Everyday I read yet another post where the blogger
writing it is having issues about actually sitting down and putting
their thoughts on paper.

Here's mine.....
It's summertime.
That's right!  How, oh how, can I sit and write a blog when I have to (as we speak)
go out and water the gardens and the new lawn that's getting rather crispy and
needs tons of TLC?  Who will pick the weeds and the vegetables if I don't?
Who will take the dead heads off the plants finished blooming?

Who will feed and clean out the chickens?
Do the laundry? Organize the chaos we call home in summertime?
I'm heading up to a friend's trailer today in Southampton for a lovely
weekend and am trying to wrap my head around my resolve to post
at least twice a week when I come back.

I know so many of my blogging friends are feeling exactly the same way
and it's frustrating when you see some people posting daily and you
think...How do they do that?!!

How can I post in my downtime, when all I want to do is take pretty
photos of the sky and the water and the gardens, but not
doctor them up in PicMonkey right now...maybe later?
Okay...just one awesome photo!
One morning this past week I was awake at 4:30am and this is how the sky looked!
Don't forget about me....I'll be back!
        Last week, I turned 50. 
        Yep, the BIG Five Oh.       
This is a photo of me at my 50th Birthday Party, held at our home on Saturday.We had a Vintage Birthday Party!
....because....I'm vintage now.
The girls and Dan were throwing the party, but I ended up in the thick of the
planning.  I mean, afterall, it was at our house, so what's a girl to do?
We had massive amounts of food including a pig roast our friend Craig took
care of tending to all day for us!
So funny!  Elmo going after the oven mitt and Blarney licking the cutting board....
well...a little gross, but god love 'em!
Don't worry, we pulled them away from the meat.
We had mountains of delicious food!  The very best was the cupcakes
Miranda & Robynn spent painstaking hours icing!
The jello shooters Alana & Megan made didn't hurt either.....
And, speaking of alcoholic beverages, Mark (Alana's guy), Maureen & I worked on the
punches.  The recipes came from the Ontario LCBO's Summer Edition.
Tequila Sangria & Watermelon/Cucumber Tequila Punch.
I'd advise against putting the Tequila Sangria into these dispensers....the fruit
kinda jammed up the spout and we had to use a ladle.
There was also a non-alcoholic punch...don't worry!
Everyone had a wonderful time, myself included!
It's nice to get together to see friends and any excuse will do really.
Turning 50 just happened to be mine and we had an award for the best vintage hat.
Here's the Winner!
It was a great way of getting our gardens finished, fixing up the screened-in room,
cleaning the house all under the crunch of a deadline.

I loved this photo of my two girls, Alana & Megan,  and myself and wished the other two girls had been in the photo as well....it's hard to get people all together in a photo!
I did get photos of the other two beauties though.....
The Lovely Miranda
and the Beautiful Robynn with hubby, Adrian!

All the girls worked very hard to get ready for this party!
I'll be taking the rest of the summer off from house deadlines and will be able to focus more on blogging and decorating.  In the meantime, while I laze around thinking of post ideas,  you'll find me here.....relaxing!
Thanks to everyone who helped out with the party, especially Dan,
the girls and Maureen (godsend)!
         Once upon a time, around Christmas of 1963, there was a family consisting of five members.  Mother, Father, Son - 2-1/2 years old, Daughter - 1-1/2 years old and yet another Baby Son - 3 months old.  The Mother was from Nova Scotia where her two oldest children were born, but was living in Ontario (at the bequest of her Navy husband) with his parents prior to the birth of Baby Son and she was very unhappy.  So unhappy, she wrote letters to her two younger sisters of longing to live back home in Nova Scotia .   In personal anguish, she attempted suicide a few times with pills to escape the life situation she was in.
As a result of her deep depression, she succumbed to Cirrhosis of the liver on Christmas Eve of 1963 at the age of 23 - not the result of alcohol, but from attempting suicide one too many times.  She left her three children behind with their father who was only 26 years old himself.  He took an honourable discharge from the Navy and attempted to find employment to care for his children, however, it was the 60's and Social Services were not as helpful to the Paternal Parent as they are today and his skills were limited from having been in the navy for 10 years. 
        His three children were given over to foster care.  The Baby Son was adopted out
almost immediately, being an infant.  The Daughter spent approximately one year in
Foster Care and was then adopted by a family who had one son of their own, but could not have another child of their own, but wanted a little girl.  Unfortunately, the Eldest Son had a more difficult time of it because the Father kept attempting to take him back sporadically over a period of almost five years.  He was finally adopted into a family who coincidentally (but unknown to either until years later) lived relatively close to his sister's adoptive family.  All three children were brought up in homes where they were given the utmost in opportunities to grow into wonderful people.

        Back in the 60's the Children's Aid Society lied to the deceased mother's sisters when they came to visit the children in foster care and told them that "all three" children were adopted into the same lovely home.  The sisters were distraught and so were their parents because they had been working on a plan to raise their sister's children, but were eventually consoled by the fact the children stayed together.
        All three children grew up knowing they had siblings somewhere, but as is usually the case, the female child was the one to initiate a search first.  She registered with the Adoption Disclosure Registry and met her Birth Father first when she was 27 years old.
        He was a lovely, quiet man, who had lived a hard life until he met the woman he is still with and he's content.  The Daughter didn't keep up this relationship because there wasn't really a bond there after all the years (in her mind, she already had a father), but her curiousity was sated and she wishes him nothing but the best life has to offer.
        She next met the Baby Son when she was about 30 years old and connected with him immediately...there was definitely a bond there.  They stayed friends for a few years and because he was so far away, and had a family of his own, like her...that dwindled down to the odd phone call.  The daughter didn't meet her oldest brother until she was about 42 years old.  The bond was there as well, but he lived so far away...provinces no less and was just starting his family and career and she had her problems here, so they didn't see much of each other.  A few visits back and forth have been managed over the last 8 years.
        A most excellent thing happened for the Daughter in between meeting the two brothers.  She met her natural Aunts, who both lived in Nova Scotia.  She now visits them every year or two and they came to her wedding and helped with the preparations and laughed and loved.  She finally realized where her genetic being arose from because they were so much like the Daughter herself.  They even had some of the same pictures on their walls and loved to garden and paint.
        When the Daughter was visiting her Aunt's & Uncle's the first time, they took her to see the homestead of her Great Great Grandparents which was still standing and still being lived in by relatives.
        It was at this historical home, the Daughter's Aunt took a cutting of the wild rose bush and rooted it for her during her first visit and packed it lovingly, ensuring it stayed damp on the plane trip home.  When the Daughter returned to her home, she planted it immediately in proud prominance in the front garden of her home.
        Ten years later, the Daughter moved out to the River to a beautiful new home with her husband after all their children had left the nest and replanted a new cutting of the wild heirloom rose and it still has a prominent, welcoming place near her front door.
This always reminds the Daughter that
"Your History Makes You Who You Are"
I don't like Spiders and Snakes....
but the fact of the matter is if you are possessed by the Gardening Bug,
(talk about an oxymoron),
then you have to deal with them, right?

I thought I'd share my gruesome snake story with you today.
(Inez...don't read this)

One time (at band camp...no...wrong story) approximately two years ago, Dan & I were
clearing out the east side of our garden.  This entailed pulling out shrubs, weeding
and just generally stripping it for a clean slate.
It was beautiful when we moved in, however, the shrubs were placed so close together that it quickly became a little forest in the front yard we couldn't keep up with!
So, there's Dan getting rid of the Juniper bush in the middle of this space and
he is cleaning out around where the trunk of it was when he pulled out
a bunch of straw/hay, fluff, etc.
Dan says, "Hmmm...there must have been bunnies living under this bush."
I say, "Huh."
Off he goes to the garage for something or other and I continue to do my
part...raking, when out of the corner of my eye I spy a movement.
It was a SNAKE slithering up the stairs of our front porch!
Not your average garter snake....Oh nohoho!
This snake was like 3 "inches" wide by about 4 "feet" long!
Now picture this....
I'm standing about 15 feet away from it and saying tremulously,
"Da-a-an!  Can you co-ome quick?"
He saunters ever so slowly across the garden path in my direction, shaking his head
and looking at me with a sparkle in his eye and I know he's thinking,
"Oh...poor Wendy has found a little snake or spider...here I come....your hero
to save the day...don't be scared wussy girl."
He came around the corner by the porch and his eyes widened (I'm sure his pupils dilated as well) and I watched the shock permeate his being.
HAH!  Wussy boy!
photo from pawild.net
Unfortunately, I was not a blogger at that time and we were in so much shock, we
neglected to take a photo of our snake, but this is what it looked like....
With the help of our neighbour, Michael, they picked it up with a rake and
Dan then grabbed it with two hands and walked it down to the riverbank and let it go
into the brush.  We actually thought it might be a rattler, but it wasn't.
It's an Eastern Milk Snake common to Southern Ontario, however, none of our
neighbours had ever seen one quite so large.
To all the people who frequent our home....don't be scared...we haven't seen even a tiny
version of this snake since that day two years ago!

On to Spiders....
I posted about this last year, but in relevance to my title of I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes, I'll share it quickly with you again....just the photo!
Argiope Aurantia
Yup...found this baby on my basil last year.
If you want to know more about the Argiope Aurantia, please click the photo or name
to be taken to my past posting about this particular lovely.

Just another day in the life right?
Graphics Fairy
I was on Facebook a couple days ago when I came across one of my friend's posts
and it's been thought provoking to me ever since.
We all know that some families have need of a food bank for one reason or another, but it never crossed my mind that a food bank is good for another reason.
If a family requires a food bank, it only makes sense that there isn't enough
money for a child in that family to purchase a gift for mom on Mother's Day.
Audrey (my friend on facebook) asked that everyone look under their bathroom
vanities or in the closets for those gifts you received or bought yourself
but never opened.  You know, the ones that are a lotion and a perfume or perhaps a manicure set you never opened.  The list is endless and I'm sure we all have unopened
toiletries we could donate for gifts on Mother's Day.  Wrap the gifts up and drop them
off at a food bank close to you so that a child can give mom something special
on this Mother's Day!  When I told Maureen about this idea, she had the idea that not only is this a great gesture for Mother's Day, but also birthdays!  Dropping off lightly used or new gift wrapped toys with a description of what's inside would probably be welcomed as well, don't you think?  Maureen's thought was there's always a Christmas Drive every year, but what about somewhere where there could be a Birthday Drive?
And hey!  Let's not forget about Father's Day!
If you don't have the time to donate for Mother's Day, there's still plenty of time to
do this same gesture for kids with dads!

Graphics Fairy
When I look into my closets, I see stuff I've never used or worn that would make
lovely gifts for someone who just can't afford it right now.
I happen to have some bathsalts in fancy bottles which I made that haven't been used.
Tomorrow, I'm going to drop some stuff off at a food bank.
How about it?  Can you donate something so a child can feel like they are pleasing mom?
Thanks Audrey for this epiphany!
Happy Mother's Day to all!
Today, I'm guest blogging at "It's All Connected"
My subject matter is very light....like popcorn, because it's about popcorn!

It's not the actual popcorn, it's the method used to make it delicious and healthy!
The reason it's a relevant subject to guest post over at Maureen's Blog is
that her most recent posting "Hope For Alzheimer's Disease?"
includes not only her poignant tale of 22 days of lucidity near the end
of her mother's illness a few years ago, but also information
about a breakthrough book regarding coconut ketones, written by Dr. Mary T. Newport,  that actually does relate to my new method of making popcorn....quite coincidentally....
Please take the time to read Maureen's story "Hope for Alzheimer' Disease?"
because almost everybody knows or knows of someone in their lives with Alzheimers and if this can help just one person, Maureen & I will be thrilled.
And, don't forget to read how my Popcorn relates!
Bleeding Hearts - 2012 HerBallistic Garden
Spring is truly the most overwhelming season don't you think?
It's like you get an illness...a bug....to DO things!
Why is it that when you could have painted all winter, the fresh spring air
makes you want to freshen everything up and start painting?
While at the same time, you have gardens to prepare, seedlings started in your
kitchen (because your greenhouse from hell is inadequate for the new seedlings), you're looking at your windows and thinking a redo is in order for the curtains, and then....
you are also trying to enjoy the beautiful weather and kick back with friends.
Never mind the fact that you're dieting so you'll look good this summer in your shorts!
I have sooo many projects going on right now...I'm in a dither as to where to begin.
Magnolia Tree - 2012 HerBallistic Garden
So, what do I do?
I putter from one thing to the next saying "tomorrow, I'll do this", "on the weekend I'll do that"....and so on, and so on.
You make plans in your head like The Friendly Giant about your chair
placement in your outside space...or replacement.
You want to wash all your windows and walls and do a thorough spring cleaning!
But, you don't know where to begin!
Does anyone else feel this way?
We have 4 cubic yards of mulch coming in the morning for the new side of
our front garden and it will be dumped in our driveway....staring at us...
yelling at us actually....saying "Spread me on the garden!"
We need a yard boy.
Any takers?
Pasque Flower - 2012 HerBallistic Garden
I'd much rather just wander aimlessly in my gardens checking out
the new blooms for 2012 than have to actually think about
how Overwhelming this Season really is!
Anyone else agree?
Okay, okay....I'm going to paint now....a wardrobe I've been putting off forever!
That's all I want to do right now and life is getting in the way of my doing just that!
For too many reasons to list.
I'll return soon, but for now....have a chuckle with this one like I did.
Every now & then something you come across on Pinterest tickles your
funny bone so much you simply must share!
Enjoy this season....it's blah here today in Southern Ontario and cool with
possible showers all day long.
Fine.  No, really....FINE!
I'm one of those people who just wasn't into the Chalkboard Fad
that's been going around blogland for all the time I've been here and sincerely
didn't ever want to make a chalkboard framed or chalkboard signs or
specifically...never a chalkboard wall!
But, as I mentioned previously, I was at my daughter Alana's place in Toronto
last week and following an afternoon out and about the city, we
retired to her two-story apartment in the Beaches and proceeded to
open a bottle of red wine together.  After a couple glasses, we decided to go upstairs
and check out her chalkboard wall!
Well, one thing lead to another and both us being a little off...(in a good way), I started to
draw a very large tree on her wall...
It just progressed from there and Alana got involved, after grabbing her camera!
We even put veins in the leaves on the tree!
Then Alana took over the last portion of the tree and I took over the camera!
    And seriously....check out the awesome headboard Alana & Mark drew on the wall
with a projector...it's become a wee bit smudged from overnight guests...but still looks
so crazy cool!  Can you imagine putting a chalkboard wall in your child's room?!
Would you paint chalkpaint on your child's bedroom wall?
I would now!
How much fun could you have drawing and imagining different
scenes and characters and changing up the headboard whenever the mood hit you?!
I'm now trying to get everyone I know with kids to try this....ehemmm....
because my 30yr old daughter and her 32yr old hubby did and they don't have kids!  Hahaha!

Our Easter was celebrated yesterday with two tables set up in our
dining area and enough food to feed a regiment!
It was lovely having the kids, the grandparents and our grandson, as well as
a few good friends!
We picked fresh daffodils from the garden and put them in my Grandmother's
depression glass vase given to me by my mother recently.
It made for a beautiful, happy centerpiece!

In keeping with the Easter Bunny celebration....here's a few photos I took while
in the Distillery District Toronto with Alana this past Tuesday.
It was such a quaint wee shop selling mostly dried lavender and other
garden accessories in the vintage style.
With all the bunnies prevalent in her little display outside the shop door,
I had no choice but to click some Easter photos! 
Enjoy your Easter dinner together with your families!