Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kitchen Re-Do

My new yellow kitchen with red accessories!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Record-rain fallout (Leader-Post, 23 Jun 2010, Page A1)

Record-rain fallout
23 Jun 2010

As workers toil feverishly to try to repair the hole in the Trans-Canada Highway left by last week’s flood, towns on the detour around the mess are noticing the change. “It’s just non-stop traffic — more semis, more everything,” said Sue Maddin, a...read more...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Mosquito's are ten times as bad than normal for this time of year! As reported in the news today. Our abnormally WET spring has them out in record numbers. It doesn't take much water. Any small amount of standing water will do. We've got that in spades!

They are big too! My DH swears he saw one as big as his thumb! Taking the dog out to the backyard you are met with a swarm of them, they're loud too! It sounds like helicopters overhead. They circle and stalk you as you run quickly hoping they can't catch you. Then they land, with a big thud. You always know they're there but how can you swat them when you've got 50 on you at the same time?

What can you do except reach for the huge can of DEET spray and hope for the best. Oh you will get many helpful advice from people on how to deal with the pesky buggers. Cover up in Avon's skin so soft oil, sure nothing like getting all greased up to go sit outdoors. So now I'm a slippery mess and I'm itching all over.

Then there is the good 'bug torture machine'. You know the ones, they're zapping all evening long - gross! Not only do mosquito's only make up 1% of the bugs that actually get caught by it a lot of beneficial bugs get decimated in the process. It's just nasty!

Light a citronella candle. Now I like a nice candle lit evening just as much as the next person. Let's not pretend however that this works in any way shape or form. All it does is provide mood lighting for the lil buggers!

If you are getting more bites than a friend you'll be told 'you must eat a lot of bananas' or 'if you eat garlic they'll leave you alone'. True, but so will your friends...lol! No there really isn't any scientific proof that confirms that your diet plays a big role in whether or not you get bit more or less than your family and friends.

What crazy mosquito prevention ideas have been passed to you by your helpful friends?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thinking Positvely

Shelly posted a great question on her blog, she's also having a cool contest - check it out!

I don't deal with stressful situations well. I'm the chronic worry wart. For me the glass is always 'half-empty'. I married someone who is of the 'glass is half-full' mentality. What a combo hey!

So at times when I'm feeling stressed or my attitude is not the most positive I don't always go for the healthy options. My feel-good choice is chocolate, only followed by a close second of ice-cream! I know this isn't the way to deal with my stress, yet somehow I continue to do it. Sometimes when I'm feeling sorry for myself it feels like the only thing that will make me feel better. It is however, a temporary fix.

Some of the healthier ways I deal with life's little and big disappointments is to KNIT. Knitting has been a savior for me during many troublesome times. When I sit with my yarn and needles it seems like all of life's worries seem to drift away. It mustn't be just me, a recent article in a local newspaper talked of the increase of popularity in knitting. It's very meditative and relaxing and the secret is out.

Add to that a nice bit cup of tea. What is life without tea? For me, it would be so sad. There are many good and tasty beverages that I enjoy. Tea, is the one that will be there to comfort after a day that you didn't think you'd get through. When your heart feels like it can't possibly feel any more pain or it will surely break - then there is tea. Somehow it makes it feel just a little better - I feel calmed.

I can't possibly end this without a big one - and that is the big one, prayer! When this past year had some things I didn't think I could handle on my own, I sought out a spiritual director and I've been journeying with her since the Fall. She's helped me to see God in places I hadn't before. The images God has shown me have really helped me to realize that I'm not alone. I am loved and that yes even God has said 'this too shall pass'.

I was initially commenting on Shelly's post and I was finding more words coming that really fit into a comment box. I think it's important to share with people how you manage to deal with life's bumps, we all have them. You also realize that other people are also facing struggles. Even though we seem like we have it all together the challenges of life do not discriminate and we all face them in our own ways.

Maple Creek flood 2010 Trans Canada Highway dissapears

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mom, there is a Tornado Warning!!!!!

That's what woke me up just after one a.m. this morning, by my 17 yo DD none-the-less. Yes it was storming, quite well actually. The thunder and were quite intense!

Our DD has had a rather huge fear of storms since she was little. We had a few scary moments camping. One on particular trip we were having a great time, the day was perfect. We spent the day at the beach because it was so hot. That evening roasting our hot dogs on the campfire I began to see clouds rolling in.

One thing you learn growing up on the prairies is to keep your eyes on the sky! Summer months produce wicked summer storms. So I grew up with a great respect fear of the summer sky. As I watched the sky I got more and more nervous, it seemed like we were the only ones in the campground to be so nervous. That's when I had the brilliant idea to phone into the weather office and see if there was any danger. Why I did that I'll never know. What I heard scared me and it transferred on to my DD. There was a Tornado Warning. The warning means that funnel clouds have been spotted in the area.

We made a decision to seek the nearest shelter, which was the service centre. As we were waiting for the storm to pass, several more seasoned campers were coming and going, having their nightly showers and getting the kids to bed. I guess they hadn't phoned the weather station so it was just another summer storm to them and therefor no big deal.

Last night though, there was no such warning. I think she started to hear the thunder in her sleep as it was so LOUD! After listening to it for some time, it started to work its way into her dreams. When she woke up she was positive she had heard that there was a tornado warning. She came scrambling to our room in a panic, asked us to get the dog so he'd be safe too. I could quickly tell she was in a semi-conscious state. We quickly checked for any weather warnings and when she was assured that it was just a regular T-Storm she was ready to go back to bed.

Getting back to sleep was a trick unto itself. The thunder was so loud, every time I'd start to nod off there would be another HUGE clap of thunder would hit and I would be wide awake again!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Growing up we didn't have a lot of money. Somehow we always managed to have fun.
As kids we didn't need video games or computers to amuse ourselves, we had our imaginations.
A summer day was filled with endless possibilities!

We would walk into town, a bagged lunch was all we needed. We'd collect pop bottles on the way. Gosh, we got so good at spotting them in the ditches.
They used to call me 'Eagle Eye's'. Funny, considering I've been wearing glasses since I was six(horrible brown owl style too!) By the time we got to
the local confectionery(not 7-11) we had enough bottles to buy a few treats. Creamsicles were a good bet along with rootbeer popsicles. Just enough to maybe buy a Hires Rootbeer or a Coca-Cola. We'd feel cool and refreshed for all of five minutes - but it was really worth it!

When we were older Mom and Dad(step-dad) would go out dancing every Saturday night. Saturday couldn't come fast enough! I always managed to find a friend or two who wanted to go dancing and we'd spend the day 'getting ready'. It was a big deal, t-shirts and jeans were not good enough - we wanted to look our very best!! The whole day was an event and we looked forward to all the moments including the make-up!

The AA group that my parents belonged to had this dance every Saturday, the cost was low and they always had a live band. We'd get there early enough to choose the best seats. We had this down to an art, not too close to the canteen line so that you weren't pestered by people moving in along behind you and not too close to the speakers as the volume would give you a headache after awhile.

Ready to go at the dance we didn't wait until someone asked us to dance, we would start dancing as soon as the music began. Mom was a great dancer, showing us a few jive steps. She could rock-n-roll with the best of them. We had the time of our lives. Breaking only long enough to take in a beverage as the band rested between sets. We danced the night away. We were always polite, we would see the glare of our Mom if we said no to a dance. So we daned, all
night long. We were the first to get there and the last to pull out of the parking lot, we didn't want the fun to end.

When I think back to these dances I'm reminded just how much fun my Mom was - she was up there with us all and all my friends thought I had the coolest Mom and I guess I did!

Now the dancing days are behind me, simply because there is nowhere to go to dance anymore. I don't do the bar scene. So on occasion on a Saturday I sit and my feet will start tapping
at some music I hear on the radio and I think back to the many nights spent dancing the night away.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Will it be pretty?

This was a question posed to our ministry of care worker when she mentioned to one of our seniors that she could bring her a hand knit/crocheted shawl. How sweet! On this particular visit she was relaying how chilly she feels when she sits out in the dining hall. Little did she know that we have already been getting a prayer shawl ministry in place. She'd love a shawl but just because she's in her 90's doesn't mean she's willing to sacrifice her sense of style – why should she?

In the last few months a buzz has begun to grow about knitting shawls for our seniors. They are often cold and in need of just a little something to wrap around themselves to take the chill off, even in the summer months.

I happen to love knitting shawls and as soon as I heard there was a need/desire to make some I was pleased to be involved. Several churches now have a Prayer Shawl Ministry. There is such great comfort in receiving your very own shawl that someone knit/crocheted just for you.

When I knit for someone my thoughts automatically go toward that person and I begin quietly praying for the recipient. For me my knitting time is my quiet meditative time with God. I've had some really close moments to God when I knit so it seems quite logical to me that praying/knitting go together.

A close friend of mine took up her crochet hook after a 30 year hiatus – to make shawls for the ministry. She remarked at how calming it was. She found that by crocheting before bed instead of watching TV, that she had a much more relaxed sleep.

I think the Prayer Shawl Ministry is a gift that gives equally to both. My goal is to have enough shawls made that whenever we need one there is one available. There are so many times in one's life where a shawl would be needed. I'd like to be able to offer up a shawl to a recent widow or someone who is dealing with a serious illness.

The other day I was crocheting on one of these prayer shawls and my DD who is currently quite sick with Mono asked what I was making. When she realized it was a prayer shawl she immediately wanted one. This is coming from a 17 year old girl. Even she could see how a shawl like that would make someone feel.

So this summer my needles/hook will be flying. I'm going to take a bit of a break from some 'me' knitting and help our church get a stash of shawls ready so we are always ready to hand them out to someone in need. Then in the Fall we'll gather all the shawls and at one of the Masses we will bring them forward to be blessed and then they will be personally delivered with a special prayer card letting the recipient know that the shawl has been knit just for them, prayed for while it was knit and blessed – then to continue the circle we'll ask them to say a prayer for the person who knit it for them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

My wonderful sister awarded me with this - what a nice surprise!

The challenge now is to think of 10 things to share with you all - I'll try to come up with some unique things that I haven't shared previously.

I am passing this award on to:

Lovin Comfort Knits
Tangled up In Sticks and String
Life in Westcliffe

Things About Me:

1. When I was little my Granny nicknamed me 'Missy'. I hated the name and only let my Granny call me that. When I was really young I had bed wetting issues and you can figure out the rhyme in your head I'm sure. So the name really rubbed me the wrong way, today though I have no problem if someone calls me Missy. It's too bad it had that association with it. If you call me Mel on the other hand I'll probably give you a bit of a glare.

2. In the 90's I had my own website where I offered free Outlook Express Stationery. Back in the good old days of 'dial-up' internet. I met a lot of nice people through Excite Chat who taught me a lot about computer graphics. I still like playing around with Paint Shop Pro.

3. I have never been outside of Canada. I hope to remedy that soon. My husband and I married young at 19 and we didn't have a honeymoon. We're planning to take a trip away for our 25th instead of having a party. We want to travel while we can still enjoy it.

4. I came into this world three weeks late. I took my time coming and every day the neighbors in the apartment building would say to my mom 'You still here'(she loved that btw). I was in no hurry at all, well that is until the big day. The day I decided to make my entrance I was in a huge hurry. In fact the doctor who lived right across the street from the hospital couldn't get there in time and I was delivered by the head nurse. She didn't believe my mom when she said the baby is coming. I guess I wanted to be here in time for Christmas. They brought me to my mom in a red Christmas stocking with a red ribbon in my hair. What can I say that was the start of my love for Christmas - I go crazy for Christmas decorating.

5. I love to collect things. It started with a button collection(pin types not shirt buttons) and I have since had a collection of tea cups and tea pots. I also like to collect Coke memorabilia even though I drink Pepsi. My Granny gave me her old Coke cooler(the metal type). I love that cooler and it's actually better at keeping things new than my new Coleman one. Since I have the nagging need to collect I try to keep it in check, if not my house would be full of junk.

6. I've never been to a concert - there I've said it. I don't know why I find this embarrassing but I somehow do. I just never had an opportunity when I was younger and now I can't see spending money to see one.

7. When I was 20 my sister and I did the 'Penguin Dip'. We had a local winter festival and they had a penguin dip. We had to jump into the ice cold lake where they had about 4 feet cut out - walk to the other side and walk back. All for a t-shirt that said 'Penguin Dip'. When I jumped in the water I just wanted to jump out, but they had people in wet suits that kept you moving, truly the coldest I've ever been.

8. I'm just now reading the last Harry Potter book. I'd read all of the others but for some reason I got stalled out reading the final book.

9. I miss the 'drive-in' movie days! Some of the best fun we'd have when the kids were little was packing up the car and heading to the drive in. The kids always wanted their favorite snack of 'pickle-on-a-stick'! It was good family fun. If I had the money I'd open up a drive-in just for nostalgia. We mustn't be the only ones. I noticed the other day that our neighbors have taken to watching t.v. in the backyard. They have a t.v. sitting on a shelf in the window of their garage and the enjoy watching it outdoors.

10. When I grew up I wanted to be a librarian or a teacher. I loved the library and I still do! I'd make my little sister play school in the summer, I loved correcting the work. It's a little quirk that I notice spelling errors even in things like love notes. Spelling was my favorite subject.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Thankless Knitting

When your passion is knitting it only makes sense that you will inevitably knit items to gift to your family and friends. There is so much love that can be knit into an item or an article of clothing. I've always been a 'gifter'. When I knit something most times it ends up being gifted. I actually have to make myself knit for me.

So when you spend all the time and energy knitting something truly wonderful it really feels horrible when the item seems to be unappreciated. I'm sure you've all experienced this at one time or another. I've even given people a second chance in this. Maybe the first item really wasn't special, and then the self doubt comes in - aren't I a good enough knitter to gift items? And on and on it goes.

This past year I knit a truly delightful dress for a niece of ours and I was truly disappointed that I never even received a picture of her wearing it, or even comments on how it fit. I ordered the yarn from the U.S. and put a lot of work into the item. It was quite a popular item on Ravelry so it's not an outdated - ugly frock from the 70's. As far as I know, the dress has never even been tried on.

Yesterday I was kind of down on myself. I had decided to knit the Wool Peddler Shawl in Malabrigo Sock yarn in Impressionist Sky. This is not cheap yarn, by any means. After having another look at the pattern I realized I'd need yet another skein. The practical me - the 'I don't need to knit for me' - me, wanted to return the yarn and go and buy some cheap acrylic and just 'make do'.

Then I thought about all the knitting I've done over the years and how much was gifted, some appreciated and some not. Here I have the opportunity to knit myself a gorgeous shawl, something I'll have for my lifetime and I'm actually second guessing myself. Really, if I can order yarn from the US and knit for someone who will not appreciate it, surely I can buy one extra skein and have my own beautiful shawl that I will truly enjoy for many years!