Thursday, 31 December 2015

An End & A Beginning Of A Year



From The Internet

 
In saying goodbye to 2015, I will also say Thank you 2015.  This year has provided me with many rewards & happy experiences,  along with many challenges & difficult moments.  I have tried to grow & learn from each experience,whether it be the good, the not so good & some of the ugly. I plan to take the knowledge of the difficult lessons learned forward but not the heartache.  I embrace the joyful memories created & keep them with me always, so that I have a ready smile.


And to 2016, I say




A happy New Year! 
Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and laboured here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest



 



Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Pairs That Rock On

Linking in with Helena's Pairs:  http://helenascreativemaven.blogspot.ca/  

This week, my final Pairs entry for 2015 are a couple of stone / rock walls.  

One residence has used these huge boulders, found on the property & each one about 244 centimeters (8-9 feet) in height,  to build their perimeter - it clearly says "keep out". 

 








The second residential stone / rock wall is more decorative in nature but still using all the rocks found on the property.  I think this wall is quite charming.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Currently Me On A Monday - December 28th

I know that Sian isn't linking us all together this Monday, but habit & routine ... SO I'll do a little something different this Monday.

CURRENTLY


Listening: Still playing Christmas CD's - I'm liking Jan Arden's first Christmas album.  Am I the only one just a little disappointed in Adele's 25?

MY Christmas Trifle


Eating: Way too many sweets & starches.  I "had" to make a Christmas triffle so I could photograph my favourite pudding for the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt & the recipe is impossible to halve.










Christmas Morning Cheers


Drinking: Not enough water but pots of tea with milk. Had some champies & orange juice at Christmas breakfast, paying for that with terrible heartburn.  Alcohol hates me & yet I speak so highly of it.











Watching: Not too much on TV to watch, lots of Boxing Day binge marathons but none interest me. Gearing up for Downton Abbey to start on the 3rd.  I do watch my cats play, they make me so happy & they are still in the kitten play mode, so always busy.


Reading:  If it doesn't rain it pours, most of December, I had nothing on my night table, now I have 2 on the go, one in waiting. When I am stuck for something to read, I just wander the aisles of the library asking to be guided to a book I need to read.  This time I found: The Christmas Angel by Marcia Willett. The 2nd one, the lady who I am cat sitting for left me this one to read, so I read it while I sit with the cats at the morning feed, Circling The Sun by Paula McLain; and I have one recommended by Sian, Bird By Bird Some Instruction on Writing & Life by Anne Lamott, sitting waiting for me at the library to pick up Monday.

 
Wouldn't This Be Lovely To Have In Your House?

 
Wearing: As I write this (Sunday night) I'm in my red snowmen Christmas pajamas. So very comfortable but I need to get some socks on, my feet are cold.  This week it's mostly jeans & a t-shirt when I go to feed my cat charge, although on a visit with friends I did dress up in one of my gifts from Mr Man - emerald green jacket with green/grey/black top & a pair of black slacks already hanging in my closet.


Weather: Chilly, dull & rain today with a forecast for a large storm Monday afternoon/evening,  moving in from Texas bringing with it freezing rain & possibly some snow.


Feeling: Worried about Mr Man's left eye woes, still not better.  I feel quite chubby. Tired, I'm not sleeping well. Although I am getting my 10,000 steps a day in (most days). I think the dreary weather IS wearing me down a tad.


Enjoying: Lots of open time, Mr Man & I are both off work this week, so no schedules, other than to go feed my friend's cats, there will be no shoulding this week.  We are both doing lots of reading, I alternate between reading & scrapping.





 
Needing: To make plans to restart my Weight Watchers Food Plan & toss out any left over sweets & treats.  I would take to work but I have been forbidden to bring any more goodies in.  Last year I didn't do any baking because I had just started with WW, I felt deprived so this year I tossed all my good intentions aside & baked & baked & baked - I'm paying for it now, I cannot resist my own baking.


Wanting: A Word for 2016 to settle upon me.  I won't be participating in Ali Edwards Online One Little Word workshop but I still would like to have a word for 2016 to go along with my birthday question. I'm not doing resolutions but plans for all good things.


Thinking: That Mr Man & I had a wonderful Christmas & that we are truly blessed in spite of not having family to celebrate Christmas with, we certainly make our own family joys & our own Christmas traditions.  I am looking forward to 2016.








Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Wishing You & Yours A Truly Happy Christmas.
May You Experience All The Joys & Calm
Of The Season.










Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Pairs - Come To The Manger

This week my Pairs reflect some of what Christmas is about to me, although I know some do not share in this part of the reason for the season.  

My Pairs this week are two very different types of nativities.  One is flat in one dimension, very modern & the other is quite dimensional & more traditional in appearance & set up.   And as you can see everything is currently green - very unusual for this region at this time of year.

This Pair are both part of a very large event, called"Sparkle In The Park".  Each individual display is created, set up & paid for by different business, clubs, churches & organizations. There's snowpersons, (oh heck forget the politically correct, Snowmen!) elves, reindeer, Santas;  every conceivable idea of winter & Christmas is represented. 



Modern Nativity - Lights Up At Night (on a hill)

Traditional Nativity
 To see what the other Pair contributors have done this week visit Helena's blog to connect: http://helenascreativemaven.blogspot.ca/

Monday, 21 December 2015

Me On Monday - December 21st

Office Next To Physio Clinic - The Dairy Bull Records Office
  

WOW the last weekend before Christmas.  Hello to Sian and the other Monday Me folks - connecting through:  http://fromhighinthesky.blogspot.ca/

View From Front Window - Green, No Snow

 There was some very light snow flurries on Friday evening & again Saturday afternoon, but nothing stayed. Forecasting is still for a green Christmas.

Friday morning I arrived at Costco as they opened to pick up the Christmas turkey breast. Good parking karma & a quick in & out without a cash register line up.  They really do have excellent local sourced meats.  



Friday evening we drove through Riverside Park's Sparkle In The Park display.  It was very well lit up with many many displays.  We had dinner out; we were sat between two company staff dinners - very loud very jolly. 
 
Sparkles In The Park-Riverside Park


Saturday saw us up early to get to a not so local shopping mall.  Again some good parking karma; mall fairly empty & we were able to walk the entire mall loop without bumping into anyone.  Mr Man had not been having much luck finding me a pink sweater that was on my wish list, so I switched the colour requirement to either royal blue or emerald green - he had much better luck.  By the time we were ready to go home, the mall was filling up.  Grabbing a cup of tea for the drive home, we quickly vacated our parking spot to a car stalker, which seemed to be the only way someone would get a parking spot now.  





Home to fur girls, the fireplace on, a Christmas movie & a dinner for Mr Man of homemade cabbage rolls & sausage.  I made him a pan full of cabbage rolls the way his Ukrainian  Grandma made.  Because they are made with bacon, I cannot eat, but he was a very happy man.  I think I fell asleep while watching the movie because I don't remember much but the start & the end.  

 
My Fur Girls, chatting up Santa

 
Sunday was the day we had tickets for the Royal Ballet's Nutcracker streamed from London's Royal Opera House.  I do like the traditional, I like the costumes, the music, the dance - it's all so beautiful.  It tickles the joy in my little girl self. Sunday evening we enjoyed the start of a brief series with Julian Fellows - The Grand Homes of England.  I'm still holding out hope that he does not disappoint me with the final Christmas episode of Downton, that Lady Edith gets a happy ever after ending. Season 6 starts for us January 3rd.  A rumour has reached these shores, that Julian is writing a Downton movie script.

Snowflakes From Nutcracker Ballet
The previous week just sped by & I'm sure the next three days before the 25th will also go very quickly.  I have only 1 day at the clinic this week but I start 2 weeks of cat sitting on the 23rd.  

Wishing everyone calm in these last few days before Christmas & of course all the blessings of the day. 


Fur Girls Checking Out Presents


 

Friday, 18 December 2015

Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt - First Entries

You can link in with Eileen at http://in-my-playroom.blogspot.co.uk/ for viewing & participating in the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt, hence known as WPSH.  


In no particular order, least of all numeric order.

This is personally my favourite so far.  These gates are to a farm just opposite the farm I ride at.  The owners change up the gate's bling seasonally.  The drive is so long & with a bit of a curve in it so you cannot see the house from the road.  Even if we ride in the field next door, we cannot see the house because of the trees - I can only imagine based on these gates & seasonal bling what a house it must be.
 
#8 A Wreath
Closer Look At The Wreath






































I may follow this tree next year, taking a photo on the same date each month for a year.  The trunk & bark intrigue me.  It has an almost twin just a few feet away.


 
 
#9 A Tree That Has Lost All Its Leaves

This rather large puddle vexes me to no end.  It is right outside the main door to the physio clinic I work at.  The owner of the building has promised for 3 years to level out the parking so drainage isn't a problem.  As the weather turns colder this puddle will freeze & be no end of problems & troubles for those of us walking from our cars to the offices in the building.  There are also rental apartments above the offices so I cannot image that the tenants are happy about The Puddle.


#6 A Puddle

 This is tinsel I bought for use at the clinic.  We don't use tinsel on the tree at home, the cats chew & eat & it is not good for their digestive tract, although if eaten,  it does make for some colourful offerings in the litter box!!!


#2 Tinsel









So these are my enteries so far into another wonderfully organized photo scavenger hunt.






























Thursday, 17 December 2015

Best Possible News Of The Day

 

Possibly the best news I read this morning was on my F/B feed page from Downton Abbey!  To refuse a mince pie/tart is bad luck & that if you have a mince pie/tart every day of the Twelve Days of Christmas you will have good luck in the new year - you just have to remember to make your wish known on the first bite of each pie/tart.  I can do this, I need to do this!  

So today will be the mince pie/tart baking adventure.  Only 2 questions; (1) brandy or not, (2) full top or star top? 

source: internet

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Pairs In Red Or White


My Pairs this week are two Poinsettia trees, one in white, one in red. A real Canadian Christmas display.  Although I think the whites were blushed with pink, but maybe it was the lighting.  At the base of the white tree were purple "Moses In The Basket" plants.  Intentional?  Both these trees are part of the Royal Botanical Gardens (Burlington) Christmas festivities, which included Santa, Mrs Claus & live reindeer.  There was another red Poinsettia tree in another greenhouse that had been set up beside a park bench, (fake) dusting of snow and a model train running around the back of it.  This little scene was more popular than Santa & his live reindeer. Everyone was using that bench scene for photos.  But I did get the chance for a quiet moment to snap a few photos & enjoy the quiet.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Me On Monday - December 14th

Big wave to Sian & others, who you can connect with by clicking here:  http://fromhighinthesky.blogspot.ca/

Royal Botanical Gardens - a quiet corner
My week & weekend had some heavy focus on Christmas, including lots of baking. Mr Man said that for him Christmas is shortbread so I made shortbread.  The new to me recipe I used required the cookies be frozen before baking -  it was to keep all that butter hard until baking in a slow oven;  look at me talking all  Championship Bake Off like. I also made thumbprints with chocolate kisses rather than jam.  
 
Homemade Shortbread Cookies For Mr Man
 Thursday night was our village's Farmers Parade of Lights, there were 21 farm machinery displays.  The weather was perfect, no rain, no wind & no snow. The streets were packed, the church halls filled with diners chowing down on bowls of chili, the bakery stayed open late to sell hot chocolate & donuts, the main street had port a potties - ah it was festive.
 

Farm Tractor With Fertilizer Spreader
  This was the group's 23rd year of parading.  Each farmer not only decorates the equipment but they ensure both sides have a large sign describing what the equipment is & does.

John Deer Pulls Santa

My favourite this year was the hay flat that had 8 tiny (ride on) John Deer tractors with antlers & leading the 8 was the 9th with a flashing red nose. There was also a manure spreader cleaned out & filled with the local pack of Boy Scouts & Cubs, I'll say no more about this float, but you knew what it was for.   The grand finale was the front part of the big wheat combine with Santa & Mrs Claus. (I used last year's photo as this year's was blurry).


Santa On The Combine From 2014

 On Sunday we made an attempt to visit the Festival of Trees display, which is a fund raiser for the local hospital.  It was not to be, we couldn't even get a parking spot - it was decided that this Sunday because of the rain everyone in the world (well it seemed so) would attend.  We next tried the Sparkle in The Park display, but the rain fog was so bad from the river, we couldn't see most of the displays.  So a dash into the store to get the release of Minions (Mr Man is a huge fan of animation) & I picked up, on clearance, a Christmas movie that I always watch on TV, Love Actually.  I also   got the CD everyone is raving about in the blog world - Lady Antebellum's On This Winter's Night, I have yet to listen to, but I am trusting ...

Some of my special tree ornaments.
Finally A Brown Haired Angel


Best Pink Dress - Glinda

Clara - Nutcracker


Love Angels

Train

The Marilyn Slipper On The 2015 Tree

So that's my Monday look back.  My Monday look forward is to finding some more of the Winter Scavenger Hunt items, some more Christmas baking, finding joy & amazement in each day. 






Wednesday, 9 December 2015

One Photo, Twenty Words For December


 

I had seen in a catalogue & I wanted them; knew I couldn't afford their prices; so I made them.

Pairs Of Pails

Linking in with Helena at: http://helenascreativemaven.blogspot.ca/

This week my Pairs are a couple of Christmas gift pails of chocolates.  I buy through Costco, 3-4 at the start of the season as I think these make cute & easy hostess gifts.  Mr Man usually gives one to the lady in the office that is the call coordinator to thank you her for keeping his work logs straight.  Both pails come in versions of reversed colour; blue pail, white trim or white pail with blue trim; red pail, white trim, white pail, red trim.  I believe the chocolates are a dark truffle chocolate - I have never had one, because once started, they would never leave the house!


Monday, 7 December 2015

Me On Monday - December 7th

Linking in with Sian & All The Other wavers.  You can connect through Sian's site:  http://fromhighinthesky.blogspot.ca/

This past weekend, which already seems so long ago, saw me having breakfast with a friend on Friday to celebrate her up coming birthday, a perfect way to start the weekend



Afterwards I had my visit with Santa, he was very jolly & seemed quite agreeable to my request for a horse of my own, a pink tutu & a tiara & I promised him I would not wear the tutu & tiara while riding my horse.

It looks like Christmas has thrown up at my house - it's all decorated, even some of the kitchen cupboards get decorated.



 Mr Man questions why the bathrooms have to be decorated - get over it honey, I love Christmas. Our weather forecast has no promise of a white Christmas.  Which apparently is contributing to people feeling blue. Hard to believe I'm in Canada & we have no snow.  I personally don't need snow for Christmas to visit upon me.  Mr Man on the other hand, says he does need snow to feel Christmasy. 

My boss gave me a small budget to decorate the clinic - he had no idea what would be unleashed - it's festive, but not screaming Christmas, I realize the need for seasonal sensitivity to patients.

I did some more baking; mincemeat tarts & I ventured into making  pastry from scratch, it's not a developed skill of mine. Latest food obsession; gingerbread.  I know how My Month In Numbers will end this month, too many calories.  

Someone, I'm not pointing fingers or naming names, ate about 15 days worth of chocolate in the Advent pockets "oh, sorry". I didn't know ...


Sleeping cats are the sweetest of sights, especially after 20 minutes of me trying to decorate the big tree with their help & assistance, oh there were a few raised tones of "stop that" "no" "I said NO".













I pulled out one of my favourite Christmas things for the horse theme in the family room, it's a Christmas stocking holder (& yes that's me riding in the photo).


On Saturday after I had a visit to a scrapping store, Two Scrapping Friends in Waterloo, Mr Man, who is very interested in model trains, decided that we should see if the close by model train club was open, so off we went to St Jacobs.  The club was open & in full force, with about 5 operators running the very large model railway - it's all O gauge.  Timing is everything, while we were wandering around they have an hourly "night time" session & during this session there was a Santa train - no photography is allowed during the "night time" but once it was over I could snap away.  Visiting a model train show seems to have become an annual Christmas tradition for us.



On Sunday was a candlelight service in memory of 14 woman killed at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec, December 6th, 1989. The shooter didn't like feminists. Quebec has tougher gun laws as a result.   It has become a day to mark the hoped for end of volience towards women world wide.  We took a moment to also remember those 14 people in California, who recently lost their lives in a senseless gun rampage.  Gun laws have to change in the US of A. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead of them. I hope that love, joy & baked goods can be found in abundance for all.  I know I will be having a second helping of gingerbread muffins.























Thursday, 3 December 2015

Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt

The Lovely Eileen & her friend Joy have created a list for a Winter Time Photo Scavenger Hunt. Thanks ladies.   You can link in at Eileen's blog:  http://in-my-playroom.blogspot.co.uk/  

I am starting off with a Snowman, which our westerly neighbours son, Duke, made at the end of our shared lawn. It's "funny" how he built this because our little Christmas gift to him & his family is a snowman building kit along with some snow moulds. 

Here's the list from Eileen's blog : 

1.   A robin redbreast
2.   Tinsel
3.   Outside lighting
4.   A star
5.   A snowman
6.   A puddle
7.   Berries and/or nuts
8.   A wreath
9.   A tree that has lost all its leaves
10.  A windy day
11.  Your favourite pudding
12.  A fancy button
13.  Street art
14.  Afternoon tea
15.  Candle light
16.  A chimney
17.  A ladder
18.  An arrow
19.  A fountain
20.  Cutlery
21.  Your own handwriting (this one is compulsory and cannot be substituted)

If you find any of the above hard to get you may substitute one or both of the subjects below, except No. 21 which is compulsory.
Alt A  A supermarket trolley or basket, filled with shopping
Alt B  An animal statue
Alt C  Metal railings




Neighbour's Little Boy, Duke, Made