Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn in Georgetown

I bought this wee treasure during a quick trip to our
local mall yesterday. I had a coupon and my discount
card for that particular bookstore chain so got it for
a decent price. This is one of those instances when
it doesn't matter if you should be treating yourself
or not to a new book, what with Christmas coming
and all that. This is an author and a book that you
just have to have now!!

Well, I do anyways.

I haven't cracked it open yet since I'm finishing up
another book first but judging by the thickness of
it this installment in the lives of Jamie and Claire
must be well over 700 pages. Perfect!!! Thank
you Ms Gabaldon. It's usually a three year wait
between installments of this series, but I'm willing
to wait because I know it'll be good. So good!

Since we're in the midst of the season when the
leaves turn from green to the most amazing
reds, yellows, oranges and golds I decided to
take my camera when I went for my walk
yesterday morning. It was a perfect morning
for being outside and enjoying the very
special pleasures that Autumn offers.

Note: all pictures are clickable for a better

Breathtaking color!

I love this house, with it's bright red door and the
little roof over that door also being the same
bright red. This is an older part of Georgetown,
that has a wide range of house styles ranging from
cottages to big farmhouses and everything in
between. Lot's of huge, old trees adds ambiance
and charm to each street.

This little play area is in the Georgetown fairgrounds.
I love trees!! Especially these really tall ones with the
long, graceful trunks.

Another section of the fair grounds.

The back of a home as seen from the road that
leads into the Georgetown fair grounds.

Not everyone decorates their home for Fall and/or
Halloween around here, but it's nice when an effort
is made to celebrate this wonderful season in some
way. So, pumpkins, corn stalks, chrysanthemums
and the last efforts of the past summer's garden plants
make a nice showing on this home's front porch.

This house has a mix of Autumn and Halloween
decorations. Can't say I'm too thrilled with that
giant spider by the door, but I like that fellow in
the green cloak that's just hanging around.

Some local businesses get into the spirit of the season
as well. This is the front door leading into The Shepherd's
Crook pub.

And then there are the Halloween decorations. I love
these "headstones" in someone's front yard. Pretty
realistic looking, aren't they??


Not a lot going on around here at the moment ... hence
the walking tour of Georgetown as seen above. I did
stitch a bit on the weekend, and am almost finished
the last cat on Phoebe's sampler. Would probably
have finished it by now if I hadn't had to rip out a
bit of stitching thanks to some dang frogs that
hop-pened by. (Get it???)


I did get myself a new winter jacket while at the
mall yesterday and am quite pleased with it. The
old jacket doesn't fit anymore, and the weather
here last week was downright cold so I decided
that I couldn't wait any longer to pick out a
replacement coat. Of course now that I have the
new coat the weather for this week is suppose to
be warmer, so I can wear my Spring/Fall jacket
and be comfortable. Figures.

Leaving you with a bit of furry sweetness. They
actually do get along pretty good....most of the


Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The Thanksgiving long weekend has drawn to a close
and today it was back to work, back to Weight Watchers
(Gulp!!) and back to Curves. Why do these long weekends
always seem to fly by faster then you can blink?? It's so sad.

Above is the table set for dinner on Sunday afternoon. We
can't set the table earlier then the day of an event because
the cats would probably have everything on the floor or
flying through the air before we could do anything to stop
them. They chase each other across the table you see.
The little angels.

Dinner was the usual Thanksgiving fare of Turkey,
stuffing (made by my sister in law - it was a new recipe
and very, very tasty), mashed potatoes, cauliflower in a
white sauce, and gravy. Dessert was pumpkin pie with
real whipped cream. Delicious!

Monday night DH and I warmed up the left overs and every
thing tasted as good or better then it did on Sunday night.
Considering all the food that I ate during the weekend, and
yes that includes pumpkin pie with whipped cream two nights
in a row, I am amazed that tonight's weight in at Weight
Watchers went better then I had any right to expect. I lost a
whole pound!! Hey, I'll take it.

Well, nothing new on the stitching front to show you.
I worked on Phoebe's sampler a bit today, but there's
nothing worth showing right now. So, to make your
visit worth while, I'll show off two very old projects
from many, many years ago. Stitched on Aida I'm
afraid, but I still love them none the less. They are
designs by Alma Lynn.

I stitched these in the early 90's, when I first learned to
cross stitch and I eventually had them framed and hung
them in a spare bedroom.

Last week I got a wonderful surprise in the mail. Cathey
of Pumpkin Patch and Co. sent this to me, along with a
beautiful card and a hand written note that had me all
teary eyed and smiles at the same time. Needless to say
I am just over the moon. Thank you Cathey for your
generosity and most especially for your friendship.

Thought you all might like to see what I did last week.
As part of my rejuvenated look I decided that it was time
to get rid of the white strands of hair that were beginning
to take over my head, and get my hair colored for the
first time. Nothing drastic for this first attempt, it's
a rinse instead of a dye, so in about six weeks it'll be
pretty much gone I suppose. It allows me to see
results and decide if I like it or not before committing
myself to a more long term change. And yes, I like it.
I got it trimmed too, but not too much because I'm
growing it out to one longer length.

Finished this book early last week and I strongly
recommend it to everyone. The Help has been
receiving generally good reviews and strong endorsements
from both professional reviewers and from reviewers
in the book blogging world. I'll let a quote from the
author's website give you an idea of what the book is

“Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from

Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother

will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally

find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her,

but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white

child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who

died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl

she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in

Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her

tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position

working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new

boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will

nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will

put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the

lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.”

(description taken from author's website:

First time novelist Kathryn Stockett has written
a compelling and enthralling book from the
point of view of three different characters, two of
whom (Minny and Aibileen) are black women
serving as domestic help during the early 1960's
in small town Jackson, Mississippi. The third voice
in the book belongs to Skeeter, a young, well to do
white woman recently returned home from College.

I loved this book, start to finish, and found it hard
to put it down once it was done and to leave the three
main characters behind. I highly recommend this one.

Thanksgiving is a time for families to get together.
And in our case it's a time for Rupert to get a chance
to snuggle with his favorite grandmother.

And to sprawl at her feet in ecstasy and adoration.

And in general just to hang out and be together.

What a guy !!


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.