Tuesday, January 20, 2009

“They” said, yesterday on the news, that yesterday is considered the 'most depressing' day of the year. I hear ya! The sun has not graced us with it's presence for several weeks now. I'm sure I'll need sunglasses the first time it chooses to shine on us. I keep begging my sister, Nina to send me some – from Victoria, no less. Now that seems so strange, as they are on the coast where its usually rainy. To date, nothings arrived.

I woke this morning from a dream that Mr. Miles and I were at some social gathering, very casual, and that Michelle Obama gave me a hug. We were talking about her children. Weird. Very strange – we don't even live in the USA. Perhaps it had something to do with my plan to watch the inauguration today. The inauguration was a moving thing to hear – I say hear because I only watched the swearing in on tv, but heard the rest of the ceremonies on CBC radio while I worked out.

Our Melanie ♥

Layout Credits: KimB's HeartyTarty Kit
Barb Derksen's WreathFrame - white

Our daughter came home for a visit this past weekend and it was a wonderful time together. I'm sure you're hoping for a photo, but I left it late and she made me promise NO photos – she was not feeling photogenic. Oh, I've had those days too, so respected her wishes. I did though, ask her to send me some of her own cell phone photos, and thats the one I used in this layout which I made mostly with KimB's HeartyTarty Kit. What a FABULOUS kit!

Next time Melanie visits I'll have to take care of that taking pictures thing, first thing. She brought her boyfriend with her – our first time to meet him. He's very nice!

Our weekend was all about baking. I promised to show her the Artisan Bread recipe. Melanie has always loved to bake. We mixed up batches of dough and made buns, flatbreads and pizza. On Saturday night, the kids made us dessert, rich fattening dessert. Flakey fruit and chocolate filled puff-pastry turnovers served with ice cream. Of COURSE she went home with a bucket of dough which was nicely risen by the time they got there.

I did not mention that last week I went 'across the line' at the invitation from my friend Angie to do some grocery shopping. We live RIGHT on the USA/Canada border and so have the luxury to hop over whenever the urge hits. With our dollar down, its not so much of a deal as it has been at past times, but there is always something different to buy. Cheese always works out less, for sure. My favorite place to stop is a little gas station/grocery which is supplied by deli's which are only stateside so I always find some unique things. These are some of the items I bought to play with this trip:

This spaghetti, which is sold in the USA at a Trader Joes store, is looooong! I'm hankering to go to one of those stores, now. Have any of you been to one?

These noodles are hollow - like very long kraft dinner noodles, though I am sure they are better quality, being made from hard durum seminola!

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos - my camera does not do well in low light. This orzo should be a colorful addition to soups - organic to boot!

And some buckwheat. I've never really cooked with it before. Any suggestions?

This Sap Sago cheese is VERY interesting. It's produced only one place in the world. I love the story, the shape and the very bold and distinctive flavor. I've already found several ways to use it. You can read an article about it HERE at Wikipedia.

Then, as I was surfing around on the internet to find more recipes for it, I came across this incredible recipe site. I think you will agree that the photography is just stunning – and the recipes extremely innovative and interesting! My friend Gina and I spent an afternoon drooling over our screens together. And I did make the Scandinavian Sour Cream Apple Pie, only I did not put a crust on it at all, and I substituted vanilla yogurt for the sour cream. Mr. Miles gave it thumbs up.

Layout by Judy

Credits: KimB and Bunny Cates items!

Did you see this lovely LOVELY poem and layout my sister-in-law Judy posted for me on her blog over the weekend? Well, in case you didn't, here's her layout with it in. I was so moved! Judy has a post up today of the thoughtful and sweet parcel she recieved from KimB in South Africa. That Kim, she's got it all tied up in the giving department. I do believe her middle name is generosity! Judy also has some pretty photos of dragonflies she took this past summer. Oh * groan * don't say summer, please, unless you send sunshine.

Layout by Victoria
Barb Derksen - Photo of Osoyoos Lake
Kris Myers Frosty Days Digital Kit

And here's a pretty layout made by my friend Victoria, who lives in Florida. She asked if she might use one of my frosty photos for a layout, seeing as she does not have such a thing down there. I think your layout is lovely and thanks for sharing!

Treasure Box fit for a queen

I recieved a gift at Church this past Sunday – a beeeee-youuuuu-teeee-ful treasure. I'd no more seated myself when I was approached by my little 6 year old friend Asia who was bearing a wrapped gift for me. She insisted I open it right then and there – to reveal this hand-decorated treasure box. Ohhh, so pretty! I've got some special things which shall be stored in here! Don't you just love little presents crafted by little hands? Priceless, I say!


A few posts ago I bragged on my friend Penny Buhr Johnson, on the release of her second CD. Unfortunately her CD was not quite set up at CD baby for sale just yet, but it is now. You can visit Penny's website by clicking HERE and follow the links which will allow you to hear cuts of her new album as well as purchase it too!

Our good blogger friend Valinda is home after a week away - and she's got a gift for you on her website I won't spoil the surprize, but go on over and welcome her home, won't you? Just click HERE.

Here's an entertaining time-waster of a website for you. Don't blame me if you don't get your housework done today, ok? Its called Drawminos!

And finally, I decided to make a 'little sumfing' for YOU. I had this small wreath thing laying about. It used to be around the base of a candle, but the candle got used up. Before sending this to the thrift shop or trash... I decided it would make a neat photo frame. I think it worked quite well. I'll post another version in a day or two. I'd love to see how you use this – just send me a jpg of your layout and I'll post it.

Ohhhh and as I'm wrapping this up - this loooong long post, I recall Shirley emailing me to say she's awarded me .... I'll have to slip on over to her place and see whats in store for me. THANK YOU Shirley, in advance.

Personal Use



  1. I love the layout of you daughter, its beautifully done.

    And I completely know how you feel the dismal weather in Northern Ireland just will not let up.

    And the wreath is lovely, what I nice gift for everyone. I certainly couldn't do it any justice but I'm sure someone else will.

  2. Hi girlfriend! first, i have NO worries about not passing on the award! i totally understand!! i have recently been to "Award-free blogs" hehe Second, i hope you cry in a good way, with the photo of the woodpecker toothpick holder! i would NEVER want you to hurt cry! :) HUGS! Third, Now onto your blog post! hehe I LOVE your snowy, icy photo slide on the side! LOVE the size and how it changes with no frills!!
    Your dream sounds cute! This is the first time EVER that i saw a kids celebration JUST for the Obama daughters and it was really nice! the celebrations are the biggest EVER! as i suppose they should be as we enter this new era and time of change!
    LOVE the layout!!
    i never cooked with buckwheat either.... Good Luck!!
    oh how i wish i could bottle up some sunshine and send it right off!
    That treasure box is a BEAUTY!!
    and finally after this LONNGG comment :D Thank you for your mention as well as your FUN wreath frame!! big HUGS! Hope you have a FANTASTIC day! :D (gosh i am long winded today hehe)

  3. Ok, now I´m really really hungry again! :)

    I´m glad you had a nice visit with your daughter. I would give anything to have mine visit, right about now...
    The design layouts are all beautiful!

  4. Your Melanie is BEAUTIFUL Barb!!! How PRECIOUS to have spent such SWEET, QUALITY time together and to have the opportunity to meet her boyfriend!

    I wish I could reply as long as your post sweet lady, but I've been back and forth between SO much today, my head is spinning and I still have SO much to do to get this new computer into FULL working mode!!!

    I LOVE your layouts and I simply MUST get busy and catch up with my layouts for the 2009 Project 365, which I've taken photos for but need to download to the computer (still working on updating the drivers for Vista) so I can work with them!!!

    I SO enjoy coming to read your posts darling girl and wish I could get myself over here EVERY day to fill my eyes with ALL you have to share!!! You are such an INCREDIBLE storyteller and a WONDERFUL photographer to boot!

    I have filled up two cards snapping photos of our GREAT day in history today as Barack H. Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America! A MOST awesome day for sure! What a neato dream you had!!! *smile*

    Well, gotta get busy with my TO-DO list and hope to strike one or two things off before my day ends! LOL! I am SO bad at getting sidetracked!!! He, he ...

    Love atcha girlie and I shall be back soon to see what new goodies you have to please our eyeballs!!! LOVE the wreath frame - it ROCKS! You are SOOOOOO creative you know! MWAH!

    Linda *hearts*

  5. what a lovely trinkett box! you tell her the entire world thinks she did a fantabulous job!

    Great layouts too Mrs Barb!

  6. BUAHHAAHHAA! You got the noodles and the cheese! We were yakkin' about this last week. :) Can't wait to see what you come up w/ using these ingredients.

    I just was thinking (and it made me happy) that I will be 2 + hours closer to your little home when I move. :D

    Now if we can just get Miles to bring you down... or vice versa!


  7. If you consider to grind the buckwheat and use it as flour try this recipe:
    Look for GALLETTES.
    They are delicous.
    But whatever you do, buckwheat will need a lot of seasoning if you ask me...
    Anyway thanks for the lovely freebie

  8. I toast buckwheat and add it to soups. Good and good for you too. To toast, put a little oil in a pan, pour in the buckwheat and toast until nicely browned!

    I have another recipe for an actual dish somewhere ... if I find it, I'll e-mail it!

    Oooh, a boyfriend ... how fun!

  9. wow ..I love those long noddles and the hollow spagetti ...next time I visit we might have to go across and get some. Love the layout of Mel. Thanks for sharing my layout. Buckwheat never cooked with that stuff . Well hope to see you online.


  10. My dear Mrs Miles from over the sea,
    how can I thank you for always visiting with me?

    With your wonderful comments and clever rhymes-
    you've made my day oh so many many times!

    And here I am trying to do the same,
    but to these ol' ears it just sounds so LAME-

    Ok thought I would give it a shot- you stopped laughing yet- hee hee.

    LOVE the photos from the previous post and AHHHH- so glad you had time with your daughter. I got Nathans hair cut done ( and it's still *longish*)- but at least we are both happy with the outcome. COMPROMISE works in this family- lol

    OOOH LOVE your frame my dear friend- it's a BEAUT!
    and can't wait to see what you cook up with the *sketti*!
    Buck Wheat??- uhum haven't a freaking CLUE- isn't that the stuff they use to fill those hot warmer things you can heat in the micro-wave?? hahahaha

    Isn't that trinket box the BEST! WOW- no wonder she wanted you to open it straight away. You can see the effort and time spent on it- What a GORGEOUS treasured keepsake!

    Ok- got to get my young man to school now- (ARRRGHHHHH - my year has now begun- lol)


  11. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 20 Jan [LA 08:50pm, NY 11:50pm] - 21 Jan [UK 04:50am, OZ 03:50pm] ).

  12. Good Morning just thought I would drop in and say hello.Your blog is always so full of interesting goodies.Love all your layouts and the only thing I can think of are buckwheat pancakes. Love the trinket box I know how much that must mean to you.What a sweet little girl. Hope you and Mr Miles have a very nice day..oh I will swap you some sunshine for some snow LOL

  13. I was looking at digi free this morning and saw your frame, I didn't know it was yours, I just glanced at it and thought ooh nice must come back later after work and go snag.... LOL! here I am having lunch between grooming those doggies and I see you have made the frame...Very Pretty!
    I know what you mean about lack of sunshine, does get you low! ming you we have plenty of sun all be it being VERY cold.. Have to wear my sunglasses when I'm out.
    That vegetable rice looks nice and buck wheat? is that the same as bulghar wheat? it would make a very nice tabbouleh if it is :) you need plent of fresh parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and tomatoes. A Delicious Salad.
    LOL! you did make me titter with the gums comment on my blog this morning :)
    Anyway, I have eaten my toast, enjoyed reading your post and now I'm off to take one dog home and collect another.. See You Again Real Soon :)
    Bye for now!

  14. Good morning Sweety!!!!!!!!!
    Love the photos & AWESOME LO!!!!!!!!
    TY so very much for this MARVELOUS frame!!!!!!!!!!!
    Not much going on here just keeping busy unzipping & filing away all my DLs hopefully by the end of the month I'll have them all done!!!!! LOL
    HUGE HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Good Evening Barb:)
    Bet you thought I wasn't coming by today.LOL It's very late and I am about ready to hit the hay but just had to stop in to say hey.:)
    Sooo glad you got to visit with your daughter and bake all those delicious goodies.mmmmm.
    Are you gonna see if you can slurp up one of those long spaghetti noodles in one go?LOL I bet you do now.hehe
    The only buckwheat I have had anything to do with was when I watched the Little Rascals years ago.LOL Have no idea how to cook it or what to do with it once it's cooked.Please let us know what you do with it.:)
    How sweet.That treasure box is soo pretty.:)
    Thank you soo much for the wonderful wreath frame.How cool!
    Well..it's eleven and getting past my bedtime...so I will say good night for now and pop back in tomorrow if I get a chance.I am gonna take on my closet and see who wins.LOL



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