Turn the page: Victoria’s doppelganger

I realize my posting has been a bit spotty of late. Drama at work (potential department cuts) has left me uninspired for posts and for completed things to post about.  Pretty sure you are not interested in seeing my completed coloring pages and jigsaw puzzles! My group and I are also not getting out in costume lately…partially due to busy schedules and partially due to my energy slump.

But in the interest of letting you know that I have not died, here is a quick post about my carte de visite album.

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Queen Victoria’s doppelganger or what! I find the profile sitting interesting.  Was there a reason for that?  Something on the right side of her face she is trying to hide? Trying to draw attention to the head wear?  What is the thing she is wearing on her head?  Is it purely a fashion statement or does it mean something?  Not a nun, but a nurse perhaps?  If anyone knows, be sure to share.

Out of the sleeve, we get no further information. There is no photographer’s stamp on the front or the back.

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Now for the gent…

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Taking him out of the sleeve reveals one thing…these two photos were likely not taken at the same place so it is harder to speculate that there is some sort of tie between the two.

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The style of card stock is different and the gent has a photographers stamp.

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We seem to have his birth and death written on the back.  (A good 84 years of life!) So possibly these were reprinted after death or the dates were added later?  I read the word on the bottom as Rebecca’s.  Perhaps the person handing out the photographs, wrote the name of the person who was to receive each one?  I know I have done that with my kids’ school photos.

That’s it for me today.  I can’t say there will be effort on my part to post again this week.  I’m expecting some major developments this week in regards to the work drama so depending how the chips fall, my motivation will either rise or fall…we shall see.

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Adventures at work

Cool day today!  I was out watering my resident’s raised flower bed when one walked by with her daughter and her daughter’s dog.  The daughter says “Hey mom, there is a duck!” I turned my head just as I saw the duck think “Hey, there’s a dog!”  It flew up and over the low ledge into the fountain.  That is when I saw the writhing mass of fluff.  11 babies, probably not more than a day old.  I pointed them out to the group.

The daughter, mom and dog move closer to the ducklings so mom can see.  We all have a look and I process the scene.  Mommy duck is calling, but babies can’t get over the ledge.  Human Mom, daughter and dog move away because dog just noticed the ducklings.  But the ducklings start to follow them!  I process the scene again.  Babies are imprinting on lady, dog in thinking about the ducklings and the daughter is focused on mom and nearly stepped on the babies TWICE!

There was nothing for it but to pick up the babies one or two at a time (“oh my so soft and fluffy…don’t pet them…just get the work done…they are not pets…”) and toss them into the pond with duck mom.  It was quickly apparent that they 1) had never been swimming before, 2) they took to it like…well…ducks to water 3) this was mom’s plan all along and 4) she wasn’t worried that they smelled like a human. They all had a leisurely swim with their dinner.

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Please take note of the pile of bricks at the top center of the above photo.  They are hidey holes built for the fish and become part of my story in a bit.

While they enjoyed their swim, I ran around trying to figure out how they will get out again.  If they couldn’t get in, they certainly wouldn’t be able to get back out.  I decided to use the bricks and build them a stair case.  That meant taking off my shoes and getting into the rocky, slimy, fish poopy water. I took apart one of the hiding places and built the stairs and tried not to think about what I was walking on. You can see it in the top center of the photo below.

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It didn’t work.  And now they seemed tired.  And duck mom agreed.  So she swam over to the pile of bricks you see in the first picture.  She jumped on top and the babies tried climbing up with her.  But there just wasn’t room for 12 ducks on that pile and mom kept pushing them, flippers over fuzz top, off the pile.  The now small crowd gasped in horror every time we saw one bounce down the layers of brick!

So my shoes came off again.  Back into the pond.  I tried herding them back towards the stairs.  But I couldn’t move fast enough on the rocks to keep them going in the right direction.  I tried fishing them back out in the hopes that mom would follow but she just herded the rest back out of my reach so I had to toss the ones I “saved” back in! The only other thing I could do was rearrange the bricks so they’d all fit on.

That was when the grounds keeper that I called, arrived with the duck ramp he had whipped up.

They didn’t figure out the ramp but the wider brick surface worked.

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I left them to have a rest and hopefully figure out the ramp later.

An evening staff person sent me this update:

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Someone had the good idea to extend the ramp to the little duck island I built and it looks like they may have added some food to lure them down the path.

I couldn’t have planned a more exciting program for my seniors than that one!

Oh deer

Guess what I saw in the parking lot at work?  A deer!

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Just past those trees, there is a frozen river and on the other side of the river there is a major city park that has some bush.  I’m guessing that is where that guy normally hangs out.  I sure hope he goes back and doesn’t end up on the busy streets!

Saturday night

It is Saturday night before a costume event and I can’t get my butt off the couch and get things organized (lunch made, picnic basket emptied of UFO knitting so I can get the lunch packed in it, petticoat hooks checked, costume pieces gathered and ironed….)

I’m too tired.

I was out on an outing with my seniors on Friday.  It was a fun but tiring trip to the park.IMG_20170707_135438339

Followed by a wild night of tummy troubles for me and the dawning conclusion that puppy may not be feeling well herself (vet booked for Monday).  Crap crap expensive crap.

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On top of all that, I watched my kid start moving his junk out of my house into his fiancés home (which he will be moving into at the end of the month after his wedding).  I’m feeling nostalgic.  (Cried at home movies last night because I missed my babies).

So, is it my fault that I am procrastinating by writing a blog post about procrastinating?  Tomorrow I will be writing about how much fun I had but I’m tired because I was up at 6:00 am trying to get everything done…. Oh stupid me….

Random modern projects

This is just a quick post on some random things I did this past week.  I had a little party for my seniors at work that was ocean themed.  As a little treat, I dyed some vanilla pudding blue with food coloring to create “ocean water” and used some graham cracker crumbs to make “sand”.  They liked it!

 

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I also made little origami sea creatures (which I forgot to get a photo of) for decorations and parting gifts.

This past holiday weekend I worked on a modern summer dress that may or may not be worn at my son’s casual wedding.  It is all done except for the sleeves (and ironing).  I took this picture before finishing the neck line.

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I can’t decide what I will do for sleeves.  Easiest thing is to just hem the edges.  But, my arms aren’t exactly the arms of a 20 year old athlete.  But I also don’t have a lot of left over fabric to deal with so I wouldn’t get much more than a cap sleeve out it.  I will stew on it this week and see if any inspiration comes to me.

Christmas ruminations

Tomorrow is December 1rst.  I don’t really like to do much about Christmas before December arrives.  Sure, I send out and request Christmas wish lists for folks that require mail service to give and receive gifts.  I start amassing stocking stuffers during my weekly grocery shop.  But I refuse to put up decorations.  (I do let hubby put outdoor lights up because it is easier in snowless November than in the waist deep snow of December).  If the radio starts with the Christmas tunes I turn the station.  One of my favorite stations has been playing only Christmas tunes since November 1 (grumble grumble!)

But tomorrow I will start thinking in earnest.  I have to pick a day to put up the tree.

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This photo is several years old but I still have that shirt. I wear it every time I put up a tree…including at work. I secretly love the Grinch.

It is best to do that before the decorating insanity starts at work.  In my old job, I had to help stand 7 trees-one was close to 20 feet tall.  I had decorate 3-4.  By the time I got to mine I had no desire left!  (Damn lights).  untitled

This year, in my new job, it seems I only have to stand 3 and decorate 1.  And none of them are over 6 feet.  Sweet.

I also have to get my butt in gear for the shopping.  We have no children in our clan now so some of the fun has gone out of it.  And we have all reached the state of life where we just run out and buy the little things we need and want so there is nothing to put on our lists except big-ticket items that no one person would reasonably buy for another.  So we are moving towards the gift card option.  This gives the person the option to hoard cards from one store to “save up” for something they want/need or hold onto several different store cards until they think of something they want or need.  Shopping will be a snap…just stand in front of a wall of cards and start selecting.  img_6568The Santa in me wants to have at least one or two well thought out gifts that the person may like but not think of buying themselves.  But lots of times it is simply walking by something in a store or craft sale and having an item cause me to stop and think of someone.  I can tell you this because my brother and sister-in-law don’t read my blog…They have two wiener dogs,  Jenny and Leonard.  Jenny is brown and Leonard is black.  I was walking in the store and I saw these.img_20161130_081036236.jpg

And they dance!

Completely useless but funny!

An added joy this year is my older boy will be home for Christmas.  He missed the last three.  The first year he was in Australia.  I found a tree ornament that year of a kangaroo.  I cried when I hung it on the tree.  The next two years he was in Germany and I cried when I hung the stupid kangaroo on the tree.  I also cried (messy, need to leave the room cried) every time I heard “I’ll be home for Christmas” and “Blue Christmas”. Really inconvenient in stores and a bit scary in the car.  No crying this year!

Wishing you all Merry Christmas prep!

Don’t Feed the bears

I’ve been 2 months in my new job now.  If ever there was a sign from God that I had made a good move this is it.  Shortly after my arrival, I learned that my new work space was celebrating 100 years as a hospital (the land had held a hunting lodge, hotel and mansion in various stages of its history).  It became a hospital during the first world war and is now a hybrid facility with a personal care home, rehab hospital, day hospital and some medical things like labs and x-ray facilities.   In celebration, the Costume Museum of Canada was invited to put on its Heritage Fashion Review, which has models wearing near perfect replicas of items in the collection.  (It was like God was saying “You fit here.  You belong here.”)

In spite of volunteering with the Museum for years, I haven’t actually seen the show yet.  Lucky me!  As part of my job, I had to take down, and sit with, some of the residents that are living in the personal care home section so that they could see the show.  Basically, I got paid to see a show I’ve wanted to see for years!

In honor of the show, staff were encouraged to dress up in their favorite decade from the last 100 years.  For me that would have to be the years closest to the Victorian era, obviously. But, I don’t have anything from 1916…closest I have is my 1901 widows weeds.  But, being a middle aged woman in war time, it wouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility that during a time of mourning, I pulled out my widows weeds and in the interest of frugality and war time shortages I wore it in spite of it being 15 years out of date.

The other reason it is perfect is because of the sign over the gift shop where I work.img_20160930_153303099_hdr

The gift shop is called the Dancing Bear gift shop.  I can’t find proof for this but I believe the photograph is connected to the location of my work space.  Perhaps when it was a hotel?  In addition to the gift shop there is a bar called Chad’s Bar.  It is an actual pub for the patients and residents in the building.  (The name Chad is also connected to the history of the land, I believe)  And next to the entrance to the bar is a stuffed bear.

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All in all, a good day!