Sunday, October 22, 2006


It's raining out. Again!

It seems that this has been a particularly wet and rainy Autumn season
here. Not just the odd shower here and there but whole entire days of
nothing but rain. Many people are depressed by the grey skies and the
cool weather and the wet. Not me. I love it when it rains. Probably
because I'm a home body and a nester. I am at my most happiest when I
am sitting at home in front of my computer, with cross stitch project to
hand, the radio on to either music or my favourite talk radio programs,
and a good book nearby. I'll stitch a bit, read blogs a bit, stitch some more,
and then pick up my book when I need a break. Usually I have a cat at my
elbow keeping me company.

DH is the dedicated gardener in this family. I like to putter out there but
I tend to hibernate at this time of year. (see above) DH is an anxious
gardener. He wants the lawn mowed to just the right height for over-
wintering. He wants a layer of leaves piled to such and such a height
spread on the gardens. The rest needs to be raked and bagged for pickup.
The bulbs must be dug up, spread out in the garage and left to dry for a
week. Bushes and plants that require cutting back for the winter must
receive their finally trims and the rose bushes have to be wrapped against
the frost and snow.

Time is of the essence. Especially with the weather being so uncooperative. He works and plans with one eye on the weather reports, watching for that first report of snow or at least heavy frost. And he worries about getting it all
done in time. So the rain frustrates him. It's raining too hard to work out
there now and from the weather reports it sounds as though that's the way it'll
be for the rest of the day. But he got a lot of work done yesterday and so it may
only require a day or two more to get the final bits done. Our big maple tree
still has most of it's leaves yet, and so does the birch tree clump and the mountain ash, so that chore must wait on the pleasure of the trees.

I bought myself a new winter coat yesterday. My old purple "Barney" coat is over ten years old and worn out. I'll save it for messing around in. My new coat is a cream colour, with a hood trimmed in brown fake fur. I bought chocolate
brown gloves to match and a new taupe coloured purse to replace my old worn
out summer purse. I buy cheap purses at Walmart to use because I'm so hard
on them and don't want to waste money on an expensive purse that can't hack
the stress and strain that I will put it under.

I also found seasons 3 and 4 of Buffy on sale at Walmart yesterday and grabbed season 3 for my collection. I'll try and go back for season 4 when I get my next paycheque. Season 3 of Buffy was one of my favourites, what with the wonderful Faith, the Mayor and all. Oh, and I got the Christmas ornie issue of
Just Cross Stitch (I think it is) and I've got my eye on a couple of projects. But it will mean leaving off "A Prairie Garden" which I'm reluctant to do. Hmm.

Well, gotta make up the grocery list, and do some shopping and then some laundry and cleaning. Cheers all.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Our cats Rupert and Phoebe are around 3 1/2 to 4 years old. We can only estimate their ages because we adopted them from the Brampton animal shelter as strays. Because they are still quite young they both have lots of
energy and playfulness. At least a couple of times a day they take turns
chasing each other throughout the house. We have a four level side split
home and the cats will race from the basement to the top of the house, one
chasing the other. Most of the time it appears to be all in good fun, although
on occasion there will be wrestling and hissing and arched backs and laid
back ears. We don't interfere unless the growls begin. Generally it's Phoebe
who gets upset (or fed up), and Rupert who regards her in wide eyed surprise when she does.

A week ago DH and I were watching the evening news while eating dinner in the den. The cats were having one of their charges through the house. They'd flown up the basement stairs and torn around the corner and up more stairs to the main level of the house. We could trace their progress through the house from the sound of their paws pounding the floors above our heads. They ripped through the house and then we heard an ominous "tinkle" sound that had us both on our feet and hurrying up the stairs at once. In the living room a pair of nonchalant cats were strolling through the room as if they had not a concern in their guilty little souls. But the table cloth on the dining room table was all askew and one of my Partylite candle sticks was on its side, the crystal candle holder broken into many pieces.

Usually when Rupert chases Phoebe and she wants to escape she leaps onto the dining room table, runs across it and leaps into the dining room window, balancing on the narrow ledge and glaring back at Rupert who skids to a halt on the table and is forced to give up the chase. That's what they probably expected to happen that night. We don't usually leave a table cloth on the table, but I'd put one on for Thanksgiving, and so I imagine the cats landed on it and couldn't put on the brakes like they normally do.

So, since we got them about three and a half years ago they have managed to break 1) a vase/ornament holder which was a gift 2) the chimney from a bedroom lamp which was a gift from my parents - we were able to replace the chimney at Home Depot 3) a spun glass, two foot tall snowman which was a gift and 4) the Partylite candle chimney which was - yes - a gift. All these pieces were probably victims of the cat chasing cat stampede described above.

Now in all the years (around 11) that we had our first cat Eponine (Eppie) we never lost a thing that I can recall. I guess when there are two cats in a household there's more likely to be these sorts All I can say is it's a good thing that they're cute!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Checking in......

Cross Stitching....

I started Prairie Schooler's "A Prairie Garden" in the spring. I decided to stitch all the squares for the project first and then fill each of them in with the flower design once the less interesting part was done. There were twelve squares to stitch. It took awhile.

Surprisingly I didn't loose interest during this phase of the project. It was a bit of a mindless task (yes, I know, right up my alley) which also turned out to be quite relaxing as it went along. I just had to remember to keep an eye on my stitch count to make sure that each square was 55 stitches up and 55 across. A perfect square. Then I ran out of the green required for the boarder, and for the leaves of the flowers in each square as well. The LNS in Acton didn't have any thread (DMC) in that colour in stock. Neither did the wool shop here in Georgetown which also stocks DMC. So I had to wait for an opportunity to get to the Michaels in Brampton.

I put the project aside and picked up the "antique woven coverlet" pattern from the June 1995 issue of Cross Country Stitching to do. I finished that one early last month. I promise a picture of the finished piece someday. Really.

Meanwhile, during the summer, I'd finally gotten to Michaels and picked up a load of DMC threads that I needed for various projects. Thus once the "coverlet" was done I could once again pick up "A Prairie Garden" and continue with my squares. I finished the squares about three weeks ago and am now in the process of filling them in. I've got three squares done. It's a fun easy stitch with no back stitching and no half/quarter stitches. But quite pretty. I've had this pattern for a good 10 years now I think, perhaps longer, and I don't think that it's available to buy any longer.

What I've been reading:

Kim Harrison -Dead Witch Walking -Fantasy
Lynn Flewelling- The Oracle's Queen -Fantasy
Jacqueline Carey -Kushiel's Scion- Fantasy
Susan Vreeland -The Forest Lover -Fiction
Marcia Willett -A Week In Winter -Fiction
Diana Gabaldon -A Breath of Snow and Ashes- Fiction
Maeve Binchy -Whitethorn Woods -Fiction

My "Books I have to have .... really, really can't live without" list is growing like Alice. It seems many of my favourite authors have decided to publish in the last little while, when I'm trying desperately to save my pennies for Christmas and for a new winter coat. I do buy the odd book here and there when it's an author that I adore above all others. Last Friday I got Elizabeth George's latest book. She is my favourite mystery writer. Such amazing stories she writes!! You've never read her??? You must!! Now!! (Note: Read her books in order of publication. I suppose you could read them out of order a bit but the emotional impact in the back stories of the main, reoccuring characters would be lessened).

Work has been busy for various reasons, time of the month, short staffed, computers going wonky, etc. This is good because I need the money for Christmas, books, winter coat, books and food.

And speaking of food, DH is out having dinner with friends from work so the cats and I are on our own. I'd better go see what they've made us to eat. I'll try and be back soon for all you loyal readers. Hi Dar! Cheers!