Friday, April 30, 2010

My Birthday Girl

This little girl is 20 years old today. Isn't she beautiful!
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She was also a beautiful baby.














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Thursday afternoon, I drove to the city and we went to dinner. We ate at a great little pub on Spring Garden Road called "My Father's Moustache" -- good food!
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We began with beverages - my Sleeman's Honey Brown and Molly's Stella Artos -- and a garden salad.










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Our appetizer was Asian Crispadillas (crispy tortilla stuffed with ground chicken, chillis & ginger & topped with B'beque sauce --- so absolutely scrum-dilly-ishous! with only 12 zillion calories); this was followed by Thai sallops and linguini! It was a great meal.









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Then we headed across the street to Park Lane Theatres where we saw the world premier of the new Canadian film Gunless starring Paul Gross (a total hottie!). I won the tickets from Shelagh Duffett when she offered them on her blog aliceinparislovesartandtea.

What a wonderful film it was. It was sooo funny! I haven't laughed like that at the movies in a very long time; and I haven't seen a western in eons! (I highly recommend this one; it's a little gem.)
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Thank you Shelagh!
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My baby is tucked up in her sister's bed where they'll talk half the night and sleep half the day tomorrow.
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Ahhh! Family! How sweet it is!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thrifty Thursday - April 29.10

Look at these sexy feet (found at the end of these pasty white legs)! These sexy feet are wearing my newest "Daisy" find.
Aren't they beautiful --- especially at $3.
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Next special find this week was a cute little tea bag dispenser! Yes, when you're too darned lazy to lift the lid of the tea bag cannister, this little dispenser (at 50 cents) will be just the trick! *
And how about a pot to steep that tea in! This white one (for $2) will not only fit the bill but because it's white, it's a perfect addition to my recent white dish collection.*
I never need to ask "He loves me, he loves me not".
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I know my Daisy loves me 'cause He always has such great bargains for me!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Causing Peony Envy!

Any gardener who has to go outside the home to earn a living will admit that it's hard to focus on work in the spring when it isn't raining outside. You just want to be working in the garden.
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I'm busy planning my next phase and anxious to get at it. I'll have to use the pick axe to loosen up the ground (read tree roots and rocks). I'll have to go down into the brook and try to get some of the boulders I see down there up to where I can use them to outline the garden. (They're not holding up the sides of the brook but just sitting in the middle!) I'll also have to spend a small fortune on topsoil and peat moss. And I'll have to beg Brady to bring me another load of Class B gravel for my pathways.
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And then, of course, there's the cost of the plants to fill this new space! Always expensive, right?
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N O T ! ! !

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I got a call from an old friend on Saturday. She's taking over the cottage property that her parents lived at for the last 20 yr ..... AND she's not a gardener ..... SO would I like to take all Mum's flowers and shrubs?
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What do you say to a question like that?
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YES PLEASE!

and THANK YOU!

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Mum's garden is full of Hosta, Columbine, Lilies, Sedum, creeping Phlox, climbing roses, Peonies, bulbs and all sorts of other wonderful, mature plants. I'm so excited!
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How wonderful to have this piece of Mum Brown that she loved so much here in my own back yard. (And as I'll remind her, she can still come visit her plants any time at all!)

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The race is on! I have 3 weekends to get that garden ready because I'm going down to get the plants the long weekend in May (May 23rd, Victoria Day in Canada)!
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Wish me luck, bloggies!
And strength!
And good weather!
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And no sour grapes from those of you who are experiencing Peony Envy because my garden may be bigger than your garden!



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Food for Thought Tuesday

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"Use what talent you possess.
The woods would be
very silent if no birds
sang except those that
sang best."
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Henry Van Dyke

Monday, April 26, 2010

Now I'm sure to get a man!!!

On Saturday, I finally got out and built the brush fence on the other side of the brook. Libby helped me drag and tote and build; and we finished in about an hour and a half (not including 2 water breaks, 1 pee break, and several short breaks due to minor lacerations and whips in the face. Dangerous work!)
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Then on Sunday afternoon, I headed out again to pick up twigs and rake leaves. (I hope to get an outdoor fireplace this summer; so those twigs are valuable!) I just raked everything up to the property line. This will also give me a good idea of what the land over there looks like so I can better plan my garden when the time comes.
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Here's the house side of the brook; I plan on building a bridge across to the other side behind where the swing is situated.
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On the left of the imaginary bridge, the land runs along the brook between 6 to 8 ft wide.
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But if we look to the right of the imaginary bridge, the widest part is probably 14 to 16 ft wide....*
Then it tapers for a while before it widens again down near the end of the driveway....
I think it's going to be a fun challenge to see what can be done with that part of my property.
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I'm really pleased with my work this weekend. I can barely move, mind you, but I'm a happy invalid!
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The picture above really shows how much property I have over there. And that's pretty impressive, huh!
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I mean, I should be sure to get a man now, right? 'Cause men like women with huge tracts of land. (Or was that huge something else??)
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Oh well! I've got those too!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Twinkle! Twinkle!" you old bat! Thrifty shopping's where it at!

Do you remember last month when Adriana and I took a daytrip to Liverpool?
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Yeah, you must! 'Cause what else do you do all day except sit around waiting for a post from this 55 yr old doughboy-shaped, arthritic-jointed, TV/chocolate/wine-addicted working mother with no sex life and a bad thrifting monkey on her back, right?
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Anway, on March 6th we went to Liverpool and, of course, we checked out Frenchies. Besides the lovely red satin blouse & scarf I bought, I found some old silverware . They were 4 pieces for $1 -- a super duper price!
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I wanted to clean them before I posted about it, and I wasn't sure what the best cleaning product to use would be. I tried the baking soda & salt with foil wrap trick; and it didn't do much to clean them. And then, I tried a generic brand cleaner which was also a disappointment. But then, I tried this stuff:

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And it did a pretty nice job. Here's the loot.

I got 4 each knives, dinner forks and dessert forks in the same pattern and 2 spoons in a slightly different pattern. That was all they had. Apparently some other woman was in the day before and stole I mean bought the 4 matching spoons that I wanted. *

But the best part of the silverware? Have a look at these close-ups.....The knives and forks!
The teaspoons!

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Isn't that so cool! The letter "D"!!! "D" -- for my favorite moniker, Doris the Great!
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Now everyone who eats at my house --- or at least 4 people --- will really know how really great I really am! (Do I sound like Sally Fields there?) I mean, after all: it's not just anyone who has monogrammed silverware! Like maybe The Donald; or Tom & Katie perhaps. But do the everyday common folk have monogrammed silverware? I very highly doubt it.
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The next time I entertain 4 deserving guests, this is what the place setting will look like!Actually, I only have 2 place settings like this. The other 2 will have to wait until the first 2 are finished with the teaspoon before they can use it. So, perhaps I'll put lesser diners in those spots at the table; like my kids when they won't do as I tell them! Or my sister who stole my sparkly dress back in Grade 6 and got a stain on it! Yeah! People like that!)
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I also found this spoon with an "L" on it for my Libby girl!
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I'll store them all in the box with my Grandma's silverware which haven't been cleaned yet.*
But I'm going to try to find some alternative to storing them there. Did you know that storing your silverware in fabric leads to quicker oxidation and tarnish?
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You learn something new every day! ............
Hopefully! .............
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And if you can believe a word I say today!
I'm feeling some residual bitterness flaring up again about that sparkly dress!
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Pray for me bloggies!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fertilizer Friday - April 23.10


I've linked up again today with our favorite "flower-eesta' Tootsie. Be sure and check out the other "Fertilizer Friday" gardens at http://www.tootsietime.com/

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We've had a rainy and/or overcast week mostly in Nova Scotia. But the sun was shining when I got home from work yesterday. So I ran out and took these rather poor pictures!
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I've got lots of happy bulbs blooming. And everything else is coming up so nicely. I'm even thinking that there might be signs of a few delphinium!!! But I'm not getting too excited yet just in case it's just more weeds!


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I'll make another attempt to get out in the garden this weekend to tackle the brush fence on the other side of the brook. Meanwhile, my head is full of ideas for my next garden patch.
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Have a wonderful weekend bloggies!



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

April 22, 2010 - Earth Day
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Besides the usual ways of taking care of the planet (such as reducing water usage, turning off the lights, hanging the washing outside), there are 2 other ways that I practice all the time and that I love.
  1. Thrifting -- No explanation needed there, huh bloggy friends
  2. Composting
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My home province of Nova Scotia began their "green" movement in 1995 with a recycling centre and composting facility. It's 2nd nature to us now. Indeed, my daughter tells me how guilty she feels when she puts food waste in the regular garbage in Ontario.
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Every household in NS is given a little green bin to fit under the kitchen sink.(And if yours gets left outside in a tropical wind storm and it blows away (twice), you must replace it at your own expense with one from Zeller's or Walmart. It doesn't matter if it was White Juan happening outside, and you were a poor single mother who had to hide in the basement w/ your babies, and get the wood fire going, and eat popcorn & Cherrios & play "The Game of Life" & laugh a lot! You must replace that stupid bin!)
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This little bin holds all your veg, fruit, meat and table scraps -- cooked and raw; you can also throw in the occasional soiled light-weight paper product. I line the bottom of this bin with newspaper or paper towel so that it lessens the need to wash it. And if you empty it often, it doesn't smell.
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This little bin gets emptied into a large compost cart, again supplied by the NS government. This cart gets taken to the curb on garbage day and is emptied by the Sanitation Dept. Now, this one does get really, really stinky during the hottest summer months. You can have someone come and clean your cart for mouchous dollars. (I've smelled those people; and it makes me wonder "Who's married to them? It elicits an entirely different perspective on bringing home flowers!")
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Or you can do what I do: once or twice during the summer, I rinse it out with the hose & drain it on some layers of newspaper, put some hot soapy water in it and use an old mop to do a fair job of cleaning it. (I scrub it for as many times as I can hold my breath before hyper-ventilating and from tiring out due to running back & forth from the cart to a fresh air section of the garden.) Then I rinse it again and pop in a cart deodorizer -- There are several on the market specifically designed to discourage maggots, etc. Yes! Cleaning this cart is a gross job. But once you've changed approx 5 million diapers containing toxic waste and had hot baby-barf slowly drip between your cleavage down to your naval, bi-annual compost cart cleaning is a breeze!
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Then there's my favorite part of composting -- My own sweet little composter. When things begin to thaw, I begin using my personal composter again. I keep an empty ice cream container next to the little bin; and into that go my raw fruit & veg scraps. (No meat products or cooked table scraps in this one; those can attract unwanted vermin!) I don't put my egg shells in here either but rather keep those to crush up and put around any of my plants that the slugs are particularly fond of! (And I must say that I rather like the idea of a nasty, slimy, chomping slug having its underbelly ripped open on the remains of an extra large brown omega plus! Gardening has more than one particularly satisfying benefit!)
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You layer these lovely waste products in your bin with dried leaves, grass clippings and a shovel full of dirt every now and then. You also have to remember to water it regularly if Mother Nature doesn't! This is what you'll find at the bottom of your bin after about a year:

BLACK GOLD!

Not the Jed Clampet kind; but the Victory Garden kind!
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Want to give it a try? You don't have to have a fancy bin like mine; you can simply set aside a corner of the garden. Check it out online for some fabulous ideas and suggestions.

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Love the earth. It's a glorious place to be.

(And the alternatives may not be to everyone's liking!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Lighting" your way to savings and celebrations!!

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I'm not sure if there's an equivalent in the US, but we Canadians have Atlantic Superstore. (It may be called by a different name in other provinces.) It's a large grocery chain that has a little bit of everything -- food, clothing, furniture, housewares, seasonal displays, etc.
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I don't shop there often. (I'm a Sobey's shopper.) But I dropped in yesterday for bananas and milk: and yeah! I had to walk down a couple of aisles to see what's new. I found some great little solar lights for the garden for cheap.
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Does one ever have enough solar lighting in the garden? I think not!
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These little guys were $2.49 + tax each; and they came in other pretty patterns in blue, yellow and orange. I got 2 each of these slightly different green patterns.

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And I got 2 of these little globe lights for $4.99 each. (They come in blue and clear colors as well as this pretty lime green.)*
Now, just in case you're worried that I'm spending money in a haphazard way, I'll let you know that I did buy these for a certain holiday. Uh huh! Uh huh!
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After all, I missed "Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day" on Jan 28th: And I was a good, sensible girl and didn't succumb to April 21st being "National Chocolate Covered Cashews" Day. So, I felt perfectly justified in gifting myself for "Administrative Professional Day"!
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(Where's my gift from any of my 3 bosses, I'd like to know?)
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Now, I think I should get off Blogspot and go back to administrating professionally!!
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Hmmmmm ................
Do you suppose I could write the lights off as a job-related expense?
If so, I'm headed back for more.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Food for Thought

I'm initiating "Food for Thought Tuesday"!
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When I first became a single parent, being encouraged was so important in keeping me sane and happy and motivated. I held onto my God and drank in as much positive as I could. Not that the girls' Dad was absent; he was very present and a wonderful father! But running a household alone, working 9 to 5 and carrying most of the day-to-day responsibility for 3 little girls was (and is) daunting! Many survive; but do they thrive?
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My eldest, Amy, was a young teen when this happened; and in those first, very difficult years, she watched me pray and cry and dance and worship through it all. And she was a very observant and astute little girl. (She still is!!)
Senior Prom
Young & fresh & naive ... & blond!
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One of my favorite Christmas presents ever was this gift from her in 2001 when she was just 17:
It's a homemade journal. I realize that she must have seen me praying on my knees (& on my face) a lot! (We had a lot of needs!) And even though she had money to buy gifts, she cut and pasted this gift for me on a hard-covered blank book my brother had given her.
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This is her art work on the inside cover.

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And this is page 1; and this is the mantra for my life -
Collossians 1:18
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So, I began filling the pages with positive things -- dreams & visions, words from God, lovely quotes, encouraging thoughts, things that make me laugh, etc. And the pages aren't full yet; I continue to add to it.
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We are a wonderful community of friends. I'd like to share this book with you.
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Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely and with spirit.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson -


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Shalom!