Sunday, November 30, 2008

My life is a whirlwind of activity and commitments. It is
a constant thought in my head that I "should be" doing this
or I "should be" doing that right now. But in my usual
way I'm doing what I can and ignoring the rest. Or just
postponing it to a later date. And trying not to stress over
it all.

Yesterday was a good example. Was suppose to go to the
post office, go to the grocery store, go see Mom and then
go to a special do in the evening.

But then I slept in on Saturday morning, and when I did
get up I couldn't get moving. My old winter boots had sprung
a leak, probably through the hole in the toe, and so needed
replacing before the next big storm (more about that later).
And a strap on my purse broke so I needed a new purse too.
So this meant a trip to the mall for more then just a visit
to the post office.

Boots didn't take long. I hate buying shoes so I get my
self into the store, choose what looks best, try it on, pay
for it and get out again. Mission accomplished. Choosing
a purse however was something else again. I just pick
out something from Walmart which is cheap and suits
my needs. I'm too rough on purses to spend more then
I can help on one. But there wasn't a great deal in our
Walmart that appealed to me and I rummaged around in
their shelves for awhile before settling on something that
would "do" for now.

Meanwhile time was flying by and stress levels were
rising accordingly. So after finishing things in the mall
and picking up a few things at the grocery store it was
home to ponder our next move. We decided that we
should perhaps arrange to visit Mom on Sunday, when
we'd have more time and were more able to enjoy the
visit and be more sociable. So I called and she was fine
with that. DH and I ate a late lunch and then dispursed
to our various favourite napping spots and had a bit of
a kip. I don't usually nap in the afternoons, but a small
headache required a time out, and so I took it.

The rest of the afternoon I goofed on the computer and
vegged. It felt pretty good to just do nuthin'. I'm good
at that. DH enjoyed his nap too. He's crazy busy these
days as well with choir commitments, church events and
committees and stuff.

My stitching time is still limited to lunches and breaks at
work, visits with Mom and perhaps the odd bit of time in
the bus depot waiting for my Go bus to Georgetown at the
end of the work day. But here's my progress on LHN's
Kitty Cottage Sampler. And as usual the ecru I'm using
doesn't show up terribly well on the fabric that I chose to
stitch this on. So I'll probably have to back stitch the
fence and the foot stool to get them to show up better.

And congratulations to Rowyn of Rosie Kiwi who guessed
the identity of this project last week. Your prize is in the
mail Rowyn and as long as the post office strike doesn't
mess things up too much I would think that you'll see it
on your doorstep in two or so weeks. I hope.

I got a wonderful surprise in the mail this week myself
and am just thrilled to bits with it. This is from the
incredible Barbara of Mainly Stitching fame, who made
me this lovely bookmark in lovely colours and using
a selection of great Quaker images, plus my initials.
It's been added to my small collection of stitching
treasures and I'm enjoying looking at it. It reminds me
of Barbara, one of the nicest, funniest, most talented
people around. A visit to Barbara's blog is a joy and an
inspiration, but I'm sure you already know that yourselves.
Thank you Barbara. You're the best!

This weekend is the 50th anniversary of the founding of
our church, St. Andrews United, here in Georgetown. On
Friday night DH and I attended a meet and greet at the
church where a large crowd of past and present members
gathered to visit, eat and listen to performances by the
various choirs belonging to the church. DH is in two of
the choirs and the above picture is of the praise band
Kahilla. DH is the tallest guy in the middle of the picture.

Then last evening was a formal dinner, with entertainment
afterwords. Dinner was at six and since we'd both had a
quiet, relaxing afternoon DH and I were in a much better
frame of mind (mostly sane) to enjoy the meal and the
entertainment. Dinner was a catered affair and the main
course was roast beef. Yum!! Dessert was a crepe with
ice cream and raspberry sauce. Double yum!!

When thinking of winter, and especially Christmas, we
all have a certain image in our heads of what it should
look like outside during this time of year. The picture
above is pretty close to my imagined perfect winter. Of
course reality is something else again, and tonight we
are suppose to be getting our first big hit of reality for
this year.

Rain and snow, mixed together. The temperature and
location will determine who gets what. We're further
north then Toronto, but still shielded by the escarpment
so we don't get as much snow as places even 15 minutes
further north of us by car do. Bad case scenario would
present us with about 10 to 20 centimeters of snow.
Just in time for rush hour tomorrow morning.


Mom is doing well, and says that she has noticed an
increase in the strength in her arms and legs. She
was measured and fitted for a new wheelchair this
week since the one that she was assigned was not
comfortable for her back. Apparently wheelchairs
do not come in one size fits all. News to me. Mom
has long legs so needed a different wheelchair to
suit her. She starts therapy on Monday and that
should make even more progress possible.

I'm a little short on things to write about this week for
some reason. And since it's lunch time I'm going to
bow out for now and go feed my grumbly tummy.
I'll leave you with this weeks picture of Phoebe sharing
her blanket with Rupert, who figured that since he
needed to stretch out he'd do so right over Phee. What
a guy.

Thanks for visiting and take care all. Cheers!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


It's Sunday morning and I'm stealing time away from the two
or three hundred things that need doing RIGHT THIS MINUTE
to create this weeks post. Don'tcha just love the holiday season??
So much to do, so little time to do it in. I guess that's part of the
fun though... er, yeah....right!

I really, really need to do some housework today since the dust
bunnies are beginning to fight with the cats for possession of the
best sleeping spots and for food!! I need to do laundry since
neither DH nor I work for companies with nudist tolerant policies.
I need to get cracking on the christmas cards and since I'm also
sending cards out on Mom's behalf this year I'll have even more to
do then usual. The post office is going to be my new BFF.

The good news is that I was able to craft a Christmas news letter
last night to send to all the relatives in England, and family friends
elsewhere to update them on what's been happening with Mom.
Of course since it's me that wrote it, and since I'm not known for
my brevity when writing anything (okay, who just called me long
winded???) the thing is eight pages long. Heh, heh. Again, the
post office is going to be my new BFF.

I have been stitching, during lunch breaks at work and visits
with Mom. Can you tell which LHN design I'm stitching now???
I'm sure you can. Who can guess it first?? I'll send a little
something to the first commenter who can identify and name
this design. Who knows, you may even be lucky enough to
receive a copy of the family newsletter with your prize. Whoo

My Halloween/Fall stitching projects have not been touched
this week, which breaks my heart but can't be helped.

Being the glutton for stashing that I am I received a package
from Bobbie at Stitching Bits and Bobs and Rupert wanted to
be the one to show it off to you. Sadly, no loose threads to
grab and play with today so he's being a good boy and doing
his best Vanna White imitation.

The LHN Little Women series is so cute, and the colours are
wonderful. I'm going to stitch these all together on one piece
of material and will frame them as a companion piece to
Cottage Garden when it's done.

The new JCS Christmas Ornaments issue is fabulous!!! I've
been so impressed with many of the ornaments in it this year.
I love the Brittercup design Christmas Centrepiece and will
definitely stitch it, probably sometime in June when I'll have
some free time opening up. Monique's design for My Mark
called Be Merry is so jolly and colourful, and it's cool to
see a friend's design in a magazine like this. Wow...I know
her!! She actually visits my blog! And comments!!

There was a small Christmas Bazaar in the common room at
the rehab centre where my Mom is yesterday. Tables with
handmade gifts and treasures, home baked goodies and stuff
like that. I took Mom around in her wheel chair, after
borrowing some spending money from DH since I'd left my
purse at home for some reason.

I bought some goodies from the baking table and then made
tea for Mom in the dining room and we had a snack. I'm
working on getting her to eat more you see. So there are some
little tartlets with raspberry jam inside and a swirly design on
the icing and there are cherry flavoured cupcakes which are

Mom continues to do well at the rehab centre, and the doctor
is quite pleased with how much better she looks and sounds
after just two weeks. Getting in and out of bed, and in and
out of the wheelchair continues to be difficult and requires
two people to help her do it. She needs to build up the
strength in her arms and legs so that she can give herself
the push that she needs to get up. And she needs to eat

During the week DH is coming to pick me up from work
and we're going straight to the rehab centre to visit with
Mom. He leaves work at 4:30 and we get to the centre
at around 5:40. We visit until 7:00 and then head home,
arriving there around 7:30. We're doing this twice during
the week. We visit once during the weekend, usually on
Saturday. Hopefully the weather won't cause too much
of a problem although I hear we're in for some rain/snow
mix on Monday and Tuesday which should be fun. Ugh!

I'm continuing to read my way through the third book in
the Tawny Man trilogy by Robin Hobb. I've lost some
reading time on the days when we visit Mom, and this
book is 900 pages so there's a lot of reading to do. But
I'm enjoying it and getting quite lost in the story when

Well, the Twilight movie is finally out, and much as I
expected the reviews have been mediocre at best. Given
the lack of free time around here these days I'm probably
going to have to miss seeing it in the theatre and just
buy or rent it when it comes out on DVD. I am looking
forward to seeing the movie Inkheart, which comes out
at the end of January. Judging by the trailer it looks good.
I have the book but haven't read it yet. I'll see the movie
first. And Mamma Mia comes out on DVD on December
16th!! I can't wait!!

I'm sure that I'll think of a dozen other things that I wanted
to say here after signing off, but right now the brain is
blank and times flying away from me. So I'll leave you with
a picture of Phoebe helping me to make the bed last week.
It takes forever to make beds around here because the cats
love to help. But we do have fun.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. Hope you
have a wonderful holiday. Take care everyone and thanks
for stopping by.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Prolonging the holiday. I'll be stitching on this one for a
long time, slow stitcher that I am, so Halloween is going
to be an extended holiday for me. But I'm determined
not to let this one turn into a UFO, and especially not
when I'm half way through the cat. That would not do!

So here is my progress so far on Waxing Moon Designs
Halloween Short Stack. This is the first time that I've
stitched one of their designs and it is fun. This is also
one of the infamous false starts from a few posts back,
which is meant to be stitched using three strands of
thread. I'm using two. It works for me and it keeps me
from loosing my mind over what should be a relaxing

I'm using my magnifier to stitch this one, which means
that I can only work on it at home, and since my stitching
time is severely limited these days its not getting the
attention it deserves. But I'll keep putting a few stitches
in here and there when I can.

I think the pumpkin has a very cheeky grin.

Prolonging the holiday....part two. It's a good thing that
Fall is my favourite season. I started this one last week
while I was on holidays, and I got pretty obsessed over it.
So obsessed that my plans to dust and clean the library
fell to the wayside and got trampled. So much for best

This is Prairie Schooler's design from the November
chart. I love it!!! It's being stitched on 32 count fabric
which means that I have to use my magnifier for this
one too and it's another project exclusively for home.
I had to do a bit of frogging one day, but other then
that this one has been smooth sailing. The fabric
colour is Lambswool, which does not show up in this
photo at all well.

I've got a travel project as well, which is another LHN
design. It's being stitched at work and while visiting
with Mom at the Rehab facility. Not a lot done on it,
thanks in part to another visit from the froggies, so
it's identity will remain a secret until the next time I
post and have (hopefully) more to share.


Santa Claus arrived in Georgetown during the weekend,
and in Toronto as well. He came to Georgetown on
Saturday evening which was unfortunate because the
weather was absolutely rotten. It was cold and windy
and pouring with a mix of rain and sleet. It had been

raining for much of the day and was suppose to slack
off late in the afternoon but unfortunately that didn't
happen. Instead, it got worse.

DH was suppose to join the other choir members from
his church to sing on the church's float. But he's been
battling a cold for a few weeks now and there was no
way he was going to stand on a float in that weather,
exposed to the elements and trying to sing.

We heard the next day that some of the bands that
were suppose to take part in the parade canceled
because of the weather. And the number of spectators
along the parade route were significantly lower then
in previous years when the weather was more
temperate. Not surprising.

The Toronto Santa Claus parade was the following
day. Specifically on Sunday afternoon. By that time
the rain had passed, so they had cold temperatures

but no precipitation.


Traditionally, on the weekend that Santa comes to town
we decorate the house for Christmas. I know, I know....
it's a bit early. But I've found that from now on the days
will just get busier and busier, and time will get shorter
and shorter. So I have a schedule that I follow every
year to prepare for the festivities. 1) Start shopping
during weeks vacation. 2) Put up tree on weekend of
Santa Claus Parade. 3) write up Christmas cards.
4) more shopping. 5) Baking. 6) Rest.

DH gets the boxes of ornaments and the tree out from
storage, along with a cloud of dust and a few dissected
spiders, and then my friend Darlene and I start the
unpacking and the setting up and the trimming. It
takes all of Saturday afternoon and evening, and part
of Sunday to get done. We had Swiss Chalet for
dinner. Yes, the Festive Special. Yum!!

I decorated the book case in the upstairs hallway and
added a colourful backing to try and enhance the appearance
of the decorations. The normally white background of the
bookcase doesn't do much to show off the decorations.
So I cut cardboard to fit, and wrapped each piece in red
wrapping paper, and this is how it looks. Not bad, if I
do say so myself. These are the top three shelves. The
bottom three shelves are still full of books. Note: this
use to be our linen closet.

And this is how we decorated the room divider in the
living room this year. It's good to take pictures so that
next year I can refer back and use the same arrangement.


So the season begins in earnest, and now I've got to get
onto the cards, and make sure that the overseas ones
are sent out in a timely fashion. Of course the little
matter of a strike at the post office, which started today
and effects admin and technical workers might be a

The post office claims that service will not be affected,
but the Union says...Oh Yeah?? Wanna bet???

It's nice when all the traditions of Christmas are
followed, don't you think??? Santa Claus Parades,
putting up the Christmas tree, drinking egg nog,
watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the
Grinch on tv, and the Postal service out on strike.
Ah...all's right in the world.

So what do I do about the stuff I want to order
for presents on the computer and are delivered
via the post office??? Nuts!!

I've been reading epic fantasy in the past few weeks.
The third trilogy in the Farseer series written by the
truly marvelous, always enthralling Robin Hobb.
I just started the third book in the series today and
since it's over 900 pages it'll probably take a couple
of weeks to get through. We'll see. Then I'll be
devastated because it'll be the end of the Farseer
series and I'll have to bid the characters farewell.


Mom has settled into life at the rehab facility,
and we're actually quite pleased with how things
are going. She still has pneumonia and is getting
another course of antibiotics to deal with that.
She's out of quarantine, and so each day they
get her up and dressed and she has to go out to
the dining room to eat her meals with the other
patients. Today she used her walker to walk down
the corridor near her room, escorted by a couple
of care givers. I am thrilled about that. So we're
keeping our fingers crossed.

They have a computer at the rehab centre so I
was showing Mom some of your comments that
were sending her your best wishes and healing
thoughts. She was delighted and very touched
by your kindness. As am I.

Rupert found this pile of bedding waiting to be put
back on the beds and got himself settled for a nap.
When I told him he had to move this was his response!
You can fill in your own caption....

Well, this is another epic post. I still have a lot of
blogging to catch up on, but it's nice to be back in
the swing of things....somewhat.

Take care everyone. Thanks for coming...


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Hello. Look who's back! It's been awhile since I've been
able to devote the time that I need to composing and
posting a blog update, as well as finding the desire to do
so. Sometimes life just gets a bit too much, and you just
need to step back and veg a bit. I haven't even been
reading or commenting on your blogs either, and I've
missed doing so. I'm just starting on a weeks vacation
so I hope to spend some time blogging and I'm really
looking forward to doing that actually.


The main focus of our time these days is of course my
Mom. After nine weeks in hospital she was finally
moved just this past Friday to a rehabilitation
facility south of us in the city of Oakville. She is still
suffering from the effects of C-Dificile, and we're
told that it'll always be in her system now. She also
contracted pneumonia a few weeks ago, and that
is still an on going thing. She's lost about 30 pounds
since taking ill and is terribly weak and frail now.
The hope is that in rehab they'll be able to get her
eating properly, and fatten her up. Therapy will
be used to build up her strength and stamina. The
ultimate goal is to get her back to the retirement
residence, but to do that she has to be back on her
feet, and able to do for herself. I'm trying to be
optimistic but frankly I have reservations about
her being able to achieve that standard of health.
But we're giving her the opportunity, time and
tools to try and get there.


Although my blogging time has suffered in the past
month my stitching time has not. I stitch while
visiting Mom, and I stitch at work during my lunch
break. I also have a project that I'm stitching on at
home and I am having a blast working on that.
Stitching has been my refuge and my salvation. It
calms and relaxes me and takes my mind off of negative
thoughts and worries. So here's what I've done in the
past month....

Finish number one is the project that I showed a small
hint of in my last post. Mom and I really loved seeing
this one grow and come together. The colours IRL are
vivid, rich and very satisfying. Of course it is a LHN
design, one of the four Saltbox Scriptures series. The
photo does not do this project justice. Neither does
the computer recreation of the finished project on the
front of the packaging for the chart.

I just finished this one yesterday, and it too is another
great favourite of ours. LHN Schoolgirl Lessons is
stitched on Bone coloured 28 count Jobelan, and is
of course stitched with the provided silk thread. Oh
boy! My first use of silk thread. What a joy to use.

A question for Sue, who stitched this a while ago in
the blue silk thread that came with the companion to
this design. Her's is already framed and looks just
stunning. Sue, there were two skeins of silk thread
provided for the stitching of this design. I used two
strands for the stitching and stitched the whole thing
using just one skein of the thread. Did you use the
second skein for yours at all??? I'm not a frugal
stitcher by any means. I can't believe that I didn't
even touch the second skein. The skein divides
into 12 strands, and the instructions said to use
just two strands. Did I do it right??? It looks fine
to me, but I wondered.....

So now I've got to choose another project to take
with me to visit Mom. Perhaps I'll start the
mate to Schoolgirl Lessons, which is Always and
Forever. We'll have to see what grabs me....

Stashing....another form of retail therapy. It's good for
the moral, not so much for the pocketbook. But I don't
really care!!!! So there!!!! Mary's her
fault. She cut the cost of shipping a month ago for a
time, and had a sale of Fall themed projects. Well,
what could I do?? See picture above for an answer
to that rhetorical question. :)

Note Phoebe's feet in the upper corner of the picture.

Then came my monthly bits from Bobbie at Stitching
Bits and Bobs. Crescent Colours in all their glory to
add to my collection. My thanks to Rupert who sat
next to the threads while I took this picture and was
able to restrain himself from snatching one and
running off with it, much as he clearly wanted to.

Another thing that has helped to keep me relatively sane
in the past month is my beloved books. I've read some
great stuff lately. Who needs Calgon (take me away....)
when you've got stitching and reading?

Untamed is the fourth book in the ongoing series by
P.C. and Kristin Cast. a Young Adult, vampire series.
The language in these can be kind of cringe inducing
when it comes to reproducing the way teens supposedly
talk amongst themselves these days (modern valley
speak anyone?) but the story line, and the creation of
the history and laws that govern the supernaturals in
this world are interesting and satisfying. And the
protagonists and their heinous plots are developing
nicely as the series continues. Nice use of Native
American mythology within the story line too. There
will be at least five more books in this series.

There's nothing like a Nora Roberts book to take you
away from real life, especially when she's at the top of
her game. This one was quite good with a nice touch
of the supernatural which was appropriate to this time
of year. It takes place in and around New Orleans
before Katrina....the book came out the year before the
hurricane I think. It has a great hero, who is the main
focus of the story more then the heroine. I love the
dialogue that Roberts writes, with it's dry humor and
ability to convey the necessary information and emotional
details without bogging down in saccharine, or hyperbole.
A well written story where the past and present collide
and ghosts and reincarnation are hindering and enhancing
the burgeoning relationship between the hero and the

I've had The Birth House on my TBR list for some time,
but only just picked up a copy of it this past summer. A
great story which takes place during the years around the
time before, during and after the first world war. In
Scot's Bay, a small town in Nova Scotia, Dora Rare is the
first girl born in her family in five generations. She is
trained to be a midwife by the eccentric Marie Babineau,
an elderly Acadian woman who's abilities and knowledge
are an equal mix of practical experience and the
religious belief and the folklore of her people. When a
doctor arrives in the area, sponsored by an insurance
company, and sets up a facility for women to come and
have their babies using the latest in "modern" medical
procedures and theories, there is a clash between the
old ways practiced by Dora Rare and the new of the
Doctor. A fascinating story which not only explains
the old beliefs and practices of midwifery, but also
shows the questionable and often ridiculous ideas that
modern medicine was espousing at that time. The
author creates believable, three dimensional characters
whose lives are detailed and related in a way that
draws the reader in and makes you feel as if you are
there, a witness to the historic and the everyday events
of life during that time.


Halloween was such a blast here this year. After a
week of cool temperatures and strong winds and the
occasional bouts of rain, Halloween night was warm
and dry, with no wind. In short, it was the perfect night
for trick or treating. The night started slowly and we
were worried for awhile that we'd be stuck with a pile
of candy at the end of the night, but then things got
busy indeed and we had the most kids that we've ever
had during 17 years of living here. I think it was
probably because of the holiday falling on a weekend
so there were no worries about having to get up for
school and work the next day. We had a few pirates,
one Joker, Dorothy and her ruby slippers, a tiny
angel who wasn't really too sure what was going on,
and a wide mix of the eclectic and the eccentric.


Was so very saddened and quite shocked to hear
about Michael Crichton passing away from cancer
last week at 66 years of age. Not only a prolific and
wildly imaginative writer (Jurassic Park, the Andromeda
Strain), but also a director (Westworld), a writer of
screenplays (such as that for the movie Twister, one of
my most favourite movies of all time), and co-creator of
the tv series ER.

It seems that nothing pleases Phoebe more then to be
able to settle on top of one of my stitching projects and
snooze on it. We have quite a battle of wills over this one.

I'll end this post for now, with the hope that I'll be able to
do some serious catching up with all of you soon. Thanks
for dropping by. Take care and happy stitching!!