Friday, November 27, 2009


" Sisters don't need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks - expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs - that can undermine any tale you're telling."

~ Pam Brown

Heh.... say cheese!

A camera in her face has been an important part of the sister to sister together time. Oh gee, she will get used to this one day, me with my camera that is...

Until then, I love you my big sister, see you again next time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Girls just wanna have fun!

When was the last time you were able to get away on a "girls only" retreat from the hectic pace of life's demands? Yep, that's what I figured, long time huh?

Okay, for all my woman friends out there, it's time to do this yourself, even for a teatime visit, an evening, a full day or if family life allows - for a few days.

I suppose the words ring true for me every time they come to mind; the words a friend of mine was told by her mother in law, that "she should be afforded more leisure time by her age". She was in her early forties, thick in the day to day of raising a family and tending to all of her pressing commitments. Who had time for leisure she thought?

Do woman really have
"leisure time", affording them to leave home for a period of time on any given day, let alone a few of them?

Absolutely NOT all of the time! Sometimes yes, sometimes no way!

But, here's the spin on it folks - can women afford themselves a time of refreshment for the purpose of renewal, returning home to their families ready to roll again?

And though it may not be completely second nature to allow for this sacrificial time for the purpose of our own selves, it's truly only in our best interest as women to tend to our weary souls when able, to get out with our sisters, mothers, women friends, and to visit heart to heart, to laugh and to have heartfelt sharing moments, to pray, to retreat from life's heavy demands, to absolutely get outside of the box of our day to day, or our month to month demands of life.

So, last question (I promise, snicker), when are you going to cross off an appointed time on your calendar to achieve this well deserved "Mommy time out"?

Just saying, but seriously please consider taking my humble bit of advice, the advice thrust out there today from this older woman who has the life's experiences of micromanaging my flock in a responsible manner for years and years, BUT, I never really considered taking enough of these "time outs" over the years just for the simple purpose to recover, refresh and return home ready to roll once more, even if for only a few hours away.

I am just now over the past few years coming into my own, (with my husband's blessing by the way) feeling comfortable in doing such a "self" driven activity and cannot at times believe I didn't respond to my options way earlier than now. All of those conventions were good, retreats better, but they are not always scheduled or available when needed the most.

So, think about it at the very least and then when you feel comfortable, just go ahead and plan something soon. Consider it all in the family, a time for all the woman in your family perhaps like a friend of mine does. Her own mother insisted when she was 16 years old, that she be included in a women-only time out with aunts, sisters, mothers and generational family members. Fast forward over twenty years, and they are still doing it yearly. Many new babies have attended during these times, but they are dedicated to taking a weekend a year, without any other children or men present.

As a very important aside; Your husband and family will feel your absence, yes that's a given. The benefits swinging back to them will be double-fold though, yes they will, PLUS, you'll never regret it. I promise. :)

Firstly - just think about taking time for tea to dwell on those possibilities.

The "Dunbar Teahouse" in Sandwich, MA.
(Check out the website HERE)
(PS Mom, they've added on to this wonderful teahouse you used to frequent when here before.)

Serving several meals a day, the food was so fresh and out of this world!

For those who prefer taking "high tea", they have that too all afternoon. Be sure to have at least one scone with devonshire cream and homemade strawberry preserves. Ohh-la-la!

Taking tea, what a wonderful place to begin a time of refreshment!

In honor of Thanksgiving, table decor was very sweet.

Girls just wanna have fun (and a respite from the hectic paces of life), and my sister and I are having FUN!

Please allow me to share some of our fun with you, gifting one another presently for occasions during the year saved especially for this appointed time together, with one another.

Rather than sending a gift via the postman, we are living it and doing it all together. That's what sisters do, right?

Okay, so she insisted and gifted me with both a manicure and pedicure for my upcoming birthday. Have to say, it was diva delightful!

See, she's enjoying it too! So, hint, if this is your kind of thing, just grab a girlfriend and go!

A woman's feet are made for walking, hiking, moving, shaking, getting up round the clock tending to unwell loved ones, animal care, running errands, kid chauffeur and taxi service, and ultimately how many women are NOT tending to their own relaxation needs quite enough. Is this a regular thing in my own life? No, but it sure feels great when I am able to indulge in the activity.

Meeting and having lunch with one of my sister's friend.

Shopping and shopping in unique stores to the US, those we do not have in Canada is always fun and best done with a chunk of carefree timing ability.

We've visited the Christmas Tree store, Marshall's, Chico's, Pottery Barn, Williams and Sonoma, and then we began searching for a book store so I could purchase the "Pioneer Woman Cooks" book.
Found it! Super thrilled as it's not yet in Canada for me to find there. In fact, we don't have any Barnes and Noble bookstores up there, none.

See, Ree Drummond was just waiting for me this day. I got the second to last copy in the store! Sold out!

Introduced the ladies to "Red Cup" season at Starbucks. Oh what fun we had there! :)

Ladies, don't forget to sign up to get your free cuppa yummy on your birthday!
Check it out by clicking HERE.

Oh, I assure you - there's much more happening around here. These are just teasers of some of our actual times out of the house. We've filled our time with other relaxing stuff there, believe me ... laugh. Older women need more down time, energy levels just aren't as high as they used to be you know? hehehe

And besides, thoughts of Advent are filling my head. How great is all this to have a time-out before the season of Advent begins? Perfect timing is you ask me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stumbling upon the "Briar Patch", Thornton Burgess

In 2007 our family drove along the highways of upper New York State to visit Cape Cod over the Memorial Day long weekend, see HERE. Family was gathering to remember once again, my sister's husband who passed away a few years before.

The Memorial Day long weekend was the signature time to reflect, recall, remember and reminisce while planting another lilac tree in my sister's backyard in honor of him. Two years ago marked five years since his death, and the final gathering of such a kind.

For our family's journey, we had bookmarked several touristy and of -interest sights we wished to visit if time allowed for possibilities. Oh sure, we caught many of them; Norman Rockwell museum (see HERE), Plymouth Plantation (see HERE), Baseball Hall of Fame (see HERE), walking the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston, and much more.

One such possibility we weren't able to include and visit was
Thornton Burgess' Briar Patch (here). No one knew it wasn't bookmarked for the purpose of merely bringing our children there. Heavens no!

I for one became so excited over a visit to step foot onto the property where all of our beloved animal characters came to life; Reddy Fox, Unc Billy Possum, Peter Rabbit, Johnny Chuck, Blacky Crow and so many more. Briar Patch was where Thornton Burgess became inspired to write all of his wonderful and so very precious series.
He is our Beatrix Potter of America! In fact, during his time living in the Sandwich area (1874-1965), through his stories he ignited much interest in topics of conservation and the love of animals.

If you get a chance to browse books in a book store, you will likely not find any of Thornton Burgess' original 170 books or any of his 15,000 newspaper stories. Most original books are long out of print and hard to find. Not only that, some are rare and worth a pretty penny. For instance, I was lucky to locate his book titled; "The Burgess Book of Birds for Children" at a thrift store for a song. Lucky me. We love this book! Please enjoy reading more about this author by clicking HERE. The good news is, many of these sweet books have been reprinted by Dover books in paperback form allowing anyone the ability to purchase them for realistic pricings. Check out Amazon by clicking HERE for a page of these lovelies!

Traveling around route 6A and stumbling upon the Sandwich main street area offered me inspiration to make an attempt to find the Briar Patch on my iPhone's GPS system, but no internet ability was offered quickly enough to perform my search.

Just as I placed my cell phone back into my purse, surprise of all surprises, we passed the Briar Patch signage on the roadway. YES!

(And just a note; when two sisters are sightseeing, anything can be possible. We prove it every time we get together, kindred spirits who share the love of adventure and wonder....)

"There it is", I shouted "Back up, back up!"

My wish was my sister's command as we circled around the road and returned to the site of the indicator sign. Yes, this was the Briar Patch! Up the long drive we drove to find several buildings, spotting the "closed" signs on the glass doors. But that was okay, we found it and I was happy to skip about with my camera pointing and shooting at the photos enclosed here.

(These are some of our own personal Thornton
Burgess out of print editions in our family library.)

Thornton Burgess is one author who has presented wholesome, loving stories for all generations. I have read almost our entire collection in our personal family library to our children, many times over in fact as each child has risen up the ranks.

Artistic drawings of all these animals have graced our home, hung on our refrigerator and the walls of the house, sketched into drawing books and the front of cards given to others.

If you'd care to take a moment to visit the "Briar Patch" website, you'll find something for everyone there. From naturalist information, hikes, various and most interesting classes to attend, kitchen jam making, gardening talks of interest, children's activities, Victorian events, and so very much more, And, if this spectacular area is not enough for anyone, the original Thornton Burgess Museum rests not too far away where one can hop along on a walking historical tour and commentary of the area of Sandwich.

The Blackberry Kitchen

My sister was not familiar with Thornton Burgess and his books, and obviously had no clue about this "Briar Patch" either. She our stumble upon, she has already alerted a group of friends to our find and to the website of this great place. The bunch of them are happily thrilled to list several upcoming events on to their calendars. Hmmm.... maybe I should remain a bit longer. :) You can link up to the official website HERE.

I was so excited to get out of the car and walk up towards the paths along the edge of the nature patch's forest, and then I took a double take, elated to note a small wild bunny hopping along directly ahead of me. He very soon disappeared into the thicket beyond the signage above.

I can only imagine the natural inspiration this author was able to view and eventually capture in all of his beloved stories. If I lived here, I would be hanging out here often! How about you?

If I can convince my sister to visit there again before I leave town, that would be an amazing experience for me. I would leap at the chance to do that for sure. I'll definitely let you all know....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Touring about on Cape Cod

Here's where I left off at my last post...

the photo above shows the sand dunes of
Sandwich, Cape Cod, MA

Water everywhere gives this arm muscle shaped land it's beauty. Bays, ponds, lakes, waterways, cranberry bogs, and the Atlantic Ocean are located around almost every corner for those who wish to spend time at the water's edge. And you all know that I do so value my time there, right?

A typical landscape in warmer climate, it was a surprise to find boats still in the water, unusual for this time of year. And it's still a surprise to travel to this area and not find snow on the ground already either. Not complaining though....hehehe

Quaint and intimate inns and motels dot the roadways along Route 6A -King's Highway. Plenty of intrigue begins to develop over spotted locations where popular boutiques, tea houses and specialty stores are found.

Bed and breakfast areas and small inns unique to the history of the area keep surprising traveler's with their unexpected and sudden discoveries.
Some of the locals take whole days just to explore all those found along one of the highways or routes running along the contour of the waterways.

Beautiful and ultra ritzy homes are awaiting tourists and local spectators alike, allowing an appreciative gawking or jaw dropping for their settings, let alone their proximity near to the water, those hidden privately secluded in lovely areas or on small adjoining islands near lakes and ponds.

What a lovely drive we enjoyed after attending mass in a very old and well restored parish in the geographical area. Perfect sunny skies filled our day, so lovely and yet so breezy near the waterways.

We continued to tour the sweet village of Osterville after attending Sunday mass together. The church was attended was originally a mission church in 1905, expanding and growing throughout the years. You can view a photographic tour by linking HERE for the "Our Lady of Assumption Parish".

My sister played tourist chauffeur, offering views on our drive without having deadlines or any particular time frame (nice) , meandering and following along the connecting winding roads to loveliness. Our favorite street was the Eel River Road, a 1920's exclusive waterfront areas running along the Eel River for almost four miles around the Russel Millpond.

Lovely homes were around every corner along Eel River Road

Of interest was the "Crosby Yard" where boaters docked their vessels and people flock in summer to eat and drink at the famous "Islander restaurant", formerly called Keepers. Trivia;
  • The Crosby brothers were famous for inventing a new kind of sail boat that was "quick like a cat". Their original wooden boats are still located nearby in the boat yards. I found more information on this HERE.
  • Ethel Kennedy used to keep her boat docked here until it caught fire, a famous place for boaters (yachts)
  • "Keepers" restaurant has now changed owners and has the new name of; "The Islander", surely one of those eatery spots Guy Fieri from the Food network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dash restaurants.... It is now closed for winter and won't reopen until late spring, therefore I can hardly give you my opinion of the famous food found there. :)

The Christmas Tree Store
One can find a bounty of delight every time in a "Christmas Tree Store", those open until late at night all over this State. Sadly we don't have these stores in Canada, a store providing a unique shopping experience, at least for me, every time I get to visit the Cape.

You can check out the
link HERE for yourself if you wish to know more. The poor photo above was snapped at night, but the architecture of their buildings alone is well worth the peak inside. Check out the photo below to see entrance ways....

I'll be back with more....

Sister to Sister time together

Two years ago I was invited and was able to experience time away from home solo, traveling to my sister's home on Cape Cod in MA, in the USA for our first annual sister-only getaway.

We so loved our week together, she and I, we soon decided upon and claimed this time of year as our own sister-only getaway. You can read about it HERE....

US Thanksgiving - 2009

Here I am this year, taking a moment to begin sucking
that refreshing and beloved sea air....

Rewind though back to last year (2008), with regret our yearly sister-only time wasn't going to happen with the imminent family transfer move in our midst before us (seen here).

Jokingly, my sister and I have now both exclaimed we'll settle for a "bi-yearly sister-only time", and this is THE year for it to happen on purpose for both of us.

Not withstanding a pile of drama before leaving, almost very nearly threatening my trip in the first place, one of our dogs (the husky) became very ill.

Knocking our cogs together, the family retraced steps to figure out what she may have gotten in to or eaten, what type of rodent perhaps that could've presented this situation.

Our husky presented a case we were scratching our heads over, and yet that motherly instinct grabbed hold of me to whisk her off to the veterinarian FAST after she had been throwing up during the night, the day before a bit, not eating her food, and became visibly and terribly listless throughout the wee hours of the morning.

Off to the vet we went with the ending saga of - drugs in hand, shot for the dog for the nausea, another appointment booked for Monday to follow up on what he felt was a possible infection or something.
Later this day though seemed to claim this dog's whole being as time ticked onward, as she became ever more listless, vomiting even more all day long.

After dinner our vet's office was closed but the answering machine message included an emergency animal hospital referral. After a telephone call inquiry with one of the Vet doctors on duty there, it was highly recommended we bring her down for further examination. It was there at that animal hospital during that long eventful evening when the doctor barely had completed her examination we all realized "something" was terribly wrong.

Leaving our dog there as an in-patient, medical tests rolled onward through the night after we departed for home. By early morning, the doctor detailed the discovery of something lodged in her intestinal track.

We returned shortly after 7am. to re-claim our dog as the hospital s closed during the day. This same Vet doctor strongly recommended emergency surgery as soon as possible. He bluntly announced she would not live to Monday if we chose to wait with the nature of discovery.

Long and short of it, there we were trying desperately to resolve the emergent situation to prevent more drama with this situation during my eventual absence, when I flew out of town - the next day!

Enroute alright, off to Boston

Our dog ended up having immediate door to door surgery from animal hospital to our own Vet doctor who had been notified of the situation with a faxed report arriving just a bit before we did with the dog in tow.

Under one hour later, the Vet called to create a true feeling of relief, the operation had been easy and successful and he snickered to claim he had pulled out part of a leash lodged inside.
We can only gather our dog had found a way to grab hold of a fuzzy feeling leach under the crevice nearby her pen area in the dark of the night, using her paw to managed it underneath of a wall with a crack underneath, only to think her instincts thought it was something yummy.

Half the leash had been consumed (crazy dog!), and the end of it was lodged tightly within her intestinal track. Another night was spent with her on IV fluids and recovering. Yikes! We now have a deeper "INVESTMENT" in this dog. She better not ever attempt to run away now! :)

Arriving early, I grabbed my luggage, looked out
of the door and the bus was rolling by.
I had to be on that bus, and in the nick of time, I was!
One hour early, yeah!

Thankful for having the sun in my face all the way.

A familiar part of downtown Boston while
my bus ride out of the Logan Airport

By now you've likely figured, I have indeed arrived on the Cape,
here to relax, unwind,
recover, and declutter my brain while
US Thanksgiving and spend time with my
one and only sister.

Actually, I've joked around to make a downer emergent situation feel brighter by telling our children;
"Merry Christmas everyone. We used the gift budget monies to save the dog instead of buying anything else." Ha, ha.

Just in case, for those reading this post determined or tempted to spill out the words "it's only a dog", please don't.

So, all that said; I'm here at the Cape, about to take off for a walk on the sandy beach shores at the water's edge with my only sister.

On the boardwalk - Sandwich, on Cape Cod

About Thanksgiving again....

Thankful things for me includes the ability to celebrate both the Canadian and American Thanksgivings in our family, because being that our mother was born and raised in Virginia and our father was born and raised in a small french community in B.C., Canada, we grew up just celebrating them alternatively, and through the years if my husband and I overlooked a Canadian Thanksgiving celebration at home, we opted for the November Thanksgiving date instead. For the most part however, October is the month in our own nucleus family, yet my parents still opt to gather for both festive dates on the calendar to this day.

Funny thing this year, during my own absence while on this brief visit to the US, my husband decided he will make a turkey feast at home for our children and himself to remember this upcoming US Thanksgiving along with us over here. (Psst, hey honey, please oh please save me a piece of pumpkin pie, okay?)

It's in the blood folks with dual-country parents, this thankful's definitely in the blood- the ability to be "thankful" with two historically driven Thanksgiving occasions during one calendar year in our family circle.

Today, I am relieved and very thankful for seeing the glass as half full, the dog drama being over and for the love of my husband and family. Oh boy, yes I am! Whew...whew, and more whew!

Just me and my sister at the water's edge.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Winter Preparation Triumphs!

Telltale sign of serious roofing issues last winter

We are happy to report our roofing issues are now complete. When we moved in, the builder failed to empty the gutters of bird nests, and the design of the roof had allowed for much ice buildup, which in turn wreaked havoc with dangerous and precarious icicles ready to bolt down onto, or (gulp), into anyone below.

Our shingles were damaged from the ice, and water poured into our garage, over and over again as it began to thaw.

On top of our own winter preparation list, some of our home's outdoor deficiencies remained on the hotspot chart for us.

No longer made roof shingles were located

Since July we've waited for the promised repair from not only the damaged shingles, the builder's helper used an ice pick last winter when things were getting real bad, and subsequently damaged the roof in more ways than you can imagine. Plus, the design of the roof lines required new flashing and much more.

And then the news came - the shingles were no longer made! ugh. The waiting game lingered on. Two weeks ago, all was finally, finally complete. We were beginning to sweat with snow around the corner and frozen ground already here. A roof not prepared for winter? What a helpless feeling for us! But it's done! Yeah!

Final protective coating on the new front steps is complete

The final protective coating was brushed onto our repaired front steps and though we were concerned about new changes since we have original stamped concrete stairways, when the builder sent a masoner to raise the levels properly for passing our final inspection using stones on top of the stamped concrete, we were hardly thrilled at first, thinking maybe it would become a patch job eyesore. Not so!

The masoner worked his skills so well, matching the stone to the pattern on the stamped concrete so well, one might never know of the initial issues the municipal inspector had a problem with... so our final inspection can now proceed...that is whenever our builder decides to get moving on it. That though is the least of our worries about now, settling in for winter trumps it.

Autumn Days of the past...

In this new home, we're still in the honeymooner stage if you will, we've had to take heed not to revisit our moving day last mid-December where snow was knee deep and throwing all things into our home was a game of survival of the fittest and the basic game of staying ultra warm with doors wide open and the chill of frozen temperatures seemed to make anyone's teeth chatter wildly. brrrr.....

Remembering what it looked like here during our move

I for one hope to have a cup of warm brew in my hand when this scene above visits us once again, when winter blows in and the quiet hush resulting from it dancing gently to the ground reminds us to S-L-O-W down.

Winter seems to be a time for a tremendously exquisite beauty outdoors here, when this new season's weather surrounds and envelopes us with its gorgeous splendor, all the while feeling a soothing balm with the thought that, for this moment alone - all is right with the world.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Goodbye Autumn

Here are a few autumn blessing visuals, some of the last ones from this season fast closing its door before winter officially begins and the list of winter preparations are now fairly complete.

Are we prepared for winter? Yes! Yes! Yes! :)

How does one really prepare for seasonal changes while not becoming infused with WORK galore, rather just allowing for a natural rhythm to take hold anyway?

Our natural instincts for rolling into seasonal changes with ease ends up becoming list making moments to assist in those preparation measures without having to reinvent the wheel for necessities, and plugging along on this basic and tangible reminder list so we can rise up into action bit by bit, at least for those of us who are preparing for harsher climates which from our own personal experience living here, do require thoughtful consideration.

Living in eastern regions requires thoughtful planning. Easing into our winter preparations have been ongoing with almost one year's notations written on a perpetual calendar, recorded for future timing on remembering how to store individual things, and when to do them.

We like a natural, spread out and divided prepping time mostly so we don't overload by slacking off and waiting for the first day of winter's snowy arrival to get into gear.

In other words, if we prepare in a natural rhythm along the way, rather than scrambling, we can relax when in the thick of winter arrives, remaining indoors with our hot cups of tea near the fire, admiring the gentle dance of the snowflakes faltering to the ground through picture windows.

To date, we've had to assess all facets of what this winter's preparation should include and it's been a continual work in progress it seems since our move here. Finally we are beginning to feel established in this new adventure we're walking.

One cannot becomes seasonally organized especially for a season like winter without first thinking of all areas requiring attention.

Hooey! I've compiled something of a list below we've already tended to, some I've mentioned here before, and some we are just completing now.

Admittedly, at first glance, it looks overwhelming and really, really (!) LONG, doesn't it?

However, that said, I'll bet it's nothing much different than most other folks with the exception perhaps of the pets and such.

Without further ado then:

Our Winter Preparation List

Here it is, fully loaded and goodness, surely there are things I've even forgotten already or overlooked on here. ha ha

  • Furnace and hot water check by the professionals.
  • Change both of the enormous furnace filters this house requires for the system installed here.
  • Clean out and wash filters in our HRV air exchange cleaning system.
  • Clean out the air purifiers on each floor.
  • Will the hot water heat pump blow again when we require its use after the warmth of the summer/autumn seasons? We're on guard!
  • Stock up on salt for our water softening system, ten bags are neatly stacked now for the winter season.
  • Stock up on windshield washer fluid, the good stuff for under -30C and beyond, and bagged salt for the drive, walkways and stairs.

  • Leaf removal on the property so we are ahead without a rotten leaf clean up and mosquito/fly nesting temptation for spring.
  • Re-organize the garage for the fifth time this year due to our move with three feet of snow all about, resulting in just throwing all those boxes in there. We've already revolved spring/summer items for winter ones. Yeah! Snow shovels are handy!
  • Re-organize the cold storage area downstairs under the front stoop, moving things about on the shelving system in there, making easy access to Christmas bins, yet shuffling and organizing all things from other seasons for later.

Leaves are now gone!
  • Putting the garden tools away and bringing out the snow shovels.
  • Power washing the lawn mower, the lawn tractor, the lawn whipper, garden tools and trading their spaces for the snow blower.
  • Have the serviceman come around to winterize lawn mowers and prepare the snow blower for fast and carefree usage after all our surprise snow falls during the night.
  • Clean and haul the patio furniture inside.
  • Clean and haul all yard toys, bicycles, flower pots and baskets all inside.
  • Check out every light bulb and lighting situation inside and out. Replace dead ones because you know winter days are much shorter and require more light. :) What weird light bulbs we must have for some here!

Weird Lightbulbs!

  • Protect any vulnerable smaller garden trees and shrubs.
  • Clean the gutters of all debris, leaves and bird nests.
  • Hire professionals to install gutter guards so we don't have the ice buildups like last year where water poured into our garage after things began to thaw.
  • Bring liquid bird feeders inside, change bird seed for winter.
  • Insulate dog houses, providing nesting material for those days our "winter" dogs prefer to be outdoors.
  • Declutter the garage door areas for easy entry and exit for animals, vehicles (yes, we can park inside this year!)
  • Remove all liquids from garage and basement cold storage areas. Remember the car wash bin this year! And then there are those liquids in the vehicles, the ones in the first aid kit that exploded everywhere last year.
  • Checking out the boot wear for the entire family, making sure the stock for very warm boots is sufficient for the weather to come.

Growing feet require bigger sized boots

  • Checking out the baskets of winter woolens; gloves, mittens, hats and scarfs. We never wore scarfs much living out west, they are essential here!
  • Checking out the coat situation for the entire family because we found the extra cold climate after our moving day required thicker and better insulation in our jackets.
  • Hung up extra steel coat hooks in the garage for snow pants and other extra bulky winter wear.

New gloves from Grandma and Grandpa

  • Setting up the calendar with winter activities; ice hockey, snow tubing, the church's ski trips, visitors to come, special feast day celebrations, travel to meet and greet our new grandbaby in the new year, and prepare for my hubby to enter the same respiratory rehabilitation hospital once again for 4-8 weeks in the dead of winter.
  • Stock up the kitchen pantry for those winter days when we are stranded at home and it becomes too danger to run to the store.
  • Wash the windows now before it freezes too badly outdoors (company coming to do the outdoor work)
  • Garden hoses were emptied long ago and brought into the garages. We found great metal hangers at our dollar store which were screwed into the wall for hanging the hoses on for winter. Thankfully our outdoor taps are frost free and require no winter preparation. Whew...
  • Rodent removal systems in place (non-poisonous ones at that!). My hubby used insulation spray in every hole, crevice, entry port imaginable for less heat escape, and/or more rodent entries. Patrolling the outdoor perimeter is so important, so all areas of entry are now well sealed. Wish I could convince hubby of a cat, a mouser, but too many allergies in this house for that.
  • Winterize the barbecue and ensure the cover is tightly tied. Place bricks on the bottom shelf to keep it from walking in wind storms.


... we're still officially within this season - says our calendars, so here are a few more photos of autumn's last days ...

Crafty daughter working her blitz of gifts for friends

Fascinating reading and more crafting time

Always, we're just always (!) attempting to take the time to "live in the moment", celebrating and feasting through each season however simple or fancy it might end up to be, absolutely making memories to grasp onto, those lingering on forever in our hearts and minds.