Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Night Nirvana

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Besides working 9-5 Mon to Fri, I've spent my last 3 weekends finishing the books and preparing the financial statements for the art gallery I work for. As well, I've had a head cold, chest congestion and and a killer cough that's allowed me roughly 4 hr of sleep a night for the past week. Monday past, I had to drive to the airport late in the evening to pick up my newest international child, a lovely little Korean girl who hardly speaks or understands English. (Challenging!) It's been rugged! I've been on automatic pilot, and it's been a mind-numbing trudge through the ordinary and the necessary.
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But I'm back! And even though I haven't regained full health, tonight I had a nirvana experience. It was simple and didn't cost me a penny.
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I got home from work today, had dinner, and watched a little TV. And then - suddenly - I realized that it was Friday night! This was the weekend! And I was beginning to feel better! And I didn't have to work!
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Oh, the joy -- the bliss!
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So, I poured a large hot bath, with lavender scented olive oil and lavender scented bubble bath (to double my convalescant pleasure). I put on a relaxing CD, and picked up the "fluffy-stuff" novel I'd been reading a few weeks ago. Then I lowered myself into the bathtub and lost myself for half an hour as I ran and danced in 1950's London with Penelope and Claire. The water temperature was perfect, and I gloried in the fact that I could stretch and flex and then relax every muscle in my body -- even my right foot. While I was reading, I'd periodically get a glorious whiff of my pineapple soap or Lemon Verbena hair shampoo; or I'd hear the sounds of ocean waves behind the soothing music. It was so wonderful!


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And at the end of bathtime when I put my book down and just luxuriated in warmth and scent, I was filled with happiness and peace. I spent some time with God, thanking Him for His goodness to me.


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Life's not perfect, huh? But with all that's happening in the world -- Libya and New Zealand; with the rush of every day life and our financial woes; with aging and health concerns; with raising kids, or the ones still living at home without jobs (or direction); with the high cost of cough syrup and the possibility of weight gain from the hundreds of throat lozanges that have been ingested lately;
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... isn't it simply marvelous to be momentarily in the "here and now"! to be aware of the little gifts that can be found around us, and to give yourself over to the bits of heaven that we can find in our everyday life -- the bits that are free and readily available.
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THIS my friends is living! THIS is life!

It may be rare ............ but ain't it grand!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cough, hack, snort!

Yup! I've got all that; plus the worse cough!
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Thank God for this stuff. It's what enables me to stop coughing long enough to sleep.
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See you in a couple of days!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

If I were .......

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Here's something I came across at Blondee's Diary today. Some of the questions will be easy to answer; some others are really hard! But it's fun.




  • If I were a month I’d be April
  • If I were a day I’d be Sunday
  • If I were a time of day I’d be 7:00 AM (on a weekend)
  • If I were a font I’d be Baskerville Old Face
  • If I were a sea animal I’d be a baby Beluga
  • If I were a direction I’d be UP, UP, UP!
  • If I were a piece of furniture I’d be an overstuffed sofa
  • If I were a liquid I’d be water
  • If I were a gemstone I’d be a fire opal!
  • If I were a tree I’d be a a silver birch
  • If I were a tool I’d be a bright red KitchenAid mixer
  • If I were a flower I’d be a yellow crocus, heralding spring!
  • If I were an element of weather I'd be a slight breeze
  • If I were a musical instrument I’d be a stand-up bass
  • If I were a color I’d be periwinkle blue
  • If I were an emotion I’d be laughter
  • If I were a fruit I’d be a sweet, juicy, fuzzy peach
  • If I were a sound I’d be my childrens' "I love you"
  • If I were an element I'd be neon
  • If I were a car I’d be mid-size, comfortable & easy to drive (once you've familiarized yourself with the manual!)
  • If I were a food item I would be chocolate
  • If I were a place I’d be HOME
  • If I were a material I’d be lightweight & durable
  • If I were a taste I’d be addictive
  • If I were a scent I’d be home-made bread
  • If I were a body part I’d be a mouth (any surprise there?)
  • If I were a song I’d be "And I Love Her" by The Beatles
  • If I were a bird I’d be an eagle
  • If I were a gift I’d be perfect
  • If I were a city I’d be Montreal
  • If I were a door I’d have a large, opague window so lots of sunlight could come in and I'd never be locked
  • If I were a pair of shoes I’d be RED


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Now it's your turn. Copy and paste and fill in your own answers. Don't forget to leave me a message so I can come to your page and read about you!
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(And thanks Blondee)
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday Feb 17.11 & Free Fashion Advice

It's one of those glorious winter days in Nova Scotia that can't help but bring a smile to your face. It's supposed to go up to +5 deg Celcius, and the sun is shining, and you just know there'll be less ice in your driveway when you go home after work.

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To keep me thinking spring thoughts and to motivate me to work even harder at work, I bought myself another pot of tulips ($3.99 at Superstore). Aren't they pretty! I love the red and citron yellow mottled effect. They'll enhance my spring garden next year!



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I haven't done any new thrifting since my visit to Value Village, but here are a few items that were in the laundry when I did last week's TT post -- 2 lovely spring blouses all, of course, part of the 50% off sale.
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  • This pretty grey and white striped blouse is a lovely crisp cotton stretch that makes me feel all clerical and business like. It has darts in the back and at the bust! I'm highly impressed by darts! They are a busty woman's best friend in shirts. Plus it "fits me like a smack in the mouth", as my Newfie mother would say!This shirt makes me happy -- especially at $3.99. Why, I'm fair delirious by this shirt! (I don't get out much anymore!)

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  • And then there's this pretty navy blue check and stripped cotton blouse, another $3.99 purchase. It's a loose but not too loose (somewhat like I used to be in my youth! Gasp! Forgive me, Father!), comfy fitting blouse that will look great with jeans or white capris. I'm going to look for a belt to wear around the middle -- something I've stayed away from as I felt I was too thick there (somewhat like my head used to be in my youth ... which might explain my "zesty" youthful behavior re reference above). But numerous style and fashion blogs and articles are saying that cinching in the waist will "emphasize the narrowest part of your body" (which actually on me is my left ankle) and draw attention to your curves. So, I'm willing to try anything once (again, bearing reference to the above comments).

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Okay! I think I should shut-up now before you all delete me from your "favorite blogs" in shock and disgust!!

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I'm saved now! God loves me! All is forgiven! I don't do those things anymore! Would you like cake? Chocolate? Twenty bucks?

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Don't forget to check out the chaste bloggers who are part of Thrifty Thursday with Leigh at Bloggeritaville (http://lbratina.blogspot.com). You'll be safe there. I don't think any of them will make you tut-tut as you read about their thrifty purchases.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Bluebird of Happiness!

.BLUE BIRD OF HAPPINESS, MY BUTT!
. It's friggin' freezing!
There's snow up my to my cute fuzzy buttocks; all the food's covered in with
3 feet of this white stuff; and you want me to sing!
What? Anne Murray's "Snowbird"?
.Bug Off!
.Next year, I'm flyin' to Jamaica.
Gonna get me a little hut on the beach and smoke some of that funny bird seed!

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Yup, there are just some days when the optimism finds it mighty difficult to get out the door past the ice and the snow and the minus 14 deg temperatures! Brrrrr!
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How do I put a smile back on my face?
Wooly socks, an extra sweater and chocolate!
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Just call it necessary mental health intervention!
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Monday, February 14, 2011

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

This beautiful rose was one of many that were given out at church yesterday to all the ladies in honor of Valentine's Day. Red may be the traditional color of love, but yellow roses are my favorites.
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But my house is full of red and pink in the kitchen and dining room. Valentine's Day is always a fun day for me. I decorate the breakfast table and have a little bag of goodies for the girls..
I'll wear a red blouse to work and my special red heart-shaped earrings; and I'll put out a large dish of red and pink heart-shaped chewy candies for the mailman and other visitors. (Repeat with me: I will not eat more than 5; I will not eat more than 5!) I'll go to my exercise class at lunch time ... and work out 'till I'm red in the face! And I'll probably have a McDonald's salad for lunch -- their Asian grilled chicken ... 'cause the dressing is red and extremely yummy!
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Tonight at home, we'll eat a special Valentine's meal: lasagne and salad (with red leaf lettuce); with heart-shaped brownies topped with ice cream and warm chocolate sauce ... and a cherry ... for dessert!
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It's never mattered to me if I have a sweetheart or not on Valentine's Day. Because after all: Valentine's Day is about love! And love is about more than just a significant other. It's about your children and your parents and your friends and the people in your life or the ones who come into your day and make it a little easier....
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And any excuse to spread a little cheer and to celebrate is just fine with me!

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And it's a perfect time to say thank you to my wonderful bloggie buddies. I hope your day is filled with red and pink and love!

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hello Weekend!


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Hello Weekend!
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Have I mentioned how glad I am that you're here?
I'm gonna share my friends and my wine with you ('cause I'm just that kinda girl!).
And although it would be great if I didn't suck at trivia tonight, as long as I've got you (and my friends and my wine), I'm a happy girl.
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I love hangin' with you!




Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thrifty Thursday Feb 10.11

Value Village had a 50% off sale on Monday. It was like a magnet! So a couple of friends and I went to the city for a girl's day. We started with the VV in Dartmouth; then went back across the harbour for lunch and VV #2 at Bayer's Lake.
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I am, of course, on the hunt for flat shoes. I found 3 great pairs.
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  • Here's a brand new pair of Liz Clairborne's, originally from Winners. These were an expensive purchase at the VV price of $24.50; 50% off = $12.50. They're very comfortable and are really cute with their 2 tone grey/charcoal coloring.

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  • This pair of Naturalizers have a cute little kitten heel; when I tried them, my foot didn't turn over but felt nice and secure. I love the color and the cute buckle; these ones cost me $6.25 with the discount.
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  • My last pair are just a fun little cheerful 'n' cheap pair of pink flats; cost = $4.
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  • I don't need another jacket; but everyone loves a double-breasted pea coat, right? Plus look at the fabric combination -- wool, viscose and cashmere! It was so soft, and it fit beautifully. I confess, I was seduced --- by the look, the feel and the cost! $6.50 with discount!
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  • Naturally, I hit the jewellry counter and found some sweet little trinkets. I got a red pendant necklace ($2), a pair of silver Xmas bells with a little sparkly bling (50 cents) and this lovely silver leaf necklace ($150). And the green beaded bracelet? I looked at it a couple of weeks ago and put it back because I didn't want to pay the price they had marked on it. I don't remember what the original price was; but since then, the tag had fallen off; and when I asked the price, the clerk said that any item of jewellry without a price tag has a flat rate. My cost this week? 49 cents! It sure paid to wait.


  • So then I nabbed this little ring for my daughter's birthday at the end of Aprilwhen she will turn 21 years old. My cost = $3.50.

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It was a fun day not just because of the great bargains but because I got to share it with 2 more die-hard thrifters. And it was a treat to drive home with my usual Starbucks skinny vanilla latte and stories of our bargains.


Drop by and visit Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville.


Rednesday Feb 9.11

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Come to work with me today for Rednesday. This is what I'm wearing: the necklace I bought at Value Village on Monday and my favorite faux suede shirt.

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I work for a small heavy-construction firm where I "am" the office. It doesn't pay a lot, but I have the best boss. I can come and go as I please as long as my work is done. "May I have Monday off to go to Value Village's 50% off sale?" "Sure, why not." says my boss. (He has a thrifting wife, so he well understands a woman's need to thrift shop.)

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This is my desk. Note the splash of red on my computer and the color of the file folders I'm using for 2011.

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And although this is not red, it proudly states that I am "Proud to be an organising, resourceful, overseeing, interfacing, analysing Administrator!" All that ... and a bag of chips!.
Besides the pens and paper and staplers, there are other things that a girl needs in order to be all those things. She needs:
















A good selection of hand cream -- so that her hands are soft and supple and amazingly aerodynamic when flashing across that keyboard! And she needs a pretty smelling candle -- for those days when one's mind is beset by accounting woes [aka Tax season!!!] and she needs to 'breathe deeply and release all stressors'.

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And then there's the need to keep fueled. Hence the large red Santa tin:













And the ever-changing selection of goodies inside!

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On this no-school day, I was able to come to work early. And that means breakfast from Tim's. Note the cheerful red on the Tim's cup, bagel wrapping paper, strawberry cream cheese, stamp holder, and the local newspaper.. .............. which will also be read!.

Enjoy your Rednesday everyone.
And please check out all the other posts at It's a Very Cherry World (http://suelovescherries.blogspot.com) .



Monday, February 7, 2011

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
Henri Matisse
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In spite of the weather and seeing this when you look out your window...remember -- there's only another 4-6 weeks until spring arrives.
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Chin up ... and think floral today, my friends!
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Men and Marmalade Wars!

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My kids love snow days for more than just the day off. They know that if Mama is home on a snow day, there's lots happening in the kitchen! It must be the survival instinct that kicks in with me: cold and blustery outside, warm, fragrant (fattening) and comforting inside. There's nothing like a bunch of carbs to make a person feel safe (bloated) and loved!
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I started with a beautiful beef stew made with root vegetables and tenderloin and a dash of crushed chili peppers for oomph! It was so delicious!
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Then I made a pineapple upside down cake. I think of this as part of my overall scheme for organization and simplification: I used up the last of my maraschino cherries and a can of pineapple tidbits and found out that my baking powder is losing it's action (not unlike me). It was delicious!
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I've been dreaming lately of home-made bread. So, I got out my Jean Pare bread cookbook and settled on a 7-grain recipe: white and WW flour, oats, wheat germ, bran, cornmeal & rye (for which I substituted rice flour). I find it so satisfying and even therapeutic to mix and knead and form and bake "loaves of love"!









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I awoke this morning hearing a man snoring in the next room!!
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What's this? Sandy's extradordinary prowess in the kitchen has netted her a man?
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No! The weather was so treturous last night that my friend's son (whom I watched grow up) couldn't make it home after work, so I offered my empty bedroom. As I went off to bed last night, he was sitting in the living room reading (and eating large slabs of my bread); I woke this morning to the sounds of snoring in the spare room and a pair of large, stinky shoes downstairs. (Hmmm! That sounds just like the last couple of years of my married life!)
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Then while I was shovelling, I met another cute guy!!!
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Yeah! He's eleven ..... and he helped me shovel for a certain amount of recompense. (Yes! That definately sounds just like the last couple of years of my married life!)
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This morning as I wait for the weather to warm up a little and the salt trucks to do their thing, I'm partaking in "Marmalade Wars" --- Rose's Lime or Robertson's Seville Orange?.
As much as I love lime, Robertson's seville orange wins by an orange rind.
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Now, please excuse me as I waddle off to shower before work.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vintage Thursday Feb 3.11

We received 10 cm of snow early Wed morning AND 20 cm of snow during the day AND we're expecting another 10 cm of snow beginning at midnight. Sort of like a 3-course meal: appetizer, entree and desert! (Somehow, I don't feel hungry anymore!) Nevertheless, it's been a day of digging out; and it looks like it will be a morning of digging out!

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Two other things I'm digging are my vintage finds from the past couple of weeks.

  • Everyone loves vintage Christmas bulbs, right? These were $2 at Frenchies.

  • And this sweet little tree topper came from The Daisy. Here it is unlit and lit. Gorgeous huh! The cost - 50 cents!

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I'm taking part in Vintage Thingie Thursday today which is hosted by Coloradolady . Check it out with me.
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White Wednesday - Feb 2.11


It truly is a white Wednesday in Bridgewater this morning. We had 10 cm (4") of snow last night and are due for another 20 today with the possibility of more tomorrow. Phew! I'll be getting my workouts whether the YMCA is closed or not!
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So with all this white stuff on the ground, I've decided to join Kathleen at Faded Charm for her White Wednesday post.
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Here's what I faced at 7 AM this morning. Not an overly daunting task. Just enough to bring out the roses in my cheeks.
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After I finished shovelling, I took a walk around the garden and enjoyed the beauty of the freshly fallen snow.
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All my solar lights are wearing little gnome hats! (Well, I confess that some of them have gone underground!).
And of course, Feb 2nd is Groundhog Day. It was reported that our own Shubenacadie Sam (shown here) as well as Punxsatawney Phil in the US have both reported that spring is near! Good news for those of us wielding shovels today.
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Back inside, I showered, dressed and enjoyed a white breakfast -- toast and a soft boiled egg.
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And there on the table in front of me were my latest thrift store finds -- a pretty white Pfaltzcraft bowl and vintage glass pepper and salt shakers (50 cents each)..
And now this little white girl has to head off to her white collar job. Enjoy your Wednesday!
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