Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Official!!!

Guess who arrived in town today?

Can it be??? Has that time of year arrived once
again and caught us all unawares and unprepared??
Why yes, yes it has. So what else is new???

This is the day that Santa Claus arrives in Toronto
for the Christmas season and as is traditional the
city went all out to welcome him by throwing a
parade in his honor with marching bands and magical
floats and upside down clowns and all kinds of
wonderful stuff.

And in keeping with tradition Darlene came here
for the weekend and we spent two days decorating
the Christmas tree and the house. DH got the
multitude of boxes of every shape and size that the
Christmas decorations were packed away in from out
of the basement storage space and then got the tree out
and put together so that we could decorate it. Then he
went out and put the Christmas lights up on the outside
of the house.

Here is the newly decorated tree loaded down with
ornaments and lights and holiday bling. When it
comes to decorating for Christmas I'm as traditional
as you can get. My colors are red, green and gold
and my ornaments sparkle and shine in the glow of
the tree's lights.

It's a lot of work getting everything in place and
looking just right but Darlene and I and DH make
a great team and we manage to get the majority of
the work done in one weekend. We've done it for
so many years that we know where everything
should go and how it should be placed.

Plus I keep pictures of previous years decorating
finishes to help us remember where everything
should go. So every once in awhile one of us
would dash upstairs and check a picture on the
computer to see if we were putting something
in the right place.

Next up on the holiday schedule is writing the letters
and cards for our overseas relatives and friends.
That is going to be occupying me for much of this
week I am sure, and once that's done it'll be time
to work on the rest of the cards.

So stitching time will be non existent next week I'm afraid. And
I have just a small progress photo to show you from last week's
efforts. A couple of cute motifs from Halloween Quaker
that were a delight to stitch. The scaredy cat is finished but the
pumpkin still requires vines and leaves before it'll be done.
Love the stand up fur on the pussy cat's back.

One of the highlights of my four day vacation last
week was when I got to spend Tuesday with
Jennifer of Seasonal Stitches. We had a lovely
visit at her home in the morning and I got to meet
her cat Emmie (sweet little cat). We stitched and
drank tea and ate yummy cinnamon scones, then
we went out to lunch at a crepe restaurant near
where she lives, and then went for a nice drive
afterwords so that Jennifer could show me around
her neighborhood.

Jennifer was kind enough to allow me to jump out of
the car during our drive around town, so that I could
take some pictures of the beautiful neighborhood and
city where she lives.

Her neighborhood is right near Lake Ontario and
in fact she can walk down her street to get to it.
How incredibly lucky to be able to do that, eh?
These pictures were taken in a small park right
on the lake. It was an overcast day but the
pictures turned out pretty good in spite of that.

One of the hospitals in Toronto holds a big lottery
draw every year to raise funds and the grand prize
is a fully furnished, newly built home in the same
neighborhood where Jennifer lives. Here is the
house that was this years prize. Pretty nice little
abode don't you think? Betcha I could have a
library and a craft room in there easily.

I was even lucky enough to have the opportunity
to meet Jennifer's daughter Elisabeth before
Jennifer dropped me off at the train station so
that I could make my way home at the end of
our visit. It was a wonderful visit and we hope
to get together again soon to stitch and visit.


I spent Thursday Christmas shopping with my
friend Charmaine at Yorkdale mall and picked
up a few things on my Christmas shopping list.
Because it was a week day the mall wasn't too
busy or crowded which was nice for us.

I also bought myself a new bathing suit because
of something special coming up real soon ( but
I'm not going to tell you anything about that
until after it's over). Let's just say that it's been
many years since I've had to buy a bathing
suit and it's not the most fun that I've ever had
while out shopping for clothes. Tried on about
seven or eight styles of suits (and often had to
try on two different sizes of the same suit to figure
out which would fit) so that whole process took an
hour out of the day.

In this weeks mail there was a parcel from Portugal.
Inside were a number of small packages wrapped in
Christmas paper, and a Christmas card from Paula
(Cantinho do Ponto Cruz). A dilemma. Do I open
the parcels right away or do I wait until Christmas??

What would you do??

Well, I had every intention of waiting until
Christmas to open those interesting little
parcels, and I did manage to hold out for a
few days. But this weekend, with the tree
up and decorated and Santa coming to town
and Christmas music playing on the sterio,
I'm afraid that I just couldn't help myself.

Paula is a generous and kind Christmas elf.
She sent me some lovely Christmas fabric,
a cute cat button, an Eiffel Tower key ring,
(drat!! Forgot to put that in the picture)
a pretty toile covered note book, aaannnddd....

Isn't he cute??? A wonderful Prairie Schooler
Santa ornament. Oh, I am so very glad that I
decided to open those packages early instead
of waiting. Now I can display this little Santa
during the entire Christmas season and enjoy
it every day.

Thank you Paula for your generous and
delightful gifts, and most especially for
the Santa ornament that you stitched for
me. You're awesome!!

Loreena McKennitt has a new CD out called The
Wind That Shakes the Barley. It's a return to her
roots in that the music is all traditional Celtic songs
which is the sort of music that Loreena made when
she first started her career. I've been enjoying the
new album very much but then for me a new
release from Loreena McKennitt is always a reason
to celebrate, and I've always loved her Celtic
inspired early CDs.

This week's artsy shot is of the dried up buds on
our Rose of Sharon bush in the backyard. DH
has put the heater in the bird bath so the water
doesn't freeze and the birds have somewhere to
drink. He's put suet cakes out for the birds as
well although the squirrels get as much enjoyment
out of those as the birds do. Ditto for the peanut
feeder. Most of the leaves are gone from the trees
in our yard and DH has mulched most of them and
put them in the garden to protect the plants from
Winter's icy bite. During the final pass across the
grass last week before being stored away for the
winter the lawn mower died. Good timing I
suppose but it looks like we'll be investing in a
new lawn mower next Spring.

Thank you to everyone who left comments about
Ian's commercials on the previous posts. Would
you believe that someone (he has no idea who)
has started a Facebook page for "The Flute Guy
From the Burger King Commerical"??? He's
somewhat bemused by this. There are over 300
followers on it so far.

I don't know if I'll have time to leave comments
on blogs this week but I will try to find a few
minutes to visit when I can to keep up with what
you're all up to. I'll be back to commenting once
the cards and letters are in the mail and on their
way to friends and family.

Anyone been to see the new Harry Potter movie

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great



Anonymous said...

"It's Christmas!
All over!
Thye song says and that is the spirit of this post! Glad you liked the Santa!
I truly love Christmas but here the tradition tells us to wait until the 1st of December!

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much Judy for all your wonderful comments on our visit!! I really enjoyed it too.So glad you had good luck bathing suit shopping . Your tree looks so beautiful . Thank you for all the wonderful pics posted of your gifties and everything else.
It was great to have you here to visit. Thank you for making the trip!xoxo

Vonna said...

Oh MY! I don't know where to begin...first off the Christmas decorating was done here at our home this weekend too...I'm exhausted but everything is clean, sparkling and decorated for the Jolly Man to come :)
And I love the Halloween WIP...this one is just too cute. I've thought long and hard about getting this pattern and I'm starting to capitulate!
Jennifer is seems a very lovely, kind lady of the first order and I bet the day spent with her was SO MUCH FUN!!!! And that house...WOWZA I'd throw more than my hat in the ring for a chance to win it ;)
Paula is a good sweet woman and most gracious...I got myself a little package from her too! HUGS!

Barbara said...

What a great post, Judy!! I feel all Christmasy and cheerful now! :D

Lynn said...

I can't believe it but you're even getting me in the mood! I've been so Bah Humbug lately, lol! The tree won't go up around here until mid December. We usually get a real one and put it up the weekend of my son's birthday. Your's looks fantastic!
Glad you had such a good time with Jennifer. Sounds like it was a lovely visit.
I was supposed to see HP this past weekend but my oldest son dropped in unexpectedly with his girls so the movie is put on hold for now.

BrendaS said...

Your tree looks just beautiful. Good for you for getting some shopping done. I've done some but have more to do and it's not my most favorite thing in the world:(

Can't wait to hear about your upcoming trip.

Your stitching is coming along. Something is better than nothing is what I always say:)

Have a great week.

Siobhan said...

Have you ever seen the movie, "The Wind That Shakes The Barley"? It's sad but wonderful. Seeing the CD made me think of it.

Beautiful holiday pics! It sounds like you & Jennifer had a blast together. :) Lovely stitching pics!

Judy S. said...

Wow, you've been busy. I'm not that organized sadly. We are just now thinking about putting away our Thanksgiving stuff. Love the stitcheries you've been working on.

Pumpkin said...

Hard to believe that Christmas is less than a month away! Your tree is beautiful :o) I've told myself that I have to wait until after December 1 to decorate and I'm doing pretty good with it. I did buy a small artificial tree for my stitched ornies and can't wait to post a picture. I take it you have an artificial tree too?

I'm SO behind on my Christmas cards because my photos haven't arrived yet! Ack! Of course my newsletter isn't written either but that's besides the point ;o) LOL!

Love the scaredy cat! Don't you feel like stitching something Christmassy though?

That is SO cool that you got to meet another Blogger/stitcher :o)

Lovely parcel but I'm a bad elf and would have had that open in a flash ;o) LOL!

That is SO cool! He really does stand out in that commercial though ;o)

Vonna said...

I can't find your e-mail address, but I want you to know that I so very much appreciate your kind words and your generous gift that you sent to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! May you and your family have the most wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Love and most sincerely,