May 30, 2018
Yes, I am a fan of Fixer Upper and the Gaines family. Some of their style I like, but I still have my own distinct look. No shiplap here! But I love their ability to create and help others, their loving commitment to each other, the humor and their sweet kids. I was so excited when I learned that Joanna's cookbook would soon be published. And ever more excited when it arrived at our local Chapter's. I had it for a good solid week before I finally had a chance to sit down and read through the stories and the recipes and devour all the pictures. I took this shot just before I opened the book for the first time, on a hot, sunny afternoon when we had just finished up a morning of gardening, after my cool shower and new, fresh clothes. Dh was making an early dinner and told me to kick back and take time to read.
I didn't need to be coaxed at all.
Now I have some new recipes to try out, new ideas to think about and a new "go to" book when company is coming!
May 29, 2018
Our gate story began back not long after we moved in to our new house. We wanted to put two sets of gates across our driveway (it's in the shape of a U) along with fencing to tie it all together. Interviewed a number of contractors, chose one in the middle, after checking out his references. We signed a contract, agreed on a start date and provided funds so he could purchase the gates themselves. All seemed well and on track. And yet, we ended up caught up in a bit of a scam. This caused a lot of embarrassment (how could we fall for this?) and anxiety (we are out over $5,000) but for the guy who did this to us, we were not willing to deal with the embarrassment and the anxiety for the rest of our life. We kept in contact, put things in to place and finally, the week after we got back from our holiday, he was able to actually pay us back, in full and some extra for our stress. A bad situation solved. The only downside is now I will forever and ever, from this time on, have a very hard time trusting future contractors. Not fair to the real guys but we'll do our best to regain our trust in time. Our deck contractor, who's done quite a bit of work for us over the years with both our new house and our old house, now our rental, is able to do a gate install and we've loved his work, so we'll start with signing him on for this big job. I'm looking forward to eventually having our home secured and beautiful gates to greet us at the end of the day. P.S. The gate above is not ours but a rendition of what we hope ours will look like in the future. Wish us luck .... our hearts need it!
Despite my best efforts and hard work, there are
some days that are just too rough to even share.
Yesterday was one of those days. I'm sure my work
mates had no idea what a rough day it truly was.
But today was better and tomorrow could even be
the best of all. Being realistic that life isn't perfect.
In my many visits to the Antique
Mall, I am always keeping my eyes
open for a beautiful vintage pram.
To date, not one has come in that
meets my criteria. I'm hopeful one
day I'll turn the corner and there it
will be! Just like the photo above.
May 28, 2018
I am a tea lover and am thankful in our house, everyone else is too. None of us drinks coffee but tea is our comfort drink, our "warm me up" drink, our conversational drink. We have collected tea cups over the years, starting with the one that I received after my grandma died. Each grandchild, who had enjoyed many cups of teas at my grandparents home over the years, was allowed to choose their own special cup from her collection. I cherished mine for years but unfortunately, when we had a house fire, it was one item that was destroyed in the chaos. I wanted to replace it and that led to searching for the same one, which we never did find, but creating our own collection.
When we were building our new home, we added in what we call our "tea cupboard" ~ a built in cupboard between our kitchen and our formal dining room. Everyone else would call this a Butler's Pantry but ours truly serves a different purpose. We have a lovely collection of tea pots, cups, saucers, sugar bowls, creamers and all sorts of serving plates for crumpets and cakes. I love our tea cupboard with it's glass doors and pretty shelf with it's own arch to match the arches in our house. A favorite spot for sure. I'd love one day to find the tea cup above to add to the rest of the cups we cherish.
At our Centre, we offer monthly book
orders for families to buy items that
end up giving up "bonus dollars" for
things we want in the classroom. I
love sending in the orders and then
bagging up the books for the families
that have placed orders. This was a
favorite task when my kids were small
and I still get excited about doing it
now. Look at all the books going home
to eager kids and parents to read! Now
we need to spend our bonus dollars ....
May 27, 2018
.... but what we dream ours will look like by the time we're all done all our work. Right now, we have the posts in for the picket fence, the landscape fabric is down and secured, the dirt is in 6 out of 8 boxes and 2 boxes now have pumpkins growing in them. We still need to put the pickets in, fill up the last 2 boxes with dirt, plant the veggies from our plan we've created and place the pea gravel along the walking paths. Oh, and put the deer fencing up and the rabbit fence too. This will be a big experiment this year to see if we can pull it off and then next year will be likely our "real" garden that we can reap the benefits in our menu planning. For now, we'll see what grows!
I have always loved milk chocolate,
especially when it's slightly warm.
Melt in my mouth kind of warm. But last
year, I discovered white chocolate. Now
anytime says they "owe me" I respond very
quickly with "white chocolate is my payback!"
My mom on Mother's Day. She was so
excited to have us over to share her day.
We brought cupcakes and the little
grandson who named her "Nana" ....
.... and gifts for her to oogle over. It
was so much fun. He loved visiting.
Under his picture he gave her for her
birthday that is called "My Nana."
May 21, 2018
I'm trying to find a new look for my blog. Originally I had a free template that I liked and spoke to me the first time I saw it. But recently it disappeared and the site it was from is down. So I found another one and am now trying to reconfigure what the blog looks like. My apology is for anyone who's been on my site for the last day and the look, background, colors keep changing. Just trying out a few options. Bear with me .... I'm almost there! A few technical glitches and then I hope it will be set again. Hoping the new colors and look will be welcome to all who visit here. Enjoy!
May 20, 2018
At the end of the day, we get
the last rays of sun that come
from the West, shining through
the big windows in the turret.
The front of the house is full
of sun and warmth. Truly
my favorite time of day and
I'm so glad we positioned the
house so we could capture the
last rays each and every day.
May 19, 2018
A lovely presentation by a local art therapist yesterday at my quarterly community meeting that I chair ~ smudging and fairies ~ the grounding I needed after a crazy week. It wasn't a bad week, just one full of tasks, meetings, deadlines and hot weather. Thankful for the presentation and now a long weekend to recuperate before next week. Hoping it will be a bit lighter and more manageable. If not, I'll just think back to our session and remember the sweet smelling sage from the smudging. Always helps me get back to being grounded and health again.
May 13, 2018
Along with the budding of trees, we
have also have a few days of rain and
a couple of good storms. One last
week had me hiding under the covers
with my fingers in my ears. I don't ever
recall thunderstorms in May but it did
happen, right in the middle of the night.
Scared me and woke up dh, who tried
to humor me and finally gave up and
just put his hands over my ears. It was
a long and not restful night for sure.
No rain this week, which now we need
as there is a couple of fires brewing.
Fingers crossed that the winds stay low
and the rain will return to put them out.
It's a big worry now. Send blessings!
Just 2 short weeks ago, we had little buds
on most of our trees. Look at what we
woke up today .... fully leaved trees! I
love this time of year when everything
finally turns green and we have shade
and cover from the life outside. Finally!
May 1, 2018
Today, this first day of May, was cold, super windy, rainy, cloudy and finally at the end, sunny. I wonder if this is what we'll have the rest of the month. At least the snow is gone and the trees are starting to fill in. Oldest dd and I both had the day off so we dropped kids at school this morning and headed to the charity shop to do a little treasure hunting for our Antique Booth. We found some amazing Mikasa dishes that after making the decision that I would sell them, then tonight changed my mind and will swap them out for another set that I've had in storage since we moved in and have never used. I'll take pictures later and I'm sure you'll agree with my change of heart. Not only were they such a good price, but the shop had a sale today, so they were marked down even further. Sometimes I think they are not sure what to price items at. Another item I bought were 2 Bunnykins baby bowls. These often sell for between $30 and $40 each at the Antique Mall and on eBay. I paid a tiny $1 each, so this will be a lovely profit. I have a set of a cup, bowl and plate that were mine as a child and I saved them for our kids. So there isn't a need to keep these two. Perfect condition too! A good buy amongst all the other treasures we put in the basket. I'll post pictures of everything in another post. Too tired to download pictures tonight. So happy with my purchases. I chose well and hope they sell.
We headed to Costco after and picked up a few items for the preschool, then we went out to the garden centre. I was so excited when we pulled up to see it was finally open. So even though it was cold and rainy, we picked up 4 shrubs ~ 2 Potentilla's (yellow blooms) and 2 Spirea's (pink blooms). I am so excited to be planting again this year. Our first year, we had to really make the ground ready for gardening and plan out the different zones. Last year, we worked on the pathways and grading and did some planting. This year, we're going all out and hope that by the end of summer, we'll have a lovely landscape to enjoy. Fingers crossed the weather brings us a warm and sunny Spring and Summer, with adequate rain, and no storms! No firestorms, no floods. Here's hoping.
After Costco, we decided to drive by 2 properties that are for sale for future building. What? You may ask, do you mean by "future building" .... down the road, we may build again and 2 pieces of land were recently listed, so we drove by to see what they are look. Both are very close to town, and both are fully treed. Both are possibilities but I'm not yet sure if the time is right to consider another piece of land to build on in a few years. Lots to think about. Loving this house so much but living so close to town is also appealing. We're not far out but after our recent not so great Winter, it's tempting!
We stopped at the preschool to drop off the items we bought and to visit with my staff. Our little eggs hatched last week so we also had to check in on the chicks (so cute and fluffy) and check my voice mails.
Then we drove home in the wind and the rain, brought our purchases in and settled in for a cozy afternoon. I made a big pot of soup, dd brought up fresh sandwiches and we watched a few HGTV shows. I had a nap then headed out for my appointment while she went to get the kids.
I woke up with a nasty chest cold yesterday and ended up at the doctor this afternoon. Caught it early and hopefully it won't turn in to bronchitis or pneumonia. Dh, dd and our little guy went off to lacrosse tonight (they won again) so I had a long, hot soak in the tub while I watched "Little People, Big World" and read my Art Journaling magazine. Closed my eyes for awhile for a tiny nap.
Family came home, I hopped out of the tub and now we're getting ready to head to bed. A busy day but a productive one as well as a relaxing day off, doing things I love to do, in a place I love to live in, with people I love to work with and with people I love to be with. It's all good.
Hope you had an amazing day too! Tomorrow will be even better I'm sure. Even the sun is supposed to be out.