Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter Sunday

First off I hope everyone had themselves a Blessed Easter Sunday spent with a loved one, family or friends, or even with their own company, which I don't mind spending time with myself most times, or even with a loved pet, or two.

This morning was not as I remember when growing up as a child in Southampton.  My few memories, one in particular, was of skipping down Victoria Street towards the United Church at Victoria and High Streets.  The Sun was shining and I was so happy as I had a hat with a ribbon around it, a light blue coat on, shiny new black shoes with straps and white ankle socks.  That was as far as my memory of Easter Sunday went, but it feels like it was a "good" memory I have often felt good reflecting on.

This morning was quite different, especially quiet with the usual morning chores with our four Aussies, plus one extra puppy.  Outside was very grey and bleak with a light rain falling from the skies.  Rob was sleeping, needing more sleep then he ever manages to get himself.  I turning, a rare occasion, on the furnace as it was very damp and chilly in the house.  

Rob did arise later in the morning being a great help to me by getting wood in and starting the wood stove up.  Finally the damp was gone.  There is just something about the wood heat that warms my bones much better then a gas or propane furnace will ever accomplish.  Rob also took over the remainder of the Aussie out, abouts and back ins while I got going on our Easter Dinner preparations.  There was only the two of us, however I was setting out to make a full Dinner, as why should we not have one for ourselves I could not imagine.

I decided I would make Rob's favourite pie for him today.  It couldn't get much easier then making a ...

" ... Lemon Meringue Pie.  I am really loving the great big see thru window on my Oven."

With the Pie cooling on the counter and the oven still warm, I took on the next task right away of making ...

"... our Grandson Aiden's favourite biscuit, even though he couldn't be here with us today both he and Connor were in my thoughts.  Wet ingredients gathered and mixed, met up with dry, then patted out to be shaped and cut out.  Onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper they went right after."

"Fifteen minutes later and lots of cheesy goodness was fresh out of the oven."


This was not the time to stop ....

"Roux was made, potatoes and onions, peeled and sliced.  Before I new it there was a cheesy thick sauce ready to meet up with layers of potatoes and red onion.  These were covered and popped into the Oven along with the foil wrapped Ham Shank."


"I am really seeking some honesty here with these photos.  Am I the only one who has such a mess when doing preparations for a meal????"

"Surely this looks much better after the baking was done, and Dinner preps finished with it cooking in the Oven."

"Rob's "Crabby Cabbie" driver, Carolyn, gave us each a Kinder Egg for Easter.  I dug out my Egg Cup from when I was a little girl to display it on the Buffet.  Then I went into the kitchen to find Rob swooping the Lemon Pie from the counter; it did not take long  for him to place it back where it belonged once he had been "found out".  Then I got the table set, as I decided we would have dinner buffet style from the kitchen counter to make things easier."

All the work and time put into our Easter Dinner was well worth the effort as ....

"... it was all Simply Delish and well enjoyed by both of us.  Not only was our Dinner enjoyed, it was wonderful to have the time we had to spend together, since most days that is very rare."

Rob did have two work related calls he had to go out on today, but the time he has been home was pleasant and not stressed since we enjoyed each others company making it truly a "special" day.  All the humdrum of the business and paperwork was set aside and we took the day "off" from it.  As Rob said, "the paperwork can wait one more day".

Oh yes, before I forget to share, my friend Carla shared a BC comic as her Facebook post this morning, which I borrowed and posted to the "Crabby Cabbie's" Facebook Page.  I LOVED it ...

Should anyone want to show my "Crabby Cabbie" support of his Facebook page, we would LOVE to have your LIKE by going to his page HERE.  Thank you to any and all in advance.  Even if you live out of the area and come up to the Southampton, Port Elgin and Sauble Beach areas for Summer vacation we would love to be your "get around" Cabbie, or just because you would LOVE to show us your support.

Dishes are done up, the "Checkerboard Aussies" Blog post is done and can be viewed HERE.  Rob is gone out on another call.  The Aussies have all been out, about and in, with only one more outing to go before we call it a night.

On that note I think I will get the kettle on to make myself a nice hot cuppa Earl Grey Tea, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Crabby Bunny Mobiles??? Really?

Unfortunately I wasn't the only one not to get a good night's sleep again.  My "Crabby Cabbie" had not gotten home until 3 am, only to have to get back up at 7 am to get his "Crabby Cabbie" vehicles into the mechanics.  Note the "s" on vehicle?

Our driver, Carolyn, had to bring the other vehicle to Wiarton to our mechanics as well, since both her and Rob's vehicle's were having issues with the brakes.  When you are in business you do not mess around with or overlook mechanical issues with your vehicles, or we don't that is for sure.

They left one vehicle with the mechanic, then came back to the house.  I whipped us up all a breakfast of Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Home Fries and Toast with Jam.  Those poor two were not only full when I was done with them, but probably "extra" tired after they ate.

I left them each to relax on a easy chair to do up the dishes, make the bed, look after all the Aussie "gang" and head on downtown as I was off to see my Mom later this morning.

First off I stopped at the Sears pick-up outlet downtown Wiarton.  I had first called Sears to inquire where my order was since I hadn't heard it was in yet, having ordered it well over a week and a half ago.  Apparently nobody calls you to tell you when it gets in, that you are suppose to find out yourself within 3 to 5 business days, or so this is what I was told when speaking to the Sears Customer Service gal on the other end of the phone this morning.  What kind of Customer Service is that when you shop from their Sears Catalogue?  Not the best in my books I am thinking.

Regardless I went to collect the package of nighties I had ordered for my Mom, then headed on over to Gateway Haven to deliver.  I had also made an Easter Tin of Pucker-Up Squares for her too.  Between the packages, my purse and camera I had no room to carry up an armful of Kleenexes I had gotten for her.

After all that when I got there, the first thing Mom asked me, "did you get me Kleenex??"  Oh man the things you want people not to remember are the first things they remember !!!  I took Mom along with me to retrieve them.  Since she had herself a bit of a fall saying her one leg was sore, the Nursing Home Staff had ordered her a wheelchair.  Off we went .....

"Here we are with all Six boxes of Kleenex, with me telling Mom thank goodness she had the wheelchair and what a "sight" she made.  Ha ! I am sure anyone outside the Elevator could hear us laughing from way down the hallways.  The other photos were difficult since Mom always sits in front of the window.  Next time I will have to get the light behind me.  She still has the plant my Auntie had taken her.  No smelly flowers are allowed, which is just as well as I have allergies to some, as does Mom."

We had ourselves almost a good hour's visit before I wheeled her down to the diningroom as it had been lunch time by that time.  I will be going back up next week, as I have to try to find her a pair of new sandals since her old ones had been giving her blisters as they were too worn.  That will be a challenge at this time of year.  But sandals she wants, so sandals I will look for downtown at Gilbert's Shoe store where hopefully they will have stock from last Year and in a small size 5 !

Oh yes, before I left Mom's floor I couldn't believe it ...

"There is my Cousin Suzanne as plain as day in the hallway.  She really does work at Gateway Haven.  Ha ! imagine that. (gotcha Suzie "Q")."

After I had been back home for a bit, Rob dropped back home with the 2nd "Crabby Cabbie" vehicle after it had been fixed and before he had head out to work for the rest of the day.  Our wonderful employee, Carolyn, had done some decorating yesterday in keeping with some of the Easter Traditions.

"... and then there was the creation of the "Crabby Cabbie" Bunny Mobile, complete with a little cotton tail."

Ha! this is the "Crabby Cabbie" vehicle Carolyn drives and Rob had to drive it to return it to her, as she had his.  My poor "Crabby Cabbie" Bunny Rob.

Little "Checkerboard Aussies" Lunette is not due to be going to her new Forever Home for 2 more weeks yet.

"The crate training has begun here at our house.  She has become quite the little adventurous one with her colours blending in quite nicely with the deadened grasses."

Psst.... Semah is reportedly very settled in with his family in his new Forever Home.  Just *click* HERE to see for yourself.

Unfortunately this weekend did not work out for Paul and the boys to come for Easter Dinner, so it will be Rob, I and our "Aussies".  We are both looking forward to a Ham, Scalloped Potatoes with side veggies of turnip and corn.  As a "special" treat I might also make up a batch of Cottage Cheese Biscuits.  Shh, I might make Rob his favourite Lemon Meringue Pie.

I feel like my story is getting "old" but I am tired with hopes my "gang" will settle in for an early night around here, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Friday, 29 March 2013

Love Those "OPEN HOUSES"

Today was a very busy day with some fun and relaxation too after we got done being busy with what we were doing first thing this morning  HERE.

Rob was off today, and will  not put his "Crabby Cabbie" hat back on until this evening.  Rob's cousin, Joyce, had given me a shout yesterday and came over to join us out for a drive to Lake Charles, as we were attending the Dejong Acres Farm Easter "OPEN HOUSE" today.

"There is the *smile* I love so much from Anita Dejong herself.  As soon as we walked in there was a Guest Book to sign, as well as a draw for tickets for the 4th Annual Kemble Maple Syrup Tour.  Rob and I had went ourselves last year and enjoyed it so much.  Drop in by *clicking* HERE to see yourself."

Should you like to purchase tickets for the Kemble Maple Syrup Tour that is "happening" next weekend, you may do so by finding out full details a *click* away HERE.

"Always a variety of things to see or buy at the Dejong Open House.  Here Cousin Joyce is speaking with Rosemary Peer who is a 5th Avenue Jewellery Representative, and "Sunny" Sandy who represents Mary Kay.  And of course there is always readily available "farm fresh" eggs, Home grown Chicken, and my very most favourite "Lamb" !!!   You will not believe it, we took a pile of donated empty egg cartons, and I forgot to buy myself some eggs .... YIKES !  No worries I am sure I will catch up with Anita another time."

 Speaking of Lamb being my favourite, here is a Knorr Recipe I am dying to try next time I get myself a Roast of Lamb:  Rosemary Lamb Roast

"More "Sweet Things" from Dejong Acres farm are available in the way of Maple Syrup and Epicure Products.  The Maple Tarts there to sample were "out of this World" and really not too sweet whatsoever.   Pssst .... Anita I am waiting patiently for the recipe???  Oh the building in the photo? that is the "Sugar Shack" where all that sweetness is made."

I was feeling a little disappointed I hadn't yet seen Brian Dejong, and we were getting ready to leave.  Before I knew it he was there in front of me "bigger then Life", saying, "want to come see the puppies?".  Really? puppies? could anyone imagine me saying "no"????  Their Maremma had a beautiful litter of puppies.  They are the best "Guardians" you could possibly have should you have sheep.  Need to know more about the breed?  *click* HERE.

"Here they all are with a whole clan of kitties right beside the kennel.  Are they not all so adorable?  Mama didn't even growl at me; she must have sensed I was a kindred doggie spirit."

After we all stood back outside and chatted for some time under the warmth of the Sun, it was soon time to take our leave back home.  Pssst... want to see how much fun I had at the Dejong Acres Farm "Open House" last year? just a *click* away HERE.

"Back home I was having some of my own cuddle time with our little Lunette, so she wouldn't feel so lonely.  Bandit was trying to make things all better for her too by staying close by."

I made Rob and I a light Dinner of Hamburg Soup along with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  My poor "Crabby Cabbie" has been having himself a "lay down" the rest of the day before he has to take off to work this evening.

Me?  I think I will have a nice out and about with everyone while the Sun still shines its warmth, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Not About "Moi" Today

Today it was far from anything about "moi", other then I had been too busy with other such matters, the one first thing this morning being ....

" ... just after 4 am, with the "look", "really Mom did you have to get me up so early?"  Jeez I get no support around here some mornings, not even from my usually dependable Bandit boy!"

It got better as I went downstairs to take everyone out and about first thing; upon retrieving our Buddy boy to find out he had himself a little "accident" at some point this morning before I got there.  Oh dear, I took him out with a "I am sorry you had yourself an accident" before going back to get that cleaned up.  This is a seldom occurrence, and I felt so bad for our Buddy boy.

Next thing somehow Bandit got past me without getting his paws wiped off.  Do you know how mucky it is out there with all the snow having melted off the driveway and the frost coming out of it too?  Oh my what a mess my floor was upstairs with prints from one end of the house to the other !  No mind as it had to be left, as there were other things to be attended to first this day.

It was all "okay" as my Rob was home to help me out this morning before we headed down the road ... please take a moment to read all about "our" (not my day) HERE.

Really it was a wonderful day, truly it was.  I even had time in-between everything to wash the Hallway, and Living/dining room floors.  Ha ! with this mucky weather I really wonder how long they will remain as so.  For some reason I suspect not for long.

Before I forget, for everyone who is doing the 52 Week Money Challenge with me, don't forget it is Week 13 ..... hope you are all doing well.

"I am still going at it steady as the weeks go by with Week 13 at a $13.00 deposit."

"This upcoming Easter Weekend, I wish All My Family & Friends a Joyous Easter with Many Blessings from Our Home to Yours."

~ Apologizes for No Photo Credit, however it was found on Facebook~

I am thinking it will be an early night here for me as soon as I have everyone out, about and in for the last time this night.  On the way to the Vets we had stopped in at my girlfriend's place, as she lent me two of her Author daughter, Steena Holmes', two published books to read, Finding Emma and Chocolate Reality.  Sound interesting? you can find out more at Steena's website by *clicking* HERE.

On that note, I am off and running, but not so quickly, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard."

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My Idle Tired Brain But A Great Caregiver Day

This morning I sat and emailed off a friend asking what she was doing today?  as soon as I had hit "send" I realized where I was suppose to be today and I totally forgot until that moment !!!  Oh "my idle tired brain" is lucky it is somewhat secured inside my head that is hopefully attached squarely to my shoulders !

Today was ....

I had to quickly get the Aussies all fed and looked after.  Puppies cleaned out.  To make matters worse poor Lexus was sick to her tummy this morning, so that too had to be cleaned up.  I managed to get myself dressed half presentable, run a comb through my hair, make the bed but leave what I had planned on doing today behind ....

"...yes last night's Dinner dishes, dining/living room floors to be vacuumed and the kitchen floor to be washed.  Guess what? it is all still sitting there as I had left it this morning."

On the bright side of things I had a wonderful time at the Caregiver Day Away.

The speaker's were amazing, the ladies I sat with were fun and easy to converse with, and lunch wasn't too bad at all.  However I had to cut it a bit short and leave by 2:00 pm, as this was way too long to leave puppies go, even though Rob had went back home around 10 am to give them water (can not leave it in the pen with them as they manage to dump it all over the place and themselves leaving quite more mess then there usually is for me to clean-up).

On the downside again, the notes I had taken about the time I spent at the Caregiver's Day Away had been set down while I retrieved my coat and left behind.  Jeez this is not the first time I have done this.  I did the same darn thing at the VON SMART Christmas Dinner too.

Let me have a go of it by memory, such as it might be ....

Lara Stewart-Panko was one of the Key Speakers today.  I had the opportunity to meet and hear Lara speak at another Caregiver Day Away back in the the Fall of 2012 you can read about HERE.  I enjoyed listening to Lara today as much as I did then, as she touched on a few "stress relieving" tips as well as on how to give back to yourself.

Kathryn Forsyth, Nutritionist for Grey-Bruce Public Health is another vibrant speaker who holds your attention quite easily.  Lots of "smart" ideas and "fantastic" advice.  Take a look at the Canadian Food Guide and follow along, as it will make you much healthier should you do so.  Salt appears still be the Number 1 problem in our society today.  Salt intake retains water, water causes weight gain, weight gain causes the heart to work harder, high blood pressure and heart attacks can often be the result.

Sodium 101 ~ GET THE FACTS ! by *clicking*  HERE.

Packaged foods contain higher levels of salt; try to avoid by making your own alternative foods at home.  For example, Rob loves Hamburger Helper.  In my eyes Hamburger Helper is deadly, so I make ....

"One Pot Macaroni Dinner instead, which I love and seems to soothe Rob's need for  a noodle and hamburger combination dinner."


Need some Eating Healthy Recipe ideas?  Check a few put out by the Heart & Stroke Foundation HERE.

Personally I have not been doing so well in the "eating right" or watching my portions for the past few months.  I am an emotional eater, and this has been the case with the amount of stress I have been feeling for this same amount of time.  However I quite smoking almost 4 years ago, and do know I possess "Will Power", as before I had two knee surgeries two years ago I had lost ten pounds along with a few inches.  Reflecting back to that time, I not only felt better, I had more energy and was sleeping better.  I need to get back to that place where I was  ... should anyone like to join me, I most certainly won't turn down the company.

Are you a Caregiver for a family member or close friend? could you use some support for yourself?  Please contact a VON Canada office close to you to inquire about their Caregiver Support Program.  I, myself, have used it and felt it has been very beneficial not only in the support I have received, but knowing I have not been alone with some of the issues I have had to deal with as a Caregiver.

Be Kind to Yourself, as usually as a Caregiver we are to busy giving of ourselves to notice our own needs at times.

Previous Caregiver Days were equally enjoyed 2011 and 2012.  Thank you VON Caregiver Support Team!  I enjoyed the time you gave back to all of us Caregivers.

There is a little something that bothered me somewhat today, which really doesn't feel too little to me.  I have been to a few past functions where there have been peers of mine who I have either taken similar courses with or been at like functions, who I run into at such things.  Usually I find myself seeing them and going up to greet them, ask how they are doing, along with always a happy and pleasant greeting towards them.

What bothers me is I find it is usually me going out of my way to say "hello", and never the other way around.  

Today I thought I would go to this function and see if I was quiet and not first to approach if I would be approached.  I have to say, "NO" I was not approached from any of these people with the exception of one or two from quite the handful of usual peers.  Now this makes me wonder, am I too friendly, do people really not want to bother with others unless they are from their own "click" (territory), could I have somehow offended so many people?   I really am disappointed if this be the case, and feel rather slighted.  I have a difficult time not being friendly, being at a total loss with this situation happening with the same group of people on a number of past occasions.  

I have recently decided I had to drop out from the VON SMART exercise program, as I have too much on my own plate right now to give any more of myself, but surely this is no cause for people not to approach me, is it?  I am confused, and as I said, somewhat rather hurt.  However I can not dwell on this for too long, as there are way to many other people in my life who I adore and give me the same respect back, whether it be overlooking each others minor faults and just being genuinely caring people towards each other.

Anyhow on to more important loves in my life ...

Tomorrow is another very very big day with the Fabulous Four having their very first Visit to the Vet.  Maybe some would love to enjoy seeing me trying to come out in the big outside World for the very first time? by *clicking* HERE.

How nice to be done my post for the day early.  I am looking forward to some time with Rob when he arrives back home and doing up a sinkful of dishes, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Lots OF Elbow Grease !

This morning, once all my Aussie chores were over with and I finally got to sit down to a "first" coffee, I browsed through to read my Blogs Of Interest.  I was thrilled to find out Michelle at Ms. enPlace had featured one of my recipes again at her "See Ya In The Gumbo".  Thank you, Michelle it is always a pleasure not only to participate in your "See Ya In The Gumbo", but dropping in on all your posts to see what's cooking in your part of the World down in Louisiana.

"The Healthy Oatmeal Orange Cookies I had made were featured HERE.  By the way they are very Yummy."

The remainder of my morning I got going on the vicious circle of housework.  The Electrolux Ergorapido Rechargeable I had purchased last Year no longer holds a charge.  I LOVE it, however not really prepared to pay $100.00 or so to replace it at this time.  I called Electrolux Canada to see if something could be done.  I was very pleased to find out if I would send them the "Model/Serial" number silver tag off it, along with a letter to explain the problem along with my address, they would send me out another Unit !  I sure hope this will be the case, as the letter goes out in the mail tomorrow.  Won't this be fantastic if it comes to be? I sure will be one "Happy Camper" !!!

"Once I had addressed the Stick/handheld problem, I had to tackle another problem in our fridge. I guess when I had bought ground beef on sale last week the packaging had leaked.  Oh man by the time I had noticed it way at the back of the shelf it had dried up as hard as a rock.  Hot water and dish soap went in the sink and I started "scrubbing".  What a mess and  "Lots of Elbow Grease" to get it cleaned up."

This afternoon the Forever Home owner for Fabulous Four, Lunette, came by to see her for the very first time.  She is unable to take her for another two weeks, but was anxious to meet Lunette in puppy person.  There was lots going on with the Fabulous Four this afternoon, should anyone be interested just *click* HERE.

It was very late afternoon, probably around 5'ish by the time I finished up with more Aussie duties and Rob arriving home shortly thereafter when I had to get going on putting our Dinner together.  I made a Dinner of Mustard-Maple Pork Tenderloin that I had tried once before we had both enjoyed.

"Mustard, Salt & Pepper rubbed into the trimmed pork tenderloin, then seared to brown on all sides before being placed in a 425*F Oven to finish for 15 minutes or so."

"Once cooked the loin was set to "rest" while I put together the sauce.  I can honestly say this meal is yet another "favourite" for us."

"There was one "little", or should I say, "big" problem.  My dear Rob, who eats almost everything, tried a wee bit of the sauce and didn't like it ... as you can tell in his pictures.  No problem as I loved it, so it was more for "moi" for a change."


I heard a nasty rumour that there is to be SNOW tomorrow !  Really? really does everyone not think there has been totally enough snow this Winter already?   Oh wait a minute, it is Spring !!! what the heck is going on here ??? Ha ! if we held the reins to the weather I am certain it would not be so challenging.

Oh man ! here it is after 8:30 pm already with me still having to take Buddy out for his walk about and it is dark out there.  I best be getting a move on, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Monday, 25 March 2013

Not Too Much

Today really was not too much of anything.  I pretty much spent most of the morning cleaning the tiles around the bathtub and the bathtub itself.  Something that used to take me half the time, seemed like it took most of the morning.

I was really in "slow mow" today but I got 'r done.  That, the bed made and tons of cleaning up after puppies!  I have to go down about 6 times a day or so just for the puppies, never mind taking the rest of the "gang" out, about and in all day long.

Now the Fabulous Four have gotten much bigger they need out more often for exercise and water.  With the weather being as cool as it has been the past few weeks there was no way they were going out into the outside kennel run, in turn less clean-up, or I should say "easier" clean-up.

"I am certain these pictures were taken after I had cleaned them out for about the 5th time today. So innocent looking here, are they not?"

Not so innocent when you see them HERE.

Having grown up in Southampton, I am pretty excited since last night when I set up a G.C. Huston Public School get together for any of us who attended in the 60's there in and about.  Last year a friend was coming to visit her Sister, and we hadn't all been together for awhile so we extended the invitation.  It was a week day so not too many came out, but we did have ourselves some fun ....

"Here were all were at Southampton's Walkerhouse.  Seven us wasn't too bad for a start."

I had been asked to organize another get together for 2013, so this has been done with hopefully more being able to show up on the Saturday.

"A nice and easy start by creating an Event on Facebook, then extending invites to every Southampton Friend on my Facebook contact list, with it hopefully snowballing from there."

Facebook is an amazing Social Tool.  I found a girl today, thanks to Sheree another Southampton friend, who I hadn't seen in at least 36 years, who had been with me in Grade 7.  Wowsers that was fun to make contact !  She is not too far herself from Southampton so hopefully she will be able to make the date.

Here it is after 7 pm already, with our Dinner over with but puppies needing cleaned out again for the last time today.  Then there is the matter of the rest of the "gang" to be attended to before I even think about calling it a night here, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A Yummy Pucker Up Day

At Christmas one of Cindy's Recipe Exchange Members, Ellen, had thought it would be fun to exchange Christmas Cards.  This we did.  Some of us also included a recipe in with our cards.  My friend, Elsie, who is not only a member of the Exchange, she is also someone I grew up with, had sent me a Chatelaine Recipe for Pucker-Up Squares.  Since I received the recipe, I have been  dying to make for Rob.

Today was that day .....

"With the crust made and in the oven browning, I got going on making the topping."

"They turned out "Pucker-Up" Perfect !"

"These squares were not only in mind for my Rob, but as a wee gift for my Auntie Gladys who makes so much for Rob, even the times he is so bold to even ask her to make things for him!  Just in time almost for Easter.  Thank you Auntie.  I will also do up a tin to take up for my Mother this week.  They do make a nice gift tucked in a Vintage Easter tin, don't you think?|"

Recipe please?  Just *click* HERE.

Around lunch time Rob and I decided we would hand deliver the gift to my Auntie in Port Elgin.  We also dropped by to see friends, Blaine & Kathy McKenzie of Southampton, as they lost their home to fire this past Friday Evening.  A fund raising event has been organized by family members.  Please show your support this Saturday as follows:

Rob and I personally know how it feels to loose a home to fire, as we lost ours 16 years ago, walking away with only the clothes on our backs.  The support we received from family members and friends was ever so much appreciated, as such an experience is beyond overwhelming.  The one thing you will never replace is photographs, so please keep a backup of your photos in a very safe fire proof spot.  All else material wise can be replaced, regardless of sentimental values which can also be so difficult.  

We were more fortunate then Blaine and Kathy, as we never lost any of our animals as they have also had to deal with.  Thoughts, prayers and support go out from us to the McKenzies & their family.

Once we got back home later today, Rob was called out to a "Crabby Cabbie" duty while I was on "puppy duty" clean-up, etc.  I did manage to take another "Puppy Parte-eh" video, however it is still uploading.  I am hoping to have it posted later tonight, or tomorrow.  Way too cute and fun !

"Bandit absolutely LOVES when Rob is home on the rare occasions he is, as it is play time or cuddle time.  Sometimes I am certain Bandit is Rob's 2nd skin."

I am a member of Klout.  Occasionally by being a member there is the odd "perk" here or there.  Last month I received a coupon for a free package of High Liner's Pan-Sear Fish.  At $14.00 plus a box for four pieces of fish, I am happy I received a free coupon to "try it".

"Tried, tested and neither of us cared for it.  The flavour of Roasted Garlic & Herbs was overpowering.  It didn't even taste like there was any fish within the coating.  Thank you for the free try High Liner, but it will not be a purchase in our household again."

Where does the day go to?  Here it is almost 7:30 pm already.  I do not feel like I accomplished a darn thing today, even though I know I have.

I am tired with hopes of calling it an early evening here very shortly, of course after everyone has been out, about and back in, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Liebster Award

I have been nominated for The Liebster Award! A few days ago, I was nominated for The Liebster Award by Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines   This is the second time within a year I have be graced with this award.  Thank you Lynn.

The Liebster Award is an award given to bloggers by other bloggers. A "High Five" your doing a "Great Job" award.  It's a great way to get to know the blogger and to recognize fellow bloggers. It's like a fun chain letter in the blog world that helps bloggers connect and support each other and to discover new blogs. The award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers and there are a few rules:

1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
3. Pass the award on to 11 other blogs, who have less than 200 followers, and link them in your post.
4. Ask the blogs you nominated 11 questions.
5. Go back to their blog and tell them you have nominated them.

11 Random Facts About Me~ 

1. I wear glasses
2. I am right handed
3. I love shoes and boots
4. I am addicted also not only to shoes/boots but to jackets & coats as well
5. I always worry about leaving my dogs behind when I leave the house
6. I love chocolate
7. I love Hostas
8. I grow Lavender and Hostas
9. I love my vegetable and flower gardens
10. I was a very successful Bartender for 5 years at a Country & Western Bar in Kitchener, Ontario.  Oh I do miss those "tips" !  the money kind I am talking about.
11. In the Insurance Industry, I was an Underwriter for Lloyd's of London Insurance when was in my late 20's

11 Questions From Lynn ~

1. What herb/spice do you use most often in cooking? Baking?
Cooking I love using Basil; baking my favourite would be Cinnamon;

2. What is your favorite cookie?

Loonyspoons, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

3. What kind of car was the first car your ever purchased?

Ford Capri

4. What is your favorite vegetable? What vegetable do you dislike?

Favourite:  Beets  Least Favourite:  Swiss Chard, and Kale

5. What is your favorite fruit? What fruit do you dislike?

Favourite:  Blueberries  Least Favourite:  Pomegranates 

6. How old were you when you first learned how to ride a bicycle?

Maybe 10 years old

7. Can you roller skate? Ice skate?

Loved Roller Skating & used to figure skate;

8. What are you the most afraid of?


9. Can you drive a stick shift?

I learned to drive on a stick shift, as I believe everyone should;

10. What is the one thing you would change about yourself?

That I would be more decisive at times;

11. How many States have you been to/driven through?
USA:  MA; Florida; PA; Michigan 
Canada:  Ontario (of course); Newfoundland

11 Questions to the nominees are~

1. What herb/spice do you use most often in cooking? Baking?
2. What is your favorite cookie?
3. What kind of car was the first car your ever purchased?
4. What is your favorite vegetable? What vegetable do you dislike?
5. What is your favorite fruit? What fruit do you dislike?
6. How old were you when you first learned how to ride a bicycle?
7. Can you roller skate? Ice skate?
8. What are you the most afraid of?
9. Can you drive a stick shift?
10. What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
11. How many States or Provinces have you been to/driven through?


1.  The Maple Syrup Mob;
2.  Where I Get Where I Am Going;
3.  Nanny's Place;
4.  Craftmates;
5.  Threaded Life;
6.  Cooking Quidnunc;
7.  Living in My Valley;
8.  Kat's Retirement Journey;
9.  Eboo Saves;
10. Dartmoor Ramblings;
11. Kamo Lady;
12. A Simple Frugal Life in Retirement;

Once again I would like to thank Lynn for this Award.

How was my day? it was fine as I did go to the Easter Hop Event at the Wiarton Community Center, where I got to see some lovely woman and friends I do enjoy seeing.  

What did I accomplish today?  The dishes are done, three loads of laundry are done, the puppies have been clean and fed too many times to count, I straightened out and rid myself of some papers, flyers, junk mail, etc.

I enjoyed the Sunshine we were finally blessed with today, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".

Friday, 22 March 2013

Mark Your Calendars !

Today, being Friday, is the day I head North of the Checkerboard to the Good Dr. Loney's for my weekly "shot in the arm".  

"This is where I usually spend every Friday morning, with Dr. Loney, and his two assistants, Maureen & Cara.  Cara is being a wee bit on the "shy" side here, but really she is a very young and outgoing girl !"

My Doctor's appointment ran a bit longer this morning since we had to go over the results of my MRI.  The good news is nothing has gotten worse in 4 years time since my last MRI.  There is still osteoarthitis, and advanced degenerative disc disease with canal narrowing as well.  More so on my left side of my neck.

We also touch upon the points of me not sleeping fitfully, and being quite overwhelmed with the amount of stress I have been dealing with the past 3 months or so.  I am so not a fan of taking drugs, however Dr. Loney convinced me this morning to look upon trying a couple of prescriptions to see if they get me "across the bridge" I am needing help to cross.  I relented saying I will give it an honest try.  Wish me luck, as I really can't deal with these overwhelming feelings of stress I have been having of late.  

I must remember that admitting to what we think of a weakness, is actually not a weakness at all, just a break from being a "strong" person all the time.  I came across this today, which inspired me:

“Life becomes precious and more special to us when we look for the little everyday miracles and 

get excited about the privileges of simply being human.”   Tim Hansel

Once I returned home, took care of my "Aussie Gang" chores before heading down to Mackenzie's Pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions.

"I love the Drug Store in Wiarton, as it puts you at ease when you walk in and see so many delightful things.  I could almost make you forget what you are there in the first place at times.   Yes, the three new bottles to the right have been added to my "Drug Supply" of T-2's, Ibuprofen, Vitamin D, and Water Pills.  Oops my "puffers" are missing from the picture.  Nothing too heavy duty can be found in our drug cupboard."

"I popped down to take a "boo" in at the Wiarton Salvation Army Thrift Store.  Mark your calendar as their next "$4.00 Bag Day" Sale is being held on the 30th of March.  You buy a grocery bag for $4.00 and can will it with clothing items.  It can be quite profitable some times, if you can handle the "shoulder to shoulder" of people in there on this day.  All other items are marked down to 1/2 price."

One other stop I had to make was to my bank, the RBC.  The girls at my RBC Wiarton Branch are fundraising for the Cancer.  This year, RBC is selling bracelets by jeweler Eliza Ray, labeled “The Many Colours of Cancer.” The bracelets, which sell for $10, connect 23 different coloured stones, each symbolizing a strain of cancer.  Since there is a One Stop Easter Hop tomorrow at the Wiarton Arena, I asked if any of my friends would put the RBC Cancer Braclets at their booth to sell and raise money for their Cause.

"When you attend to the One Stop Easter Hop tomorrow, please look for my friend, Wanda Hoath-Gates (the blonde pictured below) at her Body for Visalus Sciences booth, as the RBC Bracelets for Cancer will be there.   I have known Wanda for the past of couple years personally, and I have been witness to her amazing healthy transformation since she has been using the Body for Vi products.  Not that Wanda wasn't beautiful inside and out in my eyes before all her weight loss, but she is just a more HEALTHY beautiful now.  Please do stop by not only to buy a bracelet but to have a chat with Wanda as she truly is a sweetheart."

Do not stop marking your calendars yet ....

"The RBC is also sponsoring a Spring Fundraiser Dance on the 13th of April.  Stop in to a local RBC Branch to pre-purchase your tickets now.  Psssst... I heard it was a great turn-out and sold out last Year ! so hurray to get your tickets now."

Surely you haven't put your calendar away after marking the Spring Dance on it, have you?  

"My favourite local farm is having their Easter Open House on the 29th of March.  Looking for a Family Outing, or a drive in the Country?  then stop on over to the Dejong Acres Farm while you are out and about to pick up some Easter Goodies.  Directions?  Just go to there website at Dejong Acres Farm."

Surly by now your calendars are getting pretty full, as I know mine is especially three years running I will be attending .....

Should you be a Caregiver for a Family member, or a good friend, then give yourself a much need break by taking a day off to attend the 3rd Annual VON Grey-Bruce Care for the Caregiver Day.  I have yet to be disappointed in this event.  I was even a Guest Speaker last year, as you can see HERE.

It is okay, you can put your calendar away now.  Just don't be like me and forget to refer to it from time to time !  Daily would be a good idea in my case, but for some reason that doesn't always happen for me.

Yesterday the "Checkerboard Aussies" had a wee bit of a "parte-eh" going on for themselves, sorry you missed out on the invite, but drop in to see what was going on down HERE.

Speaking of puppies, I am thinking I am on "clean-up" duty again always, so between that and looking after the rest the of "pack" I best get a move on, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard."

Thursday, 21 March 2013

A Little Bit of Motivation

"I obviously wasn't the only one around here that could use some motivation today."

"Really there are some days lately, but ..... "

Believe it or not, we did get a move on as the pups needed clean, fed and watered, as well as the rest of the "gang".  Mama Lexus is still wanting in with her babes, but that is a big "no, no" if they are going to be without her in a week's time.

"They were all out terrorizing the whole basement.  Good thing it is used as a basement and not a wreck room cause who knows what they were getting into !"

"I had Rob stop into the Deals store while he was in Owen Sound yesterday as I had forgot to pickup Mom boxed Kleenexes she had wanted.  All of these we got for $11.99 plus tax.  What a steal of a deal that was for 20 boxes !  Hopefully this holds her over for awhile as she goes through a lot of Kleenex."

I managed to keep pushing myself a wee bit and got the bathroom all sparkly clean, but still need to do the tub and shower area.  I also walked out in almost knee deep snow through the drifted in driveway to retrieve the mail.

"There was a card with some Scratch Tickets from my BFF Colleen ! and Barry.  Ha .. too cute."

When I had received our home telephone/Internet bill the other day it had increased by $10.00.  I had called to inquire about it, however the promotion I had been getting for the past year giving the $10.00 monthly credit had expired.  I thought to myself there had to be something they could do for such a long time loyal Bell Canada customer, so I put in another call to them again today.

The lady I got stopped me right off the bat to tell me just a minute there was a pop-up on her screen that she had never ever seen before.  She read the pop-up to me ... it said, "this customer is a very nice lady to deal with".  Wow, did that ever make my day!  I know I do have those "moments" at times, however my New's Years resolution was to try and be "kinder" this year, so I must be doing something right??? in somebody's book ! *wink*wink*

The short of the long of it, was I did not get a discount on my phone bill, however she put me thorough to the Customer Loyalty Department, who not only gave me 25 GB of Internet, but decreased my Internet bill by $11.59 per month for the next 12 months.  I was very happy with that that you very much Bell Canada wonderful Customer Service people !  Wow, three wonderful Bell Customer Service people all within a week of each other, I am elated !

Kindness can pay off at times, can it not?

"My Hero Rob came home to save the day for me again today.  I have to be at my Doctor's appointment tomorrow morning but worried I would get stuck in our driveway, so he came home for a bit this afternoon to look after little matter for me.  What would that he be holding? that is a container that my Auntie Pearlina, who is 92 years old and still living in her own home, gave to Rob to donate to the VON Piggy !!!  Thank YOU Auntie !!!"

Aunt Pearlina  doesn't read my blog, but my Auntie Gladys will be sure to tell her for me. xx

"True to his word, out came the Leyland and the driveway was cleared of all the Snow that had drifted into it."

When I knew my "Crabby Cabbie" was coming home for a bit, I busied myself to make him a special dinner to have before he had to leave again.  And besides he saved the day once again for me ! 

"I made up a Knorr Lipton Onion Roasted Garlic Meatloaf."

"One and a half hours later it was ready to be served up with mashed potatoes and creamed corn.  It was very delish by the way."


Oh we really both enjoyed this meatloaf dinner.  Easy to make and lots leftover for cold meatloaf sandwiches, another something we both enjoy.

Rob left, I did the dishes, then it was time to take everybody out and about again.

Before I forget, apparently there is an upcoming Event at the Wiarton Community Center this Saturday, the 23rd of March.  A Wiarton One Stop Shop Spring Sale will be going on from the hours of 10 am until 2 pm.  Drop on over to the Community Center located by *clicking* HERE for map.  I hope this will be helpful.  I think I will take a "boo" down there Saturday if I find time and energy to do so.  Maybe will see you there!

There must be a few who have read my blog from the beginning of time who remember our very first "Checkerboard Aussies" litter, The "Magnificent Seven"?  Take a "peek" by *clicking* HERE.

Time to go look after everyone for the last time this evening before I call it a night myself, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard."
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