My transition from cluttered to simple living.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to A Great Guy!

It appears as if the warning has disappeared from this blog!  Oh, Overhaul... Have I missed you!

Now where did I leave off?

Maybe it is best to have a new beginning....and so with that, I want to wish my husband, Wayne, a very Happy Birthday!  Today won't be the way you might have imagined spending your birthday, honey.  You are escorting my children to their father's funeral.  There aren't too many men who would do that.

Mandi said it she usually does.  She posted this on Facebook on her BD.

I was going to write this under my status...but I wanted to put it right here. Thank you for the beautiful flowers and the wonderful song today...but most of all, thank you for always being so loving and supportive. My heart would feel so empty if it wasn't for the huge void you balanced the role of "step parent" so just enough respect to my Father, but still loving
 me and making me feel like your little girl will never know how much that truly means to me. There are no words for the role you have played in mine and my brother's life...and for that, I am forever grateful! I know the role you steped into isn't always the easiest but you have always done it with such pride and love....and we all felt that. Thanks Wayne, I love you ♥ xoxo

So Happy Birthday to the best dad, stepdad, and husband EVER!   We are sooo fortunate.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Once more...

"My Zero Waste" is also reporting they are clean and free from virus.  Don't you just love the computer world?

Coming soon....

There are changes afoot.  Unfortunately "Overhaul" must be closed.   Some of you have reported a "Malware" warning on this blog.  Hubs investigated and found that the problems may have originated from "My Zero Waste." 

I know that this blog is clean.  My husband works in the computer industry so he would know, however, we can not get rid of the warning message.

So for now, I think I will take my leave, and hopefully will return in the fall in the form of a new blog.

I will continue to visit your blogs throughout the summer, however.  Thank you for your friendship.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We were like ships that passed in the night.  13 years spent together was such a small piece of a life  troubled by addictions...a life destined to be shorter than we would have wished.

A long time I was leaving...unable to struggle any more...unable to compete with a bottle and anger...I somehow was able to separate the man from the addiction..and I left all anger, all bitterness, all blame...behind.

Perhaps you did not know that.  You distanced yourself from your children.  You created huge wounds that may never heal.  If ever I felt anger towards you, it was because of this.  

How I longed to hear you say the words that would have served as a healing balm.  "I am sorry.  I regret.  I love...  You were right." 

Those words have finally been said to your children as you leave last time.  
Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you....

Do not fear that your life has been in vain.  You have left the best part of you in three children that you helped bring into this world.  They are amazing people.  They are wonderful spite of everything that you and I did, or did not, do.

Your life has been spent in darkness.  Death will bring light and peace.  Do not fear.

 God bless you in the next part of your journey, Ray.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I have been busy! Honestly!

I haven't been posting lately...but I have been busy!  I know...  That is a worn out excuse...but true nonetheless!

The last few weeks I have spent more time outside than I can remember ever doing so.  I have planted flowers (food for the soul) and vegetables (food for the belly.!)

Would you like a look at my garden?  Please remember that it is a work in progress...

I saved seeds from my Morning Glories and planted them in the planter box which was built by my dad.  I also put several Dill Pickle cucumbers in with them as an experiment.

The Rhubarb, I did not have to plant.  Like Time...there never seems to be enough of this plant to go around.  I like to share with friends and family and what is left goes in my freezer..  As I write this, I am waiting for a Rhubarb Meringue pie to cook.  Looking for an excellent recipe?  Go to

The gardens above are the works-in-progress that I spoke about.  Last year I planted lots, and harvested NOTHING from these beds.  The weeds took over, and I declared defeat.   I used a different tactic this year.  I put down thick cardboard, and layered leaves, grass clippings, soil and vegetable mix in the top garden.  Although there is only about a 5" depth to the matter, I decided to plant anyway, and just see what happens.  I did not finish the layering of matter on the bottom bed but dumped veggie mix and black soil in mounds and planted several different varieties of squash.  They seem to be doing well, as do the tomatoe, pepper, and cucumber plants above.

I have another garden that did very well last year.  In this garden, I have planted tomatoes and peppers and cukes too.  Along one side are ever-bearing strawberries.  Eventually this garden will be reserved for strawberries only, but I used the empty spaces to plant vegetables this year.

Lastly...I have planted several more blueberry, raspberry, and grape bushes.  I also have a gooseberry bush to go in the ground.

I brought wild blueberry bushes from my daughter's home in Sudbury last year.  They, too, are doing well.

So...  Can you see why I haven't posted in a while?  I promise to work on that, but for now...I have to go and weed the above!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Best Laid Plans....

Well...  My "Me" day turned into a "We" day on Wednesday.  That is ok.  Family first, and this family has had quite a week.

My 9 year old grandson was admitted to hospital to investigate the possibility of diabetes.  He was unwell and had shown a blood sugar of 13 when the doctor investigated.  His mom put him on a diet and was able to knock his blood sugar down to 8, however, the doctor felt it best that he be admitted for overnight observation.

My mother was diagnosed with diabetes in her late 40's and was what they referred to as a "Brittle diabetic".  Her diabetes was very difficult to manage.  Watching her go through her trials was difficult, and when Dustin was diagnosed, it knocked the feet out from under me.  We were lucky, it seems.  Dustin is pre-diabetic and his diabetes can be managed by a healthy diet.

You cannot isolate yourself from troubles...not even for a can choose when to get involved, how and with whom.  It is also important to set limits on the demands that are placed on you.  In order to be strong for others, you must stay strong by looking after yourself.

I am slowly learning this...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Have you ever had...

...a "me" day?  A "me" day is a day that you choose to isolate yourself from the needs and news and wants of other people.  It is a day that you choose as yours...a day that will be spent recuperating and licking the wounds that life has inflicted upon you.  It is a holiday of sorts...a "staycation".

How you spend a "me" day is your choice.  You can wile away the day lying in bed with a good book.  You can sit in front of the computer screen or television.  You can choose to answer the phone...or not.  You can paint...or knit...or garden...or not.

A "me" day is not governed by other people's expectations. 

I am writing this at 11:00.  I am still in my PJ's.  I have read a few dozen blog posts, and I am preparing to finish a painting that I started too long ago.  I cannot do much about the hand that life deals me or my family, but what I can do is nurture this bruised soul of mine.

Today is my "me" day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Mom....

I love you.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Red Admiral Butterfly

It seems as if this is a bumper year for the Red Admiral Butterfly. A boom in the butterfly population is called an "irruption", and happens every 12 years or so...and we are lucky enough to witness it this year!

At first glance, you might confuse this fellow for a Monarch as their colours are similar.  They are smaller, however, and almost appear like a shaggy version of the same, but if you look closer, the differences will be evident.

Wikipedia has an informative description of the admiral here.

The lifespan of these butterflies is approximately 3 months.  They overwinter in Florida and Texas.  Eggs are laid in their host plant, which is the Stinging Nettle.  You might notice a curled leaf.  This is how the red Admiral protects her eggs.  She wraps the leaf around them, cuddling them and protecting them from the elements.

It is worth mentioning that the Stinging nettle does just that...  It stings on contact and leaves an annoying rash.  For this reason, many will remove it from their garden, but please, reconsider.  Not only does the Nettle have many medicinal properties, it acts as a nursery for these beautiful little creatures.

A red admiral butterfly rests on the leaves of its host plant, stinging nettle, in Taylor Creek Park. Southern Ontario saw a sudden jump in population last week as the butterflies migrated north.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flowers for Leontien

Thank you DJanity  ( for posting this story. I am going to participate by sending MY hugs, and my picture to Leontien, who is a brave young lady and who just so happens to be battling cancer.

Leontien, I am touched by your story.  I wish you courage, and great strength.  You are in my prayers...

For you...

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I was recently asked why I always look at the worse case scenario,  My daughter asked me that question on a recent visit.  We had sat watching her young son swim, and I had gazed over to the adult pool which was empty at that point in time.  I saw ripples in the water and asked what it was.  She told me that it was a result of the pump which was circulating water.  I said that I hoped that it wasn't anyone in trouble...and that is when she asked me why...why do I think the worst?

That question has lingered since I was asked it.  Why do I?  Perhaps it is fear....Nobody wants to witness a sorrow, so I think I try to anticipate an impending incident before it happens.  I have nursed for over 35 years.  I have seen the very worst.  I have heard the very worst.  Many of the ill and dying that I cared for were the result of incidents that could have been prevented.  If that doesn't inspire fear in your heart, nothing will.

So.. do I try to protect myself, and the ones I care about by alerting them to potential dangers?  Perhaps.

Is fear, cynicism, and negativity a hereditary trait...or is it an environmentally acquired trait?  Did  I acquire this tendency at home, or is this a societal disease?

I don't believe that I am cynical... nor do I believe that I am negative.   I believe that I am fearful.  That is all. 

I try to think the very best of others.  I believe that people, for the most part, act with the very best of intention.  (I know that my family members do...  I hope that the strangers I encounter do too.)  As a habit, I think the best of others until I am proven wrong.  Not everyone does.

I have family members who are suspicious of every action or word.  (They even are suspicious of the motives of their own family members.)  The first response from their lips is one of negativity... but fear of motive, and suspicion is thankfully, not a trait I acquired.  Why do I say that?  Because their fears...their cynicism... and their negativity make others feel unhappy and nervous.

I don't know why I am the way I am...but what I do know is that when I express a fear without reason, I make others nervous and unhappy.

I am going to work on that...

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.
Helen Keller

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Look at Life on the Farm!

1. Take out garbage... Check!
2. Let chickens out! ...Check!
3. Look at chickens!...Check!
4. Take pictures of chickens!....Check!
5. Clean kitchen....
6. Look at chickens....Check!
7. Go shopping....
8. Make dog biscuits.....
9. Look at chickens!....Check!
10, Repeat the above!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Introducing Rusti and Clara Poolay!

I brought my girls home from work last night.  One of the maintenance staff at work kindly gave me two chickens, as his flock was becoming too large.  We got them situated in their new digs where they spent an uneventful night.  I, on the other hand, did not sleep well.  I worried about foxes and weasels, coons and stray dogs all night long....

They survived their first night in the condo and seem to be settling in.  These birds are about a year in age.  They ran wild at their last abode.  I am sure that they were treated well, because they look very healthy.

I am thrilled.  Thank goodness for small pleasures!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Coop!

Thanks to the efforts of my son, and my hubby, I now have a chicken coop!  Do you know how long I have wanted chickens????

This little gem is big enough for two to three chickens.  A friend has several Banties which he is going to give me.  I am SOOOO excited!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

I am not as great a blogger as some.  I don't write often.  I have other roles that need to be looked after first. 

I work at a very stressful job...and getting through my work week intact, is my only focus most of the time.  I am approaching the end of my career, and I want to make it to the finish on both feet.

When I became a nurse 39 years ago (OMG!) the rules were simple.  You were expected to keep bedsides clean, give the right medication at the right time to the right person using the right route and the right dose.  Residents were loved and treated with dignity.  All in all, life was simple. 

The rules have changed, folks.  Residents now have rights.  (AS IF they didn't back then!)  They have the right to bathe if they wish...or not.  They have the right to leave the building if they are deemed "capable".  (If they are not yet deemed incapable, are an alcoholic, and choose go uptown, buy a bottle of whiskey and down it there, vomit on themselves, and cannot physically manoevre their way home or safely cross the railway tracks...well...they have the right to ask someone to call the staff to come and get them.)  They have the right to strike out and curse at their caregivers.  If they refuse to do as asked, they are immediately allowed to make this decision...whether in their best interest...or not.

Abuse?  Not at our home.  Staff are abused on a daily basis by some...both physically and verbally...but are you aware that if a staff member should "slip" and call a resident by an endearing term...such as "Honey" or "Sweetheart" without that resident's permission, that this is deemed abusive?

The Ministry and Police must be called if a resident...confused or not...makes contact with another resident.  How would you like to be the family member who gets a call stating that mom has scratched another resident and that the Police have been called?

Injury inflicted on a nurse...bruise or breaks or cuts...are not reportable crimes.

This is only a small picture of what goes on when I go to work every day...and yes...retirement is looking mighty good.  In the "mean" time, I puddle through, and spend a lot of time reading the following.  It soothes my soul.  Thanks Max.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann c.1920

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Misty Mornings

I love misty mornings on the river.  Occasionally I get to see them!  I would like to see more, but I need to overhaul my sleeping habits. I stay up too late, then read for an hour or so.  No wonder I can't get up early. 

My S.I.L. Jan, and her hubby, Keith, are in bed by nine pm, and up by 6 am.  They start their mornings in the hot tub.  What a way to start the day!!!!

I miss so much!  My hubby reminds me of this.  Below are pictures that he took one misty morning.  He said that I am missing the best part of the day.  I think his father taught him that...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Yay! A Family Visit!!

There is NOTHING that excites me more than a visit with family!  Yesterday was no exception!  Dan, Tinah, and the girls came to see the Walleye spawn at the dam down the street from us.  That is what they said, anyway.  I know that what they really wanted a visit with Nana and Papa.

When they were about to leave they visited the horse that lives across the street. He even allowed them to pat him!  His field mate would not, and just as well.  I understand that the can land a wad of foul-smelling spit at quite a distance!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

An Experiment!

Before throwing out the ends of the Romaine lettuce that I paid and arm and a leg for, I tried the following experiment...  I placed the ends in a small bowl, and added a small amount of water.  That's all!  This experiment is a week old.  I will soon move these babies to their new bed outdoors!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mesothelioma (a guest post)

Does that title strike a note of fear in your heart?  Do you even know what Mesothelioma is?  If you would like to know, check out the following link

I know what Mesothelioma is.  10 years ago, I lost a very dear friend to this disease.  Cameron was an artist, and the son of a dear friend.  He had so much talent....  He was such a lovely soul.  He should be with us now.

I have always believed that Mesothelioma is fatal.  Last week I met a gal who beat the odds.  Today I am including a guest post, authored by Heather.

Seeing the Good in the Bad

My whole life I have always been optimistic, viewing the glass as half full and seeing the bright side of things.  This characteristic has never benefited me more than when I heard the word most people fear: cancer.  

On November 21, 2005, I received my cancer diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma, at the young age of 36 and just 3.5 months after my one and only child was born.  You never expect that kind of diagnosis, especially not during what is supposed to be the “prime” of your life, but here was me hearing the most dreaded words.  After the information sank in, I had two choices: to give up and wallow in my own self-pity or face the illness with strength.  Being the optimist I am, I chose the second option.  I stood tall and did what any new mother would do: fight for her life to see her little girl grow up.  

Cancer really is a two-headed monster and majority of people who have experienced it will agree.  It is of course one of the worst possible things that can happen, but on the other a good thing.  My life has changed ultimately for the better due to it.  I chose to see the positives of a terrible situation, perhaps to eliminate the fear, maybe because I was determined to help other people with the same diagnosis, or because wanted to provide hope because that is often the first thing people lose when becoming diagnosed with mesothelioma.  No matter the reason, I opted to find the good.  

I was referred to one of the world’s leading mesothelioma doctors, who had the ability to provide me with the hope to beat this condition!  After being scheduled to have my tumor removed on Groundhog’s Day 2006, I gave my tumor the nickname of Punxsutawney Phil.  And my family and I renamed the day, Lunleavin Day since it was the day my lung was removed from my body.  Every year during the first weekend of February, we throw a party to celebrate this Lungleavin Day.  It is a time to celebrate life, honor the victory over fear, and praising the good that comes from a dreadful situation.  It is also a celebration of hope.  

If it weren’t for being diagnosed with this cancer, I would not have met so many of the great people that I now know.  These people are the most remarkable, strongest, passionate, and tough individuals I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  These people are other mesothelioma fighters who are determined to increase the knowledge of this condition, which has little awareness besides commercials on daytime television.  I now call all people affected by the disease including wives, husbands, sons, and daughters, my friend.  If it were not for my very own battle with cancer, I would not know these great people.  My life is now filled with much more purpose and I want to keep up the efforts to provide hope to those in need of it.

Heather Von St James is a mesothelioma survivor and a guest blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Her story is one of hope and inspiration and she hopes to spread her message to anyone who may be going through similar situations to her own.
Check out Heather’s story on the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Overhauling a few more things....

Hubby and I have been a little concerned about the amount of diet pop that we have been drinking.  We both agreed that we may be slightly addicted to the stuff.  Its the bubbles...and the lack of sugar....that draws us.  We have though, known for a long time, that Aspartame is not good for us.  We did NOT know that Monsanto produces Aspartame.  That should have been enough reason in itself, to quit drinking the stuff.  The other day we were given more reason to quit.  It has been scientifically proven that the caramel colouring found in colas is cancer causing.  What next??

So...we bit the bullet...went to Costco...and brought home the beauty below, for $50.00  It comes with two cylinders which add the fizzzz to our drinks.  In the two days that we have had this, I have drank more water than I have in a long long time.

You can add any type of flavouring, purchased or homemade.  We have added juice.  I am looking forward to making rootbeer...and gingerale!

I am sure that there are many soda machines on the market.  We are really happy with this purchase.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Visit....

Yesterday, Alexia came to visit.  We took in a show and did a little painting...  Today we went for a "nature walk."

We headed down the Dam to see if the Walleye had arrived to spawn.  We didn't see any but the Ministry of the Environment was on scene, preparing for their arrival.

The geese are very noisy now, and have paired off.  We expect that soon they will their young to our little inlet
Flies!  I never thought I would be so glad to see flies!!!
Daffodils and Tulips are starting to poke through the warming earth...
Bird nests are easier to see when there is no foliage on the trees.

We had a great visit, although it went by faster than we would have liked!  See you next time, Alexia!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

There is spring in the air!

We are seeing different birds at our feeder.

Really looking forward to seeing these again!

Have heard and seen more of these...although the water is not quite open yet!

...and soon to come...a new generation!

Don't you just love it? 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Baby It's Cold Out there....

High winds and blowing snow are on the menu today.  Our neighbour's canoe ended up in our fire pit.  Branches are down, but I would say that we are pretty lucky in this neck of the woods.  God bless our neighbours to the south as they clean up in the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that touched down yesterday, resulting in loss of lives and massive property damage.

Soon to come....