Friday, November 30, 2007

Guess what today is??

Well, Friday, of course, Hahaha... okay yes, but besides that?

This is ....

Happy blog day to me...

Happy blog day to me...

la, la, la...etc... tooooo mmmeeeeeee......

Oh, alright... I'll quit. Uncover your poor ears. Never could carry a tune; even in a bucket.

This is number 100. What?? already??! That can't be right!

Guess I have to own it ......... I am a total windbag. There , said it aloud (to nobody but me of course, cuz I am the only one sitting here at my computer). But, really... I am not always windy.... sometimes folks even wonder about me if I am new to them or to a situation. I tend to be pretty quiet until I get the lay of the land so to speak, or if I am trying to size things up before I jump right in with my comments, advice and opinions... but then, look out. I realize that I can be, and often am, a bit of a boat rocker and, sure, I will admit too... sometimes I am just a darn nuisance. So be it. That's me. We all have faults and foibles. Ya takes me or ya leaves me.

I also love fun ... love to give little gifties...but am not Pioneer you won't be gettin' any $500 gift certificates here! I am definitely not backed by Sanyo or any other corporation.

However, in the spirit of the season and also in the same spirit as many bloggers .... I am having a little give-away of my own. Mostly just to enjoy myself ... but also to say thanks for the fun I have had in visiting many of your blogs. Also to say tx for stopping by to have a look at my blogs and the dolls and bears on the Picturetrail site. Comments are always fun to read aren't they? I enjoy them ..... here and on everybody else's blogs. There is a ton of info and participation out there.... boggling actually.

So, because I make bears of all kinds...and it is Christmas... I made a little needle felted polar type bear... with a very skinny little bottom (so that he can fit into this cute little sleigh). Now, he won't sit in it without help... as you can see here.... he is bit of a klutz... well, in all fairness to him, it is definitely a combination of that tiny bum and skinny edge to the sled ... ... hahahha and maybe his big snowshoes... er.... feet.

This was how he spent most of his photo shoot.

I'll stick him into it with a tiny bit of double sided tape. You can coax him to stay there in any way you like (or not). The sleigh itself is an ornament and has a golden cord which is attached to the sleigh at an odd the center, almost right between his unless he is stuck down... you can't really have him in it and hang it... but, perhaps you will want to use them separately anyway. A little gold satin stocking will be his cozy traveling home. Oh, and he will be wearing his little velvet hat with its jingle bell... and Buddy, the tiny cardinal, is coming along for the ride.

Leave a comment and I will put your name into the Christmas punch bowl ... sometime next week...somebody bobbing for cherries and floating names will attempt to choose a new home for Flurry. Just kidding... they will all go into a beautiful salad bowl and my bunny Alfie will nibble the still messin' with your head..... somebody honest and aboveboard will randomly choose a name.... .. but how can you believe a word I say??...I don't even have a bunny!

Never mind... my sweetie keeps me honest... he will do the draw.

Thanks for a fun few months on Blogger.... and tons of info on your blogs! I am NOT wishing you Merry Christmas til much later ... like,.... in December! Good grief! it is still only November. What a shame we have to do so much of this before the actual month. Ah some cases, it is only because we are held hostage by the postal guys. I wrote a little ditty about that once... wonder where it is now? Must look for it.. yes... very appropriate.... as on and on she rambles.....zzzzzzzz

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas shopping for me...

That seems as good a place as any to begin. I know I get what I want then. Not that I want a lot... I am pretty cheap to keep. Little things amuse me. Like these...

It seems I collected bears of one type or another long before I ever began to make them. This was one of the collections I began back in the 90's. Polarkins; made by Enesco. They sit in storage all year and only come out at Christmas. I set up a little winter wonderland with them ..some tall skinny trees and some icebergs that also came with them. I found these two on e-bay for a couple of bucks! They arrived in perfect condition; one still in the original box ... from Rhode Island and the other from Texas. Prices used to range from about $10 to $35.00 .. All of a sudden they quit making them and I didn't think I would ever find any more to add to my little group. E-bay is great for that sort of thing. People change their collections...get rid of things..or whatever. As usual.. one man's trash is another's treasure! My neighbour also found one in a little out of the way shop one year and picked it up for me. She was not exactly sure it was the same thing as I collected.... but when she got it home... yes, she had remembered the look of them enough to pick it out in a "line-up". Good eye.

I like the colourful Lapland type outfits... and especially the expressions on the little faces

Here is my other bargain... on sale at Canadian tire for only $20. How can you lose? I have never had a crock pot...and likely won't use one a lot...but at that price I decided to get one for the odd time I might. I am so used to using my large dome electric skillet for slow simmering; I know amounts etc.... sometimes you just get used to something and somehow, it suits you better.

.... and then this! A cute little mat for the kitchen floor... with all the colours of my chairs... hahahah ... how lucky was that? For.... a whopping $5.95 !! I love a bargain. Guess you can tell.

Wonder what next week will bring?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

something winter this way comes...

Of course, here in the foothills, it does come and go. We do have warmer and cooler weeks...and occasional Chinooks where a 20 degree temperature climb in the space of several hours is not unusual. But..overnight, the temperature dropped to -20C ... we got 3 or 4 inches of snow...and today the wind is whipping the fine snow off the rooftops... at about 30kph. When I stand near the house it covers my chocolate coloured toque like icing sugar from a sifter; I feel like dessert!

This little pile of leaves seemed to be huddling close to the foundation.

This little guy either got blown away from the group or was making a break for it...trying for under the shed I think. If he makes it that far...he will find some more buddies there. .

It is always so quiet after a new snow.... the sounds of car tires and even engines are muffled and you hardly know they are there till you see movement out of the corner of an eye. Jet planes, on the other hand... scream like you would not believe as they go by... it is so loud, you just have to look up. Some geese were honking around... and around...and around... seemed like they couldn't decide whether to stay or go... then off they flew to the south. They could be back at the end of the week if it warms up. They don't seem to go far..and more and more of them don't bother going anywhere at all. People feed them and they have some open water in the parks and golf they can survive, although I am sure a lot do not. I just love hearing them ... honking and calling... it gives me goose bumps... aahahahhah..I just realized what I said... goose bumps... that was funny. I was going to change it and then thought... why would I? was funny! I crack me up.

The sun broke through the clouds while I spent almost an hour out there shoveling... (we live on a corner lot; there is city sidewalk all around, plus a big driveway)... and it did warm a bit.. plus, I was plenty warm shoveling, believe me. When I go out in the cold..I dress for it. Not like when I lived in small town B.C. and we tried to look Gucci even at -30C. Ridiculous. We were trying to emulate big city folk...thinking they still looked fashionable in severely cold weather I guess. My first ride on a city bus when I came here was a hoot. I laughed right out loud when I boarded. People bundled up so much you could not tell male from female. Huge scarves, toques, ear muffs, proper northern weather parkas with hoods that come so far forward you can't see skin..with real fur ... huge mukluks or a pair of Sorels ... clever people!! My kind of town!! It's great. Each to his own and nobody gives a rip what you wear; as it should be. Of course, not everybody dresses for the weather.. but, lets face it... some people are just out of touch with reality and their surroundings anyway.

When it gets reeeelly cold I look like a miniature lilac Michelin Man or Sta Puffed Marshmallow.. waddling down the street in my various layers of clothes, full length down parka, my knee high shearling lined boots, fur lined mitts, a light coat of vaseline on my face as protection against freezing wind. Today is nothing like that...but if it comes..I am ready.

I am working on a little something for my 100th post...which is ...soon. Obviously I am a wind bag....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stranger in the night....

.....and, no, it was definitely not Santa.

Well, that was a sleepless one.

At 3:15 a.m. Greg and I woke up hearing noises ... we both said at the same time ...front door! Then we heard it again... like someone was trying to break down the door. We practically sprinted to the door in the dark, but probably still only half awake ... some guy was pounding on the door... almost seemed as though he was lunging for it instead of knocking. Heart beating like a trip hammer... hyper adrenalin rush; try t o stay calm and think what to do. Okay...yell at him. Good as any. Greg yelled at him... "what the hell do you want" ... and I quickly turned on about 5 lights at the same time to let whoever it was know that we were alerting any neighbours who may be up and also so we could see who the heck it was. We have a glass door window and could see one guy standing there. We were standing pretty close to the door by now and he said something back, but neither of us could make it out...we just looked at each other... ..sort of dumbfounded, shook our heads and shrugged. Then we yelled at him get out of here... and he still stood there. By this time I figured if he was trying to break in... he would have either run away or broken down the door. But he just stood there. I opened the little window beside the door and said "who are you", what do you want." He said ....."sorry".... ..more talking but didn't make much sense except by this time I knew he was young (20 s), definitely lost, and had obviously been drinking. Still not ready to let him in, nor were we ready to call police... ....we gave him our own version of the 3rd degree through the window. It was cold out there...he could hardly speak properly because his teeth were chattering like crazy. We looked at each other again...and said in whispers... what the hell should we do? We can't let him freeze to death in our yard. It was about -8C.... Greg decided we should bring him in the house. So, we opened the door and told him he better come inside. By this time he was apologizing more and saying he better go and he was sorry for bothering us, but just stood there chattering and shivering. He looked pretty pathetic and we figured even if he got rough the two of us could put him on his butt in a again told him to come in. Finally we had to grab hold of an arm each and forcibly move him inside the house. He seemed unable to move forward. That worried me. He stood against the wall in the corner, head down, hands in pockets, shivering uncontrollably, almost unable to move so we decided to call an ambulance. I was wondering about concussion... but could have been just the cold. I grabbed a blanket from the closet, threw it on him and we tried to coax him further inside ...while Greg locked the door ...just in case. Could have been a major con or danger still...who knows... but didn't really seem likely at that point. He seemed to be in real trouble physically. We told them we suspected perhaps hypothermia...but his skin didn't feel cold... he was at least sort of coherent, answered some questions, but not enough so we could make head or tail of things. Maybe we were not asking the right questions, or maybe he had more alcohol in him than I first thought. It didn't matter at that point. He stood there a bit more ... handed me his wallet and then,tried to step out of his sneakers to leave them on the mat.... ... managed to get them off.... to walk further into the house... but still could hardly put one foot in front of the other for shivering.... awww, poor guy. That did it... no thief would be busy trying to be tidy. Not a thing in that wallet.. except some little blue card with a name on it.. I asked his name and he did say the same. No driver's license.. a few bucks...that was it. He said keep it ... like he felt obliged. By then I was feeling awful for making him stand outside for as long as he did. And, I still wanted to know where he had walked from or had somebody thrown him out of a car or what? We are in a subdivision that is horrible to find your way out of ... its like a labyrinth and you could definitely be in it forever. He said he had been walking around for hours... trying to figure out where he was. Said he had knocked on several doors and people told him to get off the property. He had been to a party.. somebody had hit him... maybe he had a slight concussion... who knows for sure. The address he was talking about (not sure if that is where he lives or the party or thought he was in)... was many miles away.... and we were not about to begin driving him around.

Long story a bit shorter.... ambulance showed up with 3 guys on board... he was in the kitchen by then...still shivering...but managed to stand and leave with them...and for the first time he managed to lift his head and look at me ... gave me a hug and said thank you...shook Greg's hand... we almost cried. The ambulance guys seemed to think we knew him or something strange.... they asked us several times. They did say it was the right thing to do calling them. Then, they sat outside with all the lights blazing for over half an hour...a police car with two other guys showed up and also an unmarked truck with two more officers. Geez.... how much wasted man power for a situation like that. Then after being in the back of the ambulance for all that time...the cops in the car managed to get him to their car and more sitting...another half hour...I listened through the window and they were still asking him if he knew which area of the city he was in. Not any further than we got... we knew his name, age and which city he had recently come from within 3 minutes. We know he is staying with an aunt.. we know he has a job, because he was at a company party... but he definitely doesn't know this city layout!! It was over an hour in all...and who could go back to sleep after that? Not me for sure. Greg got another hour's sleep and had to go to work. I am wondering how it all ended. We both decided we are glad we did what we could... we are not letting somebody freeze to death. I definitely would not want to read about it in tomorrow's newspaper and say I wish we had done something.

Oh, yes.... the EMS? didn't take their boots off, of had to wipe up a lot of melted snow and dirt on the floor and carpet... ..... of course, they can't be expected to do that .....but, just saying.... lol .....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Thanksgiving Cactus

Happy Thanksgiving Day to my blog buddies south of the border. Look what I "bloomed" for you in honour of the day. A Thanksgiving Cactus flower.

Uhm, okay...well, it is actually a Christmas Cactus.... but I have not a clue as to what to do with this plant to make it flower.

My sister has the green thumb....close to emerald it is so green. Two weeks ago, I looked at this little sprig of green (that I think I got last year about this time) and was going to ask her for explicit directions on what I should do to make it bloom for Christmas. She has several of them and it seems to me there are always dozens of blooms on them... all the time.... Well, whenever I go there...there are blooms.... so I imagine in my own head that she has blooms all the time....or at least, whenever she wants. She can make plants DO things....and with ease it seems...

But, then I promptly forgot that I was going to ask... that happens a lot these days.... so, a few days later when I noticed this...I was shocked.

Look...a tiny pink bud! ... then, another one... it happened so quickly. The first one bloomed and after 3 days of what I thought was probably even looks more beautiful; with tiny fibre optic looking stamens... or whatever they are ...til... now it looks like this. It chose this day to do the full bloom. The second one has not made much progress... and the tiny little pale buds on the ends of three of the other stems? well, those little guys may not make it. But, I will give it a bit of fertilizer and see what happens. Maybe some new buds will form.... who knows? perhaps by Christmas? ...a few more will sprout?

Friday, November 16, 2007

a rat in the kitchen....

... but such a cute rat!

Some of you may visit my food blog and some don't... and vice versa... so today ... same post, different blog for each of them. Not that the recipe is "to-die-for" ...although it is very tasty... but I think the situation is a fun one.

Have you seen Ratatouille yet? I love it; have watched it several times already. The wine in the glass moves like the real thing....... ..the looks on little Remy's face are priceless, his brother Emile is hilarious, .... maybe it is because I like to cook and know a few things about ingredients, herbs and recipes that it really strikes a chord...who knows . All I know is...I love it. And the thing of it is.... it definitely seems to have spurred me on this past few weeks. I have not done any bear or doll making at all... just having some fun in the kitchen.

::: aside to Judi...... I, did, however, find some parka material and some "liquid silver" fabric to use for my mermaid's tail!! }}}

Ratatouille is a common dish ... very common actually; it is a French peasant dish. Almost every cook book sports at least one and sometimes two different versions. None of them looked like the exquisite version served to the food critic in the movie. They all looked like a soup or stew and not all that appetizing to my eye.... although the ingredients were lovely veggies. But, you know how most veggies look after cooking... nyeh.... ...... and some of the recipes wanted them cooked for hours. Kept looking..... and found the original recipe used as the basis for the look of the dish in the movie. Printed in The New York Times of all places. However, it was one of those that seems pretty confusing and more than a bit time consuming. I decided to wing it and invent my own version making it look a bit more appetizing. Then, the other day, while blog hopping, I landed on the Smitten Kitchen ... and ....this! Okay...this is more like it. Simple, yet probably tastes just as great...looks very nice and the veggies still look like veggies. Copy, print, and cook.

I don't own a mandoline as she the cutting takes a bit of time...but the layering is the most time consuming it seems. And... because my zucchini and my eggplant were miles apart in size...I had to compensate a bit to make it look appealing. I used two little zucchini rounds for each layer.... and cut the whole eggplant in half to begin with and then in quarters for some of the layering especially around the curves. Yes, yes...a lot of fiddling..but for the first go round..I wanted to see if I could make it look similar to the original. I like my effort.... Greg loved my effort...and it disappeared in a single sitting.

Before baking

I served it over couscous with a few small chunks of Feta cheese sprinkled on top; a thick round of sourdough bread and lovely glass of Mouton Cadet.... who knows if it is recommended as a pairing for such a peasant dish .. lol ... but, after all, it is French as well... maybe the Baron wouldn't mind. All in all...a wonderful combination for us. I was happy about the couscous under our little layer of Ratatouille ... as the sauce is pretty flavourful and would have been almost too overpowering on its own. I still wouldn't mind trying some of the other ingredients called for in the original recipe and perhaps combining the two somehow.... ... hmmmm.......

The finished dish...over couscous...still maintaining some semblance of the original veggies even though they have been baked for 45 minutes. (sealed under parchment paper)

Check out this guy's recipe too if you are interested in other options...think I might like this one as well.

Monday, November 12, 2007

a toast.....

to our success ..... with the tub and tiles. Wheeeee !!

After not quite getting the grout right ... we spent a week of scrubbing .. even to the point of finally acid washing. Finally got the "bloom" or "efflorescence" or whatever it was off the surface of the grout. The colour is now uniform and almost the colour we expected ... we can live happily with it. I say "we", but, quite honestly it was not "I" that was upset with it. I just lump myself in with my favourite renovator (who is ultra picky) in order to try to keep us on an even keel. It was a whole week of struggling...but, today, we are happy but weary renovators.

Sink and toilet next....

Time for that drink.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a busy week..

Another one gone in a blur. Finally got the Doll Crafter mag and Judi's "northern" mermaid pattern in it... the next doll I really feel excited about making. I will be out and about this week looking for interesting parka material.

Gee, here I was, waiting for just the right time to begin showing things or talking about Christmas items, recipes etc... not wanting to be too early because of the girls from the U.S. that come to the blog. They still have to celebrate their Thanksgiving and I was sort of almost feeling sorry for them..having to do that so close to Christmas and thinking that they would not want to begin festive red and green til well after that day.. hahahahaha.. not them. they are doing it before me ! They seem to have jumped from Hallowe'en to Christmas... and somewhere in between it all ..they will toss in a huge Thanksgiving weekend meal and decorations as well... how do they do it? I am so glad we are done with our Thanksgiving early enough to have a breather between it and Christmas.

I found some pretty little ornaments, a gold plate, great little biscuit tin and two tiny sleighs ... perfect for a needle felted bear to sit in. Also the tiniest little gingerbread cookie cutters ... although Greg did mention that the little girl looked more like a tiny angel.

Got the tiles finished in the bathroom finally..
there was a lot of scrubbing and even use of acid wash to get rid of a slight "bloom" or some darn thing on the grout... but I think we now have the colour and finish "we" wanted. Note the use of we.....

Installation of sink and toilet next....and I, of course, will not be lifting either. I am just barely back to walking almost normally this week after the bathtub incident. Still another chiro appointment this week ...then a bit of massage and I should almost be 'good as new' .... and hopefully a bit more clever.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

is that onions I smell? perhaps a hint of Rosemary? ...

My sweetie came in smiling, asking what was for supper and looking almost ... guilty, or something. Then I noticed his hands.... well, it was more that I didn't notice them; because they were behind his back. I asked what he was hiding and of course, he said..."nothing". Yeh, right. As if. The usual.... bald faced.... to my face... but then... as usual, more grinning and an attempt to go downstairs almost backwards. Get back here! What do you have there? Did you, .. uhm, bring me something? Oh, alright.... yep, I did ...I stopped and got this! He whips out a DVD. Ratatouille came out today. Oh, goodie!! I have been waiting impatiently for this one! The trailers and pics of Remy the little rat had me totally interested.

I am worse than a kid. Love all the fun movies... most of which are made for kids. But, most of them are made for big kids too ... yes ... yes, they are. I won't even bother to defend how much fun I have watching them....over and over again.

Here is a mirror image of Remy .. in Linguini's hair ... that's it. Not giving any of it away.

Popcorn and Ratatouille..... it was great! Lots of fun stuff and I sniffled a bit in there too... I just get so caught up in the action.. let me see,,.... next it is Harry Potter, Pirates, the Bourne Ultimatum..oh, different league... lol.... lots of new movies coming out just in time for the festive season.

Friday, November 2, 2007

for a good cause and also for those who like pink

This beautiful bear is made by Jenny of Three O'clock Bears.

Please meet Hope.

Jenny is having a draw for this little girl in order to raise $2000 for Breast Cancer Care. If you would like a chance to own a bear made by a top notch bear artist and also to support a great cause .... email her to find out how to get your name in the draw ..... There will be only 200 tickets at $10.27 each and 100% of the money raised will go to this charity.

Her email