Monday, December 17

A Bit of Creativity

Last week when I was at the local thrift shop, I saw a beautiful pair of girl's ice skates. As I looked at them, I got an idea of what I could do with them, thanks to my friend, JunqueGypsy. Here is what I did this afternoon.

I had intended to dye the laces red, but decided against it at the last minute. Maybe I did need that bit of color added to the mix. Not sure, but here is another picture.

The first picture is the best, but this one is closer to let you see more of what's included. Silver, red and green are the only colors used. 

And the last one from a little different angle. I was really pleased how it turned out. I thought my daughter, Michelle, would like this as winter decor.

I also baked some macaroons and made a batch of chocolate fudge for Michelle and her family and took it over tonight after she got home from work. 

Such easy things make great Christmas gifts. She can keep this for Christmas decor, or she can use it all winter. It was fun being creative for a change. 

Sunday, December 16

My Opinion

The shooting at the school in CT., on Friday was a tragedy. Families are grieving the loss of their children just a week before Christmas. Losing a child is bad enough at the best of times, but at this time of year it is even more devastating. My heart goes out to the family and friends of everyone involved in this horrific incident. 

That said, I believe that this began back when I was young. First they said the teachers couldn't read the Bible and that we couldn't recite the Lord's Prayer because someone might be offended. Then they took corporal punishment out of the schools because the strap might damage a child's psych. Believe me, it wasn't the psych that was hurt. It was the child's hands and then when they got home, it was usually the child's bottom that hurt. 

I never had the strap myself, but saw many children who did. Mostly they didn't cross that line again. It took some longer to learn than others, but they did learn. 

If you take God out of everything, why should He be there to protect us? We need to get back to basics. If some families are offended when we read the Bible or pray in our schools, those children with different religions should congregate in another room where they can practice their religion freely. There is room for all religions in schools.

Kids today get away with too much. If the teacher scolds them, they go running to Mom & Dad, saying they weren't treat fairy. Who in the world ever gave them the idea that the world is fair? It's not and that is fact. We are bringing our children up to think that there is no consequence for their actions. This is wrong. 

If a parent punishes their child by spanking or other means, like sending them to bed without dinner, they run crying to someone and then Child Protective Services or Children's Aid, as it's called in Canada, threaten to take the children away. Yet those children who are really abused, often fall through the cracks. 

So, what is the problem with the youth of today?  In my opinion, they don't have consequences for their actions and think they can get away with anything. That's pretty much true. 

When I was a kid and even a teen, I knew the consequences. If I got in trouble at school, I got in more trouble at home. If I didn't get good grades, I had to answer to my parents as to why. This prepared me for the real world and I knew that every thing I chose to do had consequences, whether it was good or bad. Rewards for good behavior and consequences for bad or inappropriate behavior. 

I don't believe that any child is bad. They are not born bad. Children learn what they see and respond to the way they are treated. They need guidance in order to grow into responsible adults. We are allowing our children to fall through the cracks by not teaching them the reality of life. How sad is that?

Monday, November 26

Why Do They Do This? Update on Hubby!

Last Thursday, I took hubby to see the family doctor. He was to go for a checkup. He also has a checkup with the cardiologist and the heart doctor who did his stents coming up in the next month of so. But, back to Thursday.

We went and the doctor basically said the hospital had put him on too much blood pressure medication. She didn't change it though, as she doesn't want his pressure to go too high. Not sure about this. They did that to me and I cut my meds down myself. The reason was, I kept trying to faint. Last night hubby only took 1/2 of his blood pressure pill and he feels quite a bit better today. No dizziness or feeling like he's going to fall over. Usually this female doctor is very good. Not sure why she didn't change it.

Anyway, she checked his heart, his breathing and his throat where he had the bleed that I referred to in the previous post. Then she read the test results from his hospital stay. Somehow the hospital had it that hubby had only one stent put in. We were told two, so who knows what the truth is.

The heart doctor who did the stent procedure told hubby that it was the last procedure that he could have. The female family dr. then told hubby that he had five years left, give or take a year or so. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut, so not sure how hubby felt, but know he has been depressed ever since.

I told him to look at it in a positive light. Not many people know when their time is short and that he should make a Bucket List. Maybe we can do some things that he's always wanted to do. He has done that, but it can't be fun knowing that your time is short. Anyway, I don't believe them. No one knows for sure when another person is going to run out of, not even drs, though they may have a fair idea. I know a man who was told he had three months to live and that was over six years ago.

All of this has been very stressful for both of us. We are trying to move along and make the best of things. We will be moving sometime in the next couple of months and that is added stress. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, November 19

Quite a Scare

This has been quite a week. Last Sunday, I had to take hubby to the hospital because he was having chest pains. Brandon and Jordan were here. We were all going out to dinner, I got hubby settled at the hospital and they assured me it would be hours before anything was known. They advised I go to dinner with the boys and hubby agreed.

I came home but the boys didn't want to go to dinner without Grandpa, so I fed them and took them home, then went back to the hospital. I couldn't find hubby anywhere and finally asked where he was. They took me to this little room and told me to have a seat, that someone would be with me shortly.

I had visions of them telling me hubby had died, but what they did tell me was that he'd been transferred to the hospital in Hamilton.

It was a rainy, foggy and windy night. You know, like something out of a novel, (It was a dark and rainy night.) I left for Hamilton even though I am not a great night driver. I couldn't find anyone that could go with me, so I headed out alone. I got to the hospital, went into emergency and was told that hubby was in CCU. (Cardiac Care Unit)

I finally found him and he looked terrible. They had given him morphine and six blood thinners. Before I left, they had also connected and IV with blood thinners. I told them I didn't think that was a good idea. He's had too many, but they insisted it was fine and he was apparently part of a Research Study.

Monday morning hubby had a little more color and was feeling better. Tuesday morning I got there and his throat was swollen on the right side. It looked like he had the mumps. His tongue was black because it had been bleeding in the night. Apparently the meds he was getting by IV caused him to bleed. They weren't sure if he was bleeding internally but were going to do tests to find out. That was a long day.

They had taken him off the blood thinner drip and then I found a sheaf of papers in his hospital table drawer. He had signed a waiver for an experimental drug. I began reading it and was horrified. It stated the drugs could cause a brain bleed, a stomach bleed, cause kidney failure or congestive heart failure. It said, "These symptoms can be fatal," under every one of them.

I freaked and asked him what he'd been thinking to sign such a thing. He said that he hadn't read it because he didn't have his glasses. I called for the Study Nurse and asked he what she was thinking, allowing him to sign it without reading. She said he did read it. He told her he didn't because he had no glasses. She said her colleague had lent him her glasses and hubby said no, she hadn't.

I was really angry that they would do that. She said she didn't want to take him off the meds but wanted to see the final results. I really hit the roof.

But God was good and we were blessed because both hubby and his floor nurse insisted the drug be taken away.

He is home now, but really tired after having an angiogram and having stents put in. They didn't get great blood flow through the stents, but he is to see his family doctor, his cardiologist and the hospital doctor all within the next few weeks. We will see how it goes.

Thursday, November 8

Memories of Christmas Preparation

Lady Di, commented that I hadn't written a story for my readers in a while. I'm not sure how long it's been, but a long time. It's been a crazy year here.

It is almost mid-November and this was the time that Grandma begin to prepare for Christmas. She would go into town and shop for all the ingredients for her fruit cake. She would bring them home, flour the fruit and begin making the cakes early in the morning.

Grandma made a three-tiered Christmas fruit cake. She had square cake pans with drop out bottoms that made them easy to remove from the pan.

Flour, sugar, molasses, raisins and fruit all went into Grandma's cakes. She would let us kids stir until the batter was so thick that our arms ached from stirring. Once the cake batter was complete, she would use a large spoon to ladle the batter into the pans. Just before this point, she would add extra wood to the old wood stove to ensure that the oven would be just the right temperature. Once the oven was the perfect heat and the batter was in the pans, she would slip them into the oven.

After about 40 minutes, Grandma's kitchen would fill with the most wonderful aroma. After a couple hours of baking, Grandma would insert a straw from a new broom into the cakes to be sure they were fully baked. She would take them out of the oven, using her apron as a hot pad, and place them on a cooling rack. Once the cakes had cooled she would wrap them in wax paper and put them into a five gallon metal lard pail and slip on the lid. The reason she used the metal lard pail was to keep them moist. The tin also safeguarded against rodents or insects.

A few days before Christmas, Grandma would take the cakes out of the pail and stack them on her glass cake server. Three tiers for each cake. Then she would prepare almond icing and dress them up pretty with her artistic touch. Scrolls, angels or flowers adorned the cake each year. She then set a Log Cabin chocolate on the corners of each tier. The cake was then set on the table on Christmas morning for everyone to enjoy.

Grandma baked goodies the week before Christmas. Shortbread, oatmeal and date, peanut butter and chocolate chunk cookies were all served in the week between Christmas and New Years and of course the Christmas dessert table groaned under the weight of all the good things to eat. There would be pumpkin, raisin, cherry, apple and a broad spectrum of different flavored pies to choose from.

Christmas at Grandma's was always a busy time. She had a large family to feed and no one could ever say they left the table hungry, no matter what time of year, but at Christmas, Grandma outdid herself, making sure that everyone enjoyed their favorite foods.

I would love to hear your memories of the preparations for Christmas dinner. Please share in the comment section.

Monday, November 5

Just dropping in to say hi to all of my Blogger friends. It's been a while since I've posted and I thought I'd drop in for a few minutes and let everyone know what's going on.

Hubby was in hospital for a day in September. He has to go for another angiogram to see if he has blocked arteries again. I'm sure a lot of you will remember that he had bypass surgery in 2001. For the last few months, he's been having chest pain and so the doctors want to investigate further to see what's going on.

Brandon made the Honor Roll for grade 11 and received a Science Award. He's been on the Honor Roll every year since he started high school. Once again he's taking horticulture, but has decided that will not be his career. He loves it and plans to make it a hobby. Of course he can always go back to it if he wants to. He's applied for a job and is waiting to hear something. He has his food handler's degree, so is looking to work in a diner while he continues his education.

Jordan changed all of his subjects this year. He is in grade 10. He's got 90% in manufacturing and 74 in math. That's excellent for him. He finds school a struggle, where Brandon finds it much easier. I think Jordan is working a little harder this year because he really likes the tech subjects. I hope he is able to make something along that line his career. He likes car mechanics and welding.

I hope that all those who were affected by Sandy are doing well. I know many are without food, water, gasoline and other necessities of life. Some are without homes. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Well, guess I will get off here and go back to bed. Some of you have been on my mind and in my prayers. Glad I had time to stop by.

Saturday, August 18

A Magnificent Beast

This gorgeous buffalo was grazing beside the road. Isn't he a magnificent beast? I've always loved seeing buffalo. Not far from here you can see them grazing in a field, but not usually grazing beside the highway. We were lucky to have seen this when the camera was handy. Notice the brand on his flank.

North American Aboriginals used every part of a buffalo that they killed, unlike the Europeans who slaughtered them and were encouraged to do so by the government. Here are a few things that buffalo contributed to the Natives.

Arrow Points
Utensils (cups, ladles, spoons)
Powder horns
Decorative headdresses

Knives, Pipes
War clubs
Candle Tallow

Ornamental Decoration
Fly brush
Decorative headdresses
Pad and pillow filler
Moccasin lining

Arrow ties
Stomach Liner:
Water container

Gall and Blood:
Decorative Paint

Beard and Teeth:
Medicine Bag

Ceremonial rattle

Hide Tanning
Manure Chips:

Saddles and Stirrups
Snow shoes

Today, meat is the primary revenue generator for the bison industry. In addition, businesses that make use of other parts of the animal have flourished as well.

For Instance:
Skulls are bleached and used for decorative purposes.
Horns are made into decorative polished costume jewelry and buttons.
Hair is manufactured into sweaters, coats and robes.
Hides are used for the manufacture of leather furniture. (Everything from foot stools to full size sofas are available.)
Bison leather is also used for the manufacture of hats, coats, vests, ha
ndbags, shoes and boots.
You can even purchase a Tanned Hide Teepee in today's market.

In my part of the country, buffalo are bred with beef and we can purchase beefalo. Some places also sell buffalo meat.

Sunday, July 22

He Did It Again

Yes, he did it again. Brandon got a letter from the school this week with his grades and he made the Honour Roll again. This is the 3rd year in a row. We are so proud of him.

Brandon has come a long way from that little boy in grade one who was diagnosed with PDD. His Asperger's hasn't held him back in many ways, except for social skills and he still finds it difficult to communicate with people he doesn't know well. I'm not sure he will ever overcome that part of his disability, but he has done wonders in other areas. He's a hard worker and will take on any task that is asked of him. He just needs to be told once what he has to do and he pretty much picks up on it. He's a smart young man.

Jordan did okay in school this year. He got his progress report a week or so ago. He did well in every subject but Math and he just made it. 50% isn't a passing grade in my eyes, but that is what the education system says it is, so he got all of his credits. Math isn't, nor has it ever been, Jordan's strong point. I'm not sure what can be done about that. Math is something that either comes easy or you struggle with. Math is not my strong point when you get to algebra and other advanced topics.

Both boys have been a big help to me this summer. Hubby spent last Monday at the hospital and they told him he had a minor heart attack. I took him in at 10am and he was released about 8pm. Not a pleasant way to spend the day.

That's about all the news for now. Nice to be back in touch with my blogging friends and let them know what's happening in my world.

Wednesday, July 11

Summer News

This spring we had very hot weather and that trend continues. Last week we were well over 100F with the humidex. This week hasn't been as bad. Yesterday was a beautiful summer day. Today is a bit too warm for me, but still a breeze. Not quite so stifling.

The boys have been out of school since the end of June and we've been spending time together. We went for ice cream on Sunday evening and they've been visiting on pretty much a daily basis. It's nice to have them around. I miss seeing them when school is in.

Brandon did well in school again this year. Jordan struggled with English and Math. They will get their progress reports in mid August and we will find out their final marks.

Last week was a bit frustrating. They laid a new sidewalk along the entire block and of course parking was at a minimum. No one could use their driveways and instead of returning to finish the job on the Monday, it carried over until this week. Though the job isn't completely finished, at least we have access to our driveway, which is a blessing in itself.

Wish I could blog more, but there are eyes reading this blog that can cause problems. Both of their first initials are M. It's sad when you can't keep in touch with your friends online because people in the real world are troublemakers.

Hope everything is going well for all of my friends.

Wednesday, May 23

How Brandon Has Changed

The above photograph is of Brandon when he was younger. I'm not sure how old he was.. It was his school photo and it turned out great. Brandon isn't real photogenic. He does okay if you don't make him smile, but a forced smile comes out terrible.

Today, Brandon got his photo taken again. This is what he looks like.
He had just had his hair cut because it is so thick he can't stand it in the summer. He told the girl he wanted it cut to 1/8 inch. He really has changed in those two years. When he looked at it, he said, "I guess I should have shaved." LOL He dislikes shaving and leaves it as long as he dare or until his parents nag him about it. Typical teen. However, it only grows under his chin so far and very little on his actual face.

It's amazing the difference in the two photos, but I have to concede he's now a young man and is maturing quickly. I'm sure some of you who've seen pictures of Brandon over the years will be amazed at how he's changed.

Saturday, May 5

It's Been a While...

It's been a while since I posted anything here and just want to let everyone know we're doing well. The grandsons are coming today to help do some yard work to get ready for planting time here in southern Ontario. I'm hoping to put a garden in but not sure what I'm planting. I did buy tomato plants the other day. We always plant tomatoes. Maybe some green peppers, beans and potatoes? I really wanted to plant sweet corn, but there are too many raccoons around here to do that.

In other news, hubby's cortisone shot really relieved the pain in his hip. He's doing great now and back to normal. I still haven't received the results from my heart monitor, so guess all is well. I'm hoping that the dr would have phoned if something was wrong. I'm still having palpitations every once in while. Guess my heart just feels like dancing.

Brandon and Jordan were sick all last week with allergies. It's that time of year. They finally got back to school on Friday.

Not much more news here. It was very warm yesterday, over 80 F., but today is considerably cooler, which makes me happy. The heat and I don't mix.

Hoping to have something more interesting to blog about soon.

Tuesday, April 24

What's Been Happening

Hubby got his cortisone shot on Thursday and it worked. That is great news because he'd suffered with pain in the right hip for a couple of years. His leg is slightly stiff but at least not painful.

Monday morning I had a heart monitor put on by my cardiologist. It has to be worn for 24 hours and I go back this morning to have it taken off. It is small enough that I didn't realize it was there most of the time. Maybe now we'll find out what's going on with the heart palpitations.

It snowed here off and on all day yesterday. Nothing that accumulated but it was cold, wet and very windy. Not my favorite weather. I had to put my winter coat on. Hope it warms up soon.

I see Blogger has been making changes again. Not sure I like this new feature.

In other news the boys, my daughter and Mom are all well.

Thursday, April 19

MySpace Graphics

It's been a while since I blogged. Things have been crazy around here. First of all I had some problems with my heart. The palpitations were driving me crazy. My heart was doing the Twist or some other dance. Went to the doctor and hopefully that's all taken care of. A med change seemed to help. I have to have a monitor for 24 hours. It will be put on next week and then we will know for sure.

In other news, hubby has had a very painful hip for a couple of years now. I mentioned it to the doctor when we were there and she (a fill in doctor) is giving him a shot of cortisone this morning at 9am.

Everything else is going fine. The boys are doing well at school and Mom's coping.

I will try to get online and visit everyone as soon as I can.
MySpace Graphics

Thursday, March 29

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today was my Dad's birthday and each time it comes around, I wish he were here so I could hug him and wish him a wonderful day.

Dad wasn't one is, but he worked from dawn to dusk to provide for his wife and children. He had very few luxuries in his life but I never once heard him complain. His only vice was smoking hand-rolled cigarettes. He carried a pouch of tobacco in his shirt pocket along with rolling papers. He smoked about seven cigarettes a day. The tobacco back when I was a child cost .25 and that is all he ever took out of his paycheck for himself.

Dad never drank, very seldom ever said a curse word and besides working in a coal yard, shoveling coal off of box cars into the bins and then into the back of a truck when customers ordered, he grew a huge garden every year. I don't remember Dad ever really having a day off where there wasn't something he had to do.

He brought his three children up to be responsible, to treat everyone equally, to be honest, kind and to have a good word ethic. He taught us to help others and not expect anything in return. He taught us many other things as well, but these laid a good foundation for our lives.

We lost Dad in 1981, at the young age of 65. We were blessed to have had him that long. Dad had rheumatic fever when he was five. The doctors told him mother he would never live to see adulthood, but he did. He joined the army in 1940 instead of waiting for conscription. He never saw active duty overseas because he was injured in a fall in the obstacle course. I think that bothered him his entire life because he wanted to fight for his country's freedom.

Dad and I didn't always get along. We were too much alike. We both had a bit of an Irish temper and were stubborn. It wasn't until I had my daughter that I understood why he was so strict with his children. I'm glad no more years were wasted. Near the end of his life we had a very close relationship.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Wish I could sit across from you and enjoy a cup of tea with you once again. One day we will be able to do that.

Sunday, March 25


I was looking back through some family photos tonight and I found these of Griffyn. I can't believe how much and how fast he has grown.

When the above photo was taken, Melissa, my niece, had just become pregnant with Tarryn. Griffyn was a few months old. Now Griffyn is four and Tarryn is three.
This is what Griffyn looks like today. He can read at a grade three level, is doing very well with his violin lessons and is acing all of his subjects in school. He can spell almost every word you can think of because he sounds them out phonetically. He can print fairly well and he even texts on Mom's cell phone.

Amazing how fast kids learn and how fast they grow up. If you have little ones, enjoy them now. It won't be long until they are adults. It seems we just turn around and they are fully grown.

Thursday, March 15

Spring Break Fun

The grandsons are off for Spring Break this year and we decided to take a little leisure time and take them for Gelato in Niagara Falls, Ontario. My friend Pea at Pea's Corner introduced us to this quaint little shop. I'm so glad she did. The homemade ice cream is delicious.

The boys stayed overnight and in the morning about 11:30, we left for Niagara Falls. We stopped at Tim Horton's on the way down and had bagels for lunch. If you've never had Tim Horton's you're missing a real treat. They have a new bagel named French Toast Cinnamon. Mmm!

We arrived in Niagara Falls and went to find the ice cream shop.

This is the sign we were looking for and we found it without difficulty.

Brandon was so anxious to get inside that he didn't notice me take this picture. He professes to hate his picture taken but I think his Dad and Grandpa have brainwashed the boys.
Mmm! They are all so tempting. I chose the Berry Yogurt Crunch, which is shown at right front of the photo.
So many flavors to choose from. It's hard to make a decision quickly.

Jordan choose vanilla. Brandon had two different types of chocolate. I'm not sure what Grandpa choose.
Grandpa and Jordan enjoying their ice cream while Brandon and I was waiting for the lady to dish ours up. After we had our ice cream, we drove down along the falls.
I couldn't get a real great picture of the Canadian Falls, otherwise known as the Horseshoe Falls.
Here is a mediocre one of the American Falls. There were a lot of people visiting, but the crowds were all at the strip, falling into the tourist traps of eateries and museums.
Another of the American Falls. There was a lot of water tumbling over...the most I've seen in years. The Falls move back every year and they're predicting that one day they will no longer exist.

We then drove down to the Whirlpool Rapids, which are not as amazing as they were a few years ago. The Whirlpool itself is not as strong of current as it used to be.
Brandon resisting the photo op.
Both boys are the same. You have to catch them unprepared and if they know Grandma has the camera, they have eyes in the back of their heads.
Cable car over the Whirlpool Rapids. You would never catch me on this. I get vertigo just taking the picture.
And out it goes.
It goes completely across the gorge.

We finished there and then drove down to a souvenir shop.
This is located in front of the shop.
The moose also guards over the front of the shop.

Inside is a chocolate store. They had moose, elk, polar bear and beaver droppings...all things Canadian. These are chocolate covered nuts and raisins. We didn't buy any, but I asked the boys to pick a treat. Brandon chose chocolate fudge and Jordan chose a chocolate bar. Hubby got caramel covered nuts. Because I'm diabetic, I passed.

Inside this mall are several shops, including a glass blowing shop. They glass is blown right on the premises. Tuesday the glass blowers were blowing cranberry glass. I learned something new. Cranberry glass is so expensive because it has real gold in it. It, like a lot of other things, was discovered when a glass blower in Italy accidentally dropped some gold in some liquid glass. There were many colors of finished items for sale. Emerald green, amethyst, cranberry, cobalt blue, red and so many more.

We certainly enjoyed the day and got home around 6pm. It was nice spending some time with the boys, just out exploring.

Sunday, March 11

Operator, May I Help You?

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned that in the 1970s, I worked for Bell Canada as a switchboard operator. It was before modern technology and I sat at a switchboard that looked much like the one in the above photo, only about three times larger. These switchboards lined both sides of the room and there was an operator at every one of them. A light on one of the circuits would come on and you plugged the cord into it and said, "Operator, may I help you?"

I loved this job, but then computers became the "in" thing and many of us were let go because of cutbacks. I would have loved to do this job forever. However, the world progresses even as we sometimes wish it would remain the same.

Photo of switchboard was taken at the Bell Homestead, Brantford, ON

Monday, March 5

Fireflies in the Garden

Hubby and I decided to watch a movie last night. It's something we seldom do. We chose "Fireflies in the Garden." The synopsis on the DVD sounded good...the story about a dysfunctional family who gather to bury the mother who was killed in a car crash on the day she was graduating from college. Her children grown, she had decided to go back and get a degree.

This is a movie I would NOT recommend. The flashbacks made it very confusing and the action was very slow. In fact it was difficult to make sense of the entire thing. We got the point that the father had always been both physically and emotionally abusive, but there was no resolution to that fact. The movie ended very much the way it began...a poor plot with no conclusion.

Thursday, March 1

The North Wind Does Blow

The north wind does blow
And we shall have snow
And what will poor Robin do then
Poor thing.
He'll sit in the barn
And keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing
Poor thing.
(children's nursery rhyme)

Last week this poor robin was huddling in the backyard trying to stay warm. Robins are one of the first signs of spring. They're predicting above normal temperatures for March in my part of the world. Of course it's been above average temperatures all winter. Though I'm not complaining, I'm wondering what this means for the future. More mild winters? A change in climate? Who knows. We just have to take it as it comes.

Thursday, February 23

A Visit from Griffyn and Tarryn

Some of you will remember Griffyn and Tarryn. They are the boys of my niece, Melissa. On Monday, which was Family Day in Ontario, the boys and Melissa stopped in for a visit.

The boys had fun on Family Day. They went to a special fair a few miles away. Their faces were painted and they were excited. They played with Dakota for a few minutes but then he started getting too excited. I don't really trust him around the boys, as he's only seen them a couple of times.

The boys told me about a hike they'd been on. I'm going to show you a few photos.

This is what the boys looked like a few months ago. Griffyn is a little quieter than Tarryn. Griffyn in blue and Tarryn in red.
This is what they looked like on the day of the hike. They love the outdoors and I hope that love continues for the rest of their lives.
Melissa and the boys. Look at the ice behind them. Beautiful sculpture in a winter that has been fairly mild.
This is gorgeous! I have never been to the Conservation area, but sure would like to go. There is an abundance of beauty there.

Thursday, February 16

First Semester Report Cards

As most of my blogging friends will know, both Brandon and Jordan are in high school. Brandon is in grade 11 and Jordan is in grade 9. Both of the boys like high school so much more than they did elementary school and it showed when their progress reports came yesterday.

Both boys did excellent. All of their marks were in the 70s, 80s and 90s, except one. Jordan just made 60% in music. He made it by the skin of his teeth as they used to say, just barely getting a passing mark. This is great for a boy who just made it through grade 7 and 8 with quite low marks.

I'm very proud of both of them. They're doing a great job and looking ahead to their future. Right now, Jordan is aiming for computer design as a career. Brandon isn't sure yet. He's trying new things and this semester has two cooking classes, one horticultural class and mandatory English. It's nice to see both boys doing so well.

Monday, February 13

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing all my dear blogger friends a Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Sunday, February 12

Nine Span Bridge

This is the nine span bridge at Caledonia, Ontario. If you can't read the fine print, it says, "Caledonia's famous nine span bridge, the only one of its kind in Canada."

The bridge was built between June 7th and November 19, 1927. That was a major feat back then. The bridge, over 80 years old, is 72 feet 7 inches in length. There was a two day celebration when it was declared open my government officials.

In 1984, major work was done on the bridge to reinforce it. Motorists still use the bridge today, even though a bypass has been constructed around the city.

I remember traveling over this bridge as a child and thinking how large it was. Back in the 50s, it was the biggest bridge I'd ever seen. It was thrill to cross the arched bridge and watch the water of the Grand River flow over the dam.

The picture was probably taken in the late 50s. The area has really built up since that time, but the bridge remains.

Tuesday, February 7

Black History Month: John W. Jones

Leesburg, VA, June 21, 1817

John W. Jones was born into slavery on a plantation belonging to the Elzy family. He worked on the plantation for 27 years, at which time he feared he would be sold by his elderly and ill master. He fled along with four other slaves.

Slave hunters found them in Maryland, but the four managed to escape. They made their way to Pennsylvania, which was a free state. Exhausted and starving, they hid in a barn belonging to Nathaniel Smith. They were found by the owner's wife and given food and a safe place to rest.

After recuperating, the slaves made their way to Elmira, NY., which was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. It was the only stop between Philadelphia and St. Catherines, Ontario, where the slaves were headed.

In 1851, Jones became an agent on the Underground Railroad of Elmira. During the next nine years, he helped 860 slaves escape. There were times he aided up to 30 runaways in one night...some in the First Baptist Church and some in his home. None of these runaways were ever captured.

Jones made an agreement with Northern Central Railroad employees in 1854. Fugitive slaves were hidden in the Freedom Baggage Car that traveled directly to Niagara Falls. Most of Jones' "baggage" was delivered to St. Catherines.

In 1847, Jones became sexton of Elmira's First Baptist Church. He kept records of the church's dead. He buried 2,963 Confederate soldiers from Elmira Prison Camp in Woodlawn Cemetery during the Civil War and kept immaculate records of these men. Only seven of these soldiers are listed as unknown. Jones received $250 for each buried soldier the government. He used the money to buy a farm on College Avenue. His house still stands on Davis Street.

Jones served as sexton of First Baptist Church for another 43 years. When he died on December 26, 1900, he was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Saturday, February 4

Kobo Reader Versus Book

My previous post was a book review. I had read The Help on my Kobo Reader. The book was fantastic and over the weekend, I'm hoping to see the movie, either on "Demand" tv or a rental. Maybe On Demand, since it is $2 less than the rental. Seems to make more sense and I don't even have to go out of the house to get it.

But.. back on track here. My daughter, Michelle, and her family gave me the Kobo for Christmas. I love it for the simple fact that I can easily take my book wherever I'm going. It's compact and easily kept with you. Waiting time in doctor's offices and other places is much more interesting when I have it along. Time goes much quicker.

I am having a little trouble adjusting to the Kobo. Like many who commented on the previous post, I like the feel and smell of a "real" book. Like everything else, the Kobo has its pros and cons.

I am reading a book on my Kobo right now and it's one that I had heard was excellent. For some reason I'm not really getting into it, but we'll see how it progresses as I delve deeper into it. I'm about 40% through and so far it hasn't impressed me. After this book, I have a book to review for author Darlene Franklin and so I will once again have a real book in my hands. Though I do love the Kobo, I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 31

Book Review: The Help

I'm not sure if I mentioned that I received a Kobo* Reader from my daughter and her family for Christmas. It's amazing.

The Help is the second book I've read on the Kobo and I loved it. It takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. It's still a time in history when Blacks are fighting for equal rights. Rosa Parks has protested, Martin Luther King is in the news on an almost daily basis and maids are good enough to raise white children, but not to use the same bathroom as their employers.

The Help is told from the viewpoint of three women, who are unforgettable. Minny is a black maid who is always losing her job because she "back talks" her employers. Aibileen has raised many white children, this being her seventeenth. Miss Skeeter is a white inspiring writer who was raised by a black maid.

Skeeter decides that she wants to write a book about the way the black "Help" is treated. She recruits Aibileen, Minny and a few other maids. She prepares and sends a book proposal to Harper and Row in New York City. To everyone's surprise, it is accepted.

This is a fantastic book. It makes you laugh, cry and feel the fear of those involved in the writing of the book. You will love some of the characters and feel despise for others.

I don't think Miss Skeeter realized the danger she was bringing upon herself and the maids until after the book was published. However, I do applaud this fictional character for doing her best to see that the maids were treated fairly and for believing that they should have equal rights.

This is a book that I recommend for everyone. If you haven't read it, check it out at your local library or book store.

Saturday, January 28

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapeshang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocados, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods. Modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them.

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow.. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onionslook like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells.. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Don't know why the type is large and small. Blogger is glitching again. My apologies.

Wednesday, January 25

Things Our Mother Taught Us

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, ! that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Sunday, January 22

Antique Scuttle Shaving Mugs

At the fleamarket two weeks ago, hubby and I came across some shaving mugs. There were eight different ones and the dealer happen to see us looking at one. He offered it to us for a small discount, but I told hubby we'd pass.

Then the dealer said something that caught my ear. "Bundle." I asked him if he was interested in bundling the shaving mugs together for a better deal. The price he gave us dumbfounded me. It was a opportunity I couldn't pass up since I sell on Etsy.

We purchased all eight shaving mugs. The ones I want to show you today are the scuttle shaving mugs.

This one is a nice shape and has lovely orange flowers on both sides. It is unmarked.
This one is so pretty. It has been repaired on the bottom and is also unmarked
The above shaving scuttle mug was Made in Germany and is hand painted.
A beautiful shape and a lovely pink rose on the front. Victorian era.
The one is English and is an unusual shape. I am still researching it to see if I can find out more.

A Little History on Shaving Mugs

Scuttle mugs were first used in the beginning of the 19th century. The first patent for a scuttle mug dates to 1867.

Scuttle mugs were popular. Hard soap was placed in the soap dish portion of the shaving mug. The holes allowed the water to drain off the soap and the excess water was poured off through the mouth of the scuttle. When the person was finished shaving, the shaving brush was placed handle first into the scuttle for drying.

There are a couple of shaving mugs in this lot that I hate to part with because of the lovely hand painted flowers and the history of the mugs. The Victorian one is especially hard because my great-grandfather had one that shape and style. I can't remember any picture on it. I believe it was pure white with a bit of gold trim.

I wonder if these shaving scuttle mugs could talk, the stories they would tell. Who used them? What was their occupation? Did they have family? Any ideas of what they might tell us?