Saturday, March 21, 2009

At long last Spring!!! Spring arrived at 7:44 on Friday
morning and was greeted with joy and relief by those of
us who've had more then enough of Winter, thank you
very much.

Of course just because there's a time and a date on the
calendar that says Spring Arrives it doesn't mean that
the weather outside suddenly shifts from Winter blahs
to Spring brilliance all at once. It's still cold out, and
it's rainy and it's grey. But the crocuses are poking their
heads out of the ground and bravely facing the elements
and the daffodils are not far behind. The Robins are
hanging around the yard and singing their hearts out,
and the day time temperatures no longer have a minus
sign in front of them.

So we're heading in the right direction, with the under
standing that there will most probably be a few days
when we'll seem to slip back into Winter's Ways, but
at least we'll have the comfort of knowing that it's a
temporary set back that will soon pass, and become
nothing more than a memory.

In other words....I'm not packing the boots, shovels
and parkas away just yet.

I have been thoroughly enjoying my latest obsession
with Prairie Schooler's Prairie Birds. I finished the
Hummingbird on Thursday and immediately started
the next design that I decided to stitch for this project
which is the Sparrow. I know, Sparrows are not the
most colourful of birds, but the overall design appeals
to me and the bird house featured in this one is my
favourite of the lot. And lets face it, Sparrows are every
where, and they're such determined little survivors
and scavengers, whether it be in the country, or in
the heart of the city. So they deserve a little respect.

I have to say a great big Thank You to everyone who
left comments over the course of the past week about
my two finishes and my framing of them. I really
appreciate the encouragement and the support.

In celebration of the arrival of Spring (yeah, sure) I went
berserk .... nuts ..... crazy ..... I ordered some new books
from Indigo/Chapters online service. All but one are by
authors that I've read before and thoroughly enjoyed.
Deanna Raybourn's is a Victorian mystery series, P.C.
and Kristen Cast's is a Young Adult Vampire series,
Marilynne Robinson is a new to me author, Jodi Picoult
writes riveting, thought provoking fiction, Michelle
Moran writes historical fiction which centers on the
lives of the Pharaoh's of Egypt, and Anne Easter Smith
writes historical fiction centering on the era of the
Plantagenet's and the Tudor's in England. Can't wait
to dive into these.

This week I read Maeve Binchy's latest novel Heart and
Soul. I love Binchy's writing and have been collecting
and devouring her books for a few years now. When I
read a Maeve Binchy book it's so easy to slip into the story
and develope a relationship with the characters in it.
She has a way of writing that convays the essential
elements of each character clearly and with compassion
and humour.

Her last five or six books have all been linked by the
characters appearing in them. The focus may change
from book to book but you'll always run into people
you met in Quentin's or Scarlet Feather or Whitethorn
Woods. So reading her books is a bit like coming home.
But you don't have to know anything about her previous
books to be able to enjoy the latest one.

This book centers around the lives of the doctors, nurses
and other staff and patients who attend a heart clinic in
Dublin. The relationships and the friendships that
develope and the joys and the sorrows and the life's
lessons learnt that result. As always, when finished
reading a Binchy book, I find it hard to put down and
walk away and leave the characters within behind.
I become so attached to them while reading and they
become so real to me. It's hard to have to wait for
the next book from Maeve Binchy because of that.


I'm writing this post a bit early this week (Saturday
night instead of Sunday morning) because tomorrow
I'm going over to have lunch with Mom and a visit
for the afternoon. So I'll be doing a few chores
around the house in the morning, or at least that's
the plan.


Weekends go by too fast!! This morning DH and
I went to a few local shops to pick up some special
things for lunch. A friend of ours who was really
good about visiting my Mom when she was in hospital
and who loaned her a television to use when she
was in the rehab center came to visit us today for
lunch and to pick up the TV that we've had here since
Mom came home. I wanted to make a really nice lunch
for Jacquie after all that she'd done for my Mom
and I think it worked out well. We had a nice
visit and then she left here and went over to see my

I spent a couple of hours after Jacquie left
stitching and then I went across the street to my
neighbours for tea and a visit. It was nice to be
able to walk across the street without having to
pull on a pair of boots and a heavy coat first.
Not that it's warm enough to go without for any
length of time yet, but to just run across the
street was fine.


Was not the skiing accident and subsiquent
death of Natasha Richardson a terribly sad
thing last week?? She and Liam Neeson were
such a lovely and loving couple and he looks
so berefit and lost now. My heart aches for
him and for their two young sons.

Not an exciting post this week. But I'll end this post
with a picture of sweet Phoebe hiding under the bed
and waiting for the opportunity to nip at my toes as
I changed the sheets last Sunday. Cheeky baby.

Hope you all have a wonderful week, with lots of
quality stitching time and hopefully some nice,
welcome Spring weather. Take care.



Kerry said...

That hummingbird is just beautiful. I look foward to seeing the sparrow soon.

Good book haul. I remember we read "Housekeeping" when I was in school, but I remember nothing about it except that the edition we read had a strange cover. I'll be interested to see what you think of it and if your comments help me remember anything more about it.

Brigitte said...

Oh, how I envy you, your spring picture looks so inviting and I'd like to see the cherry tree and the daffodils with my own eyes. There are no blooming trees or bushes yet but I have discovered the first crocuses in some gardens around here. I can't wait for the first flowers in our garden ...
Your Prairie Birds look so lovely. You are right, the sparrows chart is really nice and why not stitching sparrows. I love these little guys, we have them in our garden all year long, they always come in a flock and are so chatty, lol. I love them.
Your book haul looks so interesting. Whenever I see a pile of books I feel the urge to pull out my current book and continue reading. Maybe today will be another day out on the terrace reading. If the wind isn't too cold. Enjoy all your new books.

monique said...

Great haul! You're making me want to go order myself a pile of books :)

What I love about Binchy is that within just a few sentences I feel as though I've known that character forever.

Kathy A. said...

Very pretty little hummingbird. Look forward to that tiny sparrow.
Glad Mom is continuing to do well and that you have a nice visit.
You're not fooling me with that spring photo. It's not time to come home yet. LOL

mainely stitching said...

I hope your lunch with your Mom was a fun event. :D And congratulations to you, whizzing right along with your PS birds. (They are lovely!)

Spring has arrived, but I think Mother Nature is playing a bit coy with us. We had frost on Saturday morning, and it was bitterly cold (IMHO) this afternoon. Raining, gray, and just awful. The kids are clamoring to wear summery-style clothes, and Nick has developed his own style by wearing his T-shirts OVER his sweatshirts. Looks uncomfortable, but he's happy. ;)

samplerlover said...

Hi Judy, your birds are beautiful. I love the hummingbird. We don't have them here but we do have sparrows. They are such cheeky things. I always remember while in England putting crumbs of bread on the window sill at the B&B we used to stay in and them coming along and having a good feed lol.
It's always lovely when you see the crocus etc. start poking through. I have Japanese anemones in my garden, and when I see these flowers I always know that the cool weather is coming.
That is another good haul of books that you have there. I also love Maeve Binchy. I know what you mean about being able to comfortably slip into the story and it is always lovely to meet old friends again.
I hope you had a lovely visit with your Mum. It is good that she is feeling a lot better. - take care = Sandra.

Lynn said...

Your recent framed finishes look awesome! Who did the framing for you? They certainly did a nice job.

Don't you just love stitching PS pieces?! I'm doing and Easter egg from the Farm Fresh leaflet and really enjoying it. I too have the Prairie birds leaflet but I've done nothing from it yet. I'm waiting for their new April pattern to arrive to add to my stash.

Love your new book stash! I've never read any of Maeve Binchy but I'm becoming intrigued after reading your post.

It sure may look like spring but after sticking my nose out this morning it sure doesn't feel like it. Brrrr! Time to ditch that spring jacket for the winter one again.
Phoebe looks adorable. She can't possibly be cheeky, can she?!

Mylene said...

Lovely spring picture! We've had spring weather last weekend but these couple of days was back to grey and cold weather.

Your Prairie Schooler update is coming along great.

I haven't seen that book of Maeve Binchy, is that new? I love her books too and read quite of them mostly translated to Dutch but for now i do prefer to read books in English.
I'd better not let hubby hear it as he insist that i have work more on my Dutch.

Wendy said...

Very lovely hummingbird! It is really cute!

Love the spring picture too! I was looking forward to the spring, we had some nice days last week and now it is raining, but I will enjoy my stitching in the meantime. But next week we will have some nice sunny days again.

Gina E. said...

Awww, darling Phoebe! Topsy used to hide around corners and pounce on hubby's feet, but after getting kicked a few times (not hard enough to hurt - and only with his bare feet), she decided it wasn't so funny after all.
Love Maeve Binchy - must get that new book soon. I heard it was out but haven't got around to reading it. I've recently finished one of Jodi Picoult's books (can't remember the title) and am half way through Kate Morton's first book "Shifting Fog" which is excellent, but I think I liked "Forgotten Garden" a bit more.

Sonda in OR said...

I love your PS birds and your finished and framed work from a few posts back.

I also love Maeve Binchy's books but have been limited this last year or so to those that I could find on UNABRIDGED audio books because of time. I love her characters. I'll have to pick up a few books perhaps.

Can't wait for the sunshine of spring to really start up. Hope you have a nice week.

Pumpkin said...

Is that tree by your house???? I'm SO jealous! DH and I did see some bulbs popping up (can't remember what they were called) so it's a good sign :o)

I love your latest WIP. I'm not familiar with that PS pattern. You may have enabled me :oS

That is one of the few MB books that I have not read yet. Surprisingly I've had little time to read lately and I miss it.

I hope your mom is doing well.

Yes, that was a horrible accident and it was hard to believe. I've always been a big fan of Liam (okay, I've had a crush on him since Rob Roy) but seeing the news cameras displaying his grief was awful. I feel so bad for their two young sons as well. A true loss :o(