Saturday, February 4, 2012

What's new for me

Bessie and her dog Spot
 I've been enjoying blogging now for just about 1 year, and I've had a whale of a time - learning the ins and outs of Blogger, making friends, reading so many interesting blog posts...which truly has made my world so much bigger.

Presently I will not be writing posts here or at my early childhood blog, I've decided that one year was enough for me.
I'm not very computer literate, and do find some of the ins and outs of writing blog posts abit difficult and time consuming.I work 8 to 4 and sometimes found myself struggling away up until 1 at night - well I know you get the picture.

This past 2 weeks I spent less time on the computer and felt noticeably fresher and energetic for my day.

As well, although I'd hoped to use this medium to write creatively, I'm not.

I AM writing when I post, however and this is definitely a good exercise.

I think I just need to do much of nothing for some time - working, walking, reading, certainly but also just nothing, daydreaming and wool gathering. I may choose not to write, or I might start writing at any time.

I have some projects in mind...

I might like to continue making illustrations to accompany stories by my friend Bessie. Bessie was a short story writer, and the Registrar for the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB) most of her life. I met her when she was 90, back in 1991, and she shared with me wonderfully animated tales of the life on the farm where she grew up.
We taped these, I transcribed them, and have done some drawings, and fabric art to illustrate them.I think her stories are wonderful, and would make an interesting childrens' book. I know my drawings aren't the best, but I just enjoy the process.

Bessie told a charming story of her dog Spot, and how he thought he could get into the house if he brought in wood, just as she and her brother did.

I loved her tale of the time the northern lakes froze all at once, causing a mass migration of Canada Geese all at once. There was a news report that the geese landed in one American town in mass, and there was not room on the streets for motor cars, or on the sidewalks to walk. This story does remind me abit of a tale from the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes", about the ducks that froze in a lake and flew away together taking the lake with them.

I'm interested in  the possibilities of this project.

As well, I'm enjoying several crochet projects, I have 2 baby blankets in the works, and I'd like to try some soft crochet animals and a sweet girl's sweater for my youngest niece.

I tried the Lumosity program recently and loved it, and hope to enroll in this and use it on a regular basis.

The days are getting longer and the weather is so mild that I've been able to start walking home from work, and within a month I might begin walking to work - I'm really looking forward to this. The walking path I take is so beautiful, and the exercise is so beneficial to me.

I am loving reading on the Kindle, I'm just finishing "True Colours" by  Kristen Hannah, which is the second book I've now read of hers. I first read "Magic Hour", after reading Teri's review of it at Goodreads. Kristen tells a very good story, and "True Colours" has lots of twists and surprises.

I now have 122 books on my Wish List, so I know I won't run out of reading material. The next book I plan to download is "Irma Voth", by Mirian Toews, who is a writer from Manitoba, Canada. She is an excellent writer, who won the Governor General's Award in Canada for her work (one of two major literary awards in Canada).

There is such a wide variety of books to select through the Kindle store, and I've downloaded some crochet books, as well as books on teaching. I'm presently rereading "Between Parent and Child" by Dr. Haim Ginott, and love it.

I've found books I'd forgotten about until I set my mind to remembering favourite books from the past, and have added "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", and "Black Like Me" onto my wish list.

And I will continue to read over at various blogs at least once per week, and I'm sure I will find lots to say in my comments to you.  LOL

Soon we will be thinking of flowers and gardening, and I'm looking forward to seeing these large pots of marigolds once again, at our neighbour's driveway. I am planning to ask to dig up a little spot in our largely neglected backyard (just grass), and plant sunflowers, poppies and bachelor buttons. I'd love to plant day lilies at the front of our building too. I'm pretty sure this will be approved, as we are a very easy going condo association.

Sharing the antics of my two feline friends has been one of the more enjoyable parts about writing posts...we do all love our pets, and animals really give us so much in return. I plan to spend more time just chilling out, reading in the company of my two wise cats. 

Arthur is an amazing cat I must say. He was a little stray, who made himself welcome on a neighbour's step by jumping up into their arms. Then he followed me home, and made himself right at home there. My son tends to prefer dogs, but Arthur has won him over, he follows Paul around, and waits for him outside his bedroom door. When both Arthur and Herbert hear Paul's car pull into the parking lot, they seem to know if it's him, and stand at the door waiting for him. (They only will do this for Paul, they will perk their ears when someone pulls in, but don't get excited if it's not Paul.) I guess their senses are so much better than us humans, when it comes to hearing.
Herbert is "The Boss" - he's been a good friend now to two dogs, and Arthur - he doesn't seem to have a jealous bone in his body. He was at the Humane Society when I adopted him, and he'd been in for many, many weeks, so I knew he was the one for me. Herbert is a treasure - really I believe my son Paul loves him abit more than Arthur - and Paul claimed to prefer dogs. :)
This year I learned that I have close family connections to a Metis leader from Manitoba back in the 19th century - this was definitely an eye opener to me, and did explain some things for me about my mother's French Canadian family. I've made some lovely connections with some people through this, and hope to one day visit Winnipeg to see a museum called The Old Mill. My great great great great grandfather, Cuthbert Grant made the first water mill for flour, in Manitoba, and as well was a respected and trusted "medicine man" - in this I mean he had studied medicine when in Scotland, and brought his knowledge to the  people of southern Manitoba. His box of medicine and supplies is at the museum, I believe. A great great great grandfather was a Member of the Legislative Assembly in these days in Manitoba, Pascal Breland. I might take time to explore some of these connections more.

I do plan to read a book called "A Good Man" by Guy Vanderhaeghe. This is the last of a trilogy of books he's written about settling the west in the 19th century, and it's filled with interesting, eccentric, heroic people, and he describes all the political, social, and human dilemmas in how the west came to be settled. A friend let me know that an individual, Pierre Leveille is a character in the book. Pierre Leveille was a a Metis scout who was well known and respected as a skillful mediator between the Cree and the French/Metis settlers. He was also know for his size - apparently over 6 feet, and about 350 lbs. I'm looking forward to reading about this great great great uncle.

I took this picture of a lovely sunset back in the fall, when I was walking home from work. The building's windows reflect the sky so nicely at all times. Can you see the tipi -  the top poles show through at the top. The foyer has a large tipi constructed of glass - it must look grand, some day I plan to go inside and take a look. This is the First Nations University - the first of it's kind in Canada - although I think there may be more now. I like that it is placed right on the prairie, and it's natural, curved lines. There are interesting things to see - a garden with traditional plants used for medicines, a prayer wheel, and near by is an area which is being restored back to the indigenous prairie grasses and plants.

Seeing, this every day on my way to work, and back is always a pleasure to me. It's also a little reminder that one day I hope to return to take a few interesting classes in history, or social work, or whatever strikes my fancy.

The absolutely best part of blogging has been meeting wonderful friends - I will not forget you, and as I said, will be visiting you frequently. :)

One wise blogging friend suggested that I post what I like, and not worry about pleasing everyone - and really this is such good advice for blogging and living.

I am going to leave you with a song video, by Willie Nelson. Not liked by many that read here, I think - but I've come to enjoy his music in the last while. However I believe the song is so pretty, and the video accompanying it is very nice.I hope you might enjoy it.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Oops, Herbert told me I forgot the Headbonks times two!!!  :)

Love and Hugs!!!


Geraldine said...

I am sorry to read that you are putting blogging on hold Brenda but at the same time, I totally understand the need for a break. Hopefully, you'll be back to blogging sometime. And yes, it can take up a LOT of time! I know, having 4 blogs on the go.

Your artwork and needlework is beautiful. This sounds like an interesting project. I hope it works out well and that you find time to pursue it and more writing too. It can be so rewarding.

Stay well and keep in touch.

Hugs to you and the felines, they are such cuties!!! Love seeing them here too. G

Teri Casper said...

DId you jear me, OH NO!. I understand, but am still saying OH NO. Maybe the break will be good so you can rest.......and miss blogging. I have always enjoyed your posts, the stories, the cats, the kids. Maybe you could just stop in now and then to say hi with a short update so it won't take to much time.

I admit Bremda, I feel sad buti also understand. I am happy to hear you are enjoying your kindle. I think I am reading more than ever now.

Will miss you and I'm so happy to have met you.

Love and hugs

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks for all your help to me as I started blogging last year, and it's been a joy to reconnect with you after so many years!

I'll be visiting over at your blogs, and keeping in touch most definitely.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Oh, Teri,
I feel sad just reading your words...but I'm so happy to have met you.
You are one of the most positive, generous people I've encountered, ever. I'll be around with my wordy comments most definitely.
Maybe the cats will have to do a post here now and then, I'll speak to them about it. :)
Maybe after I take time off, I'll be back, now and then - I'm glad you enjoyed reading my stories.

I am reading more as well, and part of the reason I think is that the Kindle is easy to bring along, I read it over lunch at work every day, as well as at home.
Love and hugs,

Teri Casper said...

You are such a sweetie. Please do visit once in awhile and let the cas do a post so they can tell usnhowyou are doing.

Drop a line also.

Love and hugs

The Boston Lady said...

Brenda, although I will miss your posts, as they are always most interesting, I understand your wish to create time for other interests.

You have a wonderful to-do list lined up. This a good time of year to make a switch and I know I will hear from you from time to time.

Pats to your two beautiful kitties. Ann

Geraldine said...

PS: I didn't note the reference to Lumosity when I read this the first time, you've got a lot packed into one post Brenda! I am so glad you are enjoying it. I hope my review was part of your reason to give it a whirl. I am going to re-enroll very soon too. LOVED it! And found it so helpful, in so many ways.

Happy Sunday, G :<)

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks for all your friendly comments this year, and your supportiveness.

I've so enjoyed meeting you this year. I find reading about your life in sunny Florida, so refreshing, and as well that I've seen wonderful pictures of your visits to SoCal, and other places I wouldn't see otherwise.

And I really enjoy that you know Canada as well, we have such a nice connection.

Oh, you can be sure I'll be visiting over at TBL lots!And you know, I'll comment. :)

Please just drop me a line now and then, Ann!

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Well thanks for taking time to read this again (!)

I had seen ads for Lumosity at several blogs lately, and I did recall your review.
When I tried it out I really liked it, and think it would be good as well for me - I like the idea of keeping the brain healthy, and that due to plasticity, we can keep developing new pathways, and learning.

I'd kept meaning to return to read your review, because I couldn't remember if you'd liked it or not.
Well, now I have my answer, but I plan to go back and read.

I'm thinking the best way to pay would be the lifetime package, and am just planning to save and then enroll then.
Thanks for dropping in again,

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Please feel free to drop me a line now and then,
My email address is:

Mr. Cheddar said...

Oh Herbert and Arthur, I am sorry to read that your mom is giving up her blogs, for now at least. DO make sure she stays in touch and that you continue visiting me too. You are a couple of cool dudes, we must rise above the whims of our humans!!!!

I just penned another masterpiece if you would like to read it and comment:

Chiao for now, The Chedster!

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hey, Mr. Ched!
Thanks for dropping by!
B's in the bath, so I'm getting a chance to type a few words, but must hurry...we'll be sure and look over at MRLR soon...yes we felines do have to stand together, and as well watch over the never knows what they'll think up next.
BTW have you had any fun with your Meowmie's pink yarn...just to make her knitting abit more interesting, you know?
...ummm gotta go, B's coming back.
High 4's,
Headbonks from me and the little guy,

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Mr. Ched,
I tried to send you a comment over at MRLR this a.m. but it was "denied" ...oh well, will try this evening.

Geraldine said...

Hope all is well with you Brenda. I'm just taking a quick trip around the blogs and posted a new post at Veggies...too.

Mr. Cheddar really appreciated all your comments and also those from the kitties there. Hope they are having a great day too.

Have a wonderful week, G :<)

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks for dropping in, Ger,
Today I'm staying home, resting in my pj's, as I seem to have a small flue bug.
Darn! I wanted to do some puttering around today - go to the library, look at yarn, etc.
Herb ard Arthur think it's great to have me home all day to sleep with, though.
I spent some time searching for buttons on the internet, for the sweater you're working on - but it is hard...I did find two possible sites, one called Sawyer Brooks, and one called Buttons, buttons.
There seems to be a large selection of buttons ranging from reasonably priced to very pricey.
There were a few in nice shades of green - more moss green.
P.S. Did you receive my e-mail to you, sometimes I think I may not send it to the right address.

Mr. Cheddar said...

I'm just doing a little blog visiting this morning while Meowmie eats her toast! I love toast too. How 'bout you guys? Do you get a little toast from your mom at times? Yummy...

I just commented on Meowmie's yarn post 'cause June Buggie mentioned how much she enjoys knitting. I love the yarn part, that's for sure!!! I try to help as much as I can.

Is your mom knitting anything right now? Do assist whenever possible H and A. They need all the help they can get from us. Superior felines that we are.

Chiao for now, The Chedster

Geraldine said...

Mr. Cheddar really appreciated your nice comments tonight. He is oh so sophisticated! I'm sure the guys there liked this one too.

Matt Dusk was at the Casino there years ago, that's where we saw him. Such a good performer. And as you noted, in the style of the "big band" era. Love those tunes, timeless. He actually sounds quite a bit like Frank Sinatra at times, uncanny really.

Have a wonderful weekend, G and C

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks for dropping in - yes I do find Mr. Ched has that sophistacat sparkle to him!!!
I really enjoyed Matt Dusk - it was great to see him make this music his own, with his authentic style.
I have just realized that Herbert does have a musical taste of his own - he often lies by the computer and I've been listening to some harmonica music on You Tube - and have found an amazing individual "harproli" who seems to be in Switzerland - anyways he has several covers of Beatles tunes - Yesterday, Imagine, as well as Tears in Heaven (Clapton) - and he is definitely listening to this, so I believe this is what he enjoys! ;)
Have a great day!

Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree said...

Thanks so much for leaving wonderful comments on my blog. You have kept me going since the beginning. It is good to make a decision to end the blogs for now. My blog takes up so much time and will continue to do it as long as it inspires me. I write less....about 3 posts a week. You'll have much to keep you busy, I'm sure. Love your book and illustrations Brenda! Take care!

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Getting to know you somewhat by way of blogging, and reading your wonderful and creative posts has been one of the highlights of the past year for me...I remember when I first started and you were kind enough to help me out with some of my difficulties...reading about you and your family makes my world a little bigger and better.
BTW I purchased a salad spinner today to do spin art with my children and I'm excited to try it...if not for blogging I would never have thought of spin art. And in late March we'll be making plastic bottle flowers...

Thanks for your kind words Melissa, I'll be continuing to read and most likely commenting over at The Chocolate Muffin Tree
for as long as you have something to write.

Geraldine said...

I hope you're having a good day Brenda, the cats too! I'm planning to order some "MOUSE YARN" very soon so tell them, that new mice will be on the way after that from me. Cheddar doesn't want me to forget to mention this LOL

BFN, G :<)

March contest now on:

Geraldine said...

just stopping in to say HI!

I'm still looking for the perfect "mouse" yarns for the cat mice. let the guys know ok! not forgotten.

Mr. Cheddar did 2 rollovers this morning, DOG TRICKS!!! What will Herbert and Arthur make of that? Shocking but true.

Do you have any snow left? It's pretty well gone here ..gloomy again today, sigh...

Happy Weekend, G :<)

Geraldine said...

thanks for all the lovely comments Brenda, all appreciated!

tell the guys that the mouse yarn is on the way! I found the perfect (I hope!) mousey grey and also a nice brown shade for the mice, online. Hopefully won't take too long to get here. I've got a whole lotta yarn projects on the go right now, really enjoying getting back to knitting in a big way.

hope all is well.

A very lucky day to you! G

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hey, Ger,
This may in time to get to be one of the alltime longest ongoing comment sites on a blog. Hmm, I wonder if there is an award somewhere out in Blogland for that... heehee
But I love seeing that either you or the Chedster have dropped by, it's always fun.

Happy knitting!