Saturday, April 28, 2012

The little copper horseshoe

Every thing has a story. Especially this little copper horseshoe.
In 1981, Corinne, my eldest, and I were in Wales spending time with the children of my mother's cousin.
Peter and Jo along with my mother's cousin, Nancy, took us for a drive and we ended up in Nantyglo.
My mother and her parents had left Nantyglo around 1928 to emigrate to Canada. Growing up I heard so much of  Nantyglo it was as if I had been there many times. My great grandfather's butcher shop was still a butcher shop and the row of shops with the living accommodations above, still lined the street. We strolled the same walkway my grandfather, the local "Bobby" trod every day.
Now in a small town it doesn't take very long for word to get around that there are people from "America" peering in vacant shop windows. We were engaged in conversation several times and my grand parents were remembered. Tales of my quiet grandfather "rolling on the bailey," to subdue someone who had had one too  many at the local delighted and surprised me.
We were introduced to the lady who, at that time, owned the property, then vacant, where my family had lived and where my grand mother had had her "sweet shop." Nothing would stop her as she got the keys and walked us down the street and opened the door for us to enter. We walked past the barren shelves and into the the family living area behind. The small fireplace and huge mantle, the heavily wallpapered walls all spoke of a home once loved and cared for. We went up the narrow stairs to the two bedrooms. "This would have been your grandparents room," she said of the front room. The ceiling was low and my tall grandfather would not have been able to stand upright. In Wales it seems men are either just over 6 ft or barely 5ft. Then she said, "Your mother was born in this room." Corinne had found a squeeky board and rocked back and forth on it. I was overcome with emotion, I wanted to weep so instead I rather sharply told her to stop rocking on the board. Aunty Kate would have said, "My tear ducts are connected to my bladder." An expression used to describe a "soppy person." ME.
After a good look around we returned to our guide's house for a cup of tea. I am sorry I don't remember her name. She was a lovely lady in her 90's at the time. Before we left she pressed this little horseshoe into my hand. "Your grandmother was my friend," she said, "and when she left to go to Canada she gave me this to remember her by. It is only fitting that you have it now."
Then I really cried. I never knew my grandmother. She passed away when my mother was 16 yrs old.
As I pack these precious little things it came to me that to anyone else this is just a silly little thing but it has a wonderful story I felt I should share.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

8 more sleeps...

Spiffy new carry-on bag
...before we leave on our holiday. I haven't even started to plan, past a bathing suit what I am going to take. I still have a week. Went out and bought my self a huge floppy hat to take down south. My tablet is loaded with movies, books and magazines. Think I may take a small crochet project along to pass the time on the plane. We have two 4 hour flights just to get there.

Read last night that Whitney Huston has died. It is always tragic when someone so young dies but the tragedy is that she wasted the life she had. She had a career, a god given talent, family and wealth and what did she end up with? Very sad and a warning to every one that fame is fleeting and the choices you make in life can have disastrous effects. I feel for those who loved her. Elvis all over again.

Logan 8 months
Grand babies are thriving. They are so much fun. Love their little cheeks. Logan has teeth and Emily is getting over a bad cough. This has been such a funny winter. These babies will welcome some warm spring days Along with the rest of us.
Emily 2 months

Letting my hair grow again. I am so sorry I had it cut off last spring. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Frivolous thought really but there you go. That's all I have today.
Be good to yourself and don't take life for granted look at Whitney!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Superbowl - NOT - Sunday

Can't possibly think of offending any football jocks out there with that title. Actually I can't imagine any of them reading this blog anyway.
Two weeks today and we are off on a weeks holiday in Los Cabos, Mexico.

In light of the recent goings on, we will not be going off resort at all and I will not ride unaccompanied in an elevator.
The grand babies are thriving. Enily is almost three months and Logan will be one in March. My this year seems to have flown by.
Emily Grace
We are contemplating a move to a  more compact location. This place is too big and what with the lawns, front and back and snow removal (which fortunately has not been a major problem this year) it is time to pack up and move out. Where, we haven't figured that part out yet, wait till we get back from Mexico.
Over the summer I slipped of my healthy eating plan right into a vat of carbohydrates. sigh. However, good news, I have found Dr Dukan's healthy eating and am on my way back. Finally I have discovered the secret of maintaining.
Here is a sweet taste of spring for you.  Pink and white tulips are so welcome this time of year.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I love Classical Music

When you work in an environment that can make you crazy, if you let it. I recommend a dose of classical music. Classical Music is not all Mozart, Bach and Bethoven you know. I am not into the heavy "Chamber Music"or the extended operatic arias but there are some selections I would highly suggest.
The 1812 Overture is excellent for dealing with cranky customers. There are some people you just can not make happy. I little cannon fire in the background makes it easier for me to listen to their whining.

Ravel's Bolero...Makes filing a damn site more fun..

For book keeping I like some Debussy. It is restful and helps me to concentrate.
I listen to CBC Radio 2 while I am at work. Give yourself a chance and switch your dial to FM you may be pleasantly surprised.
I leave you with this video clip; this gives me goose bumps. British Airways liked the music so much they used it in an ad at one time.
Now, wasn't that beautiful?

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Back again, after a hiatus. Working full time again and that took some getting used to. My grandson is beautiful and is a joy to us all. All fifteen pounds of him the little

Logan and his Aunti Julia
I have hardly knit anything lately, Rather I should say I haven't finished anything. Started a couple of things but finished little. Lost track of all the blogs I used to read faithfully, out of touch with my Ravelry groups. Why? I have no idea. Not as if I have been writing so I can't use that as an excuse.

It seems as if my get up and go packed it's bags and has left me lethargic. It may have taken a while for summer to get here but it is here with a venegance now. The grass is dried out and there are more flies in the house than the Amityville horror. Nasty beasties...shudder You know the blue bottle ones that dive bomb you. Hate them.

Have spent way too much time on Pinterest. It is a virtual scapbook. You download this little "pin it" thing and when you come across a picture of something you like on the web, you "pin it" to your album. A way to waste time BIG TIME!!

Got a new phone, all high tech savy but unless I am in a free WIFI I hesitate to use the data as I fear using too much. Guess  I am not as high tech as I thought.

 O.K. I guess that is it for now

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mom's Birthday

Today would have been my mother's 86th birthday. Somedays I feel old, really old. The time is flying by, which is evidenced by this blog.
My grandson is home from the hospital and is thriving, my grand daughters are growing into teenagers, there is a new baby expected this fall and my retirement will be here before I am ready.

My baby and his baby

I sound like an old lady moaning about "Where did the time go." Sorry. This train of thought started when I got a little cotton sweater out of the drawer the other day. For a "store bought" sweater it is really cute and I was thinking about when I bought it.
I started counting back and remembered a picture taken in Amsterdam when I was getting on a canal boat. The sweater was bought for that trip. Then it hit me . That was 19 yrs ago. Nineteen years. Gone zap out of my life.
Another 19 yrs gone that fast and I will be almost as old as my mother the last time I saw her.
I am sure I have more than 19 yrs worth of knitting in my yarn stash. Crickey.
Mom always said, "If your not getting older your dead." So I should just shut up...lolol

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Day of Spring Surprise

This is my new grandson, Logan Gabriel, 2 months preemie, 3 pounds 12 ounces. Now I know it has been said that all preemies look pretty much the same. But, this baby is the best looking preemie I have ever seen!
 In less than 4 hours his mother was admitted to one hospital, shipped by ambulance with 3 EMS, an OB DR and OB nurse to another hospital with a specialized NICU, and delivered by c section. Throughout it all she maintained a peaceful attitude while my poor son was beside himself with worry.
They can't even hold their baby yet which breaks my heart.
My baby and his baby.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yesterday morning we woke up to this......
The poor wee birds are hiding in the shrubbery....
and I am supposed to believe....
Spring is around the corner.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I got a new toy

Who would ever have guessed that I would turn all "techie" in my senior years?
This was such a good buy ($29.95) that I had to have it. So far I have used it to play facebook games. It has tons of uses. I just have to learn the software.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Some things are inherently Canadian..

Skating on the Rideau Canal in our nation's capital, Ottawa.
Buying a beaver tail at one of the shacks. A toque and wellies in the same picture how perfect.
Yes, those are the Mounties in their dress "Reds."
( Just for the tourists you know, they kind of expect it)
Not this kind of beaver tail
This one all crunchy and sugary!

In honour of Fat Tuesday, I am sharing the recipe for this quintessential Canadian treat. Enjoy, we have 40 days of Lent ahead of us.
Recipe for Beaver Tails:
½ cup warm water
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 pinch of white sugar
1 cup of warm milk
1/3 cup of white sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups whole wheat flour
1 quart of oil for frying
2 cups white sugar
touch of cinnamon

In a large bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and the pinch of sugar. Let stand until it is a slightly foamy (approximately 5 minutes). Then add the other 1/3 cup of sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil and salt. Stir it all until it is smooth. Mix in about half of the flour and continue stirring it. Gradually add more flour.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface when it is firm enough. Knead for approximately 6-8 minutes. Add more flour if you need it to form a firm elastic dough. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover.
Let dough sit covered until it rises and doubles (approximately 35-45 minutes). Lightly deflate the dough and pinch off a piece the size of a golf ball. On a floured surface use a rolling pin to roll out the small ball of dough into an oval shape. Put it aside and cover it with a tea towel while you continue to do the same with the remaining dough.
Heat approximately 4 inches of oil in either a deep-fryer (375 degrees) or a wok or a Dutch oven. Before placing the flattened dough into the oil, stretch them into ovals and thin them and enlarge them (to resemble the tail). Place the tails in the oil one (or two) at a time. Fry in the oil, turn them once until the tails are a deep brown. This process usually takes about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Carefully remove the tail from the oil and let it drain on a paper towel. Place left over sugar in a large bowl and add the cinnamon. Toss the beaver tail into the bowl while it is still hot. Shake off any extra sugar and cinnamon mixture.
You can also add another topping of your choice (i.e. chocolate sauce, jam, cheese).