Monday, April 18, 2016

I meant to update my blog sooner then this however, as
happens, life got in the way.    Specifically... after five
attacks in the past four months due to gall stones ....  I had 
to have my gall bladder removed last Thursday night.   It
was something I was planning to do but a particularly bad
attack starting on Tuesday hastened the deal.   That was fine
since it didn't give me any time to fret and stress while 
waiting for a specific date to arrive.   It was a case of:  we're
here in emergency ... the surgeon is available .... we don't
have any other plans for the evening .... let's just do it!!!

A night in hospital ... spent in Obstetrics of all places ....
and a return home on Friday afternoon to recover.   Phil,
being retired now,  is able to provide nursing care and to
keep an eye on me during my convalescence ... and he's 
been quite diligent and very solicitous of my every need.

So all in all it's been good.   Keyhole surgery means an easier
and quicker recovery with minimal discomfort and that is
greatly appreciated.    So now I'm able to putter around the
house a bit, go for short walks around the neighbourhood
.... with my nurse accompanying me ... and relax at home.
It's all good.   

I've been enjoying my renewed delight in stitching again and
made further progress on my Country Chessboard as seen
above.    More border which defines the size of the piece
plus more houses.   And yes,  each house square completed
feels like a mini finish which provides a sense of 
accomplishment and encourages further production.

But of course what would the joy of stitching be without a
new start???    I mean, really?     Thanks to the enabling of
fellow stitchers I became aware of this chart available on
Etsy from a designer and had to get it, along with another
for Pretty Little Amsterdam.   There are charts for cities
throughout the United States and Europe featuring those 
well known iconic sites that each city is known for,  and 
each chart is in bright, vibrant colours.

So here is my progress so far on Pretty Little Toronto.
Some trees,  the shores of Lake Ontario,  a streetcar
(sometimes known as the Red Rocket) and starts on
other landmarks.   Loving it!!!

Hey!   Did you know .....

                                                So, I was on Vonna's blog site a week ago 
and discovered that she'd made some videos on how to 
do various styles of finishes which she'd posted on Youtube.
Well,  Vonna being the Queen of Finishing .... along with
Andrea from The Craft Room .... I knew that I had to check
those out at once.   I went to Youtube and watched Vonna's
videos and was suitably impressed and fascinated with her
skill and her talent.   Then I looked at the videos "suggested"
at the side of the screen and was surprised to discover that
there is a community of cross stitchers there who are calling
themselves "Flosstubers"!!!!

I am quite aware of the "Booktubers" on Youtube plus various types
of crafty vloggers, and I follow those communities regularly, but it's 
never occurred to me to check for cross stitchers.


So while I stitch on my projects I watch vlog posts from cross 
stitchers from all over the world as they display their WIPS,
hauls,  and UFO's as well as discussing other things related
to their hobbies and interests and lives.

Did any of you know about this community?   Is it the "it"
place to be now that interest in blogging seems to be waning 
for a lot of people?   I would think that vlogging would be
much more time consuming and more work then blogging
plus you'd need some degree of technical know-how and 
the equipment to make decent vlogs.    

And with vlogging you'd have to be more aware of your own
personality and have the ability to "selling" yourself on screen
to your audience to hold their attention and engage them.   I
think an ability to write a good, interesting and colourful blog
post may not necessarily translate to the vlogging world.

So, go check out Flosstube on Youtube (if you haven't already) 
and see what you think.

In early February I spent a weekend in Toronto with my
friend Darlene for our annual "Girls Weekend".
This time we had tickets to Kinky Boots at the Royal
Alexandra theatre as the highlight of our weekend.

What a fabulous show!!!!   The music was fantastic
(courtesy of the talented Cindi Lauper with book by 
Harvey Fierstein)  and the production colourful.   The 
story was a nice mix of thought provoking,  tender,  
upbeat and a bit sad at times.   But ultimately it was a 
celebration of our differences and acceptance of ourselves 
and of others ... be who you want to be!!

Our "Lola" in the show .... Alan Mingo Jr .... has left
the Toronto production to reprise the role on Broadway
which is quite an honour.    But given how amazing he
was here it doesn't surprise me at all that he was given
the opportunity.

The show was Friday night.   Saturday we walked a
bit around Toronto on a bright, sunny and warm day.
We went to the St. Lawrence Market to check out
the colourful, diverse selection of foods and goods
that are available there.

The place is a crowded, colourful and lively
mix of ethnicities with already prepared foods,  plus
the fresh ingredients needed to make your own and 
the seasonings and the tools as well.

It's a feast for the eye and for the stomach.

And full of welcome colour in the midst of the dull,
grey days of winter.

We spent the afternoon at the Art Gallery of Ontario, taking
a tour as well as just walking around on our own.

The architecture of the place was as fascinating to
see as the art works were.

In the evening ... after dinner at Swiss Chalet
(of course) .... we went to the movies and saw
Kung Foo Panda 3, which was quite cute and

Sunday we slept in,  swam in the hotel pool, 
went out for breakfast and then lined up to buy
Japanese cheesecake from a shop near the
bus terminal called Uncle Tetsu's. 

Another book I read this year was The Aviator's
Wife.   A fictionalized account of the life of 
Anne Morrow Lindberg which I really, really
enjoyed.    I knew something of the lady's history
and I knew about her husband's accomplishments
and scandals ... and of course about the kidnapping of
their baby son but I'd never read anything about either
of them before.   It's a really good story, well told by
Melanie Benjamin who has also written about Alice
Liddell (Alice ... in Wonderland fame) in the book
Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs Tom 
Thumb.   I'm going to check those out soon.

Phil has been relishing his retirement ... in spite of the
fact that the weather changed as soon as Spring hit
and gave us a good wallop of cold and snow for a 
few weeks that had us all questioning Mother Nature's
sanity ... in rather colourful language.   Ahem!
After a very mild and dry winter it stung a bit.  Especially
when we had more snow and colder temperatures in 
the first 10 days of April then in all of February!
But now the temperatures are warming up and the sun is
shining and we can sit outside without coats and boots,
hats and mittens.   Blissful!

Meanwhile, Phil will be out mowing the lawn and racking
last Fall's leaves and puttering around the garden to his
heart's content .... as well as a bit of puttering around the
house.    Life is good!



Maggie said...

Sorry to read about your op, although as you say with no time to dwell on a looming date not quite too bad. Hopefully you are on the mend now, glad that Phil is looking after you, :-)

I love the progress on the little houses, you know i haven't worked on my in....ohhhh
i can't remember when!!! you are putting me to shame, lol

I have heard about the stitching videos, i have only watched one though, if i get caught up in any more watching of what people do i won't be doing anything myself, lol.

Take care, and make the most of being waited on ;-)

Andrea said...

Sorry to hear of your enforced night in the hospital. I hope you are the perfect patient for Phil!

Thank you ... but you won't be finding ME on You Tube. :) LOL Trouble is once you start watching you tend to go from one to the other to the other and half the day is gone.

Looks and sounds like you had a great time in Toronto.

Wonderful stitching, so pleased you are enjoying it again.

Take care, have a good weekend.

Kaisievic said...

Great post, my dear. So glad to hear that you are recovering well from your operation - keyhole surgery is a wonderful thing, isn't it? I, too, have just discovered vlogging and I agree, much more time consuming (and technical) to make a vlog and more time consuming for viewers, too. I still love my blogs and can't see me giving them up any time soon. I really enjoyed reading your post and your visit to Toronto. xoxox

Mouse said...

hellooo ... thank you for popping in to see me ... sorry to hear about the op but better to get it over and done with quick ... love the tour of Toronto ... and the show sounds fab too ....
not too sure about the vlogging bit ...rather write my thoughts etc down .... but will check out the floss tubers ....
love mouse xxxxx

Judy S. said...

Oh Judy, I am just now reading about your surgery. Hope you are feeling lots better by now. I had my gall bladder removed in 2010 the same way you did; it's good to have that pain gone,eh? I do have to watch my diet still though. Thanks so much for posting on my blog; it's good to have you back in blogland and fun to see you stitching projects. I've not done any X-stitch recently but need to finish some projects. Somehow I mostly focus on knitting these days. Hugs to you! And get well soon!

Brigitte said...

Not very funny, these gall stones. My friend had them too and had her gall bladder removed some years ago, too. Like you they used keyhole surgery and she was recovering very fast. You seem to have a fast recovery as well, how great for you, Judy. And you have Phil who helps you with everything :?
Your stitching mojo hasn't vanished, which is absolutely great. Nice progress on your Gameboard Sampler and I can fully understand that you are itching for a new start. Don't we all? I have so many WIPs but nevertheless I sometimes have to my pile of kitted projects, rummage through it and pull one out that I have to start immediately.
When I saw Vonna's blog entry I tried out floss tube and wow, it's amazing what different stitchers you can meet there. But I have to be careful not to spend too much time on the computer, so when Jo (Serendipitous Stitching) told me that she was watching floss tube videos while stitching instead of TV I adopted this idea immediately and I'm doing so myself. But I had no idea that there is also book tube, lol. I have to look for that.