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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Presents ... in the Mail!

Okay ... while I have to admit to having a pretty substantial stash of CQ supplies ... ribbons, threads, & fabric out the wazoo ... there were several dainties that I just seemed to have no stash of at all!

Well ... gotta fix that!

Enter Thearica Buuroughs ... whom I have recently become aquainted with during the Hearts For Betty extravaganza!  She is Sane & Crazy ... but tending to the latter on her awesome website ... where she has some wonderful embellishments available ... and I recently placed an order with her that arrived today!

It was a special treat ... to open after a long & very busy day at work.  When I arrived home ... my DD Mel was hanging out with some of her friends out front ... and asked if I had checked the mail.  I had earlier ... before going in to work for noon ... but the mail hadn't arrived at that point.

And while she unfortunately didn't get any mail  she was hoping for ... I did!  Yay!  Presents for me!

Literally ... it was!  Thearica wrapped my order in some lovely paper & tied ribbon around it like a present!

My order consisted of a quantity of various pieces of Venice Lace, several butterfly & heart beads & one special Czech Glass button (the last one available) and all of it was totally wonderful!

You must have a peek at all of the lovely things Thearica has to offer!  You can click on the  icon I've put in my side bar ... for

They are soooo much more awesome in person than shown!  Her prices are so reasonable too ... just go see!

Hugs ... Marie

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jumpstart Day 2012

It is a fact ... that one in three families cannot afford to enroll their kids in community sport activities.

Many years back ... Canadian Tire founded the "Jumpstart Program" to raise funds to do just that ... to help kids who otherwise could not afford it ... get in the game.

To date ... I'm thrilled to tell ... that our store alone has been responsible for sponsoring 500 kids to get into sport & other phsically-related activities.  Soccer ... football ... baseball ... ballet ... tennis ... dance!  Anything that promotes active participation!

Last year we topped out as the Number One store in funds raised in the Durham Region. YAY for us!

Today was extra special as it was Jumpstart Day ... we held a variety of fundraising events ... and all proceeds will go directly to sponsoring young people in our area.

We had a Car Wash ... a 50/50 Draw and had a crew of officers from the Metro East Detention Centre showing a display of the assorted types of vicious weapons that have been seized from youth crime ... and go figure ... they topped out all other events in donations!  Who knew? 

We raised over $1000 today ... not to mention the efforts of cash staff ... who have been asking for donations by selling mini basketballs & baseballs since early May!

It's heart-warming to know that more kids will be able to "get in the game" ... and it's all due to the efforts of the many volunteers who gave their free time and effort to support this worthy cause!

A very special thanks to them all!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Victoria Day Weekend!

It's also known as May 24 weekend ... as I believe that is the dear ol' Queen V's official BD ... but we tend to celebrate it on whichever weekend happens to be closest to it ... & that'd be this one!  It's also the weekend when most cottagers get their summer digs open ... traffic is usually a nightmare ... but everyone seems to endure it ... just to have a few short enjoyable days elsewhere!

Business was booming today ... it was hard to keep up even with extra staff ... ended up working overtime just to accomdate the traffic.

Thankfully ... I now get to enjoy three glorious days off!  The weather forecast is awesome!  Warm & dry!

That's a change ... because the Monday of the weekend ... historically ... it always rains!

I'm planning to get outside ... get my wee patio set up with table, umbrella & chairs ... so we can enjoy the summer nights out there.  Will also get to working on prepping my small gardens ... and planting some Impatients in pots & flower boxes.

Summer ...  bring it on!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mothers Day ... Moms Are Special!

Many of you out there ... are Moms!

I don't need to tell you what that entails ... you know!

You are life-givers do it all ... from that first moment they enter your world ... the most important focus in your life is caring for your children. 

It is a 24-7 job with no remuneration ... and it spans years ... until the point when they can fend for themselves ... but yet ... it doesn't stop there!

Truth is ... it never stops!

You are always there for them ... whatever comes ... watching them grow ... helping them through the every stage... and feeling proud of what they've become.

You have every right to be proud!  You have brought them to this place ... and shown them the way to go.    They have learned and adjusted to growth ... and matured to the point where they can live their own lives.

Happy Mothers Day to all of you Moms!

Love & Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Winners . . . Still Waiting!

Wellll ... this is unusual!

After posting the list if winners in my 400th Post draw ... I've still not heard from them!


Miniranch 10

Diane in Maryland

I'll need maling info from you please!

I did try to use the "friend connect" thing ... but obviously doing something wrong ... 'cause I get error messages!

E-mail me at:

Thanks ... Marie

Saturday, April 14, 2012

400 . . . And The Winners Are . . .!

I have to apologize for the delay in posting ... had a late dinner ... then put my feet up for a bit ... which turned into a nap!

Without further ado ... the winners are . . .


Miniranch 10

Diane in Maryland


Pat Winter

Congrats to all of you!  I'll need snail mail info to forward your prizes ( Pat I have yours) ...
so please e-mail to .

Thanks & Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

399 ... WIP ... Done!

Welll ... the stitching part is .. but it's to be part of a larger piece that I will (hopefully) finish up soon.

As I was off this week ... I got ambitious and made a list of things to do ... ( is 10 things ambitious? ... probably ... when brain wants to do nothing!)

I had planned on going to visit my sis & Mom Saturday ... and that didn't happen ... my sis called me early in the day to warn me that they all had the flu!  Thankfully not Mom ... she's not staying with them now ... but in a nearby care facility.

Okay ... been there done that ... last time I booked off I was sick with it ... did not want to go there again!

Dark cloud ... silver lining ... I've got some time to stitch!

I only had two seams left ... but they were elusive ones!  Finally after digging out my threads & looking through them  ... got some ideas & finished them off!

In the centre ... just above the paisley design I used some Kreinik gold cord to create a simple feather stitch vine ... used Kreinik Ruby metallic fine braid to create berry clusters with Colonial Knots ... flanked with the same thread in Emerald for the leaves using a simple Lazy Daisy with a centre straight stitch.

The last seam ... was the one to the left of the pink French Knot Roses.  Decided to go with an alternating  leaf spray ... done with Fly Stitch (not the textbook version ... these have a very short vertical thread that form the centre vein of the leaf.  I did several of them on my Go Bag ... and love how they look ... as well as the amount of area that they cover!  Stitched with Pearl Crown Rayon from YLI ... need I say more?

So ... here's the thing ... you may have noticed ... that "399" at the beginning of the post title and yup ... we are here my dears!

Next post ... is the big 400 ... and I will use it to announce winners ... four of them!

How do you get in on the fun???  Well ... that depends on you! 

At point of posting ... if your name is on my Followers list ... it's one automatic entry!

Regular Followers who post a comment ... telling me which is your favourite seam on this heart ... gets you a second entry!

Why stop there?  If you have a blog ... and share a link with all your friends ... & let me know that too in your comment ... you get a third shot!

More?   OK !

Become a new Follower ... or post a comment on this post ... and you too have an entry!
Do both ... and ya get two ... blog & share ... ya get three!

I've learned over my years of blogging ... that  it's really ALL about sharing ... your passions, your thoughts, your accomplishiments & especially your creations.  It makes our world a cozy place filled with meeting, enjoying & sharing the same with others.

Deadline for entry  ... Saturday April 14th ... my last day of freedom before I have to return to my day job!

At 9:00 pm my time ... I will draw names of 4 Lucky entrants ... and announce them in that 400th post!
I know my life has been enriched by the wonderful friends I have found here ... continue to share with ... and God willing ... will someday have the opportunity to meet ... in person!

Love ... Hugs ... Thanks ... and Good Luck!!!

400 ... Wooo Hooo!  Can ya stand the excitement!??


Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter!

Here's a Spring Bouquet
to wish you all a
Happy Easter!

Love & Hugs

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Latest Additions to WIP

Yes we're moving right along now ... added some LD bullion-tip florettes at the bottom (using Ribbon Floss) with a Cast-on stitch base finished with a colonial knot ...stems were chain-stitched then whip-stitched ... and leaves are also LDBT(Lazy Daisy Bullion Tip) with a few straight stitches to fill in.

I've also been playing with some new ideas for beaded edgings ... one of which I added on the upper right.  It's reminiscent of lace ... formed on wire ... and couched in place.  Much easier to get concise spacing than to try stitching it with thread!

Only a couple more seams to go!  Woohoo!

Must run ... time to get ready for my day job!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring!

I woke this morning to singing robins ... that's such a lovely sound to hear first thing ... especially on the first day of SPRING!  Yup ... it's official!

After a pea-soup fog this morning ... the temperature this afternoon is 20 C ... and early perennials are simply jumping out if the ground!  Tulips, irises, alliums all sending up leaves quickly ... and the bush out front is budding ... as well as some of the trees.

I have the day off ... and while I was hoping to get started on some outside spring clean-up ... my back had different plans.  I don't recall doing anything in particular to aggrevate it ... but nonetheless it doesn't feel quite up to manual labour ... so ... oh well ... guess I'll just take it easy & stitch instead!

I've made more progress on my UFO turned WIP ... and will get another pic of it later to share.

Incidentally ... this is Post # 396  ... so that Big 400 is coming up soon!

More later!

Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is It Spring Yet?

I have learned over the years to trust things natural  ... like the habits of creatures who typically arrive when it is spring ... or close enough to spring for them to have returned.

Robins are one of these creatures!  I know spring is close when they are back ... and I saw them last Friday ... but didn't hear them till Sunday ... that unmistakeable "laugh" of theirs!

Monday morning I saw a bunch of them!  Yay!  They seem to instinctively know when the time is right ... they rely on the warmer temps for their food source availability... namely worms ... to be available ... and I'm sure they were able to dine handsomely with our recent double-digit temps.

I'm still not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing ... one has to wonder if the lack of winter precipitation will result in more spring/summer wetness ... and I suppose only time will  tell.

The whole "global warming" thing cannot be ignored here ... for it seems this weather may be the result of what we are experiencing now.

Life goes on  ... but how is a different matter.

Hmmm ... Marie

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Added Some Leaves

Okay ... so decided to add teeny heart leaves ... also utilizing another (and one of my fave stitches learned from Betty) ... Bullions!  I make two of them ... adding extra wraps to make it longer than the base length ... and they bow a bit ... then I tack each in place to form the heart ... & fill in with satin stitch.  I think they look better in person than they seem here.

Oh ... another thing I directly credit Betty for ... is turning me on to YLI Pearl Crown Rayon!  I used it here for the flowers, leaves & the lacey seam above them.

Now ... which seam to work on next?  Have to think on that while I finish up the laundry!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

UFO Becomes WIP ... Inspiration : Betty's Teachings!

I started on this piece a few months ago ... and then stalled ... so it got slated (in my mind) as a UFO.

Recently I decided to have another look at it ... and have revisited it ... to upgrade it to a WIP.

Today I added to it ... incorporating something that I learned from Betty many years back.

The Cast-on Stitch is soooo versatile ... it lends itself to so many variations ... and while I have explored many of them ... this particular configuration I hadn't tried until recently.

Focus on the three bright pink florettes on the upper right.

They were made using 7-Cast-on stitches over a mere 3/8" space ... six spokes
completed each pattern of the florette and I added a single pearl bead in each centre.

Next I will add some greenery ... possibly with the Double Cast-on Stitch to compliment it.

Will share more as this WIP progresses!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Is It Spring Yet?

Well ... maybe not quite yet ... but soon!  Today was sooooo spring-like ... we had lovely warm temps ... 13 Celcius and while I don't care to equate that in Fahrenheit ... it was appreciated!

It is close ... just around the corner ... Saturday before you go to bed ... remember to set those clocks ahead one hour ... for we are now going to Spring Ahead!  It will be lighter later ... even though the longer days are already obvious.

The first official day of spring this year is March 20th ... and that's less than two weeks away!

While we here in Southern Ontario haven't had much of a winter ... spring will still be welcome ... just as damned soon as it can get here!

Ya think?

Hugs ... Marie

Monday, March 5, 2012

Just Gotta Share This Link

I became intrigued with this site after checking it out from a link that Linda Hubbard shared recently ... and it is really cool!   Mennonite Girls Can Cook ... amazing source for wholesome cool recipies that may just expand your recipe horizons!
Check it out!

Hugs ... Marie

Sunday, February 26, 2012

OMG ... Soooo Good!

I love mayonaisse ... yup ... the good ol' fashion kind ... Hellman's specifically!

I love it on Tomato & Cucumber Sandwiches ... and perfect in Egg Salad ... and  Coleslaw ... but recently I was intrigued by a recipe they shared in an advertisement for Parmesan Crusted Chicken ... and tonight I finally gave it a try.

No Frills had Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (frozen) on special for a mere $2/lb ... one package of three huge breasts was less than $5!  How could I resist?

And how simple is this?  1/2 cup mayo ... 1/4 cup Parmesan ... mixed together ... spread it on the chicken ... top with seasoned bread crumbs ... then bake at 425F for 20 mins.

Mmmmm ... it was sooo awesome!  Paired it with some Chicken Rice-a-Roni ... didn't even bother with veggies ... but oh well ... my tummy is so happy now!  I'll do salad tomorrow!

Maybe ... or maybe I'll just have leftovers!

Doc tells me my cholesteral is fine ... so it's okay to indulge in decandence every once in a while!

Tonight ... I'm really glad I did ... 'cause it was sooo good!

Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Two In One Day?

Pfft ... I could do that standing on my head with one hand tied behind my back ... after posting 125 in one day!  However ... as I recently realized ... I have been a somewhat "tardy blogger" ... heck ... even blitzed my own Blogiversary!  January 25th ... 4 years ago ... is when I started this. 

Not surprising that I missed it ... January 25th this year was Inventory Day ... and Dealer Changeover Day ... so I will forgive myself for being otherwise distracted!

I've noted some Big-time milestones for some fellow bloggers recently ... and wanted to share them!

Linda H. over at Stitch Lines has been blogging for 3 years now ... and close to her 500th post!
I remember helping her get started back in the early days ... but once she figured it out ... woohoo! ... she was away to the races and hasn't looked back!  It's always a joy to see her new creations & check out the things she has to share ... including excursions, events and even Oh-so-yummy recipes!  She often shares spectacular photos ... of her gardens ... her sidekick Ollie (a wonderful Maine Coon ... very similar in appearance to my own Kota ) and sooo much more! 

The Incredible Ms. Pat Winter recently hit the 600 Follower mark on her Blog!  How amazing is that?!!

Pat has amazing talent ... her stitching pace & grace are second to none ... and I am proud to count myself as one of her Followers!  She is one of my fave Bloggers ... and dearest on-line stitching pals!  Kudos to you my dear for keeping CQ out there ... and for sharing it so prolifically with the world!

You do us all proud!

I myself am getting close to another milestone ... closing in on 400 posts!  Okay ... so it's taken me longer to get there than some ... but it shall be recognized with the pomp & circumstance deserved ... and ya ... that'll be just cause for a celebratory Draw! 

Stay tuned for that ... real soon!

Hugs ... Marie

PS ... forgot to mention the change in my "look" ... February is that special LOVE month ... just had to add some Hearts!

Robot? Umm ... No! ... Just a Beadin' Machine!

I had to laugh ... even though it was annoying to have to do a "word verification" for each individual post as I added each of the pieces to the Hearts for Betty blog.  I'm guessing that not too many people do that many posts in one day!  But I swear ... I am not a robot!

However ... I am a beading machine!  The gals at work are some of my biggest fans ... and they want to help out with this fundraiser too ... so I'm making even more pendants for them (no stitchers in the bunch ... so no embellishments).

Ohhh and last night before I drifted off to sleep ... I had this cool vision for a creation ... and it was the first thing on my "To Do" list today!  I'm quite thrilled with how it worked out!

Sorry ... cannot show & share ... as it is intended to be one of the prizes for the Grand Prize Draw at the end of the Hearts for Betty event!

But hey ... you may have a chance to win it! 

Hugs ... Marie

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Heart for Betty ... & ... Hearts for Betty - Phase 2 !

I meant to post this some time ago ... but Valentines Day seemed appropriate ... especially with what I have planned to share today!

This is my heart ornament created for "Hearts for Betty" organized by Cheryl Anderson.

Initially I was going to make a "puffy" one ... but somewhere along the line ... plans changed ... and I mounted them on artboard forms & glued them together ... then added a ribbon hanger loop & trimmed the edge with ribbon too.

I was very happy with the completed piece ... and glad to have been part of the group of stitchers sending their heart-felt messages to Betty ... after her ordeal with back-to-back Hurricanes Irene & Lee.  But as I was creating this heart ... it occured to me ... that while all of our efforts would be loved & cherished by her ... it would take some financial support to really help ...funds she could put toward rebuilding & replanting those gardens that were devistated.

That one small heart that I added at the bottom ... gave me a big idea!

And ... today I'm launching ... "Hearts for Betty - Phase 2"!

So far ... I've created 125 bead & wire hearts ... some are Floating Heart Pendants & some are CQ Embellishments ... all are offered in exchange for donations ... all net proceeds will go to Betty to aid in her rebuilding efforts this spring!

Click on the link above ... as I've set up a new Blog site just for this event!

To claim your heart(s) ... simply be the first to post a COMMENT on the post for that piece ... then forward your donation via PayPal to  ... please include the numbers of all pieces you are requesting ... and I'll send them on their way!
(If you prefer ... you could send me an International Money Order in USD from US & other countries ...  CDND within Canada... just e-mail me at the same address for snail address.)

At the conclusion of this event ... there will be a GRAND PRIZE DRAW!  I'm creating several special things just for this!

Each heart you claim gains you one entry ... and Betty will have the honour of selecting random numbers (not the numbers of each item ... but numbers allocated by purchase.)

My heart-felt thanks in advance for your support!

Love & Big Hugs ... and Happy Valentines Day to everyone!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

OMG ... February ... Already?

One whole month is already gone!  I've been so focused on the work front ... that I haven't had a chance to share the other things that have been occupying my time...the most important focus of my endeavours! 

Suffice it to say that I have a really big project planned ... and  that I will share it with you very soon!

Stay tuned ...

Hugs ... Marie

Monday, January 23, 2012

Life Is a Carnival ... Two Bits a Shot !

That's about how it's been for me the past couple of weeks ... you know ... like being at a carnival ... where there's so much going on ... distraction at every turn ... it all comes at you from so many angles that it's hard to focus on any one thing.

I'm kind of feeling like a circus juggler ... with a whole lotta balls in the air ... & God forbid one should fall ... and send everthing off kilter!

Right now I'm trying to make sure that my requirements are complete for our Dealer Changeover ... and that has to be my main focus.  That all happens within the next few days ... and I still have lots to do.

That's only on the work front ... so let's throw in some other personal requirements ... like dentist & doctor appointments ... and other family issues ... OMG like I said ... a real juggling act!

So ... bear with me while I get past all of this ... and I'll hopefully have some free time soon to share some things I've been wanting to!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pneumonia ... Seriously?

So ... after being up half the night Tuesday ... coughing my darned fool head off ... and my back hurting every time ... I had a bad feeling that I was beyond a cold ... and looking at (minimally) a chest infection ... but suspected it was what the doctor diagnosed ... pneumonia.

It was worse at night ... while I was horizontal ... I'd cough my brains out ... but nothing came up.  That can't be good.  So I went to the Walk In clinic (my doc is next door but fully booked up with other sick people) ... so saw Dr. Zarha who checked me out ... and confirmed that I had "walking pneumonia".

She prescibed 3 different things to combat the problem ... & $43 later ... with the drug plan ... I got the meds needed to combat this foe.  Nasal spray for my sinus infection ... kick-ass antibiotics for the lungs ... and a narcotic cough syrup to let me sleep through the night.

I can feel them all working ... and am relieved at that.  But I'm still confounded as to how I got this.

I know that at Mr. G.'s funeral it was very cold out ... and I was already sick from the Pink Eye ... so the rest of my defenses were down ... and the stress & frigid temperatures must have been just enough to make it happen.

Just glad I had enough sense to get it diagnosed when I did ... as I can actually feel these meds doing their job ... and starting to get me back on track.

Off to get more rest & fluids ... just as the doctor ordered.

Did I mention? ... I don't do sick very well?

Hugs ... Marie

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