Saturday, March 31, 2007

birthday fun

It was my birthday a couple of days ago. We hadn't intended to still be in Vancouver at the time, so had a nice celebration at Sara & Kevin's. I don't like any fuss to be made over me, that's for sure, but those 2 just have a way of making ya feel special.Sara made both of these gorgeous cards.Art gave me some more memory for my digital camera....yay! Can never have too much of that. Would you believe that from Christmas 'til now I've taken 2 gig worth of pictures?! And that's not including what I've taken with the video camera. I don't that a lot? Seems like a lot to me.The kids gave me this. It's a "Knifty Knitter". I've never knitted on a loom before, but it looks like fun. They each chose a skein of wool (and one for me, too) that they would like their respective toques to be made from. I love stuff like this, so can't wait to get started.They cooked my favourite meal....steak and potatoes. It was melt in your mouth! Kevin is a barbecue MASTER. It was all so delicious! Thank you, you guys. It was a lovely birthday.

Wee Mee

I saw this on Mike's blog, then Carol's and Viki's. I just had to get in on the fun. Now Art and Sara and Kevin are building their own, too. I think this is a pretty good likeness of me. In my mind I still have the long hair, so my Wee Mee is keeping it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

hey, Art.....I found your earplugs

Art woke up kind of grumpy this morning. When I asked why, he said he didn't sleep a wink because he couldn't find his earplugs. That seemed strange to me because they were right there on the windowsill when Xena and I went to bed. As he was hunkering down for another hour's sleep he growled something about how they were probably in some dog's butt.

Well, Arthur, at 4:00pm your earplugs made an appearance. They were right where you said they'd be. It took me by surprise when I stooped down, with baggy in hand, to pick up Xena's "deposit" and it was day-glo orange. Uh-huh.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

happy happy beer time

Kevin's stepfather-in-law gave him the beer. Art and Sara found the nuts at T & T.

bargains galore

Art and I went shopping at Value Village.For under $100 we got 4 pairs of pants, a bunch of t-shirts, a book, a very nice Tommy Hilfiger sweater and a really good Gortex jacket. Oh ya, and this piece of fabric. It struck me as beautiful and I couldn't resist.It's very silky and has little diamonds all over it. And not just glued on .... they are embedded right into the fabric. I have no idea what I'll do with it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

someone's gonna get a hurt real bad !

This is Xena's latest work. Trouble is, this is not just any old pen. It is the touch screen pen for Art's laptop. If you look closely you can see there's computer-y stuff inside it. Kinda like when they peal back the skin on Data's arm (from Star Trek: Next Generation).

God Dammit! That thing costs something like 50 bucks!!! All I did was leave the room for 5 minutes. I come back to Xena merrily crunching away on something, while laying amidst a plethora of toys she's ALLOWED to chew on. But no! She pilfered this pen off the table. Dag-nabbin' blasted dog!!!

So now I have to use that stupid little fingerpad thingie to move the cursor around. I hate that fingerpad thingie.

What the heck is THAT?!

I recognize those big white lumpy things in the sky, but what are those bare patches? They are such a pretty I think it is.

Finally a reprieve from continuous downpour. I love the rain, but Jeez! Everthing is just saturated, with algae growing all over. The sun came out yesterday and wherever it hit, steam started rising. This isn't a super great picture but what looks like smoke in the air is steam coming off the fence.Sara & Kevin live next to the Coquitlam River with a dike between it and the houses. There is a big pond that drains under the dike into the river and it was getting dangerously high (not draining fast enough on it's own) so some major pumps and hoses were added to help it along. I took a little video, but don't have the cables with me to download it. These stills will have to do.Xena and I tried to walk on a path that circled the pond, but it was washed out. Apparantly, only a few days earlier the water was over the bottom of that sign on the right.

sometimes you just can't tell

We watched a video last night and thought that because there were some big names in it it just HAD to be good. Not only was I disappointed with "Fast Food Nation" because it just rambled on and on and on, never tying up the several storylines, but was incredibly unimpressed with the animal butchering scenes. There I was worrying about animal mutilations in "300" the other night (which I DID look away from), but they were at least computer animated. The scenes in this movie were NOT done on a computer. They were real. Sara and I had to look away because who the bleeping hell wants to see that ???!!!! .... for crying out loud !!!!
Art and Kevin had to tell us when it was safe to look again....and it was a long time. A big thumbs down on this one for me.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm a "grand" auntie

Well, that just goes without saying....but no sister just became a grandmother for the second time, so what does that make me? A grand-aunt or a great-aunt? I don't know.

This little guy is named Brody. He was born a few days ago.He has an older brother named Chase, who is 15 months old.


We went to see the move "300" with Sara & Kevin the other night.I have to admit I had very little desire to see it. Even though I know it's not real, I do not want to see animals being mutilated. I don't care how good the rest of the movie is ..... I don't want to see that. So, I decided that I would go into one of the other movies while the 3 of them watched this one. After I got the gears a bit about wanting to do that I figured "fine, I'll go". I'd gotten enough of a head's up from Carol's blog to know when the offending scenes were likely to occur so would just look away at those times.When we arrived at the theatre there was somewhere between a skabillion and a gazillion other people with the same idea. I know for a fact that if it had been just Art and I we would not have even walked through the front doors. I wanted to leave immediately. I held back that urge and pressed forward. Once we made it past the initial mob it was OK. We were early enough to get the seats we wanted and I was very, very surprised at how good the movie actually was. I liked the message .... that free men have to stand up for their freedom, against all odds. There was humour and, of course, plenty of man-flesh. The women were few and not very voluptuous at all, which seemed quite strange to me. But I was impressed at the tenderness in all that violence. Leonidas loved and cherished his wife and regarded her above all else. He made me believe it. I was surprisingly touched. Great movie.

Big decision

While we were at the coast we were presented with a big decision. Whether or not to sell our house in Burnaby. The original plan was to hang onto it til around 2010, and sell it then. Unfortunately, we are finding that it's an impossible dream. We just can't afford to do it. We've weighed every option we can think of, including going back to work, but we're supposed to be retired. Going back to work is not what we want to do. If there was any way for us to not have to sell we would do it, but going farther and farther into the hole just doesn't make sense. We've been so blessed that our friends Mike, Carol and Bennett have been living in the house and taking care of it like it was their own. It has ripped our guts out to come to this decision and have to upset their lives. I know we have broken their hearts because they love the place and we love them. My heart is broken, too. That was our home for 20 years. Sobriety came to us there. We got married. We broke up and got back together. A lot of living has been done in that house. So, emotions are high for all involved, and I suppose that's normal. But I've got to trust that each of us are in God's fur-lined pocket .... and it will be OK.

Rock & Gem Show

The rock and gem show was fun, as usual.We spent the whole weekend there, camping out on the gym floor for 2 nights. Because the vendors leave their stock of jewellery and gemstones at the Centre they feel better that someone is there to protect it during the night. Funny how the only ones who envy us are the little kids. They KNOW how much fun it would be to camp out at the rock show. Not many grown-ups get it, though. Even Xena was on duty.Here are just a couple of the showcases that were on display. There were many more with beautiful examples of different things to do and make with rocks.I spent some time hanging around with the bead-club ladies. They do some very cool stuff. I particularly like this needle case.One of the vendors was so pleased to have us watching over her stuff that she let me choose a couple of things from her booth. The first thing I selected was this opal ring. The setting is cheap but the stone is very pretty. I chose it because opal is my Mom's birthstone and it was also her favourite. I had a very hard time taking a picture of it. My camera is crappy for close-ups. Plus it wasn't easy to capture the "fire" in the stone. This was the best I could do.My next choice was this little porcelain piggy. When I saw it I just had to get it for Carol. There was another that had more flowers painted on it but this one had a cuter face.


In mid-March we made a trip to Vancouver. The Hastings Centre Rockhounds were holding their annual show down near the PNE and we always like to help out with that. The timing for travel wasn't the greatest because there had been heavy rains and there were several slides along the Trans Canada Highway. The most serious was near Lytton where the road was wiped out and the railway tracks were left hanging in mid air.

So we had to detour through Kamloops and come down the Coquihalla. I hate that highway in the wintertime and was worried about snow, but the day we travelled it was clear.

Thank goodness for a dull axe

I was cutting kindling. Was wearing my heavy leather work gloves. The axe slipped and whacked my hand. blankety-blank-blank-blank.....that HURT!!! Don't worry, though. No blood was spilled. Didn't even break the skin. The axe was dull and only travelled a matter of inches, so really it was more like hitting myself with a hammer.I know it's badly bruised, even though you can't tell. It's sensitive to pressure, like the dog leash pulling on it, or banging it. Then it hurts like hell.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Log house building

In order to put a little more "flow" into our cash flow Art took on a job with Tom to build this log house. Tom seemed very pleased to have his brother working alongside him, and to teach him some tricks of the trade.Later, Tom built this roof gable (I think that's what it's called).As he had never made one before, he was very proud of himself (as you can see in this picture). Tom is on the far left, Art in the centre and the buyer of the building on the right.

A lot's been happening

I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks, so I'll do some catching up with these next few posts....

My last post talked about spring's arrival. Uh....not so fast, sister.This is a new addition to our yard. Art's brother Tom has finished his contract at the local dump, so brought his big excavator up to our place. Here he is coming up our driveway, clearing the ditches on his way (in preparation for the melting of all that snow).Xena is being a good watchdog and warily scoping out the "intruder". She gave it a good talking to after this picture.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Has spring arrived?

Art thinks not, but it sure is melting out there right now. On Sunday we slid down the driveway to go to town and had to put chains on to get back up. Here's today.....We've been above zero for several days now. Xena seems to like it. At least she doesn't fall down everytime she steps outside.

Trouble is, though, some of that water is leaking into our basement. I go up and down those stairs several times a day and in only about 2 hours yesterday this puddle appeared.My heart jumped when I saw these boxes sitting in it getting thoroughly soaked. One was marked "photos".I yanked them out of the water and frantically ripped the lids off, which were still taped shut. Well, it turns out some smart person had wrapped all the photos in double (and some triple) plastic before putting them in the box. Phewwwww! I don't even remember doing that, but thank God I did.The other box hadn't soaked all the way through yet, but it contained several years worth of crochet magazines you can't get any more and some spiritual books. There aren't many things I consider treasures, but these are some.

Everything else is OK. It's a good thing that when we moved in we put all the boxes on pallets to keep them off the floor. Those 2 must have been on their way to my study (on the 3rd floor), so were pulled off the pile.

Add "drain tile" to the list for summer work projects.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Happy Blog-iversary to me

I just noticed that yesterday was my first anniversary as a Blogger. That year sure went by fast!

I spent a good part of today surfing other Blogs, particularly knit, crochet and crafty ones. There's such a variety. Some are interesting and inspire me, some are airy-fairy crap. I guess it's just like all other things. There is no "perfect" way to be, or mold to fit into. How I do stuff is how I do stuff. Not better or worse than anybody else....just my own yours is yours.

Friday, March 02, 2007

sockless Jo

You've heard of fingerless gloves?
This is Xena's latest design in toe-less socks.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

snow removal

Why would anyone build a flat roof where there's potential for lots of snow? I'm sure that whoever does thinks about that and designs them to endure. But still, there was some concern for the roof of our local Community Hall (which was originally built in the 50's as a 2 room school), so a work party was called. Art's brother Tom's backhoe acted as a lift so we could put 2 snowblowers up there, which made the job a LOT easier.This is just a little bit of the work that went on. Art on snowblower .... Sylvia on shovel-scooper-pusher-thingie (there were several others helping, too. I think that's Fred in the cameo spot).
Note the headlight on the snowblower .... in case you can't find the snow.