Friday 30 September 2016

My Friday Finds . . .

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A few of the things I find each week which pique my curiosity or inspire me to want to do something, create something, cook something, or become a better person! I hope they will pique your curiosity or inspire you in some way as well!


How to make handmade paper using recycled materials.  This sounds interesting.  From Paper Slurry

Make your own Art Bowls using tea bag papers.  These are so pretty.  From Letting in the Light.  No instructions, just eye candy and inspiration.  This woman is an amazing artist.


Something just to make you smile.  Its a Cabbit . . .


Painted matching people rocks.   Love this idea and what fun the children would have playing mix and match.  Do you remember those flip cards from when we were kids that you could mix and match heads, middles and bottoms with?  Fun, fun!  This is from You Clever Monkey.


Folded paper garlands.  So colourful!  Found on Minieco.


DIY Floral Party Hats.  Found on  Oh Happy Day.


The Tip Toe Fairy.  Party Hat Hair Clips.   SWEET!  Complete tutorial.


An adorable Overall Tutu.  I love this.   I couldn't find a source but I couldn't help show you.  It is so sweet.

22 hard to kill plants.  From Decor 8.


How to care for introverts.  Very helpful.


Get your fruit and veg squeaky clean.  From Women's Health Magazine.  This is great.  You never know what is lurking on the outside of your vegetables.


Save money and eat healthy from The Frugal Girls.


 Best ever fall crockpot recipes from The Frugal Girls. Some of these sound very good.  I don't use my crockpot often enough.


I love this French Country Kitchen  . . . source.   Just a bit of eye candy inspiration.


How to get soft feet.  I must try this, although admittedly my feet have never looked like they do on the left.


I love this head wrap.  My idea of a winter hat.  From Frayed Knot.


Cable stitch dish clothes.  Love LOVE the colours.  From Look What I Made.  Free pattern.


Crochet your own crochet hook case.  I love it!  From Crochet World.


From Ravelry.  A free basket pattern. 


I also like these from Maggie's Crochet.


Roasted Garlic Jelly.  From  Love and Olive Oil.

And that's my finds for this week.  I hope you found something to inspire you to get creating, or just do something better.

A thought to carry through the day . . .

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart,
The secret anniversaries of the heart.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Spiritual Enlightenment

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In the English Kitchen today  . . .  a delicious Chili Dog Bake.

Have a fabulous Friday! Whatever you get up to today, don't forget . . .

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And I do too!!

Thursday 29 September 2016

Raindrops on Roses . . . .

These are a few of my favourite things  . . .


Of all the books in the Bible, I love the Psalms most of all.   The Book of Psalms, commonly referred to simply as Psalms or "the Psalms", is the first book of the Ketuvim, the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. The Psalms are a collection of the writings of several different authors. However, there is general consensus in conservative circles that King David of Israel was the major source and collector of the Psalms.  Don't get me wrong, I love the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John also, as well as many, many other passages in the scriptures,  but the Psalms bring me a special source of comfort and peace which is quite different to those.  They read like a prayer.  I think that the 23rd Psalm must be about one of the most well known pieces in the Bible.  I had to memorize it for my Religion and Life Badge in Girl guides.   Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me . . .

The Psalms are just beautiful . . .  all of them.


I love these Tunic dresses.  They are from Lulugal.  They look as if they would be as comfortable to wear as a nightgown.

Which brings me to flannel nightgowns . . .  I quite simply adore flannel nightgowns.  They are very hard to come by over here in the UK.  Rare as hen's teeth.   I have one that my sister gave me for Christmas 17 years ago that I cherish and my oldest son and his wife sent me another one for christmas about 9 years ago, with the word Grammy embroidered on the yoke, which I also cherish very much.  Flannel nightgowns are so warm and so cosy.   I feel like a little girl in them.  I know I don't look like a little girl in them, I probably don't even look little (haha) in them, but they just bring me such a feeling of comfort that I cannot explain.   I wish they were more available here.  I really do.

I would spend my whole life in a nightgown if I could.  In summer I like cotton ones.


Call me juvenile if you will, but I like boybands and my favourite is a toss up between The Backsteet Boys, Take That and Boyzone.  I had never heard of Take That and Boyzone before I moved over here, but I fell in love with their music when I discovered them.    I just like their tunes.

I do like all kinds of music however.  I love music.  Music is one thing I couldn't live without.   Classical, jazz, country, etc.  I think the only music I am not fond of is Rap.  In my opinion there is a reason that the word *rap* rhymes with the word c**p.   I am not overly fond of Heavy Metal either.   I can't find a word to rhyme with that.


Crossword puzzles.  I love doing crossword puzzles.  I am not fond of Zudeko or Anagrams, not at all. Give me a crossword puzzle any day of the week and I am a happy camper.   I also love matching games, which is the only ones I play on the computer.  Ones where you have to match groups of things.  I am simple minded I guess.

And I HATE anything to do with math.  I hate math.

I love enamelware.  (And that stove by the way!)  I have always loved enamelware.  I suppose it too reminds me of my childhood.   My mother had an old enamel bowl which had been her mothers.  She probably still has it.  I have an enamel bowl which reminds me of it.  It is the perfect bowl for mixing bread.

Snaps and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails . . .  I just love little boys.  I really do.  I am blessed to have six grandsons (and one granddaughter!)  I love them all.   Little boys are so interesting.   I love playing with, talking to, spending time with little boys.  I do like little girls too, but there is something special about a little boy.


Raccoons.  I love Raccoons with their ringed tails, bandit masks and little black hands.  When I was a girl there was a boy in our town who had a pet raccoon.  He used to ride around on his dirt bike with his pet raccoon on his back.  Raccoons are very smart.

Vintage Kitchenalia, pyrex bowls, fire king, mel-mac etc.  I love the old painted wooden handles . . .  the quirky patterns and colours.  My mom has a set of brown patterned mel-mac dishes.  I love them.    I remember when she got them.   We had gone into Winnipeg with my father and he had a meeting at some place with a man and we all waited in the car for him. It took an extraordinarily long time.  The man was very apologetic and brought this brand new set of dishes out to the car to give to my mom as an apology for having made us wait for so long.  I wouldn't care if my mother never left me anything else but those dishes . . .  not the silver not anything . . .  just those dishes.

Mind you, I would rather have my mom and I am hanging on to her for as long as is possible.  I love you mom!


Old Mirrors.  Bevel edged.   Engraved.  Frosted.  Whatever the condition.  I love old mirrors.  I don't have any, but I love them.  The process of making something into a mirror fascinates me anyways.   The idea of being able to look into something is magical.  I am sure that people from hundreds of years ago would think us to be sorcerers and purveyors of magic with our mirrors and our matches!

I love history.   It fascinates me, this journey from the beginning of time to where we are today.  I never tire of it.  I love watching history programs on the television.  I love reading historical books, novels, etc.  I just love history.  I am not a person who remembers dates very well, but I do remember eras etc.   But don't ask me the date of the Battle of Waterloo or the signing of the Magna Carta.  To me the dates are not important, only the significance of the acts/happenings/ etc.


And don't get me started on historical clothing . . .  I love the history of clothing.  There were several pages devoted to that in the encyclopedia we had when I was a child and I about wore those pages out.

I also love geography.  and of course  . . .  these two.


How could I not.  He makes me smile  . . .

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And she does too . . .  oh she was so small here.  Sigh  . . .

And there you have it, some of my favourite things for this week.  What are some of yours? 

A thought to carry with you . . .

At work you think of the
children you left at home . . .
At home, you think of 
the work you've left unfinished.
Such a struggle is unleashed
within yourself.
Your heart is rent.
~Golda Meir

Spiritual Enlightenment

Please keep our friend Suzan in your prayers as she has her gall bladder removed today.  Thanks!

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Pear, Vanilla and Cardamom Jam.  Its delicious!

Have a beautiful Thursday . . . may you never forget . . .

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 And I do too!!

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Tales from the tank . . .


We have certainly had our share of adventures with our fish this past week.  As you know we are both fish tank novices and it has been somewhat of a steep learning curve for us.  Initially we bought a small tank which was round, or cylindrical in shape and I am ashamed to say that we got it because I felt it would be the most asthetically pleasing and would look cute on the sideboard with some pretty angel fish swimming around in it, and as a side note, Todd would enjoy having fish as pets.  A somewhat selfish move on my part and I admit it.

We got the tank and brought it home and set it up and let it  all settle for a week or so before we put any fish into it.

When it came time to get the fish I was so disappointed because we were told we couldn't have goldfish in a round tank.  I had wanted a fantail gold fish and a black molly . . . again, selfishly because they are so pretty.    Apparently these kind of fish do not do well in a round tank, and so we settled on  . . .


Two Platy's which I called Mutt and Jeff.

We had a LOT of fun watching them and their antics, but two is never enough  . . .  and so we wanted a few more to fill out the tank and went back to the shop.  Todd picked up 4 danio . . .  two leapord ones and two zebra ones . . .  kind of pretty in their own way with their silver and blues  . . .


And we got two shrimps.   A larger one and a smaller one.  To help clean the tank.  It was really fascinating to watch them all interact with each other and step up to their responsabilities in the tank.   We watched the shrimps shed their outer shells which was quite interesting and then tragedy struck when one of the danio's died and then the smaller one of the shrimp.

Sad, but it happens.  In the meantime we were really enjoying the trials of taking care of them all, and we learned a lot.  There is much more involved than just setting up a fish bowl and putting in a fish and then watching the fish swim about.


This is not the reality I had anticipated  . . . 

We decided we needed a larger tank and so we ended up saving and buying a larger tank, mostly because we wanted a bit more variety in our tank.   But nobody told us that we could only ever have boring fish in our cold water tank . . .  and so then we got a heater for the larger tank, and a thermometer etc.  This was getting exciting.

 We set it up and let everything settle in for a week or so and then we went and got  some neon tetras (5)for colour . . . and some catfish (3) to help clean the tank.


We needed some larger toys in the tank as well because the smaller ones we had in the smaller tank just weren't cutting the mustard.  Within the next three days we lost another danio, one of the neons and one  of the catfish mysteriously disappeared into thin air, or water as it were.  No sign of it anywhere.  Simply just gone.  I started to think that we had a predator in the tank . . . and it looked like it was one of the catfish because he was acting quite sinister and mysterious . . .  skulking about the bottom of the tank, playing dead I thought so that when other fish got near him he could gobble them up.    And then another danio disappeared, could not find it anywhere.  I was sure this catfish was a predator.   I started to feel quite anti towards him and was thinking if we could take him back to the shop or not.  I spent time online researching if this could actually happen . . .  would a catfish eat the other fish.   I was feeling very negative about this one catfish.

And then the danio re-appeared but had a funny white spot on its back and so we segregated it from the other fish in the smaller tank and treated it for white spot.  It is still in there, and the white spot hasn't disappeard, but he's very lively.  We also treated the other tank just in case.

 But you remember Mr Sinister . . .  the lethargic sneaky catfish . . .  he wasn't any of those things at all . . .  he was quite simply dying.  *sniff*  Did I feel bad about having harboured such ill feeling towards him???  Yes, I did . . .  although it is still a great mystery as to how that other catfish simply disappeared and I still harbour my suspicions about it having been eaten and there is a part of me that thinks perhaps Mr Sinister died from being overstuffed . . . with another catfish, which would kind of be like karma in action, but we won't go there.


We have since introduced two male gourami to the tank, which come from Asia.  And so far so good.  They all seem to be co-habitating well with each other.  Mr Shrimp has shed another shell.  Mr Danio is still segregated from the others and all seems okay in the big tank.

We did buy a different plastic toy thingie for decoration because I thought the other was too wide and too restrictive and so we bought one which was taller, and a bit more attractive and has a few more hiding places along with a live plant to go in the tank.   We took out the smaller ones only to discover that  Mitzie had stolen one of them and chewed it up in the garden, but that's a whole'nother tale.

I also got a magnet to clean the algae from the walls of the tank that looks like a cute little fish.   It does a super job and looks really cute while its doing it.   Cleaning the tank was never so much fun.

And that is the story of how a fish bowl for a sideboard accent with one gold fish turned into a large tank with a whole herd of fish in it . . .  and it only cost us a laptop (accidentally drowned) mucho pounds and a bit of time . . .  oh, and two danios, one shrimp and two catfish.  ☺

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I was talking to our Eileen on facebook yesterday.  We chat on there most days.   She really misses me, and I believe her when she says that.  She and Tim have been trying to save to come over here to visit with Todd and myself.   They had been going to come this year, but it never happened.  Her dad didn't think it was a smart idea for this year or that they would be able to save enough money.  Actually he thinks I should pay for it, but  . . .  duh, I just don't have the dosh and never will.  If I did I would gladly pay for it.  She is determined however that it will happen one day.  We have great conversations.  She recently quite her job at Tim Hortons where she had worked for about 18 years, since high school.  There is always a huge turnaround of staff there and not everyone is nice and it was causing her too much stress and her blood pressure was sky-rocketing and so she quit.  She hasn't found a job to replace it yet, but I have done up a resume for her which her dad is going to print out for her.  She is a very determined young woman and quite pro-active in her goals and achievements.   She was asking me yesterday what could she do to fund raise to earn some money towards their trip.  She really wants to come and see us next summer.  I gave her a few ideas, like a walkathon, etc.  (Which would also help her get some much needed exercise.)

Look what I woke up to this morning.   She has set up a Go Fund Me page.  And she did it all on her own.   It made me smile.  I tried to put $10 on it towards helping her, but it won't let me because I don't have a credit card.  Oh well . . .  you have to  give her points for trying.  That's my girl.

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . .

Our culture has accepted two great lies.
The first is that if you disagree with 
someone's lifestyle, you must fear 
or hate them. 
The second is that  to love someone means
that you agree with everything they
believe or do.  Both are nonsense.
You don't have to compromise 
convictions to be passionate.

Spiritual Enlightenment

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In the English Kitchen today . . .  a delicious Cheese Slaw.

Have a beautiful Wednesday. Whatever you get up to don't forget  . . .

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And I do too!