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Monday, February 28, 2011

~A Crafty Monday Post~

Good Monday morning all!!!  
It is cold and sunny here, the temperature is -13 Celsius.  We are not getting the early Spring that we got last year.  So I am trying to prepare myself for two more months of Winter-y weather.  
 Take a look out my kitchen window and you will know what I mean.

It's just a matter of adjusting my mind to the facts of life and the fact that living in Manitoba allows us to enjoy all four seasons.  It just seems that some seasons last longer than others!

Yesterday was my oldest grand daughter's birthday.   Ten years ago, she made me a grandma.  I was in St. Louis taking care of my daughter who had been in surgery just a few days prior to that.  I felt like I should feel different and I didn't, it was a very weird feeling.  I didn't actually get to see her for two more months and by then she was an adorable little chubby, cuddle bug.  Holding her for the first time was so amazing.  Today she is in grade four, makes excellent grades in school, she loves to read, do crafts and help in the kitchen.  Happy tenth birthday, my sweet Naomi. 

I made her a jean purse from a jean skirt that she had outgrown.  She loved it, I think.  There are lots of great tutorials to be found on the internet.  I found Threadbangers to be very helpful.  I didn't put the flap on it that they did, though.

  We had two lovely, sweet girls over for lunch yesterday, so I made a special cake.  It's special because it is delicious and very low in calories.  

Here's the recipe for Pineapple Pudding Cake.

1 package (9 oz.) yellow cake mix
1-1/2 cups cold fat-free milk
1 pkg. (1 oz.) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 pkg. (8 oz.) fat-free cream cheese
1 can (20 oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple, well drained
1 carton (8 oz) frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup shopped pecans, toasted
20 maraschino cherries, (I did not use these)

Prepare cake mix batter according to package directions; pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake as indicated on box.  Cool.

In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.  In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in pudding mixture until blended.  Spread evenly over cake.  Sprinkle with drained pineapple; spread with whipped topping.  Sprinkle with pecans and garnish with cherries, if you have them.  Refrigerate until serving.

Yield: 20 servings
Calories: 131 per serving

I found that the topping was not very sweet, the next time I make it I will add 1/4 cup Splenda to the cream cheese mixture.  It's a light and enjoyable dessert, it would be perfect for the summer time.  I will definitely make it again.

I am joining Skip to my Lou today.  If you are looking for craft ideas go take a look, there are nearly 250  blogs linked up there already!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Favorite Blogs

Have you ever been completely without anything to blog about?  I'm sure you have all experienced that.  Sometimes I just want the world to go away and leave me be, but then the very next minute I am checking to see who has updated their blog and I am there as quick as a wink to read it.  
Today my friend over at Beatrice Banks, gave a shout out to three of her favorite blogs and I wanted to do the same.  I came back to my blog, read the comments on my last post and realized that you are all my favorites.  I enjoy all of your blogs so much, they are a part of nearly every one of my days.  Your posts and comments give me insight into the kind of person you are and if you all lived on my block, we would be "bosom pals", I'm sure. 

A corner in my living room.
  So here we go:

Beatrice Banks is one of my favorites.  We have become friends over the internet.  She lives in Georgia, I live in Manitoba, far apart in miles, but our hearts have connected.  She has become my prayer partner.  She has a beautiful blog where she talks about decor, with a bit of personal stuff thrown in for good measure.

Tammy's Home
Pamela, at Playing With My Camera, is another one that I have become friends with.  We talk, via email, quite often.  She lives in New Brunswick, Canada and has friends in my city.  So we hope to get together one day.
Pamela's lovely flowers.

 And lastly, this lovely young woman is a writer and a very wise lady, too.  Jen, from ~Sweet Blessings~ writes a devotional style blog.  It's always encouraging and up-lifting to read her blog in the morning, before the chores begin calling my name.

Why don't you go over and tell these girls "Hello" and tell them Cindy sent you.

The park near my house.
I hear over the news that many places are getting more Wintery weather, be patient, Spring will come, later rather than sooner, but it will come.

Meanwhile, "Heal the Past, Live the Present and Dream the Future."

My blog roll is a reflection of my favorite blogs, if I have not mentioned you today, it's not because I don't enjoy your blog, but rather that I decided to stick to just three.
I always enjoy all of your photos and what you have to say!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Watery Wednesday

Happy Wednesday to all of you. 
My son, Greg, is a brick layer and runs his own company here in our city.  It's mainly an outside job, which cannot be performed in subzero weather.  So he takes off for warmer climates in the middle of every Winter.  He usually takes both of his kids with him, leaving his wife home to work, she is a secretary at a local High School.  But this time only Jonathan wanted to go.
This year he went to Florida, down in the Everglades and the  Florida Keys.  He was kind enough to share his photos with me to use on my blog.  Thanks Greg.

Now I know some of you live in Florida and you may immediately recognize these birds.  I am going to guess that this is a flamingo, but if you know that it isn't, please tell me what it is.  Edit:  This bird is called a Spoonbill.  Thanks, Greg! 

This one looks like the Blue Heron that spends the summer up here in Canada.  They are very common where you find still water.

Can you see what Jonathan has been looking at?  An alligator!

 He's getting closer!

I hope you enjoyed seeing these watery images, including the Florida wildlife.
I am joining Watery Wednesday once again.  You can go over there to see some great photography from bloggers who live around the world.

Before I go I want to say Happy Birthday to my daughter, Carolyn.  She is 32 today!  

Carolyn is a very thoughtful daughter and a loving wife to Mark and a mother to her two young'uns.  She is a survivor.  At age 16 she was diagnosed with osteogenicsarcoma.  She went through all of the treatments and surgery and these many years later we can still say that she won that battle.  Only a few months after marrying her sweet husband, he came down with cancer and she went through all of his treatment and surgery with him.  He is another survivor! 
Her two children are very energetic and imaginative and she home schools the oldest one.She is a strong individual who knows her own mind and who has a great deal of empathy for people who suffer an illness or abuse of any kind.  I thank the Lord for this daughter.  I love you and I hope this birthday, is a very happy one, my sweet Carolyn.
Have a great day!


Monday, February 21, 2011

An Island Cottage

Thank you to all of you who left such nice comments regarding my sister's apartment and the post preceding that one, on Whidbey Island.  This beautiful Island sits just west of Seattle.  You can get a ferry from Mukilteo that takes you directly to it and after following Hwy. 525, which becomes Hwy. 20, you will be there in about an hour and a half.

Today I have something that includes both white decor and the Island.  It is "Seaside Cottage".  

It is a lovely little cottage that sits on the same road where this photo was taken.

Many of you commented on that photo.  It was a stormy day and the ocean presented a very dramatic scene!

"The cottage is small, yet it has all of the necessary elements. Furnished in a comfortable shabby chic style with white slip covered sofa, overstuffed chairs, and cottage style collectibles."

This little cottage is for rent, if anyone is interested.  You can rent it by the week, but they don't accept dogs or children.  I think I can understand why, but oh how I would love to take my grandchildren there for a fun get-away.

"If you appreciate a good nights sleep, you will love the luxury King Heavenly Bed. This is the same bed collection found at the Westin Hotels. Dressed in down with 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and down pillows."
I can imagine sleeping in that bed of eiderdown and waking up to the sound of the surf right outside my door, literally.

The chairs are sitting on the deck just outside the backdoor.

You could sip your morning coffee here...

...and watch the sun go down from those very same chairs that evening.   Aaah...doesn't that sound inviting?  And you can get your daily exercise walking the beach while beach combing.

"The deck is only a few feet from the beach, and miles of beach combing. In the spring gray whales swim right in front of the cottage. Bald Eagles are often spotted from the beach as well as sea otters, seals, and endless shorebirds."

If you are truly interested, here is the website.  (All quotes are taken from this website.)  Check it out!  And no, I am not being paid to do this.  I fell in love with this sweet little cottage several years ago when we were searching for a place to spend a week.  Unfortunately it was booked the week that we needed it. 

 Back to my reality.
It is still Winter time where I live, it's -16 deg. Celsius under cloudless, sunny skies.  It was -29 yesterday at this time, so it has warmed up!  I have to keep a positive attitude, you know.  I love the Winter and this has been a very sunny one.  I thank God for that!

Have a great day, my friends.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Sister's Living Room

Hello my friends, so nice to visit with you again!

I was talking to my younger sister, Sue, early last Summer and she was telling me that her daughter was moving out soon and she would be an empty nester and thus she would be moving.  I was inspired to suggest to her that she list all of the furniture that she did not particularly like on Craigslist and buy some new furniture that she really liked.  And most importantly that she felt reflected her taste.  So she did just that.  Then she found a two bedroom apartment that was much smaller and cheaper than the home she had been living in.  After much searching, Sue was not able to find anything that really suited her and her budget.  She asked me for suggestions on what she should buy and I could not resist suggesting to her my own favorite sofa and chair, the Ektorp line from IKEA.  She had already purchased her window treatments during an earlier visit there.
So she took a look and loved them as much as I did.  She is still looking for a coffee table and a few other things.  But I asked her if I could show you what her sofa and chair look like.

I think it is looking just beautiful!
I suggested that she make pillows in a color to match her wall for the couch and chair.  And possibly smaller white pillows to sit in front of the dark pillows. 

She is open to suggestions, do you have any for her?  The plants that you see are live plants, she has a real green thumb, unlike me.  The paint job is something that she can't do much about because it's a rental.

I am joining the following parties.

Feathered Nest Friday

Inspiration Friday

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watery Wednesday

Whidbey Island, Washington, USA

Several years ago Ray and I vacationed on Whidbey Island.  It's a small island off of the coast of Washington.  It has some of  the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.  It was about this time of year and though it was chilly and often rainy, it was a wonderful place to just put up our feet and rest.

The little cottage that we rented had all of the comforts of home and was very quaint.  It was sitting right on a bay and the balcony extended over the water.  You can see the edge of the balcony in the first two photos. 

 The rest of the photos are scenes from around the island.

The Olympic Range is to the South of the Island.

Edit, I cropped and lightened the last photo, I think it looks a whole lot better.  Don't you?

This last one was taken on the West side of the Island.  The wind is blowing fiercely and causing the waves to crash against the shore and send the foam clear across the roadway.

Whidbey Island offers the best of both worlds, a few small towns, plenty of solitude, mountain views and ocean.  What could be better?

I am joining Watery Wednesday.  I didn't find anything for the challenge.  But this Island is the perfect place for a romantic getaway for Valentine's Day, if you are looking for one.

Have a wonderful day!  


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.  It is said that "Love is the only thing that can be divided without being diminished."  I am so thankful for the power of love.

If you are new to my blog, I welcome you!  
  I told you on Friday that I would show you one of the best gifts that I ever received on Valentine's Day.  I was talking to me sister Sue yesterday and she thought I might be referring to a wonderful gift given to me by my dear husband.  But no, Ray has given me some wonderful gifts, but this one was given to me, or us really, seven years ago today by our oldest daughter and her husband.
  She is a sweet, loving, strong willed and highly imaginative little girl and has been since day one!
She was acting out what people said and how they acted before she could even talk.  A born actress if I ever saw one.

B at about ten months old.

Easter when she was three.

All dressed up at four years old.

 Nearly seven years old here.
 Not a great photo, but that is the newest one that I have of her.  It was taken at the Christmas program.  Because of where we lived and what was happening at the time, I have had opportunity to spend more time with B than I have with any of my other grandchildren.  I love them all and they are all special, but B remains the best Valentine present I ever received.

Happy Birthday to our precious B!!!

Thank you for all of your sweet comments and emails about Friday's post.  You, my readers, are truly what makes blogging such a fun and wonderful experience.  Connecting with you has widened my horizons and brought me love and friendships from around the world.  I truly feel like I know some of you.  I guess that is what happens when hearts connect.  On this Valentine's Day, I want to tell you that I love YOU and you are all very special to me.

I am joining a party today for those who are new, under six months old or who have fewer than 100 followers.  I have had my blog for nearly two years, but have never sought after followers.  But if you wish to become a follower, I will do something special for somebody when I reach the 100 mark.

So check out Debbie's lovely blog, and join in if you fit the criteria, it's always fun to make new friends!

Love and hugs,