Monday, 21 January 2008

Following Dr.'s orders

I had something happen to me this week that has never happened and had me totally confused. I usually get up for work around 5:15am and leave the house around 6:10 in order to be at work by 7:00am. So on Wednesday morning I rose up before the hour, figuring I was doing pretty well. Bob stays overnight in Ottawa on Tuesdays so he wasn't around to slow me down! I left the house about 15 min earlier than usual which left me plenty of time to stop and pick up my coffee at Tim Horton's on the way. When I arrived at work one of my co-workers asked me if I'd had car trouble or what? I'm thinking to myself, "What's she talking about?" Then she asks, "Then why are you late?" Late, I'm late?! I took a look at the clock and yep, I'm running an hour late. How could that possibly be? I was so confused. I hadn't even noticed that I was driving to work in daylight instead of darkness. I mean it seems that that's all I do lately is commute from one place to another at all times, day or night. Chesterville to Cornwall, Cornwall to Ottawa, Ottawa to Chesterville.
Now my alarm clock is not one where the alarm shuts off daily. By that I mean that it has a separate button to stop the sound of the alarm but the alarm itself will stay preset for as long as you want unless you actually turn off a separate control, which I hadn't. Of course Bob wasn't around to wake me and it seems that the alarm had been going off for over an hour and I hadn't woke at all. Trust me, that's extremely unusual.
I've also had a few incidents involving memory which have troubled me. So when I visited my Dr. on Thursday I mentioned all of these to him. He seemed rather concerned, listened to my heart, took my pressure, ordered an ECG and a ton of bloodwork. It seems my blood pressure is up quite a bit and he feels that the stress at work is finally catching up to me and I'm suffering from stress and exhaustion. I didn't think I was that tired! I guess my body is telling me something! Unless things improve in the next few weeks he's going to order me off work for a short while. In the meantime I'm to sleep more and slow down, stay home more and relax. And while I'm at it, I should spend more time doing something I enjoy, like my stitching. Yippee!! So I stayed quiet all weekend and stitched (when I wasn't sleeping!). Dr's orders!

So here's my progress on Winter Wishes and CdC. I wasn't able to stitch on my regular CdC evening because of the stiff neck that plagued me earlier in the week. I love the colour of the fabric I'm using for WWW. It's a Kiwi Illusions fabric and I'd love to get my hands on some more in this colour. I have several other projects that would look good on this one.

I was kinda misbehaved though. I travelled into Ottawa on Sunday for church but Bob was driving and I slept on the way in. He was playing in a recital on Sunday evening for organ and flute with another artist. I really didn't want to miss this. I mean besides the fact that my hubby was involved, I was also a flute player for many years and had been looking forward to this particular recital. So after lunch I behaved myself and had a nap at the church. Following this I sat and stitched while Bob rehearsed. It was lovely really, stitching to the music of Bach. The recital was excellent. There was only one teensy hitch. The lady who was supposed to be turning pages for Bob was ill and not able to make it. So guess who filled in? Yep, yours truly! Am I ever glad I was dressed decently. Sometimes I've brought a change of clothes with me so that I'm more comfortable. Fortunately I'd forgot them at home and was stilled dressed in my Sunday best. The evening ended fairly early and I was back home and in bed before 11:00pm. Not early enough when one's getting up at 5 but I did sleep in the car on the return trip. It's amazing how much you can actually sleep when someone tells you you're tired and you need it!

I've been checking on Silkweaver's site lately to see if they've posted the winners of their Stitcher's Showcase. I entered a few of my small projects. It would be nice to win some free fabric! Nothing yet though. Time to sign off. I've just got enough time left to stitch for about a half an hour before bed. Tomorrow night is CdC and I hope to make some good progress if I can stay awake!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008


Just before heading to bed tonight I checked my email and found that I'd been tagged by Kathy. So I'll give it a go.

Secretary in my Dad's office during vacations
Dietary aide in a hospital kitchen
Lab technologist in a hospital

Those are the only 4 jobs I've ever had! Pretty boring, eh?

You've Got Mail
Pretty Woman
Indiana Jones Chronicles
Happy Feet (with my granddaughter!)

London, England
Hiroshima, Japan
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Las Vegas, Nevada

Windsor, Ontario
Cornwall, Ontario
Chesterville, Ontario

That's it, only three- like I said, boring!

Criminal Minds
CSI New York
Law and Order - Special Victims Unit


Greek salad
Roast turkey
Berries - all kinds

Any place warm and sunny
At home,when I'm at work

Vacationing in Muskoka
The weekend (when I'm not working)
The next SAL


Not a lot of stitching going on the past few days. I've developed a severe stiff neck and shoulder and I'm having a hard time moving my head much. I've been putting heat packs on it at night but with not much relief. Hopefully I'll have ditched it by the weekend!

Monday, 14 January 2008


Today marks my eldest son Jeff''s 27th birthday. I'm not able to spend any time with him since he lives in Quebec about 3 1/2 hrs from here but I did speak with him tonight when I got home from work. He's just having a quiet celebration - a spaghetti supper and cake with his family. I can't believe how quickly time has passed when I think back on his childhood. It seems that in the blink of an eye he has gone from what he looks like in the photo above to this one below. All you ladies with young ones, enjoy them now because it passes far too quickly!

Now Jeff''s a parent himself and a very good one at that. Jeff I am so proud of the Dad that you've become! Happy birthday honey, we love you very much!

This was a week of many remembrances. I meant to post about this earlier but this past week marked the tenth anniversary of the ice storm of 1998. For those of you who are not familiar with this, starting on Jan.5 - Jan. 10th 1998, freezing rain coated Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick with ice. Our area in Ottawa alone received 85 mm of rain during that period. Trees and hydro wires fell and utility poles and transmission towers came down. This in turn caused massive power outages some of which lasted a month! Over 4 million people lost power and 600,000 had to leave their homes. It's hard to believe but about 130 hydro transmission towers were destroyed. The military was brought in to help clear debris and evacuate people. They set up here in our local high school.
As well, most of the sugar bush in Quebec for maple syrup production was permanently destroyed. It turned out to be the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history.

In my village we lost power for only 3-4 days but it was darned cold! Fortunately I had a wood stove which we used to heat the house and I actually cooked on it. Barbeques all over the neighbourhood were started up for cooking too. My good friends, the Renauds, were without heat and moved in with us. At night we lit candles and hung some battery operated coleman lamps from the dining room fixture and played Rumoli. One of the adults would have to get up during the night to feed the fire in the stove. The kids just treated it like another camping expedition, but for many others it was devastating. One of my coworkers operates a dairy farm with her husband and they had no power for 3 wks. They had to share a generator with about 3 other farms for milking and ended up losing some cattle due to mastitis. I remember doing their laundry until their power was restored. I've included a few photos I took around the neighbourhood during the storm as well as one from the newspaper of a fallen transmission tower. The thing I will remember the most was how eerie it was driving to work early in the morning in total darkness with the sound of tree branches falling. As the branches fell it sounded like glass shattering and you don't realize just how black it is when there is absolutely no light out there. Not even light from the windows of homes or street lamps.

Now back to the present. I'm a little bit closer to having a craft room of my own! I've decided to take over the bedroom which belonged to my youngest son for this purpose. When Chris returns home he prefers to sleep downstairs on the sofa bed in front of the stove where he can stay up late and watch TV. So last year we repainted his room and up until now have been using it for storage and sort of a laundry room ( ironing, etc.)
I've been looking for some sort of storage system for all my floss, beads, patterns, etc. and this week I found what I'd been looking for!

Michael's had some craft storage drawers which can be stacked one upon the other to form as big a storage area as you need. Some are 4 drawer chests, some have divided drawers and still others have storage shelves which can be turned on the side to use as slots for storing patterns. I used the money my MIL gave me at Christmas to get started with 6 of these drawers. Bob threw in another for me as well. So we'll take it from there and see how many others we'll need. I'm anxious to get started setting them up but we've decided to wait until after we have the carpets cleaned . After all the room did belong to a teenage boy!
Finnigan had his appointment today with the vet where they drew blood and did a stool analysis. Besides the hairballs, she feels he may in fact have a food allergy so we're going to try him on a special diet for a bit. The stool analysis showed no parasites and the bloodwork is being checked for anemia and kidney function. She said she'd call me in a couple of days to discuss the results.
Finnigan was not particularily impressed with the whole thing and is currently doing his best to ignore me right now.
No stitching pics today. I should have one in the next day or so of Wishes. It's coming along nicely. Then tomorrow it's my CdC night. I can hardly wait!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Another start

I hadn't really planned on another new start so soon but sometimes I just get carried away! I've never been very good at working on too many pieces at one time but things seem to be changing. Shortly after I got started on Warm Winter Wishes I had to put it aside for a short time. When I picked the fabric for it I thought I was dealing with a 28ct only to discover once I started stitching that I was using a 25ct. Suddenly I was worried about whether I would still have enough material for stretching and framing. When finished it will only leave me with about 1 1/2 inches on either side. So before I got any further into it I emailed my LNS , gave them my dimensions and asked what they thought. They assured me that as long as I don't plan on using any mats I will still end up with 1/2 in left visible following stretching and framing. Otherwise I'll have to sew some fabric on either side which will be hidden under the mats. I'd already decided that I didn't want mats with this piece anyways so it looks like I'll be alright. I didn't want to pick another piece of fabric because I just love the colour of this one and how the stitching looks on it.

So until I heard back from my LNS I dug out something else. I chose USA Tree by Helga Mandl which is a pattern I obtained through PatternsOnline. My sister who lives in Michigan became an American citizen this past year so I decided to do this one for her for Christmas next year instead of a snowman piece.
I don't know what's wrong with me lately but I wasn't very smart. I planned on doing it as an ornament originally but was well into it before I realized I was stitching it over 2 instead of over 1! I think my brain is still on vacation!! Oh well, it's going to end up as a small framed piece instead or maybe a flatfold. If I finish it this month it will be the first time I've ever finished anything for Christmas this early in the year.
I started stiching on WWW again this afternoon but I'll hold off posting another picture until I have a little more done on it.

Thank you all for your best wishes for Finnigan. He's a little better this weekend. I couldn't get an appointment for him until Monday afternoon but I did talk with the vet about him. This particular vet used to look after my other two cats , both gone now, until she moved out of the area. Now she's returned and I'm pleased to be dealing with her again. She thinks that Finnigan has his insides full of fur right now and this is contributing to his digestive upsets. He's been passing some major furballs lately. So until Monday we're giving him a laxative which you place on the end of his nose and he licks it off. Supposedly most cats like this however Finnigan is not impressed! Everytime he sees me coming anywhere near him he hightails it in the opposite direction. I haven't seen him run this quickly for some time! I can be just as stubborn as he is though and I'm bigger! As I write this he's sitting beside me licking off his nose.

Why is it that animals tend to hang around the very people who don't like them? I've mentioned before that my DH is not a cat person. Bob was raised with dogs instead and was horrified when we starting dating to discover that I had not one but three cats! I've since lost two and he keeps joking that we're going in the right direction. I thought it was hilarious that everytime Finnigan passed one of his hairballs this week he chose to do it near Bob. The first time he left it on a piece of Bob's sheet music and last night he deposited one right behind him as he worked on the computer. I don't think he's impressed with Finn right now but I can't stop laughing!
In reality he likes cats more than he will admit to and I did manage to catch him playing with my son's cat Tugger over the holidays as evidenced by this picture.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. The sun is shining here today for the first time in more than a week and the sky is a brilliant blue. Now that a good portion of our snow has melted I'm heading out to remove the Christmas lights from the bushes. After that I have the remainder of the afternoon to stitch. It couldn't be a more perfect way to spend the rest of the day!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Changed my mind!

Okay, so I'm getting ready to stitch on my HS A Cat in Snowman's Clothing when I realize that there is a fault in the linen. I think I'll be able to cover it with the stitching but when I get started I realize that until my new prescription glasses come in I can't stitch on this material. I've been finding that I have a lot of eye strain lately and it's been 5 yrs since my last lenses. When I had my eyes checked recently there had been a big change particularily in one eye so that necessitated a new set of lenses. I'm actually still in the picking frames stage. It takes me awhile! After all, I remember telling Dani and Rebecca this past summer that I needed new glasses and it's taken me this long to do anything about it!

So consequently I had to check my stash again. I wanted to do something snowman related and I finally came up with Waxing Moon's Warm Winter Wishes. This is just as cute as the HS piece which I will get to eventually. It's done on a 25ct fabric which is much easier to deal with at the moment. I had all but three of the required GAST in my stash which I immediately put an order in for online. They've already been shipped so it shouldn't hold me up too much.
Both of my sisters are big lovers of snowman so I hope to do each of them a small framed piece for their family rooms. I'll either give them as birthday gifts or save them until next Christmas depending on how fast I move. The first birthday comes in late April so I should be good by then.

On Saturday I was finally able to put in some time on my neglected CdC. I've really missed stitching on this one! I didn't get in as my time as I'd planned but I've managed to complete the first page with a bit of carryover onto the next page. I'll be able to join the rest of the group to stitch again this week. I had to use my old camera for this photo and it really doesn't do justice to the colour of the fabric. It looks more gray here than it actually is.
I also managed to get my threads together for a couple of ornies. Now there's just the matter of fabric. Jennifer commented on my last post and has extended an invitation to me to join in her Christmas Ornament SAL.
This might be all the motivation I need to keep me on track with these. If I can finish even 4 ornaments this year I'll be pleased. Thanks Jennifer!! That's the thing I love about blogging. It gives me the opportunity to constantly meet new stitching friends.
The weather here today has got so mild. A good portion of our snow has melted. No flooding so far but it's certainly brought some wicked fog with it! It was so bad tonight coming home from work that I postponed my trip to the gym. A convenient excuse perhaps but when I saw the school bus that had taken a nose dive into the ditch because of poor visibility it convinced me to stay at home this evening. The bus was empty when I came across the scene. We can only hope that it was empty at the time of the incident. Otherwise I think there would have been an awful lot of frightened children! I can hardly see across to my neighbour's house at this point and I pray that it's not this bad tomorrow morning when I head off to work. I leave just before 6 and it's always still dark at that time.
My poor Finnigan has not been himself lately. He seems to have some kind of stomach or bowel disorder. He's not making too many trips to the litter box but when he does it's awful. Since he's a longhair, some things tend to stick to his fur if you get my drift! Then wherever he lies down he's leaving his scent behind. It's just awful and DH is threatening to move out. (Bob has never been a cat lover.) I can tell Finnigan's not himself. He's still eating well but he seems rather listless and his fur just doesn't have the same look to it as usual. I think I'm going to change vets. Our current vet is a lovely man but he is eighty now (still practising!) and starting to cut back on his hours. Finnigan had a similar problem in the summer and the vet was stymied. They never did find out what the problem was. There are two other vet services in the area so I think tomorrow I'll call one of them and set up an appointment asap. I'll let you know how we make out.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Peace and quiet again

The festivites are all over, the kids have all returned home, the tree is down and the decorations put away for another year. I can't believe how quiet the house is once again! Until the family all lands in at once you don't realize how much you've grown accustomed to the quiet of just two.
Mind you we had an excellent time! I finally finished my long stretch of working and on the 31st I headed up to Drummondville to pick up my son Jeff and his family. We'd had another couple of cm of snow fall which was just enough to make the roads greasy. I was worried about travelling through Montreal because a snowfall is not about to stop them from rushing but fortunately I was stuck behind the tandem plows all the way through the city. This was one of the few times that I didn't curse them!

I had picked up my middle son Dan after work on Sunday so he was already at our place and by the time I arrived home with the gang, Chris had landed in from Ottawa. I had gifts waiting for my granddaughters and they had so much fun opening them. True to form, the youngest one, Summer, had more fun with the bows and boxes than with the actual presents! Oceanne ran around from person to person assisting them with the opening of their gifts. Since both girls had received plenty of toys from their other grandparents I chose to give them some much needed clothing. They're both growing like weeds!

New Year's Day brought us another storm which dumped us with another 15 cm of snow. My DH was visiting his family in Windsor and was due to return home on the New Year. However road conditions were extremely hazardous and so Bob decided to remain in Windsor for one more day. I was relieved but this meant that he was not with us for our holiday meal. He did have plenty of leftovers waiting for him though!

Over the course of the holidays we paid a visit to Upper Canada Village where they have a holiday celebration called Alight At Night. The village consists of a replica 1860s village complete with farms, shops, mills, etc. Over the holidays they decorate it with 250,000 lights. You can take a horse-drawn wagon ride or horse-drawn carriage through the village or you can do as we did and just walk. The night we visited was just after a snowfall and everything was so pretty. There was carol singing at the church as well as ice skating on a new artificial rink surface at the town square. The village restaurant was open and we grabbed a bowlful of chili to ward off the cold. The driver on the wagon ride told us that normally the lights will stay up until spring even though the village closes in early January. However this year all the lights have to come down immediately afterwards because there is a movie shooting in the village in the new year. Next year we plan to take our camera tripod with us for some better photos. We did get a few good ones but because of the low lighting there was just too much blurring in some cases. I don't know if that was from the camera or my hands shaking because of the cold!! On our way out of the village we had a close collision with a deer. Apparently there have been two killed this year right on the roads leading into the village.

Now that the family have all returned home I'm finally able to put in some stitching time. I finished my Christmas Play ornament. Finishing will come later.

Better late than never! Actually I'm hoping to do a few more ornaments this year to set aside as gifts. I recently found a cute Helga Mandl ornament called USA tree which I plan on doing for my sister who lives in the States.
I've never really set any goals for my stitching before. However I did give it a shot for 2008.
As mentioned, I plan to do some ornaments( at least 4 if possible) and continue working on my CdC. I'd love to have it completed by the end of the year but time will tell! I'd like to do a few more LHN pieces and PS too. My next LHN start will be Snowflakes. I'm just waiting for some floss to arrive. In the meantime I'm starting a cute little piece called A Cat in Snowman's Clothing by Hillside Samplings. I got it all kitted up today and plan on starting it this evening. Since I wasn't able to stitch CdC on my normal SAL night I'm going to devote some time to it tomorrow.
I hope that you have all had a happy holiday and that 2008 brings each and every one of you many blessings!