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!!



staci said...

I'm so happy that your mother has been released from the hospital. I wish her well with her recovery and rehab...and it sounds like she could use some early holiday treats!

Your finishes are really lovely, congrats! Looking forward to seeing what you pick next :)

Cindy F. said...

I hope each day will find your mother stronger and feeling better.
Congrats on your beautiful stitches! Great pieces!

Lynn said...

Welcome back Judy!I'm glad to hear that your mother is no longer in hospital. C Diff is so hard to shake and for someone at her age it's no wonder she's had such a difficult time. I'll say lots of prayers for her recovery and that her rehab goes well.
Your stitching finishes are great! I have that Saltbox one in my stash but didn't realize just how lovely the colours are.
I haven't had nearly enough time for stitching this fall. Life has been just a bit too much for us here as well and I'm almost looking forward to some of those winter nights where I can curl up with my stitching. Did I actually say that... I'm looking forward to winter!? Remind me of that when I'm cursing my drive into work!

Shannon said...

Nice to see you back with an update ! :D I'm glad your mom is out of the hospital, and hopefully on her way to recovery. That C-D will take so much out of people, and it's hard to overcome. But not impossible. And the rehab center she's in has a good reputation from what I've heard. Hopefully you're finding time to take care of yourself too.

Your stitching is gorgeous, as always. You have such fabulous taste :D

stitcherw said...

My, you did quite a catch up entry, so much to read and see. You've been up to so much it's no wonder you haven't had time to blog. I'm so happy to hear your mother is doing well enough to leave the hospital. I'll keep her (and you) in my thoughts and prayers that she continues to grow stronger and can get back to her retirement residence.

Blessed is so pretty, I love the thread packs. They all seem to look so much prettier in real life. I can see why your mom enjoyed watching this one develop. Schoolgirl Lessons looks wonderful as well. However, as to your question, mine came as just the pattern. I ordered a skein of the blue to do it with and also used two strands like you. At the end of stitching I had quite a bit left. I can't imagine needing to have two skeins to complete it.

Love your new stash, Witches Go Riding is on my to get list as well. The four square is such fun, and the witch dancing in the pumpkin patch is just too cute. I haven't read either Untamed or Midnight Bayou, but they both sound like they'd fit my taste perfectly. Looks like two more books have popped onto my list.

Halloween was also lovely weather wise here, better than it has been in a long time. Cute picture of Phoebe, she looks very comfortable. Somehow stitching left unattended is always a cat magnet. Hope life settles down a bit for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this was a really long post and I must admit I didn't read all of it but I wanted to thank you for the very nice and encouraging comment you left me. Your couple of pieces here are adorable and I hope all goes well for the health and well being of all who are dear to you.

Lili said...

Lovely stitching and stash.
I think of you and your mother a lot and I keep my fingers crossed that she recovers as fast and fully as possible.
I haven't taken the time to read your book reviews yet, but I will as they're very interesting and inspiring to me. It's so kind of you to share your opinion on these.
Many hugs your way, and to your mom too.

Michelle said...

I am so glad to hear that your mom was released to the rehab facility, although sorry to hear she has pneumonia! I'll keep her in my thoughts. Your finishes are beautiful!!

samplerlover said...

Hi Judy,
I know the feeling with blogging, sometimes you just need to have a break from it as life in the real world goes on. I too have been busy with my life and haven't been visiting too many blogs etc.
Thank you for your lovely comments regarding my roses. They are truly beautiful at the moment and have been for the last 2 seasons. I'm sure Mum has something to do with it. I have so many roses out at the moment. It is a joy to go for a walk around the garden. Just have to keep an eye out for venomous snakes, which we have from time to time.
The weather here has been beautiful. My favourite seasons are Spring and Autumn. Summer is lovely, but I don't like the heat too much. Also not a great lover of the cold.
With the driving they can get their "L" plates when they are 16y10m. They have to do a computerised traffic rules test and get their learners permit and hold a L licence for 12 months, also do and record 100 hours of driving including 20 hours night driving. Then they have to do a learners driving test. If they pass they have "P" (red) and they hold that one for 12 months. Then they have to do a computerised hazard test to get their green "P" plates. I think they have to hold them for 12 months or 2 years (can't remember which). If they are over 25 though they don't have to worry about the different coloured "P's".
Sometimes it's hard to pass the driving part first go as there have been a lot of silly young men who have got their P's. Piled all their friends in the car and then gone off and had an accident where a lot of them have been killed. What my son has in his favour is that he is 20 nearly 21 so I hope he has more sense.
Anyway I will have everything crossed hoping that he passes first go and that I don't have to run around after him. Ah bliss just thinking about it.
Glad that your Mum is feeling a bit better. Being moved to a rehab. facility is one step forward.
My youngest still has pneumonia according to the xrays that he had taken last week. He has to have more in 2 weeks. I think it is something to takes a long while to shift.
Your finished work is lovely. I always find that stitching is a great stress re leaver and I sometimes look at some of my samplers and think of the good and the occasional bad times that I went through while I was stitching them. - take care - Sandra.

Vonna said...

Love your finishes and happy to hear of your Mom's improvement :)

You're right about Nora Roberts...LOVE HER!

Anonymous said...

Just passing by, but will be back to look some more. It is really great to find someone that loves cross stitching as well as books.
Amdromeda Strain was one of the few books I read from Michael Crichton (i'm a sci-fi fan) and as always liked it more than the movie.
Will be back again and hope your mom gets better.

P.S. Going to look now your other blog.

monique said...

Phoebe is adorable, and I'm sure her cat hair makes every project special!

Reading is a wonderful escape; movies do it for me, too.

I hope your mom's therapy goes well; I also hope you had a nice week off :)

Kathy A. said...

Glad to hear your Mom is doing better and is now in a rehab facility. You did get some nice stitching done. Have missed you and your blogging. Welcome back1

Andrea said...

So nice to see you back on here blogging. I hope your mother continues to improve. I'm glad to see you have found some time to stitch....and stash! Congratulations on some wonderful stitched pieces.

Pumpkin said...

I hope your mother will start bouncing back now that she's out of the hospital. My Gram is in the hospital now and I can see the same thing happening to her :o(

Gorgeous finishes! I guess you were stitching ;o) And look at the STASH! You've got some great choices there.

How neat that The Birth House takes place in Nova Scotia :o)

That is so sad! I didn't realize that MC passed away :o(

It's so good to see you back again Judy :o) I hope to talk to you soon!