Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Day of the YEAR 2007

With snow falling softly outside....ok, softly, but sideways and tons of it, we sit around our livingroom and reflect on the year gone by. So many things to reflect on, and that's another good reason to blog. When your memory fails ya, you can always flip though your past blogs to see what actually went on in your life! Sadly, (I don't blog everything, and even sadder, I only remember the stuff I blogged!)

Stephanie, Sean and Angus, our guest from Ottawa, have taken the next leg of their trip and hopped the Digby/St.John Ferry to St. John and spent last night at Sean's house. Tonight, they hitch a ride to Fredsville with Sean's parents and will be home after supper to spend New Years in their apt... the one with NO INTERNET..... They overdosed on high speed wireless living at our house and it will be a major CRASH for them when they can only stare at the walls. Of course, if they play their cards write, my sister might deliver their gifts from me that were stored at her house, and one of them is a tv so they could actually watch a movie or play Wii. All depends how early they get in from St. John. As promised, a geek pic of 5 kids, 5 laptops flying!!Terry's 2 and Dad's 1, are there, just not manned!!!

I am now on the third day with my retainer. I am no longer gagging and my teeth are very excited. They get brushed about 4 times a day, and are moving around as I speak. I am talking pretty good but it is very obvious that my "lisp" will be the brunt of many jokes, since I have heard quite a few so far... sufferin' suckatash ... a saying I never say, has become the theme song for my new way of speaking. Should be very interesting when I am answering the phone at school!!!! The kids won't even notice, because I will join the ranks of half of them whom are all wearing "appliances" as well. After wearing braces for a year, and a retainer at night only (without any real side effects) this retainer wearing, 24/7 has shown me how much I "pop" things in my mouth and it could be the answer to my thick middle and thunder like thighs. I chuckle at the amount of times I "pop" the last little bit of what ever I am chopping into my mouth. Also, with Xmas season in full swing, and all the little bowls of chocolates (thanks Lynn, Kitty & Deb), homemade skor bars (thanks to Suzanne), Bits and Bites (thanks to Kelly), I can no longer "pop" anything in my mouth without serious complications!!! I think I could go on the Shopping Channel and sell that idea to millions. How to survive the Xmas Season and not have lift a finger of exercise!!! ~~~~Retainer"onna" ~~~

The death of a gingerbread house.
Well, the tree came down today.... it is usually something I do on New Years day, but today was a good day, as it was snowing so much outside anyway. The tree was stripped, dumped outside in a snowbank and everything put back where it belongs. Then I rearranged the decorations in their old storage space and pulled out some snowman stuff that I haven't seen in a while.
In all the gingerbread houses we have made in the past (not really that many) we have never thought to eat them. They are fun to make, and then look at and then we dump them. Scott, has enriched are lives in the Peters family on many levels, and eating our Gingerbread house is just another lesson we learned from him.

One last entry. You remember Sonny.... my deaf 18 year old cat. He's the one who picks a weird place to sleep and then adopts it for a month or so. His new spot... and its been his spot for about 3 weeks now... even through all the company.... is....... my bed. We have gone through the "sleeping on my pillow" phase for a while, then at my feet for another month long phase. I mean... morning noon and night... every time he needs a sleep (which is fairly often, now a days.)

sooooo, anyway, his new spot, is again, on my bed, but get this...... he wants to sleep beside me, but with no covers. He wants to be right by my ribs but if I put the covers up, he climbs onto my pillow and bugs me until I remove the covers. He sleeps a lot during the day, in the exact spot where I sleep, and then at night, he waits until I roll over and then makes his way on to the bed and demands that the covers be pulled back and he sleeps beside me. Its a REAL PAIN, but then he is very old, and soon to be gone and I don't have the heart to lock him out of my room (which is the only way he will leave me and my spot alone). I thought I better snap a picture of this spot, as I have a feeling it will be his last favorite spot :(

***** Happy New Year Everyone & I'll blog more next year***

Friday, December 28, 2007

Not a good season for BLOGS

It is incredibly hard to blog over the Xmas Season, for many reasons. First off, who's got the time.... secondly, too much stuff happenin' to blog about....thirdly, family who typically read my blogs to keep informed, are already here, or have been here and are up on all sorts of things... fourthly...ok, I can't think of a fourthly, but I did a minute ago, so it will come back to me.

Our first Xmas without our normal full house. Michelle was away with Scott in Winnipeg, and we have all done well to keep a positive twist on the whole idea of her not being home.... but enough of that. She is coming home today and I am happy to have her home!!! We missed her terribly during the mayhem of Xmas morning, and Xmas Eve during Midnight Mass. No giggles to be had, except the perfectly timed "raspberries" emitting from Agatha and Tim's little baby who obviously learned that amazing sound just that day and was revelling in it all during the very late mass. So, we will be seriously happy to have Mick home by midnight tonight. Even Dad has been extra cranky without his constant bickering partner to banter with!

Stephanie has been home for a week now and it is fun to have her home for so long. Truly, we don't usually get much more than a weekend at a time, so its lovely to have her back in her bedroom and comfortably perched on the sofa with laptop in lap. While home, she had taken advantage of her dad's wealth of computer resources and between the two of them, she had re-vamped her tired ole laptop, and it is running fairly smoothly and is a joyous thing for her. Sean, her mate, arrived on Boxing day, after he spent 4 days with his family in St. George. Late last night, an ole friend of Stephanie's arrived for a few days after a long 28 hours on the bus from Ottawa. He is also a computer geek, so it is quite humorous, yet somewhat normal, to see three of them perched on the couch with laptops loaded on laps. When Michelle and Scott arrive home this evening, we will have 5 kids who each own one, plus Terry's 2, and dad's laptop (which is really a big MP3 for listening to audio books). So, in total, our living room will play host to no less than 8 laptops. I will be downstairs where I have the old computer, my craft room, a TV and lots to work on.

Today is my first day I am wearing my brand new retainer. I have been without a retainer for 5 years or so, but all the money and time invested in my teeth have started to unravel this past year, andmy teeth are shifting back into their former state, and therefore, I am back into the retainer that doesn't quite fit. But with the help of my dentist, we have got it positioned well enough that over the next few weeks it should slide into place and sit comfortably for the next few months. Then, a permanent retainer will be cemented to my teeth in the back, to keep them from shifting around again. Meanwhile, my T, H, & S's are hilarious, and my eyes water instantly and I am on the constant verge of gagging. This will all calm down but today, we are heading to Halifax to visit with Terry's family before picking the kids up, and this will be a challenge when I starting gagging over every conversation!!!! The good part of all this is...I have to learn to listen more, and speak less, and NO SNACKING!!!!! no licking of the fingers either when you have turkey on them.... ugh.

So, whats a blog without pictures... actually highlights of the past week
Stephanie made this gingerbread house at her friend Sarah's place. Sarah's mom, made the cookie parts, and then Sarah invited some friends from University (9 girls in all) and they sat and drank marguritas and made houses until late. Then Stephanie managed to walk all the way home in the damn night, on icy roads and wisps of wet and wind. This is now our Xmas centerpiece on my buffet. How sweet!Mollie got a new scarf from Jill. Well, not new, better than new. It was Midnight's scarf and still smelled of Midnight. Mollie wore it proudly for a day, until Grampa got it off her and hid it. We found it the next day, and it smelled more like cinnamon than Midnight, since Grampa hid it in the super smelling pinecones in the basket on the table. So, we had to let it air out a bit before putting it back on Mollie. Sadly, the scarf is missing again, and we haven't quite found it yet. Its' amazing how resourceful a blind old man can be, when hidding something..... hee hee. Grampa claims he doesn't like the scarf on Mollie, but we think he just enjoys the hidding part.Terry's sister and family came up for Boxing Day from Halifax and Caliegh brought with her a fun game from Cranium. Terry is a "master" trunk packer, and this game challenges how fast and how many items you can pack in the back of an SUV... It was a hoot, and Caliegh won, which was even better!!!!

Terry built a lit tree for outside to rival the taj mahal from across the street. Its pretty cool, I must say, and the fun part is, there is no tree. Its a series of strings and the lights are wrapped around it!! Leave it to my wizard of invention to come up with this.Pika was overly excited to see the chickadee's come back to the feeder. He is used to sitting in the window and getting a birds eye view of them. But since he was outside when he noticed they were back, he decided to get a closer look himself. Didn't quite work out for him, as the activity at the feeder grinded to a halt when he showed up, and secondly, he had no clue how to get down. Terry had to go and get a ladder and rescue him. Too funny.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tis the season!!!

Sometimes I wish I could "audio" blog (I guess that is a podcast). I haven't sat down often over the past two weeks, but when I did, I didn't have much brain power to write it down.

What's happenin?
3 Christmas Concerts at school, two storms, mega shopping, baking, cooking and wrapping, kids coming home (during storms) and company coming and leaving in a blink.... and turkey dinner for 500. Oh, yeah, and normal day to day housework, dad care, dog & cat care and me care.

Our concerts this year were spectacular and fun. Our school population is about 500 and with each one of those children comes one or more parents, two or more sets of grandparents and a few siblings. Because our family circle is fairly large, our concerts have to have not much more than 150 to 200 in them so that we have enough room for our audience. This year, we had three separate and different concerts for three different age levels. The first two went off fairly well. With our Music Teacher and Gym teacher both brand new to the school (and one is brand new to Nova Scotia) it was stressful at times for them both to learn the ins and outs of how all the stuff happens around here, as well as teaching us the way they like to organize their concerts. It was a month of happenings and mishaps as far as sound systems, choir risers, programs, costumes, decorations, stage boxes and "entrance" timings. The third and last concert for our littlest and brand new children had a snow storm set back, but was rescheduled for today. With a dress rehearsal today which got all the fidgeting out of there system.. they were set to go. The audience of millions of parents arrived well in advance, and the doorways were filled to standing room only. The little 5 years olds marched in and up onto the risers with pride and purpose and were followed by the most confident 6 and 7 year olds I have ever seen. They were well prepared and eager to perform. One of the star "bakers" had a temporary melt down after the practice but a phone call to mom, a pep talk from Mrs. Howse and a reassuring hug from her twin sister and she was calm and eager for her afternoon of stardom. And they shone and bright at stars, with the entire audience in awe and well satisfied that they had attended the most spectacular Christmas Concert of all time. That's the way every parent should feel when their little treasures are done a performance.

Our school hosted the FIRST annual turkey dinner for all the students and staff of the school. Mrs. Clark cooked 10 large turkeys all week and near drove us all crazy with the smell. Parents changed the whole dining area around and made it into a beautiful dining room with the tables all set with juice, cookie and candy cane at every setting. The kids were amazing and excited to have lunch at tables with white table clothes, placemats and treats. The parent volunteers we had served every little child who wished a turkey dinner and the kids were well behaved and respectful of all the kids around them.
The community donated all the potatoes, veggies, juice boxes and candy canes. How wonderful are the local businesses around us. And the parent volunteers were here in droves and were an amazing help and proud to be here on our very first FREE turkey dinner. (we did accept free will offerings from those who chose to donate).

there will be more to blog.... but I have to go, as I have a potluck in 15 minutes..... stay tuned for birthday news, company who came and went in a flash, and kids home... decorating the tree.... wow......

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Joy, it is. What a glorious day to be home. I got all of Michelle's Xmas gifts wrapped and boxed and ready for mail off to Winnipeg maybe tomorrow. That is a big weight lifted off my mind!

I have a very large picture window in my livingroom and my cross the street neighbours usually have their entire house gingerbreaded in lights... you know, roof lines, wall edges, doors and windows... so my livingroom as a Gingerbread House view, all through Xmas. But they have sort of gotten away from that design and now have the Taj Mahal for the Snowglobe santa...Imagine...poor Leslie who has to look at orange lights!!!!

I have my first Xmas decoration up..... the JOY you see above. And I changed my flowers in my black vase to reflect a more appropriate winter scene... Red feathers... pine cones and pine bows. Apparently feathers are in this year. Hee hee

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Grampa

Another busy Saturday. I started getting organized with my Xmas cards. So far, I have all my homemade cards that I have been making each month with my card club, all laid out on the table, along with my address book. I thought I would take a picture of them in case I send them all away. Now I haven't send Xmas cards in about 3 years, so I need to compile a bunch of addresses of friends who have moved away and my aunts and cousins, etc. Next... I had church crafts to get ready. Advent started today, and our little group of 30 kids (all 6 and under) are making ornaments for the Jessie Tree. I have cut out 30 apple cores, 30 serpents, 30 Arcs (as in Noah's) and 30 tents (as in Abraham's) as well as hole punched them and tied strings for hanging to each one!!! (with Terry's help, mind you). Today, we sent up stations for the kids and they had a ball!!!. Most of Noah's Arcs were bright orange, yellow and Green, with very few of them brown!. The apple core was also a rainbow of various colors but the serpent was always green. Because I printed them on green paper. They had a blast hanging them on the bare tree. I will take a picture next week when it is a little fuller. Next week... Joseph's coat of many colors and a lamb covered in cotton balls...

It was my dad's birthday and he turned 78. What do you buy a man who needs or wants nothing. A CD of Celtic Women.. whom he has enjoyed on TV during the past week of channel 4's membership drive. We had a great day of many phone calls and birthday wishes and a small fruit cake for dessert. The most exciting part of Dec 1st, was that it was the first televised curling game of the season and we had to subscribe to the digital cable people to get the "Country Channel" . But lo & behold.... Curling in the "Large". Terry used his techno magic and set dad up on the Big Screen for the games this weekend. Almost like being there, but better!

My sister tells a story of Starbucks in her blog. So I thought I would relate my Starbucks story. For those of you who do not live in Canada, Starbucks is not a common coffee shop here. We are a hard and true Tim Hortons nation. but Starbucks in in the city, and in most Chapters book stores (again, no where near where I live). I rarely go to Starbucks.... but two weeks ago on my "Paula"aday, Paula insisted we go to Starbucks for a "Latte" break. Now, Pat is diabetic and I am lactose intolerant (quite a crew!!). So Paula and Pat had long discussions before we got there as to what Pat could get, because Starbucks accommodates almost everyone's limitations! I didn't want to be a stick in the mud, but I really don't drink latte's because they are more than 50% milk. I waited in line, trying to read their most confusing menu up above, and was amazed at how expensive a plain coffee was. So, the two girls ahead of me got eggnog lattes, non fat, no sugar (for Pat), and both got a grande (or a tall, I can't remember). When I got to the front of the line, I had no idea what to get, so I stood there like a dummy, and stared at the waitress. I truly wanted to fit in, but if I got a Latte, I would surely be sick before I even got home and I had another 6 hours of city shopping before the end of our special day. The young lady at the counter made a suggestion of a gingerbread Latte, and I whispered "I can't because I can't have milk" and she brightly said... "oh we have them Milk FREE". Well, that made my day... and I had my very FIRST Gingerbread Latte and it was delicious and hot and so much fun. So thanks Starbucks for accommodating even me.... the milk free girl!