Monday, December 31, 2012

Daisy Got Mail

Oh, how to contain the excitement around here as Daisy received her first piece of a mail in a very long time.  The envelope was addressed to Daisy and had this card inside:

Daisy laughed and laughed at the card, which has two guys in the front seat, and two of her distant kin in the backseat.  Love it!

Then, she read the note on the card, hand-written by her cousin Whoopsie Daisy in Idaho.  Can you believe it?  That Whoopsie Daisy is a lovely soul, and so thoughtful!

Thank you so much to Whoopsie Daisy for making Daisy's day!  (And to my dear Auntie Jan and Uncle Dave, who gave Whoopsie Daisy the stamps!)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Goal Review

Last year's goals did not go that well.  Here they are, from a post at the start of 2012:

2012 Goal #1:
Finish off all of the started and in-progress quilts. 

I started off with such promise!  I'm just going to say that work and my back injury in the summer really got in the way on this one.  I think I got one project done, which is totally lame.   For 2013, this has to be a goal, the projects and fabric are seriously piling up.  Need to get the back fixed up though before I can do too much.

2012 Goal #2:
Pay off renovation loan in 2 years, not 4.  

Hmmmm....  I did make one extra payment toward the loan, but then got distracted with something or other.  This is a goal for 2013 too.

2012 Goal #3:
Make all gifts for Christmas in 2012.  

See explanation for not achieving Goal #1.  Now the good news is that as a result of some jewelry classes coming up in January and February, you can probably count on receiving either sewn stuff or jewelry stuff next Christmas. 

The first class I took at our local technical college in November was pearl knotting, which is surprisingly challenging.  I made this little freshwater pearl necklace and bracelet, and while the knots aren't bad, there are other problems.  Like where the silk thread broke halfway through and I had to glue another bit on, etc.  Anyway it's another skill and I'm sure to eventually get the hang of it, let's hope I get better before I start making your Christmas present.

New Year's Eve Plans

What are you doing for New Year's Eve?

Since staying in is the new going out (apparently), I'll be heading over to Kim's house to watch CNN for New Year's.  We both like to watch Anderson and Kathy ringing in the New Year, and of course they're broadcasting from Times Square again this year.  I think it might be fun to be there one year - staying at the Casablanca we would only be a few feet away which would be fantastic.

December 31st UPDATE: New Year's Eve at Kim's is cancelled.  :(  Kim has a fever and Noah has been sick, so I'm staying home.  Hope everyone enjoys a healthier 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas 2012 in Review

Highlights from this year's Christmas!

The 2012 tree was nice, but look at the new mantlepiece, courtesy of my pal Brad!  Still need to do some work to make the mantlepiece perfect, but it was nice to have somewhere to hang the stockings for Daisy, the kitties and me.

I gave Kim a quilt for Christmas, and since Noah is my biggest quilt fan, it went straight onto his bed.  How wonderful to have such a quilt lover - hope that lasts as he get older.

Noah is a spectacular cake decorator, he takes after his mommy this way.  Here he is after he placed the decorations on the Happy Birthday Jesus cake for Christmas dinner.  Still not sure about this tradition, seems to me there should be 2012 candles on the cake, but Kim and Noah looked at me like I was wacky when I suggested adding all of the candles, so have to leave this idea for now.  Noah added a full manger scene including the camel and the wiseman, nice one Noah.

I feel totally spoiled, I received so many gifts!  So many wonderful things to use, to wear, to read.  Even as fun as it was to unwrap everything, it was still the most fun watching Noah open up his gifts.  He was pretty excited about the Forest Police lego set from Auntie P.  Here are his Auntie P gifts.  (Notice that Kim has yellow walls just like Auntie P - we both chose the same Farrow and Ball paint for our living rooms.)

One of the best things from this Christmas was committing to "Wrapped and Done by December One".  The idea came from one of the blogs I follow and it was a great one!  It's the first time I've been totally done early - no wrapping Christmas Eve.  It was kinda nice to watch everyone at working running around shopping at lunch every day, knowing I was totally done.  Mom and Kim liked the concept too.  This idea is a keeper for sure.

Fairy Door Discovered in Sitting Room at Auntie P's House

During a recent tidy of the sitting room, I noticed a little country fairy door behind the curtains.  From the look of the door, it's pretty clear that country fairies are coming into the house through the garden.  I immediately called Noah to ask for his advice.  Noah and Kim came over to see the door and discuss what to do about the fairies.

On Noah's arrival, he inspected the door and concluded that the fairies are actually living in the basement, so we spent quite a bit of time running up and down the stairs to check to see if we could catch the fairies or find their sleeping spot.  No such luck but the fairies did play a game with Noah.  I have a feeling that with such active fairies, we may find another fairy door in the house somewhere over the next few weeks.

Searching the internet, I did find some information about the fairy door, which was very helpful.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Personalized Christmas Bag

A couple of months ago, Noah came over to visit Auntie P and I asked him to draw a Christmas picture for Mommy.  He drew this sweet picture with his Mommy on the left, alongside Santa and Rudolph:

I took the picture he drew, printed it on fabric, and added borders to make this little Christmas bag for Noah to use when giving his Christmas gift to his Mommy!  Adorable, and it can be used year after year.


Merry Christmas!  I hope you had a wonderful happy time.

Snow has finally arrived here in Toronto, with gusto.  We got a large snowfall last night, the biggest we've had in a couple of years.  Here's the view from the front door which I could barely open with the snow blocking it:

I am back to work today but not going into the office - even Daisy took a look this morning and turned back inside to go and lie in her dog bed again.

Kim is coming over this afternoon to shovel, (thanks P!)  and wow do I ever need the help today, I'm totally snowed in.  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mayan Apocalypse for Daisy

Today was the end of the world apparently, although it didn't happen for most of us.  For Daisy though, it wasn't a great day!

Daisy had a scrap in the dog park this afternoon with another dog named Stella, and apparently Stella won.  Daisy came home with a big gash on her paw, and we rushed up to the vet to get stitches to close the wound.

Miss Daisy is not a fan of any kind of pain so she is limping and crying all over the house, even with her fancy painkillers and other drugs to ensure she heals quickly.

Poor Daisy.  :(

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Auntie P's Christmas Tree 2012

Here it is, a little blurry but a quick picture of my Christmas tree this year.  I'll try to get a better one when Kim and Noah come to visit next weekend - Kim is a great photographer.

It seems like every year lately I have to replace all of the little white mini lights for the tree.  Last year I bought them from Shoppers which was probably my first mistake, they lasted only for the duration of the tree display.

This year I bought them from my friendly little Home Hardware store, and already had to bring one set back.  Let's hope the rest of them last for at least a couple of years.  Yet another example of products we really need to bring back to North America for manufacture - I'm getting tired of the cheap crap made in China.

Best Christmas Gift So Far

My homie Kim REALLY knows what I like, so look what she brought me back from her recent trip to Kuala Lumpur!

I love these Starbucks city mugs, I have a few of them and I will continue collecting them from places I visit or want to visit (let's hope Starbucks keeps making them!).  So far I have the KL mug, plus NYC, Washington DC, Chicago and Boston.  True, I haven't been to Chicago or Boston yet but they are on my "must-see" list for the next couple of years.

Next Christmas, mom and I will be visiting Boise so I'm really hoping there's a Starbucks city mug for Boise too.

Love the mug!  Thanks Kim!

Happy 5th Birthday Noah!

Noah celebrated his 5th birthday on December 4, and his perfect mommy Kim gave him a lego-themed birthday party for a few friends.

Here are a couple of pictures showing how amazing the party was.  First, he had 3 cakes, can you believe it?  Kim is a master cake decorator so she was ready for action on the Lego cakes - a yellow lego piece cake, blue lego piece cake, AND a lego guy cake!

He had a bunch of friends join him for the party, and of course at a lego-themed party, what else to expect but lego games, party favours, decorations and of course Lego guy to guide the kids through a lego activity.

Sure is different from when I was a kid - we weren't allowed to have birthday parties.  :(

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Visit to Santa

What a great day!  We started off the day with a trip over to Stasis, to buy some beautiful preserves and some magical maple syrup.  I've bought a few things from Stasis over the past few months.  They're a small local provider of small-batch, organic, special foods.    They are the one of the only Toronto places you can find products from Quebec's Societe Orignal, who have the most fantastic food items around.

After that, a trip to Metro Hound for a dog bath, and then to see Santa!  What a great picture of Daisy, she looks a little serious in this picture but she did take time to whisper some gift wishes to Santa while we were there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

I'm not referring to myself with the subject of this post!

Daisy has been living with me for 6-1/2 years, and I've tried several times to get her to join me on the couch for a cuddle, without success.  Some of you might think it's a good thing that my darling dog doesn't want to lie on the couch, but I've always thought it would be nice.

Guess what I arrived home to today!  Yes, Miss Daisy, lounging.  Here she is:

We are having a good week, looking forward to the weekend and Daisy's visit (and photo) with Santa.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Auntie P LOVES ooma!

Wow, another recommendation, crazy!  I absolutely love my ooma, it might be one of the best purchases I've ever made.  The only thing I'm sad about is that I didn't buy it earlier.

Ooma is a home phone, but it's something a little different.  It's basically a home phone that you use over the internet, so you need to have high speed internet service to make this work.

There are other voice-over IP service providers that are offering home phone over the internet service too, but ooma is different.  I've had Rogers Home phone for about six months now, it's an internet home phone that is virtually identical to the Ma Bell offering.

With ooma, you buy an ooma telephone set.  I bought mine at Costco for $149 - that's about the lowest price I've found.  For this price, you get the ooma telo box plus the wireless adaptor.

Here's what the ooma box looks like, with the wireless adaptor on top:

Since I have wireless internet service, the wireless adaptor picks up the internet connection.  Then, I plugged my home phone INTO the ooma.  Seems odd, like you should do it the other way, but not so.

Anyway it was that easy.  I now have a huge set of features like call forwarding, call display, call privacy etc.  My favourite feature is that I can play voicemail messages from the "my ooma" portal, and I can save and send the messages.  I wish I had this a few years ago when I received my first voicemail message from Noah - it would have been super cute to have it saved and be able to play it for him when he gets older.

I also now have free long distance in the US and Canada, not that I make a lot of calls, but it was costing me about $20 a month for long distance.

For $9.98 a month, I have all the long distance, home phone line, fantastic features, etc. - it's wonderful and a huge savings off of the old telco packages!  I am going to save a truckload of cash with this purchase.

LOVE ooma!