Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! 2012 Here We Come!

Well, Heeellllooooooooo!

You guessed it! The above pictures depict my very close to being completed "new beautiful bathroom"!

All that is left is to change out the door leading into my bedroom, and put up the tile. The tile will cover the top of the apron around the tub as well as the first 4 inches or so of the vertical sides.  It will also go up as trim where the tub meets the wall.

We took it from 11 1/2' x 12', to 11 1/2' x 15'.

And that brings us to the conclusion of the "new beautiful bathroom" saga!

Now, I hope all of you have enjoyed a great holiday week. Lots of time with family and friends, time to curl up and watch old cheesy movies, play board games, and eat obscene amounts of junk food.

With 2012 starting as I touch the floor in the morning, I kind of find myself looking forward to the upcoming year with excitement and a wee bit of aprehension. I have a feeling this could very well be a very incredible year as far as this whole writing thing goes.

It's going to be a year of sending another one of my book babies out into the world to be judged, which is very scary. It's most likely going to be a year where, in order to keep things going, I will need to do things way outside of my comfort zone, yet again. I'll tell you one thing about that, though. The more I do it, the less scary that whole thing becomes. I do it, I don't die, and I move on to the next one. I still get sweaty palms, absolutely, but I don't think anyone has ever died of sweaty palms, so it's all good.

So 2012, here we come! We are ready for whatever you have to offer!

In the upcoming week:

It's back to work. I'm looking forward to seeing my munchkins.
Need to get income tax stuff ready for the accountant. (all together now....yay)
I need to get down to business about getting the next book ready for Hazel. I want to have it ready by March.
I need to check in with the disaster relief people and see where we are standing with that whole thing.

So, as we start out in this new year together, I send you this wish.

May your 2012 begin on a good note, and may that sweet music continue all year long.
May your good times far outnumber the tough ones, with way more going right than wrong.

May any new endeavors bring you only the best kinds of challenges, ones that make you bend deeply, but not break.
May you discover new strengths and capabilities that push you to leave any hardships in your wake.

May your new year bring you, love, joy and peace, in whatever form is recognized by your soul.
May you know them when you see them, as sometimes, blessings aren't shouted from the mountain top, but whispered from a hole.

Now, folks I need to go get ready for my baby sis and her family who are coming to bring in the new year with us.

Until Next Week!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 More Sleeps!

Hi all!

 I hope these ramblings find all of you happy and healthy, wherever you are in the world!

The above picture is evidence of what happens when you combine 150 girls between the ages of 5 and 17 with sugar, chocolate and some awesome dance tunes!

Yep, according the organizers, the Girl Guide fund raiser was a rousing success! They raised more money than they had dared hope for. Something that the entertainment always likes to hear. So glad it went well. It's always an honor to help out raising money for such worthy causes.

It was such a blast watching those girls have soooo much fun! They didn't sit down the entire night! Song after song, they were out there dancing their little faces off!  It made me nostalgic for the days when I would chaperon my girls' school dances. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it.

I'm looking very forward to having all of my kids under this roof again.  I know there will be a lot of laughter, a lot of food, and a lot of board games and wii. I don't think going skating will be an option this year, as the ice hasn't been put in at the local rink yet. There's not enough snow for sledding, so, indoor games it is!

I stopped by my oldest daughter's home the other day, and asked Ethan how many mores sleeps there were until Christmas. His reply? " Mom said we're not supposed to ask that anymore."

Something tells me it was a question asked about very half hour. Ya gotta love 3 year olds!

So folks, this weekend marks the beginning of our Christmas holidays! We have two straight weeks of sleeping past 4:45am! Yay! The kids start trickling in on Friday, so that gives us 5 days to get the Christmas baking done, finish the bathroom, get everything cleaned up, decorated, and feeling like Christmas. It's gonna be awesome!

As, like so many of you, I'll be up to my elbows in Turkey next weekend, my next blog will be posted Jan 1st/2012. Wow, how did that come up so fast?!

2012 is going to be an incredible year! Thank you all so much for your incredible, ongoing support. I'm so absolutely honored that you take the time to read these ramblings. It completely thrills and amazes me every time I see readers from another country coming along for the ride. When I began these ramblings, I really thought it was a shot in the dark, and just maybe my family might like to read it. There is no way I could have ever imagined, that these months later, people from a bunch of countries on every continent on the planet actually read it every week!

I am incredibly grateful.

With that, I will leave you with my final wish for this year, 2011.

May your year come to a close with those you love, calm reflection, and, without regret.
May you look back on the last 12 months and see it as precious time, well spent.

May you look ahead at this threshold with the excitement and anticipation it deserves.
May you see it as a host of opportunities and possibilities, not as likely bumps and curves.

May you look at each new dawn, through the eyes of those who fight to live every day.
May you keep in your heart how fragile our time here is, wasting it, just isn't the way.

May you bring in the New Year with joy, happiness and a kiss.
May your next 12 months be, well, simply, bliss.

Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you in 2 weeks!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

15 More Sleeps Til Christmas!

Ahhhh.....the table set for Christmas as it was for that Holiday meal last year.  Looking at my house, as I sit here typing this, I find it hard to imagine we'll get it looking anywhere near this photo for this year.

We made some strong headway today, and hopefully will kick this dragging reno harshly in the rear tomorrow. I can see the light at the end of the's hopin' it's not a train!

At the risk of making some of you kind of angry at me, I have to inform you that I am officially finished Christmas SHOPPING! Woohoo! Now, I just need to wrap the latest of the treasures and that part of Christmas preparation will be complete!

It's all coming together. Real progress on the bathroom, shopping done, now for the food. Some treats, some turkey, some stuffing, some pie. I'm sure if you think back, there is probably a certain cookie or square that makes your Christmas. We all have them, I think. If not, why not start this year. Wouldn't it be fun just to test samples until you discover "your taste of Christmas"?

I believe this would be the perfect time to discuss the CLF of Christmas baking. I have given it a lot of thought, and although the science may be flawed, I believe the following to be true.

To begin you need to understand what CLF is. It is the only thing that can give us the freedom to enjoy those special Holiday treats without guilt. CLF is.

CLF = Calorie Leaking Factor, and the circumstances under which it occurs, are as follows.

1) When squares are cut at least 1/2 hour prior to consumption, CLF.
2) If cookies have been frozen in any plastic container, CLF.
3) If an eating utensil is not required to eat said morsel of goodness. CLF
4) If it came from your Grandmother's recipe. CLF (on principle)
5) If you can eat the treat in less than 4 bites. CLF

Now, ENJOY! It's a couple of days, and there's always the "New Year's Resolution" exercise frenzy that will take place the first couple of weeks in January. Between that, and cleaning up all of the Christmas chaos mess, you'll work it off!

Eat healthy. Don't do drugs. Stay in school.  There, that should cover my butt!

Let's see, now for the upcoming week......

I need to finish up the prep for the Girl Guide party on Friday.

I need to get some baking done! I usually do up a platter for the people at our daily gas station, and a couple of buckets for the people I work for. This is the last week of work before holidays. I have to get on it!

Start baking for the ones I'll be feeding in my house over the holidays.

Finish me you can't be as sick of reading about it as I am of writing about it!

Decorate house.

Clean and prep basement for the kids' visit.

Play hard with my munchkins, I won't see them for a couple of weeks starting Saturday!

As we head into the home stretch of Christmas preparation, I'll leave you with this wish....

May every board or card game played, bring good natured ribbing, and laughing with downright glee.
May your video game skills quadruple, so you can hold your own while playing games on wii.

May there be time and snow for sledding, snowball fights, angels and snowmen.
May there be hot chocolate, cookies, and the little girl giggles that can escape from grown men.

May your time be filled with family and friends and memories of great Christmases passed.
May you build great new memories with those here now, memories that, for them, will last.

Oh yeah, Get your stocking stuffers at:

McNally Robinson Booksellers, Saskatoon and Winnipeg

Crandleberry`s in North Battleford

Prairie Rose Flowers and Gifts in Kindersley

Saturday, December 3, 2011

3 More Weeks! What?!

Hi All!

Wow! December is here!  Let the Games Begin!

I have to admit I'm feeling a little blah.  This is the first year, in I don't know how long, that I don't have my entire house dripping in snowmen and mistletoe by now. So hard to decorate around the construction zone that insists on still living in my house.  Oh well, I'm pretty sure, as catastrophic events go, this doesn't even show up on the radar.

As long as we can get the basement semi habitable, and the bathroom completed by the time the kids show up for Christmas, I will be more than a happy camper!

This week's picture shows a glimpse of the "face" I was talking about last week. This is a shot from last year's festivities.  I was just thinking how the world would be a much happier place if we all constantly had that look on our faces.  On second thought, it might more realistically translate into a lot of Christmas parties ending with alot of people wearing pretty white jackets that make you hug yourself.


This week went pretty well.

When I got to work on Monday I was surprised and a little saddened to see the 2 year old twins I care for, sitting in big boy booster seats instead of high chairs! They were grinning from ear to ear, completely pleased with themselves. They are too cute sometimes.

Tuesday, although not at all happy about the circumstance, I was able to spend a little time with a couple of cousins I grew up with. I was so glad to see them, but was only able to because their Dad is in the hospital and having a pretty tough time.  My heart goes out to them, and all those facing a similar situation, especially at this time of year.

Wednesday was filled with the usual things. Dentist, laundry, cooking, cleaning, answering emails and phone calls. All of the typical noise. Oh yeah, and trying to figure out the lure of twitter. I'm not sure if I understand the advantage of using twitter for the average Joe.  I mean, for people who know you, they already have your home number, cell number, email address, your actual address, and have you on facebook. Is twitter just in case they can't call, leave a message,text you, email you, poke you, or, oh, I don't know, stop by?

For those you don't know, they wouldn't be "following" you anyway. And  if they do want to follow you.......why? I'm just not sure where else in this world we invite total strangers to "follow" us. I totally get why celebrities do it and why people might be fascinated to "follow" them. But, just for regular people like you and me? I don't get it, at least not yet. But, that's just me.

Thursday, I was able to meet a dear friend for lunch, a great visit, and, yes a little shopping. All in all, a pretty good day.

Friday had me waking up to hazardous roads, and a hubby who couldn't do a lot of moving north of the shoulder blades. He whacked the back of his head on his way out from under an RV at work and woke up in a lot of pain. But, the trooper that he is, was going to try and tough it out. That's when he went outside and soon discovered there had been some freezing rain overnight. He jumped in the car to see if it was as bad as we thought it might be, it was worse. So the combination of ice covered roads and injuries postponed our trip into Saskatoon until later that day.

Thankfully, the salt trucks were out by then, so the highway wasn't too bad. The hubby had taken advantage of the extra time to try and get the pain in his neck and shoulders under control. With that, along with the baby elephant that was threatening to take up residence in my chest, (a nice byproduct that comes with working with the less than snot free members of society) we were on our way to do the show for the swing dancers!

Other than dealing with a wind that would have made Dorothy nervous, we were able to set up without incident. Yay!

The show itself was......interesting. It's not often we are among the "kids" in the crowd these days. The swing dancers I was so worried about disappointing turned out to be one couple who, although appreciative of the swing stuff, was pretty much happy with anything from earlier than 1965.

We had a couple of singers, some requests, and, for the first time ever, we were home, in our house, after a show 75 miles away, by 1:15am! They had begun with supper and cocktails at 6:00pm so they were fairly done by 11. They were all having a good time, dancing, laughing, singing from the tables, then I guess it was just bed time or something. Strangest thing.

So, after a night of hubby trying not to turn his head, and me taking Buckley's, sucking on throat lozenges, and drinking vitamin water we can mark another successful, though unusual, show into the books.

So, for the upcoming week,
*Remind you all that Lexi and Crazy make great stocking stuffers! (shameless plug)
*Start getting organized for girl guide party on the 16th
*hopefully completely finish Christmas shopping
*take up internal elephant hunting

With preparation for the holidays at the forefront, here is my wish for you this week.

May all the cookies you bake come out like the picture in the book.
May the Christmas cleaning elves show up to polish every nook.

May any projects hanging on, be completed, with plenty of time to spare.
May all of your gifts look like Martha Stewart had placed the bow perfectly there.

May every one of  your meals be a creation that would make your Grandma grin.
May you enjoy this hectic, happy time, everyone's happy, it's a win.

Until next week! Take Care!