Saturday, September 27, 2008

A major happy dance occurred this week as the final stitches
were put into Bluebell, and I completed work on the six
squares that comprise the Cottage Garden series by
Country Cottage Needleworks. So here is Bluebell....

And here is the whole piece. It's a rainy, dull day here today
so this is the best that I can do with the light coming in the
windows, and with the adjustment settings on my i-photo.
Violet and Daisy appear washed out here, and they are
lighter then the others due to the threads used to stitch them,
but they look fine in real life. I'm very pleased that I managed
to stitch this entire project in less then a year.

I needed a new project for this week, but didn't have much
time to fuss and rummage through my stash, so ended up
grabbing my very first Lizzie Kate project. This is "Bone
Appetit" from Halloween Thrillogy. I'm stitching it on
28 count Queen Anne's Lace Jobelan. I've also messed up
stitching the bone (Aaarrrgghhh!!) and will have to take a
closer look at it later and make the necessary repairs.
That's what I get for stitching in the uncertain light at the
hospital. I may have to backstitch the bone too, to make
it stand out more.

I did a bit of exploring on the site for the On Line Needlework
show during the week and have chosen my favourite design.
This is Hitchin' a Ride by Lavender Wings designs and I love
it. Okay, so the sheep is wearing the colours of the American
flag...but maybe I can adjust them to reflect the Canadian flag
colours instead. Wonder if there's somewhere on line where I
can find a Maple Leaf pattern to stitch as well. Oh well, I'd
probably stitch it as is. This is just so cute!!

I was in the bookstore last week. I picked up a couple of books
that were on sale, and a couple that just caught my fancy. The
sale books were the Mary Higgins Clark and the Isabel Allende
book. The books that just happened to jump into my arms (as
books tend to do when I'm browsing around a store) were L.J.
Smith (Vampires again...) and Carolly Erickson.

I started and finished the Carolly Erickson novel The
Tsarina's Daughter during my weekly commute this
week. Carolly Erickson usually writes historically
factual books about the many colourful characters
from the past, but lately it seems she's also been
writing the odd fictional book based on historic figures.
This is one of those books.

It tells of the life of the Tsar's second daughter
Tatiana as she grows up in the Russian court,
experiences the upheaval and turmoil of the
Russian revolution, and falls in love with a
young soldier that she nurses back to health
during the first World War. It's established
right at the beginning of the book that Tatiana
survived the massacre of the Tsar and his
family, and lived a long and full life while
hiding her true identity.

I've been fascinated by Russian history in
general, and by the lives of the Russian
royal family in particular, for many years.
The incredible, colourful history that
Russia has, the quirky and often odd
members of the Russian nobility, the
sadness and tragedy of the last Tsar and
his family, and the mystery regarding the
fate of one of the Grand Duchesses all
combine to make for compelling and
compulsive reading.

Although I did enjoy reading this book,
I would have liked more from the author.
I guess I wanted more history, more
detail and more adherence to the true
history of the main characters, instead
of a romanticised version.

It annoyed me that Erickson made three of
the young duchesses pretty unlikable, while
making Tatiana the one with the best attributes.
Surely all the girls had their good and their
bad points, and should have been written
as such. Then I would have cared more
about their fates, and become more emotionally
involved in the story then I did. And I'd like to
think that they were closer to each other in real
life then they were as written in this book.

I think Erickson did do a good job of writing
about the characters, their phobia's and their
faults, when writing about Nicholas and
Alexandra...the Tsar and Tsarina. Two people
who were entirely unsuited for the roles that
they were born into.

An okay read but not a spectacular one.


Mom was deemed well enough by the Doctor this
week to leave the hospital, but not strong enough
to return to the retirement residence. Since she
disagreed with him on that point the Doctor was
wise enough not to try and argue with her. He
just arranged for the head nurse at the residence
to visit her one day to assess her and make the
decission. As it happened, the owner of the
residence also came along. They both agreed
with the Doctor's assessment. So did I. Mom
isn't happy about it, but deep down I suspect
that she knows we're all right.

So the paperwork is being finalized to transfer
her next week to a Rehabilitation facility, where
she'll stay for about a month. They'll get her
back on her feet and gradually build up her
strength and stamina so that she can return
to the residence and resume her life there without
concerns about the potential of her not being
able to look after herself, or of falling.

The downside is that any of the Rehab centres
that she might go to are not close by. So I won't
be able to visit her every night, as I've been
doing during the month that she's been in
hospital. She isn't going to like that.

And to add to the fun is the fact that DH has
come down with a cold, which means he has
to stay away from her until he's well again.
And I think that I'm coming down with it now
too. Oh joy!

We want to take her to whichever Rehab centre
she'll be moved to ourselves, to help settle her in
and make the transition more acceptable to her.
It'll be next Wednesday that she goes, so hopefully
we'll both be healthy by that time.

Dani, I'd love to go to the Creative Sewing show
in October, but since Mom will probably still be in
the Rehab place at that time I doubt that I'll be
able to go. But I'll make note of the date and
stuff, and who knows. I'll keep you posted.

I'm going for my first mammogram on Monday,
so have the day off of work for that. Hope it'll
be okay to go even if I'm sick. Guess I'll have to
play it by ear.

Well, I'm going to go have some lunch, and then get
ready to head over to the hospital. I'll leave you
with a picture of Rupert giving Phoebe a wash,
which was taken last week.

Thanks for stopping by. Take care all and have
a great stitching week.



Pumpkin said...

HORRAY!!!! Congrats Judy! You finish is lovely :o) It's hard to take good photos on dull or rainy days.

I like your LK :o) I've seen this one before and thought it was very cute. Sorry about the frog :oS

I'm happy to hear that your mother is well enough to leave the hospital. I'm sure everyone knows what's best for her and the month will go by fast. She probably will miss the fact that you aren't there every day but is there something you can leave with her that will occupy her on the days you can't be there?

Good luck with your mammogram. The girls will get squashed but take an Advil before you go. It's supposed to help :o)

samplerlover said...

Hi Judy, Congratulations on your finish. Your houses look lovely.

I have been fascinated by the Russian Royal Family as well. I have a beautiful photo of the Grand Duchesses. They were all very beautiful. Their story is quite fascinating. I always thought though that it was Anastasia who was supposed to survive. But I did read that when they found their makeshift grave a few years ago that with DNA that they did from The Duke of Edinburgh (closest surviving relative) on the skulls and bones that every member was accounted for. Then earlier in the year they brought back to Russia the remains of the Empress Dagmar, Nicholas's mother from Denmark.

I'm so glad to hear that your Mum is improving to the stage where she is able to leave hospital. You wont believe this but I too have been spending the last two days in hospital with my youngest son who is 13. He too has Pneumonia in his right lung. He was admitted to hospital yesterday morning and has been on a drip where they have been administrating antibiotics. Hopefully he will come home tomorrow. Would you believe that yesterday was the start of 2 weeks school holidays.

He is one of these kids who in the middle of winter (not like yours) will get around in just a short sleeve shirt. I'm forever telling him to put a jumper on or he'll get pneumonia. Maybe now he will start listening to me.

Haven't done much stitching, but have done a lot of reading sitting in emergency wards and his room in hospital. I have been reading Elizabeth Gaskell. I finished Cranford yesterday and I am half way through Ruth today. Both really good books, especially Ruth. If you like Jane Austen you will love Elizabeth Gaskell.

Good luck with your mammogram. I will be thinking of you. = Sandra.

staci said...

Congrats on your Cottage Garden finish, it's gorgeous! I have that Hitchin a Ride pattern too...if you plan on stitching it, maybe we could do a little SAL.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely finish Judy
Well done

Andrea said...

The Cottage Garden finish is wonderful. The Lavender Wings chart you have your eye on is so nice too. I do have to laugh at those charts that have sheep and turkeys pulling carts etc. I need to make a journey to a bookshop soon, I'm down to my lat couple of books amrked for reading, so I shall need to stock up.

stitcherw said...

Congratulations on your finish, it looks wonderful. I think the picture turned out very well. I have difficulty taking pictures that turn out well regardless of the weather most times.

Hitching a ride is so cute, I can see why you'd pick it for a favorite design. Bone Appetit is a fun one too, sorry the frog has already come for a bit. Hopefully you can adjust the bone fairly easily to get it how you want. The white in the picture is a bit hard to see, maybe a light grey or brown outline would help it to stand out a bit more.

Glad that your mother is out of hospital, but it is to bad any of the rehab centers are a distance away. Hopefully you and your DH will be feeling well enough to help her move and she gets her strength back quickly so she can go back to her own place. Cute kitty picture, they look like they posed just for you. :)

Rowyn said...

Congrats on a lovely finish. All the pieces look lovely together.

It's good to hear that your Mum is on the mend. Hopefully it won't be long before she's back in the retirement residence and into her normal routine.

Phoebe and Rupert are just beautiful. They look like a couple of very contented kitties!

Good luck with the mammogram. Hopefully you'll get the all clear, and you won't need to think about it again until the next one.

Lili said...

You're right: even though the colours are different, it all looks very beautiful. I might follow your advice. Congratulations on this amazing finish.
I'm glad your mother will soon be in a rehab center: means she's doing better and that you'll have more peace of mind as well (hoping you will).
Nasty colds rush onto tired people so no wonder you're under attack...
Phoebe and Rupert are amazingly beautiful. My... Wonders...
Hope the mammogram's OK. I'll have to have my first one soon myself...
Take care,

Carla said...

Congratulations on your finish, looks very pretty!!!
Nice progress on Bon Apetit, it's a cute design :)

Barbara said...

I'm glad your mom is improving, and I have my fingers and toes crossed that you and your DH will be well on the day she needs to go to the rehab center. It does help a lot when elderly people can be settled in by their own family.

Hey congratulations on some great stitching! That's such a pretty project!

I had my first mamogram this month and it was so much easier than some people had led me to believe. I was (fortunately) in and out in under an hour and the doctor even told me on the spot that my tests were all very good & normal (because of my age, they also had to do an ultrasound). Good luck with everything!

Beatrice said...

I'm glad to hear that things are looking up for your Mom.
Congrats on the great finish. The cottages are so pretty. I enjoy the Lizzie Kate and Bone is cute.
Take care!

Beatrice said...

P/S good luck with the Mammogram.
The Kitties are beautiful!

monique said...

Congrats on such a lovely finish! The LK bone looks fine to me... not sure I'd bother to re-do it. Glad to hear your mom is improving and going to a rehab center; she'll be up and running in no time, I'm sure :)

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Judy, I love your garden series you've just finished. Makes me want to do one, though I don't have any of the charts! I haven't been collecting them this year. Your piece in an inspiration. I just love it!
You, me and books...Oh, boy. You got a great stack, didn't you. I'm very interested in what you found out about that Vampire book. I haven't heard of that author. Thanks for the Tsarina review...I think I've been wondering about that particular book for a while. I'm an avid fan of Russian history, too, and particularly of the Romanovs. It would make me sad, too, if an author down graded the other beautiful daughters! I could just talk to you all night, knowing we are twins seperated at birth!!! LOL Your mom's situation sounds tenuous...I hope it's settled to your peace of mind very soon.
Hugs, your friend,

Sonda in OR said...

Thanks for visiting my blog (as you do so faithfully) and for your well wishes after Pumpkin's death.

Your two kitties are so beautiful!

I love your Bluebell cottage finish and the whole six of them look great together. Eventually I'll get around to doing those.

Glad your mom is doing better, though I'm sad she can't go back to her residence facility right away. Hope she recovers her strength quickly!!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Wooo Hooo! That looks great congrats Judy!

I'm glad your Mom is well enough to leave hospital!

Gina E. said...

Cute photo of the furbabies! Gosh you lead a busy life - I wish I could read as much as you and stitch as much as you, as well as hold down a job, not to mention running a household and visiting your Mom every day! I know you haven't got any children; nor have I, but there is no way I could fit all those activities into my day...but I'm older than you - ha ha!!