posted by on Life, Our DIY Wedding



I wrote a post last year just before we got married about what to do with my name. Should I change it or not? Should I go by two names or one? Boy did you respond to that. Each response was valid and gave me lots to think about.

I went back and forth. Just when I thought I was going one way and had it figured out I would change my mind. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, after all I have been with my name for almost forty-six years, that’s a long time folks. And suddenly changing it seemed so so weird. But I did it anyway. It was the ‘right’ decision for me. And by me I mean it was my choice. Sure Todd had an opinion and I took that into consideration.

There were three choices. 1. no change (not really an option for me) 2. hyphenated surnames or 3. take Todd’s surname.


Todd and Lesley

There was no rush so I decided to check both out. Yup, I went around for a while using the hyphenated version then another while with just his. Sounds funny doing that but really I did need to test it out because it really helped.

Saying my name and his name together did not flow off my tongue easy. It was like a tongue twister. I even practiced! I know weirdo. But it just didn’t sound right. To many S’s I think. I tried Mom I really did. And besides who wants to write all that out. Not me, I’m lazy.

Then I tried with his name alone. It sounded right. It’s short and sweet. It sounded good with my first name. And I felt good saying it. It made me feel more married for some reason.

So what did I do? I went with number three. I took my husband’s name.

For me this new name is an important part of this journey that we are embarking on together. A transition from ‘me’ to ‘we’ if you like. I’m happy with my decision to take his last name. I’m not giving up my identity. I’m just starting a new chapter in my life with the man I love, and a new name is a great way to get things started.

I know he loves it because after I finally made the decision he calls me it all the time. So I guess we are both happy with the change and that’s what matters most. Now I just need to do all the paper work!


posted by on Life, Newfoundland


coast line


One weekend this summer Todd and I packed up and headed to his home town of Glovertown. With our dogs in tow we went for three days of fishing, jet skiing, boat touring and a special 65th birthday.

people collage

Often Todd would go to Glovertown by himself because we have the dogs so I would stay home with them. Or I’d go and Todd would stay home. But we really wanted to get away together for a few days and we couldn’t get a dog sitter. We almost cancelled but said “frig it,” we will deal with it. OMG the dogs were perfect! So perfect that we both said several times throughout the weekend that we couldn’t believe it. They were so good that we now have no qualms about bringing them anywhere. Anyway enough about our perfect well-behaved dogs.

todd on Jet ski


The weekend we arrived in Glovertown was the beginning of Newfoundlands annual “food fishery”. This fishery happens twice a year usually in July and then again in September. People hit the water to try to catch some fish and by fish I mean cod. Everything else we call by name but when we say fish we mean Cod. That’s just the way it is here. After all Newfoundland was built on the cod fishery. Now some people take this fishery really seriously and take advantage of these special days and will fish everyday, we just wanted a trip on the water and if we caught a fish that’s a bonus.

island todd following boat


Molly watching Todd 2boattodd on the waterSo the first day we just toured Alexander Bay; Todd, his father, Molly and I. Todd’s father owns a lovely boat. It’s great for cruising around. Todd took out the jet ski and followed us. We did stop a few times to try fishing but never had any luck except for the rock Todd’s father caught.

found things collage

Todd and Molly

One stop we made was to a place called the beaches. I had heard about it but never been there. It’s an archaeological site that has since been abandoned  and is disrepair which is such a shame. From what I could find it was significant early Beothuk habitation site. Why it’s not preserved is unknown to me but I would think its a funding issue. 

teepee structure

beaches structures

the beach

wood beach

The next day I stayed home with Todd’s Mom and sister while Todd and his father went to try again for some fish. They caught five. Once cleaned we bagged them up but not before we had a feed. There’s nothing better than fresh fish fried in pork fat also known as scrunchins followed by birthday cake. yummy!

pan fried cod

It was a great weekend. I can’t wait to go back.



posted by on On the Night Stand



Have you been reading a lot of books this summer? I haven’t. I’m sad about this. I’m usually always going with a book but I just don’t know what happened this summer. Maybe its the blog reading I’m doing that is keeping me away.

But I did read one book. It was a big one, A perfect Heritage by author Penny Vincenzi. I was looking for an easy summer read and Penny’s books are a great fit for me. She’s a relief from those award-winning books that make you think. You know what I mean right?

Penny Book

I have read many of Penny Vincenzi over the years and have enjoyed them. I remember one summer my Mom and I both bought Angel and we both loved it. We then went to the book store and purchased the next book. We were so into it that we had to have two so we could read together.

So yes I like this author and would recommend her. Her books are meaty with lots and lots of characters. Great saga, time losing, easy reading. Perfect for summer lounging.

But there was something about this book that I didn’t like. I was very excited to start as upon reading the back cover the setting was marketing and branding of a company and products. I thought oh this is neat as this was my work background. I couldn’t wait to get into it. But what was my initial interest turned into my disappointment. Maybe it was because I really know how branding and marketing works. Things didn’t ring true to me and I often found myself throughout the book thinking oh that wouldn’t happen like that. It was a downer for sure. And the many, many happy ever afters kinda pissed me off.

Here’s the what it says on Goodreads.

The House of Farrell – home of The Cream, an iconic face product that has seen women flocking to its bijoux flagship store in the Berkeley Arcade since 1953.

At Farrell, you can rely on the personal touch. The legendary Athina Farrell remains the company’s figurehead and in her kingdom at the Berkeley Arcade, Florence Hamilton plies their cosmetics with the utmost discretion. She is sales advisor – and holder of secrets – extraordinaire.

But of course the world of cosmetics is changing and the once glorious House of Farrell is now in decline, its customers tempted away by more fashionable brands. 

Enter Bianca Bailey, formidable business woman, mother of three, and someone who always gets her way. Athina and Bianca lock horns over the future of the House of Farrell but it is the past that tells its devastating tale of ambition and ego, passion and wonder.

Here is a tale of survival … and a kind of promise.

So would I recommend this. No. But I would recommend her in general. Let’s hope the next one is better.


posted by on Art + Design+ Photograpgy, Life

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I just returned yesterday from a week in Smiths Falls, Ontario. I was visiting my baby sister and her family. It was a wonderful time even if I did forget my camera and had to take all pictures with my phone. I don’t know what I was thinking.


Who goes on vacation and doesn’t bring their good camera? Me. So I didn’t even bother to go out and take pictures of my surroundings which was a bummer because there’s so many beautiful areas, farms, and landscapes in Ontario.

stained glass

I really had no intention of travelling this summer. With all the projects here and company I was to busy but when my sister said she was getting my niece baptized I knew I had to go. So I booked a few weeks ago and got a great deal on WestJet.

Have you flown WestJet? It’s a riot. With a singing crew and free snacks. I was in stitches. The main flight attendant (is that the title these days?) sang the whole way. But she especially had me cracking up when she sang “looks like we made it” when we landed and when she said “I hope you can swim” while demonstrating the life vests.

west jet

Once we hit the ground I waited for my sister who was late. Now this is no surprise but this trip I made sure to arrive at a good hour so she didn’t had to get up at an ungodly hour or drive late at night. It didn’t matter. lol I didn’t mind and hung out people watching. I just love that. Do you?


The baptism was very nice. My niece wore a vintage gown with silver shoes. She was a real little princess. The service was nice and the priest was funny. My niece was good, except when she wasn’t and keeping her in one spot was difficult. At one point I was running down the side of the church trying to catch her while the priest was giving a sermon. But overall she did wonderful. After all she is two.

vintage baptism dress

aunty lesley

After the baptism my sister held a reception at the church hall and that night my brother-in-law’s parents took us all out to supper in Perth. A wonderful restaurant in an old stone building along the river. My niece was so good considering it was a very long day for her.

petra eating supper

She’s just the sweetest thing. And oh so cool with her red Docs. I loved dressing her in outfits. She has such a personality. After a few days she was calling me Aunt Leelee. Melts your heart.

Doc Martins for toddlers
IkeaBesides the baptism of my niece, the highlight was a trip to Ikea. I love that store. I haven’t been there in years. We spent six hours there on Friday. I got some wonderful stuff that I’ll show you soon. Mostly little things that you could get into your suitcase or two. I got things so cheap and most I couldn’t find around here so it was worth it to me. My sister and her husband went a little crazy and bought loads. Look out if Todd and I ever drive to Ontario.

Ikea haul

Another place I wanted to visit was a toy store where I could get Benjamin some Thomas the Tank Engine stuff. I can’t remember the name of the place but I did get loads and it was cheaper than what I would get here. I got trains, tracks, puzzles, and books. He’s coming for the weekend so lets see if he likes it. He’s really, really into Thomas.

Thomas store

Another highlight was seeing my Mom; I haven’t seen her in a year. She flew in for a few days before returning north to work. We shared a room and talked and laughed late into the night. I really miss my Mom even though we talk often.

Petra brushing teeth

The weather was awesome! I don’t know what happened to our summer in St. John’s because after July it just went to shit. So having a full week of sunny was great. If also helped when we put together my nieces play set. OMG the pieces, there must have been a thousand. My sister told me they had this set but wouldn’t put it together because they would kill each other so my brother-in-law and I did it over three days. I could see killing Todd too but myself and K worked out a good system and got it done. He did all the manual work I got the pieces ready.

swing set

petra on slide

It was such a great trip. Lots and lots of laughter. Lots of good food and lots of love. I had a wonderful time and am so glad I went.


posted by on Garden & Yard, Renovations/DIY

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Wow, the deck/wharf is just about complete. This was our summer “big project” and it seems like we spent all summer building it. But boy is it worth it. I’m so excited.

finished wharf

This is what the area looked like in June. A stretch of grass that was eroding away each year. And because Molly has webbed feet it was always a mud pit when we put her in the water for a swim.

beach before

We added many, many rocks, bought supplies and Todd got to work.

First we needed to decided on the size. It kinda changed over the build period but in the end it’s 26 1/2 feet wide by 13. Go big or go home. Yeah, its huge. But it will keep the area mud free and that’s a good thing. It’s also going to be great for hanging out there with lots of space for chairs and loungers. A new place for me to tan the fat.

So here’s the progress over the summer of 2014.

rocky beach

Once our dimensions were decided Todd went to work with the support posts and framing.


With our cement footings in place and beams and such done. What? Of course I don’t know building lingo. Wood planks, beams, cement, screws and a drill. That’s it, that’s all I know.

Todd then starting adding the planks. Now why he didn’t stagger I don’t know but this gal was so excited to get rid of mud and have a wharf I don’t care if it looks like two separate pieces. However people have asked and I just smile. Pick your battles people. I got a deck and a wharf. I’m happy.

decking in dock

Once the massive platform was done Todd added steps to the right. Awesome for getting in and out of the pond. Except when you slip and fall into the water because we haven’t added the non slip stuff.

On the other side is the slipway which is attached by a spring. It’s very springy! And for someone with zero balance it’s a dangerous walk for me. For everyone else it’s perfect. So our jet ski and canoe will go into the pond from here.


Next Todd boarded in the front sides. This will act as a breakwater and keep out land in place.


Looking good. I’m super impressed with Todd and his man skills. Especially after me trying to help screw deck boards in and had to give up because (one) it killed my back and (two) I sucked at it. No really, you’d think its easy and it’s not. Todd laughed and I cried. Lets just say it wasn’t a great day.

Once this was all completed we, I mean Todd started on the wharf section. At this point I’m confused and said whatever and fine to anything he said because I have a dock and having a wharf is well extra. I’ll be over here sitting and playing with Benjamin you carry on with your wharf. No, seriously the wharf is needed. It’s good to tie up the jet ski and not have it on the slipway which it keeps slipping off…duh.

And it can be used as a stopping zone because the jet ski don’t have a break. And yes it’s crazy and I’m sure there must be a great reason but I think its weird especially after Todd came inches from taking me out the first time he put it in the water. I was sitting in a chair on the grass next to the water and here comes Todd. He is coming in after testing his new toy. My god he coming in pretty fast. Why isn’t he stopping? Closer and closer. OMG he’s not stopping! I jump out of the chair and in he comes up over the bank and misses the chair by inches. Of course he says it’s the jet ski and not him. Yeah right. He forgot there was no brake and sped up. He says otherwise but I’m a smart woman I know a man trying to kill his wife and make it look like and accident.

So the wharf is important. Yes it is.

To make the important wharf we need to anchor it to the dock and this meant twenty bags of cement. Cement poured into this hole that Benjamin is investigating. Apparently this is needed so the wharf don’t tear off the deck.

Bves cement wharf

With the cement in place Todd starts the building wharf. Now why he built it in the drive way is beyond me. Its sixteen feet and over five feet wide. It has six floaty things attached to the bottom plus all the decking. Lets just see how he manages to it to the dock.

building the wharf

Ok getting it to the dock was pretty easy. He only ripped up a bit of grass and knocked out a flagstone wall. lol.

moving wharf

Once it was on the dock I waited with bated breath to see if it would float. And yes it does. Good job Corporal.

launching wharf

Once it was moved in place Todd and the fellas attach it to the dock and then Todd added some fittings. Those things that you see on docks to hold the boats and what not.

wharf fittingsSo there it is. All done. Except for a few things which doesn’t really matter to the function. Things like filling in gaps along the sides with wood. Cut some boards. Fix the flag stone walkway to the edge of the deck. The deck will also season for a year and then we will decide to stain it or not. Right now I’m thinking of letting it go natural with just a clear coat. We’ll see.

Oh and of course Todd says the wharf is not big enough so he needs to add on. It will be on the summer 2015 to do list. I mean it wasn’t in the water two minutes when he declares this.

jet ski at wharf

Now if the nice July weather would come back it would be great to be able use it. Ah summer where did you go?



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