Monday, April 30, 2007

Country Shops with the stitching on the shops complete, except for the
names of the stores back stitched onto the signs. I'll save that for last. I
have to stitch the vines, hearts and checkerboard corners above the shops
and then it'll be done. I remember from the first piece that I did in this
series that the vines were a major pain to do for some reason. Had to do
a bit of frogging as I recall until I had it all placed correctly. We'll see how
this one goes.

I've meant to write about a lovely evening that I had one week ago when
I joined my neighbour Amy for a lady's night out. A local church was
having a "Desert and Lecture" night and Amy and a few of her friends
were going, and she asked if I'd care to join them. Desert Night???
Oh, yeah sure, twist my arm.

So, kicking and screaming, they dragged me to Desert Night. I was
surprised by the crowd that showed up for this occasion. They said
that there were about 400 women at the event. There were tables
set up in the auditorium, covered in crisp white table clothes, and set
with flowers, lit candles and the necessary tableware. There were
tables loaded with deserts scattered around the room, manned by
teenage volunteers and each table was assigned to a specific "Desert
Station". The deserts ranged from home made to store bought and
there was something there for every one's taste. Oh, and there was
a chocolate fountain as well! We lined up, loaded our plates with
goodies, and returned to our seats where we shared bites of
whatever we'd chosen with each other. My favourite was a chocolate
meringue cake with whipped cream on top and sprinkled with
raspberries and blackberries. Oh heaven indeed!! The Bailey's
cake was good too.

As much as the Deserts were a big draw though, the person giving
the evenings lecture in the main hall of the church was probably as
much of a draw in her own right, if not more so. Her name is Kim
Phuc and most of us know her because we've all seen her in a very
famous photograph. She was the nine year old child in a picture
taken during the Vietnam war, running down a dirt road, her
clothes burned off by napalm, arms outstretched and face contorted
in anguish and terror. Yes, most of us know that picture and we
shudder at the memory of it.

Amazingly, Kim Phuc survived that horrible experience, thanks in
part to the photographer who took that picture, and who rushed
her to the hospital. Sadly, her three year old cousin did not survive
that day. There were pictures taken of him too, in his mother's arms.
Most of us could not look at those pictures.

Kim grew up in Vietnam, after the war, under the Communist
regime. She was used as a propaganda tool by the government,
and was unable to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor because
of it. She was sent to Cuba, and lived there for six years. She met
her husband there, and after they married they were allowed to
go to Moscow for their honeymoon. It was on the return trip from
their honeymoon that their plane stopped in Gander, Nfld for
refueling, and they took the opportunity to defect. They have
been living in Canada ever since.

Kim's faith in God is strong, and that was part of her lecture. She
also feels strongly about the futility of war, and she is working to
raise money to improve the lives of other's less fortunate then us,
who live in war ravaged countries. She also talked about her
recovery from her injuries and how she still has to deal with a
great deal of pain, even after all these years. She is a lovely
woman of 44 years now, with a beautiful smile. She has two
young sons with her husband and she is proud of how Canadian
they are.

Listening to Kim Phuc speak, and indeed just seeing her
walk out on stage, alive and relatively well, after knowing her
only through that infamous picture, was an emotional moment.
Not many people could have survived such a horrible experience
with the grace and the joy and the gratitude that she has. It was
an evening I'll remember for a long time.

Spring has certainly arrived here in earnest at last. In just a week
the trees have put out buds, the garden is growing by leaps and
bounds and the grass is growing. DH mowed for the first time this
season on Sunday. He spent much of Sunday afternoon digging,
raking and poking around in the yard. He was in his glory! I got
my household chores done as early as possible, and spent a few
hours out on the front porch stitching. Then, in the evening, we
went to a pot luck supper for DH's praise group choir which they
have at the end of each month. This month food theme was
Italian. Mmmmmmmmm.

And finally, a picture of our hallway linen closet. Well, it was our
linen closet. When we had the bathroom renovated about 13 years
ago we had a linen cupboard built in there. So this one was not
necessary. Two years ago, when we had the upstairs bedrooms
and hallway done we had this little closet turned into a book shelf.
Because, after all, you can never have too many bookcases.

Finished reading "The Sunday Wife" by Cassandra King on the week
end and am now reading "A Girl of the Limberlost". I couldn't put
"The Sunday Wife" down and read it in a couple of days. I highly
recommend it.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Guess what!!! I've been so bad, again! I was browsing through Stitching
Bit's n Bob's website a few weeks ago (very innocently) and discovered
that they were having an Easter sale. Well, what could I do? I had a list
made up of charts that I wanted, and I've been wanting to lay in some
fabric to have on hand for future projects, and one thing just led to another.

So, to tally up the is what I got:
  1. Old Books ~ Cricket Collection
  2. Family Mittens ~ Cricket Collection
  3. All Hearts Come Home ~ With My Needle
  4. Spot of Tea 1 ~ Samplers and Such
  5. Watermelon ~ Little House Needleworks
  6. Friendship In All Seasons ~ The Trilogy
  7. French Country - Love ~ JBW Designs
The lovely fabric pieces are:
  1. Queen Anne's Lace ~ Fat Quarter~ Jobelan
  2. Pink Dahlia ~ Fat Quarter ~ Jobelan
  3. Summer Sky ~ Fat Quarter ~ Jobelan
I've never gotten charts from any of the above designers before,
except for Little House Needleworks, so I was curious to see how
they packaged and printed their charts. All look to be reasonably
clearly charted and if I need to I can always use the photocopier
at work to make a bigger working copy when I'm stitching.

These are my first hand dyed fabrics and I love them!! Especially
the blue one. Gosh! When we started stitching back in the late
80's we never dreamed that these fabrics and hand dyed threads
would appear and enhance the stitching experience. I can't
understand how anyone could claim that cross stitching is not as
popular today with all this beautiful stuff out there to work with.
The many different designers available to chose from means that
there has to be a style out there to suit any one's taste. We are
so lucky to have them.

Okay, enough gushing from me. I'm all excited about my new
acquisitions (now I understand somewhat about how Gollum felt
about his "precious"!!) so please excuse the hyper boil.

I should also say that I added these charts to my "want's it" list
after reading stitcher's blogs out there and seeing their versions
of these projects all stitched and finished up. Many times viewing
pictures of these things on the designer's websites you can't
make out much detail from their pictures, and sometimes it's
almost impossible to see anything at all that conveys the
beauty of the project adequately. So when I go to Becky's site
or Lelia's or Shannon's or anyone else's (and there is a very, very
long list of blogs that I haunt and love) I get a better idea of what
a design looks like then on the site of the person who designed it.
And their awesome finishing techniques enhance the piece even
more. Okay, I'm gushing again. Sorry.

And I should add that I am very impressed with the service
that I've recieved from Stitching Bit's n Bobs. Very quick
delivery of my orders from them so far. Thanks Bobbie!

I should go make dinner. DH has mini-choir tonight so has to be
fed and out the door by 7:00. It's a rainy, grey day here so the
garden will be happy. TGIF!!!

And speaking of the garden, here's another charming, blurry shot of our
backyard taken last weekend when the sun was shining. Hurray for

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

As promised (threatened) in my last post, here are the books that I
found at the used book sale last Saturday. The books that I bought
  1. The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith
  2. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith
  3. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
  4. Somewhere Lies the Moon by Kathryn Lynn Davis
  5. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter
  6. The Sunday Wife by Cassandra King
All are hardcovers, and are in very good condition. I actually
started reading "The Sunday Wife" today and it's fantastic. The
author has a great sense of humour which shows up throughout her
writing. I suspect that I'll be looking for more of her books after I've
finished this one.

The only author in the above list that I've read before is Kathryn
Lynn Fowler. I have a couple of her books, although I've only read
one so far.

I've heard a lot about Alexander McCall Smith and his various
series of books. I've been thinking about trying one or two of them
out to see if I'll like them. One series is "The No. 1 Ladies Detective
Agency" and the other is "Isabel Dalhousie Mystery's". So now I
can read these and see if I like his style of writing or not.

"A Girl of the Limberlost" was first published around 1905. I recall
hearing the title at some time but don't know anything about the
book or it's author. There is information at the beginning of the book
about the author Gene Stratton Porter and it says that she was a
prolific writer who's books were very popular in their time. I have
it in my mind that this story might be similar to the coming of age
type stories such as Lucy Maude Montgomery might write, or
Louisa May Alcott. I'm looking forward to reading this one too.

I have a confession to make. I have never read any of Jane Austen's
books. I have all of them, and obviously I'd like to read them some-
day, but I guess that I feel a bit intimidated by them. I know that
those who read Jane Austen and enjoy her writings are often quite
passionate about her books. I like that. Even two hundred years
after her death she has a large and loyal following. But I'm afraid
that I'll pick up one of her books, and try to read it, and I won't be
able to get into it. I've never been able to read any of the Bronte
sister's books, although I have read a sizable biography about them.
Will I have the same difficulty with Jane Austen?

So why did I pick up "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy
Fowler??? I guess in part I'm hoping that it'll tweak my interest in
the Jane Austen books and encourage me to pick one up. It looks
to be a fun read in it's own right.

There's a bunch of new books coming out in May that I'm going to be
getting for sure. Top of my list however is Kelley Armstrong's latest
which is coming out in hardcover. It's called "No Humans Involved".
If you like a well written, humourous read with supernatural overtones
then Kelley's books are not to be missed.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A nasty thunderstorm was nipping at my heels as I made the final dash
from Go Bus stop to home this afternoon. I could see the sky to the north
was dark grey with menacing clouds as the Go bus traveled through
Georgetown and I suspected that it would be a close thing, whether I made
it home before the rains came or not. Not!

The rain was sprinkling the bus's windshield as we rounded the final corner
on highway 7 and my stop came up. I was scrabbling to pack my book in a
plastic bag and then stuff it in my shoulder bag, and then realized my
umbrella was at the bottom of that bag and had to rummage furiously to
find it and haul it out. Then arranged purse, shoulder bag and cross stitch
bag so that the cross stitch bag was against my side and protected by the
others. As I got off the bus the wind grabbed for my umbrella and we had
a struggle until I managed to gain control.

I had to wait for the road to clear before I could cross, but was lucky
enough not to have to wait for too long. As I skipped across the street, with
a blustery breezy escort, the rain began to come down harder. I half ran/half
walked down the sidewalk as the thunder began to roll. Two doors from
home the rain began to pelt and I threw caution and a sore heel to the wind
(literally) and ran for it.

The front porch was a flimsy shelter at best as the rain was falling at a
slant and soaking the area almost as if it was out in the open. I hung my
umbrella on the mail box, fished my keys out of my purse, and got the
front door open and myself through it with a final push from the
elements behind me. And the door closed on a deluge of rain and a roar
of thwarted thunder.

So how was your day??

My weekly update of "Country Stores" by Cross Country Stitching. I spent
a lot of time this weekend sitting on the front stoop stitching away. Spring
finally arrived here in all her glory. It was in the mid 70's and sunny, with
not a cloud in the sky. Wonderful.

There was a used book sale at a local high school to raise money for
charity so I roused myself out of bed at the crack of dawn (7:30 am) so
that I could be showered, dressed, and fed before 8:45. The doors were
suppose to open at 9:00 but when we got there, well before 9:00 there
were already people coming out with bags full of books. DH dropped me
off and went to run some errands, while I made my way indoors and into
the high school's auditorium, where there were tables lined up end to end
and piled with books. The organizers had arranged the books according to
subject and each section had a large sign to let people know where the
various types of books were.

I spent about half an hour wandering around, checking out the books, and
I came away with six hardcover books in good to excellent condition. I've
already stored them down in the library but I'll list their titles and authors
on my next post, when I have more time. If I remember.

I'm going out after dinner this evening, and so I've got to finish this soon
and go make a quick meal for DH and I. I've been lax in posting the last
few days and felt that I should make an effort today, even if time was

The picture at the top of this post is of some of the spring flowers that are
appearing in our backyard. I love Spring!!! Cheers!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Loreena Mckennitt Rulz!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last night was the Loreena McKennitt concert at Massey Hall. Massey
Hall is one of the oldest concert venues in Toronto. It is well over 100
years old, and has incredible acoustics. You can sit just about anywhere
in this old building and hear everything clearly. It is three levels, with
steep steps to navigate if you have seats in either of the balcony's. I
have sat up there once or twice and believe me, you almost need to
rappel down to your seat. I have height and dizziness issues so I hate
being in the balcony for anything.

Fortunately for last nights show we had our seats on the floor, about
four rows from the stage, on the right side. Not as central as I would
have liked, and a good distance over from Ms McKennitt's side of the
stage, but in the end that was my only quibble. The concert was

It was the first time that I'd seen Loreena Mckennitt in concert since
1998. I also saw her in concert in 1994, and all three times were in
Massey Hall. Come to that, I also saw her taping a television appear-
ance at Massey Hall in 1993 for a Micheal Burgess special that ran on
CBC tv. Note: Michael Burgess was our Jean Val Jean when Les Miz
first played in Toronto. The original Jean ValJean, Colm Wilkinson,
was playing the Phantom in Toronto at the same time in our version
of Phantom of the Opera. But I digress....

As always Loreena had surrounded herself with a group of extra-
ordinary performers who recreated the music from her recordings
with flair, exuberance and passion. It was thrilling from beginning to
end as each song was performed. Loreena does not like to speak
much during her shows, preferring to let her music speak for her.
But occasionally she would explain a bit about a piece that they
were about to perform to give us an idea of how she came about
creating it, and where her inspiration had come from.

For anyone interested here is the set list for last night's show and
the album each appeared on.

Set 1: She Moved Through the Fair ~ Elemental
The Gates of Istanbul ~ An Ancient Muse
The Mummer's Dance ~ The Book of Secrets
Penelope's Song ~ An Ancient Muse
Marco Polo ~ The Book of Secrets
The Highwayman ~ The Book of Secrets
Dante's Prayer ~ The Book of Secrets
The Bonny Swans ~ The Mask and Mirror
Caravanserai ~ An Ancient Muse

Set 2: The Mystic's Dream ~ The Mask and Mirror
Santiago ~ The Mask and Mirror (this is awesome done live!!!)
Bonny Portmore ~ The Visit
Beneath a Phrygian Sky ~ An Ancient Muse
Kecharitomene ~ An Ancient Muse
The Lady of Shalott ~ The Visit (verses cut due to length, sadly)
The Old Ways ~ The Visit
Never-Ending Road (Amhran Duit) ~ An Ancient Muse

I very fervently hope that it won't be another nine years before we
can see Ms McKennitt again.

Since this is suppose to be a x-stitching blog as much as anything
here is a sampler stitched for DH and I when we got married so many
years ago. We received three samplers for wedding gifts, including
the one from my Mom featured in an earlier post. So DH has no
excuse for forgetting our anniversary. Lol!
Phoebe in a forbidden spot. DH picked me up after the concert last night
and it was midnight before we got home. We had both booked off work
today in anticipation of this, so we were able to sleep in. I'm just too old
to be going into work with only 5 hours sleep. It's a good day to be home
because the wind outside is roaring around like a freight train. And it's
cold out too. But the weather that we might have gotten yesterday and
today passed us by and is pounding other areas of the U.S. and Canada.
So gang, how do we like Spring so far????

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Progress report on Country Shops project. I guess this is about a month's
worth of work and I would hazard a guess and say that I am about half
way done on this. Two of the buildings share a roof, and I'm just starting
on that area. The stair area was fun to stitch, with colour changes and
trying to keep track of which parts were stairs, and which parts were a
part of the building. It wasn't until I back stitched the area that the
stairs actually became "visible".

My current read, begun this week, is Margaret George's "Helen of Troy".
Over the years I've read all of Ms George's books. When her first book
"The Autobiography of Henry VIII" came out I bought it for my Dad for
his birthday. I eventually read it too, enjoyed it, and kept an eye out for
her new books as they came along. I think that this is her fifth book. I
use to love Greek mythology, but it's been a long time since I read any
thing about that topic and I've forgotten a lot of it. This book is not a
fantasy but more of a historical romance, with the gods and goddesses
and the prophesies being in the style of "visions" more then "reality".
I am enjoying the story very much and I'm curious as to how Ms George
will use and interpret the myths and legends surrounding this famous
love story.

I saw the movie Troy when it came out two years ago and it was okay,
but didn't knock my socks off. I'm not a big fan of Brad Pitt's, so his
role as Achilles didn't impress me over much. Orlando Bloom as Paris
was okay, Eric Bana also didn't make much of an impression as Hector.
Peter O'Toole as King Priam was fantastic, not surprisingly. One of
my friends who went to the movie with me that day is a big fan of Sean
Bean's and we enjoyed his role in the movie as Odysseus very much.
I think that if the movie had had more of the "mythological" story in it
as opposed to the dry history it might have added more colour and
flavour to it, not to mention some fun. I wouldn't bother seeing it again.

This week was back to work after a weeks holiday. Always hard to get
back into the old routine after the pleasure of being home and doing
whatever we wanted to do. Easter Sunday I made dinner for DH, my
Mom and my SIL. I made Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs, which were
finger licking good (with apologies to the Coronal). I also made
Scalloped Potato's, which went with the ribs very nicely. SIL made a
lemon cake for desert. Yum.

Things in the news this week that caught my attention....Belinda
Stronach leaving politics to go back and work for her daddy's
company. Don't let the door hit you on the way out sweetie!!
Sheesh!! But she said (threatened) that she may return to
politics in the future. Says that she still has a lot she wants to do.
I guess so, since there are still two political party's left that she
hasn't tried on for size yet. If she can master the french language
thing she may yet make it as leader of the Separatist party of

Eight Canadian soldiers loose their lives in Afghanistan. What
can be said that hasn't already been said? They believed in what
they were doing and were proud to serve and represent our
country the way they were. I wonder, are we worthy of their

Lelia, you commented that you received an Anne Rice book from
a friend. I have collected and read all of Anne Rice's Vampire and
Witches of Mayfair series. Some of them were good, and some of
them were lousy. The very best book of hers that I've ever read
is not from either series. It's called "The Mummy" and it came
out many years ago. It's about Ramses II and is a wonderful read.
In the Vampire series the best books for me were "The Vampire
Lestat" and "Queen of the Damned" and "The Body Thief". I did
enjoy all three of the Witches of Mayfair series. The trouble with
Ms Rice is that she tends to pontificate and get all cosmic about
things, and she has to tell you all about it. For chapters and
chapters. Ad nauseum. It gets very old and very boring after

Darlene and I attended a book signing of Ms Rice's about 10 years
ago when she was in the midst of her Vampire phase. We stood in
line for hours just to get her to sign our books. We were in her
presence for all of a minute or so. I'm still glad that we did it though.
I love having my books signed by the author, if I can.

Karen, we've had Delia Smith's books and tv series here in Canada
too and I use to love watching her on television. Her shows were
visually beautiful to watch, with the food preparation and the
finished dishes presented in glorious, colourful detail. She was a
patient, calm teacher who had enthusiasm for her subject without
allowing her personality to overshadow the lesson.

Tomorrow night is the Loreena Mckennitt concert at Massey Hall.
Plan to take the Go bus down to Toronto, have dinner with Darlene
at Red Lobster, spend some time in the Worlds Biggest Bookstore
and then over to Massey Hall to see the world through Ms
Mckennitt's music. Does that not sound like the most perfect day?
Unfortunately it's suppose to be cool with rain/snow showers. Ah
well, we can't have everything.

Rupert, in DH's pajama drawer. You can't leave drawers open when you
have cats. And yes, we do have the world's ugliest furniture in our bedroom.
Please ignore.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's Spring!!! Whoopie!!

Ah Spring!! The sky is blue, the grass is turning green, the birds have
returned from their winter vacations, green shoots are appearing in
the garden, the crocuses are in bloom The weatherman is
calling for snow and below zero temperatures for the next four days.

And now for my weekly, blurry shot of my current cross stitch project. I
know you've all been waiting with baited breath. We now have another
half a house, featuring a staircase in front that was quite fiddlie to do.
I'm going to start back stitching this bit after I've done my blog entry.

On Monday my friend Charmaine came for lunch and a long overdue
visit. We haven't seen each other since long before Christmas, so there
was lots of news and stuff to catch up on. And we exchanged Christmas
presents. Talk about extending the season. We are both readers, so it
was logical that I would give Charm a couple of the books that I knew
she'd want for her collection. In return she gave me a couple of her
favourite cook books. Charm loves to cook, and is fantastic at it. Meals
at her place are a treat and something to anticipate. We have enjoyed
many recipes from this series of books and every time we go there I
browse through them and we discuss them. Now I have two of my own
to read and experiment with. I'm not the worlds best cook by any means
but the recipes in these books are not majorly difficult, there are many
gorgeous pictures to enjoy and drool over, and the author has a great
sense of humour. I highly recommend them. The two that Charm gave
me are pictured above.

This week off of work has been both relaxing and enjoyable. I've been
doing a lot of stitching and a lot of computer browsing and blog reading.
My mom was here for a visit yesterday and we went to my neighbour's
across the street to join her and her three young daughters for a tea
party. Lot's of fun.

Today DH and I did a run to a used bookstore in Milton to drop off four
boxes of books that I'd weeded out of my collection last month. I've
never done this before so wasn't sure how it would work. Apparently, at
this store at least, you drop off the books and the owner goes through
them and checks her currant inventory via her computer. If she doesn't
already have copy's of your books on her shelves she'll take them off
your hands and give you back a certain dollar value to use in her store.
The books that she already has on site she returns to you and you look
for somewhere else to get rid of them. She'd sorted about half the lot
before we left the store and so we took back about two thirds of a box
of books that she already had. These we took to a re-cycling depot here
in Georgetown called Waste Wise, which took the books off of our hands
and will sell for a few dollars.

The used bookstore owner just called to say that she was giving us back
two boxes of books, and was giving me a store credit of $65.00 for the
rest. Wow. Sounds good doesn't it? Trouble is that I'm a book snob. I
prefer my books (both paperback and hardcover) to be in pristine
condition. No yellowed pages, no frayed covers, no cracked spines and
no tea stains, or whatever. And I prefer hardcovers over paperback.
Wandering through the store I didn't see anything that I wanted to add
to my library which passed my stiff criteria. I could blow $65.00 at the
regular bookstore without blinking twice, but I doubt that I'll bother
going back to the used bookstore and taking her up on her offer. As long
as someone else gets some enjoyment out of the books that I probably
would never have read that's fine by me.

DH and I have been watching Firefly on DVD, which I got a year ago.
He's watched the entire series before but I haven't and I must say that
it is wonderful. What an imagination Joss Whedon has, and a great
sense of humour too. What a shame that the series never made it on
tv. Great cast, great writing and something completely different from
what's on tv today. We're Buffy and Angel fans here too.

And finally, a gratuitous shot of Rupert checking out my stash cupboard.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

It is a cool, grey day outside and the rain is falling steadily. It has been
doing so for about an hour now, and is suppose to continue for most of
the morning. There is a possibility that the sun will appear, at least
occasionally, this afternoon. Then in the evening we may get a thunder
storm. It is Spring. It's also April first, and therefore April Fool's Day.
Hope you've all avoided any pranksters who may abide in your home
or amongst your acquaintances.

DH and I have begun a week of holidays. Usually when DH is off on
vacation the weather is invariably gorgeous. We have a neighbour
who has actually asked DH to let her know when he's taking time off
because she wants to plan her holidays for the same time to guarantee
her good weather. Unfortunately, when I take holidays the weather
tends to turn sour. Either that or I come down with some nasty virus
to entertain for the duration. So far this weekend I remain sniffle-free,
however my weather jinx has proven to be stronger then DH's weather-
bliss. It seems the next week will be cool and rainy. No sitting out on
the front stoop cross stitching for me.

This morning when I got up DH informed me that another harbinger of
Spring had arrived. The Cedar Waxwings are back in town. During a few
days each Spring, and again in the Autumn, the Cedar Waxwings appear,
to feed on the berries in our Cherry trees. They use to come for the
berries in our Mountain Ash tree, but the mature tree that we had, and
loved, came down in a wind storm a few years ago. We've planted a new
one but it will be years before that one is mature enough to satisfy the
hungry hoards. I think that the Cedar Waxwing is one of the most
handsome birds that I've ever seen. Very elegant, with hints of brilliant
colour. Their tails look as if they've been dipped in yellow paint, with a
brush stroke of orange placed just so on their wings. And that black mask
over the eyes would put the most dapper of super hero's to shame. They
also have a crest on top of their heads, which adds to their charm.

Yesterday DH and I spent the afternoon shopping for pants for him. This
may sound like a simple enough task, until you take into consideration the
fact that DH is 6' 5", with almost all of his height being in his legs. Men's
clothing stores don't carry a lot of stock for men of that height. There are
specialty stores that do, but they are more expensive and are not handy
to get to. Especially when shopping with a man who HATES to shop. We
were lucky enough to find what we were looking for in two branches of
Mark's Work Warehouse, one here in Georgetown, and the other in
Brampton. The one in Brampton had the added bonus of being practically
next door to a Michael's. So I was able to pop in there and pick up some
plain evenweave and linen fabric for stitching. Yes, I'm sneaky.

Books relax me. Especially books with lots of pictures. I was browsing
through blogs a few weeks ago and came across pictures of this book on
Ann's blog "http://tempusfugit," and I knew it was a
keeper. Wonderful photographs of french influenced decor, crafts and
lifestyle in general. I've been reading it, and I've been browsing through
it whenever I can, and it transports me away from my day to day world.
It's as good as taking a trip away physically, only in my mind.

Thought I'd show you some of my bear and bunny collection, while talking
about things that relax us. I love country style stuffed animals, and this
lot are sitting next to our tv stand in the den. The basket was hand made
by a local artist who also paints lovely watercolours.

And finally, I finished reading Brenda Rickman Vantrease's book "The
Illuminator" on Friday. Quite an enjoyable read, with great historic
detail. It takes place in England in the late 14th century, which was a
time of great upheaval, with a child king on the throne, and the church
fighting to retain it's supremacy over the people in the face of growing
criticism and anger, and challenges from those who believe that all
people should have the right to read the bible in their own native
language, instead of only priests and the nobility who can read Latin
or French. A bit of a love story in there as well. I understand there is
a sequel just come out so I'll have to check that out. My thanks to
Lelia who raved about this book in her blog recently.

Sorry, no stitching stuff in this entry today. I've been stitching (and
frogging, alas) but nothing much to show. Today I must clean this
house, but I look forward to much stitching time this week.
Cheers all.