September 30, 2014
We trek out to Salt Spring Island at least once a year but sometimes more often. This year, with our build and several big community events, we haven't had a chance to visit our "heaven on earth"! We had hoped to move, unpack and then zip out for some r and r. Not sure when we'll slip it in. But boy, am I ever craving the sea right now. A long time friend just moved to the coast and she's posting the most beautiful sunrise and sunset pictures from her new home. I'm so grateful for our Disney trip in April but truly, traveling with a 3.5 year old is not restful, even though we had an incredible time and he was so well behaved!
Soon, we hope, soon!!
Do you have a favorite spot to visit?
I had the opportunity to be interviewed on TV today, so I graciously said yes and am so glad I did. The emails and registrations are poring in and the donations as well. Such a sad and difficult subject but we're so excited we can promote the work we do and provide a beautiful, healing day for all to remember their precious babies, together. Once I can figure out how to download the clip, I'll add it in here.
And how was your day?
September 29, 2014
We created this Walk to Remember in our community and it's keeping us pretty busy these days. It is on Saturday afternoon and we're doing really well with all our planning. Last year was the first year and it went better than we could have ever dreamed, so I hope this year will go just as well. It's an inspiring and humbling experience but so worth the time and effort to support these very special families.
Wish us luck that the weather is beautiful!!
September 28, 2014
More photos from our recent trek to the miniature dollhouse show. We love going to this fun event every year!
The tiniest dollhouse I've ever seen.
We got a lot of great ideas. Can't wait for our house to be done. Once we move in, we'll complete the art studio and set up both dollhouses there to work on them gradually. Unpacking all the little treasures we've collected over time is going to be a lot of fun. Putting it all together is going to take a lot of work. But so much fun too!!
Did you have a dollhouse growing up?
Or wish you had one now to fix up?
Meet our little hockey player. He's so excited to be able to finally play, at the age of 3.5. Hockey is big in Canada and he's known for a quite a while that he wanted to try it out.
Ready to rough up the other players!
With his dedicated sidekick following!
Did your children play hockey?
Are you a big fan?
September 26, 2014
It's time for "Frugal Friday" with finds from our local Antique Mall this trip. Love this unique store to hunt for treasures. It never disappoints and we always find the neatest items.
New teal colored shopping bag from the owner.
Tiny candelabra for $4.
Two mugs for $8.
Two gardening pictures for $10.
A Becky Kelly book for $6.
And the best deal of the day,
another April Cornell dress for $16.
For a grand total of $44 (with tax $46.20).
Retail price of each:
The fabric shopping bag would be $2.
The candelabra would be $20.
The mugs would be $25.
The gardening pictures would be $18.
The Becky Kelly book would be $16.
The April Cornell dress would be $169.
For a grand total of $230 (with tax $241.50).
A lovely $195.30.
Not bad for a wet and chilly Frugal Friday.
How has your frugal shopping been?
September 22, 2014
I am thankful on a daily basis for this life. A loving family, warm home to live in, a vibrant community, health that is not perfect but manageable, a job I love and the freedom to choose in a country that is alive and thriving. Occasionally, I miss a moment and have a bad day and then question life in general. Something always brings me back to the very core of life. And being thankful is always at the top of that very long, well thought out and beautiful list.
Today, it was a huge wake up call for the thankfulness in my life. Our eldest daughter, with grace and courage, is now formally divorced and the proud single mama of our first born grand baby, Mr. B. He travels down south about once a month to visit his dad. Often it's cancelled but this weekend, the dad was getting married again, so it was important that B attend. Mom and dad meet half way between both communities and the hand off takes place smoothly each time. Today, she was driving back home after picking B up and on the same highway that a huge accident occurred. So large, both big cities sent trauma life helicopters to the scene. In total, 7 people were injured and taken to hospital, some by air and some by ambulance. We realized when we heard the news that our daughter and grandson were on that highway at that time. Texting and calling netted us silence and we were soon a bundle of nerves. I began to panic and of course, having already lost 2 children, I began to prepare for bad news. Just as I was about to burst with anxiety, we heard the sweetest voice come up the front steps, calling our names! They were finally home, safe and sound, and late, because they had to pass by this tragic accident. Somewhere tonight, families are hurting but I will admit, having done our time, we are so thankful our daughter and grandson were not part of that incident. I hate they have to travel down that road but this is part of life now. I know I'll never get used to it. But today, I'm thankful all is well and our wishes for a safe journey home were answered. Our babies are here, tucked in snugly. It's all I could ever ask for, to have my kids grow to old age!
Were you thankful for something today?
September 21, 2014
It's been a while since I wrote about the dollhouses we are restoring. For now, all the tools and the dollhouse furniture items are packed away, until our big move. In our new house, we'll have a true Art Studio that will house both the dollhouses while we work on them. Can't wait to have a dedicated space to lay out everything and work on it, bit by bit, instead of having to put it all away at the end of a work bee. Stretching out and having many projects on the go will be heavenly for this multitasking ADD mama!!
Today we attended the annual Dollhouse show in the big city. We love to hunt through bins and baskets for all the best "minis" for our houses. The overhead shot above shows what we were able to find, for a very reasonable $55. Most years, we take along $100 and spend it all, but this year, we managed to find everything we were hoping for, and more, and still have money left over! The remaining $45 will go back into our savings account for next years annual trek.
Here's a brief rundown of what we bought today. Counter clockwise, from the top of the green blanket, we bought a black curio cabinet (with glass shelves and mirrored backing) for the room that will hold the black grand piano; a wooden wall phone; a black top hat; a wooden display box with real crystal rocks from Jasper; a sweet gingerbread wall hanging with matching tea towel for the kitchen; a leather bag holding pieces of fire wood; two painting palettes; a magazine; a clock; a ceramic green frog for the garden; a tomato; Christmas lights for the outside of the house; and a plate of Christmas goodies. In the centre, there is a lavender gingham table cloth and 4 napkins; a painted birdhouse; a book with a set of reading glasses; a tray with a coffee grinder and a few other kitchen utensils to make a display; a newspaper with a fish and a gutting knife; a purple, felted octopus; a small birdhouse and a feather pen.
Above, we have, starting counter clockwise again, a sweet tea set; a picture frame; a perfume bottle; a "picking up" tool; a set of tweezers; a set of cards; a cupcake; a set of wooden garden pots; a turkey on a platter; a woven rug; a set of veggies; a cardboard greenhouse; a metal heat radiator; a lace bag; a bath bag, bar of soap and sponge; a bundle of New York Times newspapers; a plant in a pot; a wooden shelf; a front door wreath and a welcome sign. In the middle, we have another picture frame; a kit to make a "tiny watering can garden scene"; an ivy plant; a pine cone turkey; 2 loaves of bread; a wooden sled with welcome on it; a letter with a stamp; a cheque; a perfume bottle; fabric roses; a hammer; a undefined tool; a bouquet of posies; a wooden shelf; a ceramic knitting bowl with a ball of yard and 2 knitting needles; 2 bags of stones; and a candelabra.
Close ups of some of the items listed above.
The wallpaper is for a nursery.
More close ups!
The beautiful black curio cabinet.
Halloween items, including a bowl of candy!
We had such a good time, my dh, my youngest dd and me. It usually takes us a good 2 hours to go through the entire hall and dig around for treasures. Today, I won the first door prize! I never win anything and was quite surprised to hear my name called. My prize? A lovely bouquet of pink roses in a pot for the garden. You can see it in the 4th picture, in the upper left corner. We got to meet the artist and she was so sweet. A small thing that touched my heart today and left a memory to cherish each time I see the bouquet.
That's my dollhouse update for now. Once the house is finished and we move in, I will set up the Art Studio as quick as I can and get to work on restoring both dollhouses. Lots of work ahead but truly a great winter eve's project!
What are your plans for the long winter ahead?
We've had incredible weather this week and the weekend was amazing. It reached 28 degrees Celcius today, at a time of year when we're lucky if we can have a sunny afternoon around 18 degrees. Thankful for this beautiful time of year. And from our garden, the "last ones" to bloom are here:
Blowing in the breeze.
A large bloom and one to come!
How is your garden this fine September?
September 17, 2014
Thank you for the kind comments from my last post. It was rough day yesterday but magically, today, I woke up feeling much better. My energy continued to pick up through the day and I even managed to work a full, productive day.
Back to my old self again!
September 16, 2014
It ended up unexpectedly being a work at home day today. Not something I had counted on but I haven't been feeling well for the last few days and today, my body decided that hanging out in bed for the day was on the agenda. Thankfully, with my handy dandy laptop, cell phone and tv remote, I was able to rest, work, rest, work, rest, work and not fall behind in this busy time of year with a new class starting on Thursday night and a big community event coming up on the 4th of October. No good time to be sick but if my body is run down and a virus has invaded, today was probably the best day of all to be off.
Thankful for our cozy home, a flexible work environment, an understanding staff and my sweet loving family!
So, how was your day?
September 15, 2014
Our builder warned us that at one point in the process, the speedy building part would slow down to a crawl, after a fast start and tons of construction happening.
Guess what point we're at this week?
September 14, 2014
When we chose to have our family at a young age, we knew then it would mean our early lives would be very frugal. Having at least one parent home with our little ones and later as they were older was important for both of us. We managed to have me home for 20 years, then my husband came home for 6 years while I was the main bread winner. It was hard at times to not be able to just buy anything we wanted but we knew then, like we know now, that life is not about what you have but who you are.
The poem above was always a favorite of mine and a sweet reminder of why it was crucial for us to spend time with our children. Memories and experiences were more important than things and still an important fact for us today, even though now, we could buy anything we wanted to. Our kids never did without, but sometimes what they wanted was a lesson in waiting and re-evaluating. I hope they carry this through the rest of their lives. And raise their little ones with the same mission!
Have you seen this poem before?
What does it mean for you?
Today was an incredibly busy day. Between intensive paperwork, housework, phone calls and connecting with my community, I had no time for a single break all day but felt proud of my extra energetic productive energy.
But then I came home and it all fell apart!
I sat on the couch and fell asleep sitting up! The rest of the night was filled with dinner and more laying on the couch. Crazy turned upside down day!!
Do you sometimes overextend your energy?
And pay for it later with some lazy time?
September 10, 2014
It's unfortunately not going to be the door for us, as much as we like it! It's more than $2,000 than we had hoped to spend. So our exhaustive search has started over again.
Sigh! I'm very sad but we don't want to blow our carefully crafted and intentional budget! We will, of course, love the new door we'll choose together and then eventually order.
We just need to find it!!
September 8, 2014
Yes, the title of my blog post today is correct. Today was a Snow Day. As in, white, fluffy flakes fell from the sky!
It didn't stick and now it's just raining. But I did have to put the furnace on for a bit, I'm wearing two sweaters and my winter slippers are keeping my little toes toasty warm!
I don't ever recall snow in September before. Hopefully the predicted warm weather returns by Thursday, as promised.
So how was your day?
September 7, 2014
September 6, 2014
In the midst of our ongoing packing saga, somewhere along the way, despite all my careful planning and check lists, I have inadvertently packed a box that now looks like this:
Yup, that's right! I have no idea what great items are in this box. I forgot to label it when I was packing it. Came back an hour later and poof! Gone out of my head. I could probably just open the tape to see what's inside, but in the moment, thought it would be more fun to leave a cryptic message for whoever ends up opening this box in a few months ....
I am embarrassed.
And I'm sure you've had a bit of a giggle!!
You're very welcome.
Happy to oblige!!
September 3, 2014
We are in the midst of getting rid of the things we don't need to move to the new house. Things that have been sitting in our storage room. Things that are no longer used. Taking up room, taking up the air. We're far from being hoarders but we still have accumulated a few extra items over the years.
Two items that are crowding our storage room are the two cribs we've been storing. Our first crib was a Jenny Lind that we scrimped and saved for. However, our little one preferred her cradle and our arms and this beautiful crib became a great place to store folded laundry! In time, the new laws made the crib, never used by our children, not safe, so we took it apart and stored it away. A few children later and it was time to buy a new crib when we started our dayhome. Our littles would sometimes sleep in the new crib for a nap here and there, although they, like their older sister, preferred the cradle and arms, and eventually, a big, warm, cozy, family~filled bed. The dayhome babies loved it and it became well used but still sturdy and well made, so we hung on to it after we closed up shop. Now we have two incredible, wood cribs and no use for them at the moment. We can put them both out on the curb for the large item pick up in a few weeks. Or chop them up and use the wood for the fire pit. Or give them away ~ except you're not supposed to do that do to the new regulations.
That is, until I found some Pinterest ideas tonight! Here's what I've decided now. For the Jenny Lind crib, with the beautiful turned spindles, we'll paint it a lovely shade of light pink and set it up in the guest bedroom. More for decoration than for use, it will give the feeling of comfort and serenity. The walls will be a light shade of sage green, with pink accents.
The second crib also has turned spindles but it has a bit more of a clean, new look. We'd love to turn it into the porch swing shown below for our front veranda:
There, decisions made! We'll keep both cribs, bring them out of storage and re~purpose them both for new uses. No throwing them into the landfill or storing them again. New uses for old stuff!
Have you ever re~purposed old furniture?
September 2, 2014
Today was the first day of school in our region. After 2 months of planning, organizing and painting, we opened the doors and let the kids back in the doors.
All went well. Rare tears, many smiles and everyone was excited. Tonight, I can't keep my eyes open, so it's an early to sleep night. Need rest for tomorrow.
September 1, 2014
Happy Labor Day Weekend!! Today started out a bit cloudy, then the sun came out for a bit, then it drizzled, then it was sunny, then it rained, then the sun came out and finally, the clouds settled and the cool air drifted in. Leaves have been falling all over our back garden, creating a blanket of autumn colors.
Definitely a day to wear some woolly, warm socks and a sweater over my summer shirt. Not sandal weather ~ a light book kind of day. We ventured into the city to attend the last boot sale of the day. I'll write about that soon. Then into the Antique Mall for a little look around after we put our new found treasures into the "boot" of our car!. Inside, we found a few more items that we just couldn't pass up. Picked up a dear friend who was coming over to spend the afternoon with dh to watch the Labor Day Classic ~ a traditional football game between the two big cities in our province. I'm not a football fan, so it was lovely to have the guys occupied while I puttered around the house, reorganizing the kitchen cabinets now that the counter tops are installed.I set up a new packing "zone" and did more purging. Dd and I ventured out to make copies of the sign up sheets for school tomorrow and then we popped in to the centre to feed the class pets. Home to stir the chili that had been simmering all day and baked some biscuits to go with dinner. After dinner, our dear friend and dh drove off to get T home. I've got a sink of dishes to tackle and then the plan is to settle in to watch a movie or show for a bit. An evening to put our feet up, now toasty in woolly, warm socks and relax after a weekend of painting, purging, packing and planning.
How was your long weekend?
Were you productive and relaxed throughout?