Posted by: shinyhappythings | Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First day at the new job

first-day.jpgIt’s my little baby’s first day at … work… sniff. I’m so proud. Jax has recently qualified as a St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog. We go every Tuesday evening for an hour to the extended care ward at our local hospital. It is pretty neat to hear lots of people (not everyone) exclaim “oh look, there’s a dog” and “hey it’s Lassie”. Jax doesn’t take offense at being called Lassie, or girl. As long as there are good smells (and whew, are there ever at times) and maybe the occasional crumb to eat he’s happy enough.

I stopped to visit one old lady that I have known since I was little. She’s always been an old lady to me – she’ll be 99 in September. She is so with it – I hope I’m that good when I get old. She gave Jax a good thumping pat just as he likes it. She’s always had dogs and wishes she could still have one. I suggested that I leave Jax tied to her wheelchair and he could tow her around the hospital, then I would just come back and visit both of them. She had a good laugh at that. She’s not that keen on eating and drinking these days but I persuaded her to have her evening strawberry ‘shake’. Jax was very interested in the food, but she told him that he couldn’t drink out of a straw.

I’m so glad I’m getting to spend time with Hannah while she’s still around. She didn’t have any visitors today so she was very pleased to see me. It seems the least I can do. Jax really likes it when I sit for a while to visit; he just lies down and goes to sleep. Sheesh, first day on the job and he’s sleeping. Good job he’s a volunteer!

Posted by: shinyhappythings | Saturday, July 28, 2007

In time for the party

bannerdone2-sm.jpgI finished Aidan’s birthday present on the stroke of midnight. Now I have a really sore back from sitting at the sewing machine all night. How do you all do it? I love sewing and get so engrossed in it that I know I sit hunched over for far too long. Plus I’m on a dining room chair but I know most of you out there are doing the same thing. What’s your secret for saving your back?

I had a visit with the neighbours last night and all I heard from Aidan was Spiderman this and Green Goblin that. So I delicately inquired of his parents if he is still into Cars, as I had visions of my pressies being tossed aside in favour of a 10″ action man. No fear though, he is still very much into Cars. Whew. Hearing me ask about it brought a long discourse from Aidan about how Tow Mater is his favourite sometimes but mostly his favourite is Lightening McQueen. And how I can’t be Luigi because I’m a girl – I have to be Sally.  I, on the other hand, am not so into Cars any more. I have sewn enough of that bright red fabric to last me a life time I think.

The banner is done now and I’m relatively happy with how it turned out. There was a lot of eyeballing this or that measurement, and some crossed fingers on the way but overall it’s pretty good.   The bottom is not ideal – I’ve just zig-zagged a raw edge to make the bottom detail – mostly because of how the back is sewn on I couldn’t just sew this on the wrong side and turn it inside out.  The dowel in the top is about an inch too short. It’s recycled from a 2006 calendar that my mum was throwing out.

The pillow I would do again… maybe one of my friends needs a Lightening McQueen pillow… use up my stash. This banner, not so much. I’ll have to charge a fortune before I’ll do this one again. Good job his name wasn’t Alexander… I’d have wimped out and shortened his name to Al.

Fifteen hours to the party – this is the earliest I’ve finished a hand-made present before a deadline. That’ll leave me plenty of time tomorrow to can those plums. Finally.

Posted by: shinyhappythings | Friday, July 27, 2007


I found this site tonight (thanks to Crazy Aunt Purl), and what better way to spend 10 minutes than creating your Simpsons avatar at this site. The resemblance is uncanny.

Now if only I could have more than three fingers, and perhaps some lips things would be just right. And some glasses. And that waist. That’s pretty far fetched actually. The hair is about right. And the t-shirt is pretty cool.

And no, Aidan’s birthday present is not finished yet, and the plums are not yet canned. Another neighbourly ambush at 7pm tonight ended all good intentions. So this post is an 11pm attempt to get something done tonight other than try to resist glasses of wine. Somehow a migraine tomorrow morning is just not in my plans.

Posted by: shinyhappythings | Monday, July 23, 2007

A Lightening McQueen birthday

Since there’s virtually no chance that my four year old neighbour is likely to read this, I’m going to show you his birthday work in progress. He (unlike any other 4-year olds!) is a big Cars fan, especially Lightening McQueen. Tow-mater is pretty good too but Lightening McQueen definitely comes out at the top of the pack.
So with a fourth birthday upcoming and no real desire to quilt in the summer, this was a good chance to get some sewing started and finished. It was also a good chance to buy and use some pretty cool fabric that I wouldn’t normally have in my stash. The pillowcase was my first birthday present idea but I thought that, Lightening McQueen aside, what four year old really wants bedding for a birthday. I had no pattern for the pillow case (who needs patterns anyhow) and it took me the longest time to figure out how to put it all together so that the black piping (it started out as piping ok) didn’t show on the back side. It’s all done now though and I’m quite happy with the result.
The Lightening McQueen fabric was a bolt end at Walmart so I ended up with 2 metres – no point in leaving 1 metre for someone to pick up in the remnants bin was there? So no doubt this fabric will be hanging around for a while but I’ve tried to get the most use out of it now… The banner up top there is a stash-busting project. Hopefully he (and his folks) will like it and will hang it on his bedroom wall – so far the “A” is sewn on and the rest of his name is pinned and placed. The digital picture helps me to see more easily if the letters are placed right, and I think they are pretty good now. And yes, I double checked the spelling of his name before I cut out these fiddly letters.
So happy 4th birthday Aidan – I’m sure these won’t compete with all the cool toys you’ll get but it made me feel good making them, and maybe one day mom will put these in your treasure chest.

Posted by: shinyhappythings | Saturday, July 7, 2007

Quick summer holiday


Happy Canada Day and 4th of July. I had a quick 5 day camping vacation in the hot sun of Oroville Washington this week and have come back to the coast glad of the cooler weather.  The state park we camped in was absolutely beautiful – a great site with real toilets and showers. The lake is so warm that you really don’t want to get out of it!

lily-sm.jpgThe Okanagan river widens and becomes Osoyoos Lake, partially in Canada and the rest in the US.  The edge of the river is where we sat and enjoyed our coffee every morning. With the early sunrise, we were up and about far too early for vacation days, but a couple of cups of coffee took care of a good part of the morning. The lily pads harboured some carp, turtles and a lot of mama ducks with their babies, and feeding them every morning became an important task.

turtleIt was the first time I had been camping in a few years, and although I enjoy it, it is yet another time with all my couple-friends and their kids. It makes me feel the down-side of being single all too much. Maybe single people don’t camp, or maybe they camp together and haven’t invited me but I sure felt out of place. Either it was the drama of teenage girls and their mothers, or the constant neediness of a three year old, or the cooing of couples still in love but by Friday I was glad to be heading home. I’m not really down in the dumps about this but even the drive home could have been a lot more fun if I was with someone who wanted to be with just me. And I’m not romanticizing this – I’ve been with someone who has to pack the car on his own because I can’t do it right. And who won’t pull over to look at the view because we’re on a single lane mountain highway and we’ve just passed all those motorhomes finally. Maybe what I want isn’t out there, but it sure wasn’t camping with me this weekend.

However, it was still good to get away and better again to get home. 800 km, a lot of fireworks (the 4th of July kind), 15 cds and the engine overheating twice – it really was all worth it .

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