February 25, 2008

Is it nearly Spring??

One of the little shelves in my sewing room (a thrift store find), where I build up a collection of tiny animals every week along with ribbons and hand made items from Jemma and Amber.
Well it certainly feels like Spring is in the air today :)
The sun is out and although there are only a few patches of green grass showing through the snow, I am feeling happy.
Sitting here alone in the house (except for Archie) on a Monday morning with a fresh cup of coffee, actually my second cup this morning and a long 'to do list' in front of me, which I am hoping to get done today. I feel quite optimistic as February finally comes to an end this week and the mornings are not so dark.
I had a little mad moment of weakness early yesterday when I suggested a family shopping trip into Halifax. Jemma and Amber had been pestering me recently to visit the big City. All their homework was finished and they had tidied their bedrooms. After the last City trip I said 'never again' but the offer just came out of my mouth and before I knew it there were some loud squeals of delight (not a reaction I get very often these days when I make a suggestion or comment!) I drove into Halifax and Craig drove home. Tuning into the local Halifax radio station as we got closer, listening to some great songs, we were there in no time. Taking in some different scenery along the way; people fishing through holes cut in the ice on the lakes, while sitting in tents all day!
Jemma and Amber spent a long time in one of their favourite stores, Old Navy, while I popped into Michael's next door (a huge craft superstore) and found the 'perfect' colour felt for some of my animals :) Craig got lost in the 'man gadget' shop, drooling over big screen TV's!
Afterwards we met up for lunch at Manchu-Wok in the nearby shopping centre a real treat.
Back at home the girls modelled their Spring purchases, both had found cute pairs of shorts a couple of strappy tops and even flip flops! Maybe that's one of the reasons for my optimistic Spring mood today ?
Amber wearing her new stuff.
I suppose I should (reluctantly, wincing slightly) mention that it is my 'real' Birthday this week !! Seeing as it only comes around every 'four' years, I don't think I can get away with not celebrating in some way this leap year, especially as I keep being reminded by my close family!
Thank you for the lovely comments on last weeks blog post, they are very much appreciated.
Well, I had better nip downstairs to add another log to the wood stove and let Archie out for a frisky run around in melting snow! Then I will move down my 'tick list'.
Bye for now
Hazel xx

February 18, 2008

Mid February Ramblings!!

I sometimes wonder how many people actually read my ramblings at this time of year and was going to skip a week or so. Then I received a couple of lovely emails referring to my blog and I now have 3 comments on my last post, so the select few who are reading it have inspired me to write a few lines again this week. My news these days is a little sparse and not quite as upbeat as in the Summertime. I long to get outside and do some planting, mow the grass and get out my tins of paint without having to breathe in all the strong fumes indoors!
I did manage to venture out on Friday as the snow had stopped falling. I am not as bothered by the cold weather now that we are past mid February. After dropping Amber at school and getting my weekly grocery shopping, I came outside to find that another snow flurry had appeared from nowhere and it was already about 2cm's deep on top of my car. Taking the back roads home I did my first spot of 'ice dancing', in the car!! A complete pirouette in fact (fortunately I was on a quiet country road) Once I had come to a stand still and was facing in the right direction, apart from feeling pretty shaken up, both car and myself were just fine. Resisting the strong urge to brake, as my car did it's own thing, I will put down to the 'ice driving test day' many moons ago, which was part of my Norwegian driving test. Along with a night time driving test, long theory test (in Norwegian) and a mock theory and practical test, before being allowed to take the 'real test' I guess this equipped me for the Canadian roads, plus of course the 20 years driving experience since then :D
I have not been totally confined to the house this week I have to admit. Last weekend the whole family (children included!) went to visit some friends further down the valley. Craig has just started doing some consulting work for them in their Timber frame house business, and they had us over for a lovely lunch. Being Quakers, they had plenty of home made goodies to eat and drink and some funny and interesting stories to tell of their travels overseas.
I met my friend Tina for lunch and proper catch up girlie time mid week (between snow days) Then this weekend it was my friend Rhonda's birthday, she came over with her hubby and we had a lovely evening while all the children were over at their house. One of the gifts I gave Rhonda was a Holly Hobbie calendar for her kitchen, it brought back memories for both of us, both Holly Hobbie and Betsy Clarke were my favourite characters which adorned my bedroom walls in the mid 70's.
In my Etsy shop last week I introduced a couple of new designs, the first being a Westie puppy and a baby blue whale! A cat loving customer enlightened me to the fact that a Calico cat is in fact a tri-coloured cat, and I made one up for her as a special order.Bye for now, I hope you all have a lovely week.
Hazel xx

February 06, 2008

Another Wednesday post

Amber with Amber the cat!!
Wednesday seems to be the new Sunday for me as far as writing my weekly blog is concerned. I am sure most bloggers would agree that you have to be in the right mood to write, but my weekends recently have been taken up with other stuff, generally centred around driving children to and from various places.
We are lucky to live in a beautiful house on a hill, in a tranquil country setting, which sounds idylic. However, as both my friend Tina and I have both discovered during the month of January, we tend to get forgotten up here and are referred to as 'mountain' or 'lake people'! Not an identity I ever aspired to being labelled thank you very much! Trying to remedy this rather lonely existence we are meeting for lunch next week, which should do us both some good and get us out of our hibernation mode for an hour or two. (I have to say that the internet does keep me fairly sane as I may have mentioned before, it is my main link with the outside world!)
The older I get the more I am realising the importance of special friendships. Now a regular blogger and facebook addict, I have been contacting a few friends from long ago and finding that we have far more in common than I ever realised. There are not many facebook users over the age of 35, so we are in the minority, but I really don't care to be honest. I like to keep up to date with what my children are doing on the computer these days, not that I am anywhere near as well versed in the ever changing world of technology, but I do try :) We certainly live in a different world now to the one I was part of aged 16 (I remember we had just one 'giant' computer for the whole college and we had to share it!) Word processing was the 'new thing' in some of my early secretarial jobs and it was so exciting when we got to attend courses to learn the latest programs.
Last weekend as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award scheme Amber started doing volunteer work for the local SPCA and is now officially a 'Cuddler'. Along with two of her school friends they went to care for about 60 or so cats, all staying in a special little house. All the cats seem to get on really well, amazingly enough and are super affectionate with each another and any visitors, or cuddlers as they are referred to. Apart from breathing in plenty of fine cat hair and looking quite furry herself when she came home in a dark brown hoody (this generated a huge amount of interest from Archie our little furry friend at home) she had a great time and is looking forward to her next visit.
Amber's friend Jennifer with an assortment of friendly felines to choose from!Bye for now
Hazel xx