About Me

January 29, 2013

A Mystery!

Where, oh where,
did my comment button go?
I can't find it anywhere.
Checked my settings.
Looked under the bed.
It's a mystery!
If you know, please send me an email
(or a comment) to: hippymamax6@hotmail.com.

Baby Shower Gifts.

On the weekend, we
attended the baby shower
for our newest
grandbaby, due at the
end of February.
We have been "collecting"
tiny baby items for months
in anticipation of the big day.
At Christmas, we were
given the amazing news that
our new grandbaby will
be a beautiful granddaughter!

Our baby shopping became
intense with searching
for the perfect pink items!

This baby is truly a
miracle, so this frame is
just the right one to
describe this time in our
son and daughter-in-laws
lives. And ours!

January 28, 2013

Easy Soup!

It snowed all day today.
Big flakes.
Small flakes.
Blowing wind.
Dropping temperatures.
Dh stopped at the store and
picked up the ingredients to make this soup:
I found it on someone's blog.
I wish I could remember whose blog
because this soup was easy to make
 and sooooo tasty!

Perfect for staying home
tonight, cosy and warm.

We added in Turkish Rolls
from Cobs Bread ....

If you had it listed on your blog,
please accept my heartfelt
thank you for sharing it.
Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow.

January 27, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat!

Untouched photo I took yesterday,
during our professional photo shoot.
A friend gave me "Company's Coming: Making Cards". I'd like to start using all the scrapbooking materials I've been collecting for years and card making for Valentine's Day looks like a good place to begin my venture. 
Hitchcock's "Sabotage" from 1936. Dh has found a channel that plays old movies on Sunday nights. It's become our routine to snuggle in bed, read, write and watch old movies for a bit before our busy week begins.
Listening To:
The dialogue on the tv and the wind that is starting to pick up outside. Snow is forecast for this week. The last few days we were able to have lighter coats on and the snow was melting in the sun. We even had a professional photo shoot outside yesterday, unheard of in January! Temps this week are going to range from -30 up to +5. Crazy!
Dh made yummy ham with creamed corn for dinner. I put together French Vanilla yogurt with organic sliced fresh strawberries for dessert. And Lavendar cookies for a night time snack.
Happy I accomplished this week:
We moved 3 large cabinets from the basement of our partner next door, a partner that is struggling financially and made the move to an upper floor to save on rent. They had no more room for our cabinets, so we spent almost 8 hours today, taking them apart, moving them upstairs and to our building next door, putting them back together, cleaning out our teacher's office, moving the cabinets in, organizing all the art materials, all the literacy materials, moving a smaller cabinet into the washroom to store the paper products, moved the change table out to be taken home by the family that let us borrow it for now, and finally, do a quick clean of the centre. So tired now but soooooo happy this big task is done. The best part? Our teacher has no idea we did this and she will be so excited tomorrow to see the new clutter-free environment that we set up today.
Looking forward to:
Day off tomorrow, board meeting in the evening, performance review with my boss on Tuesday morning, teaching childbirth classes to my son and daughter-in-law, painting real canvases with the preschoolers for the art show next weekend and do some shopping at Ikea. Except for the weather, promises to be a nice week.
Thankful for today:
A chance to sleep this morning, a fun photo shoot yesterday with great preview pictures that were sent to us, sunshiny day with melting snow, yummy breakfast in bed and scrumptious dinner tonight.
*BONUS QUESTION* What chore around the house do I dread doing the most? Cleaning the bathrooms. Thankfully, my girls each now have to do one and dh does ours. I use wipes to keep ours under control but he does the deep clean.
Linking up to Carla's "Sunday Night Chit Chat" over at My 1/2 Dozen Daily: http://halfdozendaily.typepad.com/my-half-dozen-daily/2013/01/sunday-night-chit-chat-3.html

January 26, 2013

A Favorite Thing!

Linking to Mockingbird Hill Cottage
tonight for "A Favorite Thing".
Technically, he's not a "thing"
but he is my favorite thing
in the world.

I think about him everyday
and am so thankful
we get to be in his life
while he is this little.

Trying out my glasses,
he reminds me of
a very bright
professor, with
glasses too big for his face!

But a personality that lights
up the room!!

January 25, 2013

My new throat!

I've had issues with my throat since I was a child. About 4 years ago, it was discovered that my choking, difficult swallowing, hoarse voice and constant infections was due to a congenital hiatal hernia, which caused gastric reflux, which cause intense food allergies, which caused clinical anorexia.
Yup, I've been a mess!
It hurts to talk, it hurts to eat, it hurts to swallow, sometimes, it even hurts to breathe.
After begging my family doctor for years, he finally found me the most amazing specialist who diagnosed me in the first consult (which everyone else missed but I've chosen to not be bitter) and we now have a plan to work on.
Taking steps to recovery  means several procedures, the first of which took place on Tuesday. My specialist gently put me to sleep, inserted a camera down my throat, took some tissue for biopsy, then used a series of weighted discs to dilate my throat. I woke up several hours later to discover that I can now swallow without difficulty. I may have to have this procedure done at various times throughout my life but its painless and I get a deep sleep out of the deal, plus the added bonus of not having food get stuck in my throat!
The next step is a test where a tube will be inserted in my nose and down my throat. Not sure when that will happen but I have complete faith in this guy and will do whatever needs to be done.
The last step is surgery. The hernia will be closed up and the pain will end. My allergies may even clear up. I can't wait but again, not sure when this will happen.
Years of pain will soon be over. I'm one happy lady today!!
P.S. The anorexia has been overcome and I'm now a healthier weight, with a bit of extra. My condition was never about body image but totally about painful eating. I didn't realize until 4 years ago that hurting was NOT supposed to hurt. It's hurt all my life, creating a pattern of eating very little. Once the diagnosis was finally made, with some meds, I was able to begin to eat again, without too much pain. It still hurts but not as bad. Can't wait to be totally pain free!!

January 23, 2013

The Warmth of Candles.

Once a month, our centre
hosts a Baby Loss Support Group.

The families who attend are fragile,
hurting, seeking, suffering ....
.... but always tell us they find comfort
in the company of others, the soft bears
on the table and the warmth of the
candles that glow thru the night.

January 20, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat!

Reading: Blogs, blogs, blogs!!
Watching: "Julie and Julia" but will be going downstairs in a few minutes to watch the beginning of the Oilers game. I'm not a hockey fan but now that the lockout is over, there is a buzz in the air. And our grandson, age 2, is sporting his very first Oiler jersey that we bought for him when he was born. It still doesn't fit as it's a size 5 but he's jumping around shouting "hockey, hockey"!! Who couldn't be excited when he's vibrating.
Listening to: My family chatting, dishes clinking, the sink filling for the nightly ritual of kitchen clean up.
Baking/Cooking: Nothing but today have enjoyed raspberry jam toast for breakfast, homemade chicken soup for lunch and sausages with asparagus and pea risotta for dinner.
Happy I accomplished this week: Not much other than resting, relaxing and rejuvenating our bodies, minds and souls. Now we're back from our holiday, work starts this week but savoring the last moments of holiday time. I am happy that I accomplished putting into place my "Artist Dates" with myself from the book "The Artists Way|".
Looking forward to next week:  Having the biopsy done on my throat. Tuesday is the day. Yeah for getting it done. I'm also looking forward to getting my office reorganized at the preschool. I was gifted a lovely table that matches my office furniture and have set it up but now I have to rearrange a few things, which means I get to purge. One of my favorite things!!
 Thankful for today: A chance to rest more, a long hot bath, a clean house, a lovely life.
*BONUS QUESTION* Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Both!!

Link: http://halfdozendaily.typepad.com/my-half-dozen-daily/2013/01/sunday-night-chit-chat-2.html

A Favorite Thing.

Joining in tonight with Claudia
from Mockingbird Cottage and
her "A Favorite Thing" link.
A favorite thing for me is the
beautiful dishes our children
gave me for my big birthday
in November. I love dishes,
collect vintage tea cups, saucers
and sets. My grandma's china
is lovingly stored away in our
dining room and much to my
mother's horror, we use
them often, not just for big
holidays. I know my grandma
would be proud that we love
to use her things.
These dishes are special, not just
because I love the look but
because our children are now
at the age where they can
observe me ooh and aah over
something, forget about it,
but they stash it away in their
memories and then make elaborate
plans to obtain said item for
a birthday or Christmas.
I'm honored they care enough
to figure out what I do like
and what would make me
cry then laugh then gush
upon opening!
If you'd like to join in, here's
the link to Claudia's
link party:

Cold Winter Afternoon.

When the weather outside if frightful,
with temperatures of more than -30,
this is where you will find us.
Cozy on the couch,
reading, playing, dreaming.
We'll have lots of time to play outside
soon, when the weather becomes warm
and the days longer. But for now,
we stay inside, cuddly, warm
and loved!

January 17, 2013

Sick little man ....

A day to catch up on rest
from our travels home yesterday.
A day spent cuddling this little man,
battling a double ear infection.
A day that revolved around Cars, toys,
 books, fluids, music and plenty of naps.
Sleepy boy .... 

.... who smiled every time he woke up!

January 16, 2013


This island is covered in moss.
It makes even a bleak day look colorful!

January 15, 2013

Living on an Island!

We've dreamed about living here http://saltspringtourism.com/since we were 18 years old. At that time, we listened to our parents, the wise individuals that they were, who at that time strongly encouraged us NOT to move here if we were going to have a family. With no University on the island, many kids grow up then move away. Why, oh why, did we listen to them?
How ironic that we live in a community now without a University and so many of our kids grow up then move away!
It used to be a very isolating place, without internet connection, cell phone reception and very high prices for absolutely everything. Now prices, including real estate, gas and groceries have become more reasonable and sometimes are even cheaper. For what our house and our land is worth in Alberta, we can buy a comparable home here or even cheaper, with more land. Wireless internet is here, Shaw has a full slate of tv channels and cell phone reception is just as good as at home. We can order anything we want and it will be shipped here. Shopping is local, with small shops carrying their own goods. There was a Mark's Work Wearhouse but that just closed in the fall. No Starbucks, no mall, no commercialism. A full service hospital, restaurants, movie theatre with the most current films, tons of activities to do, a very active Arts Council, theatre, yoga, any creative medium you can think of and very friendly, laid back residents. Love it!!
Our current plan is to continue to come out here several times a year, to stay at "our cottage" and then eventually find our own place. We will still keep a place in Alberta at the beginning, then once we're ready to completely give up our current jobs, which we both love and can't imagine doing, then we'll pack it in and be here full time. For now, the best of both worlds seems like a good plan.
We're almost done our winter trip. It's been warm, with a bit of rain here and there and some fog, along with some sun. But truly, as long as it's not blizzarding like it was back home, we can still hot tub, hike, shop, eat outside, take pictures and enjoy the lifestyle. We've also spent time at our cottage, resting, napping, quilting, writing, baking, eating and even entertaining. Last night, we had our neighbors who own the property down for wine and cheese. We had a great time and are so grateful to know this wonderful couple.
A couple of pictures from our current trip:
Buying fresh fruit at the market
in Ganges.
Moss and creeping grass everywhere.
Tree in the harbor.

Quilting on the window seat.

Trimming quilt blocks.

Midnight snack: berries in fresh, island yogurt.

Boat in the harbor.

Mini creek in Fulford.

My honey walking in the village.

North end of the island. 

January 13, 2013

Sunday Night Chit Chat!

"Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?"
Poet Mary Oliver
Reading? Just started The Doula by Bridget Boland. I thought about buying this before Christmas but it was too busy and I was so focused on shopping for everyone else. At the airport on Saturday morning, waiting for our flight and we wandered over to Indigo, which had a sale. This book was $18, on sale for $10. I had a gift card with a balance of $10.45. With tax, The Doula came to $10.50, so I spent .05 cents on a brand new book I would have paid full price for just a few weeks ago. So far, so good!
Watching? Some cooking show that dh put on but then just fell asleep a few minutes ago, so It's on but I'm truly not watching it! Will change to something a little more interesting.

Listening to? The dishwasher happily watching our dishes that we haven't had to wash by hand.
Baking/Cooking? Nothing at the moment but looking forward to baking chocolate chip cookies tomorrow.
Happy you accomplished this week? I put life into order so we could go away, which took a huge amount of energy, was very stressful but at the same time, so rewarding to get it all done so we could travel without feeling anxious that the work would be waiting when we got back. Now when I'm back to work next week, I start with a fresh page and a free heart and mind.
Looking forward to next week? Continuing to enjoy this island paradise that one day will be our second home!
BONUS QUESTION* What is your favourite board game? Monopoly. Love buying up all that real estate and having a stack of money that truly isn't mine! Linking back to http://halfdozendaily.typepad.com/my-half-dozen-daily/2013/01/sunday-night-chit-chat-1.html.

Spring has sprung at our house!

Just before leaving on our holidays, we bought
a beautiful not yet bloomed hyacinth.
Just before we left, it started to bloom.

The smell of fresh flowers in our house
is incredible. I can't wait for spring!
Hoping it's still in bloom by the
time we get back home later in the week.

January 7, 2013

Money Mash Up.

I found this on Simply Stacia and have decided to try it for a bit:
Monday Mash Up for January 7th. Each Monday, post the following questions then link to Stacia's blog. Address: http://simplystaciablogs.wordpress.com/
1. The most money I've spent last week was for groceries. We need to eat, I hate having to pay but it's a fact of life. We have lots in the cupboard and our fridge isn't empty but we love fresh and we often, on a spur of the moment, decide what's for dinner. Meal planning works to a point but for us, at this age, sometimes what we want might be different than what is listed on the menu plan hanging on the fridge! Working on this for this coming year.
2. A low-cost or free thing I did this past week was to bring home the extra art supplies that were donated to our centre. There were a number of items my teachers decided they didn't want or couldn't use that I was in love with. Free!
3.  The one thing I did for another was donate my free time on Friday and Saturday to help clean the centre, get it organized for today's classes and purge what we don't need. I did bring home the art supplies but nothing else and we had just purged our house before Christmas so the items had a place to go and did not create clutter.
4.  Something I really need to accomplish this week is take care of a number of tasks so we can leave on our little holiday on Saturday morning. I need to pay bills, tidy the house (it's still really clean and tidy from Christmas but by the end of the week it'll need a good clean), make sure the families that need counselling while I'm away are booked for when I'm back, make sure the families that want to start the group sessions are booked for when I'm back, answer all my emails and calls, send two letters overseas, send two Christmas/New Years cards to two people who sent cards unexpectedly, take care of one big headache that I haven't written about yet but is scheduled to "go down" on Thursday night at 6 p.m. (wish me luck), finish packing, book our rental car and buy groceries for the girls and the little boy so they don't starve to death when we're gone.
5.  My most favorite thing about winter is doing cozy things inside my warm house on blizzardy days, making yummy comfort food and sleeping in our big bed, full of quilts and comfort, listening to the wind howl outside.
How about you?

January 6, 2013

52 Week Savings Challenge.

Borrowed this from Simply Stacia over at https://simplystaciablogs.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/52-week-money-challenge-save-1378-in-2013/comment-page-1/#comment-1198. We have our weekly travel account that we contribute to and our monthly emergency fund - new house fund - rainy day fund - if we ever lose our jobs fund account but this 52 Week Challenge will help us save for either for next Christmas or for our RRSP accounts. Set up the spreadsheet today and will transfer our first week of contributions tonight.
Thanks Stacia!

No Spend Days

We did this last year but did not do the best job of keeping track of them. Dh just downloaded Office for me before he went off to his rehearsal, so part of my afternoon at home by myself is to set up a series of spreadsheets for 2013. The first is our No Spend Days tracking sheets. The whole idea is that we will have set days that we will not spend anything on anything. We pay our bills online and usually do the whole month at once. We shop for food a couple of days a week - we like fresh, fresh, fresh. We buy gas once a week x two cars. Our mortgage payment and car payments come out automatically. It is our discretionary spending we need to work on. We are actually pretty good, compared to many but still want to do better.
So far, for 2013, this is what we have spent money on:
January 1st - No Spend Day - achieved as nothing was open!
January 2nd - Dh had to get gas to get to work. It was about $46 (including GST). Down from $56 as our gas has plummeted. Yeah!!
January 3rd - No Spend Day - we were both at work. No time to shop!
January 4th - Thrift Store trip. We spent $9.45 on clothes, all brand new, for our new granddaughter, including a wool dress from Old Navy, a Disney sweater, two warm hats and a hooded towel. We also found a little pink picture frame that says Baby, a larger frame, a fabric book, brand new in the bag, that turns into a backpack for a toddler for Beckett and two small storage bottles for my art studio. Pictures to follow. Groceries were
January 5th - new jeans for me, on sale for $15.48 (including GST), down from $50. I tend to wear my jeans until they wear out, so these will most likely last me at least 2 solid years. I am allowed to wear jeans at work, so this is a staple of my wardrobe. Not a bad deal at all! We also bought fondue fuel for $7.02 (including GST) and we spent $5.31 (including GST) at the Bulk Barn.
January 6th - No Spend Day - achieved as dh is at a rehearsal and I am at home!

Sunday Snow!

After a bitterly cold Christmas, then spring weather all week, today we woke to dark skies and snow. Powderly and light but it made the roads icy and my board meeting in the city was cancelled. I am now home alone, enjoying the white outside my window while my dh is off to a theatre rehearsal and the girls have taken Beckett shopping for a bit. I had a nice hot bath and am curled up to write for a while. Dinner is almost ready to go in the oven and will be ready by the time everyone comes home. A quiet time just for me!

January 4, 2013

It's a ....

 .... healthy, beautiful, not born just yet baby ....

And we are thrilled to have her
join our family in about 8 weeks.
Our second grandbaby, first granddaughter.
Can't wait for this special birth day!!

January 1, 2013

New Day, New Year.

We slept late today,
woken only by the sun
that was desperately trying
to get thru our blinds.
It peeked between the slats
and shone into our eyes.
Thinking it was around 8 a.m.,
we were shocked to
discover it was after 11.
The house was silent, a rare
thing in a house with a child.
So we snuggled back down,
turned on the tv low
and dozed as we
watched reruns of the
M*A*S*H Christmas and
New Years episodes.
At 1 p.m., we finally got up,
showered and
came down to play.
Our girls,
grown up and normally
well adjusted,
were both extremely grouchy.
Toddler was running around
in only a diaper,
making a mess of a
very tidy house.
After a beautiful holiday season,
it was not how we
wanted to start the New Year.
One is just two and
not used to no schedule.
One is getting a cold
and her throat was sore.
One is getting a divorce
and her ego was hurt.
Our reaction to
this turn of events?
We made ourselves some lunch
 and did up the dishes.
We put on our jackets
 and went out in the sunshine.
We drove to the fabric store
 to indulge in the big sale
but decided to not shop as the
 lines were out the door.
We then drove down the
lane to the small drugstore
and picked up popsicles
for the sickie,
a dvd that dh had wanted
 for a long time,
on sale for just $6 and a lottery
ticket for the next 10 draws.
Took a bit of a drive,
got some gas and came home.
Everyone had gone back
 to bed for a nap.
Good move on their part,
 as I may have had a few things to say!
But instead, I mopped the floor,
 tidied the family room
and then we went back up to our room to
snuggle up for the rest of the day.
Enjoying the sun as it
shone thru the window,
the warmth keeping the mood light.
Oldest dd woke with baby,
discovered we
were not in the kitchen preparing dinner
 and took baby out
to get groceries and their dinner.
Younger dd woke from
her nap and discovered we were not
in the kitchen preparing dinner
 and made her own.
We snuggled in bed with chips and dip
and yogurt and berries and watched tv.
They both eventually came in to
say goodnight, lighter in mood
with their tails between
their legs. Without words,
they knew we weren't
participating in such nonsense
 and hopefully
that's the end of the grouchiness.
In the past, we would
have addressed it and gotten
 in to arguments but today,
we both decided that silence
was the better tool.
Not the way we envisioned
our day but in the end,
a lesson for those
who reside in our house.
And tonight, the house is warm,
quiet, clean and back
to the peace we are used to each day.
How was your first day of 2013?