Thursday, January 29, 2009

Projects.. projects..projectss

It has been quite a while since I have had a sewing project. I have had the luxury of a "craft" room for 20 years.. A place to call my own... I have storage shelves, cupboards, peg board with hooks, a TV and tall table for standing at. I have used my room for many things... but most recently I use it for scrapbooking, make church crafts and gift wrapping. I love love love sewing. But not really clothing.. I love sewing little gifts and stuff... but I haven't sewn in a while.

This past weekend, my sister and her hubby arrived from Fredericton with all her fun sewing stuff and we began a weekend of creating. Some things I can't show you, because its wedding secrets..but these are the colors and the fabric...hee heeWith white fabric we made 5 little dresses for some little people in the wedding party. Well, actually, not all of the dress. Just the bodices. We had planned on making the whole dress, but we were less than confident on the proper sizes, even with all the great measurements that people sent us... sooo, our solution was to make the bodices and then I am going to pop them into the mail to get them tried on....

My sister has this amazing sewing machine that does fancy embroidering and she made two very cute projects for Chantal little ones... (they are oat bags for warming their toes each night when the snuggle under the covers)

The machine does great sewing, but it take a lot of foolin around to get the pictures all designed, then transferred to the computer and then to the machine... once its there.. you need to sit and do all the color changes... but it it amazing to watch... I hope to work on some projects with my friends.. Debbie and Pat Casey... Debbie.. start thinking of little things you want to make and Pat.. I already know you will be looking at baby stuff.. for Dylan..!!!
I made a little design today for a overnight bag I am going to make for a young girl who is due for her new baby next week. I bought a few "orange" items to put in the bag which will be black. She can bring it to the hospital with her.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wedding nibbles...

Michelle and Scott have sent out invitations to their little flowergirls, junior bridesmaids, etc. My sister and I are making the dresses for the girls... so she is coming this weekend to get started on them.

These are simple dresses with sashes... perfect for a summer wedding. Gail will be here for 4 days and she is bringing her fancy smancy sewing machine for me to play with while she is away in the south... Carolina I think... for 6 weeks... So, Ann if you see my sister, say hi, to her.. ok!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A little mouse told me

Ever since our first snow fall this winter, I have noticed the strangest little trail on our side walk. Truly, every day... after we get a dusting of snow, there is evidence of a new trail, but in the exact same spot.. Last night during our snowstorm, Terry was out shovelling and the little trail appeared just minutes after he went by. If you look carefully at hte picture above, just pass Terry's foot prints you can see a little trail across the side walk. Below is a closer look. It is there after every snow fall, and its always in the same spot.
It starts and ends in the snowbanks with a little hole... tiny hole.. Terry figures its a mouse trail. They must have an undersnow path to go to the bird feeder, under the tree. I have seen little mice in the birdfeeder, I even have a picture.. somewhere... sooo cute.. really.
Just a note... since we have had so much cool activity in the birdfeeder, I have been looking on my computer for some of hte really neat birdfeeder pictures, but I can seem to find any. I am not sure if I just didn't take any, or I didn't save them... or they are there and I can't find them. But this has prompted both Terry and I to take more pics of the feeder guests. Terry snapped a pic of a big Blue Jay just taking flight... very cool!

I am so Proud.

His speech was more than I expected. It was filled with hope, common sense, pride and compassion. I am so proud of the USA for electing this man to be their leader. I feel that not only is this history in the making for electing a man of color to presidential office, but I feel that OBAMA is the light at the end of a very dark and violent tunnel. I feel the hope and relief from our USA neighbours. Congratulations

Monday, January 19, 2009

Turning 50, again... third time is a charm.

Well, its been a month since my birthday celebrations, and I have failed to write about my third and final birthday surprise. With all the Christmas activities, then January blahs, I just didn't get to it until today.. but, before I do, please let me recap.

A few days before my 50th birthday, I was surprised by my sister in law, Kelly, from Ottawa.. with a cake and her gift of a weekend visit. She left on Monday, but not before she came to visit me at school to see the BIG surprise that I faced there.. and when I arrived home I was again surprised .. .with a last minute .. "oh before I leave" gift from Kelly of 50 bras decorating my yard!!! The next day, being my actual birthday, I wasn't planning on any more surprises, since it had all be done the day BEFORE my birthday.... But that day was full of many surprises.. including flowers, gifts and a visit to my house by my decorating friend, MY SANDRA, from Moncton and a brand new convection oven, which you can read all about here....

So, after the events of the whole day... I was exhausted... done... no more.... I knew I had a curling pot luck that night and really didn't want to go, but it was our chance to exchange gifts with our team mates, as well as the annual tradition of a fun, cutthroat gift exchange with the whole group of lady curlers. Although, months ago, I was worried that this potluck was landing on my birthday, in the days coming up to it, I was relieved to know that Wendy had forgotten it was birthday, and she wasn't even curling this year. Debbie couldn't be there until later in the night due to an Christmas concert, and most of the ladies there didn't really even know me. So, I was looking forward to a fun evening where "I" was not the center of attention.

It was my turn to drive and I called Patsy to tell her I would pick her up. When I got there at her door, she wasn't ready... "give me 5 minutes" she says.. Well, we were late already and I hate being late.. so while she was upstairs, primping and pruning, I dragged all her stuff to the car.. food, gifts.. etc. FINALLY she runs out to the car and it was 7. It took 5 minutes to get to the club and when we got out of the car.. Patsy darts ahead while I drag all my stuff out of the car. Which, I thought was so weird, and now I understand... but I didn't at the time...

when I arrived into the curling club....LATE... I brought my dish of food right to the table and as I walked there.. the entire group of ladies sang to me... "happy birthday"... I enjoyed the singing, as I had all day... and graciously smiled and gave them a royal wave. I placed the food down, and spotted my team. I went over to them, and started to unpack my entire bag full of gifts and treats... Cricket mentioned that I had a lot of fun pictures.. and I thought she meant on my blog and I chuckled with her and went on unpacking.

Then... Wendy produces an entire ROYAL costume... with crown, cape and scepter... then she spins me around and shows me the display on the window....
Here is the one girl I didn't suspect.... Robin Bradshaw. My long time friend ... my bridesmaid from 27 years ago.. and the window was full of pictures from our days together as single girls... as well as a whole poster of pictures of me.. in many aspects of my life... thanks to Debbie. A huge banner was made... and a wonderful cake with me when I was 20... oh geesh.... How could I have thought I would get away with a 50th birthday without this whole crew planning something. Wendy lied, of course, about not knowing it was my birthday... Debbie truly wasn't there.. which was a shame.. because I know how much work went into the poster and cake.. and she truly did have a concert to attend. She arrived around 9... and we shared a few laughs at all the things that now made sense.! Patsy was late on purpose, so I would be the last one to arrive... Hazel provided the costume from her high school drama closet...

At the end of it all, I am left with the warmest sense of friendship and belonging. I totally know how much work all of these birthday events took. I know how busy everyone is at that time of the year, just a week or so before Christmas. Little things like dragging a huge chair to work in the back of a car, taking time to at night to climb ladders and decorate my office, rushing to work after tearing apart your house to find a costume, buy cakes and 50 candles, planning writing exercises in class in order to make a book for me, writing jokes, teaching kids songs for me, making time in a busy school day to drag your entire class to the office to sing and visit, blowing up balloons... flying from Ottawa, working half the night on a fancy Pea Cake, driving from Moncton and back!, putting together a poster of pictures that were not that easy to find, flowers, treats, ordering cakes, picking them up, making phone calls, rifling through costume closets, having banners made, digging up pictures from the past, putting together my royal curling orb, decorating, cooking, even buying cards... it all takes time, and its such a busy time of the year... I am truly honored and humbled by the lovely attention, be it silly or heartfelt... it all was sooo touching! I love all my family and friends... You all complete me!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh, January is such a difficult month

Really, if we were cavemen, we would be hibernating right now, I am sure of it. The desire to snuggle in bed with the covers right up to my nose has got to be a reflex from my caveman roots. The desire to stow a bag of chips under the covers, and a handful of red licorice, and the remote must come from some other root source, but it is equally strong.

When I read on facebook how people had "a great day skiing" or "an awesome 10 km run" I know they are LYING... they have to be.. .who has the energy for that. All my energy is reserved for being awake!!!! So today I put on facebook that I had lobster bisque for lunch with Chantal... actually I said it was made by Chantal... I was lying!!! hee hee.. but she did make tacos and shared them with me... yummmm . So thoughtful, and very yummy.. I think tomorrow, I will say that I had a great day climbing Mt. North after which we had a meal of BBQ Ontario Squirrel.

Just thought I would post a sunny bright picture of happy yellow flowers that I got from my kids on my Birthday. This is a lead in too..........I owe some attention to my dear friends who were the final players in my birthday trilogy... so tomorrow, I will post the final chapter to my 50th birthday celebration!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

woooowwww, he's big...

Our birdfeeder has been the source of much entertainment over the last 4 years... We have watched many a fat bird, chipmunk and squirrel chow down at it. We have had a little field mouse visit for a whole day, every 10 minutes, and a raccoon that came nightly for most of several summers.

It drives Pika and Mollie crazy, since it sits less than 2 feet from our livingroom window to give my dad good clear viewing from his favorite seat in the livingroom. Because dad's eye sight had failed over his last years, he could make out if it was a bird or a squirrel at the feeder,but that was about it. On occasion our little squirrel friends would sit up on top of the house so dad would get a clear look.
Imagine what Terry and I were thinking today when this big brute arrived to feast. We laughed at what Dad would have said. This guy is one of those squirrels that some how stowed away in a moving truck from Ontario. We have never seen these guys on the east coast until the last couple of years and never in our yard until this summer. He is 4 times the size of our regular visitors and Dad would have been able to count the whiskers on his face.. If you scroll up you can see he fills the entire tray from top to bottom of the feeder.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Egg Salad

On noon dismissal days at school, our staff take turns bringing in finger foods and dips at lunch for a quick nibble in between the time kids leave and the inservice starts..
This inservice that we almost had yesterday, I was in the group that was to provide finger foods. A bunch of us chatted on Tuesday about what each of us would bring, but I couldn't really decide on something but I knew I would have it solved by the evening.
Evening... curling.... sitting vegging... and blogging.... dah tah... evening over...

Morning..... getting ready for work... blissfully giddy about the pending storm .. and our noon dismissal which would zero out that school cancellation stress...

And then it hit me.... noon dismissal.... finger foods... oh geesh.. I begin to tear open all my cupboards looking for left over Christmas snack foods and dips, shrimp and stuff. Nothing, really. I gave most of my crackers to the kids to take back to school with them and I threw out all the dips that were left from Xmas.....less tempting for me...

Ok, sandwiches are finger foods... and I was 100% sure they were going to cancel school, so wouldn't a nice tray of sandwiches be tasty to all those teachers who would have long drives home once the kids went home. OK.... great idea. What kind??? I have 8 eggs.. good enough!
I boiled the eggs. In the 10 minutes they took to boil I got dressed, did hair, teeth, jewelry on, found socks, and once they were cooled.... smash smash smash the eggs... grabbed and sprinkled the onion powder, the dry mustard, the salt & pepper and a little parsley for color...
and as I lightly sprinkled the parsley, I thought... that doesn't look right. And the smell waifed up as I turned the container over to read the label. OREGANO!!
AHHHH.... so, I careful spoon out 99% of all the spices on the top of the eggs. And I start over. I have to be to work in 15 minutes and its a 10 minute drive away... I have to actually make the sandwiches now...
done.... 7 sandwiches, each cut in 4 triangles, put on my favorite fancy white plate, wrapped in saran wrapped and I was out the door... with 1 minute to spare... (ALL the lights were in my favor today)
The rest of the day was written about on yesterday's blog. But the day was so hectic that when I grabbed a triangle of egg salad sandwich after the kids went home, I had forgotten about the oregano until I tasted the sandwich... Whew... a little weird... but not as bad as it could have been. Apparently, I didn't get all the oregano out!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Weather...

When you don't know what to talk about... you always talk about the weather..

That is one of the funnest parts of winter. One time, a couple of years ago, on a day where there was a pending storm (something like today, actually) I conscientiously kept track of how many people I spoke to, either in person or by phone, and I kept track of how many of those people mentioned the weather. It sort of got funnier as the day went on, and the snow came down. After a morning of snowfall, and threatening freezing rain... I spoke to 41 people... can you guess how many brought up the weather.. unprompted. ... did you guess.....

31... that is 75%.......not sure what that means.. and why I did it, but it is fun to be aware of it.. while its happening.

Let me tell you about my day today... well, as usual, I have to give you a little history first.
On the rarest of occasions, school is cancelled during the day and we send kids home unexpectedly. The board gives us 2 hours notice usually, and in that time we need to contact each parent to let them know that there little 5 to 10 year olds are arriving home 3 hours early. This is not an easy feat. Each classroom usually has a phone tree created with all kinds of contact numbers on it for each parent. Then we have staff from the school call the top caller on each list to start the tree.. its a 2 hour marathon of phone calls, messages, worried kids, stressed parents and usually a raging snow storm going on outside... We have strings of parents driving in the crap weather to pick up their kids so they won't have to come home in big heavy safer buses!!! geesh.. ok.... that's the "norm" of these occasions..

TODAY.... pending snow storm, ice pellets, freezing rain mixture. Its been coming for 2 days. BUT, not suppose to hit our area until afternoon... OK, this is NOON CANCELLATION written all over it... On any other similar occasion, I get stressed.. ... I don't sleep... I pull the phone tree's out of the file, and line up staff members and give them the pep talk on what we have to do before it actually happens.. BUT NOT TODAY..... you know why..............Ha ha hahahahhhhhaaaa
We have a SCHEDULED noon dismissal all planned so we can do an inservice this afternoon. If the cancellation happened, we wouldn't have to call all those parents, and take and pass on a million messages to the children about where they should go instead. The lightness of my body today was almost boastful!! Oh, man, I think I even bragged last night at curling that I didn't have to worry about a noon cancellation because we were going home anyway!!
so.. Today..... the TIME is 10:20am.... the call comes in.. hee hee... I already knew it was going to happen.... cancellation... students will be released 2 hours earlier than normal... WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT.... 2 wait, is always 3 hours... 3 hours means noon..... 2 hours means 1:00pm. We stood in the office, just Stacy and I.... looking at each other. I think I felt someone bite me right in the butt.... it started to become clear... and then we called the Principal in to the picture... and we explained.
Our noon dismissal for the inservice had now been cancelled. The buses were needed for the other schools.. who were released before us... and we now had to have our students go home at 1:00pm. And guess what, not one student has a lunch. We were sending them home before lunch, and now, they are staying until after lunch. And some of these kids wouldn't get home until 2pm. And, 500 families are expecting their kids home for lunch, not an hour later... so what does this mean, ................WE MAKE ALL THOSE FLIPPIN PHONE CALLS ...and....we have to feed those kids. We have not cafeteria staff on today due to the dismissal... and we have no student supervisors on today either....AHHHHHHH

What did we do.... we had a blast, really. The phone calls began, and we as a group started a plan. Someone went to the grocery store, while someone else put large pots of water on the stove... We passed along messages to the teachers about the change in plans, and called as many staff who were at home (supervisors, etc) for the playground and cafeteria.
Then, we (not me, I was on phone detail, but our school staff) proceeded to prepare hot dogs on white bread, with ketchup for a "snack" for every child in the school. The kids thought it was truly a special day, to get a free hot dog lunch and extra long recess outside. After the kids ate, they got to play outside until the bell rang to go to the buses... The storm really didn't hit until well after all the kids had safely gotten home and we had plenty of time to call all the parents and if we couldn't reach them, it wasn't a big deal, since the parents were expecting them home for noon anyway.
All in all... I went to work stress free, and left stress free.... in between, there was some tense moments.. and a bit of panic, but once we all pulled together, it went off with out a hitch!!! and we didn't lose anyone.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back to Reality....

So many people have that on their MSN name, or in Facebook.. Truly.... yesterday signaled back to making lunches, early mornings, squeezing in time for groceries, friends, exercise... not in that order but pretty darn close!

I, for one, love routine, and although this was one of the most relaxing Christmases I have ever had, I do miss the routine and my body did too. Of course, now that I am back into it full steam, I am thinking... where is the BALANCE..

So... we have a wedding to plan for this year. Michelle & Scott are getting married in July. They have been engaged for over a year, and so far we have talked up some ideas, made some little plans, chose people to be in the wedding party, locations and colors... but up until now, its been... hurry up and wait... because there isn't a lot you can do that far ahead. But now its here... Jan 2009. We are 7 months away.

The really great part is that Michelle and Scott are allowing me to help with the planning, and the even better part is that I have a wonderful group of friends who are helping me. I have such a resourceful group of friends and family to lean on, that we don't have to go very far to find experts. I am so lucky to have the circle of friends that I do and you will be hearing about them a lot over the next 7 months.. My problem is that planning a fun wedding is so "bloggable" but I can't give away any secrets.. so I can't blog it...

I will have to get creative..... and I will...

A planning session... getting ideas... choosing paper.... colors.... ideas.... oh, Jill!!!!! You are so amazing!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day 1 of 2009

Its the ultimate in "beginnings". You know what I mean. Most of us, well, me especially, love to start things on Mondays, or on the first day of the month. I need to watch a movie from the very beginning (unlike my father, who was quite content to flip to a movie, 30 minutes into it, and watch the whole thing, ugh) I need a definite "starting" point.

January 1st... the ultimate in beginnings.. Maybe this is why New Years Resolutions are so popular with some folks. Michelle says she doesn't need New Year's resolutions, because she makes resolutions all year long... she decided.. she follows through... Nice way to be. I am not usually like that. Therefore... like I said before .. the ultimate...

Today, in our little village, we have snow.. and lots of it... Yesterday,... we had green.. bare ground. Bare trees and bare roads. We have been in Blizzard watch for the past 24 hours and we love blizzard watches, especially when we didn't have anywhere to go. Unfortunately, Jill & family couldn't come to our home for New Years eve family game night, because the weather was frightful. We did spend a fun evening though with the Walker family, playing a multitude of games and ate a multitude of snacks too. Madgabs was a blast but I am not sure who actually won... there was some scoring problems and some difference of opinions but I do think the girls were better at it!!!! Bananagrams... always a great game, and I think everyone had at least one win, but Debbie was definitely the most heckled opponent, due to the fact that she "split" the most, and won most of the games, as well.

Midnight came and went during a game of Dice... which was a battle between Ashley and Bryon but in the end, Terry snuck up from the ranks and WON.. booooooo... The Walkers braved the weather and walked home after all the games.. trudging through the snow and braving the winds.

Midnight, to me, marked the end of 2008, a year of lots of little "ups" and some pretty big "downs"... and it signaled the start of a better year. Even though we were in the throngs of a heated dice battle, the bells of the new year tingled in my heart.. warming me.. and bringing on a smile.

I have no resolutions... they are more like... "smarten ups" and "get back on tracks". Take better care of my self... more physical activity, more respect for pending ailments that linger in the shadows. Write more cards to a good listener....keep up with the laundry and dusting... ok, they get less important as the list grows.

I love January 1st, it just feels like a great beginning. Who knows what this year will bring. With graduations, wedding plans, and Stephanie's many exciting possibilities.. should be an interesting year..
oh, must share a rare moment.. kittens, sitting still.. together...