Monday 31 December 2012

A Fantastic Ending Of 2012 (Lot of Photos)

"Last Night blogging with another mournful look from my Bandit boy... a different ploy being used this time with a different toy."

This morning was nice as Rob and I had a little bit of time to enjoy a coffee together, do a "wee" bit of Year end book work before he had to adorn his "Crabby Cabbie" hat and leave for probably one of his busiest nights of the Year.

"Have I ever mentioned before how much I LOVE me some Snowmen?  Just kicking back with a few snowmen while I had myself a 2nd cup of Java this morning."

After Rob had left I got going on removing some more Christmas Decor, along with getting a little bit of housework done in the way of some much needed dog hair removal and dusting.  I also took time out to get my mini "Time Capsule Jar" ready for the Year 2013.

"This is my jar all ready for "good things that have happened" notes to be added to it all throughout the 2013 New Year.  How exciting will it be when Rob and I open it next Year at this time to have us some "Memories with Love"."

"Then I had to get a plate of Christmas goodies all ready since I was expecting some "special" company this afternoon to come visiting."

I was also totally thrilled to death when my Son, Paul, had sent me a text to say he was on his way up to spend New Year's Eve with me !!!  Here I thought I would be spending another one alone with just little old me and my "Checkerboard Aussies", but it was not to be after all.  

Paul arrived just before the lunch hour, but had been exhausted so headed off right away to his room for 40 winks or so.  Not too long after a knock came to the front door and my company arrived. 

I had a wonderful afternoon as my young friend, Ashley, along with her sister, Amber came visiting with no other then quite an amazing young man by the name of Nathan Patrick William Reynolds-Furry having arrived just last week all the way from Yass, Australia !!! to visit little ole' us over here on the Bruce Peninsula.  We had such a delightful visit all together.  I was thrilled at what a knowledgeable, educated, open and honest, young man I found Nathan to be.  Everything through our correspondence of the last month or so I had thought him to be, with naught a disappointment whatsoever.

It wasn't too late when Paul came out to join us after arising from his 40 winks.

"Bandit, of course, being the kind of Australian Dog he is had to be all over his very first Australian Human as much as he could."

Ashley could not believe I didn't have my camera going off all afternoon while they were here visiting, but I was way too busy enjoying the company of having them all there.  It was a real treat for me to have an afternoon house full of such enjoyable company at my mercy.  *smile*

"Ashley insisted she take a photo of I along with Nathan.  I suspect there might be a few more of Nathan showing up in my blog posts in the month of January."

Once the girls and Nathan had take their leave, Paul and I set out for downtown Wiarton to have ourselves a bite of supper at the Subway.  Not too much else going on in the big town of Wiarton, so back home we came.

Paul was busy with some text messaging so I "fired up" my Facebook page to find my name had been "tagged" by The Cluttered Cupboard, one of my favourite stores in downtown Wiarton.  I had, along with my friend, Toni with an "i", apparently won their Give Away they had just recently hosted.  You and a friend were eligible to win by  referring a friend to "LIKE" The Cluttered Cupboard's Facebook page.

"Check out what Toni with an "i" and I each won from The Cluttered Cupboard.  Are they not just too cool?  I think I am going to love having one of these in my home."

Really and truly, should you ever be up on the Bruce Peninsula in my Neck of the Woods in Wiarton, you certainly would not be disappointed should you drop on in at The Cluttered Cupboard.  Or if you are unable to do that, you may just like to have a "peak" in at their Facebook page to see exactly what kind of really authentic cool stuff that they do have to offer you and your home, or unique gifting needs, by *clicking* HERE.  

Just tell Bill or Holly I sent you, and you are a friend of mine (oh yes and I do not get paid or reimbursed in any way by referring you there, I really do just LOVE their store and the owners are pretty awesome people too *smile*).

I really have had a pretty good 2012 if I say so myself with some totally awesome Highlights that I would love to share .....

There were new "Checkerboard Aussies" HERE.

My wonderful husband, Rob, began his "Crabby Cabbie" adventure HERE.

There has not only been adventures going on this past Year but a few laughs HERE too.

Boys and their Toys HERE.

Lots of Summer Fun with the Grand boys HERE

"Check out what I won with this Scone Recipe I entered it in to Win by *clicking*  HERE."

The whole Year of 2012 had been one sort of an adventure all Year long, as you can tell .....

Here I sit reflecting back on all what a great year 2012 really has been while the love of my life is hard at it again doing what he does best with his "Crabby Cabbie" hat firmly atop his head while he says .....

"Happy New Year to ALL my Family & Friends.  Wishing much happiness and many blessings to all of you and yours in 2013."

I am looking forward to another wonderful adventurous Year in my Life ahead, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Sunday 30 December 2012

How Many Dogs Do You Have?

Aha ... I popped more pills, along with some Gravol, had myself a steamy hot bath, hit the sack and slept the night away.  This morning? just a few remnants left of the migraine which was squashed in no time at all with a couple more Tec 2's.

Despite having a migraine and trying to do my blog post last night, it was still difficult not to find myself being amused when ....

"... my "oh so amusing" Bandit is trying to vie for my attention so hard.  Poor boy needs someone to spend some "quality" let's play ball time with him I am thinking.  Maybe tomorrow .... but Mom !"

My "Crabby Cabbie" never arrived home until the wee hour of 5:00 am. this morning.  Needless to say, I tried to be very quiet around here this morning so he could get himself some very much needed sleep.  I busied myself with tidying up the kitchen, and putting a few more Christmas items away again.  Slowly but surely all evidence of Christmas will be all gone until next Year.

Rob did arise just before the noon hour  We had to stick around a bit as we were expecting someone to drop by just after lunch.  Once the person had arrived and left, we headed off to Owen Sound since we needed to replenish our "Checkerboard Aussie's" food supply.

Rob was pretty happy when he had hit the Dog Food aisle in Walmart to find their had been a "blow out" sale on our brand of Dog Food !  $26.00 a bag, rather then 29.00 or 30.00 usual price.  We stocked up on our usual with trying a different brand with Salmon for Bandit ... ewww hoping the transition isn't going to stink knock me out of the house !

There had been quite a bit of line up in the checkouts.  We had been in-between two cashiers at the time with Rob commenting to me that one kept glancing over at our cart all the while.  Finally the one we had been standing beside asked how many dogs we had, with the other following suit by asking the same question not too long after ....

"Should you not know, by looking at this would you be asking, "How Many Dogs Do You Have?  Ha ... with four dogs we have to take advantage of any savings we are able to grab and stock up on.  Just wait until the puppies arrive in February."

"I have been mulling over the Low/No Spend and Decluttering Challenge I have signed on for the month of January over at Carla's My 1/2 Dozen Daily the past couple of days."

The one very very very huge goal I have in mind is the part of the basement where I dogs are, and then onto the "OH MY GAWD I don't want to go in there" bathroom Rob uses and abuses, along with the bottom area of the stairs with tons of coats, etc ....  This in itself is going to be very time consuming for me on top of trying to keep up with the regular every day stuff I do in piece work when I am feeling well enough to.

The following is what I am going to try and attempt to do, when and if I am able:

Declutter Challenge:

1)  Declutter and clean the whole portion of the basement where the dogs reside;
2)  Declutter and clean the downstairs bathroom;
3)  Declutter and clean the bottom stair area;
4)  Declutter and clean the kitchen cupboards.

Trust me there is more to do, but I have to begin somewhere, and this is enough at the moment.

Low/No Spend Challenge:

1)  Spend absolutely no money at the grocery store, making an exception for milk and bread;
2)  Having 6 out of 7 "no spend" days per week;
3)  No eating out for the month, with the one exception outlined below (good thing we had King's Buffet today, is it not?);

Exceptions for the Month will be any regular monthly bills, vehicle fuel consumption and/or maintenance, Prescription or over the counter drugs (as last year I had pneumonia when the challenge had been on which incurred unforeseen expenses),  and any unexpected "emergency" family expenses/costs, as we all know "FAMILY COMES FIRST OVER ANYTHING" !

Another quite large exception will also be that we have had a pre-planned trip to the City in January for a once a Year shop at Costco, and a meeting we have to attend to.  This trip will also be costing us the expense of a lunch out as well.  This will be the one and only "spending" exception in January as the last time Rob and I were at a Costco had been 2 years ago.  Purchases will hopefully be on a "need" only, more then a "want" basis.  The amount spent this day will not be included in the Low/No Spend January Challenge.

There I hope I have covered that.  Now I can sit back and enjoy the next couple of days before the "crunch" of the Challenge begins.  There is still time to join up, just drop on over and sign yourself up HERE.

My youngest boy, Paul, used to play hockey when he was younger.  I was very happy to had been sent a photo last night to see he had gotten himself a pair of skates to go down to the outside rink in front of the Kitchener City Hall to enjoy some recreational skating.

".... and I had even been send a photo proving that he really had done so.  Wow it only seems like Yesterday I had him at Waterloo's Rink in the Park at 4 years old learning to skate with a chair in front of him.  *sigh* "

While skimming through the news feed page on Facebook this morning, I came across something that I thought was a totally "excellent" idea someone "out there" had posted.  Check out this very idea...

What do you think? is this not a "wicked" great idea to do throughout the year?  and a great idea for a single person, couple, or a family.  I think I might just "do" this one myself, what do you think?

"Should anyone have noticed in the side bar under "Join this site", I have some new friends there again.  Whoopee as I do LOVE me some new friends, as well as all my old friends."

A warm welcome to Jaime at Love Bakes Good Cakes, Kathy at Live on Lakeshore Drive, Hilary at Threaded Life, and Anne at Domesblissity.  Such a pleasure to have you ladies join me here for my everyday this and thats, along with my "odd" I need to vent my opinion and get my point across days.  I too look forward to dropping in on each and every one of you as well.

Not quite, but as my dear hubby just pointed out Yesterday I have almost had myself 100,000 page views to date.  Maybe, just maybe by the New Year ... ha, as if that is something I would really deem important to worry myself about?  NOT !

Really can you believe the Year 2013 is only but hours away from us now?  Oh where or where does my time get dwindled away to ..... "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Saturday 29 December 2012

Not The Greatest Day

I was up a couple times throughout the night last evening.  The last clock check was just before 5 am, but I decided I was not going to stay up at that time for a change.  At the time Rob got up I couldn't believe the clock said 8:00 am !  I never ever stay in bed until that time, awake or asleep.

I got motoring to let everyone out, about and fed, everyone one of our four "Checkerboard Aussies" were crossing their legs this morning.  They have NEVER waited that late in the morning to be taken out.  I am really happy they understood though *smile*, with naught an accident in any one of their crates.

Rob and I had a bit of time by having a coffee together before he made himself some Sandwiches for a lunch/supper and headed out the door with his "Crabby Cabbie" hat firmly on top of his head.  

I started a load of laundry, then got going on cleaning a bit around the wood stove area in the way of sweeping, dusting and whatnot.  Then I went to take the wood bucket back down to the basement from where it was perched waiting at the top of the stairs when ....

".... it slipped from my hand and there it was.  This is how my "not the greatest day" further progressed."

"Poor Bandit, I don't know how much later, had been forgotten outside.  Can you tell by the "look" he was giving me that he was not too impressed with me?  HA."

I did manage to get the Wood stove end of the house cleaned up, along with the Christmas things removed from the Buffet.  I have left out anything "Snowmen" as I love them out all Winter.  This is why I LOVE me those Snowmen so much.

"I even changed some photos around in their frames replacing the photo of my Son, Paul & I, in a frame I really love."

By the time morning was on its way out, I had a Migraine set in that has almost felt like my head really is going to be detached from my body very soon.  The migraine medications have not helped, and I really do not want to take any more as they make me feel sick to my stomach.  Maybe when I am done this post I will try some more along with a Gravol, or I fear I might not get any sleep tonight.

I really didn't get one more iota of anything done around here this afternoon, other then in and out with the girls a couple of times.

"First place Lexus was heading out to the wood shed to track down some squirrels." 

"She did come running back to me when called.  Lexus does not usually ever jump on me, however she will jump "straight up" in the air to land a kiss on my nose.  Here it comes .... "

"I always admire the well constructed nests left behind by the Spring/Summer months until the warmer weather once again returns to us."

"While I had been admiring the nests, Lexus had bee-lined for the woodshed.  Really really I know they are in here somewhere ... I can hear them.  Lexus is so fixated on those squirrels, I am sure she would stay in the woodshed for hours should I let her."

"Next out and about to have herself some fun, was Missy Mercedes.  She does check out the woodshed, but  is not so intent as Lexus is.  Oops looks like a bit of snow must have been on my camera lens on the 2nd photo."

Rob has still been too busy to be outside with me and Buddy, so I can get some nice Winter shots of him too.  I hope it will happen maybe tomorrow, or when he is off New Year's Day, or not.  

"These are a couple of my favourite Summer photos of Buddy this past and our first Summer with him.  He will be two years old on January 26th in the New Year.  Handsome boy, or so I think."

Okay I am thinking this is about all I can handle of blogging for the moment. 

I am off to swallow down myself some more medication, wait until the last out and about time for our Aussies, then call it a night, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Friday 28 December 2012

Lonely Girl

Yesterday I had just a little bit of what it used to be like a couple months ago, this being ... a little bit of my Rob and I together.  I enjoyed every little moment we had.  It gets pretty lonely when your best friend is not around to kibitz and bicker with, especially the bickering part when I get to win.  Oh yes, I almost forgot the "bossing around" part.  *Smile*

Wow Paul Anka ! that takes a few of us way back there, does it not?  

This girl decided the heck with everything that needed doing around here today, as there is ALWAYS something to be done like those spare dogs floating around the floors that I refuse to feed.  I had been invited out for a coffee, and I decided to go.  I was pretty excited at the prospect of meeting up with a lady who I had only met through Cindy's Recipe Exchange on Facebook.  

I had to return a couple of items previously bought at the Deals Store in Owen Sound, so we had decided to meet up at the Tim Horton's Coffee shop at the strip mall there.  

I had a totally "awesome" time meeting up with Sharon.  The pleasure was all mine.  Chatting away was so easy and natural with no break in conversation on what to say to each other whatsoever.  Really truly I absolutely LOVE "Down to Earth" people with no pretenses.  Really who wouldn't ? 

"What a total surprise when Sharon had said she admires what I do to help so many people, wanting to give me a gift in gratitude.  Wow, how nice was that Sharon, as I really don't see myself as that, but thank you so much for your geniune kindness.   I am also sorry to say, being in Owen Sound, I couldn't believe when I seen my "Crabby Cabbie" vehicle driving by  just outside where we where ... were we being "stalked"?????"

Hahahaha .... NO, Auntie Gladys, my "Crabby Cabbie" was not stalking me again.  Rob had a Taxi call to Owen Sound, and I had asked him to meet up with us if he had a moment for a coffee and to meet Sharon as well.  Ha ! but if one hadn't known better, he could have pretty well been "stalking" me that "Crabby Cabbie" guy of mine !  

Sharon had to be on her way, and I went on mine back towards home.  The Christmas Store at The Fyre Place in Springmount caught my eye, so I took a quick stop in to see what they had on Sale, if anything at a good sale price.

"There had been nothing I needed, however I still could not help but admire the amazing different themed decorated trees all throughout the store.  The Nativity Sets were Out of this World !"

"It wasn't long after until I arrived back home to see the Mailbox flag up.  I was kind of taken aback at the flag being up, but then realized it was only Friday.  Here I am certain I had been thinking it was Saturday all day long.... another "brain fart" gone off in my head."

I think I will post the photo on the left of our mailbox to Post Crossing on Facebook, as my Mailbox "North of Wiarton" on the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.  I like it !

As soon as I looked after my Aussie girls and boys, I got into the house as fast as I could cause I was all excited to try on my new hand-knitted Cowl Sharon had made for me.

"I absolutely LOVE my new Cowl.  It is perfect for keeping the front and back of my neck cozy warm from bitter winds.  Would you look at that gift bag?  I know Sharon also reads my blog, or how else would she know how much I do LOVE me those Snowmen.  And check out those Hershey Chips ... they are Cinnamon !!!  I can't wait to make us up something with those in.  Ummm...wonder how fresh Apple Muffins with Cinnamon Chips would go?  I am thinking pretty dang good ... stay tuned, there might be a new muffin recipe showing up here some day in the New Year."

Sharon thank you for your kindness, it will make me *smile* many times thinking about it.  Looking forward to our next future coffee meeting together.

I was also excited to finish off a frame needing just two more photos.  Aiden and Connor had recently been to Disney Land in Florida.  I had picked a few photos from their Florida photo album, deciding on two to print off.  It was not such an easy choice, however I went for the bright colours.

"Complete finally after what I am sure has been 2 years.  I LOVE it.  Can't wait to go buy me another collage frame to begin another one now."

Coming up a Year ago now ... I am not exactly sure, as I will have to check with Gill, but I know she had started a Sealed Pot Challenge of sorts way back when, that I had decided Rob and I would participate in my saving our loonies from that day forward.  I thought I would do a count on how many we had actually saved up since that time since I do LOVE counting me some money.

"Any guesses at what our "Loon Nest Egg" was holding for us?  it was holding a grand total of $215.00.  Not bad for a bit here and there, even though secretly I was hoping for a bit more.  Beggars can't be choosers though, so this will be a bit more towards our "some day year" vacation fund.  I think I will get this put away into a bit of an account and give the pot a "go again" in the New 2013 Year."

I must say I was forever grateful to my friend, Toni with an "i", as I thoroughly enjoyed two lovely, full of flavor, toasted Turkey sandwiches today.

My "Crabby Cabbie" not only enjoyed taking three turkey sandwiches on a bun along to work with him today, he neglected to tell Auntie this when she called him to offer to make him some of his favourite Egg Salad Sandwiches up for his supper tonight.  Oh my Gawd !  what a character I have married, and to think it has lasted 18 Years and running.  Thank goodness I do have myself an understanding family and lots of really good friends, who knows my husband would never turn down Turkey or an Egg Salad Sandwich, or two, or three, or ....

Anyone who knows us, surely knows why I get lonely without him here at times, as when he is here there is NEVER a DULL moment.  Ha !

I can not believe I just felt a sudden wave of tiredness go completely through my whole being.  *Sigh* I can see myself having an early night here all by my "not too terribly lonely girl" when out with my "Checkerboard Aussies" here, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Thursday 27 December 2012

An "Awesome" Christmas Dinner & More

Still last night I was again up and down with an upset stomach, which finally seemed to pass by the time this morning rolled around.  Rob adorned his "Crabby Cabbie" hat, heading out the door first thing this morning, while I did a few odds and sods around here.  Nothing too strenuous mind you, but gained a start on sorting out some of the bookkeeping needing done sooner then later.

I was thrilled to have had actually caught up with our young Australian man via Skype when he had a stopover at the LAX LA International Airport, 10 am my time.  It was quite amazing to actually speak to someone and see them after so many weeks gone by of commuting through a Private Messenger.  Yes talk and see the person you are speaking to is pretty amazing, or maybe for some NOT?  *smile*  

I am still awaiting word of Nathan's flight to arrival into Toronto's International Pearson Airport, as it had apparently been delayed.  Hopefully I will hear word soon.

Rob worked until lunch hour today, then came home to collect me, as we had been invited out for a Christmas Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings for 2:00 pm.  If anyone knows my Rob, he would very, if ever, seldom turn down a Turkey Dinner at the best of times.  

Off we went on scheduled "take off" time ....

"Rob decided we would take the scenic route, which I really didn't mind whatsoever as it was pretty nice with the bit of snow we have just had."

Going the scenic route had one disadvantage, it got me turned around since I was used to going to my friend's, who I had only been at twice before, another way.  Yes we were headed the wrong way and quite a ways until realizing this, but did get ourselves turned around.  Really it wasn't too much longer until we did arrive, and thank goodness maybe 10 minutes before Dinner was being served.  At least we weren't late !!!

I was happy to be invited to such a wonderful dinner by my friend, Toni with an "i", and her husband Bob (NO?) .....

" .... and what a feast it was, as you can tell by my Rob's plate loaded up for his first helping.  The table set for eight of us, with the chief cooks hard at the last minute preparations before we all came to sit.  I never know how I always seem to manage room for dessert, but the homemade pumpkin pie was to difficult for me to pass up on."

Really it was a totally well put together "amazing" Christmas Dinner.  Center of attention had been the 27 pound Turkey that apparently had to be "shoved" into the roaster to make it fit, along with Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Pea, Turnip, Potatoes, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, pickles and even Yorkshire puddings.  Oh yes, did I mention dessert ??? of course I did !

Thank you again for the lovely Dinner, Toni with an "i" and Bob (NO?).  Rob will be begging me to somehow get another invite out of you someday, I just know it !  

Since Rob has to work again tonight, we had to take off for home around 5:00 pm.  Coming back through Owen Sound, the way I know, we both couldn't believe our eyes when ahead of us we seen ....

"... a person out on their Scooter !  The temps were -6, never mind the Wind Chill.  Oh my do people ever cease to amaze me?  I think not when I see such goings on."

Christmas Eve there had been a "chit" in our mailbox for a parcel pickup for me.  The store wasn't open to pick it up until today.  It was HAPPY MAIL all right !  Happy Mail that I was beyond surprised at receiving ....

"Just look at what my dear young beautiful friend, Lena, had posted me !  How did she know how much I LOVE Snowmen?  I am pretty sure that girl has been reading my blog !  Ha!  And look at the amazing Christmas Card she included with her beautiful family and herself.  Lena, you truly truly made my heart sing this day ... biggest hugs going South of the Canadian Border to you my sweet friend.  xxx "

I truly get blown away thinking how fortunate of what great friends I have, and have made throughout the past few years since moving back to Bruce County, and through blogging.  How blessed I truly am in all these respects.  Thank you to each and everyone of you.

Okay I really was happy I had been sitting down when we had arrived back home to realize what my dear hubby had been up to ....

"I could NOT believe when I got up to find him in the kitchen directly after we had gotten home making himself a double decker sandwich out of a bun and the turkey, Toni with an "i" had so graciously been shamed into sending sent home for him.  And is that a "smirk" on that face I see ?  Oh man !!!!  he never ceases to amaze me that man of mine."

I really couldn't have had a better day then I did this day with spending time with my husband,  with new friends, and then to receive such a thoughtful gift so far away from yet another friend.  Truly I am blessed, and need to remind myself how much at times when I am not feeling so good and/or having myself an "off" day.

On that note, I shall be calling it a day here shortly, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

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