Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Yeah! There is a baby, there is a baby, there is a new baby in our family!

Mathew called about 5:40am to announce the arrival of his first born son, Rylie. We don't know how much he weighed because the nurses weren't even done with him when he called. All he could tell us that the labour was extremely fast (approximately 6 hours) and that he's huge, with blond hair. I can't wait to meet the newest addition to our family!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A (Very) Brief Review

Progress was made and lost on the Cabled Duffle Coat. Feel to review my screw-up. Will I ever learn?

I finished reading The Shack this past weekend. It's an incredible book, with a brand-new, sparkly, shiny view point. If you keep an open mind and get through what I thought was a drawn out lead-up to the "good stuff", it will change your life. Or not. I like to think that reading it has already started to make me a nicer person (than I already was (HEH!)).

Yesterday, I finished reading another book I really enjoyed, Writing Personal Notes & Letters, by Jennifer Williams and the Editors of Victoria Magazine.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Day of Summer

Pandora guarding yarn for my new Cabled Duffle Coat. It's for the fall KAL over at the March Sweater Madness.

Couple weeks ago we sent the whole weekend with our friends at Lake Torment. We brought the kids' bikes with us so that provided them with extra freedom. They attempted swimming but the lake has already turned cold and they didn't stay in the water for any length of time. It was wonderfully relaxing, not having to rush home to feed animals or milk the cow. This was the first time that I experienced the up-side of not being tied to the farm. Not that I still don't miss it.
Saturday morning greeted me with an empty bird feeder. Again. That darned squirrel. Not a single seed left! Sneaky but beautiful thief! Hubby was very surprised to hear that we have grey squirrels here.
Yesterday my guys stacked kindling and split more wood.
Today hubby is starting to pick apples 7 day/week until the season is over. I may bake an apple crisp in his honour. Also, this evening is 4-H registration night. Brianna is taking on Outdoorsman again, as well as Foods, and Cake Decorating. Colin is also going into Outdoorsman, and going to try Sewing this year. That was the deal if he wanted free reign over my sewing machine. We spent some time on it about a month ago and he's hooked.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Before I Forget Again

Please join me at Middleton's Friday Night Knitting Club.

The knitting club will begin meeting bi-weekly at the Rosa M. Harvey Library on 45 Gates Ave in Middleton, NS starting this Friday from 6:45-8:30pm.

This drop-in event is open to anyone and everyone from the beginner to the experienced. This will be a meeting center for people to swap patterns, help one another, chat, and of course, knit.

Please join us!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pat Pat on My Back

I couldn't resist the self-congratulatory pat on the back. I was mother-hear-me-roar this morning. In a good way.

Last night before going to bed I realized I didn't have any snacks left to pack for the kids' lunches. What a disaster, I thought to myself. I knew I didn't have any small change to give them to buy anything either. So. After husband delivered my morning coffee to me in bed, which I ignored for all of 5 minutes, I managed to crawl my arse out of bed, and tromped down to the kitchen. Conveniently I had borrowed a nifty book from the library that saved the morning. Company's Coming Most Loved Cookies by Jean Pare. If you find it in your travels, don't pass by without purchasing it. It rocks! After flipping through several pages for something quick, easy and most importantly that I had the ingredients for, I found the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Absolutely fabulous! Light and delicious. Divine! Honest.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Update in Pictures

Beach at Margaretsville.
No point being at the beach without building dams and getting wet.

On Saturday I drove to Upper Clements Park so the kids could take advantage of their fast passes (no pictures because I forgot the camera at home); unfortunately the roller coaster was out of commission (broken) and it being the last weekend of the park being open the lines for the rides were rather lengthy. The kids still had fun and were properly tuckered out by the time we got home.

On Sunday we watched the Arctic Tale (National Geographic Production) which I highly recommend. Funny as all get out and enlightening.

On Monday I put another coat of stain/varnish on the bathroom cabinet. It's starting to look quite good, but still needs at least one more coat. Then we drove into the city to pick up hubby who did not bring any fish home. I also finished knitting the Drops sweater (from March Sweater Madness). I didn't have enough yarn for a hood so I just knit on a small collar. Ironically enough, the fit is tight. Imagine that! Remember the ginormous monstrosity that it had begun as? Granted, I may have gained some weight but still... Good grief. I'll have to see if blocking will help any.

Yesterday I sewed on the buttons. I like it. It is quite nice. It even fits, with negative ease. It'll definitely be warm.

This morning was very emotional and very sad. Colin ran into the hallway after practically jumping out of bed (this in itself being highly unusual), saying that Sam was under his bed and making funny noises. I immediately went on high alert because things had seemed well the past few days. Although Sam had been ill in much the same way as Pointdexter, I got the same medicine for him, and he was starting to eat heartily-- mostly pure meat to get his energy back--as well as drinking plenty of water. He was starting to recover. He even jumped up on our laps for snuggles. Last night he decided to sleep next to Colin, and was purring when I went in to say good night. When I looked under Colin's bed my heart just about broke and I started to cry. Sam was laying under there stretched out, without any energy to lift his head. I pulled him out and wrapped him in a blanket and listened as he struggled to breathe. He was completely limp, and had a sad look in his eyes. As I sat with him on my lap stroking his head and crying freely, having sent the kids to their rooms, I kept murmuring how much I loved him and how much I would miss him. In less then 10 minutes he was gone. I called the kids down to say good bye and then I took him outside wrapped in my blanket. After they left for school, I went and made a spot for him at the back of the property beside his favourite rose bush. When I looked up I was surprised to see how the morning sun was burning the dampness off my sheets that I had hung the evening before. For some unknown reason this struck me as very beautiful and was enough to snap me out of my tears and sadness. Life goes on.

Rest in Peace, Sam.
Sept 2007 - Sept 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

Tuckered Out

Wow. I excel at relaxation. I spent better part of the day "nesting" in bed with my knitting and watching old Buffy and CSI reruns. Sounds pathetic, but it was a better alternative to just sleeping the whole day away. I did manage a couple loads of laundry and putting away the dishes I washed yesterday. Oh, I also spied on the birds at my feeders at breakfast and lunch. In the morning after the kids left for school Mr. Cardinal brought the Mrs. over for breakfast. He even passed the seeds right to her beak! Very sweet. She never even approached the feeder, just sat on my honeysuckle vine and waited for him to bring over sunflower seeds! I was thrilled to bits watching them. Of course the other diners -blue jays, chickadees, goldfinches-completely ignored them.

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post: I had an unexpected visitor that caused quite a commotion in the house after dinner. It so happened that a starling managed to get in the house via our fireplace chimney and was flying around the kitchen from door to windows, in a panicked attempt to free itself. I called my son down and after many "oh my gosh" and "holy cow" and "wow", and once the frightened bird finally rested on the end of the sink, I had Colin sneak by to prop the door open while I directed the bird towards it with a woolly duster! Oh, the excitement of it all! Hopefully it won't happen again any time soon.

Now that the kids are home for the weekend I think we'll drive to the shore at Margaretville and walk on the rocky beach. I love the ocean.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Full Day

It was bound to happen eventually. Since I don't work outside the home anymore I've gotten used to hanging around the house, getting things done in my own good time, meaning eventually, maybe. I do get these inexplicable bursts of energy, but honestly, not that often. That's when the floors get scrubbed to within an inch of their life; laundry gets washed, hung up (outside weather permitting), brought in, sorted, folded and put away in their respective owners' drawers; dishes and dishwasher get dealt with from start to finish (usually I wash pots and stuff too big for the dishwasher, and load the dishwasher since my family seems to be only capable of locating the counter above the dishwasher upon which to stack dirty dishes, and one kid dries the hand-washed stuff and the other unloads and puts away dishwasher stuff, not necessarily where they belong), and then the counters and washcloths even get bleached to kill any creepy crawlies (just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're not there!) During this energy bonanza I also tend to move furniture and clean/wash/vacuum under there (and what treasures I unearth sometimes). Even the dog stays out of my way as soon as she sees that bucket and mop! Beds linens get changed and beds made. Holy cow! I'm getting tired just writing about all this stuff! But then there is walking or biking to the post office (no home delivery) and the library, possibly the local grocery store. Getting dinner started. Even mixing up a batch of bread. Yes, I do have days like that, but as I stated earlier, not too often, thank goodness.

Now I do have a point here. See, on those extremely productive days, others can't help but notice that work that has been done. Today wasn't one of those days although I feel completely exhausted. Got up early to get kids ready for school and get myself ready for the road (it's not unusual for me to spend better part of the morning in jammies; after all, the vacuum doesn't care if I'm dressed up and neither does my washing machine). As soon as the kids took off, I grabbed my knitting and a book, and hurried out the door since hubby was already sitting in the truck waiting for me. We were to drive to the city with a pitstop at Sawler's for veggies (50lbs of beets, 25lbs of onions, 10lbs of carrots and turnips). All because hubby managed to squeeze in a 4-day fishing trip to the Miramichi with his buddy and didn't want to leave me without a vehicle. Very thoughtful. However, sitting on the highway for over half hour was not what I'd call a real treat. I know. I shouldn't complain. At least they are actually working on expanding that section before Windsor. Once we got into Sackville and I got a lecture on paying attention to the signs so I wouldn't get lost coming back that way on Monday, we arrived at his buddy's new home where I got a full tour of the new digs (very, very nice) and we visited for a short while. Then I had to get back on the road. A quick pitstop at Staples to pick up some forgotten school supplies first. Not enough time to swing into Bedford and take advantage of the sales at Fabricville. But that's not to say that I didn't take advantage of the Discount Fabric Store in Avonport which was right on the way. Unfortunately, it turned out that the powers-that-be decided to resurface the road leading to the store too, therefore making me sit and wait for the "Follow Me" truck, again, wasting precious time. After all that, sale fabric I did get, as well as having a slight falling down in the Briggs&Little section of the store. Then I chatted with the nice flag guy while waiting again for the "Follow Me" truck, and finally (almost directly) boogieing for home. Hey, we were all out of milk so I definitely needed to stop for that, and since good ice cream was on sale... Needless to say I haven't exactly been losing weight lately.

I got lucky. The kids beat me home only by 20 minutes and definitely luckily that wasn't enough time for them to set the house on fire. Good thing I thought to give the older, supposedly more responsible one, a key. Notice the nice fish guy is a couple doors down at a neighbours and trot over then for some very fresh Haddock. Yum. Supper planned just like that. By then it was barely 3:30pm. Unload the truck. Turns out that 50lbs of beets is quite a bit heavier than it looks. Check messages. Run back out to the post office and library. Cook supper. Send the kids out to play for an hour of peace to wash dishes and tidy up. Put on first pot of beets.

About the beets: I've discovered a few years back that if you cook the beets until they're about three quarters way done, then peal the skins off (wearing rubber gloves) while beets still very hot, which makes them slide off practically by themselves, bag and freeze them in meal-size portions. I love beets. I don't love buying imported beets out of season for a ridiculous price, so I store enough to last until next summer. Talk about local eating! That's what I do with carrots too, except I actually cut them up first and cook them much less, maybe only 5 minutes once they've come to a boil. Again, locally grown produce through the dead of winter.

So, the day is still not over. Change 25% of water in the fish tank and add medicine to the water. One of the fish has got weird spots on its body that didn't go away after the first treatment. If this doesn't cure it, I suspect that my son will be very sad, if you get my meaning. Check email. Kids not home at appointed time. Grab helmet and backpack, and bike to the park. Order kids home. A full moon is already visible even though the sun is just going down. Stop at grocery store for a couple things, walk out with more than planned on. Bike home, send one to the shower, the other to homework. Peel first batch of beets. Put second batch on to boil. Supervise homework. Scoop out ice cream for dessert, but virtuously bypass serving some to myself after remembering a donut indulgence this morning at a stop for coffee (oops). Stash first batch of beets in freeze (with much glee). Quick chat with hubby; they have arrived and are setting up the camper. Tuck and kiss kids good night. Check on Sam. He's once again on the downward slide, refusing all food. Very sad.

Updating blog. Beets should be cooled enough to handle. Must make self walk up stairs, finish beets and fall into bed. Not forget to set alarm.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Trying my hand at embroidery on unbleached muslin. I just have to figure out some kind of binding for this tea towel and it will be done. It took only a couple days, and didn't turn out too badly considering I haven't done any embroidery in over a decade. I was pleasantly reminded how much fun this is, how soothing. The pattern was free, courtesy of patternbee.com over at turkey feathers.
The bonus is that my daughter wants to learn how to embroider too, because according to her it looks cool. I've dusted off my all-time favourite stitch encyclopedia and once she settles into her school routine, I will arm her with fabric, needle and thread.