Monday, 28 September 2015

Happy Birthday to my Libra

My husband's birthday is September 29th. He is my Libra. We celebrated tonight because he will be on a train to Toronto tomorrow after work. 

His parents treated us to dinner at Dolcetto, one of our favourite restaurants. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals: individual pizzas for my husband and his Dad, squash risotto for his Mum and roasted salmon salad for me. All were tasty choices.

Afterwards, we returned to our house where my parents joined us for birthday cake with candles. Cake and candles are part of every birthday without exception in our family.

Happy Birthday to my Libra with love. Cheers to another great year.

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Exploring Point Pelee

On Saturday after staying over and enjoying a wonderful breakfast with Wendy and Keith in Chatham, we decided it might be fun to visit Point Pelee. Our last visit was the first summer we dated, so 33 years ago. 

It was a beautiful sunny day for a drive in the country. We stopped to take a photo of this field full of rusty old tractors before continuing on our way to Leamington for a bite to eat.
Perch with coleslaw, fries and grapefruit draft beer made for a yummy lunch at a restaurant near the Pelee Island Ferry Dock. I liked this bird sculpture in their garden.
It was a short 3 km drive from the dock to Point Pelee National Park.
We caught a shuttle from the Visitor Centre to the Tip of Canada.
The shuttle dropped us off and a short walk along the beach brought us to the southernmost Tip of Canada.
Instead of taking the shuttle, we walked the 2.5 km trail back to the Visitor Centre capturing photos of monarch butterflies, moths, bees and flowers along the way.
We also stopped at the DeLaurier homestead built in the 1800's. My husband sat on this old farm machinery. Imagine what it must have been like planting the fields with this.
The Marsh Boardwalk was our last stop. We walked the easy 1 km loop through the marsh and climbed the lookout tower for a panoramic view of the wetlands.
The last time we visited, these barn swallow nests on the tower were full of babies. By September, they are abandoned and empty. 

Exploring Point Pelee was a fun and relaxing way to spend an afternoon. 

We drove the scenic route home on Highway 3 and saw lots of windmills plus lots of signs protesting them. I don't really really know whether windmills are good or bad, but I do think they are beautiful in an odd, alien-looking kind of way.

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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Celebrating Six Decades Married

My Great Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Ron were married September 24, 1955. 

Wendy, their daughter sent out this invitation via Facebook: "We hope you will join us to celebrate Ron and Dorothy's 60th wedding anniversary!! Reception is from 8 PM to midnight at Aleksander Estate Winery 1542 County Road 34, Kingsville on Friday September 25th. Casual dress. No gifts - Dad says just "smiles and best wishes". Feel free to message me if you want more info. We would love to see you there to congratulate this amazing couple on an amazing marriage (but then I'm a bit biased...)"

Wendy is my Mom's cousin and my first cousin, once removed. (Great) Aunt Dorothy is my Grandmother's youngest sister, but truthfully more like a daughter with a 21-year age difference. I always loved seeing Wendy and her sister Janice when I was little and was happy to reconnect with them through Facebook. 

It was Wendy who recommended the Happiness Option Weekend course in Sheffield, MA in July and offered a ride with her husband Keith and son Ben. If you missed it, you can read all about that weekend here. I loved the course and loved getting to know Keith and Ben. I was hoping I would get to see Wendy someday soon too. 

Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Ron's 60th Wedding Anniversary was a perfect opportunity to get together to celebrate family and a lifetime of happy memories. We had such a great time at the party chatting with relatives we rarely ever see and meeting the next generation we had heard about over the years, but never actually met. It was such a fun evening.

I took photos of the table displaying Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Ron's photo from their wedding and a more recent photo of them together. They are a beautiful happy couple both then and now. 
I also took photos of the picture boards Wendy made for each decade of her parents' married life together. I loved seeing them on display.
Wendy posted this comment with her parents' wedding photo on Facebook. "Today is the official day. Happy 60th Anniversary to the best example of "wedded bliss" I know. So lucky they are my parents too!!" 

Wendy says the nicest things and she is right. Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Ron are an exceptionally great couple with an amazing bond that started way back in grade school I am told.

I was busy chatting and reminiscing, so did not take a lot of "party" pictures, but did get one of me with Aunt Lena and Aunt Dorothy, my Grandma's two youngest sisters. I love these two ladies and know my Grandma did too. I'm sure she is sending hugs from heaven to us all.
This is another of my Mom's cousins Vicky and her husband Ron. Vicky is Aunt Lena's daughter. Her pet name for my Grandma was Mimi. As a young child I couldn't understand why Vicky called my Grandma 'Mimi'. I knew her name was Marian. Now I get it and am happy to see Wendy named one of her cats Mimi. Fond memories live on.
Wendy brought home roses from the party. I took a picture before she hid them from her cats. Wendy and Keith invited us to stay over with them which was wonderful. It gave us a chance to catch up properly over breakfast the next day.
Wendy and Keith's property backs onto the river. The view from their kitchen is truly lovely. 
I went outside to take a few more photos and had to share this garden mermaid. She's beautiful from every angle.
This is one of Wendy's cats. He looked so cute sitting in the window, I couldn't resist taking his picture too.
Thanks to Wendy and Keith for inviting us to stay. We had a wonderful time and Chatham isn't that far away, perhaps we can get together again sometime soon. It would be fun.

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Crochet Cat Bum Coasters

Last week a friend shared photos of Crochet Cat Bum Coasters she had made. I laughed when I saw them, but couldn't resist making some too. 

Even though I have been busy trying to clear out my stash of cotton yarn, I ended up buying more to make these coasters. My stash was short on 'cat' colours, plus I needed pale pink for the bum holes. When I got home, I realized my pale pink yarn was perfume scented. 

I normally avoid perfume scented things, but thought it added to the fun of this coaster. These are literally smelly Crochet Cat Bum Coasters. I chuckle picturing people checking it out by taking a whiff. 

I think these Crochet Cat Bum Coasters are rather cute and sure to be a hit with all the cat lovers out there. 

These coasters are a quick and easy project. In case you might like to make some too, I have included the pattern link below. Enjoy!!
I followed this pattern by blogger Sally at My Yarn Spot. I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn in a variety of 'cat-like' colours. The bum holes were made using pale pink yarn. I used a 4.5 mm crochet hook, instead of the suggested 4.25 mm. The coaster circle measures 3.5" across. 

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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Summer Crochet

Summer crochet slows to a snail's pace at meo my crochet. I like to make things that are easy. I like to keep it simple and practical too. 

With this in mind, I decided to use my stash of Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn making dish cloths and coasters. They are great to have on hand as hostess gifts. I have been working slowly, but steadily for the past six weeks. It takes one hour to crochet a dish cloth. A large ball of cotton yarn costs ~$16 at Lens Mills and will make about eight dish cloths. 

My pile has grown to the point where I have enough to consider selling. I wonder if people would pay $8 for a set of two dish cloths or perhaps four coasters? It's a good thing I crochet for fun and relaxation, otherwise I might be disappointed making less than $2 an hour for my efforts.
Summer crochet mostly happens in the living room. I sit on this sofa with my laptop to my right and my work piling up on the table in front of me.
All those dish cloths and coasters form a colourful display while I work. As you can see, I have more cotton yarn, so will continue making coasters. 
In case you would like to make your own dish cloths or coasters, I've included instructions below.


Supplies Used:
Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn
5.5 mm crochet hook
yarn needle

Stitches used:
ch (chain)
sc (single crochet)
flsc (front loop single crochet)
blsc (back loop single crochet)

Starting chain - 29

R1 - sc in 2nd ch from hook (28) 
Note: I like to crochet in back bump of starting chain as shown here.
R2 - ch1 turn, sc in 1st sc, flsc, blsc (repeat across), sc in last sc
R2 - ch1 turn, sc in 1st sc, flsc, blsc (repeat across), sc in last sc
Continue until dish cloth is square (fold diagonally to check)

Border: sc around, 3 sc in corners, finish off and weave in ends

Finished size: 8.5" x 8.5"


I followed this free pattern by designer Nancy Livengood. I like the look and simplicity of this coaster. Using Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn and a 5.5 mm crochet hook - the finished size is 4.5" across.

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