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Jan 31, 2010

SUNDAY FAVORITES - BIRTHDAY BASKETS

 

Chari @ Happy to Design is hosting Sunday Favorites where we get to re-post a previous item to save us time on a Sunday. Now if I can just do this for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday......if you get the idea. 
This one is from last summer.
We were attending a double birthday party on Saturday night. I must say I was inspired by all the lovely tablescapes you ladies always create when it came to the gifts. I made up two baskets with a black & white theme.
I started with black woven place mats and added two clear rippled dinner plates and two salad plates. I used black and white dish towels as giant napkins. There was a bottle of wine for each of them and two stemless glasses. A nice Malbec for one and a bubbly Proseco for the other.I found pretty white frosted candle holders with white lettering. I put two special chocolate mousse truffles in the little black boxes tied with white ribbons. The wine bottles went into special black wine gift boxes with a cut out front for the label. I set this on a bed of white and gold shredded filler into the white trays and wrapped it all up with a black patterned cellophane. The card hung on the outside was a pretty swirled black and white card stock on which I wrote with a white pen. Last but not least was each ladies initial done in wood hanging on the outside with the white and black polka dot ribbon.
Apparently the offer to cook them dinners was the only thing missing from these gifts.



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Jan 30, 2010

GETTING BACK AT IT

Sketchory.com
When you have a questions you go to the experts right? I am going to pick your brains here today.
I am planning on re-entering the work force, full time. I have had jobs in the past that I interviewed for but not for many years. I have done a few different jobs in the more recent years but they were jobs that I didn't have to interview for. Jobs where basically I answered to myself.
We owned our own business for years and I went in to the office for a while and also worked from home for the company. I have painted and sold my art. I have done contract work for a company. I have given computer lessons.
I interviewed yesterday for a job and it went really well in my opinion. Now I will have to meet with an employment company that actually does the hiring. Having never done this before I am wondering if any of you have and what you can tell me about the process. I like to be prepared. Maybe I should be a boy scout.

Secondly how do you manage to keep up with your blogging duties while working full time or even part time? I am a pretty committed blogger (or should be committed, I can never remember which) so I know I will have to cut back somewhere. My paid job will have to come first before blogging. My kids are adults so they don't take my time. My husband is very independent and can take care of himself. He is often out of town too so I have lots of blogging time. But still as I envision my days I do wonder how you ladies do such a great job with your blog life and your RL (real life)?

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Jan 29, 2010

WRITER'S CHALLENGE #4 - FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT

 

The Writer's Challenge #4 is here. Everyone is invited to join in. It is a fun challenge, no writing talent needed. Start early so it is ready to go for the FEBRUARY 19-21 WEEKEND. I will put Mr. Linky up on the Friday and you can join in all weekend. 
And what is the topic this time you ask? 
What is your favorite place to visit in the world?
If you don't have a blog and would like to join in just email me your story and I will post it on my site for you. 

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Jan 27, 2010

SOMEONE IS GIVING OUT VALENTINES


 This card above is from Hootin Anni
Oh isn't this cute? Hootin Anni has created a Valentine card for us. I think that is a great idea and of course I am copying her. Please grab my Valentine Card for you from my sidebar and post it on yours. 

This card is from me! Please take it.


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Jan 26, 2010

OUTDOOR & WATERY WEDNESDAY - AMAZING PHOTOS













I am very excited to show you these pictures today for Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer and for Watery Wednesday. Make sure you have a look at the other participants.

I was introduced to this amazing photographer via an email that unfortunately credited the wrong person for the photos. As I went looking for this person to obtain permission to use his photos (see the discussion on this issue here) it became apparent who the real photographer is.
His name is Clark Little and here is a little bit about him from his website:
Clark Little was born in Napa, California in 1968. Two years later, a move to the North Shore of Oahu (Hawaii) dramatically changed his future. In the 80’s and 90’s he made his name as a pioneer of surfing at the Waimea Bay shorebreak. Clark had a unique talent for taking off on hopeless closeout shorebreak waves and surviving in one piece.

I would like to thank Clark Little for allowing me to use these photos on my site. You should take a look at the rest of them at CLARK LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHY. His photos are available for purchase as well as some books and postcard images. What an amazing gift these would make.If you stop by his site tell him you got there from here. I think this helps bloggers get permission for use of photos like these because the photographers can see the up side to allowing bloggers to showcase their photos.



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Jan 25, 2010

DO YOU DO IT? SHOULD I?


I have gray hair at my temples. Not a lot but some. It stands out against my dark brown hair. Now as the baby of our family I feel I have an obligation to keep the gray at bay so the rest of them don't feel so old. (here is where I have to say that my sister 4 years older than me doesn't have gray hair...or so she says)
 I have had my hair  colored in the past but it is so expensive here. By the time I get a cut and color it is about $140.
Now I would never cut my own hair, except for the cool shag haircuts we all did to ourselves in the early 70's. What? You didn't do that? Look at how cool we were.  Me and my BFF in high school, Wendy. Of course naturally curly hair has a mind of its own. Oh and don't forget to take note of the chalk white eye shadow under the brow.

My question for you is do you or have you ever colored your own hair? Was it a disaster? Those home color kits have come a long way haven't they? No? I mean Sarah Jessica Parker and Eva Longoria color their own hair don't they? I see them on TV saying how great these products are. I am sure they are in the bathroom with a girlfriend giggling and drinking Pinot Gris, painting this muck onto their heads and hoping their hair doesn't fall out and clog the sink.
Help me out here ladies. What do you advise? There are so many shades to choose from how do you pick the right one?




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Jan 24, 2010

SUNDAY FAVORITES - A DOG HAIKU


Today for Sunday Favorites I am posting this cutie pie. He is my niece's dog. Join in with Chari @ Happy to Design to see all the other favorites we are re-posting.

















 


I am Rupert dog
Face so sad really happy
Frozen in a frown

Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams is the real poet. Have a look at her Wednesday Words and join in.



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Jan 23, 2010

WHO NEEDS MILK WHEN YOU HAVE POP?

All this time I thought we should be giving babies milk and water. I had no idea pop was pure and wholesome and should be given to my babies. My sons are pretty strong and healthy but just imagine how much better they would have developed had I given them pop.
I guess it was just a natural progression from giving them whiskey to help with teething and to make them sleep. Personally I would have drank the booze myself. The babies can keep the pop though because I never ever drink it.





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Jan 22, 2010

MIMI'S F-BOMB FRIDAY

Mimi @ Living in France has a new Friday theme going. One we can all relate to at one time or another. Has something happened that just made you cuss. I am a bit of a potty mouth so it doesn't take much for me. Join in and get a chuckle out of the things that make others turn the air around them blue.

Last Sunday morning I was up early and heading to the grocery store for much needed supplies. I figured I would grab a coffee to take with me. Now those who know me know that I am loyal to Zenberry Coffee shop but he isn't open that early on a Sunday so it was off to a Starbucks. There is one in the same complex that I shop at.
I parked in the middle of the lot and went and got my coffee. I walked from there across the lot to the grocery store. I put my grande black coffee on top of the line of carts to get out a quarter to release the grocery cart. I'll be damned if the cup didn't shift position and flip onto the ground.
What did I say you ask? The big one. The one that gets me into this meme for sure. I said the F-bomb standing there all by myself in front of the grocery store with a huge puddle, a "grande" puddle around my feet.

You know what my first thought was? Oh this is going onto the blog and linking with Mimi's meme.
I had to do all my shopping without my morning coffee and that is not a good thing. Instead of going home after I went to Zenberry to whine and snivel about it. And to get my coffee.

I am adding this addendum to the post to explain to our neighbours to the south about paying for a shopping cart. We put a quarter in a little box attached to the cart handle. This releases the chain that held it to the cart behind it. When you are done shopping you push the cart into the last one in the line and stick the little key like device from the chain back into your cart attaching it to the pack. This releases your quarter. 
Now there are two good reasons to do this. First of all you always can find a cart because they are brought back to the various covered drop off points since nobody wants to give up their quarter. Secondly this eliminates the problem of random carts left all over the parking lot that roll into your car leaving a dent.



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Jan 21, 2010

I AM EASILY CONFUSED

Several years ago when we had our own company there was an interesting phenomenon going on. We had so many staff members with the same names. We had a Tom, Thomas and a surname Tom. We had two surname Martins and a first name Martin. We had more Robs/Bobs than you could shake a stick at. (we shouldn't have shaken sticks at them but they really could tick us off). We had 3 Pauls and two Peters but no Dicks. Okay I didn't  have to add that last one, it was just for shock value.


Lets jump ahead now to my blog world. Some time ago I posted about a genealogy find. Sue from Luxe Lanai commented back with a really funny comment. The gist of it was that we were like Lucy and Ethel. I emailed her back saying I wouldn't be Ethel because that meant I would "be" with Fred and that wasn't going to happen.
Funny thing is the Sue I emailed back was Sue over at Sullivan & Murphy. She had no idea what I was talking about and became my friend even though she must have thought I was weird. She became Ethel. So now we have 2 Lucys and an Ethel and I think 4 Sues/Susans.

I have 3 Michelles in my blog friends, a couple Tammys, at least 5 Lindas, a couple of Lous, two Claudies, multiple Joannes. And then there are the Janes. These numbers are not even accurate because some of the names are not shown.
I email incorrect responses to people of the same names all the time. I hope they think it is them who doesn't remember asking that question or leaving that comment.
So I guess what I am saying is if you get an off the wall response from me just chalk it up to my easily confused brain because it can't be that I am really just weird. Can it?


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Jan 20, 2010

OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY - I HOPE THESE ROCKS DON'T ROLL


I am joining in with Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.
There are many photos in this post, make sure you see them all. You will need to click on the screen to choose how you want to view them. You can  also choose to see it full screen. Just click the escape key to make it small again.


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Jan 18, 2010

DELURKER DAY: I MISSED IT. WHO KNEW?


Have you ever heard of such a thing? Delurker Day? This brilliant badge was created by Aimee @ Greeblemonkey. She says it is okay if you missed the actual day. She says we can celebrate it any day.
Do you know what that means? It means that all you wonderful but shy people reading this in private can jump out of the box and leave a comment to say hi. No more lurking for you. C'mon. You can do it. We are all very nice here. Well most of the time anyways.


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ATTA GIRL AWARDS


I have been thinking about giving this person an Atta Girl Award for a while now but left it over Christmas. I think she deserves one not only because her blog is fabulous but because you will see her smiling face on so many blogs that you visit.
She follows many, many blogs and comments regularly on them. It seems that any time I find a new blog there is Kammy smiling out from the followers widget.
This deserves an Atta Girl Award because blogging is about community. About friendships and supporting others. I think Kammy from Small Home In The Country should get a pat on the back and a hearty Atta Girl!
Stop by her site and tell her congratulations.

There is no lists to make or others to tag with this award. You can give it to anybody you think deserves it but I must ask that you follow the rules in this link HERE so that I can keep track of who gets it and add them to the Atta Girl list.


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Jan 16, 2010

THE BATHROOM CHRONICLES


This delightful description of what we go through was sent to me in an email. Author is unknown.

When you have to visit a public toilet, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every cubicle is occupied.
Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someone's Mum, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook, if there was one, so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mum would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!) down with your pants and assume ' The Stance.
In this position, your aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay toilet paper on it, you hold 'The Stance.'

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.
In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, 'Dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!' Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your bag (the bag around your neck, that now you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do, so you crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work.
The door hits your bag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest and you and your bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet.

'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing your footing altogether and sliding down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.


You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, 'You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl and spraying a fine mist of water that covers your bum and runs down your legs and into your shoes.
The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.
At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a chewing gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting
You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it?)
You yank the paper from your shoe, plonk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, 'Here, you just might need this.


As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's toilet. Annoyed, he asks, 'What took you so long and why is your bag hanging around your neck?
This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with any public toilets. It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers that other commonly asked question about why women go to the toilets in pairs. It's so the other girl can hold the door, hang onto your bag and hand you Kleenex under the door.



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Jan 14, 2010

WRITER'S CHALLENGE #3- TEACHERS WHO HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE - GOOD OR BAD


Thank you for joining in with the challenge for this month. Teacher's who have made a difference in your life...good or bad.
Remember if you don't have a blog and would like to join in I can post your page here if you email it to me.
To use Mr. Linky you will publish your post on your site then right click on the title of that post. Choose copy link location. This is the actual address of this post and not your whole blog. You will then paste this address into Mr. Linky on my post where it says "url". Above that you will put the name of your blog or your name. Click enter and you are done. We don't want the address of the whole blog because as you post other things the Writer's Challenge post will move down the page and others may not find it. Although anyone can comment on these posts please only link your site to Mr. Linky if you have written something for the Writer's Challenge. It is required that you make note in the actual post that you are joining the Writer's Challenge and link it to this site so others can join in too. This is how we share the love so to speak.



In 11 years of attending school I had changed schools 8 times. I did not go to kindergarten but started in grade 1. We had moved to British Columbia from Ontario. I entered a massive brick building and was terrified. The only thing I remember other than how scared I was is not being allowed to sit with my older sister at lunchtime. It looks a little like a prison doesn't it?
Grandview Elementary

Then we moved. Grade 2 brought me Mrs. Strong. She was a nice enough lady but I knew no one at the school and was lonely. I often just wandered home at recess and told my mother I was sick. It wasn't like today when the police might have been called if I didn't come back in after recess.
Then we moved again. Grade 3 started out in a split class of grades 1, 2 & 3. I don't remember this teachers name. I do remember being humiliated on a daily basis for not having a hankerchief in my pocket or for my fingernails not being clipped for roll call. My row never got enough gold stars because of me. That makes you really popular. She should have spent more time teaching the curriculum because when we moved again and I went to another school I was so far behind I almost failed the grade. 
My new teacher in my new school was Mrs. Kennedy. She was really pretty, a redhead.  I feel sorry for Mr. Kennedy though because this woman was a bitch. She was so cold and uncaring. This is where I felt stupid for the first time. I had never done long division. We should have I guess but the hillbilly, handkerchief boss was too busy looking in my pockets and at my hands to teach us. So there I sat in class and my eyes were glazing over while Mrs. Kennedy spoke of remainders and such. We would be called up to her desk to stand beside her while she marked our papers. I had many red Xs on my pages.  I had no idea what she was talking about and she really didn't give me any extra help to learn it. It became painfully (to me anyways) clear that I had no idea what was going on in math. What was this woman's solution to this? She made me stay after school, not to teach me the math but to sit there with the smartest boy in the class to rewrite my last sheet of long division. Show my work she said. Poor Dennis. He didn't deserve to be there. I don't know why she didn't do it herself but once again I was so humiliated. I wept. Tears ran down my cheeks and poor Dennis  wanted to be anywhere else but there at the desk with me. She might as well have asked me to speak Russian.
Eventually Dennis couldn't take it any more. He started giving me some of the answers so we could both go home. I handed in this work and I can remember the big red circles around what I had still done wrong. This woman and her red pencil. She destroyed me at the time.
To this day, although I can do math on paper, I can't retain numbers in my head whatsoever. As soon as someone starts saying a number or two my brain shuts down. If you tell me a phone number to dial I have lost the first 3 digits by the time you get to the end. If you give me a statistic and someone beside me didn't hear it I can't tell them what it was. It just leaves me. When I do genealogy research and I find a date to record I have to see it on the screen while I am putting it into a chart or I will get it wrong. I can't figure out someones age in my head from their birth date. I have to use paper or a calculator. I know how to do it but I can't see the numbers in my head. What I see is a tear stained paper and an uncomfortable young boy wanting to go home.
Sir Guy Carleton Elementary

Now I don't want to end this with such a sad story of a cruel woman. Most teachers are not like that. In fact the following year at the same school I was lucky enough to get into the class of one of the kindest teachers in the school. Mrs. Reed was a young fun woman who's heart was really in it. She took me under her wing and took the time to help me with learning. She was greatly loved by all her students. She helped a friend of mine get through her second stab at grade 4. This friend was going to fail for the second time if she didn't get caught up. Mrs. Reed knew how to help both of us. She gave me all of her flash cards and special teaching aids and let me take them home to "teach" my friend, knowing full well that both of us would learn from this. There was no stress, no pressure, no humiliation for either of us. We were simply playing school.

One of the teacher's friends was getting married that year. To encourage us to finish our work quickly she taught us to make the tissue paper flowers for the wedding cars. If all your work was done on time and correctly you were then allowed to go to the flower tables and you could make pretty pink and white wedding flowers. We all made hundreds and her friend was very pleased. So were we. It was great fun. Who knew school could be fun too. Jeesh. Imagine my surprise.

Mrs. Reed's class always had a relaxed atmosphere that encouraged learning. I was able to learn again. I felt safe in her classroom. I felt smart. This woman was the definition of a teacher. We had a class turtle too. At the end of the school year the whole class was invited to a party at her home. She lived in an area called Jericho Beach in Vancouver. We all got to play at the beach and we had food back at her home. I remember that my mother drove a group of us in her Morris Minor station wagon with wood trim and we got a flat tire on the way home. All happy memories.

I have pulled out my report cards from waaaaay back then. It is not my imagination at all. This is what I discovered.
1964 - grade 3 - 1st. report and second report I had a C+ in arithmatic. Now this was from the school with the split class.
1965 - grade 3 - 3rd report at the new school - I had a D in arithmatic which I managed to bring up to a C- for the fourth term. Mrs. Kennedy had written that my mother needed to see her about getting me extra help in arithmatic. Gee ya think? Maybe she could have taken the time to teach me instead of embarrassing me before she gave me that D.
So now I am promoted to grade 4 and Mrs. Reed's class. Woohoo. My first report card in November of 1965 shows me with a B in math which I managed to carry on through the rest of the year. What did this teacher have to say about my work. "her progress is excellent" although by the third term I am told I need to practice my times tables for 10 minute a day. From this grade on I managed to do fine in school.

So in conclusion what I want to say is that the postition of teacher in a child's life is a very important one. You are entrusted will impressional young minds. I was very lucky that after being beaten down I managed to pick myself up and hold my head higher thanks to a teacher who had compassion and kindness in her heart.
Click on the names below to see their stories.



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