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Let the bells ring and the banners fly!! Jean's mural is finally finished! Well, almost. She and my mom still have the daunting task of patching all these panels together before they can hang it up in her front hallway for all to see when they arrive at her house! Nevertheless, she was pleased with the results and even paid me a nice bonus! So I still have plenty of extra money left over since I've returned from the trip Janette and I took to Niagara Falls! Still not
quite enough to go to this year's National carousel Association Convention, but you can't have everything. At least I'll be able to afford to go to the CNE this year and put some aside for going BACK TO SCHOOL! Yes, you heard me. Durham college has some excellent programs that I'm interested in, including Graphic Arts, Web Design and Media Arts. I'm leaning toward the latter. I'll keep you posted as things progress. Meanwhile, I've recently rejoined the Toast Masters!! I used to be a member of the Lindsay chapter way back in the early 90's until Janette and I started our rock duo and moved to Toronto. The Durham chapter meets at the Seniors Centre at the corner of John and Centre Street every other Wednesday during the summer and every Wednesday the rest of the year from early September to late June. I was pleased to know that it was actually running during the summer. A lot of things close down for the summer around here including the Quilting Bee and Coffee Plus the Word, the ladies' Bible study group I usually go to on Wednesday mornings. I am happy to say that I'VE BEEN HEALED!!! At least for the time being anyway. After three months of agony, I've stayed dry for an entire month now. I still have an appointment with a specialist in August and I still want a hysterectomy because I DON'T WANT TO GO THROUGH THIS AGAIN!!! It started in Mid March and went on for six weeks, then it stopped for a week and a half and came back ten times WORSE! I went to the hospital but they did NOTHING!! Well, they took blood and urine tests. Go figure there was more blood in my urine test than my blood test. And this cantankerous old geezer wouldn't wait his turn while I was in the washroom! First he flung the door open on me. Fortunately I didn't have my pants down yet. But when I did have the door locked and was finally seated, he pounded on the door quite loudly. “I JUST GOT IN HERE!” I shouted. And when the nurse did my blood test she couldn't pump ANYTHING out of my arm. She had to squeeze my finger. I was kept waiting for at least an hour or two in the waiting room. It was horrible! I felt like I'd died and gone to hell! EVERY screaming baby in town must have been there! I wouldn't have survived without my Walkman. Finally after all this torture, all the doctor did was hand me a piece of paper recommending a certain type of vitamin. I took a cab from the hospital to Shopper's Drug Mart but at the pharmacist's counter, two women ahead of me were holding up the line, bickering about insulin and sure enough someone else's baby would have to start screaming. I got the hell out of there as quickly as possible! Thank God there was the Rexall drugstore just up the street! Anyway, my ordeal raged on for another week and a half. Fortunately, I still had another appointment with my doctor. She prescribed me more of the same old useless hormone pills that never work and it came to an abrupt halt during my journey home and I was free for another week and a half. And then it came back and raged on for another MONTH!! I was so frustrated I actually RENOUNCED MY FAITH AND STOPPED BELIEVING IN GOD for about a week!! During my ordeal I read everything I could find about related matters on the Internet, shocked to discover that this is NORMAL!!! HELLO!!? This is something the media doesn't want you to know! Back in middle school when they taught us the facts of life in health class, sure they taught us what to expect with our periods but when it came to the subject of menopause, we were basically led to believe that sometime when you get to be a bit older than me, it basically just magically STOPS!! Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact it only happens that way to about four percent of women if that. To add insult to injury, this kind of crap can go on for as long as FIFTEEN YEARS!!! Well I'm not going to take it!!!
Even when it finally did stop, I went through a major depression that lingered all the way from then until Janette and I went on our trip. EVERYTHING irritated me!! You'd never know it from reading last month's issue though. I created the Totally Carousels Issue as much to cheer myself up by talking about my favorite subject if anything!!! June and July were pretty turbulent months in the news and otherwise. How about that G-20 summit, eh? It's appalling the way people use something like that as an excuse to act like complete idiots and wreak out wanton destruction for no apparent reason! It's a miracle none of our world leaders were harmed during all this ruckus, but police cars and store windows were a completely different story. And then the people protested because they were ARRESTED!!! HELLO????!! And so many tornadoes were reported in the news, not to mention that earthquake in Ottawa. I'm glad nobody was hurt but it did a lovely job disrupting a parliament meeting as everybody fled to evacuate the building! Several cans also fell from the shelves of a local supermarket! Even though the earthquake was in Ottawa, it could actually be felt here in Oshawa, in Toronto and even parts of the States! I happened to be sitting here at my computer when it happened and when the kitchen floor briefly buckled under me like Jello, I knew that something out-of-the-ordinary had happened, so I updated my Facebook status and sure enough everybody else was buzzing that indeed there had been an earthquake. I even flipped on the news channel on TV to find out more! This hasn't been the first time I've experienced an earthquake though. The first one happened when I was in college, living in Peterborough. It happened around six in the morning. I figured it was just a big, noisy truck. Big noisy trucks used to go chugging through that neighbourhood all the time that early in the morning. However, this so-called truck was ominously silent and my bookshelves rattled more than usual. I thought nothing more of it until my dad came around to drive me home for the Thanksgiving weekend and asked me if I'd heard about the earthquake. You'd think they would have mentioned something in school, but everyone else, like me, probably also had dismissed it as a truck. And the next one was in the fall of 1998 when my boss and I had our tiny little store on College Street. I was sitting outside on a stool, leaning with my back against the wall and loud Christian metal pounding from my boom-box inside the store, either Stryper, Bloodgood or Ken Tamplin, I forget which. Anyway, I could feel the wall shaking behind me, so I figured that maybe my music was a bit too loud so I stepped into the shop to turn it down. I sat back down again and I could still feel the vibrations. This happened two or three times. Later that day when I was talking to Janette, I found out what had happened!
Our 2010 Niagara Trip
On Tuesday, July 6 , Janette and I left for our trip to Niagara Falls! It was a blast! We had a wonderful time! The first day we were there, the first thing we did was the new Crystal Caves mirror maze! Then we did the Hillbilly Shooting Gallery and went on the Pink Panther Balloon Ride. After a peaceful break at Oaks Garden Theatre and ice cream from the Secret Garden, we enjoyed wandering through the Lost Birds Kingdom aviary.
The next day we went on the Sky Wheel and visited the Movieland Wax Museum before enjoying a luxurious afternoon at the pool and hot tub at our hotel and then we enjoyed the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum and Rock Legends.
Day three of our journey took us through Niagara's Fury, Maid of the Mist, the Totem Pole Exhibit in the Glen, the Butterfly Conservatory and the Minolta Tower. The Minolta Tower was an extra special treat because we had the place almost entirely to ourselves! It was so peaceful up there!
And every night we enjoyed Margaritas with our dinners!! A more detailed account of our trip can be read here! http://www.scribd.com/doc/34240351/Margaret-and-Janette-s-Excellent-Adventure
Celebrating Our Anniversary at the Bowmanville Zoo
On Tuesday, July 13th, my husband and I went to the Bowmanville Zoo to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. This was my first time there since 1993 when Janette and I went there, about a month or two before her mom passed away. The first thing I noticed was that there was no carousel!! There were still a couple other kiddie rides around such as the little blue boats and the spinning tubs, but they didn't appear to be running. The carousel was the subject of a major joke in Janette's family. When she was a kid, she used to make a big fuss every time they drove past it because she wanted them to stop so she could go for a ride. I probably would have done exactly the same thing when I was a kid. Even when she was older, her family would continue to joke “Uh-oh, we're getting close to the zoo! We'd better take a detour so Janette doesn't see the merry-go-round!” In any case, at least I was able to ask the man working there what had happened to it. “It hasn't been set up yet.” he replied,
“We have to fix it and we're still waiting for a couple new parts.” The Bowmanville zoo carousel is a small Theel, the company that bought our C.W parker. It has small, aluminum Parker-style horses. Last time I saw it they were all white with black manes and red, blue and yellow trappings. I have no idea if it's been repainted in the meantime. When Janette and I were there in 1993, we were even allowed to go for a ride on it! At first we sat in the chariot, but the next time staff were kind enough to let us ride the horses too. I'd be afraid to even ask to ride the horses now! Other changes at the zoo included a new indoor facility for the animal show, so we wouldn't be roasting out in the sun, and a nice little tram that takes passengers through the lion and tiger cages so you can get a closer look at them.
We learned a few interesting facts about animals that day including the fact that llama and alpaca wool has been excellent for helping mop up some of that huge oil spill off the gulf! The Bowmanville Mall is just a short walk from the zoo, so we enjoyed a browse around there afterward and we especially enjoyed the dollar store where we bought some marbles for our collection in the dish on our coffee table and I got several new scrunchies for doll hair!
It took forever to walk downtown though, so we settled for dinner at a place called Hanc's Bar & Grill. The food wasn't much to write home about but since I didn't get any pictures of my doll at the zoo, at least I managed to get one of her on this cute little golf cart!
Yes, this is a store-bought outfit! In case it looks familiar to you, yes Ty Girlz clothes actually fit the dolls I make! I bought this dress at one of the gift shops at Niagara Falls. It comes with a gorgeous little silver purse with a pink jewel but that got forgotten in my backpack when I took her out to pose for this picture. Both my dolls and the Ty Girlz have the same sized bodies, but Ty Girlz have larger heads and skinnier legs. Which brings us to...
Adventures of the Travelling Dolls
If you look carefully at the previous picture from the Totem Pole Exhibit our Niagara Trip you will see “Margaret and Janette” sitting among the Simpsons, etc. Perhaps one of the first things they did at Niagara Falls was go on the Pink Panther Balloon ride...
They also posed for these pictures outside the Rain Forest Cafe:
and the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum:
Autism Awareness Carousel Update
Well, as you can see, I've finished the logo that goes in the middle of the second quilt. AND I've finished a few more horses designed by Peaceman Jim's students:
The third row of my second quilt is completed. I'm not sure what's happening with the first one yet. I was hoping to raffle it off in November but I still have a lot of red tape to sort through in order to still become a non-profit organization. I am looking for people to join my board of directors. If you can help me in any way, please don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com The project is basically on hold until further notice. I am debating going back to school in hopes of establishing a relevant career where I can meet the right people. Durham college seems to offer excellent programs in Graphic Arts, Web Design and Media Arts. I am also going back to Toast Masters in hopes of having the opportunity to share my dreams and meet like-minded individuals. Our local library also has a needlework group who meet once a month called Fibre Friends. The next meeting is August 11th. The only problem is it's the same night as Toast Masters, but since it starts earlier and both places are practically next door to each other, I will probably just attend the first half hour of Fiber friends before going to Toast Masters.
Present until August 22nd:: Explore the world of Harry Potter, Ontario Science Centre. Actual props and costumes on display from the series of movies! August 5th to 7th: Joyce Meyer will be speaking at the Air Canada Centre, Thursday August 5th at 7:00 pm, Friday the 6th at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm and Saturday the 7th at 10:00 am August 11th, Fibre Friends at the McLaughlin Public Library, Oshawa, 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Meet others who enjoy knitting, crochet and various other forms of portable needlework and share your works in progress. This group meets on a monthly basis. August 20th to September 6th, 2010 Canadian National Exhibition September 10th, 2010 KISS will be playing at the Molson Theatre in Toronto. I'm afraid tickets are already sold out but you might get lucky like I did last year when they were here in
Oshawa! September 21at to the 26th National Carousel Association annual convention, Spokane Washington. Info here: http://www.nca-usa.org/2010Convention.html I MIGHT get to go after all. It's a tight squeeze but doable! Highlights of this amazing tour include the Riverfront Looff carousel in Spokane Washington and the community carousel in Missoula, Montana! November 3rd, 4th and 5th Geneva Autism Symposium http://www.autism.net/about-us/ourannouncements/1655-mark-your-calendar-for-geneva-centre-for-autism-2010-internationalsymposium.html This is usually one of my best sales. Artists will have their works for sale on Thursday and Friday. Temple Grandin and Tony Attwood will be among many great speakers. Unfortunately BOTH their presentations will be at the SAME TIME!! I let the fact that Temple Grandin's presentation will be about Special Interests influence my decision in her favor this year. Links Worth Sharing Since I was unable to include everything I wanted to in last month's “Totally Carousels” issue, I am kind of kicking myself for having, unintentionally left out “Carousel Works” of Mansfield Ohio. I didn't forget, I just ran out of space. So I'm making up for it now. I've ridden several of their creations including their “Endangered Species” carousels at the Erie zoo in Pennsylvania, the Memphis Zoo and the St. Louis Zoo.
(Previous page) Top: Left: Turkey on Erie zoo carousel, Right: Llama on Conneaut Lake carousel, a Muller frame populated with new animals by Carousel Works. Bottom; Left: Tapir and red panda at Memphis Zoo, Right: caterpillar at St. Louis zoo. They also have the distinction of building the first “Carousel at Sea” for the wonderful and exciting Oasis Cruise Ship!!! http://www.carouselworks.com/ And of course, here's my friend Peaceman Jim's blog, full of all kinds of wonderful inspiration: http://bitsandpeaces08.blogspot.com/ To show you the latest update of my quilt I've been filming a series of videos. This was filmed in our hotel room when Janette and I were on our Niagara trip... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLPrwTpO6Kc And this just to make you laugh... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6bmx-b4v7U&feature=grec_index&videos=IcWh1b-Ee7M
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