Thursday, 23 October 2008

A new graduate!

I'm sorry but I don't have any stitchy updates to report this week. Life has been so incredibly full and busy lately! So busy that I'm desperately missing my stitching time and I'm wound pretty tight right now. Following our Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family (which btw was great!) I was out every evening after work until this past Monday.

The day following the holiday was a big one for us - my youngest son graduated college ! Chris is the first of my boys to receive a post-secondary diploma and we were all pretty exicited here. The graduation was held in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre. It's a fairly big venue but apparently the spring convocations are held at Scotia Bank Place which is home to the NHL Ottawa Senators and holds a significantly larger group than ours. However I thought the NAC was a much nicer spot for the graduation. Although my DH was unable to attend the convocation, he was pleased to hear that there was actually a pipe organ playing the processional and that it was a friend of ours who was playing. Chris' brother Dan and I went early since seats were general admission and managed to get one of the box seats which have a great view. My camera has a 15X optical zoom so I was able to great some great pictures. Chris' Dad was also able to attend so following the ceremony we were all able to meet up for drinks and a mini celebration of our own. So here he is... a graduate from the Algonquin College Class of 2008 receiving his diploma in Small and Medium Enterprise Management. Chris, we are all so very proud of you!!

Chris hopes to manage his own business some day but in the meantime is getting valuable experience in retail right now. He is working full time as a supervisor in a retail chain and hopes to work his way up to management at some point.

The next day I was back in Ottawa after work to take Chris for dental surgery. He had an evening appointment to have his wisdom teeth removed and needed a ride home after having been put out for the procedure. He came through very well and only one of the four areas is bothering him a bit. I stayed with him at his place until one of his roomates arrived home so he wasn't alone. Plus I needed to give instructions to his roomie regarding medication since Chris was still acting rather silly following the meds. Then it was another late return home.

Thursday saw me back in Ottawa again for choir practise and then it was out again Friday for a Partylite party at a friend's home. After pulling an overtime shift on Saturday , it was back into Ottawa this time with Dan who was attending a birthday celebration at a friend's home and of course Sunday again for our church service and a concert that evening.

By the time Monday rolled around, I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed all day. We all know though that as responsible working adults we can't do that (Why Not?!). So I trudged back to the lab. Now my charge tech is away on union business for the next three weeks so I'm doing her job and my own. Murphy's Law being what it is, when I walked in the door on Monday they informed me that one of the chemistry instruments was down and they were unable to use it. Who gets to fix it?.... you guessed it- me! After troubleshooting for a couple of hours on the phone with technical service, we discovered the problem. One of the internal parts had been hit and was bent. The only way that could have happened was if someone had actually hit it. When I asked the other techs about it, it came out that yes, one of the new grads had knocked the part when she was doing maintenance but was afraid to tell anyone. With the part replaced we were back on track but had to work an hour overtime to catch up with everything.

Now I'm up to 9 hrs overtime with my shift the previous Saturday. Then I was foolish enough to return to work on Tuesday. Now what?.... the computer hard drive in Chemistry has crashed and we are without the computer which operates our analyzers.Back to manual procedures and reporting and another 4 hrs overtime working with IT to try and get the computer up and running. It was a temporary fix which we had to complete yesterday following work which led to another hour overtime. During all this time I had another instrument go down which resulted in service from Montreal having to come and repair! Could anything else possibly go wrong?! You know I should never have voiced that thought! So I'm up to 14 hrs overtime since last Saturday and I already know I have to put some in this coming Saturday after my shift to help train some of the nurses on some new point-of-care equipment. The government will love all the extra tax they can collect on my paycheck this week.

I'm off today and Friday and only just crawled out of bed an hour ago. With any luck I can actually pull out some stitching today! I've told my DH not to answer the phone if he sees the hospital number come up. I'm not paid to be on standby and the other techs can call service for help the same as I can. After all, when Louise and I retire in 2-3 yrs, they have to be able to do this on their own and they need the experience once in awhile.

I really want to get my Peace tree finished by next week so I can work on getting it finished for a Christmas gift. I'm fast losing interest in some of my Halloween projects and fear that some will join my UFO basket. My eyes are already wandering, looking for new projects to start. I've just received my first order form San-Man Originals Secret Shop. The items offered for sale in their shop are only available if you are on their newsletter list. They send out a newletter every few months which contains lots of goodies for purchase, along with a free chart. However there are limited quantities for a lot of the items. By the time I check my email and find the newsletter, a good portion of the items are already purchased. However last month I happened to be at home checking my mail when the newletter arrived. There were so many cute little Halloween goodies! I placed an order and hooray!... finally I was able to pick up some of these little designs. I don't know if you can still subscibe to the newsletter since their main webpage seems to be closed.

When the order arrived in my mail last week I was so surprised. Inside the envelope, the order had been placed in a lovely little fabric bag tied with ribbon. Inside the bag I also found a number of Halloween stickers. I was thrilled with my order and hope I happen to be home again when her Christmas newsletter arrives. All of the items are very reasonable in price and the charts and frames are really quite cute. I've posted a few pics below to show off some of what I received.

At this point I think it's time I got showered and dressed since we will be heading into Ottawa sometime this afternoon for choir practice. I hope you are all having a great week and are doing lots of the stitching that I don't have time for right now. I'll leave you with a lovely fall picture that my son Daniel snapped last week on a road tour we took of the Long Sault Parkway along the St Lawrence River.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadian stitching and blogging friends. We've just finished the carving of our bird after cooking it overnight. This allows me more oven space for cooking all the other dishes which accompany my meal. A few friends told me they wouldn't do it this way since the turkey gets dry after reheating but I've done this many times now with no problems. I think the fact that I'm cooking a fresh turkey, not frozen, makes a difference. I stuff the turkey just before bed, put it in the oven and set my alarm to check on it once during the night.

This way I can check its progress and gage just what time it will be done. When it's ready, my DH gets up early and does the carving. Shortly after, I take over and prepare the gravy. Everything is then refrigerated until later in the afternoon when it's reheated. It's a lot less hectic when it comes time to serve. I also like the fact that since the gravy is prepared early, I'm able to scrape and discard the fat off of it much easier after refrigerating.

My son Chris joined us last night and very soon I'm heading off to pick up Dan. Only Jeff and family are unable to join us. Just not enough time for them to travel here and return for work tomorrow. Some friends will also be joining us later.

I'm feeling much better now after being ill earlier in the week. I picked up strep throat from my son Dan after sharing a drink and popcorn with him at the movies last weekend. We didn't know at the time that he had strep throat but he did tell me he had a sore throat (after sharing our goodies of course!). Consequently I came down with a low grade fever and sore throat on the Wednesday. By this time Dan had already been checked out and started on antibiotics. My doctor didn't even bother doing a throat swab, he just started me on the antibiotics because of my contact with Dan. By Friday I was feeling much better and no more sore throat. However I was wiped out most of the week and only managed to complete a small amount of stitching. I finished one ornament and am just about finished a second one for my October commitment to the Christmas ornament SAL. I couldn't resist this little pumpkin by Prairie Schooler.

I picked up some felt yesterday from Michael's and will finish it off later in the week. I'll also have a pic of the other ornament by then since I hope to be finished it by tomorrow.

Tuesday I had the day off work and since I wasn't feeling quite so bad yet I followed my DH into Ottawa, dropped him off at work and then crossed over the river to Gatineau, Quebec. From there I headed to Gatineau Park to enjoy the fall colours and do a bit of walking through the park. This is an annual visit for us. Ususally we do this on a Sunday after church but this year either I was working or the weather wasn't cooperating so I decided to head over by myself this time. It was a gorgeous fall day and I spent 3 hours walking and driving through the park. It's an absolutely huge park containing many hiking trails and lakes throughout it. It also contains the residence of one of Canada's former Prime Ministers, William Lyon MacKenzie King. King was Canada's longest serving PM having served for 22 yrs during the years 1921- 1948. The home in Gatineau was part of his summer estate Kingsmere and is now open to the public. There is actually a lovely tea room which serves lunch in his former home. I took about 100 pics during my afternoon in the park of which I've posted a few. On the left is the estate followed by a summer guest cottage and the estate gardens. Below are some pictures of the various scenery seen throughout the park.

As you can see, the park is a photographer's delight. The autumn colours this year are spectacular and after spending the afternoon there I certainly felt rested and at peace. Following our drive home from Ottawa later in the day we were treated to even more of fall's beauty. Just look at the colours in this photo below. Absolutely beautiful!!

Now I'm off to pick up Dan and then finish preparing my Thanksgiving meal. We are truly blessed here and so fortunate to have so much when so many are struggling in today's economic times. Thanks be to God.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Welcome to my Witches Garden

Yup, her garden is now complete! I booked Monday off work since my DH was having some day surgery and while he was in the OR, I stitched. By the time we left the hospital I only had the stars and moon to finish off. That didn't take long to finish off on Tuesday night while I watched Dancing with the Stars.
I've really enjoyed working on this one. I can never seem to get a good pic of the fabric anymore though. By the time I'm home from work now and have finished supper it's already dark and I'm relying on the camera's flash rather than natural light.

I changed some of the floss colours since the original pattern was done on a much darker fabric. I like the way her robe turned out but I think I would have been better off using a darker floss for the sunflower's leaves. Oh well, live and learn. This one should be off to the framer's next week. On to the next project!

I wanted something small to cart to work with me so I've chosen JBW French Country Pumpkin. It's all done in one colour so it should move along fairly quickly.

I'm moving along slowly but surely on my Peace Tree. I can only work on this at home since I need my lamp and magnifying glass for it. The eyes sure aren't what they used to be!
I've managed to put in a few stitches on my October ornament but nothing worth showing yet. Last night on my way to choir practice I stopped in at my LNS to see if they had received the new JCS 2008 ornie issue. Yes, but they didn't receive their full order, at least not enough to cover all those of us who had reserved one. They assured me though that they should have all of them in within a few days. They weren't putting them on the shelves until the order was complete. So I was surprised when I returned home from work this evening to find a message for me that my issue was ready for pickup. I'm working the weekend so I'll just have to contain my excitement until Tuesday when I'm off next and can get back into town.
My DH is off on a solo trip to our home town of Windsor this weekend so I'm free to spend all my free time stitching. Too bad I'm working although if I hadn't been I would have joined him for the trip. It's not very often he takes time off so close to Thanksgiving with all the choir practices that involves but his one of his university music professors and friend is celebrating 40 yrs as organist at his home church with a banquet in his honour. This particular professor taught my DH how to play the pipe organ and has kept in touch with him. I'm sure Bob won't miss my presence at all, catching up with many long time friends and organists. I'll make the next trip home in November when we celebrate his mother's 90th birthday.
My renewed interest in reading is still with me so I'm off now to get started on a new book called The Shack. It was recommended to my by a friend. Although it's fiction, the reviews state that it will change the way you think about God. Piqued my interest... I'll let you know if it's worth picking up. Enjoy your weekend!