Archive for October 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Things Are Rolling Along

The other day I tried calling the Big Guy all day long.  He never picked up his cell phone.  I finally got fed up and went to look for him.  I mean, WHAT could be more important than a phone call from his beloved WIFE?!  Why on earth was he not answering??!! 

Well, of course there are a few things in this world that take precedence over a phone call from me and greenhouse construction duties is most certainly one of them.

Although most of the glass is now in, there is still so much work to be done. 

Things which need to be installed in the next 60 days include:

- Roof vents
- Plumbing
- Electrical
- Hanging Basket system
- Shading System
- Computerized Temperature Control System
- Cement Flood Floors

This list goes on and on.  But the Big Guy always finds it a great challenge to get things like that done.  He's handy that way.

While I was 20 feet up in the air on the sky-jack taking pictures......

the fellas were busy installing some bracket or other and shaking the platform like we were on a ride at Disneyland.  I decided then and there that this sort of work is not for me.  I prefer ribbons and glue guns to being suspended from a tiny little plank while hoping the hydraulics don't fail.

And yet, through all my fear, I managed to spy some "EXTRA" panes of glass that were not going to be needed for this project.  I got to thinking about my veranda at home which is quite open to the wind in the winter.  I made a quick calculation in my head.....

 (Just in time for the winter chill.  Perfect timing?!)

So, when the Big Guy came home for lunch today I floated the idea to him......

Grampa and Wee Two in deep discussion
To my great surprise, he was not TOTALLY against the plan.  I think Wee Two thought it was a bit outrageous.......

but he know's his Grampa is a push over when it comes to Gramma, right Wee Two?!

I shall end my saturday post with an update on Anderson Cooper and his current foray into Sports Journalism.  His school soccer team has qualified for PROVINCIALS. so I think he will be travelling to Kamploops next week for the tournament.

That means we have an "EMPTY NEST" for a few days!  Woohoo!  P-A-R-T-Y  T-I-M-E, baby!

Anyways, enjoy the latest installment of the Kodiak Cage.


Friday, October 28, 2011

The Great Poinsettia Decorating Challenge

I don't know if any of you have noticed but it's only 58 more days till Christmas

Say it isn't so Gramma!!
Unfortunately, my blogger peeps, if my math is correct then it is completely TRUE.   We are now a mere 7 weeks away from the FESTIVE SEASON.

There's not much time left people.

Tap, tap, tap.

Is anybody out there?

Are you HEARING what I'm SAYING?! 

F-i-f-t-y  E-i-g-h-t  D-a-y-s!  The count down has begun.

In light of this urgent situation, I am throwing down the gauntlet........

I hereby challenge all my readers to a "GREAT POINSETTIA DECORATING CHALLENGE".

Yup, you heard me right.  I am going to help you get all of your Christmas decorating done on time this year by giving you a little extra motivation.  For the MONTH of NOVEMBER I am going to be hosting a big decorating challenge.  I will be asking you all to submit a blog post of your own making showing how you decorated with poinsettias.  At the end of the month I will ask an esteemed panel of judges to help me choose the BEST poinsettia decorating post in the bunch.

I'm not sure where I will find the esteemed panel of judges but I'm sure I can call a few favors with some of my people in the industry........

I should call Steve Whysall at the Vancouver Sun and see if he wants to get in on the fun.  He's a blogger.  He'll love the idea, won't you Steve?!

Now, I know you are all excited about the prestige and the accolades that will come with the title of the "Great Poinsettia Decorating Challenge" winner,  but I want to sweeten the pot a little.

 So I have decided to give the author of the winning blog post a $50 dollar gift certificate to the OLIVE GARDEN.  I love the Olive Garden.  It's my favorite restaurant.  If you win and you live in some far out place that does not have an Olive Garden, we'll talk.  I'm sure we could find a reasonable substitute that would work, don't you think?

Now, I will fill you in with more details soon.  I just have to figure out the technical aspects of the challenge like.......

How do I set a LINKY PARTY?!  It can't be that difficult, right my blogger peeps?  I will keep you informed on my progress.  In the mean time, get your thinking caps on and start planning your GREAT POINSETTIA DECORATING POST now. 

The competition is gonna be FIERCE!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Retail Renovations Just in Time For Christmas

You are not going to believe this but CHRISTMAS has already come to Milner Gardens!  Yup, the store is all gussied up for the festive season even though it's still only October.  The girls and I have been helping Fifi out for a few days this week to make sure we were ready for a big photo shoot on Wednesday which means my house and all things related to cleaning and cooking have been neglected but.......who cares when you're having fun, right ladies?!

Anyways, I'm so excited to show y'all what a fantastic transformation has taken place.  Just a few weeks ago things looked like THIS:

and now it looks like THIS:

Can you BELIEVE it?!  I'm so glad we can re-use the chandelier we made for Opera Diva's wedding because it seems such a shame to just pack it away so soon.

We have also done some expansion into the old barn, opening up a whole new space for more shopping pleasure!  The construction and painting were finally finished a few weeks ago so we got to decorating in earnest.

I got the fun job of working on the Whimsical Red and White section.  Fifi provided me with an antique stove, a wicker shelving unit, a white enamel topped table and a pre-lit christmas tree.......

Mini Me assisting in the assembly of the "kitchen"

 which to me was like getting an empty painters canvas, just waiting for the details to be filled in.

I started on the TREE and the ornament wall......

By the time this was done, Mini Me had to hit the road for school so I called in Opera Diva to help me keep going.

My sister-in-law Fifi, who runs the retail store, had a HUGE assortment of goodies for us to work with. 

Seriously, work just couldn't get any more FUN than this!!!

So, now I can honestly say that I have done my Christmas decorating.....

but unfortunately it's not in MY home where I tend to be all christmassed out by the time we are done shipping our poinsettias in December. 

Maybe I should start decorating my HOUSE in October too, so that everything is all festive BEFORE the shipping season....


Now, while I was busy fooling around in my little section of the store, Santa's elves were busy working on all the OTHER sections that needed attention.  There is the BLACK and SILVER section....

which is FULL of great trinkets.

There's the BLUE section....

The PURPLE and GOLD section....

Don't forget the WHITE section....

where Fifi called out instructions to all her little elves from the top of a step ladder!

At 8 months pregnant, I think she's a pretty cool cucumber, don't you think?  I keep telling her that I don't believe she's expecting because you just can't TELL!  However, the story she told us about an incident this week had us all in stitches and also convinced us that she definitely has a bun in the oven.  

The story goes something like this;

Fifi dropped her car keys in the parking lot on a trip to get some supplies, bent down to pick them up, lost her balance and rolled onto her back and could not figure out how to roll herself back over.  She laid there wondering how she was going to get back up without help.  Eventually she made it back on her feet.  We knew she would.  She's smart that way!

Now back to her RETAIL VISION.

Believe it or not, she has even incorporated a BATH section.

Do you recognize that beautiful evening gown?  It was the one I wore for Junior's wedding.  We thought it would really add some glamor to the spa corner.

The back of the store is the NEW area where we are trying to get that mix of "old barn" meets "contemporary design" feel we first saw in Philadelphia at my favorite Garden Center Terrain at Styers

This is the display we saw in Philly......

and this is our rendition of that display which is now in Milner Gardens......

I just LOVE it when a plan comes together!

We even have patio furniture for sale since the guys spent all day last Saturday at an auction buying up tables and chairs by the dozen.  

With all those tables and chairs in place, I'm just one step closer to my dream of a little BISTRO in the new section one day.

Back section BEFORE

You might think I want a BISTRO added to the retail store for the purpose of making a profit.  In actual fact, I NEED a bistro at the store so that I can go there for lunch.  It's close, it's easy to get to......and I don't have to make the food. 

Back section AFTER
Well, it really is time for me to get back to work so I will end this post by saying that you are welcome to stop on by ANY TIME and check out all our renovations.  We don't have too many poinsettias in the store yet since they are not quite COLORED UP yet.  Gives us a few weeks and this place will be stacked to the rafters with colorful poinsettias FRESH from the GREENHOUSE.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Good Intentions

Way back in the beginning of 2010, The Big Guy and I took a Meditteranean cruise.

We took said cruise with our travel agent........

who just happens to be my sister!

What a fantastic time we had, relaxing.....





and relaxing some more!

We stopped in Spain....

and Portugal.....


and Rome!

I took pictures.....



all with the good intention of blogging about it.

Unfortunately, I got carried away with the relaxing part of the trip........

and didn't post a thing!

How did my good intentions go so awry?! Oh woe is me! How am I supposed to remember all the great things that happen in a year if I don't BLOG about them?! 

Seriously, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning, let alone what I did more than a year ago.  If I don't blog about it, it's like it never happened. 

Time to log onto Shutterfly and make up a photo album before every shred of memory is lost.  Is anyone elses out there using Shutterfly instead of Scrapbooking?  It's so much less mess and the end result is so beautiful to look at, don't you agree?  Leave me a comment 'cause I'd love to hear how you deal with all your "good intention" photos!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Building Greenhouses is a Dirty Business

Last week I was driving Anderson Cooper to his soccer tournament and I suddenly realized that the new greenhouse is REALLY coming along.  As a matter of fact, the last time I took a photo of the new building it looked like THIS.....

Since we were away on the big Jansen 5 concert tour starting way back in August, the greenhouse builders have been working hard.  The roof is finally on and the walls are getting closed in very quickly.

Unfortunately the mud situation around here is completely out of control because of the construction!

So, although it's exciting to see the new facility going up, I'm getting tired of all the dirt that is getting tracked into my house every day.

I've taken to hosing the Big Guy down at the door before I let him come inside.

Now, of course a few weeks ago my WASH MACHINE kicked the bucket.  Since we were so busy with the WEDDING preparations, we didn't have a chance to go and replace it with a new one.  Soooooo.......


a few hours spent at the laundromat trying to catch up on the wash. 

Then, Anderson Cooper had a big soccer tournament this past weekend which resulted in a very busy house hold for a few days in a row.


One messy bedroom

I haven't even TRIED to get inside this room to clean up the mess yet.  I'm just hoping that it will miraculously disappear. 

I can always hope, can't I?!

But, the good news is......the boys WON their tournament!  Andersonand  worked hard on getting all the highlights edited into a great video for his loyal viewers.  L