Saturday, April 30, 2011

Removing the first Deck Boards

The dogs relaxing in a sun spot
Removing deck boards to prepare for leveling the deck

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Greening

see how they grow

Peonies poking out

And of course, dogs running

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Escaping a Trip to Oz

I've been really falling down on getting my posts written this last week or two. I just have no motivation for anything these days... I have to work harder to get this turned around but I just don't have the motivation to do so... it's sort of a catch 22...

That said, the grass is really green now. I imagine that it will need mowing in a week or two, especially if we (ever) get some warm weather. Some of the trees are starting to bud, including the maples with their strange red flowers. I think "green day" is a few weeks away yet.

one of the branches that we cut down and brought inside
a bunch of sticks - a redneck flower arrangment

This afternoon I headed outside to do some puttering around the yard but right away wondered if Spike had been morphed into a Cairn Terrier and was going to be blown with me to the land of Oz. The wind was unbelievable - it broke a few trees and knocked down the light standard in the sand ring - we are talking serious wind.

Yesterday we went into town to meet with our accountant (taxes are done, hurrah), and stopped at a carpet discount to get a carpet for the sofa area. It's a piece of broadloom that has been bound on all sides. The colour is, well, ugly. It is a dirty beige colour. We looked at patterned carpets but just haven't seen anything that would suit the room. I had thought of this one but it is made of cotton so I wasn't sure how it would wear - I think it would have looked great though!

pretty average ...

this is the one from Home Depot

Today's word of the day is catastrophe (kuh-TASS-truh-fee noun 1a : a violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth b : a violent usually destructive natural event (as a supernova) ; 2: utter failure : fiasco). Our gardens were a catastrophe until all the work we have put into them lately. As the weather warms we will get some new perennials planted as well as some annuals. The place will start looking like less of a shambles. Maybe we won't even feel like going camping (yea right!).

My pleasures today: looking outside and seeing the grass even greener than yesterday (after all the rain last night) ; downloading "Black Beauty" for free.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter. I hope everyone had nice plans with family or at least got outside to enjoy the beautiful day (it was actually sunny here yesterday).

Simple Stitches: Crochet: 25 Projects for the New StitcherSaturday was another cold and rainy day though, so I spent the afternoon stretched out on the bed with my crochet granny squares and "The Big Bang Theory" marathon on TV. Carm was hogging the living room with "Dr. Who" so I was glad to have a place to escape to. When we were at Michaels the other day I picked up a book of beginner crochet patterns. There are a few things that I'd like to try, but when I look at the instructions they look like they are written in Greek... it seems impossible. However I'll give it the old college try and take a shot at the long fingerless gloves. Who knows what they'll turn out like - at the very least it will be good for a laugh.

getting gas on our drive
We spent Easter Sunday at Carm's brother's place. We had a lovely lunch and even had fun with the massive cleanup. There were a few people missing this year, but still the dining table is set with multiple tables and extends well into the living room. With all the nieces and nephews (all grown now), their boyfriends and girl friends, there were close to 20 people. It is a lively bunch! And add to the mix Sunny and Spike and it is almost chaos!

My pleasures the past few days: sitting in the morning sun with my coffee ; chatting with sisters-in-law ; watching Spike and Sunny play - they had so much fun, although by the time it was time to go Spike was more than ready to get in the car - he was exhausted ; driving home the back way and seeing the countryside ; waking up to the sound of a dog retching - oh wait, no, that wasn't exactly a pleasure although it was good to get to him in time to get him off the carpet... ; today it was cleaning up some brush cuttings and making a small area tidy - lots more areas to go (not so pleasurable - not long after I cleaned up that area Carm went back and cut a bunch more stuff so its almost as if I had never done it now).

Friday, April 22, 2011


We had a wonderful, beautiful day and a great visit with my brother Graham and his wife and kids. We were lucky enough to get outside for a walk around our property. I even found a little surprise visitor in the garden.

Today's word of the day is primordial (prye-MOR-dee-ul adjective - 1a : first created or developed : primeval b : existing in or persisting from the beginning (as of a solar system or universe) c : earliest formed in the growth of an individual or organ ; 2: fundamental, primary). Someday I would love to visit the primordial forests in British Columbia. I've seen them on TV and they look fascinating. I especially love the intersection between land and sea where orcas can sometimes be seen.

Using the English language: I changed schools and provinces a lot during my school years and somehow I missed some of the grammer lessons taught in English classes. Thus I'm never really sure when to use an 's for a plural - I'm sure you have seen the errors in my text. I have Carm read before I post, but he may not catch them all. I need to find a good grammar web site that I can refer to.

My pleasures yesterday: Pho ; looking at carpets to replace the one in the livingroom sitting area ; going out for supper with Kari & Trevor - it was great to see them and catch up ; yummy, drippy hamburger with salty, crisp fries - very non diet but we gave ourselves a little reward. We will get really back on track Monday.

My pleasures today: going for a tromp around the property ; visiting with my brother and his wife ; tasting a bit of turkey breast cooked with fresh rosemary - yum.

rocks in the old foundation on our property

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The day dawned , okay I don't really know how it dawned cause I didn't wake up till way after the sun rose, but anyway, it dawned grey and rainy. They had called for freezing rain but we dodged that bullet. After we had our coffees and computer fixes we headed over to Winchester to a liquidation sale. I had hoped to find a cheap area rug for the living room, a rectangular cake pan, and even a good quality skillet (I didn't hold out much hope for this). However, it was nothing like what I expected so instead we came home with toys for Spike, workout pants for me, mat for Bella on the camper, and some sort of practice club for Carm. It weighs a ton so I guess it is supposed to give him a workout? Why else would you practice with something like that?

Yesterday I was complaining about my desk - I can't straighten my legs under it as it is tresle style. Carm suggested swapping it out for the big, old-fashioned work-style one that I have hidden away in the all-purpose room. I thought about it for a bit, took some measurements and then started the move. I couldn't be happier. There's tons of room for my legs, plus since the desk is so much bigger there is more room for my stuff. I figured that function had to be considered over form this time.

after - SPACE!

Today's word of the day is disseise (dih-SEEZ verb : to deprive especially wrongfully of seisin : to put out of possession or occupancy : dispossess). We let our neighboring dairy farmer use some of our land. It abuts his property in such a way that it is very convenient for him to graze his heifers on it, plus we let him take the hay from our hay field. I hope that this use doesn't someday cause him to disseise our property using some archaic squatters rights.

My pleasures today: doing "find it"s with Spike and his new toy. He loves the game where I hide a toy and he runs to find it. He even knows which toy I want him to find as I mix it up a bit ; going for a drive was a bit of a pleasure, but it was rainy and dark which took away from it a bit.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Last night Carm was in town at some golf thing so I got to watch all kinds of stupid, mindless TV. I started with a show about managing your finances which features people in massive debt. I can feel grateful that we never got into that situation. Then I watched a couple of wedding shows - sometimes you gotta wonder why people are marrying each other. Then there was Big Bang Theory, which we never watch - it's funny and the characters are likeable. Then there was a program about a woman trying to get in shape and lose weight - she didn't meet her goal... at which point I got up and made myself cheaty toast (grrrr - stupid)... and then there was Dance with the Stars which I pvr'd so I could skip right through all the talky bits straight to the dancing bits (which total maybe 6 minutes max - yeah pvr). How is that for a totally brainless night of TV viewing. It was a bit fun though (and would have been made better with popcorn - why didn't I have popcorn cheat instead of toast? There would have been the same or even less calories - next time).

Megamind (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)Today's word of the day is parable (PAIR-uh-bul noun : example; specifically : a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle). The other night we watched "Megamind" which is a parable about being able to decide your destiny and choose what kind of person you want to be. It was a cute, light-hearted animated story - enjoyable for adults too - with a good message meaningful to even mature viewers, after all who can't be reminded to take control of our own lives and make good choices .

A special edition word of the day is dudgeon ('de-jen (not e's but backwards e's) - 1 obsolete : a wood used especially for dagger hilts ; 2a archaic : a dagger with a handle of dudgeon b obsolete : a haft made of dudgeon). I've also heard the word being used to indicate a fight or arguement. Such as, "the dogs got into a dudgeon over the scraps of meat that had fallen to the floor".

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Washing Up

Today's word of the day is lavation (lay-VAY-shun noun : the act or an instance of washing or cleansing). We had company for supper last night which of course generates a ton of dishes, not all of which can go into the dishwasher. I insist on using our nice silver cutlery, and then there's the glasses (usually wine glasses but not last night - everyone is on a diet - what a dinner party eh - no vino!). Anyway, this excess of dishes caused Carm to reenact his traditional lavation and what he didn't take care of the handy/dandy dishwasher did. It is great to have the bulk of the cleanup done the night of and not wake up to a giant mess the next morning.

Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice Herbal Tea, 24-Count K-Cups for Keurig BrewersMy pleasures last night of course included seeing good friends and having a great visit (despite no wine!) ; also, watching Spike get SO EXCITED to see them - he can't even contain himself - he cries and wiggles and carries on something fierce - he loves Jo Ellen ; seeing the Dance Central game for the Kinect - it looks like a lot of fun and good for some laughs too, it is now on my wish list ; having a hot cup of Mandarin Orange Spice herbal tea, almost as good as a glass of wine - thanks for the treat Jo Ellen!

My pleasures today, hummm, it was a pretty lazy day with not much done other than hang out with my computer. You'd think I was still at work or something! The wind is crazy today and there have been periods of hail - yes, hail. So not much venturing outside, although we managed to hit a sunny spot and get out long enough for the dogs to stretch their legs! Spring will surely be here soon. I knew I was jinxing it when I took Grace's summer cage outside the other day. Another pleasure, I drank a mug of the spice tea - it is so tasty and as a side benefit doesn't have a flavor that immediately brings to mind some sort of food! So it's good for taming those craving moments.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bring Me Sunshine

We are still hanging in with the diet, it's been 8 weeks. We've been pretty good about sticking to it with only a few deviations - hamburger and fries once, and Carm's birthday weekend, a few other little cheats - but they are nothing much, just toast with peanut butter and Pho twice. BUT I'm getting pretty sick of cooking. Yesterday I spent over an hour just making lunch - between making a soup and getting stuff cut up for the salad it just took a long time. Suppers usually take an hour to an hour and half to get to the table. I'm getting sick of it and need a break... I've been making batches of cooked vegetables ahead of time to mix with lentils and rice. That helps a bit. I'm going to also cut up a bunch of stuff for salads ahead of time too - having a few days of chopped vegetables in the fridge should help matters somewhat. How do you keep with your diet yet get a break from cooking?

All that said, we are having company for supper (you know who you are!) but the cooking doesn't bother me one bit - we are having company! Or as I tell Spike - we have friends coming over. I mentioned to Spike who was coming and he looked around and ran to the window. He loves Jo Ellen! I love having people over and in fact would far rather, have people over than go out.

Yesterday Carm got sent a link to this youtube with a song (The Jive Aces - UK's No.1 jive and swing band - new music video for the Morcambe and Wise classic "Bring Me Sunshine".) - I really liked it - especially on this rainy day:

Today's word of the day is biophilia (bye-oh-FILL-ee-uh noun : a hypothetical human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature).  I am most at peace when I am in touch with nature. Perhaps owning a parrot lets me indulge my biophilia needs right in my own house. The dogs are another one of nature's creatures that I connect with, although they are more tamed than parrots.

Living in the country also keeps me in touch with nature - there are so many birds around that I can hardly look out of a window without seeing one (right now I can see 3 outside the little window to the left of my desk and one more from the window at the right). A few nights ago, around 5:30 pm I looked up into the sky to see hundreds of white flashes flying towards the west, they were little flecks of bright light strewn across the sky. It was so beautiful. I couldn't tell what kind of bird they were - I was hoping they were something exotic like snow geese - but later I saw some flying over lower and could tell they were gulls.

My pleasures today: last night's pleasure was resisting the call of the cheeseburger and instead having a broccoli/red pepper stir fry on brown rice that tasted great - too much soy sauce though so today I'm up 2 pounds - dooh ; getting the house ready for guests - okay, doing the actual housework wasn't a pleasure but having it clean and smelling fresh like a lemon was - there's something about nice about using the lemon vinegar dustcloths - did I ever post the "recipe"? ; being inside warm and dry on a cold, rainy Saturday.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Today was a beautiful day, although it was only 4C (about 40F). Better enjoyed from indoors looking out in the morning. In the afternoon we both ventured outside for some yard work - it was cool but there was full sun and no wind - actually a lovely day. The tulips are getting bigger as are the maple buds (we are up and personal with them as we are still cutting down trees).

Today's word of the day is terpsichorean (terp-sih-kuh-REE-un adjective - : of or relating to dancing). We have friends coming over tomorrow night and they are bringing their terpsichorean Kinect game. It is called Dance Central and involves learning some moves and then putting them to music. I suspect that we'll expend as many calories laughing as we will dancing. Just picture 4 middle aged people grooving to the beat - it's a visual that just makes me laugh.

flying poodle

My pleasures today: In bed this morning Spike squeezed/wedged/pinned himself between Carm and I and went back to sleep. I love it when he does this - it harkens back to when he was a pup and we'd pin him with our arms and made him lay there when he woke up too early - I think it might remind him too as he does this most mornings ; sitting on the grass to take a short break from the yard work ;

Not such a pleasure - blue screen of death on my laptop: page fault in non-paged area - doesn't look good...

As you can see below I'm still having fun scrapbooking... I've changed these pages 100 times and expect to change them another 100 times. When is it right?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sucked In

I'm finding it more difficult to find time for blogging... I'm sucked into the scrapbooking software big time. I've got a bunch of pages done for Bella, and now some for Kabira as well but I go back and change things incessantly - there's always something to fiddle with. I suppose at some point I will have played around enough to know what I like and just get things done, but for now I'll just experiment. There is no deadline after all!

Today we got outside and did some more yard work. We have now done more cleanup and general work about the place that we did all last year (excluding cutting the grass). It feels good and it is a bit of exercise as well - double bonus.

Today's word of the day is vestige (VESS-tij noun : a mark or visible sign left by something that existed before; also: a minute remaining amount). There is not even a vestige of regret for our decision to retire this year!

My pleasures today: getting some raking done outside ; coming back into the warm house - it was freezing out there! ; making a bunch of branch perches for Grace to enjoy in her outdoor cage - lots of bark to strip off and wood to gnaw ; getting a couple of really good recalls from Spike.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The First Hint of Green

We had a wild thunderstorm this morning at exactly the time I would have been having my bath and getting ready for work. I would have hated to get into the tub with the lightning flashing with such intensity right overhead. I wonder what I would have done? Probably just taken the risk and got cleaned up. It was nice to be able to lay in bed and just listen (still scary though - it was right overhead). Do you follow the National Lightening Safety Institute Tips for staying safe during a storm?

On a good note - all of that rain and bluster brought forth some green grass! The greening of the land has begun - soon it well be so green that it will be hard to look at (not really, but it will be amazingly green). "Green Day" is normally around the first few days of May - I wonder if this year will be different?

Another blog (Hopping Through Life) is partaking in this challenge list that she got from another blog and so on and so on. It looks like fun, plus I don't have much to say today so I'll give it a go.

A. Age: 48 (gee, I think of myself as being in my early 30's)
B. Bed size: newly upgraded to King - luxurious and no more elbows in my back
C. Chore you dislike: vacuuming
D. Dogs: these days, 3 (Bella, Kabira, Spike)
E. Essential start to your day: computer fix with coffee - does that count as two?
F. Favorite color: pink
G. Gold or silver:silver
H. Height: 5' 2"
I. Instruments you play(ed): I wish. I'm sure I was a great disappointment to my dad who is incredibly musical
J. Job title: wife, friend
K. Kids: none
L. Live: Eastern Ontario
M. Mom's name: Patrica
N. Nicknames: I've never had one - oh how I longed for one when I was a kid
O. Overnight hospital stays: 2 nights last spring for tooth infection
P. Pet peeves: rude, impatient people
Q. Quote from a movie: "Are her lips chafed and dry as the desert sand, or are they moist and red like a pomegranate?" The Ten Commandments
R. Righty or lefty: righty
S. Siblings: a sister and two brothers
T. Time you wake up: I need lots of sleep - usually around 10 hours
U. Underwear: nice quality cotton - not bikini
V. Vegetables you don't like: I don't think I've ever met a vegetable I don't like unless coconut counts
W. What makes you run late: I'm usually on time
X. X-rays you've had: I don't think I've had any aside from tooth
Y. Yummy food you make: I have a whole recipe book of favorites
Z. Zoo animal favorites: elephant

If you want to join in, be sure to post a comment with a link to your list (or add one to the hoppily post)!

Today's word of the day is haphazard (hap-HAZZ-erd adjective : marked by lack of plan, order, or direction). This post has been haphazardly completed. I was well into getting it written this morning, but then I got distracted by that darn scrapbooking software and before I knew it the day was done with hardly anytime left to properly craft my post - it's all willy-nilly.

My pleasures today: seeing the first hint of green in the grass ; talking on the phone with a friend - laughing about the dance game on Kinect ; having an afternoon of quiet with Carm out of the house ; keeping to my diet all day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cutting Down and Bucking Up

Yesterday was a beautiful, warm day. We spent several hours outside, Carm cut down some trees, I gathered branches and stacked wood, raked and just puttered. It was nice to get outside doing something! It won't be long now till we can get into the flower and vegetable beds to get them ready for planting. I always find that it is winter then suddenly busy spring time. We are both looking forward to having the time to spend sprucing the place up (and of course lounging around on my garden swing).

Today was not so sunny, but still warm so we headed outside to get a bit more yard work done. Carm felled 3 more trees (with the scary chainsaw), and we got them trimmed and bucked up. Our brush pile is getting ridiculously huge! I'm sure there must be all manner of wildlife living in its shelter.

Today's word of the day is panegyric (pan-uh-JEER-ik noun : a eulogistic oration or writing; also : formal or elaborate praise). Did anyone watch the Oscars? It is a panegyric event for actors, directors and everyone else involved with the movie industry. I don't think I have ever watch the entire Oscar program, only short bits here and there. I don't really get all the hype.

My pleasures yesterday and today: yesterday, after working outside, I had my lunch on the front deck. It gets full sun in the afternoon and is usually protected from the wind - a pleasant place to sit. It was so warm out that Carm washed the car and the front of the camper (I watched from the front deck with a cup of tea - how lazy and decadent) ; we ate some asparagus for supper last night, although it was a bit woody it was still very tasty. I think it is one of my favorite vegetables ; tonight we will have some roasted brussels sprouts - another favorite - if you haven't tried roasting them give it a shot - they are so tasty that way (cut in 1/2, toss in a tiny bit of olive oil then cook for 15 minutes in a 450 oven). Serve with rice or a rice lentil mixture ; the Masters was on this weekend - perfect background for an afternoon nap or at least quiet contemplation ;-)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gingery Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Sauce

This is a favorite of ours. It is easy to make, uses the crockpot, and tastes delicious. It is a fat-free vegan recipe with legumes. A staple in our diet recipe book.
Gingery Chickpeas in Spicy Tomato Gravy (Crockpot) 

Yields: 6 Servings


Chicken stock
2 Onions finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic finely chopped
2 tablespoon Ginger root minced
2 teaspoon Ground coriander
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
2 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
2 cups Tomatoes canned or fresh, coarsely chopped
2 can (19 oz) Chickpeas drained & rinsed
1 cup Bok choy chopped (add more if desired)


1. In a skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, gingerroot, coriander, cumin seeds, salt & pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add balsamic vinegar and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Place chickpeas into slow cooker stoneware. Pour tomato mixture over and stir well.

2. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, until hot and bubbling. In the last hour of cooking add bok choy.

3. Garnish with chopped green onion, if using.

Increase the vegetable content by adding chopped bok choy or spinach, and/or zucchini in the last two hours of cooking.

This dish can be completely assembled the night before it is cooked. Complete step 1 and refrigerate overnight. The next day, continue cooking as directed in step 2.

Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup

This is the recipe for the soup I served the other night. It was tasty and got rave reviews. Another fat-free, vegan soup with legumes to add to my diet recipe book.

Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup    ****

Yields: 6 Servings


1 large Roasted red peppers
1 bulb Roasted garlic
1 Onion chopped fine
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 1/2 cup Lentils picked over and rinsed
1 Bay leaf
1 sprig Thyme
6 cups Chicken stock with water (I do 4 cups stock, 2 cups water)
pinch Hot pepper flakes
Lemon juice and zest
Parsley chopped


Sautee the onions until soft in a large heavy pot. Add cumin and paprika and stir for one minute.
Add lentils, roasted red pepper, and garlic - stir to coat.

Add chicken stock &/or water (and salt if using). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender and soup is beginning to thicken, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Puree with immersion blender to desired consistency. Add more stock as required. Add lemon juice, taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve sprinkled with lemon zest and chopped parsley

Friday, April 8, 2011


Today's word of the day is cloud-cuckoo-land (kloud-KOO-koo-land noun : a realm of fantasy or of whimsical or foolish behavior). Huh? I would like us to take a trip to Disney Land/World (whichever is in Florida). I was at the California edition years and years ago when I was just in grade 12. Our whole family went, including my two little brothers. It was so fun experiencing cloud-cuckoo-land through their eyes. Maybe it wouldn't be so fun to go now?

Last night we had two of Carm's buddies from work over. I felt like I was in cloud-cuckoo-land except instead of a fantasy it was more a nightmare (just joking!). I think they all had a good time, but let me tell you, sitting with a bunch of guys who used to work together and that's about all they have in common is, how would you put it? boring, tedious, I'm sure there are many other words to describe it . All they did is rehash events that happened in the past. I went to bed early. As I told them when I headed off to bed - I've had as much scintillating conversation as I can take - is that too sarcastic? All that being said - I was happy to be the hostess as I know it was a lot of fun for Carm, plus his two buddies are nice guys that I would like to see again. Oh yeah - they didn't complain about the healthy grub.

I had trouble getting to sleep last night as I had plans for designing a new page background for my blog using the scrapbooking tool. I get these ideas in my head and they just churn. As you can see they didn't turn out exactly as I what I had in mind - a bit dorky - but I'll play with new backgrounds as "time permits" (I'm so busy in retirement you see).

I sent some photos to my niece this morning of the farm that we get our last name from. The photos were taken in 1974 when we visited Norway. The farm was given to an ancestor centuries ago for their role in saving Norway from a Scottish invasion. It's pretty neat to have a documented history that goes back so far.

My pleasures: sitting on the front step (in the warm sun) last night and watching the geese fly overhead - I love hearing them honk "are we there yet" over and over again, and especially love hearing the swish of their wings cutting through the air ; getting up in the morning with a clear head - there's something to be said for cutting out the wine! ; at 10:30 am I saw flies buzzing around outside - it's warm out! ; seeing the tips of tulips pushing their way out of the cold earth ; and it is always a pleasure to watch the dogs running at full speed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bella's Big Day

Today is Bella's 6th birthday. It seems like just yesterday that we picked out our little puppy from a litter of 9. She was about 4 weeks old at the time. Then came the long, long wait for her to reach 9 weeks old and be ready to come home. I did go out and visit her once (maybe twice - I can't remember) and then finally it was the time.

I picked her up during the day and unfortunately Carm couldn't come with me. So I set up a crate in the truck's passenger seat - she wasn't very happy and cried all the way home. She didn't like the car for the next year or so and would puke every car ride. Poor little dear. Once we got home she settled in and quickly became a member of our pack. We had Pan, Grizzle and Titan - they each treated her like a princess. I know it's crazy but I hardly took any photos of her when she was a little puppy - maybe because she was a little black blob.

Today's word of the day is conventicle (kun-VEN-tih-kul noun - 1: an assembly of an irregular or unlawful character ; 2: an assembly for religious worship; especially : a meeting for worship not sanctioned by law ; 3: meetinghouse). Tonight our house will be a conventicle (meaning #3) for a few retired and out-of-work work mates (Carm's) who are coming over for supper and conversation. I'm pretty sure the conversation will be mostly boring work talk - I'll keep busy in the kitchen... I wonder how they'll like the healthy meal? It doesn't compare to the Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding the last time they were over!

My pleasures today: remembering Bella as a puppy ; playing with my new software - I can see that this is going to suck up a LOT of time! But it will be fun. In fact I spent so much time playing that I hardly got this entry written. I'm a sucker for software.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Software Junkie

Today's word of the day is stultify (STUL-tuh-fye verb - 1: to cause to appear or be stupid, foolish, or absurdly illogical ; 2a : to impair, invalidate, or make ineffective : negate b : to have a dulling or inhibiting effect on). Trying to install my new software stultified all creativity - it also put me in a pretty bad mood.

I'm a bit (okay, a lot) of a software junky and I love to organize things. The software that I use the most is called Advanced Diary. It is divided into databases, which are divided into folders, and within each folder you can have one or more files. So I have a folder for Current Copies, and in that I have my menu planner for the month, a daily diary, my mood and sleep log, and a folder for my blog entries. I do the blog composing in Advanced Diary as it has some word-processing capabilities. It's kind of a dumbed down version of MS Word. I have a separate database for information that I want to keep apart, such as insurance information - this is password protected. And then I have another folder for miscellaneous information, such as a to-do-list and RV Information. The RV information file is just a bunch of links to excel documents. I love this software (no I'm not a representative for the company!)!

CALENDAR CREATOR DELUXE V12.1 (WIN XP,VISTA,WIN 7)The other software that I use is Calendar Creator Plus. It is basically just a program that you put calendar events onto. The events can be setup as repeating events, either yearly, weekly, daily, or picked from a calendar. The events can be organized by type so that you can display a calendar with birthdays, appointments and campground reservations - and another with just campground reservations. The calendars can be saved to jpeg or html for online versions or they can be printed in a myriad of sizes. Artwork and photos can be added to enhance the output. I've been using this software for at least 12 years.

Today I purchased another type of software - digital scrapbooking. I'm hoping that I can get my photos arranged and print some albums. I've been doing digital photos since mid 2004 but haven't printed very many photos since then.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that I can actually get this software to install though. The install brought down almost 500MB of data, and then crashed when doing the actual install. To try again I have to download the data again - what a stupid design for software. I've sent a message to their service desk so we shall see what happens.

My pleasures yesterday and today:
  • finding a pretty little notebook at the dollar store that I can use for my (paper) journal (I use Advanced Diary for digital version) - I like to have a paper version of some of it when visiting doctors, etc. ;
  • running into a neighbor at the grocery store yesterday afternoon and having time for a good visit - pre-retirement days I would have felt I didn't have the time to stop so long ;
  • enjoying some tasty asparagus last night for supper ;
  • going outside in my pajamas early this morning to get Spike (Mr. Naughty) and not being too cold (side note: I froze when I went out in my coat later) ;
  • eating yummy Pho for lunch today ;
  • finding Carm after looking for him in Costco for probably 15 minutes - I was a bit cranky too though - what the He$$ was he doing that took so long? ;
  • finding a cover for my Sony e-reader - we've been looking since Christmas. It's been okay to be without so far, but heading out in the camper I'll want a cover for sure - not so much of a pleasure though - paying Sony prices - I mean how can a little cover be worth $40? They've got you though as no one else makes them...

Monday, April 4, 2011


It was a cold, rainy, foggy, day and I didn't feel motivated to do much other than make a folder of photos of Bella, Kabira and Spike. I'm going to use some tool, MS Word perhaps, to make an album of memories that I can then print. It will be better than just printing out a pile of photos as I can add words and descriptions. Kinda like a scrapbook.

the day we picked out Bella. I think she was 4 or 5
weeks. Then came 4 more weeks till she was old
enough to come home. 4 weeks seemed like an

I did get onto the treadmill though and got through to the end of the "Accidental Buddhist" - a good read that left lots to think about.

Today's word of the day is Ruritanian (rur-uh-TAY-nee-un adjective : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an imaginary place of high romance). As she put on the new dancing shoes she was transported to the Ruritanian world of Cinderella's ball and her glass slipper. Thoughts of dancing with her own Prince Charming brought a smile to her lips. I don't know if this is exactly the right way to use this word but it will have to do. Are there any Ruritanian places that you visit in your imagination - and to honest - I've never been to Cinderella's ball except when watching the movie, which I haven't seen for years and years...

My pleasures today: crunching into some cold green pepper ; waking up at 7:30, thinking that in the pre-retirement days I would have already been at work for almost an hour... then going back to bed ; watching Spike chase his tail ; running on the treadmill to Abba's "Waterloo" - okay, that's all I could run for, but I was RUNNING!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Doff the Locks

Today's word of the day is doff (DAHF verb 1a : to remove (an article of wear) from the body b : to take off (the hat) in greeting or as a sign of respect ; 2: to rid oneself of : put aside). Today the poodles doffed their long winter locks in exchange for some cool spring togs. In other words, it was Poodle hair cut day. I was a bit stodgy after a late night with guests last night, but I've been putting off this task for far too long. Plus the dogs look a mess and needed a bath. It is not a task that I look forward too.

I had the exquisite pleasure last night of having both a glass of bubbles and visiting with good friends (not so much of a pleasure - overdoing the roasted vegetables - drat). How could I top a pleasure like that?

My pleasures today: watching the poodles run around in their new haircuts - they look so trim and fit ; getting outside for a short while to trim trees and help Carm cut down and buck up some trees (although there is nothing whatsoever pleasurable about a chainsaw - those things are scary).  ; watching the dogs sunbathe in a sunspot ; eating a little piece of toasted Moroccan bread that I made yesterday.

O Pioneers!

The other day I finished "O Pioneers". It was a nice story about times at the turn of the century. How hard things were then compared to our digitized world. I like reading stories about the people who settled this continent. My favorite books are the "Little House on the Praire" books which really gives an idea about what life might have been like.