A New Day

17 Feb

My last post was about Seniors and helping them….this was a new day.

I have a manicure and pedicure business and work from my home. Antrimlea Nails and More. There are a lot of seniors in my town so I have started doing house calls for those who can’t make it to my house. Some live on their own, some have spouses, some are no longer able to be on their own.

Today’s home visit took me to a senior who lives in a retirement home and is having a tough time accepting her time in life and facing selling her house and calling her room “home” now. We chatted while I did her pedicure.  I have made her feet happy for 3 years now so I have been there for her changes.

When I had finished I was going to return home to do other work that needed to be done. She asked me if I had time to sit for a minute .  I almost said I had to get going but when I saw her face and her deep smile with raised eyebrows I stayed.  The stuff at home wasn’t going to go anywhere and here was a lonely person asking me to spare some time for a visit. She is recovering from an injury and has to lay down and mostly only gets up to go for her meals.  She told me she hadn’t been outside since October.  I can’t imagine being indoors that long.

She chatted about different things and I listened only talking when she asked for my input on something or asked me about my life. I find a lot of my home visit seniors sort of live their life through what’s happening in my life…sort of an ongoing real life soap opera. I stayed for almost an hour.  It was the best hour I had all day….even maybe all week.

I am a huggy type of gal so I asked her if I could give her a hug when I left. So I did and she hugged me back for what seemed like minutes but I know it was only seconds. She then held my arms and told me she was so grateful for our friendship and felt so comfortable with me and that I was a person she could talk to about anything .

I feel the same about her.  People who live alone and feel alone miss someone to talk to….someone who will listen and most of all physical contact like just a warm hug.

Seniors have so many wonderful stories to tell…..we need to make more time to sit and listen and maybe even give a big hug.  It only took an extra hour on my part but meant so much to her.

Take the time .


Adopt a Senior

28 May

blog 262It started out over a year and a half now with a friend who’s wife was in the hospital. I was friends with the wife for 6 years and found out he had lost his driver’s license because of his first signs of memory loss.  I volunteered to drive him to visit his wife whenever he wanted to go.  I then discovered like most men in their 80’s that the wife did all the cooking and he was trying his best.  So it became that I visited him twice a week and cooked supper for him and left him with dinner for 2 nights each time. One night he asked me if I could stay for dinner with him as he found it lonely to eat alone and no one to have tea with after dinner. So I did ,twice a week. Eventually his wife of 60 plus years passed away and he was a lost soul, devastated that he had lost his soul mate…..and soul mates they were.  They were like two little love birds right to the end. He would visit her as she laid in her hospital bed , holding her hand and telling her about his day.  I am sure she could hear him although there was not a stir in her body.

After she passed away and the girls were home from out west for the funeral we had a family meeting. The girls asked me if I could take care of their Dad as he wanted to stay in his home for as long as he could. I was going to be paid now and it was “a job” now. I spent about ten to twelve hours a week with him. Cleaning his house, doing his laundry, cooking dinners, taking him out shopping, paying his bills, doing his banking and going out for meals with him. Basically I was doing all the things a daughter would do only I was getting paid and he wasn’t my Dad.

When you are 89 years old you don’t have many friends left.  He has since had to go to a retirement home which he has accepted to living there now  and is doing well. It has made my life easier as I don’t have to worry about him when I am not with him. I still spend about 10 hours a week with him taking him out for lunch or dinner and a nice drive each time and still looking after everything else.

I have convinced his former neighbour to join us on our “Saturday outings.” She is about 85 and has no family at all here. We have so much fun on our outings and go to a different place to eat every week. They both have wicked sense of humours and we laugh sometimes until tears start. The three of us now have a special bond and we consider ourselves “family” and look forward to our Saturday adventures and with me in control of the car and my no sense of directions ,,,they are sometimes a real adventure.

I feel for both of these seniors and not to blow my own horn but if I hadn’t stepped up to the plate both of these lovely wonderful ,story telling people, would be sitting alone both in their home and the retirement home.  They have so many stories to tell us and so happy to be taken out. Living alone you miss the hugs and the feeling that someone cares about you and having someone that you can care about. The three of us have that now.

I really realized this today as we got out of the car and walked to the door of the restaurant. As I looked back to make sure they were ok walking , there they were, arm in arm walking with their canes and chatting away as the best friends they have become. It brought tears to my eyes as I saw the happiness that our Saturday trips were bringing.

The Pastor who lives at the end of my street last week stopped me while walking my dog. He wanted to know how I was doing and if there was anything he could do for me and if he could say a prayer for me.  He caught me off guard as I wasn’t expecting such a powerful question.  I said he could ( hoping he would pray for my golf games.) and that everything was good and that I just got back from taking my senior friend out and we had such a good time out.  He looked at me and asked me if I thought my friend got more satisfaction from us spending time together or if I benefitted more from our relationship.

I smiled at him and told him I knew that he was grateful for our friendship but I knew it was me who was the winner of this one.

So my point is that if you have the time, please consider “adopting a senior”. There are so many lonely seniors with no family who would love to have your company, if only for a few hours a week.  I compare it the same as being a blood donor…..”It’s in you to give then give” so please give your heart and time to a senior….make the time, you won’t regret it.



Mother’s Day

1 May

Mother’s Day is a special day when we honour and cherish our Mothers. Every one of us has a mother.  It’s tough and sometimes scary being a mother and we have to just wing it and do the best we know how.  Babies do not come with instructions. Some of us had good mothers and some of us had mothers that shouldn’t have been one.  I was one of the lucky ones…..I had one of the best!  My  “Mum” as she liked to spell it was a loving and caring woman with lots of smiles, hugs and cuddles and boy oh boy did she like to laugh. She did an amazing job raising us as she lost her mother at the age of 11 so she did not have a long example to learn from.  She was one of those Mums that just knew when you were having a sad day or had some problem that needed to be dealt with.  She was always there when I needed her and I could always count on her support and endless love.  I was lucky enough to live in the same town as an adult so saw her every week. I never expected that she would be taken away from us at the young age of 58……I lost my Mum in a blink of an eye  when I was 38 and my younger sister was just 28.  We never got to say goodbye or tell her a final I love you although I know she knew…..she always knew. I miss her warm hugs and sense of humour. I still had so many stories I wanted her to tell me and miss her advice when I had a problem.  She was my “go to person”.  She taught me so may things especially knitting. There is not a day that I don’t think of her and miss her.

I feel so blessed to have had her for a Mum.

Happy Mother’s Day next Sunday Mum but I feel everyday is your day. xxoo


Foster Fail 101

16 Jan

Foster Fail 101

I have been a Foster  Mom for The Collie Rescue Network for the past 12 years.  It has been so rewarding and at the same time so heart wrenching.   Some of my fosters were with me for only 2 weeks and the longest was 14 months.  What made me decide to foster??  I had a Blue Merle older puppy and I wanted to see if he needed a companion so thought this was the best way to test the waters. I mean if it didn’t work out “no problem” , the dog was going to be adopted to another home right?  Well that didn’t work out.  Isadora was my first foster and I failed fostering 101.  She was nine years old when she came as a foster. She was an “old ” nine year gal. Full of arthritis and slow moving.  Well a few weeks taking Glucosamine and the job of mothering a puppy she suddenly felt she had a job to do and perked right up. The change in her was amazing and she fit right in with Antrim, my cats and me.


So we became a family of five.  Being a member of Collie Rescue Network (CRN)  I knew there were others that needed fostering.  To me it’s like being a blood donor…if you can do it then you should .  So my next foster came and stayed for about 2 months.

People say “how can you give them up, I couldn’t do what you do.”….Well the CRN really screens adoptive parents.  Some people who apply object to this and say they can go to the pound and get a dog without all the hassle.  Well we want the best for our Collies and them to have the Furever home they deserve.  These wonderful dogs come to our Rescue for different reasons.  I really don’t like the word “rescue” as to me it implies they have been saved from a bad situation .  This is not always true thank goodness.  Some of my fosters have been surrendurd  by their owners because they were moving to other provinces, they lost their jobs, their owner passed away or they did come from a bad situation.  The great thing is that they DID come to CRN where they were put in a foster home where they could receive whatever care they needed and stayed in a family environment  to be assessed to their likes and dislikes.  They are looked after like a family member and we learn every thing we can about them eg: cat friendly, dog friendly , any aggression issues, how they are with kids, how obedient are they etc.

To adopt one of CRN Collies you must first fill out an application to adopt and if you are interested in a particular Collie you state your interest in it.  Next you are contacted by our adoption co-ordinator . Then a conversation with the foster parent is arranged and any questions either side has are answered.  Next CRN arranges a home inspection to check out the possible new home for safety, who all lives there, are there children, other animals. where will the Collie be in the house etc.   If the home inspection goes well and all parties are satisfied then sometimes if it’s possible a “meet and greet”is arranged.

If that goes well and it’s a match we have another success story to tell.  There is an adoption fee which goes to CRN and no we don’t make money on “selling” Collies”. All of these Collies are Vet checked and up to date on shots.  Some that come to the rescue need major Vet care like my last foster’s vet bills came to $1500.00. CRN operates through donations and fund raisers.

So how can I give these dogs up after loving them and nurturing them ???? I can because I know they have been matched up with what we think is the perfect home.  The adopter also has to sign paperwork that if their situation changes they must give the Collie back to CRN.  So you see we try to find their Furever home…..not just any home.

I have now fostered 14 wonderful Collies and have loved every one of them but by knowing they were going to a great home I was able to “let them go” to make room for the next Collie who much needed a foster home.

Yes I failed my first fostering by adopting her but we say that failing in fostering is a good failing…and I am happy to say I have failed again on my 14 foster. Jessie is 10 and was in sad shape when she came to me 2 months ago. She needed healing and could not walk around the block and could hardly get up my 6 stairs. She also was a Blue Merle and looked so much like my beloved Antrim who has passed.  With a lot of loving, proper diet and a little meds she can now go around the block 5 times a day and the stairs are no problem at all.  It has been amazing to see how far she has come in such a short time and I couldn’t part with her because I want to be a big part in seeing just how far she can go.  Sometimes you just get one that steels your heart!  It doesn’t mean you still can’t foster…..she loves other dogs.Welcome to your Furever home Jessie….



Collie Rescue Network Raffle

24 Oct

As most of you know I have been involved with the Collie Rescue Network (CRN) for over 10 years. It is a group of wonderful volunteers across Canada devoted to rescuing purebred Rough and Smooth Coated Collies and keeping them healthy and safe in foster care until they can be matched with their “forever” home. Our team of volunteers devote hours and hours of their time doing various jobs to help these poor souls…from transporting, fostering whether long term or temporary, and helping behind the scenes with adoptions and paperwork and endless calls. All of our Collies that come to CRN are fully vet checked and up to date with their vacines. In some cases they need to be neutered or spayed . Lately we have had Collies that need up to $2000 of vet bills each to get them healthy. CRN is non profit and runs only on fundraising and donations. To replenish our funds we are having a raffle. I have tickets for sale or you can order them online at http://www.collierescuenetwork.com/
Every ticket sold is a step closer to being able to help another Collie
Please purchase your ticket or even buy a book. We need the funds and you are helping a wonderful cause.
Here are pics of my 13 foster dogs that I have fostered over my 10 years.

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I just haven’t been lazing around,

27 Apr

Sorry but I haven’t kept you up to date on my fibre stuff.
Here is what I have been up to.
I went to the Gathering in Port Hope a couple of weeks ago. It was a fun day where knitters and spinners and vendors get together for the whole day . Needless to say it’s like a yearly family reunion. Lots of laughs and LOTS of inspiration. I dug out my merino rovings which I bought 9 years ago in Australia….how I let it sit for that long in my stash is beyond me. I plyed it on itself and just love the results.

Next I have been knitting my socks which I am always doing on the side. I had 2 baskets full of sock yarn bits and balls for these and finally got it down to one basket when my friend Joan dropped off a bag of bits. So this is my “new” 2nd basket. My foster Coby just looked at me like “are you kidding me?” lol



Putting on the Dog

23 Mar

Recently I was commissioned by a lady to spin her Golden Retriever dog’s hair.  Apparently this fellow is 15 years old and is quite blond.  His undercoat was one of the softest  I have ever spun.  Because she wants to knit with the yarn I suggested adding a little sheeps wool as spun dog hair on it’s own does not have a memory and will stretch.  By adding a little sheeps wool you can prevent it.  I try to select a match with my stock and came up with a very soft white lambs wool to blend it with.  Here are some pictures with the various steps to producing the finished yarn.

The white fibre is the lamb fleece and the golden is the Retriever. These piles of fibre would be blended together.




This is the blended fibre in a batt ready to be spun.  I have an electric carding machine to help me with this.





I spun this on my Ashford Joy spinning wheel.  Here you see a single ply on a bobbin.  When I had 2 bobbins spun I then spun the 2 together backwards to give me a 2 ply yarn.



This is the 2 ply yarn.



I then wound it off on my skein winder and tied the skein in 4 places.


I like to wash my skeins in Eucalan wool wash…Here they are hanging on the line for an hour when I realized how cold it was outside and brought the frozen skeins in to dry.



And the finished yarn.  It’s nice and soft and I am sure the owner will be pleased.



Collie Rescue and Canadian Tire Money

1 Mar

I know I posted this before but it is ongoing…thanks

Ok all Peeps and Followers  … pay attention.   Some of you know I have worked with the Collie Rescue of Canada for about 10 years now.  This is an amazing organization with such hard working volunteer men and women.  We work primary with Rough and Smooth Collies only as you do have to draw the line but occasionally a cross sneaks in like my dear foster who I have now. Coby is a cross between a Border and Rough Collie who was in a shelter for SIX months up north. She finally found her way to the Collie Rescue and has been my foster girl up for adoption ever since and will be at my house till she gets adopted.  People who can not look after their Collie anymore for any reason (life happens)  can surrender their pet to the Collie Rescue and they are put in a loving foster home until they get adopted. Some dogs have an unfortunate life and have been seized from their owner.  They match up the foster home with the foster dog to make things go smoothly.  We are always short of foster homes so if you think you would like to do it please contact us.  Some of our fosters have multiple dogs because of this need. You never know how long you will have the foster . I have had them as short as 2 weeks and Coby has been my longest at 8 months. A lot of us fail fostering 101 and fall in love with our foster and end up adopting them.  So if you have any questions about fostering please contact us.


That is not the total reason for this blog….. The exciting  news is that the Collie Rescue is accepting Canadian Tire Money .  Everyone has some sitting in their cupboard somewhere.  Who ever remembers to redeem it eh???  We use it to buy the much needed collars, leashes, bedding and dog food. Most dogs come with nothing and these things are necessary.  My great friends have given me what they found in their cupboards and to date I have been able to send $158  to the Collie Rescue.. It’s amazing how fast those 5 an 10 cent coupons add up .

So please check your stashes and donate it to the Collie Rescue of Canada… we would really appreciate it.

I have attached pictures of my “Foster Kids” that I have helped through their journey of life over my 10 years with them… I will admit I failed my first fostering and ended up adopting my sweet Isadora.


My current foster Coby


Blaze , my Smooth Coated foster


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Luna. what a little lady














Misty and her sister

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Cassie who was a real sweetie and never let her total blindness stop her from being a playful dog.





Jack was a big boy….such a gentle giant.

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And my dearest sweet Isadora who was my first foster who I adopted myself as a companion for my Antrim.


Bits and Pieces

27 Feb

Hope to get this fleece picked today and then start carding it on the weekend. Grace asked me to card her bag of odd leftovers from various breeds of sheep from her flock……after I said yes she mentioned there were 2 little bags of alpaca she would like blended into them too…..Grace you are such a sneaky little girl! LOL

Not quite Mellow Yellow

16 Feb

So I tried another colour with the slip stitch pattern but changed it up a little.