May 29, 2017

Magirics Monday

magirics ~ art of cookery

A very happy Memorial Day to my U.S. friends. Even though we had our holiday weekend last weekend, I’m still a little jealous that you guys get today off and we don’t. Am I the only one who thinks that all weekends should be three days?

I had a productive weekend, although not in the way I expected. I had planned on buying the bedding plants for the gardens on Friday and then spending a good chunk of my time gardening.

However, Friday was pretty wet, and it was supposed to rain off and on for the rest of the weekend, so I didn`t get my plants Friday evening. Wouldn`t you know that although Saturday started drizzly, by the afternoon things were drying up nicely. And Sunday was so nice I had the deck door open.

But I had no plants to plant, so instead I started working on a christening gown a friend is having me make for her grandson. No pattern, just a couple of pictures to go by. And she ripped out the sleeves from her mother`s wedding gown and could I please somehow include these in the gown? Along with dress sleeves, she gave me some lovely satin material and yards and yards of satin ribbon. Challenge accepted.

Once the sleeves were ripped apart and ironed flat, I had two medium length, oddly wedge shaped pieces of material. A snip here and a snip there gave me two more uniformly wedge shapes. Although they would have been long enough for an ordinary dress, this is a christening gown. So I sewed a 10 inch piece of satin to the bottom of each panel, then cut a piece the entire length for a center panel.

This is where I’d normally post a picture, but despite spending the bulk of my weekend on it, it’s not done yet. I still have the hand sewing - hem, basting down the bodice lining, and buttons - to go. I repurposed the row of buttons and corresponding loops from one of the sleeves for the closure at the back. In retrospect, although it was a nice idea to make further use of the sleeves, eleven buttons is a lot of buttons.

Because the gown is for a baby boy, I didn’t want to make it too froofy, and my friend requested that it be plain, so I used the satin ribbon to trim it at the top and bottom. No bows or flowers. It’s actually turning out better than I expected, I just hope it fits. :-D

Sunday the daughter invited me to go to lunch with them so I took a break from the sewing long enough to celebrate burger day with a Perseus burger from Olympus Burgers. This is from their secret menu, which can only be accessed online - fresh beef patty, crunchy onion rings, aged white cheddar cheese, Olympus bbq sauce, lettuce, tomato.

As part as an art awareness program, there was a gentleman dressed as a Canada goose lurking around and the granddaughter turned out to not be a fan.

Here’s a picture of her hiding behind her milkshake. It was actually a friend of the daughter’s in the goose suit, and it was kind of amusing the way the granddaughter avoided him. She didn’t cry or make a fuss, she just pointedly wouldn’t look at him. It was like, “If I don’t look at him then he can’t hurt me.”

The weather forecast for the week ahead is so up and down I have no idea what to expect, but the only plans I have, other than finishing the christening gown, is for writing, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ;-)

May 22, 2017

Myasthenia Monday

myasthenia ~ muscular weakness or debility

It’s the 24th of May
The Queen’s birthday
And if we don’t get a holiday
We’ll all run away

Happy Victoria Day to all my fellow Canadians. I’d wish you Yanks a happy holiday too, but yours isn’t until next weekend. You’d think someone, somewhere, would sync these two holidays up.

Anyway, as per usual when we have a holiday Monday, I kind of forgot that it’s actually Monday and I should have had a blog post up already. Oops! But I’m here now, and that’s what matters, right?

I have to admit, weather-wise this was a waste of a weekend. Saturday was okay, a little on the cool side but at least the sun was mostly out. Yesterday was also cool and rainy to boot. Today looks to be more of the same. Although the weather network, and we all know how accurate they are, is saying that it’s supposed to be sunny and warm this afternoon. I’m not breaking out the sun screen until I actually see the sun.

Traditionally, this is the weekend people open up their cottages and take care of their gardens. We usually try and get our bedding plants in over the holiday, but it’s been such a cold, wet spring that our gardens aren’t ready yet. Hubby spent Saturday uncovering the roses and cleaning out the pond, but the rest of the weekend has been too wet to work outside.

As for myself... I bought three sweet potato vines to go in an indoor planter where I planted the sweet potato I’d been growing in water (the one that promptly died once was in dirt). The idea is to have them grow up a small trellis to block the cats from getting at the other plants in my dining room. And I found a perfect planter for my kitchen window sill for my two English ivies (the ones I’d bought originally to replace the sweet potato before discovering they’re toxic to cats).

And I really have to show you the fairy garden I created from all the great stuff the daughter and granddaughter gave me:

Isn't it cute? And the best part is, the cats haven’t touched the artificial moss! I had so much fun doing it, I immediately wanted to do another. And then I recalled my gnome garden. A couple of years ago, I turned a large aquarium into a terrarium.

Doesn’t it look lovely? It was so green and pretty ... for such a short time. It sits on a bookcase in the upstairs hallway and gets pretty much no light, and is real easy to overlook when it comes to watering the plants. It didn’t take long for it to end up looking like this:

It never occurred to me to use fake plants in it - you’d never know the moss in the fairy garden isn’t real, why not use some in the gnome garden? So I made a trip to the dollar store to see what they had in the way of “stuff” for my garden (which admittedly wasn’t much), then I cleaned all the dead foliage out, broke up the hard dirt, and went to town. And this is what the gnome habitat looks like now:

Admittedly it’s not quite as pretty as the original with the live plants. It could use a few more mushrooms, but the white rocks glow in the dark and are supposed to mimic a stream. It’ll do until I get to make a trip to the craft store.

Have a happy holiday!

May 15, 2017

Moniliform Monday

moniliform ~ shaped like a string of beads

Everyone have a good weekend?

My weekend was pretty action packed. It was the two-day year end bowling tournament for the hubby, which is held in Hamilton. Or, as one of the other bowling wives and I call it, the Shopping Tournament. While our husbands are bowling, we go to Lime Ridge Mall and shop till we drop.

This year, however, I spent the first day with family (I have a sister living in Hamilton). Our aunt and uncle came down from Stoney Creek to have lunch with us and afterwards we went shopping at Costco. Guess I just can’t get away from the shopping. LOL

Here’s a picture of the Sunday sunrise as seen from our hotel window:

That was taken at about 5:30 a.m. What was I doing up at that ungodly hour? Despite the insanely comfortable, king-sized bed, I kept waking up throughout the night. There’s not much to do at 5:30 a.m. There’s a huge mall under the hotel but of course it opens late on Sundays. And although they’ve put in a Starbucks downstairs, it didn’t open until 7 a.m.

While the bowling started early on Sunday, the shopping did not, so my friend and I enjoyed a leisurely coffee while waiting for the stores to open. The mall wasn’t too busy, the big rush was have been the day before for people buying last minute mother’s day presents.

This was the first time since I’ve been a grandmother that I’ve been near a Disney store, but the prices helped me show a lot of restraint. I bought the grandbaby a large, stuffed, Stitch (because he was blue and she likes blue aliens), and that was pretty much it. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $22 on a Star Wars tee-shirt for her. And they had NO GRUMPY TEE-SHIRTS for me. They used to come out with a different one every year.

We got home in time to have mother’s day dinner with our family. And my daughter (and granddaughter) gave me an amazing mother’s day present. My daughter always manages to find the best presents ever!

So you know what I’ll be doing later today. I’m gonna make me a fairy garden!

May 8, 2017

Melichrous Monday

melichrous ~ having a honey-like colour

If April showers bring May flowers, then we should be buried in blossoms by now. Granted our rain started in April and continued on into May, but still....

There was already concern that the water level in Lake Ontario was high, and with the excessive rainfall we’ve been having over the last couple of weeks there’s been a lot of flooding along the shoreline and creeks.

That’s our local beach - one of the top ten in the province. At least it used to be. Now it’s barely a beach. I took that picture Saturday morning during a brief lull in the rain. I don’t know how much more is expected, but I’ve noticed the animals starting to line up two by two.

The last time we had flooding like this was the great flood of 1980. That flood had been caused by the ground being too frozen to absorb the amount of water from the amount of rain coming down. Added to that was the fact streams and rivers were still semi-frozen and ice jams were damming up the water. When those jams let go, it just exacerbated the problem.

I’m almost thinking the flooding we’re getting now is worse. It’s not just confined to the lakeshore, rivers, and streams. The excessive amount rain has saturated the ground and the water has nowhere else to go, it just lies there.

Thanks to improvements made both inside and out of the house, we got off luckier with this flood than we did the one in 1980. On top of the rain, a power outage knocked out our sump pump in 1980. I recall stepping off the bottom stair in the basement and splashing in the water. This year there was no power outage and although we have some water seeping in, most of it's contained to the edges of the the laundry room and workshop areas, all of which has cement flooring.

But there’s a saying that every cloud has a silver lining, and the one to all this rain flew in this morning. As I was standing at the upstairs bedroom window, Daphne flew into the back yard and made a perfect landing in the water on top of the pool cover. At least someone’s happy with all this water!

May 1, 2017

Millocracy Monday

millocracy ~ government by mill owners

“Happy, happy, first of May
Outdoor screwing starts today”

LOL One of my sisters told me that once, and it was not the sister you’d expect it to be.

Of course it’s a little too cold for that sort of outdoor activity, but I can remember when I was a kid it being at least warm enough for bathing suits in May. Thank you global warming - not.

It’s been cold and wet and grey these days, and according to the weatherman it’s likely to stay that way for a while. However there will be one creature who’ll be happy about all this rain - Daphne the duck.

She and Donald have been a little miffed at the hubby lately. About a week ago he started to take the water off the top of tarp covering the pool and took a little too much - it was almost bone dry. Poor Donald landed on the cover with a splat instead of a splash. But the rain we’ve been having is slowly but surely filling the top of the pool back up again. There was even enough for Daphne to have her daily bath the last couple of days. :-)

Anyone see the movie Sixth Sense? You know, the “I see dead people” one.

Well, the grandbaby can see dead critters. Last summer she saw our deceased dog and one of our cats, who died well before she was born. Last night she could see “Uncle Bunny”, our recently deceased cat, on the bed. And when I asked her if she saw any other kitties she admitted she saw the orange one. There's also a ghost puppy at her house that likes to sleep in her front garden. Cue the Twilight Zone theme music. :-)

It was touch and go for a while there, but I completed my poetry challenge. A poem a day for the month of April following an A to Z list of forms. The most common problem I had with the poems was the syllable counts. Many of the forms I used had very strict syllable counts and/or rhyme schemes. Often I found myself either a syllable short or with one too many.

But the month is over and the challenge is done. If you’d like to see my final week’s worth of forms, you can check them out HERE

And now if I write a poem it’ll just be for fun. :-D