Monday, August 31, 2009

IT'S A GIRL(S)!!!


I'm a new mama!
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Nadine arrived late Saturday night from Germany. We had to drive 2 hr from the airport to Bridgewater in another tropical storm through torrential rains and winds! EEK! But we made it with lots of prayer, a little talk, music and chewing gum.
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Adriana arrived this morning at roughly 1 am; and despite the fact that it was warm and sunny all day and all evening, we had to drive at least part of the way back in heavy rain and wind again! EEJ! Survival method this time? More prayer, several coffees, lots of talk and more chewing gum!
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Home at about 3 am. Work this morning and I'm (understandably) sooooo tired! But I'll get through it. And I'm excited to get to know these girls better.

Friday, August 28, 2009

SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT

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Check out this great Rooster Party hosted by Barb at Bella Vista http://barbsgoodlife.blogspot.com/2009/08/show-us-your-rooster-blog-party.html




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But first, come meet my friendly little roosters.


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This pretty sugar and creamer set were purchased at Value Village Thrift Store last August for about $5. They were so cheerful looking. After seeing them sit on my kitchen table for 3 or 4 months, I decided I really needed pepper and salt shakers. It took a while to find them, but "the twins" were born just 2 weeks ago; I got them at a local pharmacy for the exorbitant price of $9.99!! (I'm still on the lookout for more children 'cause I'd really like a red pair!)














I found this beauty about a week before Mother's Day this year at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. He was a whopping $25 because apparently the Chaplain had checked his markings underneath and looked him up online. I hemmed and hawed over buying this little guy; my Mother's Day gift from me to me was already tucked away under my bed. (Hey! I'm a single mom raising 3 girls -- someone's gotta reward me for my effort!!). You know, I even walked out of the store and got into my car before I talked myself out of NOT buying him. I couldn't get him off my mind -- he was just so sweet! I mean, look at his little eyes and his coy smile.





This smart looking little wooden fellow is quite small (about 4" high) and sits atop my spice rack. He's made by an artist in Annapolis County in NS. My older friend Mum Brown has a wonderful collection of these roosters -- brilliant blues, greens, yellows and reds -- all larger than mine and different shapes and poses. They're lined up on top of her white cupboard and look so stunning!




When I visited Mum Brown in July, this lovely glass rooster was up there with the all the wooden guys, sticking out like a sore thumb and obviously not fitting in! He looked a little "city mouse with the country mice". Plus, his rather haughty look did nothing to endear him to the other more down-home roosters. I think that why they ignored him! The moment I mentioned how beautiful he was, Mum Brown said "You can have him if you want him". "YES!" I replied! I think he's so elegant!!




And this is the little guy that started it all. I found him at Value Village many, many years ago ... perhaps as many as 10 years. My daughter Molly bought him for me for Mother's Day (when my back was turned and I didn't see) for 69 cents! He comes out of my antique jelly cupboard around Easter and sits among the chicks and bunnies; then he stays out to hold the first crocus of the season or a stray pansy. His name is Sunny!





I don't like to think of my roosters as a collection. They're more like little friends who speak to me and ask me to take them home .... like little children or friends!



I just wish they'd do the dishes every now and then!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ARTFUL PENPAL


I was fortunate enough to be one of, I believe, 56 people who signed up for a little project put on by Shelagh at http://aliceinparislovesartandtea.blogspot.com/ which she called the Artful Penpal. She took info from each of us and then paired us up according to likes and dislikes.



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As a young girl, I loved having penpals! I had a male penpal in Japan in the mid 1960's for 3 years (I can still rhyme off his full name and address -- although I've still no idea where exactly in Japan it is). I also had a female penpal in Winnipeg for a year or so, and I wrote to a girl I met at girl guide camp the summer of 1964 (who was Gordon Pinsent's neice!) for a few years. We exchanged letters and little trinkets; I still have the letters from my Japanese penpal and the Japanese doll he sent. (I believe I reciprocated with Canadian maple leaf cuff links).


Laura at http://whitespraypaint.blogspot.com/ has a great blog today called Penpals; it's all about the correlations between blogging and writing to penpals, about the fun and the friendship involved.

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This week, I received my first hand-written letter and package from my new Artful Penpal in Trinidad & Tobago. I was SO excited when this arrived -- it was just like I was 10 again! (Well, except for the grey hair and the extra 30 lb and the having to go to work for a living, and the no boobs, and the Gr 5 math tests, etc etc etc.)


Look what she sent me:


There was information all about her wonderful country and it's famous "Carnival", as well as a hand-made (by her) Carnival doll with string joints and extra clothing and accessories. How sweet of her! And what talent she has!



I'm still in the middle of preparing for my international students, but I'm so excited to make time to write to my new pal!

How many of you still write hand-written letters to friends? Or perhaps you have penpals to whom you "type" long, informatative, chatty letters?

How to Successfully Skive off Work and Have a Break ......

Go to the bank on company business and run next door for one of these!

There's nothing like a Mocha Moo-Latte when it a gazillion degrees outside and work is piled up to the yin-yang! Ahhhhh!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Playing Musical Rooms!!

What's been happening at my house lately:



As I'm hosting 2 international students this year , I'll need to have a large enough bed for my youngest daughter to be able to share with my middle daughter when she comes home from college on the occasional weekend. Soooooo ............. I'll move the queen size bed downstairs! (And I'll try sleeping on the 3/4 size bed.)




Ouch! Not very comfortable! Soooooo.......... I'll buy that double mattress and box spring that Eva is wanting to sell! And I'll move that one into my room (and the old one down 3 flights of stairs to the basement). Ahhh! That feels much better!



What good news! I'm able to reclaim the old iron and brass bedstead that my ex and I bought together; and it's a double!! Soooooo ............ I'll borrow Eva's van and fill it with gas and drive 2 hr down and then 2 hr back to pickup that bed.


Hmmm! It's in kind of rough shape after 25 years: it needs to be repainted and the brass really needs cleaning. Soooooo ....... let's take all the brass fittings off (and we'll clean those later). I'll prop the iron bits up in the backyard on top of these old paint sheets; then I'll come home on my lunch breaks just to spray paint for 3 days in a row. (Good thing the weather's cooperating!) Now it looks much better!


In a couple of days, I'll have to move that bed upstairs & put it together. Soooo ...... then I'll have to carry the box spring (which is not needed with the older bed) and the frame down the 3 flights to the basement to store it --- I'm not quite sure where!!!

In the meantime, I need to move the computer out of the spare bedroom because that's not spare anymore! The students are bringing laptops, and Libby just ordered her own. Soooooo ....... I'll move that into my bedroom (because there really isn't another space downstairs to put it). Oh goody! After 20 years, I finally have my own computer! But what do I put it on?



I know! Let's move the pine desk and hutch from the downstairs hallway up to my bedroom and use that for the computer table! Good idea! Sooooo ....... up we go! Gotta make 4 trips what with those large drawers and all!


Oh no! Now there's no room for my dressing table! What to do? Okay! I'll move that one into the yellow bedroom and bring the smaller pine table into my room to use as a dressing table! Sooooo ...... problem solved!



But it's looking mighty crowded on that wall now. Perhaps I should move the tall, shallow bookshelf out to the landing at the top of the stairs! Measure .... great, it fits! But I'll have to repaint it because my room is blue and the stairwell is green! Sooooo ...... I'll shove it into the aqua room until it's painted.




Now that the desk is no longer is the hallway, what do I put there? Why, I'll move the pine jelly cupboard that's in the dining room out there; I've always wanted to anyway. Sooooo ...... Molly! Please help me unload the 5 shelves of glassware and dishes; let's carefully maneuver this 6' cupboard out to the hallway, clean it and reload all that glassware and dishes. Wow! It really looks nice there.



And if I'm moving the tall, shallow bookshelf to the top of the stairs, the 3-tiered corner shelf can move back to the dining room; I've always liked it in that corner! Soooo .... I'll just rearrange a little and move the tea trolly to the larger wall. Perfect! Now I just have to stain the new oak shelf darker and mount that on the wall. There's much more room in here now!

Whew! I'm pooped. But no -- I really can't sit on Tuesday evening to watch "So You Think You Can Dance, Canada". Sooooo ..... let's go through all my winter clothes hanging in the not-so-spare bedroom and move them down those 3 flights to the large closet I just installed 2 weeks ago. Darn it! Why do those things keep shrinking while they're on the hangers?

And I'll have to prepare something for dinner for when we return from the airport. And there's the cleaning to be done; and the fresh linens on the beds; and the welcome packages to be prepared; and the house rules to be typed. Sooooo .......



Oh!

Oh my!!

Oh ... my .................





Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CHECK OUT THIS GIVEAWAY

My pal Mysteryhistorymon makes the most beautiful button bracelets (among other things); and she's having a 700th Post giveaway. Check her out at:

http://perfectisboring.blogspot.com/2009/08/button-bracelet-giveaway.html

You should also check out her Etsy shop ... such pretty baubbles!!

GIVEAWAY WINNER!!

I had so much fun reading the entries for my 100th Post Giveaway. It really shows how much people get to know about you just from your blog!

Should we beware? Is Big Brother really watching us that closely? Does he even need to watch us; or do we just give ourselves away through our blog? But hey! I'm no threat to Big Brother! I've nothing to hide ....... except those extra 5 lb I've put on this summer!



It was really, really difficult to choose a winner. There were so many great answers. I have to give honorable notice to Nezzy cowpattysurprise.blogspot.com/ and Mysteryhistorymom perfectisboring.blogspot.com/ for their suggestions. Send me your mailing info via my email address for a notice of appreciation.

But the winner of my giveaway is:



Darla from morefamilyandflowers-darla.blogspot.com/



And your fantastic prize package includes the following:


1. A heart embelished tea towel to show my appreciation for your thoughtful answer.

2. A new notebook/journal which says "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!"

3. And a great Nova Scotia cookbook called The Strawberry Connection. I've had this same cookbook for over 10 years and I really love it. There are wonderful recipes, great sketches and bits of trivia relating to Nova Scotia and to strawberries. As well, you can substitute other berries for the strawberries in lots of the recipes.

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A huge thank you to everyone who entered with their suggestions. It's such an honor to have people take the time to not only read my self-indulgent little blog but to also offer their comments. I appreciate all of my bloggie friends.

I'll be seeing you -- and reading you!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BILL IS COMIN' TO TOWN!

This is POST #100! Yipee, hurray!! And in anticipation of the announcement of the winner of my give-away, look who's headed our way! It's Hurricane Bill!


I have to go to the city for the day! So because of Bill's arrival tomorrow, I've dragged all the heavy lawn furniture to a sheltered corner near the deck, and took all the lights, gnomes, bird houses, etc out of the flower gardens and tucked them in the shed. We have lots of food in the house, propane for the gas barbeque, extra drinking water and batteries. So, I guess I'm prepared. The rest is up to Mother Nature and Father God!

It's a Category 2 hurricane, but because of our beautiful hot, humid weather lately, it could upgrade! Juan, which hit Halifax HARD a couple of years ago, by-passed the south shore of NS. But I have to say, I'm feeling a little aprehensive about this one!

I'm prepared for the worse but hoping for the best. Pray that Bill will blow itself off to sea.

If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, it could be because of power outages. But I shall return as soon as possible with the name of the lucky winner of my 100th Post Give-away and a picture of his or her prize!

Stay safe, bloggies!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

DINNER ON THE DECK

Even though it was really hot ....


Even though I was really tired ...


Even though I ate alone ...



Even though it would have been so easy to order a pizza ...







I prepared a lovely dinner for myself last night.





Asian hot top salad (w/ chicken, yellow peppers, onions and mushrooms), 2 teeny pieces of 7 grain bread with real butter, and a glass of red Californian! It was delish!!!



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Don't forget my giveaway at http://newfie-girl.blogspot.com/2009/08/give-away-time.html

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

HOW TO BEAT THE HEAT

Nova Scotia has had a heat wave for the past week. Temperatures have been above 30 deg Celsius, and we just aren't used to this! But I'm not complaining -- at least not while it's the weekend. And I always say, the next best thing to having a pool in your back yard is having a friend down the street who has one!



So, while I spend my mornings and early afternoons preparing for 2 new international students to arrive (rearrange and organize and rest; lift and tote and rest; pant and sweat and rest) and drink ooodles of ice cold water -- my afternoons are spent with my friend Eva in this way ........................




This was interspersed with cool drinks and magazines in the shade; and followed by a nice, cold supper.

What a great reward for working hard!

Eva gets the last say: PEACE!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

THRIFTY PURCHASES AUG. 14.09

We have a local thrift store called The Daisy that raises money for the hospital and is staffed by all volunteers. It's just a small shop, but it's clean and bright and everything is hung up and displayed nicely. New-to-you merchandise is put out as they sort in the back room; so by the time you go from beginning to end of the store, there may be something new at the beginning again. You have to keep a sharp eye out for the workers and notice what they've carried out! (Luckily, I come equipped with this feature.)





They usually have one day of the week that they'll feature something on sale ("All Jeans $1.00"). As well, the sell according to the season -- summer clothes only in the summer, winter in winter, and so forth. With school due to start in 2 weeks, they've begun their end of summer sale.





So, when I dropped in a couple of days ago to look for pillow cases, ALL summer merchandise was $1.00. Here are my wonderful finds:




I love what I call old-fashioned pillow cases -- the one's my Mom used on our pillows -- good quality white cases that someone painstakenly embroidered themselves. And I really lucked in that day. I got 1 pair and 5 odd cases, all for 50 cents each!!




Then I found this darling summer bag for $1.00.






This shirt is St Johns Bay; I love the color!





This shirt is Ann Taylor Loft.

These pants are also St Johns Bay. Now I'm a shortie (5'3" on a good day) and I'm a little rounder than I used to be. So, pants shopping can be a bit of a nightmare. But, as my Mom would say, these pants "fit me like a smack in the mouth!!"



Pretty good haul for $7.00 wouldn't you say!





AND OH YEAH
This is Post #98. So in 2 more posts, I'll be drawing a winner for my giveaway. So, don't forget to enter here: http://newfie-girl.blogspot.com/2009/08/give-away-time.html

Sunday, August 16, 2009

FERTILIZER FRIDAY ON SUNDAY - AGAIN

Here's what's blooming in my garden this week.

This is the Himilayan Jewel Weed -- And it's beautiful. It's a good 4 1/2 ft tall, and the pink blossoms look a little like a snapdragon. So pretty. I have to keep an eye on this one though because it's apt to take over the garden. But it looks beautiful as a backdrop to my ferns.

Brown-eyed Susans.




Here's my coneflower. I think I'll try to get several varieties for next year.




The Astilbe are beginning to wane. But I love their floaty/frothy look.
And this is my Cardinal Lobelia -- the plant I searched for for the past 2-3 years (and ended up getting 2 of them). Only one bloomed this year, but look how pretty it is.





Friday, August 14, 2009

ANYONE FOR A BIKE RIDE???

I took part in a "Big Bike Ride" with my gym, Contours Express! We were raising money and awareness for the Heart and Stroke Fund.

Here's the bike; I think it could seat 28 people and we had 25.



We all need to be conscious of glare while we're driving. So, our captain, Sherri, passed out the sunglasses.



The shorties sat in front so we could reach the pedals. Here are some of the people behind me getting themselves seated and adjusting their hand clappers.

And here is yours-truly! I carried a tamborine.
There was a rep from the Heart and Stroke Foundation in charge of steering and braking. (Thank heavens for that!!!) We had a police escort and sections of the course were closed to the public until we were through (perhaps a 10 minute run). There was loud, wonderful music while we rode -- Beatles, Beach Boys; and we were all coached in hand signals for turning as well as the loud forward "CHARGE"!!! and all the appropriate places to yell "YAHOO".
What fun! I think I'll do it again!


PS - This is only Post #95: there's 5 more to go until my 100th post and my big give-away. So, remember to enter your story here http://newfie-girl.blogspot.com/2009/08/give-away-time.html to win my super-duper, yet-to-be-decided prize.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

GIVE-AWAY TIME???

Well fellow bloggies! I'll soon be at my 100th Post. So to honor that momentous occasion, I'm going to host a give-away. I'm going to have a contest .... a competition!





I can hear some of you out there saying "Hey! That's not fair! Why can't we just send in our names?





Well, 'cause it's my blog and I want to be entertained.





Get over it people! Put your thinking caps on! Exercise those brain cells!





So, here's the contest. Knowing what you know about me (and you may have to re-read my previous blogs); if I had $100 in gratis pocket money, how would I spend it this weekend?





Would I be generous and share? Or would I be greedy?


Would I buy chocolate or plants? Or would I put it in my tithe envelope?








I expect more than just a mere 3 word answer. Dream a little! Create a picture for me! Expound! Make me think!





I've not decided what to give away as yet, but it'll be purdy nice!! Not $100 worth -- but more than 100 pennies or 100 dimes.





I'm looking forward to hearing your answers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FARMER'S MARKET

Let me take you to the Bridgewater NS Farmer's Market. I probably won't introduce you to everyone, but certainly, here are my favorites.

This is my daughter Amy's good friend Desi. Desi is an amazing baker (and singer) and she operates a little business out of the back of her station wagon called "The Rolling Scone". She is the one who gives me my fix every Saturday with her wonderful chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with buttercream icing. See that pretty one on the top tier with the edible flower? I ate that one shortly after taking this picture. Yum yum!!


This lady next to her sells the most amazing selection of jams, jellies, chutneys, etc. I've purchased her Apricot with jalepeneo (so good on fresh bread with a slice of aged cheddar); and this weekend, I bought her Rhubarb with ginger (not sampled yet).



Here are a couple of other stalls: the first is a veggie stall and the second seafood.






This lovely lady bakes and sells doggie treats -- every shape and flavor and quirky little names on them (none of which I can remember right now, not having a doggie myself). I've seen the doggies stop for a sample though, and one woman said her dog, who doesn't like any of the commercial dog biscuits, just loves these!





Alas, this is not a candy stall (or I'd certainly have a more indepth report to bring). This is a craft stall with, as you can see, very pretty things.




This stall is run by an Austrian gentleman with one leg; and I don't mean to be disrespectful or in any way to mock this lovely man, but I can help it! Whenever I buy anything from him, all sorts of tragic and adventurous story lines pop up in my head while I'm talking to him -- him on his trusty steed galloping towards me through fields of green (all organic, of course!); me with my bodice heaving carrying a bouquet of wild lavender!!!
Oh dear! Excuse me! It must be the heat!!!
His produce is all organic, and he has a wonderful assortment of herbs and different greens -- both red and white swiss chard, kale, and the usual beet greens. And there in the shallow basket are my his huge, chock-a-block stuffed bags of different lettuce and salad greens, including my favorite, argula.




Here's my other favorite stall, Julian's Bakery. Julian is a French baker with a great selection of breads and pastry. I always try a different bread and at least one pastry (as a chaser to my cupcake)! This weekend, I bought his American sandwich loaf (a traditional white) and an apricot and custard square! Again yum yum!

Here's the jolly Julian himself bagging up my goodies! Now doesn't he look like the type who puts lots of love in his baking? (And enjoys a little of the goods himself!!)
And here's one of his fabulous showy loaves! That would be a wonderful loaf to have on the table when guests arrive.




Here's the lady I've been buying flowers from lately. She has a few new ones each weekend -- whatever is blooming at the time. But I averted my eyes this weekend and simply couldn't buy another (until I at least get the last 3 I purchased in the ground!!!).




And last but not least, this veggie stall is from Indian Garden Farms which is just up the hill outside town. I could go there and buy produce, but how much more fun is it to go to the market.

This is what drew me last Saturday: the first of the season's fresh corn. And it was delicious!



So there you have my little tour. There are a few other stalls that we didn't visit today. But my mouth is watering now, so I think I'll stop for a tea break.
Happy market travels to you all!