years but never use.  Inside that goes the small water pump under a clear plastic take-out tray from a Cesar salad eaten last weekend (this hides the pump somewhat and provides a flat base) for the small pot of brightly colored impatients and coleus.

This all went together just fine until I got to the metal tea pot.  It was my intention to have a smaller really cute metal teapot hanging from a shepherd's hook, spout down so the water will return to the punch bowl.  But I have yet to figure out how I am going to make a hole in the teapot so I can insert the tubing from the pump.  This will be today's dilemma once I get home.

That and a really ingenious way to get rid of the ginormous mosquitoes that were eating me alive while I was working.  I had bug spray on and it deterred them not one bit.

A common joke here in Manitoba is that the Mosquito is our Provincial Bird - after yesterday, I am inclined to agree!

So if I can get the water feature figured out and running, perhaps I will take a few pictures to share with you tomorrow...

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Frustration All Around -

I so wish I could be home today instead of heading off to work.  To begin with, the weather is beautiful - way too nice to be stuck indoors.  Secondly, I bought a whole bunch of flowers last evening to brighten up my patio along with a pretty trellis I plan to decorate with flowers and plants and a outdoor carpet  AND I finally figured out how I want to build my water feature.  It was on my mind all evening and finally at 3am when I woke up in my stuffy bedroom the final design plan was formulated.

I just hate when that happens - waking up in the middle of the night - but worse - getting a really good idea about something in the middle of the night.  Sometimes I remember the great idea in the morning, sometimes I don't.

In this case I actually did remember, now all I want to do is build the idea.  But that will have to wait for later today.

Yesterday was a frustrating day in my house.  Gary has wanted an ipad for a long time now, but new ones are too expensive for our budget at the moment.  He was searching listings in Kijji yesterday and found a second generation ipad for sale with a case for a very good price.  We discussed it and decided that he should go and look at it.  No sense going without the money in your pocket, because most likely you will need it... right... Right!

So off we went to Walmart.  On the way we stopped at our bank so he could take out the money for the ipad that we know he will most likely buy.  I sat in the car while he went to the instant teller.  He was gone awhile, and when he came back he looked upset.  Don't you know the bank machine went down for service right in the middle of his transaction - so he didn't get the full amount he needed.

We continued to Walmart I bought my plants and carpet and trellis, and he went to the bank machine there, and it rejected his card.  So I gave him my card - it rejected my card.  So he tired his credit card - it rejected that too...

By now things were getting quite stressful to say the least.  We headed home, and he decided to try the bank on the corner of the street nearby.  This time he took my credit card...

He came home without the money - and without my credit card  - the machine ate it...

Don't you just hate technology sometimes?  Because of all the hackers out there who mess with cards and account numbers- you get three tries on your account and if you are unsuccessful for whatever reason - even if it is the bank's fault - they lock your account down for 48 hours and unless you go into the bank your account is inaccessible to you.

Who knew?

Well we do now!

So today he has to sort that mess out - I have to get my credit card back from wherever it went - and he will eventually get his ipad - because the kind fellow who is selling it is holding it for him until this evening...

Oh ain't life grand!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mini Gardening...

How quickly Monday rolls around.  I had my first Friday off for the summer and still the weekend went by too quickly.

It was a nice weekend too.  It only rained a bit off and on, so we were able to get outside and do some things in the yard.  The weeds have really sprouted since I last spent time out there so I got a good chance to get some of that cleaned up... We also worked on our patio area a bit.  Threw out a lot of stuff like old pots and things that I have been saving for - I don't know what!

I did start the first part of my fairy garden.  This first one I am doing in a pot for the patio area, I still have to decorate it with some items like a wee swing set, perhaps an arbor and a seat.  A gazing ball, maybe some wood piles.... all which I will make myself from sticks and things I have collected outside as I worked this spring.  I plan to expand this fairy idea to the whole patio - but not in a gaudy way...

Here's my start...

This is very enjoyable - I could see this turning into another "thing" I do - very easily!

I also had a wonderful time on Saturday hosting "Morning Tea" as Stephanie named it for my neighbour Elaine and her two daughters Erica and Stephanie.  The daughters are here visiting their Mom from New Zealand.  We had a lovely time, and for the occasion I tried my hand at making scones for the first time.  I found a recipe on Pinterest for Cranberry/orange scones - and they were fantastic!

I took a real chance, because I call Elaine the "Scone Queen" - she makes the best tasting scones I have ever eaten... hers are the real deal.  Apparently mine were just as good!  Anyway it was fun having "Tea" even though we had coffee....

Erica and Stephanie leave for home on Wednesday - I know Elaine will really miss them once they have gone.

If you like scones - you have to try this recipe - it is wonderful - especially with Raspberry/Apple Jam... apparently!

And so - Happy Monday! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I know it's only Thursday - but it's my Friday today - and I couldn't be more happy if I tried.  Tomorrow I start the 1st of my 10 Friday's off for the summer months.  Yeah, Yeah!

I couldn't have picked a better week to start my shorter work weeks either.  Learning a new billing program is very hard on the old brain.  It is not co-operating very well at all (the brain).  It doesn't help much that the new software is messed up either - 1/2 of it is not working right in our "environment"... but what else is new! But we have almost made it through the week without going bald so I guess there are a few positives.

I thought I'd cap this week off with some helpful things.  If you are on Facebook, or Pinterest you know how both sites are full of great recipes for food and drinks - but also for every day household things.  Two really useful ones came to me on FB last week and I saved them to share them here for those of you who might have missed them elsewhere on the net.

It seems we all are having a much wetter summer this year, so this first one might prove to be more useful than we would maybe even want - I'll try anything to get rid of these pests...

Items needed:
1 cup of water 
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle

1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)

Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

And this one - if you are having a rainy day and can't get outside but instead need to stay indoors and do some cleaning...

Naturally Repair Wood With Vinegar and Canola Oil. So, for a super cheap repair, use 3/4 cup of oil, add 1/4 cup vinegar. white or apple cider vinegar, mix it in a jar, then rub it into the wood. You don’t need to wipe it off; the wood just soaks it up.

Never let it be said that Blogging cannot be useful!

Have a great weekend  - stay safe!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Elm Seeds Anyone?

I didn't think my gardens were growing at all  - until I looked at a couple of pictures I snapped yesterday as I was passing through the yard after work.  Certainly I have not done anything out there in a couple of weeks. Most of what I had planted is still pretty much the same as the day I planted it.  The only plants that look alive are my established perennials.

Could be I haven't fertilized anything yet - although I did buy some.  Could be I haven't watered anything - although we have had some rain, and I have bought a couple of new soaker hoses which I have yet to put down and connect.  But more than likely nothing is growing because we have yet to have any significant heat.  

I'm not sure where the heat is - but I do know it's not been here.  Our days and nights are too cool for plants to flourish and grow.

And then there are the darn Elm seeds... look at this mess...

The seeds have literally covered the ground to the point where the soil looks white.  It is hideous, and I am so afraid if we do get heat and moisture I will have a forest of Elms growing in my flower gardens.
Gary is threatening to buy a blower, which I am beginning to think might not be such a bad idea.

In the meantime, I need to get out and get some yard work done tonight after work.  I have spent the past few days moving furniture around inside the house, now the outside needs some attention.

Where to start?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


For God's sake don't fix it!

What ever happened to this sentiment, anyway?  Since Friday I have been saying it over and over again - not that saying it will change anything at this point.

Why, you ask?  Stupid - that's why....

We were switched over to a new billing program at work on Friday, and Stupid is about the only word that sticks at the moment.  I have been doing medical billing for well over 20 yrs - I consider myself somewhat of  a seasoned expert at my job... But I have to tell you - the person or persons who designed and wrote this program obviously have never done a scrap of medical billing of any kind in their life.  If they had they would not have built what they did....

But as if I have a say in anything - now its left to us to try and devise a way to make Stupid work.  Good luck to me!  It's very difficult to go from flying to barely crawling - especially when the 27 doctors I work for expect flying - not crawling!

There was nothing wrong with the system we were using - but the company was purchased by a new company who think they had some great ideas on how to make more money.  It sure wasn't how to make a better program - that is for sure!

Suffice to say, by the time I get home after work - I have no interest in anything remotely to do with a computer - I haven't even been turning my home computer on - not even for emails - so things might be sketchy here for awhile.

I am in need of another attitude adjustment - or a very long vacation - or better yet - retirement!

Where do I go in times of stress?

Well you know where... there is always a doll waiting in the wings to cheer me up - and this past weekend it was Patti Play Pal.  I decided to take my frustrations out on her new summer outfit.  I might have gone a tad overboard with this one... what do you think?  Very 60's ish is she not?  Well that's her era so maybe it's okay...

Anyway it was fun working on her... and at least she has finally shed the flannel pj's...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy Dance - It's Friday!

We made it to Friday!  Yeah, Yeah!  The weekend is right around the corner, and the weather man keeps changing his mind if we should get rain or not - so I have made plans to do things indoors instead of outdoors this weekend.

I have been accused of moving my furniture around too much in the past, a trait I get from my mother.  She used to always say it was cheaper than moving into a new house, with much the same effect - and I agree with this.

I have moved every room (except the bathroom) around several times in the past 12 months - but I have left our bedroom alone.  It needs a good spring cleaning anyway, so why not change it up while I am at it!  So that's my plan for tomorrow rain or shine!  Walls and floors wash, move furniture and freshen the room up.

If I have any energy left after that I really should move into the craft room.  I can't even get in there, it is such a disaster at the moment, and it just seems the cleaning lady is ignoring me!

So that's about as exciting as it's going to get in my house.

I did start planting pots yesterday but I was fighting some sort of stomach bug all day.  Gary said I was "green" all evening... and believe me, I felt that way too.  So if the sun does come out, I can always continue that project.

I am expecting to be somewhat stressed next week - especially at work.  We are moving over to a new billing software today and Monday, and working LIVE with little or no training... just peachy!

But my reward will be Friday's off starting next week - now that's a good thing.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Remember when pedaling backwards meant STOP?

Do you ever get the feeling like you are pedaling backwards?   You have so many things to do, so many ideas, so many projects, and really all you want to do is sit in a comfy chair and read a book!

That's me right now.  All of a sudden, in all the mess I have created with projects and expectations (of myself) I just want to read.

Too bad for me, there is no time to read at the moment.  My "to do" list just keeps growing and growing ... but I'm happy to say that might change very soon.

This is my last full week to work until September.  Starting next Friday I am taking every Friday off for the summer, so I get a long weekend every week, and an extra long weekend a couple of times between now and then.  I love taking Friday's off in the summer.  Just having that one extra day to catch up on my chores, makes a huge difference in my ability to get to the things I really WANT to do... crafts, gardening... reading!

The only thing that is putting a bit of a smear on my Friday's off is the fact that after today the billing program that I have worked in for over 20 years will be no more.  Tomorrow they are installing a new program, which I have not even seen yet.  We are going to train "Live" which means we are just going to learn as we work.

It is going to slow me down considerably, and with the shortened work week I imagine I will get quite behind very quickly.  Hopefully my old brain won't be too sluggish to pick up and learn this new system.

But I won't worry about that yet - instead there are other things to think about...

Like gardening - I did buy some annuals last evening, I got my fertilizer - and yes, I got the metal cleaner, so this evening I plan to be busy planting pots and polishing the Singer for the garden.   I did not get the vinyl fence panel that I wanted to block off the end of the patio from the AC unit and the recycling bins  - sadly the store was sold out with no rain checks... so I will rethink that idea....

I found some more tiny little plants for the fairy gardens too, so hopefully I can get them planted and start that project as well.

I'll talk to you tomorrow... hopefully with some new pictures to share...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sunny Days Ahead!

Guess what showed up this morning, bright and early - The Sun!  And it's supposed to stick around until the weekend... Yes!

Perhaps now would be a really good time to head out and purchase some annuals for pots and areas of the garden that need some color.  Well that was my intention for last evening, but I got lazy and didn't go out - but I will tonight.

I need potting soil, plants, some fertilizer and some metal cleaner.  Metal cleaner you ask?  Yes well - I have a little old singer sewing machine given to me from people who used to be my friends, that I set in my flower beds every year.

The little old ladies from the nursing home across the street, love to look at that machine in the flowers.  Anyway it has oxidized terribly over the past couple of years, I guess from the heat... so I need to clean that off and give it a good wax before I put it out this year.  There is project #1.

Project #2 - is fill my pots with soil and plant some annuals.  This year I am only putting them in pots - none in the ground.

Project #3 - build some fairy gardens.  I have 2 spots picked out for these special little gardens, and I have already purchased some of the special plants as well.  The other night I went out on the boulevard and collected a huge pile of little sticks for making fairy furniture, swings, etc.  I will make a lot of accessories myself - would be too much fun to miss if I bought them...

Project #4 - to make the patio area into an outdoor sitting room.

We have started re-arranging things out there, but now I need a carpet for the patio, and some design elements to make it like a room... OH GEE - maybe I'll have to head to the thrift store and see what I can find....

Well maybe not - I might get side-tracked... LOL!

Anyway, all this needs to get done BEFORE the next rain - which is due to hit us this weekend.

Yup - I'd better get busy!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

An Attitude Adjustment...

Sometimes we all need a little attitude adjustment.  I got mine yesterday.

I went for my annual checkup with my family doctor.  He is a huge bear of a man (Teddy variety) and unlike every other physician I have ever had - he has never harangued me about my weight.  Well that is until yesterday!

I lost 70 lbs following the Weight Watchers program  6 yrs ago, and slowly all but 20 of it has crept back on.  I know this without having to get on the scale.  I know this, and I have let it happen.  My fault.

True, I have had some issues in the past 6 yrs that have helped contribute to my weight gain - mainly 5 yrs of hormonal cancer treatment with a drug know to cause weight gain.  That is exactly how the slow creep upward started.   I was maintaining for over a year and then I started Tamoxifin... and up I went.  Still I haven't been on Tamoxifin for a number of years - I was switched to a kinder (on weight) medication, but by then the trend had started and I gave up caring about my weight.

Enter Dr G....  he pointed out year, by year my weight gain... and then he offered me two choices to get it under control.  He knows me well, so I think he knew he would have to shock me ... and he did!

After I whined at him that he was the only doctor that had never harped on my weight he turned to me and told me that he was sorry that he had not been a good enough physician to me.  He apologized and then told me my two options were... 1. Weight Watchers (which he knows I followed before)
                                                 2. Surgery - the staple in the gut kind of surgery to curb eating.

And then he smiled.

Of course I chose Weight Watchers - and anyway when we looked at the criteria for the surgery - get this - I wasn't fat enough... not by a long shot - but then I think he knew that too.

He put the notion in my head, and that's all he needed to do...

I am so thankful for my "not good enough physician".  Everyone should have such a "not good enough physician"...

So today I am proud to say, I am back on program.  I know how to do this, I know I will be successful, and I know I will feel so much better a year from now when I am once again back down to where I was six years ago.

Thank you Dr. G - I needed that little wake up call...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Is it Really June?

Well that weekend flew by so quickly that it doesn't even feel like we had one.

On Saturday we honored our friend Gordon for the last time.  It was a lovely service, made even more special by the words of his two daughters Erica and Stephanie.

The sun finally appeared on Saturday, but the air had a real nip to it.  To look outside from in, one would have thought it a typical June weekend... that is until the furnace kicked in even while the electric fireplace was going off and on.  I'm sure there was frost in some areas, not in my yard - it wouldn't dare!  And anyway we sit under two huge old Elms so it's not too likely that it did reach my plants outside.

My allergies are through the roof... I would imagine that a lot of that is from the fluff of the cottonwood trees flying through the air... at times so heavy it resembles snow.

I should have spent part of the weekend digging out the crop of dandelions that are growing on the front boulevard, or weeding the north side of my house where the weeds are growing faster than any plant I have placed there.  It should have been the kind of weekend where I could take my basket of yarn on the patio and sit outside in the warm sun and wind daisies on my loom.  But  it wasn't.    Spending time outdoors would have meant I would not have been able to breathe let alone stand upright.... and I would have had to wear heavy sweats, hoodies, socks and sneakers - and that isn't going to happen - in JUNE!

I haven't spent precious time painting my toes to wear shoes... in JUNE!

Thank goodness I have a chair in a sunny room where I can look out and pretend that summer is here.  I can reach in my basket pull out some pretty yarn and create pretty little daisies without sneezing or getting a monster headache...

So - I just pretended it was January and I was somewhere down south - It helped me not feel so sorry for myself, being stuck indoors in June in the PEG!