Sunday, November 29, 2009

True Blue Fan in Green

Today is my brother's birthday - Happy Birthday, Clayton!

It's also Grey Cup Sunday, and I have a photo for you:

Madeline is a Winnipeg born, Regina raised girl. It's a mixed marriage, where Manitoba blue and Saskatchewan green would be more hotly debated if we actually cared any about football. I don't. Sorry. Sean watches the last few games of the season (but he's doing it with the laptop on his lap, on the motorsports forums or playing poker.) Madeline is pretty into it today, though. Her favorite team is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and I think that's partly because she watches a lot of sports with Grandpa, and she cheers for whoever is playing against the team he's cheering for. It's developed a competitiveness and Bomber loyalty in her. She does say, though, that the Saskatchewan Roughriders are her second favorite team. And while this is only the first or second time she's worn that shirt she got for Christmas last year, she's cheering hardcore for the Riders today.

(That's her new Winnie the Pooh bear she's been saving up for and bought just today.)


Sean cooked supper tonight. I started getting it out and he came in and took over, saying, "I haven't cooked for you yet this weekend."
"Do you cook for me every weekend?" I asked.
"I try to. I know you appreciate it when I do." What a sweetheart, hey? He's never said it's something he's wanting to do for me - he just does it. One more reason I love him.


It's been a creative and productive day today.  I did a bunch of work on my paper - I still have a ways to go tonight on that, but I've made a big dent.  I also sewed some magic bag insides and finished a little book I was making.  Madeline had her cousin Mataya over this afternoon for a few hours - Mataya brought her scrapbooking stuff along and they disappeared into my 'studio' and each made a page.  With their own stuff.  And no parental supervision.  That's crazy.  And pretty cool.

Here are some shots of that little book.  I found the idea and tutorial at this site, if you want to make your own.  


I'm going to give it away as a birthday present to our 'adopted' youth.  We've got an Adopt A Youth program at church this year, and Jada-Rae is our youth.  She turns 15 tomorrow and of course I wasn't on the ball enough to have something ready to give her at church today, but taking this over tomorrow should be pretty special, I'm hoping.  We haven't done too much together yet, but she's coming to babysit M while we go to Sean's work Christmas party on Thursday, and then I think Friday we'll do something all together.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Sean had a box delivered yesterday. In it was this trophy (the one in the middle) from his Fastest Streetcar Shootout win in August. Long time coming, but nice to have up on the shelf with the other ones now.

And here are Madeline's 'trophies' of the week. They had their enrollment night at Girl Guides on Wednesday and she came home with all this for me to sew on her sash and blanket.

Proud of my family.


M (looking in the fridge): "Aww, you put a heart on my sandwich!"

Me:  "No, that's mine.  I wrote Mom on yours."

I got a laugh for that one, and a "Mom, you're funny, you know that?"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Last Class...

We finished our last weekend of our last class of the 12 that were a part of our satellite campus arrangement with Carey. It would feel like more of a relief or an actual finish if we didn't still have 3 assignments to do. Ask me how I'm feeling after that, in mid January.

This class is Church History, and right now I have to read 400 pages of primary source material. Ok, right now I SHOULD be reading that primary source material... That's why this will be short, and why I may post less in the next month or so. Because I'm busy reading and writing for school or making Christmas gifts, along with the usual cooking, working and sleeping...

Sean's Mom and Dad came by yesterday to drop off more filling for my magic bags - we had a good supper and visit and got them playing on the Wii. Last time we played, Sean and I played around with our Mii characters after M went to bed... and this was the first time she saw her Mii with the nose moved up onto her forehead. It made for a really good laugh all around.

The class I took over at Jessica Sprague is done, but the goodness will last till the end of the year. We came out with a month's worth of prompts and ideas for focusing on what really matters to us over the next month, and the framework to record it. I think I'm doing 8x8 digital layouts... that may still change. I like paper (or hybrid) better, but may try this one all digital just for the experience.

I played the role of 'good mom' on Monday and went to Agribition with M's class. There are some massive animals in this world. And so many different kinds! We saw horses that were all prettied up, little horses pulling little wagons, massive horses 3 stories tall practically, horses that can do tricks, and high strung prancy horses... and we saw reindeer, lamas, goats, bison, and baby chickies being hatched out of eggs, It was a good day. It was a day out of routine though, and I really thought Tuesday was Monday when I got to the office - I got confused a couple of times by people talking about yesterday and me thinking they were talking about Sunday...

Later - I'm off to read St. Augustine's Confessions!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Comment Changes

I messed around a little today with my comment settings because I've been found by spammers who are sending 'pharmacy' ads to posts from a year or two ago.  If you found you couldn't leave one earlier, it's because I had changed it to needing approval before it showed up; I've changed that so I just have to approve ones on older posts.  You will have to type the words in the box though... Thanks for being willing to do that!

Day One of Year Four

Yesterday was our 3rd anniversary!  We went out for a dessert at Bitten while M was at Girl Guides to celebrate.

The couches sold!  They'll be picked up on Saturday and we'll see what the new normal will be for our living room.

I have class this weekend and M has a Girl Guide sleepover, so Sean's having a poker night.  I think.  Does anyone know anyone in Regina who likes to play?  We need to find some more poker friends...  (No, I don't play...)

Some layouts:

I did this one at the retreat, except for the journaling part, which I did on the weekend.  (For those of you watching for the shorts... remember I was 15!)  My favorite part of this one is the 'run' on the top and bottom - I had some acrylic letters that I used as masks to spray over with my new glimmer mist (Mimosa, I think it's called).

These two I did over the weekend - I don't think I've done anything on Tuesdays with the girls for the last month - it's turning into more of a social club than a scrapbooking club with everybody still coming to visit even if they don't have anything ready to work on.  This week there were six of us there: 4 of us visiting and 2 with stuff to do.  Oh, and two little boys and lego.  If anyone wants to come and join us, we meet at 10 ish (used to be 9:30 now it's more like 10:30) and you can bring your sewing machine or scrapbooking or just come for a coffee and some laughs.

And I'll leave you with a shot from this morning.  M's class has a retake of their class photo today, so we got her all prettied up before school.  I wanted to take one just to send to Holly in Australia, and took one for you, too, while I was at it.  And yes, that is a hair elastic on her wrist.  That's an ever present fixture on her - at least one, often more.  Isn't she beautiful?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What a Saturday should be...

Nothing too exciting to report today - nice to have a big empty Saturday with nothing on the calendar.  I was out with Carla at a craft show last night and M went off for a dinner / movie / sleepover with aunt Kelly, so Sean had some peace and quiet.  :)

I was hoping for a call today from some people who were wanting to come and look at the couches, but no call all day.  :(  Maybe tomorrow.  We spent the morning putting our basement back together - assembling the futon, hooking the TV back up and putting everything away that had to be moved when we had the sewer issues.  After that I sewed magic bags for a while.  My stash of filler is coming in on Wednesday, and I'm getting interest and orders all over the place.  It's good.

M got home about 11 and then went over to a friend's for the afternoon (so not exactly a family day!) - they played outside for hours, though; better for her than if she was home reading and coloring and listening to Odyssey all afternoon.  After we dropped her off we took some stuff off to the Salvation Army thrift store (not everything from the basement got put back!) and some stuff to a pawn shop - my first time doing that.  I guess $20 is better than nothing...

After we picked her up again we hit the library to get a poker book for Sean, then went out for Chinese food for supper.  And since we were in that end of town, we stopped in at Michaels... didn't find anything I liked, though.  I registered for an online class at and have been waiting to see what the supply list is going to be - I was hoping to see some stuff at the store that would inspire me, but no.  I'll just have to wait for the class to start.  Oh, and by waiting for the supply list I mean stalking the site, checking multiple times a day...

Now it's 1 AM and we're still watching TV.  I love staying up late.  And I like that tomorrow is another weekend day.  So good.

Monday, November 09, 2009

take this with me!

Jessica Sprague is offering a free class called Holidays in Hand. It's an album project for December and it's free.  I registered for it; you should check it out and do it with me.  Especially because, you know, it's free!  Click on the name above for more info.

And in other news, I learned a lesson from my sore back this morning.  It started hurting last night, and was still sore when I woke up; I figured out this morning that it might be from carrying a full jug of water from the parking lot down to the hay ride yesterday.  Sean took the other water jug, and our friend Gwynn had the big jug of hot chocolate, and I thought I was perfectly capable of hauling the other one.  And I was, but I think I'm paying for it now.  And I keep hearing Christine's voice in my head: "Can anyone help me take these down?  They're heavy - you might want to do it with two people."  Not only did I hurt my back, but I lost out on the chance for community - how can you not bond over something like that.  (Or maybe it would have ended up with two people with sore backs today... no, that's just pessimistic.)   

Lessons learned:  1) When there is an opportunity for doing something WITH someone instead of doing it by yourself, take it.  2) If you don't ever exercise, don't expect to be able to do the things you could when you were fit.

Talk to you later; I'm off to work out now.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


I got a message on Facebook this afternoon from my cousin Kim, who sent me a link to an ad on Winnipeg's Kijiji - someone was looking for 'homemade wheat bags.'  Sweet!  A couple of emails later, and I've got an order for 12 for when she starts her massage studio in the new year.  Provided I can find fabrics in her colors...  I think I'm going shopping tomorrow!  Does anyone in Regina know of anywhere to get flannel fabric other than Fabricland and Peachtree?  I'll start there, but might need more options.  How about any good online shops?

In other news, we went out to a nearby camp this afternoon for a hayride with a bunch of families from church - a bit nippy, but we had a big indoor fire to roast hot dogs and make smores on after.  We don't have enough of that kind of event - a family thing where big and little kids love it, they don't have to be babysat, but can run and play together, and a great visit time for the parents.  What are some other ideas for great family events?

I'll leave you with a shot of the bags I've got in stock in case you're looking to do a little Christmas shopping...  :)

Show and Tell

This is Damian, our Compassion child from Mexico.  We just got this new photo in the mail; it's fun to see how much he's grown in the two years he's been 'ours.'

M's swimming lessons wrapped up this past Saturday, and she brought home a passing report!  On to level 8!  hanging out at the pool is not a bad way for her to keep active over the winter.  Sean and I had big plans to work out while she was in lessons (she goes at the Lawson, so there's an indoor track and with a weight area, and upstairs overlooking the pool there are more weights and cardio machines.)  Guess how many times we went???  Yep.  None.  Glad at least ONE of us is getting exercise.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Latest from 2nd Ave.

Since I listed the people who have visited, which was FOUR days ago, I've had visitors from Puerto Rico, Germany and Bolivia! Welcome!! (Especially to Kallie in Bolivia...)

Here's a few shots from today's adventures in the dirt:

First they pulled out a some fence posts...

Then they dug the hole.

This is the after.  I love how ALL our grass is gone.  A nice line of dirt right up to the neighbor's lawn.  Nothing like starting from scratch!

So when you come over next, this is what you can look for.  I think the curving sidewalk is going to drive me nuts.  Have you ever noticed this?  From one side of our property, the sidewalk is right along the curb, and going the other way, it's back from the street.  Poor planning on somebody's part!  And it was nicely hidden from my view from the house before, but now it makes the yard look lopsided.  The pronounced jutting out of the window makes the house look unbalanced, too.  Oh, well.  We'll see if I get used to it.

I had a brainwave today - you know how we bought new couches and haven't sold the old ones yet?  The ones that were supposed to go downstairs but didn't fit and are still in the living room?  Yeah, I figured we should take them to a shop and sell them on consignment.  So when they sell, great.  No rush.  And they won't sit here until they do.  I'll have to look into that tomorrow...

Have a great night!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Decades to Grow, an Hour to Fall

 They started by cutting off the lower 10/12 feet of branches.
 This tree was 2 1/2 times the size of our house.
Then a guy went up in a bucket and tied a rope near the top.
Then this guy made a wedge cut on the 'fall this way' side.
 After they made sure the angle was right, these three pulled on the rope (which was anchored to one of Garth's trees!) while he used the chainsaw on the 'don't fall this way' side.
 And DOWN.
 They cut off the rest of the branches and fed them into the chipper machine.
 Then cut up the trunk with the chainsaw.  (Check out the upright part!)
 We asked for the wood to be left for Sheldon's wood burning stove, so this is what was left when they drove away.  What a difference, hey?
 Can you tell how old it was?  I'm going to print this one off for M to figure out.
 Just after I got home from work, Sheldon and the kids came by to pick up the wood.
 And after M got home, we raked up all the leftover mess, leaves and sawdust, and when Sean got home, he pulled up the one sprinkler that was in the 'to be destroyed' zone.

And now we're ready for tomorrow.  Eleanor, our neighbor on the side you can see there, likes the no-fence look better, and Garth, across the street says it looks way better.  He likes the open look of it.  Also, he said that the city will pay for you to have your sewer lines cleaned out every six months, so if we take our bill from last Friday down, they will send us a cheque.  And we can get it done every year, for free.  Good to know!  Another thing, we shouldn't end up with a big mound.  The guy said it should settle maybe an inch.  Nice.

Check back tomorrow for the latest installment of our exciting world!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It's a Posting Party!

My first post on Sunday was my 200th post on this blog.  Wow. 

I posted twice on Sunday, once yesterday and this is my THIRD today.  It's a posting frenzy!  I'll be keeping it up all week to celebrate 200 posts - thanks for coming along for the ride!

the destruction begins

I have a story for you. It's not a finished story; it's in the middle. I will tell you the story up to the minute, then you can check back for updates.

It started on Thursday night. Madeline went downstairs to pick out some games to take to school for their month end party. "Mom," she calls upstairs, "the floor is wet!" Either the sewer had backed up, or the basement was leaking, which it's never done before, but we have had some rain... Yes, it's the sewer. Then Sean gets home, and we move everything out of the corner and Sean calls Roto Rooter. He'll be over as soon as he's done his other overtime job. He does his thing and tells us that the cardboard tube covered in tar (seriously?) has collapsed on the bottom, so we'll need to have the line replaced. Oh, yeah - overtime is $175 an hour.

Sean vacuumed up the water in his shop vac and dumped it a bunch of times. Then the carpet got rolled back and we ripped up and threw out the underlay and the lino tiles over the concrete. There's a nice crack on our concrete floor.

Friday morning I rented a Rug doctor and steam cleaned the carpet, then did it again after work, along with the hall, stairs and porch; figured why not, since I paid to rent it anyway! Sean started making calls to get quotes from the people who come and fix things and leave a big 'grave' of a mess on your lawn. Then we went to the farm Friday night and Saturday and didn't worry about it.

Sunday I picked up some kitty litter which we sprinkled under the carpet and in the laundry / storage room which was a bit damp, too, and that did a good job of taking away the last of the damp and odor.

Monday and today Sean talked to people about prices and now we've got our week laid out. The tree cutting down guy is coming tomorrow, and the trenchers and fixers are coming Thursday or Friday. The line goes right under our big (hugely tall) evergreen, so it has to go. I'm sad, because it's a big beautiful tree, but at the same time, our house faces north and the tree blocks the biggest window. Our living room is slightly cave like. I'm hoping having the tree gone will improve that. And pine trees kill grass. We've been fighting to grow grass on that part of the lawn for a decade. Once the 'grave' is gone, there is hope for beautiful grass!

So, because tree cutter guy is coming tomorrow, tonight after supper we went out in the dark and got to work. Remember all that nice landscaping we did this summer? It all got undone. Sean took the steps off the deck, I moved all the bricks to a corner of the yard, and Madeline moved all the mulch to a safe place. And then, Sean pounded out all the slats of our fence and we threw pretty much the whole thing in the back of the truck. Now, we are planning to re do our fence anyway, and we had talked about just ripping out the front and not replacing it. We hadn't decided on when, but now it's half done. The truck was full or we'd have done it all. We'll have to get the other half done soon so it's doesn't look quite so awkward. Here's some shots from tonight; check back soon for more drastic changes to our home front!!

 Before the destruction begins.  (Fun big work lights!)

 Sean with the steps off, adjusting under the deck; Madeline bagging the mulch from around the tree.
 After:  mulch raked over, bricks moved, steps off...
 The fence, before.
The lack of fence, after.  Notice the emptyness around the tree, too.  Tomorrow the whole tree will be gone!  Crazy.

Good Advice

Monday, November 02, 2009

If Money was Unlimited...

...this is the date I'd take Sean on.

I would find somewhere for M to stay, make a few arrangements with his work, and pack a bag or two. When he got home from work, I'd tell him to jump in the shower because I was taking him out for dinner. I'd have a limo pick us up and take us somewhere for a nice steak dinner, and then have the limo take us to the airport, where we'd hop on a plane to Vancouver, and then straight to a fancy hotel, because it would be late. The next day we'd sleep in, go out for brunch, then do some sightseeing, I would plan it around some awesome concert or maybe a pro sports game, and we'd take that in. The next day, when he's expecting to head back to the airport, we'd pick up our rental Hummer and drive up to Whistler for 4 days on the snow (because I would have packed our boards on the sly...). We'd of course have a sweet condo rented there, with a hot tub. Then we'd hum along back to Vancouver and fly back home.

Yep. If I wasn't limited to my bank account, that's what I'd do.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Couple of Links

Check out this video of an elk calf playing.  Cute.

And these kids rock the skipping ropes - check out the King's Firecrackers.

Oh, and I added some comments to my post with the layouts below if you want to check those out again.

Have a great sunny Sunday!


I am thankful for all of you who come and visit. I really am. I just checked my map (that's on the bottom of the side bar --->) and thought I'd share where you're all coming from (this is since May):

Canada (CA)
United States (US)
United Kingdom (GB)
Australia (AU)
Malaysia (MY)
Barbados (BB)
Brazil (BR)
Russian Federation (RU)
France (FR)
Netherlands (NL)
Israel (IL)
Kenya (KE)
Hong Kong (HK)
Italy (IT)
Europe (EU)

I appreciate the ones I know who are visiting; I'm amazed that you're all interested enough in my life to come and see what I'm up to. I do think of you when I write. And I get a real kick of seeing places listed there where I know no one. Thanks for coming by - I'm so glad you did!