Monday, January 29, 2007

Kid Cuppa

Erik over at The Electronic Firefly decided to have a Fun Monday and get some bloggers to post kid pictures of themselves for us all to enjoy. Fun indeed. Be sure to check out his blog and get the list of all the others participating. I am glad AC invited me along for the ride too.

My mom smocked this dress for me 58 years ago, and 32 years ago she smocked one just like it for Butterfly. She loved to sew and was so talented with needle and thread.

On the Steps

Here I am with my best friend Sheila. My mom also made these matching cowgirls outfits for us. Cute huh? My mom and Sheila's mom were best friends, and Sheila and I carried on the family tradition. I am only a month older than Sheila, but oh so much taller. I remember always feeling like a giant beside her.

Girlfriend Cowpokes

We lost touch for years, but got together for a tea party in 2005 and I blogged about it here and posted some pictures. It was so nice to get together with her again and catch up on old times.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Sunshine of Friendship warming me on this new "window sill"

A year and a half ago AC and I ripped up roots and moved across Province to start life anew in the Ottawa Valley. It was rather traumatic to be ripped out of my old comfortable "pot", transplanted into a new one and placed on this new "window sill" on the other side of the province, but it feels like home now. You can read more about some of the trauma of the move in old blogs written June through August of that year. Tiara Day, and Unwelcome Visitor and RRRRIIIIPPPPP give you an idea of the roller coaster ride of emotions I was on.

We lived in Southwestern Ontario for over thirty years and raised our family there. When AC retired we had no family left in the area, but friendship roots went deep and were tightly wrapped around our hearts. It was a tough decision to make, but we felt that if we were going to move closer to family in Eastern Ontario, we had to do it while we were still healthy and young enough to do it together and put down new roots once we got there.

So, now that I have given you some background of the trauma of our move last year, let me share with you what happened on Friday morning. I went out for coffee with a group of ladies that took me under their wing and offered me friendship when I was feeling lost and alone in this new corner of the world. They met each Friday at Tim's for coffee and one day one of the ladies invited me to join them. I sat on the fringes of their group at first, but soon felt a part of it and looked forward to our time together each week. We solved the problems of the world, shared heartaches, and enjoyed laughter with each other over cups of coffee. What a gift this circle of friends was to me.

I walked out to the car on Friday and noticed that one of the ladies was carrying a big bag, but didn't think much of it. We got to Tim's and made a bee line for our favorite table in the corner. One lady was already there, so we greeted her and lined up to get our coffee while she held the table for us. Pretty soon everyone arrived and they were all carrying bags – everyone but me. Hmmm, this had my curiosity piqued now. Once everyone had their coffee and we were all seated around the table one lady opened a small bag and took out a carnation. As she handed it to me she said this was a New Grandma Celebration Day, and each lady wanted to celebrate and share this joy with me. I was speechless with joy and overwhelmed with the love and acceptance these ladies were giving me.

Each lady gave me a heart-felt card and cute gift for the new baby. I was thrilled beyond words. The cards and baby gifts were wonderful, but the most precious gift of all was the Sunshine of Friendship warming me on this new "window sill" of my life.

Grandma Shower 2

Grandma Shower 1

Thank you dear "coffee circle" friends! Joy shared is doubled, grief shared is halved. My joy was indeed doubled on Friday and has even bubbled over onto AC and Butterfly too.

What fun to share the joy with my "blog circle" friends now and let it bubble over into blogdom too.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Winter Walk

We didn't get the fresh snow we were promised the other day, but Mother Nature did lower the temperature so what we already have on the ground is sticking around. Oh joy! We set off for a walk this week, and it was so cold the snow squeaked under foot with each step – neat huh? Don't you just love that sound?

Hands and face can't take exposure for very long in this weather, but I tuck my camera in my mitt so it is easy to whip it out quickly and snap a picture or two along the way to share with you.


Photoraphing the Photographer

Winter River


It was an invigorating and wonderful winter walk but my face was sure stinging by the time we got home from our trek. Oh well, I soon warmed up and then enjoyed the added benefit of having a nice rosy glow on nose and cheeks for the rest of the afternoon. Mother Nature is a great make-up artist.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mount Everest

There is a task in everyone's life that seems like climbing Mount Everest when you have to tackle it. You know, the kind of task that looms like an insurmountable obstacle in your path. I don't know what yours is, but mine is putting a piece of boxed furniture together. As far as these items go, Ikea seems to have the easiest to follow instructions, but I still find them a tough climb!

When we moved here a year and a half ago AC wanted to get a new computer desk, but couldn't find the right one. In the meantime he made do with an old table that was much too small, especially when Rocky wanted to share it with him, but at least it was the right height.

The other day we went into town to do errands, one of which was to pick up tea-lights at Ikea. We went in to get candles and came out with a computer desk. I do love serendipity shopping, don't you?

The desk was the perfect size and height and, even better than that, it was on sale! We folded down the seats in the car and managed to squeeze it in for the trek home. It just fit. Whew! Butterfly and The Boy were coming over for dinner that night, so The Boy helped us unload it and carry it upstairs. So far everything was working in our favour. The Boy said he would come back later in the week and put it together for us, and we left it at that. He and Butterfly are in the middle of a major project at home though, so we thought it was best if we tried to tackle the job ourselves. Oh dear, Mount Everest!

We let the box sit in the guest room for over a week. We would have to tackle it soon, but we needed to build up our strength first. Deep breathing, meditation, and other relaxation exercise had to be practiced in preparation for the task ahead.

Weather conditions seemed to be perfect for the climb on Saturday, so we took advantage of this window and planned for the ascent first thing in the morning. After coffee and an energy boosting breakfast, we cleared the old furniture out of the work area in the den and then bravely entered the guest room and firmly grasped the box so we could drag it out into the hall. It was time to set off on the climb.

Step one - sort out your gear and get it in order.
Computer Desk 3

Step Two - always use the right tools, and enlist the help of friends - big and small!
Computer Desk 2

Step Three - be calm, stay focused, just take it one step at a time,


Before you know it the mountain has been conquered, you are at the summit, the task is complete. The descent is always at bit challenging too, but in no time at all we were back on level ground again, the gadgets all plugged in and the laptop ready for use.
Computer Desk 1

AC looks a bit weary after the climb, but the desk looks great doesn't it?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snow Week

I think Mother Nature was watching when AC put our new templates up because since then, we have been gifted with marvelous winter weather. I am lovin' it!!! I don't know what kind of snowfall Riverwood is being blessed with, but if it is as much as we have been getting here, we might be able to have a winter snowshoe holiday up there in February after all. Hope so anyway.

The pictures on my template are of the Old Barn at Riverwood viewed from the frozen river. We love to snowshoe along the river and see the farm from this new perspective in winter. The picture on AC's template is of the trees across the road from the front gate at Riverwood. That place is heaven on earth. A big old farmhouse on 120 acres of forested land with a river running along one side of it! Yep, heaven on earth. Sure hope we get there for a few weeks in February.

But for now, we are enjoying cold and busy, busy, busy winter days here at home. I am totally enjoying my Tai Chi classes and look forward to getting the first few moves set in a memory pattern so I can move through them fluidly. I try to do at home what I have learned in class each week, but can't quite get my feet, hands and arms all going in the right direction at the same time. I can Grasp the Bird's Tail with ease, but smoothly moving into position to Strum the Pei Pa is a bit of a challenge. I seem to learn line dancing routines quicker, but I have music to help me there. Each activity is a challenge but oh so enjoyable in its own way.

We had a lot of snow fall Sunday night, so on Monday afternoon it was time for a walk. We bundled up and set off for the library with books to return. The snow was thick and fluffy but we soon discovered that it was very icy under all the fresh fallen snow. Drat! We had to slow our pace and walk very gingerly. Even so, I made one wrong step and before I knew it I was doing a Triple Lutz in the air which quickly turned into a Flying Sit Spin. Kerplunk! Down I went. One minute I was upright and the next I was flat on my back in the library parking lot. Ouch! Luckily nothing was broken or seriously hurt, so after collecting my wits, getting upright again and dusting myself off, I hobbled home. We had a few more near falls, but eventually arrived home without further mishap. I could feel my hip yelling at me during Tai Chi and Line Dancing on Tuesday, but nothing more than that. Whew!


Yesterday was sunny and bright so we set off on another walk, but no city streets this time, only the Trail would be considered for this walk. We met people walking dogs, and lots of snowmobilers. Everyone was in high spirits and we greeted each other with enthusiasm as we passed. At the end of our frosty walk we returned to our warm home and treated ourselves to a mug of steaming hot chocolate laced with Bailey's. MMMMM delicious, such a yummy way to end a snowy week.

The sun is shining this morning, and more snow is called for later this afternoon. Yahoo! I think I will go dust off the snowshoes and get them ready for a work-out later this week. Maybe a snowshoe walk along the trails at the Mill of Kintail will be possible. What a treat that would be.

Enjoy the sunshine today and walk in it every chance you get.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Snow Day

As you can tell by the lack of blogs lately things have been pretty busy around here. I like to write first thing in the morning and it seems like every day I have some place I had to be first thing in the morning so not much writing has been getting done.

We are having a most glorious snow day today, and AC just told me he set up our new winter template so I just had to take two minutes to post a short note and at least say hello.

I spent the whole morning catching up on email, and now it is time to make lunch, go shovel some snow and then set off on a walk and maybe take some pictures to post later. Oh joy.

I hope you have a "snow day" full of fun too.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I thought it was funny…

The New Year has begun and so I embark on another new adventure – Taoist Tai Chi classes. I have only been to one class, so I can't really tell you what I think of it right now, but I am intrigued with the beauty of the Tai Chi movements and hope to find a relaxing form of exercise in these classes. I'll keep you posted.

During our instruction last week the teacher stopped and asked us how we were feeling and if we were comfortable doing the movements. We all agreed that we were quite comfortable, but one lady said that her joints were popping during some moves. The instructor quizzed her on what was popping and if she was in pain.

"No, no pain" the lady answered, "but my shoulder, hip and knees are popping."

The teacher went on to explore this strange phenomenon and once she determined that the lady was doing the movements correctly and was not hurting herself, looked around to see if anyone else in the class had anything else to say before she resumed the class.

In a joking manner I said that perhaps the lady shouldn't eat Rice Crispies before attending class because Snap, Crackle and Pop might be getting carried away. Tee Hee! The classmate didn't crack a smile, look at me in a puzzled manner and said quite seriously "I didn't eat Rice Crispies this morning."

Snap, Crackle, Pop, it went right over her head. Sigh! I thought it was funny. How about you?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

December Roses

Benmar gave us this cute pair and I just had to take a picture before I tucked them away in a storage box until next Christmas. Thanks Benmar I love them. Don't know if you can see them clearly, but the male has antlers and the female has her ears tied in a bow. Too cute!

I have been up to my ears in packing boxes and storage totes this week, putting Christmas decorations away. Sure isn't as much fun as putting them out, but I do relive all the happy times of the season when I take everything down, and I really enjoy that time of reflection. If a decoration was a gift, I have boxes marked with the person's name and date received. As each trinket goes back into the box I take a delightful walk down memory lane with that person.

"God has given us our memories that we might have roses in December.”
J.M. Barrie

Time marches on, children grow up, friends move away or pass on and I enjoy the fragrant roses of December each time I pack up the Christmas decorations in January.

When this pair goes into their box this year, memories of line dancing at Riverwood and walks in the Byward Market will go with them.

Gather a bunch of December Rose memories close to you today and enjoy the rich fragrance during the cold days of January.