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!!!!!!!