Sunday, July 20, 2014

Little Miss Scarlet Claire and Sushi

For all you faithful followers, I just thought I would post a 'quickie' of the latest picture of Little Miss Scarlet Claire and Sushi. 

Some of you may have followed the Growth Chart of my first grandchild with my crazy cat.  If you happened to miss it, you can read about it here

Year one was a blast with these two photogenic little hams; that is until the last few months when Scarlet got a little more active and Sushi wasn't so inclined to be still beside her.  Year two proved to be too much of a challenge as it just aggravated me more and more to get them both to sit still.  It just wasn't meant to be. 

Today however, I was able to grab the camera on time. 

For some reason the name Falcor comes to mind.
(  let's see how many of you 'get that' )

One of these days I'm going to create a photobook of these two, but... I'll wait a little longer until Scarlet can really appreciate it.  Right now, she eats her books; that and anything else made of cardboard or paper. It's imperative that someone changes the empty toilet paper roll before she finds it !! 


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Brentwood 2014 Part 1 - Twiggy

Our annual Cross Stitch Retreat to Brentwood on the Beach with The Stitching Sisters is the highlight of our year.  We cannot wait to spend our 4 days together with our nonstop gabbing, stitching, laughing and sharing time with our wonderful friends we met a few short years ago.  

This year we had a new visitor; ‘VISITOR’ being the key word here.   In case you’ve forgotten our silly tag line of ‘You Can Visit, But You Can’t Join!’, just click on the link so you can read about it.   Thanks to Jody’s sister Holly for helping to provide us with this phrase as it has gotten a lot of mileage, laughs and shocking responses.  

Jody immediately fell in love with a turtle from the Scentsy collection that Anita’s daughter sells;  Jacinda has recently taken up cross stitching and is often reminds us... ‘I know, I know – I can visit, but I can’t join!’ -- Well -- this year Jody decided to bring Twiggy to Brentwood so he could sit with us and we could enjoy his scented sachet turtle shell.   Twiggy was promptly set in place as we sat down to stitch, but something just wasn’t right.  Jody realized he needed something to stitch too, so she remedied that quickly and just when we thought we were ready to settle in to stitching, Anita realized that Twiggy needed to borrow her glasses.  So she remedied That quickly too. 

Just when we thought we were ready to settle in to stitching again, Jody said, “Wait!  We have to get his picture!”  Anita put her things down and took the picture.  And just when we thought we were ready to settle in to stitching again, Jody said, “Wait! Anita – you have to send the picture to Jacinda to show her Twiggy is stitching!”   Anita uploaded the picture.  And just when we thought we were ready to send the photo Jody said, “WAIT!  You have to tell Jacinda ‘LOOK WHO GOT TO JOIN’!!” (laughter upon laughter)  Picture Sent!   And just when we thought we were ready to start stitching again, the reply from Jacinda came in, “He can VISIT!!  He only gets to VISIT.”   Stitching … still on hold until we could compose ourselves. 

If Twiggy had any reservations about joining visiting that weekend, they were soon gone once he realized there was much more to do than sit around stitching and with a bunch of ladies.  
Hey mom!  I found some new friends.
Hey mom!  I bet you can't find me ....

Hey mom!  Stop stitching and come and find me again.
Hey mom!  You'll never find me this time.
mmmmm Werthers.
I wonder how many I can eat before she finds me.

Hey mom!  I found my very own hammock.
Hey look mom!  I found my own wrecking ball.
Hey mom... can we make a video of me if I
promise to leave my clothes shell on?
Hey look mom!  Anita made this really pretty blanket and it kind of looks like my shell.
Do you think if I ask her really nice she will make me
a winter coat that looks just like this?
ahhhhhhhh I think I'll take a nap.
Hey mom!  Look at these Lily of the Valley flowers
that Bonnie brought.
They smell really nice, Just Like ME.
Hey mom!  Is it time for dinner yet?
I'm huuunnnggrrryyyy.
Hey mom!  Can I check my email?

Hey mom look!
Hey mom!  Did you know Brentwood wrote a book?
Hey mom!  What does pleasure mean and why does it ride a bus?
I heard dad say something before about a pleasure ride, but I didn't know it rode a bus.
I thought only kids rode a bus to school.  I know...
I'll ask my brothers when I get home.
Hey mom!  I found some shells.
Can I try on a new shell? 
Can I?  Huh?  Can I?
This shell is too heavy.  Mommmm - it's squishin' me.
Mom?  Mommm?

Hey mom!  Do you want to play a game with me?
How can you resist my adorable smile?
Can we send this picture to Jacinda too?
Hey mom! 
They got lots of neat games here we can play.
huh?  What do you mean you came here to stitch?
Hey mom!  Can I have some candy?
Wow! Look at this giant bag of M&Ms. It's almost as big as me.
Hey mom!  I"m going to hang outside for awhile and get some sun.
Hey mom! 
Look, I can slide down the banister all my myself!

Ahhhh thanks Mom!
 Thanks for taking off my shell...

That feels better.
Hey mom!
Trish is going to teach us how to make her famous
1-2-3-4 Biscuits. YUMMY!
Now you can make these at home ALL the time.
Wow Mom.  We've only been here an hour and
I can't believe all the things there are to do. 
Thanks for letting me join visit.
Hey mom, I like watching you stitch.
Hey mom!
I found my very own pool with a fountain and Everything.
Hey mom! 
I found this really big bed and there's even a place for my shell.

Four days later....

Hey Mom!  Can I drive home?
No Twiggy.
awwwwwww !!

Hey Mom!  Can I hang out the window on the way home?
No Twiggy.
awwwww !!!!
I Never get to do anything I want!

Hey Mom!
Are we there yet?

As you can see Twiggy had a pretty good time during his visit to Brentwood. I wonder if Jody will be taking this little rascal to all the cross stitch outings.  We do after all have another one coming up in a few weeks.....

Stay tuned for more from Brentwood.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Goodbye Trees :-(

I love trees. One of the best features of my property when I bought this house was the numerous trees in the yard.  They canopy the entire back yard and make it feel so cozy.  So cozy we had my daughter’s wedding in the back yard and it was just beautiful.  We’ll save that post for another day. 

Sadly, I had to have 4 diseased trees removed this past November. During the process one of the large trees tangled in the fall and took down the tree right next to it that was planted to replace the one being removed.  These trees provided a massive amount of shade on the west side of my house which means I’m really going to notice the temperature difference in the house this year; not to mention the fact that I have to rearrange some gardens to compensate for the extra sunshine. 

The tree removal company doesn’t remove the stump waste, so I am left with two massive piles of tree stump bark to displace throughout the gardens. At first I was hesitant to use the bark from diseased trees  in my gardens, but after some research this winter I discovered that it would be fine.  So I thought, ok – I’ll get some extra help and we’ll just cover over the existing bark in the gardens.  Then it hit me.  It’s not just bark – it is dirt AND bark mixed together. So now I’m faced with ‘sifting’ the dirt and bark from each other or else I’m just going to be weeding bark; so what’s the point.  It’s been a time consuming project because I’m shifting the gardens around at the same time, but it’s coming along. 

This picture is a little dark, but I wanted to emphasize the height of the trees. I actually had to stand in my neighbour's yard in order to be able to capture all the trees in the picture. Sooooooo tall !   These three trees at the corner of the garage helped to shade the west side of my house.

In the picture below, between the garage and the house, you can see the large diseased tree. When we moved into this house the tree had a small hole in it;  27 years later, this you could see out the other side of the hole and the tree was hollow 12 feet up into the tree.  Sadly - Time to come down. This tree was the tallest tree on the street and provided a massive amount of shade to the yard and house as well as protection against rain coming in my bedroom windows.  The picture following this shows the top view of the tree to give you an indication of the height. 

For 26 years all I heard from people was, "You know... that tree is going to have to come down."  So when my daughter decided she wanted to have her wedding in the yard, I was dearly tempted to nail a sign onto the tree that said: 'YES, I Know the tree is going to have to come down!'

Instead....I got creative.

Niki and Shawn's wedding was in October and a friend of mine called me and said she was cleaning out her gardens for fall and was digging up some flowering cabbage and would I like it to put in my gardens for the wedding.  I knew right away what I wanted to do with it ! 


Sadly the day came that they all had to be removed. The following pictures are a little dark because it was late November and I had just got home from work and I had to take the pictures right away as the remainder of the trees would be removed the next day when I was gone to work. Also in the bottom picture, note the inside of the trunk - that was 10 feet of several honey bee hives in the hollow of the tree.

Snowflakes or Orbs - you decide. 
Ok, so the trees were felled, the winter was cold, harsh and very long; spring finally arrived late and it was time for me to get rid of the piles of dirt and bark.  Pile 1 below.

Now, Pile 2 has a bit of a story.  When I went outside to take the pictures of the piles of bark there was a little 'winter' surprise waiting for me that made me chuckle right out loud.

This friendly little Frosty the Snowman has been passed back and forth for many years between my friend Diane and I.  It started out when I was sorting through some Christmas decorations and I decided to take 12 of my decorations and drop them off at my friends door step for each of the 12 days of Christmas.  Frosty was the last one.   And then one day Frosty turned up at my house the next spring and he's been going back and forth now for several years.  Had we known this was going to carry on for so long and bring so much enjoyment, we would have taken more pictures a long time ago.  This was one of my favourite 'finds' to discover Frosty in the bark, but one of my other favourites was one year when I walked out to my garage and discovered him in this garden.... 

Diane's favourite discovery was waking up Christmas morning and looking out her kitchen window that overlooks the neighbour's garage roof and Frosty was sitting on the roof peeking in at her.  One day I noticed Di outside cleaning the car and when she went into the house for a moment I took the opportunity to quickly run over and buckle Frosty into the front seat.  I could hear her laughing from my place when she came back outside to finish cleaning the car.  Frosty also made it to Diane's daughter's Stag and Doe. 

So back to the dirt and bark..... at present I am about 65% finished and as I progress - the robins just love me.  Each time I go out to work, they are right there as they have learned who is providing them with their take out meals for the day.  All they needed to do was show up and discover what I had left tossed out for them on the tarp. 

Not only did the birds enjoy being fed - they loved it when it rained hard enough to fill the ruts in the ground from the trucks and they enjoyed a warm spring bath.

I dearly miss my trees already.  This past week we had a huge thunderstorm and the wind and rain came into my bedroom window and got my bed wet before I could get to the window fast enough to close them.  The protection of the trees often allowed me to keep the windows open through most all thunderstorms.  Oh well.... what can I do? 

I am so grateful to have had so many years of enjoyment from the trees and thankful that none of the spring or winter storms over the past 27 years ever toppled any of the trees over onto the house, particularly while I was asleep in my bed. 

 .... and of course grateful I was able to feed so many baby robins this spring. 

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016 was held at Jody's this year and we were lucky we had good weather for our travel eastbound.  If there is going to be a...