Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just Checking In

When I go through extended lengths of time without blogging, several things happen. First off, I panic a little. Why.?.. don't know. Second, I lose my desire to blog..... why?... don't know. Thirdly, I get overwhelmed at how far behind I am in blogging... and I freeze up. All that said, I am blogging today, so none of that happens!

Its been a slow week. Nothing exciting in my life... and regular life is a little too simple to blog about. But, then again, maybe not. Here's the week....

My Tuesday night Curling was cancelled due to flu issues on the team, and no spares available. In some sort of sick way, I was totally excited to be home unexpectedly on a Tuesday night. What did I do on my bonus night home..... put on my PJ's and did NOTHING. How is that for a waste of a bonus night! Wednesday night was curling as well, so I did get a game in this week. Terry skipped the game which was a first for me.. and I harassed him all night. Of course, that was no different than any other night, I usually harass my skip, but it's usually Mr. Doug, my regular skip, and he is so deadpan serious, that I work very hard every night to get a slight grin or eye roll from him!!! Its my nightly goal! Terry was easier to harass, he is so used to it.. and, sadly, he gives it right back!

School was somewhat uneventful, with no broken bones (we had a broken nose, last week). The flu is in the community but our school has been relatively un scathed so far. Speaking of the flu, I am not sure, but I believe I have a touch of the flu but not a puky kind. I actually left work on Friday afternoon, to go home and sleep. My night and early morning was fitful with many visits to the bathroom, and long periods of no sleep. Friday, at work, I felt like I was walking on thin ice, in the morning, and finally gave in and left after the busy lunch hour was over.
My Friday evening was fitful as well, with stomach pains but not nausea. More like I did hundreds of sit ups. But The Scotties was on (Women's Curling) and so there was always something on TV and I rested most of Saturday. I really am not 100% now, but way better than Friday.. so if that was the flu I had to get, I am grateful it was minor.

My newest project ... building a "leftover" rag quilt. I made Sean a rag quilt for Xmas made of all the funky flannel plaids that our fabric store had. ( I didn't take one picture, not one, can you believe it). I cut ever inch of the fabric into blocks, both 8 inch and 6 inch, to use every scrap.
After I finished Sean's gift, I had about 30 squares left over. So, this weekend I started using them up. I have to figure out how to incorporate the 6 inch blocks into the 8 inch blocks.

The little square are at the bottom of the picture, and shuffled along the top of the squares. I think if I sew 8 little ones together, they will be the same length as 6 big ones... who knows. I will try it this afternoon. I will post a finished picture of my leftover rag quilt!

And now, as Reba cleans my house, I am off to church to make door hangers with a nice little "Thank You" poem on it with the kids at church.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I taught them everything they know!

My mother was extremely creative. She had the energy of 10 people and the ability to make or do anything. She included my sister and I in her projects from a very young age. We were sewing buttons and snaps on barbie clothes before we were 10, and we both could use a sewing machine before that time. Ironically, it was my sister who taught me to actually sew from a pattern, when I was 17. I made jumpers and dresses for her 18 month old daughter, Patience. It was also my sister who taught me to make knotted blankets using flannel and binding when I was early 20's, and she taught me to make real life quilts when I was in my thirties.
My mom was a master sewer (often designing her own gowns) and crocheter, she painted and a couple of years before she died, she started quilting. My sister was a quilter at that point, and she was an inspiration to my mom. The one thing my mom didn't do, mostly because she didn't read a pattern well, was knit. She knit little projects like miniature mitts and booties. But I don't remember much else. She never taught either of us to knit. My mother in law and Terry taught me to knit when I was in my twenties. But, I never really enjoyed it. I have made some energetic attempts at afghans and sweaters but they always ended in miserable disaster.
Imagine my surprise when Stephanie picked up knitting needles in her late teens and began knitting. I think Terry's mom might have taught her, or I may have showed her the basics but from there, she developed a love for knitting and a drive for challenging projects. Then, Michelle decided she wanted to make mitts for her friends for Xmas one year, and she learned to knit a week before Christmas. It wasn't pretty, actually... I sort of taught her, painfully so, since I am left handed and a terrible knitter, but.. she worked at it and produced a couple of pair of sad looking mitts for her friends. She never stopped knitting, she plugged away, and mastered making mitts and expanded from there...

I would like to share my projects... and theirs. This is what I started at Christmas for the fun of it... yes, its a dishcloth. You will see that the ball of yarn is a mess, because I tore out a mistake that was so bad, I couldn't continue.. yes, on a dishcloth!
This is the project I started last March Break. The wool sitting next to my sock is what is needed to do the second sock. Except, I can't start the second sock until I get the toe grafted on the first sock. Can't do that myself!!!!

Now, this is a few projects belonging to my kids.... A funky mitt, that has another mitt attached to it.. for hand holding... Michelle did this out of her head, because she saw one somewhere..

Stephanie has been working on this particular lace shawl for a while. Yes, this is knitted. Geesh... its 5 feet, 4 inches long. 3 feet wide!!!

A lacy sweater that Stephanie made last year in Korea for chilly winter days...

A funky sweater shawl that Michelle made (and has made a second one since)

A few more fun projects of Stephanie's

A few fun little projects of Michelles' (since Christmas, no less)

I am both amazed by and proud of their natural ability and their love of knitting.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Not so thrilling any more...... Shovelling

That is what this picture says to me... enough is enough.But what you don't see, is that he is on our roof. That is a lot of snow and a big job.
Nuff said.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Staff Appreciation Week

I have worked at the same location for almost 20 years. I work with a diverse and varied staff. We are predominately women, but the men who work with us are a perfect fit for a mostly woman staff. Their sense of humor, keen understanding of women and their respect make them a perfect addition to our staff. All the people I work with are first and foremost nurturers.. They are working in this environment by choice. All of my staff planned their lives around this outcome. To work with children.... first to teach them the basic educational needs.. writing, reading and about our world. But it doesn't end there.. they give themselves to all of the children in their charge, be it in the classroom, one on one, on the playground. The people I work with think, plan, organize and live their lives around what their students need. I work with Teachers, Educational Assistants, Administration, cafeteria staff and building caretakers.

Our staff care about every one of them. I see little things every day... simple actions, statements and interactions showing me how much we all care about each other and our charges. I am the luckiest person in the world to be surrounded by these people through the good times and the bad.

This week is Staff Appreciation week and I can't even begin to share how much I appreciate the people I work with each day... past and present included.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's the little things that say "I Love You"

About once a month, Kay and I get together at her house to plan the whole month of crafts for Children's Liturgy. This gives me a month ahead to search for clipart, find paper colors, create drawings, print them, cut them out, find and copy coloring or activity sheets.

Sounds all good... but do I do that? Nope, not usually. Usually, I am scrambling each week, starting off with good intentions but usually I am scrapping things together on Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday morning. There isn't a weekend that goes by that Terry doesn't ask
"what are we cutting this weekend?".

So when I say its the little things that say "I love you"... its this. Terry cuts the millions of little parts to my projects each week for the past 18 or so years, and this weekend was no different. The day before Valentines Day, our craft for the kids was heart related. We started with a big heart, which Kay cut out.. and she added a string that hangs down in the middle.
In the center of the heart, hanging from the string is a bigger red heart that says God Shows us Love, pass it on. Then we had to glue the millions of little hearts all around the outside of the heart, with the names of people we pass love on to. You know~~Mother, Father, Sister Brother, neighbours, friends, Grandparents.. etc.
Terry cut out all those hearts.... but with a heart punch. This is a vast improvement from the ole days when we didn't have a heart punch!Our day starts off with Kay reading two readings while the kids stand and listen. She walks around the center of the circle, usually holding the hand of Gwen who feels that this is what Kay is suppose to do each week. Months ago, before (under 3 year old) Gwen knew the routine, Kay held her hand to stop her from running around the room, or touching the candle in the center of the table. Now, its part of the whole routine... Gwen automatically stands up and walks around with kay. Its so adorable each week.After the readings, a couple of questions, a little pep talk and some how to instructions, the kids head off to their work stations (brown paper on the floor) and they begin to create...

Not one creation is the same as the next guy, and there is usually enough glue or tape on a project that is pretty obvious to the receiving parents that they get very little creative stifling!

We line up just before going back into church, sing a quick round of Skidamarink and off we go to show off our beautiful artwork and they are hopefully filled with some positive spirit!
Without Terry's unending patience and dedication to my Church craft each week... each Sunday would be filled with square things to glue... or coloring sheets only. Thanks to my guy who tells me he loves me... each Sunday morning..... snip snip snip!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Boys Weekend-Surprise!

I would like to blame it on the lack of sun, the lack of warmth, too much snow, or maybe some sort of illness.... but.... nope... just laziness, really.
Last Wednesday, we had a snow day... one of those beautiful, cold sunny days that also had treacherous roads.. and therefore warranted a Storm Day decision. In honour of the beautiful but treacherous day... I decided I was taking the day.. and stay home. After setting my 6:00AM "Storm Day" message on the school answering machine.. and calling my co-worker who has no radio to give her the good news, I crawled back in bed. and tossed and turned for like 15 minutes.. before I decided to get up. I spent an hour drinking coffee... making a list of stupid piddly things that needed to get done, and were going to get done today.... Once Terry was up, showered, coffee-d and out the door, I began my routine, with laundry and a little paper cutting & ribbon threading for a Staff Appreciation project for next week. Then the phone rings... Terry... apologizing profusely that he messed up really bad on some important dates. In my mind.. I was thinking, what could be so important.... really... that he feels so bad about messing up some dates.
Well, the bonspiel he was involved with "next" week..... was really today... So, I think.. not so bad.. really.... except, I forgot the part about the 3 extra men who are coming to stay with us for 4 day... starting TODAY!

So, here is where my laziness has raised up to bite me in the ass. I have 3 spare bedrooms... and two bathrooms. A family room with a big TV... perfect for guests to watch hockey games and relax in between games. BUT..... I haven't vacuumed downstairs in like a month, and all three spare bedrooms are filled with items.... like one bedroom.. full of computer parts from Terry rebuilding our family computer.... one bedroom is nicely set up for Christmas wrapping... yes, Christmas wrapping! The third bedroom has a whole year of bills sorted all over the bed, ready for filing or shredding... None of the beds are made up... bathrooms have been neglected for weeks... and not a stitch of snack foods or liquor in the house... magazines, newspapers, Wii games, sneakers, socks and water bottles litter my family room... and cat hair is evenly distributed throughout the house!

The rest of my Storm day was spent hauling a vacuum up and down the stairs, dusting (oh my GOD, I don't remember when I dusted last!!), moving all the crap from each bedroom, scrubbing bathrooms and fluffy up all the towels. I washed all the couch blankets. You know, those beloved blankets you throw on you when your curled up on the couch!! Well, my cats love them too. Never once was I annoyed with Terry over his mistake.... but I was annoyed with myself that I have let the whole "housework" thing get so far behind. I guess I figured that if "Reba" the Roomba was vacuuming upstairs every day, the rest of the house would take care of itself too!... geesh.

The boys arrived, and when they weren't curling, they were home here playing dice. What a blast. The shit chuckin' and ranting, hollering and laughing was fun and contagious. I had to step in for part of a game or two when one of the boys were too "tired" to continue. God help you if you made a weanie decision during the game.. out came the "Blonde" wig... Best $10 I ever spent, was my Marilyn Monroe wig!

The weekend for them is over, and I still have my Saturday and Sunday, and the house is somewhat clean. yipee!!
What is pretty remarkable is that two of the boys have never never never curled before, and Tom curls once a year. Terry is the heavy weight, 'cause he curls once a week!!!
By the fourth game, the virgin curling boys were looking pretty professional when they remembered to sweep!!!
The Team in action!! I think there will be some pretty sore boys tomorrow!
The winners of B division of the Wing C & E Bonspiel. (I think, thats what its called)!!
See you in June for the annual Golf Tournament!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Antojitos-you gotta try them...

This summer, as soon as we announced our trip to Ottawa, my sister law sprang in to action and started planning fun things to make for supper.. and desserts to bake and try....
One of the ideas she came up with was to try and re create these yummy Antojitos that she had tried in a restaurant. She played around with the recipe and came up with these yummy morsels.. Like I already said... You gotta try them!

2 pkgs cream cheese (softened but not room temp)

· 2 skinless boneless full chicken breasts cooked and shredded

· ¼ cup green pepper finely diced

· ¼ cup red pepper finely diced

· 1 can (127 ml) of Old El Paso chopped green chilies

· ¼ cup green onion sliced thin

· 10 tortilla shells

· 1½ cup cheddar cheese grated

· Mix cream cheese with peppers, onions and chilis in a food processor (or by hand). Fold in shredded chicken.

· Spread mixture over tortilla shell evenly. Sprinkle cheddar over top and roll up tightly.

Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing into 1 to 2 inch pieces.

· Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Yum..... Of course, if you like spicy, you can add some hot peppers... and you can add a little dish of salsa to dip them in, if you like... or spicy chutney.. or what ever kind of sauce you want.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Whistle while she works!

You know it a slow News day in the house when I am taking pictures of the vacuum and the cat!!!!

This Christmas, our children gave us a wonderful gift... The Roomba! With 3 cats and hardwood floors.... it was an awesome idea.
We lovingly name her Reba... and she is programmed to come on each day at 9 am. She cleans our upstairs floors daily, except when she gets caught on something.
Its always an adventure to find her when we come home and she is not at her dock. She sometimes is sitting in the bathroom, hung up on the bath mat if she has flip it on one of her runs... and we have found her behind the couch (with an electric cord holding her up in the air), under our bed (with a sock in her mouth), in my closet (sitting on top of a table leg or rogue shoe). We always wonder where we will find her, or what happened during her hour long run through the house. When she is cleaned out each day, we have found paper clips, twist ties, paper balls, candy wrappers, beads, string and even a sock.

So, here it is, today, Saturday, my favourite day.... and as I sit here blogging, she is buzzing around the house, getting her chores done. What is hilarious about today is that Pika is quite struck with her. He must be bored out of his mind because he spent the first few minutes of her routine... stocking her... then waiting for Reba to come after him....
Its coming... closer... buzzing...rolling... buzzing.....zz.z..zzzzz...
How long can I stay before I run away..... how brave am I!! watch my toes!!!
Hey, how dare you go RIGHT BY ME...... bugger...wait... its coming back...
Hey.. didn't even come near me this time..... wimp!!!!
What a great way to sip my coffee on a quiet (except for the buzzing!) Saturday morning. The pictures I didn't get were of Pika taking swats at it, as it went by, and then the flipping over of his whole body to watch it go by again, upside down. My little digital doesn't do RAPID fire! You're just going to have to imagine it!