I'm so glad you could stop by. This is my personal blog of daily life and my journey through life. You will find a strong emphasis on family and friends as well as finding my ancestors through genealogy. Unlike my other blogs this blog is more of a catch-all so any topic is fair game.

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Friday, December 31, 2010

And So 2010 Draws to a Close

The old year is quickly drawing to a close.  My husband and I are celebrating the passing of a year well lived while welcoming in the new year with all it's promises in a very uncharacteristic style this year.  We have been married over 30 years.  While in our younger married life we went to a couple of New Year's Eve house parties we have never been to an actual New Year's Eve event.  The reason for this was basically we are home bodies rather than party goers.  Oh we could come up with so many reasons for not going out on New Year's Eve.  When the kids were young and my husband wasn't self-employed working New Year's Eve was double time and goodness knows that extra money went a lot further than partying.  We weren't into babysitters for the kids either especially before school age.  It was usually cold and we were tuckered out from the holiday season and had to get things ready for our New Year's Day steak and lobster entertaining.  Several years we were tucked in bed already fast asleep while others partied and yet it's the way we wanted it.  Greeting the New Year, fresh and relaxed, hung-over free ready to enjoy the day with family and friends was precisely our way of celebrating a new year!

Well this year we splurged.  We are going out to The Full Monte at the club house.  This is a dinner and dance community event.  Tickets were $75 per couple and features a night of entertainment with sirloin steak or chicken dinner, a bottle of champagne and a champagne breakfast at 12:15 am.  It should be a fun time.  I'm dressing in casual dress with new dress pants and one of two dressy sweaters I just bought.  One sweater has metallic threads through it so that will work nicely but I'll see.  I don't do sequined dresses, didn't bring a fancy dress and don't feel like shopping for a dress either.  My husband is wearing dress pants with a new trademark Hawaiian shirt.  Seriously, he wears Hawaiian shirts about 90% of the year!  While the attire sounds quite dressed down for a New Year's Eve event, trust me we will fit right in.

This should prove to be an interesting way to greet the new year.  I bid you a fond adieu and will see you in the new year :)

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Henna Tatoo

I'd love to tell you that I am always mature and level headed but the reality is I have a wicked sense of humour that sometimes leads me away from level headedness.  Well, we were at a theme park and since I do not do rides not even the merry go round, I had to amuse myself waiting for the rest in our party to abuse their bodies on the rides.  Near the exit of one of the rides there was a booth where you could get henna tatoos.  I can't say that I'm really fond of tatoos although they intrigue me but what I can say is I would never get an actual tatoo because that involves huge, huge, horrid needles.  I dislike needles even more than I do rides!  So an actual tatoo is never going to happen in my life time.   Now a henna tatoo on the other hand sounded rather benign.  What you do is pick out the design then the technician paints it on by hand using a thin icing piping bag like application.  The henna goes on dark and raised.  As it dries it flakes off leaving a pale orange stain that darkens over 48 hours to reveal the tatoo.  The technician said it was very important not to disturb the henna until it flaked off itself.  I chose a cutesy swirly heart design to go around my wrist, paid the technician complete with tip then proudly showed my green at the gills husband my new acquisition.  He rolled his eyes but I think that was still the after effects of the roller coaster he just came off of.

I protected my henna application and by the following morning there was nothing left but the pale orange marks.  It did darken as as it did I unconsciously wiped at it much to my husband's amusement.  He actually burst out in a hearty laugh when I casually mentioned I wasn't sure I liked my henna tatoo a couple of days later.  Then he chortled that it was a good thing I hadn't cut my hair on a whim.  Well, humpf!  It's a good thing he saw the humour in it ;)

Anyway, my hair is still intact.  I didn't buy a hair piece (a very humorous story) and I'm patiently waiting for my henna tatoo to wear off while my husband chuckles.  Humpf!!!!!!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Up, Up In The Air

sky glider
Up, Up In The Air
November 12, 2010

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Looking Back at 2010

The final few days of 2010 are counting down.  I've heard so many say they will be glad to see the end of 2010.  While 2010 had a few bumps and glitches for each one there was a blessing right behind it.  It is so true that everything happens for a reason.  This year has been chaotic and emotional as we have struggled to sell our primary residence and purchase a new one in an urban setting.  We will be sad to give up our rural living but it is time to move on.  Spurring on that decision was the purchase of our vacation home in the sunny south where we hope to vacation 3 months or more of the year.  The first seven months of the year I dealt with an online stalker that finally came to the boiling point.  Thank goodness the problem resolved itself!  On the heels of that I felt at peace finally able to relax.  The rest of the year has been a hodge podge of minor ups and downs, the house still on the market, traveling and a strong focus on family and friends. 

The weather for most of the year was out of sorts both at home and our vaction home but we still had a lot of fun.  We didn't get the boat out as much as we would have liked.  My husband didn't get as much golfing in as he would have liked either.  Yet we had fun!  We enjoyed a heck of a lot of excellent food.  The garden produced rather well despite the weather.  I was able to get the pantry shelves restocked with an abundance of home canned foods and the freezers restocked with beef on the hoof.  I managed to get a few knitting projects done.   We did a fair amount of traveling in 2010 spending 8 weeks total over the year at our vacation home in addition to the other travel we did.

All in all, despite the bumps and glitches that increased our stress level, 2010 was not that bad of a year.  I'm looking forward to 2011 but at the same time enjoying the memories from 2010 :) 

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blog Your Blessing Sunday - Christmas Memories

Blog Your Blessings Sunday
This year our Christmas celebrations were significantly different than other years (more on that later).    That brought out a whole range of emotions and memories for me.  As I sat reminiscing, I pondered about how very blessed I am to have such beautiful memories.  This Christmas would add to those memories as well and so it goes. 

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Story of the Christmas Orange

Christmas Greetings
Lights in the Park
December 16, 2010

 Merry Christmas to All!

Oranges have graced our holiday table since were newlyweds.  Way back in the recesses of my memory I can remember my Mom telling me how very important getting a Christmas orange was.  My Mom was 56 when I came to be.  Her husband died that same year.  My Mom had lived through a lot of hard times including the Great Depression.  She used to tell the most amazing stories of her childhood days and oh how I longed to experience some of that.  She came from a rather large family and while she never said they were poor, her family were farmers living in a small Ontario area so they certainly were not well to do by any stretch of the imagination.  Their mode of transportation was horse and buggy and while the family later got a Model T, she never learned to drive.  They heated with coal and one of my Mom's daily chores was to stoke the fire.  One day she suffered a nasty cut on her thumb while stoking the fire.  It became badly infected so one of her thumb bones (tip to first joint) had to be cut out to save her life.  She missed so much school that when she returned she had to start grade 2 all over again.  She quit school and never went back.  In some respects this explains her strong emphasis on getting an education.  I think she always regretted not getting one because she was smart as a whip!

Back in her childhood days Christmas was not so commercialized.  The only thing my Mom ever wanted for Christmas was an orange.  Back then getting oranges in Ontario was a lot more difficult and were considerably more expensive.  Year after year that is the only thing my Mom ever asked for.  Her Mom somehow managed to tuck an orange in my Mom's stocking, hung at the end of her bed.  She told us of how very grateful and loved that she felt that her Mom would save throughout the year just to be able to get each one of them an orange for Christmas.  That story always stuck with me.  The underlying message was to always be grateful for the sacrifices others have to make in life just to make you happy.  It taught me to appreciate the little things in life.  Once I got a bit older I always made sure my Mom had oranges in the house.  She so enjoyed them but I'll bet they never tasted as sweet as the oranges her Mom got her for Christmas.

Mom passed away several years ago on Christmas day so it is always a bittersweet day for me.  I would have loved to have many more Christmas days to enjoy with her, breathing in all the delightful stories of time long gone.  Ah, the memories and my Christmas oranges tastes just a little sweeter!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, December 24, 2010

Under the Weather

The warmer fall has meant a lot more illness in our area.  The problem is the weather didn't get cold enough, quick enough to kill off the germs.  I have been under the weather for the past month.  It started with what I thought was a cold with the main symptoms of severe itching of mucosal membranes and sneezing.  When the symptoms continued I decided it was allergies rather than a cold.  The symptoms moved onto heavy congestion, more sneezing and a bit of dry coughing.  A few days ago I developed a sore throat that is considerably worse at night.  So I'm back to my original idea that I have a cold.  Or perhaps I caught a cold on top of a cold.  At any rate, I'm under the weather ;)

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Silver Christmas Trees

silver Christmas tree
Silver Christmas Tree
December 17, 2010


'Tis the time of year Christmas trees are everywhere, in every size and shape.  Silver Christmas trees are quite popular perhaps because they glitter so much whether or not they are lit up.  When lit with clear lights they take on the appearance of a multitude of icicles.   Isn't it pretty?

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Ribbons in the Sky

sunset November 11, 2010
Ribbons in the Sky
November 11, 2010

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Late Post

My gosh, this is a late post and I do apologize.  This is the busy time of year when somehow blogging just gets pushed to the back burner.  There are so many things going on here.  For the second week in a row we have house guests so that just throws everything out of kilter.  At any rate I am working at getting the posting back on schedule for those readers looking forward to reading new posts first thing in the morning.  I can't make any promises only that I'm working on it.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, December 20, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Moon

moon September 19, 2010
Evening Moon
September 19, 2010

There is going to be a total eclipse of the moon early tomorrow (Dec. 21) morning.  It will begin at 2:41 AM EST and last about 3 hours.  The moon will be totally covered for about an hour during the eclipse.  This will be an amazing sight worth missing a little sleep for.  I'm planning on watching it so may have to have a little nap this afternoon just so I can stay awake throughout the eclipse.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blog Your Blessing Sunday - Safe Travels

Blog Your Blessings Sunday
We have had house guests for the past week which has meant a fair amount of traveling showing them the sights.  The travels have all gone rather smoothly.  There were a couple of traffic delays and we ended up taking a detour or two but for the most part we were able to enjoy a lot of sightseeing without problems.  Yesterday's traffic was quite heavy.  I realized it was the last shopping weekend before Christmas which explains why.  What a blessing we have had to enjoy friends and sightseeing safely this holiday season!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mexican Train

Mexican Train
Mexican Train
December 15, 2010

We play a lot of card and board games.  Both are good sources for at home entertainment with family and friends.  Mexican Train is a domino game that we recently discovered.  It is suitable for ages 6 and older so a nice game to play across generations.  The game starts with whoever has the highest double in the centre.  Each player starts their own train using a domino from that double so if the starting domino is 12 then each player starts with a 12.  If they don't have a 12 then they have to pick up another domino.  Each player builds on their train but if they can't add to their train they put a train piece on their train spot for others to add to their train until they can make a move again.  Oh and if a player gets to one domino left there is a button to push that activates the choo-choo song.  It is a fun game, that's for sure!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Last Shopping Weekend Before Christmas

My gosh, where has the time gone?  Here it is the last shopping weekend before Christmas and let me tell you the roads are busy!  Take care, drive safe and drive sober.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis the Season

Christmas bulbs
'Tis the Season
December 11, 2010

'Tis the season for all the pretty baubles and balls on brightly decorated trees.  Some keep their trees quite simple while others go all out.  For the past few years we have had a fiber optic tree with only small red bows.  The kids don't like it so we are going back to a real tree.  It will be nice sharing the history behind some of our treasured baubles and balls with the Grandkids.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Morning's Glow

morning sunrise on November 11, 2010
Morning's Glow
November 11, 2010

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Up Close and Personal

cow up close
Up Close and Personal
December 9, 2010

I think I was born about 140 years too late!  For some reason the 1870's era really appeals to me.  Canada as a nation was in her infancy and progressing quickly.  My third great grandparents were busy raising a family while tending their farm.  I've always wanted to live on a farm with livestock and land to stretch out.  Unfortunately our current house is about as close to living on a farm as I'm ever going to get given my husband's urban tendencies.  Since our house is up for sale, I will be saying goodbye to rural living but I can still dream!  You don't suppose my husband would notice my new found friend if he just happened to follow me home, do you?

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, December 13, 2010

Strike a Pose

camera

We ate out at our local a couple of nights ago at the and as my normal custom I took several pictures of the meal.  I've never had any complaints from doing this.  Rather taking pictures of the meal has presented an opportunity for a starting lot of great conversations.   It was a bit odd this time though as a couple dining at a nearby table were borderline agitated because I was taking pictures of my food.  They made several comments.  I found this rather strange since what I was doing at our table in no way affected them other than seeing something a bit different.  Finally they said something to the waitress who said something then came over to our table to chat.  Well apparently they were concerned over the picture taking until she told them I was a food blogger.  I got a chuckle out that!  LOL!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - Sinus Relief

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

Sinus relief sounds like an odd topic for a Blog Your Blessings Sunday post but it really isn't.  I suffer from chronic sinus problems/infection that also affect my ears, eyes, palate and back of throat.  There are very few days that I'm not symptomatic.  Congestion and itching are the norm to the point the congestion is quite apparent under my eyes and on both sides of the bridge of my nose.  The problem is medications meant to solve the congestion dry mucosal membranes creating complications so this type of thing become a vicious circle.   I have had what I thought was a funky, for lack of a better word, cold with the main symptoms being severe itching and sneezing but now it's more likely that it is an allergic reaction to something.  Mid-week something caused my sinuses to give way.  Without getting graphic the lack of congestion swelling was even apparent on my face!  Not only that but I felt wonderful.  As the clearing continued over the next few days and as I type this is still clearing, I am reassured taking the drug free approach is finally working.  At any rate, sinus relief has been a huge blessing for me this past week.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

snowing
Snowing
December 8, 2010


While many areas in souther Ontario were being bombarded with snow this past week we got off quite lightly.  A couple of days ago it was snowing nicely turning our area into a magical delight.  I honestly love the snow providing I don't have to drive in it.  It looks like we will be having a white Christmas, something I'm sure many were wondering about given the unseasonably mild autumn.  Isn't it a pretty backdrop for the Christmas decorations?

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, December 10, 2010

RMR: Rick's Rant - Airport Security

It's that time of year that many Canadians are turning to the skies to get home for Christmas or to the sunny south to get away from the cold Canadian winters.  Recently there have been some rather unpleasant reports in the news regarding pat downs in American air ports.  This comes on the heels of the news of the full body scans that started in Canada and have now moved to American airports.  It seems like the regular Joe Public is once again getting screwed so to speak.  Even though this is all supposed to be for public safety the end result has pretty much been abusive behaviour on the part of the airport (mainly American) staff.  Here is my favourite Canadian funny man Rick Mercer putting another perspective on the issue, and perhaps this time of year, that is what is needed...




Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Winter Setting In

Seagulls in Flight
December 4, 2010

Winter is setting in here with some areas in southern Ontario getting a fair amount of snow.  My husband winterizes the upper three season sunporch by covering with plastic.  Normally he puts the plastic up towards the end of October but with the house on the market he wanted to leave it off as long as possible to highlight the beautiful view.  Last Saturday he finally put the plastic up.  While he was on the ladder the sky overhead was filled with circling seagulls.  It looked rather ominous but at least they weren't vultures!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - The Maumee

the lake freighter Maumee
The Maumee
November 8, 2010


Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Little Larry

[from my email files, enjoy!]

A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, 'Everyone who thinks they're stupid, stand up!' After a few seconds, Little Larry stood up. The teacher said, 'Do you think you're stupid, Larry?' 'No, ma'am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!'
-----
Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, December 06, 2010

An Altar Boy's Confession

[from my email files, enjoy the chuckle]
-----

AN ALTAR BOY'S CONFESSION

'Bless me Father, for I have sinned.
I have been with a loose girl'.

The priest asks, 'Is that you, little Joey Pagano?

'Yes, Father, it is.'

'And who was the girl you were with?'

'I can't tell you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation'.

"Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later
so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti? 'I cannot say.'

'Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?' 'I'll never tell.'

'Was it Nina Capelli?' 'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'

'Was it Cathy Piriano?' 'My lips are sealed.'

'Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?'

'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.' The priest sighs in frustration.

'You're very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months.  Now you go and behave yourself.'

Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, 'What'd you get?'

'Four months vacation and five good leads.'

----

Garden Gnome ©2006-2010


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - Supporting Networks

Blog Your Blessings Sunday
This week's blessings all centred around supporting networks ranging from medical to travel and everything in between.  We are so very lucky to have all these external support networks available when we need them.  In many ways these support networks work behind the scenes, quietly yet effectively.  When we were young newlyweds we gave no nevermind to these types of supporting networks.  Now we are a bit older and wiser so realize the benefit of using external suppor networks.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, December 04, 2010

My Doctor Has Issues

doctor cartoon

I have been doing a fine job of avoiding my doctor for the past year or so.  Apparently this tactic is not sitting well with my doctor at all.  I take my time and trouble to grace the office with my presence for one simple prescription refill.  Note the one as I decided to eliminate the other two prescriptions as long as things continue to go smoothly.  I feel reasonably well considering and don't have to deal with the side effects.  It took a bit of persuading giving my reasons for stopping those medications but my doctor finally agreed to trust my judgement.  Then, my doctor asked rather innocently whether I would like a flu shot.  Apparently I'm considered high risk so should have the shot.  Say what?  Would I like a flu sho?  What kind of question is that?  It's not like I haven't watched This Hour Has 22 Minutes as to what's in that flu shot.  I don't need more mercury floating around in my body given that mercury was one of my favourite childhood toys.  Besides I'd rather have my eggs sunny side up instead of pumped into my arm via a needle 2 miles long!  As a well informed patient I told my doctor 'no thank-you very much'.  Well at least I got a chuckle followed with a 'you need to come in for a physical'.  Well quite frankly I'm not a physical type person so I really don't need to be checked to find out if I am.  I'm pretty sure my doctor could take my word for it that I'm not physical.  But no, my doctor insists on clinical proof that I'm not physical so I ended up with an appointment for gathering all that lovely clinical proof via all kinds of inhumane pokes, prods and other insults too insidious to mention.  On the day of the so called fact finding mission for signs of my lack of being physical I cannot eat or drink anything.  Hey that should really help my cause significantly, don't you think?  I will have to drag my poor old, weakens and immaciated body from the germ laden waiting room and I'll bet to add insult to injury I will likely have to stand on the scales and pee in a bottle not like I will have any pee without drinking anything before.  I tell you my doctor has issues!  I had best get a couple of sparkle stickers and a huge lollipop for this one...

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, December 03, 2010

Tickets to See Carrie Underwood

tickets to Carrie Underwood concert
The Tickets
November 29, 2010

My husband won two free tickets to see Carrie Underwood perform at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan on Novemeber 29!  [Update: postponed to December 22]  He was quite excited and so was I as it had been awhile since we have gone to a live performance.  The last one we went to was Jimmy Buffet when we were in Florida a couple of years ago.  The only downside to going to a live performance on a week night is the long commute that makes for a very long day.  Still being tired the following day would be well worth it!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, December 02, 2010

New Neighbours

snowing on a road trip
Snowfall
November 27, 2010

As things would have it our neighbours and us had our houses on the market at the same time.  Theirs sold with a closing date of December 1 so the new neighbours spent a cold with snow flurries day moving in.  In some respects I could not help wishing that it was us doing the moving and yet I'd rather move in the nicer weather.  Moving is a lot of work made worse with inclimate weather.  We haven't met the new neighbours yet.  Hopefully they like their new house.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Fog on Water

fog on water
Fog on Water
November 3, 2010



Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

driving
The Snow Storm
 November 27, 2010

We made a road trip to visit the kids and grandkids a few days ago.  En route we ran into a lovely snow storm due to lake effect snow in the GTA.  We ended up driving in the storm for about a half hour and it was still coming down good when we arrived at the kids.  And so begins the winter weather in southern Ontario.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, November 29, 2010

Colder Weather

ice in the field
Ice in the Field
November 27, 2010

We have had a blissfully unseasonably mild autumn this year.  I say blissful because normally by this time of year we have had at least one or more snow falls and the furnace has been going full tilt.  With the exception of the last couple of days the furnace has been turned on but not active as the gas fireplace has been able to keep up with the cooler temperatures.  We also haven't had more that a light dusting of snow that was gone as soon as the sun was up.  Overall it has been quite lovely!

A few days ago we had a fair amount of rain overnight cause the field to flood a bit.  The colder weather with high winds resulted in the standing water on the field to turn into an icy delight.  Well at least it was delightful looking out from the warmth of the car.  It did make for a pretty picture, don't you think?

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blog Your Blessing Sunday - Turkey Runs

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

This week were made two successful turkey runs ending up with 4 turkeys at 52¢ per pound.  We have done turkey runs ever since the kids were little.  Now they are grown with kids of their own.  The turkey runs have become a family tradition.  At one time we made enough trips to bring back 8 turkeys.  What we would do is call around to find out who wanted turkeys then we would do the turkey runs.  This year we only made two runs so two turkeys for us and one each for a couple of the kids.  The turkey runs are really an annual event my husband and I look forward to.  This year we had a lot of fun and we even stopped to enjoy eating at our favourite pub.  We reminisced over turkey runs of the past and laughed a lot while enjoying each other's company. 

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Glass Reflections on the Water

reflections on the water
Glass Reflections on the Water
November 24, 2010

This is the time of year where most days are grey and dull.  The water takes on the greyness turning it into a shimmering grey mirror reflecting shades of grey.  The water was so still when I took the picture.  The seagulls looked like little puff balls resting on the water's surface. If it wasn't so cold it would have been perfect water to glide over smoothly.  It was a peaceful view that didn't last long as the rain came across the water.  Still it was pretty while it lasted.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Today it is Black Friday in the US.  Black Friday is named for the day the stores are said to be in the black as opposed to being in the red (not making money).  It falls on the Friday after the American Thanksgiving which was yesterday.  Many stores put on huge sales to lure shopper's away from home to part with their hard earned dollars.  How shoppers buy on Black Friday is said to be a good indicator as to how shoppers are going to spend over the holiday season.

Some shoppers line up to shop the sales as early as 4 AM.  Say what?  There is nothing and I mean nothing I would want to buy that would have me standing in a line waiting to shop at 4 AM!  Normally we go out Friday nights for dinner and quite often we end up in the US.  Tonight we will not be crossing the border as many Canadians are.  I've decided it is going to be a buy nothing day :)

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Run Recap

This year we ended up making two turkey runs for a total of 4 turkeys.  The total weight came to 78.97 lb at a total cost of $41.67 which works out to 52.7¢ per lb.  Not bad!  I'll recoup the cost of the turkeys just in the value of the stock from 2 of the carcasses.  To get the turkeys at that price we had to spend an additional $20 per turkey or a total of $80.  We were very frugal spending that extra $80, ending up with mainly groceries we would have been buying anyway, a pair of jeans for my husband, a shirt for me and a gift.  There were a couple of excellent meat deals like a 5 lb pork loin for $7 that really helped stretch that $80.  I'll divide that with half being cured for pea meal bacon and the other half as a roast in the slow cooker.  Over all this year's turkey runs were quite frugal!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Evening Delight

sunset October 26, 2010
Evening Delight
October 26, 2010


Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkey Runs


We made our first turkey run of the season last night.  Due to price controls in Ontario the price of turkeys seldom drop below $1.99 per pound.  This past Thanksgiving one store had utility and Grade A turkeys on for 99¢ per pound which is pretty much unheard of.  That was definitely a loss leader sale!  Turkeys go on sale in the US for as low as 29¢ per lb with an additional purchase of usually $20 to $30 the week of the American Thanksgiving.  We are fortunate enough to live where we can make a turkey run to the US to take advantage of the savings.  Each adult is allowed to bring one turkey 20 lb or under back into Canada per trip but there are no restrictions as to the number of trips you can make in a day.  Our major restriction is freezer space.  With a bit of careful reorganization we might possibly be able to get 4 turkeys in the freezers, two for us and one each for a couple of our kids.  Meijer had turkeys on sale (hens $9 off and toms $16 off) so two turkeys came home with us last night.  We still need to make another turkey run this week.


Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, November 22, 2010

Night Light Dreams


I was up through the night and as I crawled into bed a little flash of light caught my eye.  As I pulled the covers up there was another flash of light.  Suddenly I was back playing an old childhood game.  When the weather turned cooler my Mom would put flannel sheets on the beds.  A little wiggle would create a lovely little flash of yellowish green light that I found most amusing!  With a contented giggle over a long forgotten childhood game I drifted back to sleep, visions of flashes of lights dancing in my dreams.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - More Weather Blessings

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

Once again we were blessed with a beautiful, abnormally warm week.  By now the furnace would be in full swing but so far we've been able to keep toasting just using the gas fireplace mainly on low.  The furnace is on but set to 66ºF so only clicks on if the inside temperature dips below that.  I am really pleased to be enjoying this wonderful bless as it is helping to keep both the home heating and electricity costs down.  It's also helped us get a few things done around the house. 

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, November 20, 2010

What do Shoes Say About You?

feet on pebbles


I love shoes!  I have a serious shoe fetish owning several pairs that are still new, never worn and several pairs that have only been worn once and yet I continue to buy shoes.  I'm a shoe looker as well.  Shoes can send a strong message about you as a person.  For example, the woman who stuffs her foot into a too small shoe may have self esteem issues so is trying to look smaller than she is or she may not be able to afford shoes so is forced to wear a pair that is too small.  Trend setting shoes sometimes make me chuckle.  Everyone loves their Birkenstocks but I tell you walking around in an Ontario winter storm with grocery bags over your Birkenstocks that you've stuffed your work sock clad foot into really isn't making a statement other than stupidity.  The only ones that look cute is those cheap plastic duck shoes are little kids and gardeners.  Even worse is the dollar store plastic flip flops which really say "I haven't grown up" or "I can't afford to spend more than $1 on shoes".  I'm sorry but trainers do not look good with dress attire but this one I can understand if wearing trainers to walk to and from work or a funtion but definitely not at work or a function.  Wearing slippers in public is still not cool even if they match the pyjama bottoms you are wearing.  Well worn but not junky shoes can be a sign of frugality.  As you can see it do a fair amount of shoe pondering while people watching!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, November 19, 2010

Funny Cat Video

Having been owned by a feline friend and having grandkittens it was almost impossible not to chuckle at the cat antics in this video.  Cats are just downright hilarious at times, wouldn't you agree?  I hope you enjoy the video and have a little chuckle.  Enjoy!




Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Seagulls on the Water

seagulls on water
Seagulls on the Water
November 15, 2010

The weather has remained mild although slowly getting cooler.  It's rather nice that we are getting a break on home heating costs especially with the HST now added onto home heating fuel.  A few days ago a flock of seagulls landed on the water.  They settled in just calmly riding the rippling waves.  A lot of people don't like seagulls but I do.  I think they are rather pretty birds and they can be quite comical as well!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Early Morning Sky

early morning sky
Early Morning Sky
October 21, 2010

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beer Foam Art

beer art
Beer Foam Art
November 12, 2010


Sometimes art just happens.  A few days ago we were out for dinner with a couple of the kids.  I ordered an adult beverage.  After a sip I looked down at the glass and just look what I saw.  The foam formed a lovely symmetrical pattern on top of the beer.  I thought it was rather interesting!  What do you thing?

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Funny - The Tazar

[from my email files, enjoy the chuckle :)]
-----
ONLY A MAN WOULD ATTEMPT THIS

Just try reading this without laughing till you cry!!!

Pocket Tazer Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife.
A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Tazer for their anniversary submitted this:

Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized Tazer.

The effects of the Tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety...??

WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home... I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time, I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.

AWESOME!!! Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.

Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two AAA batteries, right?
 
There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target.

I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and then thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised.

Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and Tazer in another.

The directions said that:
a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant;

a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; and

a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water.

Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.
All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference (loaded with two itsy, bitsy AAA batteries); pretty cute really, and thinking to myself, 'no possible way!'

What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best.

I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side so as to say, 'Don't do it stupid,' reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny lil ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad.. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it.

I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and...

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. WHAT THE... !!!

I'm pretty sure Hulk Hogan ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs! The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

Note:
If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a Tazer,
one note of caution:

There is NO such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor!
A three second burst would be considered conservative!

A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape.
My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace.
The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was.
My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching.
My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs.
I had no control over the drooling.
Apparently I had crapped in my shorts, but was too numb to know for sure, and my sense of smell was gone.
I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head, which I believe came from my hair.
I'm still looking for my testicles and I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!

PS: My wife can't stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift and now regularly threatens me with it!

If you think education is difficult, try being stupid!!!!
-----
Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Your Blessing Sunday - Unseasonably Warm Weather

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

Here it is mid-November and the past week we have enjoyed some of the loveliest weather possible for this time of year.  It was such a blessing in so many ways.  We were able to get the sunporch staircase painted which will make the house show a bit better.  We painted the lower staircase railings as well.  I thought for sure the weather would turn before we could get the painting finished.  Hallowe'en weekend we ended up putting the furnace on set to 68ºF (day) and 66ºF (night) but once I got home I set the furnace to hold at 66ºF and using the gas fireplace instead.  The gas fireplace is doing a great job at keeping the main living area above 66ºF so the furnace hasn't kicked on which means we are saving on the electricity needed to run the furnace fan.  So that has been a real blessing.

We did have two disappointments this past week.  First we found out the house we were interested in buying had an offer in pending a home inspection.  I doubt the house will fail that so dashes those hopes.  The second disappointment came in a couple that were very interested in buying our home to the point they set up an appointment to go through again before putting in an offer.  Those hopes were dashed when they cancelled the appointment saying they decided they didn't want to move after all.  Well these things happen for a reason so as my husband says it wasn't meant to be.  These types of minor setbacks are blessing that teach patience and appreciation for what you already have as well as reinforce faith and hope that all works out in the end.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Snot Factory

red nose

I am pleased to announce The Snot Factory is working overtime.  Production has been so much so as to interfere with daily activities and sleeping of laypersons not working in the factory.  What is surprising as how The Snot Factory can almost instantly go into overtime at the slightest mention of a pollen grain or gawd forbid a virus flickers by.  Not once have I ever heard even so much as a murmur of a strike on behalf of the workers.  They don't flinch at cohercion techniques like netti pots or saline sprays.  They hold a parade if sinus tablets are thought of enjoying the thought of blowing kleenex flags.  I'd like to know who is exactly paying their wages because it certainly isn't me.  Now a hostile take-over to control these millitant works would be welcomed but I best not say too much as just in case the workers rebel!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, November 12, 2010

Grandma's Road Trip

Grandma's Road Trip
October 30, 2010


Much to the amazement of our kids Grandma decided to take a road trip to visit them while Papa was at hunt camp.  The grandkids were beyond excited that Grandma was coming for a visit as well.  Grandma seldom pays attention to directions when Papa is driving so she played it safe and had Papa set up Lucy before he left.  And so Grandma's road trip began

Grandma had to pack the car by herself which was a little odd because Papa always packs the car.  She purposely waited to get on the road to let the morning fog burn off by playing on the computer while sipping hot coffee trying to talk herself out of going.  Visiting the kids wasn't the issue but the length of drive was!  So just after lunch Grandma pulled out of the driveway determined to reach her destination.  She quickly learned playing the punch buggy game by herself wasn't a lot of fun.  She also found herself missing Papa having friendly little chit chats with other drivers when they do a bit of stunt driving.  It was all worth the long drive to see the big smiles on the kids faces as two little bundles of joy almost knocked Grandma over in their excitement!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day 2010

[Reposted from November 11, 2008 because this video is that good! Please take a few moments to view the video and ponder the price of freedom our brave service men and women have paid.]

I come from a strong military family with ancestors that were instrumental in shaping the history of Canada. I grew up surrounded by relatives who had fought for this country. Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice and while they are no longer here they live forever in our memories. If this video does not bring tears to your eyes, nothing will. On the 11
th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we honour our fallen with 2 minutes silence from shore to shore of our great nation, Canada. Please join our nation in showing our respect and how thankful we are for enjoying the freedom they fought so hard for.





Remembrance Day Tribute
courtesy of
Global TV Edmonton


Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - The Palm Tree

palm tree
The Palm Tree
October 7, 2010


Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Oh Those Tell Tale Signs of Red!

blushing smilie
My Mom used to say that my skin was more red than anything else.  I'm not kidding my skin turns a bright neon red at the drop of a hat.  If I have a bath or shower or go swimming my skin is bright red especially across my upper chest.  If I'm embarrassed or nervous my cheeks get painfully red.  Red is a sure sign for me of an asthma flare-up or allergic reaction.  Seriously I can take one sip of red wine with sulfates and it hasn't hit my stomach before it shows in my face!  This type of red will be two bright red spots about an inch diameter.  Actually there are very few times I can't find reddish overtones on my skin.  Lately my hands and wrists have been bothering me so they are bright pinkish red.  But the last couple of days the ultimate in redness popped up.  I mean the ultimate in redness.  My cheeks literally flame when I'm sick.  This is not the neon pink red either.  It is the bright fire red that would put my gorgeous ripe organic Brandywine tomatoes to shame!

The red hurts regardless when it appears but when I'm sick it is downright painful.  My husband was away at hunt camp so I had a few things I wanted to do.  I went down to visit the kids and watch the little ones enjoy trick or treating.   I was only gone overnight but it was a wonderful break.  The next morning I felt the burn.  Sure shooting there was that tell tale sign of red.  All the plans I had made went out the window.  I pulled a couple of soup bones from the freezer to make homemade soup while enjoying that wonderful burning sensation as my sinuses crickled and crackles, my eyes watered and my ears popped.  I added in extra onions and garlic for good measure.  So I was housebound for the rest of the week enjoying my gorgeous redness not dare going out around other people for fear of picking up any germs that would complicate whatever it is I had.  My colds tend to go directly to bronchitis then pneumonia, something I'm not impressed with but the last thing I need is a secondary infection.  Had it not been for the red, I would have been out and about with a compromised immune system picking up gosh knows what putting myself at further risk while possibly infecting others with whatever I had.  I looked in the mirror at the bright, flaming cheeks and said a silent thank-you. 

In many ways the tell tale signs of red are a blessing for me.  They are like a giant built in stop sign to back things down, avoid further exposure to anything and if it doesn't calm down get to my doctor.  Some people aren't so lucky.  Knowing what turns my skin red and what the normal red for that exposure is extremely helpful.  I know the warning signs and what each variation of red means.  While I tend to make light of it, the redness and variations are warning signs of potential problem.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, November 08, 2010

Technology Comes With a Price

I mentioned yesterday that I'm a techo geek.  I love messing around with any kind of technology.  Technology affects every facet of our daily lives indirectly and directly whether we like it or not.  Even the Amish who shun technology are affected.  I'm sure there are many examples of technology at work that I could use but you know one that I like is I do a lot of home canning much like the Amish.  I use a pressure canner just like the Amish to process my home canned foods safely.  The thing is the pressure canner would not even exist if it were not for technology.  When most people think of technology they really mean a lot of the newer technological advances mainly electronic that have cropped up over the last few years.  These technological advances are absolutely amazing and yet many of them are coming with a high price tag.  Consider:

  • video games - These range from hand held devices to consoles and any other version.  Children are spending so much time playing these games three things are happening.  Their imagination is decreasing, their social skills are decreasing and their weight is increasing.
  • computers - At the click of a couple of keys the computer brings a multitude of desired information into our homes.  More and more communication is done online to the point some have figured out they can survive quite nicely without ever leaving home.  Honestly there are very few things you can't order online including groceries delivered right to your door and you can do all your banking online so there is no real need to have to interact in real life.  The downside is computers can also bring in all the ills of real life society as we are quickly finding out.  
  • online social networking - There are many examples of online social networking (eg. Twitter).  We are reduced to conveying our thoughts into 140 character tweets.  It becomes a way of communicating without leaving home so again it can be quite isolating.  This is not necessarily a good thing for those prone to depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) especially when there are sites that feed into that depression by encouraging suicide.  Social networking has widened the path for child pornographers and social predators as well as increasing the chance of identity theft and/or other online scams.  A growing problem is assaults/murders/rapes and break-ins as a direct result of revealing too much personal information via social networking.  Some have paid a huge price by revealing something, usually pictures on a site like Facebook that is incriminating to the point they lose their job and some have even had legal problems as a result of information revealed. 
  • health problems - Increased use of technology has led to an increased sedentary lifestyle.  We are seeing increased levels of obesity especially in children and complications of obesity like diabetes.  Those in northern climates are showing an increased level of Vitamin D deficiency which was always a risk but with staying indoor for longer period of times it is now a real problem.  Cell phones are creating a radiation risk that can cause health problems to the point one Canadian MP wants warning stickers put directly on cell phones.  It doesn't help that children as young as 5 regularly use cell phones even though their bodies are still developing.  Gadgets like Walkman's and iPods have contributed to an increase in hearing problems at a much younger age.    Some have even said that the increase in daily use of the electronic technology is one contributing factor to the increased incidence of ADD/ADHA as children lose the ability to focus. 
  • family values - The constant bombardment of electronic technology is erroding family values.  Quite often a family consisting of two adults and two children aka the average family can go through the enitre day with little to no real interaction.  What is happening is 4 people living in the same home each goes their separate ways losing any semblance of a common goal of working together as a family unit.  That's a real shame!  Texting and emailing or instant messaging cannot take the place of real life, face to face contact.  Calling on the cell phone is great but not if used as the primary method of communication. 
  • personal satisfaction - Electronic technology has lessened the personal satisfaction one is able to achieve.  The reason is this technology feeds into instant gratification.  Unlike reading or even watching television, most online activities or other newer modes of communication gives instant results. 
  • loss of physical resources - I do a lot of genealogy research.  Instead of spending a couple of hours on the road one way, delving manually through stacks of musty, dusty stacks of resources after spending a few hours finding them then paying upwards of $1 per sheet to print I can sit in the comforts of my family room in my pj's and housecoat sipping on a lovely latte I can find a considerable amount of information without leaving home.  I can download images and print for a lot less than $1 per page.  At the same time the lower cost to me combined with personal convenience is contributing to the loss of physical genealogy resources.  This applies to other physical resources as well like libraries, information centres and services.  Heck, even the utilities refer you to their website rather than helping you on the phone! 
Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - A Great Real Estate Agent

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

We had our house listed with a real estate agent from mid-March to the end of August.  Without so much as an offer we did not renew the contract.  Towards the end of the previous week we listed the house with an new, upstart real estate firm.  Let me tell you already we are impressed with our new real estate agent.  Talk about a go getter!  This is really the blessing we need right now!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, November 06, 2010

It's That Time of Year

end of daylight savings time

Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends tomorrow morning.  Please turn your clocks back 1 hour and check the batteries in your smoke alarms.

Garden Gnome ©2006-2010


Friday, November 05, 2010

My Poor Aching Thumb!


I am a techie, seriously!  I love and use all kinds of technology on a daily basis.  Anything from cell phones, computers, GPS, PDAs, PVD, home automation and just about anything else I can get my hands on.  I do a fair amount of communication via email, forums, blogging, Twitter, iPod and the cell phone.  So using technology is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination.  What is different is for whatever reason texting held no interest for me.  Oh I could send a text ok if I went to my cell phone provider website and send it from there but to actually text using my cell phone, forget it.  Part of the problem comes from the method used for texting.  It involves a series of clicks on various buttons to create the message.  So the 2 button can type a, b, c or 2 by clicking once for a, twice for b, three times for c andd four times for 2.  Well now, I learned to touch type in highschool without looking at the keyboard.  My typing speed is right up there so I find the whole concept of how to text rather tedious!

Over the last few days I have started texting out of necessity.  I can send text messages to the kids and my husband free of charge but if I use the cell phone to call them I have to pay long distance and depending where I'm at, roaming charges.  Texting works out to be cheaper and more convenient for the recipient as they can respond when they have time rather than right away.  The end result has been a very, very sore thumb!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, November 04, 2010

The HST Outfall is a Coming

Despite voter disapproval BC Premier Gordon Campbell and ON Premier Dalton McGuinty put through the much hated Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) that came into effect on July 1, 2010.  In fairness Gordon Campbell is not quite the snake in the grass that Dalton McGuinty is so it did come as a bit of a surprise when Campbell called a special press conference shortly after lunchtime here, central time.  Campbell cited voter hatred of the HST as the reason for his drop in popularity and hence his resignation.  As it stands, Campbell is showing himself to be the better man, admitting defeat over a very poorly planned and implemented tax at a time with the taxpayers have no more to give.  One can only hope that Dalton McGuinty's ears are ringing and he will follow suit! 

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Overlooking the Valley

the valley
Overlooking the Valley
October 7, 2010

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Chaos Starts the Week

My gosh!  I spent the weekend at the home of oldest and youngest grandchildren.  What a hoot!  I left for their place around lunchtime on Saturday and arrived back home Sunday about 9 pm.  I was going to stay longer but our real estate agent called to see if they could do the first dog and pony show Monday morning.  That meant I had to get home Sunday night in order to do the spit and shine for the showing.  I didn't get into bed until 2:30 in the morning then was back up at 8:30 am to do the last minute touches.  At the same time I knew dumb and dumber were coming out to fix our satellite dish for the internet.  As I puttered I hoped they would show up after the dog and pony show.

The dog and pony show went well with 7 agents and our agent attending.  The one comment was the stairs to the sunporch needed painting so I was on the phone to one of our kids who picked up the paint and came out to prep the stairs.  The intention was to do the first coat of paint today but I started it after dumb and dumber and $290.25 left.  Apparently when the high winds moved the satellite dish they also damage part of it.  The nice thing is I managed to avoid paying HST on the part, so take that McGuinty!  By the time I finished the first coat of paint on the stairs (inner supports, landing and runners) it was time for dinner and Corrie.  Then it was time for laundry, a bit of blogging and the quick realization I think I'm coming down with a cold.  And so the week started...

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, November 01, 2010

My Gosh Where Does Time Go?

My beyond cruddy satellite service went out last week which put me into dial-up mode while waiting for dumb and dumber to get here to fix it.  In the meantime I tried to continue on with blogging as best I could but between dial-up and going to visit the grandkids I am very much behind!  It doesn't help that the house is now officially listed again which has added to my to do list.  Somewhere along the line I've lost almost a week and where did the time go?  Honestly!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - Happy Hallowe'en

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

This past week we were able to share and enjoy the excitement of a much younger generation's anticipation at dressing up and going door to door trick or treating.  My gosh, how times have changed.  I can remember rushing out the door to be on of the first kids to get Mrs. S's famous fudge then scurrying along as fast as my legs would go to get Mrs. M's popcorn balls and Mrs. T's peanut butter cookies.  Well heaven forbid that the little ones can enjoy that now.  Everything must be wrapped in unopened packages and we daren't give them any fresh fruit either.  At some point the custom of Hallowe'en is going to go by the wayside.  We are really blessed to know what this wonderful tradition was like as children, watch our kids enjoy it and now get to see our grandkids enjoy it.  Traditions are blessings.  They help to ground us, link us to our past and give us a bit of comfort in an ever changing world.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thoughts About Charlie Sheen

My gosh Charlie Sheen has had an uncanny knack of getting himself in the news lately!  It wasn't bad enough with the last round of attention he is once again in the news for apparently trashing a motel room while in the company of female companion that resulted in him being detained for a psychological assessment.  Now this is just downright sad.

I love watching Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men.  The interaction is just priceless but at some level under shadows Charlie as a person.  Some where the line between fiction and reality has been crossed.  On Two and a Half Men Charlie plays Charlie, a self absorbed, boozing womanizer of rather shallow values.  It is easy to find a lot of fault with his character in this show and yet he is good looking, charming and has a sense of humour mixed with sarcasm giving him a lot of points as far a being the handsome bad boy.  And this is where it should have stayed, all fiction.  Instead he has brought the fictional character into real life or perhaps he brought his real life character into his fictional character which may explain why he plays it so well.  At any rate on tv it is cute, amusing and downright funny, in real life is it far from being cute, amusing or funny.  Somehow knowing his ongoing personal struggles takes a bit of enjoyment out of watching his online persona.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, October 29, 2010

Internet Follies


The internet has become such a large part of our lives that going without is no longer a practical option.  It now is a major way of staying connected with family and friends, finding information quickly and a source of entertainment.  I had wonderful high speed DSL two houses ago.  Our last house while have a lovely location was rural so at that time the only internet service available was dial-up.  When we moved here which is also rural we were able to get satellite internet service that according to them was a step up from dial-up.  It has been absolutely nothing but a pain in the kester!  I'm not kidding if a mosquito is so much as even remotely being near the beam the signal goes out.  Then there is the wonderful FAP graciously approved of by the CRTC.  It means that at some magical bandwidth trigger of which the satellite service does not have to reveal they will throttle down the service to lower than dial-up speeds.  Essentially what happens is you pay 100% for 40% at best of the advertised satellite internet speeds.  Now would you go into a restaurant, order a burger and pay full price if they brought you out less than half of the burger?  Not very likely but the CRTC in their ultimate wisdom on how to screw the consumer thinks so.  And Dalton McGuinty doesn't think spending over $50 for crappy satellite service is not enough so he so graciously added HST to our service increasing the price to just a little over $60. 

Our recent satellite internet outage got me thinking.  The CRTC endorses ripping off the conusmer so even though we are paying a bit over $60 for the service we really are getting $24 worth of bandwidth per month and McGuinty is pocketing about $7 thanks to his handy tax grab aka HST.  My husband put me on his office internet account for $20 per month.  Right of the bat if I stay on dial-up I will save over $40 per month and dear old Dalton will get a lot less of my money.  But it gets better than that!  The CRTC also has screwed up the National Do Not Call Registry meaning if you register your phone number to prevent telemarketing calls the reverse actually happens.  Telemarketing calls increase!  Apparently the CRTC thinks this is acceptable but it's not like they are the brightest lightbulb in the pack.  Oh and I should mention we pay for our phone service so each telemarketing call actually costs us and somewhere along the line they think they have the right to call us?  Wrong!  The only ones who have the right to call us are our family and friends.  On the brightside if I go back to dial-up rather than get a second phone line I will use our main line that will give all the lovely telemarketers a busy tone saving me the hassle of having to add them to my call block list.  All around dial-up internet is looking rather pleasing!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life Unconnected


Yesterday we experienced very high winds.  As a result our crappy satellite internet service got even crappier with the winds moving the dish out of alignment.  The connection was lost about 3 pm yesterday so I've been without internet!  Let me tell you life unconnected is weird.  The repair is expected to take anywhere from one day to a week depending when dumb and dumber can get out here.  My husband has real high speed at the office so added dial-up access for me so I am now on dial-up for the time being.  However, I'm thinking going back to dial-up until we move might just be the way to go. In order to maximize the savings it would mean learning to do a bit more offline.  Apparently Blogger didn't like my dial-up service but that must have been a Blogger glitch or a connection error as reconnecting got the picture to upload.  Anyway, life unconnected is an experience I really don't care fore.


Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - A Tree in the Forest

a tree in the forest
A Tree in the Forest
October 7, 2010

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Round and Round We Go

Who says Mother Nature doesn't have a sense of humour?  I spotted this little guy on one of the kitchen cupboard knobs at our vactaion home and just had to take a short video of him.  Enjoy!





Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Monday, October 25, 2010

A Short Meme

I've been blogging now for over four years so by now if you've been following my blogs you will know that family is my first priority.  I love cooking, gardening, traveling and if you dig a little bit further into some of my blogs you will know I am a nature lover, have a serious shoe fettish, have a very low tolerance for telemarketers, hate the HST, love a multitude of crafts, am a Photoshop® enthusiast and avid DIYer.  Oh I forgot one of the most apparent things you already know about me.  I love gnomes!

I thought it would be fun to share a short meme.  A meme is a blogging term for sharing a few personal details on my blog for you the reader.  I actually wrote a much detailed meme to share but then decided it was a bit too reveals.  So here are a few things I haven't shared before:

  • My favourite snack food is broccoli
  • I sleep with thumbs tucked in under my fingers.
  • My favourite and most used small kitchen appliance is my KitchenAid® stand mixer.
  • I started blogging in April of 2006 and still enjoy it.
  • I'm a chronic multi-tasker and musser.  I'm not sure which is worse.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog Your Blessings Sunday - The Weather Held

Blog Your Blessings Sunday

We have had the very good fortune to enjoy milder temperatures the past week.  I turned on the gas fireplace a few times to take the chill off the family room but didn't need to put the furnace on.  This is quite different than last year where the furnace was turned on much earlier in the month.  The longer we can leave the furnace off the better as home heating in Ontario has increased by 8% thanks to McGuinty's greedy HST tax grab.  The milder temperatures meant the gardens produced longer so mid-week I will still harvesting small amounts of peppers and tomatoes.  It was nice seeing others out puttering in their gardens as well.  While it did cool off with rain some nights and one short afternoon hail the frost that threatened passed us by.  In short we were blessed with beautiful autumn weather!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oh Those 'Happy Days'

I was quite saddened to learn of the passing of Tom Bosley on October 19 at the age of 84.  He played the role of Howard Cunningham, the patriarch of the sitcom Happy Days that aired from 1974 to 1984 on ABC.  Set in the 1950's the show was a reminder of gentler times that stressed good family values.  Thanks Tom for the Happy Days you shared with us.  You will be remembered fondly in our hearts forever!  RIP




Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Friday, October 22, 2010

Highway Construction

highway construction
Highway Construction
October 7, 2010

It is inevitable that highway construction goes hand in hand with road trips.  As road trips go while we did run into highway construction both ways we experienced minimal delays.  At some points heavy traffic congestion was more problematic than any construction.  We were very lucky!  Both construction and traffic congestion tend to bring out the worst in some drivers.  We saw one horrid accident that was obviously fatal on the way down, had one very close call in heavy traffic while there but other than that it was fairly average traffic sprinkled with a few bonehead moves. We had for the most part clear, dry road conditions too.  My gosh, looking back we really did have wonderful traveling conditions both ways.  Here's hoping the next trip will be just as smooth.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Railway Bridge

railway bridge
Railway Bridge
October 7, 2010

My gosh I sat down and wrote one of the best memes ever for today's post.  A meme is blogger terminology for disclosing a little more information about yourself for your readers to enjoy.  It was great but then I decided to not post it.  Going through pictures of our recent journey home from our vacation home I spotted this amazing railway bridge.  Railway bridges fascinate because of their elegant structure.  They are based on firm foundations that allow them to stand the test of time.   In a lot of ways they remind me how very important firm foundations really are.   They are a good metaphor for the roos necessary to establish yourself in this world.    So for now you will have to wait until I am comfortable with posting the meme as written.  In the meantime I hope you enjoy the photo of the railway bridge.

Garden Gnome
©2006-2010