When I was a little girl my sister and I had a large trunk full of dress-up clothes. It wasn’t as colourful as the “tickle trunk” on Mr. Dressup (in fact it looked more like a pirate’s chest) but it was every bit as magical.
My mother had filled it with old hats, gloves, purses and dresses. While part of me wishes she’d held on to them until we were adults, I’m grateful she never had that good sense. Despite the fact that over the years these beautiful vintage pieces became worn, torn, stained or lost, what remains with me is a heightened sense of girlish pleasure every time I’m given the opportunity to dress up.Fortunately, I get that opportunity every May. Six years ago my husband and I were invited to a fundraiser. It was a dinner and auction with 100% of the money raised going directly to help with building projects and medical services for the people of Haiti. The theme was the “Hollywood Academy Awards”.
We went the following year (1920’s Speakeasy), and the next year (Olympics –I was a Greek goddess). After that, I began volunteering on the fundraiser and each year I seek out local donations (which are always very generous) and work with a talented team to put together auction packages for the fundraiser.
This year the theme is ‘Under the Big Top’ and I can’t wait to dress up as a lion. A girl lion of course –but with a lion’s mane.Of course, as much fun as it is to dress up, the greatest enjoyment I get is from knowing how much the money raised is going to help people. Proceeds from this year’s event will support a local Haitian doctor and two Haitian nurses at a recently built, free standing medical clinic in Grand Guave and will provide free medication as well as HIV on-site testing and supportive treatment for local Haitans.
The event is open to everyone if you want to attend, but tickets are going fast! In the meantime, check out this fascinating site chronicling the October/November 2012 trip of local volunteers to Haiti.
First day of Spring break – YAY! I’m celebrating – are you? The thing is, it makes me want a holiday!!! Sigh…. Well, we might not make it anywhere special but I’m hoping we can do at least a couple mini road trips (mini day trips, really…). I was looking through old photos yesterday and came across some pics from past road trips we’ve taken. I love it when we happen upon some photo worthy scenes! Hope you enjoy. ~ Micheline
Most of us complain, “I’m just so busy!” We often use the expression “busy as a bee” or “ants in your pants” to describe our incessant activity. But how much does our busyness really compare to that of a bee or an ant?
Apart from producing one of the sweetest nectars on earth, bees are essential to pollinating our ecosystems. If bees were to stop their “busyness” it would negatively impact all of us. Pollination helps preserve our natural forests and wildflowers providing the seeds, fruit, and nuts that sustain wild animals. Pollination of our own vast food supplies sustains us. Our very survival relies on these tiny, magnificent creatures.Ants are equally magnificent; they turn over and enrich the soil more than earthworms, they spread seeds, pollinate plants and control the pest and spider populations. Additionally, they keep the environment clean by consuming dead animals and they themselves are a food supply for many other species.
In all honesty I can’t profess that my “busyness” even remotely compares to that of a bee or an ant. While much of my time is spent caring for my family and community, in all honesty I take on a lot of things that actually reduce the time I have to spend on the people and things I care about.
I suppose the issue isn’t necessarily our “busyness” but instead it’s what we are busy doing.
~ MichelineMy Father-in-law found this spectacular “Ant Castle” last year. It has roads winding round and round – all the way up to the top!
My family and I DO leave the farm sometimes! This past summer we took a few day trips and also went camping for a week at Kokanee Creek on Kootenay Lake. The four pics above were taken at the Creston Wildlife Center – we just can’t help going there at least once a year for a long summer walk.I know this stuff is nasty, but it sure puts on a spectacular display against the huge cedar tree backdrop. Oh, the lake! The best part of every summer!
I took a few weeks off from blogging over the holidays (in case you hadn’t noticed ). And I did plan to get right back into the swing of things at the beginning of January but then… I got sick. I realize I’m not alone in this and I know many of you can sympathize. January always brings back dreams of warmer months but these flu-ish seasons actually make me LONG for those HOT summer days when all the viruses die!
In light of this longing, I thought it would be nice to share some of my 2012 summer with you. In the next few posts I hope I can bring you a little bit of sunshine.
When we first moved to our farm in 2010 the perennial flower beds in front of our home had been long neglected. This past summer was the first year that they started to look respectable. I thought I’d share the before and afters.
After a couple years of vigorous weeding and replanting we managed to revive most of the long buried perennials. The beds still have a rather wild look about them but no more weeds and no more grass! Well… that is… minimal weeds and minimal grass.
There is a LOT of lilies in these beds! They vary in colour from coral and orange to white and bright red. There is also Verbana, Bleeding Heart, Hydrangea, Shasta daisies and numerous other plants I don’t yet know by name. A lot of gaps remain to be filled – so if you do happen across my post please comment and tell me about some of your favourite perennials.
Miss Emily managed to find her way into various homes this Christmas! We just wanted to send out a BIG thanks to all those folks out there who supported our little business and bought our book. We are so grateful for you!
It’s been two weeks and things have run more or less smoothly. In fact I’m pretty sure I’m ready to move the kids’ school routine to the next level.
The first week I focused on getting the kids up on time and making sure that yes, they are wearing clean underwear. Sounds odd but when you have young boys, two-day old underwear is a distinct possibility.
Week two was spent sleuthing for papers to make sure I had all the forms I needed to sign. You know the ones –lockers, band instrument rentals, agendas, yearbook… I’m broke now, having spent more on miscellaneous school fees than I do on my monthly mortgage, but I’m pretty sure I got them all.Now we’re at week three and this is where it gets tricky. The kids are now into a routine and I’m about to mess with it. Having dressed and then changed their underwear, the boys are now ready for breakfast.
They don’t want to eat this early in the morning but they know they can’t leave the house until they do. So after two weeks of downing cinnamon toast, sugary cereals and equally sweet cereal bars they think they’ve mastered the breakfast hurdle.What they don’t realize is that while they’re happily gobbling down the last of the camper treats, I’m plotting to replace their simple carbs with complex ones and their morning sugars with proteins.
My first strike is decisive and victory is certain. I bring out the Meat. Lulled by the sizzling grease of bacon, sausage, and ham, my next move is pure stealth. Eventually, bacon is crumbled into omelets; sausage links are smaller and bring a friend – Mr. Whole-Grain-Toast-And-Peanut-Butter to the table. And the ham finds itself atop a whole-grain English muffin with low-fat cheese and a hard-poached egg as company.At least that’s how it plays out in my mind. It’s only day two and I haven’t hit stealth mode yet. I’ll let you know how the real battle goes over the next couple of weeks. And I’ll share some of my tricks for getting these hearty breakfast meals served up each morning in record time.
Already. The Kids are in school and early morning and early evening both carry a chill. But while that may be the end of our summer camping it doesn’t have to mean the end of family fun.If your hometown is like mine, there’s probably a lot more to do than you’d think. So this weekend, pack a picnic or plan a lunch at yer favourite local eatery and have some fun.For Will and Thom and me that means a stroll down to the Railway Museum to check out the massive model train set followed by some downtown window shopping. We browse the used bookstore, hobby shop and dollar store then head to the library. Our last stop before our mid-afternoon snack is the pet store for a visit with the resident talking parrot.
The little guy is only seven or eight months old and he doesn’t have a name yet. There’s a contest in the works to pick a name for him, so I’m sure he won’t be nameless for long. He knows how to say “hello” and he loves people.
He’s also quite mischievous. The last time we visited him he was trying to bite Thom’s baseball cap through the bars of his cage. Usually he’s allowed to fly around the pet store, but he’d been put in his cage for a time-out after breaking something in the store (and showing no remorse whatsoever for his behaviour).
Perhaps if he’d not been in time-out he would have paid less attention to us. Or maybe he’d have flown off with Thom’s baseball cap. As it was, he put up quite an indignant squawk when it was time for us to go. I hope his time-out wasn’t extended for screaming…
Sometimes there are no words to describe the gratitude you feel when you are given a perfectly timed gift. Shane and I received one of those this week – a gift that went above and beyond in generosity! There is a catch though – we don’t actually know who gave it to us… it was anonymous. This is hard for me because all I want to do is hug, squeeze and love on the person who blessed us and I can’t…
So, here I am sending out my hugs, squeezes and excitement into the wide-open online world in hopes that “Anonymous” will see this and feel loved. Thank-you from the bottom of our hearts!!! xoxo
Tangerine Tango, Solar Power, Cockatoo, Cabaret… these are only a few of the names given to 2012’s spring home and fashion color palette. It all starts with those famous designers way up at the top and then trickles on down to us laymen.
I do LOVE color but I honestly never knew how these seasonal colors were birthed until recently when a friend directed me towards Pantone. Apparently this is the place to hit if you are looking for what is “in” with color each year.
I’ve never considered myself to be a stylish person but I do have particular tastes and I definitely lean towards more color than less color. While ‘Tangerine Tango’ and ‘Solar Power’ have never made their appearance in my home I do happen to have a lot of gold and orange on my walls. And last month I refinished my desk in a color very similar to ‘Cockatoo’ – so maybe for this year at least I can be called trendy.
P.S. Trina and I are planning to blog about some of our own personal home décor soon!