Monday, December 28, 2009

Sweet Valley

Is there anything that you have found, seen or heard that has instantly transported you back to the days of your childhood?  I was transported back to my childhood just a couple of days ago by my sweet childhood friend.  The day after Christmas, I was at my mom's helping babysit BB while Sister and her husband had a "date day," when she came over and brought me a surprise. 

Now how many of you can say that you remember and still talk to the girl next door? :)  I'm so happy to say that we have still managed to keep in touch through notes, emails and family.  Luckily for me she remembers the goofy stuff we used to do but still talks to me to this day.  You see one of the goofy, but fun things was my love for a particular series called "Sweet Valley Twins."  It was a series of books that were released that told the story of twin girls, Jessica and Elizabeth, who were best friends until one day everything changed.  Jessica and Elizabeth worlds were turned upside down the day that Jessica decided to dress differently from her sister and began hanging out with someone other than her sister. These series books were my first introduction to drama, and at my tender age of 10 that was considered serious drama.   The drama became heightened when the series brought the girls into high school and yup you guessed it I had to read them too.  Somewhere my passion for the twins began to wane and I moved onto more serious stuff, mostly due to the fact that my brother, then in high school needed help with his book reports, which meant I read the books and told him what happened. 

Its so funny, I hadn't thought of these books until my sweet friend brought this over at Christmas time.....

and she was right.  It was bad, but I had to read it.  Well, I read most of it, I had to skip about a 100 or so pages but still it made me crack up just thinking of those girls, Jessica and Elizabeth. and  I also remembered the funny picnics my sweet friend had recalled when she and I would sit in our yards to discuss the latests trials and tribulations of Jessica and Elizabeth.  Funny picnics because they took place in two separete yards, she in hers and mine in my grandmother's and we both setup our lunches and talked to each other over a wall until one day she invited me over to her side of the wall.

Yes sweet friend I remember them now and I did read the book and it made for a funny read.  Thanks for remembering me and transporting me back to the picnics in the yard when we would talk to each other over the fence about the Sweet Valley Twins. 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Fun!

Christmas was lovely! 

This year was the first year we were able to do almost everything we wanted!  Mi esposo and I were able to visit his family and spend time with alomost everyone on Christmas Eve.  Almost the entire clan gathered at my in-laws where the kids grouped themselves together around the Christmas tree and opened up their presents.  I love watching their faces when they open up their gifts and see the surprised look on their facees.  Luckily we were treated to the "How Awesome Is This" surprise face instead of the "What is this" look.  Christmas Day was spent at my parents' home with everyone on my side.  We all gathered together and watched movies, ate lots of candy and cookies and had a blast.  Another point for mi esposo and I, the kids yet again enjoyed all of their gifts. 

For the adults, we decied to do something a bit different this year.  Instead of purchaisng gifts for everyone or particpating in a Pollyana, we decided that this would be the year of delicious treats for everyone.  Mi esposo made his famous banana chocolate chip bread in individual loaf sizes, while I made several batches of my reverse chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate cocoa.  We created platters for each family and viola, instant sugar goodness.  My SIL and her family made a beautiful tray filled with all kinds of homemade goodies with honorable mention to the cupcakes which were especially tasty.  Sister, dear sister, decided against ruining another one of mommy's pans making her famous peppermint bark (apparently you can use too much force to break up the bark) was enough so she bought us all chocolate covered pretzels from Lores which were divine. 

I'm finding that Christmas has taken on a new meaning for me.  Of course Christmas is foremost the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but it also a celebration of family.  I'm so grateful that I was able to celebrate with all of my family this year and I hope to continue to do so in the many years to come.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowed in!

Last night I told kitty that she had a doctor's appointment and the only way she could get out of it was if we had snow.  Apparently kitty was praying mighty hard last night because this morning mi esposo and I awoke to this outside our window.....

(above picture was slightly modified to hide our trash cans)

What else could we do but settle in and have french toast and bacon.  Its what everyone has during a snow storm. 

Haven't you noticed how many people run to the store before a storm and pick up milk, eggs and bread, the glorious fixings for french toast.  Our french toast had a twist as mi esposo dunked them in corn flakes, a trick he learned from a coworker, to add an extra crunch.  

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it...courtesy of mi esposo

Ingredients to make four slices of french toast

1/4 cup of milk 
4 slices of bread
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
2 eggs
10 ounces of crushed cornflakes, honey bunches of oats or the like

Whisk together the milk, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg and dunk each slice of bread into the mix making sure to soak the bread thoroughly.  Then take those slices and dip them in the crushed cornflake mixture. 

Melt about a pat of butter onto a griddle at medium heat and then add your bread.  Brown both sides of the bread which will take about four minutes per side and serve to thedelight of your family.  It was delicious!!!  I couldn't stop myself from taking a bite before taking this picture.

The snow is still falling down and I believe we'll receive about a foot of snow!!!!  Good luck to everyone digging themselves out today, but if you don't have anywhere to go, think about making the snow storm stable, french toast and settle in to watch movies or just hang out at the window like kitty will do.  Lucky girl, no doctor's appointment and she'll get a nice winter wonderland to watch all day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Swap Day at Christmas Time

Last Sunday our family experienced a new tradition...."Cookie Swap!" organized by this little lady, my SIL.

Her new glasses are just too cool!

Saturday I made not one but two types of cookies, Mint Delights, shown in a photo way below, and Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from Williams and Sonoma.

The Chocolate Chip Crinkles came out wonderfully, a beautiful replica of the Williams and Sonoma cookies wouldn't you say although they are just a bit smaller than those featured in the photo by W&S.  I decided to use a teaspoon scoop rather than a tablespoon scoop so that the cookies would be bite size treats.  I'm happy to report that they were a hit and gobbled by all.  Mi esposo even brought them to his office to enjoy with his co-workers.   At least I think he shared. :)

Also featured at the Cookie Swap were the following fabulous delicious treats...

Mint Delights (top left), Chocolate Crinkles Cookies (top middle)
and Mini Cherry Pies (bottom right) by SIL which she found on Bakerella's website.
They were delicious!

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies - Mmmm Mmmm Good!

SIL's Confetti Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies - great with Coffee!

and Sister's Peppermint Bark which was incredible!

Here is sister sharing her Peppermint Bark with SIL's eldest, I can't believe what a big girl she is now.

And here I am eating up the cookies with the baby of the family.

 We all had a lovely time and I believe we'll be cookie swapping again in the near future.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Planning - Part 2

Christmas Cards....all but just a couple to go....

Gifts purchased.....Check

Gifts wrapped....Check....oh wait, I forgot to buy a couple of gifts, dang it...okay, adjust plan....

Schecule my next shopping outing....Check

Decorate progress, tree is up and decorated, banister is done, window decorations may need adjustments.  You see mi esposo put up two wreaths but it seems kitty keeps trying to eat them and the tape securing them.  We may need to adjust the window decorations, and I still need to deocrate the mantle and finish my garland decoration.

Cookie Swap.....I'm set to bake this Saturday, but the question is what should I make? 

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from Williams & Sonoma

or these

Double Dark Mocha Drops from King Arthur's Flour Company

Don't they both look delicious!  I'll take some pictures tomorrow and let you know what I decided to create and devour!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Planning Part 1

Tis the Season to be baking, crafting and everything in between.  This year for the Christmas Season I've started off strong!  I hit the stores on Black Friday and took advantage of the sales to get a bunch of gifts (toys, clothes and DVDs) for my nieces and nephews.  I printed out a great checklist, courtey of my sister's BFF, Martha Stewart which I highly recommend.  While I'm not on track 100% with the checklist its given me a great starting point in so much that I have already started addressing my Christmas Cards.  Its December 1st and I'm doing Christmas Card!  Totally unheard of for me; I'm so proud of myself. :) 

Tonight the wrapping station will be setup so that I can get my wrapping grove on which will help me to make sure I'm on target with my gifts and prevent a Christmas Eve shopping mad rush.

Also, my Sister-in-law (SIL) is planning a cookie swap that I shall be participating in.  I can't wait, what should I make?  Chocolate reverse cookies?  Brownies?  Thumbprint cookies? 

Now I just need an idea for a crafty garland for my mantle.  Any ideas?

Friday, November 27, 2009

My plea was answered

I forgot to tell you.  My birthday plea, yes almost two months ago, was answered by my sister and I was able to discover the secret of the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

Edward is a beautiful, sorry Edward, a handsome china rabbit often who is often dressed in the finest satin suits and partakes in meals with his family at the dinner table.  He is loved by Abilene, his owner, but you see Edward doesn't really love everyone. 

Edward is quite content to be admired and loved for the exceptional china rabbit that he is, until one day he is separated from Abilene, the child who has adored him and finds himself in horrible situations, one after the other.  Along the way he encounters many people who fall in love with Edward and Edward in turn learns to love them in return, until finally on his journey he......whoops I almost gave away the story.  If you want to find out what happens I suggest you pick up Edward's story and add it to your collection. 

Edward's story was a pleasure to read and the artwork by Ibatoulline were simply beautiful.  I can't wait to read Edward's story again and again and share it with my nieces and nephews. 

Thank you again my dear for my wonderful birthday present.  I absolutely loved it! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love the Fall season, watching the leaves change to a bright red and vibrant gold, cuddling with a loved one as the weather changes and most especially when we celebrate Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.   Now before you think my love for Thanksgiving is due to the scrumptious meal devoured in our household think again, okay so maybe that's part of it, but its more than that.  Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate everything we take for granted which was bestowed to us as a gift from God. 

First on my list of thanks to God is for mi esposo....Three years ago this week I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my fiance and then the very next day he became my husband.  I often look back and think "Why didn't we get married sooner?" Yup, he is that much fun to be around. 

My family of course comes next, all of my nieces and nephews (over 20+) have each taught me valuable lessons.  First lesson, wear them out if you want them to go to bed and second, don't ever let them see you tired, they jump right on you.  This year hubby and I are spending breakfast together, and then lunch and dinner with our families and we are hoping to see as many family members as possible. I'm charing my battery to take pictures because kids grow up quick and you never know when you can take that candid shot that becomes a lifelong memory. 

Next up on my list is my baby, Sox, who had a run in with a ribbon, long story, short one is she had a small operation and now she's back home, to the joy of the Vet and Vet-techs, and is doing just wonderful.  See she's back to contorting herself on the sofa.  Notice the pink belly.

Oh and a huge, thank you Lord that my class is over, I passed my final as well as the many tests sent my way and next up is the bigger test.  Wish me luck and Lord please help me to stay focused to pass the next part, you know I need that. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody and don't forget to recognize all the wonderful gifts God has given you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

checking in...

Still in study mode but I've managed to get up for air to work on some crafts and have some fun especially for Halloween. 

Quick recap of the weekend, Saturday mi esposo and I decorated and cleaned our house in record time and cooked for the goblins on my side who came over for dinner and candy.  Dinner was a Mexican theme, mostly as it was quick and easy. Tacos were warming in the oven, the meat was cooked to perfection and a full fixings table was laid out so everyone could fill their taco to their taste.  We even served cups of Tortilla Soup to warm everyone up from the cold, raining weather.  Knowing the kiddies may not like Tacos so much we picked up Perdue chicken fingers, a recommendation to anyone out there for kids.  At the end of the night we watched the Corpse Bride and everyone left with a tasty boo treat. 

Instructions on the treats can be found on Betty Crocker's website. 

After several attemps I was finally able to master them, notice the happy goblin on the first cake server to the left.  Doesn't he look happy to boo!  As for my first attempt, that would be the guy in the middle who melted so, that his eyes fell down his head, and his boo was lost in the cake.  To be honest, no one's eaten him just yet and I doubt anyone will, poor thing.

Sunday mi esposo and I did our own study time, esposo in the basement on the computer, me upstairs on the kitchen table with my book.  Every so often we would yell "Hey are you hungry?  Want something to eat? Are you thirtsty?  Is it Tea Time?  Want to go for a Walk?  Done yet? Sorry honey, I ate all those cookies my mom brought us I just didn't realize it."  Okay so that was mostly me, especially the last one but hey they were good cookies.

Now that October is over and we are on to November which means Thanksgiving time!!!!!!!!  Turkey, apple pie, mixed rice, glazed carrots....I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I've been out of the loop due to studying which is definitely a a good thing of course but I miss my crafting time.  Today's test day so I'm cramming the last minute terms and concepts into my short term memory hoping to they will migrate over to my long-term memory for a passing score. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A trip to my second home.....the bookstore and a plea

So I have a test coming up.  Yes the eternal student that I am well I'm enrolled in a new class.  This one will give me a designation to me apart from my peers.  In other words, it is a hard class that not many have taken.  I'm hoping to pass so that I can advance my career.  Wish me luck.  First test I did really well, this test though I'm a little worried.  Could it be that I'm blogging instead of studying.  Yes, most likely but I needed a break, my brain is fried.....but enough of that let me tell you about one of the most recently, and one of the only lunch trips I had this week.

Lunch for me is a sad affair.  I used to go to lunch with two complete goof balls and I loved every minute of it, but alas for reasons I can't print on-line :) they have moved on and out of the city limits and I am now on my own for lunch.  Don't feel bad for me, I could easily call up a friend or even walk to sister's job to get some much needed exercise and have fun but I'm not yet up to having lunch with anyone just yet.  Its hard to replace two goofballs. :)

So let me tell you about my trip into....Borders!!!  Oh....Ah....yes the land of books, my 2nd home.  I actually started to walk there to study but my last foray into studying in the public caused me to encounter a weirdo who asked what I was studying.  He promptly freaked me out and I left before I was able to divulge the secrets of the "selection" process.  So no more studying in public, its best to stay on one's feet while you are in the city so you can't be cornered.  Anywho back to the books, the lovely books, ah just the smell of the bookstore puts me in a good mood. Please pardon if my images are shaky as they were taken with my cell phone camera, plus I was so excited to be out I kept jumping around the store like a crazy person.

First up, a great gift for my SIL (sister-in-law).  I think she'd love this now that Miss A and Little Miss A are now both in school.  This would definitely help her get the girls and the family ready for the school year.

Right around the corner I found a great gift for the holidays for all the lovely ladies in my family and maybe even for myself.  Isn't it cute.

I got to thinking though soon the babies would be in school and I could buy this for Sister and SIL, but that would just make them cry....maybe I'll still get it. :)

After a while I headed over to the children section and saw this great find for my niece Miss A.

I think she'd love it, but I just have to wait to get it around Christmas time so she'll have time to devote herself to her new class.  Wow 4th grade already.

As I looked down from this book, I noticed this new book....

I had never read it before and just couldn't help myself from having a seat and losing myself in the world of Where the Wild Things Are.....I loved it and plan on adding it to my collection one day soon.  I didn't stop there though, I moved along and found this gem and read along.

Its even better in Spanish, another one I'll need to add to my collection.  Slightly over to the left I noticed this cuite....

Harry Poter en espanol, no puedes ser.  One day soon maybe I'll add this one too to my collection. What better way to brush up on your Spanish than by reading something enjoyable.  The lunch hour was drawing to a close and before I made my way out something else caught my eye....

Another book by Kate DiCamillo.....Do you remember Desperaux?  I spoke of him before you must remember him.  Well dear Reader its Kate, the author of Desperaux, with a new book.  The new story is about a little china rabbit who is wonderfully taken care of by his owner until one day he's lost.

LOST!?!?  Why is he lost, what's happen to him, how could his owner not know he was gone.  Poor Edward.  It took every ounce of strength that I had to leave the store and not sit down at that very moment to discover Edward's journey, but here I am thinking of Edward Tulane again.  I should be studying but I still can't help but wonder how did it happen and how does Edward become reunited with his owner.

If anyone out there is reading this (hint....sister) you know my birthday is coming up and I never ask for anything, except for the garland that you made the other day, maybe the chocolate or candy or cookies you have in your purse for BB, or to borrow a movie, or to borrow your madeline pan which I haven't given back yet...besides those things you know I don't ask for much, but this time its a matter of sanity.  Would you please consider buying this book for me for my birthday.  I promise I won't ask for another thing, until she writes another book or I find something that is equally interesting in the future.  If you do I would be such a happy girl, remember how happy I was when you bought me Desperaux....well you could make that happen again and be the greatest sister in the whole wide world.  No pressure. No pressure at all.

Okay, back to studying, but I can't help but think of a little china rabbit........hmmm I wonder what happened to Edward Tulane...

Friday, September 11, 2009

busy times = happy times

Little A, my youngest niece on my side of the family turned 2 last month!  If the baby is getting older that means the whole family is getting older.  Notice Reader how I include everyone, and not just mention myself. Back to my niece, she is just the most lovable child you will ever meet.  She will always greet you with a smile and is extremely compassionate towards everyone; all this at the tender age of 2.  For her birthday I made her an elephant.  Yes I know reader I have a thing for elephants but this was to be different.  This was to be my first purple elephant.  Patty came out just as cute as can be.  Ah Dang it, I named another one.  Well I let Patty know it was time to go to her new home and she was definitely excited.

You see Patty didn't care all that much for Kitty but dear Kitty found Patty to be soft and cuddly, the perfect pillow to lie upon.  Patty decided Kitty's love was a bit too much and couldn't wait to be cuddled by Little Miss A.  I can't blame Patty, at times Kitty can be a bit overzealous and I know Patty will be just fine in her new home.

Mommy also celebrated her birthday.  It was grand affair as we celebrated with dinner and desserts at my house.  I'm happy to report the kids devoured their meals.  They never knew they were eating healthy as I used whole wheat flour for the chicken tenders and baked the french fries.  HA!   Come cake time we went all out! Hubby made two types of homemade ice cream, Hazelnut and Mint Chocolate Chip just for the occassion.  The kids loved it and when I told them it was homemade everyone was surprised!

With all the birthday fun I was still able to find time to complete another successful swap.  I participated in a fun coin purse swap and I created a fun little purse for my partner.  

Based on her profile she liked giraffees and monkeys and I found this cute print.  It is a bit larger than a true coin purse but I decided fun things might just be a bit bigger and will need storage space.  I enclosed a Quarter since its a coin purse and some new types of tea for her to try.  I really hope she likes it.  I'm thinking of making one for myself.  Just a little fun purse to pull out of my bag during a tough day at work and smile when I've found my hidden gems.   I'm sure we could all use such a bag.

Before I close, I wanted to share a picture of Little Miss Middle A.  She is heading to kindergarten next week where she'll learn to read and write her ABCs.  I'm so excited for her and I hope she has a wonderful first day just like her big sister did!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Le Sigh

I'm at work, but I'd rather be home..... 
I'd rather be home sewing a coin purse for my swap partner. 
I'd rather be home baking cookies for my hubby and family.
I'd rather be home watching my favorite movies, this time I'd pop in Labrynth. 
I'd rather be home doing the laundry.  I need clean clothes really bad.
I'd rather be home organizing my sewing room.
I'd rather be home sitting in my kitchen having a cup a tea.
I'd rather be home getting my calendar of events ready, plotting out studying and craft time.
I'd rather be home than at work.

Wouldn't you rather be any place other than work?

P.S. Title name of this post was courtesy of one of my sister's emails to me.  Give credit where credit is due I say. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What I learned on my vacation.

Its Friday.

Around this same time last Friday I was in PEI with my hubby lying on the beach getting a tan.

We were relaxing, no worries on our mind. It was glorious! Now we are back at work. I did make it through the week and it wasn't so bad. I had several significant projects where were successfully completed. I must admit though I was distracted. Images would flash through my mind....

of the peaceful places we visited.........

recalling all the farms and the bales of wheat we passed......

I laughed to myself thinking of how I had waved to the cows and the horses that we passed by on our travels while my husband smiled at me.

I didn't want to leave and no one could blame me. It was the first time in almost three years that my dear husband and I were on a true vacation. It was blissful, nothing but peace and quiet for us both and nothing to worry about at work.

Did we miss our family? Of course we missed them. We missed them dearly and often we would say "Your mom would love this," "Look Lumber!" (family joke), "Imagine how much fun our nieces and nephews would have had at the beach." Our most frequently uttered line, "Next time when we come with the family...." See we missed them.

But I loved our time together and I just now realized why.

While we were away in another country, our phones were turned off and we had no contact with anyone. We survived because we had each other.

We laughed together, we got lost together, we found our way together, and we had fun together.

Its funny because there are people now in both of our lives who are planning their weddings, large elaborate weddings, and small, intimate weddings. We have both heard how the bride and groom and their respective families want things a certain way and the fights that have been had and I'm reminded of something my husband said to me..."It isn't the wedding that they should be concerned about, its the marriage, its afterwards."

He's right. My darling husband is so right!

Are we experts? Far from it, but here we are almost 3 years later and still laughing, smiling, discussing :), vacationing and in love....just the two of and my husband.

Frank, Thank you for a wonderful vacation that has given me so many wonderful memories, it was a dream come true for a little girl who read Anne and ended up finding her very own Gilbert.

Love you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Today Hubby and I had a fabulous breakfast prepared by our inn-keeper. There were mounds of freshly made French Toast, Bacon cooked to perfection, eight juices to choose from and freshly made blue berry banana bread. We were in heaven.

After our delicious breakfast we headed to Avonlea and were transported back to the days of Anne. Just imagine for me if you will, hopefully you've read the books or been made to watch the movies by your sister (you hear me Jenny) and close your eyes. Can you remember it. Now open them and tell me doesn't this look like Avonlea? Can't you just feel it.

Church and the Manse (the home of the preacher)

We entered Avonlea through the train station. If you are at all familiar with the story you'll realize that the train station is where Anne meets Matthew Cuthbert. Dear Matthew was her first kindred spirit in the land of Avonlea.

The days activities in Avonlea began bright and early at 10 am and continued until 5:00 pm. Wouldn't you like that work day. Throughout the day we were treated to scenes from the Anne of Green Gables books. When Hubby and I arrived we were able to see the first time Marilla met Anne. Oh how she cried when Marilla stated they couldn't keep her as she wasn't the boy they had sent for. Poor Anne! Later we were treated to Anne's first day of school where she first encountered Gilbert Blythe. "Carrots" he called her when she wouldn't pay attention to him. Well that name caught her attention all right as she took her slate and brought it clean down on his head! It was great!!!!

Diana, Anne and Gilbert as Gilbert apologizes to Anne for calling her Carrots.

The whole town broke for lunch and Frank surprised me with a picnic basket for our lunch. Our picnic basket, prepared by our wonderful inn-keeper, featured home baked bread, raspberry cordial, fresh fruit, cheese and meats for sandwiches, and homemade mini pecan pies. Ooh la la, as the french say "Tres Manifique!"

Frank and our Picnic Basket

Have I mentioned I married a wonderful man! Wait it gets better, you see we were able to have our picture done and partake in the Avonlea festivities. See....

Don't we look cute.

We were even able to stay to witness the marriage of Anne and Gilbert. It was a lovely service and there were many a teary eyed girl in the audience.

The day ended at Avonlea with a pig race. Yup, I said pig race. There were four piggies that ran the race, the one up front with the green dot is Wilbur. He was my pick. He didn't win. Hubby's pick Spotty, the red pig behind snuck up and I'm sure bit Wilbur in the leg so he won. Cheater.

That's all for tonight in Prince Edward Island. Tomorrow we are visiting Cavendish and the beaches!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kindred Spirits

When I was little my mother bought me a set of books by L. M. Montgomery called the Anne of Green Gables series. It was over eight books that told the story of a red-headed, feisty orphan who blossomed into a wonderful woman. I love those books and read them to this day. Somewhere in my mother’s photo albums is a picture of me reading the first book, Anne of Green Gables when I was in fifth grade, which I still have in my collection.

Anne was a spirited girl who loved to learn new things and would get caught up in her imagination. I love her dearly. She led me into a world of wonder and I will always treasure her story.

Today I am writing this post from Cavendish in Prince Edward Island (the place in which the Anne story is set in) thanks to my wonderful husband! My husband is a caring and wonderful person, he’s selfless and a champion of mine. He has traveled over 1,000 miles to bring me to my childhood dream, Anne of Green Gables home. He is my soul-mate, my kindred spirit.

Hubby and I after 12+hrs of driving

When we were dating, he would stop by my house and we would watch TV, play cards with mom or just hang out with the family. Once I made him watch the Anne of Green Gables movie on DVD. Jenny, my fabulous sister, bought me the DVD as a present, since I had worn the VHS tapes out. As we were watching the movie, Hubby recalled watching the show when he was little on PBS when he was ten thanks to his father. Hubby's dad made him watch TV he deemed "quality TV." His dad also made him read literature during the summer vacation and encouraged verbal book reports at the end of each reading. Plus there were word quizzes Hubby was subjected to by his dad all in an attempt to educate him. His father succeeded in my book, because he knew Anne. Who cared about the word quizzes. :)

I had never told Hubby of my love for Anne. I should have known then that I would marry him one day.

Hubby and I traveled through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, (stayed in Bangor, Maine overnight and even sat in Tabitha King's booth at a pub for dinner) then passed the Canadian Border into New Brunswick, over the Confederation Bridge and finally into Prince Edward Island (PEI)!

The Confederation Bridge is over 4 miles long.

Once in PEI, we checked into our inn and relaxed after such a long drive.

I promise I'll post more later but I'm off with my hubby for hot chocolate chip cookies and tea made by our inn-keeper.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Visconti Pen

I have a particular pen that I like to use, a JetStream pen by uni-ball. This pen isn’t particularly expensive as it retails for $2+ but its well worth it. I pay for them myself, as I can’t see asking my boss for a reimbursement for a box of pens especially since I use them all the time for almost everything I write. I have very bad vision and the ink used with this particular pen works very well for me. I can see the words quite easily and it doesn’t smudge should I accidentally run my hand over a newly written document. This is my favorite pen especially for work as the long hours that I put in the office can take a toll on my vision. I even keep refills for this, my favorite pen at the office just in case I run out of ink.

On Monday of this week, I couldn’t find my pen. It wasn’t on its normal resting place on my desk. I checked my purse for my back-up pen and realized I had apparently used it and had neglected to return it to my purse. As a creature of habit, I was finding it difficult to use another blue pen. I set off to look in our supply rooms for some alternatives for the day and found a couple of blue pens. One of the blue pens had ink that was just too light to be seen easily, another blue pen’s ink smudged all over my palm, and yet another blue pen felt awkward to hold. I had turned into the Goldilocks of Blue Pens. I plodded on with my day but grimaced every time I had to use one of the borrowed pens.

As part of my job for XYZ, I have a lost and found collection of items at my desk. Buttons, keys, change, and pens you name it and it most likely will find its way to my desk. In desperation I turned to the lost items and found a pen I thought I could use and discovered this pen.

It's pretty and had been in Lost & Found for about a year and remained unclaimed. When I tried to write something I realized the ink had run out. Inspiration struck and I tried using the refills of my favorite pen and it took them! Hurray! I was back in business and continued my day away.

Today my boss returned from an extended trip. There were a bunch of items for him to sign and since he couldn’t find his pen he grabbed my pen from the desk. I cringe when people do this because if my favorite pen is in their line of view they always grab it, either say it feels good too and sometimes walk off with it. An awkward moment ensues in which I say to that individual, “Can I have my pen back please” and then wait for them to hand it back. Most of the time I get it back but if they walk off with it, it’s gone, never to be seen again. It’s only a $2+ pen so I shouldn’t be worried but it’s my favorite pen.

As my boss signs the papers he asks me where I got the pen from and I said I found it. I remember when I found it too, it was last year in the supply room closest to my cube and was by the fax machine. Abandoned. All alone until it joined the residents of Lost and Found in my desk. Guess what boss says, I think this was my pen, I had it awhile ago but you can keep it, it looks like a girl’s pen anyway. “Thank you,” I said and continued to use it.

As I said, it’s a pretty pen so at lunchtime I went on the internet to see what type of pen it really was.

I’m familiar with the Cross Pen. You know the one people usually give out as a present for a college graduation or for your first job. It’s the cool pen you break out to sign checks or at a meeting that makes people think “Nice Pen.” For the record I know I’m silly. On the pen clip it says Visconti and I headed over to their website to check it out. My jaw dropped.

Turns out the pen that lived in my drawer for a year is a Visconti Van Gogh in Ocean Blue Stainless Steel and runs anywhere from $195 to $149. Here is an excerpt from one of the website featuring this exclusive pen.

Italian pen makers Visconti have created a special Van Gogh fountain pen. Its pleasant weight allows it to rest easily in the hand and balance well when writing. Visconti's Van Gogh combines natural resin and vegetal components in their hot Press Mould process to produce beautiful, one-of-a-kind writing instruments for you to enjoy. Their most popular line continues to impress with its individuality and colors reminiscent of individually crafted impressionist paintings. Try one today and bring forth your inner-Van Gogh.

Shut up!

Who would have thought that I would have had a pen in Lost and Found valued at $150+ in my desk for a year, only to use it and be reunited with its owner and then be given to me by my Boss because it’s girly. So thanks Boss, and now I’ll be sure to keep this pen with me at all times out of the view of those who might “borrow” it. I might even craft a special padded bag for it to rest in when I’m not bringing forth my own inner Van Gogh.

Friday, August 7, 2009

First Swap has been completed!

I am proud to announce that I have successfully completed my first swap. Now comes the waiting game as I'll be on pins and needles until it arrives and meets with my Swap partner's approval. snazzynsuch if you are reading to get a sneak peek, here it is! I hope you like it. I had a blast making it for you.

I took this picture from the front of my house. The grocery tote bag is actually hanging from the branch of a gorgeous dogwood tree that calls my lawn its home. There is definitely more of the tree to see but this branch was calling for a close up shot and couldn't wait to be featured in my blog. I know I have a healthy dose of imagination, it keeps me going.

As I was getting ready to pack my creation I realized I had neglected to photograph the set of pockets I had made on the inside. Luckily I took this photo at work. Unfortunately I was far from home and couldn't pose the bag at my pretty tree again so I had to settle for posing the bag on my work chair. Next time I'll drape the bag all over the tree and do a whole photo shoot to make sure I get all of my necessary pics. Who knows if I cause enough commotion maybe my neighbors to the right will come out to investigate and maybe I'll finally meet them. :)

As part of this great swap I received a beautiful bag from Renees which I love! I apologize Renee, I've been so busy using the bag on my lunch errands that I keep forgetting to take a picture of it. I'll try and remember this weekend and hey if its stuffed with food I'll still take the picture.

This week I've been pretty good with my crafts. I managed to finish up another elephant for a new baby at work. Here he is below.

I named him. I am aware that I am not supposed to bestow a name to a cute stuffie but we've bonded. His name is Jimmy and he's going to a new home in NY. Jimmy, (i'm crying now) I'll miss you but I know you'll be very happy to travel to the Big Apple, and maybe you'll get to see the M&Ms store and the Statue of Liberty.

Looks like someone is excited but is it for the M&Ms store or Lady Liberty! Hmmmmm...

More good news to report, Hubby noticed our roses are finally starting to bloom. I personally thought this plant would never come alive again. During the spring, it was a bunch of twigs. At the beginning of summer only a handful of leaves grew but as time moved on this gorgeous plant who trekked with us from our first home finally decided to pucker up and bloom.

I wanted to take more pictures of this beauty until I realized what I thought was a twig at my feet had begun to move. I investigated a bit too close and found this.....

YUCKO! Since I'm still a city girl at heart, I took his picture and ran right out of there all the while making a sour face just thinking of how close I had gotten to the slug. YUCK Nature!!!!!!!