Crafty Wednesday cancelled

It has been another incredibly busy week and a half so I won’t do a Crafty Wednesday, today. I will try to get one up and running for next week, though, so please stay tuned. I will tell you what has kept my attention away from blogging, though. I have been doing some hands-on historic research at the local historical sites, mainly Lower Fort Garry. Their day programming was ending as of last week and there were many activities I wanted to participate in so I could write about them in my upcoming book(s). I was there last Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday was their Children’s Day, so I visited Seven Oaks House Museum and Riel House, that day. Then I picked up Grandson and took him for a sleepover, dropping him off Thursday morning before heading back to Lower Fort Garry.

Saturday there was a huge BBQ that our friends were hosting for which I was asked to make potato salad for about 30 people. Sunday afternoon, I went to a Victorian Epicure party that my Goddaughter was hosting. It’s a line of spice and cooking products presented at house parties (like Avon or Tupperware). Most of the afternoon on Monday was spent at a relative’s house, chatting and plotting for a special event that’s coming up. I won’t mention what it was in case a certain someone gets wind of it. Tuesday morning I spent sorting through a car trunk (boot) full of books that people had given me to donate to the used book sale put on by Thin Air, the Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival. I then dropped the books off and went on to attend the ceremony celebrating the bicentenary of the arrival of the first Scottish settlers sent here by Lord Selkirk in 1812. The ceremony represented the event that took place 200 years ago on practically the exact same spot, when the original Lord Selkirk handed over the deed to the tract of land promised to those Scots who had been displaced from their sharecropping farms in Scotland.

Which brings us to today. In a few moments I will shower and head over to the Thin Air office to help sort more books for their sale, then I want to take in something called the Hermetic Code at the Legislative Building. After that, I will be heading home to take care of Grandson overnight. Oh, and did I mention, my car died? After the ceremony, yesterday, I went to partake in IGA’s 10% Tuesday, got the groceries in the car and tried to start it. Nothing. Zip, Nada. Hubby had to come and boost my car. When we got it home, he realized the running lights were not shutting off. Apparently the relay switch needs to be replaced or my battery will continue to be drained. So, everything I had planned to do today, I will have to get to by taking the bus!

I will sign off for now. I literally do have to run.

And how was YOUR week? 🙂


Life Happens

Whew! Things are finally winding down for awhile. The past week has been unbelievably busy, especially with Hubby home on holidays and his plans to work in the yard, among other things. I didn’t have a whole lot to do with the fence repair. Hubby conscripted Son to work on that. However, my hectic life began Wednesday morning baking and blogging about my banana bread, then doing a quick tidy before things really got started. At 2:30 in the afternoon, Daughter showed up at the door with Grandson in tow. She dropped him off along with his playpen, diaper bag and a large reusable grocery bag full of toys, etc to keep the boy occupied. We were ecstatic! We finally got him for a sleepover! 🙂

We played peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, run-and-chase all afternoon, inside and out. We had dinner and finally got the tuckered-out little guy to sleep. I guess we really wore him out and he wore US out, too! Not too long afterwards, Hubby & I decided to hit the sack. I slept in the same room as Grandson since we haven’t got a baby monitor yet. I couldn’t believe he actually slept for 11 hours! 🙂

Up around 6:30 am, Grandson was surprisingly chipper and not at all upset that he was still at Grandma and Grandpa’s house instead of his own home. I gave him some toast when he first got up and played with him for a while until Hubby finally awakened. He watched Grandson while I took a shower and then I started to make our breakfast. I stuck some Pillsbury croissants in the oven to bake and started the bacon because we were expecting company for the morning meal. Grandson was so interested in watching me cook the bacon that he insisted on sitting on my hip while I turned the bacon one-handedly and kept him far away from grease splatters.

About 9:30, Rampage Buddy arrived at the door. Grandson was a little unsure of her at first, but after a few rounds of peek-a-boo, they bonded. She kept him busy while I finished off the bacon and scrambled some eggs. Banana bread was also added to our breakfast menu. Grandson sat on Buddy’s lap and let her feed him scrambled eggs and croissant bites. Once we finished eating, we packed up his stuff, loaded him in the car and headed for the zoo. We were fortunate that the oppressive humid heat of the past few weeks had passed. It was warm but there was a lovely breeze that made the long walk bearable. Daughter met us at the zoo with his car-shaped stroller. We checked out some of the new exhibits, like the butterfly garden and the Birds In Flight Show where they showed off the large raptor birds like a hawk, bald eagle and a turkey vulture. Here is a brief video that I took of the Butterfly Garden:

I loved the beautiful blue butterflies. I’m sorry for the quality, I was waiting for them to alight so I could get a better shot, but they were so busy chasing each other! 🙂

Around 1:30 we stopped at the restaurant  for something to eat before sending grandson on his way home with Daughter for a badly-needed nap. Mind you, Grandson was remarkably good-natured, considering he didn’t have his usual mid-morning nap except for a brief snooze in the car on the way there.

After the zoo, Rampage Buddy and I stopped at Tim Hortons (like Starbucks) on the way home and sipped Ice Caps as we caught up on our news. We got home around 5:00. She said goodbye and I threw together a pizza, put it in the oven for Hubby and Son, then headed out again to meet with a high school friend who was in from out-of-province. She and I were joined by two other high school friends. We all enjoyed a lovely meal at the Prairie Ink Restaurant, part of McNally Robinson Booksellers, and filled each other in on all that had been going on since we last met. It was 10:30 pm by the time I got home. Not all that long after that, I tumbled into bed so I could get up in time for Tai Chi, which my Friend reminded me was taking place the next morning.

I arrived at said Friend’s house at 9:00 am. She was excited to show me some of the unique items she had purchased at the previous day’s rummage sale for SAM (Stroke Association of Manitoba). We then headed out and spent an hour stretching and moving our old tired bodies. I really needed the exercise as my previous days’ babysitting adventures had left my arms strained from lifting Grandson’s 20-something pounds and all the walking we’d done at the zoo had taken its toll on my weak arches and hips. At the end of the session, I checked out the leftover items from the rummage sale, which included a huge box of books. Since the city’s Writing Festival, Thin Air, was looking for books to sell at their used book sale next month, I took the books off their hands.


Then, Friend and I went to Applebee’s for lunch and spent several hours eating and talking. She mentioned that, if the Writers Festival wanted more books, her daughter had a garbage bag full of books that I could take, too. Back at her place, we transferred the books to the other stash in my trunk. As we stood in the street chatting, a car drove by with a weird ball-shaped thing on the roof. The logo on the car read Google Earth. By that we inferred that the ball thingy was actually a panoramic camera. I don’t know whether it was actually taking our picture as it drove past, but it’s kind of fun to think that we might end up on Google Maps at some point! I’ve checked, but it hasn’t been updated, yet. 🙂

As soon as I got home, Hubby informed me I’d had two calls while I was away – one regarding an ’emergency writers meeting’ scheduled for Sunday, the other was from Best Man and his Wife informing us they’d be in the city, in our area, around supper time. I returned the calls, informing the writers group that I’d be there on Sunday and inviting Best Man and Wife for dinner, since we hadn’t had a chance to talk to them in months. Once I hung up the phone, I took a deep breath and headed for the kitchen to clean up the dishes that hadn’t been done while I was out and about. Then, I started cooking.


Best Man and Wife arrived about 6:30, just as I was putting the finishing touches on dinner. Hubby fixed us each a drink and we sat down to eat. After stuffing our faces with ham, perogies and salad, we were too full to attempt eating dessert, so we sat out on our deck, sipping coffee and enjoying another mosquito-free evening. This is the second summer in a row in which we have had a greatly reduced mosquito population because of fairly dry hot weather. Believe me when I tell you, it is truly a blessing not to have to contend with those miserable flying insects!

When the sun set, we returned to the dining table, enjoyed either lemon meringue pie or banana bread, as tastes dictated, and took out the Cribbage board. I am happy to announce that we ladies beat the boys – another rarity we thoroughly enjoyed! 🙂

They left around midnight. Hubby and I went to bed with the thought that we had to be up and out of the house around 8:30 Saturday morning. Hubby hooked up our trailer to his truck and we headed off to assist Good Friends with their shed repairs. When we arrived, they were bringing out the last few items stored in their shed. That’s when we all realized that there was going to be more to the repairs than was first thought. The floor was completely rotted in places and we had to take care not to step right through the plywood. The Men pulled off the old floor boards while Lady Friend and I went behind them, pulling out all the nails that remained in the beams, having pulled through the mushy flooring. We nailed on fresh boards where needed and shimmed up the floor to level it and get it ready for new plywood. By 5:00, we were all exhausted. Lady Friend ordered chicken and fries and went to pick them up for dinner. We sat around their table, barely able to lift a chicken leg to our mouths. That’s how tired we were! We left shortly after that and got home around 7:30.

I was able to check through a few of my emails when I got home. One exciting bit of news came from a brand new Twitter follower. He had just finished reading ‘Withershins‘ and posted a great review on Amazon and Indigo. (You can read it here, if you are so inclined.) After reading that, I worked on this blog post a bit before calling it a night.

Sunday morning, I was happy to have an interview reading to simply hit ‘Publish’ so I could finally post something, while Hubby and Son got ready to head off to Good Friends’ house once again to work on the shed. Once my men folk left for their manual labour job, I wrote and printed out a farewell poem for K, the writers group member who was heading off on a one-year sabbatical – hence the reason for our ’emergency meeting’. After that, I headed for the shower. Before I got there, I got a call from Lady Friend who said Man Friend’s Sunday night band practice was cancelled. She asked if I was open to going out to dinner after my writers meeting instead of Monday. Originally, we were supposed to meet for dinner on Monday to celebrate their anniversary. With the dinner a day earlier, I tried to make a card for them before my writers meeting but ran out of time.

I quickly headed off to my writers meeting, picking up E along the way. Although we didn’t get any actual critiquing done, we had some useful discussions. E is in the process of getting one of her stories published on Amazon, so we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing and the difficulties she was having setting up an account so she would actually get paid for her book. Apparently, there’s some problem with accepting notarized documents from Canadians. They will accept them from Europeans, but not their closest neighbors – go figure!


After my meeting I rushed home and tried to finish the anniversary card so I could bring it to dinner with us. Hubby told me the progress on the shed required them to finish it Monday. Unfortunately for them, intermittent rain had interrupted their work. They managed to finish laying the floor, so they could at least work under the roof of the shed when it started to pour. By the end of the afternoon, they still had two of the walls to put up, one of them the side with the doors, which was going to take a bit of creativity to replace. This information was a great relief for me, because I just didn’t have time to get their card done before heading out to the restaurant. Despite how tired the men were, we all had a very enjoyable meal at The Keg. The ‘manly men’ had steak, of course, while Lady Friend and I each had the chicken and seafood. The meals were excellent. I even had room for dessert, so Hubby and I shared a plate of their ‘minis’. I was stuffed by the time we left there. When we got home, I glued some embellishments on the front of the anniversary card and worked on this blog post until I was too tired to see straight.

This morning, I was up around 6, unable to sleep because of Hubby sawing logs beside me. I decided to get up and finish the inside of the card so Hubby could take it with him to Good Friends’ house once he was up and fed. I also retrieved the video clips of my zoo trip from my Canon Sport camera, put them into iMovie so I could give you a peek at one of our zoo’s newest attractions. I then uploaded the movie to YouTube so I could embed it into this blog.

All I really want to do, right now, is take a nap but there’s still stuff to be done. I have to tackle the stack of dishes that have accumulated because we had no time (or energy) in between rushing here & there to do them. Then, I have to get to the laundry as Hubby is back to work tomorrow and needs clean clothes. I might get to reading the 120 blog posts I have in my in-box in-between wash loads – if I’m lucky!

So, now you know why I haven’t been commenting on your blogs for the past week! I promise to get to them as soon as I can. In the meantime, I hope you all have great summer weather like we do, so you can enjoy the last few weeks of the season. 🙂

Fort Whyte Alive


Dear fellow bloggers;

I’m sorry I haven’t been around to visit you on a very regular basis, lately. Things have been pretty busy around here and it’s been hard to keep up. I thought I would quickly share with you some of the things I have done over the past few weeks, besides making cards. Since I last gave an update, (see my post, Social Butterfly) I attended a ‘Bud Spud and Steak’ event to raise money for the families of four Calgary security guards who were killed in a robbery. It was a blast with great food, spent with good friends and several live bands, the members of which all donated their time to play at the event. Harlequin even flew in for it. They were great!

I have been back to the dentist to finally get my permanent crown. I’m still recovering as she did a real number on my gums and even after two weeks, there’s still some discomfort, so I may have to go back and get it checked out.  At least I don’t have to double up on the painkillers just to lessen the pain a bit, anymore.

The daughter of a friend of ours got married a week after the Bud, Spud & Steak. It was a small backyard ceremony with a reception in a local hall. The bride sings in her Dad’s band sometimes and her new husband had his own band so the two musical families did a ‘jam’ to play some of the bride’s favourite music. There was also a silent auction to help raise money for the young couple and we won a set of tools. Hubby is ecstatic! He says it’s way better than the coffee prize we won last month.  We ended up staying right up until the bitter end to help our friends clean up.

Last week, I took a friend out for lunch for her birthday. Another friend joined me on a different day for lunch so we could discuss her up-coming book and so I could teach her a little bit about the social media adventure that is blogging.  With any luck, she’ll be joining a lot of us on WordPress. Once that happens, I’ll introduce you! 🙂

Now for the finale: In my Social Butterfly post, I mentioned that I accompanied friends from my Tai Chi class to an event put on by the Independent Living Resource Centre that was held at a local wildlife preserve called Fort Whyte Alive. It was once property owned by a cement company near a wooded area and has now been reclaimed by the preserve. The sand pits dug by the cement company have become small lakes that host a large variety of waterfowl and has been stocked with fish. The preserve has several trails that wind through the park where you may encounter deer, wild geese, an assortment of waterfowl and a small bison herd. There is a sod house to explore and two tepees. There are a couple of picnic areas that can be reserved for parties, an interpretive centre which has a display of local animals and information on them and conservation. They also have a sailing program in which they teach physically and mentally challenged people how to sail.

Last Sunday, my family and I returned to Fort Whyte to meet some friends from town and also connect with a high school friend and her family, who now live in Ontario. Since I find Fort Whyte an interesting place and since I’ve been there twice this month, I thought I would compile movie clips that I took of it and share my movie with you. I used the Kodak Sport movie camera which I bought to give Hubby for Father’s Day last year. I ended up giving it to him a day early so we could document the birth of our grandson. Since it is no bigger than a cell phone, it fits easily into my purse, which it rarely leaves despite it technically being ‘Hubby’s camera’. The music I added to the clips is ‘Nature Walk’ by Dan Gibson from the album Caribbean Dreams. I hope this works!

Now, I’d better go off and make a few more cards! 🙂