Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One Year

Tomorrow marks my one year anniversary as a blogger.  My dear husband set everything up for me (including the name) as a Christmas gift last year.  I am enjoying keeping in touch with so many old friends and their families.  Mushing Mum created the interest to blog.  She told me that blogging made the everyday occurrences exciting.  I still don't see much exciting but I have enjoyed documenting everything for posterity (occasionally to the chagrin of my embarrassed children).

Since it took a while for the rest of you to realize I was blogging I thought I would repost one of my first blogs for you to puzzle over.  I got these neat Christmas gifts last year that I wanted everyone to see. One of them came in my stocking and I knew right away what it was. The other two came together in a gift bag and had me and the rest of the room (except for the giver) absolutely stumped. They are not sex toys. A musical instrument? No. The egg is flat on the side it is resting on - Was it part of an antique mortar and pestle? No. I was given the hint it was something I had talked to my dad about last year and that didn't help at all. Any brave souls out there want to guess? I will tell you in a day or two and end the suspense. 

Friday, December 19, 2008


So today - half way between Caitlin & Alec's birthday and Christmas - I am going to celebrate.  I am introverted - not to the hermit living alone stage.  I like people but I really value time alone when I can get it.   Because Kevin works a lot of nights and is therefore home in the day, Caitlin was unemployed for 3 weeks so she was at home, then Connor was home for 8 days after tonsil surgery, then Alec came home I haven't had any time alone for weeks.  There is always someone wanting my undivided attention or help doing something or finding something.  Because of the holiday season I know I won't have anytime alone until January 10.  So today I will celebrate - very briefly.  Between the time Connor leaves for school in 10 minutes and the others trickle in from work parties I will have 5 hours to my self.  Yipppee!!!  What will I do?  After a quick trip to Wal-Mart (turkeys are on sale for $1.47 pound while supplies last) I have a morning to myself.  I might clean, bake cookies and a quick look outside confirms I will be shovelling snow but I can do it alone!  And I can listen to music I like instead of the girls country & western or the boys rock (not to offend anyone who likes that music but I can't handle it for hours on end or at loud volume).  And I won't have to referree any disagreements!  Yippee again!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A big day for Caitlin and an even bigger day for Alec

Today was another busy day for our household.  Not only was it Caitlin and Alec's 22nd birthday it was Alec's graduation from Basic Training.  So I thought it was appropriate to  get a picture of them together. 

Man do I feel old today!  Could be that I am just really tired after a week of nursing Connor?  Yes, let's just say that is it and not the advancing years.  Connor did make it but it took a lot out of him.  He is still sleeping.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Update on Connor and Tori

Connor's throat started bothering him more last night.  I think he has thrush now but they don't usually treat it so I will just keep an eye on it.  He hasn't managed to have breakfast and be dressed before 11 yet -that should make tomorrow interesting.  We have to leave the house between 8 and 9 am (depending on weather) to make it to Alec's grad.  I am not sure he will be up to going which will be very sad for him.

Tori's team updated their blog last night.  They made it safely and spent yesterday distributing shoeboxes and helping in a dental clinic and a vision clinic.  It is 42 degrees in Paraguay.  I don't know if I could handle that any better than our cold, snowy winter.  Somewhere in between would be nice.  

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Big Day for Connor and Victoria

Connor has had strep throat 4 or 5 times since January.  The first 4 occurences meant days off school and trying to find an antibiotic that worked.  The last time he got strep and pink eye at camp.  I was tired of worrying every time he had a fever or sore throat or nose bleed if it was strep again so we arranged to have his tonsils removed.  This was the first surgery for any of our kids other than the oldest 3 having their wisdom teeth removed.  We arrived at the hospital at 6:15 am.  He headed to the Operating Room at 8:35.  The surgeon came out at 9:25 and told us everything went smoothly.  At 10:30 we finally got to see him.  He was still groggy but coherent.  At 11:45 I went for lunch and when I came back he was much more alert.  Kevin went for lunch and I read Connor the cover story from the latest Reader's Digest about a skydiver who suffers compound fractures of her lower leg bones, has her left arm mostly severed and is partly scalped when her chute malfunctioned.  When you feel bad it always helps to know how much worse things could have been.  Then he asked for his own book and read until we were discharged just before 2:00.  He is a real trooper.  He never rated the pain above a 3 (on a scale of 1 - 10).  He has just gone to bed now so we will wait until he gets up to eat our exciting meal of Lipton's chicken noodle soup and jello.  

Kevin and Tori have just left for Pearson International Airport.  Tori is meeting the rest of the youth mission team from Samaritan's Purse tonight.  They are spending the night at a hotel then leave early tomorrow for Paraguay.  She flies from Toronto to Dallas, Dallas to Buenos Aires then Buenos Aires to Asuncion on the way there.  The return trip is reversed but they fly into Miami instead of Dallas.  She will be handing out Christmas shoe boxes that people from all across Canada have filled for children in underprivileged nations.  Last March when she went to Africa to minister in churches and an orphanage I was very nervous.  I am much calmer this time.  I am not sure if that is because Paraguay is a more stable country, some of my worrying is diverted to Connor or the Christmas season is just to busy to dwell on one thing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hair - Part 2

No, not the musical - just pictures for Susan.  This is what my hair looked like in April, right after I took out the corn row braids.  

This is what it looks like now.

Just a bit of a difference.  Still no comments at home.  This cut is more maintenance because I actually have to dry and style it but it should be long enough by April to put up in a pony tail again.  I wish it was just a bit longer at the back.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hair Cut

Yesterday I got my hair cut - not trimmed - cut. For years my hair has been midway down my back. Most often it is braided or in a bun to keep it out of food or out of my eyes while gardening. It now rests on my shoulders - I probably had about 5 inches taken off. In addition to length, the rest of an old perm is gone so it is now mostly straight. My hairdresser kept saying things like "Oh wait till they see it". I replied that no one would even notice. When Victoria was a baby we were warned that the chlorine was off in the pool and I should rinse her hair really well because she was so blonde. Well, I rinsed hers, but mine was in a braid and I didn't take it out to rinse it. We went camping after swimming lessons and I didn't get a look in a mirror for 2 days. Then I asked Kevin if my hair had been green all weekend. To which he replied "Is your hair green?" So a day and a half has passed and the only one to comment was my boss - she liked it. So I am wondering if everyone noticed and just didn't know what to say so they didn't say anything or have they really not noticed?

Monday, November 17, 2008

I spoke too soon

Yesterday I commented on Stephanie's blog that we had a lot of snow but it was melting as soon as it hit the ground.  I spoke too soon.  Sometime around 11 pm the snow started accumulating.  The guys shovelled before they left for work/school at 8:30.  Then Caitlin and I shovelled everything again.  So by 10:30 our drive and walkway had been done twice.  We are expecting 40 cm today.  It is one of those days when you are finally done the bottom of the drive, you have to start at the walkway again!  


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What a glorious day!

It hit 21 degrees here today.  I haven't heard the confimation but I am sure we beat a record.  Today I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans.  Last two years by this time I was wearing long johns and my fingers were numb.  Digging in the wet soil and bagging leaves gets your hands cold and wet quickly.  More of the same beautiful weather tomorrow.  I am not complaining!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Connor and I spent a few hours at a pumpkin farm a few weeks ago.  I won two free pumpkins because I found fake plastic ones in the field.  I let Connor pick a pumpkin and he chose the monster below.  It weighed 82 pounds!  He and his friend carved it tonight by themselves.

Connor decided to be a clown for halloween because he could wear it and ride his unicycle.

Pretty Leaves

A few weeks ago we had a storm and all the leaves were blown off the trees.  Instead of being the usual dry, brown leaves they were very vibrant.  The pictures don't do them justice. 

Caitlin's Turn

I hardly ever talk about Caitlin because she has her own blog but it is definitely my turn to brag about her.  One of her dreams was to write a book and last year she self-published Unlikely Heroes - Keeley.  It has been a hit with all the 10 -14 year old girls we know.  They are clamouring for the next book (Caitlin is planning a trilogy).  Yesterday Caitlin was honoured by the University of Guelph at their Campus Author Recognition Evening.  Students, Alumni and faculty (current and retired) were eligible.  42 of the 88 titles were written by the staff - mostly texts.  Kevin, Caitlin, Connor and I travelled to the campus for the occasion.  It was very nice.  There was lots of food and a few short speeches.  After the speeches the librarian Caitlin had been emailing found her and arranged an interview with the alumni newspaper.  

On the wall behind her is a poster featuring her novel.  All the authors were given a mounted copy of the poster to keep.  That was really nice!  Here is a link to her book page if anybody wants to see it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tori's Commencement

Yesterday was Tori's Grade 12 commencement.  She is a very dedicated student  and only missed being an Ontario Scholar by a few decimal points.  She received an award for volunteer service in addition to her Extended French Certificate so we are understandably proud of her.  She is doing her "victory lap" and plans on university in the fall as soon as she can decide which program and which facility.  Below she is "resting on her laurels".

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What a day!

Kevin was picked up at 3 am by a shuttle service to take him to Toronto International Airport for a 7 am flight.  He is flying out to Edmonton then catching a bus to Jasper to spend a few days with Caitlin before they drive back here together.  We have loved the mountains since our first posting to Edmonton.  His text message when he arrived was simply "Arrived Jasper - WOW!"

Alec and I left the house at 7:45 because he had to be at the recruiters in Barrie at 8:30.  We found out Tuesday that the military has accepted his application.  His swearing in was today at 11:00.  Unfortunately, Kevin could not be there.  He had hoped to be the one to swear him in, but the flight was booked months ago and we only had 2 days notice for the swearing in.  We had a nice lunch with both grandmothers and Aunt Leanne who came up for the ceremony.  Our pastor also came but couldn't stay for lunch.  Then Alec and I spent the rest of the day shopping for stuff like good running shoes and shoe polish and picking up immunization records.  It was actually quite draining and he's not finished yet.  His course starts Monday in Borden so everything is very rushed!  The pictures are of Alec accepting his enrollment certificate.  He has his father's smile.

I am having problems uploading images.  I would love help from all you other bloggers.  If I type first all my words are blue and underlined.  If I add the image then type, the pictures aren't where I want them.  Help!  The rest of you look so professional!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

A song for Connor

Everyone in blogland has been quiet this week!  I thought I'd do a quick post to see if anyone is still alive out there.  Connor just returned from a week at Ontario Pioneer Camp.  He gets very homesick when he is away so halfway through the week I wrote him a song to cheer him up and emailed it to the camp.  He does not like the song "Hey there Delilah" because they had to sing it in music class - over and over - then he would come home from school and hear it on the radio constantly so he is sick of it.  I made a point of calling him upstairs every time I heard it.  Being the thoughtful mom I am I wrote him a son to that tune.  It may not be quite the epic an Ode to Cheryl is but I had fun writing it and I hope it meant something to him too.

Hey there, Conn-man
What's it like at Pioneer Camp
You're 200 miles away
And I bet it sure is pretty
Yes, I do
The stars sure shine bright there for you
Oh yes, they do
Hey, there Connor
Don't you worry about the distance
I'm right here if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my song, it's just for you
Yup, all for you
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
I swear we do
Hey there, Connor
I know time is getting short
Just 3 days and you'll be back with us
Where has the summer gone?
Oh where, oh where
Oh where, oh where, oh where
Where has it gone?
Hey there, Connor
We sure hope you're having fun
I am sure your knees are bloodied
And your shoelaces are undone
You're having fun
(Don't forget to sunscreen)
Yes, lots of fun
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
I swear we do
Hey there, Conn man
Your fish are doing fine
The big loach really likes peas
And we hope you're eating yours
They're good for you
It's very true
Hey there, Connor
My song is almost done
You can go back to your swimming
And running in the sun 
And have more fun
Have lots of fun
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
Oh, we all miss you
I swear we do

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More of what I do all day

More Before and After Shots

While much of what I do is routine maintenance, the most dramatic changes are these reclamations of neglected properties - usually when a new owner arrives and finds the task overwhelming.  In this case, we had no ide there was a planter under the Virginia Creeper or a path under the ivy when we started.  It is harder than the routine maintenance but very rewarding.

What I do all day



Thie new owners of this house have hired us to reclaim their garden.  I haven't met them yet but anyone who hires the gardeners before they even move in have got to be great.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Connor's Room - after the flood

For those of you who have been anxiously waiting for the after pictures - here they are.  Our computer was not working so I went out and bought myself a new laptop and I couldn't get it to read the  SD card.  After 3 attempts I gave up.  Tori popped it in tonight and it worked - figures.

So here is Connor's room now.  The walls are gray to match the majority of his car pictures.  The floor is light laminate.  He is away at Air Cadet Camp for 2 weeks.  It will never look this clean again.  I even repainted the bunk beds!  They used to be royal blue - the picture isn't great but they are navy now.

The above picture shows Connor's fish.  He wanted a kitten and I said no so he went shopping last year with a friend at our brand new Wal-Mart.  He came home with 4 comets in a bowl.  They were a bargain at 18 cents each.  I said "you know that bike you wanted for your birthday next month - it just turned into an aquarium".  That was a 10 gallon.  They outgrew that in 9 months so this is their new home - 65 gallons.  His bargain fish have cost me $800 - and cost him a new bike 2 birthdays in a row (he already has 3 bikes and a unicycle anyway).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Connors Room - before the flood

This is what his room looked like before the flood. Off-white walls and blue carpet. And very very messy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jim Morning

July 24, 1929 - June 26, 2008

Many of you already know about the passing of Kevin's father. He had been in a nursing home with Alzheimer's for a year and a half so his death was not a surprise. Still, it has led to a lot of reflection on my part. What can I do - what kind of lifestyle can I live to make my life as healthy as possible? What kind of legacy do I want to leave my loved ones? What would I like someone to reminisce about at my funeral? What kind of funeral would I like? (I am thinking a simple pine box with no embalming. I am a gardener after all - just plant me!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


The boys and I went to Barrie for the afternoon to shop. While we were gone Wasaga Beach had a major hailstorm. We could still see the piles of marble sized hail pellets when we got back. There were cars driving by covered in wet leaves and puddles covering much of the roads. Kevin said the noise in the house was incredible from the drumming of the hail on the roof and he could only see 4 houses away the hail was so heavy. Kevin took this picture. You can see the streaks left by hail as it travels to earth. The storm lasted about 10 minutes.

This is our deck. He said he brushed piles of hail the new patio furniture.

This is one of my gardens, now mulched with hail. Some of the other plants didn't fare as well. The veggies are flattened. Hopefully they will bounce back.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More on the Unicycle

We went to the skateboard park and playground tonight after an Air Cadet meeting. I wish I had thought to take my camera. After a few tries Connor could make it up and down the ramp at the skateboard park and he had quite a few interested kids watching. Then he moved onto the playground and went down the stairs and up and down the ramps. He wanted to try the twirly slide but I said no. Our neighbour (a surgical nurse) kept gasping and said she'd be patching him up soon. Alec was quite a daredevil when he was little but outgrew it. Connor however, is getting more and more daring!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Connor and his unicycle

We bought Connor a unicycle for Christmas 2006. He had asked for one and I would much rather encourage a physical activity than say Nintendo so that was his big present. He tried unicycling along the deck railing and down the halls Christmas day but really hasn't tried since. Well, he got himself grounded (a regular occurrence) for not calling us and leaving the house when we were in Peterborough at Alec's convocation. For an hour and a half we had no idea where he was and there really wasn't much we could do since we were 2 1/2 hours away. So he was really bored this weekend at home and pulled out the unicycle. He can go pretty far now after only 3 or 4 days of practice. He came with me when I walked the dogs tonight - about 4 or 5 blocks. He built a teeter-totter out of a brick and a piece of plywood at the construction down the road and practiced on that too. Next stop - a circus!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Alec's Convocation

Convocation (noun) - 1. calling together
2. large formal meeting

Why this is a convocation and not a graduation, I couldn't tell you. We were nevertheless pleased to attend this occasion yesterday. Here is Alec receiving his diploma from Dr. Tony Tilly, President of Sir Sandford Fleming College (Peterborough).

Outside after the ceremony.

With his proud parents. Can you tell he hates hugging? I was pleased to get a good picture of Kevin and Alec. You rarely get anything other than a mug shot from either of them.

The Men in Black, Cyberspace defenders. Of the 72 who started the CSI program (Computer Security and Investigations) 3 years ago, only 24 graduated. We are proud of Alec and his friends. Why do I feel like listening to the Arrogant Worms "The guy with computer know-how" now?

This was however a bittersweet day. Caitlin graduated last year and went out to Jasper for 6 months very shortly thereafter. So none of us attended her graduation ceremony or got to see her recieve the Equine Spirit Award.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Prom Night

After weeks of changed plans, arguing about whether or not she could borrow my truck, where she was allowed to go and with whom and what time she had to be home prom night is finally here! After appointments for her nails, hair and make-up here is our little princess Victoria.

Not quite so regal in this picture!

She asked us to the park to take pictures of her and her friends and it was interesting to see the attire. Formal gowns with flip-flops and suits with t-shirts and running shoes. I can barely remember our prom. I remember what I wore (because I have a picture) and that we went to Casa Loma but nothing else. It is so funny to look back and see the things you put so much emphasis on in high school and how trivial they seem now. Oh well. Here's to happy memories anyway!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Air Cadets

Last year Connor could hardly wait to turn 12 and join Air Cadets. The squadron here is very unorganized and within a few months he wanted to quit. Most of the older cadets did quit, leaving mostly first year kids. I told him he could only quit if he found a replacement activity. I wanted him to stick it out because he has a habit of quitting activities. He wasn't happy but he made it through the rest of the year. Last week he was selected to attend a two week camp in Trenton so now he is ecstatic. Today was their annual review and here is a picture of Connor in uniform.

Here is Connor and his proud grandmother.

Our Magnolia

We have wanted a magnolia for a long time. They can be tricky in our zone as the flower buds can be killed by a late frost. To make a long story short, I finally bought one late last spring and we have just enjoyed it's first blooms. It is a Yellowbird. Unfortunately, they don't last very long. I guess the consolation is that the lilac is blooming now so I can enjoy their scent while mourning the passing of the magnolia blooms until next year. That is one of the things I love about gardening - the everchanging sights and scents.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Long overdue update

Wow - It's been over a month since I blogged. I knew I would be very busy at work getting everyone's gardens ready for the summer but I didn't expect to neglect my blog for this long! My client load has close to doubled and my team is not very experienced though they are enthusiastic and learning quickly. I have also been very busy trying to restore the house to it's previous glory while we continue to clean up from the flood. We know have a 20 foot steel storage unit in our driveway and most of the contents of the house are out there. The basement has been drywalled and mudded and sanded. I spent Thursday priming and all weekend painting. Connor's room is ready to be floored and the flooring is on order. The last coat will be on the computer room and bathroom walls today. That only leaves the family room to paint and decide on the flooring for the computer and family room. Something totally waterproof would be nice! I will try and blog the before, during and after pictures when it is done.

This has been the quietest long weekend we have had since we moved to Wasaga Beach. The cool rainy weather kept the partiers at home or at least indoors. We heard lots of firecrackers but not very many sirens.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back to Work

I started back to work today. I spent the whole day cutting down ornamental grass at condos. There were 9 of us and we are about half done. There is a lot of grass at this particular condo. All I want to go now is have a nice relaxing jacuzzi and soak those aching muscles. So this is a short blog and a warning to my fans that my blogs are going to decrease dramatically now.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

More on Aprons

This is how they wear aprons in Cuba. Apparently us Canadians have the wrong idea. They are not for cooking - they are for dancing! Looks like a lot more fun doesn't it?

Friday, April 4, 2008


For those of you who are wondering - I am still alive!  Kevin and I just got back from our first ever tropical vacation.  We went to Cuba.  The resort was in a biosphere connected to the  mainland by a 45 km causeway.  There were 3 other resorts and a marina and we think a military outpost but that was probably all so it was very quiet.  The only people allowed on the causeway are employees and tourists.  Private Cuban vehicles are not allowed.  We didn't get in as much swimming as we had hoped because all the days we were there were windy and yellow or red flag days (indicating danger level).  Kevin snorkelled twice, myself only once.  It poured on and off the last 3 days still it was a wonderful time.  We took a tour to a historic town called Trinidad on the opposite coast.  The driving is an experience in itself.  Kevin says the national pastime is dodgebus.  The bus will be barrelling down the road at 90 km and suddenly a dog, goats, cows, people (walking or on bicycle or horse) will be on the road.  Transportation in Cuba is something else! The people are friendly, clean but so poor.  I would love to be able to blog lots of or pictures but we arrived home to discover we were one of the 400 or so houses flooded on Tuesday and our computer is not currently working.  We knew nothing about it until we landed as communication in Cuba is also quite different
 than here.  So I am using Caitlin's computer which I am not used to and I have no idea when I will be 
on again.  All of the carpet and laminate flooring in the basement, except for Tori's room, was torn out and there are 9 industrial fans/dehumidifiers running.  They also removed the bottom 2 feet of drywall around the basement.  Victoria handled everything very well.  Connor found the water when he came home from school.  One of his friends mom's came over for 5 hours and wet vacuumed the basement.  It took Tori 2 hours to make the 20 minute drive home from school.  Then she rounded up and rented dehumidifiers and dealt with our insurance agent and contractors until Kevin's brother arrived.  He told them they could wait until we got home so they did.  So that's it for now.  

Saturday, March 15, 2008

March Break

Didn't go as planned. We were supposed to spend a few days at my sister's in New York but Connor was sick and I thought it was mono and she didn't want us to pass it on. Late Monday we learned it was strep throat but it was too late to change our plans. So Connor had a few sleepovers and Kevin and Connor and a friend made a quinzhee. They didn't get to sleep in it because the weather was much warmer than expected the next day so it was no longer safe. We went for a short snowshoe. Tori worked some extra shifts and had a sleepover. Wednesday night Connor and a friend went to the Y. Some other kids (that they didn't know) started throwing balls at them, then stole Connor's hockey stick. Connor tried to get it back, tried to pry the other kid's fingers off then punched him so the other kid put the hockey stick to Connor's throat and threw him against the window. Connor must have blacked out because when he came too his other friend was lying on the ground beside him and he had no idea how he got there. I arrived to pick them up 2 minutes later and they were completing the official report. This was only the 2nd time I had left him alone at the Y. I spent much of the next 18 hours talking to Telehealth, the YMCA, the police and spent 5 hours sitting at the hospital. The "agressor" is most likely under 14 and can't be charged. I think it is just a case of boys being boys but due to the seriousness of the injury the police want to talk to everyone. Yesterday we went to LeBaron (for Kevin), visited Caitlin at the stable, visited Kevin's dad in the nursing home and took the kids 10 pin bowling for their first time. We had a horrible time finding balls that fit any of our hands. And we learned Tori can't bowl. Who knows what the next two days will bring.

Friday, February 29, 2008

For Susan

Yesterday the grade 7s spent the day at a farm. They went snowshoeing, tobogganing and learned how to build snow shelters. All of those things he had done before, but they also went dog sledding. For most of them, including Connor, it was their first time and Susan asked that he blog about his experience. He took his camera but didn't take any pictures because they aren't supposed to take electronic devices on field trips.

I thought that the dog sledding was really fun, and I would love to go dog sledding again,if my family ever movesto the country or to a big property I would like to get a dog sled team. One of the teams was being really slow and the owner of the farm said I could take it back by myself and follow the snowmobile. The team took of really fast. Two of the dogs had really big poufy fur and their was one tiny that was smaller than our dog (a skinny 40 pounder).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Aprons 2

To meet the contest criteria of the aprons being modelled I am submitting another photo for the judge's consideration. They look much better on than lying on a table! This picture was last February so I hope there is no time limit involved. And Victoria helped cut and sew the aprons. I guess I will have to share all the glory with her.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


This is the apron that started it all - my Christmas apron. I bought it for a few dollars at a craft show many years ago. I like it because it covers more than the traditional around the waist apron and is very easy to put on.

One day I thought that the pattern looked simple enough to duplicate at home so I simply traced the apron onto some cheap broadcloth, added a few extra inches at the neck and hem and sides for the seam allowance, bought some bias tape and voila! - aprons for the girls. The horse one is Caitlin's naturally and the other old fashioned looking one is Tori's.

Last February we did a fundraising dinner to help finance Victoria's mission trip to Kenya. I wanted the "staff" (her friends) to look professional so I made them all aprons. The 2 guys got plain burgundy (sorry it is hard to make a masculine looking apron that doesn't say "Torch the Steak and Run"). I used the same material for all the girls aprons but varied the colour of the bias tape so the sets of sisters could tell theirs apart. They all got to keep their aprons as a thank you for helping. I kept the last one for me - pictured below since my previous everyday apron had worn out.

I don't really think you would need a pattern - try it on some newpaper or packing paper. Make sure the sides are symmetrical - some of mine aren't quite perfect. Vary the material and sizes depending on the person - they are cute for little girls too! I wonder how it would work done in light terrycloth? Right now I am working on a cross-stitch so I don't feel like experimenting with aprons. FG & CG let me know how yours work out. (If you want I could drop one of my samples of with the Gryper) Susan - maybe someday - don't hold your breath.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Victoria's Room

In the summer Victoria moved into what used to be Caitlin's room. I didn't really want to repaint as Victoria will be going to university in a year and I would rather repaint it a colour of my choice after she is gone. But after Tori took off the horse border the walls were just boring white and of course full of holes and cover with map tac so I eventually relented. Last week I painted it. A big change from white as you can see but I actually don't mind it. Bright orange walls, lime green curtains and comforter (the comforter came with a matching teddy that is sitting on the ledge). There is still an alcove (that doesn't show in the pictures) to be painted. I'm thinking turquoise or lime green for contrast. In for a penny, in for a pound!

This is her Gone With the Wind Shrine. She is very retro. But not very clean.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm so Excited!

Our honeymoon was car-tripping over southern Ontario. Over the years, we have had holidays all over Canada and 4 or 5 of the northern states. We have always driven to our destination and camped. Lately we have done more canoe tripping and camping. I have enjoyed our trips and learned a lot about Canada but have felt for a long time that I wanted more - an exotic locale and a flight instead of a drive. Because Kevin is a pilot, he doesn't get excited about the prospect of flight and because he travels more than I, a hotel is not exciting either. But for Valentine's Day, he gave me a note proposing a trip for our 25th anniversary. He had been consulting with a very good friend who is a travel agent and had a few places in mind. I must admit it was one of the few times I made a snap decision - without worrying about money or childcare. Of course I said yes! So the trip is booked for the end of March and I'm so excited! The exact destination is going to be a surprise but I know it is a secluded spot with bungalows on the Caribbean. A vacation where someone else does all the cleaning and cooking - and makes the bed! He printed me off some information today and substituted graphics for any identifying facts. Now all I have to do is shop! New bathing suit, sandals, sunscreen... And worry about the kids!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Today we woke up to find it was a snow day and everything was closed - schools and day cares included. I don't remember them doing that here before. It didn't look bad from the window. Everything was picture perfect - especially the trees. When I stepped out the front door I discovered the snow was over my knees. I shovelled for 1 1/2 hours, Kevin shovelled for about 2 hours and the youngest two kids eventually got out of bed and shovelled for an hour. A nice neighbour with a snow blower finished the bottom after the plow came.

It would appear that a few of our neighbours tried to drive out of their garages without listening to the radio. They got stuck. Couldn't go back into the garage without shovelling. Definitely couldn't go back any further.

When the kids were done shovelling they stayed outside and played for a while. First they jumped from my truck into the snowbank. Connor is the black head you can see at the base of the tree.
Victoria executing a snow cannonball. Sort of.
Then they came in and got dry clothes on. Then on to the back yard to jump from the deck into the snow below. Sorry no picture of that. They had a great time. It turned out to be a beautiful day - bright and clear.

I noticed that the snowplow had gone by one of the neighbouring courts and left a chest high wall of snow blocking the whole entrance. I got my camera and went back to get a shot. Some idiot in a little Honda had decided he could drive through it. Guess what - he didn't make it. There were 4 other people digging him out. I decided not to take a picture of that though it was very tempting to send it to the local paper. At 5 pm the radio announced there were still areas of the town waiting to be plowed! It wasn't really a lot of snow but it fell quickly - all between 11 pm and 6 am. Normally that much is spread out over a longer period of time.