January 29, 2008

Putting things in perspective

Yes I do believe I was feeling a little blue when writing my last blog post, now I feel guilty, as I don't have much to moan about really. An email from a friend, who I have known since the age of 18 really put things into perspective last week, she had received some very sad personal news. My thoughts are with her and I am seriously making an effort to have a more positive attitude to my life without complaining about the winter time, after all we did choose to come and live in Canada!!
Of course after also saying how quiet my shop was it did pick up and since then I have sold another 40 animals. This has meant that I have been busy snipping and stitching whilst semi-hibernating in my sewing haven with Archie and my IPod for company. My newest design is this little Australian fellow who I decided to name Oliver.
Jemma is in the midst of her exams this week and is a little tetchy. Although she does have a sparkle in her eyes due to her new Japanese friend, Tak. They are now officially 'boyfriend/girlfriend'. This means a new chapter has opened in my role as a Mum/parent and I am trying my best to be understanding and not too 'controlling' with regard to house rules during their time spent together.
Craig returned from Atlanta and has decided he most definitely does not miss the big City at all, the pollution was thick and everyone was in a rush and quite rude and unhelpful.
Having been feeling a tad nostalgic again of late I managed to get the girls together one evening and watch a 'chick flick', as Craig was away. The three of us snuggled up on the sofa with the dvd The Nanny Diaries, with Scarlett Johansson . It was funny and took me way back to the days I spent as a Nanny myself, in Norway aged just 18. The lady I worked for had me cleaning windows, cooking meals and even ironing her knickers! As well as taking care of her two 'adorable' little boys!
First day in my new job, looking a little nervous I think.
Still I was glad of the experience and opportunity to learn a language. I fell in love with the country and after finishing college was able to work in the oil industry for another 6 years. By my early 20's I was the proud owner of my first car, an old style VW Beetle, which I loved. Not too sure about the 'big' hair or those white slouch boots though!!
Oh the 80's fashion!
Hazel xx

January 20, 2008

Blue sky in the middle of January !

I have to say that January is NOT my favourite month! However, the sun did come out and shone in a brilliant blue sky, not once but 'twice' this week, so I can't really justify whinging, it was just the medicine we all needed to zap any SAD symptoms in the bud.
Trying very hard to kick myself into gear, I have been mostly locked away in my sewing room, busy cutting out endless pairs of wings, feet and other fiddly bits for my hand made animals. This will save time later on when I am too busy to do so, 'fingers crossed' (fingers which gradually go numb sending me running downstairs to put another log on the fire).
My etsy shop is the quietest it has been for a long time, but I never know when a large order may come in, so I am getting prepared :) Motivation is somewhat lacking right now strangely enough. I look forward to my computer time on facebook early in the morning and just before bed, keeping in regular contact with my friends so far away makes me feel less isolated.
With quite a few heavy snowfalls over the past 3 weeks or so it has not always been possible to drive anywhere until I have been 'plowed out' by the local blueberry farmer. Craig takes my Rav4 to work as it is much safer on the icy roads and the girls have been happy to have the odd surprise snow day off school.
Craig is much calmer this week following a nasty case of work politics between the company shareholders that has been brewing for a number of weeks now. He got dragged into the whole fiasco as 'piggy in the middle' being the financial advisor . It seems to have been resolved now without the costly court case that was looking likely at one point. (a very long and complicated story) Thus avoiding the worst agricultural hiccup in the valley for the past 10 years!
Jemma is on cloud nine now that she has a new male friend in her life. A Japanese exchange student called Tak (shortened from Takuto). They have been spending every lunch time together at school and he has been over to visit a few times. On Friday he brought along his guitar and sang a few songs which impressed us all, along with his good manners and stylish dress sense :) (this paragraph may well get edited out by a certain someone I suspect if she reads it!)
Jemma getting to wear shades yesterday with her new trench coat in Port Williams
Amber is smiling a lot these days too, with her new set of pearly whites and is generally enjoying school, where it is warm and she does have a great teacher this year. We are all longing for the Spring weather of course and will once again (after our 3rd winter here) appreciate it when it does arrive. Oh to wake up to it being light outside!
The laundry/mud room/woodstove room is stacked very high with logs thanks to a joint effort between Craig and I yesterday, it should keep us going for at least a week! Craig is flying off on a business trip to Atlanta next week which will make a nice change for him even if it is only to attend an agricultural expo.
Not such a newsy report this time, but perhaps February will be a little more exciting :D
Thank you for taking the time to read my 'ramblings'
Hazel xx

January 10, 2008

Our 19th Anniversary

Early mid week post.
Today is the anniversary of the day Craig and I met 19 years ago!
Unlike most couples we don't ever celebrate our wedding, which was a couple of years later sometime in June. This is because it was quite an uneventful day, tinged with sadness as it was held in a registry office in Johannesburg, SA with no guests. We were leaving a couple of weeks later to live in England and didn't want a big 'do' at the time. I have to admit that it is one of the few regrets in my life, wearing a cream suit and standing outside an ugly building does not quite compare to the memories that should have been made along with all the froth and attention a posh church wedding would have brought.
Anyway, our meeting 19 years ago was very romantic as it was on board a flight from Cape Town to London. So January 10th going into the 11th is officially 'our' anniversary.
Craig has booked a lunch at a nice new restaurant in town tomorrow where I will be meeting him after his morning at work close by.
Other news this week is that Amber has finally got her fixed braces OFF! Her orthodontic treatment began about 3 years ago with retainers, palette expander etc. I haven't managed to pin her down for a photo of the new 'smile' as yet, but now she just has a thin wire across her top teeth, which is attached to a retainer, to be worn for a couple of years.
The snow has all melted again, so the grass is quite soggy and has been hacked about a bit by the snowplow, as it is difficult for the driver to see where the driveway actually is underneath 30cm's of snow! Archie is running around like a Spring chicken and can't believe his luck after being cooped up again for a while. I can't seem to train him to wipe his feet/paws though, and have to ambush him every time he comes home from his exploring outings and plonk him on an old towel in front of his biscuits!

Hazel xx

January 05, 2008


Almost a week into the new year and things are pretty much back to normal after the holidays. Jemma and Amber went back to school on Thursday (a nice 2 day week for them), gently breaking into those cold 6am morning wake up calls.
New Years eve brought an abundance of snow in a winter storm. Sadly this meant that our number of expected visitors for the evening was on the sparse side. I had catered for about 20 or so friends plus a bit extra. The assorted cheeses, fruits and fancy prawn Melba toasts (decorated with a twist of lemon peel), sat on the plates looking pretty sad, as there were far too many of them! Our next door neighbours' bravely trudged across the meadow and orchard on both sides, dressed in heavy coats and snow boots. It was a cosy neighbourly gathering in the kitchen, where a few of bottles of good red wine were shared by candle light into the small hours. The children had fun in the lounge watching dvd's and laughing a lot. Getting into bed at just after 2am with not even a hint of a headache (something to do with being a responsible hostess?) meant for a good start to the new year.

After much pestering this week, Amber convinced me to let her try out a dark rinse on her hair. Going from a dark blond to deep brown. I have to admit that it does suit her, despite my objections (that would be the boring Mum side of me) It is supposed to wash out in about 28 shampoos, so she gets to be dark and mysterious for a few weeks :)My little etsy shop has got off to a nice start with an early January order for 12 tiny felt animals. These are being shipped off to the US to a lady who gives them to her young and very brave patients in pediatrics.
Now, as if I hadn't already received enough gorgeous and thoughtful presents from my family and friends I had one more late arrival in the post a few days ago. This delightful Cath Kidston recipe organizer is a joint gift from my girls who had both spotted the same item on the internet. I will be on the look out for some special recipes this year to start a nice organized collection. Well I just had to mention it as I had already taken a photo you see!
Hazel x