Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our neighbours to the South.  I hope you have a wonderful celebration and enjoy your friends and family and lots of turkey and trimmings.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Update is Due...

Well, I'd say that an update is due.  I've been very busy with life things and well, sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day.  When life is busy, blogging is what suffers.

I'll be back tomorrow with a few updates on life in the past couple of months.  Thanks for your patience, bloggy friends!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Bloggy Giveaway

Linda over at Sewfine Quilts is having a giveaway!  You can get in on the fun, too - just visit her blog HERE, leave a comment asking to be included, then do a post on your own blog about her giveaway!  Pretty easy and she's got a lovely table topper and a couple of other neat things that you could win!  Good luck everyone!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rueben the Rooster

We've had Rueben the rooster for almost two years now.  He was an SPCA seizure and I adopted him from them when I was in picking up some budgies for Greyhaven.  He had been tied BY HIS FOOT (!!!!!) and seized in a cruelty investigation.  They treated his foot and I adopted him when his foot was well again.
Well, Rueben now has a thing called Bumblefoot.  It's a relatively common occurence in chickens/roosters caused by staphylococcus bacteria.  If the bird gets an open sore in the foot, the bacteria can enter and cause the infection which can include redness and swelling with pus and can be very painful for the animal.  Rueben has been hiding up at the far end of the pen for a couple of days.  He was fighting with Roscoe, one of the other roosters last week, and was knocked down in the pecking order.  I suspect it was because his foot was sore.

Rueben the rooster
I have now isolated Rueben in a large cage in the barn away from the other chickens.  I have treated his foot with some (believe it or not) Preparation H to reduce the swelling.  Tomorrow I will head to Langley to get some antibiotics and proper treatment cream for him.  I have done some research on this condition which, in 20+ years of poultry keeping I've never seen, although I HAVE heard of it in parrots. Poor Rueben.  Hopefully he will be back in action soon.  When we put his food and water in his cage tonight, he seemed very thirsty.  Good thing we noticed him up at the far end (it's over 100 feet long and the weeds are very long right now).  So, he has nice clean water and fresh food now, and a safe, clean place to sleep tonight.  It's always a bit stressful treating the outside animals because we don't see them all the time like the inside animals.  Rueben is used to being handled and fussed over, however, and he's a very good patient, thank goodness.  When I picked him up at the SPCA, the girls there had grown very attached to him.

I have to be very careful in treating Bumblefoot.  The staph or other bacteria that cause the abscess can infect humans.  Best to wear gloves in case of any open sores or nicks on your hands.  It also can be transmitted to the inside birds.
Hopefully Rueben will be back to his old self in no time. I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Won!!!

I won a bloggy giveaway this morning!  Janet over at Olde Crow Primitives had an Awesome Autumn Giveaway.  Her DH drew the names this morning and I came in second place!!  The autumn header that you see above was my prize!!!!  I'm SO excited!!!  Janet even put a parrot on it (I think that is my Maya) - how thoughtful!!

Thank you so much, Janet - I just LOVE it!

If you have time, go on over to Janet's blog and have a look around.  She has some fun stuff for sale, too!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When Depression Wins

Monday brought with it a sad story from the hockey world.  One of the Canucks' (our home team) previous players was found dead in his apartment in Alberta - apparently from suicide.  Rick Rypien was a gritty centre for the club for six years.  He had signed with the Winnipeg Jets for this upcoming year.
Vancouver Canucks'
Former Centreman
Rick Rypien
Depression affects everyone.  As a fellow sufferer, let me tell you that you CANNOT judge anyone unless you've walked a mile in their shoes.  It's a horrible affliction (a chemical imbalance) - one that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  My heart goes out to Rick's family and former team mates and I really feel for what he may have been going through.  Apparently he had suffered with depression for a decade or so.  Perhaps he couldn't get it under control with medication, or the medication wasn't right for him, or didn't take his medication - no one will ever know now.

A seemingly bright light in the hockey world in the form of talent and the result of many years of hard work.  What a shame that the light has been snuffed out.  Depression has won again. He was only 27.

My thoughts and prayers are with those Rick left behind.  Their questions will never be answered.  Rest in Peace, Rick.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Awesome Autumn Giveaway at Olde Crow Primitives!

My sister, Janet, over at Olde Crow Primitives is having - well, just like the title says - an Awesome Autumn Giveaway!!!  Go on over to her blog and check it out!  It's a great giveaway with some great stuff!!!  You must be a follower of her blog, but all the rules are posted oh her blog,so go check it out right away!

Thanks, Janet!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Treasures from Craigslist

I love Craigslist!!!! I have found many treasures on Craigslist over the past several years.  I have two foster birds that came to me through Craigslist.  Our livestock guardian dog, Jake, was posted on Craigslist.  Our two new rescue goats were posted on Craigslist.  And so it goes....

The other day, I took Dad with me to North Vancouver, where we picked up my latest Craigslist treasure.  It's so lovely and I have been looking for one like it for YEARS.  I have a couple of places in mind for it, but can't decide quite yet.  Here's a photo (courtesy of Moe, as you know my camera is MIA).

My latest "Craigslist" treasure!!

This cabinet is taller than me!  It's solid pine, and has SO much character.  I got it for a great price, too!  Thanks again, Moe.

I LOVE Craigslist!!!

Proud As Can Be - A Corby Starlet is Born!!

I have a sister back in Ontario.  Her name is Janet (you can visit her blog HERE) and she's married to an amazing man named Stan.  They live in a hundred-year-old farmhouse and they farm the land (can't remember right now how many acres they have).  Stan also has an interest in aircraft - namely, homebuilt aircraft!  I have visited a couple of times over the years and seen Stan's project in the big shop, but never dreamed of all the time it REALLY entailed to complete such a thing.  We got an e-mail a couple of weeks back from Stan telling us that his project was complete and that it just needed some tweaking and fine tuning.  Here is his e-mail dated June 27, 2011......

A Corby Starlet is Born

Howdy Folks,

Just thought I would send you some pics of the birthing of my brand new Corby Starlet that was 10 years in the making. Well actually some parts are ten years old and and others are every where in between. It was moved from the shop to the hanger today and I am starting to get used to the idea that this thing may actually fly! Kinda like a flying sports car and should be fun to fly once I stop my knees from knocking. Lots of testing to do yet and then will see if this thing can defy gravity.


Stan (photos below)

I am just so proud of Stan and Stan, I can't imagine how proud YOU must be - congratulations!!!!  What an accomplishment!!  Hard to fathom the magnitude of such a task.  Can't believe it was TEN years in the making!  What dedication and determination!!!!!  We will be waiting for updates on that Corby Starlet. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shower With a Friend?

Today I showered with two friends. Now, before you go thinking that I'm some weirdo, let me explain.  Birds need showers.  Humans need showers.  I have two shower perches in my shower so that I can take one or two birds into the shower with me to get their showers.  This helps to (ahem) "kill two birds with one stone" - if you'll pardon the pun!  :-)  It's pretty easy to just put each bird on a perch and go about having my shower.  I don't have any RECENT shower photos (only the birds, only the birds, don't worry!!! LOL), but I have a couple of old ones that I'll post.

The last three days, I've showered with 6 birds - today it was two African Greys, yesterday it was two Quakers, and the day before that, it was three Quakers.  Bella & Bobby share a perch.  My cockatiel, Cheek, does NOT like to shower nor does Elmo, another Quaker.  Elmo will sit on the top rail, though, and tell us all how it's done!! He looks so tough up there, but if I go to pick him up and put him in the water, he's bound and bent to get away - he's such a cutie-pie!

Here are the pics I promised.  They are a few years old, but at least you can get a feel for showering birds.

Maya in the shower

Maya again

Bobby (middle) & Bella and Maya in behind BEFORE getting wet!

Maya & Theodore
Most of the birds enjoy their showers.  Maya actually squawks if you hog the water - LOL!  She likes a nice, solid spray of water and turns back and forth.  Theodore doesn't really care for his showers - he keeps his feathers tight to his body and the water rolls off so he looks like he hasn't had a shower when we're finished.  Abby has no tummy feathers (she's a plucker), so she gets wet whether or not she wants to. 

So, save water - shower with a friend today!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Catching Up!

Well, it's been a very busy couple of months since I posted here.  This is just a quick post while I have a little time.  Will post more when I have more time. 

We finally got the house "water disaster" fixed up and the last tradesperson finished up last Monday.  I had no hot water in the kitchen for six weeks and no dishwasher for two months.  Wah!!!  Amazing what we get used to.  The good news is that we have a new bathroom, a newly-painted laundry room with new flooring, dd's bedroom has been re-painted and the carpeting replaced.  I also got new countertops in my kitchen.  It was a very stressful time, but it's done now.  Many thanks to OnSide Restoration, who saw us through it all. 

The bad news........the reno set us back about $16,000!  With no insurance (we DO have insurance, but they don't cover water damage over TIME), and the black mould a possible health risk to everyone, we had no choice but to go ahead and get it done.  With DH working a new job, it wasn't possible for him to do it, so we had to just bite the bullet and have it done.

I do have pics of the renos, but my camera is missing in action right now, so will upload when I can find it.  I'll try not to be such a poor correspondent.  It's just been a whirlwind time of late.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hot Water, Weather & Hockey....

So, here it is June 5, 2011 and I still have no hot water in my kitchen from this unplanned demo.  It's sure a lot of work schlepping hot water from the bathroom to fill the kitchen sink to do dishes by hand.  AND still no washing machine either.  I've been taking loads up to my Dad's place (he's in a modular home on our property) to wash and then drying them in my dryer.  DH hooked the dryer up again, so that is nice and makes it a wee bit easier.  The good news is that we will have a new hot water tank this week sometime.  Things are being REconstructed now and the tearing apart part is over.  Thank goodness!  Will try to get some pics up when I can.

My washing machine and upright freezer are in the family room.  The big wall shelving unit sits in our foyer.  Boxes of cans from underneath the counter are sitting in the living room.  Contents of the laundry room are in our bedroom.

My personal favourite (speaking of laundry room contents) is having the cat litter box in our ensuite bathroom.  Amazing what we have suffer with during times of upheaval!!!

I am not complaining, though.  I know that this could have been MUCH worse and we could have lost everything to a fire or something similar, so this is nothing, really.  I do still have hot water from our other tank that feeds the bathrooms.  All this makes me realize how much we have and that we take for granted.  Think of the old days when everything was done manually and water was heated on the stove.  Those poor women with lots of children and all that laundry.  Can't even imagine doing that all by hand.  Mind you, they wore clothes a lot longer than we do nowadays.  I am grateful for what we have.  The final tally for cost is not in yet, but that, too, could have been much worse.  Of course, it would have been nice if insurance covered all of this, but we can't have it all, can we????  LOL! 

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous the past couple of days.  We haven't seen weather over 20 degrees (Celsius) since October 1st - heard that on the weather yesterday - can you believe it!????  October 1st, by the way, is my and my sister's birthday (no, we're not twins, but she was born 5 years before me), so I remember just how long ago it was.  Hard to believe!

On the hockey front, our home NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks, won the second game of the final series (against the Boston Bruins) for the Stanley cup last night.  Woohoo!!!  What a game!  The score was 2-2 and Alex Burrows scored 11 seconds into the first O/T period.  The Canucks have NEVER won the Stanley Cup in their 40-year history, so it would be nice.  They are playing well this year and quite consistently.  They've battled hard to get this far.  Go, Canucks, go!!!

Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Still Demolishing

There is no end in sight to the water damage in our house.  The demo crew (might as well give them a plug) were here on Friday to start, then the Project Manager came back on Monday morning to have a look, and then the crew were back again today.  They uncovered more floors and found more water (sopping WET floors).  Obviously, we have to find where the water travelled to and everything to that point needs to be replaced.  Can't remember if I said in my last post what it was - it was a very slow hot water tank leak - probably over about 10 years or so.  We are on a concrete slab, so it's not just an easy fix with going into a basement and doing it from below.....there is no BELOW here.

So, because the hot water heater was sort of centrally located in the house, it has spread in almost EVERY direction!  It's wet in my kitchen, in one of the kids' bedrooms and in the computer room and laundry room.  Before we can start REconstruction, the DEconstruction has to take place, and it's VERY stressful. That's not even to mention the MOULD that has begun to grow - don't even want to go into that.  

I had to leave today when they were tearing out my kitchen cupboards or I would have cried.  So, I took Dad out for his daily Tim's, and a nice hot cup of coffee sure made me feel better AND I didn't cry.  Not too good at dealing with stress since the cancer thing - something to do with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I think.

Did I mention that this is NOT covered by insurance?  Nope.  Nada.  Not a bit of it.  THAT is the part that really makes me want to cry.  There is no end to the scope of work that needs to be done, so that means there is no end in sight yet to what it might cost.  I know it could be worse, and I'm trying to keep that in my mind.  I've been feeling sorry for myself, but I realize that it just needs to be DONE and I need to grin and bear it.  Here are some photos of the computer room with all my appliances in it, and the hallway/bathroom areas.....

And my poor KITCHEN....

Hmmmm, I DID want the bathroom remodelled, but this was NOT what I had in mind!

Other than that, I had a quite uneventful day.  LOL!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Washing Dishes

Well, the guys came on Friday and tore out the entire bathroom - right down to the concrete.  They left it all done up in plastic so the room was totally contained in a "negative airspace" with a fan blowing out the window.  That left me with no hot water to my kitchen or laundry room.  Luckily, we still have hot water in our master bathroom and the small bathroom near our front door.  They have their own hot water source.  So, I got to wash dishes by hand this weekend - woohoo!  Haven't done that in awhile.  Keeps you grateful for what you DO have, I guess.  :-D

Luckily, we have two other bathrooms - not sure how that would have played out if that had been our only bathroom, as it was before we built the additions to the house.  Oh, well, I guess I don't need to think about that.

The restoration company will be back again today.  They still have not found how far the water damage goes.  It will cost more than was thought since they couldn't finish in one day.  Nice.  At least they are available to do it - for that I'm very thankful as DH is far too busy to be able to do it himself.  Too bad the house insurance doesn't cover it, though.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now as I have THREE extra birds in the house.  Xena, the foster Quaker, Casey the foundling, and my Senegal, Cubby has come back after being placed in her new home last year.  Really noticing it with washing dishes by hand and the extra noise. Quakers really seem to feed off other Quakers' noisiness, and bird dishes really add up.

Had a good day yesterday.  Cooked lots of food for the birds so I could freeze it.  It just helps me to get going a bit quicker in the mornings.  Spent a lot of time on my feet, which had my back hurting pretty good last night, but it could have been worse.  Glad that I'm feeling better these days!

Watched the hockey game last night - game one of round three of the Stanley Cup final.  Our Canucks won over the San Jose sharks.  Hopefully they can get past this team to the final.  Go, Canucks, go!!!

Have a great day, everyone.  Another day of demolition here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Water, Morning and Foster Feathers

We have a water problem. Not just a little water problem, but a BIG water problem.  We were going to renovate our bathroom.  We knew there had been some leakage behind the tiles around the bathtub.  We just didn't know how MUCH leakage or how MUCH damage has been caused because of it.  Hubby pulled up the floor last week in front of the tub as the tile had broken and the wood underneath was rotting.  I just had the restoration company in this morning and the water comes out into the hallway, the wall is WET up to three feet (according to the moisture meter) and who knows what's behind the tub as it's still in there.....  and there's MOULD - LOTS OF MOULD - you can smell it - Yuck! The fellow said that there could be a very slow leak, which could have been going on for up to 10 years.

It's a little bit stressful not knowing what's involved with fixing a problem of this scope.  We will be getting a detailed estimate, of course, but the fellow said roughly $4,000-$5,000 JUST TO TAKE EVERYTHING APART and fix it.  Then it will cost more to actually get a new tub/surround, fittings, flooring, etc.  Hubby was going to do it himself, but because it's so much worse than what we thought, he just doesn't have the time.  We are going to have to bite the bullet because the mould, now that it's exposed, is now a health issue.  Insurance doesn't cover it either.  They will only cover "sudden and accidental", not a slow, insidious leak over many years.  :-(

On the subject of morning, I am again becoming the morning person that I once was.  Since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December, 2008, it seems like it's been a struggle to get out of bed every single morning.  Well, when I was diagnosed, I immediately stopped being able to sleep.  The doctor prescribed a sleeping pill - the mildest one available.  Let me back track a bit here.....

Chemo will send some women into premature menopause - this seems to have been the case with me.  Good in some ways, others - not so much.  Two of the not-so-nice things are the hot flashes and the insomnia.  The sleeping pill helps most of the time with the insomnia.  There is little that can be done with the hot flashes - suck it up and get on with it!  The insomnia I've been experiencing can be caused by menopause - it's one of the side-effects.  I am also on a drug called Tamoxifen, which lowers the recurrence of breast cancer by up to 76% over five years.  This is a wonder drug of sorts, an old drug, but it's not without its own side effects.  Hot flashes, bone pain and insomnia, to name a few.  So, I'm fighting the insomnia on two possible different levels.

So, one little sleeping pill does help me to sleep.  I've been wanting to wean myself off of the sleeping pills, so about 4 months ago, I started breaking them in half and only taking a half pill at bedtime. Still works for me pretty well.  On Saturday night, I started cutting the half pill into another half, so now only take a quarter of a pill.  Well, surprise - I started dreaming again.  Apparently, sleep meds do not allow your brain to hit REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, so you DON'T dream.  My dreams the past few nights have been very vivid and it's obvious I haven't dreamed in a very long time.  I also am waking before my alarm at 5:45 a.m., which I did all my life until the cancer hit and then I was stressed by that and on the different medications since then. I was then dragging my butt out of bed, and having to lay down again once the kids left for the bus.  Today I feel good.  It's early still, and I feel good and not like I'm dragging my butt and wanting to go back and lie down.  It's the sleep meds.  There are so many side effects of drugs.  It's so nice to be able to enjoy morning again. It felt horrible not to be able to enjoy the morning as I had before cancer came to visit.

On to foster feathers.  I currently have two extra foster birds and one of my own birds that I re-homed last year is also returning.  It's difficult some days as two extra cages (it will be THREE shortly) does make a difference.  There's also the extra dishes to fill when making breakfast and supper, which involve cooking and chopping. Extra cages to clean, too.  It all takes time. 

I am blessed that I am a stay-home-mom and have the time to care for the birds, as the kids are now in middle and high school.  I wasn't able to foster for a few years, but now I can again and it's nice to be able to help out. There is a season for everything in our lives.

I am enjoying the busy-ness of life again.  It reminds me that I am well again.  Halleluia!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, whether your children are near or far, or here on earth or up in heaven. I have two babies in heaven (as well as my two down here on earth) and today I am reminded of them more than any other day of the year. I am also blessed to be mom to many feathered and furry children.

I hope you had a wonderful day. I sure did! I had quite possibly THE best Mother's Day. EVER. REALLY. I will post about it when I have more time.

For now, Happy Mother's Day to all moms and a special thanks to my friend, Connie, who made my Mother's Day so special.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How Great Thou Art

Wow!  What a voice!  What a wonderful rendition of this timeless hymn......and what a gift that Carrie Underwood has been given.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Connie!

My dear friend, Connie has a birthday today!  Happy Birthday, my dear!!!!  She also just became a Grandma on Saturday!!  Hard to believe she can be 29 AGAIN!  LOL!

Happy Birthday!!!!!  You deserve the very best that life has to offer!

By the way, this photo of Connie and her DH is a couple of years old (I don't really have a current one) - she looks MUCH older now and she just became a Grandma on Saturday, May 1!!!!  Just kidding, dear!!!!  LOL!!!  But congrats to Connie & her DH on the safe arrival of their new grandbaby, Jace James.  Parents JJ and Karisa are so proud and doing an awesome job as new parents.  I will be "Oma Audrey" - we are all as proud as can be!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Another Kitchen Helper

Speaking of kitchen I was getting supper ready, and I looked down to see my little Maya.....

You REALLY need to be careful when you have little feathered ones wanting to join you to "help".  Sometimes it's easy to not hear them coming across the floor - especially the smaller ones. Two of my birds are flighted (Bella & Elmo) for specific reasons, so they can get to me by flying if they wish.  I try to make it a habit to always look down before I move away from the sink......  Many times I see this when I look down......

Accidents can happen so quickly, so it's always a good idea to check and see if anyone has come to visit me at the sink.