Friday, December 30

Must Have Been My Guardian Angel

Wow! Accident free for 25 years and it's gone down the drain. On Tuesday evening the weather was really bad. We were driving up the street and I hit some black ice. My anti-lock brakes wouldn't release and therefore I went into a skid and couldn't bring the van out of it. We were headed straight for a large utility pole. All I could think was oh, S----!

We hit the pole and I was immediately out of my seat belt and out of the van. It has a lot of damage to the front end, but thank goodness the air bag sensor wasn't hit, so they didn't deploy. I've heard of some pretty serious injuries from air bags.

Hubby didn't get out of the van immediately, so I went back to see if he was okay. He was short of breath and had pain in his left chest area. After the police had investigated, I took him to the hospital but there was an eight hour waiting time, so he made the decision to come home. Wednesday I took him to the doctor, who sent him for x-rays. He has a cracked fifth rib and is in a lot of pain.

I ended up with a lot of aches and pains in neck, shoulders, hands and my back was injured this time. I haven't seen a doctor yet but will the first of the week.

Seems odd that after 25 years, I have two accidents in one month. What are the odds of that ever happening?

Just glad we are walking. It could have been so much worse. There's a silver lining in every cloud if we just look for it. Grandma taught me that lesson well. The van is in the shop with $3100 dollars damage. However, vehicles can be replaced...people can't. We've been truly blessed this month. My guardian angel has been working overtime.

Monday, December 26

Boxing Day Post

Well, Christmas is over for another year and this year it was a great day. We went to a friends and spent the day, then picked the boys up and they came and stayed overnight. This morning everyone slept in and then I took the boys shopping to spend their Christmas money.

This afternoon, we played Clue. Brandon couldn't get over the fact that my Clue game was purchased in 1972 for his mother. The graphics on the board are so much different than on the one they have. He said, "This game is REALLY old. I can't believe that it's in such great shape." We were minus the candlestick but the boys improvised with a DS game.

Around 3pm, we took them home and stayed to open gifts and have a bite to eat. I took chicken breast, Black Forest ham, cheese buns and kaisers. They provided cheese, crackers and all sorts of home baked goodies. It was great.

Everyone did very well. We were abundantly blessed this Christmas, not only with gifts, but the love, laughter and company of family and good friends. We hope your Christmas was as great as ours was.

Saturday, December 24

Friday, December 23

Another Scanned Card

For your enjoyment. Feel free to download.

Thursday, December 22

Downloads for You!

I'm so sorry I missed a couple of days, so here are some scanned cards for your pleasure. Feel free to download them to your computer.

Sunday, December 18

Just for You

Please feel free to take this and the two prior ones for your enjoyment. My way of saying Merry Christmas. I will be posting a vintage postcard or greeting card that has been scanned every day from now until Christmas.

Saturday, December 17

On the First Day of Christmas My True Love…

The Twelve days of Christmas are between Christmas and Epiphany or “We Three Kings, The Magi or Three Wise Men Day”, January 6th. It is thought by some that it took the Three Wise Men twelve days to travel to Bethlehem. In the Catholic Church Christmas season doesn’t officially begin until Christmas Day and ends when the Wise Men bring gifts to their Savior, baby Jesus, in Bethlehem. Few practice this tradition of giving in the United States but some still do.

The Christmas carol is thought to be written by a Catholic and an Englishman, as the song originates from Great Britain, sometime before or during the 16th century. It was popular in Great Britain and Scandinavia during this time, which is why many believe that the song had a powerful sub message due to persecution. We may never know for sure but the attributed meanings are still very relevant and for those who want to teach their children a few Bible lessons, this song is a wonderful tool. I plan on teaching it to my grandchildren when they are a little older.

In the early 20th century, Frederick Austin wrote an arrangement where he added his melody from “Five Gold Rings” onwards (The New Oxford Book of Carols), which has since become the melody we know and love today.

Here are the interpretations and many churches have revised them to suit their teachings and doctrines. I have added scripture when possible to help with teaching and understanding.

My True Love — God (The Trinity – three in one) Matthew 28:19, John 10:30, John 14:6, John 17:11, 20-22, 1 John 5:7
Me — The Baptized Christian
Partridge in a Pear Tree — Jesus Christ our Savior
Two Turtle Doves — The Old and New Testaments
Three French Hens — Faith, Hope and Love (1 Corinthians 13)
Four Calling Birds — The Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Five Gold Rings — The First Five Books of the Bible (Pentateuch)
Six Geese A-Laying — The Six Days of Creation (Genesis 1)
Seven Swans A-Swimming — The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12-14, Isaiah 11: 2-3)
Eight Maids A-Milking — The Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-12)
Nine Ladies Dancing — The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
Ten Lords A-Leaping — The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: 2-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21, Matthew 22: 36-40)
Eleven Pipers Piping — The Eleven Faithful Disciples
Twelve Drummers Drumming — The Twelve Points of the Apostle’s Creed, The Twelve Tribes of Israel, The Twelve Days of Christmas

Gift # 2

Another gift to my friends and acquaintances. Enjoy!!!

Friday, December 16

For My Friends

From now until Christmas, I'm going to be adding a few cards that I've scanned from my collection of ephemera. If you so desire, you are welcome to download them to your computer.

Tuesday, December 6

I finally have a place to hang my McCall's Magazine reproduction cover. It is just over the dining room table. It's more like a little nook. I think she looks great there.

This particular McCall's cover is from 1936 and it was number 5, as stated in the upper right and left corners. I've had this since the 1980s but got tired of it, so put it away for a few years. I'm glad to see it gracing my home once again.

There is an great article here on the history of McCall's Magazine if you are interested.

Wednesday, November 30

Closing Day

Well, the old house will be gone by the end of the day. There will be no more playing on the hill, no more mowing the terraces. The boys will miss this old place, just as hubby and I are. It feels like we are living in a stranger's house and in a way, we are.

We have had some problems here with getting the refrigerator fixed. It is still freezing food and I'm down packs of insulin and groceries. The landlady just doesn't seem to understand that a refrigerator is a necessity of life. We have lived here since October 3, and have had a working fridge about five days out of that time, if that.

I think I've had patience with this woman up until this point. Now I'm getting really angry. It's stressing me out with all the food and insulin loss and this woman just doesn't get why I'm upset with her. She says we've had a fridge the entire time and the fridge has been here, yes, but a working way.

We will see what happens from here. One worry off my mind by the end of the day will be the old place but come spring I expect we'll be looking for another new place.

Wednesday, November 23

Cole is Quite the Puppy

See that look of innocence? Well, don't you believe it.

In my last post, I introduced you to Cole, Brandon and Jordan's new puppy. The first night he tested out his environment. When I took them over some newspapers and a box for him to sleep in, he was sound asleep and even when I touched him, he didn't wake up.

Just before I left, he found his feet and he was following Brandon everywhere. Jordan had gone over to his friend's house to tell him about the dog. The one thing I did see was Cole trying to get close to the cat, Ozzie, but Ozzie doesn't really trust Cole. He loved Buddy but of course he's not sure what Cole is going to do. Cole realizes that Ozzie is afraid of him and was following the poor cat all around the house. Ozzie would run and Cole would trot after him. It was hilarious to watch but poor Ozzie wasn't impressed.

Today, Michelle showed this photo of Cole on Facebook. I asked for a copy so I could post it for my readers. Cole is being quiet and he is such a beauty. Just look at those eyes. They would melt your heart.

Just before this, Michelle tried to get a photo of Cole carrying his food dish around the house in his mouth. He is quite the character. I think they should have called him Mischief. LOL

Cole is settling in nicely. Brandon has been taking him out and he is doing his business outside some of the time and inside some of the time. He's very smart and if the family aren't on their toes, he will rule the roast.

Monday, November 21

The Grandsons' New Puppy

Meet Brandon and Jordan's new puppy. He was just adopted into their family tonight about 6pm and he is gorgeous.

They are trying to decide on a name. They mulled over many and the last I heard they thought they might name him Cole. Brandon liked it when his Dad mentioned it but decided he'd like the spelling Cole instead of coal.

I met him when I took a box over for him to sleep in. He will have a crate but they don't go on sale until Thursday. We had a lot of boxes here from the move. When I arrived he was sleeping like a log. He seems to be adjusting VERY well and he knows that the cat is afraid of him, so he follows it around. It's funny to watch but the poor cat is beside himself. Buddy and the cat were great friends and I'm sure these two will be as well. It will probably take a little time.

I didn't take my camera with me because I was afraid the puppy would be very nervous and didn't want the flash to frighten him. I will get some photos of him soon.

PS. Michelle just posted on Facebook that his name is Cole.

Monday, November 14

Lessons of Childhood

Last Tuesday night, Brandon and Jordan learned a lesson that many of us learned during our childhood. Their dog of 11 years, Buddy, collapsed and couldn't get up. The boys were at their friend's place and Michelle called them home. The vet said he would see the dog at 9:30.

Jordan chose to stay at home, but Brandon went along to the vets to keep Buddy company. The news wasn't good. Buddy had a giant mass in his stomach and it had ruptured. The vet offered treatment for $2,000, but even Brandon knew that it was far too much to pay when the dog was experiencing internal bleeding. He chose to have him euthanized.

Buddy died of the same thing that our Alaskan malamute, Meeko, died of. I wonder what is causing this type of cancer in dogs. Since Meeko passed two and a half years ago, I've heard of this same condition several times.

Brandon and Jordan are having a difficult time. They are missing Buddy terribly. Even I miss him. He always greeted me at the front door when I went in.

RIP, Buddy.

Friday, November 4

Bad News

I always hate to share bad news on my blog. However, we got news yesterday that the financing for the house fell through. It isn't sold. :-( We were hoping to get rid of that headache but now it's back and time is short. We need prayers for a miracle.

Good news is that Jordan got a great progress report. One A, one B+ and two Bs. That's great for Jordan, as he never did well in elementary or middle school. He is certainly enjoying high school.

In other news, I had a bad touch of the flu yesterday. One moment I was fine and the next I was really quite ill. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I slept about 4 hours throughout the day and am still feeling weak this morning. It's going to be a busy day so I need to find some energy. LOL

Hope all is well you. Take care of yourself and keep your hands well washed if you are out in public. Carrying hand sanitizer isn't a bad idea. The flu season is upon us.

Friday, October 28

What's Happening

Just thought I would post and let some of you know what's been happening. The house is sold and closing date is December 16th. It will be a relief to see it gone. Though I liked living there, it was time to move on.

We like the new house really well. It is all on one floor except our bedroom. There is a half washroom on the ground floor and a full bath on the upper. We really don't have to go upstairs during the day unless it's to put something away or to clean. Dakota is enjoying the fenced yard and has fun out there. He seems to be quite happy.

Brandon was very excited on Tuesday. He received his diploma for the Honor Roll and also his Geography Award. Along with it came a check. He has never had a check in his life, so was excited about cashing it. I think he will remember that for his entire life.

He got his progress report and it was excellent. He's doing well in all subjects, though he doesn't like his math teacher. They took away the advanced math that he's been doing for the last two years and he is bored stiff. Why they would do that is beyond me. Seems odd. Since he isn't taking any tech classes this semester, it's more difficult for him. I told him to just do it and get it over with and so did his mother. He likes gym class and science. Those are afternoon classes, so he just has to get through the mornings.

Jordan seems to be doing well in school. He hasn't got his progress report yet, but when he does, I'll update you on that as well.

Sunday, October 16

A Bit of an Update

I haven't had much time to get things settled in or take any photos, but this house definitely feels like home. We had no trouble settling in and it's nice to have more space than we did for the past 20 years.

Although we dreaded the move and didn't want to leave the old place, we do like it here. There's a silver lining in every cloud if we just have the patience to look for it.

Dakota is settling in well. He absolutely LOVES the back yard. He has the odd squirrel to chase and he spends a lot of time out there. Before it got cold, windy and rainy, we just left the back door open so he could go in and out as he pleased. He has a new-found freedom here and is a different dog. He takes his ball into the yard and bounces it on the patio, then chases it and growls at it. It's a show in itself and so comical. We've had a few good laughs watching him.

There are blue jays and cardinals around here and I've been trying to lure them into the yard. So far all I've managed to lure is a mourning dove. They usually mate for life, so it's odd that there is only one. However, it is welcome to come anytime it likes.

We still have some things to get from the old house and that is bugging me, but Dwight's mother is coming in on Tuesday from New Brunswick. She wants to help us get everything finished up. It will be nice to have her visit. We don't get to see her often, but did see her in August when she was up for a month visiting friends.

That is an update for now. I've purchased two mum plants, a pot of kale and two pumpkins for the back yard. I have also taken photos that I haven't had time to post, but they are coming. Too bad we only had the mums for a day before a torrential downpour damaged them. Still, they are colorful to look at even with the damage.

Tuesday, October 4

Our New Back Yard

We moved on Monday. The movers brought all the big furniture items. We still have a few small pieces to bring and a lot of boxes. It's very expensive to have movers, but hubby and I aren't able to lift all the heavy items. We had very little choice. Usually we just borrow a pick up truck or rent one and move ourselves. Those days are over.

I've taken some pictures of our new back yard and thought I'd share them.

Pea will love this. My fairy has a new home and she is quite comfortable there. She is a solar fairy and the little frog she is holding lights up at night. I've had her a couple of years and decided to put her in the garden for another month or so. We put all of the other lawn ornaments in the wooden storage shed at the back of the property.
Dakota had a very hard time settling in. He shook the entire afternoon and evening on Monday. He didn't want to come out of the laundry/mud room at all, but finally started to explore the house. He stuck very close to us the entire time.

As you can see, he loves the fenced back yard. At the old house he had to be tied up because the yard wasn't fenced. As you can see he is settling in nicely today. He's still sticking very close to us though, but not trembling like he was yesterday.
He likes to be in the shade and he always lies near the garden or right at the back gate.Hubby brought the fountain over today and we got it up and running. The barrel and pump fountain is stored in the wooden garage with the lawn ornaments. We will put all that out next spring.
The sedum blooming along the fence makes a beautiful showing at this time of year.
We have a nice patio area and the umbrella came with the house. The gravel area at the back used to be part of the driveway. I wish it still was. The driveway is very narrow and it's hard to back out of.

There are a few things I dislike about the house but for the most part everything is more positive. We have more cupboard space, a very large pantry, a fenced yard, lots of storage space and everything has been recently painted and updated.

I'm sure we will be happy here. The green space is limited and that was one of the things I loved about the old house. There is a large tree behind the wooden garage and I'm hoping to draw birds to the yard with a couple of bird feeders and some suet.

Thursday, September 29

Under the Weather

I've been under the weather since the weekend. I woke up Sunday morning with sinus problems and ear infection. Yes, it's that time of year again. It seems I get this every spring and fall. By Monday, it had moved into my chest and I was dragging. Got some packing done but felt terrible. Tuesday I got very little done. Thank goodness, hubby packed some things and I did laundry. Had a nap and went to bed early after using all of Grandma's old home remedies.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I still felt terrible and dragged pretty much all day. Again, I went to bed early and woke up about 4am and can't get back to sleep. So I thought I'd drop by and leave a note for everyone to let them know I'm resting and trying to heal.

I sure didn't have time for this with Monday being moving day. We will never be ready...BUT... the good news is we have a couple of weeks to move all the boxes over to the new place. We were going to have the movers do the entire job, but found out that it's way too expensive. I wish I was young. I'd start a moving business. At $100 per hour you couldn't go wrong.

Monday, September 26

One Week to Go!

Just one week to go before the move. I'm dreading it. We took another van load of items to Bibles for Missions today and they were glad to have them. Included was clothing we no longer can wear, books, kitchen items, curtains and more. There were some things I've kept but haven't used in years. Why do we keep all this stuff. Just "in case" we might need it someday. Well, I'm hoping someone else can use it because it caused every nook and cranny of this place to be filled to over flowing. I'm not a hoarder like Mom but the tendencies are there. I'm always afraid if I get rid of things that are good that I will need them later. I hope not because now they are someone else's treasures.

Brandon came over on the weekend and mowed the lawn. Jordan came as well and helped hubby out doing a few chores. I don't see the boys as much as I used to with them being back in school, so it was nice to have them visit and spend the day.

Today was a lot of running around getting errands done. We made a run to the post office, I stopped and got the nose pieces on my glasses replaced and we did grocery shopping. About time too. We were almost out of everything. We didn't buy a lot as we don't want to move it. Just enough to do us a few days. We will buy a large order of groceries after the move.

So that brings you pretty much up to date on what's happening around here. Hope everyone is well.

Thursday, September 22

Not Long Now

It won't be long now until we are in the new house. Moving day is October 3rd and after that, I hope to get more photos so my readers can see more of the new house.

I dread this move. I hate moving with a passion. Packing is no fun and unpacking isn't either, so this is a trying time for me. Decluttering has been a trial and error basis. I've had some things for 20 years that I hate to part with but since they are never displayed, I've sold them or given them away. Much has gone to the charity, "Bibles for Missions." Many books, clothing that is good but no longer wearable by us, knick knacks, Christmas decorations that haven't been used for years and so much more. It will be good to have a fresh start without all that clutter.

We've been really busy and I haven't had much to blog about but have been reading your blogs even when I didn't have time to comment.

Monday, September 12

Kudos for Brandon

Brandon received a notification in the mail that he is on the Honor Roll for his Grade 10 year. He also received a Geography Award. This is great news for the entire family and especially for Brandon. This is the boy who at one time couldn't cope with school at all and had meltdowns every morning because he had to go.

This year Brandon is in Grade 11. He is taking math, english, a double period of cooking class in the second semester, horticulture, world history, gym and one more that I can' remember. Here's hoping that he does well again this year. I know he is looking forward to cooking, horticulture and world history.

This Grandma is PROUD!!!

Tuesday, September 6

Our New Home

We finally found a place to live and will be moving the first week of October. It is a frame cottage...everything on one floor except the bedroom. We have one 4 piece bath upstairs and a 2 piece bathroom downstairs, which makes it very convenient. The only time I will have to go upstairs is to clean or go to bed at the end of a long day.

The house has four bedrooms, so when the boys come to stay they can each have a room of their own. All appliances are supplied, including the microwave. The large pantry off the kitchen and numerous cupboards will give me lots of storage space. The living room/dining room is open concept. Our round oak table and chairs will fit in there perfectly.

There are laminate floors throughout, which suits me fine. I'm not a fan of carpeting. We can take Dakota and the house has been entirely renovated, painted and it's in spotless, move-in condition. There 's a small yard, a patio, a workshop and a shed.

What more could you ask for. The only thing missing will be the green space we have here. It's on a main street but there is a park two blocks away. Just hope we like it. The landlady is new to renting and the one thing that concerns me is that she thinks she can enter the premises whenever she wants. I explained that is not feasible and against the landlord/tenant laws of Ontario. Hope it doesn't cause a problem.

Sorry I haven't been around for a few days. For some reason every time I tried to log in, it took me to an error page. Glad I'm back once again.

I will post more photos after we get the key.

Sunday, August 28

House Hunting

Well, this week, along with packing, we have been house hunting. No, we are not moving in with Mom. I just wouldn't be able to take that kind of abuse all the time. This is not the mother I've known all my life. I'm suspecting that she is having dementia problems or the beginnings of Alzheimer's as my friend Sarah pointed out. Sarah is a nurse and I'm sure she could be right. The anger, the childish behavior and the way she is treating everyone is just not like her. She has a different favorite person everyday of the week.

Now, to tell you about hubby's and my experience house hunting. We have looked at about a dozen places. Out of that number, I would probably only live in two of them. One is a beautiful little cottage. It has a storage shed, a workshop, four bedrooms, a huge pantry, all appliances included and a freezer. It has lots of cupboard and storing space. It is $1050 per month. That is high for us, but it is to die for. The second place that was acceptable was a townhouse. 3 bedrooms, an unfinished basement, one full bath, two 2 piece baths, a pantry and carpeting, which I'm not keen on. Too much vacuuming, which I can't do because of my spinal injury. Hubby is not real faithful about vacuuming. We can take Dakota to both of these places.

Other places we have looked at are semi detached houses, townhouses and single family dwellings. We also looked at one apartment in a building. Most of these were more than the two above and many of them were in deplorable condition. They still want $850 to $950 a month plus utilities. In two of those places the floors were only half there, tiles were torn up, holes in the walls and other damage done by tenants. One man wanted me to move in to a place that was filthy, clean it, lay a new floor and paint the entire semi and didn't want to allow us anything on the rent. Afraid not.

So the search goes on. There is a perfect house out there for us somewhere and we're hoping it shows itself before the end of September. That is when we have to be out of here.

Tuesday, August 23

Going With the Flow

Life is an adventure, isn't it? Well, mine has been. Seems I go from one thing to another or sometimes from ten things to another. Everything happens at once some times. What's that old saying? It never rains but what it pours?

Mom and I have been very close most of my life. We used to have the odd disagreement when I was a teen, but never since I've been an adult. Now within two weeks, we've had three disagreements and one was quiet hot and heavy. The reason for this is that Mom is having trouble downsizing her house. We've found that when her roof leaked and was replaced five years ago, that the downstairs room we were going to be using for a bedroom had never been properly cleaned. The carpet and the walls both had mold on them. We ripped up the carpet, treated the walls for mold, sealed the area, as instructed by a mold expert, and laid a beautiful new wood floor. All Mom did the entire time was criticize hubby and Brandon on the job they were doing, which was an excellent job. The room was very crooked and difficult to get perfect. Mom knows this. She and Dad practically build their home from the ground up and she knows that today's houses are not square or level. That was ignored and no one said a word.

Last week, Mom and I had words over a box of newspaper that she wanted to hoard. I told her it had to go into the garbage. That made her very angry. Now this newspaper smelled musty and was nasty. It was not something she could reuse. I took the box from her and put it into the garbage bag and she blew up.

The next disagreement was about a bunch of little fabric pieces no bigger than an inch square. She had a huge plastic bag of them. I told her they were absolutely no good. She said she knew someone who would use them and I told her to give them to that person then because she had no room for them. She won that round. They are still sitting in the family room, which is huge and it's piled halfway to the ceiling with fabric, craft items and things she will never use.

Round three was the other day when she tried to save plastic bags, greeting card boxes and more newspaper. We had quite a disagreement on that one because some of them were moldy. We also found that the laundry room has mold all down the north wall, which can be easily treated because it is cement. However, I'm to the point of giving up.

Mom wanted to stay in her home and was hoping we could help her out. I'm not sure I'm willing to do that any longer, because she is being unreasonable and not making good choices, or for that matter, any choices. She is just clinging to mildewed and moldy items and moving them from one room in the house to another. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, August 19

My Weight Battle

Last year I lost 26 lbs. between December and April when I had my heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery. Because I was inactive for so long during the recuperation process, I gained it all back and a few lbs. to boot. Some of it was also from water retention. We had a terrible time getting my meds right. I was either retaining fluid or I was passing out from too many meds. At this time the meds are working perfectly and I am beginning to lose weight again. Over the last few months, I have lost 6 lbs., but it's coming off very slowly. That isn't a bad thing, it's just annoying to get on the scales week after week and see no difference in the numbers. This week, however, I did lose another lb., which is great. So the battle continues. All I can do is continue to try. I'm eating better and have a lot more energy and though the lbs., are coming off slowly, I am losing inches.

Saturday, August 13

Why I'm Downsizing Two Houses

In the previous post I forgot to mention why I'm downsizing two houses at once. The reason is we're moving into Mom's. We will be living in the basement with a bedroom, living room, bathroom and a huge laundry room that we're hoping to divide to provide us with a kitchen. There is already a stove in there that Mom uses for making family dinners. So we will only need a refrigerator and since our stove has seen better days, we won't be taking it. We will also sell our washer and dryer that is old. Mom's is only a few years old.

It's been most difficult getting Mom to part with any of her hoard. Her house is not dirty but she has stacks of fabric as described in the last post. She was brought up during the depression and saves everything, as she was taught to. String, plastic bags and everything else that she might need is saved. I have talked her into parting with some of the stuff.

The thing that really scares me is that Mom hoards food. Her freezer is full to the brim and much of it is freezer burned. She cooks that and eats it and this frightens me. Who knows how long it's been there? I told her I was cleaning it and the freezer in the refrigerator out when I got moved in and she was a little put-out. I explained that she couldn't eat this stuff and she told me she's been doing it for year. I explained that I'm not having people say that I lived there and she ate food that wasn't healthy. She stopped arguing at that point. Between us we can manage just fine financially by sharing costs.

The other reason we are moving in with Mom is because she is getting really forgetful. Twice lately she's had a fire on the stove and I found out when we were discussing bills and how we would split the cost that she's been paying two companies for her hot water tank. I'm not sure how that happened, nor do we know how long she's been doing that. I'm wondering what else she is paying that she shouldn't be. Time will tell.

It's not going to be easy living with Mom. Since her last stroke she has changed. Always the easy going person, she has become assertive and stubborn. This isn't the Mom I've always known and it will be a challenge for me as well as for hubby.

Another thing I dislike about the move is that we're moving from a really green area with a park across the street, a creek and lots of animals and birds. Mom's is in the north end of the city and is supposed to be the better part of town, yet there is no green space near her and all you see when you look out the window is buildings. Not my choice but sometimes in life we have to accept change that we don't like. This will be quite an adventure.

Today I will be stripping wallpaper at Mom's. I wish you were here, Pea, to lend me a hand. LOL I've rented a steamer though, so it shouldn't be too bad. I will try to remember my camera and tell you all about it.

Thursday, August 11

Downsizing Two Houses

Downsizing one house isn't bad enough but right now we are downsizing two. I have my own to do, since we will be moving after 20 years and I also have Mom's to help with. Mom and her friend have been working at it but hubby, Brandon and I got more done yesterday than they have in a week. Mom tries to pour over every tiny bit of paper that she finds. I've told her that she just doesn't have time. She had a box of receipts from 1990.

I don't like to rush her, but time is of the essence. Mom is a kind of hoarder. Some of the boxes have not been unpacked since she moved there 18 years ago. She just bought more stuff and piled it in one of the bedrooms in the basement.

Mom mostly hoards fabric. That room is 12 x 12 and it was piled to the ceiling and out to the door with fabric. Many boxes said, "Do Not Touch." There were pieces of fabric in some of those boxes that have been there for almost 50 years. I couldn't believe it when I found pieces of fabric that she'd used for my dresses when I was a child.

Good thing that all of this vintage fabric is in excellent condition. I've washed some of it, pressed it and listed it in my Etsy shop. I have shipped some as far away as Japan and have had inquiries from Spain and Singapore.

Please wish me luck in getting all of this done by the time we are supposed to move, which is approximately mid-September to the first of October.

Sunday, August 7

Update on Brandon

Just letting everyone know that Brandon is healing nicely and still taking his antibiotics. He is back to normal and says it no longer hurts at all. It was a little sensitive for a few days. And life goes on... Just seemed very odd that something like that could happen. I've never heard of such a thing before.

Happy Sunday. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, August 4

Prayers for Brandon

Please keep Brandon in your prayers. Two days ago, he told me his stomach hurt just above his navel. I looked at it but couldn't see anything amiss. It did feel a little hard in that spot, so told him just to be careful. His mother and I wondered if he had a hernia.

That night, his navel started oozing and the next morning it had really drained overnight. There was a bit of blood in the drainage. I became a little concerned and thought he should see a dr. His mother thought he'd had a boil that had ruptured. She took care of it, cleansing and drying it. It was a little red in the area, but not much and no red streaks that would have indicated blood poisoning.

Today she had a doctor's appointment and she took Brandon with her. Seems that he had a scratch inside his navel that became infected. The doctor gave him an antibiotic and some anti fungal cream. He is to clean the area and apply it to keep the infection from spreading while the antibiotic does its work.

Prayers are very much appreciated. I have never heard of such a thing before and imagine that it may have been scratched by something while he was doing yard work the other day. Thanks.

Thursday, July 28

Playing with a Robin

I'm not sure if this little girl is watching a robin or if it's a bluebird or maybe some other kind of bird, but the one I interacted with tonight was indeed a robin.

I was watering the plants outside with the hose and trying to revive our burned out lawn. I was swishing the hose back and forth on the grass when a plump, male robin landed and began pecking at the grass. I figured the water had called an earthworm to the top of the soil and Mr. Robin was trying to make a feast of it.

I very gently moved the hose so the water would land near the robin. When I did instead of him moving away, he moved right into the spray. I kept the hose still and let him have a bath. It was a hot day today and I figured he needed to cool off.

We played a game for a while. I would move the hose and he would hop into the spray. I would move it back and he would follow. He looked right at me and knew that I was there. Dakota was also outside lying beneath the stairs that goes to the upstairs apartment. The robin didn't seem to mind that either of us were close by.

For about ten minutes we played the game and then I guess Mr. Robin had cooled off because he spread his wings and flew onto the railing of the neighbor's porch. What an awesome experience it was getting so close and knowing that the bird was enjoying our time of interaction.

Wednesday, July 27

Interesting Results

Twice now I've tried to post the results of a test I took, "Who Do You Write Like?" Both times the html didn't work, but I was surprised at the results. It said I write like Margaret Mitchell. Wow! I wish I could write a novel like "Gone with the Wind." I would be ecstatic. I've written a novel but try as I may, I've never been able to get it published. Maybe one day.

If you'd like to see who you write like, give it a try at this link. It's very interesting.

Friday, July 22

Business is Slow

Last year hubby and Brandon started a lawn mowing and yard cleaning business. Over the summer they made quite a bit of money, so this year they decided to try it again. Brandon is learning a lot by taking part in all aspects of the business. He helps give free estimates, helps do the work and the cleanup. He is also learning that things don't always go the way you'd like them too.

These photos are of Brandon earlier this year mowing our lawn. He does a great job and has come a long way since he started last year. At that time he'd never mowed a lawn.

This year hasn't been as good as last year. In the photos, you'll notice how green the lawn was earlier in the year. Now it is brown and almost burned out. There is a ban on watering because we haven't had more than a few drops of rain since mid June and water levels are low. He hasn't mowed our lawn in a month and if it's cooler next week he may have to do it.

Jobs are very scarce this year. Though we have regular customers, no one is having their yard mowed because the grass just isn't growing. In April and May, the guys were run off their feet with yard cleaning and grass mowing and it was difficult to fit it all in because there was so much rain.

Brandon is learning the ups and downs of a job where you depend on the weather. If it's too wet, they can't fit the jobs in. If it's too dry, there is nothing to do. A good lesson to teach him that in business you need to save your hard earned dollars for the hard times. In fact, it's a good life lesson.

Sunday, July 17

The Mohawk Chapel

A couple of weeks ago, Carole from Pea's Corner and her friend, Steve, came to our part of Ontario on their way to Niagara Falls. The first day we took them to Port Dover for lunch and a stroll around the beach. Then we visited the Mohawk Chapel before going out to dinner. It was a great day and Pea has it all recorded on her blog.

This photo wasn't taken on the day that we visited, but it is a nice photo of the Chapel, which was the first Protestant church in Upper Canada and the oldest surviving church in the entire province of Ontario. It was originally named St. Paul's and is the only Royal Chapel in North America.

During the American Revolution, Joseph Brant and members of the Mohawk tribe sided with the British. The Chapel was given to the Mohawks for their loyalty when it was built in 1795. This was to help compensate for the lost land in New York that came about because of their loyalty to Britain. They were also given 760,000 acres along the Grand River from the source to the mouth.

The Chapel is a very interesting place to visit. The pews are hewn from wood and the beautiful stained glass windows are breath taking. They tell the story of Joseph Brant bringing his people from the US to Upper Canada. No photos are allowed inside the Chapel so unfortunately I can't show you the beauty of the entire place.

If you are in the area of Brantford, Ontario. Be sure to stop and visit the Mohawk Chapel. Joseph Brant and his son are buried here and there is an early Native cemetery surrounding the church.

Saturday, July 2

Do You Remember Woolworth's

Do you remember Woolworth's? I certainly do.

In my last post I told you a bit about the Farmer's Market that was located in a square in the center of our town. Right across the street was Woolworth's. We often went there when I was young. As a child, one of the things I loved to do was ride the escalator. Other stores in town had elevators, but the escalator was so much more fun.

Woolworth's was what they called a five and dime and there were bargains galore to be had every time we came to town. It was a very popular store and always busy.
As a teenager, I used to love to stop by the soda fountain and restaurant on a Saturday morning. Fountain Coca Cola was the best. Ice cold on a hot summer day, it went down smooth and I always found it refreshing. We seldom got soda pop of any kind, so having a few cents to buy a Coke, as we called it, at Woolworth's was a lot of fun and a real treat. The odd time we had enough to get a grilled cheese or another treat off the menu, but that didn't happen often.

I grew up and got married and it was still fun to shop at Woolworth's and stop by the soda fountain for a Coke. For years it was a regular stop, though I seldom had the money to buy much. It was still fun to ride the escalator and stop by for a Coke.

When my current husband and I were newly married, Woolworth's was still there, but shortly after the store became Woolco. After a couple of years it closed when it was taken over by Walmart. Today, I seldom go to Walmart. It just isn't the same and the clerks are rude, as is the manager. When it opened, it ended an era of great customer service and soda fountain Cokes. Sad in a way, but I will always have the memories.

What are your memories of Woolworth's? Please post in the comment area. I would love to hear what made this five and dime special to you.

Sunday, June 26

The Market Square Curse

When I was young, we used to go to town on Saturday's. The Farmer's Market was the place to go to find bargains and to congregate and socialize with friends and neighbors, as well as meet new friends.

The above picture is of the City Hall section of the Market Square as I remember it as a child.
This is a much earlier photo of the Farmer's Market which was located on the south side of the Square.
The above photo is a very early one of the Market Square. This was situated on Native Land and was a meeting place for whites and Natives to meet and trade or sell goods.

During the early 1960s, the City of Brantford decided that this place was no longer a good fit and closed the Farmer's Market. At that time the land should have reverted back to the Native Peoples of the area, as that had been the agreement. Instead, the City paved the land and made it into a parking lot and installed parking meters.

The Native Band Council went after the monies that were collected from the parking lot and eventually won that battle, but the City wasn't about to give back the land. Instead, a mall was built on the property and the T. Eaton Company leased space there, as did several other retailers.

Before Eatons and the other retailers even moved into the mall, Mrs. Green, from the Six Nations Reservation, put a curse on the land. Eatons survived only a few years and then moved out of the mall. Many other businesses failed as well. Business carried out in the mall has never been successful. There is only two stores that I have knowledge of having prospered. One is a dollar store and the other is a gift and clothing shop.
This is the mall as it appears today, except the movie marquee is no longer there. Twice movie theaters have tried to do business at the mall and have offered minimal fees to attend. Even at $3 a ticket the theaters couldn't survive.

Is this white elephant in the center of the city a disaster because of lack of business from the people who frequent the downtown, or is it Mrs. Green's curse that causes business after business to fail? I would love to hear your opinion.

Wednesday, June 15

Grandma's Wood Stove

I had someone ask in the comment section of the previous post "whatever became of the wood stove."

So many delicious foods were served straight from Grandma's wood stove. Bread pudding, cake doughnuts, meats, vegetables, soups and stews of all kinds. Buttermilk biscuits, clover leaf buns, homemade bread and so much more. Grandma was a fantastic cook and everything that was served at the table tasted so much better because of that wood stove.

At breakfast every morning, Grandma served two kinds of meat, fried potatoes, biscuits fruit. We were farmers and the men folk worked hard from dawn to dusk. They needed three full meals a day.

When Grandpa got a notion in his head to buy three farms and move to central Ontario, things changed. They did take the wood stove with them but after two years, they decided to divide the large house so my uncle and his family could live in the other half. At that time the wood stove had to go, as there was no place for it anymore. Grandma wasn't happy. She did have an electric stove by that time, but she much preferred to cook on the old wood stove.

Things never tasted quite as good coming from the electric stove and today I still miss the taste of the delicious food that came from that old wood stove.

Wednesday, June 8

Grandma's Bread Pudding

Every once in a while I get a hankering for some of Grandma's comfort food. Today I was given 2 loaves of cinnamon bread. As soon as I saw it I knew that it would be great for bread pudding.

Grandma cooked all of her treats in a wood stove when I was young. Nothing ever tasted as good as the treats that came out of that old stove's oven. We always looked forward to something tasty and Grandma knew how to make things that tasted good and went far. After all, she had a big family.

I'd like to share Grandma's recipe for bread pudding. Try it! It's delicious.

Bread Pudding

  • 6 slices of bread or cinnamon bread
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Break bread into small pieces into an 9 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. Sprinkle with raisins.
    3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and almond or vanilla extract. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the an inserted knife comes out clean.

Tuesday, June 7

Campbell's History

Do you remember the Campbell's Kids. When I was young, there were all kinds of ads in magazines that showed this delightful duo.
Today I happened upon a website that gave the history of Campbell's Soups. I found it quite interesting and thought that I'd share.

In 1869, right after the Civil War, Joseph Campbell was a fruit vendor. He partnered with Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer to start the Anderson and Campbell Preserve Company in Camden, New Jersey.

It wasn't long until the men realized they had completely different visions of what the company would become. Campbell bought out Anderson and created more products including mustard, salad dressing, ketchup and tomato soup made from Beefsteak tomatoes. The soup became a best seller for the company.

In 1894, Joseph Campbell retired and turned the company over to Arthur Dorrance, who hired his nephew, John, who had a chemistry degree. He was paid $7.50 per week, which was terrific money for the time period. John realized that he could make condensed soup by removing the heavy water and soup prices went from 30 cents a can to 10 cents. The soups were the biggest sellers that the company had and in 1922, the name of the company was changed to Campbell's Soup Company.

In 1904, Grace Weiderseim Drayton, who was an illustrator, sketched illustrations for an ad campaign for the Company. She added children to her husband's advertising layout for Campbell's Condensed Soup. The Company loved them and many of us are familiar with the Campbell Kids.

Today Campbell's Soups are used in baking and are a staple of the American culture. Do you still use Campbell soup. I do.

Monday, June 6

Canadians on D-Day

June 6, 1944 is now known as D-Day and is often referred to as, "The Longest Day." On that day, the Allied Forces stormed the beaches of France in order to shove back the Germans. Canadians made it into Caen, which is 15 miles from the beach.

Approximately 360 Canadians died and 570 wounded on D-Day. Lest We Forget~!

Update: If you get a chance to watch the show, "Storming Juno," be sure to watch it. It gives an account of the operation and there are live testimonies from some of the survivors. Of 16,000 men who landed, over 1,000 were killed.

Sunday, June 5

Crazy Weather

The weather we've been having this spring has been unpredictable and a bit crazy. Two weeks ago, it rained for days and we saw very little sunshine. Then it cleared up for a few days and rained again for days on end. This past week has been a little better and though it was below average temperatures, it suited me fine. There was a couple of days of showers but for the most part its been in the mid 70s with sun or variable cloudiness.

Saturday morning we had severe thunderstorm warnings and torrential rain. The afternoon brought the sun and mid 70 temperatures. It was a beautiful day. This morning I went out at about 6:45 am and it was cool, but beautiful. The day progressed with lots of sunshine but this afternoon was warmer than I like and just a bit humid. The prediction for the coming week is hot and humid, which is something that I don't want. I can't stand the heat and the humidity just makes it all that much worse.

It's certainly been a strange spring as far as weather goes. The farmers don't have their crops in because it's been too wet. Now the rest of the summer is to be hot and dry, which doesn't bode well for crops either. This makes me cringe as I can see the food prices increasing drastically.

Oh and Edmonton, Alberta is to get snow later this week. Go figure.

Saturday, June 4


Every once in a while I enjoy writing a bit of poetry. This is one of my early writings.


The sun sinks low on the horizon,

Giving off a golden glow.

Shadows dance upon the ripples

As the waves to shore do flow.

Reflections show the sun's real beauty,

In the shadows of the night.

As the screaming gulls head shoreward,

Shimmering wings in natural light.

Waves are lapping, oh, so gently,

As I walk upon the sand.

Make the most exquisite music,

Part of nature's wondrous band.

How I love to walk the shorline,

When the sun is sinking low.

Seeing all of earth's raw beauty,

This is nature's greatest show.

Sunday, May 29

When I was in elementary school, we were required to memorize a poem each week. Today when I was visiting Hootin' Anni, the title of her post reminded me of one of those poems.

My Shadow
by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

I hope you enjoyed it. Possibly it even brought back a memory of your school days.

Friday, May 27

The Old Don Jail

The above photo shows the Old Don Jail on the left. The New Don Jail on the right.
The Old Don Jail

Known throughout Ontario as the the "Don Jail" the Toronto Jail has housed the some of most notorious criminals in Canadian history. It is located on the Don Jail Roadway, near the intersection of Broadway and Gerrard Street East in Toronto.

The jail opened in 1864 and pre-dates Canadian Confederation. It was designed by renowned architect, William Thomas, who came to Toronto from England in 1843.

Cells in the "old" Don Jail were cramped, measuring only 40 inches wide by 10 feet long and were designed to hold only one prisoner. The capacity at the jail was 275 prisoners. In its hey-day, the "old" Don Jail was one of the finest in the Canada. The prisoners were incarcerated in the cell block 23 hours a day and spent one hour in the exercise yard. Talking was punishable by flogging. The jail included a "Death Row," and 34 men were hanged there.

In the beginning, hangings were open to the public and took place in the courtyard. The jail actually sold tickets to the event. After one badly botched hanging, laws in Canada were changed. In 1869, public hangings were abolished in Canada. It took until 1905 for the gallows at the Don Jail to be moved inside to a converted washroom.

Thirty of the men who were hung in the Don Jail were convicted of murder. Four were convicted of rape. The last execution took place in Canada on December 11, 1962 at the Don Jail.

A new east wing was added to the Don Jail in 1958. It became known as the "new" Don Jail. No criminal in his right mind wanted to be held there. The average stay was 30 to 90 days because this new jail only housed those who were awaiting trial or those waiting for arraignment. Many men plead guilty to crimes to avoid being sent to the Don Jail.

In 2003, the Don Jail was deemed unfit by Justice Richard Schneider. It no longer met the requirements of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners that was set by the United Nations.

The Don Jail was officially closed in 2009. It will be forever remembered for its reputation by those who lived in Ontario while it remained open.

The historical "old" Don Jail's beautiful architecture will not be lost. It is to be integrated into a 12 storey hospital that will be run by Bridgepoint Health.

Behind the Old Don Jail was a cemetery that is now known as The Executioner's Graveyard, but that is another story.

Thursday, May 26

The Most Depressing States in the USA

I was doing a bit of surfing tonight and found a most interesting article on the most depressing States in the US.

Arkansas - This State ranks high on the list and rates as one that has a high rate of depression, especially among young people.

Indiana - A sluggish economy, high unemployment, and massive budget shortfalls contribute to the depression in this Rust Belt State.

Kentucky - Rates of depression and other mental-health problems are higher than the national average throughout the mountainous and sparsely settled region known as Appalachia. They are higher still in the coal-mining areas of central Appalachia, which includes most of eastern Kentucky. Unemployment and drug abuse escalate the problems of the people living in this region.

Michigan - Few states have been as battered by the economic downturn as Michigan. With unemployment as high as 20% in some counties, it’s not surprising that residents might be feeling distressed.

Mississippi - The poorest state in the U.S., Mississippi ranks at or near the bottom on many health measures, from obesity to heart disease. Mental health is no exception. The state has the highest rate of depression in the nation (14.8%), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it has the third-highest rate of frequent mental distress (13.5%)

Missouri - Missouri isn’t at the bottom of the barrel in any one measure of mental health, but it gets very low marks in several areas, including the rate of serious psychological distress (13%).

Fortunately for residents, the Show-Me State has had a proactive approach to preventing and treating mental-health problems. In 2008 it began a pilot program to integrate primary care and mental health care.

Nevada - For out-of-state visitors, Nevada often evokes images of gambling, partying, skiing, and other carefree diversions. For those who live there, the reality is often quite different. Nevada has high rates of mental distress, and, at last count, about 1 in 11 residents had experienced at least one episode of major depression in the previous year.

Oklahoma - Maybe it’s the flat, barren landscape and threat of severe weather; maybe it’s the high poverty rate (16%) and low rates of health-insurance coverage. For whatever reason, the Sooner State ranks in the bottom five of every category we considered. Even the official state rock song is depressing.

Tennessee - It may not be a coincidence that Memphis and Nashville are famous, respectively, for their blues and heartsick country music. By one measure, Tennessee is the unhappiest state in the union: Nearly 10% of residents have experienced an episode of major depression in the previous year.

Like Mississippi, Tennessee also has high rates of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, the stress of which can worsen depression. As many as 70% of Tennesseans who see a primary care physician for obesity, diabetes, or hypertension meet the criteria for depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders, the state’s mental health commissioner has estimated.

West Virginia - The Mountain State is ranked last or next-to-last in every mental-health category on our list, including the average number of "mentally unhealthy" days residents have per month and the percentage of people who experience frequent mental distress (15%).

One reason may be that roughly two-thirds of West Virginians live in rural areas, where both steady jobs and access to mental health care can be hard to come by.