Monday, January 31, 2011


This is my beloved grand-daughter Kennedy.  She is my heart.  From the moment I first saw her I was totally and completely in love with her.  She is smart, funny, beautiful and very thoughtful.
I have always wanted to be a really good grandmother.  I wanted to teach my girl how to appreciate nature, how to sew and cook and paint, to love books and many of the good things I have learned throughout my life.  Hopefully, I have accomplished much of this.  The other day she asked me.."Nanny, are you a teacher?"  I replied, "Well, sort of...yes, I guess you could say that I am."  And she said, "I think that you are a good teacher.  You teach kids how to sew and cook and stuff."   I said "thank you Sweetie. that makes Nanny feel really good". 
Tears welled up in my eyes.  Tears of joy, of gratitude and love.  Yup, I know why I am here on this earth.... to learn, to love, to teach.  And to be here for little Miss K.

"To teach is to learn twice."  ~  Joseph Joubert

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Today my hubby and I went out to purchase a neat cupboard that we found on Kijiji.  As luck would have it, the lovely lady selling it owned some horses.  These horses are called "haflingers".  A wonderful, sturdy breed that is rare in these parts.

Before we left our house, I gathered up a couple of apples because I knew there were horses there after speaking with the owner about  the cupboard.  She mentioned to look for the house with the horses out front. Sigh.  Horses are my first love.  I was fortunate to have had horses as a young girl.  I lived and breathed horses for many years and some of the most happy moments in my life were spent on the back of a horse. My first horse was called "Trigger" and he was a plucky little palomino pony.  Next came "Bandit" a lovely pinto horse and as gentle an animal you could ever meet.  Oh how I loved them both.
Today was a very good day.  I touched and smelled and loved on those horses like there was no tomorrow!  Of course, they smelled apples!  So, they liked me too.

I think he is smiling....yup, that is a smile alright!
And I am still smiling right now.

"The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and fire." ~ Sharon Ralls Lemmon

"No  hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." ~ Winston Churchill

Saturday, January 29, 2011


A very good day to you!  Just have a looky loo at what I found at the junk shop... I LOVE this vinyl coated bag with the little matching makeup case.  It is so happy and the perfect combination of floral and stripes.  And I can splash through puddles and not worry about damaging my purse!

"It is all the lovely little things that make life one big beautiful thing".
Cheryl Martin

Friday, January 28, 2011


Today I was just preparing a little lunch when there was a knock on the door.  Our two neighbor boys, whom we just adore, were standing there with the sweetest little black lab ever.

FINALLY, I thought, these kids got the puppy of their dreams!  Now these two little fellas have wanted a puppy, a black lab puppy, for a very long time.  Years, in fact.  They love our Molly and come often with treats and hugs for her.  Their parents are two of the most loving and responsible people we know.  And in their wisdom, they wanted to wait til the boys were older before allowing a dog to become part of the pack.  I cannot tell you how happy I am for them to finally have their own dog.
Now, if you look carefully at the next picture, I don't need to tell you whose nose is right out of joint.  Miss Molly is not impressed with the new puppy.
No sir.

"A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance and to turn around 3 times before lying down."
-Robert Benchley

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The bungalow lacks storage BIG TIME.  I am always trying to come up with clever solutions to store my stuff.  I have seen quite a few kitchen cupboards in my life and the spices often seem to be a bit disorganized and hard to access.  Spice racks are often mounted on the wall near a stove, which is not a great place for them due to exposure to light and heat.
I came up with a solution for spice storage which not only works well for me but takes up very little of my precious pantry space.

Dollar store metal storage tins with magnetic bottoms.  I bought some labels for them and stuck them on the front of the fridge.

I tend to purchase spices in the plastic packages because they are cheaper that way.  Then I can just fill up the little metal tins as needed.  I also like to buy my spices at the bin store where I can buy as much or as little as required.

Sometimes, one has to think outside the box.  In life and in storage.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


When I am laying in bed before sleep, I like to stare up at a cute little light fixture that I picked up in a junk shop.  This metal piece was rusty and unloved, just tossed on top of a stack of magazines.  It was love at first sight!  I brought it back to the bungalow and got out the rust paint, rags and brushes.  I probably only worked on it for a couple of hours and for the staggering sum of 3 bucks I had me the perfect little light fixture for my room.  The floral design on it mimics the pattern in the bedspread on my bed.
You know, it got me to thinking about how the little things in our lives can mean alot.  Perhaps it is something in nature, or some junk you picked up and rejuvenated ...maybe a song or whatever.  Just a little something which makes you feel good even for a moment.
I really love blue jays.  Their vibrant color and "squeaky wheel" call is such an enjoyable thing to me.  My husband likes to walk our lab Molly in the bush at the end of our street.  One day, he came home and presented me with a blue jay feather.  I cannot tell you how touched I was at this small gesture.  It meant so much to me that he remembered how I love blue jays.  I keep that little feather on a display shelf in our kitchen.  Every time I look at it I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have such a thoughtful mate.

Yup, it's those "little things" that mean so much.

Monday, January 24, 2011



The basement in the bungalow is sort of boring.  In light of the cold weather, I thought I would try to create a little bit of "Miami" down there.  I went on the hunt for some cool fabric in what I figure are "Miami" colors.  How about torquoise and green?  Oh yeah.  Nice.  On a base of white of course. White slipcovers, white furniture and maybe soon to be white walls.  I found some fabric for 2 bucks a metre.  Great, because I did not want to spend alot on a room I don't spend much time in.  I sewed a couple of envelope back pillows which are quite large and two relaxed roman shades for the tiny basement windows.  Next was some art I discovered on  If you are not familiar with etsy, you really should check it out. Mostly everything is original or hand made and believe me, there is some cool stuff there.  I purchased a total of 4 pieces and sadly, by the time I got them framed, it did end up costing me a few dollars more than I wanted to spend.  But I do love it.  For now.  I change my decor fairly frequently and luckily there are usually people who will purchase what I no longer want.  In fact, the feather lamp which I made with a wicker shade, feather boa and Pottery Barn base is sold, but I replaced it with another lamp which is not quite finished yet. And how about a chalkboard with tourquoise paint in a white antique frame?  I love these so I can display my thoughts and sayings.   Stay tuned as the room comes together.  Hey, I might just spend more time down there!
And now my little thought for the day...
"A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones."  Proverbs 15:13
p.s. Temperature in Miami  is 23 degrees c
       Temperature in Northern Ontario Canada  is MINUS 23 !!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Pah!  Wow, it's cold.  -40 with the wind chill.  Makes me think of my warm bed.  Sadly, there is usually a large black lab taking up much of the space on my bed.  Which means that the bedding is very frequently in the wash. Thus, I need tough fabric which will stand up to MANY washings.  But, it must be pretty too.  And white of course.  Oh and did I say cheap?
Well, after much research and combing the thrifts, I think I came up with a pleasing and practical combination of a duvet, quilt and bedspread which I really like.  I probably paid less than 20 dollars for everything that is on my bed right now.  Of course, when I purchase anything used for my bed it goes right into a hot water wash with bleach and then into the dryer or preferably a day in the sun.  I store stuff in large plastic bins (due to lack of storage in the bungalow) which contain my most favorite french soap.  I like to iron my pillow cases if time and energy permit.  It just feels nice to lay your head on a pressed cotton pillowcase.  (of course, the lab doesn't care if it is pressed or not)

Speaking of  the bed, my sweet hubby and I put a headboard together in an afternoon.  It consists of a piece of plywood, some decorative moulding and trim from the hardware store.  A lick of paint (simply white by BM) and it is hung somewhat like a picture.  I got the idea from visiting the wonderful little shop where I purchased the fireplace mantle.  There was a mirror which had the type of elegant rustic look I love and I thought why not make a headboard in the same style.  And it was soooo easy to do!  Oh, and did I say cheap?  Yup, I like the way it looks.
So, on this bitterly cold day, stay warm and toasty my friends.  When you get in your beds be thankful for them and for the all the good things in your life.  And please remember....
Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery,
Today is a gift
That is why it is called the present.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I have always wanted a fireplace.  Unfortunately, the bungalow did not come equipped with one so I just resigned myself to the fact that I would not have one.
As it happens, I shop at a wonderful little gift store in the downtown area of my city.  The owner is a lovely woman whom I have known for many years.  In the back of her shop, sat a a fireplace mantle which was used for displays.  I have to say I drooled over this thing for a long time and finally got the courage to ask if she would sell it to me.  She told me she would think about it and finally after a year or so went by, I got the call from her telling me to come and buy it.  WAAAHOOOOOOO!  I was thrilled!!
I got this treasure home and I had the perfect spot for it.  Just one little problem....I still didn't have a fireplace.  Okay, no problem I thought, I'll just load 'er up with pillar candles in clear glass cylinders for safety.  I threw some burlap over a pile of old books to vary the height of the candles and added pinecones and greenery for the Christmas season.  I had a little birdy candle thingy which I never knew where to place and then it just came to me that it had to go on the wall in the mantle's opening.  
Well, when all the candles are lit and it is a chilly night, I cannot tell you how cozy and comforting this "fireplace" is.  Even our black lab Molly, loves to lay in front of it.  When the season changes, I will remove the pinecones and place shells and fresh flowers in there.  I will leave the white pillars of course although I could change those to another color.  But I love white.
So, there you go.... anyone can have a fireplace.  This mantle is simple to construct really and could be made to any size.  Apartment dwellers, small condos, any space could house one of these.  My mantle is constructed out of plywood and trim from the hardware store.  The net is full of plans for these and you could even just draw out a simple one by looking at mine.
I will end this post with a beautiful saying by Emerson....
Finish each day and be done with it
You have done what you could
Some blunders and absurdities have crept in
Forget them as soon as you can
Tomorrow is a new day
You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spririt
To be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Deep breath.  Here goes.... My first post on a new blog!  I have been thinking of writing a blog for a very long time now.   Many people who know me have encouraged me to do this.  So, here it is.
I live in a bungalow on Bank Street.  Thus, the title.  It is a war-time house and my parents owned it before me.  There is a wonderful creek just beside it.  As a child, I spent many hours catching minnows and wading through it's rushing water in my bare feet.   It was a veritable wonderland for a little kid and a healthy habitat for many birds, frogs, insects etc.  Our property is bordered by some large poplar trees which I have seen grow from 10 feet to well over 35 feet!
In my little bungalow, I love to create.  I NEED to create.  I scour the garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores for interesting things which I then bring home and either keep or resell.  You see, I cannot seem to work at a "real job" so I must work for myself through necessity.  Through the years, I have battled a major depressive illness.  With that often comes anxiety and panic disorder and yes, I have that too.  Okay, so that is out of the way and I would like you to know that even though I have had alot of challenges in my life, I choose happy.  This simply means that when I wake, I make up my mind that just for today, I choose to be happy.  I would like to share with you a little poem that I read each day to reinforce this positive outlook I try to maintain.
Just for today
Just for today, decide to be happy
To live with what is yours
If you can't have what you want,
Perhaps you can want what you have
Just for today, decide to be kind
Be cheerful, be agreeable, be understanding
Be your best, dress your best
Talk softly, look for the brighter side of things
Praise people instead of criticizing them
Just for today, try it
Who knows, you might like it
And do it again tomorrow
Just for today

I am unsure as to who the author of this lovely poem is, but I will continue to try and find out.  If anyone knows please let me know.  I hope you might find this as helpful as I do.
I entitled this post "A New Beginning", because not only is the blog brand new, but it is a new year and I feel as though I am on a new trajectory.
I intend to share funny stories, great decorating ideas, inspirational writings and hopefully some interesting photos.  And so, with an open heart I extend a "welcome friend" to you who may be reading this.  Thanks for visiting and I hope I can help, entertain and enlighten you in some small way.