Thursday, January 28, 2016

MOUNTAINS HAVE MOODS!

I think I went to sleep in January and woke up in March!  Seriously - it is so warm the snow is melting and we have ice puddles everywhere this morning.  Yesterday we had a bit of rain, a bit of snow and a lot of wind, and there are many places in the yard where the snow is completely gone and all I see is grass and flowerbeds.

As nice as the thought is that spring is near - I don't think this is healthy for Manitoba to be so warm this early in the year!  I gladly accept the warmer temperatures, but perhaps not quite this warm - for now!

Happy to report I finally finished painting the living room yesterday.  It looks so good now.  I am in the process of hanging pictures and arranging things in there, and then I will take a picture.

I also received my photo print that I had sent for processing, and I am not really happy with it.  It is a black and white image of an old school house.  On my computer it looked just perfect, but the actual printed image is too dark for my liking.  I have it framed, but I think I am going to resend the file again with the colour version of this photo and see if I like that better.  I have a different black and white of a snow scene that I might also send and see how that turns out.

This is a new process for me, so hopefully in future I will be able be a better judge of the unprinted piece before I send it for print.

In the meantime, we went into Neepawa on Tuesday which is about 35 minutes from here.  Neepawa is a lovely town, much larger than ours with a lot of retail shops and restaurants.  We go there once a month or so to get Molly's dog food.  She eats a particular food that can only be found in the larger centers.  The drive there was beautiful - the sun was out,  the temperatures were mild, the roads were clear.  I slipped my little Canon PowerShot in my purse - just in case I saw something to snap.

I hardly ever use this little camera anymore now that I have my big Nikon - don't know why I even took it this time, but I did snap a few pictures as we drove.  Here is one that I really like - it turned out pretty good considering we were moving along at 100km.


Isn't that a pretty winter scene?

As we left Neepawa for home the clouds rolled in and by the time we were on the highway the wind started.  It was a totally different drive home.  The wind was causing ground drifting and the highway was snow packed with ice for most of the drive home.

About 10 miles from home, the sun came out, the highways were dry again, and it was just as nice as when we left home in the morning.  

And so it goes with living with the mountain.  The weather changes several times a day on any given day, - but  right here, in our little village,  it is almost perfect each and every day!

Talk to you next week!





Monday, January 25, 2016

LAZY DAYS ARE OVER!

Happy Monday, and Happy 25th of January - one month past Christmas already - isn't that hard to believe?

It is a cloudy day here today, there are a few flakes falling once in awhile, and the temperatures are very very mild.  It is the kind of day I would like to spend walking with my camera - but the lack of sun makes photography not as appealing.

Not to worry, I will be outside many times throughout the day - I have to take books back to the library, and go to the post office - and then Molly will want several walks on a day like today, and I will be happy to oblige!

I am almost finished painting the living room.  Gary helped me with the big walls on Saturday, so now all I have left to do is the window wall, which is going to have to wait to be finished on Wednesday.

Today I have a sweater and hat order to get finished and a couple of my dress cards to finish.  This order is for a doll friend who is participating in a Valentine's Day Swap, so the sweater has hearts on it.  I also made a little Valentine's Day card to go with it -which I think turned out pretty cute, considering I just used little scraps of this and that to make it.





The sweater still needs 4 white buttons on it, and I have to
block it, and then the order will be ready to be shipped
by mid-week.


Tomorrow we are heading to Neepawa for a few hours.  It is a dog food run, a bit of shopping and visiting an aunt who is in hospital, kind of outing.  Hopefully the roads will be clear of snow and ice.  The highways have been so good this winter, but this warmer weather has a way of changing driving conditions pretty quickly.

So it is back to the work table for me -

Have a Great Day whatever you may be up to!

Friday, January 22, 2016

LAZY DAYS ARE GOOD FOR YOU!

Yesterday sure was a lazy day.  True to my promise to myself, I did not do any painting - although I did start to clear stuff out of the living room so we will be ready to go as soon as my arm quits swelling.


Difficult to get a good picture when the sun is pouring in the window - but sure is nice to sit there and soak up the heat of the sun!  This is taken at 4:30 pm - most of the sun has moved away from this south window already, but it still is bright.
Finished Sun Room

 Here was my lazy Day!

I did sit in my newly decorated sun room on the love seat with my feet up on the ottoman and just watched the birds outside feeding at the bird feeder.  It was so relaxing I could have fallen asleep were it not for my indoor bird doing everything he could to get my attention.  There is nothing Chip likes better than a captive audience and I am the first to admit that I am his biggest fan.

I did a little stitching while I sat there.  I worked on a little stitched piece with the most appropriate saying for that room...

"Oh! For a book,
and a cozy nook,
And oh!
For a quiet hour"...


I made an old-fashioned bread pudding with lemon sauce for dessert, and then Gary and I went down to his theater room and watched a movie.

I have never watched a movie during the day - made me almost feel guilty to be doing so - but then I reminded myself that the rules of a working woman no longer apply to me - but I tell you - old habits or should I say stereo-types don't just go away in a blink of an eye.  It is another life learning curve to let go of all the  expectations that others have placed on you, and those that you have placed upon your self when you work out of the house every day for over 40 years.  It does take some getting used to, for sure!

We tried to watch the Martian and I really wanted to see Brooklyn, but we couldn't a good stream on either movie, so we ended up watching Suffragette.

It was a good movie -very intense and heart breaking at times, but true to that period of time in history.  It is an eye opener for men and women alike, and it made me very happy to have been born in the time period I was.

The best part of the day came around 5:55 pm - I was doing dishes and looked up and out the window over the sink - and I could still see light in the sky.  Two weeks ago the sky looked that way at 5:00 pm.  Progress towards spring!

What a great feeling to end a lovely relaxing day!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

WHERE IS MAMA ROBIN'S LINE?

I am impressed with myself, somehow I have managed to paint all day, make meals, walk the dog and still manage to snatch a few minutes to write a post for my blog.

Truth be told, I had help yesterday.  Gary took over the roller so I could concentrate on the fine detail stuff around windows, doors baseboards and the ceilings.  Together we accomplished much.

Yeah - and meals were a bust too... Gary made grilled cheese sandwiches and mushroom soup for lunch and we had leftover hamburger soup for supper ( it tasted much better the second day).

So what am I crowing about?  Nothing - just wanted to let you know that I had help!

Happy to report the sun room is done, all the furniture and Chip are back in there and it looks beautiful.  Now the living room looks awful in comparison, and I want to get started in there this morning, but my arm is telling me no - take a day off, so I will be good and listen and spend the day working in the studio and resume painting the living room on the weekend.

I have my living room inspiration arriving in the mail next week- I finally had one of my own photos printed to hang on the wall - I am so excited to see it framed and up on the wall - but I won't hang it until the walls are all painted!
...


Speaking of pictures - isn't the new picture on my banner funny?   That pole with that birdhouse stands in my back yard at the very edge of my property behind the garden.  I love the birdhouse, I am sure it was made by a child, as it has the look of something made with eager, if not inexperienced hands.  There are even pieces of shingle on the roof.  I wouldn't change a thing about it, and it will stay where it is as long as we live here.

The thing that always makes me smile is the pulley below the house.  My writer's brain conjures up a story for that pulley being there, - you know something like Mama Robin needing a line to air out her nest...

When I got my head out of my own story and started to open my eyes on my walks around town, I noticed that almost every yard had a clothes line... and better yet - they were being used!

So where is the other pulley for Mama Robin's line? It's nowhere, and furthermore that pulley is so high - only a bird could reach it!

But then I was walking through the most amazing store I have ever been in - in Laurier Manitoba.  There lying on a shelf all wrapped in plastic is the other pulley and yards of line for Mama Robin's clothesline!

I just got to make this happen  - for Mama Robin!




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A PAINTING WE WILL GO!

I remember now why one should wait until spring to paint - phew!  I know - there is odorless paint out there, but I am too cheap to buy it, and I am not sure I believe there is no odor at all.

I should have waited awhile for it to warm up enough to open a window a crack - but that's me - get an idea in my head, and I just have to do it.

So I have a fan running - silly to be paying to heat a home, and running a fan - but it seems to be dong the trick.

The colour I chose for the sun-room and living room is a taupe colour.  It is looking awesome, if I say so myself.  I have beautiful cove ceilings in this house which were painted white along with the walls, so you couldn't see the detail.  You sure can now - it is really really nice.  This is the sun room ceiling and cove - you can see the difference the colour is making to the look of the cove.

Do you like my colour?  It sure has tamed the bright sun room down already.  I can't wait to get my furniture and plants back in there and sit and look out the window at the birds feeding from the feeder in the plum tree.




The living room ceiling is very fancy, and there is actually a part of the ceiling that could be painted a contrast colour to make the cove and the ceiling even more grand - I am thinking about  painting the large smooth part between the textured ceiling and the actual cove itself - but I haven't decided as yet.



After a day spent painting, I haven't even finished the sun room yet.  Me thinks this project will run into the weekend for sure.

I put some hamburger soup in the crock pot to cook while I worked.  I wasn't overly impressed with the recipe I used which I found tucked in one of my cookbooks.  I thought it might have been the recipe I used before but I don't think it was - I remember that soup being especially tasty and good.

Anyone have a good hamburger soup recipe to share?

So today I am back to painting - my arm is swelling a bit, which always happens when I overuse it... will have to take it a bit slower today, so I don't end up having to sit an hour with my arm in a compression sleeve.  I rarely ever think about breast cancer and all that it entails anymore - until my arm acts up - then I am reminded that my limitations still exist, even if I tend to ignore them most of the time.

So I am going to slug down my coffee and get to work, hopefully I can finish the sun room and get a start in the living room today as well.

Oh - and the temperatures are warming up - it was gorgeous this morning when I had Molly out.  Gonna have to save some time today for a walk with my favourite pooch.

Enjoy your day, everyone!






Tuesday, January 19, 2016

SAY YES TO THE DRESS!

I am up way too early today - guess that's what happens when you are outside in the cold and wind before anyone else in town is even out of bed - although there was one lone soul in a white truck who waved as he drove by on his way to where, I wonder?  The diner for early morning coffee?  No, doesn't open until 7:00 - so maybe he was one of the road crews that keep our streets and highways clear - they are out every morning very early.

Anyway, it's too early to start painting, and for sure I can't make a bunch of commotion - Chip will be up in a flash making a bunch of noise if I do that - so, instead - I head up to my sanctuary upstairs.

Its a little cool up here this morning - I turn the heat down a bit overnight - but an extra sweater does the trick - and coffee doesn't hurt either.

I have my ever constant companions waiting on my desk - Baby Face, Cathy and Susie...


So the day is starting off on a good note!

We didn't make it to the General store yesterday to do any "picking", we decided to pick up a few groceries, and I had to get paint so we did our errands and came home!

I did however make three dresses for cards, which turned out very well.  The small one on the right-hand side is for a birthday card for my Aunt Margaret - who will be turning 98 on Feb 5th.



Why a card with a dress on it?  Well for starters her favourite colours are purple and violet, so that explains the colour of the dress.  Further - she has been a seamstress, floral designer and doll collector all her life.  She is a crafter, artisan and creator of many beautiful things, and I know she will love the hand-made dress and card...  I am playing with a few sentiments for inside the card at the moment - haven't got it yet - but it will come.

I have to make a bunch of these dresses for my thank you cards that I include with each shipped order I get for my knitted and crocheted doll sweaters and hats, and I think I will make a few and try and sell them to card makers out there who might need a dress or two on their cards.

I actually created these type of dresses for a paper doll that I designed a few years back - she is sitting somewhere in a drawer up here.  She is a project that I really want to go back to - sometime soon.  But in the meantime my dresses are going on cards, that have been received with delight anywhere they have landed.  Some folks have even framed the card and have it on their wall somewhere...

Better still - they are so fun to make - I can, and do, spend hours making the prettiest little dresses, that I could never ever hope to make any other way.  I am experimenting with hats, bags and shoes for cards as well... for the well dressed card, or course!

But for now, it is time to head downstairs, have some breakfast and get painting.  I can't wait to put some much needed colour on my sun room and living room walls.  

Talk to you very soon...

Monday, January 18, 2016

BEATING THE DOLDRUMS!

It's been a few days since I posted - time to catch up a bit on here.

I believe this is referred to the Doldrums of winter - think I heard that somewhere along the way, probably by my mother who seemed to be full of these goofy sayings about life...  I'll go with this one, because it certainly feels like the doldrums  - whatever that means.

Well don't you know - I looked it up...  here is what Wickipedia has to say about this word.  From reading this, I would assume the doldrums I am referring to would be the Colloquial usage.

Interesting word, is it not?


Doldrums

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Doldrums (disambiguation).
The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage, which refers to those parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm. The doldrums are also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks. The term appears to have arisen in the 18th century, when cross-equator sailing voyages became more common.[citation needed]

Maritime usage[edit]

In maritime usage, the low pressure characteristics of the doldrums is caused by the expanding atmosphere due to heating at the equator, which makes the air rise and travel north and south high in the atmosphere, until it subsides again in the horse latitudes. Some of that air returns to the doldrums through the trade winds. This process can lead to light or variable winds and more severe weather, in the form of squalls, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. The doldrums are also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks.[citation needed]

Colloquial usage[edit]

Colloquially, the "doldrums" are a state of inactivity, mild depression, listlessness, or stagnation.[1] The word is derived from dold, an archaic term meaning "stupid", and -rum(s), a noun suffix found in such words as "tantrum".[2]

In literature[edit]

The doldrums are notably described in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), in Patrick O'Brian's novel Desolation Island (1978), and in Laura Hillenbrand's non-fiction book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010). Additionally, the Doldrums are a fictional place in Norton Juster's novel The Phantom Tollbooth (1961).



Well anyway, that is how it has felt this past week.  Cold and shut indoors for extended periods of time, even though there is so much to be done inside... leaves me listless for sure.  I had become very used to being out much more during the day with the milder temperatures, so guess that explains that.
Nice weather is coming back at the end of the week however, so I will look forward to that.

In the meantime, I finished the Norman Rockwell puzzle I bought for .10.  All the pieces were there, and it is great.  I have coated it with a mixture of white glue and water, 3 coats on the front and 3 on the back, so it is ready to be framed and hung in the music room downstairs.

We are heading out to do some "picking" at the "General Store" of forgotten treasures today, and this time we are allowing ourselves much more time to poke around in there - so take a hike doldrums!

The rest of the week will be spent painting the living room and sun room, so If you don't see me on here much this week - that will be why.

KEEP BUSY - IT BEATS THAT NASTY WORD!







Monday, January 11, 2016

COLD WEATHER ACTIVITIES!

The cold weather has finally hit hard.  For the past few days we have been in the deep freeze.  Last night it was predicted to be -41 with the windchill, but we lucked out at a glorious -27!   Up until now the winter has been rather mild by Manitoba Standards, even though speaking to the retired farmers in the diner, reassures that on the whole winters are milder here than they are in Winnipeg, where we lived before.

I have no inclination to venture out - even the dog doesn't want to go for her walks these days, so instead I have been hibernating with some rather lazy, but pleasing activities.

A few weeks ago I stopped in our little recycle store, and picked up a 1000 piece Norman Rockwell Jigsaw Puzzle.   Yes, I know - perhaps it will be missing pieces and I will be kicking myself when I get it almost done and find huge gaping holes in the finished product.

That may happen, but by then I will have enjoyed the activity for several weeks, so the time spent working on it will already have been of benefit to me.  The bonus will come if all the pieces are actually there - then I truly will have something to crow about.  I love Norman Rockwell art, and if this one is complete I may frame it and hang in downstairs family room in what is beginning to look like a music room.  This would fit in just great down there!



Not all my time has been spent solving puzzles!

I have also been working on a afghan that is actually more woven than crochet, but is done with an long afghan crochet hook with double ends.  This is a reversible afghan.  I am using a solid colour to go one way, and left over smalls balls of colourful yarns to go the other way.

Here is what it looks like.


this is the hook I am using, it has a hook on both ends that allows you to work side to side with two different yarns at one time


this is the side that features all the small coloured balls I have been using... this is a great left over ball stash buster!


Here you can see the reverse with the solid colour


Here is a better view of the reverse sides


I am making two long strips of equal width and length, and sewing them together reversing one strip... so both sides of the afghan will be the same, with both sides visible.

I will be making a tutorial on this technique in the upcoming weeks, it is very easy to do - the hardest part is remembering which way you were going, but I have a few tricks that I can share for getting around that problem.



So bring on the cold - I have no need to go out - I have plenty indoors to keep me occupied!












THE COMFORT OF CREAM!

I am starting the week off with something yummy for you to try.  This would be great for a large family breakfast, or a weekend brunch or a dish to pass (as My beloved Aunt Margaret would say) for a Pot Luck lunch - or if you are like my family and love breakfast for supper - make it for a light supper meal.

In any case  give it a try - I haven't tried it yet, but will some weekend when I have overnight guests.

This was published in our small local newspaper, by Helen Drysdale ( out of Helen's Kitchen)... Enjoy!


CHERRY CHEESE FRENCH TOAST

12 slices of white bread
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 - 250g pack cream cheese softened.

2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 c milk or cream
1 can cherry pie filling
Icing sugar for dusting the top if desired.

Lightly grease 9 x 13" pan.  Place 6 slices of bread onto bottom of pan.  Beat cream cheese with 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1/4 cup milk.  Spread over bread slices in the pan.  Spread about half can of cherry pie filling on top of the cream cheese on the bread.

You will not need the whole can as it does not need to be too thick.  Top with remaining bread slices.  in a bowl mix the eggs, milk, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

In the morning place in a preheated 325 degree oven if using a glass Pyrex pan, or 350 degrees if using a metal pan.  Bake 45-50 minutes or until golden and set in the center.  

If desired dust with sugar.  Use remaining pie filling for garnish.


I am pretty sure this qualifies as comfort food.  

Just this morning I had a long conversation with my family doctor about comfort food.  We were discussing the fact that in the winter people tend to eat more comfort food and yes perhaps more fattening foods and less of the fresh ingredients such as salads, fruits vegetables.  She and I both agreed that it is okay to indulge in this winter past-time.  Her words"  I allow myself food liberties from Equinox to Equinox, without beating myself up, because I know after that I am outside working hard in the gardens and yards (she is a farmer as well as a doctor) in spring and summer, and will undo all the winter eating."

How refreshing to hear - my city doctors were not of this mindset at all!

Want to know what was even more liberating?  My blood pressure is actually quite low.  She is going to keep close tabs on it over the next couple of months, and if this trend continues, she might pull me off my blood pressure meds completely!  Six months of country living and no stress are already making a huge difference to my health!

So comfort foods?  Well here is one I have been thinking about for the past few days.
When I was a kid my mother made  her chocolate cake from scratch.  It was the best cake I have ever eaten.  What made this cake so darn good was the fresh from the cow cream that she got from the farm.  The cake was made in two round layers.  She put strawberry jam between the layers and then iced it with home made icing that probably had some of that real cream in it as well.

Talk about a delight to the taste buds.

If I could find some real cream, I would try this - funny thing that - my doctor gave me a name of a dairy farm in the area where I could get just such cream.... 

The best of the best, I'd say!







Thursday, January 7, 2016

NO MANNERS REQUIRED!

Am I the only person who is put out with the lack of manners in our society in general?  Manners are declining rapidly in every aspect of life, but this particular rant is directed at the very simple belief that when you are given a gift, no matter how big or how small, wether you like it or not - you say Thank you.

Is this such a terrible concept in these days in which we live?  I don't think so.  Whatever happened to teaching your baby Please and Thank You - and yes I say baby, because this basic manner is one that can be and should be taught to babies.  If you say it enough - they learn it - and they even understand the reason for it, eventually!

I guess you can't expect to teach Please and Thank You - when you can't even teach the basic NO!

This past Christmas Season, as in other years, I made a lot of hand-made gifts.  None were elaborate, or valuable, but all were something small from me to the recipient, just to say I was thinking about them, and that they meant something special to me.

In total this year, I made 24 hand-made gifts, ranging from a simple crochet snowflake ornament to hand-knit apparels.  I received 10 thank yous.  I didn't send them so that I could do a survey - it just so happened that this year - I took notice of such things.

What is happening to our society that we can't even perform the most basic of manners?  It is pathetic, and it is scary.  We already know that respect for each other has gone out the window - just look around you - read the papers, listen to the news - it's rampant!

I refuse to become an uncaring person.  I refuse to stop giving others a little piece of myself, because they mean something special to me... and I will continue to give - even without a Thank You - because I enjoy giving - especially at Christmas.

Perhaps people believe about me, what my youngest brother told me last fall - that I "manipulate, and try to win over friends by my actions".  Maybe people think that's why I sent a gift - because I am trying to win them over.

Over to what?

My answer is - I don't need to win anyone over.  I have many dozens of friends that value me for who I am... some of those have never received a gift from me - ever.

So next year, I might change the recipients on my list, for sure I am going to add to it -  I was going to do that anyway - but I am still going to give at Christmas!

by the way - THANK YOU for stopping by and reading my posts - I really do appreciate it.

Have a great weekend everyone!






HAPPY DISTAFF DAY!

I love it when I learn something special about the history of a craft I do.  I have followed the art of crochet right back to it's early beginnings, and it is fascinating.

This morning, a fellow spinner, my dear friend Charlotte, shared this post on Face book.  I had never heard of this day before, or these customs - fascinating!

I couldn't wait to share them with you.  Many of you don't spin, or even knit - but we should pay attention to these little gems from another time.  They tell us so much about the culture of women and men - these were the traditions that set us on the path towards today.  

I for one am thankful for them, not just because I spin and knit and work with a lot of different types of fibre - but because I am a woman living in such a different world today.  It is humbling indeed to learn from and acknowledge  those that went before.


So here is to the men and women of the past.

And Happy Distaff Day to us all!










"Distaff Day, also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after the feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff's Day, one of the many unofficial holidays in Catholic nations. 

Many St. Distaff's Day gatherings were held, large and small, throughout local fiber community. The distaff, or rock, used in spinning was the medieval symbol of women's work.

In many European cultural traditions, women resumed their household work after the twelve days of Christmas. Women of all classes would spend their evenings spinning on the wheel. During the day, they would carry a drop spindle with them. Spinning was the only means of turning raw wool, cotton or flax into thread, which could then be woven into cloth.


Men have their own way of celebrating this occasion; this is done through Plough Monday. It is the first Monday after Epiphany where men are supposed to get back to work.


Every few years, Distaff Day and Plough Monday falls on the same day. Often the men and women would play pranks on each other during this celebration, as was written by Robert Herrick in his poem "Saint Distaffs day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day" which appears in his Hesperides.


Some modern craft groups have taken up the celebration of Distaff day as part of their new year celebrations." -Wiki

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

COLOUR ME BL . . .

Am I the only viewer who was disappointed with the first episode of Downton Abbey's final season?  After all the hype for the past week with sneak peaks and endless countdowns, I have to say I found this first episode rather boring.

Maybe because there were so many sneak peaks in the days leading up to this first episode - I felt like I already knew what was going to happen, and pretty much those sneak peaks were the whole gist of the first show.  Oh well, there is always next week, I guess.

Yesterday was another gorgeous day here, weather-wise.  It just can't get any better for January than it is right now.  We had to take our car in for it's first warrante check, so we drove to Dauphin ( about a 40 minute drive) and spent a few hours getting our Walmart fix, having a nice lunch out, and waiting for the car to get done.

The majority of my shopping was done in the hair product isle at Walmart.  Did I tell you, I had a perm on New Years Eve?  Well I did - it is VERY curly.  It is relaxing a bit now, but without the proper product, it is pretty wild - hence the hair product purchases.  Yesterday when I was walking into the house, I caught the reflection of myself in the glass of the screen door - and it stopped me in my tracks.  I could have sworn I was looking at my mother.  I don't wear my glasses around the house, and this time, I had my glasses on and it was spooky how much I looked like her.

Not that it is a bad thing.  My Mom was as cute as a button, in a chubby sort of way ( like me).  She had beautiful skin, and a complexion like a teenager.  No wrinkles, but she did have grey hair, and it was always permed.

That pretty much sums me up at the moment.   I made a comment to Gary about looking like Mom, and he said, "  When you walked in from getting your perm, that's the first thing I thought  - she looks just like her Mother."

I have let my hair start to show it's grey - not because I wanted to do that - well, maybe on some level I did - I thought it would be nice to be natural - but my natural isn't nice - it's not even, it's not even grey - it's speckled!   SO... I bought some hair dye when I was in that isle as well!

Did I go for my usual light golden brown?

Nada - I went for the medium ash blonde!  Okay, so shoot me!

What am I trying to do, look younger or something?

No, I am just trying for the curly-haired poppet look!

I'm kidding - well actually no - I really did buy the blond colour - but hopefully I won't look like Orphan Annie when I am done, as every colour turns red when it hits my scalp!

I'll let you know!


Monday, January 4, 2016

BUSY DAYS AHEAD!

I bought a new lens for my camera, my Christmas gift to myself - well actually it's not new, it is gently used by a responsible owner who generously offered it to me for a price I couldn't turn away from.  So now I have some expanded capabilities with my camera which is going to be so much fun to play around with.

This lens is going to be wonderful for catching my wild feathered friends who don't really like it when I get too close.  Now I don't need to sneak up to them - I can catch them from a respectful distance - good for them, even better for me!

I have been playing with some photo editing programs, and if anything it has shown me what I really don't know about digital photography.  I don't know much, I am finding - but I am learning!

I have been practicing with some night photography.  My Manitoba Moose photo to the left is one I took of my neighbours big wire moose.  I love this guy - I am trying to figure out how I can get him to walk across the lane, hop the hedge and live in my yard!  Here is another shot I took of the moose several weeks ago while it was snowing.


Now that I have taken all the Christmas decorations down and put everything in the storage room, I decided to do a good clean upstairs in my attic studio.  I did a bit of rearranging tidied up the work area, vaccumed the floor and opened some storage totes that have been sitting in the corner since we moved here.

What I discovered was several totes of doll/ baby/ little girl clothes.  Remember those three or was it four huge boxes of clothes that I purchased from the doll lady some time ago?  What was I thinking?

Well my new project for the immediate future is going to be sorting these clothes, ironing them, taking photographs and selling them online.  This means re-opening my Etsy shop, which I have been meaning to do anyway, and also revamping my Erndales Facebook Page.  There are close to a hundred items  - all vintage -  that I am just storing with no intent on ever using them, so off they shall go.

That ought to keep me busy for the next few months!

But for the moment - I am off to watch my recorded episode of the first show of this last season of Downtown Abbey...






Sunday, January 3, 2016

WELCOME 2016!

HAPPY NEW YEAR - WELCOME 2016!

Another year over, another year of open possibilities ahead of us.  We have a new chance to do it right, get it right, make a change or maintain the status quo - guess it depends what we as individuals want to do with this gift of a New Year that has been given to us.

Not being one to make resolutions, I try not to get caught up in the New Year predictions and promises that some are so fond of putting forward... I am not against it - I just have never really found it worked well for me personally.

I do want nice things to happen this year - to everyone, but I am not naive enough to believe that will be 100% possible - I hope I am completely wrong.

What I do know is that I want to be as happy as I can possibly be, so to that end, I will promise myself to be as positive as I can possibly be.  If that is a resolution, then I guess I have just made it!

Personally I am embracing this New Year.  I look forward to spending a full year in our new home from beginning to end.  Can you believe that in another week we will have been here for half a year already?  Where has that time got to, I wonder?

We plan to keep ourselves busy from now till spring, sprucing up the interior with some new paint and window treatments.  Nothing too stressful, but I am more than ready to put my own stamp on some of the main rooms of our home.

I continue to plan my garden for spring.  I have my seed order all ready to go and I am adding a couple of fruit trees as well - an apple and a apricot tree and some blueberry bushes.  How can one contain the excitement of getting out there and creating a productive fruit and vegetable garden?  I can't wait!

The past couple of days have been very warm here, with quite a bit of melting going on.  Not January weather at all - but we are embracing it with open arms.


You are going to see some changes coming to my blog in the next week or so.  I am tired of the same old, so I am experimenting with some different layouts and designs.  I haven't settled on one yet, but I will soon.

In the meantime, I am going to leave you with this wise little sentiment,  posted by my cousin Vicki on FaceBook

"the new year is like a blank book, and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year! "