Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas To All!

Hello Everyone!

Making one of my rare appearances to wish you all a very Merry Christmas ... and a Happy 2016!
Hard to believe that so much time has passed since I posted last ... and that another year is almost done.

Have kept busy creating new Artfire additions ... and working ... but now the Christmas rush is done & things will calm down in the retail world.  Yay!

My focus now is to create special gifts for both my niece Amy & nephew Christopher ... who are both engaged!  I want to have something ready for their wedding gifts ... without having to stress at the last minute because the projects I've planned will take quite some time to create.

The first one is well under way ... better than half is completed ... it's a pin wheel hexagon motif design that I modified from a pattern I found in a book.  The original pattern was done in crochet cotton & had 347 motifs!  I'm working it in yarn and each one works out much larger so only need to make 95...have 58 completed.  Each one takes about 30 minutes to make & I find it a great way to unwind after work.  The motifs are joined over the 15 DC edges ... and that's when the magic happens ... the one above spins the opposite way ... and the next panel adds another spin!

The picture below will give you a better idea of what the sewn together pattern looks like:
It is from the book with the original pattern: BH&G White Crochet-1988
Is that awesome or what???

The second one I've not yet begun ... but it'll go faster.  It will be strips crocheted together.  For this one I'm planning to use a "Brick Stitch" pattern ... one I've just recently played with & has become a new fave... it works up quick & has a lovely visual appeal ...  not to mention that it'll be warm & snuggly for two lovebirds to curl up under in front of the fireplace!  So now I just need to decide what colour.  This sample didn't scan true to colour ... it's actually Deep Forest Green ... but you get the idea.

So there you go ... that's what I've been up to ... not to mention I whipped up a batch of snow flake ornaments for family and staff this year ... which everyone was thrilled with!

Time to get busy with Christmas dinner ... Paul has a ham in the smoker ... but the sous chef gets to do the veggies & such!

Once again ... All the Best to you & yours for a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Love & Hugs ... Marie

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

True North Strong & Free!

Happy Canada Day!

How lucky we are to be so fortunate to live in one of the most wonderful countries in the world!

I am proud to call this land my home ... and feel priviledged to have the rights & freedoms that others in the world aspire to have.

Watching the news every day is scarey ... especially when innocent people are killed for no good reason other than they happened to be targets of extremists with an agenda of evil.

Let us give hope to those who want a better life.

Let us show the world that we respect what they believe.

Let us accept them and want for them what we want for ourselves ... an exisitance free from harm & fear. 

Oh Canada! We stand on guard ... for ... theeeeeee!

Love & Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Promised Pics & New Creations

Yes welll ... tardy blogger that I am ... with a few days off I finally managed to get you those pics I wanted to a few months back ...
So there we were ... all young and ready to start our married life together.
And here we are ... 25 years later ... Silver Anniversary
Must be called that because of the colour your hair turns by then ... ya think?
We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at The Keg ... finshed off with a complimentary Billy Miner Pie!

On to other news ...
I have been very busy creating cool new stuff for my Spring/Summer collection!
Click on my Artfire link on the side bar to see what's up there so far!
Still have more to do ... and will hopefully finish up tomorrow ... but still have a bunch of scarves & shawls that I require a model for ... and may take a few more weeks before that can happen!
I've recruited a new photograher ... since Mel is always so busy ... Tim offered to help ... along with a model acquired at Michaels.  She has a rather blank stare ... but is always available!
Hope you all are doing well & enjoying this lovely spring!
Love & Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Seriously? Where Did the Time Go?

So ... You can probably guess that more frequent posts was not on my list of resolutions!

Here we are ... two months later ... and I finally have some time to catch up!

Timing ... so they say ... is everything.  It's that slow time if year in retail ...and as luck would have it, I found the perfect window of opportunity to take a break.  My relief staff has just one week between finishing their internship & the next semester ... and willing to work as much as they can. Yay!

And while we are still buried in winter ... my thoughts & efforts are focussed on spring ... and I've been feverishly churning out projects for my Spring collection.

And ... somewhere in between all of it ... Paul & I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary!

Of course as life would have it, February 10th fell on a Tuesday ... and of course we both had to work ... so we decided that we would celebrate on Family Day ... when we were both off & treat ourselves & family to a sumptuous dining experience at The Keg.  Unfortunate that Tim had to work ... but Melanie joined us & was appointed photogragher.

But for some reason ... I can't seem to show you the pics ... dang!

Okay ... will try again another time!

Off to play some more!

Love & Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Wishing one & all a very Merry Christmas ... and All the Best for 2015!

Can't believe how fast this year has flown by ... but now that the rush of the retail season is over (except for the returns) ... I feel a sense of relief.

It's amazing how different this year was compared to last!  The Ice Storm mania ... that was insane!
Glad history did not repeat!  Would have been nice to have a white Christmas ... but whatever!

We had our traditional Christmas Eve buffet with family & friends ... lots of great food & laughs ... and just finished an awesome ham dinner with alll the fixin's ... including fresh baked sourdough bread ... I'm surprised I haven't succumbed to nap yet!

Well ... seeing as DH created it all so marvelously ... guess it'll be my job to get it all put away & the cleanup done!  Better get to it!

Hope you all and a wonderful time with your families! ... and to all a Good Night!

Love & Hugs ... Marie

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Introducing ... My 2014 Collection!

Hello All!
I am pleased to present my 2014 collection of hand knit & crocheted original designs!
I had hoped to have  this up much sooner ... but my photogragher is a busy gal .. and we still need a second session ... as some of the items somehow got missed in the first shoot.
Simply click on the Artfire link in my sidebar ... to see how busy I've been!
Here's a short preview ... some of my personal faves ...

Black Turkish Lace Shoulder Shawl

Camo Cable Cap

Denim Cable Headband

Fucshia Cable Pillbox

Marble Fedora
But wait! .... There's more!
Hugs ... Marie

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Certified ... RMT!

It's official!  Melanie finished college ... graduated with a 93% final average ...
but the final stage of this process is to complete and pass her certification exams ...
and of course she did!

Graduation ceremonies were Oct. 23rd. 
Here we are enjoying the evening ... she was the first to receive her diploma & class pic.
Damn ... closed eyes when the camera flashed ... oh well.

And Mel & Mikey ... who was our DD / chauffer for the evening.
He also helped her study for exams ... and kept her sane through the process.
Cute couple, eh?

And ... just this past week ... this arrived on our doorstep!
State of the art ... ready to go ... massage table!
I sooo wanna test-drive this!


Monday, October 13, 2014

A Very Happy Thanksgiving!

We Canucks celebrate our Thanksgiving today ... and hope each & every one of you had a marvelous day ... surrounded by family & or friends ... enjoying a fabulous feast!

OMG ... think I had just a bit too much of that awesome ham ... stuffing ... yams & carrots!  Just about ready to fall into a digestive coma ... and when I have room ... I must have one of these ...

Spice Muffins with Pumpkin Frosting!
Melanie made these just for us ... and bartered a few with friends ... for some
other homemade treats ... like chocolate chip cookies.
And while that would normally be the "icing" of my day ..... it was something completely different.
My nephew Christopher ... on bended knee ... proposing to Amanda!
Her reaction ... priceless ... a perfectly wonderful moment!
And of course she said ... YES!
It was a Thanksgiving weekend that his parents were married.
Brenda passed away many years ago ... but I'm sure she's squealing with glee up there in Heaven.
A very Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Love & Hugs ... Marie

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Checking In ...

Oh my ... seems I've become that tardy blogger ... again!

Seriously???  Almost two months have slipped by since my last post???  OMG!

How is it that the older you get ... the faster time flies?  Older ... yes ... by another year now ... think it's time to stop counting ... and I totally fogged doing a Birthday draw.  Guess it's just another thing to fall by the wayside ... though I had good intentions to make it an annual thing.

A lot of new things & changes have happened of late.

Melanie has finished college and passed her qualification exams ... and is now a Registered Massage Therapist!  I'm so proud of her ... I could just burst!!! Her official graduation will be on October 23rd and can't wait to share in this special day with her ... she will be graduating with honours ... 92 % final average!

On top of this ... she also got her G1 license ... and scored a fabulous deal on her first vehicle.

A dear friend of mine Linda has a younger sister Sandra who was selling her 2002 Jeep Liberty for a meer $2400 ... it was exactly the kind of vehicle Mel was looking for ... because she wants to have something roomy enough to transport her table to clients ,,, going to them instead of them having to come to her.  She's been working full-time over the summer, and had enough saved to buy it outright.  Driving school paid off by reducing the amount of insurance she will pay ... and she is totally enjoying this new freedom of being able to ... just go!

On the work front ... the seasonal change offered up its share of challenges for me ... and has been partially responsible for my absence here.  Between the loss of staff going away to school ... and the change in availability of those who remained ... it became a matter of trying to piece things together to make things work.  With numbers dwindling ... it was necessary to hire on more staff ... three new ones are well into training ... and another three will begin this week.

And ...for the first time in years ... I actually had to take a sick day two weeks back.  Paul came home sick with a stomach virus ... and while I did my best to avoid him ... it got me ... nasty bug ... had me leveled for three days ... and proceeded hit everyone else in the household.  Glad that's over with!

Just before that hit me ... I was hit with the news that a long time fellow manager was going to be leaving.  Jeff hired me ... and was essentially my boss for the past 12 years.  He lives in Bowmanville ... and has been commuting to Pickering for some 20 years.

He recently was approached by the dealer of the Bowmanville store to join their team ... so how could he resist?  The store is within walking distance of where he lives ... so makes total sense that he would jump at this opportunity.  Great for him ... not so great for us.

Of course his departure mandated the creation of the traditional Big Card that I have been creating for such occaisions ... so I started making it on the sick day I took ... and had it ready by the time I went back to work.

The finished signed card was presented to him last night at a "Farewell" dinner at our local Kelsey's.

And while I wasn't there to see it ... apparently it reduced this big guy to tears.

After work ... there were a few of them still there ... so I was able to join them for a last toast.

Bittersweet ... but a moment to cherish.

Who would have thought
We’d see the day . . .
That we’d bid Farewell
To our Jeff Gray!

 You’ve anchored this store
Right from the start
Your guidance & knowledge
An integral part.

 From season to season,
From changeover to reno
You managed to maintain
That steady flow.

 For you this change
Has a fabulous perk;
No more commuting!
You could walk to work!

 The time you’ll save
And the cash you’ll bank  . . .
‘Cause you won’t have to put
So much gas in the tank!

 We thank you for all
That you have done
For your dedication
That was second to none!

One thing’s for sure . . .
Wherever you are
You’ll always be
A shining star!

 Wishing you All the Best!
Good Luck & Happiness
In your new endeavor!

From All of Us
@ C T C 324

Jeff has always been amazed at my ability to capture the express in a simple poem the appreciation of an employee's contribution to our store ... little did he consider his own ... but I made sure he did.  He deserved it ... and he appreciated it.  Enough said.  The effort was totally worth it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Northern Lights

So ... you may remember last post how I scored all this cool new yarn for a great deal at Michaels ... well I just had to get playing with one of them ... and the first one I chose to go with was a Loops & Threads Charisma ... the colour is called Northern Lights.

It's a bulky weight acrylic ... and works up really fast & solid.  My first project on target was a  crocheted Fedora.

I had made myself one of these years & years ago using the same weight in real wool ... and loved it.
Acrylic is as warm ... but much more "user friendly".  Throw it in the washer & dryer without worry of shrinkage.

I bought two balls ... the Fedora took only one and a bit to complete ... so found myself with almost 3/4 iof the second ball left.  Hmmm ... what to do with the rest.  Figured I had about enough left for a headband.

So ... decided to knit one ... a simple moss stitch edge with a single cable in the centre ... on 7mm needles.  it worked up really fast ... and had it done in a little over an hour & a half.

Sadly the colours did not scan true.  On the top picture ... the centre is black ... and the green is a rich moss.  On the bottom picture ... the two large segments on each side are actually Peacock Blue ... and will show this again when Melanie gets some actual photos of it for me.

I was glad that the colour segments worked out so symetrically.  I had just enough to finish it ... with a mere 4" to cut off at the end! Whew! Cutting it close ... but it worked!

The Fedora is simply too 3D to scan ... but will share when I can get a really decent pic to show.

It turned out really cool!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Best of Both Worlds

So ... I checked out my weekly flyer from Michaels ... and OMG ...they had a fabulous half-price deal going on ... just had to go see!  They had a great selection of their "Loops & Threads" ... and my mind was virtually racing with ideas as to what I could/would create with these beauties.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I had the notion to pick up another pair of needles ... to use to play with the new Zig Zag stitch ... welll ... lo & behold ... I spied the very size I did not have & wanted to get ... 6.50 mms ... and huh??? ... they're $2.99???  All the other sizes were 2 or 3 bucks more.  Double checked the price at the cash ... no mistake ... it was right!  Sold!

Coincidentally ... they are exactly a size between the other two I was contemplating trying for this stitch.  When I did a test swatch with them ... the result was exactly what I wanted.

Oh ... I also clipped out the flyer coupon for 40% off one regular priced item ... but wasn't quite sure what I'd use it for ... until I found a lovely 300g ball of Phentex yarn ... perfect for a baby blanket ... called "Sweet Summer" ... it has pastel shades of white, yellow, green, blue, pink & purple.

It all came together ... the yarn & the needles & the stitch ... another project will soon be on the go.

Somewhere in between the other projects on the go ... I threw in a crochet project for another shawl using another Loops & Threads yarn that has a multi-coloured metallic thread through it in jewel tones.  Have since completed it ... so feel no guilty about starting another creation.

I'm such a yarn junkie!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Something New?

You know me ... the consumate designer ... never satisfied with doing the "same old same old".

I may start with a basic concept ... then think ... "what if I did this instead of that?"

I've been playing with some ideas in just this manner ... and while I'm not absolutely certain this has never been done before ... I don't recall seeing it in any of my stitch dictionaries.

I worked this on larger needles to show the detail ... 8.00 mms ...  but also tried it on 5.50 mms which gave it a tighter look.  Like Turkish Lace ... the pattern is the same on both right & wrong sides ... but this is even faster in working up! 

*yo, K2 tog tbl* .... and that's it!  I'm calling this Zig Zag Mesh.  the "tbl" translates to "through back loops".  It's easier to work the stitch this way instead of knitting two together in the normal way & I was quite thrilled with how it looked ... the elasticity is lovely ... and boy is it fast!

Still want to experiment with other needle sizes & this stitch ... my 7.00 mms are currently in use on another project ... as are my 6.00 mms ... so will avoid beginning a piece with this for now until I can do that.  That will be my incentive to complete the other two first!

Hugs ...Marie

Monday, June 16, 2014

Just Breathe.

I have actually been on vacation this past week ... but had such a long list of things to do ... that am just now finding time to socialize.

Most people when they have time off from work actually go somewhere ... I personally need time to just stop ... breathe ...catch up on stuff that requires time & effort ... and did accomplish quite a lot ...
even though  the entire list was not completed.  Oh well!

I did manage to get some badly needed gardening done.  At the Co-op my prime areas of focus are two specific beds ... the one at the entrance ... and one by the Office. 

The entrance garden ... that first impression ... suffered greatly due to the nasty winter ice storm.  The Bush Pines were so weighted down from the heavy ice & following snows ... that they have bent & stayed horizontal ... effectively coveringI those awesome Variegated Hostas and three lovely Yellow Lilies.  Throw into the mix the proliferation of my nemisis ... a form of milkweed ... I forget the name of it right now ... it grows on a straight stalk with alternating pairs of leaves an has fragrant purplish flowers at the top ... and once it digs in ... is nearly impossible to irradicate ... especially when it gets under those bushes.

I did my best.  Filled up three large blue recycle bins with weeds & pine boughs & my nemisis ... then called it a day.  Weighing on me was the rescue of those lilies ... they need sun ... and had to relocate them.

The bed by the office does get a lot of sun ... so decided this would be their new home.  In previous years I had planted a Wisteria ... in hopes of adding some spectacular colour there ... but it didn't make it this the lilies would move.  Done.  Hope they like it there.

Added some Cosmos for height & colour ... Praying.

Then ... my own backyard.  We back onto a hydro-cut that is overrun with weeds ... it's all I can do to keep them at bay ... more weeds than grass ... again ... seem a losing battle.

Mow it down ... keep it low ... and plant some stuff in containers ... tomatoes!

Done ... back to the grind tomorrow.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

*yo, sl 1, k 1, psso*

And that's it!  On both sides!  It's called the Turkish stitch ... and here's what it looks like:

This is my latest favourite stitch.  I'm using it to make a Shoulder Shawl.  It works up really fast and has beautiful elasticity ... I'm  thinking it'll be the perfect thing to wear on a cool summer's eve ... but would be equally suited to wrap around you on a chilly winter day ... curled up in front of the TV watching a great movie ... or on the couch reading a good book.

When finished ... will measure about 15 x 50 inches ... with a narrow Moss stitch border. Cool!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

OMG...Has it Been THAT Long???

Hi kids ... did ya miss me?

Seems like just yesterday I was wishing you all a Happy New Year ... and now it's May!

I had some computer issues for a while ... my entire log in thing just dissappeared one day, and had to get DH to work his magic to get me going again.  Lost all my faves that normally pop up on the side bar ... so slowly but surely I've been rebuilding.

Thought it was time for a blog makeover too ... just didn't look right to have awesome fall colours as a background now that it's spring.  Usually I spend time pouring through graphics to set the image..but this time opted for a quick fix.

I haven't done any stitching or beading for quite some time ... which is a shame considering the stash I have amassed ... might do a sell-off of bits on Artfire when I can find some time ...because now I've seemingly fallen back in love with knitting!

This was the first form of stitching where I seriously began designing!

Over the years I made all sorts of things for myself & family ... hats, sweaters, afghans ... all from patterns of my own creation.

I had a fair stash of yarns saved up over the years ... and thought I'd dig them out & whip up some stuff to put up on my studio ... however ... my timing was off.  No point offering hats & mitts & such when it's time to put them away for the season!

But ... at the pace this year is going ... will have them ready for the season ahead.  In the mean time ... creating other things that are not seasonally specific ... to broaden my product base.

Before I decided to go full tilt on creating ... I spent some time checking out what my competition had to offer ... and was somewhat surprised to find that except for one or two individuals ... most of what I saw was mundane & boring ... so ... odds are in my favour!

Knitting to me is all about texture!  I've always been fascinated at how many different effects can be achieved on the base if two stitches.  Granted ... it is very time-consuming ... but it will be what sets me apart ... taking the time to create pieces that will knock their socks off!  I aim at heirloom quality and nothing less.

Will leave you with a wee sampling ... a head band that I recently completed.

Hugs ... Marie

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

. . . And A Happy New Year!

Well ... another year is behind us ... and we anticipate the new one with optomism ... the chance to begin again ... change things for the better ... in whatever way we choose.  Wishing all of you All the Best for 2014!  Be healthy ... and happy ... and prosperous!  Hugs & Love  ... Marie

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canucks ... hope you enjoy the bounty of the season with those you love ... and be thankful for all that is good in your life!

Yes   ....  I know ... I've been absent again for months ... have had to focus on my health ... been through a barrage of tests  ... to try & discover the cause of my persistent intestinal distress.

Without going into too much detail ... suffice it to say that things just aren't working normally.

The day after my birthday ... had a double "scope" ... upper & lower ... colon is fine ... but stomach is producing more acid than normal ... probably stress-related ... so hoping the prescribed treatment will help.

Guess you could say that I didn't time things very well ... my BD "dinner" consisted of this nasty stuff called Bi-Peglyte ... it's a system cleansing preparation ... had to suck back two whole litres of it ... one glass every ten minutes!  UGGGHHH.  Yup ... it was a pretty shi**y BD!

Totally fogged my traditional giveaway ... spent the day creating yet another card for a young lady who has been my anchoring counterpart for the better part of six years!  She recently graduated from college ... and now wishes to persue a position in her field.

They grow up ... they move on!  I train more!  But ... lately that has been a challenge too ... two I had been training also got full-time positions elsewhere ... and there's not many left to choose from!

The next couple of months will be a challenge ... just need to make it past Christmas ... and will have a bit of breathing room afterward.

Speaking of challenges ... I have to say I am not impressed with the new changes on Blogger!  That stupid "survey" thing pops up with rediculous frequency ... and annoying!  Send Feedback ... my next stop!

Love & Hugs to All ... Marie

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cicadas & Crickets

It is August ... already ... the summer seems to have flown by and the seasons are on the verge of change.

Already I've noticed things that are sure signs of it ... the starlings are starting to flock ... the cicadas are buzzing ... and the crickets are singing their summer song.

This was a disappointing year for me ... when it came to growing things.  While I'm usually a green thumb kind of person ... nature shut me down and bugs simply beat my efforts ... and left me feeling rather frustrated.

Every year I have planted Inpatients in 4 ft window-type boxes ... to add a bit of colour out front ... but this year those damned little cutworms  totally anihalted  them ... it was a total waste of time & money.

Had also bought two baskets of lovely Double Impatients ... that got totally devoured by something ... and pretty much had to toss them out.

Change of plans ... bought a couple of bird feeders to hang on the Shepherds hooks instead  ... and hoping these will be more eco-productive.  Feed the birds ... tuppence a bag!

Hugs to you all ... Marie

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Card Delivered!

Just a quick followup ... Paula came back from her holiday/wedding on Monday ... and was presented with her card (and wedding gift)  today.

But ... she was instructed by Mary ... our resident Social Director ... to take her card home & share it with Sid ... open it together!

We all pitched in a few bucks to give them as a gift... although Paula specified no gifts ( having been together so long ... they didn't really need much)  ... but you know ... we wanted to give them ... something!

I'm sure they will have had a great moment  opening the card.  All of our Best Wishes were there!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Paula's Card

Sharing the card we all sent Paula with our Best Wishes

This was the little "candy heart" display ... surrounding the poem.

The card folds out to three panels, and each is full of cutout hearts
on which each person can pen their message.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weekend Off ... and Being Creative!

Hi All!

Yup ... finally managed to get a whole weekend off ... and glad to have a bit of time away from it all ... and have been creative for a change ... though it does not involve any fabric or stitching!

I have been commisioned to create yet another special card for one of our staff ... and am happy to do so ... it's for one of my favourite people at work ... Paula!

Paula & Sid have been together for 18 years ... I always thought they were married ... but apparently they never made it official ... and decided to do that this year!

It has been a rough year for her ... lost both her Mom & Dad to illness ... so knowing that something positive will be in her life this year is great news!

They have decided on a very special private event ... they will be saying their vows barefoot ... on the beach ... in PEI ... OMG ... how cool is that?

So I'm creating a special Great Big Greets card just for them we can all send our Best Wishes.

I'll share some pics of the completed card when it is finished ... and all the Glitter Glue has dried enough for me to put it on the scanner.

I always strive to make each of these cards special ... different ... and for this one I'm adding a bit of whimsy that I'm sure she'll get.

Remember those candy hearts that magically appear around Valentines Day?  They have little bits of "love" messages on them ... like "Be Mine" ... "Kiss Me" ... "Yours" ...& "Hugs" ... ya ... well ... one page of the card will be adorned with a confetti barrage of these teeny hearts!

So ...back at it ... lots of hearts to cut out tonight!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It's Been a While . . .

Hi All ... Yes I know ... I've been a tardy blogger ... again ... life just has me wrapped up in chains right now ... bound to having to deal with my current dilemmas ... without much time to do much else ...creatively or socially.

It's just one of those "challenging" periods in one's life that I'm dealing with right now ... no matter how hard I try to make it work ... curve balls come at me from every angle ... and sometimes it takes all of my energy just to make things work.

I do enjoy checking out what everyone else is doing ... despite my lack of substance ... and thank you for sharing your creative pursuits!

Hugs ... Marie

Friday, March 29, 2013

It Must Be Spring!

Hello everyone!  OMG ... just realized that it's been sooo long since my last post ... bad blogger!

All of that snow I showed you in my last post has finally melted ... the robins are back ... and I see some tulips peaking up.  Today was lovely & spring - like ... sunny ... about 12 celsius ... and the day off to boot!  It's all good.

Prompted me to start thinking spring ... got some cleaning done ... opened up the front & back to let some fresh air blow through ... and dumped that "snowy" background to something ... while not here yet ... greenery that will be here soon.

Easter is here on Sunday ... & April is here on Monday ... a few more weeks & the Garden Centre will be open.  Yup ... let's kiss winter goodbye!

Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

Big Bunny Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Yup ... this pretty much shows the result of the recent storm ... took a few hours to dig out of this ... and was glad that Don our maintenance guy came in on his day off to help ... with the snowblower!

We got a solid two feet ... and Melanie snapped this for me to share.   Gives some perspective.

I personally enjoy shovelling ... it's a great workout in winter ... especially if you are off from work ... and have the time to deal with it ... but it did create issues for staff ... who got stuck in it ... and not able to make it in to work.

Oh well ... life goes on.

The day after ... was sooo different ... sunny & clear ... but once the dig out was done ... they came in droves to buy the essential things to cope ... and needless to say ...snow blower sales were brisk!

Yup ... a serious storm generates a lot of need ... and that translates into sales ... the bottom line is increased.....and welcome at the time of year when it would otherwise be slow.

Winter in Canada ... bring it on!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Biz!

February is a weird month in retail  ...  typically the slowest.

Christmas is well past ... and when the credit card statements hit the mail ... reality sinks in ... OMG ... did I really spend that much???

Yup ... and now it's time to pay up!  Less expendable income ... no more shopping until that gets paid for ... until a big storm hits!

All of a sudden ... there is a change of focus ... things that are required to combat the elements!

Top sellers when this happens ... salt ... ice melter ... windshield washer fluid ... wiper blades ... shovels & even snow blowers ... snow tires & batteries (which die from the cold ... even I had to do this recently) ... and that my friends ... is what I mean by Snow Biz!

Oh ... but it doesn't stop at the required necessities ... because snow can also provide fun ... and seems to boost sales for things like toboggans ... sleds ... skates ... ice fishing stuff ... and the like!

Bring it on!  Canadians actually do embrace winter ... have learned to love what fun it can bring us.

Snow ... a four letter word for some ... but ... it's all a matter of perspective ... for those of us who know that this is simply winter in Canada!

It's only temporary ... spring will be here soon!  Enjoy it while you can!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Boredom ... Change ... and Inspiration!

You've probably seen me post before ... that a change is as good as a rest.

And sometimes sheer boredom inspires you to change ... if you're not happy with what you see.

Like on the background here ... decided to go with a more wintery inspiration ... though seemingly bland ...captures the whole snow thing of winter.

I haven't been feeling very inspired of late ... one of those dull periods that just ... for whatever reason ... I cannot seem to sit down and create.

Sooo ... when that happens ... I go looking for it ... inspiration that is.

Ther are certain links that I keep in my side bar for just this purpose ... artisans thatI have come to appreciate over the years for their talent ... not to mention their creative genius that never ceases to amaze me!

One incredible lady that always gives me thrill when I check out her blog ... is Sophie Gelfi. 

It is of no consequence that her blog is in French ... she is amazing in any language.

Recently I visited to see what she has been up to ... and OMG ... spectacular is the word that comes to mind!

The things she creates ... with the use of colour and design ... simply leave me in awe!

Those of you who have never experienced her work ... I invite you to check it out ... she is a Grand Mistress of creativity when it comes to Free Form Crochet ...amongst other media.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year Well Underway

Here we are ... two weeks into the New Year ... and ... it's soooo quiet!

At work ... especially!  This is typical in retail.

Christmas is but a memory ... and now that the credit card bills for it all has landed in everyones's mailbox ... it's time to pay up ... ya think?

And ... to compound  the current situation ... we are renovating ... on a grand scale!

People who used to know where everything was ... are being challenged by having to find out where it moved to ... and while we are trying our best to help them find things ... many won't ask for help & walk out frustrated.

That is obvious on the daily bottom line ... and we are in the red ... more often than in the black.

For me ... this translates into ... Cut... cut ... cut back on hours for the staff.  Scarey how much back.

Spring is only a few months away ... and sales will pick up again then.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Another One Bites The Dust!

But not us!  Seems the Mayans didn't quite get it right ... so we will carry on as we always have ... ringing in the New Year ... and hoping for better days ahead!

I personally am not in the habit of making resolutions per se ... I prefer to make a list of things I'd like to accomplish ... but won't be disappointed if it doesn't all get done.  I'm just not that hard on myself!

So ... things I'd like to do this new year ... declutter is at the top of the list!

I've accumulated so much crap over the years ... that I think it is time to get it gone ... so much stuff I've saved ... thinking it'd be useful ... but just never find the time or energy to use!

Next ... manage my time ... better.  I may have to forgive things that tend to suck up hours ... mindless pursuits that draw me into a black hole ... and distract me from things that I should do ... or at least minimize this time by setting strict limits.

Okay ... so I'm a Scrabble junkie ... have been since I first played the game with my Mom ... and then with my BFF Sue ... but it's crazy how one can get so caught up in it on-line!

However ... there's this new game that is similar ... but different ... called "Words With Friends" that is equally addictive ... I find myself flipping back & forth to see who has played ... and to play new games!

So ... I didn't do dishes ... or vacuum ... or clean the cobwebs & dust!  It will still be there tomorrow ... right?  Yaaa ... but!  More games show up then ... and more time gets eaten up!  Sheesh!

I would also like to devote more time to creative things ... this past year it has kinda fallen by the wayside ... so more focus is required.  Shut off the box & pick up my needle ... stitch ... dammit!

Welll ... we shall see how it goes ... and hopefully this time next year some progress will have been made!

Wishing each & every one of you  ... All the Best for the New Year!!!

May 2013 bring you health & happiness!

Big Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Christmas will soon be here ... minutes away in fact ... and the mood in the Alton household is festive!  Traditionally we have family over for a buffet of scrumptious nibblies ... and a cup of good cheer ... and now that our gang is "legal" ... they're really enjoying the cheer!  Shots anyone?

From top left ... Tommy ... Becca ... Tim ... Emma
and L to R in front ... Alyssa & Mel.

L to R ... my neices ... Emma & Becca ... and DD Mel
Everyone is enjoying this festive eve ... and that's what it's all about!
Wishing you all the very best for this holiday season!
Merry Christmas ... and a Happy 2013!
Love & Hugs to you all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tears of a Clown

Ha ... this pic was one I wanted to show back on my Halloween post ... but I couldn't find it!
Lo & behold ... Mel shared this on her FB page ... she had pulled it out to add to a collage she made on the wall in her room!
If I recall correctly ... this was the year she woke up next day covered in Chicken Pox!
That would account for the mood!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gord Is Still Gold!

Friday night DH & I experienced a fabulous concert at Massey Hall in Toronto.

Gordon Lightfoot ... a Canadian music legend ... shared his talent with us.  It was a wonderful night.

Still has that amazing voice that we've come to know & love ... and despite his age ... turned 74 on November 17th ... (we all sang Happy Birthday to him) the crowd totally enjoyed his performance!

I was most impressed by the light show!  There were these cool triangular shaped pieces of cloth  strung up & down from the stage ... and reflected graphics in an awesome variety of colours!

He sang so many of his past hits ... and I was thrilled with them all ... especially "the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Awesome night!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lest We Forget

We are so fortuante to live free ... as we desire in this day & age ... but we must remember how & why this has become possible for us.

We must remember those who gave it their all ... and those who perished in the pursuit of maintaining our right to live free. 

For it certainly came with a price ...and the loss of many brave souls who didn't think twice about defending that freedom ... and who gave their lives defending it.

On the 11th hour ... of the 11th day ... of the 11th month we honour them.

Lest we forget!

"In Flanders Field ... the poppies grow
Between the crosses ... row on row."

Wear your poppy proudly ... to support those who made our freedom possible today!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Change Is As Good As A Rest!

November ... already ... OMG!  This year has really flown by! 

Recent events have shaken the lives of thousands ... and I find myself thinking how awful it must be for them ... and how fortunate I am.

Hurricane Sandy recently hit with devistating impact on the East Coast ... and my heart goes out to all of those who were in it's path ... it's going to be an enormous job to rebuild ... the pics I've seen on-line of the carnage it left ... almost surreal!  Same feeling I had after Katrina!

Sad for those who've lost homes ... and loved ones ... and businesses ... starting over after such a tumultuous loss will take strength & courage ... may God give them both!

Here ... all we got was wind & rain ... very heavy at times ... and some flooding ... but nothing close to the Coast.  The wind took down a lot of trees ... and one lady in Toronto perished after being hit by a sign that hit her!  It has pretty much dispensed all the leaves from the trees ... and those awesome fall colours now lay in heaps on the ground.  Now it's so dreary ... grey tones ... cold & damp ... need something to break up the monotany!

It's the little things ... like changing your blog look ... that can add a bit of cheer to your day ... especially when you actually can find time to do it!

Staffing challenges at work have forced me to resort to having to "think outside the box" so to speak ... split shifts have become my norm ... but at least it's keeping things on an even keel.  The hardest part has been trying to take time off!  I still have a week of holiday time to take ... and just no way to take it all in one shot ... so have resorted to three-day weekends off instead!

It's a change ... and a rest ... so I am taking what I can get for now ... and glad for it!

This will be a busy month for me ... both kids have birthdays ... Melanie on the 13th (and ya ... she was born on a Friday) ... then Tim on the 21st!

In between .... DH & I have tickets to a concert ... Gordon Lightfoot ... at Massey Hall in Toronto ... on November 16th!  I saw him there once before ... over 25 years ago ... and he was awesome!

The tickets are courtesy of Tim & Mel ... a joint Mothers Day/Fathers Day gift ... very thoughtful!
Both Paul & I love his music ... he is a Canadian music legend ... a real troubador ... grass roots folk songs ... and one awesome performer.

The first song that comes to mind ... that I hope he does ... is "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".

"The legend lives on from the Chippewa down of the big lake they call Gitchi Gumi
Superior it's said never gives up her dead when the gales of November come early.
With a load of iron ore 26000 tons more than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That good ship & crew were a bone to be chewed when the gales of November came slashing " 

It is a song about an actual historic event ... a ship that sank on Lake Superior (one of my favourite lakes) many many years ago.

"In a rustic old hall in Detroit they prayed... in the Maritimes Sailors Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang 29 times for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
They might have split up or the might have capsized ... they may have broke deep & took water.
But all that remains are the faces and the names of the wives & the sons & the daughters."

Second fave to that would be "The Canadian Railway Trilogy" ... it documents the creation of the CNR ... Canadian National Railway ...which connected the country from sea to sea.  It was an awesome feat of engineering ... constructed over years of hard labour through severe landscapes by immigrant workers who pretty much worked for "a dollar a day and a roof for my head".  Many of them perished creating it.

There was a time in this fair land
When the railroad did not run
When the wild majestic mountains
Stood alone against the sun
Long before the white man and
Long before the wheel
When the green dark forests were
Too silent to be real.

The last line of the song is a tribute to those who made it happen ... not to mention the most haunting!

"And many are the dead men ... too silent ... to be real!"

Paul told me that he actually had to write a paper in high school about this song ... and specifically about what he thought about that line ... it was definitely something to think about!
Hugs ... Marie

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Little Lion Men

After reflecting on Halloween last post ... I thought I'd share the night's adventure from a different perspective ... new memories ... and the joy of two 2-year-olds!

Meet the Little Lion Men ... Aiden on the left ... Alex on the right!

Daddy took them door-to-door while Mommy got the pics.

Great shot ... notice how they're steps are in sync?

Amy & Chris with their Little Lions ... and a shot of the other fun Halloween stuff ... 
carved pumpkins ... and all the scarey decorations!

Last but not least ... the Big Haul!
I think it's great to share in their adventures now.
New memories!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The things you miss ... when your kids get big ... and ya ... Halloween is one of those!

It used to be so much fun ... to make costumes ... apply makeup ... and take these costumed creatures door-to-door to collect the bootie of treats entitiled to them.

But alas ... children get older ... and things they used to love pass by ... Halloween included.

Last year ... I was seriously sick with the flu ... and just could not even think about shelling out.

The doorbell ringing was making my head explode!

Mel had to work until 6pm ... but knowing that I was in misery ... she decided to pick up some treats to dole out.  She bought three boxes of candy ... and proceeded to take on the task.

One kid came to the door ... then ... nothing! 

Gotta give her points for trying ... but sad that it kinda fell flat.

This year I had to work ... and no shelliing out occured.

Mel ... in the middle of exams ... had to spend her time studying.  Tim ... while not working had other plans.

The end of an era.

I still have fond memories ... of those days when this was a special event. 

Regardless ... Happy Halloween to all!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

MMMmmm ... Smells Good in Here!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canuck friends! Hope you're enjoying your lovely Fall weekend!

First of all I'm thankful that I managed to get a whole long weekend off ... and secondly that Chef DH assumed total command of the feast today! It was sooo good!

He did a small turkey complete with stuffing ... Garlic Mashed Potatoes ... carrots ... Rice-stuffed Red Peppers ... and lots of gravy to smother it all in! There's also Coffee Cake & Apple Pie ... but I think I'll get into that ... later! Just too full right now.

Think I may need a wee nap before getting to the clean-up!

Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy BD to Me! ... and the Winner is...

Thank you all for the BD wishes & your comments!

I find the older I get ... the less I look forward to another BD ... don't quite know why that is ... possibly because I am really starting to feel old!

My hands don't quite work the way they used to ... arthritis is creeping in ... and constantly affects my ability to do basic tasks.  My knees hurt pretty much all the time ... I've tried various remedies ... but they've pretty much been a waste of money ... so I find myself resorting to relief that numbs out the pain ... beer works ... but only short term.

My Mom is 30+ my age ... and seriously ... I wonder if I could make it that far ... feeling how I do now ... wondering if I really want  to be that old some day.

In many ways I do ... there are so many more life experiences that I want to enjoy ... like the next generation ... and being a Grandma ... seeing my kids move on in the stages of their lives.

I tend to take life one day at a time ... it seems to work better that way ... and really it's all you can bank on ...for you never know what is in store for you ... until it is right in front of you ... and you are forced to deal.

Too many times I've seen lives consumed by things that I had no control over ... good people who have been taken before their time.  Their  memory is all that I have left ... to cherish.

I don't think I'm being morbid here ... simply reflecting on life as it happens in the real world.

So today while I may be another year older ... I suppose I am another year wiser ... and that surely counts for something.

Thank you  all for your BD wishes .... they are truly appreciated!

So without further delay ... the winner of this BD Draw is Lisa Jo Westrope!  Congrats my dear!

I'll forward your prize soon!

Thanks ... Luv & Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, September 27, 2012

OMG ...Where Did September Go?

Sunday is the last day of this month ... & Monday is the first day of the next!

I'm still trying to figure out how it got by me so fast ... I swear it was Labour Day last week ... but now it seems time has flown by too fast ... and October is almost here.

And ... with October 1st being my BD ... it's time for my annual BD Giveaway!

Just post a note and you're in.

No shares required ... no extra chances ... but a sweet surprise for those who post!

Hugs ... Marie

PS ... and of course the winner will be notified once I FINISH WORK  ,,, ya ... do have to work it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Clearance Sale ... on NOW

Just a quick note to let you all know that I'm offering  10 % off on every piece on my Art Fire studio!
Looking to move out the old ... at a discounted price  ... take a look!

Just click on the link above or my side bar!

Hugs ... Marie

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

I think we'd all like to believe this ... but if you were to put yourself in the shoes of someone ... or anyone ... who lost a loved one on that horrific day ... that we remember today ... I think not.

Senseless ... viscious ... deliberate violence that robbed nearly 3000 lives from experiencing life to it's fullest.

Horrific images that still haunt all of us to this day ... even though 11 years have passed.

Anyone with any sense of compassion still feels for ... and shares in the grief of every family who was affected by it.  The pain of it may tend ease with time ... but I am sure it never really goes away ... as each anniversary of the event only brings it all back ... to remind us ... and cause us to reflect ...and remember all of those who perished that day.

Give a few moments of your time ... as their memory is what will enable them to live on.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy (Official) BD Aiden & Alex!

Yup ... it was exactly two years ago today that the Dynamic Duo of Aiden & Alex made their entrance to this world!

Here they are with Momma & Poppa at their family debut ... a shower held for them in October  2010.

They were a few weeks early ... but healthy ... and have grown steadily ... and now... wow at 2 they are just such a joy!

Look at these two just hangin' out on the porch!

And while they're brothers ... also totally best buds! Huggies!

It's cool that they're fraternal ... because it's easier to tell them apart ... but they're also very individual personalities ... each with their own unique traits.

Aiden is focused ... he loves routine and loves cuddling.  Alex ... is more out-going ... and needs to keep busy.  Finds TV a bore ... would rather play with toys while bro watches the tube ... & cuddles on the couch with Poppy ( aka Grandpa).

Still waiting on the BD pics to make it onto FB so I can share how much fun we had at their party ... but for now I can share Aunt Marie's BD card for them ... had to make one myself ... because apparently card companies haven't produced anything for twin events!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Minis Turn TWO !

OMG!  Where does the time go?  Seems like yesterday that Aiden & Alex were these teeny tiny babes ... now they're already two!

Well the official day is this coming Saturday ... but Amy & Chris held their party a bit early (due to other social events on their crammed social agenda) ... but no matter ... it was a ton of fun!

Weather ... couldn't have been better ... a bit cloudy & cool ... but really just right.  Tons of great food ... salads, BBQ Burgs & Dogs & Sausages ... fresh corn ... all so yummy!

Got to visit with most of my siblings & their SOs ... and neices & nephews & their SOs ...really great to have everyone in one place at one time!

Well ... after all it was a "kids" party ... and there were lots of them there too.  A whole slew of games were planned for them ... so fun to watch them having fun!

There was "Pin the Smokestack on Thomas ( the Tank Engine) ... Shoot the Hoop (basketball) and Whack at the Piniata... which was a " 2 " ... the last and ultimately successful blow was delivered by my 10 year old neice Sarah ... who cracked it open ... and released all the cool goodies inside!  The kids all grabbed drink cups & filled them up with all the stuff!

And the came the presents!  Two two-year olds can get really excited with those!

They got Sock Monkeys ... Angry Birds ... clothes ... towels ... Mega Blocks ... & Grandpa got them their very own Jumping Castle ... but Mommy & Daddy  spoiled them the most ... Twin Red Mini Coopers!!!

OMG!  They were totally in heaven!  We had a blast watching them figure out how to work them!

Aiden seemed to figure it out real quick after Daddy showed him how it worked ,,, Alex took a few extra tutorials ... but finally figured it out!  I hope there'll be a YouTube video of this that I can share later ... it was a riot to watch!  The backyard was too small to contain these vehicles ... so they drove out to the street for more room to roam.  Fortunately they're on a relatively quiet crescent ... and the twins had so much fun with their new "wheels".

Of course the Grand Finale to the party was the Birthday Cake ... an incredibly beautiful one featuring "Thomas the Tank Engine and a Freight Car"  Everyone started singing "Happy Birthday" ... and at the point where they were supposed to blow out the candles ... Aiden was more focused on Thomas ... and plucked him right off the cake!  I think Daddy helped blow out the candles ... just so things would move along.

So much fun watching them have so much fun ... took me back to when mine were young ... and was fun having the bigger kids enjoy the fun of their youth.  Memories are made of this.

Can't wait to share some pics ... once I can scoop some!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Time Off ... Sort Of ... and Reclaiming a Bed!

Vacation time ... sort of ... meaning even though I was supposed to have this week off, I still ended up having to cover two nights... because there just wasn't enough staff to stretch that far.

This year I've lost a significant number of staff that I have been relying on to keep things going.  Some have found other jobs ... some are going away to university or college ... and one even retired.

I find myself having to train more staff to fill specific positions ... and get new staff trained to fill the spots left by others.  It's tedious ... time-consuming work that requires patience ... to lead  the new staff through training ... to get them up to speed on all they need to know ... and become able to perform comfortably.

While I had booked this week off for a vacation ... I actually did have to cover Wednesday & Thursday nights ...  just to fill in the gaps.

So now I'm back on vacation for two more days ... and will enjoy the down time I have left.

One thing I'd planned to accomplish ... and did ...was to get down to the gardens at the entrance and reclaim them ... from the weeds that Mother Nature saw fit to germinate there!

I was successful ... to a degree ... 4 loads of compost material  later ... my Hostas are again visible.

Weeds ... 0 ... I win!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Good News!

Okay ... so the results are in ... and it was encouraging to find out that my strict regimen of supplements has yielded positive results!

My appointment with the specialist was on Tuesday.  It was the hottest damned day of the year so far ... but after a quick stop in at Timmie's for a muffin and Frozen Raspberry Lemonade ... I made it over to the doc's office ... only to have to wait 40 mins to see him (why are doctors such poor time managers?)

And once in his inner sanctum ... discovered that he didn't even have a copy of the test results!  After a quick call to my physician's office ... they were able to fax over a copy of this report ... so I was able to get the feedback.

At least it was good news!  My bone density has improved by a good margin!  I went from a reading of -3.6 to -2.1 ... (and in whatever units this is measured ... it is good!) 

So ... it would appear that the 2 injections of Prolia well as my daily ingestion of extra calcium & Vitamin D3 are making a difference.  Good to know ... glad that I'm showing an improvement.

The regimen will continue ... andI have a script now for 5 years worth of Prolia ... so same time next year after another Bone Density Scan  ...we'll review the stats again ... and hope that same measurement of density will show the same increase.  I guess time will tell ... but I'm optimistic that "tried & true" will produce the results we expect ... here's hoping!  It is encouraging for the moment ... and one less thing to stress over.

Relieved for now!

Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How Dense Am I?

Okay ... I don't mean this in the mental sense ... but rather in the physical sense ... my bones!

You regulars will recall that last year my doc diagnosed me with severe osteoporosis.  Today I had another Bone Density Scan ... to see if the treatment I've been receiving over the last year has helped ... and whether my bone density has improved.

I've been ingesting an extra 1300 mg of calcium + a Vitamin D supplement daily ... plus had two bi-annual injections of a drug called Prolia ... which is supposed to  help strengthen my bones.

I'll have to wait till I see the specialist on the 17th to get the results.

Hoping for good news.

Did  I mention? ... getting old sucks?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Awesome Swap Block!

I recently entered into an agreement with a long-time on-line friend to swap a 6" CQ block.

Her block arrived a few days ago ... and isn't it splendid?

It simply exudes Victorian elegance ... and am thrilled that I get to have it for my very own!

Here's the thing ... without me telling you ... can you guess who created this beautiful piece?

I will have a special treat to send each of you who guesses correctly by the end of July!

Hugs ... Marie

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy 145th Birthday, Canada!

I'm proud to be Canadian!
I feel truly blessed to call this my home & native land!

It is one awesome country ... from coast to coast.
I've seen many parts of it ... and hope to see much more!

We are indeed "The True North ... Strong & Free" !
Oh Canada ... We Stand on Guard For Thee!

Happy Canada Day to all my Canuck friends!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pictures of Spring!

Melanie has taken some lovely pics of some spring blooms we have around here ... some out front ... and some out back and every year they are appreciated for their beauty!

Forget-me-nots ... love their blue hue ... I allow them to seed wherever they choose ... but rip out a bunch every year once they take over out back ... and know they'll be back next spring.

Giant Germanic Irises ... they began as a small clump out front in one bed ... but over the years I've divided them into several beds throughout the co-op ... and they always bloom in early June with such a showy display.  The stocks  grow nearly as tall as me!   

And last but not least ... Lily-of-the-Valley ....... so fragrant & so lovely to see filling in my bed out back.One thing  she didn't snap ... but that is in prolific bloom now down in the spot we refer to as "the gully" is wild phlox ...they range in colour between white & pink & purple ... and are so lovely.

Hoping she will snap them for me before they finish.

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