Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

to all my bloggy buddies.... I'll have to see if I can get more organized or more enthused about blogging in the new year...

Got the little chicken in the oven...the spuds mashed and put in the 'fridge 'til later.... carrots and sprouts are simmering away... hope you are all having a nice dinner too.

It is a wintery white day out there ... -20C ... the birds are having fun with the suet and seed feeders... quite a lot of action and entertainment today.

best wishes to all...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

... a white Christmas..

.  ...   which of course, in Canada, would seem perfectly normal... but, our weather so far this 'winter', has been unseasonably warm and mild really.  It was totally green and crispy dry until a day or so of a skiff of snow happened... and, then, it melted.   But, last night plenty of the white stuff accumulated.  I shovelled for two full hours and still didn't get it all done.  Still the inside of a big patio to do and the sidewalk along the side of the house.  Yikes!! Somebody says we are going to have more today.  I'm not sure whether to cheer or say I'm sorry for hoping for a white Christmas.    Yaaayy..    yes, I know... motorists and people who hate shovelling will not like me much for cheering about that.  Heh, heh....

Somewhere in there is a heated bird bath and drinking bowl.... nowhere for them to perch to have  drink.  I fixed it though.... soon after realizing it.

They were a bit wary of the giant snow cone on top of the feeder too....

I love a white Christmas.  But, if is doesn't really snow til Christmas Eve and then... melts and is all gone about a week later...that's okay too.  I would even be cheerful about that.  But, usually around here we have plenty of snow from end of October til end of April.   Shovelling does become a the back, the arms, the legs and gut ..etc.  And, it does get piled so high it is tough to toss it on the piles after they are about 4 feet deep.   I'm spoiled this year.... so far.

Origami, some cute little mice and other fun stuff has been at least it is fun stuff that prevents much in the 'bloggy-sphere'...

I found some great gold and glittery paper this year .. there is glitter all over the floor and tables.  I
splurged on a $9.00 roll... it should last me til I'm at least 205 ....   even if Muriel helps me use it.  Still haven't found any of the perfect weight gold thread I used to be able to buy... I hate when they stop making perfect stuff.  Gold thread is just toooo darn thin.... and so difficult to work with  Plus... even the tiniest seed beads slip off the end...arrgghhh!!!  Good thing I am so patient...hahahahhahahahhahahahhahah  Anybody who knows me is laughing their heads off.... I have absolutely NO patience whatsoever.   Well, with some things... mostly people.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Donkey Sanctuary

Well, I got all the cards chosen and is quite a job really.  Getting just the right card for everybody.  I can't just grab any old card and toss on the address and send it.  Nope.  Doesn't work for me.

Each person is so different... each is perhaps going through something in his or her life and the inside sentiment is pretty important to their frame of mind.   Well, that's how I feel about it anyway.... and, so there is lots of uhm-ing and ahhr-ing while I sort through my selection of cards.  

And, may I offer my tip on how not to feel sick to your stomach when it comes to licking the envelopes? ...   Don't do it !!  Get a moist paper towel and run it over the glue instead  ...forget using your tongue..... some of that stuff tastes horrible !!  ICK....   of course, some of it doesn't stick anything down don't forget to have some tape handy.


This is also my annual plea to anybody who happens by my blog.  Please, if you can afford some small amount....  would you consider a donation to one of my two favourite charities?  The Primrose Donkey Sanctuary in Toronto, Canada.  

Sheila takes in so many donkeys in need... along with all sorts of other poor, unwanted and neglected animals.  She only has a small area and it is totally staffed with volunteers..   All the money goes to feeding and caring for the animals.  The hay, the vets, the farriers... last year they even had to ship hay from the neighbouring province as there was none to be had where they were due to rotten weather that had decimated the usual crops.  It takes a lot of money to keep going, but they do their best regardless of the situation it seems.

I just like to help ever since I learned of her little group and the good works they are doing there.   On my side bar there is a photo of Sheila and two of the wonderful donkeys.  Click on it to go to her site if you want to find out more about her and the sanctuary.   Amazing animals they are.  

I remember to send my cheque each year because I do it with my Christmas cards today.... some hay money is winging its way across the country to Sheila and her amazing team of volunteers.

Maybe you could send a card too.... and thank you so much if you do.


some of the photos Sheila has sent me over the years...   sometimes they find abused donkeys that are pregnant, and then, all of a sudden, they have two new mouths to feed. 

To see a short video of Sheila and lots of donkeys... click on the link below.  And, why I can't make the link wording change colour I haven't a clue !!  arrgghhh... but, click on it anyway, okay?

The Donkey Sanctuary.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I decided it's time to change my header to something Christmas-y... and to pretend I am still alive and kicking.

Definitely the kicking part....

Today is Christmas card day.  If I don't send some today ...they will never arrive on time.  ...  my cousin's card won't get there on time anyway.  Oh, well....he will understand.  The past 6 months of this year have been a bit of a write off.  Suffice to say ...I am looking forward to next year already even though I know full well one should never wish away any part of life.

Have made a few ornaments ..just for the fun of it.  My tree certainly doesn't need any more.  I'll give them all away now.  There are over a hundred origami ornies on it this year.  However, having said that.... you don't really notice that there are too many.  It is a 7 footer and plenty of room for all the ornaments ... it looks great if I do say so myself.  And, I do.

Have you heard of Cupcake Jemma ?  Seen her youtube video of mini gingerbread houses?  I want to make some ... they are soooo cute.   Maybe between Christmas and New Year I can give them a try.  Haven't a clue seeing as I have never attempted a gingerbread anything.... but, I do want to try.  Watch this space, as they say....

Off to have tea and a biscotti.... lots of cookies around...but I must do some that are not is like coffee for me.  Keeps me awake if I have them after noon..

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hedgehogs and hobby rooms....

Finally... beginning to see my desk and can actually get to it without having to leapfrog over rugs, furniture and cushions, etc...

We finished the ceilings in the basement ourselves ..just got the office done two days ago.  Now the computer has gone back down into the office.  Lots of other stuff has moved too.. yaaaayyyy!  Still more stuff and furniture to move yet.... but it's coming along.  Another few days and it should be more or less back to normal in there.  I can hardly wait.

Every so often I get to do a bit of drawing and drop on a bit of watercolour paint ... such fun taking Danielle Donaldson's classes.  Little drawings ... which is perfect ....  seeing as I have no space on the darn table yet...just enough for tiny pieces of watercolour paper and some paint.. oh, and of course, some paint brushes.  All I have is 2 square feet of space right now ...but, it's enough!

Whimsical animals this time around, and I am pretty darn proud of my little hedgehog... which is a totally copied Danielle version of a hedgehog... well, as close to hers as I managed to make him.

Are you ready for soooo cute?  I love my little guy!  What fun it is to see little faces come to life... almost as great as making little bears.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Still workin' .....

A few of the areas downstairs now have new suspended tile ceilings.... we've been busy after tearing off the finished drywall and changing it all over.  Most of it got ruined with the water damage from the burst R/O unit cartridge... along with the walls and baseboards and casings etc...but, we didn't re-do that ourselves this time.   We had just finished it at Christmas and didn't have it in us to do it all over ourselves yet again I guess.

The rest of the insurance claim "re-build" is finished now..  it's just us doing our own work with the ceilings ... Greg wanted to do them himself so he could move some lights and organize cables and wires for electronics on his own timetable.

Just the office left to do now.. and we can start hanging pictures and moving the last of the furniture back down there.   It'll be nice to have my front room back to normal...once again....

The hobby room is still over flowing with "stuff" that doesn't belong... it's hard to figure out where to put some of it now.  We sold our desk and office credenza when the water damage happened and we had to move furniture out of the downstairs.  Now... we have nowhere to put some things... time to purge even more I guess.

We spent Sunday purging and re-arranging the storage area downstairs .... it is kinda roomy in there now... ahahaha...oh, oh...  maybe I can put more stuff in it... I better not even think about it.  Just give some stuff away or send it to good will or something...

Wanna see our handiwork?
The landing before we got the tiles all in position..

Fire alarm and lights all done..tiles all in....

Entryway to exercise room...

Speaker and light together in one tile originally...but we moved and changed things....

Entryway now finished...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

has it been THAT long !!@?

Good grief!  I knew I had taken leave...but, maybe I also took leave of my senses.  Oh, alright, no chance of that..... don't have much sense anyway most days.

I've been dealing with chaos since April due to a burst R/O cartridge on our water purifier system which was under the kitchen sink.  It spewed out water for 3 hours while I was not at home.  Ruined our hardwood floor and all the work we did last year in the basement.  Huge $$$ amount involved...

Many of you know I am always in the thick of it with renovations anyway..but, this was different.  We had finally finished the last of the renos at Christmas and were enjoying a totally finished house for those few months...then, April... yeh, well, never say it's over and never say you're finished that's my advice.  Something or somebody heard us and decided we were not finished at all.

So, we have had to deal with insurance, trades people we don't know, and all sorts of hassles for the past few still isn't over, but almost.  I lost the last of the few marbles I ever had I'm sure.

I decided to try some stitching the other day while waiting for the car to be serviced..and, as usual, again, waiting all those hours for the phone call to say when to come back to collect it...

My eyes have gotten much worse and I was totally dismayed to discover I can hardly do tiny stitching even with my glasses on and a big magnifier on the table... but, persevered and did get a few stitches done.

Here are a few pics of the new little pin cushion I am starting.. the large flower is not my stitching, it is a piece of a pretty doily.  The bottom corner is a vintage hankie...

And, we just got home from visiting relatives in Prince George... some pretty roadside shots from the scenic drive home..

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My sweet little Northern Flicker

This little gal spent hours hanging onto the rocks on the sunny side of the house.  I was pretty worried by the time 4 hours passed and she had only moved a few rocks over.  Well, actually I was worried long before that ... but it was at least 4 hours til she flew off and went to the suet feeder and also got a drink of water at the heated water bowl.  I felt somewhat better then...

It looked like she was sleepy.. because her eyes kept closing.  There was definitely something not quite right with her though, because usually they fly off if I even move anywhere near the window.  This day, I was even able to remove the screen inside the window to get a better photo of her and she just hung there.  By then, I was not sure if I wanted to take her photo... because I felt it wasn't fair.  If they are injured or sick ... I always feel like that.  It is like having an unfair advantage over them and I feel bad about it.

Silly me I guess.  But, later, at dusk, when she did fly away to the nearby Poplar tree and then...on to the nearby golf course trees....I felt a bit better about her health.  She was back in the morning and only hung out on the house side for about 2 hours and then... hasn't been hanging onto it since.  Maybe she just had a headache from pecking something too hard,  or was sick for a few days or something....  I hope that's all it was.

Anyway....I did take several great photos of her and I wanted to post them today.

Here she is  ...  my beautiful little Northern Flicker girl.  Please do click to 'embiggen' and see her lovely face right up close and personal.  So gentle looking... and, I'm sure she sees me, but doesn't appear too concerned about me at all ..... maybe she knows I'm harmless.

If you'd like to see more birds.... head over to Stewart's blog, Paying Ready Attention.  Or, click on the badge below..

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Soft and Downy

Isn't she just?  Look, there are even lots of little feathers all around the base of her beak.  I don't know if those are what they term 'rictal bristles' or just some soft, downy feathers... either way I think they are cute.

This is a little lady Downy Woodpecker that comes to the suet cage for her favourite.  Peanut butter and bugs.  Suet cakes I buy at the bird feed shop.  They, and the Northern Flickers get on there and hang... literally ... sometimes it appears as though they are snoozing...but, sometimes, maybe they just refuse to get off and give anybody else a chance.

There is a "pecking order" too it seems.  If the little Downy is on there and a big ol' Northern Flicker shows up....well, the little one flies off for a bit.   But, she comes back... and so does her boyfriend... I've never seen it the other way around.  No Flickers leave if a little Downy shows up for grub.  Big Meanies.
Don't forget... click to make larger to see details if you like.

Waiting patiently for me to finish shovelling so she can come into the patio for her suet cage.  Not too nervous at all...unlike the big Flickers... who take off the instant I go out there.  They may be big meanies in the bird world...but, they are afraid of me.  Hah....

Here is one of the big Flickers...  all fluffed out so he looks even bigger.  It is -25C these days and they puff out their feathers to keep warm I guess.  And...below...... ...the little lady Downy so you can see the size difference.  Sorry they are a bit soft focus looking... almost fuzzy... they were taken with the venetian in the way...but, didn't want to scare them off so left it.

Linking up with Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday again... check them out by clicking on the photos below.

Friday, January 6, 2017

"A gentle expression"

That's the phrase the bird books uses when describing the look of Northern Flickers.  It's so true.  Look at this guy...or maybe it is two different guys ...I can't say for sure.
All I know is ...they hang out ...literally..on my suet cage.  We buy the 'peanut butter and bugs' one and they seem to love it.

Here he is on a cold day.. perched on top of the feeder pole in the sunlight.  Definitely looks like a gentle expression to me.

Hunkered down and all fluffed out on the top of the patio wall
.. still looking pretty gentle.  I wanted to say 'chill' or 'cool'...but, ..hahahha it is cold and snowy and those words seemed not quite right.  Somebody may have thought I was trying for a pun or something..

This is the type of weather we are having ...   it is still snowing, so I will definitely be out there again this afternoon putting in some more shovelling time.  Did over an hour earlier, so I don't think I'll bother with the treadmill today..or the weights... I have sidewalks, a patio and a double driveway to shovel... that'll be another good hour of exercise, so I can opt out today.  ...  maybe just some good stretches later.  Or.....not..........................

Check out lots of other great birds at this site.  Just click the badge...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Best Christmas present ever ...

A robot.  Yep.  IRobot Roomba.

You know when we were young and a vacuum cleaner as a gift was not what we had in mind? ....   Times have changed.

He works diligently let me tell you... and, he doesn't miss a spot.  Those legs under the beds?...especially the ones in the middle? ... he goes around them at least 3 or 4 times making darn sure there is no dust left lingering... what a treat.

The first time we asked him to do our bidding it was almost like having a new puppy.  We followed him around the house checking everywhere he was going... to make sure he wasn't getting into any mischief.  He is so clever... mapping out the areas; making sure he didn't miss any spots, etc..   When we tried out his services a second time he was even more organized.   After all, he had 'mapped' our house previously.  There is only ever a slight problem near the docking port... but, maybe a chair in too close proximity caused that.  We moved the port and will see what transpires next time.

It takes him about as long as it takes me to vacuum the whole house... but, hey..  I can let him get on with his job and I am free to do other things...I love it.!!  Of course, I will still be vacuuming...but,  if little Snoopy does his job once a week, I bet I can cut my own vacuuming down considerably...   he won't be able to open and close doors to get behind them..nor will he do steps .. so the human touch is still essential every so often.   But, the square footage I will actually have to do will be minimal if he does all the rest and does a good job.

After so many years of renovations and having to vacuum daily and sometimes many times a day...I will be so happy to have this little vacuuming buddy ... can't even say how much I love him already.  The main vacuum cleaner is also being replaced... we killed it with all the drywall dust we vacuumed over the years of the silly renovations.  Maybe next week I'll get my new one of those......... the shipment is stuck in eastern Canada.... snowstorms and whatnot... probably some Christmas delays as well.