Monday, September 26, 2016

AFTER THE BUZZ IS GONE!

No, I am not talking about alcohol or drugs - that's the modern association for the word buzz - there is a much more ancient and simpler meaning to the word buzz, and it has everything to do with nature and communication, and nothing to do with over indulgence!

For eight weeks now, I have been battling the ever present and always irritating buzz if wasps and hornets up in my attic space studio area.  I have tried very hard to be a big girl about it, but sadly, I just can't be that big!

At at time when I should be spending long days up there making items to fill orders, writing blogs, and editing photography,  I have only been able to spend minutes up there without having to leave on the run.

We have sprayed, bombed, searched and spent precious time, money and energy on these nasty predators, until I finally declared that I had "HAD IT" and wasn't going up there anymore.

I was in somewhat of a state of panic - I had orders to fill, I was planning a Christmas Open House, I have promised some items to a local shop here in town for Christmas sales... what to do?

Move - that's what!

Since we have lived in this house, I have spent minimal time in the basement family room - well truth be told, unless it's to do laundry or watch movies in Gary's home theater - I don't go down there at all.

There is nothing wrong with the space.  We have painted it and made it ours - it is comfortable - but I had my space upstairs, so that's where I always headed.

All of a sudden the family room has been looking pretty attractive... hmmm!

So I began the arduous task of moving down 2 floors.

First I hauled all my sewing stuff down - 2 machines, all my material - scraps included - cutting table, ironing table - you name it - it was moved... to the area at the bottom of the basement staircase ... and I spent three solid days sewing and completing my mug rug orders.

Sigh....

But my huge heavy desk, my computer, all my other "stuff"...

It took the weekend - but it is all down in the family room - which had to be totally rearranged to accommodate everything.

Ahh......

Left upstairs - my dolls - and some craft stuff in rolling carts and my shelves and shelves of craft books and patterns.

In the meantime - you know all the time you get to talk to your spouse as you are hauling things down two staircases - we have discussed....

The problems with my attic space.  At the moment the only thing it has going for it - is the space - but it does leave a lot to be desired in many ways.

It's wall to wall carpet - and not good carpet - it should go.

The windows are drafty, in fact there is very little insulation up there at all -

The drywall is done poorly, and the overall materials used is crappy.

and the biggest concern - the space is heated with very old baseboard heaters from the 70's that runs at 2100 watts - you should see the hydro meter whirl when they are on - better yet  - you should see our heating bill from last winter!

So - the dolls will be packed away for now, the rest of the area cleaned out, and this winter's project will be gutting the space and giving it a whole new look.

So now - I guess I should be pretty happy for the BUZZERS - don't you think?

I THINK!

Friday, September 23, 2016

FALL IS BACK!

Welcome Fall - my favourite season of all!  The leaves are starting to turn, but it has been so dry here this summer  I fear our beautiful show of fall colours may well be short lived.

According to the forecasters we are in for the precipitation we have been waiting for, for weeks.  It is supposed to be a rainy wet weekend, perhaps not what the farmers out harvesting their crops want or need at this time of the year.

We have been having some incredibly beautiful sun sets.  I should have been much more resourceful with the camera.  Instead of standing on the step and shooting, I should have taken the car for a drive, with camera in tow...

But here is what I did manage to catch from my step last week,


Mom always used to say that a red sunset meant wind the next day - and she was right.  Every time we have a sunset like this we have a lot of wind the next day.


This one was beautiful - It changed so fast though, I was lucky to even get this much!

Next week I am planning to take a day out with my camera and capture some of nature's beauty.  It's been awhile since I have had the time to go shooting - but in this season, you have to make the time or all the good shots will be gone... so I am looking forward to doing just that.

In the meantime, I am going to share a poem I wrote some time ago.

Have a safe weekend, everyone!




IT’S FALL!

When summer’s done the days grow short,
And evenings seem to crawl;
As sure as there is God above,
We've reached the season, we call fall.

Colours bold; orange red and gold,
Paint every tree in sight:
Harvest moon, not seen in June,
Helps light our path at night.

The bite of frost now nips the air,
Winter’s coming near.
Pumpkin Pie and apple crisp;
Fall’s tastes and scents so pure.

Geese in flight; so long dear ones,
Take care till spring’s return;
Farmer’s fields devoid of crop
Now ready to be burned.

Thanksgiving meal and family time,
So much to give thanks for;
A home so warm as evening draws,
A leaf wreath on the door.

As winter comes and shows its beard,
Fall slowly slips away.
It will be back same time next year,
I can’t wait for that day!

2011  Dale Graumann

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ASK - AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN! INDEED!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner for us.  This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving at our son's home in Winnipeg.  Although we haven't really discussed it much as yet, a couple of things have come up in our conversations that have been of concern to him.

His biggest concern about hosting a family dinner, is the fact that he has no table set for us to sit and eat at.  It will just be four of us, but still, a big dinner does require some space to eat.  I told him not to worry about it, we would figure something out before then - and then I put it out of my mind!

This morning I went to clean the library and as usual, stopped in the recycle store next door before heading back home.

Our recycle store here is the oldest building in town.  Whatever you don't want, you take there, leave it, and if someone else wants it - they take it!  Easy and effective.  You wouldn't believe the turn around of items in that place.  If you see something you think you want - you'd better grab it - or next time it will be gone.

I have picked up some really awesome finds there, especially lately.

So I walked in the door, one of the staff was unloading some boxes, and right away I spotted a leather box.  It was heavy when I picked it up but I didn't think anything of it  - I tucked it under my arm and continued on.
 


Before I had taken 2 steps I saw a lawn spreader - we need one - that went under the other arm.  At the china section was a box of stuff, so I set my takes on the floor and rooted around.  I ended up with a really pretty candle vase, and pretty old picture, a round picture frame never used, and I would have found more, I'm sure, but really I had enough to carry home.




I rounded the next corner and there standing along the wall was the answer to our prayers...  4 of these!


My first thought - Thanksgiving dinner concern - solved!

I added these to the now mounting pile.  As I made my way to the door, the staff member who was going through boxes was sorting through some bags of what looked like sheets.  She reached in the bag and pulled out a complete bed linen set for a 3/4 bed still in it's wrapper.  I stuck my hand out - and it was mine - followed by another queen size set still in it's wrapper.  Mine too!

I was more than done.... or so I thought!

Gary walked home and got the car and we started loading all my wonderful finds in the back of the car.

When I got home - I had one more surprise.

Remember I mentioned the leather box was heavy?

Inside were these...


Lovely, like knew winter boots - and guess who's feet they fit?

Well Cinderella I am not - but my beloved snow boots are 12 yrs old - not yet completely worn out but getting close. This spring when I put them away, I remember saying to Gary  - I really need a new pair of winter boots...

If that's not Prayers Answered - I don't know what you would call it!

Today, obviously was my day...

Prayers Answered!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

FINALLY - A GOOD WORKING DAY!

Today I was finally able to spend the whole day in my studio working on things for my Christmas Open House and finishing up and order for a dozen mug rugs.  It was a day without wasps or hornets, not sure why, but I was glad that they weren't around.

We have found where they are coming in, but it has been so windy that Gary hasn't been able to crawl up there after dark and bomb them but good.

I can't tell you how much better I feel about being able to spend the whole day working.  It took me awhile to get my mojo though - the studio is trashed, from moving things around looking for wasps, and just from not being able to spend enough time up there to put things away.

But I did make a huge dent in the Mug Rug Production.

I decided to make one for my Dad for his 96th birthday in October.  He used to be a hunter, so I created a new design that I know he will love.  I like the design so much, I will make a few extra for sale as well.


I also have been working on some adorable little pouches made from jean pockets that would be great for kids - a small gift could go in here, or a gift card with some candy.  I still have to put handles on all of the ones I made, but this will give you an idea what they are going to look like.


Aren't they the cutest things?  So don't throw those precious jean pockets away - I have a use for them.  Actually any used jeans are welcome here.  I am busy designing a stocking from jean pieces left over from some jean quilts I made a few years ago.  I am thinking I might add one of the snowmen pockets to this stocking - I'm still thinking about it - but that actually might be pretty cute!

I have also been crocheting bears - this year I am making cowboys, sports bears - hockey, skiers, skaters etc... as well as some ballerina and angel bears for starters.

And still to come - some painted wood projects made from reclaimed wood.   And I think I will also make a few of my brother's "Joy" patterns, but maybe make them more primitive looking.

 

I feel like I am back in control, and as long as the buzzers stay away, I think I will be more than ready for my Open House later this fall.

But for now, it's time to shut down up here for the day, and head downstairs to make some biscuits to go with our home made ham soup for supper.  All day I have smelling that soup cooking, and it is driving me nuts!

It's been a great day - hope your day has been a good one as well.







Sunday, September 11, 2016

WWW.GO (WHEN WILL WASPS. GO) !

Boy oh Boy - my intentions sure do run away from me!  I thought I was back on the road to posting daily blogs, but it seems my intentions are taking wrong turns.

I have a problem.  Some of you will probably laugh at my problem, but believe me when I tell you, it has me totally freaked out.

I have Wasps and Hornets in my studio!  It has been going on for some time, and we thought we had conquered the problem by sealing every crook and cranny in the entire attic, but still they come in.

I can't stand them - in fact just the thought of going up there, and having to deal with even one, gets my heart pounding.  I don't mind them outside - but I can't abide them inside.  And of all places, my studio - where my computer is, my craft space, my sewing machines!  It's the absolute worst!

So I can't blog, I can't sew, I can't do anything except sit down on the main floor and stew about all that I can't do.

Gary has even gone as far as removing the wood and sills around the windows, which in actual fact opened a real can of worms because we discovered that there is no insulation, and lots of gaps and wholes everywhere, which then needed immediate attention.

So here's how a days' work in the studio goes!  I open the door to the stair way ( which has never been closed as long as we have lived here) but I don't want the wasps and hornets on the main floor, so now it's closed!  I slowly make my way up the stairs, inspecting every stair was I go.  At the top of the stairs I have a fly swatter and a can of Raid waiting - and the first window (where the hornets are usually stationed) is right there.  I look, I creep by - swatter and Raid raised high, and I hurry by and enter my craft area.

I stop, listen.... do I hear a buzzing?  I have Tinnitus - what kind of stupid question is that?

I move slowly forward - I can now see the window at the far end of the attic, my desk is right beneath it.  I don't see anything flying or crawling.... I walk slowly until I am just about there, and I reach the nook - I look to right to the nook window - awe yeah - there is one on the window.

I drop the can and swatter and run downstairs.  Another crafting day has begun!

Everyday I have more and more craft supplies on my kitchen table, and I am seriously thinking of moving my machines down there as well.  I really am frustrated with this - I haven't had to craft in my kitchen in years - even in my other house I had a designated craft room!

If these were my beloved Bumbles or Singular Bees, I wouldn't be bothered  at all, I would share my space until I could capture them and release them outside - I would never spray or swat them to death - but these critters are not beloved to me in any way.

I am falling behind in my work for my open house - because of some irritating pests!

Sorry to say - I am selfishly wishing for frost followed much colder weather so they disappear altogether!  But that would rob us all of the most beautiful time of the year, and I wouldn't like that either.  Fall is wonderful - Wasps and all.  Just wish they would find somewhere else to visit than my attic!




Tuesday, September 6, 2016

GETTING HEALTHIER!

I want to take a moment to wish all the school children a very happy first day of school!  I am sure there are lots of tummy aches and pouty faces this morning, but once they get to school - all will be well!  Happy First Day of School to the Students, Teachers and Parents!

                                                                  . . .

So, next thing on the agenda is getting healthier!  Well I certainly have enough vegetables in the freezer to aid myself in eating a healthier diet - and we have been eating a lot healthier since moving to the country anyway - much less opportunity for eating out as regularly as we used to do.

Exercise - well here too - there is no end to the exercise I get here.  I walk everywhere I go, and I walk every day.  Where I used to sit in a chair in an office all day, now my daily work is much more physical.  Gardening and yard work can be exhausting if I let it be.  And I also have my care taking job at the library which gets me moving.  My new house has a studio located on the second floor - it's up and down that staircase a hundred times a day, some days... and on laundry days it's basement to second floor over and and over again... really good exercise.

Sadly, no matter how well intended we make our health, our bodies can and do work against us.

With all that exercise and healthy eating - I have been gaining weight steadily since we moved here.  And I have been tired, really really tired, which I attributed to going up and down those steps.  My doctor has been taking all the regular blood tests and found my thyroid to be low, so she has been increasing my dosage of medication  - but still no change.

So she decided to do a different thyroid test from the regular TSH.  It is a thyroid antibody test. The thyroid antibody when in extreme actually causes not only the thyroid to not work properly, but it also destroys the thyroid itself.  The condition is called Hashimoto's Disease.

The thyroid antibodies are supposed to be at 4.  Mine are 400.  But the good news is that I don't actually have Hashimoto's Disease even though my antibodies are indeed actually destroying my thyroid. My abnormal result are a result of 6 years of chemical chemo treatment for breast cancer.

Can you imagine my frame of mind when I am told this - particularly since all through my treatment I steadily gained weight - and openly complained about it to my physicians at the time?  I had lost 70 lbs  two years prior to getting breast cancer and had managed very easily to keep it off, until I started on Tamoxifen, and later Femera, for breast cancer treatment.

How come in all this time, no one has checked this antibody?  My new family doctor listened to my complaints and did something about it!

The treatment is simple - get the thyroid levels up to where they need to be to be normal, using medication, but it's going to take some time and I will have ups and downs along the way.

I have a long way to go, but at least the journey has begun, I feel like that in itself is  finally getting  me somewhere...

And already I am loosing weight...

So what's next now that I am getting healthy?






Monday, September 5, 2016

NOT AS GOOD AS MOM!

I can't believe how long it's been since I wrote a post for my blog.  Not intentional, I assure you.  It's been a extremely busy time around here for the past few weeks.

The garden is nearing the end - meaning I am almost finished washing, freezing, canning the abundance of produce my big garden has produced this year.  All that is left is the potatoes to dig up and the carrots to pull up, and that most likely will be done this week sometime.

I do know one thing - the garden I had this year won't be planted again next year!  First of all two people do not need so much food.  Secondly, although I did enjoy the garden, this last experience (harvesting) was a bit much for me.

I can't tell you how many times in the hours I stood at the sink scrubbing and slicing and blanching and bagging, that I thought of my Mother.  How did she do it all?

She had five kids of her own, as well as an additional two or three foster children at any given time; she was a seamstress in her leisure hours... her garden was three times the size of mine, and she put it all down for winter plus canned peaches and pears, apples, made and canned sauces, pickles jams and jellies of many kinds... every year - and never broke into a sweat!

Here I come, no kids underfoot - nothing but time, and I was exhausted after the second day!  My Mother was a miracle worker - seriously she really was.  Wish I could have recognized that sooner, I wish a lot of things when it comes to Mom - mostly that I still had her here with me today.

She worked herself into an early grave, and I would have gladly sacrificed any and all of her wonderful dishes for more time with her!

I am not my Mother, although so many people tell me I am just like her - it's not true.   Where she would have persevered with my garden - I am cutting it in half and making it a much more suitable past time than full time employment!  I'm a wimp, I admit it - but this wimp has better things to do than spend weeks in the kitchen making food!

So as soon as the rest of the vegetables are out of the garden we are heading to the lumber store and buying supplies to build a few raised beds.  That will limit how much I can plant, and it will be much easier to maintain, and I will enjoy it much much more.

So with that out of the way - what's next?

Getting healthier for one!