Thursday, May 31, 2007


If you RIGHT CLICK on the download link, and choose the option "Open in New Window" you won't be taken away from my blog entry, rather you will be able to download the element and still read today's entry.

Wow! You folks sure filled my comment box yesterday - and I appreciate that you took time out of your busy day to do that! This tapes idea I cooked up is turning out to be a lot of fun, and I can see a lot of possibilities with it - but I'm also open to suggestions? Any theme you would like to see me make? Leave a comment and I will try my best to make it happen for you!


I'm adding a new link to my blog today. I've been following the blog of Cicero Sings over the past six months or so. I'm finding this is a blog I'm attracted to completely other than for scrapbooking or because I know the writer for a specific reason - I merely stumbled across her blog one day while surfing. Something about her down-to-earth entries, scratching out a new yard in her home "out there" - sort of what most of us would think of in the sticks, but with all the modern amenities. But there are always interesting photos and her recipes - well, all I can say is it's good home cooking, with a flair. Somehow, a visit here feels like coming home. Thanks for allowing me to add your link to my blog on a permanent basis.

Yesterday I spent learning what the weeds look like in the garden area (late bloomer, hey?) and I landscaped with my friend until mid morning. Then, we played around with a digital camera for a bit - she taking her first shots with one. What a delight to be the one to expose her to what will hopefully prove to be a fun hobby we can share. I spent the remainder of the morning trimming up the paths and later on had a good visit with my Becky.

Yesterday proved to be QUITE hot - had to be in the upper 80's... that lake sure looked tempting, but I want my first swim to be with Miles. Becks and I just sticked our toes in the water... and it no longer burns your ankles - it actually feels luciously cool. We were thirsty after our walk so I made home-made iced coffees which would rival any restaurant's. I simply mixed milk, some irish cream international delights coffee creamer, two teaspoons of instant coffee and two teaspoons of ghiridelli chocolate powder... zapped it all in the blender with loads of ice and voila! Very nice, not too sweet!

Today is a relax and create day for me - I'm waiting to be home when the security system is installed. Yep, this is the day and age we live in, folks.


My friend Marie forwarded me an email which features some good hints. I don't know where they originated from, so I can't credit any specific person, or I would. Hope you find some handy:

1. Reheat Pizza Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

2. Easy Deviled Eggs Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

3. Expanding Frosting When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

4. Reheating refrigerated bread To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

5. Newspaper weeds away Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

6 Broken Glass Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

7. No More Mosquitoes Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

8. Squirrel Away! To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

9. Flexible vacuum To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

10. Reducing Static Cling Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da! -- staticis gone.

11. Measuring Cups Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out. 11. Measuring Cups Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

12. Foggy Windshield? Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

13. Reopening envelope If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily

14. Conditioner Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair...

15. Goodbye Fruit Flies To get rid of pesky fruit flies , take a small glass fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid , mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

16. Get Rid of Ants Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it” home", can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

There was also a last hint included in Marie's email, but the text is cut off on one side and doesn't lend itself to be pasted here, so I will give you the gist of it. It's a hint about dryers and the lint traps. I know from watching a safety bulliten on the news one time, that dryers can be potentially dangerous - catching of fire, actually. What Marie's email said was that a repairman explained why. When you use dryer sheets, the waxy substance in them builds up on the surface of the dryer lint catcher, and after an extended period creates a coating which won't allow air thru, overheating the dryer - creating a fire hazard. The solution is that at least every six months, remove your lint trap, wash it under hot, sudsy water with a toothbrush and let it dry thoroughly before replacing in your dryer. I know from the tv, that you should also have the hose which vents your air out checked, to make sure it's clear, as well. Thanks for sharing, Marie! Do you have good hints to share? I would love to hear them.


In the past few days, God's word which has been laid on my heart has quietly spoken the word "modesty" - which has led me to do some research. I could only find one bit of scripture dealing with that exact word, so I pondered on what angle of it I was searching for. I was inspired by yesterday's celebration of my friend Helen - she has a quality which I find so warm and inviting. When Helen listens and speaks, her words are quiet, genuine and helpful. If I could emulate one thing about her, it would be her modesty. I believe that the word humility is related, covering the same areas. Here are some scriptures and sayings which touched me as I was searching.


The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom,

and humility comes before honor.


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,

but in humility consider others better than yourselves.


Therefore, as God's chosen people,

holy and dearly loved,

clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.


She opens her mouth with skillful and godly wisdom,

and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]


Today in History:

1433 - Joan of Arc has a hot time at stake

1678 - Lady Godiva takes a ride through Coventry

1809 - Composer Franz Josef Hayden died in Vienna Austria

1868 - 1st recorded bicycle race - 2 kilometers in Paris

1879 - 1st electric railway opens at Berlin Trades Exposition

1879 - Madison Square Garden opens its doors

1910 - Union of South Africa formed


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(OH - and how I do apologize for yesterday's link... thanks for letting me know it was feeding back inappropriate responses! I count on you to keep me ... hhhmmmm modest?)

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


If you RIGHT CLICK on the download link, and choose the option "Open in New Window" you won't be taken away from my blog entry, rather you will be able to download the element and still read today's entry.

Thanks for stopping by yesterday - and I hope all of you from the USA had a great Memorial Day weekend. I always find the week following a holiday to be sort of strange to get back into the swing of things... though it goes faster, being shorter.


Ribbon, tag, paper and element: Japanese Tea Garden Kit - Designs by Krista
Gingham Ribbon - Traci Simms - Ivy League Kit

Happy Birthday to my Sister In Law Judy - think you could fill up her comments box today with some happy greetings? Judy - I love you more than words can say. You are such a treasure to both Miles and I. You are always supportive and you have a heart for family. We are looking forward to lavishing you with love when you come for your visit - and in the meantime we know your wonderful family will celebrate in style with you! Happy, Happy Day!


Seems like as the weather heats up the events come faster and faster. Yesterday I took part in a special celebration for a dear friend and fellow artist - Helen. It was a wonderful LIVING tribute to our special freind and it was a jewel of a memory for us to treasure! I hope you enjoy this slideshow. DOUBLE - CLICK ON THE SLIDESHOW ITSELF TO MAKE IT BIGGER - then you will see the controls at the top option at the top which will run through this at a larger size!

Note: Sharon these photos are sized very small - not suitable for printing... so let me know if you need any of printing size emailled to you!


My friend Melanie sent me this beautiful poem about God and Gardens, which I would like to share with you today. Thank you so much Mel - its truly wonderful. (I've not forgotten you, friend... I will look for you this evening)


The Lord God planted a garden

In the first white days of the world,

And HE set there an angel warden

In a garment of light enfurled.

So near to the peace of Heaven,

That the hawk might nest with the wren,

For there in the cool of the even'

God walked with the first of men.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the for mirth -

One is nearer to God's heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.

By - Dorothy Frances Gurney


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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Thanks to all of you for leaving me comments and encouragement while I was off visiting with our parents. It was a treat to check my email the few short times I did. Speaking of encouragement - my friend Kat lost her Grandmother over the weekend. Its not so far from my Grandma's loss that it all comes flooding back. Won't you find a few moments of your day to encourage Kat in her sad time? You can find her blog by clicking HERE.

Mom and Dad are headed home now - they truly enjoyed their visit, Mom even said it reminded her of the farm they ran when Miles was a boy. Our friends Roman and Bonnie invested some time into our folks, answering their questions on how the farm is run etc... and coming for coffee and a good chat. Thanks to you - you made our parents feel right at home! I know it gladdened their hearts to see that we are good friends too!


We all know AMY! Now, for a profile photo - this tells us a great deal about you, Girl! Amy has used my hair and glasses elements to bring some fun to her photo... thanks for sharing Amy, you brought a smile to me. You can always request a 'do' of your own - the style and color to match your own special project... Make sure you slip over to Amy's Blog to pick up her free Memorial Day Kit which is also featured in her profile!


I'm still making my way through the book on colour - yep, I've had to check it in and out a few times, but its worth the long read. I've made it up to yellow and and am currently learning all about saffron. It used to be that most saffron was grown in Spain, but nowadays Iran is the biggest producer. Iranian saffron is redder than Spanish saffron is purer and redder than Spanish. Saffron is the world's most expensive spice - being it takes so many to make plants to make any small amount of the actual spice. Saffron is grown from shallot-like bulbs called corms. The purple flower blooms in one day and then by the end of that day, is gone! The saffron is harvested from the middle of the flower (I think its like the stamen) It takes 170,000 flowers to make one kilo of saffron - and it has to be harvested by hand. Being so lucrative, saffron is often prey to being adulterated - so there are stringent testings done to assure quality before it ever reaches the consumer. One kilo of saffron sells for $700 usd - but it's not so expensive to use, as you only need a tiny bit! Besides being used as a spice, in the medevil days, it was used in manuscripts, as an inexpensive alternative to gold leaf.

After our folks left, I spent the entirety of yesterday 'trimming the trails' ... I've never done this 'pruning thing' before, so its all a bit daunting to me. However, after the first 800 yards I really got into the swing of things, and by the end of the day had most trails done... and it looks simply beautiful. Isn't it funny that sometimes things we would not have chosen to learn, which scare us a bit to learn, turn out to be empowering gifts? It was good for my soul to spend the day outdoors in the sun and wind, listening to nothing more than the wind in the trees and the birds singing. One bird in particular which kept me highly entertained, was the ever varying call of the 'cat bird'... does anyone know the proper name of this bird?

Have you ever discovered an empowering gift of your own - by having to jump in with both feet? I would love to know! I have to share this writing with you, which touched me after my day out-of-doors...

Brown butterflies in happy quiet rest

Upon the blooming ragwort's golden breast,

Giving unto the mind a sweet employ

That everything in nature meets with joy.

Ah sweet indeed! For trifles such as these

Full ofthen give my aching bosom ease,

When I am in little walks my mind employ

Aright - and feel those happy reveries

That nature in her varied lessons tend

To bring our thinkings to a happy end,

And in her varied moods for ever tries

To mkae us that great blessing comprehend,

That spreads around us in a fond caress

Emblems and moods of future happiness.

- by John Clare

Being outdoors puts me closer to God - away from the daily distractions... it centers me in a way nothing else can. Can I encourage you to find a quiet spot to enjoy today, too, some special place where you can appreciate the creation of God's hand?


3. When I consider your heavens,

The work of your fingers,

The moon and the stars,

Which you have put in place.

4. What is man that you are mindful of him,

The sun of man that you care for him?

5. You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honour.

6. You made him ruler over the works of your hands;

you put everything under his feet.

7. All the flocks and herds,

and beasts of the fields.

8. The birds of the air,

and the fish of the sea,

all that swim the paths of the sea.

9. Oh Lord, our Lord,

How majestic is your name in all the earth!

Today in History:

1453 - Constantinople falls to Turks (Signaled end of Middle Ages)

1660 - Charles II restored to English throne after Puritan Commonwealth

1721 - SC formally incorporated as a royal colony

1848 - Wisconsin becomes 30th state

1849 - A patent for lifting vessels was granted to Abraham Lincoln

1919 - Einstein's light-bending prediction is confirmed by Arthur Eddington

1951 - 1st North Pole flight in single engine plane - CF Blair

1953 - Edmund Hillary & Norgay of NZ become 1st to reach top of Mt Everest


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Thursday, May 24, 2007

BARB'S 45 RECORD element & template

Firstly, thank you all SO MUCH for your wonderful comments etc yesterday. I didn't get to check my email etc. until late last night - after 10 - so I was FLOORED when I saw I had over 1000 visitors yesterday! Your comments really moved me! Please do continue to send me your suggestions for elements - some days its hard to figure out just what to make!

It was a baby shower for a friend yesterday, at our Church, and Judi (Pastor's Wife) and I hosted it. God provided a ton of beautiful fresh, pink roses (baby girl - perfect!) to decorate with. I folded the paper napkins to look like little diapers, with pins and pink beads and they looked soooo cute! I promise to post as soon as I can. Went just after lunch, did not return home till after 10... whew!

I also helped in the yard yesterday - these days are SO busy!

Today is a pot-luck at the school - Mom baked her famous chocolate cream pie (I COULD lose it along the way, hehe!) and both Mom and Dad will come to the school too. I know Miles is very proud to have them come. Also, its the photography club tonight - last one of the 6 wks) and helping Miles arrange for the class of gifted students for tomorrow's outing to the Desert Center... I will be cutting cardboard to make 'clipboards' while Miles thinks ahead to buying healthy snacks and soaking the owl pellets (pooh!) so the kids can disect them tomorrow. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I may not be around for the next day or so.

I just want to say one last thing. Its so easy, when we get busy to treat our spouses with love and patience... often the one we care most about is the one we take for granted. I can only speak personally here, but I know that when things heat up, when we have too much going on, it seems like we are politer to others. I know when Miles is under a lot of strain and we run into some bumps, when we go to get our hearts together again, often I resist. I want to hang onto my indignation for a while... which stops us from going ahead. I know God wants me to 'let go' but there's this side of me that likes to see Miles 'stew' for a while, even when I know I'm the only thing holiding us back from going ahead. Even when I know that I hold the key for him to go thru the day with a glad heart. I'm working on it. Part of me likes to cling to the hurt feeling... Please pray for me for this area - and I would love your scriptures and thoughts on this. Please pray that my love for Miles would be what God would like me to be as a Godly wife.

We are too ready to retaliate rather than to forgive or to gain by love and information. Let us, then, try what love will do: for if men do once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us.

- William Penn

GREAT GOD, I ask thee not for meaner pelf,
Than that I may not disappoint myself,
That in my action I may soar as high,
As I can now discern with this clear eye...
That my weak hand may equal my firm faith,
And my life practice mor than my tongue saith.

-Henry David Thoreau

The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

Psalm 19:8

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


There's an old green boat down by the dock on the property. It's got lots of wear on it, some areas scraped entirely away, revealing it's wooden interior. The paint has worn to a weathered, shabby look -perfect for a scrapbook kit, I think! I took a close up of the texture and this is what you have here!

When I look at the boat, I dream of all the times it's transported people out on the lake. There's something so relaxing about being out on the water in a boat, just floating along. Recently, I recieved an email from my friend Alicia, who had come out to visit for the first time, and she says that a freind built the boat, and sold it to her husband, who sold it to our friends Bonnie and Roman. At any rate, it will now live on as a scrapping kit - who would have thought? The photo below is of the boat!


Yesterday, Mom and I tackled my kitchen cupboards. I truly wish I would have shown you some 'before and afters' - only I would have been shy to show you the befores.... I was shy to show Mom, actually. I needn't have been afraid, as she is a whiz at this sort of thing! She's to me, a Canadian version of those two English ladies who go in and clean homes of people who don't know how (like its REALLY bad) Truly, it was not dirty or anything like this, but I have absolutely no sense of how to organize my food and tupperware cupboards.

In all, we had it whipped together and the house vacuumed before noon!

We had accumulated several bags of 'extras' and unnecessary items which they took to the thrift store with me, and we also visited the local packing house for apples (only .25 cents a pound there!) I'm getting to go all my favorite places WITH my Mom this week! Oh, and we are on our third puzzle and its a stinker. If I'm walking around with a 'puzzled' expression on my face - thats why!


I've a word of encouragement for someone today - it was laid on my heart to share this scripture with you:

Where do you get the strength to go on, when you have used up all of your own strength? Where do you turn for patience when you have run out of patience, when you have been more patient for more years than anyone should be asked to be, and the end is nowhere in sight? I believe that God gives us strength and patience and hope, renewing our spiritual resources when they run dry. - Harold S. Kushner

The limitless resources of God are able to meet our deepest needs.

"And my God will meet all your needs

according to his glorious riches

in Christ Jesus."

Phillipians 4:19

Today in History:

1430 - Joan of Arc captured by Burgundians who sold her to English

1498 - Italian preacher Savonarola tortured & executed in Florence

1533 - King Henry VIII & Catherine of Aragon marriage declared null & void

1701 - Capt Kidd hung in London after convicted of piracy & murder

1873 - Postal Cards sold in SF for 1st time

1873 - Canada's North West Mounted Police force was established

1903 - 1st automobile trip across US from SF to NY - ended April 1

1908 - Dirigible explodes over SF Bay - 16 passengers fall - none di

1922 - Walt Disney incorporates his 1st film company Laugh-O-Gram Film

1934 - Bonnie & Clyde shot in Louisana ambush

1937 - Industrialist John D Rockfeller died in Ormond Beach Fla

1956 - World Trade Center dedicated in Ferry Building

Birthdays in History:

1734 - Friedrich Anton Mesmer, German physician hypnotist

1883 - Douglas Fairbanks, 1st & greatest of Hollywood's swashbucklers

1910 - Artie Shaw (Arthur Arshawsky), band leader and husband

1928 - Rosemary Clooney, in Kentucky singer


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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Are'nt these fun? Thanks to a thoughtful blog reader who suggested these... so sorry, I get a lot of comments and I don't have the time to hunt out 'zackly who you were... at any rate, here's your glasses and I have the other item in the works... I am totally open to suggestions. Any thoughts on more 50's items?


(thats Mother-in-Law in the digi-scrapping world!)

I promised some pics, and finally managed to upload some pics from the camera. This is me and Mom at the Flea market in OK Falls. Ok falls is a weenie little town that has a big flea market. The flea is a semi-permanent sort of thing, with a lot blocked off year round, and vendors who come and go. When Miles went to take a photo of me, he was intercepted by one of the vendors who discussed whether we could or could not take a photo? Wierd. Perhaps, as Miles suggested, some vendors have some stolen items? Hmmmm.... at any rate, we must have looked honest because she relented.


Yesterday Mom showed me how to make good pastry. She says quite honestly that she 'murders' it... and she really is rough on it - and it turns out perfectly. Its like the pastry you see in the commercials, all fluffy, flaky and light. She gets her hands right in it and mangles it. I think I picked up a few pointers though... When I learned, way back in high school, and ever since, I've been under the impression that you were not to handle it too much... but from now on I'm going to just kill it! I think Mom and I are going to tackle arranging my kitchen cupboards today - should be fun!


Just kidding, of course... good thing they have a sense of humour. We've built two entire puzzles in the time they've been here - and ate far, far too much! Today Miles and Dad are going to go and pick up some owl pellets - right, owl pellets. Miles is having a special day with the gifted students in the district on friday at the Desert Center... the kids will be dissecting owl pellets as part of it! I will try to remember today to take some pics of some droppings for the blog - there are entire skeletons in them!

Going to run - Mom and Dad are up. You all have a Blessed Day. Thanks for all your comments and encouragement while I'm away visiting - I really appreciate it!


English for Beginners

I'm posting this with you in mind, Marie!

Perhaps you know of someone who's helping someone learn English - any resource is welcome, right? Well the following site is just one of those!

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Monday, May 21, 2007


Well, my GOODNESS! I don't know if any of you noticed, but our DAUGHTER commented yesterday... begging for a longer journal entry. Bad lil girlie suggests her 'Mermy' (her widdow wuv name for moi) stay up and pull an all-nighter so she can have something to read tomorrow. Well Sweetie - this is a big compliment to me so I will burn the midnight oil here for a bit to catch you up on what we've been doing.

No photos at this point as my camera and the computer are having a battle trying to upload my photos. sigh.

I didn't make it into the night, so I'm blogging first thing in the morning - before Mom and I whip up some pastry today. Mom makes the BEST - just like the kind you see on the shortening packages. She's promised to show me how, thoug she swears she 'murders' her dough... Mine just never turns out like hers. Miles is being slightly grossed out by watching me eat watermelon with whipped cream poured over it along with a shortbread cookie for breakfast... Hey, have you read whats in some of those cereals?

Mom and Dad arrived on Friday afternoon. Poor folks sat at the Husky Restaurant waiting for us to come home. We'd (is this a word?) given them our cell phone number so they could call us and we could meet them and direct them in safely off the highway, being a busy long weekend of travelers and also because its tricky the first few times getting here. However, in the meantime, we had gone for lunch. We leisurely took our time because we knew they could get ahold of us, however, we what we didn't know is that Mom left the cell phone number at home. Luckily we were not too late - having changed our minds on going for a walk after lunch.

I had fussed the house into order before they arrived. Ok, so as much as I try to stop myself from doing this - its virtually impossible not to. I've wrassled with this for a long time - trying to explain it to Miles, when he sees me stressing about it. He's always quick to remind me that Mom won't mind how it is - and that its more important for us to be happy than to have a clean house. But surely YOU know how it is. I've tried to think of this in ways to explain how it is to Miles.

I think one thing is, that as a daughter-in-law (DIL), we have a desire to show our Mother in Law (MIL) that we are taking good care of their son. When I'm in the midst of my stress/fuss state, I sometimes wish I could really just STOP - just leave everything alone - not because I want a messy house, not because I don't want to not impress my MIL, but because I dislike what it does to me. I know its healthy to want to impress her, but on the other hand, I know I tend to go overboard and I waste precious time I could use to be getting closer to Miles before MIL arrives.

Of course, to Miles - and men in general, I tend to think, they have a much simpler perspective on this... Is this because they won't be the ones spending so much time with MIL? Is it because they don't know what we do? That MIL will notice how we keep the fridge, cupboards, towels, cook etc?

I think its pride, too. My house is my domain and I love to keep it nice. I've mulled this over in my mind, wondering how to explain it to Miles, but after doing so the answers came to me quite quickly and clearly. I realized that I needed only to relate it to something relevant to HIM. It has to do with where we spend most of our time... the places we are responsible for. For example, he wanted to get his office set up quickly, and 'just so' - spending precious hours when he could have been working. I understood, without being told, that because its where he spends a great deal of his time, it should be nice. Also, there are times he will spend hours at his school tidying (I say tidying because they are not allowed to 'clean' - that being the job of the janitors, who even if they don't do it well, we can't be taking their job - sheesh!) At any rate, Miles will take a few hours out and 'tidies' up the school, because he has PRIDE to be there, and wants the school to be a reflection of him, and how passionate he is to make his students feel comfortable. I understand this without saying it... so how come with me its 'fussing' and him its something more noble?

By the way, I am SO glad he is the way he is... I would not change this for all the tea in China.

Back to the visit. Things are going well. All the little kinks are worked out. We drove up to Penticton on Saturday and did some shopping. Judy, I got your birthday present - haha- last one in the entire store, girl! Don't know your EXACT day... you 'lil stinker - not putting your OWN birthday on the beautiful calendar you gave us last year... though I KNOW for a fact its at the end of this month... you KNOW your sweet daughters will tell me... :D

We had a good feast at a Chinese buffet in the city - I'm good for another loonnng while. We've taken walks and had a nice visit with Marie and Roger - our friends with Alpacas. Dad fed the Alpaca's - MIL fed enough animals on the farm long ago when Miles was small, to appreciate this as an 'activity'. There were also hordes of teensy chipmunks coming for feed on the front patio area - and they kept us amused with their antics. I sat on the flagstones next to a big pile of shelled peanuts and they actually crawled under my legs at one point. They make me long to watch some of the Chipmunk cartoons! Thanks, Marie and Roger, for having our folks over and spending time with them. They enjoyed themselves.

We've also done a puzzle. This is the only time I do puzzles and they brought a 'doozer' with them. Some vintage scene one with loads of tricky little pieces to it. Their neighbor, who's a puzzle expert, gave it to them, insisting its "not too hard" His name is dirt in our house now. I'm sure his ears were ringing. The last piece fell in late in the night, before we retired - a good thing because we would not have retired till it was done.

Another funny thing since our folks have arrived. Mom does not tolerate heat well. We live in Canada's only pocket desert - and it can get very hot here, so I made sure to keep all the windows open and the heat off - keeping her comfort in mind. It took two days for us all shivering for Miles and I to discover she and Dad were FREEZING in our house. We had a good laugh about that one - she recounting how every time I would open a window she would 'shudder'!!! Isn't it funny how politeness prevents us from clear communication sometimes?

I will try to post more often for you, sweet daughter, and for all you who have MIL's and FIL's.

I've got a few good tips to share, which I gleaned from the latest Style at Home Magazine I checked out of the library:

If your plants are dusty - you may be choking them to death! They can actually suffocate from dust. SAH mag recommends wiping your plant's leaves with the inside of a banana skin - it smells good and promotes a healthy shine!

If you want to revive the dents in your carpets left by furniture, when you do spring rearranging, simply allow an ice cube to melt in the impression, then use a toothbrush to 'fluff' it back to life!

Wiping lampshades with a dryer sheet wipes away dust and leaves a layer of static-repellent ingredients for protection!

Today in History:

1846 - 1st steamship arrives in Hawaii

1881 - American Red Cross is founded by Clara Barton

1897 - Yerkes Obsrvatory 40-inch refractor is used for 1st time

1927 - Lindburgh lands in Paris - after 1st solo across Atlantic

1929 - Automatic electric stock quotation board installed - NYC

1932 - 1st transatlantic solo flight by a woman landed - AE Putnam

1933 - Mt Davidson Cross lit by FDR via telegraph

1955 - 1st transcontinental round-trip solo flight - sunrise to sunset

Birthdays in History:

0427 - Plato (Aristocles), in Athens(?) (427 BC)

1471 - Albrecht Drer, great German Renaissance painter print maker

1780 - Elizabeth Fry, Quaker minister prison reformer nurse

1844 - Henri Rousseau, French na‹ve painter

1860 - Willam Einthoven, invented the electrocardiograph

1878 - Glenn Curtis, aircraft pioneer

1904 - Fats Waller, jazz pianist composer (Ain't Misbehavin')

1917 - Raymond Burr, actor (Perry Mason Ironsides)

1952 - Mr T.


Listen to THE WORD in amazing audio

I heard about this project on NPR recently, then my friend Joy sent it to me as well! It's a pretty impressive project!

The Word of Promise New Testament Audio Bible is the first to use Dramatic Audio Theater to deliver the entire new testament in a new and exciting way. We invite you to preview a sample of The Word of Promise New Testament and experience it for yourself!


Sunday, May 20, 2007



Someone commented on the fact that not only are my In-Laws here for a visit - but that it was refreshing to hear we both enjoy each other's company... it is so... and so no journalling for me here today - will catch up later! Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, May 19, 2007



Mr. Miles helped me with this one... as I'm entertaining. No big postie today as we have plans with our folks, who arrived safe and sound. Thanks for all your thoughts and comments. I recieved your element suggestions. I may not get around to visiting any of you on your own blogs, but I am thinking about you! :D

Just a beautiful thought for the day!

If I have faltered more or less
In my great task of happiness;
If I have moved among my race
And shown no glorious morning face;
If beams from happy human eyes
Have moved me not; if morning skies,
Books, and my food, and summer rain
Knocked on my sullen heart in vain; -
Lord, Thy most pointed pleasure take
And stab my spirit broad awake.

- Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, May 18, 2007


Ok, so Mr. Miles was the one to suggest the Marge-Simpson-like hairdo - and I added some eyes... I am sure you have someone who would look good in these? I'm 'sperimenting with beards and such too - still open to suggestions? Sideburns anyone? Like Elvis-like-burns? This is your opportunity to ask! You can email me at with your requests! I also included some nice, long lashes... I always longed for looong lashes - our daughters got them all!

This is a very short entry today, as this is the day our Mom and Dad arrive (my In-Laws, but we get along well!) We are looking forward to our time together.

In the meantime, God has turned the crickets on out here - seemed like one day there were none, then there were a thousand of them. The apples are forming on the trees, about an inch or two long and the Mayflies are out. As my friend Becky would say, the birds around here are all 'twitterpated' - and they have nests stashed in all the rocket shaped trees surrounding our house. Its a veritable bird highway outside our windows!


So I'll leave you with some sweet thougths for today - Miles is taking me on a loooong walk to brush the cobwebs away... I will go now, and wish you all a good day! For those of you heading out on the roads here in Canada, being a long weekend (Victoria Day) - I wish you a safe journey. Remember to give yourself plenty of time! I probably won't be resonding to your own blogs, hoping you will understand!

All things that love the sun are out of doors;

The sky rejoices in the morning's birth;

The grass is bright with rain-drops; - on the moors

The hare is running races in her mirth;

And with her fee she from the plashy earth

Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun,

Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run.

- William Wordsworth

Oh! When shall I 'scape to be truly my own,

From the noise and the smoke and the bustle of town.

Hail you woods and ye lawns, shady vales, sunny hills,

And the warble of birds, and the murmer of rills.

I have said it at home, I have said it abroad,

That the town is man's world, but that this is of God.

-by Isaac Hawkins Browne


Today in History

1756 - England decares war on France

1804 - Napoleon became Emperor of France

1899 - World Good-Will Day - 26 nations meet in 1st Hague Peace Conference

1910 - Passage of Earth through tail of Halley's Comet causes near-panic

1953 - 1st woman pilot faster than speed of sound (Jacqueline Cochran)

1969 - Apollo 10 launched toward lunar orbit

1980 - Mt St Helens blows its top in Washington State


Stargaze the Weekend Away!

Being a long weekend... being many of you will be away camping, or at cabins, away from the bright city lights - this makes for a perfect opportunity to do some stargazing. The following site makes it easy - even for the novice. There's tons of terrific advice here, and even FREE (or donations gratefully accepted) downloadable night sky PDF 2 page skymaps! They've conveniently provided them for both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.

The Evening Sky Map & Calendar is a 2-page guide to the night sky.


Thursday, May 17, 2007


First thing - it's the OFFICIAL LAUNCH of the new Communities For Kids website! Now, you will be asking what's so exciting about this? Well, its chock full of helpful information about kids, and communities - with tons of helful links if you are a parent of a young child! But the reason I'm so proud and excited to announce this new website is because my talented husband Miles designed and created this website! He encourages you to visit it today - and leaving a comment there would make his day! Can you please share the link with all your friends, and fill up the comment box at the site? You may also notice photos of children of our friends Sonya Johnston ( OMGOODNESS SONYA, I see I missed your Birthday, blush! ), Kristin CB and Melissa Renfro! Just click on the following link to visit the site!

Everybody should also be visiting AMY today, to say a big HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! *muah* *hug*!!! Hope you get royally spoiled, our AMY! God Bless you on your special day!

Birthdays are good for you.
Statistics show that the people who have the most, live the longest!

"So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

Psalm 90:12

Yeah, I can 'DO' hair. Case I missed your particular style - or if you have a style in mind you would like to see - or you need a certain color or something... you CAN make requests! Making hair is fun and, I'm sure, far less messy than for real hairdressers! You know, I was wondering why noone has ever invented a grated floor system for salons, where when you sit in the chair, the snipped hair falls onto, then the stylist could just hit a switch and the hair would immediately get sucked down? Or.. or or or... how 'bout if it were like the dentist - how they make us hold our own little sucker thing in our mouths? (we NEVER do a good job of that.. I always get saliva down the side of my neck!) We could just hold our own vacuumy thing and suck the hair away as they snip? Or... you know how hair gets all static electricity -y... when you rub in on a balloon, specially, well what if you could make one of those capes that has tons of static - use some material that is charged, then when the stylist cut your hair it would be attracted just to the cape... then if they had a way to turn the charge off, the hair would all fall off, where they want it. Just thinking.... I do this sometimes LOL!

ARGH, MY MATEY, MR. MILES - I only have an eye for you!

Oh yes, and were'nt we silly yesterday! My friend Alison came for lunch and a relaxing afternoon (good fellowship too!) We used the fancy dishes and strolled around like the Queen must do in her royal gardens. Our behaviour was not royal - mine actually, I confess. While down at the dock I found this strange piece of wood, and could not resist to go a winkin' Course, being with a photo-buff, there's always the danger of being caught on film...


Tonight is the 5th of 6 Photography Classes, using Picasa, tonight at the Learning Center and I will help. Tonight we will learn about Hello and some other free features. It will be fun to watch everyones eyes light up! So the rest of the day I intend to truly RELAX and perhaps get some sunshine and exersize as well. Mom and Dad will arrive tomorrow and so I'm taking today OFF.


Alison and I took pictures of this rare Lady Slipper Orchid - a very beautiful flower indeed. I can see why it got it's name! Did you know that Orchid fruits (capsules) produce nearly microscopic seeds in large numbers. Harrod and Knecht (1994) found an average of 3874 seeds per fruit in C. fasciculatum. Correll (1950) reports an estimated 10,000 seeds per capsule in the yellow lady-slipper C. parviflorum.

I had located a special mutant dandelion to share with my friend Becky (she finds blowing the seeds de-stressing) - it was a big one, with three growing into one with a gargantuan blowable head, just ripe to go... but when we went to walk to find it the sprinklers were on! We decided to run the gauntlet to get to the stairs (instead of going all the way back, backtracking on the trails)... we got wet, but it felt pretty good as it was an unusually hot day! No blowing for Becks that day - but you'll make it thru the end of the week, my friend!


Today in History

1630 - Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi - 1st to see 2 belts on Jupiter surface

1792 - 24 merchants form NY Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street

1804 - Lewis & Clark begin exploration of La Purchase

1875 - 1st Kentucky Derby run at Churchill Downs Winner was Aristides

1960 - 1st atomic reactor system to be patented - JW Flora - Canoga Park CA

Birthdays in History

1749 - Edward Jenner, English physician discovered vaccination

1836 - Joseph Norman Lockyer, astroarchaeologist founded NATURE magazine


Make Music - Together but NOT!

Have you heard about online Jamming? It's now possible, with the internet, to 'jam' (musically) with other musicians!

Imagine if John had never met Paul, or another Paul had never met Art. Well, these days online-jamming Web sites are making it easier for thousands or even millions of would-be Lennons and McCartneys or Simons and Garfunkels to collaborate — without ever meeting each other in person. You can listen to the entire article about this way cool idea at NPR - and it provides links to several online jamming sites, if you look to the bottom left of the article!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Thank you all for your encouraging comments and your prayers and my chat with my sister Nina, and the quick hello from my sister in law Judy - you all made me feel ok to be grumpy once in a while. Its good we uplift one another and lend our ears, shoulders. It confirms my blog works both ways - I count on YOU to feed me too! Thanks for you for giving me 'good counsel' when I needed this, and for holding me accountable too. I've recieved some great advice from you - great critique, which I take to heart. I appreciate and welcome your wise advice - and your delivery of it.

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.

"Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

Proverbs 12:18

I played 'ketchup' yesterday. (nonslang: catchup) - did all the laundry, made sure the house is in order and spent 1/2 the day working outside. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I managed to get a bit of welcome color back in my skin. Its been a long winter this year and I made it through without having to 'fake and bake'... This was the first year for a long time, but I wanted to give my skin a break. I get SAD in the winter, and when I get grumpy Miles knew if all the other bases were covered (eg: the neccesities - food, companionship, money, fun, etc) then he would ship me off to the tanning bed. It worked 99.9 % of the time. So the sun is back and I am good.

LAYOUT BY LUCY - my next-town neighbor

Credits: all papers and elements by Barb Derksen

fonts - mariah and mystic

Thanks Lucy - I love sharing your layouts - keep them coming!

Won't YOU all send me your layouts using my 'stuff'', please? I would love to feature you!

I hope you might find a moment or two to slip over to Amy W's blog today. Firstly, its a great place to visit. Amy spends her own time assembling links to good freebies on the net for al l of us! Today, she's featuring an add-on for her pretty Amy's Birthday Bash kit - you just gotta have it!

Amy posted a pic today, of her sweet 'lil dd . Emma, her darling, got into some mischief! ( those of you who are mom's to little ones probably have tales to tell too...) Apparently, Emma got her fingers into some Spackle - you know, the stuff they stick on your cieling, and she got it smeared EVERYWHERE... LOL... poor Amers - but she finally got Emma cleaned up and taking a nap, with all her variety of stuffed animals. Amy, did you get a picture of the SPACKLE SMEARING incident?

Do you have a funny story of the mischief your own darling child got into? How did you deal with it? Do you have pics? And, speaking of this, reminds me of Rebecca from New York.... I MISS YOU? Don't you have inernet any more? If you do, please connect - let us know you're doing well!


I did promise to share some photos from our hike last saturday - so I'm posting a few today. It seems like the hike was a month ago, the days slip by so fast! We live in a stunningly beautiful area. If you are new to my blog, we live in Paradise, really. The Okanagan Valley of British Columbia is a firtile one, with orchards and vineyards and lakes, stretching from one end to the other. At our end, we boast Canada's only Pocket Desert - and this gives us a very unique landscape, filled with exotic plants and animals you may not see anywhere else in this Province.


Our friend Roman, invited us to go for a hike up a mountain. There is no 'formal' trail here, and its a VERY steep hike to the top! Roman is in good condition from farming, and he had us gasping for breath by the top! Imagine - some people go to the gym when they could work a farm... At any rate, our burning lungs and legs were rewarded by a tremendous vista - and we spent a quiet hour enjoying the beauty. We saw a plethora of flora and birds as well. Quiet little dells and craggy rock faces. I'm so glad we captured it all on 'chip' (guess its not 'film' anymore!)


I'm still working my way slooooooooooooooooowly through the Colour book by Victoria Finlay - I try to get a few pages in at night... right now I'm working my way through Orange - and how important it was to get that special colour on the famous Stradivarius violins. The unique finish has kept people searching for the recipe ever since, as it was a secret! So many people have tried to figure it out - but no one has been successful.

I found it interesting that one ingredient which people from Cremona, Italy, tried was propolis - the sticky substance which bees collect from tree resins. The bees use this resin to protect their hives from invasion. If a mouse entered the bee's city, they killed it! Because the body of the mouse is too large for them to move, and because they don't want it laying around stinking up the place, they mummified it in propolis! Remember I mentioned people using honey to mummify? People use propolis an an antiseptic - or in an ingredient in varnish. It has the added bonus of scaring the woodworm away. Apperently, every propolis is varies according to place - and the one from Cremona was said to be very fine for varnish!

Today in History:

1571 - Johannes Kepler - by his own calculations - is conceived at 4:37 AM

1770 - Marie Antoinette marries future King Louis XVI of France

1866 - Congress authorizes nickel 5› piece (replaces silver half-dime)

1872 - Metropolitan Gas Company lamps lit for 1st time

1920 - Joan of Arc was canonized in Rome

1929 - 1st Academy Awards (Best film is Wings)

1975 - Japanese Junko Tabei became 1st woman to reach Mt Everest's summit

Birthdays in History:

1763 - Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin, chemist discoverer of chromium beryllium

1801 - William H. Seward, bought Alaska at 2›/acre

1905 - Henry Fonda, actor (Mr. Roberts) Grand Is Nebraska

1919 - Liberace (Wladziu Liberace), candelabrist

1952 - Pierce Brosnan, in Israel


Shine Your Rep!

Well, really, your reputation is priceless. It says in the bible that our reputations are our witness - and we are to work very hard to keep them spotless. We ARE human, though and we all make mistakes. Used to be in the old days, that one could simply wait for a while and it would all 'blow over' - the only ones who knew were where you were from or who knew you. You felt very safe.

Now, I personally believe, there are consequences for our past mistakes - and I think God can use us through those 'mess ups' I also know we are accountable to God, not man. However we also live in the reality of the times, with everything we say and do, especially on the internet, being collected and catalogued all along the way - sometimes without our knowledge or permission. I've been listening to some pretty interesting artlicles on the radio and it's been an eye opener. Did you know Google keeps something like 10 yrs of all internet stored? I don't think its earth moving for me, but I heard them say that some companies 'Google' prospective employees - and hire or not hire on that basis.

Also, peoples lives change, they grow out of teendom (we all do stupid things when teens) and perhaps someones marital status has changed, and so you want all previous info removed... etc.

So, with this, companies are being created with the sole purpose to 'clean up' peoples reputations by removing and deleting information from the net - for a price. This is harder the more famous you are, because if you're really famous there's too much for them to remove. So... if you need to get 'cleaned up' on the net, you can go to the following site:


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