Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

13 Days until RNY Gastric Bypass (Weight Loss Surgery)

Hi Guys!

Sorry I have been AWOL; I had to fly to Toronto a week and a half ago for a Pre-Op appointment with my surgeon and his team.

I originally was going to drive but we have a LOT of snow:
So I wimped out and booked a (super crazy expensive) last minute flight to Toronto.

I left on Sunday Jan. 8th; my Dad drove me to the airport, lucky me, as I hate driving when it's snowing and blowing. I flew home on Thursday Jan. 12th, and was lucky enough to be able to stay with family and friends while in the Toronto area.  I stayed with my ex sister in law and friend, Leslie, her Mom, and my gorgeous nieces and nephew.
Dad at the airport

Clary doing her homework

Lexi and Clare

Lexi, Clare, Chris, Leslie, and Sandy


Chris and Max

It was so nice to spend time with everyone again; it had been almost 5 years since I saw them last.

My first night there, they ordered yummy exotic food that I've never tried.  Shwarma and other things.  It was quite good.  My favorites were the fries with some sort of cheese and dip, and the wrap.  We watched a movie on Netflix and just took it easy while we caught up with one another.

They go to bed early; the teens are in bed by 10 and the adults go to bed at 11 so that was a surprise, and difficult for me to adjust to as I'm normally up until about 3 AM, lol.  I ended up taking an ativan to help me sleep, and just when I had fallen asleep, the fire alarm went on.  And on, and on.  We had to walk down 5 flights of stairs to the lobby, where a fireman instructed us to go down another hall, which was crazy as that hall was smokey and I have asthma.  We ended up sitting in the van with the heat blaring for about an hour or more before we were allowed back in.  Some jerk had tossed a lit cigarette down the garbage shute!

There was a blizzard on the day of my pre-op meeting, Jan. 10th.  I couldn't believe it!  First a fire, then a blizzard, lol.  Luckily, it was a Toronto blizzard, which looked like a typical Sault Ste. Marie snow fall.  We didn't have to go on the highways, thank God, and the drive to the hospital was short, only 10 or 15 minutes.  It was snowing and blowing a bit but not too bad.  

My pre-op meeting went well and my surgeon, Dr. David Lindsay, could be on the cast of Grey's Anatomy; he's THAT good looking.  So much so, that after I met with him, the nurse asked what I thought, and I told her he seemed very nice, and competent.  She said, "And handsome?"  I cracked up laughing and told her they have their very own Dr. McDreamy. She said "everyone says that!".  LOL.

The whole team was very nice and very kind, and the anesthesiologist was another cast member from Grey's Anatomy; very handsome.   At the end of all of my appointments I was given 3 weeks worth of Optifast 900, a high protein diet.  I had to take them out of their boxes and they barely fit in my suitcase:
Optifast, my diet for 3 weeks!
I'll do a separate post about Optifast, but suffice to say, today is Day 9 and I'm doing great!  I'm down some weight too.

My Dad picked me up again after my flight came in and I was astonished to see we've had even more snow.  Regardless, it was good to be home.
Back yard.

Street facing West.

Street facing East.

Monday, January 2, 2017

So Many Crocheted Gloves

I went absolutely crazy crocheting fingerless gloves for gifts this year.
Crocheted Fingerless Gloves
 I made 17 pairs altogether, and only have 4 pairs left, which I'm bringing as gifts for my nieces, their Mom, and Grandma, next week when I go to Toronto.
 I found the pattern on Ravelry and really love it a lot. There are only 14 pairs in the photos, but I made 16 pairs all together.
Crocheted fingerless gloves
 I also made a hat for my Dad.  He chose the pattern and the yarn color.  It took forever because the roll up rim is quite large.
crocheted toque

Christmas Day 2016

We had a nice quiet Christmas this year.

It started with my little dog Benji waking me up at 3 AM, 3:30 AM, and 4 AM because he wanted to open his presents, lol.
Benji in the early hours of Christmas Morning, wanting his presents.
 I managed to get him to go back to sleep until morning. I was pleasantly surprised that he even noticed it was Christmas because he is 16 and a half years old, is partially blind and deaf and sleeps most of the day. 
Benji diving head first into one of his gift bags.
 Ben was very happy when he was finally allowed to get at his gifts, lol.  He looked adorable in his new Santa sweater.
 My Dad complained that he had too many gifts to open.
 But he seemed to appreciate them.
 The toque I crocheted for him was a bit big but fit OK.  Dad picked out the pattern and colors himself. Just about everything he owns is either blue, grey, or red, lol.
 Mom opened her presents under the tree while Benji looked on.

 She really liked the purple top.

 I opened my gifts last.  My main gift was my new exercise bike, but I also got two cute hoodies, a watch, some bath oils and creams, and loads of chocolate.

Dad and Ben

Smokey opening gifts under the tree
 Smokey enjoyed opening her gifts.  She shredded the small gift bag to get at the toy inside.
Smokey with her new musical guitar toy
We had a lovely day, and a wonderful dinner later on.  It was weird not having my Uncle Buck with us, but he had shingles and felt awful so had to stay home. It was our first Christmas without him since I was born 52 years ago, and probably longer than that (I'd have to ask my Mom).

Christmas Eve 2016

I can't believe Christmas is over, and it's already the new year.  I hope you all had a lovely holiday, whichever holiday you celebrate.

We had a white Christmas!  I was very glad my Dad did the driving when we went out to family Christmas Parties.
Lots of fluffy white snow.
 One of my favorite Christmas traditions is decorating the tree.  My Dad is always in charge of putting the lights on the tree.

 Mom and I decorated most of the rest but we were both too short to reach the top branches, even while standing on a chair, so had to call my Dad back to help.

 Dad brought the stepladder in to help out, lol.
Mom and Dad decorating the tree

Christmas tree, 2016
The tree, an 8 foot Fir tree, looked and smelled wonderful.

Mom, Dad, and Aunt Erna
We went to visit my Dad's sister, Erna, on Christmas Eve, and then we went to my Uncle Buck's. 
Mom and Dad baking
We  also had to bake extra Tie Plates (Pizelles) because we ate them all, lol. They're my favorite Christmas cookie.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hand Feeding Chickadees!

I love feeding the birds and have 3 feeders that I fill all winter long.  I don't stop until the snow is gone and the grass and buds are growing in spring. 

Cute chickadee eating seeds out of my  hand

 My friend Al knows this and invited me to feed the chickadees with him on Whitefish Island a few weeks ago. I thought I had blogged about it and didn't realize until today that I hadn't.  I had such a great time!

At first, the chickadees were shy with me and they preferred Albert.  He told me it's because he was holding the food bag, lol.  I think it was because I kept squealing, "OMG, they're sooooo cute!" and was scaring them away from me.  When I finally shut up, they came to me. It was like a dream!

Me hand feeding a chickadee

Albert offered to take a few photos of me feeding the birds with my camera, so I finally have some decent pictures of myself, lol. 

Me feeding the chickadees.
OK, this pic is more humorous than decent, lol. 

Albert feeding the chickadees
 I snapped lots of photos of Al feeding them, but my good camera was stolen and the cheap one I bought to replace it is very slow between shots so I missed the photos of the birds sitting on his hat.
Albert with two birds in the palm of his hand
Me feeding the chickadees
There was only a bit of snow that day, but we have a ton now; over a foot and a half fell overnight.  We had whiteout conditions last night, and today is a snow day here in town; everything but the Walmart is closed.
Hand feeding the chickadees
 The chickadees were so sweet!  At one point, I had 3 on my hand, and two on my arm, lining up.  They were very patient and took turns. Then a few minutes later two new chickadees landed and started fighting, in my hand.  It was so cute, lol.

 We stayed for quite awhile, but had to leave just as the sun was starting to set.  There are no lights on Whitefish Island so we had to cross over the little bridge back to the Locks .
Albert on the trail, Whitefish Island.
 I rode my bike quite a bit on Whitefish Island this summer and fall, so it was nice to visit in winter. I'll definitely have to go back.

Leaving the Soo Locks
International Bridge

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cardinal and Black Squirrel came for a Visit!

 I looked out the window today and was thrilled to see a bright red cardinal at the bird feeders!  I ran to get my camera and snapped some photos of him.  They aren't very clear because they were taken through the living room window.  Doesn't the red really stand out?  So beautiful!

 As I snapped photos, a black squirrel bounded into view. 
 It climbed onto a branch directly opposite me and peered into the house at me.  So cute!
 It was almost like the sweet little guy or gal was posing for me!

 It finally dawned on me that it was trying to tell me something, and I went outside and discovered an entire family of black squirrels.  My friend in the tree leaped onto the roof and climbed to the very top of the house.
 One of his friends was hanging upside down, eating the seeds from the big feeder, which was almost empty. I think the squirrel in the window wanted me to come out to refill the big feeder, lol.
I refilled it with sunflower seeds, and also put a handful out peanuts out for them. They sure are cute!
I love watching all of the birds and animals at the feeder.