Friday, 29 October 2010

Friends & Random Acts

No, the picture is not recent, it's from the snowstorm of winter 2008.
I hate winter, hate short daylight, having to wear boots and a coat, hate the horrible squeaky sound snow makes when it's really cold and hate bare trees.  But I love the people around me in this little village, year-round.
My ice house has a furnace and its own oil tank.  The oil business is highly regulated here and tanks are inspected when new and tagged with an expiry date.  The store tank is good for another few years but the ice house tank expired in 2009 and had to be replaced.  I procrastinated because it had enough oil to last until this spring and I didn't want to shell out the $1500 it would cost to replace it and have another one installed, inspected and tagged.  And standing in the store talking to people, it came up in conversation occasionally.
Neil comes in for coffee every morning and we talk about everything under the sun, mostly about how hard he works and how sore his back is.  He knew of a tank that was fairly new and should be available, so he'd check with Brian, up the road.  Next thing I knew, the tank was delivered, installed and ready for oil.  Neil and Harry picked it up, delivered it, dug up the old one, laid gravel and a concrete base, scrounged up some proper oil tubing and installed the whole thing.  He won't accept a cent.  He won't even let me give him free coffee in the mornings, throws the money at me and leaves it on the counter if I won't take it.  Brian won't take a cent for the tank or the tubing.  He just laughs and says, "what goes around, comes around; you'll do something for someone else."  And I will.
People like Neil and Brian practice true kindness, not expecting kudos or anything in return, just the quiet satisfaction of doing something nice for someone else.  In this case it was a big something but so many people here do small somethings in the same way.  When they say to you, "Let me know if there's anything I can do," they mean it.  I'm very humbled by the kind of friends I have, and hope that not only do I deserve them, but that I'm never the shore where those ripples of kindness stop.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Oh Dear, Who will predict my love life now?

Paul is dead.  Der Tintenfisch, the famous German octopus that predicted the World Cup winners is dead.  Of course they have replaced him, but it's along the lines of replacing Wiarton Willie, the groundhog who tells us every year we're going to get another six weeks of winter, or not.   This is Canada - on February 2nd, we are going to get another six weeks of winter.  Always. 
The original Willie was pretty good at predicting the weather, or maybe he just played the odds better than the replacement Willies.  The original Paul the Octopus had such an amazing talent for eating the winning team during the World Cup series that an Argentine chef posted octopus recipes on Facebook and Paul received death threats.  People do seem to take the World Cup very seriously.   Odds of his choices being blind luck are 256 to 1.   According to Wikipedia, "Paul's apparent success was considered to be comparable to a run of luck when tossing a coin. This connection has been made by Professor Chris Budd of the University of Bath, Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University, and Etienne Roquain of Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris."  Others got involved as well, scientists, aquarists, lecturers and lots and lots of media.  Theories have abounded about the cause of his amazing predictions. 
Isn't it amazing that so many people with so many credentials had the time and inclination to take a psychic octopus seriously?  News of his death has been covered worldwide. 
Am I the only one who thinks there is something very humorous about this whole picture?
I wonder if there has ever been a psychic Jack Russell?

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Gemstone Nugget Bracelet

Oh, I had an awful time with these beautiful gemstones.  I strung them on a temporary wire and tried about four different ways of stringing them and nothing seemed to do them justice. 
I don't even remember what made me decide to simply use rings between the nuggets.  Once the decision was made, it was a matter of finding and making enough big rings to use.  Some are hammered to be flat on the outside and some are hammered square.  Some are just left round.

I like them this way!  The nuggets came from MiGems and I was so thrilled when they came; aahhh, pretties.....
They are amethyst, rose quartz and aquamarine nuggets and I still have some left to fondle.
The bracelet is up on my Artfire shop and I hope  everybody else thinks these stones are as gorgeous as I do.  Did I tell you how much I love stones?

Friday, 22 October 2010

Looking For That Special Christmas Present For Your Dog?

Yes, I'm a dog lover.  And yes, my dogs have clothes.  But their outfits can't hold a candle to the ones created by Holly on Spoiled Bratzwear.  Until now, Dewey and Twice have only worn utilitarian coats to protect them from the freezing wind or the rain, but now that I've seen what the best-dressed dogs wear, they could be in for some embarrassing surprises. 
Even Holly says that she creates some of her outfits with a giggle.  The chocolate and pink outfit on the right would require me to be much better dressed than I am at 6 in the morning, walking them down the country road.  No way am I going to walk dogs that are better dressed than I am.

How about walking a little elf?  You'd certainly start your day (and anyone who saw you) with a smile, but I think the big, sad eyes on this little elfkin say it all.
And I try not to anthropomorphize my dogs, but I know darned well they can feel embarrassed.  
Nah, I think an outfit like this is more my dogs' style.  Warm, comfortable, and not requiring an owner wearing high-heeled boots. 

Seriously, whether you want to show off the best-dressed dog in the city, or just find a vendor that actually makes jungle print No-Leak belly bands for male dogs, check out Spoiled Bratzwear on Artfire.

And for those who want an update, Twice is completely herself when she is, and obviously failing when she isn't.  She's very happy, sleeps most of the time and still jumps up and down in true Jack Russell fashion at treat time.  She's a tough little lady.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

My Lunchroom Sign

I've been meaning to post a picture of this sign for months and keep forgetting to take a camera out to the store.   We sell hot dogs and sausages from a roller grill at lunch time and have a little bar top for the condiments.  I found this sign in Charlottetown (actually Anne found it and insisted I buy it) and it was perfect for the wall over the lunch area.
Those who get it, love it as much as I do.

Friday, 15 October 2010

If Swearing Offends You, Don't Read

I didn't want to forget these stories and if I don't get them down on my blog, I won't remember them past tomorrow.
This morning, a volunteer fireman and a paramedic were in the store at the same time, and did some story telling.  True stories, which makes them even funnier.
The first involves a house party up west.  The parents were away and the kids decided to have a party, and like unauthorized parties can do, it grew to over 300 kids.  Somebody made a 911 call from the house, stating that one of the kids had shortness of breath and chest pains.  Because of the size of the party and the number of people involved, the obligatory police presence to a 911 call was increased to three squads of mounties, one squad car from the town's police station, and, of course, the ambulance.  They met at the end of the laneway of the house and brainstormed the best way to approach, get through the crowd of teenagers and find their patient without trouble starting.  One mountie said, "lets go flying in with sirens blaring and lights flashing, so they know we're coming, and all crouch by our cars with our guns drawn."  The town cop said, "What if you get mobbed by 300 kids?"  The mountie deadpanned, "I can take out the first six."   The paramedics decided that they'd stay behind the ambulance until all of this was over.  The funny thing was, though, that when the cop cars went blasting down the farm laneway with sirens screaming and lights flashing, they just didn't find very many people left in the house.  Nobody that needed medical attention, either.  Lots of empty cars, though.
Yeah, that one was just moderately funny, but I'm still laughing about this one:
A 911 cell call came in from four boaters who had hit a sandbar and were stranded on the Dunk River and suffering from hypothermia.  Night was falling so the call was put out to a few municipalities and 60 mounties and volunteer firemen showed up to search.  The Dunk is a long, wide, shallow river that runs between a lot of woods, causing the men to slog through a lot of underbrush in the dark, shining lights on the water.  A pair of the firemen finally caught sight of the boat, hollered to the occupants and started to wade out in their survival suits, figuring one would have to swim a rope out to the boat.  As they got about halfway out, with the water part way up their boots, one said to the other, "This water had better get deep in a fucking hurry or I'm going to kill these guys."  The water did get deeper - about four inches.  They stood beside the grounded boat and asked the idiots sitting inside,  surrounded by empty beer cans, why they hadn't waded to shore.  Apparently one of them had rolled out of the boat with that intention, and got right back in, saying the water was up to his neck and it was freezing.  The fireman snorted and said, "Yeah, it's up to your neck, all right, when you're lying in it."  The other fireman radioed to the rest of the searchers to call off the search and went up to the road where one of the mounties was waiting.  After he told the mountie the story, the officer  told him to come back down with him, because, "if I go down there myself, I might shoot the fuckers."
I lost some of the humor in these stories, trying to write them down.  You lose the nuances in voices and the expressions on faces.  Our rural firemen are all volunteers and when a call comes in, they leave their nice warm houses or dinners and rush wherever they're needed, even to rescue four drunken fishermen stranded in about a foot and a half of water.   But like policemen and paramedics, they become great storytellers.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

News Unfolding

What a wonderful day watching the rescue of the Chilean miners and the joy and high spirits of the people standing around that hole.  The whole world seemed to be holding its breath waiting as each man was shuttled from the bowels of the earth.
The celebration of the miracle began moments ago when the 33rd miner reached the surface.  And all I could think about was the two volunteers that chose to go down to that hell, are still there and how they would decide who would go up first.  Can you imagine being the last man down?  Forty five minutes, all by yourself, thousands of feet under the earth.  That man has my utmost admiration and respect.  

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Artfire Studio

I just put immense pressure on myself, and opened an Artfire studio.  This will require having stock.  Which will require certain blocks of time dedicated to making jewelry instead of playing on the computer.  (I'm addicted to Solitaire games).
It would be very kind of people to check it out, "like" it on Facebook, if you're a "friend" or help spread the word in any way possible.  I will do my part by acting in a professional manner and making more stuff.

You can find the shop under susannaoriginals.

It's Thanksgiving here in Canada and if you're north of the border, hope you had a good weekend with family and lots of turkey.  If you're south and celebrating Columbus Day on Monday, I hope you have lots to give thanks for every day.