January 19, 2010

Decorating Diva

Well not quite! I just thought the title sounded rather snappy :)
I have been waiting patiently for the first study unit of my new course in Interior Decorating to arrive in the mail and I'm happy to say that this weekend it did - Yay!!
In the meantime Craig and had been itching to work on a couple of small rooms in our home. I know this is 'putting the cart before the horse' but when the mood is right "Get your painting shirt on!" is my motto.
Our walk in pantry was looking a wee bit 'shabby', which is in keeping with the farmhouse kitchen look we have, but a facelift was required for this little room that we hadn't painted properly during the 4 years living here. Also a great excuse to do a major sort out, chuck out and re-arranging in the process.
As the dining room table became piled high with Lock n'lock and Tupperware containers, followed by mixing bowls, baking ingredients and breakfast cereals I was beginning to wonder how it would all fit back on the shelves again. Empty plastic food containers and glass jars were sorted into recycling bins, one or two expired items hiding at the back were put into the compost bin along with an unidentified powder in a zip lock bag?? Those odd ingredients that you use for a new recipe experiment, but never seem to need again.
Craig did the filling in of nail holes and small cracks that always appear during the winter due to the stove drying out the wood. Sanding and a lick or two of paint really freshened up this little room .
Once the paint had cured I had the fun task of putting everything back a different way, this time nothing on the top shelves (so no step ladder required) I can reach everything now.

I'm happy with my new look pantry.
Here is a close up of some measuring spoons, hand painted by Jemma and given to me for Christmas. If you look closely you can see our family initials on them :)
Yesterday I began studying unit one of my distance learning course. I got so immersed in it that the time flew by and was interrupted by a phone call from my Mum in South Africa. Her timing was perfect as it was time for a tea break and chat across the miles.
Hazel x

January 08, 2010

What's in a name?

Swiftly into mid January we go......
What's in a name? Well the story behind my blog title is the confusion I encounter on a daily basis with my own second name. Obviously Hazel is easy, a nut, sludgy brown colour fairly uncommon but easy to spell. However, my family name, Rethman is not so easy. Wherever I go; in stores, on the telephone etc. no longer can I say "It's spelt the same as Rothman, but with an 'e'. The company name Rothman is not a household name it would seem (do you remember the tobacco company?) Instead it seems to create an even more puzzled reaction, hence I now automatically begin by responding in a slow steady voice; R-E-T-H-M-A-N. The many different variations of our name on the mail we receive is hilarious and actually quite creative sometimes. I am sure I'm not alone on this subject. I have a few friends who also have names with a difference. Wouldn't life be simple if we were all just Smith or Jones (lol) Jones being my family name prior to being married!
On the same topic, a few weeks ago when Jemma introduced her boyfriend to us as Brian, she went on to explain that it isn't actually his real Korean name, but the Canadian name he is known as, having lived here for over 10 years. Along with Brian aka Tae Hyung came his little dog Romeo, aka Bpapi (not even sure if that's how you spell it as it is pronounced differently) Yes it's his Korean Canine name!! No wonder our little furry friend was a tad confused during his short stay with us. Not only was he expected to answer to another name, but we couldn't speak to him in Korean, the language he is used to. Perhaps that would explain the extreme hyperactivity and little accidents. If only I could have told him "no, that's a table leg, not a tree!" Actually it wasn't all his fault, what's a dog to do when there is 3 ft of snow outside and your only a foot tall!
This week I am so excited to be starting down a new path in my life. I have signed up for an Interior Decorating course with ICS (International Career School) Canada!!! Anyone who knows me will be aware that I love decorating, painting, arranging furniture etc. I am hoping that this online correspondence course will expand my knowledge and teach me new skills while introducing me to different styles, terms etc. At the moment I'm not exactly sure how I am going to put them to use. Whether it's just for our own home or hopefully to one day have clients to work for, time will tell. I am awaiting my first package in the mail that will get me started this month. I shall be blogging here to tell you how things are going if you are interested.
Hazel x
I don't have any relevant photos this week, but will add some later if I can find a couple :)

January 01, 2010


A brand new start to a new year. I hope that 2010 will bring all my friends and family happiness, good health, new experiences and memorable moments.
The month of December has passed by in a whirlwind since my last blog post.
Following the play, Amber finally had her 16th birthday party celebration a couple of weeks late, having a few of her girl friends over for pizza, a movie and some fun time in the snow.

Darragh, Lindsay, Emily, Serena, Amber, Tanisha, Jen, Marcy, Amy, Hannah

The Christmas decorations were up and the snow kept falling....Jemma came home for the holidays on Dec 20th and we had a few special family days together, playing board games, piecing together a puzzle, going out for coffee and a little bit of last minute Christmas shopping. These are days I savour now with Jem away mostly and Amber in her last few years of high school, I know how fast the months and years go by.
Craig and I don't get out and about very much so were excited to be invited to our friends' Terri and James for a 'bring a dish' get together just before Christmas, where we met lots of new interesting people. Their flourishing tea room business was the perfect venue for a crowd of guests, young and old, mingling and enjoying the lovely festive pre-Christmas atmosphere. They manage to make entertaining look like a doddle even though so much preparation and ongoing work goes into it, such a skilled team :)

Jemma's boyfriend drove up to see us on the 27th and the two of them headed for New York by car early morning on 28th, bundled up in preparation for an exciting 6 day trip. They are staying in the Hilton Hotel and planned to be in Times Square for the 31st. They were originally going to take Brian's little Yorkie 'Romeo' with them. We felt that dragging such a little jumpy dog all the way to the US didn't make a lot of sense, so Craig and I offered to take care of him for a few days. He has settled in nicely and enjoys plenty of running around in the snow and likes to be with one of us at all times, whimpering when we are upstairs and he hasn't mastered stair climbing on bare wooden floors :) He gets super excited when we return if one of is gone for a few hours, goodness knows how he is going to react when Brian gets back after 6 days away!!

Even though I am a cat person, this little dog is seriously cute!
Our new friends Edna and Bo invited us for a Hogmanay celebration on the 31st (two events in the same month!!), Edna is a Scottish lassie. Bo's loves to cook, his speciality is a delicious curry which he made. Joined once again by Terri and James it was a lovely cosy evening. We ended the new year laughing and reminiscing, surrounded by their 5 lovable pets!! Two huge German Shepherds and 3 Siamese kitties. All the animals were so very well behaved (can't say the same about some of the husbands!)
Little Romeo came along and stayed in his own quiet room with a heated kennel and was as happy as Larry. We stayed until the wee hours and being the designated driver I drove home, getting to bed at around 3am!! An unheard of hour in our house where we all get up so early. I did managed to lie in until 9.30 when at minus 12 degrees C, it was getting a little chilly and the wood stove needed some attention. Amber was staying with a friend so the house did seem eerily empty for the first time, a taste of empty nesting !
Well it's now well into the afternoon and Amber is safely home again and I spoke to Jem on MSN and all is well in NY. A storm is brewing again and I am a little worried about their two day return drive home, I will be happier once they are safely back in Nova Scotia again.
This morning I put up my new calendar, illustrated by a friend Judith Glover. (linked on the side of my blog too) I have been displaying her calendar's for the past 3 years in my kitchen and love them. This year it's a very pretty organiser one called ...Spice of Life...

Hazel x