Sunday, October 04, 2009

The pumpkin twins welcome you to yet another addition
to my blog, and the third update in as many consecutive
weekends. I'm not sure how stimulating or interesting
this post will be since nothing much has been going on
around here, but I'll do the best I can with what I've got.

Note: the pumpkin twins have fiber optics in their ... er ...
hair??? And around their faces as well. So they shine
quite nicely in the dark and look fabulous in the front
window on Halloween night. Phoebe likes to chew on
said fiber optic hair though, so for the time that they're
out on display before Halloween the pumpkin twins
remain perched on the plant stand, well out of Phoebe's

Update on Phoebe's sampler. Honest. There's new
stitching there. See??? The cat sitting on it's haunches
is finished, and there are a couple of little doodads next
to him, and there's more border too.

I know. Mind boggling, isn't it??? What can I say? I'm
a slow stitcher with limited stitching time.

Which isn't to say that I can't dream of the day when I
have a whole lot of free time to stitch (and read, and
visit blogs) to my heart's content. And I can collect
charts and floss and fabric for when that happy time
arrives. And so I scrolled through the new charts and
goodies from the St. Charles Market and made note of
the things that made my heart beat faster, and my
Visa card grow heavier.

And this is the pattern that has my soul singing!!!
Now, I have to admit that I don't own a single, solitary
chart of any sort by Blackbird Designs. Nary a one.
I admire their designs, and I do admit that I'd like to
add Their Song to my heaps of charts waiting to be
stitched, but other then that .... nothing. But this one.
This design. It calls my name. It really does.

So what new release has your stitching fingers
tingling and reaching for the debit card???

This weekend I joined Curves, and had my introductory
tour of the Georgetown facility on Saturday morning.
Since the advent of winter will probably put an end to
my walking, or at the very least curtail it considerably,
I've been looking for alternatives to keep myself active
and I think Curves might just fit the bill. I tried out
the equipment, and it really does seem like I'll get a
good, all over workout from the three visits a week that
they recommend for their program.

DH has been entertaining a cold since Thursday, and
even took a day off of work on Friday to rest up and
keep the germs away from the workplace. What with
all the fuss and bother about the H1N1 virus, flue
season and what all else, we're being encouraged by
the government to stay home if we're sick. So far
I've managed to avoid contamination, and hope I
haven't jinxed myself by putting that down in print.

Since I'm reading the final chapters of a wonderful book,
right now but don't want to tell you about it until I've
finished it, I'll write instead about another book that I read
last month and loved.

Mackenzie Ford is an alias (according to the book's jacket)
for a well known and respected historian living in London.

This story takes place during the first world war, and begins
during that famous occasion that you may have heard about,
the unofficial truce that occurred on Christmas Eve 1914.
At that time, the soldiers on both sides of the lines in France
ceased hostilities, and for 24 hours they ventured from their
trenches and mingled together, exchanging small gifts,
talking and putting the war and it's horrors aside for the sake
of the day.

Two officers meet in no-mans-land and exchange gifts and
small talk. English officer Hal Montgomery meets German
officer Wilhelm Wetzlar and during the course of their
meeting Wilhelm gives Hal a photograph of a beautiful
young English woman named Sam, who is his fiance.
Wilhelm asks Hal to seek out Sam, if he is able, and let
her know that he is alive and has not forgotten her and
loves her still. Wilhelm lived in England for a time before
the war, and taught German at a school in Stratford, where
he met Sam, and fell in love. Reluctantly Hal takes the
picture and agrees to the request.

Not long afterward Hal is injured in the fighting, is
invalided out of the army, and returns to England to
recover from his wounds. Once released from the
hospital he sets out to find Sam, and indeed does
find her easily as she is still teaching at the same
school where she met Wilhelm. Hal observes the
beautiful young woman for a time before attempting
to approach her with the message entrusted to him
during the Christmas truce and before too long falls
in love with her himself.

Sams situation is precarious as Hal soon realizes
when he arranges to meet her, as if by chance, and
discovers that she has a baby son. Wilhelm's son.
Scorned and ostracized as an unwed mother,
facing the loss of her job because of it, things would
get much worse for Sam if it were known that the
father of her child was German.

As they spend time together Hal falls more and more
in love, and finds himself unable to give the photo-
graph and the message to Sam that she so desperately
needs to hear. Alone, not knowing the fate of her
fiance and facing the loss of her job because of her
baby and unmarried status, Sam is still very much in
love with Wilhelm but does not know if he is alive or
if he still loves her.

A relationship begins to develop between the two,
and Hal chooses not to give the photograph to Sam
in the hope that she will forget Wilhelm and come
to love him instead. Eventually the two move to
London, living as a family, and Hal begins working
for military intelligence, meeting Sams family and
building a life with her, while guarding his secret
that would change everything.

I was intrigued by the set up of this story, and I
was fascinated by the history of the era and the
circumstances that the main characters find
themselves in. Though Hal's choice is deceitful,
his motive is a strong, wholehearted love for Sam
that I couldn't help but feel sympathy for.

Since I don't know the author's true identity I
don't know if he/she has ever written anything
else before this work of fiction, but this novel is
a fascinating depiction of the times, the people,
the hardships, the sacrifices and the consequences
of a choice made out of love. I enjoyed it very

I haven't carved a pumpkin as yet, but I did decorate
one this weekend. These decorations are just poked
into the pumpkin, and came from Avon. Kinda cute

Then this behavior resulted in me having to move my
pumpkin kitty up off of the floor and out of reach of
annoying, pesky, cheeky orange cats.

It's getting close to bed time so I'd best finish off this
post and get it loaded onto my blog. Hope you have
a wonderful week, and thanks for stopping by.



mainely stitching said...

Kitties and decorations, huh? Our cat believes it is all one giant varied salad bar for him. LOL. We probably won't do much decorating for Halloween this year, although Nicky said we should be sure to put spiders on everyone's chair. LOL! Love the BBD you pointed out. The Market really had some wonderful temptations this year, didn't it? :D

Vonna said...

Oh my goodness....the orange tabby eating a pumpkin kitty :)
I know many ladies that have joined curves and likes it. I hope it serves you as well :)
Luckily last Christmas I asked for an elliptical machine, and I've been putting it through its paces the last few weeks.For me its easier to do it here at home.
I DO DO DO love that BBD and it is on its way here! LOVE IT!

Gina E. said...

This is such a fun post, Judy! We don't celebrate Halloween in Australia like you do, except for kids running around at dusk wearing masks and doing a trick or treat thing. Your pumpkin twins are very cute, and I had to laugh about Phoebe chewing the hair.
That cross stitch chart is adorable; I'm not surprised you are tempted to load up the credit card.
Sorry to hear your DH has been ill; this particular cold virus seems to be sweeping the world. Every blog I read seems to mention somebody who has had a really bad cold that won't go away. Our government like yours, is telling people to stay home and get well, instead of going out and spreading their germs. Good advice.
Oooh, that book sounds absolutely wonderful - I love stories set in war time. Not war books, but novels like this. Thanks for the write up - I'm going to check my library online and see if they have it.
Thanks also for your lovely long post on my blog - this looks like it will be as long!!

Andrea said...

Love the Halloween decorations. There seems to be more and more items in the shops for Halloween as each year goes by. Well more for the children I suppose when they go 'trick or treating'.

Hope your DH has overcome his cold.

Pumpkin said...

LOVE all your pumpkin decorations :o) That is one adorable picture with the naughty kitty. LOL!

That is one lovely pattern isn't it? I love that one and their new sampler one. Too many charts, not enough time or money ;o)

Glad you joined Curves. DH is trying to get me to go to Yoga. We'll see how that goes...

samplerlover said...

Hi Judy,
So glad that you are back. I love your pumpkin people lol. Very cute.
We don't celebrate Halloween out here so it is really interesting looking at everybodies blogs with their posts.
Another thong we don't have is pumpkin pie. We have pumpkin scones, but we don't have the variety of pumpkins that you have over there.
The BBD is lovely isn't it. I haven't really seen a lot of the things from The Market, so my credit card is safe I think. My LNS is going more and more into quilting which is a bit of a worry, but what can a girl do.
I bought the Dan Brown book. My youngest has read it. He gave it for his father to read, but it keeps sitting there. I will eventually give up and start reading it myself lol. I keep telling him to take it on the train to read, but all I get is "It's to heavy".
Thank you for your nice comments regarding Betsy D. It is such a lovely sampler. I am really looking forward to finishing Betsy M. They are this years challenges lol. - Sandra.

Kathy A. said...

Love those fiber optic pumpkins.
I am glad to hear you joined Curves. You are well on your way and this should solve the winter dilemma.
That book sounds really interesting. Will have to look for it.
Take care my friend. Have a great week.

Gina E. said...

Hi again Judy, and thanks for your reply on my blog - I love your replies! Glad to hear hubby is feeling better, but I do hope you aren't coming down with the germs now! Since you asked (and nobody else has)..."Bonnie and Clyde". Get it??

Siobhan said...

LOL at the pic of the kitty eating the pumpkin kitty! Very cute.

Love the stitching progress. Every stitch counts, you know!

I did the Canadian (I think it's a Canadian company!) version of Curves, Take Thirty, for awhile, and really enjoyed it. I hope it serves you well.

I have that book in my Good Reads to be read list. :)

Cindy F. said...

Cute pumpkin twins and stitched kitties!!
Have fun @ Curves:) That's where I should be :)

Michelle said...

I know what you mean about having to keep the decorations up high. You never know what's going to invite chewing! My poor plants all have shredded leaves on the bottom half. Love that BBD - what a fun stitch that will be!

stitcherw said...

I love the pumpkin twins, too cute. I need to get started on my decorating for the season. Cute poke pumpkin decoration with the black cat too. I have a similar poke style decoration, however, it makes a turkey pumpkin for Thanksgiving.

Phoebe's sampler is coming along. One of the nice things about blogging is you can compare and really see progress you might otherwise miss. I find it helps me a lot when I swear I'm making no headway. Your pieces in your earlier post look wonderful too. My favorite was the butterflies from My Aunt's Attic, those designs are so different. I have the bat one that is similar to the butterflies that I want to do (another Halloween project, LOL).

Isn't Midnight Watch awesome? I love that and have it on my wish list too. The Library by LHN is another great one, we have such similar tastes. :)

Good luck with curves, I know someone that goes and really enjoys it. Hope your DH is doing better and you manage to avoid catching his cold. There seems to be so much cold/allergies going around at the moment, in addition to the flu.

How are you liking your new bed? Can you tell a difference from your old one? I've been thinking of getting a new one as mine is almost 20 years old and lately I've been waking up with a worse backache than normal, which I'm wondering if a new bed would help with.

Congratulations on doing so well on your weight loss, you're doing fantastic. Glad you had such a good time at the retreat as well, it looks a lot of fun. Who knows, maybe one day I could get there and meet you all. :)