Thursday 31 December 2009

Blessings Be Thine

Although the piece may not be finished, the wishes that it expresses are sent from me to all of you. May 2010 find you blessed in love, health and prosperity. I have met so many new friends through this blog and I thank each and every one of you for your friendship and encouragement.

I guess I should have dated this piece 2010 rather than 2009 but I'd seriously hoped to be finished by this point in time. As the holidays come to a close and my house settles back down into its regular routine I should be able to find more time for myself and my stitching.

Our Christmas here was full of fun (and exhaustion!) with the arrival of my granddaughters. We managed to cram in a whirlwind of activity in the short time that they were with us. The weather cooperated and we paid a visit to Upper Canada Village's Alight At Night. The entire pioneer village is decorated with lights during the month of December and into the first week of the new year. Horse drawn wagons are available to take visitors through the village and since the girls had never seen a horse up close before, we opted to tour the sights this way. All I could hear from the youngest was,"C'est beau Grandmaman!"

It wasn't a bitter cold night but it was still cool enough and considering we had a 30 min. wait to get our tickets and then another 30 min. wait for a wagon, I thought the girls were very well behaved. I think they were so awed by the sights and the number of other children there visiting. Following our tour we stopped for hot chocolate and then it was home to bed where not a peep was heard from any of us!

Christmas is always so much more fun through the eyes of a child and I'm so very blessed to have been able to spend some of that precious time with Océanne and Summer.

Our celebrations are still not complete since my youngest son Chris will be arriving here this weekend. I look forward to seeing him and spending some time catching up on his life in Toronto.

As usual, I've found a Christmas piece that I'd like to stitch now that the holiday is over. When visiting another stitcher's blog, I was introduced to some of the designs of Nathalie Cichon of Jardin Privé. I just received a pdf for her Christmas design and I'm looking at kitting it up next week. I'm always looking for something different to stitch and I love a lot of the French designs that are out there. If you get a chance, check out her site.

Now I'm going to try and stay awake long enough to ring in the New Year with my DH and DS. I'm working early tomorrow morning so I might see my bed before I see the New Year!

Have a very Happy New Year and I'll chat with all of you soon.

Saturday 26 December 2009

Merry Christmas! Finished at last

First of all a very Merry Christmas to all of my blogging friends as well as my friends and family who read my blog. I hope you all had a most enjoyable Christmas. I'm a little late with my wishes but we've been going non-stop here to get the house in order for the holidays. As of last weekend our renovations are finally complete! The painters cleared out the last of their stuff on Saturday evening and then the giant cleanup began. Because this is Bob's busiest time of year as a church organist and with me working right up until Christmas, we could only clean house during the evenings. The entire house was filthy. Trust me you don't want to know just how bad it was. As of now, the living room, dining room and kitchen are back in order with the exception of a few minor details. The bedrooms and rec room where we've been storing everything still remain to be cleaned up but that will take place in the new year. I've still got boxes of dishes and items from my dry sink and curio cabinet to unpack as well as a good portion of my food stuffs. We finished cleaning on Dec. 24th and since my boys are not celebrating with us until later in the week we spent Christmas Day wrapping gifts and putting up the tree. Talk about last minute! I haven't even had any time in which to write my Christmas cards. In any case here is how things now look as I sit and write this post. I think you might even be able to spot Clarisse in one of these. Hint - check out the love seat in the living room.

Speaking of Clarisse, I know now just how much fur she sheds on any given day. Hardwood floors show things which carpeting did not.
This is her first Christmas with us and since we weren't sure just how she would react to the tree, we decided to put up an artificial one. We were afraid that she might knock over the tree, spilling water on the new floors. However she hasn't shown any interest in it with one exception. She has taken to sleeping under it just as all our previous cats have. It's her new sleeping spot. She's not used to the coldness of the new floors and the tree skirt is a nice comfy place to settle on.

My oldest son Jeff will arrive this coming Monday with his girls for our Christmas. Daniel will also be joining us for the week after visiting at his Dad's place. Jeff is only able to spend two days with us because we share the visit with his father. Following Jeff's return, Chris lands in from Toronto on New Year's eve. He will spend New Year's Day at his Dad's and then return home for a dinner and gift exchange with us on the weekend before returning to Toronto late Sunday. This was the first time that he wasn't home with us at Christmas. Because he works retail, he only had the 25th off which wasn't enough time to get home and back for work on Boxing Day. I worried about him being alone but one of the girls in his neighbourhood when he lived in Ottawa is actually from the Toronto area and she invited him to spend the holiday with her family in Acton. Judy, if you're reading this, he was in Georgetown in your neck of the woods on Christmas eve, checking out the lights. I guess there's one particular house that's pretty spectacular.

I'm so tuckered out from all the cleanup this past week that I've decided not to cook a huge Christmas meal. Instead I purchased some stuffed turkey breast from M&M meats along with some of their lovely desserts. When Chris arrives we will do an Italian meal since he's vegetarian. I'm hoping to do a little baking tomorrow afternoon so that Grandma has cookies in the house for Oceanne and Summer's arrival. I have to return to work on the 29th and it's my turn to work on New Year's Day so we will visit with friends that evening.

I'm looking forward to being able to sit down this evening and stitch. Yayy! I can't wait! I wanted to show you the kitty stitched ornaments that I purchased at our church's bazaar.

Aren't they cute? I had no idea that some of the ladies do stitching but they tell me that they limit it to items like these because their eyesight is so poor now. I also have a new ornament on our tree this year to add to my Jim Shore collection. I love this one!

One other thing that has been a highlight for us this past month was the Olympic Torch run which passed through Cornwall.

The winter Olympics are being held this coming Feb. in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A good friend of ours, Ann Jardin-Alexander, was carrying the torch during this portion of the run. Ann is a former Olympic medal winner having won 2 bronze medals for relay swimming in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. I couldn't get the day off work to see her but luck had it that her run was taking place during my lunch hour. I drove downtown where I met Bob and it was only 5 minutes later that she passed by us. It was so awesome to see! To think that the flame has come all the way from Greece and already crossed through Eastern Canada on its way to its final destination. Ann stopped by at our place later in the afternoon and brought her torch with her so that we could have a look at it. I was surprised that it wasn't at all heavy.

Now I'm off to finally pick up my stitching after weeks of doing next to nothing on my pieces. With any luck I'll have some significant progress pics for my next post. I hope you are all having a very safe and happy holiday.

Saturday 12 December 2009

A month already!

I can't believe that it's been a month since my last post! I know that I tried to post last week but with the renovations things were so topsy turvy that I couldn't even find my laptop when I sat down to blog. I don't think I have ever seen my house in such a mess. It really is a disaster. We are in the final stages now with the painters having arrived this week. I know it will be lovely once it's complete but I doubt now that things will ever be back in place for Christmas. The holidays seem to be kind of screwed up anyways this year. It is very doubtful that my oldest can make it home with his girls and my youngest will not arrive home until New Year's Eve. Working in retail really makes it difficult for him to get any time off over the holidays. Since neither of his brothers will be around at Christmas, Dan is thinking that he just might visit with his father over Christmas. Wow, that means we'll be alone here to enjoy our mess!

Stitching has been a real challenge right now due to lack of time plus the amount of dust and dirt around the house at the moment. Sounds like I live like a pig, eh? I've managed to put in some stitches during my breaks at work and on my Tuesday night SAL. The result is some progress on Blessings and a little less on my M designs name tree. You'll see that the name tree is now complete on one side and you can now read Oceanne's name. And yes, it will be a gift for next year, lol!

Finally I have received my LHN first ornament chart, Fa La La. I joined Vonna's SAL for these ornaments but I'm afraid that I will always be bringing up the rear. By the time the chart arrives here in Canada, the others are well on their way and in some cases, ready for the next ornament. I will do my best to plod along after everyone.

Winter has finally arrived with a dump of some of the white stuff this past week.We received about 22cm or 10 inches. More is expected in the coming week. However, this is one of the only times that you might hear me say that I wouldn't want to be in Muskoka right now. This area, known as cottage country, received 80-100 cm of snow over 2 days. That's around 3 ft of the stuff!
Highways have been closed and the towns of Huntsville and Bracebridge declared a snow emergency. A close friend of ours who lives in Gravenhurst called tonight and said that he has been pretty much marooned in his own home. The snow is waist deep in some spots. Check it out here.
Now I'm off to bed after a day of Christmas shopping. Malls wear me out! I'm too pooped to post any longer.
I'll leave you with a couple of pics of my granddaughters, taken on a visit to their place to celebrate the youngest's 3rd birthday in late November.