Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Takes a Licking

My friend June and her daughter Gracie stayed here the other week and sent me this lovely bouquet of flowers as a thank you gift.

Almost two weeks later some of the flowers are still pretty and I rearranged them (in my Beth Mueller vase). The Asian lilies still smell fragrant.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sketch Fest

Our artist trading card group met last Saturday and we had 18 folks show up to trade. After the trade and a cup of coffee, Perry (standing), our wonderful 92-year old trader, suggested we get together for a sketching fest. He brought each of us a small sketch pad.

Nine of us decided to participate. We sat in a circle and with an egg timer, we each sketched or doodled for five minutes and then passed the sketch pad to the left and started another drawing until we had gone full circle.

It was a great way to loosen up those sleepy drawing "muscles" and also to get to know each other a bit better.

Guess what my first sketch was? First instict: draw a cat!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Fix-Its

The weekend was tool time around here.

We repaired a few panes of glass that had fallen out over the winter.

Richard is darn handy with the caulking gun.

I finally replaced my old mailbox with a shiny, new one.

Looks great, eh?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Monkeying Around ATCs

I'm trading these artist trading cards at today's monthly swap in Dunvegan. They are collages of a photo of me as a kid -- the rest is imagined. I've always wanted a sock monkey and never had one as a child. A few years ago, my friend Elisabeth bought me one. Her name is Soquette and I think she's gorgeous.

As it happens, the challenge theme in the next issue of ATC Quarterly is Sock Monkeys. Any medium. Size: 2.5" x 3.5". Please mail hi-rez jpeg to me at: or snail mail it with an SASE (if you want it back) to: ATC Quarterly, 19698 County Rd. 24, Dunvegan, ON K0C 1J0 Canada. Deadline: May 15.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mug of the Week

If you're like me, you have a bunch of mugs in your collection. Most mornings I pick the one I use by what mood I'm in on that particular day. So I have decided to profile my mug collection on Fridays and highlight a different one in a post called "Mug of the Week."

This week I've chosen a mug my cousin Richard got me on a trip several years back. He told me it came from a restaurant in Bar Harbor, Maine called "Two Cats" and he and his family just loved the place. His son Matthew, however, was marginally disappointed when it turned out that "Two Cats" had two dogs and just one cat. Click here to go to their website.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Breaking News...

I just looked out and there on the lawn are the first crocuses of spring. Last year's firsts were April 4 so we're about a week and a half ahead of last year. Yippee!

Crayon the Working Cat

Crayon lives and works at my local vet's office in Alexandria.

She's always very busy inspecting your purchases...

...and sits on the counter to make sure you've paid in full. To see more working cats, click here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Into the Woods

My favourite place in the world is the wooded place behind my house. This colour pencil drawing is called April Woods.

This drawing entitled First Snowstorm kind of feels like November.

And this one called Last Snow is what it looks like in the woods right now. Only the most shadowed corners still have vestiges of winter.

My Aunt Sylvia owns this image and at almost 92 years of age, she doesn't get out much. But this drawing I did sits beside her chair and she tells me that when she looks at it, she's out walking in the woods.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Kinda Pizza

The in-house brand at my local "Your Independent Grocer" is President's Choice and I love almost all their products. One of their best lines is the "Blue Menu" which provides a healthier alternative to many regular items. This pizza called "Toppings First" is a winner.

Frozen pizzas are usually pretty scary...or they used to be. Now there are many healthier choices with thinner crusts and great toppings like this: roasted peppers and goat's cheese.

This one cooked up almost as advertised on the illustration on the box...actually it looked better in real life. And man, it was yummy. One of my faves for sure!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Highlights

We had a kooky weekend which involved lighting a bonfire that had been gathering brush and burnables all last year. Surprisingly it lit on the first match without any accelerant needed. Luckily I was already at the front door with two full buckets of water when Richard ran in yelling, "Water!" We managed to keep the fire under control as it was burning on the lowest part of the lawn and was surrounded with bits of snow and about 6" of water in spots.

After three hours of burning, there wasn't much left of the brush pile. Or the shirts Richard and I were wearing either. On closer examination, both of our tops had burn holes in them.

Meanwhile down the road in Alexandria, they were trying to get out the vote for Hockeyville by giving away free french fries all weekend at Gaetan's Chipstand.

When we arrived there on Sunday afternoon, it was blustery and snowing lightly but they were still hard at the voting on two laptop computers under a tent. We find out on Saturday night if Alexandria will be in the final five to be chosen as Hockeyville.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Another Push for Hockeyville!

Only TWO days left to vote for Alexandria as Hockeyville. Just click here and scroll to the blue box at the bottom. Choose "Billy Gebbie Arena, Alexandria" and please vote for us! You can vote more than once. Thanks!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Good Sign

Spring is definitely here! The red-winged blackbirds always beat out the robins for a sure sign of spring and the blackbirds are out in force this week. Every 100 yards or so you see another male, singing his guts out, staking claim to his territory before his mate heads this way later on in the spring. A bunch of boys singing in the woods. Sounds like Alexandria on any given Saturday night!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hockeyville in My Little Town

The good folks at Kraft Foods announced the 12 contenders to be Hockeyville on Monday night. Alexandria, Ontario, my little town of 3000 folks, is one of the chosen 12. It's up against much larger places like Yellowknife, NWT and Cranbook, BC.

If Alexandria wins the title of "Hockeyville," it gets a $100,000 upgrade to its hockey arena as well as hosting a pre-season NHL game.

But the only way it will win is if it gets votes. So click here and vote for Alexandria as Hockeyville! Just go to the blue box at the bottom of the page and select Billy Gebbie Arena, Alexandria and vote. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!' " -- Robin Williams

Monday, March 15, 2010

I've Been Tagged

Natalie tagged me so here's my photo and story...

Here's what you do:

1. Open your 1st Photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo and the story behind it.
4. Tag 5 or more people.

The story behind this photo was a trip to Alberta that Richard and I took in May 2008. We stayed in Canmore and one afternoon, friends from Calgary came for a visit and we all went out for dinner. Here we are in the lobby of the Windtower with Dara and her charming boyfriend. I think the concierge took the photo. I think I never posted it because we're so teeny tiny in it. But we had a fantastic weekend and I'd go back to Canmore in a heartbeat.

I tag:
1. Jennifer
2. Jenny
3. Richard
4. Susan
5. Carmi

Menagerie a Toi

On the weekend, Richard and I headed over to see Natalie and Gordon's menagerie.

Natalie is definitely the chicken whisperer.

I think if I come back to this earth, I want to be one of Natalie's hens and live in the Palais de Poulet. You get to sleep under a heat lamp...

...and play with a suspended, purple cabbage. Looks like fun!

Here's me giving calico Naomi a quick hug.

Naomi didn't seem to mind being passed around from arm to arm. Here's Gordon giving her a snuggle...

...and then Gordon snuggled the gecko.

Here's Natalie with the gentle giant dogs Tristan and Sophie. They're amazingly good with the hens.

More snuggling with big orange boy Julius.

And I can't forget to mention the lovely Alex, the three-legged tabby boy who was a perfect charmer. It was a great evening spending time with good friends and their two-and three-and four-legged buddies.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Winter into Spring

The weather has been incredible these past few weeks so I decided to take a walk and see what's what.

The ice on the stream is breaking up and the water is running. I just love that sound.

The sun is melting everything but nothing is really green yet except moss atop an old stump.

The pussywillows are really starting to come on strong.

Last year's grasses are appearing from under the receding snow pack.

Say goodbye snow! See ya next year!

Another sure sign of spring? Tim Horton cups scattered everywhere along the roadside.


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