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Monday, November 24, 2008

Retail Therapy

"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it." - Jane Wagner
Ain't that the truth!!

Lately I've been dealing with, or at least attempting to deal with stress. Where does it come from anyway - really I don't think my life is all that complicated ... I know I like to keep busy 'cause I hate just sitting around, but me thinks I'm a wee bit too busy for my own good! Anyway I've been trying to get other people to take over some tasks and/or just let certain things go... 'cause it just isn't worth it anymore!

So, this past weekend a friend and I did a little retail therapy - Whoohoo! It was a quilt shop hop, but the weather was not kind (major snow storm), so the driving wasn't fun, luckily it wasn't me driving. The company was great and we got to visit several "new" stores which is always fun, and we both got lots of new fabric and books! Now if only I can find the time to put all this retail therapy to good use! HA!

Simone updates ..... she has been coming up the stairs and peeking over the threshold into the main living area. I thought I might just tempt her into coming all the way out when the mighty Iris decided to defend her home turf and scare poor Simone back into hiding in the basement. She now comes out of "hiding" when I enter the basement in anticipation of the treats I'm trying to tempt her with - er I mean train her. Like I keep saying ... two steps back one step forward!
Tablescape for October
note the 2 devil cats!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Full Moon Crazies Part Dieux

So, last night was another guild meeting, and my personal full moon crazies were in full bloom! Not only did I forget the two library books I had earlier in the week very carefully placed on the bench at the front door - my quilt bag was placed on top of them thus neatly hiding them from view, but I also managed, upon leaving the meeting, to decamp sans the fabric postcard donations. Yikes! panic struck the moment I entered my doorway - what will happen if I can't retrieve them - how will I ever explain this to the ladies! What kind of dork am I, have I totally lost my marbles ??? Ok, deep breath, breath, breath, relax ..... follow our fearless leader's example and blame it all on menopause .... That works for me ;).

Now for all you out there in radioland, if you're still concerned re the previous full moon crazies entrée let me reassure you that a truce has been called and we are now on speaking terms again and all is well in quiltland ... Tomorrow is another day and we'll be deep into this year's first workshop. Why do I sign myself up for these things - it's just going to become another UFO/WIP .... I ought to know better, and even though it is supposed to be another scrap lap quilt I still went out and bought co-ordinated fabric. So much for using up the stash!!!

Now on to the important updates ... its seems one step forward and three step back for sweet little Simone. I recent located a wonderful site on the web from Best of Friends which provided a 51 page (yes you read that correct) a 51 page pdf on Socializing Very Fearful or Timid Cats. I think Simone fits into this category (pardon the pun). I thought we were making pretty good progress as I had begun to coax her out from under the couch using kitty treats (she is definitely food motivated), and allow my finger to remain next to the treat as she ate, not touching me, but she did sniff my finger several times. Pretty good eh?
Well, Iris decided to come for a visit and silly mom (must be those full moon crazies again) decided to kiss and hug and make a show of Iris in front of Simone. It seems this was not my best idea, and now poor Simone is back under the couch! Darn ! I feel so sorry for the poor thing. When she does eventually stand up she appears to be rather stiff (from all that crouching under the couch) and she comes out of hiding she always, always always backs away from me, frequently she won't even stand up but remains in a hunched position as she backs away. What's even more disappointing is that I went out and bought her a nice plush bed - just for her - and some of that cat pheromone spray to help her understand this is her bed. Will she get into it? NO, she'll eat the treats out of it then go crouch on the floor! It almost makes me cry to watch her, but I am inspired by the above linked pdf to continue to work with her. I may perhaps have to revise my original deadline of December though. Let's see, maybe February or March or next Easter ? (Wha wha wha - I want my basement back!)

Wish me luck

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Colours of my Gardens

I didn't know how much I love red Maples until I bought my condo.
I moved in May and spent that first summer making minor improvements to the insides and trying oh so hard to overcome my personal feng shui issues 'cause the address was an odd number ... totally silly I realise, but it did take me several months to overcome a definite sense of I don't belong here.

The next summer I got busy landscaping, important as the previous owners (university students) had merely been interested in how many people they could stuff into this place!

So, with the University's contribution I went out and dropped some bucks on trees. Now at first the brainless secretary in HR argued that I couldn't spend my 25 yr award on something as useless as trees, the money was supposed to be spent on a gift of "lasting value", you know like a golf club or a barcalounger. What? The university is supposed to be an Arboretum and they don't think trees have lasting value? DUH ...

As you can see I won this debate. Building on the empty garden beds I planted a couple of Peonies, a "Burning" bush, a dwarf Lilac, a couple of Weigelias, two different varities of Weeping Caraganas, a couple of Forsythias, some Rose of Sharon donated from a friend and .... a red Maple. That's probably the best gardening decision I've ever made!

Since then I have added a garden in the lower portion of my property planting a salmon coloured Rhododendron which flowers for too short a time, more Weigelia, a climbing Hydrangea which has yet to flower to cover the wall and a white snowball Hydrangea to hide the AC unit.

I also invested in several garden architectural pieces, a couple of tripods, two trellises and several other misc pieces. This summer I added a Hibiscus shrub in the same bed as the red maple, a rusty old milkcan rescued from the garbage and now proudly displayed on the front step, and a wrought iron flower urn to house the non-perrenial flowers I choose to purchase for the front step.

All in all I'm rather pleased with the gardens I've created for myself. Having lived in apts for 20+ years with no balcony or access to the grounds, I think I've created a somewhat lovely garden scape for myself and hope my neighbours enjoy it as much as I do!


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bugs on a Screen Door

Update #1: the number of Simone sightings have increased. The couch in the basement is now propped up against the wall so she can not truly hide under the couch, although she still takes shelter -in the "shade" of the couch. Since she appears to be food driven I have increased the amount, variety and times for food treats, and have started to use them to actively attempt to coax her out from the shade into the sunlight! I have also begun to move her food/water dishes out of the basement room and will slowly move them up the stairs, thus coaxing Simone into our society. Iris has been going downstairs, voluntarily, and it seems the growling has stopped. BIG Step!

Update #2: I have finished the Bugs on a Screen Door baby quilt, YEAH . It is now bound and awaiting inspiration for the label. Otherwise DONE. The quilt is hand appliqued, and hand quilted and will shortly be off to the family to help celebrate the birth of their one and only son (they already have a girl). I hope they like it!Update #3: I have been off work sick with this nasty cold that's making the rounds. Working with the public can be fun, exciting and stimulating, but it's not always good for your health! For me it started as a cold just after Thanksgiving, morphed into a sinus infection about a week later, and has now upgraded into laryngitis - ah well, people tell me I talk too much anyway!!!

Update #4: Speaking of October, you may remember my recent Full Moon Crazies blog entry. I am determined to take the high road on all this schoolyard silliness and not be dragged into unproductive discussions. It is what it is, no one is right, no one is wrong. I may have over reacted (I'll admit I can be drama queen), but the "incident" was the culmination of months of unsophisticated behaviour I have endured patiently from this person, and does not excuse her use of physical force.The point is it doesn't have to leave a bruise to hurt my soul.