Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are you ready?

Usually, when I haven't blogged in a week, its because I don't have much to blog about. I am not a "I did this today" sort of blogger, I usually like to blog about things that are happening in my life. This past week has been a tough week on many levels and basically not stuff I want to blog about. Because I love blogging, I usually write my blogs in my head while things are going on, you know.. that's why I think to take pictures of weird things, or funny things... crafts, or events.
I have written a blog about this week so many times and it just doesn't come out right. So here is my take on things. This week, our family lost, yet another member. My second father in law, (my mother in law's common law hubby). Pudgy has been a part of my family for 24 years. On Monday, at the age of 56, he passed away suddenly, while waiting in line at the drug store to make some purchases. He was on his lunch hour from work, after having lunch with a few of his co-workers.
Shock vibrated through his friends and family for the first few days. I spent my time trying to remember what we talked about the last time I saw him. I wished I had hugged him good bye that day. But we did stand in the kitchen and laugh about something... which is just what I hoped we had done for our last conversation.
The rest of the week has been finding things... you know, at 56, your not really thinking your going to die. So your paperwork is sort of everywhere in the house. We had to collect all kinds of items from all kinds of locations. And actually, Pudgy kept very little paper work. He didn't keep old bills, or old income tax stuff...
For me, this is the 3rd memorial service in 10 months and the third father figure to die suddenly in our family. These sort of events start a person to think about how ready am I. When my dad died, he was very organized and had everything in a book, in a box, in his room. His banking was organized and his wishes were known. Terry's dad was also organized, and his wife Marie and he had talked about things since Frank had battled cancer the year before and this gave them a kick start to get things in order. This newest death is my kick start. "Pudgy" (nickname from childhood) wasn't ready, and who would be at 56. Besides thinking I need to enjoy life more, I also need to get papers organized and wills updated, etc.
My friend Linda gave me this list just a month ago, and its been hanging on my fridge ever since. I am typing it up for all of us to look at, and its a good thing for all of us to do. Dealing with death is hard enough, sudden or not. Having things already in the right spot is the nicest thing you can do for your family.

What you should have put in a binder
Your will - with executor selected and beneficiaries listed
Social Insurance Numbers
copies of birth certificates
RRSP, RESP, investment information
Life, home, car, medical and dental insurance
pension information
medical and dental providers
credit card information
line of credit
bank accounts
bills... Eastlink, Fuel, Mortgage, Car payments, phone service etc
Car registration copy
car bill of sale
Samples of Monthly bills
samples of monthly payments
Saving Bonds
Work phone numbers and contact names.
Information on your wishes upon death (bury or cremate)
Donor card or not

Thanks to Don Rawding for this information (via Linda). I have started a new will and have talked to my kids about what they want, etc. They laugh it off, but I have a renewed drive to write things down. If I make my kids lives easier at the time of my death, I will thank my dad for inspiration and Pudgy for the kick in the pants to actually get it done!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The real thing...

pretty cool. Not my photo.. but I thought it was fun... and now Chantal can't complain about Peekaboo Lady bugs!
oh wait... oh oh.. ladybugs anyway!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ladybug peek a boo

The front garden, which I call my sunny garden, is not only covered in snow, but its been covered all winter with the snow from the sidewalks and the driveway, making it even thicker with snow. I love when I walk down my side walk and I see some of my little ladybug friends peering out from under the snow, as the snow melts away. There are patches of green grass under the big pine tree and the south side of the house is completely free of snow! Some of my little ladybugs are braver than others. Some would rather hide under the foliage until it truly is spring but if you look at my Iris patch. I do see some green trying to make a statement!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

International Shopping, right here at Sobeys

I zipped to the grocery store yesterday to pick up some stuff to do some baking and I was tempted by the yummy looking fruit and veggies that make me think of summer. When I think of summer and warmth I think of Paula right now, on her warm sandy beach in Mexico. Then when I reached to pick a few very beautiful tomatoes, I read the label and voila... they were from Mexico.

When I unpacked my grocery bag when I got home I had quite the international fair.
Black Grapes from Chili, Lemons from Florida, Pears and Strawberries from Florida too, and Cantolope from Guatamala. Local fair.... An English Cuke from Den Hanns.. just 10 km down the road!
In the pic you can see my shopping bag. Its a reusable grocery bag from "ENVIROSAX" and I bought it at Christmas as well as a few extras for some friends. They roll up quite small and fit nicely in the corner of your purse. I use mine every day, and I will buy at least one more the next time I get to go into the city and am near the kitchen store that stocks them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


My day started yesterday with a quick blog about how exciting it is to be on March Break. I had no plans for Monday, and after blogging I started my list of "clean out fridge, vacuum everywhere, laundry, exercise...". Just as I started to sort laundry, the phone rings and its my old friend, Heather GR and she is itching to go to Frenchies in Digby.... can I go...

She arrived at 10:30 to pick me up and off we went.. chatting all the way, catching up on a years' worth of news. Imagine, a whole year since we've seen each other. The hours' trip to Digby zipped by and we arrived at the Big Frenchies. I didn't take a picture inside Frenchies, cause I thought the 100 people in there might freak.... and there are only a few of my blog followers who have never been in a Frenchies. Pretty overwhelming exercise in bin surfing. Heather and I sorted each bin we were interested in, one on each side of the big bins. And even more chatting while we carefully sifted through tee shirts, blouses, pants, pajamas, jackets, sweaters and even the shoes. After paying for my bag full of goodies, we headed off for some lunch at the Dockside Restaurant. This was our view while we enjoyed Fish and Chips and even more chatting!

We went off to the second Frenchies in Digby and then down the road to Weymouth to "Jackies" which Heather had never been too. The second Frenchies in Digby was more junk bins than clothes and we found nothing worth sorting through but Jackies was a great discovery and we sorted through the smaller but fuller bins and we both came away with another bag full.
I spent $60 for the day(not including lunch) and came away with lots of good finds. I tend to buy things though at Frenchies that I end up never wearing, so I was very careful today to only take home things that I will wear.

Some of my finds... grey dresspants, brown capris, black jogging pants, 5 sleeveless collared shirts for the summer, 2 collared golf shirts (with sleeves) a winter sweater, a pink tee shirt, 2 long sleeved winter shirts, Red fleece jacket and a white blouse. Some brand names I found was Dressbarn, American Eagle, Jones of New York, Gap, Old Navy, Eddie Bauer and others that I have never heard of.

We got home at 5:30 and I was exhausted. I do think I am battling something like a cold or flu, as I have been tired for over a week. But I think the combination of 3 hours in the car, 3 hours of sorting clothes and a "way too big Meal", did me in, and I fell asleep before House was over and I didn't get to see the end.... Is it true... did the cat predict her death right?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Its March Break

Here I sit. So far my day has been normal. I got up at the regular time cause Terry has to work while I am off on March Break. I have my shower, do my morning routine, you know, all the creams that make us not so sandpaper like, and the hair products that fluff up the hair... then I drag myself to my cup of coffee that Terry has waiting for me by my laptop. I check my email, check my facebook, and scan for new blogs while I enjoy my coffee. Here I sit. Right now, it has just reverberated in my mind and body. I don't have to get up and make my lunch, get dressed, tidy the kitchen and buzz out of the door at 7:30ish. I am off for a whole week. It has only felt like March Break right this very minute. The weekend was the weekend. This is MONDAY... and I don't have to go to work.... awwwww.. wow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mollie's Limp

Last summer, first week of July, we had Mollie out to Margaretsville, along with our Ottawa family. As you can see, Mollie loves to dive into the water to fetch sticks but on this particular day, after just a few minutes of chasing, she developed a painful looking limp. The call of the water was so powerful that she ignored her ailment and continued chasing sticks, rocks, ropes.. anything.. until she couldn't walk anymore. We sat on a log and made her stay away from the water for a bit to give her booboo a break and then we headed back up to the car with Terry blocking her from going back in the water. From this day forward, she limped. The front leg, on the left hand side. We babied it for a month and when it wouldn't go away, we took her to the vet. Not just any vet, but "Jill's" sister, the vet. She pulled, twisted, bent and examined her leg. There was a profound limp, but Sarah couldn't quite pinpoint the trouble. What she did do though was give us that "vet" look, and the "talk" ... Mollie needed to lose weight. She also has arthritis and advised us on some great powder to add to her food. Great.. I thought... my dog is getting old. All of a sudden, we started treated her like an old dog. Helping her into the car, limiting her walks (as the limp was getting worse). We started to call her "an old dog".
Thankfully, after a month of this magic powder, she seemed to be less stiff and jumped up on her window bench with ease, and she sprinted easily across the yard to catch a ball, or chance a critter. But alas, her limp continued, and if she walked for any more than 5 minutes, she limped worse. The next big challenge for Mollie was that we needed to get some weight off her, and maybe that would help the limp.

No treats..... special diet doggie food. Walks were tough.... she limped so bad that it just wasn't worth the walking. Poor thing. She got one 20 minute walk each night, and then she rested all night and her limp would be not too bad. By October she lost 4 lbs... she went from 74 lbs to 70. That is amazing. I couldn't do that and I am over twice her weight...

November and December were successful too and by January she weighed 68 lbs. Our goal was a 10 lb loss so she was over halfway. Of course that 2 lb loss also included a grooming that probably saw her lose a half a pound of dog hair. With the weight loss, we hoped to see an improvement in the limp but it seemed to get worse.

The end of January came along with her second visit to the groomer. She loves the groomer because she gives her non stop treats and I wonder now if she shakes as badly with the groomer as she did yesterday at the vet to get her nails clipped. Well, anyway, off to the groomer she went and when she got home she looked stunning. Sleek and shiny, thin and young (except for the touch of grey on her face). e pranced around like she was a puppy and it was so fun to see her with all the energy. That powder is pretty awesome, I must say.

The next day, after I came home from work, she sauntered out the door to greet me and I noticed her limp was not very noticeable. And when Terry came home, I let her out and watched her run to Terry's car, and again, not much of a limp. We chuckled about the groomer maybe gave her a doggie massage to help her leg, but by that night, her walk showed that she had virtually no limp at all. The same the next day....no limp and for each day since than.. almost 5 weeks ago... she has NO LIMP.

Its our conclusion that the fateful day on the beach, she may have got something sharp jammed up in her nail, and it took two good nail clippings to get rid of it. What else could have cure that limp so suddenly...

We will be very careful from now on, when we take her to a beach!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Usually, once a week or so, we have leftovers for supper. I am sure all families on our continent have leftovers every once and a while.

Well.. this blog will be a "leftover" blog... you know, full of things that are little bits of stuff that aren't enough for a whole blog but bloggable, just the same....

On the mundane side... Terry and I are going to Whiten our teeth...... and this is why I am writing about it. I noticed the other day that I am looking fairly sallow, you know, no sun for like 5 months. My teeth look darker than my skin. When I mentioned this fact to Terry, he just rolled his eyes at me... cause, you know your damned if you don't agree, and your damned if you do agree. And just because he rolled his eyes, I decided to buy the whitening kit and drag Terry into the game as well. Off to the drug store I went, and I scanned the few kits available. There were cheap ones, mediumly expensive ones and ULTRA expensive ones. I know the cheaper " store brand "ones don't really work well, because I was advised of this by a friend who fell into buying the "Cheap" one and it was a waste of her money. In sharing that info with me, it saved me losing $24. I read all the boxes, comparing what the low, medium and expensive whiteners did, and didn't do, and I decided to go with the "medium" priced one... the "PRO" level, which was $10 cheaper than the "ULTRA" kind. Now, on this same shopping trip to the drug store, I browsed for a moisturizer to use. I felt it was time to look into wrinkle prevention (I guess I had a particularly bad week with my sallow wrinkled skin and yellow teeth!) and anyone who lives local to me... knows, the sweet little lady at the cosmetic counter at Shoppers always says hello to you when you walk in the door. I always say hi back and then go the other way.. but today, I intended on using her knowledge to help me buy a new cream. She gave me the whole sales pitch of several brands and I chose one and she held onto it while I went looking for my teeth whitening kit. After painstakingly making my choice, I took it to the cosmetic counter and she started to ring me in when she said... "oh wait one second"... and off she went. She was gone a minute and came back with the "ULTRA" box of whitener in a bigger package with little packages all around. She said, this is a much better deal and you get all of this.!!!! And she was right. I got the Ultra whitener kit, plus vivid whitening tooth paste, and "night" vivid toothpaste and it was just $4 more than the medium one. I should have just asked her in the first place. So, we start tonight... this time next week, we will have sparkly teeth and maybe I will have no wrinkles left, either!

On the "ewwww" front......We stopped off at the vets' today to pick up some dog food, and we brought Mollie to get weighted and get her nails clipped. Ever since we got the hardwood floors, we notice that if her nails are too long, she slips and slids all over the place, so we are trying to keep her nails clipped close. Of course, we usually get them done by the groomer, but she doesn't have a grooming appt coming up, and her nails are just too long. When we got there, Mollie was elated to have had a car ride and was excited to enter this fun place, until she actually stepped in the door. Once she got a whiff of where she really was, she did an immediate 180 and tried to get back out! We took her into the technician's room and Terry hoisted her up onto the table and the young lady didn't waste a minute but got right down to business. Mollie began vibrating with fear and Terry stood at one end trying to calm her and I at the other end. The girl worked quickly, knowing Mollie's fear but during her clipping, she asked if I had ever tried to clip Mollie myself. I explained my unsuccessful attempt once, and she told me how easy it was to do, and began to show me how to flip her foot back like you are shoeing a horse. She parted Mollie's abundant foot hair and showed me what to look for and so on. I was just starting to think that maybe I could do this when "CLIP".... she clipped too close and our 65 pound puppy jumped straight up in the air and practically landed in my arms. When I looked down on the table there was a toonie size puddle of blood and the tech worked very quickly to put pressure on her nail as she reached for a cauterizing stick and cauterized the nip. Meanwhile Mollie was like a kid with ants in her pants and wiggled up on top of my shoulders. Our nail clipper had the bleeding stopped within 30 seconds but Mollie wasn't having anymore of her fooling around with her toes. Thankfully, it was the last nail to be clipped and she leaped to freedom and made a beeline to the door once we let her out of the torture room. I think I will pass on clipping her nails myself!

an exercise side note....
I learned about this really cool idea last week on the Uncluttered website (you will find in my favorite blogs list). I actually forget what the article was about , but it lead to a link to a website called Yoga Download.com that will allow you to download for free, these 20 minute Yoga workouts for your iPod. Also, there is a Pdf document that you download at the same time that you can follow while your listening to the instruction guide you through these workouts. Very cool stuff and I have downloaded two of them. One looks a bit too hard for me, quite yet, but the other is very cool and I will try it tomorrow morning.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hamburger, anyone?

I love the show "America's Test Kitchen". I subscribe to the website as well as the "Cook's Illustrated" magazine which is a supplement magazine with mostly all the same recipes as the TV show and some really interesting comparisons (food as well as appliances).

I just got my magazine yesterday, and read it cover to cover last night before bed. It has 31 pages, no ads to bulk it up, no color, large smooth pages that lay flat. I really enjoyed it and wanted to share this fun little hint for freezing hamburger. I hope the magazine doesn't mind.

Quick Tip -

Easier Meat Defrosting

Freezing a large portion of ground meat is problematic when it comes time to cook and you only need to use a small quantity. Jane Wright of Weston, Conn., solves this problem by transferring the ground meat to a large zipper lock bag. Using her fingers, she presses through the bag to divide the mass into 4 equal portions, and they places the bag flat in the freezer. When its time to cook, she simply breaks off the amount of meat she needs.

Superstore has hamburger on sale this week... Extra lean ground beef....... bought some tonight, just so I can try this!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Some little tidbits of what we had to do to make the invites!

We laughed an awful lot while making these invitations. Michelle and two of her bridesmaids, Ashley, our birthday girl, and Lyndsey (who is getting married 2 weeks after Michelle) learned a lot from a room full of Moms. Sometimes they laughed with us and other times, I am sure, they laughed at us! It was incredible how much work got done even though each card had no less than 9 parts to it, and several "actions" such as gluing and stamping. 100 completed invitations in just over 2 hours.

We have one more work evening, and that is to decorate the envelopes. They come in this week so I am hoping to spend an evening stamping and rolling those before I put them in the mail to Michelle.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let the work begin!

We started with plain cardstock and tons of it. Everyone pitched in and started creating under Jill's direction. She referred to her cryptic sheets of math equations and then directed and guided and sometimes taught us what to do next.


Jill taught, the girls stamped

Linda punched...Jacquie chopped... Michelle snipped......

Debbie scored... Cricket folded...Pattianne sliced........
we chatted and giggled and the girls got silly. Pat and Cricket got silly!!!!
It was great to catch up with old friends we don't get to see much of and it was great to have the young girls, the boys and the mothers all working together.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Getting ready

Scott and Michelle have had a busy week finalizing all the details. Its important to know when, where, and who.. and all that before they print off the official details for the invitation.

The meetings with clergy, with facility managers, emails with caterer, suit rentals, three trips to the city for many reasons, and only some were wedding related!

Scott put the final touches on the invites before they were squeezed onto one documents with some rotating and repositioning. Then printed on nice shiny paper. Done.

Lunch was planned out and everyone claimed a dish to make and the kitchen became a behive of activity. Scott's new found talent for piping (not bagpiping!) and his love of deviled eggs led him to claim that dish. Terry made the soup... and Michelle had her own plans.

Scott had a chef's assistant during his turn in the kitchen.

One of our team for Saturday was one of her oldest and dearest friends' birthday. What a perfect event to surprise Ashley with a special cake. Michelle's love of baking along with her talent for cake building allowed Michelle to create an adorable birthday gift cake for Ash.

Happy 22nd Birthday Ashley!