Cottage visitors

During the winter months we drive up to the cottage to check on it and the property at least once a month.  The deep snow allows us to keep track (pun intended) of all visitors.

We have the two legged variety (us)

 

and the four legged visitors…

 

I wonder if the four legged variety are longing for spring as much as we two legged creatures are.  Regardless, spring still looks like a long way off!

 

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u

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BabyGaga, writing and me

 

You could say I am gaga about babies, especially my beautiful grandchildren, but this is not about them.  BabyGaga is my newest writing endeavour.  I will be writing a few posts a week on this site that is geared towards, you guessed it, babies.  Oh, and their moms and dads, and anyone else interested in babies.

This is a paying job, some of my writing jobs are not, but that’s ok.  I love to write and have lots of time to do so in the winter months when my gardens are covered in snow.

Unfortunately there are (very) limited choices of things I can write about, with strict rules on how posts must be written.  Check out the Baby Gaga site and if you see my name,(LorieB) be sure to like it and comment!

Here are my first three articles, let me know what you think, the comment button is on the left, at the  bottom of the list of social media icons (the one that looks like a comic book conversation bubble)

Weird and Unique Celebrity Baby Names

Baby Tips Leading Moms Astray

Clever and Adorable Pairs of Names for Twin Girls

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

 

DIY rag quilt

Well this rag quilt has taken me almost a year to finish, but finish it I did, finally.  Although I would not recommend this particular DIY project for a beginner sewer, you could start with a small sized one.  Crib sized would be much more manageable.

The process is simple, start with squares cut from assorted fabric.  Preferred fabrics include flannels and quilting cottons, because they fray well.  Others fabrics, such as denim, could be used but they are not as soft.  As my grandson’s room will be dinosaur themed, I chose a white flannel with blue, green and red dinosaurs on it as the main fabric.  I complemented that with solid blue, green and red fabrics and a red polka dot fabric.

Wash all fabric first, then iron it smooth before you start cutting.  Calculate how many squares you need of each fabric, keeping in mind that each finished square on the quilt requires three cut fabric squares.  Because my quilt was so large, I actually used a spreadsheet to calculate how many of each I needed.  Lots.   Use a quilter’s template (a big plastic square that has dimensions marked on it for easy measurement) to measure and cut your squares. A rotary cutter works best.   I did this step last spring when watching the Ottawa Senators in the NHL playoffs.

When you have all your squares cut, you then make the “sandwiches” using three squares in each.  The lesson I learned here is not to use the solid red or polka dot red as a middle square (the few that I did bled through the white main fabric on top when washed)   The last three pictures above show the sandwiches I used, with the last two overlapped to show the possible color combinations.

When your sandwiches are assembled, sew an X through each one to hold all three layers in place.  Then sew squares together to make rows.  It helps to have a pattern (that’s why I used a spreadsheet) to consult with to keep the squares in the right order within the rows.  Sew using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, paying close attention as to which sides should be together.  You must keep all the seams on one side of the quilt.  This is trickier than it sounds because as a sewer you are trained to put the “good sides” together, leaving the seams on the “bad side”  On this rag quilt there is no good and bad side.

rag quilt
squares sewed together in rows

When the rows are complete, you then sew them together to form the quilt.  I laid my rows out on a bed (a floor or table would work if your quilt is smaller) to keep the rows in order.  Be sure to sew around the perimeter of the quilt too, also using a half inch allowance.

rag quilt
rows laid out on bed to ensure correct order

Next, using very sharp sewing scissors or a rag quilt cutter (below) snip into all (including outer edge) seam allowances, being very careful not to snip the actual seam.  The next step is to wash the quilt (on a very low, setting equivalent to a hand washing) to encourage the seam allowances to fray.  It’s called a rag quilt for this reason.

The final result is quite satisfyingly striking, even though I had a few discouraging setbacks.  I learned these lessons the hard way:

  • use heavy duty sewing machine needles, the first few I used kept snapping because of the thickness of the fabric layers
  • wash all of the fabrics well first, before you start cutting the squares to cut down on “bleeding” (that’s where the color of one fabric soaks into another)  The worst bleeders are red fabrics.
  • use a plastic template and rotary cutter to cut your squares to ensure precise cutting.  Any errors will show up glaringly when you join the squares and rows!
  • do not use cotton thread, it breaks much more than polyester thread
  • be very careful when snipping into seam allowances.  If you mistakenly cut into a seam, your quilt will be full of holes after the first wash.  I had to reinforce a few seams that my clippers got too close to by hand sewing them.

Here is the final result, on my grandson’s double “big boy” bed!  The C is for Carter

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

 

Mudslinging and grandstanding politicians

The worst part about pending elections is the inevitable mudslinging and grandstanding that goes on.  Don’t we teach our children that bullies are insecure when they pick on others?   The same thing applies to politicians.

Your mudslinging does not make you look intelligent or clever, instead it makes you look insecure and weak. It is not attractive, in fact it is a real turn off. Can you not run your campaign outlining your own values, plans, goals and credentials or experience instead of smearing your opponents?

The other tactic I cannot stand in politicians is grandstanding.  If you are good at something you do not have to tell everyone how good you are.  This is another lesson we try to teach our children; tooting your own horn is not attractive.

Sadly it will only get worse as elections to choose a leader for the Conservative party (to replace ousted Patrick Brown and then a premier here in Ontario are fast approaching.

Anyone else feel this way?

politicians

 

 

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

A score and more for 44, Pageau shows why Senators want him on their roster

The Ottawa Senators beat the Las Vegas Knights to serve them their third three loss streak last night in a flurry of goals that did not make either goaltender look especially strong.  Sens number 44, JG Pageau scored a one timer from the blue line, not a common occurrence for him.  JG also won the last few crucial face-offs of the game in their own end when the Senators were struggling to stay up a goal.

I for one am glad Pageau is still with the Senators as  his work ethic is so strong.  He always puts 110% into a game, something that cannot be said for many NHL players.  His short handed and faceoff prowess round out his skill set, not to mention he has been known to score some goals.

Erik Karlsson’s three assists in the game, including one where Burrows redirected one of his shots for the winning goal, were painful reminders (for Vegas fans) of why the Vegas expansion team (and many others) were so keen on acquiring Karlsson before the recent trade deadline. Most Senator fans however are very happy Karlsson is still our captain.

Another name tossed around in the recent trade rumors racking up multiple points was Bobby Ryan.  With a break away goal (set up by a beautiful pass from Mark Stone) and two assists, Ryan also showed how he might be able to help the Senators (despite a massive contract) moving forward.  If he can stay healthy.

Players not mentioned as possibilities in the trades included Mark Stone and Matt Duchene.  Both had great games.  Stone contributed the first goal and hit Ryan up for a perfect pass and goal.  He also contributed with multiple take aways, stealing the puck from Vegas players, frustrating both the players and their coach.   Matt Duchene’s goal added to his impressive (and much appreciated) tally of points he has accumulated since his arrival in Ottawa.  He also appears to be a penalty magnet (drawer) as opposing players try desperately to take him off his game.

Pageau

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

Tru Local Customized Meat Delivery Service

Recently I have become acquainted with the Tru Local program that sells local, organic meat delivered (fast and free) to your Ontario home.  I first heard of it on Dragon’s Den, then was reminded of it when I saw an ad on Facebook.  The meat contains no hormones and no antibiotics.   Unlike other companies that offer home delivery of grocery items, you select only the meat you want (will use).  I tried other food services years ago, but found I was always forced to add items I did not want to my package.

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Using a point value system, Tru Local lets you customize your order with a total of 20 points per box.  Each item is individually wrapped, the meat is packed in a Styrofoam box and shipped in dry ice  via FedEx right to your door, usually the very next day.

 

There are lots of cuts and kinds of meat to choose from including chicken, turkey, beef, salmon and more…

 

If your family loves meat and you love the idea of buying organic, local products, this may be the program for you!  So far I love the products, the convenience and the knowledge I am supporting local farmers.

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE
and
be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

 

Dog meat to man’s best friend for Beemo and friends

This story from the winter Olympics in South Korea is gold medal worthy.  Gus Kenworthy, an American skier, has saved 90 puppies from becoming dog meat at a Korean dog farm.  He plans to bring the rescued puppies to the USA and Canada.

This is not the first time Kenworth has shown his displeasure over the way dogs are treated in other countries.  Using his Olympic connection, he has stepped up twice now to show his disproval of dog farms prevalent in Asian countries.  During the last winter Olympics (2014) he brought home stray dogs found wandering the streets of Sochi:

dog meat
Sochi resuce

 

This (2018) Olympics in PyeongChang South Korea Kenworth rescued the 90 puppies from their dismal fate at a local dog farm. He and a friend were horrified to see the conditions the dogs were living in.

 

Unfortunately, there are still no regulations preventing dogs from being slaughtered for their meat in many countries around the world.  Dog meat is a common ingredient sold in Korean (as well as other Asian) markets, used to make stews, soups and more:

 

This story is one of the many feel good stories out of the recent winter Olympics.   Welcome to America Beemo (the one puppy Kenworth is keeping for himself) and friends, where dogs are man’s best friend not a food source.

dog meat
Beemo has a new BFF

 

If you have a few more minutes to spare, check out my other blogs…

LOL   laugh out loud with me on Your Daily Chuckle.  These posts are NOT originals, merely things I saw on Facebook or elsewhere that made me chuckle.

WoW  stands for Words of Wisdom, motivational and inspirational words.  Again, I am NOT the original author, just want to share words that move me.

GARDENS4U  is the website for my gardening business that is the reason I don’t post on this blog as much during the summer.

 

Erik Karlsson stays put with Ottawa Senators

Looks like Erik Karlsson is staying in Ottawa with the Ottawa Senators.  At least for now.  His contract is not up until next year, so we may go through all of this stress again then.

I must admit I have mixed emotions about the possibility of trading him.  On one hand I realize the financial shenanigans (reasons) may make sense to the bottom line of the Senators’ budget.  On the other hand however, why would you get rid of a franchise player, arguably the best defenseman ever, in hopes of acquiring another good defensive player with a few bonus players thrown in?

Many teams (apparently) lined up to make their offers of what (who) they thought Karlsson is worth to them, but (again apparently) none of them were willing to add as many bonuses we thought he is worth.

It is true that this season has not been Karlsson’s best (by far) This can be explained and even expected by the fact that he was not able to attend full summer training with the team due to his foot/ankle injury.  It probably did not help that he played on the injured foot during last years playoffs where the Senators were as close as an overtime loss in game seven to making the Stanley Cup finals.  I’m sure the Pittsburgh Penguins led by Sidney Crosby were sweating big time (extremely worried) that game.

The Senators are not expected to make the playoffs this season.  So hopefully Karlsson can recuperate (heal) properly and be back to his former glory next season.  I for one am glad to see him stick around.  His skill level is awesome to watch on the ice and he is a charismatic leader on and off the ice within our community.

If you have a few more minutes to spare, check out my other blogs…

LOL laugh out loud with me on Your Daily Chuckle. These posts are NOT originals, merely things I saw on Facebook or elsewhere that made me chuckle.

WoW stands for Words of Wisdom, motivational and inspirational words. Again, I am NOT the original author, just want to share words that move me.

GARDENS4U is the website for my gardening business that is the reason I don’t post on this blog as much during the summer

Canadian Olympic firsts

Although we Canadians have collected a record (for us) number of medals this Olympic games, we have suffered a few heartbreaking and painful firsts.

  • the first time the women’s curling team did not qualify for the playoff round since the inception of curling as an Olympic sport.  I have to admit though, the South Korean women curlers were so impressive, cool calm and collected throughout their games.
  • the first time both the men’s and women’s team have missed the podium in traditional curling (although we did capture gold in mixed doubles)  Again, since the inception of curling as an Olympic sport.
  • the first time (in five years) our women’s hockey team had to settle for a silver medal although nothing to scoff at there. They were outplayed, although the officials could have been less biased in their calls.

These disappointing firsts are a result of many things in my mind.  Canada has always been respected for their curling and hockey prowess, but obviously other teams are catching up fast.  It does not help that curling teams from around the world come to Canada to compete against the best for practice on the world stage.  It also does not help that many of these teams are paying Canadian curlers to coach their teams.  As for the hockey, the USA and Canadian women’s teams have always been neck and neck, with all other teams lagging far behind.  After 4 consecutive gold medals for the Canadian women, it was time for the USA to win one.  No other team even comes close, but that may change too in the years to come.

The fact that the Canadian teams mentioned were the reigning and repeated gold medal holders in their respective sports puts an immense amount of pressure on them.  All other teams strive to knock them off the podium.  The German team celebrated like they had won the gold medal after beating team Canada in the semi-final.

The fact that no current NHL players are on the men’s Olympic hockey teams weighs in too.  In previous years Canadian and USA rosters were loaded with NHL players.  The NHL chose to not allow their players to participate in the Olympics this time after the IOC (International Olympic Committee) refused to pay the players’ (considerable) insurance premiums and travel costs.

Day 13 of the winter Olympics proved to be unlucky for Canadians in a few sports.   However, there were a few great firsts to cheer about other days.  Just as other countries are gaining respect in sports they were not historically known to medal for, Canada is too.  More medals in figure skating and speed skating made up for those lost in hockey and curling in our total medal count. Here are a few of those awesome firsts:

  • Canada has won the most medals in speed skating since its Olympic inception.
  • John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes won the first gold medal in mixed doubles curling
  • Sebastien Toutant won the first gold in the snowboarding “big air” thriller
  • first time Canada has won four medals in figure skating, two gold and two bronze
  • first time Canada has won 29 medals at a winter games, previous record was 26
  • first time Canada has won the third most medals in a winter games, (previous record was 4th) 9 behind Norway, one behind Germany (we were in second until the last night of competition when Germany won two medals in bobsled) and 6 ahead of the USA.

 

The time change (they are 14 hours ahead of us here in EST) was a bit annoying with these winter Olympic games held in PyeongChang, a first for South Korea.  Sometimes it was hard to tell what was old news and what was new.  Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the talented athletes.  Well, maybe not the curling  or hockey.

If you have a few more minutes to spare, please check out my other blogs…

LOL laugh out loud with me on Your Daily Chuckle. These posts are NOT originals, merely things I saw on Facebook or elsewhere that made me chuckle.

WoW stands for Words of Wisdom, motivational and inspirational words. Again, I am NOT the original author, just want to share words that move me.

GARDENS4U is the website for my gardening business that is the reason I don’t post on this blog as much during the summer.

Sticks and stones

Sticks and stones will break your bones,  but names will never hurt you.  That’s what I was always taught as a youngster, but times have changed.  It is now obvious that those names do and have done more damage than we gave them credit for.  It is now referred to as bullying.  Names do hurt, the damage is just buried deep and not as visible.

I don’t think of myself as over sensitive, but I do admit I can remember every mean thing ever said to me.  For example, I remember a boy taunting me at the age of 12 because I was wearing a training bra.  I was an obvious late bloomer and very self-conscious about it. Did the insensitive comment ruin my life?  No, but it did hurt enough for me to remember it 45 years later.  I have never been at the (intentional) receiving end of the proverbial sticks and stones, so cannot compare the two hurts.

Bullying is rampant in today’s society.  Suicide rates are skyrocketing with bullying the leading cause.  With the availability and popularity of so many forms of social media, bullies can strike anywhere, anytime, without ever having to meet their victim in person, face to face.

When social media first came to be my eldest son was ten years old.  That was in 1999, the year AOL, Yahoo and MSN all released their own messenger services.  All of a sudden it became very easy to (bully) say hurtful things to classmates, (former) friends, acquaintances, even strangers.  His teacher was so concerned about the hurtful comments that were going around she organized a parent meeting to warn parents and curb the bullying behaviour.   I remember telling my son then “you should never message someone things that you do not have the nerve to say to their face”

That was before every child over the age of six had their own cell phone, in fact many parents did not yet have one.  Most of the messages sent, both good and bad, were done on a home computer.  Parents had some control over what and when their children were communicating and who they were communicating with.

Today our teens and preteens (and many adults) are glued to their cell phones, with access to everyone and everything, anywhere.  The advances in technology make it easier to do just about anything on a cell phone.

Everything except communicate face to face.

An inspirational message shared by a childhood friend on Facebook inspired this post:

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Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca