Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last of 2014 and looking ahead to 2015

With the last days of December, 2014 and a New Year just around the corner it is only fitting to take a look back and share a bit of the year with you.   Lots of pictures, just saying....

January was bittersweet.  We loved Quincy and letting him go was the hardest.

His favorite pose should a camera be pointed his way .........unless there was a statement to be made.

As the months moved along and after much discussion/planning I decided to leave my job.  It has been a big change but a good one.  

It's given time to:

Finish this blanket that my daughter started  a long time ago.

Rediscovered yarn in my stash.   The lap blankets at the left were done with Noro yarn.  It's wonderful to knit with.  Those blankets have since been given to my parents.  The crochet blanket in a new addition for us.

And we traveled this past summer.  Let's say it celebrated birthdays and our 25th anniversary (in November).  Venice is one of my favorite places.  We were fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a short stay in both Venice and Rome along with a cruise that included Greece and Turkey.

 Back home again there was time for the garden.
The dahlia tubers purchased earlier in the spring yielded beautiful pink blooms.  The hibiscus was a purchase.  And even after the blooms were done, they still looked pretty in this ceramic dish.
And the boys of summer, Nate heading left and Noah right.  Nothing better than a warm day and water to splash in.

The super moons, awesome to look at but my photos never did them justice.

As fall as you can get on one tree.  With mild and dry temperatures this fall our Japanese Maple displayed a beautiful range of color.

And then came the birds.   It has been a pleasure watching them but they are not team players when it comes to getting a photo taken.

And last but not least, hummingbirds.  

no , really, we haven't gone to the birds!


 This was the year to stitch new Christmas ornament patterns.  I really enjoyed stitching the Santa snow globe.  I ended up making three, with variations.  Two were sent as gifts and one for me.  The red tree above also was sent as a

It was really nice having stitched ornaments on the tree this year.  We tried to go kid friendly. The green red white garlands are knitted lengths and one garland crocheted in the style of paper garlands that we made at school.

And today, December 30th marks my parents 64th Anniversary.  It's been a long ride for them.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Some years ago for their anniversary I made a stitched ornament.  Of course it was "safely put away" and when the time came it was never found.   Add to the safe keeping a move or two and now finally, it's done and delivered.  And this year's gift, ordered well in advance I might add, still has not arrived.  Maybe tomorrow, fingers crossed.

And that's a bit of my 2014 in photos.   

I'm thankful for what we have and what we can share.  I'm hopeful for a good year ahead.  

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

shortest day, longest night

December 21st, let winter begin.  I'm already dreaming of Spring!  Yes, it is a bit early for that so this is my pre-planning stage.

Amid the hustle and bustle, bad drivers, poor manners and frantic moments there has been time to be still and quiet.   It's taking that deep breathe and exhaling .....and realizing that what does get done for Christmas is just fine and what doesn't (ie should there be more baking, more decorating) won't be missed.  Spending the time together is really what is important.

Thursday afternoon we had the pleasure to attend Noah's Christmas concert.   All kids are the same, lined up on stage ready to start. Until they have met the sights of their families, little eyes search row by row and then a smile and even a wave and then it's time to get the show on.   It was a lot of work for the children and their teachers and so much fun to watch.   It brought back memories of my daughter's concerts and way back to some of my own.

Noah did quite well but didn't last too long on stage.  It wasn't that he didn't know his part or hadn't practiced  but the sensory overload was too much.  He did try and we're proud of him.  After the concert en-route to the car there was a certain amount of complaining and feet dragging ...please understand that routine and consistency are important  for him....bad enough the car was parked elsewhere, it started to rain and the car was a few blocks away.   Part way along the route the dragging feet changed to a soldier high step march.....things really weren't so bad.  Once home he bounced out of the car, checked the outdoor decorations, smiled and headed to the front door.  One last  momentary turn  to us and Noah said "See you Sunday" no prompting, clearly and loudly.   The best present we could receive!

Both boys visited today with their parents.  Everyone was kept busy...big people/little people. Lunch/ play time and Christmas decorations to check out.  Exciting times ahead.

The next few days are going to be a whirlwind of activity.   We're doing a Christmas Day lunch, buffet style.  The kitchen/family room already has the extra serving table set up.  Next up will be the final decorating and setting up the main table.  It will all come together....fingers crossed.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!   And Happy New Year too!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A definite maybe

Making some Peppermint Bark has always been on my to do list.  I found a microwave version for melting the chocolate.  The dark chocolate came out great so onward to the white chocolate....to my dismay, it started to go thick.  I quickly added the oil and peppermint flavoring and stirred like mad.  Ok, it's spreadable and covered the dark chocolate and topped with crushed candy cane...it can't be that bad, right?   It's currently in the fridge getting cold.  Taste testing later.

Second up, Rice Krispie squares, that goodness for the microwave.  This recipe worked great!

Lastly will be Peppermint cookies.  This recipe I found last year and never had a chance to make a batch.  So here goes.

As for the ornaments, only two more to trim and finish and then pictures.  I'm pleased with the results thus far.

From soggy BC, take care......

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's beginning to feel like ...

a mini Santa's workshop here.  Today was the day to sew together recently stitched (and 2 not so recent) cross stitch ornaments.  Eight sewn and stuffed and ready to be trimmed.  The only hiccup was the sewing machine.  I'm down to the last ornament the bobbin needs a refill, of course.  That done and the machine re-threaded and of course there was an issue .....many words, many times undoing, redoing and finally it was good to go.  This is a Brother machine and overall is great, especially being a featherweight.  I still miss my old Singer.  Heavy as it was ......   Currently it's stored in the garage along with a 'new to me' machine that was put out for claim in the garbage room.
So early in 2015 I'll tend to having them serviced.

Last night overnight and early this morning heavy winds and rain.  Apparently another storm is due overnight with more wind.  Bring on the candles.  As much as I enjoy real candles we have adapted to using the battery operated tea lights.  Definitely an advantage with our grandsons.

stay warm and dry!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saturday morning

Another very early start this am.   DH has already left for work. And I'm ready for my second cup of coffee.

Rain is hitting the windows, definitely a soggy day ahead.  It's still very dark outside.  Too early to put out the bird feeders.  So long as I remember to keep  to the bird schedule ...otherwise there are a lot of bird complaints when the feeders are hung, especially from the hummingbirds.  Who could have imagined something so small could make such noise!

This afternoon we hope to put up the outdoor lights, at least on the patio area.  We have a long covered patio  so there are many options for decorating.  Directly adjacent  is a large hedge, trees and garden area.   Let's see how far the lights go.

I just realized how silent it is in here right now ...... so let there be Christmas music ....  much better!

It's too easy to get caught up in the stresses of December and forget the simple pleasures.  Light twinkling, music playing and a warm fire going.  Add good company, comfort food and a glass of wine.

Wishing everyone a good weekend.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Come December

I'm finally back to the keyboard....call it blogger's block, akin to writers block, it's been a long gap since my last post.  In that time I have been productive with projects: knitting, stitching, crochet and sewing.  It is amazing the stored stash in the closet....now being put to good use.

My new role to homemaker/retired person has come about with ease.  It is a new life for sure.  And there is no lack of things to fill each day.  Home baked bread is a regular part of each week.  It's been fun trying recipes.  And home made soups are great, especially during this cold snap.

The family stuff hasn't changed a lot.  I'm grateful to be able to be nearby for my parents.  Health issues have been hard on both of them. We're thankful to have them.  Our grandsons are growing and doing well.   Both boys are on the Autism Spectrum.  All words are treasured.

DH and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary in November. Where did the time go? Our celebrating was low key as we had a wonderful holiday in the summer.  Now he says "We're going for Gold".

Since our loss of Quincy the beginning of the year, we have yet to make the decision to add a new canine to our household.  We've come close but it's not time yet.  So for now we enjoy the outdoor birds that visit.  Hummingbirds are the newest addition.  Anna's Hummingbirds stay all winter.  We have two feeders set up for them.

Come December, I'm grateful for:

1.  Sharing a life with DH.
2.  Family and friends.
3.  Plenty of crafty stash.  lol
4.  Simple pleasures.

How about you.  What are you grateful for?

till next time .....

Friday, August 1, 2014

Welcome August

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted.

July was packed full, away time and home time.   The away time was a trip to Italy and a cruise.  I'm still working through photos and will get some posted.  Our time away was wonderful, so much to see, so much history to take in and really so little time to fit in all our "to do's".

Home time has been catching up with family.  In two weeks it seems our grandsons have sprouted up! It is nice to be home.

I've been on a quest to find a dwarf fig tree.  No luck on the dwarf figs, at least not locally.  I've now two young trees, a brown Turkey and a green fig.  The plan is to maintain them in containers (as I've since read that the brown Turkey can spread roots akin to mint, curly willow, etc.).  The rhubarb plant purchased this spring is growing well.  It is a work in progress and hopefully by next year we will have a bit more of our own 'home grown' items.

During this time I've managed some stitching.  A summer themed biscornu is on it's way as part of an exchange.  Once received I'll post a picture.    The stitching/bag at the top of my blog became a camera bag.  Not much knitting or crochet happening yet.  

My new non work days still need some planning.  It's very easy not to get things done...too much computer time.

And with that I will sign off.

Till next time....

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

where is summer??

One week of summer and we've yet to really have much warmth.  The weatherman keeps promising warmer weather......sigh

A few months ago, after much talking/discussion with DH, I decided to give my notice to my employer. My last day was June 13th.   It feels like forgetting what I knew and remembering what I forgot.  Over the years there have been so many things that have had to stay on the back burner and now, new doors are opening. It is time for me to focus on my family.  Time spent is priceless.

The past two weeks have been very different.  I'm rediscovering cooking, starting from scratch, everything fresh and not so many 'rushed dinner's to prepare.  Mind you it's is a work in progress.  My "to do" list is a bit shorter too, well I can dream can't I?  At least it is a start.

One of the first projects that I completed was finishing a crochet blanket that my daughter started. Some of the squares needed to be squared up (sure made it easier for joining).  I had some yarn that matched and made a reasonable border.  I think she's pleased with the finished piece.

The remembering what I forgot, OMG, my stash of stitching, knitting and crafts, how nice to rediscover them!  Even the sewing machine that has sat idle, I'm already thinking about  new projects.

Enjoy the sweet days of summer!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

So everything is ready ...and then the phone call, one of the grandsons is sick and plans will have to be postponed till next weekend.  It happens for sure and I guess it's our turn.  My daughter is not amused by the change of plans.  I understand how she feels and reminded her of all the times she got sick when she was young ...   The treats in the plastic eggs will keep just fine till next weekend for a belated Easter egg hunt.  With any luck it might be dry by then.

In my wisdom, I did most of the cooking yesterday afternoon/evening.  So the fridge is very full and likewise the freezer... no worry of menu planning this week!

And next weekend we will try it all again.

Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April at last

It is Spring on the west coast...sunshine, rain, flowers blooming, rain  and sometimes more rain. And in between the raindrops, time for pictures.

 Both recent stitching projects have reached their destinations.  Happy Spring went to Char for the SNS2 Easter/Spring Exchange.

Boulderneigh sheep went to Michelle.

And this little fellow...had a lot to say!

till next time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

almost out of March

And what happened to March....is is Spring in this corner of the world, still soggy mind you.  There are blooms and blossoms everywhere, yellows, pinks, whites, purples.  Just wonderful!

Finally a couple of completed projects to share.  There are two more stitching projects in the works and due to be mailed this week.  Once I know they've been received I'll post pictures.

The knitted hat was my second time using double ended needles.   So one day, I'll graduate to making socks...one day, maybe.  The stitching, purely for pleasure.  The simple things is destined to be a pillow cover and the Eiffel Tower perhaps on a craft bag.


and that's it for now.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February chills

The upside is beautiful sunshine today but my goodness it is cold and the wind has picked up.  The forecast continues this way all week.

Today is an extra day off.   It's the family taxi day.  I'll drop DH to work later today and then take my Dad to a medical appt.   For me, it's bonus time to stitch and maybe a coffee while waiting at the appointment.  It's all good.

During these cold snaps as our windows are older, we use sheets of rigid insulation.  They fit perfectly, in the windows and are easy to store when not in use.  Likewise during summer heat waves they help out a lot.  And they're not expensive.

One new recipe tested this week, from allrecipes.com, Italian baked pork chops.  Very easy to do and ready in 25 minutes.  And from Cooking Light  2014 recipe calender, baked shrimp with tomatoes. Very good.   Both recipes are keepers.

We have a small visitor at present, a ladybug.  I found it on the living room drape, I guess it found it's way indoors to escape the cold.  Well I did put it back outside in a planter by the patio door  but in checking a few hours later it was roaming around the dirt.  The dirt was so cold to the touch...so relented and put it in the flower pots by the kitchen window.  So far it's staying put and probably quite warm and cozy.  For the moment, the ladybug can stay.

that's it for now.

Friday, January 31, 2014

good bye January

Here we are, the last day of January.  It's been four weeks since Quincy's passing.  We are adapting to life without him. .....some days are easier than other.  I guess we will know if and when it's time to open our hearts and home to a new critter.

I'm still working my way through the GYB Party links and reading blogs.  Thanks to folks who have stopped by and those who have become followers.

The new computer is working just fine. .... now. It's so much nicer to to be able to view a blog and even leave a comment without waiting what seemed like forever.  Now I just have to catch up.

We've had many, many grey days here.  Today, sunshine and blue skies.  There are signs of spring, snowdrops and crocus in bloom and many trees with buds.  Still winter isn't over yet and there's a chance of snow for Sunday.

My progress on stitching and knitting projects has been slow.  Hopefully by my next post, some new photos to share.

till next time...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blog party 2014

Welcome to my blog!

Trying to write this post....well it's taken days.  Apparently the new computer and blogger won't play nice .... log in sure but try do anything else, not so much.  The problem can be resolved but not in time to write a new post.  Thank goodness the old computer still works!

So here we are, January 25th and the party is about to begin.....

I live on the West Coast of BC, in the burbs.  DH and I are heading towards 25 years of marriage.  We have two wonderful grandsons, Noah 5 and Nate 3.   Both boys are on the Autism Spectrum.  There are challenges for sure but they are also making great progress.  They are the loves of our lives.

I love to knit, cross stitch and sometimes crochet.  I hope to learn to hand spin yarn.  I have a drop spindle and have read up on the "how to's"  but have yet to  try.    I defintely enjoy time in our patio garden.  It might be winter but today we had sunshine and 13 degrees C, it felt heavenly and such a treat!  Mind you it was quite cool overnight and very frosty this morning.

I love to cook.  I'm always on the look out for new recipes.

I enjoy many music styles, along with a nice glass of wine.

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, January 3, 2014

today we are sad

Quincy's battle with a diabetic condition is done. Letting him go was the hardest decision for us but our bottom line is his quality of life.  He's weathered so many things and keeps on fighting.  This morning was different, he looked frail and tired.  Yet he was still trying to make us feel good.  I guess it is true, loving something so much, so times you have to set them free.

Tomorrow will be a new day.