Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like .... well, you know. With deepest
apologies to everyone, I've been a slacker blogger for the past two
weeks. I'm sorry, but it's been a busy time, and I've been a
little uninspired when visiting blog land. I've read many, many
blogs, usually with Phoebe purring in my arms, which also makes
typing awkward to say the least. But no commenting. And I'm
working on a stitching project that I cannot show, so that's
keeping me mum too. But it's Sunday morning and that's my
usual time to type up my blog for the week, so here I am.

I had a wonderful vacation, during the week of November 12th
to the 16th. The highlights....

I had to work on the Tuesday, so Wednesday morning you'd
think, knowing me, that I'd sleep in. So would I. But I woke
up when DH's alarm beeped at 5:30, and after laying in bed
for 10 minutes I realized that I was wide awake. So I got up.
DH just about fell off of his chair when I came into the
kitchen. I made myself some breakfast, and tea for the both
of us. He left for work around 6:45. I cleared up the dishes.
Now what?? I'm on holidays, right? I can do what I want,

So up to the computer room I went. Phoebe following
close behind. I got the computer going, set it to my
favourite talk radio station (CFRB), got out my stitching,
settled in my chair and stitched. It was wonderful!!!
I stitched the morning away. I almost did the same for
the afternoon. Around 1:00 I decided that I really
ought to get dressed (I was still in my jammies, house
coat and slippers at this point).

After a refreshing shower and dressing I had a bite of
lunch, and then, since it was a gorgeous day outside, I
went for a walk. Half an hour through the subdivision
where I live. It was warm enough that all I needed was
a light jacket over my clothes. The sun was shinning,
and the air smelled of wood smoke and falling leaves.
Don'tcha just love it?? I visited with my neighbour
and her kids, gave them a craft pattern that I'd been
promising to lend them forever and kept forgetting,
and they sent me home with homemade applesauce.
I spent the rest of the afternoon stitching.

Oh, and I got a delivery of some books that I'd ordered. Some
Christmas presents, and some for me. Of the four for me, only one
was a full price book. All the others were on sale for under $10.00.
I got book two in the Dublin series by Edward Rutherfurd. I have
all of his books, and they're wonderful historical fiction. I read the
first book in this series and wanted to get the second before it sold
out. It's been out for over a year now. I also got Sue Grafton's
S is for Silence, which has also been out for over a year, and which
had finally gone on sale thanks to the release of her next book, T
is for.... whatever it's for.

While exploring the Indigo/Chapters online book site I searched for
some Victoria magazine books that might be available and on sale.
I found these two to add to my collection. Both under $10.00. What
a steal!! Okay, I'm not technically a mother, but I have a mother,
some of my best friends are mothers, and I mother my I
got this little book. The bigger book is full of Victoria's trademark
gorgeous photography, and lots of handy, dandy decorating tips.
I now have a dozen Victoria books, which are getting harder to find
as they sell out of them at the book stores and are no longer available.
Second hand they can be quite expensive too so that's not always
an option. And here is my latest reading finish. I read Kim Harrison's
first book Dead Witch Walking last year (I think) and decided
to get the whole series. Supernatural - romance - mystery.
Fast paced, sexy, a nice detailed background history as well
as set rules for magic use, gives this series of fantasy books
a real life feel. I am now reading the sequel to this one, which
is Every Which way but Dead. Kim Harrison has written her
books with wit and imagination and I love them.

Rachel Morgan is an earth witch and a bounty hunter.
A former runner for the I.S. (Interland Security) she now
runs her own investigation agency with her partners Jenks,
a pixie, and Ivy, a living vampire. Rachel is hired,
unofficially, by FIB (Federal Interland Bureau) to hunt a
nasty killer who is targeting witches who use ley line magic.
She suspects the killer to be successful, mysterious
businessman Trent Kalamack, but has to find solid proof before
FIB will act. All while dealing with potentially grave
complications in her relationship with her tormented vamp
partner Ivy, and trying to outwit a demon who's marked her
for his own. Rachel has to try to stay alive and hang on to her
soul and find a killer, who may be targeting her next!!

Darlene (long suffering) was here last weekend to help with
the monumental task of decorating this house for Christmas.
It's a two day job, but this year I made things a bit easier by
spending one day of my holiday packing away the Autumn/
Thanksgiving/Halloween decorations, and also finding places
to hide/store the regular all year decorations to make room
for the Xmas stuff. What a chore. I warned DH to be careful
how he opens closet doors, pulls open dresser drawers, and
reaches into kitchen cupboards. He's liable to be bonked on
the head, or have an overfilled drawer drop on his foot if he's
not careful.

Should be interesting in January, when we're packing the
Xmas decorations away and I have to go looking for all the
hidden all-season decorations to put them out again. Last
Christmas I put one thing away somewhere, and spent
seven months looking for it afterwards. I finally found it
by accident in August while poking around the top shelf of
one of my kitchen cupboards looking for something else!

The Friday of my holidays my SIL and I went to a Christmas
decorating show at the convention centre out by the airport.
There was other, non Christmasy, crafty stuff and home
entertaining things for sale as well. We walked around for
a few hours and bought some neat things. We also went to
Michael's, where I stocked up on DMC thread, looked into
having Faith framed there (and nearly went into cardiac
arrest when they gave me the price to frame it!!) and
picked up some Xmas related trim.

Question: I've seen by the postings of bloggers in the States
that your Walmart's sell DMC thread. Ours in Canada do
not!! Why???? It's most annoying.

I've been spending the evenings during the past week working
on my Christmas cards. Averaging about a dozen a day. I
usually make up between 60 and 70 a year. Didn't realize we
knew that many people. Once the cards are done the next
thing on the list to tackle will be baking!!!! Maybe I should
hire Shannon (blog: This, that, the other) to do this for me.
She's the Christmas Baking Queen for sure!!!

On a sad note, this week my DH's great aunt Elsa passed
away. She was an incredible lady, who possessed a strong
love of family, a phenomenal memory, and a lot of spunk all
crammed into a tiny package. She was orphaned at an early
age, went into foster care and was separated from her three
siblings for many years because of this. She worked hard all
her life, and when she retired she started her own business
selling her crocheting work. She lived in Peterborough in her
own apartment until around the age of 96 and then moved in
with her son and his wife. We tried to visit her at least once a
year, taking her out for dinner and fighting her for the bill
afterwards. She always won. DH loved her homemade
shortbread. She was 101 years old when she died!!!
We'll miss her.

And this is what it looks like when I'm on the computer at
night. I can just barely move my wrist and hand to work the

Well, it's time to finish off this posting and get on with my day.
Thanks for all your encouragement regarding the Snowflake
piece. I will finish it. I will. Once I've finished the secret
stitching. I want to get that done, and mailed off.

Sandra, still no sign of my first issue of Victoria. If it's not
here by the first week in December I'll email again. I'm
getting a bit annoyed with them, to say the least.

If you've read to the end of this posting I'd say that you
deserve a medal. Cheers all!!!! I'll be back commenting
to your wonderful blogs this week.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A wee bit more progress on Snowflake quilt square. Just have to put
points on the ends of some of the snowflakes, and stitch a broken line
boarder around the outside of the square, and I'm done. Trouble is
I've lost my mojo for this project. I keep getting distracted by other
projects. So little left to do, and I can't bring myself to pick it up and
do it. Time to stitch at work last week was limited, which didn't help

And when I did have time to stitch I started a new project. This is
going to be a gift for someone, so I'm not giving out details other
then this hint of a picture. You'll just have to wonder.

And I started this project over the weekend. I've been wanting to
stitch this piece ever since I saw it finished by Becky, and a couple
of other stitchers. I love this design so much. I haven't subscribed
to A Gift of Stitching on line cross stitch magazine because I wasn't
sure if my computer could handle it, or how it would work with my
very limited computer skills. But this weekend I decided to bite
the bullet, and go for it. I got the first 21 issues safely downloaded
to my computer and am very happy.

So a start on LHN/CCN collaboration design from A Gift of Stitching.
Love those wee bees!! And the colours used to stitch this. I may
have to back stitch the bee's wings because, once again, I'm not
sure that the white thread is showing up too well on the material
I'm stitching on. This is 28 count Jobelan by the way. I also
really want to stitch the Long Dog Sampler's Mystery sampler
that was published in this magazine. I've seen it being stitched,
and finished, by several stitching bloggers and it's gorgeous!!!

It's Monday morning here, and a long weekend for a select few
of the working populace in Canada who still get a day off for
Remembrance Day, which was officially yesterday. Mostly
just the Banks, the Government, and the Post Office who get
the holiday now. I was taking the entire week as a holiday,
but traded one day with another girl at work who wanted an
extra long weekend for a visit to the States. So I go into work
tomorrow, then I'm off for the rest of the week.

On Saturday DH was busy helping put the church float
together for the annual Georgetown Santa Claus parade,
which was held during the evening on Saturday. Once again
they borrowed a farmer's hay wagon, strung it with lights
and piled it with hay bales for the kids to sit on. Then the
adults and kids rode it along the route, singing carols all
the way and having a great time. He was gone from 2 till
almost 9:30. After the parade they had to take the float
back to the church, remove all the decorations and then
return the wagon to it's owner, so that took time. DH was
pretty pooped when he got home.

Sunday I went to my Mom's retirement residence for
lunch and a visit. I stitched while we talked, she napped
and then we went out to one of the common rooms to
work on a jigsaw puzzle. A mutual obsession of ours.
While we were there we were found and surprised by a
visit by my godson and his mom.

Godson Ian has been away at college since September,
but came home this weekend for Commencement. He's
studying Drama at Fanshaw college in London. He's
having a wonderful time down there, and is loving every
minute of his courses. They've been to Stratford to see
a play, and to Niagara On the Lake for the Shaw festival
and a few plays there. It was wonderful seeing my
"Little" godson, who is 18 and now officially taller then
my DH, which means that he's almost 6'6" tall!!! We
had a nice visit together before they had to leave.

After reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian two weeks
ago, I needed a light, breezy book to "cleanse" my reading palate.
I picked up these two books while grocery shopping, having
heard good things about this author, Debbie Macomber, from
various bloggers. The author is an avid knitter, and wrote these
two books as a way of incorporating that love with her love of

Lydia is a two time cancer survivor who is making her first
tentative steps towards independence after years of concent-
rating on her battle with the disease. She is using a small
inheritance to open her own yarn shop. Having learned to
knit while battling her first bout of cancer as a teenager
Lydia credits the craft with helping her to get through the
rough times and often harrowing treatments. She wants
to teach others the joys of knitting, and hopefully make
friends along the way. The book focuses on three women
who take Lydia's first beginning knitters class, their
lives, and their problems, as well as the development
of Lydia's first adult relationship. The knitting classes
bring these four women into a lasting friendship, and
they help each other to face their problems, and solve

The story of Lydia and her shop continues in the second
book, with three new characters introduced, and an
occasional appearance by the original three from the
first book along with updates on their lives. A third book
in this series is due to come out next Spring I believe.

These are light reads, which is why I read both in one
week, but they are fun, and well written, and it's easy
to get emotionally involved with at least some of the
characters, and especially Lydia who is tentatively
experiencing life and love for the first time.

Many of you knit as well as cross stitch, so you should
know that each book has a knitting pattern printed at
the front of the book, as a gift from the author to fellow
knitters. And cross stitchers in general can certainly
relate to the love of a craft, and how sharing it with
others can lead to strong, sustaining friendships, as well
as being a means of relaxation and an outlet for
creativity which is good for the soul.

Oh wow!!! I am delighted to discover so many fellow
lovers of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey
Niffenegger out there. What an awesome book!! I
read this the year it came out, and loved it so much
that I recommended it for the book club that I was
in at the time, and read it a second time in that same
year. I've heard that it might be made into a movie
which has me worried because I'm afraid that
someone will take a wonderful story and make hash
out of it. And who do you guys think could play
Henry and Claire???

The Christmas magazine season is upon us, and I'm
eagerly awaiting the first issue of Victoria magazine,
which I subscribed to as soon as I heard it was being
published again. I picked up Mary Engelbreit's Home
Companion December issue this weekend and am
pouring over it as usual. I love Christmas magazines.

This weekend coming up Darlene is coming for our
annual weekend of decorating the tree and house.
I've got egg nog in the fridge, and the Christmas
CD's close to hand to help get us in the mood. I may
go to Yorkdale Mall on Wednesday to do a bit of
Christmas shopping, and I need to look for this
years Christmas cards. We've had a wee dusting of
snow once of twice, but it's still not cold enough to
get anything serious. It's suppose to rain this afternoon.

Well, this is another long, rambling blog entry. Time
to shut up and finish off. Hope I haven't put anyone
to sleep. Have a great week folks.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Linda has tagged me with this book meme....can't imagine why.

Anyways, I have given this some thought and here's my answers.....

1: Hardcover or paperback, and why?

I prefer hardcovers because I find that they travel well, and they're

easier on my eyes to read, and they stay open on the page by themselves

most of the time. But I do buy paperbacks too because not all books

come out in hardcover, and sometimes I don't want to pay full price for a

light bit of fluff that may or may not be a keeper.

2: If I were to own a book shop, I would call it…

Judy's Books - Go Get Your Own!!!!

3: My favourite quote from a book (mention the title).

I'm too brain strained to remember quotes from books.

4: The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be…

Marie Killilea (Karen / With Love From Karen)

or C.S. Lewis (Narnia series)

or Sharon Kay Penman (The Sunne in Splendor)

or Jacqueline Carey (Kushiels Dart etc)

5:If I was going to a deserted island and could bring only one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…

The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)

6: I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…

Would hold the book for me, turn the pages, and hold the book

open while I read. Oh, and provided perfect lighting for reading.

7: The smell of an old book reminds me of…

My father - who read to me, told me stories, and nurtured and

encouraged my love of reading.

8: If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title) it would be…

Phedre no Delaunay (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiels Chosen, Kushiels Avatar)

9: The most overestimated book of all times is…

hmmmmmmmmm. Don't know off hand. I haven't met a book that

didn't give me some enjoyment or teach me something. I'm pretty

forgiving that way. Oh, can't say that I've been able to get into

anything by the Bronte sisters. Probably me. I'll try again someday.

10: I hate it when a book…

Is too short. Ends too abruptly. Gets preachy.

I also hate when a much loved book ends. I want it to

go on forever. And I hate when an author doesn't know

when to end a series.

Okay then....a progress report on my current Winter project. The
snowflake quilt square is nearing completion and I think that I'll be
able to finish it off sometime this week at work. Can't say that I'm
in love with this piece, but I'll finish it because I don't need anymore
UFO's laying around the place, and making me feel guilty.

Case in point.....this is Sarah's Friends, the companion to the project
pictured last week. About 3/4's done, badly stained by the masking
tape that I use to use to bind the edges, and stitched on stiff, white
Aida (shudder!!). These are so cute, but I can't see myself working
on this material again. And really, there's Aida, and then there's Aida.
The nice, soft high quality stuff, which the above is definitely not!!
I'll hold on to these for awhile, and the almost finished (except for the
french knots) one I may actually finish and do something with
someday, but this one.....
Book stash!! I was browsing through a couple of book blogs awhile ago
and came across a mention of the book Cheaper by the Dozen. It set
me off immediately, as it reminded me of a book that I'd read numerous
times many years ago, and a movie that I also loved. I'd wanted a copy
of Cheaper by the Dozen for my collection for years but had been unable
to find one. I decided to check the book sites again....and guess what??
A lovely hard cover edition has come out. Complete with a wonderful,
retro cover that I love. So I ordered it right away, along with a couple
of other books that I'd been coveting. Happy, happy me!

I also ordered the movie Cheaper by the Dozen, starring the marvelous
Clifton Webb, and the luminous Myrna Loy. I have seen this movie so
many times on tv over the years, I could probably quote the story
from start to finish without looking at it again. But I wanted it for my
movie collection, and since it was on sale, along with the sequel Belles
on Their Toes, I got it. These are comfort movies. You know.... like
comfort food, only on DVD instead of a plate. And no calories.

The Ken Follett book is a sequel to his wonderful book Pillars of the
Earth, which came out over twenty years ago at least and was a
fantastic read. I never expected him to write a sequel to it though,
so this lovely large tome came as quite a delightful surprise in the
book store one day. It's a nice chunky sized one too. So now I'll
have to reread my copy of Pillars of the Earth, because it's been a
few years since I first read it, and then I'll dive gleefully right into
this one. Sigh! I love books.....don't you???

The other book is one that I've read numerous reviews for and
had made a mental note to myself to get one day soon. It's a
fictionalized account of the affair between Frank Lloyd Wright
(the famous architect) and Mamah Borthwick Cheney. I look
forward to reading this one too.
While browsing the book selling site Indigo/Chapters I found some
books on sale for under $5.00.....all in hardcover. The two top ones
are Young Adult, in the supernatural vein, and the two below are
adult fiction. I figured that for under $5.00 you just can't go wrong.
And besides, I really hate to see a homeless, unwanted book.

So this is the book that I read last week. One of the sale books.
I'd read good reviews for this one, and was curious because of
the odd title. On the inside flap of the cover it states "a wise,
tender, deeply funny novel...." Um....well, I suppose it might be
to some readers. It's a bit broad in the "funny" department.
Perhaps what you might term satirical humour, which I don't
get myself.

I remember reading The Nanny Diaries when it
came out. I got it because the reviews said that it was very
funny. Satirical humour. I read the book. I didn't laugh. I
spent most of the book upset at how everyone was treating
everyone else, and by the end, when the Nanny is fired and
not allowed to see her little charge to say goodbye or
explain why she was leaving, I was in tears. So I don't get
satirical least not on the written page.

Anyways, I read A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
and I didn't laugh much. I winced a few times, and I shook
my head a fair bit, but I didn't laugh.

When Vera, and Nadia's recently widowed elderly father
announces that he's marrying a younger woman from
his homeland of Ukraine, they are shocked and dismayed
at the prospect. More so when they discover that she's
got a son, is still legally married in Ukraine, and is (in
their view) a voluptuous gold digger.

The two sisters are themselves estranged from one
another, and have an uneasy relationship with their
very eccentric, old world, engineer father who sees
the world in quite a unique way.

The book traces the courtship and marriage of the
old man and his brash, younger wife. It also slowly
reveals his past life, how he met his daughters
mother, and gives his view of how their life in pre-
WWII Ukraine unfolded, verses his wife's view as
related by their older daughter Vera. Their
history through the war and on to their emigration
to England and their life there.

Learning of the history of Ukraine was interesting.
Slowly seeing life in England through the eyes of
the "gold digging" younger wife who knows
the western lifestyle only as she's heard of it through
stories and propaganda is a revelation.

This is a book different from what I normally read,
and perhaps not quite my cup of tea, but it made me
think, and may have opened my eyes a little to see
something of how those who have not, see our lives
where we have so much, and think little of it. I
can't say that I ever felt any real emotional connect-
ion to any of the characters, but that's mostly
because I was feeling so annoyed and frustrated by
their motivations, and their behavior. I wasn't in
my comfort zone while reading this book, but I did
want to know how everything would work out.

Hello Shannon. I passed so close to your home and
didn't even know it?? Doh!!! How frustrating is
that??? If only I'd known. Thank you for your
kind words about my mom and her clothes. You
should know that she loves to dress up, and is of
that olde school, where you are always dressed
to your best. Her hair is always neatly styled (she
goes to the hairdresser once a week, and has done
for as long as I've been alive) and she is always
smartly dressed. Very unlike her daughter, who's
a slob!! Lol.

Hi Monique. Ah driving. A bit of a contentious issue
between DH and I. He would love it if I'd learn to case of emergencies, you know. But I was
on my own until aged 32, and lived in Toronto where
you had a choice of having an apartment, or a car.
I had an apartment. Plus, in Toronto it's better to
take transit, rather then put up with the hassles
of driving, and the expense of parking. And I'm
just not confident enough in myself to learn to
drive. I'd be terrified behind the wheel. And there
are too many lunatics on the road as it is these
days. DH doesn't mind driving me around, and
the Go bus stops at the end of our street, so there
we are.

And everyone who commented....thanks for the
compliments on my writing. I'm glad you all
don't mind my long and rambling posts. I seem
able to post only once a week, and so there's
usually a great deal to say, and then throw in
a book review or two and the next thing you
know it's the on line blogging equivalent of
War and Peace.

Hope everyone had a nice Halloween. We had
maybe 50 kids total, and still have a fair bit of
candy left over. Some cute costumes, although
my DH was quite disappointed that the two,
kids who went to our neighbours across the
street and were dressed in huge sumo wrestler
costumes, didn't come across to us.

DH is spending this weekend working in the
garden, emptying the flower pots, mowing the
lawn, cutting back stuff, and in general just
putting the garden to bed for the winter. We
have finally had a killing frost over night, and
so most everything is done for the year anyways.

The bird feeders have been busy. The junkos
are back in town, and we've been delighted to
have a pair of red breasted nuthatches at our
feeders. It looks as though they're storing food
somewhere, and plan to spend the winter here.
The gold finches, sparrows, chickadees, cardinals
and blue jays are stuffing themselves, and so are
the squirrels for that matter.

Stitching Bits n Bobs has a Halloween sale on. Sigh!!
So guess what? Sigh!!! I don't know why I don't
just arrange to have my pay cheque direct deposited
to Bit's n Bobs, just to save time, and wear and tear
on my VISA card. Sigh!!!!!

And finally, yes the end is in sight, DH was doing
some book keeping last weekend here and was
sitting at the desk area, with the to drawer of the
two drawer filing cabinet in the closet wide open
so that he could access the files he needed. He
turned around and found.....

Rupert says "Hi Y'all!!!"

Cheers and have a great weekend everybody. Thanks for dropping in.