Apr 27, 2007

Can I Buy My Dog a Sheepdog Costume?


I picked up these perfect little tomatoes and decided to make them into bite size treats - with slices of mozerellla and fesh basil, drizzled with olive oil. Felt like I was in Italy for a second there!

Wilbur loves it when the swing comes out in the Spring. He helps himself and finds it quite comfy!

This morning he feels naked and cold. He's acting out. Always looking at me with pleading eyes. Wondering where his mojo went. He tries to make himself invisible, curling up as tight as he possibly can. Here he is on the couch. On top of the cushion. Remember, this is how he usually relaxes on the couch. Oh please, let his hair grow back fast...

Have a fabulous weekend!

Apr 25, 2007


It's harder than it looks!

Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following... They MUST be real places, names, things...NOTHING made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question... Now Go!

Your Name: Joy
1. Famous Singer/Band: Jewel
2. 4 letter word: Jeez!
3. Color: Jade
4. Street: Jase
5. Gifts/Presents: Jewelry!
6. Vehicle: Jeep
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Junk!
8. Boy Name: Jack
9. Girl Name: Jill
10. Movie Title: Jaws
11. Drink: Juice
12. Occupation: Journalist
13. Flower: Jasmine
14. Celebrity: Jack Black
15. Magazine: Jugs!! lmao
16. U.S. City: Juneau, Alaska
17. Pro Sports Teams: Jets
18. Fruit: Juniper Berries
19. Reason for Being Late for Work: Just Because ;)
20. Something You Throw Away: Junk
21. Things You Shout: Juergen!
22. Cartoon Character: Johnny Bravo

Oh the Horror!

From happy-go-lucky:

To down-right-depressed:

It'll take him a few days to get his mojo back, poor little lamb!

Apr 24, 2007

Just Say No!

First I will give you a minute to look at this photo and laugh. Are you done? O.K., good. Now let's begin.

I think I had a pair of these pants when I was 12. I don't care WHO wears these high waisted pants, and yes, that includes you Mischa Barton, they will never again be stylish. Sure, they worked for us back in the late 1970's/early 80's but that's because we didn't know any better. We were young and foolish. Heck, we thought it was stylin' to wear neon colors in public. The problem is that young people who weren't even born before 1990 feel they have to bring back these vintage styles to be seen as cool and hip. To me, they look like Pee Wee Herman pants. Plain and simple. So future fashionistas, please do not try and bring every fashion trend back from the dead. There are some things I would like to leave in the past - and my brown checkered high-waisted pants are one of them....

Apr 23, 2007

He Who Hesitates Is Lost

Here's a shot of Wilbur LOOKING at a pile of leaves...

And here's a shot of Wilbur AFTER INDULGING in that pile of leaves:

Below another yard sale find from last summer...a marlin birdhouse. Apparently they're great for eating mosquitoes...

True hardened yard salers know the golden rule - he who hesitates is lost, right? If you don't want it, someone else will - so make up your mind! Case in point, this birdhouse. A woman and her grown children were hemming and hawing over this...would her husband want it? Was it too big to fit in her car? Blah Blah Blah! It was $20 - not a a lot for this vintage beauty in wonderful condition. She wouldn't commit to it and told the owner she would try and call her husband from her car. Off they went. And off I went - straight to the owner.

"Did she buy it?" I asked.
"No", he replied.
"Still for sale?" I pressed on.
"Yup" he answered.
"Sold! I'll take it!" I said.

I told him I felt a little bad for scooping her but she didn't hold it and 'he who hesitates is lost'! While driving away I saw the woman go back and tell the owner she would in fact take it. He regretfully informed her that he had sold it while she was gone and also added in there what I said about people who wait. I felt better as I saw her smile and laugh out loud at the remark. She had no choice but to agree.

Apr 22, 2007

Oh My Aching Back...

Well, we started the invisible fence and got maybe 1/4 of it done. I am sooo sore from bending over and sticking a wire into the cold, wet ground! Thankfully it was a beautiful warm day so that made it more bearable. We're taking a break from it today. Instead we are going to do something that's more fun...less work...more pretty to look at - getting the waterfall started...

Apr 20, 2007

I'm Gettin' a Dishcloth!!!!!!!!!

Keeping a secret was never really Elle's strong point. And she can't keep a straight face either.

Case in point, as we were driving home today from school she informed me her class is learning how to crochet. Her and Jack then discussed Mother's Day briefly. A few moments later she then asked me whether or not I needed a new dish cloth. I smiled and politely answered "Why yes, I do!" "Good!" she answered back, happy with my reply. "And do you especially like homemade ones?..."
Guess I know what I'm gettin' for Mother's Day! :)

Seeing it is going to be an absolute GORGEOUS weekend weather-wise we have decided to tackle the invisible fence thing. I think I'd rather give birth to a rabid porcupine. If you've got a spare minute, please say a prayer for us. (!)

Apr 19, 2007

Enjoy the Moments

This shot shows that sometimes life can pass you by pretty quickly if you're not paying attention!

Today I will bask in the sunshine. I will take Wilbur for a well-deserved walk. I will enjoy the little moments the day presents me. I will give my kids undivided attention. I will not curse out the driver that cuts me off. I will count my blessings.

It is a gorgeous day here today - the sun is shining and the birds are singing. I feel rejuvenated...

Apr 18, 2007

I Got My "Happy Coughlin Box"!

Today is not even my birthday but I received a wonderful surprise in the mail! A "Happy Coughlin Box" from Sandy, blog author of The Reluctant Entertainer. (I was lucky enough to be the winner from a draw she was having) And can I just add that 4 days ago Sandy warned me that she was going to post pictures of what she had sent me on her blog...and I never peeked. It was sooooo hard!

The care package displayed beautifully *here* brought such a smile to my face and truly I was overwhelmed at Sandy's generosity.

Although the pear bread look absolutely delish, sadly it had remained in the postal system too long. But man, I was tempted to bite into it! The homemade freezer pear butter (YUMM-O!) was thoughtfully sealed in a plastic bag but took an awful tumble - cracking the container a bit. (those postal workers can be rough!) Thankfully it didn't do any damage to the rest of the goods. She even sent me an adorable pear dish to serve it in! The personalized hankie embroidered with my name on it brought tears to my eyes - how sweet and thoughtful! The "Cary’s of Oregon" Milk Chocolate Almond English Toffee has turned me into a crazed woman - I must have more! And the Moose Munch? To die for!!! Sandy must know I love chocolate. :) The biggest surprise was the Coconut Body Butter from "The Body Shop." This is my all-time favorite cream. How did she know? Well, she didn't really. I told her right now my fav colour is white so that's what she came up with. Little did she know that I am obsessed with coconut smelling lotions. Unreal! She also included a copy of Married But Not Engaged a book she co-wrote with her husband. I am going to start reading that tonight!

I don't even remember how Sandy and I met through cyber-space, it was through someone else's blog, but I feel I've met a kindred spirit. :) I wish she lived closer so I could thank her in person for her wonderful care package!

THANK-YOU Sandy!!! I absolutely loved it!

Gotta Take Lots of Pictures Now...

...before he gets shaved on Tuesday! :(

Apr 17, 2007

Another Clue for You

I am over-the-moon excited about my new project, I had mentioned it a few blogs back and I now have another tidbit to share with you. Click here to see my new baby! All wheels are in motion for the design and manufacture of my new product and now all I have to do is wait for the completion. Of course as soon as it is finished I will let you know exactly what I have created...

Thought I'd share with you another great yard sale find. This picture I paid one whole dollar for. I kid you not. It's actually huge although it looks rather normal sized in this shot. I love the soft, muted colors...

My heart is heavy today with the tragic news coming from Virgina Tech. My heart goes out to all who lost a son/daughter/brother/sister/aunt/uncle... many are suffering today and will for a very long time to come. I guess all we can do is pray.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

Apr 16, 2007

I Didn't Sign Up For 6 Months of Winter!

Woke up this morning to ice rain and lots of snow on the ground. Oh yeah, and an absolute wicked wind. All school buses were cancelled so the kids were thrilled. Me, notsomuch.

If I can't have nice weather I guess I'll have to dream about it. I really can't wait to get out and tend to the gardens! We have an old milk house in our backyard where I had planted close to 75 various tulip bulbs two years ago. For all of my hard work, only one sole tulip comes up every year. I guess the squirrels had quite the feast...buggers!

Wilbur is beyond bored because of the wet conditions. Here he is on the couch with his paws tucked under his head. He hates this weather as much as I do! Do you think positive thinking will bring me the sun???

Apr 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Doesn't scare me. Today is the perfect day for it though - wet, rainy and gloomy. Instead, let's concentrate on the positive, shall we?

The other day I was reading some quotes and I came across one about angels. It went something like this - "Angels have more to do with coincidence than you might think." I love to think that angels are all around us, protecting us, nurturing us, helping us in our dark moments. But I love this quote because coincidence fascinates me. Like, how is it in a city of thousands, you can meet up with someone who you've not seen in a long time - someone you've been thinking about alot - let's say in a grocery store or mall? A few seconds later you might not have seen them. Or, how dropping your keys on the way to your car stalled you for a few minutes and saved you from getting in an accident. Why did those car keys drop? Did they have some help? Or, in my personal case over the last few weeks, getting signs that my entrepreneurial adventure is sure to have merit. Just little signs here and there that seal the deal for me.

My friends and I have been talking about the power of positive thinking. The notion that whatever you "put out there" has an affect on you and others. The magnetic pull. Surround yourself with the negative and you are sure to draw more negative. Concentrate on the positive and watch your life change. So many people get into the bad habit of being negative. I've seen it consume some people. It can be a hard obstacle to conquer but well worth the effort.

And now I will leave you with a feel good story that has nothing to do with angels but perhaps a little to do with positive thinking? (!)

A girl I went to high school with recently went to a casino with 4 of her sisters. Her one sister was very positive after having read "The Secret". She was bragging to her sisters that she was going to win big that night - "...a million dollars!" When they walked into the casino together they vowed to split whatever they won. That positive sister saw the progressive jackpot slot machine and claimed "There it is! That's the machine I'm going to win big on!" Her sisters laughed at her as she strolled over to it and took a seat. Two hours later, win she did. The jackpot no less! 5 MILLION DOLLARS! And true to her word she split it with her 4 sisters, giving 1 million to each. It could not have happened to a nicer gal.

Disclaimer: Winning at a casino has nothing to do with the power of positive thinking. Thejoyof will not be held responsible for any losses, real or imagined. Your chance of winning 5 million dollars is small. Very small. You don't even want to know the odds. This blog does not condone excessive, out-of-control gambling of any sort.

Apr 12, 2007

A Walk Down Memory Lane

How fast they grow in one year's time...

Apr 11, 2007

On Snoring

Can someone please answer me this simple question? Why do snorers ALWAYS deny that they have been snoring?

My husband gets full of righteous indignation when I nudge him after he snores. Righteous-ly! Indignant! I mean c'mon, you're not fooling anyone.

"Honey! You're snoring!"

"Huh, what?"

"You were shaking our bed across the bedroom floor, that's how bad you were snoring."

(insert righteous, indignant voice here)

"No I wasn't."

Oh, o.k. I must have gone insane for a brief moment and heard a train chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo-ing out of your nose. I mean really. Why not an "I'm sorry." Or an innocent "I was?" What would be wrong with that? Is there some code in the snoring book that states you must at all costs, deny the fact that you snore? And if you know full well that the most oppressive sounds come from you when you lay on your back, why do you continually take that position?

The snoring I can bear. The denial of the snoring is the deal breaker. So you know what that means?

The video camera is coming out tonight!

Apr 9, 2007

Almost Time for a Haircut!

Oh, this face.

Wilbur's coat is now very bushy - just the way I love him but the hair! Oh, the hair! Old English Sheepdogs are hypo-allergenic dogs which is why we were able to get one as hubby is allergic. Did I luck out with that one or what? Wilbur doesn't really shed like a normal dog when his coat is short but when he gets to this stage it becomes a free-for-all. Just looking at him will send billows of hair down the hall. So my dear sweet fuzz ball will soon look like this:

And he'll be about as happy as this too. Poor little lamb. He knows he's got it going on when he's in full coat, he can pretty much get away with anything. But his ego takes a big hit when he's shaved as he feels naked and vulnerable. Like he wants to wear a sweater or somethin'. When I first got him shaved the groomer (whom I adore as does Wilbur, she's SO terrific with dogs) told me not to laugh when I picked him up. I laughed when she told me this but she assured me she was very serious! To make it not as traumatizing she told me to come in and tell him how beautiful he looked. Well, I was in for a rather big surprise and tried so hard not to laugh. Instead, while I grinned from ear to ear I repeated this mantra out loud "You look so beautifuuuuuul!" (trying desperately not to laugh) He looked at me with a "This is so humiliating, I know you're lying" look and that was that. Twice a year this happens and it happens the same way every time.

Some people do not like these things but I think they're fun! Google your name with the word 'needs' - as in "Joy needs"... list the first ten things that come up.

This is what came up for me:

1) Joy needs prayer (amen to that!)
2) Joy needs to take a lesson and step to the back of the line.
3) Joy needs tragedy
4) Joy needs to spend some serious time in Baghdad
(hey, I thought this was going to be fun?)
5) Joy needs to leave her office!!!!!!!!!!!!
(this is how many exclamation points were used - not my doing)
6) Joy needs a restraining order lifted to improve her image
(again, this is getting a little heavy for the name Joy, no?)
7) Joy needs her family
(o.k., that's better)
8) Joy needs time to incubate and rest
9) Joy needs to realise her mistake
and finally:
10) Joy needs to make bail and get out of jail

Hmm, pretty heavy stuff for Joy! See how it works for you...

April SNOW Showers Do Not Bring May Flowers!

Well, I've hibernated all weekend long due to the fact that it SNOWED ALL WEEKEND LONG! I cannot believe this weather we're having, it really gives Al Gore a run for his "Inconvenient Truth" theory. The little birds are confused and freezing and the geese are wondering why they left Florida so early! Speaking of birds, this is my fav picture from 2 years ago. This little fella was trying to learn how to fly when I spotted him upstairs on Jack's window sill. I guess I startled him because he fell and when I ran downstairs to look out the window in our front room - there he was, I think the window box might have saved him. Right after I took this picture he flew away, using his brand new wings for the first time. Unsure and shaky but airborne nevertheless. It was quite the sight.

I am waiting anxiously awaiting the opening of Meadow Greens Nursery. This place makes the most fabulous hanging baskets - they are huge and must weigh 20 pounds! This is the one I got last year:

It grew and grew and grew! Last year when we went in early May there were hundreds of these baskets hanging in the greenhouse. To our dismay 90% of them had been pre-sold so we didn't have much to choose from. This year we know better. Apparently people line up in late April to "hold" the baskets they want and then the nursery keeps them until they are ready to brave the outdoor temps. Hubby thinks it's a great idea because this is now known as my Mother's Day present. It's a no-brainer!

My children seem to think that chocolate is a good breakfast choice this morning so I best confiscate it all and do what any sensible mother would - pick through it for myself! ;)

Apr 4, 2007

Yard Sale and Thrift Store Finds

Well, Wilbur hijacking this blog has come to an end - for today anyway!

Inspired by savvycityfarmer and as always by the paris apartment, I have decided to showcase some of my yard sale/thrift store finds. It's that time of year again! And while my husband rolls his eyes into the back of his head, I am scouring the newspapers for great sales.

A few years back I walked into Sally Ann and saw this chair:

Well, a pair actually. (see the other one in the background?) Except they did not look like this. They were covered in a horrible pukey-pea green (not the fresh pea green we know and love today) nasty, nasty fabric from the drug-induced 60's. They didn't have a skirt on them at that point so their wooden legs were showing - and not very nicely. But, I could still see the beauty within and paid a whole $15 each for them. Knowing full well hubby would have a FIT if he saw them come through our front door looking the way they did, I brought them straight to the upholsters. But first I stopped at a local hardware store to buy painter's canvas - you know the cloth they down on the floor while they paint? It's durable and I love the look of it. The upholster was a bit confused when I handed him the bag, and then he thought I was nuts when I told him I wanted him to cover the chairs in it. You know, one of those chain-smoking "Lady - you're crazy!" guys. But in the end he did a great job and even had enough left over to make skirts for each chair which I think give them a real crisp "dressed up" look.

Last year I was out yard saling and while I sped by a not very promising-looking sale, this caught my eye:

Actually, another pair! Original and retro - and $3 for the set! What a steal! My original plan was to sell them on ebay but alas, they would not part with me. They are happy right here in their new home.

I like to mix the new with the old in decorating. If you don't have anything old in your home how can people tell what you're like? I need a sense of history around me otherwise I feel like a decorator or a magazine has done all of the thinking for me. Does that make sense?

Apr 3, 2007

Well, Maybe Not THAT Smart...

Last month Wilbur had a mishap. (this has been a rather bad start to the year for him now that I think about it) He loves to lay at the top of the stairs and sometimes falls asleep. Like this:

The stairs are really tall:

One day he must have been in a really deep sleep because he fell off the first step and continued to fall down 13 stairs. He tumbled like he was in a dryer - BOOM BOOM BOOM - until he landed in a lump at the bottom.

I was petrified that he had broken something but he promptly got up and shook it off with a bewildered look of "What the heck just happened there?"

Lesson learned for Wilbur - stick to the couch - you don't even wake up when you fall off of there...

Apr 2, 2007

Dogs are Smart

Today is a dark, rainy day, so after a rather bad night's sleep I decided to catch a few more zzzz's after the kids went to school. Unbeknown to my husband I will usually let Wilbur sleep at the end of the bed but not today. It had been raining and his paws were slightly wet. Well, he was not impressed. After trying to settle on the floor and then circling the bed like a hungry shark, he tried the tactic he knows works best. He comes right up to where my head is and because the bed is just about his height, he lays his head down on the mattress and pleads with me with his eyes. I replied with a stern "No!" Again, he nudges his head in a bit further and adds a couple of whimpers with that. Knowing I probably wouldn't get any sleep unless I gave in prompted me to answer with an exhausted "O.K. Fine!" As if english were his first language, he jumped on that bed so quick that I didn't have the chance to change my mind. Sleep ensued for both of us. Hubby's side of the bed is now full of wet dog germs but he'll never find out. I certainly won't tell him and Wilbur's no dummy either... :)