(17) October 2011



Sadly none of my grandchildren will be here this year to ring my doorbell.

 Let’s see what happens if YOU came to my door!

Oops!! Better get the lights on for you!!

Better stop and admire the pumpkin…..


Hope I have enough to get through!! Everyone choose 3!! Pick your favorites!!

Take a closer look and make sure you find the ones you like best!!




This is what is really looked like this morning. No light adjustments on the camera. Now we have lots of rain too!!

Mrs. Munchkin is inside. Even in bad weather, she usually sits on the front porch and glares at the rain and snow!! She stayed in her new house outside for a while but headed in before I could get a photo of her.

Mrs. Munchkin’s bed is on one side of me, and Bella has her new foam mattress and quilt under my computer table. They are both BORED BORED BORED!!

Going to be a long winter…..



In the summer Mrs. Munchkin loves to sleep under her beautiful pink bush.

When she still goes under it in the fall, her fur picks up the nasty prickles and leaves them in the bed when she has a nap inside. They are very sharp!

And why am I telling you this?

So you do not think we spoil our pets. We do, I just do not want you to think we do!! lol We wanted Mrs. Munchkin to have a place to be safe and dry outside even in the rain and snow. So we bought her a small doghouse. AND we hope this will bring an end to the prickle problem!

Mrs. Munchkin took over the old doghouse when we first adopted her. We gave it away when we left that house and never got another one. Bella, our dog HATES doghouses. She was forced to live outside in a rat infested doghouse before she was rescued and we adopted her.

We put the house together on the kitchen counter.

Mrs. Munchkin quickly figured out the house was for her but she did not like everyone watching her!!

Walking by our house you cannot even see her new house.

We even got her the front patio in the hopes we will not get any more prickles brought inside!!



As promised, I found the photos from our most decorated Halloween ever! That year, we were part of our grandson’s home schooling program so we were able to enjoy some wonderful times together.

As these photos are a few years old, the quality is not as good. This was the first year for these decorations, complete with the fence for the cats and rats to sit on. You can see the “ghost” taking the photo too!! lol

This fun-loving couple greeted everyone looking in the window. Gord and Shelley Rind sadly did not survive our last move but they enjoyed a few years as celebrities in the tiny community we lived in.

Protecting my awesome grandson’s identity!! That’s a cut and paste not his costume!!

Here we are starting the spider web! We learned a lot about spiders. I LOVE spiders outside but not too happy when the big ones come indoors. Bella, our dog, watching over grandson at all times!

Here I am taking a break while grandson takes my photo. Forgot about my wonderful rose-colored glasses to protect my eyes from the tree branches. They really did make the world look rosier!

One of my students also helped create our wonderful web and stuff the spider with packing paper.

Here is the spider all ready to take care of our guests!!



As this season comes to an end, I wanted to share some last photos from my garden. The sun shone today. This morning might be the last time I could sit outside without a jacket.

You can see there are still a few blooms here and there: some orange Calendula, red poppies, last yellow dahlia and white cosmos.

With some great suggestions from my husband I was finally able to get a decent shot of my fall crocuses!

Already have the suet out for the birds. With the starlings gone, one cake of suet lasts the smaller birds a long time.

The big Holly tree has an abundant crop of berries this year. The birds eventually eat them over the winter.

Very pleased to announce the Blue Jays finally arrived back. One of them perched in the tree over our heads and yelled at us for several minutes. We think he was complaining there were no peanuts on the feeding table! We will be picking some up tomorrow. He flew off to join four other jays and complain about our lack of proper food!



My buddy, Banatastic, (Jacob) encouraged me to draw a pumpkin for the funniest pumpkin contest. Well, this wonderful idea walked into my brain, and it took me 4 panels to draw it!!

I forgot how much FUN drawing is!! Putting my ideas on paper so I can share them with everyone! Amazing!!

The last pic is 10 by 14 inches in real life – not the best photo but my wonderful husband downloaded a stitching program and I have added the scan as well!

If you are wondering – the 4 panels took me about 30 hours total from start to finish!


and here is my sketch – you can see a lot of erasing marks!



Every year I try and learn something new. This year I chose jewelry making, just the basics for earrings and necklaces. When my Mom (mother-in-law) came to visit we had fun picking the beads and design to make a Halloween set for her. She is already for the Halloween dance!

Mom told me she is hiding these until the night of the dance so she can dazzle everyone!! What a GREAT MOM!!

This set took just a few minutes to put together – 3 jump rings and I was done!!

  Love this dragon!!

Think this is my favorite pumpkin drawing of all time!! Looks great on the wall. Wish they gave credit to the artists who create this wonderful stuff!!


You may remember how much I HATE washing dishes. This cute cat keeps me company while I slave away!! lol

Please do not try to find my decorations – I purchased some of them 20 years ago!!

All my jewelry making supplies come from Fire Mountain – they are wonderful!! Check out their designs and incredible selection. (Just a reminder I recommend things I like and NO ONE pays me for my opinion!)




My husband and I had a wonderful time watching all the kids having fun (although we missed having any grandchildren with us). We saw some old friends whose children have grown another foot taller. lol

I did some research and found the largest pumpkin IN THE WORLD last year was 1810.5  pounds!!


Our local growers only managed close to 1,000 pounds. A LOT of work just to get your pumpkin to the festival!

Inside the pavilion they had pumpkin carving, face painting, cupcake decorating and a costume contest. Way to dark inside to take any decent pics but here’s one of me with the pumpkins!!



Today while we were out enjoying the sunshine, the chickadees and pine sisken were eating sunflower seeds from the flowers I enjoyed all summer. They were happily feeding just a few feet away, until I laughed. They all flew away, but came right back. Of course, my husband’s camera and mine were safely in the house so we didn’t get any photos.

We always cover our two big windows near the bird feeders with decorations. We enjoy the seasonal cheerfulness and the birds are warned not to fly into the windows.

Tigger is one of my all time favorite happy people!!



Time to fill up the freshly cleaned and defrosted freezer. I will try and fill in a few recipes and add photos as I go along. I have added lots of photos to the full recipe and directions under recipes on the right hand menu bar but my camera battery died so will finish off the photos next time.

I love muffins! These are great! Especially if you use the right pumpkin pie spice – make sure yours has lots of flavor. The scent should be overwhelming when you open the jar!!



Here is a present from me to EcoMom – I hope you enjoy the real one when the time comes –  really soon now!!

And for all you fans of POW from See You Sunday with the amazing Bananatastic –

here’s a POW for you!!

Join some wonderful people on MiniMonos.com and have a great time making the world a better place with some great new buddies – or bring your old ones along with you!



My sunflowers were beautiful while they bloomed and now are feeding my cheerful little buddies!

I took a lot of photos (from a distance) when there were about 20 birds eating sunflowers and playing in the cosmos but you can’t see them in the photo! I did some intense cropping to show you a few of them but they are very blurry.




Here’s where they were feeding:

Their favorite seeds seem to be from the Autumn Beauty variety – you can see they have eaten all the seeds from the one bloom already!

This is their second favorite but sadly, I am not sure what variety it is.

I LOVE sunflowers and enjoyed their cherry blooms over the summer. I also grow them to help feed the birds!



Today we were between rain storms. We started off with sunshine and even when the rains came – the sun kept right on shining!

The roofs were steaming even with more rain falling on them.

Rainy day sunshine. Much better than gloomy day rain!

Over the years I have found this wonderful First Nations (native American) tale to be true. If you see spiders around in the fall it means you will have more good weather before winter comes. I was thrilled to see all the spiders today!!


Today it rained. It looked like someone turned on the shower outside. And it rained all day. Prediction is for another inch of rain in the next 24 hours!

So we all stayed inside. Mrs. Munchkin took over the bed – right in the middle! She yelled at my husband when he opened the back door for her this morning. Then she stomped through the house to the front door and yelled some more when she saw it was raining there too!

Bella went in and out very quickly today and slept most of the time under my computer table! She looks so sad. No time out in the garden for us today.


to everyone in Canada

We celebrate both the American and the Canadian date for Thanksgiving because it is one of my favorite holidays!

This year some of the family gathered about 1,000 miles away and we were not able to join them. Rather than make a huge dinner for just the two of us (with all the work and dirty dishes) we decided to go out for lunch. One of our favorite restaurants always lists turkey dinner on their menu so we had a good dinner ( for lunch) and came home to a clean kitchen.

Artists often use themselves as models because no one else is around! Here I am all ready to go out to dinner.

Here’s another one (taken by husband) who liked the light in the kitchen but I wound up with pickles for a background!! lol

Of course, the downside to going out is – no left-overs!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend wherever you are!



For the past few months, I have been using cards created from my own photos, but I have to admit, their reception was not what I hoped for. People love personalized items and my friends and family are no exception. So I just re-signed up with:

printable halloween cards, personalized halloween printables


Once I pick the card I want, I can change the text and even add other elements if I choose. I am really enjoying seeing the smiles on the those faces again as they open the matching decorated envelopes and see their names on my created cards!

Just a reminder: I have NO ads on my site and NO ONE pays me for my opinions! If I recommend something it is because I DO think it’s a good thing!

There are some great screen savers and wallpapers. I find the calendar desk-tops very useful. And talking e-cards are truly wonderful for people you do not see every day!

You can try the program for free for 7 days before Yahoo will charge your credit card $19.99 for the next year. Make sure to cancel in time if you do not want it!

On the downside – the last time I used this program it always froze on me during a long session and I would have to re-sign in. Otherwise – no problems!



I enjoyed the beginning of my cup of tea and the latest edition of the Blackfish Sounder, the newsletter from the British Columbia Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program.

Wonderful to see they have extended the distance for whale watching tours to 200 yards in the USA – would love to see Canada enact the same legislation to protect these amazing creatures.

Another bad mark for Canadians: when environmental groups had to sue the Department of Fisheries in court to make them do their jobs! They are now protecting the critical habitat for resident killer whales. Good people in the world are watching out for the wonderful beings that share our planet and have no voice in our courts! Way to go!!

I checked the updates for news about “our whale”, Nodales. Sadly, she and her new baby have not been sighted this year and the researchers assume she did not survive the last winter.

Our dear Nodales is no longer available for adoption.



For more photos of Nodales and her pod.

You can read more about my family’s relationship with this wonderful being – check the menu on your right under Rosie Chucklebeary.

I want to reprint the sensible advice given on


of how we can all help protect the killer whales and the other amazing sea creatures we are privileged to share this planet with:

Become a member of the BC Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program and help support important research on wild killer whales and their conservation!  Adopt here.

What else can you do to help?  Everyday actions can also have a profound impact on the conservation of wild killer whales!  Here are some suggestions: 

  • Protect wild salmon!  Salmon are essential for resident killer whales.  Help protect and enhance salmon habitat by becoming a member of a local Streamkeepers organization.
  • Be Whale Wise!  Follow the Be Whale Wise guidelines while watching whales on the water to reduce disturbance on these animals.   All boats, both commercial and recreational, should adhere to the whale watching guidelines.
  • Report your whale, dolphin and porpoises sightings to the BC Cetacean Sightings Network.  Help researchers learn more about the distribution and habitat use of these animals in BC waters.
  • Choose sustainable seafood to ensure healthy ocean ecosystems!  Learn more about sustainable seafood through the Ocean Wise program at the Vancouver Aquarium.
  • Clean up our shorelines!  Garbage in the ocean is bad news for all marine life, including killer whales and their prey.  Help reduce marine debris by participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup each September.
  • Make your home and garden whale-friendly!  It’s not just factories and manufacturers that dispose of harmful chemicals in the ocean. Every time you dump toxic household cleaning products down your sink, use pesticides in your garden, or improperly dispose of toxic materials, you too are contributing to the pollution that is appearing in our oceans and eventually in the whales. Choose to garden organically, buy biodegradable and green cleaning products and learn more about properly disposing of any toxic materials through your municipality’s waste disposal program.  You can help to make others aware by joining the Yellow Fish Road Storm Drain Marking Program which reminds people that everything they put in their sinks, bathtubs, toilets, etc. ends up in the storm drains and eventually our streams, lakes and oceans.

  • Reduce persistent organic pollutants by using your consumer dollars carefully.   PBDEs found in electronics and furniture are a big problem for top predators like killer whales.  Many companies however are choosing not to use them in their products.  When purchasing new electronics and furniture ask if they are PBDE-free!

  • Be a green boater!  Boats can be a major source of marine pollutants.  Reduce your vessels’ impact on the marine environment through the Georgia Strait Alliance’s Green Boater program.  

  • Spread the message.  Volunteer with a local marine conservation organization (like the Vancouver Aquarium) to teach others about protecting the oceans and the whales!

When I follow these great suggestions, I will be honoring the memory of Nodales who inspired me and my family for so many years. I hope you will join me. Thank you.

Here are some photos of my garden from October 2nd –

The snails are still out and about. Here is one napping in the last of the dahlias. He does not have far to go for dinner when he wakes up!

The wind and rain have dragged the sunflowers over. The flowers are so heavy, once they get wet, some of them break off.

They are still reaching for the sun!

The Teddy Bear sunflowers are still doing beautifully. They are very short and the wind does not blow them around much. They are so fuzzy and cute! LOVE them!

The side garden by the basement door is sheltered and still thinks it is summer!

So very glad I have all my photos of spring and summer to get me through the winter.


I decorate for holidays and celebrations. You may remember from last year, we honor Thanksgiving on both the Canadian and the American date. So I have just changed the decorations from summer to a mix of Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving.

The peacock whirligigs of summer give way to –

the fierce whirligig cats of Halloween who guard the gate to my garden.

This year the rats are sitting on the cats’ tails. Good thing they are all very lightweight!

And here’s the perfect window decoration for Grannie and Mrs. Munchkin!

The base of this Thanksgiving wreath is corn husks. I added lots of sunflowers with the autumn leaves and a pair of birds to enjoy the view.


Just to let you know I am alive and well! Down to the last maybe 2 weeks of writing on my latest story and am quite fuzzy-headed. I am so far into the story it is hard to come back to reality.

So no worries if I do not post anything new for a while.

Trying a slightly new format with individual posts rather than by month. We’ll see how this goes.

I SHALL return!



First of all I want to mention there is a Terra Nova Park

in Newfoundland Canada –


I sincerely hope they are more eco-aware than the characters in

the new television series: Terra Nova!


First of all, let’s get past the bad science fiction of over population and bad air quality. (Please do your own research on those) not to mention if they had enough money for this immense project and the fancy medical care, they had enough to start cleaning up the air!!

But here we go again with the idea of something new and beautiful – a fresh start – and what do we get? The population is already shooting each other, driving around in armored vehicles tearing up the land and killing the indigenous life forms when they get in their way.

And leading it all is Stephen Lang who plays the same character he played in Avatar where human greed wanted to destroy an entire planet.


Have we learned nothing?

For generations people believed they were given the right to dominate this planet by God. Since then, the word ‘dominion’ has been properly translated to mean stewardship. God showed Adam all the animals and Adam named them. To me, that clearly implies a relationship with them. Adam accepted the responsibility to till the land and tend the plants as well.

We are meant to look after our home and every living thing on it. One day, we shall have to answer to God about the condition of the Earth, and what we have done to correct our errors.

I just want to sit and cry when I see this type of story. In the movie, Avatar, the idea starts out beautifully, but the humans turn the natives into crazed fighting demons destroying their home in a human style war.

These stories would mean so much more and give us hope if they showed how people could truly live in peace with their environment without needing to dominate it – or each other.

 Wars and violence sell movies and make money for people selling weapons to both sides while they sit in safety!

Let us continue to pray for peace and understanding.


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