Thursday, February 17, 2011


Slowly this I Spy quilt I'm working on is coming together. Alex is sick yet again. Winter I have had just about enough of you and your slush, the cold and the colds and that dastardly winter coat that mister still hates to wear.

I'll got the quilting bug and have started collecting fabrics for the next quilt. These new fabrics look like spring. Ahh spring. Soon we will see each other again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Candy Heart Message

click here to make your own candy hearts :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Winter skin

My skin just feels so dry and scaly                                      

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sibling love

My sister posted this photo on Facebook. My nephew is about 2 years old in this photo and his sister is 1.(They're 12 and 13 now) It's too good not to share :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Eight reasons we need to move

We've been living in the same place for 14 years. We moved in the same day that Lady Diana died (tragic). That's a long time to live in one place. Especially in Montreal where many people move yearly. It's in a great location, close to downtown and just about any store you'd need. For 9 years I held jobs in the neighbourhood that allowed me to walk to work in 10 minutes. We're close to parks and the happy fun sprinkler park that Alex fell in love with last summer. Most of my friends live here. My family lives here.
I've lived in this neighbourhood my entire life.

So,  you ask, why would I want to move?
Reason # 1
Smog. As nice as our neighbourhood is, we live a block away from this:

It's one of the only expressways that runs north-south across the city. Very busy. Very dirty. I swear I could dust every day and I still couldn't keep up. Especially in the summer.

Reason # 2
The lack of space. I can't open my dresser drawers fully because they hit the bed. Move the bed over you suggest? Then my husband wouldn't get to open his drawers at all (insert lewd remark here- hey oh!). Our bedroom shares the space with the iguana cage, an amp, a guitar, a rack full of clothes since we lost our closet to Alex, and, wait for it, an oscilloscope. Don't ask. I had to pack some books away just to get my sewing machine out in the open where I could use it.

Reason # 3
Laundry. Oh the dreams I have of owning a washer and dryer. Right now if mister is awake it takes about 20 minutes of meandering (hello Blogger spellcheck meandering is too a WORD) downstairs to put the stuff into the dryer. Even longer if we have to bring the clothes back upstairs. That and don't get me started on the washer lineups (after having just dragged Alex downstairs with the laundry).
Seriously, how sexy is this?

Reason # 4
Noisy Upstairs Neighbours. Also known as Man Boom Up-up. Lifting weights in Alex's room at 10:30 at night. Up stomping around at 1-2-3-4 am. Serious screaming matches with his girlfriend. Even putting the sound on his computer full blast so I can hear everytime someone sends him a message on Google Chat. I hate him. I called the landlady building manager and she said she would speak to him. He got louder. I hate him.

Reason # 5
Parking. We have alternate sides here on our street. No parking on Mondays or Thursday from 10-11am or Tuedays and Fridays on the other side from 1-2pm. Plus there's reserved parking, so only permits allowed. Plus there's a school zone, so no parking there. There's also a large apartment building across the street that has limited indoor parking. And when it snows? All bets are off. Husband regularly parks 2 blocks away because there's only houses on one side of the street (across the street from the expressway) but parking on both sides.  Oh and did I mention he takes the metro to work?

Reason # 6
Kitchen space. Seperate from general lack of space. It's to the point where I have to limit how many groceries I buy because nothing fits. I have to eyeball a box of cereal to see if it will fit in the cupboard. Sometimes I fail and the cereal has to live on its side. I don't have a single square of counter space that Alex can't reach. No fruit is safe. The toaster needs to be unplugged. I have to chop vegetables on the stove because it's high enough.

Reason # 7
The Junkies. This is a new one. They've started hanging out in the unlocked front lobby of the building. Not even the middle of the night. Sometimes at 6 or 7 pm. They're nice enough to leave their needles behind. The owner is trying to do something about it but it means moving the intercom outside and putting a new lock on the door. Tricky for a building that's 80 years old.

Reason # 8
Grass. The park three blocks away is very nice. Big playground. Super fun water park. It would still be nice to have a patch of grass that Alex could play on. Something of our own. Or at least something the neighbourhood dogs didn't have access to.

So why do we stay? Rent. We've been here so long, and our rent only goes up about 10$ a year. So if we move that will be a rent increase of at least 300-400$ a month. Gulp! Sure we'll get some of the benefits, but it makes us pause and say "should we stay one more year?"

Friday, February 4, 2011

Basement treasure troll

Ok, you know how I like to snoop browse through people's kitchen cupboards. Sooo there's this suitcase in the basement of the apartment building that's been there forever. It's open and it's headed for the trash. I couldn't help myself. I had to peek inside.
From what I can deduce from the contents of the suitcase is that it belonged to the old lady who used to live downstairs from us when we first moved in about 14 years ago. She was later placed in a home and since, passed away. The contents of the suitcase are definitely not worth anything. Mostly old Christmas cards and lots of empty envelopes from various departments of the government (they just love sending mail here). She seemed to have a bunch of stuff that she got from someone else who I gather passed away and then she went through his stuff, marking on it the date she read it. Basically a packrat died, another packrat took on his pile, then left it herself. So being at least part packrat I took it upon myself to sort through the suitcase for anything interesting.
Here's what I found:
A postcard of the NY skyline with the twin towers. That makes me sad.

Eddie, wrote to Smoky to let him know his sister died. On a postcard.
 Did people really do that back then?

Randy Duncan football card. Circa 1965.

I googled Randy Duncan (Antiques Road Show treasure??)
He was an Iowa State all-star who went to play in the CFL for the BC Lions because they offered him more money than the NFL teams could pay him (This of course is now hilarious to the Canadian readers since most CFL players have a second job to support themselves). He then got traded to the Texas Rangers but had a knee injury and stopped playing.
So this card was the last year he played professionally.

Space Panties! If the panties will give me an ass that's out of this world, I'm definitely getting a pair.
Also trying really hard not to picture the old lady in her panties...

 Winter carnaval. I've left the phone number on the photo because I seriously doubt the Shoe Jobber is still around. If they are, call them up and ask them WHY?

Oh good, it gets better.

For those of you who don't know Festival Carnaval is an annual winter festival in Quebec City that celebrates winter with activities, food, music and this is the mascot.

Not a sexy lumberjack.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Enough playdough to feed a salt-starved army.

So I finally assembled all of the ingredients to make homemade playdough. I got the recipe from the book First Art. There's some great ideas on toddler art activities in the book (although some like the aluminum foil "activity" are a bit lame).

The recipe was easy enough:
5 cups of water
2.5 cups of salt
3 tbsp of cream of tartar (that was the d'oh dough ingredient I had to go back to the grocery store for)
You put the ingredients together and warm them up in a pot on low heat. (The book doesn't tell you how warm to make it, not to the point of boiling but not lukewarm I gather)
Then add 10 tbsp of  vegetable cooking oil (don't use olive oil unless you like the smell of a nice salad dressing on your toddler)
At this point you can add some food colouring to the water to colour the dough which I did (to make it slightly less like food)
Then add 5 cups of flour.
It goes from a liquid to holy cow this is goopy and solid very quickly. The author states that when the mixture is no longer sticky then it's done.
I thought I had done something wrong because it looked this:

I started kneading the dough and then it came together nicely to form this:

Very nice consistency, very close to the real thing.

Still nice and soft after being out for about an hour. I'm impressed!

Action shot!

The first day I made it, Alex just kept putting tiny little pieces of it in his mouth, but refused to play with it. I guess he needs to be shown how to use it, just like anything else. The second day he really got into it, using the rolling pin handle to poke holes in it. I know you're supposed to save it and reuse it, but when he dropped into a pile of cat hair, I tossed it. I seriously have enough of the playdough that we could make dozens of wickedly salty cookies for everyone in the building.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Twenty five pound obstacle

How is my I Spy quilt going?
Um yeah. Progress is slow.