Thursday, March 31, 2016

QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!

We had another beautiful day here yesterday - you will never guess where I spent it!

Of course you will - I was outside again for most of the day.

I decided to tackle one of the large south-facing flower beds that I have yet to work.  This bed has at least 6 rose bushes in it, all were in deplorable condition last fall, so I cut them all back -  quite severely actually.  Surrounding the roses is quack - so thickly entwined in the roots of the roses that I decided spring when the soil was softer, would be a better time to try and remove it - so I left it.  There was also a perennial of some sort that resembles an evergreen bush that had completely gone wild.  So this was my project for the day.

I dug out all the evergreen, which also was in half of the large planter which runs the full length on the front of the house.   Then I started on the quack.

Oh my aching shoulders and arms this morning!  The roots of the quack were at least 12 inches down and I was pulling up huge mats of it once I dug deep enough.

But happy to say, I now have a beautifully clean and worked south facing flower bed that is just waiting for new varieties to come and live there.  The roses are not looking very happy but I will leave them alone and let them enjoy the freedom of quack tangling their roots for awhile.

I was working so hard, not really paying attention to the world around me, when something landed on the ground beside me and grabbed one of the big juicy earthworms that I had dug up.  I was so excited to see a Robin that I am afraid I let out a screech and scared the poor fellow away.

But I made up for it by hanging a bunch of string and yarn on the plum tree, and cutting some fine twigs and leaving them on the park bench.  Hope  he accepts my apology!

Then I started to listen, they were making such a racket - all the birds.  Finch were singing with gusto, the Robins were having some sort of convention in the fir tree that we are having removed, and a Hawk was circling and either he or an owl was screeching.   What pure delight!  Birdsong on a beautiful March morning!

Of course this morning there is a bit of overnight snow back on the ground, but it is March after all.

Who can be sad about a bit of snow when Robins are singing in the trees out your window!

I will leave you with a little verse from my Mom's "Apples of Gold" book.  This was in the section entitled Joy.



It is easy to be pleasant
When life flows by like a song.
But the man worth while is one who will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.

For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth
Is the smile that shines thru the tears.

-unknown

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

NO BETTER DAY, THAN THIS!


"Patience - in time the grass becomes milk."
Author - unknown


While I was waiting for it to warm up a bit yesterday morning, I took my coffee down to the sun room, closed my eyes and pulled a book from the shelf.  The book I held when I opened my eyes was a little book called "Apples Of Gold"- a small book of quotes by unknown authors compiled by Jo Petty  and published in 1972.

There is an inscription in the front cover dated 1976.  It reads:

A Tribute and Thanks for 12 yrs of Explorer Duty.

Signed:  Lee, Gail & Jean.

This little book was given to my mother in 1976 by three of her closet friends who also were co-leaders of the Explorer Group in our Church.  I was an Explorer as a child and later became a leader  myself.  Explorers were a Christian Group for girls aged 6-12.  It was the pre - CGIT group, sort of like the Beavers were to Brownies...

My mother was the head leader for 12 yrs.  This book must have been given to her when she retired from the position.

It is full of really great quotes - I could have sat all day reading them - but I had a date with the outdoors so I read a few pages - but I didn't put the book back on the shelf.

The quote at the top of this post made me smile.  I will share more with you in the coming days.

But then it was find the work clothes and head outside.  I have been waiting for the moment when I could get outside and work in my yard for 5 months!  Nothing was going to stop me now.

I intended to rake, but when I went to the south yard where my fruit trees are, I suddenly got the urge to work on the over-grown plum tree.  It was a matted mess, and last year only produced 4 plums.


I forgot to take a picture of it before I started to work on it - but you can get an idea how overgrown it is by this picture, taken in December.


Every article I read and every video I watched on fruit tree pruning stated that a properly pruned tree should resemble the shape of a wine goblet and the center should be open and airy so the sun and the air can move freely through it.
So I got the ladder and my loppers, and climbed up into the gnarly poky mess of my inherited Plum Tree.



Three hours later I had this...  and a sunburned face!




 The bottom half is now looking like the experts say it should - but you can still see how the top is overgrown.  Trouble is - I have no way of getting to that top bit... I will figure something out, but the weather is supposed to turn cool again, so I might have to wait a few days.

I am committed to improving the lives of my two fruit trees starting with this much needed hair cut, followed by some good earth at their feet and some nutrients for their veins.  They might not reward me for my efforts this year, but hopefully they will eventually understand that I mean them no harm.





 Here is what I removed...


I also pruned my very small Saskatoon tree, and the Lilac bush...

 

And so I had the best afternoon working in my yard on this lovely March day... unheard of in these parts - but it was a true pleasure for me, for sure!




Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A BARN RAISING!

It is finally gonna warm up again outside.  Today it is supposed to be 11C or warmer- so I am getting ready to head outside and start raking the front yard.

There are still flower beds out there that I have never gotten to with a rake or a pair of shears or even a spade - all of the above will be needed eventually, but for now a rake will do.

It's a good time to take a walk along the hedge, and around the trees and shrubs and check out the branches, and if I was real brave, perhaps I would do some serious pruning on the Plum tree - and I might tackle that as well, but today is all about the ground!b

In the meantime, with my time being spend building the island all weekend I really wanted to spend some time in my craft room yesterday so I headed up early after breakfast and started on a small quilt for my new island.

Since it is supposed to be a country kitchen, I decided to try something with a country image.  I found a picture of a barn in a colouring book and used that as my starting point.  It might be entirely possible that I am getting a tad carried away with the detail in this project, but that's me.  Here's what I have cut so far...  I know my silo looks a little off, but it is not sewn down - I will straighten it before I sew it.  I am going to try and dot some sheep up on the green hill on one side, and maybe sew a crop on the other, using some embroidery, and perhaps a tall spruce tree or two will be growing somewhere - we will see...


But for now, I am heading out to rake... no doubt my mind will be on this piece while I am out there raking... perhaps a fantastic idea will come to mind... or maybe my mind will completely change and I will start all over again - nothing is sewn but the back ground so anything is possible...



Enjoy your day!


Monday, March 28, 2016

BUILDING AN ISLAND, THE NOVICE WAY!

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter.  We were invited to a cousin's for Easter dinner with their family.  It was a lot of fun mainly because my cousin has adorable grandchildren who are so very entertaining to watch and be around.   We had a lovely meal and a fun time spent with them all.

The rest of our weekend was devoted to finally getting around to building our kitchen island.  This was quite a project for such novices as Gary and I.  I wasn't entirely sure if we would have either the tools or the know-how to get it done... but get it done, we did!

We started with a used 2 drawer, 2 door kitchen cabinet we purchased at a second hand shop.  It was a sturdy well made cabinet, but the sides and the back were unfinished - suitable for using as kitchen cabinets against a wall and surrounded by other cabinets, but not suitable for an island.  There were a bunch of large holes cut in the back and the sides as well, so these needed to be dealt with pronto!






After much discussion we decided to cover the back and the two sides with Melamine... so we bought a sheet and and marked it out...  A special thank you to Jason from the Co-op Building Center for the excellent instructions on the right way to cut Melamine!

INVALUABLE INFORMATION!








Gary is stronger, and I am straighter - so he held, and I cut the pieces with my little Jig Saw!













Then it was time to attach the Melamine.  This was much more difficult that the cutting, let me tell you... But we got it all on - eventually!







Next we fastened the new island top we had custom made, and it fit perfectly....


Some finishing touches  and we were done and ready to sit and eat our first meal on our new island!



It was a great meal too - Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus!  Yummy!





Am I happy with the finished project?


Oh Yeah - I LOve it!

We still have to get some corner moldings for the island, but those are not available here, so we will have to wait until we go into the city.  And then there is the floor.  It's going to cost a lot to replace it - it is huge, so for now, we will keep the funky vintage floor...

PROJECT COMPLETE...WHAT'S NEXT?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A DAY OF TEARS!

Yesterday was a day of tears.  It was the second week anniversary of loosing Molly, and for some reason I had a very difficult time getting past that.  These past two weeks have been rough, I will be the first to admit that I have had many moments where grief of loosing my best friend have knocked me to my knees for a moment or so, but I have had my cry and moved on.

Yesterday wasn't like that at all.  I did very well all morning, I was working on my mug rugs all morning in my studio, and getting really quite creative, if I do say so myself.  I am impressed with myself and my creativity in actual fact.

But then after lunch we went grocery shopping and had to drive past the animal hospital where Molly died - we have no choice - it's right on the highway - that started the lips quivering.  We shopped, and again had to drive by the vet hospital to get home, this time quivering was accompanied by a few tears.

When we got home I was so relieved that was behind us.  I went back upstairs to work in the studio, and Gary went to get the mail.  When he got back it started all over again.

In the mail was a beautiful sympathy card from the Vet himself... more tears.  As well there was a small package from my best friend Sharon and her husband Al, who live in Alberta.  I started to cry before I even opened it, because I knew it would be something that made me cry anyway!

Sharon's little gifts never are just a gift.  She has the knack of finding that which touches your heart in the most amazing ways.  I knew the gift would have something to do with Molly's passing - because I know Sharon.

She wrote a lovely card with her own thoughts and then included this quote.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."  Anatole France.

Tears... lots of them streaming along my chubby cheeks....

Then I opened the little box that held her gift.

It was a little mesh bag containing 2 marbles, a piece of string, an eraser, a tiny little rubber bear, a heart locket, a four leaf clover charm and a dime.

There is a little card attached that reads:

Marbles, for those days when you have lost yours.
String, to hold you together when everything seems to be falling apart.
A Heart, to remind you that someone loves you.
A Teddy Bear, for a nice big hug when you need one.
An Eraser, to make those little mistakes go away.
A Coin, so you're never completely broke.
A Four Leaf Clover, to bring you all the luck in the world.

Already an emotional wreck, that about finished me off - but this time the tears held comfort and even a smile at her thoughtfulness started to push the tears aside.

I wasn't done yet it seems - I went to check my emails, and there waiting was an email from Molly's vet back in Winnipeg.  She had been a patient of his vet clinic all her life so was well known to him and his staff.  He wrote a long note saying how much he had loved her.  He wrote about her gentleness, her kindness and her special abilities towards those she loved.  He ended by saying he would never forget her or us.

More tears...

Here's hoping today will be a day of smiles!




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

CROCKPOT BROWN SUGAR BALSAMIC GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN... YUM!

I have to tell you about my dinner Sunday night.

We got a new meat pack (our second since being here) from the local butcher Oak Ridge Meats, last week and so I decided to pull out a couple packages of the pork tenderloin.  These are the real deal - not the roasts but the real tenderloin.

I wanted to try something new so I went to Pinterest to find something good.  Because I was planning on spending the day upstairs quilting, and I knew how time seems to get away from me, I decided on a Slow Cooker Recipe.

I chose this one...

http://laurassweetspot.com/2013/06/12/crockpot-brown-sugar-balsamic-glazed-pork-tenderloin/

It was out -of- the -ball -park, excellent.  The glaze or sauce that you apply at the last hour was fabulous.  If you are doing pork of any kind - this is the recipe to try... It is like something you would eat at a five star restaurant, it is that good!

About that meat pack - we get a beef and pork combination.  The meat is so tender and tasty, that I kind of feel sorry for everyone who can't have access to meat like this.  Makes me wonder why we ever ate meat from the grocery store!  We put our order in on a Monday, and usually the meat is ready to be picked up two days later.  Had I known about this place when we lived in the city, I would have made a day trip out to get it, for sure.

Only thing about this recipe - there were no left-overs!  That could be a good thing - I am not a great lover of left-over meals - but this one I would have enjoyed eating again the next day!

Make it for your family - they will love it!

This post sort of sounds like an infomercial... but I believe in supporting that which is good, and both Oak Ridge Meats and the recipe are just that!


While we are on the subject of food... have you started your plants for your garden yet?  Now is the time to pop those seeds in some trays and get them going.

All my trays and mini-greenhouses are still back at my son's home, sitting in my deck box on his patio.  So this year I had to improvise a bit.  I planted directly into peat pots, which by some fluke, I did bring with me when we moved.

I knew I was going to use the peat pots, so I have been saving all the small yogurt containers to set the peat pots in so I can water without making a mess... and while I don't have little greenhouses this year - I do have radiators - so I am trying a bit of an experiment.

I planted 3 types of tomato seeds (Hybrid Cherry Super Sweet; Prairie Pride Bush Tomato; and my cousin Lawson's sweet tiny tomato seed that I saved myself).  For flowers I planted Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit; Rudebeckia Goldstrum, and some Lavender Lady....



And my little piece of ginger root, that had started growing on it"s own!




I made the little plant tags - yes, everything does have to turn into a craft project!  Take a plastic container from anything, margarine, yogurt, whatever... cut the bottom and top off, then cut in strips.  cut a point at one end and wrap masking tape on the other so you can write on it and you have saved yourself a few dollars that can be used to buy more seeds - or plants!



















Now it really does feel like Spring!

Monday, March 21, 2016

AWAY WITH FRIDAY, BRING ON MONDAY!

Sorry I missed posting a re-purposing Friday again.  We got a call that our much awaited Island top was in, so Friday morning we set off for Neepawa to pick it up.

I finally baked on Thursday evening

So I put some muffins in a bag to take along to my Aunt who is hospitalized. there.  I was a little worried about my muffins - especially taking them to this particular Aunt because she has always been the best baker in the family.  She consistently won awards at the summer fair for her baking - in particular her Chiffon cakes.  Oh My Goodness, if only you could have tasted her lighter- than -air cakes... they were perfection, as was everything she baked.  I wonder if the woman ever had a flop - if she did she certainly kept it a secret.

I baked banana raisin and Cranberry Bran muffins - nothing new, I bake these all the time.  But for some reason this time they got over -brown.

The oven's fault - I have not a doubt ... but still you can understand my reluctance to take them to my Aunt.  I am sure she has noticed by now that they are a tad over done - someone like her would have to notice that, she is too good a cook, not to...

So off we went, muffins in hand,  We got there in time for lunch so stopped at Subway for a quick bite.  Then we headed downtown and made a few stops at some stores, and then off to the hospital.

We visited with my Aunt, met her new roommate, promised to come back soon and off we went to retrieve our island top.

We didn't get far - we ran into my cousin and his wife and made a short detour to DQ for some Blizzards and conversation - and then proceeded on to pick up our island top.

By the time we got home it was supper time - we had pretty much spent most of our day away, and it was actually quite nice to be able to do so without worrying about our sweet Molly.

You would think that after all the time we have been waiting to have our island top made we would have jumped right at the opportunity to finally get the island finished.

Here it is Monday, and we still haven't taken the top out of the back of the car!  I have been busy  designing mug rugs, and Gary has been fixing the keys on his organ.  What's with that?

I am sure we will get around to it sometime this week.

For now - back upstairs to play with some more fabric...

Wait until you see my newest mug rugs...

Next time!




Thursday, March 17, 2016

TIME FOR SOME GINGER TEA!

I decided that I really do have to bake today.  But first I had to go to the doctor and get my B12 shot.  It's a blustery spring day, so when I got back I decided to brew some of my Ginger lemon/orange tea.

I haven't made any of this for awhile, and surprise to me when I reached for my Ginger I got quite the shock...


This has never happened to me before - suppose it's trying to tell me something?

I am going to take that little nodule off and plant it in a pot.  Kinda neat!


So I can't make my tea, but I can share the recipe with you in case you want a really good warm you to your toes tea.

Ginger is very good for you.  It is long been associated with relieving stomach issues.  It relieves nausea's of motion sickness, morning sickness, and even post-chemo nausea.

It also is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it can be useful in many inflammation-related health issues - chronic pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I don't have Rheumatoid, but I do suffer from achy hands from time to time - a couple of cups of ginger tea always take that away!

New research is linking Ginger to having the ability to slow certain cancers - ovarian and colorectol, and also to improving the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.

All of this and the wonderful taste make it a perfect tea to use frequently.

I make my tea with either orange or lemon - my preference is Orange, but if I am having cold symptoms, I will always use lemon.


so here is the recipe

In a medium saucepan place


4 cups of water
1-1.5 " sliced fresh ginger root
The juice of one medium orange or lemon with some zest added for flavour.
4 whole cloves
sprinkle of cinnamon if you please - I don't bother.

Place all ingredients in the saucepan, cover and heat to a rolling boil, then reduce and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat, strain liquid into a mug - add sweetener if you must - I use honey and enjoy!

I don't think I will use the root above - time to get a fresh batch from the store - and then I really need to get to that baking!






Wednesday, March 16, 2016

TALK, ABOUT GETTING SIDE-TRACKED!

THE TALK!

Did you bake yesterday?
Well I got all the cookbooks out, and even some ingredients -
But  No, I didn't bake a thing.  I thought about it though - many times in fact.  Does that count?

Ah - No.  So what DID you do?
Well, I did do laundry - 4 loads, big loads too, and I folded everything and put it all away!
And I spent a lot of time browsing on the computer.

Where did you browse?
Silly question.  Craftsy; Pinterest; Ravelry...

So what were you looking at during all that browsing?
Mug Rugs.  Ha - I can tell by your silence that you have no idea what a Mug Rug is!

No - I don't know what a Mug Rug is.  So what is a Mug Rug?
I am happy you asked!  A mug Rug is a little tiny quilt - well actually it is a quilted coaster big enough to hold a mug and a treat or two.

I see.
Here I'll show you some that I found today on the crafting sites.

 

 
and I downloaded this one to try and make.



You have a bunch of other quilting projects started, do you not?
Oh yes, many - but my quilting experience is limited and I lack confidence in completing those larger projects, so perhaps these smaller projects would help me get the knowledge and confidence I need to finish those other projects!

In fact, I have already cut one out and have it laid out for piecing, with some slight colour changes to come on the birds wing, and of course embroidery of the name etc.  I plan to give it to a dear friend and former neighbour who will be celebrating a birthday on Sunday.  I hope to finish mine today and get it in the mail on Thursday.


Then I guess your day spent surfing the crafting sites wasn't a waste of time at all...
Following your heart and creating something nice for someone else is never a waste of time. 

Well done!
Thank You... 





Tuesday, March 15, 2016

EIGHT MONTH MARK!

Today it is eight months since we moved into our home in the country.  I can't believe we are only four months away from being here a year.  In many ways it feels as if we have lived here always, and in many other ways we feel like the greenhorns I am sure we still are.

We still are asking the locals so many questions.  Who cuts trees?  We don't have a tiller - who tills gardens?  Where do we buy this, where do we get that?  How does this work, who do we call for that?  Everyone just smiles and helps us with our questions and if they can't help, they get a different name to us, somewhere in the conversation.

Still in all, I believe we are doing fairly well for city slickers!  Perhaps the true test of our grit will come this spring, when so many things will have to be done in a relatively short time.  Maybe then we will see if we have bit off more than we can chew!

I have a tendency to want it all at once - and living here is no exception.  My to do list is long and probably nowhere near possible - but still I am going to try and get to the bottom of that list.

I am pretty pleased with progress inside the house.  Over the winter we have managed to paint the entire main floor except for our bedroom and the main floor bathroom.  I would do those rooms too - but I am not quite sure how I want to decorate them, so they will stay the way they are, until I do.

Now we are the home stretch in the basement.  Gary turned his office into a theater, I finished the guest room except for pictures and some added touches, and we are on the second coat of the family room... Progress!

My attic space - will I ever be settled in that space, I wonder?  Just when I like it - I start to re-plan the space.  This past weekend it got a complete overhaul, again - all because I found a nice big wooden door that I could use as a cutting table for my quilt projects...



The dolls moved down the space and now occupy the last 1/3 of the attic and my crafting space takes up 2/3 of the rest of it.  Now if I could only settle down and do some work - then I would really be doing something!  Isn't this an amazing space?  Sometimes I really need to pinch myself!


My cousin has been instructing me on the technique of paper piecing - and so I am going to plow headlong into that bookshelf quilt that I have wanted to start for some time.  It is done with a lot of strip scraps (of which I have a few) so I can start piecing some of the book blocks until I can get to a fabric store for the rest of the material to complete the quilt.

I even cleaned my desk area - no excuse not to spend time writing or editing photography now!


It is rainy here this morning, pouring really - crazy weather for March 15th - so now I am off to do some serious baking...

Until later...









Monday, March 14, 2016

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU!

First, I want to thank everyone who responded to my Saying Goodbye post about Molly, whether it was here, on face book, messenger or email or by phone.  We value every warm word of encouragement and love that was shared, and it helped so much to hear others support our difficult decision by sharing their own experience with their beloved fur babies.

It is bittersweet to know what my largest readership ever, was my Saying Goodbye post.  Nothing has ever meant so much to me, as knowing that so many people cared about Molly and our family.  Thank You!

It has been a rough time, but we are doing fine.  The burden of indecision we carried for so long has been lifted, and we know that Molly is running free, without pain, bumps, lumps, blindness and confusion.  There will be no more running into walls, stairs, garage doors, snowbanks, radiators, hydro poles.  There will be no more falling on her chin from a rise in the ground, or a roll in the carpet.  No more all night itching, scratching and licking until she broke her skin open, and no more worrying, and crying when we exited the house without her.

We still cry, but we are starting to relax and we are catching up on our sleep.  We are enjoying time spent away from the house without the feeling that we have to rush home to make sure she is safe.  We miss her terribly, and will for a very long time, maybe forever - but we have decided that there will be none to replace her in our life or in our hearts.  Like our son Jon wrote in his little tribute to his best friend - "My Heart will always wear the paw prints left by you."  It is how we all feel.



Now it's all about Chip.  It is incredible how much he too is missing Molly.  He calls for her, twists his neck around to see if she is coming into the room at meal times.  This was their thing.  Both were given carrots at lunchtime - she would devour hers, and he would tear off pieces of his and push them out of the cage for her.  He is keeping up his end of the bargain -- but she isn't there.  It breaks my heart, but I suppose he will eventually stop this practice.  Parrots are very smart - he knows she isn't coming back - he just doesn't know what to do about it.

In time I will share some very special photo moments with Molly - but not yet - I am not ready for that yet.

I love You, My Beautiful Old Girl - I will never forget you.

Rest Well Babas...




Monday, March 7, 2016

SAYING GOODBYE.

This will be my only post this week.  As weeks go this in going to be a very difficult one for my family... Gary, Jonathan and myself.

I can barely write this post, my heart is so broken, and the tears just won't cease, but write it, I will - because the subject of this post is so very deserving of my words, tears and most of all my love.

We have decided that the time has come to say goodbye to our Beloved Molly.  It has been a decision long coming, so painful to even consider, and so very hard to make.  Those of you who have long-time pets, know how difficult and painful this process is.

Molly has been deteriorating for some time.  I have written about her trials here many times, but I have not been totally honest with how much she has been going through these past almost two years.  Her sudden blindness was difficult - but she over came that obstacle in true Molly fashion.  She has never shown aggression, she has never cried or become demanding... she has bore her sentence silently as she does most everything.

She is blind and she has Cushings Syndrome, which has escalated greatly in the past few weeks.  She also has a tumor on the side of her neck which has tripled in size in the past two weeks.  She now has a unsteady gait at times, and frequent confusion, and although it is not often, occasionally she will softly - so very softly cry out when she is trying to lie down.

We cannot let her suffer more than she already is - especially since she doesn't seem to want us to know she is suffering -  and so we have made an appointment to end her suffering peacefully on Wednesday afternoon this week.

She has been an exceptional companion, and more than that she has been an exceptional healer.  When I was undergoing my cancer treatment,  Molly never left my side  - she barely ate, or slept - instead she watched me.  She would get as close as she could to me and gently press on my chest where she new my breast was missing.  Within a few weeks of my mastectomy, she removed all the fur from the right side of her body - the same side as my mastectomy - and she didn't let it grown back for a very long time.

When Gary lost his vision - it was Molly who looked after him in the house during the day when I was at work.  Many times she warned him of danger, and prevented him from being hurt.

Molly is no ordinary dog.  Our vet said she had a gift, and I believe that is so.

Even today when I have been crying so much and just not dealing well with our decision - it has been Molly who has come and comforted me and not left my side.

How do you say goodbye to such a special friend?

I am at peace with our decision - it is the right thing to do for her - but how to cope without her in our lives is an entirely different matter.

Years ago I taught Molly that face kissing was something I didn't approve of in a dog, and so instead she has always snuck her kisses whenever a hand came near.  If you reached down to pick up her food or water bowl and she was close by - you got a kiss.  If you bent down to put on your shoes and Molly was there - you got a kiss.  If you petted, rubbed or cuddled  - your hand got many kisses... she knew the face was out - but the hands were fair game.

Even in her blindness she has kept this practice... even as frail as she is right now - her appreciation of everything you do for her - is still,  rewarded with a kiss.

And so tomorrow we will spend our last full day together.  We will take lots of pictures, we will cuddle, we will kiss, and on Wednesday I will tell her how much I love her, and I will thank her for 13 wonderful years together as part of our family.  I will even allow a face kiss - but I bet I will get the hand variety without even asking.

And on Thursday - we will learn how to go on without our beautiful girl.






Friday, March 4, 2016

RE-PURPOSE FRIDAY THE 4TH!

Today I am focusing my re-purposing projects on one item.  These are simple ideas that anyone can use, and the basic ingredient is a toilet paper roll.

How many of these little paper rolls do we pitch in the garbage each year, I wonder?   I don't mean to tell anyone that you should save each and every one of them, but there are some very useful things we could be doing with them... wait and see!

This first one, I have done for the last 3 years.  You can spend lots of money on peat pots and such to start your seedlings in the spring - or you can use these!



If you fold the bottoms up inside the tubes these make wonderful little seedling starters... and like peat pots they will degrade over time.

While we are folding these tubes, how about these little gift boxes?  How handy are these?  Just decorate them with some pretty lace or ribbons and you have a very nice little box for a small gift!









How about these cute little table accents - you could make them for just about any occasion, and decorate them accordingly...


Here are several real helpful ideas for around the home ... I love the chord one - gonna pass that one on to hubby!

 

And here's one that is strictly for the birds.... Roll in peanut butter then seeds and hang from a tree... sweet!


And if you really want to get creative...

 








Kind of changes the way you regard these little rolls, does it not?


Happy Friday Everyone!






Thursday, March 3, 2016

BARE WALLS AND MUSKETEERS!

Because I have been busy painting, I haven't been up to my craft room in almost two weeks.  Well, that is not entirely true - I have gone up there to take items up and put them on my desk, we have used my computer up there to Skype with our son and I have been on the computer a few times for a couple of minutes, but for anything else, that space has been vacant.

Last night I decided to head up to the computer and do some surfing.  Because I have so many bare walls in this house, my first stop was Craftsy!  I know - most people would head to the wall art isle in a trendy shop - but then I am not most people!

Bare walls to me means, photography or projects.  I do love art, but I can't afford the art that I love, so instead I tend to make my own.

A year or so ago I found a quilted wall hanging on Craftsy of a bookcase.  I saved it to my favourites to maybe purchase and make some day.  There certainly was no wall space available in my other house, so I really gave it no more thought. When I went into Craftsy last night I headed to my favourites.  I had 54 projects saved in there - one being the bookcase wall hanging.  This time I purchased it, printed it, and saved it to my hard drive.  Next time I am near a fabric store, I will pick up the fabric for the background and the shelves.   This quilt is going to go on my sun room wall above the love seat where I do most of my reading and stitching.




Way down on page three of my favourites I came across a block that I had completely forgotten I had saved.  This one has me really excited.  It is a block that was designed to be part of a Breast Cancer quilt.  That in itself is special to me, but I know why I saved this block and it does have a bit to do with breast cancer, but more to do with friendship.

When I moved to a new school in Grade 7, I met several special girls who would become life-long friends.  Who knew that 48 years later we would still be in contact and sharing our lives with one another!

Two of them and I were inseparable during our junior and senior high school years.  We were always together, in class and out of class.  We were called "The Three Musketeers" by many, including ourselves.  Every time I see an image of three girls or three women together it makes me think of us - "The Three Musketeers"!

We all turned 60 last year, and two of us have had and survived Breast Cancer, so is it any wonder that I would be drawn to this quilt block?


I am making this one into a wall hanging for my butter room... and if I get it right the first time, there will be a couple more made for the other Musketeers as well.  I can't wait to get started on this one.  I have enough scraps to make this in almost any colour.

I thought I might paint the second guest room this weekend - but perhaps I can find something much better to do with my time - do ya think?






Wednesday, March 2, 2016

BUTTER!

Happy March!  I am a day late and a dollar short, but never-the-less, the greeting stands!  I am not sure what constitutes a Lion or a Lamb, but for us March came in bitterly cold on the heels of a blizzard just the day before - so perhaps for us it was a Lion's beginning.  I will declare it so!

Hopefully the Lamb will be around at the end of the month.

I have completed painting the guest bedroom on the main floor.  I can only describe the walls as Butter!  I love how the room looks.  I am accenting it with blues and whites to tone down the butter a bit, but it is a happy room, even so it's walls are bare.

I have an embroidery piece that my Mother did when she was expecting her first child - my oldest brother Wayne in 1942.  It is the child's prayer "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep".


I was going to hang it when my own so was born in 1988, but it didn't fit in with clouds, rainbows and teddy bears, so I tucked it away to use somewhere later on. 

I now have the perfect place for it.  I need to find a frame, but once I do, it will be hanging in the butter room.

I never saw my Mother embroider in her later years  - too bad, because she was very good at it.  This piece is beautifully done in a mixture of cross stitch, straight and satin stitches, done on linen.  The detail is wonderful.  It is a heirloom to be handed down to the generations to come, and now that embroidery has come back into Vogue - there is a good possibility that someone in the family might cherish it as much as I do.


Now I am moving my painting efforts down to the basement bedroom.  That room is going to be butter as well, but down there the butter will look much darker - closer to warm honey than butter.  

I am making myself hungry.  Guess it's time to go down for breakfast and get my day started.  

Enjoy your day!