July 29, 2014

Comic Relief!

We're going thru a bit of a heat wave this week. I want to be outside in my garden but the heat is far too unbearable. My work is in an old building and there is no air conditioning and we have great fans but it's still too hot! Last night, my daughters and I converged in the cool family room in our house to unwind from a busy day, with our big fan turned on high. After making dinner, doing dishes and some laundry, the thought of sitting in my home office upstairs was too much. And as much as the weeds need to be pulled, they're going to have to wait a few extra days. We're promised temps of 30 today, 31 tomorrow, 32 on Thursday, then a balmy 24 with rain on Friday. Can't wait for the relief!

Typically a Monday night is busy outside or sometimes I tag along with my dh to his theatre rehearsals, so watching tv isn't always on the agenda. He still went to his gig that is now rehearsing in a stuffy garage where the set is erected until the show opens in August. We spent some time surfing the channels and came across the funniest show any of us has seen. It's crass but so amusing, especially if you like British humor. 

Mrs. Brown's Boys was first broadcast in 2011 and just showing up now on our channels. The lead character, a female called Agnes Brown, is played by a male actor. And some of his real life family are in the production as well, including his real wife and a couple of his adult children. We watched two episodes last night, then You Tubed it (is that a word?) and watched a few more. My ribs hurt today from laughing so hard. A great distraction on a hot summer night when being distracted was much better than trying to cope with and work in the heat. Fun "night off" with my daughters. Comic relief from the heat!!
And now we have a new obsession ~ downloading all the Mrs. Brown's episodes we can find!

Questions of the day:
Do you enjoy British humor?
Any other shows you can tell us about?

July 25, 2014

Quiet Friday Night .... Not!!

Hi everyone!

Today was the last day of our grieving kids summer camp. So much fun, so much work, such intense emotions, such great kids! It rained all day and we ended up with leaky windows in my classroom, a leaky storage room wall and a leaky radiator, a first but it's an ancient building that truly needs to be torn down, so it doesn't surprise me that water would get in. We moved upstairs to complete our day while the staff and others figured out the leaks. The day ended with a memorial service for the kids loved ones, the handing out of participation certificates and then we partied! After the families left, I presented my team with small gifts and then we all bid each other a fond farewell for now. The next grieving kids camp is in mid August and my hope is we get another wonderful group of kids and that my dedicated team will all be back, once they've had a nice break. 

Drove home in torrential rain, dodging massive puddles and crazy, impatient drivers. Didn't take any longer to get home, it was just horribly wet. Dh made a lovely dinner, then we decided to take it easy tonight after a busy week, so we watched a few shows we had taped and then I napped while dh and dd watched a show they were waiting for. 

Our quiet Friday night ended there! With two loud bangs, my nap was interrupted and panic set in once we realized the source was the power lines behind our house that had snapped and were precariously swinging around in the strong winds. We could smell smoke, so we shut off the tv and called 911. In that very short time, they had already fielded calls and knew that our street was in danger. We went outside to see the damage and our neighbors were all gathering. The pole that the lines were attached to was just two doors down from us and their fence was scorched. Thankfully, the power company had been called and immediately shut off the power. This line services the older homes behind us, so our power was okay but 4 hours later, the families behind us still don't have their power restored. And the line is still hanging in our backyard. We were all instructed by the firefighters, who arrived first and stayed for quite a while, to not go into our backyards until they give the all clear. We're safe, just slightly shaken, as the potential for fire was huge but thankful that didn't happen. I think they are still working on the line and I hope that our neighbors get their power back soon. At least it's not a freezing cold, winter's night. No power in the summer isn't great but no power here in the winter can get dangerous. The rain stopped and the weekend promises to be sunny and hot. Hopefully that will help with the repairs that are underway.

Not the quiet Friday night we envisioned but we're thankful that other than a scorched fence, everyone is safe and unharmed. No power for some but no power is better than a burned down house!

How was your Friday night?

July 23, 2014

New House Update!

Hi everyone!

It's supposed to rain for the next two days, so we zipped out to the woods tonight to take a peek at our new house. We've haven't been out since they put the decking down about a week ago and knew they were going to start framing soon. 

The security camera our builder has on site to see who comes and goes when he's not there. Beautiful, sun filled evening, with blooms and wildlife all around.

Coming up and around our driveway, we hoped to see some lumber and maybe a wall or two. Did we ever get the best surprise!! We have walls! Big walls! And window openings! And doors!

The front of the house in the upper left pic, then the back of the house. Top right pic (left to right) shows our laundry eating nook window, which will have a window seat from wall to wall in it, then our laundry room window and the long, short window is above the "lockers" in our mudroom going out to the garage.

Upper left pic is the turret windows. Front of the house in the rest of  the pics. Our dining room is on the left side, then the front hallway and then the living room on the right. The small window in the bottom pics will be an oval in the two story entry. 

Helping Mr. B. up in to his house for the very first time! He's so excited to have a new house!!

Upper left pic shows the french door out to the covered deck, then the next pic on the right is the big window in the family room. Lower left pic is another view, showing the turret in the back and then Mr. B. showing the kitchen to his left and the laundry room on his right. He's a great tour guide!

Where my favorite oval window will go. Archway into the dining room. Window looking out to the front garden. And looking out that same window towards the living room windows.

My guy, so proud, in his new house. Dd and grandson in the kitchen. The big opening in the bottom left corner pic is our front door. And the windows on the right are in the dining room. 

Daughters mapping out the family room and kitchen. Door looking out the back. Big window in the eating nook facing the back garden. And the door leading from the garage into the house. 

The upper left pic shows our drive out to the lane. Upper right is the window opening for the "lockers". Bottom left shows the entrance into the basement. And my lovely laundry room window. Love the view!

Family room and turret in the upper left pic. Kitchen and butler's pantry in the upper right pic. My guy and me, excited to be standing in our new front hall, complete with a coat closet, something we currently don't have in this house. Mr. B. being lifted down to investigate more of the outside. 

The entrance down to the lower level in the upper left. Walking outside the garage in the lower right. Lots to explore, so much to love!!

So that's the progress on the new house. We won't venture out this weekend as it will be too muddy after the rain. But can't wait for the following week to see the progress. We may have a second floor by then. Then windows and our roof. It seems to be moving quick now, especially with all our good weather. Fingers crossed this pace continues so we can move in before the snow comes. And then I plan to take a break from work and settle in, hang pictures and make our new home warm and cozy. 

July 20, 2014

Twenty Eight plus One!

Hi everyone!

Our eldest daughter turned 29 last week but has been quite vocal that she has dreaded this birthday and wished we'd all stop trying to celebrate it! We did a quiet dinner, then tonight had family over, which in the end, she did enjoy. With smiles and cheers all around, she gracefully blew out her candles. 

To tease her, we decided to use last year's 28 candles, then added in the extra yellow one, with a star on top and two sparklers. Thankfully, she was good natured about the joke. For now, we've all agreed that she is remaining 28! Can't wait til she hits 50!!

It was her son who declared that she had to be "28 plus 1" for the year .... smart boy, our Mr. B!!

Did you ever have a birthday you dreaded?

July 19, 2014

Frugal Friday!

Hi everyone!

Life has been a bit busy lately, so we haven't gone thrift shopping for quite a while. Between packing boxes, decision making with our builder, working on summer daycamp planning and moving offices, truly, there hasn't been time. But yesterday, after all our work was done, dh asked if I wanted go shopping to try and find some capris as I was complaining how hot it was to wear jeans and shorts at work doesn't quite seem professional, even in a casual environment. So off we went, hoping to find at least one pair to get me thru on the days that jeans are too hot and dresses that aren't always functional in a kid centered, creative but messy environment. 


Of course, we needed to start by looking in the china section and came across this sweet and tiny creamer. Perfect for a cold winter night when it's just the two of us having a "cuppa" before bed. Today, all the green tags were $1, so this item was a bargain, down from the $4 that was marked on the sales tag.

Not a green tag item but perfect for my new office, to match the big picture my boss gifted to me on Thursday. For all three prints, I paid $1. 

Another treasure ~ a gorgeous and very colorful English cottage. Oops, forgot to wipe the dust off! For a sweet $1, I'm happy to hang this pic up with all the tiny ones we've found along the way.

Dh found this one in the back where they hang curtains and bed linens. He remembered I was talking about making a curtain for our the laundry room at our new house but would have to find some material that had green, lavender and gold together. Ta da! Another green tag find for $1, marked down from $10.

And then we found capris! These are brand new, a bit big for me but with the tie on the waist, I can pull them in. Brand name? You betcha!! Calvin Klein as a matter of fact. And the price? $5. The original tag said $65. Never worn. I always wonder why when I find items that are in perfect condition or have the price tags still attached. What made someone not use or wear the item? But their loss is my sweet gain, so not too much thought has to go in to it. Just happy they didn't throw them in the garbage!

Love how I'll be able to tie up the bottom legs as loose or as tight as I'd like. I like to have options!

A pair of black capris, gently used, not a mark on them and so comfy. Brand name I am not familiar with, Crisca, but for $5, I'm not sure anyone is going to ask me who the designer is! Price again? $5.

And this last pair is American Eagle, a brand I love and for the green tag price of $1, a price I couldn't argue. These appeared to be brand new as well and I know I'll be wearing them often this summer. 

So there we have the Frugal Friday finds for our recent trip to the thrift store. Not a bad haul for a quick shopping spree on a hot and muggy afternoon. In total, we spent $15 out of the $20 that was budgeted. And found 3 pairs of capris!! 

Have you done any thrift store shopping lately? 
Any great finds?


Thank you for listening to me on a very down day. 

Sometimes, the opportunity to 
vent is all that is needed. 

The rest of the week went so well, better than I could 
have asked for and I wanted to stop for a  moment 
and say "Thank you" for your ear and your time. 
So truly appreciated!!

July 14, 2014

How do you do it?

Hi everyone!
I've never been good at promoting what I do and what I need. I may appear to be an extrovert but truthfully, I'm a closet introvert. I have guts and determination and can appear so confident. But I'm not always and it's a struggle to work on a daily basis to find my niche and feel comfortable with reaching out.
Right now, I'm working on boosting the traffic to my blog as well as trying to gather more families for my summer programs as well as trying to gather more families for my fall programs as well as trying to gather participants for our first bereavement conference as well as trying to gather bereaved families for our 2nd annual memorial walk. None of it is currently going well at all. Throwing in the towel would be my next move, except that I'm awfully stubborn and quitting is never on the agenda.
And yet, I find myself not getting the numbers needed. When I visit other blogs and see the number of comments, I'm intrigued and I'll admit, slightly jealous. Which is totally not my character. I truly write for me, for history, so numbers shouldn't really matter, right? But for some reason, they seem to be important, a measure of acceptance perhaps that I crave but continues to elude me.
I love and cherish the dedicated readers I have but can't figure out how to get my blog "out there".
When I see the success of other programs that have similar offerings, I wonder why my numbers, while good, are never huge. Our evaluations and quotes from clients show we have a strong, viable program, that is unique. As the only one of it's kind offered in Western Canada, you'd think we'd be overrun with numbers.
But truthfully, we're not and I can't figure out why.
I am intrigued by the vast numbers of volunteers, sponsors and attendees others have received for their conferences and their walks. But again, can't figure out beyond the typical promotion (web, emails, posters, media) to spread the word about our events.
What am I doing wrong? Or not doing enough of?
Maybe it's fear.
Maybe I'm not savvy enough.
Maybe I'm too short or not beautiful.
Maybe what I think others want is not really want they want.
Maybe no one wants to read what I have to say, or attend my programs, or need a conference.
In the end, I'll figure it out, 'cause that's what I do. But I would love your ideas on how to get there. In this season of hot weather, many deadlines and too many decisions, my head is swimming and making sense of the chaos isn't making my posts very attractive!
Share, do please share.
I'll cherish anything you can offer.

July 13, 2014

Blessed Sunday!

Hi everyone!

I have always loved the idea that Sunday should be a day of rest. A day to enjoy the little blessings all around us. A day to spend with family and friends. A day to relax and do fun things after a long week of working hard. Always a favorite day in my books!

Our Sundays have become extra work days due to our impending move but today, we decided that we needed to get back to a more relaxed day. We're on track with our sell and move tasks and truthfully don't want to burn ourselves out, so today we began our new Sunday routine. I quite liked it! We slept in just for a short time, then after a light breakfast, we ventured out to the acreage to see the progress on the new build. So excited to see the decking has now been installed over the engineered beams. We have a floor! This coming week, the framing of the main floor will start. Next weekend's drive should be really exciting. And the weather is sunny all week, so hopefully, no delays. 

After we got back to town, we stopped at the store for a few ingredients for dinner then headed home to do a bit of gardening. With the heat, it was hard to do too much, but I'm happy to get the majority of the weeds out of the back gardens. The front will have to wait until it's cooler but at least they are small and not over bearing. We then lounged on the deck for a couple of hours, reading and scheming, napping and gazing. Relaxing all around. Dh made a lovely bbq dinner and then we watched two more episodes of "Orange is the New Black". All of season 1 is now done; on to season 2! Other than this blog post, I've not been on the computer all day. Definitely an outside to enjoy the warm weather day!

How was your Blessed Sunday?