Monday, May 29, 2006

You gotta love Canadian weather. Sunday, May 21st, just a week ago, DH was out on the deck barbacuing wearing a coat, and could see his breath when he breathed. Fifteen minutes north of us they had sleet. An hour north of us they had snow!! Time shift to today. The temperature was in the mid 30's, but the humidity made it feel like it was in the 40's.

And to make sure that we all got to appreciate this sudden largess of hot weather the Toronto transit operators decided today would be a good day to stage a wild cat strike. No warning for the hundreds of thousands of commuters who depend on the buses/subway/streetcars to get to work. We all woke up this morning to the local radio stations announcing that Torontonians were going to have to hoof it to work, or drive, or bike or whatever. Since we live in Georgetown, northwest of Toronto, and I work in Mississauga, which is a different transit system, I had no worries about getting to and from work, but many of my co-workers had to scramble to make other arrangements. DH drives me to work in the morning, which is greatly appreciated since it would take me an hour and a half to get to work, and another hour and a half to get home, at least. Oh, the strike, being illegal, was order to cease by the court system and this evening the transit system is slowly getting back up to speed. Hopefully tomorrow will be a normal travel day.

Back to work after a weeks holiday. Very hard to do. DH is off until Wednesday though so we can sleep in until 6:30 still, which is a much more civilized time to get up then 5:30, our usual time. DH got the air conditioning fired up tonight, since the temperatures are to remain high until the end of the week. By the weekend we're suppose to be down to 18 degrees again, which will be just fine by me. Can work in the garden in those temperatures.

I've headed this post with a picture of Phoebe, sitting in our front livingroom window, watching the birds flying by and landing in our front yard.

Today we went to Ken Johns memorial service, which was held in Weston, which is where we both grew up. My Mom went with us. It was a lovely service, with people sharing their many "Ken Johns stories" and there was lots of laughter and smiles. Ken Johns was a man who touched a lot of lives and had a great many friends. A whole town full of people it seems. He was one in a million.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

In Memorium

JOHNS, Ken (Royal Canadian Army Second Survey Regiment; Past President and 60-year member of the Weston Lions Club; first and only person designated as a Weston Historical Artifact in 1997 by the Weston Historical Society; Proprietor of Ken Johns Menswear; dedicated volunteer with the West Park Hospital for many years). Peacefully on Thursday, May 15, 2006 at the Humber River Regional Hospital - Church Site. Ken, devoted husband of the late Doris (nee Vanden Bergh) and loving partner of Fran Rupke (nee Johnston). Beloved father of Doug and Sue, Ron and Toni; adored grandfather to Tricia, Derek, Adam, Danielle and Kevin. Delighted great-grandfather to Nicholas and Lochlin. Predeceased by his sister Doris and his brother George. Friends may call at the Ward Funeral Home, 2035 Weston Rd. (north of Lawrence Ave.), Weston on Monday from 1 p.m. until time of the memorial service in the chapel at 3 p.m. As an expression of sympathy, donations to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated by the family.

Ken John's was a dear family friend who acted as Yenta for DH and I. He ran a men's clothing store in Weston, where we lived, where our fathers shopped for their suits. Ken had known us both since we were small children. My apartment was across the street from his store when I was on my own and I'd often visit the store and sit in the back drinking cups of tea and talking with Ken about our mutual love of England. He had an amazing knack for telling funny stores, with a twinkle in his eye and a gentle smile on his face. The entire back wall of his store was covered in coffee mugs, each with a name on it and each belonging to a regular customer who always stopped at Ken's for a cup of coffee and a visit whenever in Weston. Ken decided that DH and I were suited to one another and so took us out to dinner at a local restaurant one evening. We sat talking and getting to know each other with Ken a genial host who got the ball rolling and then made a discrete exit before desert. When we married two and a half years later it was only natural that Ken would be our master of ceramonies. He was always so proud of the fact that he'd been the one to bring us together. We've been married 16 years now. We have so many wonderful memories of Ken, his store, his stories, and his dedication to caring for others either through his membership with the Weston Lions, or in volunteering at West Park Hospital, where his wife Doris spent her final years suffering from Alzheimers. It was an honour and a pleasure to be Ken's friend and we'll miss him dearly.

For Hannah...

This is the project for Hannah, middle girl, middle child. Quiet around her siblings, but with a wicked sense of mischief that can catch you by surprise. The teddy bears are giving me grief. They're suppose to have eyes created with french knots. I HATE french knots. I have made an attempt on the bigger bear, and gotten no where. Knot kept slipping through the material. It's been suggested that I use beads instead. That might work on the bigger bear, but the other bear may be too small for beads to look right. I'll have to consider this problem some more. I now have Laura's name stitched on her project and now just have to do Naomi's.

The week has improved weather wise, and most importantly temperature wise. DH and I went to the garden centres on Wednesday and picked up the plants for our pots, and also picked up six hanging baskets. Then I spent a couple of afternoons with my hands all muddy as I put my pots in order. I don't use gardening gloves because I find that I miss the tactile feel of working with the plants and soil. And I find myself digging the holes in the soil with my hands instead of a trowel.

I'm working on Prairie Schooler's "A Prairie Garden" which involves stitching a border and twelve squares before tackling the flowers in each square. It's my "take to work" project at the moment. I've run out of a crucial colour, DMC 3362, and they don't have it at the wool shop in town where I go in emergencies for DMC basic thread. And I've already had DH take me to the LNS in Acton earlier in the week where I bought another size of Q-snap to add to my collection, plus some thread. But I didn't realize how close to out I was in the above colour, and wouldn't you know it, it's used all over everywhere on the pattern. Just can't ask DH to run me back to Acton just for a couple of skeins of 3362, can I?

The sun is shining, the air is warm and the garden is green, lush and growing. So why am I in the house, at the computer? Because I'm suppose to be doing housework. Logical? Who me? Guess I should go tackle the cat fur, dust and so forth at least a little.

Oh, just to add....we've got a bunny showing up in our yard these days. A wild bunny, who is vacuming up the bird seed under our bird feeders. He shows up in the early morning, and then again in the early evening. I've started taking carrots out to him in the evening when I see him. He's skittish of me, but loves the carrots. I'm going to be sooo...popular with our neighbours who have veggie gardens!

Monday, May 22, 2006

For Naomi

This is the project for Naomi, the youngest of the three girls. It is meant to be F - for flowers. Laura's was L - for lavender. I'm stitching Laura's name on her project now.
It has been something of a disappointment weather wise this weekend. It's the first long weekend of the "summer" season, and it's traditionally the demarcation line when gardeners are allowed to start planting their annuals without worry about a killer frost occurring. However in the last couple of years we've had cool, if not outright cold springs and we've had frost on the long weekend or just after.
This spring was another cool one. On Saturday the wind was quite strong and the temperature was in the 50's (Celsius). We were at a barbecue and although the men braved (?) the temperature to sit out on the deck for about half an hour, us women were much more sensible and we stayed in the house. The kids of course played outside and were oblivious to the wind and temperature. Same with the dogs.
On Sunday we had a barbecue here. The wind was much stronger then Saturday and we spent part of the day keeping an eye on our neighbours metal framed, canvas topped pergola on their deck which threatened to leave it's moorings and leap over the roof of their house at any moment. It was mostly over cast, in the high 40's in temperature and it rained on and off. Needless to say we stayed in the house and ate barbecue in the kitchen.
Today is not as windy but it's still cool (cold) and we're not due for a warming trend until tomorrow. We are eager to get out into the garden and start planting our pots and stuff but that will wait for warmer weather. I'm eager to start. At least with the rain and cooler temperatures the garden is looking lovely and green and lush. And the spring flowers such as primulas and lungwort (sp?) are very happy. Our irises have started to bloom in the front of the house, which gets the full afternoon sun.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

For Laura

Across the street from us live a family of seven, including five kids. We have been neighbours for about nine years and have known many of the kids since the day they were first brought home from the hospital. They are wonderful kids, ranging in age from eleven to just over a year old. I find it amazing how their Mum Amy copes with all of them, and most amazing of all is that she home schools them.

I began a project a few months back to stitch each of the kids a little something as a keepsake from me. So far I have done each of the three girls a alphabet girl from the Cross Country Stitching Alphabets issue dated 1996. Instead of putting the alphabet letter on each girl though I am stitching the name of the girl I'm stitching it for. I have bought frames for each project as well. Above is the piece that I'm doing for Laura, the eldest girl.

On Wednesday evening the book club that I belong to had our last meeting of the 2005-2006 season. We went to one of our favourite local Chinese food restaurants for the occasion. We could bring our spouses as well, but the only one who had a spouse come was me. Phil was more then happy to join us for a good meal. We read "The Batchelor Brother's Bed and Breakfast" by Bill Richardson for this month's meeting. A short read but lots of fun. About a bed and breakfast run by two brothers specifically for book lovers who want to get away from their daily lives to devote an entire holiday to reading. Sounds good to me. The author is a broadcaster with CBC radio and the book is an extension of his program. Does the B & B actually exist? Don't know. We debated that a bit in our meeting.

Phil and I are on vacation for a week. Lots to do, and hopefully the weather will co-operate. Am reading Jodi Picoult's "Vanishing Act" at the moment. We watched the DVD of "Serenity" last night, which I'd seen in the theatre with Darlene during one of our movie weekends last fall. Phil had not yet seen it yet, and since we have the "Firefly" DVD series he was eager to see it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Here is my current x-stitch project, about 95 % done. I've been working on this one off and on for about 3 months, and really enjoying it. There are two other matching scenes to go with this one which is from Cross Country Stitching issues dated around 1996 or so. The building on the left is an antique store, the middle is a quilt shop, and the right one is an apples/cider shop. Still have to back stitch the names on the signs. I hope to stitch at least one more in this series but I need more evenweave material to match this one.
Thanks to Darlene who brought her digital camera when she visited for a movie weekend last weekend. She took pictures of my current projects which I will download one or two at a time. We went to the movies on Saturday, and as is our tradition we saw two movies. Mission Impossible 3 and Poseidon. Enjoyed both very much. I think this is my favourite of the Mission Impossible movies. I remember watching the original Poseidon Adventure on tv years ago and so was eager to see the remake. It was a fun end-of-the-world type movie.
I am reading Jodi Picoult's "Vanishing Act" at the moment. Love her books.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

We are testing here. Putting pictures on my blog. So our subjects are Phoebe on the left and Rupert on the right.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday night...

I'm typing, Phoebe is drapped over my right arm, purring away, and her nose is all but pressed into the desk top. As I type my arm is not as still as she would prefer it to be, but she won't move.

Phil and I went to a Stag and Doe last night. Phil's goddaughter is getting married. It's the first Stag and Doe that I've ever been to. I'm use to the old fashioned shower for the bride and stag for the groom tradition. It was held in a legion hall and there were a wide assortment of games and draws and such for people to take part in, all to raise money for the bride and groom.

Phil and I played Texas Hold 'Em Poker and lost money on that. It wasn't so bad for me since the only person I was playing against was Phil, and he was giving me the money to bet with in the first place. We played Roulette, and lost money on that. We threw darts to break a balloon, and all I won in that was a wee gel candle. We bought a cup full of little folded papers and sat for ten minutes unfolding each paper looking for some indication that we'd won a prize. We didn't. I declined to take part in the "pound a nail into a block of wood" game because I'm a natural born klutz and would probably have nailed my foot to the floor or swung the hammer and knocked some innocent bystander out cold. We both bought tickets for various draws and so far as I know we didn't win a thing from that either. Ah well. The pizza was delicious, we had fun, and I suppose money was raised for the young couple.

The thing is that the whole affair, which seemed to be organized and run by the Bride and Groom seemed like such a lot of work and I wonder if it was worth it. There is so much else that demands the time and the attention of the couple getting married just to get the wedding planned and everything ready for that. Who has time to arrange something like this as well?