About Me

May 31, 2015

Addiing it all up ....

Our thrifty shopping came in for a grand total
of $14 ~ a sweet sum for an hour's work.

The lacy backdrop was this piece we came across
at the thrift store a few weeks ago, for a tidy .50 cents.

Thrifty Thursday #6.

Tiny vintage glass bottles
for my art studio.

Perfect for storing beads.
Or for washing paint brushes.

A bargain for .40 cents for all 4.
Another half price deal.

Thrifty Thursday #5.

For our new kitchen: a tiny egg cup for
.10 cents & a $1 sweet little green loaf pan. 

Thrifty Thursday #4.

 Two more Trisha Romance pictures.

Wedding Day.

Sweet bedtime scene. Our dd has a sleigh bed.
Again, both pics were half price at $3 each.

Thrifty Thursday #3.

Another half price item for just $3.

A Trisha Romance picture for our collection.

Thrifty Thursday #2.

This sweet little picture was just .75 cents at the 
thrift store. The best half price deal of the entire day.

May 30, 2015

Thrifty Thursday #1.

We ventured into the thrift store this week & although I couldn't fathom what we would "need" at a time when we're purging & packing our possessions, I decided to join in for the "thrill of the hunt". It was a rough week & losing myself for a while was just what I needed. 

A number of items caught out attention, which will now result in a few posts over  the next few days. We were fortunate to visit on a day that many items were 1/2 price. This numbered print above was a very reasonable .75 cents. A half price item that somehow "fell" into my cart. Not too sure how that happened!

This sweet mirrored frame will be repurposed by myself, once my art studio is all set up & ready to go. I plan to take out the glass mirrors, chalk paint the frame & put cork in the spots where the mirrors were. A sweet little message board for our back yard, at a very cool price of exactly $2.

Have you found any treasures at your thrift store lately?
Do you ever go & just wander but not buy anything?

May 29, 2015

Portable Garden Pots.

Our gardening this Spring is quite different than previous years. Because of our move, we've decided to create a series of portable garden pots that we can just pick up & move to the new house once we're ready to go. We're still caring for our current yard, mowing, weeding, fertilizing & watering. But no big planting this year, except for our garden pots.

In front of the garage.

On the path to the front door.

Is your garden all planted now, in the ground?
Do you have any Portable Garden Pots?

Sacred Showers.

So far, it's been a sunny but hot Spring. Too hot. I honestly can't remember the last time we've had any rain. There have been several predictions of rain but then it never came. Our grass is still green but that's because we have been watering daily. I hate to see our next water bill! There is no water ban just yet but there is definitely a fire ban as the dry, crisp ground is now prime for forest fires, which are rampant around the province. It's hard to get a lot of work done when the air is so hot & not moving. It's hard to sleep at night when everything "sticks" to our over warm bodies. Miserable time for all. But there was a promise of rain & guess what finally arrived? The clouds appeared, the wind picked up, the thunder rolled & the showers, the sacred showers we've been waiting for, produced a downpour. It didn't last long but it did cool the earth & sleep was much more comfortable. Today, we are supposed to get another sacred shower for the afternoon. Can't wait to have more moisture in the air, on the ground & for our pretty flowers. 

How is Spring in your area?
Hot & dry or warm & rainy?

May 28, 2015

Thrifty Thursday.

A recent find from our local charity shop. 

We're big Trisha Romance fans & this addition
to our collection was a great end to our hunting.

Do you like to hunt for treasures at the charity shop?
If so, what has been your best find?

May 24, 2015

Should I Scream? Or Cry?

I am so confused, I don't even know which one would make me feel better in the end. But before I go there, before I explore my feelings of frustration, let me start with a preface: I am acutely aware that our world is full of true issues & many grave concerns. As a community advocate, I fight for those who seek justice, for those who live in poverty & for those who suffer abuse, neglect, racism & bullying. In an instant, I realize that life can change & we as a family have certainly suffered great loss & pain. I do not in any sense wish to minimize any one's plight by my writing. My blog is a personal space to share daily life, in our little house in the big woods. The good, the bad & on occasion, the ugly. Know that at times, I do "spout" off & I'm sure some of my posts don't make sense in the grand scheme of real world problems. But for an instant, they are my concerns or as in today's post, my frustrations, & not meant to trivialize life in any way. I welcome comments & your thoughts as I continue this amazing life, with authentic gratitude & creative intention.

If you're still with me, here's my rant for today. We bought our little piece of heaven in 2000 with the idea of moving our growing family out to the country. It was a divorce sale & we to this day can still not believe the incredible price we paid for the land. Today, it is literally worth 650% more than we paid for it. Not a bad investment. We ended up not building on it right away, as we realized how busy our lives had gotten with dance classes, football practices, soccer games & school projects. Although it is just a few minutes away from our little hamlet, the driving would have been a deal breaker. So we went to plan B, which was to keep the land & work on it slowly, planting fir trees in amongst the poplars & old growth forest. Wildflowers & pussy willows. It was a good decision & we were still comfortable in this house, with short drives to all our busy activities.

Fast forward to the year 2012. Our dd's marriage had just ended & she came home, with baby in arms. We changed our home & our lives around & all of us have thrived with a tiny boy in the house. But we've run out of room! Two households in a home that is meant for one has meant a bit of crowding & tons or constant reorganization. Yes, we could have told our adult daughter to find her own home & she did look, as it wasn't her desire to continue to live in her childhood home as a single parent. We all get along really well but everyone needs their own space. For the sake of our marriage, at this time of life, we also need privacy & sacred spaces. So out came the house plan books. And suddenly, we found ourselves knee deep in blueprints, color swatches, paint chips & flooring choices. It's been a blast but a very long one & we're finally ready to admit, we're tired!! We found our amazing builder, a local small builder, who only does one to two custom homes a year. A real bonus. And we were the first home that began in 2014. He was just finishing up a home & was planning a show home but for the most part from June of 2014 when our hole was dug until the show home started this year, our home was his only. Things went quite fast but now we're at the end, & everything has slowed right down. And the frustration has reared it's ugly head. 

I want to scream to the roof. And cry sobs. I'm so tired ....

This delay is big. And it could have so easily been avoided. But here we are. On April 24th, we sent our builder our counter choices for the house. It was the final choices we needed to make & easy to do. Originally in our plan & budget, we had chosen granite. As we worked through the kitchen design, we added in some neat ideas. The budget started to stretch but we promised to reign ourselves in & then our builder guided us as well. One way we could stay in a comfortable spot was to not include granite at this time. It made sense & of course, it's something we can add in later. So we took it out. We chose some quality laminate with a radiance finish that looked very much like granite but without the cost & upkeep. All was well, or so we thought. 

Visiting the house about a week & a half ago, we met the three lovely, very Irish gentlemen, with beautiful accents, who were installing all the cabinets. The lead installer pulled me aside to ask why, with such a beautiful house & a very unique kitchen were we putting in laminate. I explained that although we wanted granite or a stone of some type, we needed to stay in budget. He told me that he could actually get us granite for a "mere $1,000 more than the laminate you've chosen". Intrigued & knowing $1,000 wasn't going to sink us, I conferred with my dh, who of course, said "absolutely, if it's good quality". Our builder, upon learning of this conversation said "go for it; this guy is the best stone guy around & his stuff is amazing". The bonus was that the laminate wasn't done yet for the kitchen (everything else was) & the stone is in town, so we'd have our counters done in a week, instead of three. We made arrangements to go pick out "our slab". While there, the stone guy/lead installer really convinced us that the light color we had chosen wasn't a good choice & was adding in an extra element of color that was going to make it overwhelming. As we stood back & reflected on his suggestion, it made sense & we did agree. In the end, we chose a black granite & are so excited to see how this will look in this kitchen. Our builder was impressed & now all that had to happen was a simple form signed indicating the agreed change & a price clarification. That's when everything went south.

Are you still with me?

The price quoted came back much higher (though I will say much lower than what we originally had in our budget) & that didn't make me too happy. But I'm not a screamer, so I just pouted a bit while I reworked our budget. Turns out, our kitchen designer didn't estimate the laminate very accurately, so that was the reason for the higher cost. We accepted that & continued on with setting up a time to sign off on the counters. Yesterday, one hour before we were set to meet our builder at the house to do this, he sent us a text that the stone guy/lead installer had "forgotten" to add in the counter for the tea cupboard & now there is an additional charge. 


Now I was mad, because the additional fee wasn't the only issue. The timeline had also changed to a move in date of at least three weeks from now. We were supposed to have possession on May 20th. This is clearly not going to happen. We won't go back to the laminate because everything that was suggested to us does make sense & we do like it. So now we're stuck with a higher bill & a changed possession date. Now we're not moving until June but if we have to wait, I'm hopeful we'll at least get not only the counter we would like, within budget & with an added feature, if he'll go for it. If not, we'll be at a standstill even longer. The house sage continues. Thanks so much for listening & letting me rant without guilt. I know this will, in the end, work out. Just need to get to that sweet spot.

And how was your week with Mercury in Retrograde?
Did you have any obstacles in your way?

Does anyone ....

.... have a Faceboook page linked to your blog? I'd love to link up if you do. I've started a Facebook page as part of the Authentic Bloggers site but now need to find some lovely bloggers to "like". If you have a page, feel free to send me a link. Here's my page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009566322342. I'd love you to join me on the journey of connecting blog writers to each other in a fun way, with easy access. Hope to see some likes soon!

May 20, 2015

The blog is now on Facebook!

If you'd like to access my blog by Facebook, I have now created a page. It's basic, nothing fancy just yet but another medium to share life in "Our Little House in the Big Woods". Feel free to "friend" me & join in on the journey .... 

May 19, 2015

Mercury in Retrograde.

I'm very intuitive & there are many factors that can affect my day. Years ago, I figured out how easily something as natural as a full moon can throw me for a loop. Now that I have a family & work with little ones, I've come to recognize that this is not a phenomena that is personal to me but to many. So it's no surprise to learn that a full moon is not the only planet/earth/astrological experience out there. There is also something called "Mercury in Retrograde" that actually makes perfect sense to me when I now look back at previous encounters with this time frame three times a year. Unfortunately, it's my least favorite & I'll personally take a full moon any day over a three week streak of confusion, anxiety, miscommunication, bewilderment & negativity. Today, I was quite over come a couple of times with a teariness that I couldn't quite explain. And finally, taking a look at the calendar & checking a chart, it made perfect sense that I was being affected by something greater than a momentary rough day. Now I can work with it but truthfully, I hate that it's such a long time period to muddle through. As we are about to move & have to sign off on all our purchase orders, it's a bit unnerving to do some research on Mercury in Retrograde & discover that one of the big strong suggestions is to NOT sign any documentation or contracts. 


Maybe we could push our move to happen after June 11th., when Mercury in Retrograde formally ends for the spring. We'll see how far we can take it. In the mean time, I'm going to be doing a lot of deep breathing. And a ton of pre-planning to avoid any conflicts. 

Are you affected by a full moon?
Or the experience of Mercury in Retrograde?

P.S. No pictures! I'm still trying to figure out how to save my images to use in my posts. Sorry about that. We'll return to our regular programming soon, once I figure out the "Air".

May 18, 2015

I'm back ....

.... did you miss me? I missed all my blog buddies & feel quite behind in reading all the details of your wonderful lives. My work laptop, which I've been using the last little while instead of a desktop, suddenly decided to not work well. I'm worried it might have a virus with it's strange behavior. I had to stop using it until our IT lady can take a peek at it. So no blogging for this mama. I could check & respond to emails with my phone but anything else was too difficult, so I became unplugged this week. But today, we went shopping & picked up a very lovely & very light Mac Air. Light, fast & so easy to use! I'm in love. Tomorrow I take my work laptop back to our centre & have T do a thorough clean of it & then leave it there each night, instead of lugging it home. And at home, this lovely beast will be waiting for my nimble fingers to create art & words for my faithful readers. Once I learn all the details of how this Mac works, I can start adding pictures in & write a few catch up posts. We had a great long weekend, honoring Victoria Day today & having some down time after months of working towards building our new home. Lots to share in the adventures of our life for the last week. Happy to be back & can't wait to get settled in to blogging again. More long posts very soon.

How was your beautiful weekend?

May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day.

If you are a mama, I hope your day was
filled with family, love, memories & gifts.

If you are a bereaved mama, I hope your
day was filled with support & understanding.

If you are not yet a mama, I hope your 
day was filled with honoring your mama.

If you cannot be a mama, I hope your
day was filled with dreams & wonder. 

However you observed this day, I hope
it was joyful, healing & memorable.

Was there something special about today for you?

Hoping, Hoping, Hoping ....

.... that this beautiful cabinet that we
refinished will fit in the main floor 
half bath. It's a very tight fit.

But we're hoping, hoping, hoping
our talented builder will figure out
how to make it all work. I have one
more coat of paint to put on for the
doors & then I can drive those out
to the house so he can put them on.

Fingers crossed it fits ....

10 More Days ....

.... until our new house is truly ours!

There could be small delays but our
contract says May 20th, so we're
aiming for that day as our official
day of possession. We're almost home.

May 8, 2015

64 Door Knobs.

 I counted a whopping 32 doors in our house today.
That makes a grand total of 64 doorknobs. Not
an easy job to choose that many for each room.
In the end, we chose 2 styles to make it easy.

This set is for the front door. The small doorknob
at the bottom is the same as the knobs all over the
house. A bit of character, instead of  just a round
silver ball. We love it & are very happy with these.

There are 4 french doors, so we chose a set of
glass knobs for each. Such a classic look!

Close up of the glass sets.

Sparkly & filled with character. My
grandparents had french doors with
glass knobs when I was a young child.
I loved playing with them, feeling like
a princess living in a castle. Maybe our
grand baby's will have this sweet memory.

Are all the door knobs in your house the same?

May 7, 2015

Hitting 700.

Today is my 700th post. I love
to celebrate & plan to enjoy a
piece of ice cream cake later!
Thank you for reading this far.

Do you celebrate mini milestones?
Or just the very big ones?

May 6, 2015

Frosty Morning.

Look what was on top of our car 
sunroof window the other morning.

So pretty! So cold!!

This was on the weekend, when the sky
was blue & the grass was green. We
were wearing light clothes, no coats.
And sandals on our feet. So warm.

The frost was a shock. But today was
worse. I'll post pictures tomorrow of
the white world we woke up to. A big
surprise that was not welcome at all.

How was your world today?
Was it green still? Or white?

May 5, 2015

Orange is the new Blue.

After 44 years with a Conservative Government,
tonight, we have a new party & a new leader.

I am excited beyond belief to embrace this new
movement. And thrilled we have a sound & solid
female Premier. Looking forward to watching the
next 4 years unfold & formulate as our new path.

The "Blues" are gone! And Orange is the new Blue
in Alberta tonight. What a welcome change. The
people have spoken & voted. In a short 32 minutes,
the old party was booted & the new welcomed in.

How was your Tuesday evening?
Any elections on your future agenda?

May 4, 2015

On a warm May evening ....

.... 22 years ago, we were anxiously waiting
for our 4th child to arrive. Our babies had
all arrived at 40 weeks & 3 days. And on
May 4th, 1993, we were at 40 weeks & 2
days, which meant, in our minds, that we
were just a day away from meeting our
newest little one. Would we go into labor?

We didn't have to wait long. The next day, at 
5 p.m., labor began. And a short time later,
at 6:14 p.m., our 2nd daughter arrived &
she was big! At 8 lbs., she, like her older
sister, ended up being bigger than her big
brothers, who were both much smaller at
birth. Arriving on "International Day of the
Midwife", she brought a new level of love &
sweetness to our lives. The biggest surprise
of all? She was completely bald! The others
had all arrived with full heads of thick, dark
hair that eventually turned into a white
blonde crown. But our little C had not a
hair on her sweet little head. It soon grew
& for years, she sported the curliest, blonde
hair that fell well below her little bottom.

Looking forward to wishing our dd a very
Happy Birthday tomorrow. A time to spoil,
a time to be thankful for her gifts to us & a
time to gather as a family to spread some
love & good cheer. It should be a great day 
& we're all looking forward to the memories.

Do you have special plans for tomorrow?

May 1, 2015

Well this is gonna be fun ....

We've accumulated a crazy amount of gift cards
over the last year or so. Birthday gifts, Christmas
bonuses, cards for good deeds done, for gratitude,
Mother's Day & any reason for a gift, they added up.

This year, we just kept throwing them into our little
safe, knowing it would be a busy time with building
& moving. Subconsciously, I think we wanted to
let them sit until we were settled in to our new home.
Tonight, I pulled them out to list each one in Excel
so we can start to use them once the move is complete.
We feel so lucky to have such great family & friends
who have showered us with love. And lovely gift cards!

Big question of the day:
Can you guess the total value of our gift cards?

April Showers ....

.... did not quite bring May flowers.
We've had a very dry April, with a
few brush fires close to town & lots
of dust every where. We need rain!

Yesterday started out sunny but we
were promised a good rain shower.
All we did get was dark skies, lots of
strong winds & a few spits of rain.

Getting worried that although our 
world is beginning to turn green,
without the rain we usually have in
April, it could be a long, dry summer.

If you have rain in your region, 
feel free to share!! Thank you.