Friday, February 24, 2006

We're Baaaacckkk!

Here is Turtle sitting by the pool, sporting his new Cuba T-shirt, sipping his pina colada (sans alcohol - he's just ayoung turtle after all). Ah! This is the life.

Here is Turtle working on his tan. And yes the water really is that colour. Turtle thought about applying for an extended Visa but he is an entrepreneur and the government doesn't exactly encourage small businesses there.

And here is Lina. She really enjoyed herself: swimming in the pool, drinking plenty of Arenas Blancas, trying snorkeling in the ocean, swimming with dolphins, jet-skiing with crocodiles, riding on a huge catamaran, searching for shells, finding coconuts, riding scooters with mommy and daddy, shopping for trinkets, dancing on stage at every opportunity and staying up late every night.

Mommy and Daddy enjoyed sipping drinks by the pool, people watching, swimming in the ocean, and really enjoyed the fact that a friend had a 13 year old who loved to spend time with Lina and who gave them the opportunity to put their feet up once in a while. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 13, 2006

up up and away

Well, 24 hours from now I should be at the Toronto airport trying to keep Lina from floating to the ceiling in her excitement.

She was up at 6:30 am this morning and I am VERY happy that I didn't keep her out of school today, she's driving us batty.

Everytime we ran into someone who's been to Cuba, they would tell us to bring little gifts to give as tips. We've done that before, leaving shampoo etc, but this time it just felt so cheap. Hubby had bought a new set of luggage for our trip so we had plenty of bags so we packed one large suitcase full of clothes that Lina has grown out of so that we can give that out down there. That felt much better. We are trying so hard to explain to Lina that living in Canada is different that living elsewhere. It will interesting answering her questions when we get there.

Well, I have to go. I have a zillion things that need to be taken care of. And here I am sitting at work on my day off finishing things I didn't have time to do last week.

Be back soo.....

Friday, February 10, 2006

Illustration Friday - Simple

This is as simple as it gets. Its an inkblot turned creature for an ATC exchange I hosted last year. My daughter and I had a blast making the blots and then finding the best way of making them live.

Posted by Picasa

4 things


So I am not sure that I am actually supposed to do this or that I am the only Ria that Sweet knows, but it looked kinda fun so here goes.

4 things (Is it natural that I want to pick the least boring things to say)

4 jobs I've had:
  • Telemarketer - first job, 16 years old. Lasted three weeks. I have never been hit on by so many men or hung up on so many times. Never... again!....
  • Tax Preparer - H&R Block. I took the course because my cousin worked there and at 17 scored the highest of all the students and was offered a job. I worked nights and weekends and found it strange to be doing people's taxes when I had never even paid a telephone bill.
  • Caterer - my friend and I worked long into the night after our day jobs to make frozen home-made pasta dishes which she sold to her contacts during the day.
  • Office Manager - for my father's mine engineering firm. I worked for him for 5 1/2 years and learned more about my father in that time as a peer than I ever knew about him as his daughter.

4 movies I could watch over and over

  • Pretty Women (There is just something about getting your own way in the end)
  • Beetlejuice (Isn't Michael Keeton sexy in this role?)
  • Cable Guy (First time I saw it I thought it was the darkest movie, but now that whole "Salt Peanuts" scene is tatooed to my brain)
  • Grosse Point Blank (yum... John Cusack)

4 Places I've lived:

  • Born in Whitehorse, Yukon
  • Stratford, Ontario
  • Toronto
  • North Bay, Ontario (someday, I will have something more exotic to say)

4 TV shows I love:

  • America's Next Top Model
  • Dirty Jobs (Discovery Channel)
  • Anything on the Food Network (our friends have pointed out to us that we watch the Food Network like people watch sitcoms-is that strange?)
  • M*A*S*H (I pretty much know all the episodes by heart and I am in withdrawals cause its not on TV anymore)

4 Favorite places I've vacationed:

  • East Coast of Canada - When I was 17, my Aunt (From the Northwest Territories) picked up cousins on her way accross Canada and we drove out to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island for a month. I could write a book on that.
  • Vermont - 7 months pregnant I found myself amongst 3000 mountain bikers in the foothills of Vermont camping in a farmer's field at the Pedro's Mountain Bike Festival. I couldn't bike into the hills (a little to dangerous considering I was pregnant maybe?) but I did join my husband biking all around the small towns.
  • Dominican Republic - Flew our mountain bikes down with us and biked all around Puerto Plata for two weeks. Very awesome.
  • Motorcycle Races - yah I've been other places that would be considered more vacationy, but weekends with my daughter, husband and friends at the races is one of my favourite things.

4 of my favorite dishes:

  • My homemade cheese stuffed tortellinis (used to make a decent dollars catering remember)
  • Homemade chinese sweet and sour chicken balls, chicken fried rice and eggrolls (my husband used to work in a chinese restaurant)
  • My husband's Prime Rib with homemade french onion soup, caesar salad, Yorkshire pudding, au jus, Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon and my baked blueberry cheesecake.
  • Lightly toasted bread smothered in melting butter and dipped into a bowl of corn syrup piece by heavenly piece. My daughter thinks I gross, should I tell her I used to eat toast with brown sugar and butter smeared on it. Oh better yet, should I tell her I used to make toast and dip it into ketchup. Oh oh, and then there's that whole dipping of the bananas into Miracle Whip, ah to be a child again.

4 sites I visit daily

  • Bloglines
  • Google (image search)
  • CBC Radio (I listen online to their Toronto signal every day)
  • probably blogpatrol to see who has come to visit my blog, I can hope right?

4 places I'd rather be

  • in my craftroom
  • homeschooling my daughter
  • on my road bike pedalling for at least 40-50 km in the summer air, all alone on a side road in the country
  • on my motorcycle (I can actually say this now that I have my own bike - yipee!)

4 people I'd like to tag

  • well, anyone who may venture by and read this. Let me know if you take up the challenge.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

All paper airplanes

Tonight at Brownies, we will be making paper planes. I am SO psyched! I spent a while - before getting a touch of food poisoning - last night making planes and I have pretty much found a winning design - thanks internet.

The girls are working on their "STEM" Key (science, technology, engineering and math) before having our paper airplane contest, we'll be learning all about magnets. I've been fiddling with them all day, picking up pins, staples, paperclips. Most of the other staff have been dropping by to fiddle with them to. Science is so cool!

Tomorrow is my last day at work before I hit the beach in Cuba. I have so much to do that I wish I had another week before I go, can you believe I said that?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I have a clear table

I have managed to clear off my table and put most of my craft junk into basic groupings. So last night I finished my DECEMBER Bead-It! challenge. Yuk!

But, the craftroom is beginning to have function, and it's easy to clean up.

I started tatting a bookmark last night while listening to the radio. I might be able to get into craftmode after all.

Yipeee!!! Posted by Picasa

Anyway. March's Bead=It! challenge is "Floral" Go here for details if you want to try it with me.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

It snowed last night

I guess that's a bit of an understatement. I am glad though that instead of the rains we had in January, it looks like February will be a month of snow. This picture was taken this morning just before the sun came up. There's just something about heavy snowfall that is sooo silent.
This is Lina's playset in the backyard, and yes that's the bush behind us. We live in the country and can look out at and walk through undisturbed nature whenever we want.

And here's my shed. It's supposed to be all mine (cause my hubby has his garage) but somehow 4 motorcycles made there way into it last summer and are still there. If we stay here long enough that will be my studio one day (sigh).

Posted by Picasa

A winter wonderland eh? We will be getting another dumping today, there is a winter storm watch centered over our area. Well, gotta go start up the snowblower now.

Friday, February 03, 2006

a little musing.....

As the snow falls like gently falling rain, straight down with no wind to blow it about, and the sky begins to brighten from dull grey to early morning blue, I sit at my computer and ponder the road ahead.

Wow, poetic eh?

I'm at home today, working. Or at least I'll be working in a little bit. It's only 7:41am right now and I think I can afford a cup of tea before I launch into work mode.

Last night when I went to pick Lina up from after school care, I was taken aback by the care worker wishing me to have a good weekend. I thought I'd heard her wrong. It wasn't until Lina reinforced what she had said that it dawned on me that today was a professional development day for the teachers and Lina has the day off. See how much attention I have been paying lately? So, of course I hadn't made any sitting arrangements for Lina today. You know, its days like this that I really appreciate my job. Because when it comes down to it, I really depend on being able to stay home with Lina when I can, after all its one of the few ways I counter act my feelings of guilt for not being a stay-at-home mom. A rant for another time.

So, back to my poetic thoughts. I've stepped into February. It's the 3rd and I feel like I'm dipping my toes into chilly water. Don't quite want to get in but I know I'll get used to it once I'm there. I didn't make any resolutions this year. I just decided that I needed to breath this year; a new philosophy I guess. So knowing that we were heading to someplace warm I dutifully started exercising (I beat the New Year's resolution rush and started before Christmas). But, when the results did not approach model material on my schedule, I sat myself down and said, this has to be a life-change. The goal can't be to get in shape for a trip, it has to be to get in shape for life. The vacation is just bad timing. I figure I'll start to see some results sometime around mid-August. (heh) It was a little hard to get over the fact that I actually gained weight, but I consoled myself with the fact that my jeans didn't force extra blub over the waistline as they had been. Yah, I know, muscle is heavier than fat. I have a lot of muscle I guess. See, just breathe. It's all good.

With that philosophy, maybe this year will be the year I slow down the transition of brown to grey that has been progressing rapidly lately. It seems only yesterday (actually it was about 10 years ago) that I noticed I'd started to grow white eyebrows. Let's just say, philosophy aside, I pluck those suckers as soon as I see them.

Hubby and I have booked our vacation; we are leaving for Cuba on Valentines Day (coincidence) and will be back in Canada on February 22. Lina is counting the days. Last year when we went to the Dominican, we left her with my Mom. We regretted that before the first day was done. We kept saying, "I wish Lina could see that!" or "Lina would love that!". It was a good swift kick in the family keester to have both of us realize and joyfully accept the fact that we love to experience things as a family. And that it gives both of us so much joy to see the world through Lina's eyes. We resolved that we wouldn't leave Lina home again. I am so thankful that both of us feel strongly about that. I would be saddened if it was only one sided and one of us wanted time alone as a couple and the other wanted family time. People kept telling us we needed "us" time because we do everything as a family, well poo on them, we can take a day here and there when we need it, but we do things as a family because it gives us all great joy!

Well my tea is cold, Lina has finished her cereal and I need to get going on work. Lina and I have been reading The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis and we have only one chapter left, It's payday today and I told Lina if we go into town today we'll pick up The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I am so happy she has been enjoying the book, we took her to see the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe during the holidays and I was worried a bit. I wanted to read the books to her first because reading books is soooo much better.

I have resolved to attack a little more of my craftroom today, if I get a good amount of “work work” done first.

Here's an idea of what I am up against.

OK so here is my current bead shelf with some of my beads on it, organized by colour usually. I have quite a bit more to find and put up.

And here is some of my reference material. It used to be much fuller but, see those binders on the bottom shelf? They are full of cut up pages from magazines in page protectors. they are one of my favourite things, concentrated inspiration with no advertisements! They are even organized by topic, so at Christmas, I can open a Christmas binder and just devour page after page.

But look here, this is the sad state of the rest of the room right now. Here is the closet coverted into full shelves and it is chaos. I dumped alot of stuff in here so I could see my floor and put up shelves. My room is still useless and it will take me quite a while to get completely organized.

Unorganized closet chaos Posted by Picasa

Ouch, gotta go now.

Just breathe, it's all good.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Look, its Mischief Mittens, and he's actually still. Not for long though. He only has two modes, Mach I and comatose. Here her is snuggling up to Kramer on the no-longer-only-a-dog pillow.


And here they all are, poor Kramer, no room for a big Ol' dog anymore on this bed.

Furry Friends Posted by Picasa

Weird Inspiration Wednesday (yah - I know it's Thursday)


Phew, man. New boss, no time. I feel my burdens have been lightened now that my semi-annual Board meeting has been completed (last weekend). Now that I have survived that I can work on other things.

I volunteered to present a badge at Brownie day in April. Its call "Making things go!". So I have been researching cute mechanical toys to make with balloons and elastics. Along the way I have found a few quirky sites that I just had to stash somewhere.

Check out Whatblog, cool and quirky. I love the wooden toy (click on the category "toys") whose head comes off and lets you see what they are thinking.

And how about a site to showcase mechanical toys made while bored at work with only materials found on hand? The site is called, the area of the site I happened apon is called Bored at Work. My favourite is "walkything". Check out THAT ingenuity.

How about a deskpet? A Llama say? Check out akafab. I'll take a dodo in red.

What a funny quirky day.

Leather craft
Modelling & Pottery
Paper Mache


Knot work
Lace making
Finger knitting

Cross stitch

French Beading
Loom work
Bead embroidery

paper craft

Cultural Handicrafts
Native Crafts


Dramatic Arts
Puppets (Finger puppets, marionettes)

Visual Arts
Pen & Ink





Letter Writing

Toys (Games, Puzzles)


Travel / vacations

Pen Pals





Homeschooling Resources
Science (Earth Science, Astronomy, Physics, Geography)

World Culture


Father’s Day
Mother’s Day

New Year’s Day
Canada Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Remembrance Day
Hair Accessories

Girl Guides