Monday, December 26, 2011

Best Christmas ever

It could've been worse. Really?! It could've been a catastrophe.

We held Christmas dinner for my family (a dozen of us this year). Food bought, house cleaned, good part of food prep done the day before Christmas, table set. An almost 25 pound turkey. Dinner scheduled for 2 p.m. So that means turkey needs to go in the oven around 5 a.m.

Alarm set for 4:45 a.m. I get up and stumble to the kitchen to turn the oven on then continue to the basement fridge to pull the turkey out and prep it for the roasting pan. Come upstairs and... notice "light" coming from the oven. Hmmmm, still in a bit of a fog but I register that's just not right. Put turkey on counter, open oven and... kinda flame/sparks and sizzling coming from the bottom element which lies in pieces on the bottom of the oven floor.

Are you kidding me?!

Breathe. Walk upstairs to wake hubby and say "Honey, Merry Christmas... can you come and help me with the BBQ 'cause the oven is broken". He wakes up fast (always does anyway, but I think he realized I WASN'T kidding). Outside into the snowy morning he goes to pull the BBQ closer to the stairs, take out the racks and get it lit. Then a lightbulb moment. We can't call anyone at 5 in the morning. It's an emergency but it's not a death or illness so we don't want to freak anyone out... hmmm, his Mom is out for the day and we have keys. Off goes the BBQ... for now... we'll need it later for the stuffing and pies, and we hurriedly get dressed and load the turkey in the car and take off into the cold, snowy morning. All is well, we're in a good frame of mind and figure we'll just "run with it" and do what we can. Hey... it'll make a good story... someday, lol. We set the turkey to cooking in his mom's oven and go back two more times to check on it (at least a 40 minute plus round trip [not including the time spent there] each time. And the steadily falling wet and heavy snow along with the wind makes the driving steadily worse each trip - we pass more than a few cars in the ditch). Need to make sure it's cooking, pour off the drippings so they don't overflow the pan and get back to our place to get the rest of the meal cooking. Our last trip was 1'ish to pick up the turkey and bring it home. Kinda like meals on wheels, lol.

My best friend calls around 9 to wish us a Merry Christmas. We chat and of course share our fun/predicament. They have two portable roasting "ovens". Yahoo. Of course we won't say no. She's saved the day. We probably could've managed with the stove top, BBQ and microwave but this is even better. And she delivers, lol!

Dinner was just about perfect as was the company. My hubby spoiled me rotten (as usual) and was there by my side sharing all the load (mental and physical). The extra "spice" of having an oven break at a totally inopportune moment just made for an interesting day and table conversation. This will be the Christmas to remember and it was actually the "bestest" for me as I was home and believe-it-or-not relaxed and enjoying.

30 years and our first Christmas at home. But you know what? We still haven't cooked a turkey for Christmas dinner at home! So... we HAVE to do it again next year at the very least.

And me? Well, I'm going to kick back and relax with my brand new Keurig coffeemaker (WOOHOO! as the guy in the commercial exclaims) and my new scrapbooking dies and puzzles and magazines and... yes, I am spoiled and loved. It was a good day.


Saturday, December 3, 2011


We had a welcomed visitor yesterday morning. One of our friends, Derry, came to visit with his "new addition".

Derry was the proud owner of Domino and Checkers, two of our "babies" (from Ripley, Hunter's mom; and Hunter respectively). Sadly, they have passed to the Rainbow Bridge and after several months of an empty house, Derry and Patty brought Sammy home.

What a sweetie (Derry too, lol). Now, while my gang is not so used to puppies anymore, they tolerated Sammy pretty well with only a couple leaps outta the way and snaps when he got too silly with them. The "photo shoot" went off without a hitch and we actually got about 7 or 8 shots before Sammy had had enough, lol.

Derry, thanks so much for sharing and bringing a new furbaby to see us. So looking forward to watching Sammy grow up.



Jeannie let me down.

Yup. Good thing I printed from "Google Maps" 'cause my new GPS didn't seem to have an "app for it", lol.

Armed with my print out and secure in the knowledge I had my "Jeannie", I headed off for a stamping technique day an hour and a half away last weekend. I knew about where I was to go, so felt pretty confident. But of course, I also had my new toy (GPS) to keep me company.

"We" argued the first half of the trip, lol. I was determined to head East and South and she was darn-well-determined to have me go East and North before heading a bit South. Oh well. It was nice thinking I wasn't just "talking to myself" but to something that would kibbitz back, lol.

So, finally having won the battle (I thought), Jeannie directed me to the correct off ramp and in the direction I "knew" was right. Until we got to Vankleek Hill, about 20 minutes from my destination, lol. It was rather funny. I "thought" I should go straight through the town; however, "she" felt I needed to start turning north. 'Kkkkkkk, I'll humour "her" but I think she's wrong. So, turn left she says. Turn left again. Turn left again. Turn left again. And of course "she's" actually indicating the streets by name and they ARE correct, but... yup, you've got it, "she" was in an endless loop, lol. Wanted to keep taking me "'round the block".

Okay... "she" had her chance so I ignore the chatter coming out of the GPS and head off in the direction I want to go. Then "she" tries to tell me to head back onto a ramp which indicates it's going to send me back the way I came? Nope, I am NOT gonna listen to "her" anymore . I head off where Google Maps has told me and reach my destination no problem (Jeannie also picked up about a couple kilometers from the destination and was fine with that, lol). Told my hostess what had happened and apparently my "Jeannie" is not the only GPS that has had this hiccup, lol. Many of her past visitors have cited the same issues.

Took the "other" way home and Jeannie was quiet most of the way. Happy with the fact I was following "her" way. Go figure.

I did have a good day. Created a whole album of 20 different stamping techniques and just enjoyed my creative get-away. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Jeannie or no Jeannie, lol. It was comic relief.

All this to say, don't necessarily trust yourself to the technology of a GPS.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Paper and Fun

Well this week I had a few friends over and we played with paper. It's such instant gratification. We made an evening out of it with a meal and dessert and chatting and just having a good time.

They were good so I've told them we can play with glitter this week, lol. I'm a little of a control freak 'bout the glitter. Do so love it but it can be messy and likes to travel so... I'll limit the cards and hopefully the mess [grin]. We didn't get the Pennant Parade Christmas Tree Card done so we'll snick that in before we play with the glitter.

I took some time in between creating "class projects" and played with some future ideas for a "girls' class". Think my friends are game for this one too :-).


Sunday, November 20, 2011

She had ants in her pants!

Yes, she did.

Casey came for her "spa" treatment on Thursday. She's the last of my Hunter's pups and is now about 8ish.

She fits in well here, although she's more of an onlooker than a participant with the games the other dogs play. Always in for a game of tag tho' and today was no exception as I went out in the yard with my small group and they went zinging around the yard, Casey in "hot pursuit" (the registered name of her mom, by the way, lol). Close but not too close.

Then it was time for grooming. First the nails and the trimming of the feet. She has such stinkin' cute, perfect little paws. I always get silly delight in trimming them up and making them looking prettier. Then a trim of her ears, head, hocks and feathering. Then it was onto her petite little body.

Patience flew out the window (hers, not mine, lol). Normally I groom the dogs while they lie on their sides on the tool bench or grooming table. A nice soft towel or bath mat under them so they feel more secure and don't slip. I generally just gently take ahold of them, lay them on their sides and say "dead dog, do your dead dog routine", lol. And they do. Rarely protesting.

All was fine. For about 5 minutes. I was into the hind leg area of one side when her head popped up and she proceeded to get up. Dead dog, I said. Nope. So, she gets a pet and a chat and we start again. The next hour and a half plus (should've taken a steady hour this time as I'd already completed the trimming and thinning and manicuring) was like a comedy. Few brushstrokes, spray of watered down conditioner, and buck, buck, buck. Settle. Stroke, stroke, spray... buck, buck, buck. Twas funny really. Casey had ants in her pants. Or a bee in her bonnet or whatever cliche fits. The princess had something to say and the last word.

In hindsight, a maybe... about 1/2 way thru our session, I finally found the source of the "whistling" that had permeated the house all morning. The darn CO detector was obviously warning us that the batteries were dying. It broke into a shrill screech that had me lifting it literally off the wall and prying open the battery compartment to shut--it--up. Hmmmmm.... maybe, just maybe, that audible noise (and any of the inaudible to human ear components of it) had thrown Casey off her game/good grooming behaviour?

Okay... I'll give her that. This time, lol. We'll see when next she comes back.

What I did noticeably miss this time? Hunter. Not just because Casey is her pup. She ALWAYS came downstairs with me when a visitor came for grooming. Always. And she'd plant herself literally touching my feet the whole time that I'd be grooming. The others? Close, but not too close, lol. Just outside the doorway. Close enough they can run for treats that every dog gets after grooming; not so close that they can't runaway upstairs if they think their turn might be next .

Pics are of Casey "before" and "after". Cute either way.



Facebook is a wondrous place. But it can be scary, lol. You reconnect with old friends and they ask after you and your life. How to describe it? Will you come up lesser in their eyes? Will you be judged if you're not a rocket scientist, a published author, a doctor, a nurse, a...?

I am proud to be a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend. I live a quiet, secure and comfy life. I am with the love-of-my-life and we are rather "settled" in our ways. We go out for dinner and drinks, the odd movie, away for a few days (together [wink]), out for a drive, visit with friends (often at home), but we both enjoy our homelife.

Boring? Maybe for some as we don't "party" or reconnect a lot with old friends. We have each other and a full life. A good home, great kids and a largish family. Most of our family (brothers, sisters and parents) are in the immediate area.

My husband is the main breadwinner. I originally worked outside the home as a Health Record Administrator and then as a Property Manager. Then came our two boys, now aged 24 and 20. My husband supported me as a stay-at-home, full-time Mom. It was/is a good life. I was there, and still am, for my husband and kids. I run the home. For some years, I bred Shetland Sheepdogs (20 years) and showed them in conformation and obedience. I also joined a couple of women's groups and dabbled in decorative painting and now papercrafting. I get out to the painting conventions with friends and work closely with a good friend managing a large booth. Here I get to reconnect with old and make new friends. I teach decorative painting occasionally and also papercrafting techniques. These are my hobbies and give me a creative release, fun and socializing time.

Boring? No. Anything but. My life is full and fulfilled. My best friend is my husband of almost 30 years and I look forward to growing very old with him. There aren't enough hours in the day, lol. We will continue to pursue our own hobbies (the above for me and RC Cars, Slot Cars and photography for him) but at the end of the day... we will sit comfortably side-by-side, watching must-see t.v. and talking about our days and just basking in the glow of a continued romance.

No fairytale, just very real and very fulfilling, and no boring life here .


Friday, November 11, 2011

What is wrong with this picture?

We bought a new dog bed for the dogs. A little on the small side, but it was inexpensive ($6.00!!) and cute and we thought, "what the hey, one of 'em might use it - probably little 'Squeak".

So... Molson really doesn't use any of the pet beds. We originally bought a few for the older dogs, Hunter and then Whisper. Hunter mainly. But then Whisper decided she really wanted Hunter's so we bought one for Whisper who then staked the new one out as hers and wouldn't let anyone else near it, lol. So off we went to get another and she staked it out too and would almost have a hissy fit when either of the two newer ones were occupied, lol. She'd huff and puff and stomp and stare and then throw herself to the floor in front of the occupied one and block whoever was on it - even while the one a few feet away was empty! If she got to the prime one first (whichever one would change on a whim) she'd growl and snarl to warn the others away. I think ONCE we actually caught all of 'em on the same bed at once and that was only because Whisper pushed her way onto one occupied by 'Squeak and Shimmer and lay almost on top of them. Ya, really. But they all left Hunter and her bed alone. She had the prime spot right beside the kitchen table where I'd sit with my 'puter.

Fast forward to now. No bed beside the kitchen table. Two in the familyroom a few feet apart. We cycle them around and now have extras to replace those that are destined for the wash.

Molson does his own thing. 'Squeak loves company. Shimmer gets tired of sharing with her daughter any spot she has laid claim to first. She gets too warm and 'Squeak is just too chummy and cloying, lol. So Shimmer has decided that the little pet bed is quite perfect as there is no room for 'Squeak (Shimmer barely fits). 'Squeak has taken to her Grandmother's ways of stomping and huffing and puffing and staring if Shimmer won't share the small bed. Until now... hubby and I watched in shock and awe as the little weasel pushed her way onto the TINY pet bed with her mother. She just 'bout pushed Shimmer off, lol. I grabbed my camera in
disbelief as Shimmer put her head up as if to implore me to save her. What a sight. The big pet bed, usually shared, remains empty. Molson snores blissfully unawares in his own little world elsewhere.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hmmmm... waz up?

Well, I did go to the Quebec painting convention. Salon des Arts Decoratifs. It was, indeed, spectacular. Apart from the communication and culture shock, the people are by far, the friendliest, neatest, chiquest (my new, made-up word, lol), youngest group of painters by far. It is just... well... energizing.

I was tired (and still oh-so-sore) from the show the previous week, but I tell you, you don't have time to let your feet grow roots, lol. My French language skills were a tad lacking this year (I claim the aforementioned tiredness ) but most people were so patient and appreciative of any attempt, however much you massacred the French language ;-).

The show was in St. Hyacinth this year. It's about a 1/2 hour east of Montreal. Beautiful area. I used my friend's GPS and dubbed it "Jeannie" (for genie in a bottle/box, lol). I tell you, if someone had heard me talking back to that little piece of modern technology, I would've been committed, lol. You should've heard me when "she" would tell me to make a "legal" U turn, lol. Not. I really enjoyed it, though, and "she" sure helped me. Since then, my sweet hubby has bought me my own GPS.

The show was so busy, the four days passed in a blur. It was sad to say goodbye to my friends (new and old) but good to get home.

New. Not much. My oldest has come to stay for a couple weeks. Something about needing a break? Whatever. It's new and different and... okay, I'll say it... strange, lol. 24 is so grown up and mature and adult and a mom is not s'posed to question every little thing. Right? As if. We'll give him that space and privacy. For now .

Am still playing with the papercrafts. So satisfying. Instant gratification. I'm just in the midst of controlling some of my chaos so that I can plan a little workshop for some friends and create some Stampin Up cards and gifts for Christmas.

Have also been doing some painting and just finished a set of 4 winter landscapes adapted from a Dorothy Dent design. Will post a pic when I touch up a couple. Tomorrow I'm going to start a Kelly Hoernig design of a little "Jingle Bear". Colour Pencils. Do you hear me singing "Jingle Bells", lol?

Any-who... can't think of what else to say right now, so I'm just gonna hit "publish", lol.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Just playing, lol...

Click to Mix and Solve

Been playing on my favourite time-waster site . Jigzone. Love the puzzle-a-day and their archived puzzles. Can make them as hard or easy as you want and just have fun without taking up a horizontal surface, lol. Found out, if I make an account, that I can "make" my own puzzles. Too much fun!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Convention News

Well, I got to the New England Traditions (NET) Painting Convention on Thursday, October 6... but my checked bag did not!

That also meant… no undies, no toiletries (which I paid a king’s ransom for at the tiny store in the lobby before it closed), no medication (my blood pressure meds, lol) and NO MAKE-UP or face cream.

The worst part?! They KNEW where our (myself and one other nice lady) bags were! They were circling endlessly on the WRONG carousel, but they figured they couldn’t get them up to us on time! And we weren't allowed to go down to the PUBLIC carousel and get them ourselves. Chain of custody?! So they sent us thru Customs who said “no way, we can’t let you in without luggage”! So… I left Customs (at 11:50 a.m. – flight to leave at 12:10) and went all the way back to the Westjet Desk, grabbed a nice lady (literally - yes I did, lol) who told me to go back it wouldn’t be a problem and I said “not without your escort, lol”. She walked us thru Customs' initial check-in and vouched for our bags (the fact that they were somewhere in the Toronto International Airport and would follow "later"), but couldn’t do anything at the actual check point/conveyor belt to hurry us thru (U.S. Customs were on "work to rule" so we were advised to "make nice"), then waited on the other side, talked to the Am.Eagle flight crew and had them hold it. We knew there were later scheduled flights to Boston but they said probably won’t get stuff ‘til sometime Friday. Grrr. Oh well. No use crying over it and stressing. Shit happens. After a hot two days in the same clothes, my bag arrived about 6 pm at the Best Western Marlborough, MA. I ripped into that bag sooooo fast for clean, dry clothes, lol. Never felt so good, lol.

The show venue for the New England Traditions Painting Convention was beautiful. People were wonderful, hotel comfortable, apparently the classes (rooms and experiences) were great. The only drawback was the loooooong jaunt to the Trade Show, but what a beautiful set-up for the Exhibitors and the customers! This chapter has done a wonderful job of putting on a show for all. Gawd forbid if there had been inclement weather, though. The distance, in my opinion, of the hotel and classes from the Trade/Exhibit Building is prohibitive. We saw few registrants come on lunchbreaks or breaks as we would at other shows with classes and exhibit areas housed under the same roof.

Our booth (Willow Wolfe and Princeton Brushes) included Rebecca Trimble this show, one of our Signature Artists. What a doll and a fantabulous artist ! It was so nice to finally meet her in person and see her artwork, watch her paint and just get-to-know her. Her style is folksy and clean with limited colours and I picked up a couple packets and can't wait to do 'em. She'd brought quite a few of her new book, Rebecca's Collections Vol 2, and it was a sell out.

I had little opportunity to leisurely browse the floor, but what I did see was awesome. There were at least 50+ booths and I tell you, it was a shopping mecca for the convention goers.

The service and food in the hotel restaurant was sub-par. One word – indifferent. They didn’t seem to care. Rebecca Trimble and I met in the main restaurant for dinner on Friday night and sat, and sat, and sat. It wasn't busy. Anything but. Most everyone was at the show's Banquet which was sold out. We were still sitting, trying to get someone's attention when Willow arrived from the airport. We waited a bit longer, again trying to politely enquire as to when we might be served when I decided to be proactive, lol. Got up and went over to the salad bar and grabbed a plateload of buns and butter and brought it back to the table! Got their attention then... they weren't happy, lol. So dinner finally arrived and was plunked onto the table. No one bothered to follow-up whether everything was fine. Halfway thru our meal, we finally nabbed the indifferent waitress and pointed out that my steak didn't have the mushrooms that were s'posed to be with it. I got lectured because I was only letting her know now?! Then, the waitress went away and came back with her order book that she plunked on the table beside me and proceeded to tap with her finger and say "see? I did NOT write "no mushrooms" ". Huh? I said we weren't implying she was in the wrong but maybe she might like to let the kitchen staff know? She said no she wasn't going to tell the kitchen staff that tonight. Huh? Let me tell you... it didn't get better, lol. In fact, this same surly, indifferent waitress was in the other restaurant for brekkie the next morning. Argh... she's stalking me, lol? None of us were looking forward to having our next meal there, but with little choice and no transportation... Let me tell you, I wasn't comfortable and just the thought of pulling up a chair in that restaurant made me queasy.

Saturday night we got a “get outta jail free card” and a nice lady, Ginny, who was in Willow's class drove us off the hotel site to a local Italian place, Allora. What a huge difference. Great food, great company, great location and service. It was energizing. I had Ch. Parmesan. Yummy.

At the end of the final day, after packing up the booth and ensuring that all the boxes would arrive safely at their next destination, I took the long walk up the hill to the hotel, not looking forward to eating in the restaurant there, but feeling too tired to ask the hotel shuttle to take me elsewhere. Donna Scully was packing up her car when she saw me dragging my butt up to the hotel and surprised me with the offer of dinner somewhere and a chance to visit before she hit the road. I thought… another git outta jail free card! With no hesitation I said yes and we had a lovely couple hours.

My van showed up on time the next morning and whisked me to the airport (only about 45 minutes, as my ride in on the Thursday was - some registrants and teachers had taken 2 hours or more to get to Marlborough from Logan International in Boston because of traffic). I checked in early and decided to go thru security to just sit and rest in the Air Canada lounge. Of course I had to go thru the full check because the buzzers went off - my bracelets. The lady screener was friendly and explained everything as she went about her business. I kibitzed with her and she thought I was a riot... heehee. I commented on this and she basically said my mantra, "life's too short to get your short's in a knot...". Told her she was terrific. One of the men on the line was fascinated with the commentary we carried on, lol, and then asked about the Pandora bracelets I had on. So of course I had to share about them . Then it was time to relax and await the flight. It was a cramped little puddle jumper and booked solid but the flight was only just over an hour so it was manageable. Just. Although the initial taxiing was taking so long, my seatmate and I thought sure we were maybe just taking the highway to Ottawa. It was a bumpy ride the first half (new pilot? 'Cause sure wasn't the weather) but I was able to tamp my queasiness down.

Home. So nice to be home. Had a nap then a great meal out at Swiss Chalet. Did groceries today, laundry tomorrow and updating my books/booth schedule etc... off to the Quebec show on Thursday and back Monday. Whew. Salon des Arts Decoratifs . I will be driving so no chance of losing my luggage, lol.


Monday, September 12, 2011

A little lost

I'm a little numb and bruised today. It's not really a bad day, if you call saying goodbye to a furry friend and helping them move onto a less confusing, painfree life is a blessing and a gift we can give them. It's just kinda the speed it took, like a snowball rolling down a mountain. It's with a sad heart that I write her obit today.

Whisper: December 29, 1997 - September 12, 2011

Yes, she was aging fast. They always do once that process starts. Didn't mind carrying her up and downstairs; she'd actually resolved herself to her new role of demanding mistress of the house, lol. Take her out, plunk her onto the soft grass, give her behind a pat and gentle push and she'd do "her business", maybe run 'round for a bit and sniff all the neat yard smells, check the back gate area and warn the construction workers and passersby that she was the Queen of all she surveyed, then wander back to the patio and yip or whine until her servant appeared to usher her into her abode. She wanted her "dues" when and how she wanted them, lol.

Her arthritic discomfort was getting worse and the pills gave limited relief. Her hind end was getting weaker and she'd softly collapse occasionally then look a little befuddled. Her sleeps were longer and deeper. But boy, could that tail still wag and that body still enjoy the petting and scratching. And she was always right there at the door pushing her way thru the others and demanding her share.

Saturday night we went out to dinner and when we came back I thought she was "listing" a little. Her behaviour was a little more clingy and she was a little more unsteady on her feet. We both voiced our thoughts that her time was getting nearer and time for serious monitoring. The next day she seemed back to "her normal". I met with my eldest and tried to pave the way. I was met with denial and a cold statement that I'd never been forgiven for the passing of another favourite from about 7 years ago, Sheena. Sheena, the matriarch, was 17 years and one week when I had to make the decision for her/us. I was hurt. I've always tried to be honest with the kids (and myself) and do the best for the furries and them and pave the way for the facts of life and the gift (yes, it is that; as hard as it is and it HAS been hard over the years) of being able to help them to the Rainbow Bridge. Oh well. He (my eldest) and I went birthday shopping for something for his girlfriend and had a good day and I made sure I convinced him to factor in time to come home and make a card for his girlfriend and I'd drop him to work on time. It was my way of ensuring he see "his dog" while the opportunity was still there. Whisper was as good and healthy as an old, arthritic dog could be and was very happy to see him and get extra attention and treats. That tail was a-waggin'.

She had lots more smelly dog treats than normal that day, ate a huge dinner drenched in chicken bouillon and looked for more. Had her evening scratch and pet and outing and after two extra special dog cookies (rather than the 1/2 the dogs usually got for "bedtime-cookietime"), we all retired for the night.

I was awakened by my youngest son sometime around 1 a.m. Whisper was seizing. It was not her "normal" short epileptic episode (she'd started having small seizures at about age 8 and they lasted mere seconds to a couple minutes; they occurred sporadically about every few months and were not too momentous for her or us). This was something more and not pretty. I got her settled some, hubby awoke and looked after the both of us and we determined it was time. No time to wait 'til "regular hours".

Her last couple hours were calmer and with her favourite people and we said goodbye and let her go peacefully to the Rainbow Bridge. I am sure she is smiling and running freely again and painfree and lording it over all the others. The Queen Bee.

There is a hole in the household today. The three young-uns are a little unsettled as am I but we will carry on and each day will get better. Should be interesting what happens with the furbaby hierarchy now that the Queen Bee has passed on the torch. Very interesting .

Whisper? Waggy tail? Where's that waggy tail? Gooooood girl. We'll miss you, but know that you're painfree and happy and wagging that tail madly, dancin' and lookin' for your "dues".


Friday, September 2, 2011


She's getting old, lol. The arthritis is getting the upperhand. We're now carrying her up stairs almost all the time. Very few exceptions. She can still make it downstairs most of the time. But she doesn't like to. And she doesn't like to get her feet wet in dewy grass or rainy grass, so she mostly goes on the patio stones. Each stone is 18" square, so by my calculations, the pic I took (one of her shorter trails, lol) is about 15'. Please let me decide on the signs for her needing to be a "downstairs" dog before she breaks her housetraining due to old age! Argh.

We had a four-legged visitor for a few days in August. He was busy as 6 month old pups are. The younger ones got used to him and would "tune him up" periodically. Pebbles just shrugged these times off and went about his merry way. He's a good pup. Whisper is 13-1/2+; she doesn't have to "put up with it" and doesn't. The photo shows her greeting Pebbles, lol. Thank goodness she is much slower moving as she ages .


Friday, June 24, 2011

Addendum to the A/C Saga

Eureka! Coolness! Sigh, what a feeling.

3 hours almost to the minute and they've packed up and left. Just in time, literally, for the torrential downpour that made me run to close the windows and the little bit of cool that wafted in from the sauna-like conditions outdoors.

I know... what a weany I've become, lol. Spoiled with my central a/c! Cool baby coooool. It's muggy and stifling in here. Mama's gonna melt .


It's hot!

There IS a difference between dry heat and moist heat. No doubt about it.

My central air has been broken, kaput, shot, dead, destroyed... busted, for just over 2 weeks now. It's been warm in the house, but with cooler nights, lots of room fans, closing everything down during the day, opening windows wide to catch any breeze... it's been bearable. Most days.

Fast forward to this week. Rainy and warm. Not too hot, but just enough to make a sauna with the moisture and the sun. As I type this, the sweat is glistening on my skin and trickling down my back. And I think it's only 20 degrees celsius outside and by the thermostat, 24 in here. Lordy! At some points over the last couple weeks, it got up to 26 and 27 degrees celsius in the house. Not great for sleeping even though it cooled down, but it seemed "livable". Weird.

But my saviours have finally come. The a/c installers are here and working away installing a new unit. Just in time 'cause it promises to be like this the next couple of days. YIPPEE! Never thought I'd be so happy to see a couple of sweaty guys, lol.


Monday, May 30, 2011


In 60 seconds (or less, lol).

No email contacts. None. Zip, zero, nada, rien, blank, nothing, zilch, naught, nix, nil... BIG goose egg, lol. A rose by any other name.

Well, this could be a good thing, lol. I can't "talk" to anybody. Might get some stuff done. No news is good news...

ARGGGGGGH! It might mean... I've gotta pick up the phone!? Yup. That hardly-used "thing" on the wall. That chewer-upper of time. That prehistoric talking machine. Yes, I will have to do that as I have a Stampin' Up Party to decide upon (whether it runs or I cancel) and it's coming up... FAST.

Good news is my machine is back up and running and better than ever. There is a LOT that I must get used to, but baby steps. Brand new Microsoft 2010 Suite (including Outlook - full version, yikes; Word 2010 - do you have ANY idea how very different it is than the 2007?! And to think some are still using the version before that!?; etc.); full Windows 7 Pro version; Firefox... and the list goes on. Make me more efficient? Harrumph/choke/cough... we'll see . Oh ya, and the latest Adobe Reader, version 10. Wowsers... now that is different! Ooooh-la-la... all this for a woman who doesn't "do" change well, lol. Think I'm handling this quite well says she as she pats herself on the back .


Saturday, May 28, 2011

And it begins...


Well, I "rescued" my computer for a nominal fee instead of close to the $200 it would've taken to "fix" it at the computer "doctor". It was so badly infected, they couldn't even get it to connect to the internet.

So... nothing else but to strip it down and start over. Think my son was rubbing his hands together in glee (while also not-so-quietly smirking). I learned from one of the gurus there that my son was also right (sigh, lol). It IS possible to get Windows 7 working on the laptop despite what Dell has on it's site. I can say goodbye to the Windows Vista now.

Ya but... the changes! Most for the good. But some, well some, I think my son is just being punitive with me, lol. The list (and speech) of what I "can't" do with my computer is longer than what I "can" do (what is "allowable" by said son the "Technician"), lol. But... I will bow to his superior knowledge (for now) and try to work with what he's "allowing" me to have.

I am NOT allowed to use Internet Explorer as my browser 'cause he says it's too "hackable" or somethin' to that affect. Something to do with some angry "active x"?! Whatever, lol. So... I'm permitted to play with Mozilla's Firefox. Hey, it's kinda cute but the display... oooh-la-la it will take some getting used to.

I have no mail server 'cause he hated the old one (Windows Live Mail). Hey, I didn't like it either, having previously used Outlook Express, but danged if I can remember now what I didn't like about it heehee. Whatever, I need mail. As it is, ALL my emails that I've been "banking" are gone. All my passwords, memberships, stored "business"... gone. Sigh. No biggie. Good way to start fresh, right?! So, if someone reading this post knows they've sent me an email in the last while that's gone unanswered... send it away again, lol. We "think" he may have saved all my contacts (over 300) so here's hoping... crossing fingers 'til he gets home.

I've just spent the better part of a day downloading, reloading, finding... programs that I would like re-installed. That's a process in itself. I really should make a better list for future, lol. I also "played" online and tried to watch/download a couple videos. One I cannot capture 'cause it's Flowplayer and so I need to "use" the lesson now as it's disappearing to me by tomorrow (will be taken offline). Do you know how hard it is to follow along with a video lesson and NO SOUND?! OMGaaaaawd, I thought maybe my 'puter DID have an incompatability then with moving from Vista to the Windows 7 (Pro version might I add, lol). No drivers for the audio?! Argh!!! Nope, no worries. Son just hadn't got around to installing that particular driver. Whew. Will work on that one shortly.

So, so far so good. I've got my Adobe Photoshop Elements working, Adobe Reader, RealPlayer (that is one of the no-no's, lol, but my "hafta have" ). I've got the Microsoft Office suite installed. The anti-virus. The spy/malware programs I'm off to download now. Then I've got to put my "games" back on (Jewel and Solitaire) and my Painter Library program and hope that I didn't lose all that data. I did lose the Tips & Ideas Database, but no biggie, not sure I would've used it anyway (haven't to this point so... no sense in going back to it's creator to try to get new copy).

Yup, so far, so good. The sighs emitting from my chest as I do all this playing, well... just me talking and cursing and showering my 'puter with affection so it loves me again and behaves, lol.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My apologies to my "perfect husband", but...

Computers must be male. As soon as you commit to one you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have obtained a better model. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on. Big power surges knock them out for the rest of the day. ~Author Unknown

Sigh, I'm not having much luck the last couple days so thought I'd give y'all a pick-me-up, lol. Now, you must understand, that my husband is excluded from the above statement as in my eyes, and that of a couple of my friends (so it must be so)... he's perfect. Yup. Not going to turn "that" model in, lol.

Now to my 'puter woes. My "pink, Vista" Dell 'puter is very sick. It (okay, "I") got a nasty piece of malware and it's invaded my poor sweet computer and messed up just about every little nook and cranny on it. So... it was off to the Computer Doctor (The Trailing Edge) yesterday for a complete head to toe clean-up that they assure me will fix my problem. The darn piece of malware I got? The Windows Vista Recovery evil little (cannot call it what I really want in public) piece of garbage. Have learned that hitting that little red "x" to get rid of the screen only encourages it! Sigh. Control-alt-delete is my new mantra and as quick as humanly possible. However, that being said, it is so NOT going to happen again. Right?! Could've got the dang thing anywhere. Even, I am told, on the most innocent of blogs just like this one. Sigh. These buggers are getting craftier and craftier. Sure hoping the mantra what "goes around comes around" is most assuredly so for the idiots who think these up.

And to my continued woes... I am using my old IBM T41. It used to be fine for me even tho' everyone said it was slow. Hmmmm, they have a point. I am over-typing the dang thing and my typing is not even half of what it used to be. It's clicking and growling away at me. It's not charging. It wouldn't turn on earlier. Just stayed in a vicious loop of the Windows Screen to lull me into believing it was just "loading". A plea to my computer-literate son got some mercy and clicking in the "bios", whatever that is, and he got it up and running with a crooked grin implying "geesh, Mom, do I have to do everything". Grrr, lol. It hates me. So... I am typing this quick post thinking it might be my last for awhile 'cause when this poor machine dies... I don't think anyone in the house is going to let me NEAR another computer [grin]. The computers hate me, lol.

This is going to be the longest next few days of my life, lol, until my laptop is back with me in working order. Sigh. It can't be soon enough.


Friday, May 20, 2011


Women "glisten" and men sweat. Right?! Not! Today, I'm sweating, and huffing like Kirsty Alley on Dancing with the Stars after one of her dances, lol. Now that my breathing has re-set to a manageable level [grin], it's time for me to post (hubby was exclaiming 'bout my lack of new posts t'other day - yes, we do "talk"; however, he's a regular reader of the blog and well...).

It's been raining for several days. I just cut the grass last week, but it's growing like the proverbial weed on steroids. The weeds are even worse. It's become impossible for me to find all the landmines left by the dogs. Hubby has been very busy at work and oh-so-tired when he gets home. Much as he's gonna give me right sh#\!* when he gets home, I figure I have a few hours of blessed ignorance and hope that he won't read the blog before then heehee.

Mowing the lawn is tough work. Not-so-bad when it's a little overgrown. But really, really hard on you when it's, like, 6" long, lol. Couple that with the fact we have a honking big gas mower. Wonderful to chug through the heavy stuff, but hard work. I pull it out of the shed and hang the grass catcher on it. Then I top up the gas. I think the hardest part is the initial start-up. Pump the prime button a few times. Just the right amount mind you. More than the 3 it tells you, but less than what it takes to flood it, lol. Then, while holding the starting bar engaged, pull that honking long cord a couple times. Hard! Try not to dislocate your shoulder, lol. Crap. Okay, tie down the starting bar, put foot on wheel so it doesn't roll and pull. Whew. Success.

So, I am puttering around the yard and stopping periodically to empty the bag before it gets too full and heavy for me (gets full far too fast and the grass is too long to leave on the ground). In my own little world I am when I hear something. Just 'bout jump outta my skin, lol. It's the neighbour offering to do the front lawns with the gas mower when I'm done. Who am I to argue as the sweat (yes... s-w-e-a-t) pours down my back and my hair comes loose of the clip I've put it up in? I finish and gladly hand it over. When neighbour is done, he exclaims how freakin' heavy the lawnmower is (but it does a great job). Ya think?! And I've done the hard part of getting it started, lol. Any stoppage after the initial shoulder-dislocating cord pulls is a piece-of-cake to start it up again. It's almost more a light tug of that damn cable, lol. I take off the grass catcher and finish up outside our yard where the city has made a right mess working on some housing across from us. Can't wait 'til that's finished.

So... now that my system is back to normal, I feel quite good 'bout my accomplishment. Take that hubby [grin].

I'm just waiting for my chauffeur duties to begin for my youngest (he's almost 20 now). He's off to escort his girlfriend to her prom. Can't wait to see the two of them all dressed up. Hope he'll let me take/get a pic (without him rolling his eyes, lol).

Oh, and the convention went well. It's always nice to go to and re-connect with old friends (not in the chronologic sense, but that too, lol) and see what's new. It's a nice show but I have to say I was disappointed with the attendance this year.
Those that were there were excited and really wanted to be there, but the numbers are a-dwindling. New things are in the works for next year to attract more attendees and we will do our best to spread the word. I stayed Sunday night as it's a long drive back for me and driving alone, in the dark, especially during a storm... well, not the most optimum or safe conditions. So I wandered home on the Monday and stopped to stretch my legs... in Shannonville (about the 1/2 way point for me) so I could "just have a peek at Ecstasy Crafts", lol. Well, really... I needed to stretch my legs and what better place?! Yes, I did do some retail therapy, lol.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's that time again

What time? Well, painting convention time. This week I will drive to Mississauga for the Coast to Coast (C2C) Painting Convention and set-up and man (woman?) the booth for my friend, Willow.

Today is Easter Sunday. I will shortly put on a small turkey roast for the family. And then I will probably start to panic about what I DON'T have ready, lol. No list, no booth supplies gathered, no packing, no laundry done, piles that I had vowed to remove from my hubby's eyesight still there...

OMG...oodness! LOL! Well, I shall take a breath and handle what I can, as I can, and go away and have a damn good, but exhausting time, come back with a smile on my face and... knuckle in to everything I left undone . And life goes on. Oh, but I WILL get my nails done before I take off on Wednesday. Priorities, lol.


And then there were four...

Yup, it's, unbelievably, been almost 2 months since we said goodbye to Hunter. The dogs and I are moving on with life and making new paths. Whisper has become my shadow, Molson yappier, Shimmer and 'Squeak no noticeable change. I still occasionally find myself looking for Hunter. Counting dogs in and out and finding it hard not to count to five .

Whisper is 13 and I just took her into the vet to get some more arthritis medication for her. This time we'll try the Deramaxx rather than the Rimadyl to see if it offers a little more comfort. It's also s'posed to be a tad more cost-effective. Ya right, lol. At, still, $1.00 per day for a 30 pound dog... I thank goodness she is not a big newfoundlander, lol.

The visit to the vet. I have to talk about that. Whisper is the Alpha Dog. She can be quite cranky with other dogs that invade, what she calls, her "space". Like our past matriarch, Sheena, who we aptly named "the Shark" in old age, you can never be too sure if the "space" is 2" or 20' lol. Whisper likes to be in control of the situation. She doesn't like changes and she HATES the car. Always has, always will. All you have to do is call her to the front door and she happily comes thinking it might mean an unrestrained wander to the mailbox or to accompany you out around the yard. Pick up those car keys tho' and she becomes a cowering mass under the kitchen table and no amount of cajoling or ordering can get her out. She must be dragged kicking and yes, sometimes, literally, screaming.

So... I digress. The visit to the vet. Laid back, that was an understatement, lol. The car ride was all that was expected... chattering teeth, shaking body, drooling (from her not me, lol). Short trip later she was out of the car like nothing happened, waltzed into the vet ...and just lay on the floor patiently, when I directed her to, while everyone fawned over her. Her tail wagging constantly. She loved the vet (but all those who know him adore the man too, lol) and made google eyes at him, followed him around, begged for cookies and stood perfectly calm under his examination and fond attention. Then, while waiting to pay the bill, she broke her down stay in the waiting area afterwards to mark the floor for a young male pup that was looking her way (she's in heat - looking for a man at this age, lol)! Why don't dogs have menopause!? Geesh. That's my girl. Tough as nails but a marshmallow (and shall we say "tart"?) at heart. Vet thought she was in great shape and a sweetie (are we talking 'bout the same alpha dog with the selective hearing?) apart from her backend getting weaker in old age.

So our pack gets a little smaller. The dynamics change. But some things still stay the same. And where is this marshamallow right now? Well, right at my feet as I type this missive. Baring her teeth at the others if they come too close. They must lie elsewhere (the other side of the table is quite fine).