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Friday, May 22, 2009

it's happened....

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I have become a person I used to make fun of...Back in the Maritimes we have a chain of stores called "Frenchy's" or as my late Grammie Ada used to say "Francois's Boutique". These lovely stores provide a gold mine for Maritime shoppers in the form of gently used clothing at bargain prices shipped from unknown sources in New England. On any given day, you can dive into the "bins" at Frenchy's and come up with Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren, L.L. Bean and almost every other coveted brand out there. The brilliance of Frenchy's shopping is that all of the goods can be had for less than $5.00 on most items, with trenchcoats and the like being slightly more. It is not uncommon to browse Frenchy's and find goods with the original price tag still attached. Frenchy's shopping for kids is like shopping on Boxing Day.....great prices on great togs. My son was fully outfitted for winter for 2 years with barely worn pants and shirts from Gymboree, The Children's Place and the Gap......all purchased at Frenchy's for $1.25 each. It's the thrifty shopper's dream come true. Every Maritimer I know has a good Frenchy's story about the ultimate find for a steal of a deal. There are even Frenchy's legends about so'n so's Aunt who found a diamond ring worth $10,000 in a Frenchy's purchased purse. This story gets told over and over again for any come-from-away person who gets trapped in a conversation about the lore of Frenchy's.


One of my pet peeves about shopping at Frenchy's were the shoppers who would arrive at the cash counter and ask for 50% off their puchase because there was a small tear or a missing button on the clothing item in question. I used to stand and silently huff to myself...."oh people, please, it's Frenchy's for godsake...put it back in the bin if you can't buy it as is for $1.25!!!) Oh, how I hated being in line behind these people...how dare they keep us all waiting while trying to carve more pennies off the already penny price.


Where I live, there is no such thing as Frenchy's....but I have filled many of my city friends full of stories of Frenchy's lore.....oh the deals...oh the bargains...oh the thrill of the hunt. The closest thing we have to Frenchy's in this city is Goodwill or Value Village. My personal favorite is the Goodwill store....it provides hours of cheap entertainment....combing over other's people's junk.


I have found many treasures to bring home to be whipped up into shape with a good washing, some spray paint and a new purpose. I love the household items and I have found many to bring home and repurpose in some way.

I have been coveting white dishes for a long time.....so today I decided to pick up a luncheon set along with some other vases for decorating. I was at the cash counter paying when suddenly I hear myself say, " Can you knock a dollar off that platter...it has a chip in it?". And surprisingly, a dollar was knocked off just like that. However, I realized immediately that with that one question I had become a CHEAP cheap person. Not just content with the already cheap prices...but wanting the cheap prices to be cheaper.

Maybe I should stay out of Goodwill for awhile...shop at regular stores ...that will whip the cheap cheapness right out of me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

jumping to conclusions....

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See this little boy. Spending a lot a time in his bedroom is not his favorite pastime....he would rather be in the still-cold-from-winter garage shooting pucks with a big runny nose. Or in the family room playing hockey on the beloved Wii. Or just hanging out on his rump..watching TV.

Often, he will quickly go into his room to get something. Or to put something on his body. But not to stay....oh no...the bedroom is just a place to travel to and from.

However, yesterday the siblings got into a scuffle. This involved Big Daddy getting involved....and if you are under sixteen in this house...you really don't want that to happen.

Without further discussion, the siblings were sent to their respective bedrooms. Courtesy of Big Daddy. I stuck to the contents of my laundray basket while this was happening, and listened as feet tromped upstairs.

From Hunter's room I hear nothing. Not a peep. Even though the door is closed, I know that this means that she has flopped on the bed and buried her nose in a book. Not sure how this equals redemption for questionable behaviour with the sibling...but at least the house is peaceful.

From Tyler's room I hear lots of thumping and ta-dumping. A little rabble-rousing taking place perhaps? I also hear a big bang, but no wailing after, so it must be okay in there.Then it turns strangley quiet for a few minutes...to the point where I wonder if I should check to see if there are any unconscious objects in the room, when I hear jumping. Not jumping-off-the -bed jumping or hopscotch-jumping, but rhythmic jumping.Thump...thump...thump....thump. Hmmmm.

Then the phone rings and after the conversation ends, I am off to pick up my friend's 3 children from school and then drive Hunter to skating practice. When I arrive home, the boys have gone to hockey. I totally forget about the jumping....until I walk into his room later and discover a jumping rope askew in the middle of the floor. My mind immediately flashes back to the rhythmic jumping I heard earlier.How he managed to find a jumping rope in the dark reaches of his closet, I am not sure. And how he actually managed to jump rope in that teeny tiny bedroom without smashing anything off the wall, I am not sure.
Was he bored in his bedroom after a time? Yes, I am positively sure.
Why else would jumping rope in the bedroom seem like a good idea?

Friday, May 08, 2009

a 'changeout' for spring....

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Here we are ready for Christmas. A nice urn of greenery with some pops of red. Spring has arrived. My mom designed this refreshing change. Due to the fact that although it is SPRING, we can have, on any given day, snow, rain & sunshine, we have used delightful flower 'reproductions'.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

catching up.....

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As every scrapooker knows, the bane of our scrapbook existance is the game of "catching up". Once you get hooked on this hobby...you feel the need to go back and scrapbook-prettify every picture in your life. In reality, this is an impossible task...and even if time would allow...I think you would suffer from creative burnout long before the task would be complete.
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a 3 day scrapbook retreat at a rustic ranch an hour outside of town. In between the great food, detoxifying saunas, "slush" drinks, reading & naps....I was able to complete over 40 pages in scrap-speed style. I have decided that the only way I will ever 'catch up' is if I toss the idea of 'every event needs a 12x12 layout' and scrapbook with simple 6-up photo sleeves. It worked well...I like the result and it motivates me to move forward with getting pictures out of nicely labelled storage boxes and into a format I can live with.
Sad to say, but I think Tyler has not seen many of these photos and Hunter only remembers a few. This format allows me some creative fun without the overwhelming task of creating a new layout for every group of pictures.

Maybe it's not my best creative 'work', but I remind myself that scrapbooking is about the remembering, the reminescing and the story-telling, right?


At least the photos can be enjoyed, giggled at, and take a place in our family history.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

simple beauty....

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I came home from my 3 day scrapbook retreat to find this arrangement on the coffee table. The hockey team that Ron coached this winter had a gathering on Friday night, and a bouquet of flowers was given to Ron for me. To my surprise, Hunter had opened up the bouquet, cut the stems and arranged them in this clear vase.
I found out that she had spent Saturday with a skating friend and her mom, and among other things, they had a lesson in arranging flowers from a visiting Aunt who used to be a florist. Hunter designed this arrangement, brought it home and placed it on the dining table...it's simple beauty took my breath away. I love the simple shape of the gerbera daisy in the centre.

The last surpise was waiting for me at my desk. This small arrangement is so pretty and fragrant.
Fresh flowers are wonderful.....especially when your twelve year old daughter has designed them just for you.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Menu Plan Monday...

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(photo credit: Country Living)

One thing that is helpful about posting Menu Plan Mondays on a blog is that you can look back and see what meals worked and what meals send you back to the drawing board. When I get into a rut when it comes to meal planning, I always spend a few hours with my cookbooks to get inpsired. I like to cook from recipes....it helps me to broaden my horizons and venture outside my comfort zone to try new things. Once I make something a few times from a recipe, then I can tweak it a bit and make it my own...and then the original recipe can be set aside.
Dinners for this week:
Monday-Basa fish with mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday-Chicken Enchiladas with greek salad. Strawberries & whipped cream for dessert.
Wednesday-Homemade Poutine with asparagus rolled in prosuitto on the side and a green salad.
Thursday-Italian Wedding Soup with Maritime Brown Bread.
Friday-Ron's birthday supper. Donairs with salad and Ice Cream Cake from Dairy Queen. (by request).
Saturday-Dad cooks.
Sunday-our 'whatever' day.
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