Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The end of a tough year..........

To say I'm not happy to see the end of this year would be a lie. We've had many personal health and financial problems this year, not to mention some of our family members that have gone through their own struggles this year.
For me, there were times this year the stress was really overwhelming. For the first time in my life I felt I was dealing with things very poorly and the situations were getting the best of me....gosh, I hate that out of control feeling.
I've had a few times in my life where my personal life and relationships were such that I really did think about just walking away. Fortunately, the responsible, controlling side of me kicked in and I thought better of it.
As I get older, I really do appreciate the intangible more than the tangible.
There is part of me feels guilty knowing there are so, so many people in the world so much worse off. I believe things happen for a reason. What I struggle with are the reasons.
I'm so happy to have two beautiful, intelligent, compassionate daughters and two sons-in-laws that I really do love a lot....AND then there's my two adorable, special grandchildren. The sad side of this equation is that they live so far away and the older I get the harder it is find the energy and finances to drive to see them. I feel this distance certainly has changed our relationships, but I will continue to love them, and appreciate what time we do get.
For those who happen to read my blog, I wish you a very happy, healthy 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas sales.............

The only thing I'm looking for are deals on Christmas ornaments, ribbon, etc for the charity tree I do each year for my community for the Festival of Trees. I purchase as much as possible the year before. I've had relatively excellent success. The only dilemma is I must decide the 'theme' etc for my tree so I know what to look for in the way of the ornaments. For 2009, I'm doing a 7ft. white artificial tree in whites, silvers, blacks and crystals. The only problem I've had so far is trying to find a really elegant silver, black or white tree skirt. I really love doing these trees and feel in some small way, I'm helping. This festival goes on for a week with donor trees and volunteer donor decorators, auctions, a grand ball, etc. I just get involved in the decorating of one tree amongst so, so many. I try to attend the family night as that's when most of the little ones come and there's a concert that my cousin and his family perform. The proceeds of the Festival go to purchase some major equipment for our local hospital. Last year, the proceeds were used for special equipment suitable for small children. I'm not sure where the money will go from this 2008 Festival. I just found out that the Festival made over $200,000.00. This will do some good things.
I'm also trying to find a deal on a 7 ft pre-lit tree, but so far no luck. Neither my husband nor myself want to deal with running lights next year....had enough of that! However, I refuse to pay the full price for one.
I have so much to do pertaining to my Etsy sites and I've found out recently about another site for handmade items, etc. called ArtFire. I haven't even had time to check it out.
My Google AdSense is all messed up again and isn't rotating the ads, so once again I need to figure out why not. I'm not getting much activity at all from it, but will continue just the same.
I'm suffering from a pretty severe sore throat today and will try to fight off another cold.
We are suppose to be attending a wedding on New Year's Eve. I haven't even figured out what I'll wear for it, but will definitely not be spending any more money. I so rarely need 'dress up' type clothes anymore.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A good about you?

It's been over a week since I've written anything here. My daughters, their husbands, and my grandchildren have been here and although busy and somewhat hectic at times, I really do appreciate the time we get together. We each have our own special and unique lives so when we can take some time to 'catch up' face to face, it's the best gift of all.
We are all different and individual. This is a good thing, even though that means we don't always agree on many levels.
I am proud that we raised two daughters that have chosen special men to be their partners and that they have learned to think for themselves and stand up for their beliefs. At times that's a bit exasperating, but I smile a bit knowing they feel comfortable stating their positions in spite of what myself or their Dad may think or believe.
The grandchildren continue to bring me so much joy. Our grandson can carry on the most wonderful conversations and I feel we have our own special bond. He continues to be so much fun to be with as he's so imaginative, musical, and quite deep at times.
Our little grandaughter is just over one year old and has the most special little smile and is definitely becoming her own little self. I sit back and smile as she has the sweet smile and bubbly personality of my daughter, but also has the stubborn, independent streak my daughter has ALWAYS had...payback!
It's funny(ha,ha) to hear words I used to spout off to my daughter's coming out of their mouths....and they said it would never happen!
I'm really pooped out, but it's been a really special time.... and we didn't even exchange any gifts, other than time...really special Christmas. Hope everyone out there has found some special moments to their Christmas and/or holiday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

TOTALLY lost the day ..........

Most of my day (and my husband's) were lost to a test I needed to have at the hospital. I was told to be there by 10:30 am and the test was to be for 11:30 am. My husband patiently waited and was told I should be done around 12:30 by the time I came out of the recovery area....well, not so. I sat in a hallway until almost 2 pm. and then around 3:30 pm they took me back out to my husband. I asked him to get me a coffee and bagel as I was so thirsty and hungry. As I started to drink and eat, the room started to spin and I knew I was going to faint. My husband got one of the staff and they then took me back again to the recovery area. After more oxygen and some more time, I finally felt ready to go. It was almost 5pm when we got home. I was still not feeling well as I had some discomfort from the procedure and still groggy....slept on and off most of the evening....
I guess that's why I'm sitting here at almost 5 am. wide awake..........oh well, it's over and I await the results which should come back some time next week.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Maybe I'll make it after all..........

Christmas has come up SO quickly and I must admit I've had some moments where I thought there is no way I'll ever get everything done. My husband has helped a lot by doing some of the baking and today he set up the two artificial trees and ran the lights on them. Tonight, I got one tree decorated and will do the other tomorrow. We are having my nephew and his daughter here for dinner, but will try to get quite a bit done before then.
I got all the Christmas cards done and mailed........yeah!
I've had to put Etsy to the side in order to get some of these things done. In light of the fact that my Etsy sales have been disappointing to say the least has given me reason to rethink what I'm making. It's obviously something most people don't want so I'll probably concentrate more time on the photography side in the new year.
I also have to get in gear to find work. I'm not going to look at specific employers, rather I've decided to go after free lance event planning. One never knows until one tries. I'm very good at planning functions and my organization skills are very much suited to this type of work. Besides, this is something I can actually get enthusiastic about.
I'm so tired right now I won't make any hasty decisions. I need quiet and calm and some stability before I can evaluate properly.
Next week is really busy too. My husband has two separate tests that require going to the hospital. I, too, have to go in to the hospital for a procedure as well.
You never want life to pass you by too quickly, but I have to admit, I'll be glad to see this year end and really hope for a better 2009.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the go....all day!

My husband and I started the morning by going to our medical, to get my weekly Vitamin B12 shot, he, to get bloodwork done. We then had to go to the medical centre in town, to fill in papers for an endoscopy I'm having done next week, he, to have MORE bloodwork...there are some new concerns so the process begins to figure out exactly what is going on ... This is difficult for both of us. We think he's finally back to decent health and then some little 'red flags' we wait to figure out what might be happening this time.
We then went and returned some items purchased and then went and picked my nephew and his little daughter up to go to lunch and then go to one of my cousin's homes for an afternoon Open House Tea. This was to honour her grandparents ( my aunt and uncle )on the celebration of their 66th wedding anniversary. This was so great for my nephew and daughter, as they are now getting to know some of their relatives in smaller groups and become familiar. It will help reassure him that he has a LOT of support. After this, we went to another cousins to pick up some used clothing she had that would fit the little one. She is the sweetest little girl...wonderful nature, very adaptable, and really had a great time running around and playing with other little cousins.
We came home, ate and then I started the Christmas newsletter we do every year to put in our Christmas cards. We send out about 170 Christmas cards to people in Canada, people in the US, a friend in England and a friend in Tasmania. It's starting to get so expensive though. You buy the cards, the paper for the newsletter and then the stamps.....OMG...the is almost highway robbery!
Tonight, my eldest daughter sent my grandson's 'school' pictures and I swear this little guy looks like a handsome. GQ...lookout! Here's a is he not just 'drop dead' handsome?
Another busy day tomorrow! The second family breakfast and then I have to go to Mississauga to see one of my doctors there to schedule another throat surgery... The upside is afterward I get to have dinner with a friend of mine. We became friends when both our husbands were going through liver resection surgery at the same time. Sadly, he husband died just eight months later, but we have stayed in contact and become good friends. We can talk to each other about things others don't understand and we both treasure our time together.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's late but....

It's late or should I say early and have to get to bed, but, I sold two more photographs today and I'm pretty excited about that!
It's a busy, busy time right now. I'm trying to get the custom plates finished and had no end of trouble this weekend...SO, will try again at some point tomorrow.
My husband has been a dear and is helping out with some of the baking for the holidays.
In the meantime, my nephew who the family as a whole have been lending a hand to get him and his daughter moved down here from way up north. We ( the collective family )
have managed to find in attics, crawl spaces, sheds, barns etc. enough used or unwanted things to completely furnish his little apartment...right down to toys for the little one and we even put up an artificial Christmas tree and put on the lights. We left a box of tree ornaments for he and his daughter to decorate together. I truly hope this is a new beginning for him.
I will meet him at his new apartment tomorrow (today ) to familiarize him with where everything is and give him some information about buses, etc. so he can begin to find his way around. They will be very tired as they fly to Toronto at 6am and then will catch the shuttle bus to here...long day for a little two year old.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Great day...............

I sold 5 of my photographs between yesterday and today...yeah! I sure hope it keeps up! I have to get busy listing more of my pictures.
My husband gave me a gift certificate to get a one hour, one on one, photography lesson on my camera... I'm excited but won't do it until the new was his anniversary gift to me. I'd like to buy the Adobe Photoshop Elements and may do that soon. I keep watching the sales flyers hoping I see it on sale.
Tomorrow, I hope to finish the custom plates.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Well, I'm almost finished my custom plate making. I have two done and two to go. I was so upset yesterday. I used a new glue on a custom plate and later that day took a look at it.....darn it all... the fabric had all kind of bubbled and come away from the plate. At that point, there is absolutely nothing to do but start over. It's one of those minor irritations, especially when time is running out to complete projects to a deadline. Finally, tomorrow I have the whole day to work just on plates and getting more photos posted to my 'Maggies Studio' Etsy store.
Once I have that done I can move on to Christmas stuff. I still have a bit of shopping to do, but then I can get the two Christmas trees up and start on the baking. Since we're not exchanging gifts between the adults this year, I'd like to at least have a nice selection of baked goods available. I also like to make up little plates to give to my neighbours. I've done that every year since we moved here and they so appreciate it.
I have managed to buy a few really cute little things on Etsy for my grandaughter, but haven't found just the right little things for my grandson. I will do some searching over the next few days.
After family breakfast this morning, I had to pick up some things my sister-in-law was donating to my nephew's new apartment and then get back home. I had to be at the medical centre to get my first shot of Vitamin B12. I will be on a regimen for the next year to see if this helps the fatigue I've had for over a year. I'm sure hoping this might be the answer.
I then drove back into town to pick up something at my aunt's place, drop off some stuff we wanted to give to Value Village ( like Goodwill ), go to the dollar store to get some bits for my nephew, and then grocery shopping and home.
My nephew and his little daughter arrive on Monday, so we want to have everything set up nicely for him.
SO many family and friends have donated enough items to furnish it completely. We even put a Christmas tree up, put lights on it, and have left Christmas ornaments so he and his daughter can have some fun decorating it together.
I spoke with him last evening and for the first time, he sounds hopeful, excited and just wants to get here. He understands this is just the first step in a very, very long road for him, but it's a start. He really needs a shot at a better life! Let's hope and pray.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 have a vehicle..

I can't call it a new car, as it's not...but we did have success and feel we did fairly well with the budget we had....we had to go over a bit, but will not finance any part of it...
We got a 2003 Kia Sedona that looks almost brand new. It only had 88,000 kms. and when we did a CarFax it showed nothing negative. It was a single owner and had no history of any accidents, any fires, or any thefts. The maintenance records showed nothing but your standard oil changes, basic maintenance and vehicle registratons each year. It has most of the higher end features and it drives beautifully. As I stated before, you can only do what you can do, but who knows what's ahead.
We had a lot of family at our weekly family breakfast today. There were 21 of us, but when we have the last one before we break for the holidays, we usually average between 35 and 45. The other family breakfast on Thursday usually only averages about 10 people.
Today, my husband and I celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. My husband made reservations at a really nice restaurant in town called Saporito' was superb!! We hardly eat out at restaurants other than the weekly family breakfast's and we certainly don't eat out at the nicer, this was really special.
I worked on one custom plate order today and ended up really unhappy with it, so will start again...not what I needed when time is running out to get them all done as promised.
Tomorrow, my cousin, her husband and my husband and I will start moving furniture into the apartment we found for my nephew. He arrives on Monday with his little daughter. The whole family has been amazing. We basically have found enough furniture, etc from family members to completely furnish the apartment. This, we hope, is his new start to a new life..
I am disappointed that I haven't sold more on my Etsy site, so will take another look at how much time I spend on the Etsy site versus local at some point in January.