Saturday, February 16

Happy Blogoversary Ollie and Mike and a Bit of Black History

Our oldest blogger is Olive and she is 108 years old. That in itself is amazing, but what is even more amazing is that Olive is celebrating her first blogoversary.

Mike is Olive's helper and he does a wonderful job. So in celebration of this wonderful milestone, I 'd like to present them with a little gift.

I hope you enjoy it, Olive and Mike. I wish you many more happy times together and Olive, you can still sing wonderfully. I wish I could sing so well. Have a wonderful day. Please drop over to Olive's blog and wish you a Happy Blogoversary.

As you all know February is Black History Month and I've been posting a few things about Canadian Black History. Many of you have commented that you are enjoying it and Anni, at Hootin' Annis especially enjoys these little tidbits of information. So Anni, this one is for you.

In 1849, fifteen former slaves, led by Reverand William King, came to a section of land near where Chatham, Ontario is located today. The Elgin Settlement, also known as the Buxton Settlement was established there the same year.

The newly arrived black settlers were given the opportunity to buy 50 acre plots of land at the reasonable price of $2.50 per acre. Payment was to be made in 10 equal installments at the rate of 6% interest. In order to keep the land, the settlers had to abide by certain conditions. The land had to be lived on for at least ten years and it had to be cleared. A house had to be built that met the minimum requirements of four rooms. The house had to be set back from the road 33 feet and have a flower garden in the front and a white pickett fence. The settlers who purchased land also had to help build roads and dig drainage ditches.

As the settlement grew, a school was built and it opened in 1850. Both black and white students from the surrounding countryside attended there and several graduated in the school's first years and then attended university in Toronto. In the evening the school was alive with adults who wished to learn to read. The school was one of the best in Canada West, which is now known as Ontario.

Reverand King set and enforced strict rules for the Elgin Settlement.

* The land within the boundaries of the Elgin Settlement could only be sold to blacks.

* Land had to be purchased and couldn't be leased.

* The cabins had to be a minimum of 12 x 18 x 24 feet and a front porch had to be built across the front.

* Cabins had to be erected 33 feet from the road and have a flower bed in the front yard with a white pickett fence.

* Prizes were given for the most attractive properties.

* There was no liquor allowed within the boundaries of the Settlement.

These rules were made to give the settlers pride in their community. They were expected to work hard and provide for their families. Reverand King felt that with community pride the Settlement would be successful and he was right. The Elgin Settlement was the only Canadian black settlement to be successful.

The Elgin Settlement grew and prospered until after the American Civil War. Many of the men living in the Settlement signed up to fight for the Union during that turbulent time. After the war, there was a great exodus to the US. However, many of the inhabitants remained and their ancestors still live in that area today.

If you are ever in the area of Chatham, Ontario, be sure to stop by this historical site. It's like stepping back in time to another era.

So with that bit of history, I'll leave you. Have a wonderful weekend, stay safe and remember to do a random act of kindness for someone. Kindness gives hope. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, February 15

And the Winner is... Show and Tell Friday and a Random Act of Valentine Kindness

Thank you all for entering my Valentine's Giveaway. And the winner is...

Drum roll please...

Karen at Karen's Korner.

Congratulations Karen. Please pick out your cards from either my giveaway post, the previous post or my ebay store. Please let me know what cards you would like and who they are for so I can personalize them. Thanks so much for being part of the fun.

This week for Show and Tell Friday, I'd like to show you some of the beautiful Valentines that I received as I strolled around blogland yesterday. If you would like to participate in Show and Tell Friday, follow the link to Kelli's at There is No Place Like Home. If you scroll down to yesterday's post, you will see others. Thank you to all my friends for the beautiful cards. They are all very special.
The Valentine below was given to me by Sharon at Rose of Sharon. Thank you so much. It reminds me of the Valentines I used to get from my classmates at school.
I received this one from Deena of Can I Be Pretty in Pink? I just love it. This reminds me so much of the Valentine's postcards in my collection. Thank you, Deena.

Brandy from Mommy's Quiet Spot handed out this adorable card for Valentine's Day. Thank you, Brandy. I love the little white bear and the pink accessories.
The beautiful Valentine's Wreath below was made by Karen H. It's beautiful, Karen. Thank you so much.
All of these lovely Valentine Gifts and my other awards and gifts can be found on my Awards and Gifts page.

My regular readers will know that I often end my posts by urging them to do a random act of kindness because it can make a big difference in someone's life. I had an opportunity today to do a random act of Valentine kindness. I'm not telling you this to brag or make you think I'm special. I'm telling you to let you know how big a difference you can make in someone's life.

I was on my way to take my grandsons their Valentine day cards and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some Valentine cupcakes. When I walked into the store, a mother stood there hugging her son who was about 10 years old. I heard her say,

"Are you sad because no one sent you a candy gram?"

He nodded his head while hugging her tight.

I walked a few steps and stopped. I could make a difference here. This young boy was devastated because not one of his classmates had send him a candy gram. So, I reached into my pocket and took out a Toonie. (that is the Canadian $2.00 coin.) I went up to the little boy and his mother and handed him the Toonie. I said, "Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetie. Buy yourself a treat."

That little boy's face lit up like a sunbeam and his smile reached from one ear to the other, as did his mother's. She mouthed the words, "Thank you." The boy's eyes were sparkling and he was turning the Toonie this way and that, examining it.

I went and picked up the cupcakes and headed toward the checkout. They were only a few steps from where they'd been earlier. She thanked me and so did the boy. Then he said, "We're going on a date tonight. Mom and I are going to have a candlelight dinner."

I told him that was wonderful and his mother added that when he was four, he'd asked her to have a candlelight dinner with him and they have done that on Valentine's Day ever since. He was so proud of this date with his Mom. I congratulated him on creating a wonderful tradition with his mother.

As I left, his mother said, "Thank you. You made his day."

My reply, "You're welcome. His beautiful smile was the best Valentine's Day gift I could have received."

I don't know who the mother and child were or anything about them. I do know that a random act of kindness can make a big difference in a person's life. Please do a random act of kindness for someone today. Not only will it make their life brighter, but yours as well. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, February 14

Valentine Gifties

I have some Valentine gifties for my friends. I've been honored to receive some beautiful gifts in the last few days. Today I want to share them with my friends. Happy Valentine's Day to each of you.

Hootin' Anni shared some of her beautiful creations with all her blogging friends. I picked up all three of them and would like to share two of them with everyone who comes to visit today. Thank you, Anni for your generosity and caring.

The next two were presented to me by Denise at Samaritan Women. Thank you, Denise. The friendship one is lovely and the kittens are adorable.

This is National Friendship Week and to celebrate, I would like to give the following Friendship Award to all my friends who visit here on a regular basis. I've formed some great friendships since I started blogging here. I love each of you.

The one below was also given to me by Denise of Samaritan Women. I would like to pass it on to:

BJ at Sweet Nothings

Joan at Erstwhile Librarian

Susan at Pawley Farm Seaasons

Paula at On a Rainy Night

Denise's Dad at The Poet, The Artist

This is an award that I am initiating. I would like to give this to a few people who have touched my heart in a special way. In no specific order, here are the recipients.

Anni at Hootin' Anni's

Karen at Karen's Corner

Carolyn at Talk to Grams

Diane at Diane's Place

Renie at Renie Burghardt's World

Tina at Tina's Odds and Ends

Betty at Country Charm

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink?

Mary at Isabella's Closet

Lady Di at Kitty Justice

Pea at Pea's Corner

Lori at Pink Faded Roses

Sharon at Sit With Me Awhile

Sharon at Rose of Sharon

Denise at Samaritan Women

Denise at Shortybear's Place

Virginia at Small Reflections

Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor

Thanks to all of you Ladies for making a difference in my life. You are all treasured.

Sorry Ladies. I don't have time to link to all of you, but will make sure you know the award is here.

Happy Valentine's Day

I'd like to wish all my friends and readers a very Happy Valentine's Day. Enjoy this time with that special someone and if you are alone, treat yourself to a box of chocolates or a similar treat. Another idea is to take a friend to lunch or dinner.

Now, everyone's been wondering about the Valentines I've been making for the boys. These are very simple to make but I know the boys will love them. I made them so they could hang on the wall in their bedrooms and they could enjoy them. I will also give them a package of Stick-E-Tak so they can put them up without damaging the walls. If you have never used Stick-E-Tak, try it. It has a variety of uses and is fantastic.

Below is Brandon's Valentine. In the upper right hand corner is a 1950s Valentine with a Panda. I was given this Valentine by someone when I went to elementary school. Brandon loves Pandas and this was perfect for him. On the upper left is a photo of Brandon and I at his birthday last year and at the bottom is a photo of the boys, Grandpa and I that was taken at Sea World. I have written on the back "Brandon, with love from Grandma Mary 2008.

Jordan's Valentine is exactly the same size and shape as Brandon's. It has a 1950s vintage Valentine in the upper right corner - another that was given to me in elementary school. On the upper left is a photo of Jordan and I at his birthday last year and at the bottom, the same Sea World photo that I put on Brandon's. Jordan loves all animals, so he will love the cool cats.

These are very easily made. First I cut out a heart from a cardboard box and covered it with red Bristol board. I used the glue gun to attach the cotton lace around the edge. Once that was dry, I used scrapbook sticky picture tabs to fasten everything to the Valentine.

When Pea at Pea's Corner was selling her Beanie Babies on ebay, I saw these two little precious bears. They are Cracker Barrel bears and since the boys love Cracker Barrel, I thought they were perfect. The boys take very good care of their things, so Pea, these fellows will have a new loving home where they will be well cared for. Thank you so much!
Besides that, I will buy (don't have time to bake) the boys some Valentine cupcakes or another treat that the entire family can enjoy. (Yes, I know they're spoiled.) I've made their Mom and Dad a card and of course you saw the fan that I made for my mother. That is it for Valentine's Day this year. Hubby and I aren't exchanging gifts or doing anything for that matter. We've decided to instead put the money toward sprucing the place up a bit. We are badly in need of new windows and this house has 14 of them that need to be replaced. We replaced the other two last year. So, we will just get a kiss and a Happy Valentine Day wish, which is quite acceptable.

In honor of Black History Month, I have written about Harriet Tubman on my Treasures to Me blog. I do hope you will stop over and find out where in Ontario, Canada Harriet Tubman had a home. She is an interesting woman of history and I'm sure you will enjoy learning more about her.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day and please remember to do an act of kindness for someone today. Kindness gives hope. ~Blessings, Mary~

PS. Don't forget to enter my Valentine giveaway below. The deadline is midnight EST tonight. I will announce the winner tomorrow.

Easter Give-away

***This is a sticky post. Be sure to scroll down to read my latest post. ***

I'm having an Easter giveaway. I'm hoping that you will all enjoy participating in this one. I've been making Easter cards and want to giveaway three of my cards.

The are three designs below and you will be able to have these personalized.

This one is nice for a mother, sister, daughter, niece or any other little or grown up girl.

This little basket of ducks could be for a child or a grown up. Ducks and flowers are a definite sign of Easter and springtime.

This one is so cute. A little bunny with a rose. It could be given to almost anyone.

If you don't like any of these, be sure to check out my ebay store, The Old and New Shop or these from my post of February 7th. Any of these cards are also available to be personalized. The winner of the giveaway will have a choice of the cards they receive. You can choose three the same or three different ones.

In order to win this giveaway, I ask you to comment on this post and tell me about your most memorable Easter as a child. This will be a lot of fun and I look forward to your stories. Be sure to enter your comment before midnight Eastern Standard Time on February 14th. Comments after that time will not be considered. The winner will be chosen at random on February 15th. This will give me lots of time to print your cards and get them out to you in time for you to send them for Easter.

Also, please pass the word about my giveaway on your blog. Thanks and good luck!

Tuesday, February 12

A Beautiful Award and Other News

Anni at Hootin' Anni's has touched my heart in a very special way. Anni has presented me with the Artist Award. This award originated at Morning Sniffles, and when Anni received it for all of her wonderful talents, she chose to pass a copy on to me. Let me tell you that for Anni to honor me with this award is a great honor. When I saw she had presented it to me, I got this big old lump in my throat and teared up. Thank you, Anni. You've touched my heart once again with your love and kindness.

Anni presented this award to me for my Treasures to Me blog. Some of you may not know that I have a second blog where I write about things that I treasure. If you've never visited Treasures to Me, please drop over for a visit.

I want to pass this beautiful award on to a couple of ladies that I know that are very talented.

Mary at Isabella's Closet. Mary makes beautiful banners and created the header for my Writing Nook blog. If you remember my Christmas header, Mary also created it. Mary also makes lovely home decor items. If you've never visited Mary's blog, be sure to drop in and see all her wonderful creations.

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink also creates some beautiful things. At this time Deena is on hiatus because she is battling breast cancer. Please stop by and leave her a cheery greeting.

February is Black History Month and I've been meaning to post more about how these African Canadians have contributed to Canadian history.
Today I'd like to pay tribute to the Black Canadians who have served in the Canadian military. Though some seem to think that African Canadians have not "paid their dues" in defending our nation, nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality Black Canadians have a long history of military service to our nation. In every instance, African Canadians have voluteered their service. The Volunteer Military Company was made up entirely of Black soldiers and served this nation during the American Civil War.

The Volunteer Military Company was established in Vancouver, British Columbia and was active from 1860 to 1864. This wasn't the first Black regiment to defend Canada and the British controlled territory of Canada. African Canadians have been active in every war and conflict where Canada was involved since the American Revolution.
I salute all African Canadians, past and present, for their sacrifices and duty that allow the people of Canada to continue to live in freedom.

Photo Courtesy of
Library and Archives Canada

I would like to leave you with another Valentine postcard from my collection. You're welcome to take a copy if you'd like.

Remember to do a kind deed today. Give a neighbor a helping hand, say a kind word to a child or simply smile at someone who looks as if they're a bit down. Kindness brings hope and hope is everything. ~Blessings, Mary~

Good morning to all my friends and readers. It's Tuesday and it's just a week until my daughter, Michelle has her surgery. She had to go to pre-op yesterday and they told her that instead of being in hospital overnight that she will be staying for four days. This didn't make her happy, but made me feel better. After all, she shouldn't be coming home the day after having a hysterectomy. If I remember correctly, they kept me for five days when I had mine. Though I dislike being in the hospital, the same as she does, it is the place to be after major surgery.

I just found out that SIL is taking the entire week off to make sure that the boys are taken care of. I will go Tuesday morning to watch them while he takes Michelle to the hospital and I'll pick them up from school so he can stay with Michelle for a while. She will sleep after she comes back to her room and he will come home to get them dinner and put them to bed. Then I will pick them up from school so he can visit with her the following day. All in all, we will work it out.

I worked on the boys' Valentines last night and they're just about finished. I will try to take some photos when I am done so I can share my idea. They're very simple, but the boys will love them.

And now, with it being so close to Valentine's Day, I will share one of the Valentine postcards with you from my collection. You are welcome to take a copy if you wish.

In historical news February 12th was Abraham Lincoln's birthday. I always found Lincoln very interesting. Have you ever researched the similarities between him and Kennedy? Interesting reading.

Take care and be sure to give someone special a hug today and tell them you love them. We never know what tomorrow will bring. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, February 11

Monday Award and Meme Day

Today is Monday and the day that I'm supposed to post all my awards and memes for the week. This is going to be fun. This week I was blessed with several awards from Carolyn at Talk to Grams. Thanks so much, Carolyn. I love them all and the Biggest Heart Award is especially awesome.
I'd like to give the toadally awesome award to all the people on my blogroll, so scroll down and if your name is there, you're welcome to take a copy of this award.

The Cool Cat Award was given to my by both Carolyn at Talk to Grams and Sharon at Sit With Me Awhile. Thank you, Ladies. It is adorable. It is going to ALL my visitors. Regardless whether you've been here before, you are welcome to take a copy. All my readers and visitors are awesome.

Anni over at Hootin' Anni's was tagged for a screen capture meme and asked others to participate. Anni is always a lot of fun and this was a challenge for me because I had no idea how to do a screen capture. This is what Anni said:

1. Capture a picture of your computer’s desktop.

2. Post it on your blog along with a link to who tagged you.

3. Tag some people.

Here’s how you can do a screen capture:

1. View desktop and press the Print Scrn key (located in the upper right corner of your keyboard on the same row as the F12 key).

2. Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).

3. If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it, but it is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun.

Thanks, Anni! You taught me something today and here is the screen capture of my desktop. It is a photo I took at Sea World when we were in Florida. Notice the icons of the games that hubby and the grandsons play. I'm not into computer games but they are. Notice when I took the screen shot that I had two windows up. One was Hootin' Anni's blog and the other was my ebay page.

Like Anni, I am not going to tag anyone for this meme, but if you'd like to participate be sure and let me know. I would love to see your screen capture and following Anni's instructions, it's very simple to do.

Today I cut out the boys Valentine cards that I'm making for them. I am going to be working on them for the next day or so and if they turn out good, I will post photos.

Take care and have a wonderful and safe week. Remember, a smile can light up someone's day and be a real blessing, so when you see someone who looks a little down, give them your best smile. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, February 10

School Resegregation and a Visit with the Grandsons

February is Black History Month and I enjoy learning about black history. Being educated in the culture of others is always enlightening, but the headlines in the morning Toronto Star shocked me. It read: Resegregation: In the wake of recent court decisions it has become the fourth "R" in American schools - reversing decades of government efforts to integrate black and white students. Hardly anyone - least of all black leaders - seems pleased.

What is going on in the world. I grew up in the 50s and 60s and knew without a doubt that segregation was wrong. I watched the NAACP fight for the rights of blacks in the US. I watched race riots on TV and was even in Detroit when one occured. That was scary.

Recently, in Toronto, a vote was taken to open a completely segregated black school. I was appalled to hear this news and now this headline in the paper jumps out at me first thing this morning. What is the world thinking?

In the same paper, on the front page, another smaller headline reads: Obama closed gap with three more wins. America is possibly going to have a historical vote later this year that will put the first black man in the Oval Office. How can these two headlines be on the same front page. Here we are making a historical step (possibly) and at the same time segregating students in our schools. Can anyone make sense of this? I would like to hear your views.

The grandsons came last night to spend the night and we had a good time. We had dinner and then they played while I cleaned up. After that, the boys got in their pajamas and we watched Snow Buddies. This is one of a series of the Air Bud movies. We shared popcorn and had a good laugh. If you haven't seen it, be sure to pick up a copy or rent it. It is a beautiful story.

After I'd finished cleaning up, I found Brandon and Meeko relaxing together. They both know that the couch is not a place for dogs, but Meeko seeks the boys' attention when they are here and this is the end result. *sigh* Meeko isn't destructive but I'd rather he didn't get on the couch and bed. When the boys are here he tends to be a little sneaky and they don't discourage it. After all, bonding with an animal is great fun.

Jordan wasn't to be seen and I went into the computer room to see what he was up to. He had asked if he could go online to one of his game sites and I'd told him if he stayed on that site he could. I've never known either of the boys to disobey about what they view online and he was indeed playing his game. He swiveled around in the chair and I snapped his picture. He is wearing the Pluto shirt he bought at Disney with his own money. He loves that shirt and wears it every chance he gets.
The boys got up this morning, had breakfast and played with their little marble toys. There are metal cards involved and when you put the plastic marble-like toys on the card, they open to reveal a man. The boys love these and enjoy playing.

The boys went home about 1pm and this Grandma was tuckered out. They certainly keep me busy while they are here and I enjoy every minute of it.
My friend Mama Bear at Bears in Exile is celebrating her anniversary. Be sure to drop in and congratulate her. She tells the story of how she and her hubby eloped and she's also posted some great photos.

I hope your weekend was as much fun as mine was. Have a great week and remember to show kindness to others. ~Blessings, Mary~

P.S. Please remember to enter my Easter Giveaway. I will be choosing the winner on February 15th.