Thursday, January 31, 2008

My husband is a junkie

My husband is a political junkie. I've known it for years, but now it's affecting my life too.

I kid you not, this is serious stuff.

Not only does he follow local, provincial, and federal Canadian politics but he follows world politics too. Especially American politics.

We don't watch much television. Unless. Unless it's news or politics. I have to admit, I often abandon him and go to our 2nd tv set when it just becomes a little too much. (my favourite shows are Spooks from BBC, House, a new Canadian show called The Border, and just about anything on HGTV, the Jane Austen series on Masterpiece, The Tudors...absolutely no reality shows!)

But. Now he's got me interested in politics too. Not so much with the Republican race. But the Democratic race has me hooked. John even caught me watching a clip on YouTube this morning. So you know it's serious.

At the start of the race, I was convinced Hillary was the one. John has been an Obama fan all along. After hearing this speech, I have to agree. I think he is the future that we need.

Yes we can!

A little update on our house situation: Purely coincidentally...we have a 2nd showing tomorrow morning for an agent in Ottawa at the same time that the inspection is being done on our Nova Scotia property. I'm off to clean now...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Spring thoughts

I don't know what we Canadians would talk about if we couldn't talk about the weather.

It was a wild and wooly day here. We started off with pouring rain...then switched to a snow storm...and then just about got blown away by wind.

Despite the wild and windy weather, I took the dogs out for our afternoon walk. John couldn't believe I still went out. But now that I have the proper outerwear, I actually enjoy it outside. Now...if we lived in western Canada, I don't think I'd be going out! It's -45 C there today! Yikes.

So, I've been dreaming about spring. Looking at gardening catalogues. And wondering what I'll do with our new yard. There is absolutely no landscaping around our new house right now. That means I'll have lots of opportunities for dreaming and planning.

Everything is in place. We'll be Nova Scotia property owners on Friday. We won't be there, but John's son and DIL will be doing the inspection and picking up the keys for us. Yay!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Salad in the bowl, icing on the cake

I have read a couple of blogs lately that are celebrating the "every day life" with photos. Here's a shot of my every day life. A couple of days ago, John joined his friends for lunch (pizza and fries..healthy!) I made a salad for myself. I love salads! Yum.

Things have been picking up a little bit around here. We had 2 house showings last week. Last Sunday a family came to see it. According to the feedback we received, parents & kids all loved the house. But. They have just listed their own home and need to sell before they put in any offers. (what a concept...maybe we should have done that)

The second viewing was on Thursday. John had to drive the 3 dogs and cat around on his own because I had a meeting scheduled. This viewing went well too. They loved the house, but it was too far to walk into town. Huh? If they wanted a house close to town why would they even bother to come look? Oh well.

We are now scheduled to do something we said we'd never do. We will be having an open house one week from today. Never say never. It's just our opinion that most people who go to open houses aren't seriously looking for a property. Our real estate agent thinks it will help. We'll see.

My meeting on Thursday was with a couple who have made me an offer on my dog biscuit business. The terms have been agreed and they are going to go to their lawyer this week to have the papers drawn up. I never thought it would happen. Lots of people were interested in taking over the business...but these people are willing to pay what I wanted for it. Yay. YAY. YAY!!! It's such a relief that the business will carry on. It will be hard to see someone else take it over, but I'm happy it will continue. Even better, the new owners are nice people. Icing on the cake.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Simply Spoiled

Yesterday was a great mail day. I received not one, not two, but three parcels in the mail. I love getting things in the mail...even if I do have to pay for them myself!

This parcel was from Jamie at Simply Me Art. As I mentioned in a couple of previous posts, she put together several pieces of jewelry for me using a box of my sister's costume jewelry that I sent down to her.
Here is another of the pieces she made...this one is a charm bracelet full of things taken from my sister's jewelry as well as some of my own pieces that I no longer wear.

Close to the bottom left you'll see a long and thin silver piece...that's a welsh love spoon that John bought for me on our trip to the U.K. in 1991. (so long ago!!) The piece to the left of it is a charm I bought for my sister...the crest of our Scottish family name.
The purple coin is also from the U.K. trip that John and I made in 1991...I bought it for myself in London, England. The 1939 coin is hand painted (the reverse side is beautiful with a lion and crown).
I was wearing this one around the house last night. It has a nice weight to it.
Thanks Jamie!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bag full of bugs

I whipped out to the local fabric store yesterday to buy some fusible web for this project. The store is owned by a very nice older couple (and believe me, when you get to my age and say "older"...that's getting up there). The woman wasn't there when I arrived and I tried to explain to the man what I wanted (I couldn't remember what it was called...I've only used it once before). Well, we struggled through a bit of a discussion because I couldn't explain it very well. Thankfully, I found what I was looking for...just as she arrived back in the store of course.

The background fabric was purchased from Jen at Beebee Mod several months ago. My original plans for it was to use it as a lining for a "treasure chest" I was going to make for our grandson Mr. J. I had bought a couple of wooden silverware cases at an auction for $1. Despite sanding and ripping out the existing lining, I couldn't get rid of the moldy smell and that project was abandoned.

The striped fabric and the fabric for the wheels was purchased in a "pound of fabric scraps" from the etsy shop Ellie Bleu (another of Jen's ventures).
This was my first attempt at lining, which didn't go too badly. Not perfect, but I don't think Mr. J will complain. (the standards of a 3 year old being a little different). I even managed to make a double pocket on the inside of the bag so he can put some little treasures into the bag too.
So, this will wait until his birthday party in March and we'll put some little cars and trucks in it. I think he'll like it.
What do you think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The days go by

Sometimes days go by, and it seems like we've been really busy. But then I try to think about what we've done and wonder where all the time went to.

We had a phone call from Cody on Friday afternoon. He moved to Toronto in December and has finally found himself a job. Phew. No more worries about his ability to pay rent. And...his mom is happy because he's working at a greek restaurant and they give him a free meal every day. At least I know now that he'll be eating good food (if only once a day). He sounds quite "up" which is also a very good thing. He and 3 friends have started working on a play together. We'll see how that goes.

We had a really nice dinner out on Friday night...totally unplanned. (despite my previous post about getting John to take me out to dinner!) We received a phone call from friends at 5:00 Friday afternoon. They had decided at the last minute to go out for dinner and wondered if we'd like to join them. So we had a very enjoyable few hours of dinner and conversation. One of the great things about our lifestyle is that we can pretty much do what we want when we want. Mostly we don't put that to good use because I'm what you might call a homebody.

Saturday we received a call from our real estate agent's office. They received a viewing request and we actually got 24 hours notice, which was great. So we cleaned the house from top to bottom. Sunday afternoon we cleared out with the cat and 3 dogs and went to lunch and then a drive. No word back yet on how the viewing went. Fingers crossed.

Monday had us driving into Ottawa for a few hours. Dog biscuit deliveries to some of my stores, and an eye appointment. A dog biscuit shipment also went out to a customer in New Brunswick.

Today...no big plans. I think I'll pop over to the local fabric store. Last year I made our grandson a tote bag. Cassie (the dog we adopted in September) ate it during one of our grandson's visits. So...I am going to sew up a replacement. The last one was pretty basic. I whipped it up last minute before his birthday party to use as a gift bag. I'm going to try to line this one which should be interesting. My sewing skills are fairly limited. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

14 days

Fourteen days...and counting! Two weeks and we'll be one step closer to our move.

Today we go to the lawyer's office to sign all the papers. It's getting real.

Have a good weekend. Dream big!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Simply Creative

I promised another photo of some pieces that Jamie from Simply Me Art created for me using my sister's costume jewellry.

Actually, I think most of these pieces were originally our mom's which of course makes it a very special piece.

I'll have to wait to see it when it arrives in the mail, but I think Jamie has used parts from at least 4 of the things I sent to her from my sister's tin.

I'm really looking forward to receiving them in the mail. Now I'll have to get John to take me out to dinner so I can wear them.

More to come!







Monday, January 14, 2008

Home is where the heart is

Unfortunately for me, my heart is with our new home in Nova Scotia. We are counting the days until February 1st. Then we'll be counting the days until our Ontario home sells and we can actually move and officially be bluenosers.
I always thought I was a patient person. My husband disagrees, and I think maybe he's right.For those friends who have asked to see photos of our new place, you can click here. I took these photos when we were house hunting in October...not our furniture, but you can take a look at our future home.

I am constantly trying to remind myself to enjoy the moments we have here, rather than wishing time away until we move. That's harder to do than I would have thought. So, I'd like to think that I'm not impatient. I'm just a forward thinker.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Promise

Just like this amaryllis, this year shows lots of promise. I don't think I've ever really made a New Year's resolution but I've been giving it lots of thought this year. Maybe it has to do with aging...I'll be turning 47 this year.

You start thinking about life and where you are on the cycle. Have you accomplished what you wanted to with your life? If not, why not? What do you really want to do? Those are really tough questions when you really think about it.

I think one of my biggest accomplishments so far is raising a son who is (as my dad said many, many years ago) a "fine young man"...someone who has a set of values and is kind and is willing to work to achieve his dreams. (now if I can only get him to call his mom a little more often)

My other big accomplishment is being in a relationship that is truly a partnership. My husband and I may not always have the same dreams, but we share each other's dreams and work together to achieve them. You can't get much better than that.

But. This year I want to spread my own wings a little and challenge myself creatively. I have dreamed for so many years of "being an artist", whatever that means. I read other people's blogs and think "Wow, she's so creative. I wish I could do that". So my goal for this year is to stop dreaming about it. I want to create. I don't know what I want to create...maybe lots of things. Once we move to Nova Scotia, I'll even have my own little studio. So my goal for this year is to stop thinking and start doing.

I hope you join me on my journey. This year holds so much promise, I don't want to waste it.

What are your dreams? I challenge you to stop dreaming and work towards living your dream.
Maybe we can inspire each other.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A nice surprise from Lineanongrata

Isn't it great to receive things in the mail? I'm talking about nice things, not bills of course.

I don't receive too many nice things in the mail, but I did get one yesterday.

Look at the art I received all the way from France. Julia is an illustrator living in the south of France. During December she had a giveaway every day on her blog.

I was one of the lucky recipients...and look what she sent!

A print of one of her illustrations, printed on canvas. And the wrapping is wonderful too. I'm going to have to take some lessons in presentation.

The photo I took of my print is not very good. To see a better image, click here to go to the listing in her shop.
Thanks so much Julia! I'm going to hang your "Alonzo - doggy dream" illustration in my studio in my new home.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Simply Wonderful

Sometimes you just know when
something is the right thing to do.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I found Jamie's blog Simply Me Art and was enchanted by her creations in her etsy shop.

I asked her to create some jewelry with a tin full of costume jewelry that used to belong to my sister. I took a leap of faith and sent the package to Jamie in California.

Take a look at the first piece she has created! I am so thrilled. I'm a pretty conservative person but I told Jamie I wanted her to make me some funky pieces. I think this is charming!

The big locket used to belong to our mom (who died of breast cancer 25 years ago) and there's still a photo of my dad in there. I think the photo is from the 1940's. Jamie has added a photo of Dori on the other side of the locket.

How is Jamie going to top this? She'll be making a couple more pieces for me so stay tuned!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

One word

A fearsome sight...

A blogger friend Bumbershootska knit 3 pairs of mittens for me. Two in grandchildren sizes and I couldn't resist a pair for Cody (yes, he will wear them). Here he is on Christmas morning. And that's my last mention of 2007.

On with 2008! It's going to be an exciting year. Our biggest change, of course, will be moving 1600 kilometres from Ontario to Nova Scotia. We are anxious to move and will be taking possession of our new home on February 1st. But. We still haven't sold our place in Ontario. The weather is not co-operating. According to our agent "folks from the city don't come out to look at houses in the country when it's snowing". Only one home in our price range has sold in the last 3 months. It figures that we've had more snow so far this year than any year on record (since 1935!). I'm trying to be patient!

The question most people ask me is what will I do when we move? I am making arrangements for my dog biscuit business so it can carry on. And I'm going to take the chance to do something different. I'm not sure what yet. But I'm excited about the chance and the change.

One of the blogs I read...good-ness...asked readers to sum up one word to describe 2007 and one word to describe 2008. It's tough to sum up a year in one word and certainly makes you think. My word for 2007 was "dream". 2008 is "live".

Give it a try. What are your words?