Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mystery Gift - Who Done It?

Feb 21 update: Nobody has fessed up yet!

I found this in my mailbox during the holidays. For the life of me I can't figure out who dropped it off! The handwriting looks familiar but I can't peg it down. So much communication is by email now, I'm not as likely to remember handwriting. And just because the mystery gifter and I share hot flashes, I have to say that there are a whole lot of my friends who share this affliction, so that's not much of a clue.

If anyone can clue me in, please do!

In the meantime, I must give this doodad a try!

Thanks, my goofy mystery pal!

On another topic, after 30 years of being in business, The Nosegay flower shop (Broadway and 9th) is closing! Nancy is retiring and the health food store next door will be expanding into the vacated space. Everything in the shop is on sale if you're interested in some bargains. They have an excellent greeting card selection.

I'm very sad that they're closing. It has been my flower shop of choice for many years and the people there have been wonderful both to me and to others I know. I wish all the people who have been working some much needed R+R after the closing.
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Vintage Yoyo's!

While at Mom's last weekend, she dug out a bag of scraps for me to bring back to the city. They're scraps from sewing she did for all of us kids when we were kids in the sixties and seventies. In the bag was this bunch of yoyo's that I'd made from scraps. I don't remember ever having made so many of them! There's not enough for a quilt but there's certainly enough to do something with them. I think I'll incorporate them somehow in the quilt we make with the scraps.

I like looking at these and remembering the dresses and blouses and other things Mom had sewed me.

There are a couple from "the bathing suit". Let me tell you about the bathing suit keeping in mind that this is the story as clearly as I remember it, meaning there could be some variance but honest, I'm not exaggerating. At least not to my mind.

So ...

When I was about 5 or 6, Mom made me a one-piece bathing suit. I soon outgrew it so she cut in in half making it a two piece. I was able to wear it that way for a few more years. Eventually, instead of growing straight up, I began to fill out a little so she split the sides and the back and added some rivets and laces allowing me to wear it for several more years. I think I wore that bathing suit until I finally got a new one from the Sears catalogue when I was 14! My Mom has always been both resourceful and creative. I still remember that bathing suit fondly and I'm glad there are some scraps to add to a quilt.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Blogger's Choice Fabric Bundle

This was a fun little exercise. It involves creating a bundle of fabric (12 prints and 3 solids) from The Fat Quarter Shop. It's a bit time consuming to do and not as easy to do online but, nonetheless, I persevered enough to create a couple that I like. If it were easier to do I'm sure I would make lots of substitutions but I'm done.

You can see many others here as well as instructions on how to make and upload your own. It's great to see the combinations others come up with. Some of my favourites are here (navy grey coral), here (grey olive orange), here (eggplant orange pink yellow), here (orange purple grey), and here (blue white grey black).

This is also a contest where winners will win their bundle! Cool! I certainly don't expect to win anything. There are SO MANY entries and some really gorgeous bundes created. Still, a girl can dream ...

This red, grey, black, white combination is my entry. I've had these colours on the brain ever since Luke said he'd like his quilt to be red and black plaid flannel. He and I finally settled on that being the BACK of his quilt, which he can use as the front, but that I will make some kind of complimentary pieced front ... that he can use as the back. Just another project in what is becoming a fast growing long list.

That top one with all the pinks, purples, and oranges is really pretty, isn't it?
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mom's Birthday Party

Family and many close friends came together to celebrate Mom's birthday on Saturday. There was afternoon tea, a birthday cake, much visiting and then, when only family was left, Mom proved herself to be a competitive Wii player!

After dinner we had started playing cards and had the computer ready to Skype with Josh, Noelene, and wee Robert who weren't able to join us from Yellowknife. We were on Skype with Josh waiting for what seemed an usual amount of time to get a proper video feed from him when, to our happy shock and surprise, around the corner of the kitchen appeared Kathy, Noelene and Robert! Really! We were beyond surprised! And so happy! It was the best birthday present for Mom.

It was a really good weekend.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom!

We're on our way to Kyle today to celebrate Mom's 80th Birthday. Happy birthday, Mom!

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Plethora of Lined Drawstring Bags

I sure enjoyed putting these together. I got pretty fast at it once I figured out how to chain piece them.

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Happy 2012!

Some would say that's an oxymoron given the "doomsday" predictions, but that doesn't scare me! I laugh in the face of predictions ... HA! Didn't they predict a severely cold winter this year, too? Even if we do get some bitterly cold stretches ... and we probably will ... at least we're half way through one of the mildest winters I can recall. Predictions schmictions!

Obviously I took a vacation from blogging. It wasn't planned. I just got a little overwhelmed. Having a 7 week cold just before Christmas and somehow still managing to get all the "Christmas things" done, really took it out of me. I survived! We even contemplated not getting a tree this year but, in the end, you can see we got a beauty. And got it decorated thanks to Lynn helping me one night while they were in town.

Christmas was very busy ... it's always busier than I anticipate ... with good things and some not so good things. The good things included Christmas being hosted by Jim this year. He did a bang up job! We had a few people in on Christmas eve, which was nice.

It was so good to have Luke home for the holidays! Our boy. Home. Love it! And, of course, when kids come home all their friends descend upon us as well and the house is again filled with fun and laughter. Kevin had his martini shaker going quite steadily as the kids ... who are now young men and women .... acquire more varied and sophisticated tastes. Luke played hockey here for the first time since organized hockey ended for him in grade 12. He chose college lacrosse over continued hockey but he still loves hockey, too. It was made even better by the fact that most of his good friends who he played hockey with for many years through their last year of midget play on an adult rec team and Luke was able to play some games with them while he was home. The boys even found a rink in Kentucky this year where they've been able to play so, for the first time, he has taken his hockey equipment back to Louisville with him.

We were especially pleased that Nora, Luke's girlfriend, came to visit us for the first time. We so enjoyed having her here. She's "our favourite American".

It felt a little peculiar not having Hannah home for Christmas this year but we skyped with she and Matt Christmas morning and all tossed a tequila shot together. Skype is good but it just doesn't quite fill the bill. We sure missed having her home.

We once again dog sat Dexter (a bearded collie), who is a totally great dog! So easy to have around. I was quite sad when Dwayne came to retrieve him.

We spent an evening with some "hockey parent friends" over the holidays and met Sharon's and Kent's new pup ... a 6 month old Portuguese Water Dog (the Obama Dog) ... and took the opportunity to dog sit it for New Year's eve while they were away. Tuck (that's his name) was a little more challenging and demanding than Dexter but sweet and funny and oh, so soft! He's so black and curly. It's hard to see his eyes. He was a little wired when he first got here but settled down considerably by the next day. When he was first here, he explored the house and if he found anything soft ... like a stuffed animal or our Santa hat, he thought it was meant to be his toy. He was so good at night. As soon as we turned the light out, he jumped off the bed and settled on the floor beside our bed where he slept contentedly until we got up. And we really slept in that day so I was quite amazed. We spent New Years eve with neighbourhood friends ... their house renovations that we saw for the first time are AMAZING! They are "dog people" and have two wonderful dogs of their own ... Australian Cattle Dogs ... and they invited Tuck to visit for a while. It was a little crazy there with Tuck being a very excited pup but probably a good opportunity for him to meet some other dogs and get put in his place a little bit.

We watched a lot of hockey over the holidays and on New Year's day, Luke, Nora, Kevin and I all slept in and then we shifted our bodies to the family room where we watched several hours of a "Storage Wars" tv marathon! It was just what I, for one, needed. 

As you can see, I did some sewing for Christmas. I made quite a few lined drawstring bags. Then I had to dismantle my sewing room (aka: dining room) for the holidays. See that long stretch of cleared table in the top photo? The whole room looked like a fabric tornado only a day or so before that photo was taken!

The not so good part of the holidays included two funerals. While we did enjoy Christmas, it wasn't far from our minds that other families close to us were grieving over the unexpected loss of loved ones and we were so sad for them, too. One was the youngest son (29) of one of my cousin's. He was on his way home from Alberta for Christmas and was in a fatal car accident. The other a local friend who most unexpectedly, at 54, suffered a heart attack just before Christmas. We held our loved ones especially close.

I have been a bad girl this past couple of months. Not only did I take a vacation from blogging, I took a vacation from Tamoxifen. I just did it. Having it upset my stomach and my joint issues wasn't what pushed me over the edge. It was how depressed I was feeling and I really believe it was the Tamoxifen. Gearing up for Christmas and feeling overwhelmed with all the things to do is an especially lousy time to feel depressed, I think. I was reaching critical mass and so one day at the beginning of November I didn't take my Tamoxifen. And then I didn't the next day ... or the next day. I kept thinking I'd just take a week of so and then I caught that awful cold and I just couldn't bring myself to start it again and have it make me feel even worse. I just couldn't do it. So I didn't. I thought I'd start during the holidays when my cold was mostly over but ... nope ... I've waited until the New Year. I'm starting back on it again tonight.

And did it make a difference to how I felt being off Tamoxifen? Yes, it did. I felt stronger emotionally and physically. My joints while still a bit of a bother, were considerably better. Most significantly for me was that after being off it for about a month and even though I felt pretty bad because of my cold, my head felt "lighter" ... my brain felt less fuzzy. It was easier for me to focus ... to concentrate ... to multitask ... to organize. My brain seemed easier to engage. That was the best part. So now I'm going to go back on the drug and I'm going to play close attention to how I feel while on it again. They put us on these drugs for a reason, I know, but even on them some people's breast cancer returns. Some women choose not to take the drugs, against their doctor's wishes, and they never get a recurrence. It's all a gambe until such time that research can find ways to better figure out who is at risk and who isn't.

So ... I thought I'd feel pretty much myself again by the end of 2010 ... and didn't. And then I thought perhaps by the end of 2011 ... and I don't. Maybe by the end of 2012. I must say, though, that having my hair fill in a bit more and be a bit more manageable has made me a lot happier.

So, since I didn't send any cards this year or season's greetings by email, know that I wish all my friends and family all good things for 2012 ... health, happiness, successes, fun. I'm grateful for each and every one of you.
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