Saturday, 29 August 2009

A UFO reappears

The weather has certainly changed since I last posted. Our oppressive heat and humidity made an exit only to be replaced by days and evenings that remind us that fall is just around the corner. The late afternoon and early evening has been quite comfortable for stitching outside and the hint of fall has led me to retrieve a UFO with a Halloween theme, my Poppy Kreations Holey Sheet. I had barely started this piece when I either lost interest or something else grabbed my interest. In just the past couple of days I've manged to complete the little ghost and its title. The rest shouldn't take me much more than a week. I've been looking at it and thinking that perhaps I should replace the yellow floss with a darker choice. I don't think it stands out all that well on this particular piece of fabric. What do you think?

Continuing the Halloween theme, we've had an unexpected visitor at our home recently. This is what we found hanging from our livingroom window recently when we sat down to supper. Earlier that morning when I awoke, I heard a noise in the wall between our bedroom and the bathroom. As I approached the bathroom the noise grew louder and I realized that it was coming from inside that room. As I turned on the light, the scratching noise stopped. I took a look around the room and in the alcove where my washer and dryer sit I thought I spotted a bat. I wasn't sure if that's what it was though and so I turned off the light, waited a few seconds, turned it back on and had another look. Sure enough it had moved and I was certain.

Now I've mentioned before that my DH is afraid of mice and I was almost certain that bats would fall into that category as well. When I asked for his help in removing it, he shuddered and told me to close the bathroom door and maybe it would fly back up into the attic. Yup, great plan! It had gained entry into the room through a hole in the drywall behind the dryer. I didn't have time to debate things since I had to get ready for work so when I'd finished in the bath, I shut the door to limit its travel within the house and figured I'd deal with it when I returned home. After work, Bob told me that later that morning it appeared the bat had indeed returned to the wall and he had boarded up the hole in the drywall to prevent it from returning. Meanwhile I'm wondering how it gained access to the attic in the first place. Or maybe it got in through the dryer vent.

When we sat down to our supper, Clarisse started to go a little crazy, crying and trying to jump up the front window. That's when we saw what she was trying to reach. There was no way we could reach the bat without standing on a chair to remove him. Because of a bad knee, that's out of the question for me so it fell to Bob to remove the little visitor. If you could have seen his face when I told him as much!! I couldn't stop laughing but of course he didn't think it was a laughing matter. I got some garden gloves so he wouldn't get bitten and gave him a towel to wrap around the bat. Then I opened the window in front of him and removed the screen so he could just drop the bat outside the window. After standing on a chair watching him for 20 min or so I said he'd better get moving before it got dark and our friend woke. Bob's response... Did I know bats had 5 toes on their feet? Just then the bat moved and Bob jumped from the chair. At that point I called the neighbour's son and asked for his help and within a few minutes the bat was removed out the window and flew off. Since then we've found one other in our basement family room. It was dead and was as flat as a pancake just as if something had been dropped on it. I disposed of this one. Hopefully that's the end of their visits.

After all that excitement I sat down to stitch on Nature's Beauty. I'm so close to a happy dance on this one. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it off this week. Since I'm already in Ottawa on Tuesday, I'll be joining the girls for some stitching that night at our usual spot at the bookstore. I'm scheduled for some day surgery on Thursday so I'll be off work that day and the next but unfortunately I have to work the long weekend. This means I'll be missing the stitchy weekend at Kathy's near Brighton. I really hated to miss this one but I haven't worked Labour Day for a few years and it's my turn. I also missed the get together at Ann's last weekend but I hadn't been feeling well and just didn't feel like doing the 2 1/2 hrs drive after having worked a 7 day stretch. Hopefully I'll catch up with some of the ladies at Rebecca's in October when she has a stitching get together planned. Heck, I'd host myself if my house wasn't in such a mess with our upcoming renovations.
Hope to check in on some of your blogs during my few days off work. Have a great week everyone!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Summer's heat and Nature's Beauty

Yay, summer has finally arrived. The heat and sun (not to mention the humidity) have been with us now for the latter part of this week and promise to continue throughout the weekend. Which of course, I'm working! However my days off were in advance of the weekend so I too got to enjoy the weather. Thursday we got the boat readied and headed for Big Rideau Lake. Several of our friends who cottage on the lake were not available for visiting on this particular day so instead we decided to head to the village of Westport. We put the boat in at Rideau Ferry and travelled from there to Westport. The village lies about 45 min north of Kingston, Ontario and is in the heart of the Rideau Lakes. Although the village is home to many quaint shops, we decided to spend most of our time on the lake taking in the sun and scenery. When we stopped at the village, it was only for some munchies on the patio at The Cove and a brief walk through. The Cove is one of our favourite places to visit. It's a lovely country inn where we've enjoyed many a good meal.

Following our visit to the village, we boarded the boat once more for the return trip. We took our time, stopping every once in awhile to watch the loons. When we first set out on the water we had noticed a lovely restaurant at Rideau Ferry where the dining room looked out on the lake. We deliberately had only eaten a snack earlier so that we could save room for supper, hopefully at this restaurant which it turns out is called Shipwreck. By the time we arrived back there it was 6:45pm and a reservation was not required so we had a lovely end to a beautiful day dining at the water's edge. Special of the day was trout, which was sooo yummy!

Today I decided to enjoy the sun while working on Nature's Beauty. I started out in the morning before lunch but it wasn't long before it was far too hot for sitting in the sun and I retreated to the gazebo. The heat tired me and following lunch I took an afternoon nap before I picked it up once again in the late afternoon. You can tell by my progress from last time that I'm back at work again and not stitching as much as I'd like. However I do love working on this piece.The last time I worked on it at our Tuesday night stitch, the girls were laughing at me because once again I'm cutting it close when it comes to the framing. In fact I might actually need to add some fabric to this one before framing. We'll see. I just love the colour of this linen though and it was already available in my stash. I don't know about you but I'm anxious to get started when I've got the itch to start something new.

Now that Nature's Beauty is progressing, that itch is making an appearance once again. Today I kitted up Nantucket Summer Sampler by By the Bay Needleart. I found a piece of fabric in my stash that I knew would work really well for this one and this past Wednesday night, Bob brought home the few floss that I was missing.

This past week was a busy one and starting Saturday, it's another 7 day stretch at the grind. I must be getting old for all I feel like doing is sleeping once I get home from work. Combine that with the prep for all of our upcoming renovations and there's not much time for stitching. Yes, believe it or not, our renovations have not started yet. I thought this project would be done by fall but it will only just be getting started. Part of the problem is that Bob and I have had trouble getting together to pick out things. Our schedules are varied and when I'm off, he's not and vice versa. Then we had to wait for the cupboards to be ordered because they're coming from Quebec and in Quebec the plants all shut down for 2 weeks in the summer. We are definitely going ahead with tearing the wall down between the dining room and kitchen to open things up. The contractor has been chosen, the cupboards ordered, flooring and paint chosen and now we wait until it all comes together. I'm anxious to get it over and done with. I hate the thought of all the mess. Tomorrow we start boxing up all the contents of the cupboards. Fun eh?, I can hardly wait! Think of me while you sit and stitch 'cause that's what I'll be wishing I was doing instead!

On that note, I'll leave you with a picture of me taken while I was stitching on the dock at the cottage. It's where I'm wishing I was once more. Vacations are far too short!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Home Again

Sunday evening saw the end of our holiday as we rolled into the drive around 7:00pm. Despite the topsy turvy weather we had a fantastic time. Every time that something was planned, the weather cooperated. On Thursday evening the weather was holding after a lovely day so we booked a dinner cruise on the Segwun. This is the oldest operating steamship on North American waters. The dinner cruise is 3 hrs long and takes you on a beautiful cruise around Lake Muskoka. Following the cruise, Daniel told us he now knows why we love the Muskoka area so much. On board we met a couple who were newlywed and spending their honeymoon in the area the way that Bob and I had done 8 yrs previously. They were enjoying things as much as we were. Below are some pictures taken during the course of the evening voyage.

The morning following our dinner cruise, we packed up the car, cleaned out the cottage and headed for a B&B in Bracedbridge. They had a dock for our boat so Bob headed there on the water and Dan and I met him there with the car & boat trailor. We had only been given a week at the cottage but since we didn't have to return to work until after the long weekend we decided to extend our stay in cottage country. Friday night was midnight madness in the town so we joined the locals in checking out the sale prices in the shops. The main drag was closed to vehicles and there were displays of martial arts, craft works and entertainment by buskers.

Saturday morning was gorgeous and after sitting by the water stitching for an hour or so, we made plans to go to Gravenhurst by boat and visit Bob's stepcousins. The water at their end of the lake seemed to be much warmer so I took my first swim of the trip. All 5 dogs belonging to Bob's cousin joined us! Daniel had already been in a couple of times and of course Bob takes his morning swim every day but I'm inclined to like warmer water temps. The water was so refreshing and I hated to get out but we didn't want to overstay our welcome. Neither Bob nor Dan could join us since I was the only one who thought to bring a swimsuit. Actually when I'm on the boat I often wear one under my shorts in case it gets too warm on the water. Dinner took place waterside in Gravenhurst at Boston Pizza and then back on the boat for a final ride on the lake before heading back to the B&B. On our way we swung by Eleanor Island which is a wildlife preserve for birds. I managed to snap a pic of a heron on its nest.

The ride home was long but uneventful and we're already counting down to next year's trip!

My final few days at the cottage I put in a lot of time stitching on the dock with my morning coffee. Once Spring Lace had been completed, I put in most of my time on Nature's Beauty. A progress pic follows. I haven't decided yet but I'm thinking of giving this one as a gift to our friends who own the cottage. It would fit in well with the decor there. If not this particular pattern then I will definitely stitch them something else. I know we pay to rent the cottage but we're the only people that they will rent to. They knew Bob's grandfather and they trust us. I love our time spent there so much that I want to give them something to let them know how much I appreciate their trust in us. It will always be a reminder of our great times in Muskoka.

Now I'm off to Ottawa to join the Tuesday night stitchers. I haven't been able to join in with the group for at least 6 wks if not more and I've missed everyone. I return to work tomorrow morning so I need an evening of fun to take my mind off of what's to come. Hope you all are having a great week. The forecast here is for sun, sun and more sun. Finally!!