My life and crafting times.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

I Love to Paint!

Former deck

This is our back deck two years ago before the reno. It was really rotting!

Posts before the added colour

 This is our new deck minus the protective coat on the wood. It is not finished yet because we had our front deck taken down for the same reason the back deck went. We need to save the money so that not only do we get the deck built but to put some vinyl or what ever we decided on to cover the flooring/deck. 
But it is time to put a coat of pain on the posts for the rails (the ones that are there are temps). This is what we started off with. Just pressure treated colour.(above)

Now painted with deep purple (eggplant)
This is the colour we have decided to go with. Benjamin Moore calls this colour 'deep purple' We are purple fans as you can tell. (can you guess what colour our bedroom is?) It is kind of an eggplant purple which looks very nice with the house colour and doesn't clash with our gutters and downspouts. They are brown. Can you see that from this picture.

I have painted down the stairs and working on the underside of the deck. It is a lot of work but I love it. Love the look and outcome as well. Now to get this deck cleared off and looking as nice as the fresh coat of paint! 

'Till next time


Monday, 24 June 2013

Summer is here

I love summer. It is my favorite time of year.
I also love to work outside and clean things up. I work hard out there. This year I decided to clear and level off an area in our yard to park our motorcycles. It has been a lot of work, with moving some larger rocks. I am sure that Jim dreads when I get a new idea into my head.
Well our spot is close to being completed. Yipee!
I'll have to post a picture later on when it isn't so dark out nor raining.

A couple of weekends ago I was folding laundry in my room. We have the window open at this time of year from which I could hear some rustling out in the trees. I went to look what it could be. I thought maybe it was our cat Callie but the noise was from something larger maybe a deer or bear. I watched for a bit. Out came a little bear between some of the trees. I managed to quietly call Arianna over to have a look too. We watched the little guy for a bit. I thought it would be a good idea to get a picture of it. I didn't get one that I was happy with but at least I got one.

Can you see the little cub in the center? 

He had a white nose. I was kind of surprised with that. He was rummaging around but slowly went up into the trees and disappeared

While out working in the yard (yes the bike parking space again) my cat came out of the forest looking around where I was working. I saw something out of the corner of my eye go under the pail.  The reason I noticed it was because it's tail is this amazing colour. I will have to show you a picture of the little creature so you will understand. Quite amazing really. I have seen them around, or rather I thought it was a very beautifully coloured snake. I usually just see the tail move very quickly. This is the first I caught one and could get a picture of it. If anyone knows what kind they are I would love to know.

A blue tailed lizard. About 6 inches or so. Quite tiny really.
July 2nd ... I have since found out this little lizard is known as a western skink. They are kind of rare . I have filled out a report saying that it is a juvenile kink, where it was located, the kind of vegetation around etc. Was informative to read up on them.
A friend of mine was over last week. I was showing her some of the flowers that are starting to grow on my banks. She is quite the gardener too. She offered me one of her plants saying it would be a wonderful addition to my yellow coreopsis. I think the variety is the Sunburst. Beautiful and colourful. Any how she dug up a few Rose Campion for me. I got to dig up a couple of holes for the new additions. I have a lot of grass on that bank! But it is looking so much better with a touch of colour on there. 

Coreopsis ~ maybe Sunburst.

Rose Campion that a friend gave to me.
Close to one of the Rose Campion I found another field flower. Not sure what it is. the stems and leaves are very fragile and dainty. The flowers are a beautiful blue. Wish I knew what this one is too.
Beautiful and delicate blue flower.

Today we got our first load of firewood just as the rain started. But it gives me another project to get started on. If it is nice out or at least not raining I'll have to get started on splitting it. That is about a cord and a quarter to be done. Yes I get to play outside some more and keep warm during the colder winter months. 

What have you been doing for the beginning of summer? I would love to hear all about it. 


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day

A time set aside to verbalize how much we appreciate DAD.
As I sit here thinking about Father's Day I remember the most precious time I had with my dad. My dad is of the old school mentality. He felt that his responsiblity was to put a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and healthy food in the home. Which he did all of this very well. He was and still is a hard worker. Dad's career was as an outboard motor mechanic. He did everything honestly and with a great deal of pride. Of course he passed this along to all of us children, me Joanne, Mike, Nicole, Richard and Paulette. 

So onto the memory I have that I will treasure for the rest of my life. One day in the summer my dad went for a ride in the convertable. I am not sure if I asked to go along or if he suggested it. I got to go with him up to Stave Falls. It was a gorgeous day with the sun shining in on us. I am not sure if we talked or went along in silence. Once we got up near the falls he took me for a walk along the path. There were some other teens (which I was a teen at the time) playing in the water fall, sliding down some rocks into the pool. It was so nice. I felt very special to be spending this time with my dad one on one. I think that this is the only time I had like this. No wonder it is such a special memory for me. 
Was it a out of this world activity? Nope. But for me it was extra special out of this world time. 
Thank you DAD for this memory. 

Hank Chaput My DAD

Another man in my life is my other half Jim. He is not my father but the father of five special girls. He is the father of two of these five girls but has taken on the other three (my first litter as he calls them) He went from having a quiet and very easy going girl, Karina, to having another three teenaged girls with all the hormones, dramas that goes along with them. I was pregnant with our child, it would seem we have a yours, mine and ours sort of family.
 My oldest daughter was a mother to our very special granddaughter Paige. Yes that is a lot to take on isn't it? 
 This reminds of a little story. Jim's mom Ann had a dream many years ago. She was looking out the window and saw a van drive into her driveway. The door opened and a whole pile of children came out. Well I guess those children would be our girls and granddaughters. 
So to my hubby Happy Father's Day. You are a wonderful and loving man to all those girls.
One more thing. Jim has a wonderful sense of humor. He loves to tell groaner jokes. 
(this is a condensed version)
One is of a woman that gave birth to their first child. She told him that during the night she thought of a nice name for their newborn. Hosea would the name. The new father said that is a wonderful name. So we won't have to work at chosing names for our future children. They will be Hosea, Hoseb, Hosec etc.
He now affectionatly calls the girls Hose A, Hose B, Hose C, Hose D and Hose E. 
He also has loving names for the granddaughters! Hose AA, Hose AB, Hose AC and Hose AD! 
Hope this shows you a bit of the fun with have. 
Jim with Hose E and Hose AB
The females in my family. One precious girl is missing Hose AD Pciture to follow.
Our newest Hose "D"

Yes I have wonderful men in my life. Thank you both Dad and Jim for being great fathers. I admire and appreciate all that you do.


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A short jaunt up a logging road

Last night Arianna asked to go for a walk along the river in a nearby park. I was game for it. Arianna managed to get her dad to agree to come along with us. It was a beautiful evening. The moosquitoes (as Jim calls them) thought so too. That could have made him walk a bit quicker though.
As we walked over this bridge we got to see a fish going after the insects on the river's surface. Unfortunately we didn't see the fish just the ripples he caused.


 Jim took Arianna and I on a little drive afterwards. He used to do this all the time and I love that he decided to give it another go.
This time he took us up this old logging road. I didn't know this but there is a hiking trail that is kept up with signage. We didn't go for a walk on the trail but he did keep going up the rough, dirt road past that. 8 km up. There is a lot of firewood to be found up there. All sorts of evidence that a lot of people go up there to get their winter's supply. Some even left chunks of good fallen trees up on the road! What are they thinking?

I have a slight fear of heights. This road put my adrenalin surging through my veins. I was scared that I was going to start hyperventilating. I kept my calm (as much as I could) and took deep, slow breaths. But oh the views were out of this world.
I asked Jim to take a picture from this drop off of the road. Here is the remarkable view but I have to admit that the picture just doesn't give it justice.

But oh what a view this is!

Jim was actually trying to see our house from this mountain. Anywhere we could have seen our house was blocked by forest. So needless to say we didn't see our home.

Jim loves mushrooms. He used to go with his mom to pick them in the fall. So he knows what he is looking for. I on the other hand don't. As we drove down the road he stopped suddenly exclaiming Shaggy Manes! I knew what that was. I have tried one or two. 
 They were on both sides of the road, we hit the jack pot! But as we began to pick them Jim noticed that they were past the tender non inky stage. How sad. But we did manage to get 4 of them.

One lone shaggy mane.

It was getting late by this point so off we went the rest of the way down the road 4km or so. It was almost dark by the time we got home. I had such a lovely time (other than the height thing). Does anyone else hunt wild mushrooms? I would love to hear about them.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Finishing our trip to Florida

Our time in Florida was a wonderful 2 weeks. We rented once again the same villa in a private gated community. 
This is from a few years ago  I didn't see the need to take picture of the same place again. But it looks pretty much the same except the bushes and trees were a bit bigger. This villa is grand! Five bedrooms and one game room that we doubled up as a bedroom. We had use of the fully stocked kitchen, laundry room and a private pool that looked out over a lake with a island that doubled as an aviary. It is really a place we loved to come home to at the end of the day.

Our first day we went to Epcot. I loved it here as there are all these topiaries.
Here are Jim, Arianna and Payton (in the stroller we bought to get her around)
 For Joanne's birthday we all went to The Crown & Rose in Epcot. We had wonderful seats to see the nightly fireworks. They were amazing!
 Here is part of the show. Spectacular really and the seats we had were out of this world.

After our meal and the fireworks we headed off to enjoy some of the rides. Here are all of our group minus moi of course (always taking the pictures) It is the big release year for Oz.

 While in Animal Kingdom the girls had their faces painted. Arianna chose the tiger face ...

 And Payton chose Goofy! We were very surprised by this choice.

This was just a few high lights of our first week. The second week my Mom and second daughter Holly joined us for a wonderful time. 

We  went once again on the Boggy Creek Airboat Ride.

 Here is Joanne taking some pictures while making our way in the Everglades 

 Payton loved any moving craft. The airboat was not exception. Jim held onto her so she didn't land in the water with the alligators that would love her for a snack. And there were lots of them.

After the airboat ride we were all very hungry. Someone recommended the  
Catfish Place. 
They had all sort of interesting food there. Here is Jim with one of his food items. Frog leg but there was also alligator, turtle, catfish and probably something else. 

 That evening we went into 
Magic Kingdom 
to watch the fireworks above Cinderella's Castle and the Electric Parade. We waited on the sidewalk for the parade in the picture. 

 Mom, Holly,Arianna and I walked along the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom to see It's Tough To Be A Bug. Payton didn't like it before so Jim stayed with her while we did this. Can you see the amazing animals in the tree?

 Payton I think loved this ride the best. It is in 
Animal Kingdom
Kali River Rapids was fun. We were soaked by the end of it all except Payton who chose to wear a poncho! She laughed at us and wanted to go "Again!". Jim humored her  5 more times!

 Another two people that joined our group at the villa were Jaime and her mom Janet (not in this picture) Jaime is the one in front on the left. We went to a restaurant called
Steak and Shake.
This is a place really worth going to for some good old fashioned meals but not the healthiest. I highly recommend this place if you are a meat and potato kind of person or love burgers.

   I was trying out my new camera and so I am pretty sure this picture was meant to be 3D. Cool effect really. Anyhow here are my mom (l) me and Holly (r) while we waited for the Nemo show. It is so worth seeing more than once. I believe this was in Animal Kingdom as well.

 Payton's absolute favorite is Tinkerbell. We waiting in line for 45 minutes to visit her. 
She was very happy to have another visit with this fairy. Her first visit was on the Fantasy.

Hollywood Studios
 While in Hollywood Studios we all went in to Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. Arianna loved the ant that moved it's head a little and made some noise. Payton is terrified of insects of all kinds so we were so lucky to capture this picture of her there as well. She was very hesitant to near it at all.

In another part of the H.I.S.T.K. playground we found this huge dog nose that actually makes dog sniffing noises. Holly laughed with this one as much as I did.

Last day we went to Magic Kingdom
 Before we got on the ferry to the MK I got a picture of all three wearing their Mike t-shirts. Jim got his a few years ago and then my mom bought one for Payton and Arianna. Don't they look like a fun bunch?

On our way back home. In the airport we stopped for lunch. Payton was so sick. I had to carry her everywhere. While I sat she just slept. Poor girl. But this was the end of our trip.
Hope you enjoyed the little bit of our vacation because I know we surely did! 

It is late here tonight. We had such a long but wonderful day today. I will share that with you tomorrow. Stay tuned! More to come from my life.



Thursday, 6 June 2013

Fantasy and WDW in March

I am managing to get this out today. Late as it is. 

This is a story about two Joanne's. 

Me and my bestest buddy Joanne. Yes we have the same name but also we share the same initials and birth month! Just over two years ago we went on our first Florida trip with our families and had such a wonderful time that we decided two years later we would do it again. 

 Here is a picture of us from March 2011 in the magic kingdom
This year we left once again for sunny Florida but this time we went on a cruise aboard the Disney Cruise ship Fantasy. One full week of being pampered and catered to. It was a first for us all. So excited too. We headed down to Spokane where we caught a flight to Denver then onto Orlando. We spend the night there near the airport and then we headed to the ship. 
This is at the hotel just before we left in our shuttle to the ship. The group is a little different than the first time we went south. Starting from the left is Brian, Joanne, Gwen (Joanne's mom) and Jim are in the back row. Then in the front are Arianna, Elizabeth, Alex and me holding our granddaughter Payton.  Two years you can see the difference in the kids.We look at those pictures now and see how much they have grown.
 Moments after we boarded the Fantasy. Here are Arianna, Jim and Payton.

 Joanne and her family sit right across from us. Yes we are amazed by the grand entryway.
We had four ports that the ship stopped at
1) Grand Cayman
Jim and I went to George Town,Grand Cayman on our own. The two girls stayed in the kids club. Here is Jim with one of the many pirate statues.
2) Costa Maya Mexico
 One of my bucket list items was to visit a Mayan ruin. As you can tell I am very happy to be here. This excursion was to Chochoben ruin. Our tour guide Phillipe was the best! He even serenaded us.

3) Cozumel Mexico
This excursion was a dune buggy tour of the island.
 The first thing we got to do was snorkeling. Payton and I stayed on shored and admired the fish there. But the rest of the group went out. Here is Arianna. She did very well and kept up with the guide Alan.

 Here are Jim, Arianna and Payton with our dune buggy. We were at the tequila tour. It was very interesting and good samples too.

 At the end of the tour, then sampling tequila, we carefully chose the tequila we wanted to take with us. . The Joannes and Gwen are with one of the owners of the place.

 We hopped back into our dune buggy and headed toward the west side of the island. Alan took us to the place where all the kids got a chance to hold a pet iguana.

 Then we crossed two highways (which are not what we are used to here in Canada) to get to this beautiful beach. It was deserted and we had such fun. Arianna, Elizabeth and Gwen enjoy the waves. After leaving the beach we headed to the southern tip of the island to a park where we got to see salt water crocodiles, needle nose fish, some more Mayan ruins and then to see a light house.

 The girls found quite a few hammocks. They took the time to relax and play on them. Elizabeth  really got the hang of it.

 This ended our tour and so we had pictures taken with our guide Alan. He was great and a really funny. The ladies were given permission to call him Sweetie :-)
4) Castaway Cay Disney's private island in the Bahamas

 We loved the beach on Castaway Cay. Here I am with Payton in the water. As you can tell we had a blast.

This is a very popular spot to have your picture taken with. I managed to get one of Payton here. Arianna was not in the mood to be in the picture. 

Now for the happenings on the ship.

Mean while on the ship we had pirate night. Arianna got to go into BBB for her make over. Joanne also dressed up for the occasion. 
 The ladies on formal night. 

 Jim and Arianna all decked out for the night. I loved this night.

One morning we got to sit at a round table that seated our group. Here is a picture of our little family dining in the Royal Court.

There were so many more memories from this cruise. I shall end the story here though. Tomorrow I will share our WDW adventures. 

Till then