Monday, October 19, 2009

Mixed Emotions

I hate the cold.

Not a big fan of winter.

I sometimes wish I could live in a place where it was permanently 25 degrees celcius - just right, neither cold nor hot.

Yesterday was the most amazing fall day one could ever ask for. Sarah and I stepped outside in the morning to go to church and her question (as it usually is) was, "What's that noise?"

In the stillness of the morning, we could hear the soft bristle of leaves descending from their branches and blanketing the ground.

After church, we played in the crunchy yellow leaves and I took a million pictures, as I normally do, sans Sarah looking at the camera because she is sick of looking at me with a big chunk of black lens sticking out from my face.

It was warm even, for fall in Newfoundland, and we needed only our sweaters, and I couldn't even be annoyed that the falling leaves meant the approaching snow.

But this morning, I woke up late. It was so dark outside at 7:30 and I didn't believe the alarm when it sounded. In my sleep-muddled state, I shut the alarm off and fell back into my warm cozy bed. I woke again at 8:10, ran about in a mad frenzy for 10 minutes, and headed out the door.

I opened the door and stood for a moment in shock, as if it were impossible, with the day we had yesterday.

The ground was covered in white. Our trees were covered in white. The car was covered in white. My shoes would now be covered in white. Oh, my shoes! How I dread tucking you away in exchange for chunky winter boots.

And yet, as I sit here in the office and peer through my window, I still can't be upset at this onset of our coldest season. The spruce outside my window is beautifully laden with mounds of fluff and weighted down with its brown cones peaking out from the underside. The snow is coming down in giant clumps, straight from the heavens, like the cloud gods took a moment to weave the flakes together first, before sending them to earth.

Makes me want to sit and write a poem and I imagine it must be how the songwriter felt when he penned "Winter Wonderland". But mostly, it actually makes me want to go outside, spread my arms to the sky, tilt my head back, and taste the coolness of this, the approach of winter.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Look What I Found!

After highschool, I packed up a bunch of boxes of my stuff before leaving home to head off to University.
Over the years, I have unpacked and re-packed, sorted, and gotten rid of all manner of things.

But I am still a pack rat and refuse to part with several items.
Last week, I was at my Mom's house and decided, since a number of years had gone by, to open up some of those boxes again. I found a tiny stuffed Koala from my grade 8 boyfriend, a bead necklace from a trip to PEI, my lapel pin/button collection adorning a giant purple bunny, Biology textbooks (loved Biology!), and several very well written papers on Shakespeare's Macbeth.

I also found this box:
Intrigued? So was I...
It was my eraser collection!!! There I go again re-confirming my geek status. Anyways, I LOVED collecting these erasers, most of them gifts from my grandmother for all of the occasions throughout the year.

There is a clock, roller skates, ice cream cones, a gun, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a milk carton, a rose, a life preserver, a battery, a "working" clothespin, among a gazillion others.

How exciting to go through all of these again. The hubster had a good chuckle out of my fascination, but thought the nut and bolt set that actually screws together was kinda neat.

Then I found my cabbage patch doll and Ernie and Bert, complete with scribbled on faces and cut hair. Sarah just wanted to play with them and wasn't all that impressed with having her picture taken again.

I found my little blue Yamaha keyboard, still in the original box with instructions. Unfortunately it's missing the adapter so we had to find batteries, but it works great. Sarah is having a great time with it.

I was also reminded of the art classes I took. The date says 02/23/94...was it really that long ago? Wow!

Last but not least, some of my favourite books I owned as a child. The "Swiss Family Robinson" was a gift from Mrs. Burden, my grade 2 teacher, for perfect spelling. I adored this book and was reminded of how much I loved this movie as a kid. So much so, that I added it on my Christmas wish list for the hubster to try and find (good luck with that, honey!). And I absolutely adored researching anything and everything about animals, and spent hours reading these "encyclopedia" type hardcovers. And then who doesn't love "The Phantom of the Opera"? Anyone?

As a final discovery, Mom got up in the attic and pulled down my old dolls crib and matching highchair. They need just the teeniest bit of refurbishing, but will be fantastic Christmas presents for my little girl, who is really loving pretend play nowadays with her "babies".

Don't you just love uncovering old forgotten treasures?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Time to Get Moving!

Did I mention I'm starting a fitness class here in my tiny town?

During the summer, after losing a few pounds, I started getting some questions about how I was managing my weight loss. And because we are fairly isolated here with no Weight Watchers, no gym, no Dr. Bernstein or whatever, I decided to try and get something "on the go".

I wrote up a huge proposal to the government's wellness coalition requesting funding, I appealed to our local town council, and I put up notices around the community. And I must say I am very pleased with what's been happening.

The Town Council agreed to purchase some of our small equipment like yoga mats, weights, stretch bands, etc. YAY!!!!

AND, last night at my first official session - no fitness, just info - I had 20 people in attendance. I was expecting perhaps 10 - 12. Wow, talk about overwhelming and exciting! Only one of those people said they were still unsure about actually starting the official fitness group beginning next week.

We talked about how to count calories (some like to count "points"), how to read nutrition labels, how to calculate Body Mass Index, and some tips on getting started. We got weighed in and measured up with the community health nurse taking blood pressure and glucose readings. And I made a point of letting everyone know that I am certainly not an expert - not in healthy eating OR in fitness - and that I am simply facilitating a group to help encourage a group of people with a common goal in mind to become healthier through changes in eating habits and physical exercise. I desperately need this group just as much as anyone, more than some.

So, every week I will be leading the group for a hour. The first half hour will be for weigh-ins and measurements, for those who wish to keep a record of their progress. We'll chat about meal plans, recipes, how to exercise more, and just to encourage each other to keep going! The last half hour we'll be exercising together - that could mean anything from walking to Pilates to aerobics to strength training. A little mix of everything.

I'm so excited to get going with this! It's such an encouragement to see a small town put in the effort to make small changes.

I'm so out of shape, I'm just hoping I don't pass out while trying to "lead" this fitness program! That probably wouldn't be such a great start, now would it? Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

These are a Few of My Favourite (House) Things!

I do realize that material things, in the long run, mean very little.
However, we all know that certain things - be they artsy, family heirlooms, memorabilia - can help make an already happy life even happier.

Here are a few of the little items around my home that bring me joy:

My Scrapbooks! They are made with lots of love and, other than my family, are the things I would wish to grab if we ever, God forbid, had to evacuate our home in an emergency.
Shoes! From my high top Nike's to my blue suede wedges to dollar-store flipflops - I LOVE shoes!
Colourful plates - I got these few odd ones at yard sales, they are lovely for baking berry pies!
Children's Books - I had a TON before Sarah was ever thought about, and now we have many many more!
Seashells...I guess it's my love of the ocean. This particular one sits over my kitchen sink, a gift from Kristen (Christa's hubby) to my daughter from their visit to Cuba.
This old cabinet - It's old and scratched and I love it! Can you believe my cousin's friend was going to throw it out! I got it just in time! Now it's in the corner of my dining room, filling with lots of wonderful goodies and with some of my fav lamps (I love lamps too!) sitting on top.
These little frogs - gifts from my niece, Erykah. who gives me something froggy almost every year for Christmas.
Colourful bath towels! I know Oprah goes on about using ALL white towels, blah, blah, blah...but I just love the option of choosing from a worn trusty old floral or a fluffy green bath sheet.
Cameos - technically, not a "house" item but since I don't wear jewellry all that often, they are more a house item than not. Love 'em! I have a bracelet too that I bought in New Hampshire at an antique shop but I can't, for the life of me, find it...where could it be?
My Junk drawer filled with everything that doesn't have a place - nuts & bolts, batteries, the telephone book, cable wires, etc. etc. etc. I admit it - I need somewhere to hide my mess - this drawer is it!
Teddy bears - so soft and cuddly. Mattie was a gift from my lifelong friend, Vicki, and looks very loved with lots of patched up places.
Call me crazy but if I had to choose a chore, it would be laundry - I find the sorting, and washing, and folding, kinda therapeutic in a strange obsessive way. In my house, the laundry is very rarely left undone. The others chores? Yeah, that's a different story alltogether!
This buffet - it's part of the dining room set but i prefer how it looks in the living room. I love this photo of baby Sarah, love the framed "newfie" postcards by CaraJoy and love my tiny attempt at Thanksgiving decor with the Mickey and Minnie, bought at auction.
(Click to enlarge the pic)
This "Grandpa's Studio" photo of Jamie and I taken on our honeymoon in PEI. It just makes me crack up!
I have all these books sitting on my shelf! Crazy kitties - found at a gift shop in PEI on our honeymoon for only about $4 for the set of 4.
My China the green and gold floral pattern. Bought at a yard sale and has everything in mismatched numbers but no teacups. If you have the teacups, can I have them please?
I love funky whimsical art - these were bought in Cuba on my visit there in 1998 for about $6 U.S. One is called "Amigas" and the other "Paloma", they are both signed and numbered, and I simply adore them!
My nightstand with all the bedtime essentials. Books - currently reading "Island of the Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'Dell, a trashy romance novel, "Marguerite of the Isle of Demons" by Earle Pilgrim, crossword puzzles, and my journal. I use the telephone as my alarm clock. Still use the monitor to hear Sarah. And MUST HAVE chapstick for my lips or else I just can't sleep!
And there you have just a quick glimpse into the items that make my house a home...what are your favourite things?

Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm on ETSY

Christa first introduced me to ETSY.

I decided I was in love with ETSY.


And those things are handmade. Or, vintage. Oh my!

I decided to help my grandmothers out a little bit by adding their knitting to Etsy - they make lots of wool goodies - mostly socks (or VAMPS) or mittens. Granny Goosney makes her stuff from Sheeps Wool. Nan White makes her stuff from acrylic wool. Both women are 79 years young and going strong with lots of knitting experience behind them. So, in the efforts to bring in a little loot for them, ETSY it is!

Here's the problem I'm finding - shipping costs!! Holy crazy prices to ship via Canada Post!! To ship a pair of my Granny's wool full-length mens socks, which are thick and heavy, $13 within Canada. But to the U.S. is cheaper - go figure! Oh well, that's all I can really do about that. A few items I've listed are FREE shipping - these items are smaller and can fit into an envelope for shipping, meaning it doesn't cost a lot.

And then my mom decided she had a couple of things as well. For one, a quilt she had made. And a patchwork Christmas stocking.

With all of the Grandma's in on this, I decided to name my shop "Nan's Knits"...I think it's got a cute kinda ring to it. Don't you?

And then I decided I may as well add some of my fabric too, usually sold by the meter. I have lots of great prints but only a couple added so far.

Just five listings right now with lots more to come, I hope! Take a look!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Time for a Change...Perhaps Maybe

Apparantly I'm breaking some blogging rules.

Etiquette suggests that a blog name indicate what a blog be all about.

"Confessions of a Chocoholic", for example. Why yes, I am absolutely a much so, that I probably SHOULD write about it. With a title such as mine, I should be confessing to every imagineable chocolatey treat I inhale on a daily basis. However, I do not. And that, according to the blog-gods, is terribly wrong.

I suppose I do not write about my chocoholism because my obsession lacks the glamour of "fancy" intriguing chocolate - it's just a Kit Kat or two here, an entire pot of fudge there. Nothing all that attractive about a girl sitting down with a batch of homemade fudge and a spoon.

And so, because my title lacks the obvious, I'm thinking I should change it.

My friend Joann once told me I was helter skelter.

I looked up the definition:
chaotic: lacking a visible order or organization
with undue hurry and confusion; a helter-skelter kind of existence with never a pause

She's known me since...well...forever. And she is an on-time all the time, tunnel vision, get the job done now dammit! kinda girl.

I am an always running late, easily distracted, unfinished project, type of girl.

My writing is definitely more "Helter Skelter" than "Confessions of a Chocoholic".

Should I change it? Would that make sense? Change it hard. But it's good too. What do you think?