Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Flowers and Showers

Hello!  Those crocuses are perhaps a little misleading.  Ours are only just poking out of the ground now, but our neighbour Pearl, leading the pack as usual, has a large bed of beautiful purple blossoms that I just couldn't resist photographing.  We do, however, have a nice little collection of snowdrops blossoming now.  It's always such a relief to see these little guys actually flowering!  Spring really is on it's way - despite the constant threat of snow.

We got a good start on the wall prep for our closet this weekend.  This will be the baby's first room.  Only a month to go now, and I am getting anxious!  We wanted to try something new with the walls in here, as a test.  We peeled off all the loose wallpaper, then used a product called Venetian Plaster from Behr, and trowelled it randomly over the walls.  If it works like we hope, you won't be able to tell that there is wallpaper below the paint, and the walls will have a very nice texture.  It already looks better!  We are hoping to be able to do the same effect through the main hall, as no one wants to peel all that wallpaper off, and drywalling over it would be too expensive.  Anyway, we still have to prime and paint the walls, and then I can start to set it up like a little nursery.
My wonderful friends threw us a Baby Shower this Sunday, and completely spoiled us, and now I am just dying to get this stuff set up so the room looks as welcoming as I know it will with all these beautiful things to put in it!  This is the fun part, I think.
There was even little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and jam and custard tarts.  Do I have the best friends, or what?

It's still sub-zero temperatures out in the shop, but I have been busy making things inside, by the fire (or the television, as the case may be!)  I've started a little blanket , and am just in the process of blanket stitching around the edges.  It's a nice, meditative sort of process, with no danger of losing a finger, so I'm kind of enjoying that!
Also, of course, I made two more elephants.  More elephants!  I know, I know.  

And other than that, we are dreaming of baby days, and Spring days, and days we can't even begin to imagine.  I brought in some quince branches, hoping to get some early blossoms, but so far all they've managed is leaves!  Still, there is something to be said for those first, early little leaves.  That Spring Green does a heart good, I think :)

Friday, March 27, 2009


Hello!  Yesterday was Jai's birthday, SO:


We had a nice quiet evening here.  Luckily I had made the cake the day before, because there was a power outage here from 3 until about 7:30.  On the plus side, it meant that Jai got to leave work a little early, and on the minus side, it meant that we had crackers and cheese for dinner.  But we had our awesome birthday dinner tonight, so it's really more of a birthday weekend for Jai this year.

We had another Doctor's appointment this week, and everything is coming along as it should.  From now on, I have to go in every week, which means I will lose one day a week.  By the time I get there (three towns over), spend an hour in the waiting room, and get home, my day has been all used up.  Oh well, it's for a good cause, and it should only be for the next four weeks...
I've also been busy making some things for around the house, but haven't had a chance to photograph them, so I will share them soon.  It's been good to feel productive, although I am starting to feel tired sometimes.  Sleep is getting hard to come by on some nights.  
But my head will be a little lighter tonight, since I got all my hair chopped off today.  It's a little shorter than I wanted, but I think I will enjoy it once it starts to grow out more, and I get a little more used to it.  
Here's the before:

And after:

It's quite a change for me!  
Anyway, I'll try and write more soon.  This weekend we are hoping to get some work done on the baby's space, and then my friends are having a baby shower here in town, so I'm really  looking forward to that.  Have a great weekend :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Signs of spring amid the snow

Hello Again!  It's been a beautiful week around here, and finally some of that snow is starting to melt.  You can almost walk down our driveway without taking your life in your hands.  So, of course, I had to go out and photograph all the little signs of spring.

I found some snowdrops coming up, and even beginning to flower a little. 

I found the tulips that I planted last fall coming up underneath the snow that I scooped out of the way.  

The strawberries in their raised beds look like they survived the winter.  Good thing, because I just broke out the last bag of home-grown frozen berries yesterday.  Now I truly have to wait until the new ones grow.  

The river is no longer frozen solid.  I think it's so neat that only a couple of weeks ago, people were walking over that water.

Just to keep us in the realm of reality, though, there is still about two feet of snow sitting on the raspberry patch.

And Environment Canada has a red-screen warning about snowfall amounts for tonight.  Apparently we are in for another 15 cm before tomorrow morning.  MORE snow!  I think we're both starting to feel like we've had enough winter, already.  Just have to keep reminding ourselves that it's only March.  Every week brings us closer to nice weather.

And every week brings us closer to baby.  We went and did the hospital tour yesterday.  It was good to do, I guess, but to be honest kind of felt like a waste of time.  It took us almost exactly an hour (59 mintues) to get to the hospital parking lot from our driveway.  The tour was about fifteen minutes long.  So we went to Home Depot.  We picked up a new light fixture for the closet, a curved track light that should help out a lot, and some venetian plaster stuff.  We're hoping to plaster right over the wallpaper, so that we don't have to peel it all off and then repair the walls to perfect before we paint.  If it works, we'll probably be buying a lot more venetian plaster!  We also went through all our clothes, and put together three garbage bags of giveaways, so that felt like getting something done.  I think the closet will be a nice little nursery for a baby, when it's all done up.  Eventually, of course, we'll have to lose the guest room, but for now, this will be great.  They say you should have the baby in the bedroom for the first six months, anyway.  

Hmmmm... I feel like I should have some more exciting things to write about, but it seems that I just don't.  Sorry!  I did get two more elephants made this week.  A wide awake blue one:
And a sleepy little grey one:
And Jane the cat just couldn't handle not being the centre of attention, so I took some shots of her, too.  She came running over and jumped right in front of the elephant when she heard the camera sounds.  What a silly cat.

Jai is off at band practice tonight.  It looks like they have decided to add a new guitar player, named Mark.  He and his wife just moved to Bridgetown from...you guessed it - Victoria, BC.  I just met him for the first time tonight, and only for a couple of seconds, but he looks nice.  And I'm guessing we have at least one thing in common!  

Monday, March 16, 2009

O Winter!

Hello Again!  How quickly these weeks are flying by!
Jai had the afternoon off today, so we went for a walk around the neighbourhood.  There's not a lot of signs of Spring anywhere just yet, but we did manage to spot a few little shoots poking up in the warmest part of our backyard.  Most of it is still covered in snow, but you can feel a change in the air, and the sun seems a little closer these days.  Plus, now that I am home most of the time, I can keep the fire stoked up, and it's nice and cozy in here.  Here's a pic that I took this afternoon of our little space by the fire:
There's still some work to do, but it's already a wonderful spot to sit.  I finally finished building our couch - it only took me two years, but who's counting?  It still needs to be painted, but we are going to wait and see what the fabrics look like when it's all together and covered in cushions before we commit to a colour.  Jai's Mom is sewing up the cushions for us, and sent us some fabric choices in the mail, so that was very exciting.  I can't wait to see it all finished, after having it exist mostly in my head and as a couple of glued-up slabs of wood for so long.  
I did get a little more sewing done this week.  I made two more elephants:
I had to go into Middleton for a doctor's appointment last week, so I stopped in to the Frenchy's and found some great sweaters.  What am I going to do with all these elephants, you ask?  Yeah, I don't know yet.  I'm open to suggestions.  My friend Katie suggested having elephants on every surface as one form of baby-proofing.  Hmmmm...  Of course, she was feeding this addiction by bringing me more sweaters as she said it.  
And I also made a patchwork blanket from old cashmere sweaters.  I love how it turned out, and it's super warm.  I also think it would look pretty cute wrapped around a little baby.  All this sewing seems kind of odd, but it makes me realize how deeply this need to be creating things runs in my blood.  If it's too cold to be out in the shop, then I will substitute it with just about anything else.  And I'm enjoying the sewing.  It's a nice, quiet, relaxing way to work, after the noise of the saws.  Having said that, it has been four days since I stopped working at the cabinet shop, and I'm already jonesing to get out in the shop.
Pretty soon I will have to go into Middleton once a week to see a Doctor.  I don't know how it is if you have a baby in the city, but I imagine it's pretty similar.  Here, you have a family doctor and an obstetrician, and it could be some doctor that you've never met who actually ends up delivering your baby.  I think it's kind of weird that they ask you to discuss all your options and everything with your obstetrician, and then he might not even be there.  It will definitely be a vast improvement when they finally cover the cost of a midwife.  It seems crazy to me that they don't, when there's such a shortage of doctors and medical facilities in the rural areas.  We will have to drive 45-50 minutes to reach the hospital, but there are people in the Valley who have to go even further.  Some would have a 1-1/2 hour drive!  There's closer hospitals, but only one in the whole Valley with a neonatal unit.  Anyway, it could be worse, I'm sure, and the doctors we have are great, so I am grateful for that.  And grateful for friends who have been there before, and don't mind when I ask them a million questions!

Oh well, I hope you all have an excellent week, and find a multitude of ways to stay warm, and dream of Spring.

O Winter! ruler of the inverted year, . . . I crown thee king of intimate delights, Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness, And all the comforts that the lowly roof Of undisturb'd Retirement, and the hours Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
William CowperTask (bk. IV, l. 120)
English poet & translator (1731 - 1800)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Cupcakes and Elephants, and other things I like

Hello!  Hope you are all well.  We had a very busy week, but part of that was just doing some fun stuff.  We went to Halifax this weekend to pick up some things, do some visiting, and attend a baby shower that Errol's family put on for the little one.  
It was just like a birthday party when you're a little kid.  They actually asked if I wanted to eat first or open presents first.  When those are your only two options, chances are you're in for a good afternoon.  So that was fun.  
My Grandma sent out a pile of beautiful receiving blankets she had made up especially for us from fabric she thought we would like.  I love them!

And we even had a very Spring-like day.  We spent most of it walking around the Hydrostone area of Halifax, and Spring Garden Road.  I had a mission to accomplish during all this wandering - visiting Suzie's Shortbreads (aka the Cupcake Store!)  Every once in a while I think back to the Cupcake Store in Vancouver with fond wistfulness, so I was completely delighted to learn that someone had decided to open her own cupcake store in downtown Halifax.  Hooray for cupcakes!  
It happened to tie in nicely with Errol's post-birthday celebration, so cupcakes were enjoyed by all :)

Today I got home from work and snuck into the driveway moments before the Nova Scotia power guys blocked it off, by dangling a giant drill and a guy right over the middle of our driveway.  They're putting in new power poles, but it did look pretty strange.
And I had just enough time when I got home to whip up a brand new elephant from a vest that Errol gave me to cut up.  

I think I like him.  

Monday, March 02, 2009

Sneak Peek

Hello!  It's hard to believe March 2nd has arrived already.  Our prenatal class was cancelled for tonight once again, due to inclement weather.  We have had freezing rain here all afternoon, which is sort of a new phenomenon for me.  It certainly makes the trees look pretty :)
We had a busy weekend of running errands and visiting with friends, but we did take some time to continue working on our room.  All those boxes of books that have been in storage since before we moved out have finally seen the light of day once again.

Here's a sneak preview:
When we finish the shelves and the cleaning, I'll post a pic of the whole room.  
I'm still busy at the cabinet shop, but it'll probably only be a couple more weeks now.  Only eight weeks until the baby is due to be born!  Yikes, there is a lot to do!  Although, we did pick up a Canadian Tire special on this dresser which will house baby clothing and accessories.  One day I would like to make a nice, solid wood dresser, but this will certainly do for now.  I much prefer wicker to particleboard.
And in all my spare time this week, I have been making elephants out of old sweaters.  I'm not sure exactly what came over me, but it was just something I had to do.  I searched around at the library and on-line for a pattern, but ended up making one up when I couldn't find what I was looking for.  I'm pretty happy with them - so far I've made three.  The first one I gave to Jonah as a "Welcome to the World" present.
The second one I think I will keep for myself.
And the third one I just finished this afternoon.

As you can see, they're all a little different, but I have been having so much fun!  The only problem is that I have run out of old wool sweaters that are good colours for elephants.  Clearly, I will have to keep my eye out on future Frenchy's trips, but until then I may wind up with a few brown elephants.  Now that I've started, I don't want to stop!
Anyway, it's time to start thinking about dinner, and I feel a strong urge for a cup of tea.  Jai took this picture of me making tea in the kitchen a little while ago (when the wall was still bright blue.)  Hope you are all having an excellent week, full of cat naps in the window, warm mugs of tea and brand new creative endeavors!