Nothing ever stays the same…..there is a time and place for everything. While I enjoyed this beautiful gem in our showroom, and enjoyed every single conversation that happened because of its nostalgic presence, I also understand that someone else could love it enough to purchase it for their own country home. Happy heating, my special HAPPY THOUGHTS! Built in 1917… hundred years ago!!IMG_3303



I came to work this morning, and found this beaut sitting on our showroom floor!  A beautifully functioning old cook stove – exactly 100 years old! 


Instantly, it brought out the “Martha Stewart” in me, and I began to concoct. 


Stewie will have a happy heart with the Baked Beans, and my bookclub gals will be happy with the Pecan Pie Coffee Cake.  (I hope!)

No, this lovely ancient piece of history is NOT hooked up, and I did not bake these dishes within its dusty, ancient bowels.  Instead, I simply pushed a few buttons, and my gas oven took care of everything with wonderful precision.  As much as I love this old cook stove, I could not use it consistently as my Mom and Omas did.  I admire this ancient relic, polish it dreamily, and when customers come in, they will tell me tales, and I will sit with them and remember…..

In the meantime, MY O MY, but those beans were delicious!  Can’t wait til bookclub tonight!  Yes, I am a “happy heart” today, 100 years afterwards.


THAT WORK BOOT…says it all!

As I made my annual Thanksgiving display today, I planted this worn-out size 13 work- boot front and centre, thinking of all the workmen who made a difference in our life and home this past year.


My hubby would wear these boots to the beach, if he could!  Every year, he goes through 2 pairs….I should have nailed them all to a post throughout the years;   it would have made for an interesting conversation piece.

As the years progress however, and our blue-collared workers age and retire, I am left to wonder who will do the work?  Who will fix our fireplace, replace a broken window, jiggle the toilet, cut the dead trees, pour a new driveway, build new cabinets for the  kitchen?

Today, I am GRATEFUL for the workmen who have made such a grand contribution in our lives!

(the tiny knitted booties are a reminder to be so grateful for the hospitals who cared so deeply for my new little grand-nephew when he was born to our family last month!)


Another day of service for Stu, yesterday… customers who he’s serviced for almost 3 decades.  One, she’s almost 90 years old, sat back with him and announced, “Stewie, I’ve known you for many years.  There are 3 people that I trust in this small town of ours:  my carpenter, my lawn maintenance men, and YOU.  It’s so nice to be able to trust and rely on you 3 guys.  I have nothing but total praise for you.”

Stu was beaming when he came home from work – his words:  “It doesn’t take much to make my day.  Respect;  a glass of cold water on a hot day;  inquiries about our kids and grandkids….”

Then, he had to go back to the truck, retrieve his i-pad to take a photo of something that never ceases to bring a tear of gratitude and love to his eye.  When our son, Martin, worked for us, he discreetly left his signature wherever he could.


He also spent fifteen minutes with our sweet daughter who was visiting me at the shop, and his love-tank (as well as mine) was over-flowing.

At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships: Family / Friends / God!


They arrived at the shop, these two crazy, special sisters of mine, arms laden with dress-up clothes (because we’re really only just little girls at heart), picnic basket, and gifts.  I set up my tripod and camera, but mostly, the photos were taken by a kind stranger who just happened to be walking by.  (and laughing!)IMG_2772IMG_2791IMG_2796IMG_2800

We frolicked a bit in the incredibly warm waters, laughing and splashing.  Ate a very yummy lunch at the beach, and then finished off with birthday cake and tea, served in Mom’s old teapot (replica) and bone china – which always makes my heart sings.

Honestly, the GREATEST gift my parents ever gave me were my 2 younger sisters.  They sing my songs with me, cry the same tears, and always laugh with complete abandonment.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


A couple times a year, I choose to accompany Greg on a fireplace installation – just to keep current with the whole sales process from start to finish.  So, yesterday, on went my steel-toed Cat boots, and into the truck went a huge amount of water bottles along with the lunch.

This job was extra special because of the element of danger:  the house was a log cabin with ceilings that soared upwards to 20’.  We were replacing an existing wood stove and stove pipe – using our handy scaffolding.  This scaffolding comes out only about once every five years or so, a good reason to have my camera on the ready.



Thankfully, we have quite an assortment of equipment that makes moving these heavy wood stoves almost a breeze.  We had the installation safely completed before lunch, and that included a mid-morning break.  Our customer was very satisfied, and my hard-working hubby was a happy man.

IMG_2688 (1)

I sometimes wonder though – in the not-so-distant future – who will take over the entrepreneurial jobs like ours?  I wonder because the average age in our industry – as well as welding and others – is 60.  The exact age of my husband.  And also, in Ontario, in the year 2020, there will be a severe shortage of blue collar workers – to the tune of 1,000,000 – as a large majority of today’s workers put down their tools and retire.

On the other hand, where is the next generation to fill the shoes of some of these jobs that seem to have a very real expiry date on them?  Where are the shop classes in our high schools, and the government funding for skilled labour jobs, the gas technicians, welders, plumbers, construction workers?  Why are the bureaucrats subsidizing professions that are already saturated, and in the same breath, winding the red tape more tightly around small businesses?

A shortage of one million blue collar workers will make a huge impact on our building market in the future, which will affect our economy.  The decline in work among the young bodes ill for the future.


Those are scary thoughts to ponder – somewhat as scary as watching this monkey coming down this steep rooftop, sitting on his behind, facing forward, shuffling down. 


Did I mention that he is now 60??


It was a pearly-misty day this morning as I unrolled my yoga mat (OK, I had to improvise with my broken hammock-mat, but it worked) and sat at the quiet beach.  There is a definite chill in the air – and the beach was deserted.  Mind, it was only 8:00 a.m., but not even a walker with their dog?  O well, perfect for me!


The waves were so gentle, adding a peaceful dimension to my stretching and pulling.  As I laid there in the sand, looking upwards, this song that we sang on Sunday kept going through my mind:

There is a candle in every soul 

Some brightly burning, some dark and cold 

There is a Spirit who brings fire 

Ignites a candle and makes His home…

It is a hauntingly powerful song – Go Light the World.  I sang it to myself, and watched the migrating birds way above me.  The signs are all there….Autumn is fast approaching.  Seasons come and seasons go.

I’m glad for the stability that comes with each new page of the calendar.  That seems to be all that is “stable” in today’s headlines, unfortunately!   But, while the future is unknown,  we do have FAITH!

I am doubly happy with these simple and profound reminders today.