Friday, November 28, 2008


As I resolved to do on my Grateful Friday post one week ago, I made my bread however, I am only just getting round to posting today just how yummy it was.

I made this recipe for Who Bread from Amanda Soule's blog.

Simply delicious - a very wholesome recipe with just a touch of cinnamon.

A word of warning though, it doesn't really lend itself to a sandwich made with Asiago cheese spread, sliced fresh chicken breast, sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced peppers & cucumbers. The cinnamon just doesn't taste right with those ingredients.

However, it is just scrumpdiliitious toasted with a little natural peanut butter and honey.

Time for another loaf.

These Boots Were NOT Made for Walking

How gorgeous are these boots?

I really need a pair of dress boots as I only have a pair of (look-alike) Uggs.

So off I go this morning to brave the Christmas crowds at the mall armed only with a $25.00 gift certificate and my trusty credit card.

I found these gorgeous, sexy boots with a 1 1/2" heel. Due to very painful feet, fused toes, osteophytes, plantar faciiitis, etc, etc, etc, I can only wear fairly flat & comfortable shoes.

But when I tried these on in the shoe store and found out that they were on sale for $69.99, marked down from $99.99, my heart started beating wildly. I walked around and thought to myself - these are quite comfortable.

So I whip out my card, hand in my gift certificate, the sales person wrapped them up and off I came home with the intention of walking around at home in them (just to be sure).

Boy did I feel sexy strutting around in these very stylish and sexy boots.

But my to my chagrin and utter dismay after less than 10 minutes, the fused toe especially on my left foot started to cause me great discomfort to the point where I could only limp around in these beauties. By the time I sat down to peel them off, the discomfort had graduated to stabbing pain in the big joint of my toe.

So unfortunately they are back in the box to be returned.

But I just had to post how absolutely gorgeous they were before they go back.

Well, all in all it really was fun to dream even if only for just a few moments that I could actually wear something on my feet that look chic and sexy.

C'est la vie .........

Grateful Friday

Over the past few weeks I have been taking great pleasure in reading more than usual.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life, The Wisdom of the Tao by Wayne Dyer

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

One Soldiers Story - A Memoir by Robert Dole

Recently while chatting with my daughter she told me of a secret dream. She would like to have her very own Chapters/Indigo Bookstore along with a Starbucks Coffee Shop and someone to serve her coffee and a book whenever she asked for it.

Don't you just love her dream? I loved it so much I just had to go to Chapters to browse the other day and sit in Starbucks and have a coffee.

My father instilled in me a deep respect and love for literature and as my children grew, we always had books to read and love.

I know I succeeded as there is never a shortage of books in Sebrina's home, and whenever I visit Miss Gabriella always finds a book to bring to me so that we can share a story or five.

I love the feel of leather on an old beautifully bound volume .....

I love the smell of the glue that binds the book together .....

I love the ever so delicate pages that await me as I slowly open a new book .....

Today I offer my gratitude for literature, for the many beautiful book stores & libraries that house these magnificent works of art and for a country that allows freedom of speech and freedom to both writer and reader to pursue their individual literary styles.

Now, go grab yourself a great book, put your feet up, make a cup of tea and then ............

Have great weekend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Under Construction

Bear with me while I make some changes to my blog's appearance.

I'm learning some funky new tricks thanks to my daughter which I hope to put into effect and share with you on my new look.

We Are Not Alone!

Something strange is happening around my house ....

For those of you who have followed my blog - remember the disappearing crane this past summer?

Why was he nowhere to be found when I was bringing out the summer furniture and garden ornaments?

Why did he reappear after searching for him in the very room I found him in for weeks?

A couple of weeks ago I started putting out some Christmas decorations, two of which were the two Santas (on the right below).

Last Thursday, I went in my dining room (which incidentally is not that horrible Walmart blue anymore - unaccounted for lapse in judgement when choosing paint colour) and the little Santa in the middle was turned towards the window in the dining room - almost a 90 degree turn from the position he is normally in.

So I turned him round back the way he is shown in the picture above. Then on Saturday Don & I went out for the day .... when we got home, Mom mentioned that she had gone in the dining room and wondered why I had the Santa facing the window. So I took myself downstairs and there was Santa - facing the window again.

Then this morning at around 6:50am I was sitting quietly in my living room having my morning coffee reading "The Secret Life of Bees" (again) and I heard a clatter. Wondering if something had toppled over, I got up and went to the kitchen and family room to check what may have caused the noise. On finding nothing out of place, I went back to the living room, passing by the dining room on my way. I looked in and what did I see again - Santa facing the window.

Okay now, my logical mind on the first turn thought .... maybe vibrations in the house turned him, but three times now - come on. I'm beginning to think someone else is here that is messing with us.

When we first moved into this home, we experienced a terrible flood 12 days after taking possession. I was at a dear friends funeral (gone about 6 hours). Upon arriving back home, as I walked past the dining room I caught a flash of light out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see what it was and saw a waterfall running off my chandelier onto the dining room table.

In the bathroom directly above the dining room, I had mounted a 4' glass shelf onto two wrought iron brackets under my bathroom window. On this shelf I had my collection of Murano glass.

Now, here is my question.

What would have caused this 4' glass shelf supported by two 6" deep wrought iron brackets and which I had levelled before mounting, slide one way or the other so that it slipped off the shelf, came crashing down hitting my toilet tank, breaking it and causing the flood?

Two nights ago my mother was woken up by a crash in her room (we never heard it). In the morning she discovered that one of two blown glass Christmas trees she has on her dresser (similar to the one at right)was laying on its' side and as well a 17" Galileo thermometer was knocked over.

Again, what would cause this strange accident at 3:00am???

Things seem to disappear around here regularly.

Seventeen years ago, my father gave my mother a ruby and diamond pendant. It held a special memory for her because it was a gift from her husband. She kept it in a very specific spot and I remember seeing it after she moved in. Well, guess what - it has disappeared and is nowhere to be found.

Then this morning she came down and said she cannot find a handmade satin handkerchief holder that was made for her when she was a young girl. I remember her showing it to me one day when she and I were sitting with my dad prior to his death.

Where have these two items gone? I keep feeling, that like the crane the pendant is going to show up.

These odd little things have happened to me for many, many years but I have never really thought much about it. Again my logical mind can usually come up with reasonable explanations.

I don't necessarily believes that spirits hover around us, however these strange little episodes, the crashing glass shelf, my disappearing crane, the turning Santa, the crashing Christmas tree, the pendant and now the handkerchief folder has me wondering what the heck is going on!

My logical mind cannot come up with an explanation for why that darn little Santa keeps turning towards the window.

Someone has suggested "house fairies".

Maybe, just maybe I should consider investigating whether someone other than Don, me, my mother and Chelsea is residing here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What's Your Comfort?

Following up to my post on Grateful Friday - I'd like to expand a little on comfort.

The definition of comfort/comfortable - "Affording or enjoying contentment and security; free from stress or tension; providing comfort or ease; in a state of comfort; at ease in body or mind; contented; informal sufficient to satisfy; adequate".

What are the objects, thoughts, feelings that make you comfortable?

Here are a few of mine.

A delicious, deep, hot, bath full of salts, bubbles, essential oils, etc .........

And then the soft stack of fluffy white large bath towels ....... to wrap up in after my bath.

A delicious cup of coffee ... the first one in the morning, after grinding the beans, catching the scent of freshly brewed, frothing a little cream to float on top and then ......... that first sip .....

A good book to along with the the coffee .... the two just seem to go hand in hand ......

A down filled ..... soft-as-a-cloud cushion on a Bergere Chair .......

My home ...... a sense of peace washes over me as I come up the pathway to my front door .... thinking of all the pleasures within that await me ........

Simply luxurious French skin products ........

Friends and family .......

And at last, my comfort would not be complete without my grandbabies. Not an hour goes by in my day that one of them doesn't slip into my thoughts. Their sweetness & innocence, their uncomplicated love for me, their sense of fun & their beauty.

So, go on now ... go get comfortable ..........

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grateful Friday

This morning, I am sitting in my family room on my comfortable sofa, sipping a delicious cup of coffee, my feet wrapped in sheepskin slippers, a fleecy housecoat around my shoulders, a soft Peruvian wool throw over my legs and feather pillows at my back.

My goal at my home is comfort. Of what value is a home if one cannot go into any room and feel comforted by merely being present in that same room. When my friends come, I want them to be welcomed into my cocoon and feel completely enveloped in warmth and comfort.

So many around the world do not have a home, a roof over their heads or even a soft place to lay their head on at night.

Today, my comfort makes me offer an attitude of gratitude to the universe for my home, my shelter, my comforts ..... thank you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My daughter tagged me and since I love to read, I'm going to play along.

Here is how it works.

Open the book closest to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56.
Write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five sentences following there.
Currently I am reading "Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life" by Dr. Wayne Dyer and it just so happens as well to be the book closest to me.

It is his insights after researching and meditating on the 81 verses of Tao Te China dictated by Lao-tzu 2500 years ago in ancient China.

Here is the fifth line as well as five extra.

Wasting energy to obtain rare objects
only impedes one's growth.

The master observes the world
but trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
He prefers what is within to what is without.

Now I am going to tag:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ponderings for a Tuesday Evening

Why are girls so hard on themselves and each other?

Today I read a most interesting post over at Moments of Perfect Clarity on an issue recently uncovered at her daughters school with some bullying between girls. It started me thinking about why we as woman are so critical and hard on ourselves.

Why can we not be content with ourselves simply as we are. Image seems to be such a huge issue for most females.

I have learned quite a lot about myself in just the four months since my mother moved in with us. I could never really put my finger on why my siblings and I have such self esteem and image issues, but living with my mom as an adult (not a child) has been an eye opening experience. It has helped me to realize that I really have some wonderful attributes and also that I really am quite content and comfortable with myself as I have gotten older.

Unfortunately my mom seems to be almost sorry for the space she takes up. It is hard to listen to her sometimes and how apologetic she is for her very existence.

Here is a typical conversation one of which happens on a regular basis.

Sitting in the eye surgeons office this morning following cataract surgery, our conversation went as follows:

A lady walks into the office and sits down beside me.

Mom .... "Look at that ladies hair beside you. Why can't I wear my hair like that, I hate my hair."

Me thinking, you don't know that you can't wear your hair like that unless you try.

A gentlemen comes in and walks to reception desk.

Mom - "Why do men get all the good, thick beautiful hair and in this family the women are stuck with such thin unmanageable hair?"

After having her vision checked and being told she had 20/25 vision, I say,

"That's amazing, I wish I could see that well without my glasses."

Mom - "Oh you don't want to go without your glasses, you don't look good without them. Do you remember our friend Al? He stopped wearing glasses after his cataract surgery and he looked just awful."

Me thinking, I look different but don't really think I look too bad without my glasses.

Mom - "Did you know that you have a small run in your tights?"

Me, horrified looks down to see an almost unnoticeable run down the inside of my leg and say, "I didn't know it was there or I would not have put these on."

Mom - "Well, it doesn't really matter, it's not that noticeable."

Side note, if it's not that noticeable, how come she saw it and if it doesn't really matter why bring it to my attention in the first place????

When I finished my last painting, I showed it to her.

Mom - "I can't believe you painted that."

Side note, the same comment made whenever I complete a painting.

Maybe I'm reading between the lines but I find this an odd comment. Does she think I cannot produce a quality piece of art or is she surprised that I can produce something beautiful? Did she forget that I have studied art for most of my life and have a fine arts degree?

This conversation style shows me why I have historically struggled with my image and also why I am so very critical of myself and others. However, in just these four short months, I have resolved to stop listening to my inner critical voice and not to let my mom's critical self talk influence me any longer.

I am in possession of a beautiful book entitled "Mother Daughter Wisdom" by Dr. Christiane Northrup.

Here, a small excerpt from it: "The enemies, obstacles, and battles women encounter are seldom as straight-forward as those faced by men. They often exist within our own psyches and have been handed down to us by a culture that is only now becoming comfortable with feminine ways of being in the world.

A woman’s heroic journey always begins in partnership with her mother, the woman from whom she takes the imprint of what it means to be a woman. Her journey picks up speed when she leaves the comfort of the womb and goes through the process of birth. From then on, she must travel through a series of developmental stages likened to a series of wombs."

All women whether mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers should read this book. The statements made on mother daughter relationships are insightful and thought provoking.

My Menopause has also provided much insight. They don't call it the "change" for nothing. I have witnessed radical changes in myself ... the lessening of my need to be accepted by everyone I encounter, the need to have everyone like me, the need to lose weight, the need to be perfect, etc....

Every challenge in life is provided for a reason and I believe this challenge of providing a home for my mom is to guide me down a new life path - a path of loving myself the way my friends and family do. Loving myself enough to trust myself & my judgement ..... loving myself enough to be at ease with me .... who I am and to enjoy my own company.

Dove has for a few years been spear heading a campaign to promote real beauty. They are determined to help young women see their true beauty. It was developed to help free the next generation from self-limiting beauty stereotypes. Committed to reaching 5 million young women by the end of 2010, the Dove Self-Esteem Fund was set up to promote a wider definition of beauty.

What is real beauty?
Where does it come from?
It comes from within the depths of our soul!
I am beautiful because I accept who I am!
I accept everything about myself from the tips of my hair to the tips of my toes!
I am perfection because I choose to be perfect to me!
It can be difficult at times however I always remember to just be myself and the more I believe in myself the more others will believe in me too!

Here's to women and to all our beauty.


Thanks for the calls and emails about Don's dad.

I am putting a little update here, as one friend was quite concerned when I did not post an update on his status.

He is still in hospital, but doing better. As I said in my earlier post, he does have a multitude of problems ... Parkinson's (on two separate medications), prostate problems (on another medication) and now the heart problem.

His neurologist thinks that the medication he was on for his prostate may have caused the heart problem as a side effect, so now the three specialists on his case are looking for a solution.

You know the old saying, "sometimes the cure is worse than the illness" certainly applies here.

We have all had a scare and our poor patient has been put through through the proverbial medical system ringer, both physically and emotionally. This gentlemen is a very stiff upper man and on Sunday we sat with him while he cried like a baby. This was very hard on Don and his younger brother who was there that day with us.

However we are hopeful that just maybe he might be discharged today or tomorrow.

Thanks for the kind emails and phone calls. Please keep Don and his family in your thoughts as they continue through this difficult time in their dad's health.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Art, Bling, Colour

Here's my completed art project that I started when Jayden had a sleepover and we did an art proejct one morning together.

I can't explain why - but for some unknown reason, this little girl reminds me of our granddaughter Gabriella.

This lovely picture when framed will take a place of honour in my craft room.

And doesn't every girl deserve a little bling. I saw this cushion in a home decorating store the other day and just had to have it to go with another cushion on my bed. Yummy!!!!

This beautiful little bush in my garden just refuses to let go of it's leaves. The colour is luscious and I'm hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe it will hold on for dear life just a few weeks longer. The jolt of colour against everything else that has given up their foliage is just outstanding.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grateful Friday

Last night Don's dad was rushed to the hospital for an erratic heartbeat and he was apathetic ..... not easily roused by his mom. We still don't know what is wrong, however he has suffered from Parkinson's for years and his symptoms have worsened over the past year.

After staying wakeful all night waiting to hear from Don while he spent the night at the hospital with his dad, I have realized that this day I am very grateful for my health and happiness.

We all take our health for granted ... filling out bodies with overly processed foods, white & bleached flours and sugars ..... allowing our children to eat candies and fast foods that are loaded with food colouring ... high fructose corn syrup ... preservatives ... not exercising.

Do you ever write down in one day just exactly what you eat? How much good old cooking do we actually eat? Steel cut oats, fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade soups made from chicken or turkey carcass, homemade breads, seasonally canned fruits and vegetables? Remember how our grandmothers used to cook .... that is what we should strive for in our eating habits today.

I too am guilty of eating incorrectly many times, not moving when my arthritis or fibromyalgia is flaring and picking up store made breads and fast foods when I just don't feel like cooking.

I am going to commit this week to making my own bread. I have a bread machine which I can make bread with very easily, so that is my first commitment towards better health. Next week I'll work on another.

As a little side note, I saw my orthopaedic surgeon on Wednesday for my one year checkup on my knee replacement. He was very happy with my knee and does not want to see me again. My daughter jokingly said "He broke up with me". This is one relationship I am not sad to see over.

So today I am sending a thank you to my creator for my good health and my happiness.

Thank you !!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Girl Power

Okay, here's the problem .... my craft room is ready for carpet and the carpet layer will probably be here this week to take the exact measurements and also to have me choose the colour I want.

However, as you can see in the picture below, I have this big, ugly drain in the middle of the back wall.
What should I do with this thing?
What can I do to make this thing not quite so noticeable?
A box (which was Don's idea) just sitting over it, would in my opinion make it even more noticeable, so............

If you will scroll down you will see the solution I came up with.

Here is a box that I built to cover the ugly drain but also to provide a little extra storage. I won't finish the inside perfectly but will likely just get large baskets to fit inside to hold extras.

Now bear in mind, this is not complete. I have only assembled the base using up a whole lot of tongue in groove cedar that was taking up space in the basement .... primed it and now the carpet layer can install the carpet. I will still have to put a lip on the top edge and install a lid, but all in good time.

Right now the focus is to continue getting the box completely painted, so I don't accidentally drip any paint on the new carpet when it is installed.

Right now, I'm feeling quite proud of my accomplishment today.

This was a fun project .... I got to use power tools ........


Happy Birthday To A Very Special Boy

Today is my very special third grandsons 5th birthday.

Happy Birthday Zander ... you're very special, never forget how much Poppa and I love you and never lose that special part of you that makes you - you.

Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You
Dr. Suess

For a wonderful re-telling of the day of this beautiful boy's birth visit my daughter Sebrina's blog.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What - Christmas Already!!!

I'm seriously getting in the Christmas mood and it is starting to show up in spots around my home.

This year I find myself very attracted to faux mercury glass in different colours. I love the silver, gold, and copper, so accordingly have done a little decorating to give the house that Christmasy feeling.

Here is a gold bowl full of ornaments in the three colours and below, I've decorated a hall table with the silver and a bowl of red Amarylis.

Now if I could just muster up the energy to get out there, brave the crowded malls and finish my Christmas shopping..........

Everyone get out there - deck those halls, trim those trees, roast those chestnuts, jingle those bells and for goodness don't forget to be GOOD!~

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sleepover Adventures

My grandson, Jayden decided yesterday to come and stay with us for a couple of days. We've been quite busy,

Playing with Chelsea.......

Painting, the start of a new painting of mine .......

Jayden's wet in wet watercolours - two so far ..........

Something scary & something .... not sure what this one is ....

Mixing up Chocolate Birthday Cake because today is Great Grandma's 84th birthday ........

Individual cakes for everyone ........

My goodness, it's only 11:20am and this is how I feel already and we haven't been on our nature walk to collect some goodies from the forest.

Grateful Friday

Coming to the end of this near perfect week, I am grateful to be sitting here cuddled up on the sofa with my grandbaby Jayden who had a sleepover last night. Today we are going to try to take a nature walk and enjoy this last day of warm (near 20C), sunny temperatures. Then after our walk we have an art project on the agenda. Me dabbling in my oils and Jayden working with watercolours.

This week has been extraordinary with record breaking temperatures across Southern Ontario. At this point in November, we could be shovelling snow.

So today on Grateful Friday, I am grateful for the wonderful climate we are afforded here in Canada, the opportunity to enjoy 4 beautiful seasons ..........

Spring with the wonder of watching the new growth as our very brown world turns green.

Summer with all the warm sunshine and lazing around under a colourful beach umbrella.

Autumn ...... what needs to be said about the majesty and splendour that is painted in a multitude of colours across the landscape for our viewing pleasure.

And finally Winter ...... the quiet solitude of the world after a snowfall. And when it is over watching the sun break across the snow creating ribbons of shadow and light.

Oh yes, I am very grateful for this veritable cornucopia of eye candy we take in each season.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Here are a couple of Christmas presents I'm working on. Below is one of two hats I'm making for two daughters of my girlfriend. This shows a closeup of the pattern I'm doing .... I'll post a picture of the hat when it's done. The bottom edge is eyelet which you can't see in this picture and the top has two ties with pom poms - it's adorable - I can't wait to see how it turns out.

The hat pattern is from this book by Patons, and I am making the one on the left. It is hard to see the cute ties and pom poms on top with the title over the hat, but I will photo the hat when complete. I love the one on the right as well, so I might make that one so they can each have different hats and scarves.

And below is an afghan for their mom. I was inspired by the hat my daughter Sebrina made for her daughter Gabriella based on a bonnet she saw in the movie Golden Compass. She used an Alpaca yarn and blended an ivory and taupe together.

It is very sweet ..... here it is on our little princess.

After seeing how beautifully the two yarns blended together, I decided to try her technique on the afghan, so I blended two Peruvian yarns that I had and .........

Here is the finished project. I used the rust coloured one to fringe two edges of the afghan and am pleased with how it looks. Not quite as soft looking as Gabriella's hat pattern, but equally as interesting. Hope my girlfriend enjoys it. She has brown leather furniture in her family room, so I thought that these two colours would blend quite nicely.

The Day After

The US election is finally over.

After being inundated with constant advertisements, visits to popular television shows, debates and constant candidate bashing by the press, I am breathing a sigh of relief that it is over.

History was made last night, when Barack Obama was elected the first African American President.

Martin Luther King's dream was finally realized 40 years after his death.

Obama swept the US Presidential campaign with a win of 338 to 155 electoral votes.

He ran a brilliant, disciplined campaign to win the most powerful position in the world.

Now, we can finally, hopefully see John McCain fade quietly from the scene. His constant verbal abuse of Obama was overwhelming, his lack of composure & defensive attitude when speaking and his constant pacing of the platform was painful to watch.

And finally ..... little country bumpkin Sarah Palin who has shown over and over again that she did not have the knowledge, the presence, or the ability to hold a such a powerful position in the US can go back to Nowhere, Alaska.

I'm tired of the Youtube videos of her numerous faux pas, the infamous "Nicolas Sarkozy" prank phone call, the bad wardrobe, the excess dollars spent at Saks no less to improve her image and her children's, the misuse of taxpayers dollars ... etc, etc, etc....

Now can we please, please get back to normal????


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