Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
1. I love to get up early before everyone else and blog, but mostly read other peoples blogs. This must be done at least once a day!
2. Don't get me started playing Spider Solitaire, many many hours have been wasted on that.
3. Food - particularly bread and cookies (why could that not be ...particularly broccoli and salads)!
4. Real life real estate shows. Sad I know but anything where someone is house hunting, renovating, especially the "start a new life..." particularly abroad. Can't get enough and have been known to watch the same episode several times.
5. Crafts.....at the moment it is knitting. Used to be that I could not sit watching TV without also doing something else, cross-stitch, quilting etc.
6. Who knew - maybe not as screwed up as I thought - having trouble thinking of another one (no I won't ask GWE or son to suggest anything ...Oh I know, accessories - love costume jewellery, scarves etc, Not so good at the outfits but love the extras.
I would love to hear what Breezy, Debra as Us in France, Aims at Big Blue Barn, Amy at Chitlins & Camenbert and Frances at France and the Unknown are addicted to if they get the time. If anyone else decides to do it, let me know so I can pop by.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
To think just a few posts ago I was bemoaning the fact that fall had arrived, well make that fall is leaving. It is a glorious day here in Southern Ontario, but the thermometer on my deck says it is 5 degrees centigrade out there, at midday in the aforesaid glorious sunshine! There has been talk of "flurries" - yuk!!!
Anyway I took the hint and headed outside to clear out the pots, dig out the now goey bedding plants (we have had a fairly heavy frost the last few mornings) and brought my geraniums inside. In an attempt to pretend that I am prepared for the impending winter I have placed my geraniums in a sunny spot in the hope they will cheer me up through the next 5 to 6 months (yes you heard me right - that's how long winter lasts around here).
I thought I would just show you a glimpse of my sunny kitchen - not the most dust-free place in the world but hey, life's too short for dusting. I've shown you mine, why don't you show me yours, I'm not kidding, believe me - I am nosey.
BTW if you are wondering what the strange green glass "thing" on the right hand side of the sill is, it is a wasp catcher. My Mum bought it for me when she was here and we intend to put it to good use next summer.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Fall I mean. Suddenly it has arrived in my garden. The pool is closed. The furniture stored away. Leaves are falling, the left over not quite ripe tomatoes are looking very sad and my garden needs a little attention. I am not very good at being ruthless and pulling out stuff that still doing OK. I have to wait until it is looking really sorry for itself so that attention is going to be a little while coming as yet. My pots still look quite presentable - what do you think?
Monday, September 29, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
OK there were a few raindrops but nobody cared - it all went swimmingly. All the overseas visitors had mustered at our house by 7pm on the Thursday evening so 21 of us headed out for a delicious pre-wedding meal at a very nice local restaurant.
With my feathers (see photo) sometimes I wasn't sure whether or not raindrops were falling but if they did, they dampened no-one's spirits and if anything added something to an already fantastic day.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Over the years, through the battlefield of her teens, we have had heartache and tears, but of course also laughter and tears. I can remember her shouting at me in times of stress and argument that she “wanted to try everything, do anything!” As you can imagine, as the parent of a willful teenage girl, that scared the life out of me.
However as I watched her on Friday and received all the wonderful compliments from everyone on what a lovely girl she was, it was all worthwhile. The rules laid down to be butted against, the battlefield of emotions through the years. I knew everyone meant “what a lovely person” she is, inside and out. Full of appetite for life, full of fun, full of integrity, loyal to her friends, concerned for her world and those around her, a lovely well rounded girl. Her dad and I swelled with pride.
In her speech, she addressed her final words to her chosen life partner when she said “It took me a long time to find you, and now that I have I want you to know I love you and I can’t wait to see how our story unfolds”. We are all waiting with baited breath …..baby girl.
Monday, September 8, 2008
As you all know by now the wedding is just days away, stress levels are peaking but lists are thankfully getting a little shorter. The decision as to jewellery with the outfit still not made (there are currently three options!!).
Went out with elder son yesterday to suit him up for the wedding and very cool he looks too. It was a huge decision, to look appropriately dressed but still retaining his sense of self. His girlfriend joins us tonight from Victoria, and then it is pretty much all systems go through the weekend. This time next week I will probably be dribbling in my teacup!! A washed out rag of anti-climax and exhaustion.
I may not be blogging for a few days but I will be visiting everyone.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
It is worth taking the 20 minutes it takes to watch it. It certainly made me think. We are all guilty to some degree, although I do try to be socially conscious, I do try to shop locally. It should be easy as we live on the edge of what is the market garden of Ontario, but unfortunately we also live extremely close to that enormous monster, the United States. Although I try to buy Ontario grown produce - it can be hard to find.....and no matter what, I cannot find bananas that are grown any closer than Chile. I have made a pact not to shop at Walmart - they truly are taking over the world, here in our mid-sized town in Ontario they are in the process of building a second huge store. Shopping mall parking lots are always full. It is a scary world we live in and a lot of the information given in this little story hit very close to home.
Anyway I hope some of you will take a few minutes to click on the link and digest the sentiment:
When I had finished watching, I said to my 15yr old "Well, that was a big eye opener!" - "Yes" he replied "BUY LESS STUFF!!".
Of course I replied "Yes" and I definitely will......once this wedding is over!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Look at the list of 'classics' and:
1) Bold those I've read.
2) Italicise those I intend to read.
3) [Bracket] the books I love.
4) Pass it on to a few others.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
(3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
(11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
(15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier)
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy -Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
(30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
(37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (but have read Red Dog by same author - great book)
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie-the-Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
where is 44?
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Magus - John Fowles
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carols Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
(73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - A. S. Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton)
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
So I've read 33 out of the top (allegedly) 100 classics, it felt like more as I was going through but leaves me a few I would love to read and never think of as I am standing in the bookstore looking for inspiration!! And of course I am sure I must have read 44 :)
Feel free to join in, I'd love to know what your absolute favourite is. I read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry but much preferred Family Matters. I will also say that Up the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame remain two of my all time favourites and I made sure I read them with my children and they loved them too.
Over to you....
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The next step is to repair the end wall to prepare it for the new framing. There is a cherrypicker on site to assist with the lowering of the huge beam, so hopefully that is pretty imminent although I understand they have been experiencing lots of rain.
However the dormer is nearly complete and looks great.
Friday, August 8, 2008
The progress is slow but we are really happy with the results. The guys are doing great work and now we almost have a dormer window. To most of you this probably still looks like a wreck, but I am getting glimpses of the future, I can see my little rose covered cottage of the future. Our "man in France" tell us that work "should" commence this week on the barn end where they are taking off the complete roof, timbers and all so that they can lower a huge beam, which basically the entire roof rests on, 18 inches so that we will have a one level throughout the upper storey. Standby for photos of that. ....and please try not to yawn at the back there.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Next week they are to take the roof off the "barn" end. They are completely removing the roof and lowering a huge beam by 18 inches so that the floor on the second level of the "barn" end can be level straight through making the space a lot more usable.
Meanwhile the great growing combination of heat and rain has meant that the builders are having to deal with gigantic weeds - all our good work back last November and again in April gone to pot.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
One pre-children summer on a last minute whim we took a week's holiday on an old narrow boat up the Thames from Shepperton almost all the way up to Oxford. We took my husband's younger brother with us. It rained almost the entire week, but we had a really good laugh along the way. It was an old working barge with the tiller out in the open air and therefore someone always had to be at the tiller standing out in the rain. Guess who we made stand out there?!
En route we visited my husband's aunt and uncle who lived in Wallingford out in the countryside. Whilst there they told us about the kittens who had been born a few weeks earlier and how they worried about one in particular who they thought might be deaf and they lived next to a busy road. And so Spot entered our lives. Even though she was a "wild" cat, being deaf made her strangely much braver and more friendly than her brothers and sisters and she was very happy to join in our boating trip and come home with us. Little did we know what we had let ourselves in for.
We brought her back to Addlestone and into the life of our other cats, Doilly and Turnip. Doilly was an extremely aloof cat who spent her entire time with us trying to be adopted into another family and actually did eventually succeed!! But Turnip was more like a dog than a cat in personality and behaviour, followed us everywhere, walked down the road and waited for us to come home, very loving. Then much to his disgust we brought home Spot, who just wanted to be Turnip's best friend. Spot took to following Turnip like a shadow. We used to have a taller than average fridge, and Turnip spent a lot of time up there because there was no way Spot to could attain such heights. Eventually Turnip learned to tolerate the imposter and they would be like bookends, Turnip one end of the sofa, and yes, there a respectful distance away would be his white shadow.
Unfortunately as Spot got older, she got more neurotic due to the deafness, and when anyone came to the house, she took herself off to hide in the airing cupboard - did I mentioned she was hairy and white!!
She also loved to just sit on the window sill and watch the world go by so if you came home and she was dozing, you had to tap on the sill to let her know you were there so she would not freak out.
Turnip came to a terrible end on the railway line - but that is another post however Spot remained with us and eventually with my in-laws for many, many years until she passed away. In the end she was like a senile cantankerous old aunt that everyone had to walk on tip toes around for fear of upsetting her.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!
You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.
Well that's what you get when you are low maintenance with a sledgehammer. Who knew? Anyway that shiny red car has brightened the start to my weekend, not that I think it is particularly accurate - makes me sound pushy and overbearing, that's not me.....is it?
I am off shopping today with one of my friends from the law firm where I worked before I changed careers. So as I said in the quiz I don't have expensive tastes I better hold myself in check, but we do hope to end up on my deck with a couple of glasses of wine, weather permitting. Shaping up for a good weekend. Wishing everyone else the same, wherever you are, whatever you are up. Cheers!
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Just as I was coming to terms with that news, I opened my email again this evening to find an email from one of my three younger brothers, this one J, is the middle brother. In the email he has given me a blow by blow account of how he has just been diagnosed with Hodkins Lymphoma! He went on to tell me that the prognosis is good and that there is a high survival and remission rate for this type of cancer. Still, I can't get my head round it. This is my little brother, the one that I fought with constantly as a teenager, the one who would never do his chores, who at the age of 3 jumped into the deep end of the local swimming pool on my watch!! Who was the bane of my years as the bossy older sister. I was just telling my fifteen year old the swimming pool story yesterday!
It is going to take a while for me to come to terms with this news.
On a very much happier note, my youngest brother, P, became a dad for the first time in his forty fifth year last week and yesterday he sent me photos of the proudest dad and the newest member of my family. And so life goes on.....
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I am hoping that I can spend tomorrow in my garden, there is some serious weeding to be done. That ground elder is getting the better of almost everything. Some plants need to be moved around. So fingers crossed everyone for a good result, a dry but not too hot day in my garden, and that my clients allow me a day off.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Carolyn - I just realised this completely goes against the sentiment of your post today....LOL