March, April, May . . . part One

Wow, do I have a lot of catching up to do . . . but Mum’s computer is hooked up now and I can use it when it’s free, so here goes . . .

First of all, thanks to all my lovely readers for your comments, especially on the death of my much-loved Aunty. A loss is always difficult, even when expected. We seem to expect death to come; just not ‘today’ . . . I’ll catch up with replies to comments soon, now that things are settling down to some degree.

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Can’t remember if I posted a picture of this sweet bunny. I think I did, but he’s cute enough to share twice. Selma from the Eclectic Home and Life blog posted the pattern. Very quick and easy, they make lovely ornaments, bunting, etc. This one will be attached to the project in the following photo. I haven’t done any more on that project, ’cause it won’t be used ’til next winter . . . and you know, I’m all about the deadlines . . .

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While I was staying with the Crafties back in February, March and half of April, I ‘appropriated’ this cup for my morning coffee. Here it is, sitting on the coffee table while I work on one of the CAL blankets. I was struck by the colours of the cup, scissors and the table, as seen in the morning sunshine.

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Mrs. Crafty scored a huge box of assorted dollies and every day there would be a few sitting in the sink for  a bath and shampoo. Quite fetching, aren’t they?

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Below is the hand of the youngest Crafty granddaughter, busy working on something for me, to be part of my project that will travel far from here. More on that once I have the rest of the makings . . . Young Miss C was helped by her lovely big brother Master Z. The creativity seems to have skipped a generation, but is alive and thriving in the grandchildren. Wonderful to see!

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I finally finished CAL #1, and here is the second row of the edging just being finished.

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The third row of edging . . .

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This wee Scotty dog sits on a small table outside the room that I slept in at the Crafties’. I took the picture to share with Selma after she posted a pattern for a sweet little Scotty brooch. Isn’t he cute?

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This is a gallon jar, probably once holding pickles or mayonnaise; sometime later it was decorated by a talented folk artist. It found its way to the Re-Use-It Centre, and leapt off the shelf into Mrs. Crafty’s welcoming hands . . . For now it sits on a shelf at the foot of the bed I slept in. It’s so nice to be surrounded by handmade, home-made items. I can just feel the love, can’t you?

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Below you can see how I finished off CAL #1 – with a lovely hot pink ruffle!

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I rather like it and I do hope the little girl who will receive it likes it, too. It’s large enough to use on her bed even into her teens. She’s not very tall, so that was easy.

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Above, the house where Doc Martin and the lovely Louisa were to spend their honeymoon; I’m SO tempted to move to Cornwall and take over this place! It reminds me in some ways of a couple of the homes I lived in as a child.

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I borrowed this from a friend’s post on FaceBook; nice to know I’m safe :-)

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One of the middle Crafty granddaughters; this is the girl I was teaching to knit. She’s been doing quite well with it and her piece was quite a bit longer when she left for home the next day.

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In the last couple of weeks I stayed with the Crafties I interrupted my  work on the three CAL blankets to follow the project that Selma’s class had moved on to: a ripple stitch item; for some, it was a blanket, but a couple of us chose to make a pillow. Mine is actually a pillow cover, for the pillow I used behind my back when I sat in the old recliner at my Aunty’s place. I ended it with a border of my own design, then realized the border wouldn’t show up once the piece was folded and stitched. So I added the white rows at the other end and now the border stands out just right. I’ll have to take a picture of the finished pillow; I rather like it.

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Two of the  antique dishes owned by the Crafties’ son and his fiancée. The brown lustre dish is meant to hold develled eggs around the edge and I assume a bowl of something in the centre (or crackers? or ???). The clear glass is a beautiful dish, probably meant to hold sweet treats at a ladies’ tea.

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A bottle of root beer, whose cap (and another) I have saved for Narfie7’s wall for Stevie-Boy. I hope root beer counts as a ‘beer’ . . .

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Thanks to Jess the Rabid Little Hippy for this section. She shared a picture of a waffle pattern baby blanket she had made (I think it was her first ever crochet project, too!); She kindly included a link to the pattern site and I just couldn’t resist . . . So this is part of one of the CAL blankets now.

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My Mum found this gorgeous towel in her things when she moved here after staying with my youngest sister for two and a half months. It looks rather old, but not antique. I’m planning to write out the pattern, once I find myself with more thyme . . . Thank heavens for spring and summer, eh?

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Some of the best banana bread I ever made! (and I’m not exaggerating, either!) I used a recipe from my Mum’s old Women’s Institute Cookbook, published back in the ’50s to celebrate British Columbia’s 100th anniversary. Most of the recipes have the ingredients in no particular order, so I missed something important when I started mixing things up; I saw ‘3-4 bananas’ at the end of the list, and rejoiced because I had exactly four that badly needed using up. So I mashed ’em and smashed ’em and mixed them with sugar and all the other good things. I had the wet items mixed and the dry items stirred and before I began melding them, I decided to go over the ingredient list one item at a time, just to be sure I hadn’t missed anything . . . and there in the middle was ‘one cup mashed ripe bananas’.

Oops!! Now what? I definitely had more than one cup; still, undeterred by fate, I mixed it all together, then added another half cup of flour or so, plus a spoonful more of baking powder. When I took them out of the oven I turned them out on a rack, as you can see by the clever pattern of indentations on the tops. Once cool, I cut into them, buttered the slices (no law against gilding the lily, is there?) and both Mum and I declared them the best ever!  If anyone is interested, I would be happy to post the recipe. Just let me know.

I’m going to stop here, as I have quite a bit more to go and I really don’t want to leave you all exhausted by such a huge post after the long months of drought . . .

Much Love and many Blessings to each of you; you are always in my heart and mind. More soon . . .

A sad update . . .

First, thanks to all of you for your patience and support during the past few months. I’m still way behind on responding to comments, so I appreciate that so many of you are still dropping in . . .

As those of you with experience with people affected by dementia will know, moving from a familiar home is extremely difficult for them. It has been hard for my Aunty, in spite of my efforts to create at least some continuity.

We moved to the new place two weeks ago today (Monday the 13th of April) and yesterday my Aunty simply let go and left us at 1.00 pm. I’d been sitting with her on the couch, holding her hand. I got up to move a couple of things in preparation for my Mum’s planned visit in the afternoon. I was up less than ten minutes, then sat down with her again. At that time, or just before, she went home. Just the day before, she had told me she was frightened, but couldn’t articulate the cause. I asked her if she was afraid of dying and asked if she knew what happens when we die. She said, “what?”, so I reminded het that we are met by those who love us and added that her Mother and Dad would probably be among them. She was calmer after that. She was only 10 when her mother died and that loss affected her and her siblings all their lives. I like to picture her ‘home’ again with them and all the others who have gone on ahead.

My Aunty reminded me of a Bantam rooster; she was tiny, not even five feet tall. But feisty enough for ten average people! I have inherited some of the same spirit, in a much more subdued fashion, so we had our clashes. But she always reminded me that she loved me and that she appreciated my being here and willing to help. And she knew I loved her, too. I’m so glad I didn’t leave that unsaid.

Those of you who have followed the Random Harvest for a while may remember my photos of my Aunty, happy to model a shawl or hold up an afghan for me. I miss her already, even though I had no wish to hold her back.

My mother has moved here now, so starting today we will continue unpacking and getting settled. It’s good to be with her again.

By the time Mum arrived yesterday, I had taken care of my Aunty’s body and she looked so peaceful, lying in her bed wearing a lovely pink blouse and powder blue skirt suit. She had made her clothes a while ago, as usual. She had a hard time finding anything suitabke that fit her. She became a fantastic seamstress as a result and when she was young turned many a head.

She learned to knit from her Mother and maternal Grandmother, both born in Norway. When my Aunty was young, all the socks, mittens, scarves, tuques, etc. were made by the women and girls in the fsmily. The men in my Great-Grandmother’s family had been fishermen. Away for weeks, sometimes months, at sea, they passed their evenings knitting socks, etc. for themselves. My oldest uncle, born in 1912 (the year the Titanic went down), learned to knit his own socks, too. Their Grandmother or Mother would start the cuff and the child would knit until it was time to turn the heel or make the thumb. The adult would do that, then the child would continue until it was time to decrease abd finish off, which the adult would do. After a while, the child learned to do it all, start to finish. My Grandmother crocheted, too, but my Aunty never did. She didn’t take well to her oldest sister trying to teach her after their Mother was gone. Older sibs (like me ;-) ) can be quite bossy!

Like my Mum, my Aunty learned to do Artex painting, a form of liquid embroidery. Living in separate provinces, both taught classes and made a bit of pin money selling supplies. A couple of years ago, my Aunty gave me her large container of Artex paints and all the pictures she had created. She sold some of her work, too. She was especially proud of one set of pillowcases she decorated; instead of ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ on them, as was common in those days, hers said, ‘Mine’ and ‘Yours’! She sold several sets of those . . .

As a girl, before the War, she had a penpal in India. The women in that girl’s family crocheted doilies to support the family. They would send a package to my Aunty, who would sell them, then send a money order back to India. She told me about tgat family so many times. She lost touch with them once the War broke out, followed by the Revolution, then Partition. My Aunty always wondered if they received the last money order she sent; it wasn’t acknowledged as usual and she never heard from them again.

After their mother died, my Grandfather kept the family together on the farm. The oldest son stsyed home for years to help with the farming (mostly wheat for income and hens, cows and pigs, plus two gardens just to feed the famkly, with extra butter and eggs being traded at the general store or given to family and friends. The ‘Dirty Thirties’ were very hard years if you lived in southern Saskatchewan. The nine remaining children ranged from nearly three to twenty years of age. The second son left home early and it wasn’t long before the oldest sister married and went to live with her husband’s family on their farm. So the housework, cooking, baking, laundry (by hand in a washtub) was split up by the three girls who were lmd enough: my Aunty, another Aunt and my Mum. Baking was not only all the bread for ten people, but also cookies, cakes, pies, loaves, etc.

My Aunty was too small to knead the bread well, but she baked many of the desserts. The other two girls did most of the laundry, although she helped, and she did all the mending, socks and clothing. It was a hard life for youngsters, but it formed them into strong, resilient, creative women and men. This why I feel so strongly that they deserve lovibg care in their final years.

I could say so much more, but I’ll save some for another day.

I’m doing ok, if you are wondering, but these next days will be busy as Mum and I settle in here. I hope to have a computer set up later this week.

I nearly forgot to tell you of the additional craziness yesterday . . . Shortly after my Aunty died, I had a phone call from the new caretakers in our old building. They live in Mum’s old suite. There was water pouring out of my Aunty’s old place, her son was still in Fort MacMurray and no-one had a key! In the end, they got a locksmith to open the door and then spent several hours vacuuming up over an inch of water (not much in the living room; mostly in the bedrooms and storage room. It was ‘dirty’ water from a burst drainpipe serving the kitchen sinks. The water backed up through my Aunty’s sonk, then spread across the floor. The caretakers drove here just before midnight to collect a key so they could let in the workmen today. I wad SO glad Aunty and I were not there; or, even worse, that she was there alone.

A lot for my cousins to deal with this week, for sure.

Have a great week, everyone; I’ll be back on a regular basis soon.

Sorry there are no photos; for some reason, my phone isn’t allowibg that today . . .

A sad day for music-lovers . . . in the golden shadows of joy . . .

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/mar/27/john-renbourn-ceaseless-explorer-of-song-pentangle-folk-appreciation

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Leonard Nimoy and Terry Pratchett, but John Renbourn’s exit leaves the world a darker place. Pentangle’s music, and later John’s solo work, was a strong and golden thread in the musical tapestry I was so lucky to live in. I took it all for granted then, as so many did.

I am sad at this loss, but also filled with gratitude for the many hours of delight I have been so fortunate to enjoy.

It was an added delight to read of his lifestyle in the Scottish Borders; I can’t imagine anything more perfect!

Living in the Moebius Loop . . .

. . . I wonder if that’s possible . . . some times in life sure feel like it. Maybe that’s what happens when you knit a Moebius scarf? I did, once, and loved it! No photo for you, sorry; it’s in a box ‘somewhere’ . . .

Aunty and I returned from the hospital on the 11th of February. On the 12th I developed a mild but persistent bronchitis, my old response to being stressed and overextended. I’m happy to say it’s only an occasional cough now. The yo-yo weather hasn’t helped, either. Yesterday, we were up to +15C; today, when I had to go out, it was +1C. No such thing as climate change, luckily . . .

20150315-111354.jpg Keira (whom I named); one of the Crafties’ two Teacup Pomeranians.

My next oldest sister came for a short visit, which was very nice, even though we didn’t have much time to visit. She’s an RN, so I was glad to have her here for advice on supporting my Aunty and Mum more effectively. I wish she could have stayed longer, partly because the following week our Mum turned 92 and four days later Aunty turned 95. Their longevity secrets? So far as I can tell, those consist of living a plain life, eating moderate simple meals and being fairly active well into their 80s.

20150315-111817.jpg With Mum’s birthday dinner my youngest sister and I shared these (on my part mostly in honour of my friends from Tassie, Narfie7 and Stevie-boy. The bottlecap collection is small, but growing . . . and I now have collected all but one component for my contribution to their Sanctuary. Quite different from all the lovely buntings that have already arrived, but I hope mine will find a place somewhere, too. Mr. Crafty has volunteered to help me with one bit or it would be a two-year project, for sure . . . remember, my friends, Anticipation 101 ;-) ;-) ;-) . . .

We are still not moved into the condo, due to a combination of Unfortunate Events (I was wondering the other day if my life story was written by Mr. Lemony Snicket; that would explain a lot . . . but in the end things turn out all right.

20150315-114228.jpg Since Mum doesn’t want more ‘stuff’, I usually give her a couple of lotto tickets. This year I was lucky to find a cute card to go with them. Inside, it said:

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Anyway, I’ve been going between my Aunty’s and my friends the Crafties. Since I plan ahead and take on small, simple projects (my nose is now longer than Pinocchio’s), I have been working on the CAL (Crochet-A-Long) project with Selma (Eclectic Home & Life) and her group. But, optimist that I am (on alternate Thursdays) I am making THREE blankets! That group is done (but my blankets are not) and now we are on to making a ripple stitch project; mine will be a pillow. But I digress . . . the blankets are the main reason for most of this pile:

20150315-160908.jpg What I take with me: 3 bags of yarn + projects, clothes and laundry (I don’t have a card for the machines here anymore), any food my Aunty won’t eat while I’m gone. The crafting stuff is the biggest deal, though.

20150315-161541.jpg A book belonging to Mr. Crafty that is now on my Want List; very well written.

20150315-161856.jpg Guess who?

20150315-162009.jpg Meet Herbert, snuggling in Mrs. Crafty’s hands. You can’t tell yet, but he’s a Ringnecked Dove. There are two cages of doves in the basement; I loved waking to their soft cooing as they were fed early each morning. Good memories; my sons’ Dad raises a variety of pigeons and doves which end up all over the world.
So . . . about that crafting stuff . . .

20150315-163635.jpg here are the three blankets side by side on the couch, which is over six feet long.
I haven’t begun the ripple pillow yet, but . . .

20150315-163844.jpg Ms. Selma can be most seductive. The pattern is here (scroll down; it’s below one of the bunny photos) and excellent instructions for the Magic Ring are here. These bunnies take only a few minutes to make and are SO cute! This one will adorn the most recent project of all . . . (I can hear you, you know!)

20150315-165009.jpg When my RN sister was here, she brought some yarn for our Aunty to use to knit a tuque for my sister’s first grandson. Unfortunately, Aunty hasn’t been able to knit for the past couple of years, partly due to diminished eyesight, so I volunteered . . . since my pattern books are ‘somewhere’, I am inventing my own pattern. Surprised? Thought you would be . . . ;-)
I am going to use the bunny because, to misquote Ol’ Blue Eyes, “you’re no bunny ’til some bunny loves you”.
BTW, if you have too much time on your hands (Narfie!), Selma’s got links to patterns for a variety of Easter bunnies, also knitted Easter baubles, and ALSO the recipes for the treats she makes each week for the CAL class. Sadly, no treats for me and no convivial times with fellow crafters/learners . . . but I’m still having fun!

You may hear from me again before Easter, but in case not, know that you are each in my thoughts and prayers and that I wish you and your families the loveliest of holidays.

Always remember, ‘some bunny’ loves you all and you are each ‘some bunny’ to me <3

Thanks for all the comments and support. I'm still planning to reply.

Serpentine Sagas

Well, that’s how my life would look if I were to do a Celtic drawing of it . . .

I will save the Saga of the Move for when I’m back at my Aunty’s; possibly after we move into the condo . . .

In the meantime . . . here’s my current bed at night:

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. . . and in the daytime:

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After we finished getting things out of Mum’s suite late on the 31st of January, I was pretty tired and mostly rested on the Sunday. But my Aunty’s cough had worsened, so Monday morning I packed my little backpack and brought her to the ER (Emergency Room) at the closest hospital. I was right; she has pneumonia. So we have been here since.

She’s doing better now, after a rocky start, and tomorrow (Monday) we start planning for her discharge.

I spent much of Thurs and Fri (plus the night betwedn) at the Crafties’, where I had a lovely shower and even lovelier sleep. On Thurs they took me to a department store, so now I have new jeans, T-shirts and a flannel shirt (very cosy!), as my regular clothes are ‘somewhere’ . . .

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My sort-of-tartan shirt shows here a bit, behind the Ian Rankin book I’m re-reading, topped with my last piece of Walker’s Scottish Shortbread. I took this, then realised I’ve been having a bit of a Scottish day . . . minus my favourite music, sadly . . . ;-)

My Mum took a mild turn for the worse, too, hers due to the stress of the past months mostly. But she’s doing better now and is staying with my sister until the condo is ready.

20150208-183048.jpg Two of the Craftys’ granddaughters, who also spent the night and were each working on a doll made from old socks. They were adding hair, a fairly tedious job, which fell to Mrs. Crafty to complete:

20150208-183427.jpg The girls’ work.

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20150208-191306.jpg . . . and after finishing touches by Nana.
The weather stayed quite balmy until 31st Jan, which helped make the move easier. After that, though, the temperature dropped back to seasonal ‘normal’ and then we got snow . . .

20150208-191832.jpg Second last day of the move . . .

20150208-192155.jpg the day after the move was ‘done’ . . .
And while I was at the Craftys’ . . .

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Some views inside the hospital:

20150208-193017.jpg the atrium on the main floor.

20150208-193938.jpg the atrium on the second floor.

20150208-194059.jpg looking down from the 5th floor to the main floor of the atrium. Near the centre you can see one of the pianos. People just sit down and play and the large space magnifies the music perfectly.

20150208-194414.jpg the view from my chair-bed to the hallway . . .

20150208-194534.jpg there is a wide variety of artworks here. This has long been one of my favourites.

20150208-194846.jpg . . . one of my favourite queens, Queen Alexandra. She was married to King Edward, who succeeded Queen Victoria and whose short reign was the Edwardian Era, also a favourite of mine. Downton Abbey fans will remember that the series began just after his time.

Among my great treasures are two copies of Queen Alexandra’s book of family photos, one in good shape and the other a bit threadbare, with a loose cover. In 1908 she had these books made up and sold to raise money for charity. The photos are reproductions of ones taken by her and are mounted on the pages with the triangular black photo mounts so familiar from my childhood.
You can see an image of the cover and some of the pages here: http://www.google.ca/images?q=queen+Alexandra%27s+photo+albums&client=safari&hl=en-gb&tbm=isch&ei=WCXYVPfqBMa2oQSn84KQBg&start=60&sa=N#

Originally from Denmark, she was a strong-minded woman who did her best to play a part in the politics of the day. I mention her here because we are in a hospital named after her, the Royal Alexandra Hospital. I admire her so much, I correct people who call this place “the Alex” and forget it is named for a queen . . .

20150208-201832.jpg A closeup of her portrait, whixh hangs in the main lobby. The hospital was founded in 1899, two years before Alexandra became Queen.

I forgot to mention that I went with the Crafties and their granddaughters to the new Re-Use-It Centre, now south of the river. I was very good and only chose a small paper bag of items, including a book of patterns for old-fashioned crocheted doilies and a video teaching Fair Isle knitting. More on my finds later . . .

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Did you wonder where they went?

Well, after rwo weeks of silence, now you get two posts!

I’ve had less than three hours sleep but am restless (my knee, not an intended pun ;-) ), so have been on my phone. And guess what?

I checked Facebook and found that the other Grandmother, D, got over to SSIsland on Saturday . . .

Here’s my oldest granddaughter, T, now growing towards 16! She’s a beauty, like her Mother . . .

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and here’s the newest granddaughter, S, born just last September.

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Apoarently more photos will follow . . . and I’ll share . . .

The Saga continues . . .

. . . but the full story will have to wait. For now, I just want to let you know that my adventures with U-Haul (rental moving truck company here and in the States) has continued to make me stronger (since it hasn’t killed me yet) ;-)

But it’s all too complicated to explain in a post. It’s been suggested to me that I write it up as a short story and I’m seriously contemplating doing just that.

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My Aunty’s salt and pepper set; I just love these. Years ago, she had a very impressive collection of unusual salt and peppers. She had a wooden quarter-round stand with several shelves built especially to hold them all. When I was 16, my Mum and Dad took me and my two oldest brothers to Saskatchewan to visit Mum’s Dad and his second wife. We stopped off in Calgary to visit my Aunty and I have never forgotten her lovely collection. I wish she had it now and could tell me the stories behind each set . . .

No photos from my main moving day . . we were just too busy. The Crafties, their son (with a still-unhealed three year old collarbone shattered in a quad accident and requiring yet another surgery), plus one of the first friends I made here in Alberta, all came and made the move easier. So the original storage locker is now emptied and my things from there are in the new storage locker. Mum’s things are in the condo, but some may have to go to the storage for a while so she can sort through with more ease. That was Friday. This incarnation of the Saga began on Saturday the 17th and has continued since. I’m so lucky to have friends with a sense of humour who help me stay grounded and sane, even laughing . . .

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Can’t remember if I shared this already or not; if so, I hope you enjoy seeing it again. I bought this lovely basket of artificial sunflowers when I worked at the little antique store; they are not antiques, of course; we also sold interesting home décor items and this was put together by one of the staff, a young artist whose creations I often fell in love with. I bought this and another arrangement when the store closed.

Not sure now of dates, but on the 18th I found the new locker and put the first carload into it, thanks to my Family Support friend (I really have to find a better name for her, don’t I?). On the following Friday (the U-Haul day), we not only emptied the original locker, we took stuff to the storage from the current condo, then a load to the new condo, including Mum’s antique furniture. She plans to sell some of it, so I plan to take some photos before the pieces are gone . . . didn’t have time that day . . .

We took the truck back and then remembered that the Crafties’ car was filled with my clay pots that I’m giving to another friend, who now lives in the country . . . A couple of those pots went to Mrs. Crafty first, though. The rest are now in the storage unit.

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One of the Crafties’ Teacup Pomeranians, snuggled up with Mr. Crafty. The other one, April, is much smaller. This one is Kiera, whom I named when she was born. If I didn’t have to bend down to pet her, I’d be tempted to take her home with me . . . but then, I love the big collies and the Border collies so much, I don’t think I’d have space for even such a cute wee thing.

Yesterday I had ambitious plans, but a bad tummy upset (not illness, just a combination of not enough sleep and too much stress for too long) kept me flat on my back. I was beginning to worry a bit . . . but today felt fine.

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The snowy back path to the Crafties’ home, taken nearly three weeks ago when I went over for that lovely half-Ukrainian Christmas dinner . . . It doesn’t look like that now . . .

One of my sister’s friends came today and packed up a huge amount of Mum’s stuff; I can’t tell you what a relief that was! But maybe you can imagine . . .

While she did that, my FS friend taped up lots of boxes, helped me pack some of them, then we took a carload of fragile items to the new condo and another to the storage unit. Then she took me to get a few groceries to tide me over until I’m at my Aunty’s again (Wednesday) and milk for Mum. I offered to buy her supper, but she had plans and supper waiting at home, so I treated myself to a tray of sushi, such as it is in a grocery store. Not bad, but not like the real thing, either , , , the tuna is cooked, for one thing . . . I’ll be enjoying it and some tv as soon as I’m done here . . .

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This is one of a pair of pot holders my Mum bought in a hospital gift shop. They were said to be a German stitch, but I haven’t been able to find a pattern anywhere yet. I think when I have time, I will try and figure it out for myself. They are prettier than the picture shows . . .

Tomorrow I’m packing up what’s left because early on Tuesday the movers come to take the rest to the new place. If I have enough to make up a carload or two for storage tomorrow, the Crafties and my FS friend will come and help again. Tuesday afternoon my sister’s friend is coming again, along with my long time masseuse friend to help with the cleaning. I have a borrowed steam cleaner that’s a real marvel, so the walls and glass doors (and those horrid channels full of gunge) will be done quickly and easily. In a few days, my sister is having a professional company do the ancient carpets, so that’s one thing we don’t have to think about . . . and the lino floors in the bathrooms, hall and kitchen, too.

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During my last stay with my Aunty, she noticed some of my yarn was lying there in a heap. She took the time to help me by winding it into a couple of cute balls.

Tuesday after the cleaning, I’ll do my usual shop for food for me and my Aunty, sleep at Mum’s, then will stay with my Aunty for the following eight days as usual. I’ll have six days (maybe five) over at the new place, then be back with my Aunty for our last eight days in her place. The week after that, she is moving into a lodge and I will stay with her there until she is settled in and can find her way around (have to take the elevator to a different floor for meals and another for social activities, I hear). Slowly, we will find ourselves in a new routine.

It’s sad for me; I’ve liked the routine we created here, but life just keeps morphing along, doesn’t it?

On a brighter note, the three blankets I’ve been working on with Selma from Eclectic Home & Life are coming right along:

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Here are my three as they look tonight. The one at the bottom has three strips of granny stripes already; there will be twelve strips by next week! Until now, the colours changed every two rows; with the granny stripes, they change every row . . .

If you are on Facebook you can see Selma’s posts here: https://www.facebook.com/eclectichomelife?fref=ts

If you want to follow her on the blog, go here: http://eclectichomelife.blogspot.ca/2015/01/crochet-and-fruit-tarts.html

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A close-up of two of the blankets.

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. . . and a close-up of the third, with the granny stripes along the right side.

There have been several times these last weeks when I was tempted (well, nearly) to throw in the towel and give up. I don’t do so well when I feel overwhelmed and I really don’t care for leaving everything to the last minute. But it wasn’t my choice. Luckily, I had some good advice from two of my friends here and from several of you out there in the Virtual Village, so I got over the rough patches fairly quickly and with minimal (for me LOL) whinging . . . One thing I was reminded to do was to find something to be grateful for . . . and I did. First of all, for having several good friends who have done so much to help. With my knee acting up and the path to the new place being one of uneven, packed and very icy snow, I can’t imagine getting everything into the place without a major disaster. Because I have good friends, I was able to work inside, carting things from the doorway to the final destination.

The second thing I am EXTREMELY grateful for has been the weather; spring-like, mostly above freezing and fairly windy, which is good for drying up the snow. I have been able to work with only jeans, a T-shirt and a long-sleeve T over that. How unlike the day we moved my storage items up to the container . . . with the wind that day it was close to -30C. I had been anxious that this week would be more of the same, but apparently this unusual balmy spell is set to last right through the end of the month.

I’m grateful, too, for all your comments, emails and kind thoughts. You Villagers are the best!

JOY!

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This folk art plaque, part of Mrs. Crafty’s Christmas collection, says it all!

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Totally irrelevant to this post, but I have to share it anyway; this is off the tv; it’s the same sort of washtub my Mum did all our laundry in for my early years. It was also used as a bathtub weekly. I think when she was young, they had a clamp-on wringer like the one here, but I don’t remember us ever having one. I could have used one of these when my boys were young. With the first son, I boiled his diapers in an old cooking pot filled with melted snow water (or water from the creek before we got that four feet of snow) Our own laundry we carried to the nearby town in a backpack and it was done in the launderette. Easier than my Mum’s work, for sure. But I’d still love to have one of these. We magpies just never know when to quit, do we?

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One of my favourite birds, next to the raven, of course . . .