Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I have a bone to pick....

Today I learned a new skill - boning a dress! The explanations and pictures on the Butterick pattern actually made sense and were easy to follow. That being said, the whole procedure took at least twice as long as I planned for it.

The first bone went in very easily, as did the second and I began to think "this is a piece of cake". Ha! When I started to put in the third, I realized I was fighting the innate tendency to curl of the boning which had been coiled in a package at Fabricland for months, years, whatever. By the time I got to the eleventh (and thankfully last) bone, it was like trying to sew on some sort of live twisting animal.

But it's done. Still many steps to go in my costume and then I have to start Wayne's which consists of a shirt, pants, vest, jacket and hat. And my rug is still not done but it's getting very close - the front may be done during the Montreal/Philly game tonight.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Boxes and Bags

Well, the basement is full of boxes, the garage is full of boxes, and bags of clothes are starting to be stuffed too. The reality of our move to Nova Scotia is starting to sink in.

Bob was laid off from Dell this week so he has accelerated his timetable for moving into our Ottawa townhouse which means I'm having to pack stuff to get it out of his way. I just seem to clear a shelf or area and Wayne comes along behind me and spreads out new stuff to fill my empty spots - it's getting rather frustrating. Wayne's way of "packing" is to make piles - usually not labelled and then NOT put the pile into a box or bag. I suppose it helps a bit but I never know when he's finished and I can pack up whatever it is.

We're not taking much in the way of furniture - one dresser, 2 filing cabinets, CD towers, an end table, and a small bookcase. We're also taking several small appliances, silverware. favourite mugs and wineglasses, some paintings and family pictures, all our CD's, movies and other tapes/DVD's, financial records etc. The things we normally take each year won't be packed until the last moment - clothes (almost all of them this time), computer, tools, cat and his belongings, golf clubs. A new addition this time will be Wayne's hockey equipment which takes up a ton of room. Anyway, at least 2 trips will be required since even a 10' U-Haul would cost almost $1700. and we'd still need to get the 2nd car to Nova Scotia.

I'm trying to decide what I should do with all the baby/little boy paraphernalia I've accumulated in the last 2 years. Some of it would be more useful in Nova Scotia but I want to have enough here to entertain Will and Isla when we are visiting. Leaving Will is the really hard part of this move - his Monday visit often is the highlight of my week. I'll miss the rest of my family too, and although they plan to visit occasionally, it won't be quite the same as having them to dinner every couple of weeks.

Enough feeling sorry for myself - I have to pay the bills so I can pack some more files. And I have to start thinking about address changes. Sigh!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Shower Fun

Heather had a surprise Baby Shower for Kris today - and it actually came off as a surprise! She thought it was a brunch for Joanna home from Chicago - unfortunately, Joanna was still in Chicago but the rest of us had a great time. Isla now has lots of little girly stuff. Including this ad for a boy friend!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Fun at the Japanese Embassy

This afternoon we went to the official opening of an art exhibit of the illustrations from this book. The illustrator, Karen Brownlee, is a cousin of our friend Jim Brownlee so we accompanied him and his wife Clara to Karen's show at the Embassy. The original illustrations are large - many of them 50" long, down in Japanese brush stroke painting and are an awesome blend of Japanese and Canadian cultures and themes.

Sakura is a cherry blossom tree. The book is the story of 3 sisters who came to Canada as "picture" brides about 100 years ago. It was written for 4-8 year olds.

There were speeches, presentations, refreshments (both Japanese and Canadian), a play based on the book, and several traditional Japanese dances - and, of course, the amazingly beautiful illustrations. A lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Before the exhibit, we all met for lunch at the Earl of Sussex Pub - lovely renovation and decor, great food, Kilkenny. We were quite impressed UNTIL we went downstairs to the washrooms before walking to the Embassy - these washrooms would have been right at home in the seedy night spots of Hull 40 years ago or any men's tavern of the last 100 years. Yuck!!!

Success in Shelburne!!!

Something positive has actually happened in our economically depressed area of Nova Scotia:
the former army base, then film production facility (The Scarlet Letter and some other epics) has finally been sold and will come out of mothballs as a fish hatchery, film studio and who knows what else - at least someone's trying to do something which might increase employment opportunities and stem the exodus to Alberta of all the young people. This tongue-in-cheek picture appeared with the news release.

Spring is Sprung

Well sort of. It's hard to accept that Spring arrived 2 weeks ago when everything still has a couple of feet of snow on it. But, I saw geese, I saw a robin so it must be Spring.

This looks like a very busy next couple of months - baby shower for Kris and Chris, baby arriving (Isla - May 1st or so), wedding for Kate and Kevin on May 17th, maybe someone will have a shower for them too, Wayne retires May 23rd, then off to Nova Scotia more or less permanently. We're fixing up stuff in our townhouse here - Bob is moving in to look after it for us so we've painted the master bedroom for him and hung new curtains. Wayne is patching all those little dents and popped screws and nails which appear over the course of a few years. We are looking for new lights to replace our 3 hideous hall ones - those shiny brass octagonal things with little round chandelier bulbs. We want something that will take compact fluorescents or halogens.

There is stuff to pack again -we're leaving most of our furniture and dishes here for when we are visiting Ottawa (and for Bob to use) but there's still a lot of small kitchen appliances (seriously - can anyone imagine Bob baking bread or making waffles from scratch?), books, files, clothes, cat stuff, computer stuff, tools etc that we'll want to have in Nova Scotia.

I finished a latch hook rug of 2 bunnies for a wall-hanging for Isla's room last week. Now I'm madly working on a hooked rug for a traveling display my rug hooking group is organizing for this summer. It's the 225th anniversary of the United Empire Loyalists coming to Canada and Shelburne is having a huge celebration all year . Last summer, I got the brilliant idea for this rug show, featuring 14" by 18" rugs with a common theme - Shelburne county then and now. The bandwagon started to roll very quickly and the actual organization was taken over by several of my friends in the Shelburne Sirens (thanks Marion, Linda, Phyllis, Shirley et al!). Marion has sent pictures of some of the rugs in progress (or even worse finished) but, of course, the brilliant person who thought up the whole thing has only done about1/3 of her rug, which is a view of the interior of the Ross-Thomson store which is now a museum. Here's hoping the Senators last a while in the playoffs - I get the most work done on it during hockey games.

We've also spent the last couple of days shredding old financial records of Grandpa Ray Cooper (Wayne's Dad) who died in September 2006 - Revenue Canada has finally declared they are finished collecting taxes from him and his Estate so we can get rid of a bunch of stuff instead of having to move it to NS with us, just in case I screwed up something in the Estate process. Now that I know how to do it all (at least for simple estates!), I hope I don't need the knowledge again for a long time, if ever.