Saturday, October 25, 2008


Thanks Marion, please keep your cold weather to yourself. I was out on our deck with a coffee and the next thing, hail....... Not used to hail in the North Island. At least we can look forward to some warm sun soon. All the veggies are doing well , I have anew idea this year and I am growing apple cucumbers up the trellis on one of the decks. Don't think the dog will eat them , still can't grow strawberries anywhere near him. I have them in hanging baskets , while they really look pretty we don't get too many berries. I may change them back to petunias and lobelia, I used to put allysum in the same pot but on our dark decks it used to look like dandruff. Any suggestions for something which looks good but doesn't scatter petals everywhere.? I am in Christmas mode already, which is amazing for me but with a new GK I have lots to make . I found an I spy I hadn't finished so she can use that on the floor . Very quick machine quilting but I am quite pleased with it.Now to finish the Christmas stocking, doll, snake to use as a how to guide, buttons etc! More decorations, DD never use to have a tree and all the decorations I made each year for her have gone somewhere, so we start again. Will be ready for 2009, with luck.Must go and bake something fpr DH , he tends to think he is deprived if the tins are empty. Hugs to all Bee in NZ

Brace yourself Flossie !?!?

Oh Rosey !! You don't improve ! Thanks for starting my day with a giggle ....

I can imagine the fun that you had with your friend. When we are in the UK we always stay with the "girl" I trained with and later flatted with. We only have to catch each others eye sometimes to fall about laughing ... so many shared memories . Quite disconcerting for the rest of the company but they are getting used to it now, after 5o years..

We have woken to a very cold day today. Snow to low levels etc... the blossom on the trees is looking rather sad after a night of heavy rain.

Time to go.

Saturday afternoon in the Northern Hemisphere

Marion, it's still hard to hear that you are just coming into your summer as we are heading into our winter.....still some colourful trees around, the grass is still green, not brown, there are still raccoons out visiting birdfeeding stations and ripping them apart; I can still walk out to the garbage box in the outer garage without a coat or boots on...small blessings when I know what is coming. I read somewhere that winter is like having sex after 70...brace yourself Flossie, here it comes again.

And with November coming up, interest is running high in Canada on the US elections. I'm wondering if people are looking more at who they are voting in as Vice-President, rather than President this time. McCain is older and may be a heart attack waiting to happen, who knows. And Obama... is some crazy white-hooded hoodlum waiting to make a name for himself in the anals of history by knocking off the first President of colour? That leaves Biden and Sara P. Can you picture either of these people as President of the United States? I'm sure that there are many who may not vote and many who will feel conflicted in voting for their chosen party. Me, I voted for the Green Party here in Canada recently. I couldn't support our current PM, Stephen Harper, the control freak and while the Liberal leader may be one of the most honest politicians we've had, I couldn't see him on the International front. I am for the environment and the Green Party made strides in the election here in Canada, so the Green Party it was.

Just had a wonderful visit today with a longtime friend and her husband, from teacher's college days. I still remember doing my practice teaching in her one-room school house near her farm. I stayed at her working farm, with cows, pigs, chickens, etc. At night, we'd do our lesson plans in the big old farm kitchen. When I heard the first snap, my friend kept on writing without batting an, I wanted to know what that noise was. A mousetrap going off in her mother's cupboards, she said. Pies were stored in there for the next day. The next step in our silliness is one you'll maybe run me off the board for. We tied the dead mice on a string to the outside doorknob for the hired man to find first thing in the morning. And now, how many years later.....fifty years later...we still dissolved into fits of giggling. We don't see each other often, she winters in Oklahoma, summers up in cottage country...but it's like fifty years didn't happen everytime we meet. Endorphins are good.


Friday, October 24, 2008

We are living in interesting times...

I've been interested to read comments about the financial chaos around the world. All very worrying for those of us reliant on investments for our income. There will certainly be some "belt tightening" around here ! Fortunately, my fabric stash will keep me going for awhile, so I will still be able to quilt !

We are due to have elections here in early Nov . It will be such a relief to have it over and done with. I am tired of the electioneering. Truth is, the results of the American election will probably influence our lives more than the results of our own election.... how did that happen ?!?

We recently had a week in Auckland with DD#2 and family. They all seem well settled up there now, which is nice to see. We will go back for Christmas otherwise they, and we ,would be without family.

My "sailing nephew" is on the high seas again. He's doing the Volvo for the forth tine. This time he's on Green Dragon, a joint Irish/Chinese boat. They are heading for South Africa at the moment and I think they are in second place. There are several boats within sight of each other evidently, so it must all be very exciting for the sailors.

Chilly day here today, the settled summer weather seems to be late arriving. The garden is looking lovely , lots of colour and lots of birdsong . It does give me a lot of pleasure.

Enjoy the w/end.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Movie review of "W"

An Oliver Stone movie, Josh Brolin gives such a convincing portrayal of George W. Bush, that many times, I forgot that he actually wasn't him. "W" is about three portions of George W's life, from the boozing, always in trouble young man, to the ambitious, problematic older man who the US citizens elected as their President eight years ago. Father George is well played as are the two actors who played Colin Powell and Condaleisa Rice (sp?), the latter, who came off as nothing more than a sychophant and yes-person to the president. The other cast members were so-so. It was Josh Brolin's movie. The fact that our economy is so deeply in trouble and people's portfolios, have lost huge amounts, made me not feel anything more for George, in spite of his troubled youth and troubled relationship with his father, than someone who is a disturbing man; someone not intelligent enough or equipped to do the job of president of the United States. I left feeling that if one man could be responsible for depleting the coffers of the United States Treasury through wars that need not have been (not excluding the govt's irresponsibility in not regulating the loan companies), it could be Geo. W. Bush. My 'pocket-book' is lighter thanks to the monitary slide in Canada. It's hard to believe that a political machine could have supported someone whose intelligence was so sorely challenged. Still, it is a movie worth seeing and is thought-provoking.


Hitting home

DH and I have been following the economic shall I say it? ..... mess in an academic sort of way. Tuesday (his birthday!) it all became more personal. The mine where he works as a heavy equipment mechanic shut down. Just like that. It's a palladium/platinum mine which sells its product to the folks who make catalytic converters for cars. DH has been longing to quit working there, so he is not unhappy. I, who keep the family books, am not so happy. I'm sure he'll find another job of some sort, but we will miss the big paycheques. He'd like to retire, but our nest egg has shrunk rather severely in recent weeks, especially the value of the stocks the company gave him as part of his RRSP pension plan. My heart aches for the younger workers with young families and mortgages. Two other mines in Ontario closed or suspended operations the same day, and I heard about another one in New Brunswick. They all plan to reopen when metal prices rise enough to make production profitable again. Right now they can't even break even. I think it's going to be awhile before prices go up that much. We've had a good living from mining in our lifetime; I guess now we pay the piper. :-)

On a cheerier note we are celebrating 40 years of marriage this weekend with our kids, family and friends. I'm so looking forward to seeing people I haven't seen in awhile. DD's have some kind of a surprise planned - I'm dying of curiosity.

Another cheery thought occurred to me. Thanks to my fabric-buying addiction, I will never run out of fabric to make quilts!

Brenda in Nn Ontario, riding the roller coaster of life


One last word about gated communities. I think my attitude and that of my neighbors is that although there is inevitably some crime here most of it is meth related and that tends to hit in limited areas. I don't even lock my door when I leave the house and Shadow is such a wimp I doubt if she would scare anyone off. If anyone wants to get into my house all they have to do is go to the front or back porch, kick in a large 3'x5' window and walk in. I do keep a small loaded hand gun in my night stand. The only person I know who was victimized by a burglary was spending his usual winter in FL when his tool shed was broken into and all his tools taken. He was a cabinet maker so the loss was significant. The message conveyed here is one of exclusivity and doesn't win friends around here and these are the friendliest folks I've ever known. During the chamber music festival in the high rent area 20 miles south of here most of the audience are big bucks types who winter in FL and Atlanta and I have attended a number of parties for the "friends" of the festival in such communities. I can't see how the 80 year old retired cop at the gate is going to keep out the baddies. I don't think electric fences with razor wire would be very attractive or popular even though they would provide genuine security. It's just that the local culture and landscape are undergoing radical change and no one likes that. Just a view from my perspective.

Well, I guess I'll get my cheat sheet together and stop at the polls today. My nose is going to be sore for all the squeezing it will get when or if I cast a presidential ballot. Here the judges are elected rather than appointed and based on my significant experience in court rooms I believe you have to sit in courts day after day to make sound judgments about the most important characteristics needed on the bench which are impartiality, knowledge of the law(along with a willingness to apply it whether the judges likes it or not) and judicial temperament. All the campaigning in the world doesn't convey any of those.

Jane who is hoping the weather man is getting it right and tomorrow will bring blessed rain.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

checking in ... and still here ;-)

Hello y'all! I'm coming up for air and had time to check in. The count down for our son's wedding continues and we are at 4 1/2 weeks away. I actually wrote the countdown on each Saturday on the calendar. Keeps me sane, as I'm not having to do math in my head as to "how many weeks away are we?" I'm in the process of machine quilting a Double Irish Chain quilt I made for the kids, that I hope is finished in time to give to them in time to be a wedding gift. If it's not done, there's always Christmas. I'll post a picture when it is finished.

Starting yesterday, I am resisting all sweets and sugar. (I hear you snerking, Rosey P.) I need my immune system to be at its best with all the busyness going on around here for the wedding and holiday season.

We have gated communities around here. It was rather comical when the county school buses stopped at the gate of one, the first in our community, and would not enter the development of million-dollar homes because the county did not maintain those streets inside. Apparently the county school bus was only allowed on county roads! The parents were not happy campers. ;o) They probably got it all worked out but I did not pay attention, as it did not affect moi.

I think gated developments are nice for older people because it does provide a higher level of security. With the current economy, if unemployment rises we all know that crime will rise with it. Those gates might look awfully attractive. Our subdivision isn't gated but I told DH if things got bad I would go buy a gun and learn how to use it.

SARA IN FL - the weight I gain in Ireland is always blamed on that wonderful soda bread they serve at breakfast. Maybe I should make some, to go with the beef stew for supper tonight . . . !

Must run..... Hugs to everyone!

Monday, October 20, 2008

More on gated communities

Jane-My GF who is a quilter, along with her OB-GYN Dr. husband are building a retirement in a gated community in S.C. just south of the N.C. border. The only reason they are building there is because he will have membership/access to 3 different golf courses. They are the most "down home" people. He loves golf! She loves quilting. They are building her a special loft room over the garage just for quilting.
They are not snobs, and don't think they are better than anyone else. For the next few years they will spend one or two months there, and then here the rest of the time. Don't know if they will ever live there full time. They want paved streets and water that isn't from a private well.
I don't envy them, I wouldn't want to have two houses to keep up, but am happy for them, as they have worked hard, paid all their own bills, and raised two wonderful kids.
Going to watch the opening song and first quarter of Monday night football, then fall into the bed.
Sara in Fla. where it is now fall and cool.

Gated Communities

I hate to see you tar all gated communities with the same brush, Jane.

We were extremely happy that my parents moved to a gated community in their retirement. The security of knowing that unwanted people would not show up at their door was appreciated by all of the kids in our famly. Having a security officer on duty 24 hours a day was a great bonus, and needing an access code to get into the development stopped people who had no business being there anyway. If I could even now stop the unsolicited visitors to my home (that is not located in a gated community), I would. My doormat reads, "We love our vacuum, we've found God and we gave at the office. Thank you."


seen on the kitchen wall at my DD's home...

"We all get heavier as we get older because there's as lot more information in our heads. So, I'm not fat, I'm just intelligent and my head couldn't hold any more so it started filling up the rest of me... that's my story and I'm sticking to it !"

By the way, she's UK size 10, so not exactly huge !!

We are back from our week with the family, it was fun to see them all again . More later .