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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Patio Redo

Woohoo - summer is coming and it's almost time for some patio :) Now that I'm retired I'm looking forward to more than just post 5 pm/weekend patio time - yippee!
When I first moved into my condo I had a too small patio. So, I went out and purchased more (smaller) patio stones and did my best to expand my  patio. In this left pic you can see my patio table, still with its winter cover, and the division between large and small patio stones. Not only was it not aesthetically pleasing, neither side of the patio were level anymore :(.  So, since I finally have both the time and money I hired someone to come and re-lay all my patio stones into a more pleasing and level pattern - see  pic on right. Small stones are now in the centre and the larger stones outline the patio :).

Another of my projects when I first moved in was to plant some wee gardens and trees. At the time all I had available was that ugly black plastic thingee to edge my gardens.  Well, this worked for the last few years, but was also not aestheically pleasing.

 So while the man was here I had him install some garden stones around both tree gardens. Now I need to plant some ground cover/Hostas in the area under the Caragana tree which just will not grow any grass! The land around my Japanese Maple slopes away so the stones are
layered higher at the patio level and lower towards the grass. Not exactly the stones I had in mind, but I had to leave for a med appointment so this is what I got! Not 100% the way I wanted but 100% better than before! I 'm contemplating getting new patio furniture and getting rid of the table altogether. Maybe this year, maybe next, maybe not.

What else have I been up to you ask? Well, lots of hand sewing the connectors for my Lucy Boston blocks. 4 rows done, row 5 and 6 to complete. I have an idea for the cornerstone blocks but need all the rows on the design wall to see if my idea is any good. Stay tuned !!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Happy Easter!

Ok ok, I'm a week late with that post title. Been busy (yeah!) As you can see I made a cake for Easter, and once again it was a big hit! Luckily my B-I-L saved the "eggs" from last year to decorate the cake.

My sister had her friend and her daughter's M-I-L over for our Easter dinner so it wasn't too weird missing both Mom and Dad - our first Easter without either of them! It was a lovely day and I managed to snap this great pic of Greg and baby William - in matching shirts!
I am well into recovery and made my way to my sister's without the walker! That's a big step for me. It was a lovely day and kept my mind off the week to come. Wednesday was the memorial service for the Pater. I took my walker to that as there was a lot of standing during the visitation. All the Smith cousins (ok, all the local cousins which equals most of them), the Boyters, many of my quilting friends, the step family and lots of Dad's friends and neighbours were there to pay their respects, so it was a good showing. Afterwards there were several comments on how nice the service was, so I guess we set the right tone. So now it's just the internment to get through and that's out of town and can wait a bit.
Got these lovely 2 dozen white roses from a good friend of Dad's. Luckily they are unscented. Have really enjoyed all the flowers :).
Have decided to splurge and splash out on a redo of my patio. Here's a before pic
I'm going to have all the stones lifted up and the under layer levelled out. Then the stones relaid, in a mixed pattern (small and large mixed). I'm also hoping to get rid of the big table (under the tarp) and purchase a chaise lounge, a couple of chairs and a small coffee table. More suitable for this size of patio and for my needs. Here's hoping it all comes together as I'm hoping to spend lots of my first retired summer out there!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Spring has Sprung !

Yahooo! Spring has sprung and my Forsythias are in bloom. I've had a lot of flowers lately which is a real nice change of pace. Being single and a bit frugal I never get flowers and never buy them for myself, but when I got sick this winter first Dad gave me a lovely planter with Daffodils, Paper Whites and Gloxinias, then my step sister sent this floral arrangement, then a friend from out west sent this bouquet both of which lasted several weeks. And finally, my step brother out west sent along a lovely single rose. I've been spoiled! Soon my garden will start to bloom outside and I hope to be outside and enjoy it!  I am so looking forward to my first "retired" spring!
Recovery from this winter's Influenza is reallllll slow :( I have been outside 3 times now, with assistance, and even did a wee bit of shopping at the pharmacy!! On the real nice days like today I am taking a short walk, but still tire way to quickly. Having lost way too much weight while ill I'm working hard to gain some back - not as easy as you might think. I know most of you have the opposite problem ;)
My sewing mojo has recovered and I have been busy adding the joiner "bits" to row one and row two of my Lucy Boston quilt! It's a great project for me right now as I can sit and hand sew and sew and sew while watching the Boob Tube.
Once these were done it was time to go up into the sewing room, still a major task for me,  and determine what to do for the in-between (joiner) blocks. I'm going to keep you guessing for a bit as I have a couple of ideas I need to test out. And of course I ran out of prepped hexies, so spent the last two days cutting and basting more. Still have more to do, not a lot of fun but it passes the time for this house bound quilter. Lets hope for a not too rainy April.

Monday, March 20, 2017

More Sad News

Robert (Bob) Sidney Smith (the pater) passed away peacefully after a short hospital stay on March 18th, 2017. Born 1928 he had a fascinating, adventurous, successful and happy life. He got his Master's degree, became a "Master" at the Teacher's College and then a Professor at the University, even editing his own "math" magazine! Dad enjoyed so many hobbies and interests including running, stamp collecting, traveling, golf, cross country skiing, music, tennis, bicycling, sailing,  RVing, amateur theatre, cruising, visiting friends and family, bridge and cribbage, reading and singing in the church choir. Feeling bad that having been knocked down for the count in late January by a bad bout of the Flu the best I could manage was a phone call to him each day at the hospital.  Guess I'm officially an orphan now :(.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Cat Socks !!

Always wanted to take a pic of my feet ;) so since I'm sooooooo bored here's my cat socks :) ! I've been sick/down and out for the count since the last week in January. What started out as a simple cold turned into a respiratory flareup complicated by Influenza A, a 5 day hospitalization and more weight loss!! Haven't been this ill or in the hospital since I was 6! NOT what I was anticipating for the start of my retirement :(. Too much stress lately - need to relax!! It has certainly given me a scare and a new perspective on why/how the Flu is so dangerous for us older folks. Shall be taking better care of myself in future!
Lots of cards, flowers and calls from friends and family which is much appreciated and heart warming. I'm still on the couch in the living room and trying to not stress out over the huge ToDo list not getting done :(, leaving most of it to mon soeur and mon step soeur to accomplish. The pater has also had his challenges this month with at least 2 trips to the hospital :(. Adjustment to retirement home living is not going smoothly. The family home has been sold and remaining furniture goes to auction soon. Here's hoping things run more smoothly soon as my sister & her DH are off for a month's vacation in March to Portugal! So now we just need to get everyone healthy again so we can relax and enjoy an early spring!
Before getting sick I managed to make a start at the Canadian Women 150 quilt along.
So, I have 6 blocks done out of 41 - YIKES ! I'm way behind!! The FB page is lovely but somewhat discouraging for me. Oh well, something else to look forward to.
Saturday was my great niece's 3rd birthday. Luckily I had a pink princess and a pink pony Bday card to send down to her - it was a big hit as princesses are her current obsession ;) Apparently she carried it around all day!
And her brother William also got dressed up for the ocassion !
Of course I'm biased ;)

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Happy New year, and Mission Accomplished!

Happy New Year everyone ! A week or so late I know but have been tres tres busy helping the Pater pack up and prepare for his move into a retirement home. Mission accomplished! He has a lovely 2 bedroom apartment with a great view of downtown overlooking the gazebo. A few more tasks to accomplish and all will be done, but the hard part is over now - and not too soon as we're having a whiteout snow storm today!
One thing I have managed these last few days is to decide on a final arrangement for my Lucy Boston blocks. This is necessary as my next step is to make the cornerstone blocks, although I haven't finished with the side pieces I did also manage to prep more of them and wash/iron dozens of red fat quarters in prep for my start of the 150 Canadian Womenp quilt along project ! Onwards and upwards! Can't say I'm unhappy about having a snow day today ... plan on staying in pjs ALL DAY!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

 Well Christmas is over for another year - TG! I'm soooo happy I took home this table topper I made for mother. I always liked it - the red polka dots really stand out, and it looks so nice on my coffee table. The blue & white striped loveseat in the background will be history soon as I have decided to take the mater's condo sized sofa and chair. I'll piggy back on Dad's move into Chartwell (coming early in Jan) and have the movers make a stop @ my place.
The season started off with Christmas Eve dinner with the Pater at his house - maybe our last in his dining room. We had Tourtiere, made by Val, the pater's step daughter, and salad and an apple cake made by me! His Christmas table runner and placemats were quilted by me a couple of years ago and look so nice on his table. After dinner we watched some TVO programs about the Royals, then back to my place to sleep over. Breakfast was eggs & bacon and more apple cake - yummm.

Dad had a restless night so I let him nap while I made the first of two hors d'oeuvres for the day at my sister's. I dropped Dad off at his place so he could go down and visit Dorothy @ her home, then off I went across town to pick up "the boys". I gave Mark his $20 Star Trek collector coin and the equivalent to David so he can go have a beer on me! Then back to my place to make the beef/horse radish roll ups - yummm. One more trip and we're finally at my sister's for the BIG celebrations :)
 William was his usual sleepy boy, and Claire was, considering all the excitement, well behaved for most of the day. Here she had just opened her Miss Prickly (hedgehog) plush toy, one of many toys to come!
William finally opened his eyes, so was able to get a family pic (Claire was too busy running around!). Chaos ensued as we opened presents and tried to have a family dinner, but Claire wanted to watch TV instead so Vince ate with her in the Den. Kids eh! All in all it was a busy, tiring but fun day. Dad and I got home by 8:00 pm, which is late enough. Enjoying Boxing day in my kitchen and don't intend on going out for at least one day! My TV is dying, so I'll need to go shopping this week to get a Boxing day deal. Wish me luck!