About Me

January 31, 2016

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

 Before we built our dream home, 
we stumbled across an old movie
from 1948, starring Cary Grant, called 
"Mr. Blandings Build His Dream House".

It was adapted from the book that
was written by Eric Hodgins in 1946.

A rainy day movie that gave us some giggles 
and a bit of a peek into the building process.

A journey that had high hopes and many
stumbling blocks along the way like any build.

But in the end, his house was complete and
the dream began, to live in comfort. That's
how I feel about our build. Lots of work and
thought but now the real dream has begun.

Have you seen this movie or read the book?
If so, did you enjoy the story?

Sweet Yard.

Isn't this a pretty landscape? We truly will
never put a pool in ~ our climate is just not
supportive of a in ground pool. But the rest
of this incredible yard intrigues me. Lovely!

Did you landscape your yard?
Or was it already done for you?

50 Days ....

I love reading Penny's blog "The Homemade Heart". She feels like such a kindred spirit! We may live across the sea from each other but when we write to each other, it feels like we're just around the corner! Recently, I became intrigued by a project Penny has launched on her Instagram and blog. It's called "50 Day Of I Love My Home" and anyone can join in. I've decided to tag along. Hope you will too! What a fun way to see what others love about their homes. And know what we love about ours.

Favorite HGTV Show.

One of our favorite channels on tv is HGTV. 
And right now, our favorite show is "Fixer Upper".

Chip and Joanna make renovating a house
seem so easy with their easy going style.

Don't they look like
they have so much fun?

They rarely get upset, they seem so relaxed even
thought we know it's a big job to rip apart a house.

So refreshing to see a couple that really works well 
together instead of being stressed with each other.

Do you have a favorite channel or show?
Do you watch "Fixer Upper"?

Gloomy Sunday.

It was quite a "gloomy Sunday" around here today. The sky was cloudy, even dark at times and we had a few snow flakes that feel, making it feel cold after a couple of weeks of sunshine and melting. We all slept in and lazed about for a while, then tackled a few tasks. Here's my list of accomplishments on this hazy and chilly day: 

*took a long hot shower
*started the laundry
*tidied up around the house
*organized our files
*sent in a book order for our centre
*created the monthly deposit for the bank
*made dinner and did the dishes
*played with the pup and the child
*folded the laundry
*took some small boxes up to the art studio to unpack
*took some boxes of extra tile out to the garage
*moved the lamp in the laundry room 
to sit on top of the water cooler

It was a quiet day, a restful day, a task oriented day but in the end, still gloomy. Maybe we needed a day like today.

How was your day?
Was it a "gloomy Sunday"?

The Big T Test.

When I was at the doctor's last week, he noticed that my thyroid was a bit swollen, so part of the blood work I had to complete on Thursday was to check to see if it's out of whack. It was a bit off a couple of years ago and then seemed to regulate back. Hoping to either get a call this week that the numbers are fine or need some attention. The first is my choice of course. Now because he noticed it's swollen, I keep touching it! Fingers crossed it's fine. 

Dollhouse Update: The Driveway.

Because every dollhouse 
should have a driveway.

After measuring, the glue is applied.
Finding just the right spot ....

.... then emptying half our bookcase
to insure enough weight holds it down.

Picture of the "finished" driveway to
follow. And then we have to find a car!

Blogging Decision #2.

As you know, I've been trying to figure out if I should start a second blog to document the progress on the dollhouse. But the thought of doing all that work on setting up a blog seems too much right now, so I've decided to continue to chronicle the adventures right here on Our Little House in the Big Woods. Hope it doesn't get too confusing but for now, it is the most efficient way to share the story. Enjoy!

Blogging Decision #1.

All of us blog for a variety of reasons and it's taken me a while to figure out what I want to accomplish with my own personal blog. I love having a place to record life, to connect with others who have similar views or lifestyles, to explore how others live, to gain new ideas and inspirations, and to give me a place to practice "writing" on a regular basis. I'm almost half way through writing my first book and blogging has helped me stay a bit more on track, now that I'm a bit more consistent with having time to write. Numbers are always swirling through my head and the last three years, I had a goal of writing 260 blog posts over the year, something I was able to achieve. This year, I'm giving myself a bigger goal of writing 400 blog posts. That's just over a post a day. Can I do it? Yes, I'm snickering too, but I like goals and I LOVE even numbers. I have to have even numbers!!.

The first part of my new challenge was to figure out how many posts to write each month, keeping in mind each month has to have an even number of posts. Before you think I need to visit the "funny farm" and check myself in, it's truly how my brain thinks. When we bought our land, we were allowed to choose our house number and it took me weeks to configure how we wanted our address to look with so many numbers in it, as all rural addresses have. Love our address now, as it encompasses both even and odd numbers but they add up to or have connection to our family in a few ways. The tile guy asked us how many rows of tiles we wanted in our master bath and I had to sit and calculate how many rows would work in our space and not drive me crazy! Thankful for his incredible patience while I mulled it all over.

Do you think there is a support group for people like me who have numbers swirling in their head ALL DAY LONG?

Back to my post. So I broke down the numbers to the months ~ that took quite a while. I should take pictures of the little scraps of papers while I calculated and recalculated. Finally got it to work and here's my plan so far, making sure each month has an even number of posts, and all these posts add up to an even 400 in total:

January ~ 34 posts
February ~ 32 posts
March ~ 30 posts
April ~ 36 posts
May ~ 34 posts
June ~ 32 posts
July ~ 30 posts
August ~ 36 posts
September ~ 34 posts
October ~ 32 posts
November ~ 36 posts 
December ~ 34 posts

And that my dears makes for a grand total of 400. Now I've got some catching up to do today as I'm only at 26 posts but I need to create 34 by the end of the day. Easy peasy as I have a ton of pictures and posts already in my head! Enjoy the read and I promise February will be definitely back on track.

Do you look at how many posts you write over the year?
If you do, do you have a number to write as a challenge?

Sunny Ice Sculpture.

In the big city where I work at the hospice, we are on the same residential street that each winter transforms into a Christmas walk for families to enjoy. All the houses and even our hospice decorate with lights, music and seasonal items that are spectacular. Long lines of people walk up and down the street at night when everything is lit up, or book a horse drawn wagon ride, and they marvel at the creations. The street has bins set up to collect food for the local food bank, a huge need at this time of year and this makes a nice dent in their wish list for clients. As our days are quite warm right now and everything keeps melting, I stopped the other day on the way home from work to snap this picture of an ice sculpture someone created before it melts away. The hours this art must have taken to create for all to enjoy is amazing. Love the sense of community this creates.

Do you have a Christmas walk in your community?
Are houses decorated with lights and music popular?

Waiting Room Art.

Isn't it amazing? Our family doctor moved to a new building a couple of years ago and one of the design choices they made was to install this beautiful glass wall between the waiting room and the front desk. You can see the front desk from the entrance but when you are sitting off to the side in the waiting room, there is privacy for the staff and clients who are discussing personal information. You can see the light coming through and that is the huge picture window behind the front desk staff. Really very beautiful and it gives such a warm and cozy feeling in the room. I love staring at it anytime we are at the doctors, which on average is only once a year for our physicals and rarely but at times like this week when we were both ill. We never have to wait more than a few minutes but I do love that while we wait, we can either watch the tv that is on, or read a magazine, or gaze at this sweet art! So much better than staring at a plan wall or the front reception desk..

When we go to our naturopath, whom we see more frequently through the year, the office is quite eclectic, warm and colorful and of course, completely organic. I love having both our caregivers, whom have some similar views on health and some opposing as well but do great jobs of keeping us well and caring for us when we're not. A modern view and an ancient view that works well for our little eclectic family.

Does your doctor's office have art?
Do you have more than one caregiver?

January 30, 2016


 But in such a good way! Look at how cheap 
our gas is. A lovely 59.4 cents per litre. Wow!

When we were married in 1984, gas was just
39.9 cents per litre. Since then it's been all over
the place but climbing up. The most we've ever
paid was close to $1.50 a litre. Between 95 cents
and $1.15 is average. These low prices right now 
are incredible but sadly also a sign that our normally
vibrant and strong economy in this oil rich, oil
driven province is struggling. We cope. It's fine.

How is the economy in your little corner of the world?
Is it healthy and affordable or like ours, struggling?

January 29, 2016

Tiling is Done.

It was a long week as the tiling began
on Tuesday and continued each day
until later this afternoon. After months
of waiting, it was worth the time. 

I'll post a better picture of the finished tiling.
But wanted to introduce our tiling man!

This is Tony. He turns 70 next 
month. And he is incredible!
Offering suggestions, going
beyond our expectations.

He wanted to take a picture to
show his wife the finished work.
In all his years, he's only taken
a picture of a kitchen once before.

It's done. And now our kitchen feels 
real. We had a vision, a picture in 
our minds that no one else could see 
then but they can see it now.

Love it!!

January 28, 2016

I Tried.

But I failed. 

I was going to write a blog
post today, inspiring and
colorful. However, my
body had other plans. The
sweet picture above does
depict what I ended up doing.

How was your busy day?
Did a nap disrupt your task list?

January 27, 2016

It finally happened ....

.... the tile man showed up at our
door late yesterday afternoon.

Ironically, it was seven months ago
yesterday that we received our keys.

I know that even months is a long time 
to wait for the tiling to be completed.

But after meeting this gentleman
and seeing his beautiful work ....

.... we are more than happy that we 
remained hopeful he'd show up one day.

Have you ever waited patiently for something to 
be completed and were grateful when it was done?

January 24, 2016

My Writing Desk.

I have a couple of work places
and desks in our house. Each has
it's own purpose and it is lovely
to not have to put everything away.

My writing desk is currently in our
great room, under the big window.

Holding a collection of my favorite books,
the scenery can be distracting during the day.

But at night, when it's pitch black outside,
I can turn on the tiny lamp and write to
my hearts' content. The chair is comfy,
the light just right, the height perfect.

My favorite pens, colorful pencils, piles of
preschool registrations for the Fall, a bank
stamp for making deposits, a stapler, writing
notes, my lamp and the stack of my books.

Full of possibilities and ideas. Books 
to read, to dream, to become inspired.

And a tiny lamp to provide a soft ambience.
My writing desk is a new favorite spot.

January 22, 2016

Winter Roads.

 Driving home the other day, I was able to
capture a few shots of our subdivision lane.

So pretty with all the frosty trees and grey sky.

The big field where the neighbors welcome us
with a community BBQ and bonfire last summer.

No deer that day but they often walk thru these trees.

Turning down our little lane. You can just see our roof 
peeking out. When it's not frosty, you can see it all.

Rounding the bend to our driveway, up to the house.

Home, frosty landscape and all!

What does your drive home look like?
Is your world white tonight?

Sometimes, it doesn't pay to leave the house ....

Things like this happen: 

Yes, that is the dollhouse.
And it was "t p'd!!"

Youngest daughter confessed to the crime.
She's watching her back now .... hee hee ....

January 20, 2016

Creating a Cozy Corner.

One of our hopes with our new house was to create intentional places of comfort. One of our wishes was to have a window seat somewhere in the house. We feel lucky that not only have we come up with many cozy spots in our house that are so comfortable, we also ended up with two window seats! We have spent some time this winter figuring out the actual purpose of each. A big job to tackle.

Today, I'm focusing on the window seat in our master bedroom. It's now my favorite and the one we use the most, partly because of location, partly because of the view. We've found a number of little pillows to fill up the bench and few larger ones too. A soft green blanket for now, until we can find someone to make us some cushions to cover the seat from corner to corner. But it was missing one thing that we felt was needed to make it a truly warm and cozy corner.

The last time I was in town, I had a bit of break in between counseling sessions and decided to head over to the thrift store to see if any of the little items on my current treasure hunting list were there. And looky, looky!! On my list ~ a soft and abundant knitted or handmade blanket for the window seat. Colors of lavender or pink preferred. How perfect is this sweet little gem? Better than I could have even dreamt. I can't believe no one had bought it already.

On days like today, curling up in this cozy corner is a dream come true. A spot to gaze out at the snow covered world, while wrapped in a warm blanket, a good book in my lap and a hot, steaming cup of  sweet tea to sip.

The added bonus of this pretty in pink blanket is I also threw it on the end of the bed and it looks great there too. I think it may do a bit of "traveling" around the room whenever a bit of comfort is needed. A photo of the "end of the bed" option will happen at some point. Today, the cozy corner of the window seat was a preferred spot for reading and recovering from my cold. And it worked!

Do you have some sweet cozy corners in your home?
Have you found any thrifty treasures lately?

Out My Window.

 This is what I see!

A frosty landscape that is so pretty.
Almost eery but beautiful too.

I worry this tree is going to fall over any day.
But it doesn't. Inspiring that it's so strong.

January 19, 2016

Frosty, Misty, Foggy Day.

We had all three today. Truly a
typical Canadian winter day. 

First look outside our bedroom window.
Looks too chilly to go outside.

And through one of the dining room
windows. In the end, it was warm,
which is probably why we ended up
with this mix today. Cold then warm.

How was your winter day?
Any "interesting" weather?

January 18, 2016

End of a Long Day.

I'm so very thankful that the
sun has set and this day has
come to it's end. It was tough
at times, lovely in between.
And exhausting all around.
Happy it's done. PJ time!!

Tomorrow is a new day and
we have been promised warm
weather and sunny skies. I'm
looking forward to new energy.

How was your day, this fine Monday?
Great? Hard? Blissful? Frustrating?


Have you ever had a long winded and at moments, slightly heated email conversation with someone you've never meet? I had this experience this afternoon. A new parent contacted me about her dd's space for the Fall in our preschool program. Because our lead teacher won an amazing provincial award for Excellence in Teaching, we have had an overwhelming number of requests for space. For this mom, even though she was on our list (NOT a registration, just a name on a list), we had so many current families and siblings register, that we couldn't give her a spot in the morning as requested. We could give her a spot in the afternoon but that doesn't work for her schedule. Then I offered her a chance to stay on the list in case a family moves up to the afternoon or has to withdraw their registration due to a move or a change within the family. But that didn't help either. So now I have a very angry family. It is never my intention to upset anyone. But that doesn't help what is now a big issue. I'm hoping by morning another family will agree to move up to the afternoon but that's unlikely. Big world problems, I know, I know!

Can you believe how stressful getting your child into the 
"right" preschool is for parents now? It's not University!!

And just like that!

.... Blue Monday turned into Sunny Monday! The sun came out and our landscape is once again shiny and light. A parcel we were waiting for arrived right on time with the loveliest deliver man at my door (I was so excited, I even gave him a tip!), new referrals are coming through my email for families, lunch was leftovers but so scrumptious, I don't have to drive into town as dh can pick up dd and my favorite show returns tonight with an action packed episode. Took the one Christmas Village down so I could use that desk for our preschool registrations and after a little nap (while everyone is still at work and it's quiet), I'm going to lay out the forms to see where we stand. 

A gloomy day turned lovely. That's what I love about this life! How quickly it can all turn around!!

I'm Sorry ....

Some of my favorite blogs are the ones that have "Blinky Parties" that you can join or just read. A great way to find blogs that are similar to your own. A great way to get new ideas. A great way to feel connected. Because I've participated in a number, I thought it would be a good idea to try and start a regular "Blinky Party" on my own. Good idea, right? No, it turns out, it wasn't! But still could be in time.

I know now that I chose the wrong time of year to start. Too close to the holidays, too many other projects to tackle. I only posted for a few weeks and even had some responses. Thank you for joining in. But then with the holidays, I got behind and now I feel like a schmuck! Not my intent but just the way life has a way of getting in the way. I have now promised myself I will try again but once I figure out when the best time would be for me to start a link that I will be able to keep up with so it can build and be a nice forum for others. Here I offer my apology ~ I am truly sorry ~ and my promise that once I have a better grasp of blogging and deadlines, I will create a new "Blinky Party."

Do you enjoy being part of a Blinky Party?
Have you ever created one to post for others?