Friday, February 19, 2016

Going on a 'Staycation'

(original tea image courtesy Pixabay. A little added photoshop artistry, me)

It's nearly the end of February, a time of year Henry and I begin to long for warm weather. He starts itching to get out his boat and fishing rod and I'm knee deep in seed catalogs and drooling over all those fabulous gardening boards on Pinterest.

We had hoped to take a trip down to the coast (B.C.'s west coast), lounge around in our favourite Bed and Breakfast, visit with my sisters, and go on a few adventures but . . . truck repairs, dentist visits and new glasses have put that out of reach for the time being.

What to do, what to do . . . 

Normally I would plan a lovely 'Staycation' at home that would include adventures here at home, working on a big project or lots of learning about some new project I'm hoping to do.

But this year???

This year I'm tired. There's been lots going on for months and, although my post shingles pain is mostly under control these days, I feel rather worn out.

 I have something totally different planned for this 'staycation' This year it's going to be all about resting and relaxing. Poor Henry's still going to have to go to work, so all his relaxing and resting will happen in the evenings. (not to worry though, he had a lovely golf holiday last fall)


I'm going to be madly getting stuff ready for the ultimate 'at home' retreat week. I'm cleaning and fluffing and staging lovely vignettes around the house. I'm going to bake all my favourite cookies, squares and cakes and pop them in the freezer so I'll (okay, we'll . . . I might share a few things . . .) have tasty treats all week with out any effort from me. Some of those cookies won't even see the inside of an oven. They'll just be yummy dough. If I'm really, really smart I'll put together a few things to make quick meals next week but, and I hate to say it, I'm pretty sure there will just be a whole lot of 'Help Yourself' suppers instead.

There will be piles of books beside the bed, movie marathons and . . . I may not even change out of my pj's!

I do have a few things booked that will get me dressed and out of the house, so I won't be a total hermit. For the most part though, I'm going to pretend I live in Regency England and not 'At Home' when people come to call. Or in this day and age, email, Facebook and text . . . ;D

Sigh, I can't wait. But now I'm off to wash the sheets and scrub the bathroom. There's nothing cozier than a bed with crisp, freshly washed bedding that's piled high with pillows and extra blankets. Add in a sparkling bathroom complete with fluffy towels and fresh flowers???


See you all in March!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

That Annoying Voice in my Head

Do  you ever have that? An annoying voice in your head that just won't leave you alone??

I do and it happens all the time. Some days that voice decides it's not content to stay in my head and appears around the corner inside a body.

I hear the Voice in my head most often while I'm chopping vegetables . . .

"Be careful!" "Stop waving the knife around, it's dangerous." "No, no, don't hold it like that, you're going to cut yourself." "Tuck your fingers in!!"

The other day the voice got so loud I was totally flustered and nearly cut my finger off!

But, when that Voice decides to get out of my head and reunite with it's body???

It's either very, very good or very, very bad.

It's very, very good when the body sighs, grabs the knife and says "Move over and let me do that, I can't take it any more . . ."

And it's very, very bad when it not only scolds me for playing when I should be working, but actually uses it's rather large body to gently remove me from my desk chair, turn off my computer and lead me into the kitchen to make dinner for the guests due to arrive any minute.

I mean, really, there's always peanut butter sandwiches right???

You know you're getting old when your son turns into your dad . . .


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Out of Surgery and a Thank You . . .

I'm finding peace in the small details of God's creation today.

There's something about macro photography and the act of looking for beauty in the smallest bits of God's creation. There's a sense of wonder and astonishment that God cares for things down to the tiniest detail.

 Nothing is so small that it would escape his notice.

Psalm 95:4-5

4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 
Dad came out of surgery and, although it took him awhile to recover from the anesthesia, and a few, not unexpected, things came up afterwards, he had a relatively comfortable night last night. We are still waiting to hear how the surgery itself went. He was in an observation room overnight and will likely spend the day there as well.
I wanted to thank everyone for your sweet comments and prayers.  They are a huge comfort and encouragement to us all.
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Praying for Dad V.

 Henry's dad is in surgery as I write this. The surgeon is removing 65% of his liver and his gallbladder today. If all goes well, in 6 to 8 weeks he will be in surgery again, to remove the tumor in his colon, the place where his cancer began.

 I wanted to write a beautiful post for him today, something to tell you how special he is and what an inspiration he's been to all of us with his wonderful attitude and steadfast faith.

But . . .

I don't have the words today. Instead my heart and mind is filled with prayer as we wait . . .

Philippians 4: 6-7

  6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

I'll leave you with dad's words as he was being wheeled into surgery: "I'm in the Lord's hands."

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Creating on a Winter's Afternoon.

Kim and I spent the afternoon earlier this week setting up a variety of styled tea still life vignettes.

Two of my favorite things at once! There is nothing better than spending a winter's afternoon, camera in hand, surrounded by tea and cookies.

Unless . . . you add in time in Photoshop, playing with one of the stills you made. Photography, tea and cookies plus Photoshop . . . makes for a the perfect afternoon.

Here are a few with out Photoshop magic:
Another one of mine . . .

And one of Kim's . . .

Have a wonderful week end!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Looking forward to Spring

I don't know about you, but every January I start to long for spring.

 On Boxing Day I'm in a fever of impatience, wanting my tree down right now, loading empty laundry baskets with anything Christmasy, ready to make a clean sweep.

 Master Gardener or not, I deliberately stop watering my poinsettias so I can throw them away as quickly as possible without guilt. Which I can. Because they're dead. Even though I killed them. On purpose. (Yes indeed. That's how my brain works.)

By New Years Day my house is usually bare of seasonal decor. I love to decorate for the seasons and somehow I never seem to do 'winter'. I go from fall to Christmas, skip winter altogether and go straight to spring.

The ultimate denial.

By the end of January I'm chomping at the bit, aching for the sight of fresh flowers. When I can't stand it for even one more day, I'll treat myself to an inexpensive bundle of flowers, which I will spread out into an assortment of tiny vases so there will be something pretty all over the house.

 Then it's February and time for the grocery store primulas. I love to work them into a spring vignette. Because, if I still lived in B.C., it would be spring . . . at least, that's what my sister Lisa tells me when I'm moaning about another winter snowstorm and she assures me that the snowdrops are already poking their heads up everywhere she looks . . .

 She's a mean one alright . . .  ;D

 By late February (and sometimes even before) the tulips/daffodils I'd forced back in the fall start to bloom and it's just magical. There is nothing like enjoying the blooms of your own tulips and daffodils. I'm not sure why I find them so much more satisfying than those I buy at the store, but they are.

 March is hardcore seeding. I could watch those seedlings pop up all day long if I didn't have to keep us in clean underwear and toilet paper . . .


In April, seedlings get transplanted into bigger pots and moved into the greenhouse. Oh the thrill of a greenhouse in April.

Ah spring, it's almost as fun to anticipate as it is to live it.

Almost . . . 

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Friday, January 22, 2016

On a Sister Adventure.

My youngest sister Sabrina came to visit me last week. It's the first time she's been up here for a sister visit. She came on her own and got to enjoy sleeping in and having the entire bed to herself. A real luxury when she usually shares the bed with her husband, adorable little munchkin and their two dogs!

The weather wasn't as cooperative as I'd hoped. It stayed in the minus 20C range for most of her visit. This meant no shopping on Whyte Ave, no visit to the Ice Castle and no long rambles through the river valley with Jada. (I guess she's just going to have to come back when it warms up! ;D)

 I knew I wanted to take her on a visit to the Duchess Bake Shop. It's the perfect adventure for the daughter's of a baker. After the 6 month check up with my melanoma doctor (a good one!), we bundled up and headed out. We found a good parking spot and shivered our way over to the Duchess . . . who are closed on Mondays!


Luckily for us, Edmonton is full of great restaurants, so I took her to another one of my favourites: The Dish Bistro. They never disappoint. Yum!

Sabrina enjoyed a hearty bowl of their daily soup and I had my current favourite, Chicken and Waffles. Fried chicken on a Cheddar and green onion buttermilk waffle with a grainy mustard maple syrup. Yummy, yummy, yummy.

The bonus for me, is that I can only eat half, which means I get to take the rest home for lunch the next day . . . Double yum!

Don't you love if when you can share an adventure with your sister? I know I do!

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