Thursday, 25 March 2010

Sunny & Stitchin'

That's the forecast here in Florida. I'm so glad I scheduled my trip at this time for it seems I've avoided a lot of the cool weather that has plagued the southern climates this winter. It's sad to see so many of the palms which have dried up. Since I've arrived, the temps have been about 80-82 F during the day and 58-60 F overnight. Comfortable days and cool evenings for sound sleeping.

As for stitching, my needle hasn't stopped since I arrived including on the plane. I started a small Easter piece during my wait at the airport and continued stitching it on the plane. "Hoppity is a sweet little spring piece by Stone & Thread. I've just about completed the bunny There's not much more to the piece but I'm saving it for the return trip home since it's smaller and fits well in my purse.

Home of A Needleworker continues to progress. I take this one with me poolside. Nantucket Sampler is too large to work on comfortably. I'm afraid of soiling it.

I spotted this little fellow on my first morning walk. He was sunning himself along the banks of a pond at the end of our road. I love snapping pictures of birds and wildlife which we don't have at home.

This bird was investigating things on the grounds behind my Mom's place. My most exciting find though were the three eagles which circled around the pool area. Beautiful!

Last night we had a lovely dinner at Fisherman's Village in nearby Punta Gorda. Here's a pic of my sister, my Mom and me as we enjoyed catching up with each other.

Following dinner, I spotted this pelican as we walked along the wharf.

Today promises to be another beauty. I'm off to stitch on the lanai with my coffee. Aren't vacations grand?!

Monday, 22 March 2010

An Award

Thank you so very much to Andrea for nominating me for this award.

Here's how the award works. The rules are simple.

1. You must accept the award.

2. Thank the person who gave you the award.

3. Add a link to the person who gave you the award.

4. Paste the award on your blog.

5. Write 10 things about yourself that others might not know.

6. Pass the award on to 10 others.

Okay so here goes:

10 things you might not know about me

1. I play the flute, although it's been some time since I've had it out of its case.

2. I love olives. I put them on just about anything like salads, chili, sloppy joes, etc.

3. I'm a big fan of science fiction movies, in fact it's possible I'm even a closet trekkie!

4. I'm a sucker for cats, any cat! I'd love to bring them all home with me.

5. I'm a carbohydrate junkie which I'm desperately trying to change.

6. I use to figure skate but I'd be hard pressed to do (or have) any kind of figure now.

7. I love receiving flowers, although DH hasn't quite clued in to that yet!

8. I'm born to shop, I come by it naturally thanks to my Mom.

9. I work in a Chemistry lab but I have a passion for forensics.

10. I sing in a church choir directed by DH and have an appreciation of choral music.

Now for the 10 blogs I like to pass this on to.

1. It's Daffycat

2. Stitching Sister

3. Aussie Stitcher

4. Squazi & The Chickens

5. Notes From Blue Hen Hollow

6. An Eye For Threads

7. Scout's Stitches

8. Kajsa's Stitching and More

9. Hooked On Stitches

10. At Brigitte's Place

I hope I haven't offended anyone by omitting them since there are many blogs out there that I read and enjoy. I've tried to put out there a lot of the new blogs I've been reading along with some familiar favourites. Also I totally understand if you are not into awards. As far as I'm concerned don't feel obligated. These awards are a way of introducing people to new blogs and stitchers out there but I know that we live in a hectic world where there's often little time for things outside of our usual routine.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Oh Deer!

That's not exactly what I said when I ran onto one of these animals on my way to work last week! The deer fared better than my car for sure. I was in an area where there are lots of fields where the deer have been foraging but I was on a curve and there's a blind spot where you can't seem them coming. Fortunately I know they're there so I always slow down when I get to that spot and sure enough I saw a brown blur out of the corner of my eye. I slammed on the brakes but it wasn't fast enough and there was a large thud as I hit the deer. She continued on into the field to meet her friend where they then proceeded to recross the road in front of me as I checked out the damage to the car. It doesn't look like much but all said and done I need to replace the front fender and have a dent bumped out on the passenger side of the car. The hood of the car buckled slightly at that corner and the windshield washer container within the car split open and leaked its contents on the road. The fog light was also pushed in. Could have been much worse. A piece of the deer's flesh and fur stuck to my fender showed me that she did have some injury and as she took off once more I noticed her limping somewhat. Fortunately I was unhurt and insurance will cover the damage. It's the first time in 19yrs of commuting in the area that I actually had a run-in with one of them and hopefully it's my last!

In keeping with the lovely spring weather we've been having here lately, I wanted to start something new for Easter. I'd been looking for a small piece to do, preferably something with religious undertones to it rather than the usual Easter fare of bunnies and chicks. When I picked up the March/April issue of JCS, I knew I'd found what I'd been looking for. Inside was a little Easter piece by Diane Williams of LHN called He is Risen. I had all the necessary supplies in my stash and got started on this one last week. Above is a progress pic as of last night. I'm doing it on a white linen but in this picture it sure doesn't look white. Of course, true to form, I'll have it ready for next Easter rather than this year.

Believe it or not, that Mirabilia Easter Fairy that I started 2 years ago is still hanging around waiting for her beading to be complete. I know, I'm so close to finishing her off but I just can't bring myself to pick it up again. No excuse, and I just can't explain it!

Next up is my LHN ornie finish for this month. Just a Flake stitched up very quickly but somewhere along the way I screwed up in my counting. Consequently when I stitched in the snow at the bottom, his boots were resting one row above it. I stitched an extra row of snow rather than dealing with the frogs.

LHN Home of a Needleworker too (Hmm, do you notice a LHN theme here?) has been moving along slowly but surely.It doesn't progress as quickly as I'd like it to since I'm only stitching on it during my breaks at work. Sorry about the picture. I didn't feel like pressing the fabric. I'm feeling rather lazy today.

I'd planned on staying put and stitching for most of the day but Clarisse had other plans for me. I had a scheduled appointment for her this morning for her annual vaccines. It wasn't until
the car trip there that I realized she really can meow when the need arises. She's had vaccines before with no problems but shortly after we returned home she started vomiting. At first I thought that maybe she'd been a little car sick or it was just a reaction to the stress of the situation. But after 7 or 8 episodes along with some bowel movements outside the litter box, I realized we had a problem. Phoned the vet and found ourselves back in the car again for a return trip. More outraged meowing on the way.
Yes, this is an adverse reaction to the vaccine. They put her on an IV to give some steroids and antihistamines and told me to return in 2 hrs to pick her up. I was meeting Bob for lunch at Tim Hortons following his Saturday bell rehearsal and just killed some time shopping while waiting for him. After lunch I return for the cat. Everything's fine, she's settled down now, just keep an eye on her but she should be fine. Wrong! Shortly after getting in, once more she starts vomiting. This time I also find some blood on the floor. Panic, call the vet, and once more we're in the car on the way back there. More crying, much more subdued this time. Now keep in mind that the vet is located in the next village which is about a 15 minute drive away. So I've spent an hour and a half on the road today going back and forth. Neither Clarisse or myself are impressed! This time I return with no cat. They've decided to put her back on an IV and keep her overnight for observation. The blood is just from an aggravated colon but now they want to give her the animal equivalent of Gravol(an anti-nausea med). In all the years I've had cats this is the first time I've ever had one react in this manner. Needless to say I'm worried and wonder if this is going to happen each year when vaccination time rolls around. Any other cat owners out there ever have these problems?
To take my mind off of things I've now started to get my suitcase packed for my trip south to Florida. My flight leaves on Tuesday morning and I am soooo looking forward to it! What to bring, what to bring? The weather has been cooler than usual there but my Mom informed me that the days are warming up now. A jacket and some longer pants are still in order since the nights have been a bit cooler. I seem to be between sizes right now. I currently have a set of "fat" clothes and "skinny" clothes from which to choose. I've recently lost 11 lbs with hopes of losing more but right now I'm sort of fitting in between the fat and the skinny clothes. Now when I say skinny you can't take that literally since I have never been skinny in my life! I'm just referring to a smaller set of clothes than my fat clothes. The fat pants are dragging in the crotch and the skinny ones require some major inhaling in order to zip them up. Which is more uncomfortable, not being able to breathe or excess material rubbing on the inside of one's thighs? I'll have to weigh my options, pardon the pun!

I'm planning on bringing the laptop with me so let's hope that my little interet stick can latch onto a local cell tower for connection. If you don't hear from me you'll know it's failed and I'll be in touch when I return. I get back on the Easter weekend so I'll wish you all a Happy Easter now. I hope Spring has paid all of you a visit by then. I'll leave you with some pictures of my new Easter additions to our home.

CLARISSE UPDATE: The vet just called with an update and said that Clarisse is no longer being sick and seems much brighter. If she continues like this we can bring her home tomorrow.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Lost is Found

After weeks of searching for my Trilogy Secret Snowdrift it finally surfaced last week. And was I looking for it at the time? No! Of course not! I was busy looking for the camera charger which disappeared several days before that. I found SS stored in tissue paper beneath a mound of papers on the mess that is known as our TV entertainment centre. This resides in our bedroom and became a catch-all clean haven during our renovations. However so many things ended up being deposited there to keep them dust free that we weren't sure if the entertainment centre was still there beneath everything!
Alas, the camera charger is still missing (last seen when DH used it). Bob keeps assuring me that it will turn up but in the meantime my camera has gone dead and can't be used. This means that if we didn't find it soon I wouldn't have a camera to take with me on my upcoming trip to Florida. So while he was waiting for it to turn up, I ordered another charger online which arrived this week. The night before it arrived in the mail, he finally admitted defeat and asked for the camera info so that he might purchase another battery charger. I told him I'd already ordered one and charged it to his card, lol!
So now all is well, both stitching and camera back in use. The pic of Snowdrift shows you just how far away I was from a happy dance when this little project disappeared.
The past 2 weeks I've gotten a fair amount of stitching done. At my Tuesday night SAL a week ago, I put in my needle on a new start, LHN Home of a Needleworker. I'm stitching it on 28ct Queen Anne's Lace jobelan. It's really enjoyable and is progressing at a good pace. When it's completed, I'm having it framed and hung in my entrance so that all who enter know exactly what I LOVE to do! Speaking of LHN, has anyone seen the new Easter piece by Diane Williams, He Is Risen, in this month's issue of Just Cross Stitch? I'm planning to kit it up this weekend. I'm sure it won't be finished for the season this year but I'll have it hung and in place next year for sure. It's not that it would take all that long to complete but life continues to be busy in this neck of the woods.

As I mentioned, I'm planning a trip to Florida again to visit with my Mom and Stepdad. Once more, my sister will be joining me, this time with her husband as well. I'm gone 10 days this time, arriving home just before the Easter weekend. DH is too busy preparing his choirs for spring concerts to join us. Once I've arrived home I return to work for only 2 days and then my surgery is scheduled followed by a recuperation of 6 weeks at home. I'm already checking my calendar for a date in late April or early May for a SAL at my place. I should be feeling much better by then and will probably be going stir crazy.

Next up on my list of stitching accomplishments this week is my LHN montly ornament called He's A Flake. The pattern on this one called for the snowman's scarf to be stitched in the same colour floss as the planter. I wasn't happy with the colour and preferred something a little brighter for the snowman so I've stitched his scarf in a lovely Christmas red, WDW Liberty.
I also replaced the gold coloured floss used in the tree garland with alternating red and gold beads. And here is a pic of how things look so far.

This coming Tuesday when I join the ladies for stitching I'm going to concentrate on Nantucket again. It's not likely to see much progress on in while I'm away. It's more bulky to pack and I prefer to take smaller projects with me on the trip. I have to save more room in the suitcase for future purchases! Does anyone know of a needlework shop in the Fort Myers area that I can pay a visit to?

I just glanced over the dining room table to find Clarisse finally using her new bed. She doesn't like our choice of hardwood floors (much too cold for her) and is missing the carpet. Consequently we've come home on numerous occasions to find her comfortably sleeping on our living room loveseat or sofa. We don't really want her up there since she leaves behind the equivalent of another cat in fur. In order to discourage her, I found a lovely pet bed on special at our local grocery store. It looked so soft and comfy and was a steal at less than $10. Of course, said bed has been sitting untouched now for weeks. She checked it out on the first night and hasn't been near it since until now. Looks like she's discovered it's comfort value!

It's an absoultely gorgeous day here today and now I'm off to run some errands. Can't stay cooped up indoors on a day like this! My tulips are even starting to poke up their heads in the front garden, can you believe it!