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Thursday, December 2, 2010

A New Page in the Big Book of Life

I turned a page in my big book of life !!
Yesterday was a very emotional day for me,my MIL finally got a call from her caseworker that she had a room ready for her in the nursing home, and yesterday December First was her first day there.

We were there at 10 am and brought her with 2 big suitcases of clothes, they meet us at the door and could not have been more welcoming and caring towards her and my family.

After we toured the complex and saw all they had to offer, spent most of the day there with her getting a feel for the place.
When I left I had such mixed emotions but I must say I felt she was in good hands and I felt like the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders.

My MIL was all smiles and seemed happy to be there.She had already made 2 friends !
She asked us to come today as there was a big Christmas party for them this evening with a sing along. Is that wonderful or what !!

Today this is how I feel, like I am in this egg just trying to break out and see the world, letting light in my space for the first time in a very long time.My world was a dark place since John passed away...... it still is...... but I am seeing light ....

AMEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Time to catch up

This photo of my MIL and myself was taken on November 12 it was to celebrate her
90th Birthday ! Is that special or what !!
90 years old that my friends is a full well lived life !
This little lady was married for 60 years before her husband passed away and has 4 children of which I was fortunate enough to have been in love and married to her second son for 40 years
She always has a smile and is the most agreeable person I know.
She was not afraid of work and did a lot of charity and volunteering too in her spare time.
She was quite the little bridge player too in her day.
She also has alzheimers and has lived with me for 10 years.
She wants to go to a nursing home to live to be more social and meet friends on a day to day basis.She is looking forward to the second half of her life as she calls it.

We had 2 family parties for her one at home here and one at my brother in law's home, we had family members come from far to attend, it was of course very special and we took lots of family photos.
I made her an album of her very own, in it I put everyone's photo of her special day and I added everyone's name in huge block letters as she cannot remember anyone's name anymore.
She was so happy with her album she carries it everywhere to show it off.When I gave it to her she was so happy just to see her smile was worth making it for her.
This is my MIL Cecile on her 90th Birthday!

A bit of this and that.............

I have been busy with yard work, doing leaves the never ending leaves 29 extra large bags of leaves, we live on a corner lot and I have a huge big old elm tree in my back yard , I love that tree in the summer its branches act like a canopy over the yard but come fall I sure pay the price for all that shade.
My hubby use to do it all, I never truly appreciated how tired he must have been after doing those leaves.I did 6 bags myself and had to stop my back is killing me, I asked a friend if his grandsons wanted to make some money (they did) and they finished the yard for me.
I was happy to see the end of the leaves in the bags and what satisfaction to see it finished .

Next year I will be a little smarter and buy a lawn mower with a leaf mulcher and bag !
Why didnt we think of that before ??

I have a new leather couch now and I am looking for new curtains for the living room.I need a new look.... know what I mean... I am sure you do !

These days find me busy as my daughter is moving and she brought me her 2 cats to catsit.
Freda and Deuce are the most lovable and funny little creatures.
They keep me laughing and busy ,they need lots of attention because their Mommy is not with them until the end of the month.
I play with string and with feathers and balls and give out little treat snacks.
On any given night I will have one or the other in bed with me seeking love and attention by sitting on my chest and purring.
They want their food bowls filled promptly at 8ish every morning thank you very much......
They keep me smiling and busy and right now that's what I need !

I haven't crafted much but I am working on a needlepoint piece of a hydrangea that I started way back when,I make a good cuppa and go sit on my brand new couch and work on it, I find that soothing it relaxes me.

I had the car fixed last week it needed a new exhaust system and the gas tank leaked, don't ask me what I spent to have it done...... holy cow batman....... !!!

Tomorrow morning I am going to buy a new snow blower its a 30 inch monster with a huge motor,(did I ever mention we got a lot of snow up here?) its on sale thank goodness... its very expensive even on sale.....we will take our trailer to the store to pick it up ,it will be a huge thing that wont fit in the car....LOL!!!

Pretty much that's what's been happening in my life.... I keep busy,if I stop for too long I get sad and want to cry, I am still not over John's death by a long shot I don't think I ever will be over his passing I miss him more each day.They say God only gives you what you can handle.... well I must be super woman I guess (its what everyone tells me)........never thought of myself like that but if the shoe fits......

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Bush Ride in the North !

I recently went with my son for a long long ride in the bush on his ATV,to Bow and Arrow Lake,and we drove all the way to Silvia Chutes, what a sight I wish I could have had a closer look but I was scared to ,its very steep .
2 creeks run into each other and down a narrow rock tunnel to form the chutes its so beautiful there
I could of stood there all day just listening to the water rushing by ....
I packed a little picnic and we eat it right there beside the water all while watching for bears... yikes... apparently they like turkey sandwiches too ... haha !

Here I am at Silvia Chutes,dressed in orange its hunting season up here and in the bush you must wear at least 400 square inches of orange its the law, I also had an orange helmet to wear that isin't in the picture. This gives you an idea how high up we were.

We saw lots of partridge, we only shoot with a camera, this little guy was holding so still trying so hard to blend in with the scenery.
Saw lots of moose fresh tracks from the early morning, we could see it was a cow moose with her calf walking along..

We spotted a hawk but it was quite far and quite fast , it was going in circles maybe it had spotted its lunch ?

These rocks are very special as many of you southerners may never get to see something like this is called "glacial erratic," a rock carried a distance from its origin by a glacier and then deposited when the glacier melts.( I told you I lived up north this proves it)

A new bridge in the middle of nowhere...

This lake is called Whitefish Lake and it was such a gorgeous scene with the clouds reflecting in the water which was as smooth as glass.Pretty up here !
That my friends was my ride in the northern country !

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It looks great now !

This is the professional crew I hired after the first guy made such a mess, these guys were just that.... very professional !
They worked for 12 hours that day non stop, they fixed up the mess the first guy did too with the curled shingles and the crooked shingles.

Its a messy job laying a new roof and altho they did pick everything up and they passed a magnetic wand over the grass to pick up nails I am still picking them up, last thing I need in the spring is to buy a new lawn mower or have a nail fly up and hurt someone.

I had them add blown insulation while they were in the attic, they told me I had next to nothing up there and in our cold winters I need all the help I can get to keep warm.
Bonus!!~ Already I feel the house is warmer and the heat dosen't go on nearly as much.Yipeee!!

Be it ever so humble there is no place like home !!
Now here is a funny story about the color of the shingles, John and I were discussing the color just before he passed away , we knew we needed a new roof and we were going to do it before winter, we totally disagreed on the color, I wanted solid black and John wanted gray.
When I ordered the shingles I asked for black,( John passed away so he no longer got a vote ... hey when you pass away and you don't get a say !)and as they were putting it up I could not help but laugh out loud.... the color was called Midnight Black..... tell me now does that roof look black to you ??
Its a very dark gray and black.How's that for funny we both got what we wanted and I could not be happier I just love it because its both colors !!

Now in the meantime I made 2 cat beds for my daughter's sweetypies Freda and Deuce.
I found 2 100% pure wool blankets at the thrift store and washed them in clorox and made sure they smelled clean and sweet. I didn't use a pattern I just kinda eyed it for size and I bought 2 foam pads for twin beds its amaizing how much it needs really to make it soft and inviting for them.
It was a good project for me to keep my fingers busy, with the rest of the wool I am making a sort of pad for them to lay on the couch,I will take a picture when I am done the pad.
I am pleased with it I am adding leaf appliques on it to use up the precious wool bits.I am getting a new leather couch soon and I really want to give them a little bit of comfort .

So here are the cat beds I made.. pretty neat eh !

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Project New Roof !

Its time for a new roof, the old one is about 15 or so years old and I knew it was time to do it, we started with a new chimney and it looked great when it was finished ,the guy did a gorgeous job, if chimneys are gorgeous, this one is !

The guy who did our chimney offered to do my roof and I agreed, he started in the back and worked all day and did a quarter of the house, then the rains came he he didn't for the better part of 2 weeks, I wasen't happy with his job all the new shingles were curled up to the sky, it looked worst than my old roof, today he finally came back and I quized him on the curling shingles he assured me that they would eventually lay down ,hummmmmmmmm........

I called my hubby's best friend who is a master mason, he has built a lot of houses and did this sort of thing for a living and I value his opinion just simply based on being a close long time friend.He told me the roof guy didn't have a clue of what he was doing , nothing was even and he ruined the shingles he did on his first day.Meaning I would have to have it re-done.And pay for the same service and product twice.

Today my roof guy came I let him work half the day then I could see he was doing it again so I asked him to stop working and I paid him and asked him to leave, his mouth dropped !

There are many firsts for me since John passed away and again today was a first for me.....
Standing up for myself and my home that was hard earned and I am very proud of > I fired the man right then and there on the spot for doing a bad job.He had no pride in his work and it showed, he was more concerned about his hour long smoke breaks...

I called a professional company that came withing a half hour , and did more in 15 minutes than the guy did in 2 days.And they will redo the crooked curled shingles in the back.And spray insulation in the attic and do the soffit and fashia work as well.

Today I became the ((Man Of The House )) and stood up for myself and my principal and work ethics !!

I didn't like doing it but the thought of looking at a badly shingled roof for the better part of 20 years I just could not accept his shoddy work .

Tomorrow 7 am the rest of the roof is going up !!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Bushel And A Half Of Roma Tomatoes !

My son came to see me from Ottawa this weekend and brought me a bushel and a half of roma tomatoes, they were beautiful, its the last thing he bought for me from a farmers market near my daughters house.
They were gorgeous heavy things , smelling of sunshine and earth
I decided to can them for use over the winter .
This is how I did it.

First I got a huge pot of boiling water going and I dropped some tomatoes in until the skin blisters a bit, I score the blossom end first as well.
You do this in batches.
Then I put on latex gloves for the next part.
You peel the skin off the tomato then squish them one by one between my fingers until they are mushed up well.I don't leave any large bits.
You could use your processor but that makes it too mushy for my taste.
I didn't add anything not even pepper because I don't know what I will use those tomatoes for , could be in any number of things from soup to chili to pasta sauce or what ever....
*You will notice my use of proper culinary words !

Then in the oven it goes for hours on end until your happy with it ,I waited until it was reduced to half in consistency.
When your sauce is nearly ready prepare your jars by washing them in the hottest water you have and I pour in each jar boiling water to sterilize them , also do the lids the same way.
Then in each jar I added a few tablespoons of real lemon juice and half a teaspoon of salt.

Then the jars go into a hot water bath for 15 minutes.Dont forget to put a towel on the bottom so the jars dont bump into each other and shatter.

This is the result of half the tomatoes I had , today I will do a repeat performance with the other half.
The house smelled wonderful when I was done.
Felt like a real accomplishment.
I think its tomato soup for supper with a slice of toasted crusty bread.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Picking Up The Pieces

Where do you start ?
Where do you go ?
What do you do ?
How do you even begin living again and take that first step into the land of the living.

It seems so strange to me to be alone

When I was young I had my mother and father and my 3 brothers with me just about 24 hours a day.Plus my father's huge family always around the corner .

Then later in my life I got married left my parents home to enter my own home with my brand spanking new husband which I just adored, he lived for me and I for him.
Our favorite song was by the Turtles called So Happy Together and it was so appropriate

Forward now 39 years later here I am alone, its not fair to say that in a way, some of you know that my mother in law lives with me but she has alzheimers,and in a matter of speaking I am alone I am in the process of trying to place her in a nursing home.

John and I did the caregiving together and it worked she has lived with us 10 years,but now I am alone for her care........... its just too much for me.
Guilt trip ........ oh yes very much so. But it is still just too much for me alone.
Its eating away at me bit by bit.

What I want to do is take a few classes in the art of painting, water color, oil and acrylic that would be my heaven right now.My soul needs soothing and throwing myself into something creative would be bliss .
Can I take those classes right now ? No........ I can't leave her that long.........
But I can dabble on my own and I will at least I can do that for myself

IS life fair ...........NO its not fair but I must go on and pick up the pieces and keep on living.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Month Today

How can I ever forget that day........... I never will
It is the most tragic and saddest day of my life.
I can't even put how I feel into words ,are none to describe how I feel
My John is gone for ever, eternity is a very long time ,its past forever by a long long time
I am too young to be a widow...........what an awful word
I always thought it was for old women but here I am a widow of one month
My life as I knew it will never be the same again
I know my children love me beyond words and I feel firm in their love for me
I also know they are there for me, for anything at anytime
But I feel so alone, like a little leaf........ shivering in the wind
My rock, my protector is gone, torn from ,he was too young to die
Never again I will see the look in his eyes of soft tender love
No more sweet kisses no more long hugs, no more I love you
Just tender memories of our love together
Can that sustain me forever into eternity
I have known him 45 years and married for 39 of them

How much do I Love Him and how much do I Miss Him
No words needed to describe how I feel

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thank You

I want to thank everyone who sent me kind words of condolences.
Worst week of my life.
The family is hurting ,we are just numb.
I will miss my John,I can't believe I will have the rest of my life without him,it dosen't seem possible, his presence and spirit was huge in our home and in our lives.
I know he is watching over us now but I would rather he was here with me.
Rest in peace my love.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sadness and Memories

I wont be on for a while, my husband of 39 years passed away on Tuesday
Funeral is Saturday
Please ladies keep me in your prayers, I have many mountains to climb and my heart is broken because half of my heart has just passed away.
Some of you have my personal email feel free to contact me that way.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Am Ready !!

Tomorrow I am leaving for a few days !
I am going to Ottawa to visit my daughter !!
See you in about a week.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My New Old Friend !!!

When I was 5 years old I had a childhood best friend her name was Jaqueline, they lived just a few houses away from ours .
That little girl and I had so much fun, we had tea parties and we played skipping rope and played ball, went for bike rides, her mother made pigs in a blanket for snacks.
Her family came from England, they lived in Canada for a few years then they moved back to England I never saw her again.
Being so young I missed my friend but life went on for me ... like school and other friends ..later in life getting married and having my own children.
But I never forgot her and always wondered about my little friend Jaqueline,where was she now? was she married? did she have children?where did she work?who her friends were? was she happy?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Then the miracle of Facebook !!!
Just for fun I decided to type in her name, low and behold there were a few women with her name,I wrote a short note to them asking if they ever lived in my town and explained who I was.
A week later I got a note from Jackie my new old friend Jaqueline !!!!!!!
She totally remembered me !!
She wondered about me all these years as well !!!
She told her daughter stories about our childhood together in Canada.
Out of the 60 odd million people who live in the UK I actually found my friend !!
I am so happy I can hardly stand it ! She on her end is estatic as well.
No we are learning about each other all over again.
Life is grand !

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Freda and Deuce

This is my daughter's classy lady cat Freda ,isin't she a beauty !!
She has the sweetest disposition,and loves to play ,she is 4 and still has a lot of kitten in her personality.
She fetches balls if your willing to play with her !!

And she is polydactyle.... that means way too many toes... LOL !

She can take her own treat out of the bag and put it in her mouth.....too funny to watch !

I just love her to bits !!!

This is the handsome new man in my daughter's life, this is Deuce !!
He was a guest of the Humane Society and my daughter just fell head over heels in love with this lovable creature. He is so affectionate, he wants to cuddle and just loves attention.
He loves ribbon and string... he is 4 years old too, and just a delightful little guy!
In a few weeks I will go to Ottawa and get to meet and play with him.... can't wait .....
I will go armed with treats and toys !!!

I wanted you all to meet my two little sweethearts !!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thrift Store Find !

Last week when my daughter came up to visit, we made time to go visit a few thrift stores, it was actually my daughter who spotted this blue beauty !
Its an enamel cast iron dutch oven in the most gorgeous cobalt blue color and best of all it was only $30.00 !!!
And it was brand new perfect condition !
Such a lucky find ~!
Today was the day to try it out, I made a beef stew and it was sooooo darn good, better than usual I must say!
I did all my usual steps in preparation then put it in my oven at 350% after an hour I lowered it to 250% and left to go for a country ride and a coffee after wards with my hubby and my mother in law...( yes it tough being retired).
When we got home ohhh the smell in the house.....I steamed some green beans to add and voila dinner was served.Its been so hot these days we eat light so it was nice to have a hot meal... I love salad and broiled salmon , once in a while a nice hot meal is good too !
So I have to say I love this thing!!
I will make chili in it and pasta sauce and all manners of delish things...
Do you have a good recipe for a dutch oven I am a newby to this method of cooking.
Worth every darn penny ... hehehe.. . I know they are worth a small fortune too...
PS .... 28 pounds by the way !! ( Can't believe it myself)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Celebration !!!!!

Today I stepped on the scale...... it dosen't scare me so much anymore..... LOL !!!!

As of today I lost ~~~~~~~~~~~25 pounds !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so happy and proud of myself !

Its not easy losing weight at my age, I think its my last kick at the weight loss can.Its not easy as you get older,I don't know why...

I don't want to live in a fat body anymore,I was too comfortable in my skin for too long.
About a month and a half ago the good doctor put me on diabetic meds, I was so angry and disappointed at myself for letting it get this far .

I decided right then and there to make a life long commitment to myself,all my life I took care of everyone else, first my brothers when I lived at home, then I got married and took care of my husband and then my 2 beautiful children as they were growing up they are my heart, my father was ill for years and years before he died , even my job got more attention than I gave myself.
I always put my needs last ...............I did this all my life

Were both retired now but not empty nesters, some of you know my MIL lives with us,she has alzheimers , most days she is calm and all is good but some days are hell.It takes a lot of energy and mental ability to deal with all that.( Trust me it makes me tired beyond words )

I have a really bad knee needing replacement that will happen in the next year hopefully, then I want a cruise to Europe when I have recovered enough to do some serious walking.

I want to do all that in a slimmer body ! I don't feel the need to weigh 100 pounds I need to be realistic about my goal,and my first 25 pounds to me is like a huge stepping stone towards my goal.
One step... one day at a time looking after myself !!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Trauma of Getting a New Bathing Suit !!!

This week my daughter and my son came to visit us.I love it when we can be all together !
It was a busy fast pace week.

We hung out together, we did BBQ's , they visited friends and we went shopping (of course), we did all sorts of things we would normally do together
I happen to mention that I would really enjoy going back to aqua fit classes like I use to.It feels so good to exercise in water,no pain in those stiff knees of mine.I use to go twice a week and somehow I got away from going.

BUT I needed a bathing suit and my favorite shop had them for half price this week..... well it was time to go and have a look see right!

OMG !!!

I only tried on 3, a two piece and the other 2 were one piece......
Here I am so proud of myself having lost 22 pounds , feeling better and svelter(is that a word?)

You realize really quickly that its a drop in the proverbial bucket..... I need to lose another 22 pounds....(I am working on it.... remember... the no carbs post...... I have the willpower to keep on.... its not easy but I am doing it)

Looking at oneself in a small room with a full length mirrors on each wall is humbling..... You see the thighs in all their glory.... you see your back....... and you see your behind..... I didn't know my trunk had so much junk..........

Parts of you that use to be North have moved South....
Which one to chose ?? so difficult...... no choice you must try on several to make up your mind, to find the right one that slenderizes and hides the most of your abundant womanly parts.... hehe...I know you know what I am talking about ... don't pretend you don't now...

I use to be 110 pounds soaking wet with a brick in my pocket like these ladies above but that my friends was a long long time ago.... pre baby days ago !
You know what I mean..... I know you do.......

Wish I could wear one that hid everything like this one..... but I would get laughed at... heck I would laugh too.... I love the bloomers... you know that reminds me I still have my old high school gym suit, it was red and had bloomers it was a one piece.. yup... was a size 6..... ohhhhh those days are soooo behind me...

Well I wanted to jump for joy when I found a half way decent one for my over abundant shape.
My daughter says it looks just fine, to me it looks a bit dated but it did hide the thunder thighs and that makes me happy.
It looks very much like this one ,same style !
Have you had a bathing suit reality check latetly??? Scary isin't it !!!!