Friday, December 31, 2010

Going With The Flow

I had planned to do a post titled 'Sisters Who Travel', but I left my camera at mom's last night so I'm just going to go with the flow and post a photo essay of our very long day making Christmas centerpieces.


Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


The Christmas season gives us a real opportunity to express our creativity.
Here's how my sister-in-law expressed hers. . .

She made our family in gingerbread!!
Can you guess who's who?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Wintery Day

A quick peek at how my day started:

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Prize And A Gift

A while back I entered a draw over at Jenna's blog for a drop spindle and roving from her cranky sheep Maude.
Alas, someone else won.
But wait!. . .
Someone else didn't claim the prize and I became the lucky runner up winner!
Guess what came in the mail today. . .

Christmas holidays start in a week.
I'm sure the kids wouldn't mind if I choose to spin rather than do my Christmas baking. . .
So that was the prize.
Jenna didn't stop there however and gifted me with a copy of her book Made From Scratch as well!

How sweet was that?
This is a very good start to the week.
I hope your week starts out as well as mine did!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting Over Myself

A while back I went to watch the movie Eat, Pray, Love with a bunch of friends.
Now I love Julia Roberts, but I've got to say that before we had gotten too far into the movie I desperately wanted to do three things:
-Hit her upside the head
-Walk out of the theater
-Shake her and yell "Get over yourself!"
The whining that went on! The angst and anxiety!
The whining. . . .

The bazaar was a big hit.
The next day I was up at six thirty to drive Jesse to school to meet his ride to a basketball tournament.
I went home, got back in bed and stayed there until two thirty in the afternoon. I spent the rest of the day sitting in my chair.(The only time I moved was to go to the bathroom or get something to eat.)
We had friends over for our annual tree decorating and dinner the next night.
It was lovely.
All this week if I haven't been running around, (and there's been lots of running around) I've been falling asleep in my chair while trying to read.
The worst thing about this week though, has been the whining.
Luckily for everyone around me most of it has been in my head. . .
I have been sooooo tired!
Which has made me soooo cranky!
Which of course brings on the whining.
It's freezing out side. (-18C)
All I want to do is stay at home when I'm not driving.
I am sick of all the dishes in the kitchen. (Those would be the dishes I didn't clean after the lovely evening with our friends that are still !!sitting on my kitchen counters.)
Well. . . .the list went on and on.
And on.
All of a sudden this afternoon I really heard myself.
I wanted to hit myself upside the head. . .
I wanted to leave the room. . .
I did yell " Get over yourself already!"
I'm still tired ( as Morgan so kindly pointed out, I'm not 30 anymore.) but I am determined that the whining will be replaced with  a long, joyful list of all the blessings in my life.
And it is a very long one.
Now I'm off the clean those dishes in the kitchen.
Unless I fall asleep in my chair firstttttt. . . . .  .Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, December 3, 2010

Good Night.

Sooooo tired. . . . .
See you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Center Pieces

Well, I decided to just go for it!
I just had to see if we could sell a few arrangements at the bazaar.
I took the day off and My sister-in-law Leona offered to come and help out for a while.
She is working as my floral foam assistant,

and I took courage in hand and started placing the greenery. . .

Here's the first one:

What do you think?
How much would you pay?
 Anxious in Alberta.

The Christmas Seaason

I've decided to get the ball rolling. . .

I've bought my Darvonda poinsettia, How about you?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whoo Hoo!!

I got a brand new school bus yesterday.
It. Is. Awesome!!!
If Henry hadn't commandeered my camera for his hunting trip there would be pictures.
Lots of pictures!
The things I want to tell you about this bus. . .
But it's going to have to wait I'm afraid. This has thrown a wrench in my bazaar schedule and I now have to spend today cleaning my old bus as it will become the school's spare and has to be brought to the school asap.
Those centerpieces I planned to make to decorate the bazaar and then sell off, are looking more and more unlikely.
BUT. . . I am Warm on my new bus!!!
It doesn't get better than that!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Busy Days

Wellingtons Garden Center

It's getting busy around here.

My cousin Leona and I are organizing the Sinter Klaas Bazaar again this year and there are just five days to go until the big day.

There are so many little details that need to be taken care of for a big fund raising event and I keep track of them in my special note book.
You know, that books of lists that functions like my brain. (except that it's more reliable. . .)
The book that never leaves my sight.
Except that it did. Leave my sight I mean. . .

It has disappeared!!!

I am madly trying to recreate all my notes and I'm so sure that I've forgotten at least one person who wanted  to rent a table that I'm going to have to have an extra 'vendor' table or two just to make sure. . .
I sure hope that book turns up soon!

I'm also in charge of decorating so I've got a few ideas that I've be trying to scrounge up bits and pieces for. I've picked up the table cloths and we will be covering all the tables with plastic burgundy and green table clothes and I bought coordinating napkins for the kitchen as well as the dessert table.

Of course I wasn't thinking about the bazaar yesterday when I decided to decorate the front garden for Christmas while it was still some what warm. I worked on my own all afternoon putting up the greenery and Jesse and I worked well into the evening putting up the lights.

It looked great! (I'll be posting pictures as soon as I get a chance. We won't be turning on the lights until December and I'm hoping for a bit of snow to cover the ugly stomped on garden.)

Then I realized that I had just used up a lot of the bits and pieces I had intended to use at the bazaar!

Sigh. . .

That's what happens when I lose my book of lists!

Ah well. . .
I'm sure everything will work out one way or another.
Anyone have any good, quick, cheap and fabulous decorating ideas?
I think I might need them!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Warming Up!

It was another cold morning and it took quite some time for my feet to warm up once I got home.
Poor Jada had to miss out on a walk again today, but I just didn't have the oomph to go for a walk at -24C !
I had a nice nap today, made icing for the cinnamon buns I made yesterday and chatted with family and friends. (What did people do before phones?!)
It's time to leave for my afternoon run but my feet are mostly thawed out and it's a balmy -14C on this beautiful sunny afternoon so I'm looking forward to a nice bus ride.
There will be lots of fun things going on at my little house for the next while as we head into the holidays and I'll do my best to keep you posted.
Perhaps you might even get a good idea or two for your own holiday celebrations!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Frigid Temperatures

How do frigid temperatures affect your life? I start to get rather uptight when the thermometer falls below -25C.
Last night they were calling for -31C and I jumped into action.
I laid out my knee high ski socks and an extra pair of warm fuzzy socks to go over them.
I set out my white Sorrels (Rated to -40C)  and extra warm green turtle neck.
In the kitchen I got my travel mug ready to fill with piping hot hot chocolate just before I had to leave in the morning. I also set out my wheat bag hoping it would stay warm enough to keep my hands warm while the bus warmed up. ( that doesn't happen at these temps until I'm be driving for about an hour.)
Fleece lined jeans?
Long johns?
Tow pairs of gloves
School is cancelled when it drops below -37C or -41 with the wind chill out at the International Airport.
I just checked.
It's -27C and -33C with wind chill  over there.
So I had better bundle up and get going.
Stay warm every one!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Frosty Days

Does anyone here know what happens when you stick a wet tongue to a frosty metal post  16 degrees below Celsius?
A nine year old boy on my bus does. . .
And right about know he's probably wishing he didn't have an enquiring mind!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Dog's Life

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sick Over Here. . .

I have been battling both a bad cold and what seems to be intestinal flu for the past two weeks.
It's not quite bad enough to stay home from work and sleep all day so you just keep doing what has to be done at a much slower pace.
Hence the lack of blog posts. Every time I sit down I end up taking a nap!
I've been in the garden

 nearly finished my kitchen (pics coming soon!),

attended Farm Fair with Ev,

worked on the Sinter Klaus bazaar and spent the last day and a half shopping for my Operation Christmas child shoe boxes.
We have Thursday and Friday off this week and the plan is the take advantage of the fact that Jesse's not working at the moment and in desperate need of money!
If I can just shake the sickness we are going to be twin whirlwinds getting all those little projects that refuse to get off my mental To Do list and have the house ready for the Christmas season by next week.
Ambitious I know and I can she Ev just shaking her head now. . . ( she thinks I should learn how to relax.)
I`m working on it. . .
Sort of. . .

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wild Life

I had just gotten  on to a quiet street in St Albert this morning when, without warning, a moose trotted across the street! She (no horns) wandered around for a bit and then headed back into the bush towards the river which would take her back out of town. (I hope!)
My first reactions were both delight and gratitude.
I mean how often do you get to see a moose up close like that?
Henry never does when he's out hunting, that's for sure!
I sent up a heartfelt prayer of thanks for such a lovely gift and hard on that, came the thought. . .
"Where's my camera? What kind of a blogger doesn't carry a camera 24/7 ?!!"
The fact that it was pitch black at the time was irrelevant.
After all a picture of a moose in the dark would be better than no picture of any kind of moose at all, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jesse's 'Go To' Outfit When Talking On The Phone With A Pretty Girl. . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thoughtful Kids

After all that cleaning, my kitchen is a mess again.
But not to worry!
My children, who love me dearly and are are always willing to go 'above and beyond', allow most of our dishes to live in moldy splendor in their bedrooms, thereby ensuring that there are never enough dishes upstairs to make more than a small mess in the kitchen.
Aren't they thoughtful. . . .???

Monday, October 25, 2010

Laying Around

Friday found me frantically cleaning the house in between bus runs as I just hate it when Saturday rolls around and I spend the day working my butt off while everyone else just hangs out. Just so I would have absolutely no reason to go out on Saturday I decided to do a big grocery shop after dinner on Friday night.
Superstore had pumpkins on for $2.47 so I picked up five for our annual pumpkin carving night. Four of them went under the cart to leave room for the food. One of those pumpkins was quite obviously horrified rather than honored that he was about to be cut up and displayed on my front step and kept making a break for it. It got rather embarrassing when  he rolled right up to the same store clerk three times in a row!
The free item with $250 worth of groceries ( I nearly bought enough stuff to get me 2 free items!) was a mini DVD player. As ours has been broken for some time I was quite excited about this. Morgan (my tekkie geek) just shook his head and said " It's just going to be a piece of junk! I keep telling you you need to buy an xbox 3! You can store pictures, play music. . ."
After I brought the groceries home and the boys unloaded and put them away, Morgan set up my new DVD player.
It wouldn't open! Unless you banged on it. . .
For crying out loud!
I had to pick Holly up from work so I left a little early and exchanged it for a new one.
Man was Saturday ever going to be lovely. A nice long lazy day.
I woke up Saturday seized with the desire to put my applesauce away and bring my computer room (Actually everything but computering goes on in this room these days!) back into order. Over the summer it has served as a holding place for canning equipment,  a place to dry herbs or sew small projects and what have you.
Putting the applesauce away required a total clean out and reorganization. At this point Jesse got involved as I complained that to store my extra empty jars I first had to clean out under the deck. A scary, (mice) very large job in a very tight space. I have to crawl on my hands and knees to get under there.
Jesse said he would get the jars under there and I started working on the cold room.
I wiped down the 68 jars of applesauce and trucked them downstairs.
After going going to the grocery store, (I had forgotten something!!) I dropped Holly off at work, made a quick stop at the butcher and went home for a late lunch.
Jesse spent four or five hours slithering around under the deck sweeping, vacuuming, sorting and organizing until the space under my deck was beautiful to behold!
I figured I might as well tackle the computer room.
At 3 o'clock Sunday morning I finally went to bed after ironing and hanging all four curtains.
Henry just kept shaking his head and saying "I thought you were going to take it easy today. . ."
Sometimes my husband is very baffled by me. . .
So. am. I.
This is what I saw when I looked out the window this morning. . .

I've spent the day just lying around. (After a morning bus run and a quick walk for Jada of course!)
It's still snowing.
To my sister Tamara ,who after a long, unexpected business trip to Hong Kong is most likely wishing it was her who was lying around all day. . .
I'm praying you get a nice lazy day soon!
Actually I hope we all get a nice lazy day when we really need one. . .

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grown Up

This was Jesse's contribution to grocery night.
And I worried about the fact that my baby is now old enough to vote!
It looks like he'll be my baby for a few more years. . .

Okay, okay, he might also have unloaded most of the groceries and put a good number of them away,
but still!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Morgan went to a work function last night where they had a girl how did caricatures
This is what she came up with. . .

Isn't he cute?!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'll Be Outside All Week

At least I hope so!
It's cooler today and the rest of the week is likely to be cooler as well.
Still a few degrees above seasonal but. . .
It can't last forever!
I'm hoping to spend this week tidying up the garden, emptying the water barrels, cleaning out the greenhouse and then, as a reward, decorating my outside front entry for fall.  This is what I did in 2008. That was lots of fun!
I do like to do a little something for Halloween as well, as the kids who go to the school across the street enjoy it.
Nothing gory of course but I was just bouncing around the web and came across this at Naps On The Porch.
Wouldn't that huge web and spider look awesome on my gazebo?!
I'm going to see if I can figure out how to make it because I think the kids would love it! (Okay, so would I!)
Once the kids have done their annual pumpkin carving , I'll have four jack o'lanterns to add to the decor.
But now I have to get off the computer and out into the garden or all this fun will never happen!
Happy October 18th!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Warm Fall

Jesse's opinion on the long spell of unseasonably warm fall weather:
"It stinks!"
"It just doesn't feel right!"
"It should just get cold and snow already!!"
Can this be MY son???

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Granville Island

After Tam and I finished our delicious lunch on Friday we headed over to Granville Island in Vancouver.

It was under a bridge and what could be better than a bridge support covered in vines when you're a gardener? This is certainly not something we see in Edmonton!

There were so many things to see and do.
What should we do first?

Of course we started with plants and flowers. . .

And then went on to more flowers. . .

We made a quick stop in the Emily Carr Art Institute and checked out some of the art on the walls. It was too deep for us,(They were literally scribbles) so we moved on to the indoor Farmer's Market.

Tam and I both drooled over the handmade pastas and fresh boccincini so we picked up butternut squash ravioli with roasted red pepper pesto , linguine with basil pesto and two boccincini to have for dinner one night.
(Which by the way, was fabulous! Especially since we also added some spicy chorizo from the sausage stall.)

We spent some time checking out the various kinds of freshly made sausages. I was intrigued by some of the more interesting types such as the one that had apricots in it. (It was quite nice. You definitely tasted  the sweet apricots.) As I hope to try sausage making when/if  Henry brings home a deer this fall, I took lots of notes!

Thursdays  there is also an outdoor Farmers Market and we headed over to see what was being offered. One stand was selling organic vegetables which Tamara found rather lacking. Although I only grow organically and so have a higher tolerance for blemishes, I must admit that those veggies were rather sad looking. While perusing the stands we were serenaded by a man playing the steel guitar. I  picked up a CD  to both enjoy his music at home and have a reminder of a lovely day. (It's playing as I write this.) The best stall came last, as we stopped at Masion Cote ( where the fragrance of fresh herbs wafted to our noses. I hit the jackpot there, as the lovely owner was a passionate foodie and gave me great ideas for my deer sausage endeavour. I did not leave that stall empty handed!
One last stop at a little shop on our way back to the truck scored us both beautiful cashmere scarves for only $15!

Another exciting adventure came to a close.
But not to worry, there were more adventures on the way. . .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Coming Home

Well, I'm home again.
The blogging weekend is over.

My reporting on it however, is not.

Which means this is going to be a blogging week! (There may be a small interruption as mom and I can apple pie filling on Wednesday. Because, as you know, I don't have enough apple products preserved!)

Before I left today, the three of us met at a restaurant for breakfast. Lisa ordered organic Earl Grey tea.

It seems Tamara finds the scent of bergamont irresistible!

Oh Tam. . .

Lisa and I had taken our cameras along hoping to get a picture of the three of us.

Mine didn't have a timer, so Tam set Lisa's on the back of the seat, rushed over to the bench and the three of us smushed together, big smiles on our faces which faltered when nothing happened.

Tam jumped up to try it again, bumping her head against the blinds in the window as she attempted to peer into the viewfinder to see if we would all be in the shot.

As it looked good, she set it again, ran back to the bench where more smushing and smiling ensued.

Nothing happened.

"Where's the light? Did anyone see the red light?"

More head bumping, peering, smushing and smiling.

Still, nothing. . .

"Seriously, did anyone see a red light? There's supposed to be a red light!"

A very lovely man from another both came over smiling and asked if we would like him to take our picture.

"Yes Please!!"

He took the camera, stood back and pressed the button. . .

"The red light! The red light is blinking!"

He smiled again and said "That's alright, I'll just stand here and hold the camera until it goes off."

He was even gracious enough to take one with my camera as well.

All good things come to an end though and it was time to wing my way home.

Ahhhh. . .

A beautiful prairie quilt, lying under a blue prairie sky.

It's good to be home.

Monday, October 11, 2010

We Interrupt This Blogging Weekend. . .

As many of you know, I have two sisters.

And one who doesn't.

Many of you may also know that I am not photogenic.

My non blogging sister Lisa has been behind the camera for the last few days and this was the best she could come up with. . .

Ah, Lisa????

The next time Aunty Nancy pesters you to start blogging. . .

Please don't.

I don't think my self esteem could take having these kinds of pictures plastered across the web by two sisters!!!

© A Life of Whimsey