Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last day of the year

So many things have transpired over the last two years. It is hard to believe how time has slipped away so quickly. I suppose that am glad to see the year come to a close and a new one to blossom. It is so easy to feel remorse over the past and to fret about the future.

It is also easy to wish for things to happen on their own. Where are the elves that are supposed to do it for you in the night while you lay in peaceful slumber. I need to find my motivation, my muse. There are so many things I would like to accomplish this year, but in having so many, they build and grow and lead to new and even more exciting ideas. As I mentioned before, I only have the one resolution. It will make it easier for me to stay on task. I think that so as long as I remember to occasionally interrupt the flow of inspiration and innovation I may actually get things done.

Oh, and as my lovely friend Carol said "As I was dreaming of riding through the forest at Jennifers Castle It occured to me that every one should make it a New Years resolution to give generously to the cause."

Happy New Year to all who stopped by for a visit, or who stumbled upon my little place.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Come Dine With the Red Queen, the White Queen and me

I survived the holidays; laughter, tears and all.

My lovely friend Cindy is always looking for signs. Numbers in sets of threes. While stopped at a set of lights, I asked for a sign on Christmas day. Then I noticed the plate on the car ahead of me. The numbers on the plate began with 111. I looked the numbers up. "it is a great sign of a golden opportunity, a "doorway" has opened up in which your intentions and goals will manifest extremely quickly."

I sit now, facing the New Year and all that it will bring. I have thought on what, if any, resolutions I would have for the coming 2009 and decided to have just one. To strive to make my dream of having a castle come true. It may take more an these coming months for it to happen, of course. Although it is a part of it, one can not simply visualize and pray and hope that fortune will present itself. You also have to walk along a path, you have to help things happen.

With the exception of Monday, I have this week off. I am going to organize my ideas, make lists, prioritize, visualize, get a little sewing in, and see where things go from here. If you are in my neck of the woods, please stop by for a tea.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pig and Pepper

When I awoke this morning, I saw that the grounds were covered in a quite a fall of snow. Travel would not be easy, and the stores would be filled with unhappy shoppers anyway. I decided to work on my planned website for the castle fund. I finished the stylesheet and general look, and put it up for testing. So far the reviews have been good. I will be registering the domain later this week, and up she will go. From the site, I hope to gain awareness of my quest, thank people for their gifts/donations, and a few other things still in the works. Look for a note on Castle Cards coming soon!

I knew it would be a challenge to convince people that I am serious about purchasing a castle. It seems however that those who call me their friend are the first, with the exception of the White Witch of the Beamish, to be naysayers. Come on, you know who you are. You all comment on how I am generous to a fault, going out of my way to help people even at an inconvience to myself. I have not asked for much in return. But if you don't ask, you don't recieve. One dollar, that is all I am asking for. Every dollar counts. It's less than the amount to send me a Christmas Card. It's less than buying me a coffee. Gift me those pennies you don't want to roll. You can probably find it on the floor of your car.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Painting the Roses Red

I forgot to mention weddings! There is a chapel, grounds, dining for 10, or canapes for 40. The bride and groom are to make arrangements for the minister. I am not sure if there is currently a discount if all rooms are rented for the weddin, but if not there will be. I was in the wedding planning industry for a number of years. It would be a pleasure to help couples plan a romantic dream wedding in our castle. And loving research, I have been reading up on some local traditions and customs.

My own wedding was modest. I had mentioned to, my then, fiance that we should just invite closest friends and family. He said no, we should only invite closest friends and immediate family. We celebrated our wedding in an evening ceremony on Valentine's day. We were married in the local library, the house of books. Our minister was the mother of our dear friend Julianna. As an aside, Julianna was the first to believe in the dream and contribute a gift to the castle fund. My best friend, Krista, was my maid of honour, and my daughter Ophelia was our flower girl.

It was not until years later when we attended Richard's cousin's wedding that I realized why he had insisted on immediate family only. It was not because they were not close, it was because they are an old Nova Scotia Acadian family. Only about 500 of the relatives were able to make it and attended Lynn-Marie's wedding. I don't they would have all fit into the little library hall. However the castle grounds would be a wonderful location for a number of tents and a family reunion.

Drink Me

I have been asked by a number of people what I plan to do once I have aquired my castle. There are a few things that I wish to do. It is already running as a hotel. I wish to continue to run it as such.

There is farm land which is rented out. I would like to continue to do this and not develop it as others may have ideas to.

There are protected marshlands where birds nest each year. At the end of the breeding season, there is an annual shoot. Having grown up on a pheasant game farm, I am not opposed to the traditional hunt, which is on the land with a hired hunter to run it, and I would welcome the hunters return each year.

There is an ancient woodland. I have always wanted to live near a sacred oak grove. I will settle for sycamore, horse chestnut, alder, larch, rowan, whitebeam, willow and elm. There are a number of paths through the woodland. I need to research the law on the scattering of cremated remains, if it is allowed at all, where it can be, does it have to be set up as a scattering garden, etc. Along with this, I would also, law permitting, be able to offer the burial of placenta. I do not know if there are additional planned areas, or if there is something such as Trees Ontario, but if possible to continue the growing of the area of the woodland. And if you need some sort of lucrative reasons for the ideas for the woodland there really are't any, however people may come and stay at the castle once every few years to revist the woodland and visit their loved ones.

There is a small building, which if brought up to code, would be a wonderful art studio to offer art classes where people could sketch and paint the wonderous sights they saw on the boat tours my husband will give them. My husband loves boats and the water and would love to give boat and land tours, not to mention that he has the gift of gab.I am not sure if there is one, again more research to do, but an arts festival to display the varied talent of local artists and artisans would be nice.

I belong (on again off again) to an historical re-enactment group. One year a chapter was contacted by the Make A Wish Foundation. A little girl's wish was to be a princess for a day. I was not able at the time to help on this ocassion, but my heart went out to her. I would love to be able to offer an extended weekend once a year to such a child and their family through the foundation to be King or Queen of the castle.

There are many other ideas, they all intertwine and complement each other, but this has been a glimpse into some of them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The White Witch

It seems that convincing people who do not know me that I am going to buy a castle is a little harder than anticipated, and I did not anticipate that it would be easy.

We arrived at the pub. As we sat at our table brainstorming ideas of how to let people know that I am serious about wanting to raise the funds to purchase a castle we were approached by a woman. She asked if she could put her wine glass on our table while she went to the WC. Then she asked were the scratchings on the napkins about. At work they call me the White Witch. Don't waste your money. It will never happen. It's a pipe dream. You dont' want to go to the UK. Then after some british-accented-ramblings she said not to listen to her her thoughts were impaired. Where are Ryerson students filming documentries when you need them? I do not wish to imply that I do not believe in messages from the other side, witches, seers, or fortune tellers by any means. It was simply her drunken presentation, timing on being so against it after hearing about it. You really had to be there. She then followed us outside to talk about it further. Her husband trying to drag her away, their taxi was at the door and was going to leave with or without them. How many people told her that moving to Canada would never happen, not to go, it would be a mistake.

I know to some it may seem a pipe dream. Stranger things have happened. Too often in life I have given up and listened to the naysayers. What might I have accomplished if Ihad only followed my own path rather than their rantings.

Advice from a Caterpillar

With the Canadian dollar down, the castle I have in mind will be about $5,000,000 cad, and although not an easy task, stranger things have happened. So, for my castle fund I am:

* Accepting donations in person or by paypal on my website
* Using money from my cafepress sales
* Using my tip money from work
* Money from the sale of my possessions I can't take with me
* Money from my ebay sales (as soon as I start selling on there again)
* Did I mention I will hem pants?
* Various other plans still in the works.
* I also have some equity in my house, but we may need to use that for the relocation expenses.I am serious about this.
* Trying to put the money I would spend at Tim Hortons into the fund
* A portion of the proceeds of the sale of my limousine
* Putting all of the above into a daily interest savings account.

If anyone has any other suggestions (reasonable ones that is) please let me know.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Queen's Croquet Ground

Ever since I was a young child, people have thought me old. I simply thought of myself as misplaced, born in the wrong era. I have always wanted to live in a castle. Yesterday began my quest to live the dream.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Costumes & How I Was Inspired to Sew

Momma had mastered the art of the safety pin. That is to say that she didn’t really sew. In our house were knitting needles galore and a beautiful bag of miscellaneous buttons that were often my favourite play thing. I would sort them by size, or by colour, or by number of holes, and then put them back into the lovely velvet bag that housed them. It would only be later in life that I would discover that the embroidered “Crown Royale” did not imply that these wonderful bits of Bakelite and plastic had come from the remainents of princesses’ gowns. Millie Francis was my sitter growing up. She was steps away from Kindergarten and she had a box of costumes and if we were very good we could play with them. Millie’s mother, who we called Nana Jeffery, lived with her and had crafted most of them herself. I would often sit with Nana Jeffery in her room. Her mouth looked like she carried a hedgehog in it with the number of pins that would protrude from her lips.It was in late October that Nana Jeffery told me I could borrow the Pocahontas costume for my kindergarten party. I was so excited. Millie’s daughter Marsha had once worn it, and it was the prize of the collection. The day before the party it was gone. It was no where. Then Millie said that Danielle, who had come into our class and to our sitters that month, had taken it home. Danielle. Her mother probably knew how to sew. How could this happen. I was in tears. I didn’t have anything for the party. Momma came to the rescue. She always did. She was going to stay up and make me a bunny costume. I loved bunnies. I slept with my toy “Bun Bun”, who had one button eye from the royal bag of buttens. I had a number of little bunny pets as well. I even had a white fuzzy hat with two dangling strings with white fuzzy pompons on them and would often hop around in the snow pretending I was a snow bunny. It was my favourite. I went to bed imagining how wonderful it would be in the morning to have my own bunny costume.For those of you who may be too young to remember, flour used to come in sacks. These were often saved for various uses in our house. I would like to say it was for environmental reasons. But momma had lived through the depression. She was a pack rat and saved everything. The next morning I awoke to find a flour sack lying on the dinning room table. A hole for my head and two for my arms had been cut from the seamed end. One of the pompons from my hat had been diaper pinned to the back. Three carrots were tied by the greens by a piece of rickrack. I was wearing a flour sack. My favourite hat had been butchered. I arrived at school to face Pocahontas in all her glory. To make matters worse, a girl named Shawna ate one of my carrots. That Christmas, my Santa list had one item on it, a Holly Hobby Sewing Machine. I received that, along with a bundle of purple fabric, which was oddly the same colour as my old bed sheets. The greatest gift had not been the machine, but the will and the drive to learn how to use it, to overcome all, and to be able to say that after 32 years of experience behind a sewing machine, I have yet to master the art of the safety pin.