Tuesday, October 31, 2006

To All Ghosts, Ghouls & Goblins


I was quite disappointed on my drive in to town today. Has Halloween lost its appeal? It wasn't until I got to work that I saw someone dressed up and even there they were few and far between on our floor :o( I was hoping to see some really original costumes. I did happen to get a glance at one of those new inflatable costumes and I have to say that they are hilarious! I have no idea how you get through a door in one, let alone sit at a desk, LOL!

Another Halloween and DH and I have once again failed to carve out a pumpkin. We used to do it every year when we first met and then for some reason we stopped. So here is my decorated pumpkin for this year :o)

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I made this little guy into a pin a few years ago. It's from the pattern Witch and Friends by Jacqueline Fox. You can find this pattern in the October 1993 issue of Leisure Arts The Magazine.

Today I sat back and reminisced about Halloween costumes of my youth and I came up with two that I have fond memories of. My mom made most of the costumes that I wore and she was great at what she did. One year I was Wonder Woman :o) I remember watching that show every week and I was so captivated by Lynda Carter's character that my mom wrote a letter to the television station when the show went off the air. I had the skirt with the stars on it, the lasso and even the wrist cuffs. I thought it was so neat that a woman could defeat the bad guys! The second costume was by far one of my favorites...a bunny. Maybe that is when my love for bunnies started :o) Mom made a complete rabbit suit, head to toe, out of fake fur. Even my feet and hands were covered! I walked around with a carrot and I was probably the warmest child out there that night. That was back in the day when we had snow for Halloween ;o) Do you remember what your favorite costume was?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Do you remember that cartoon? It had been SO long since DH and I had seen it that we were pleasantly surprised when it was on television Friday night :o) Over the years, the Halloween programs seem to have been forgotten. When I was a kid, it was a big thrill when they would show the scary movie Halloween! Now you're lucky if a children's cartoon comes on. I've always been a big horror movie fan. I have no idea why. They used to scare me so much that I would run and jump into my bed, always afraid there was someone under the bed waiting to grab my leg. Around Halloween, I get the urge to watch these movies again but now I just laugh at the really bad acting and lame plot lines ;o)

I finally managed to squeeze in three four-hour days of work and to be honest I'm tired. It's taken a month to get to that point and I wonder how patient LTD is going to be come the middle of November :o( It should be interesting when I have my meeting this coming week. At least they can't say that I'm not trying. Of course I do enjoy the emails that are sent flying back and forth between Katie, Faith Ann, Shannon and I. That sure makes the hours fly by faster ;o)

I had a bit of a happy dance last night when I completed all the stitching on Flowers :o) WOOHOO! The only thing left is the backstitching and the attachment of all the beads and buttons, which thankfully aren't that many. She would have been finished earlier except for the fact that I miscounted and had to start the top heart all over again :o( Needless to say, that froggy is no longer alive, lol!

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To add to my happy dance, I also received a much anticipated package from a very special friend of mine down in Louisiana :o) I tell you, stash like this sure puts a smile on a girl's face, especially one that has been on a stash starve since October 1! Shirley sent me two pieces of 20" x 27" 28 count linen (DMC 3865), one piece of 20" x 27" 25 count evenweave (DMC 739), along with these gorgeous hand crafted earthenware buttons from Happy Hollow Designs.

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She also included a June birthday needleroll kit by The Victoria Sampler, five packages of Dill Buttons along with a handful of loose ones and four cards of charms by Jazz Ups. Two of the Jazz Up charms were breast cancer ones and I will have to find a very special project to put them on :o) Thank you SO much again Shirley! You are an angel ;o)

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Did everyone remember to set back the clocks by one hour????

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How Do You De-Stress?

Is that even a word? I doubt it ;o) Seriously though, how do you get rid of stress? I used to 'thrive' on stress and my best work came through when I was under a great deal of pressure. I always relished the idea of waiting until the last minute to get a project or paper done and then letting that adrenaline kick in to save me. When I was hit with breast cancer in 2000, all of that changed. Stress was no longer my friend and quickly became my enemy. My body and mind didn't like the new angle that stress was attacking me and with that came many new health problems.

It doesn't take much to increase my stress level now so I have to come up with ways to keep it low. My number one method of choice is to stitch :o) I just find it so relaxing. Every night as DH and I watch television, I have a needle in my hand, working away at a project. I have to be in a pretty miserable state if I don't pick up that needle. I take my stitching with me to family functions and on vacations. It's the first thing packed or unpacked :o)

Shopping, or more specifically, stash shopping is a close second :o) The act of spending money can sure make you feel great but it can also backfire as well. That's why knowing your limits is very important. But for us die hard stitchers, we have ways to get around this ;o) Sacrifice! Sacrifice is the secret word! Take for example the fact that some of the clothes I wear are the same ones I wore in High School. I don't go out every year and buy a new wardrobe because it's just not that important to me. Okay I admit, I hold off on buying new underwear so that I can buy stash :o) Now that's sacrifice!!!!

I've tried other methods. I routinely set aside a day that I will go and get my hair done, have a bubble bath and do my own manicure and pedicure. A kind of pamper-myself-day. On Tuesday I finally got my foils done and about two inches of hair chopped off. The last time I had my hair cut was back in August, I think :oS Unfortunately this did not help to relax me so DH ran a nice hot bath with aromatic bubble bath last night. The hot water sure helped the body pain but the mind just wouldn't shut off. I guess that accounts for my early morning wake up at 2:30 am :o( I'm not one to sit and relax in a tub anyway. Of course it doesn't help when your tub is more uncomfortable than sitting on a bike seat for five hours straight!

One thing that really perks me up is getting something fun in the mail! I'm really obsessed when it comes to the mail. If I know something is coming for me, I pace the front window just waiting for the mailman to go by :o) DH thinks I'm insane but hey, he married me! Today was a great mail day because I finally got my Crescent Colours threads that I had wanted way back in September, plus a wonderful package from my MIL! After having such a fun time stitching up my Snow Lady ornament, I had told her about the kit that I had bought in Calais, Maine. Since they live not too far from the border, she went over and picked up four more of these kits for me, along with two Halloween Hanger kits!

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I have found these to be great take-a-long projects for driving in the car. It really made my day and put a smile on my face.

Isn't there a saying...it takes less facial muscles to smile than to frown :o)

Monday, October 23, 2006

In The Doghouse

Pumpkin Day sure didn't turn out as I had hoped or expected :o( There was no parade, official ceremony or award given out. No piles of presents, well wishes or balloons ;o) It basically amounted to this, if it was legal, DH, Brie AND Duncan would have been living out in Duncan's doghouse for the whole weekend! Pickles was the only one that behaved himself, although I do remember a few random rabbit turds being pitched out of his cage to remind me he needed cleaning...

Saturday began with Brie acting out and deciding she would do her throwing up bit to get attention. Little does she realize but this gives the very opposite effect. We figure she does it when the attention is drawn away from her. Either that or else we've got an anorexic dog :o) Duncan decided that he wanted to re-live his puppy years and completely forgot his house training. He ended up pooping AND peeing in the garage :o( NOT a good start to the day. To top that off, DH decided he wanted to play Mr. Fix It and you know where that leads don't you girls! Sigh!

I have to give DH a lot of credit though. He truly does try to do things around the house and I know he'd like to do more if we had the money. But when his new projects far exceed those that have been finished, then Pumpkin (that's me!) has to put her foot down. When DH came home last week with a new fan for our bathroom, I did wince, I admit! Then I was told how simple it would be and that it would only take a few hours on the weekend to accomplish. All he had to do was install the fan in the ceiling, run the exhaust to the outside and hook up the fan to the already existing wires and switch in the bathroom wall. Easy peasy right? HA! Wrong!

When four hours had passed and there was a quietness coming from his work area, I decided to go and investigate. I found DH in the room next to the bathroom starring at the wall...FULL of holes! Okay, for those of you who watched the television sitcom Friends, take yourself back to the episode where Monica and Rachel were living in Joey and Chandler's apartment and Monica was trying to find out what the switch in the kitchen was attached to. Remember all the holes in the wall as she tried to find out where the wire went? Well, picture that on MY walls! I kid you not! The only thing missing were the pieces of paper covering the holes :o) Needless to say, DH finally gave up and I now have a new fan that doesn't work and another unfinished project. Sigh!

Luckily, DH gained some ground when he took me into town on Saturday night. We hit Laura Secord and we stocked up on some much needed chocolate and fudge :o) Did you know that Laura Secord has fudge? It's G-O-O-D! He then took me to Seasons Restaurant for a good feed of Mandarin food. Was it ever good too!

On Sunday, we went for a drive and walked a piece of property that we have been eyeing. It's 4.5 acres and it's mostly hardwood trees. I was very impressed with it and it was so pretty walking through all the fallen leaves. Now whether we can swing selling this place and having everything else fall into place, that's another story. I didn't get as much stitching done over the weekend as I had hoped. I have no idea where the days went! I was so tired Sunday afternoon that I took a nap while DH prepared a wonderful pot roast dinner, topped off with...PUMPKIN PIE! How could I let a wonderful man like that sleep in the doghouse ;o)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Pumpkin Day!

Yup! I, Pumpkin, have my very own holiday Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting All my thanks goes out to Shannon for letting me in on this new unknown secret ;o) DH's reaction..."Isn't every day Pumpkin day?" Maybe so but now there is an 'official' day!!!!

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

What is it with animals on the side of the highway? Just when you think they've made it to the safety of the side of the road, they turn right around and dart back across. Are they suicidal or do they just make bad judgment calls? I often wonder what's on their minds when they do this. Are they thinking anything in particular or are they just kissing their ass and praying that they get to the other side of the road in one piece? There have been many nights when DH and I will be driving home and we'll see little mice or moles running for their very lives. They are literally running for all they are worth. I wonder if they stop and heave a big sigh of relief when they reach safety or do they go home to their families and tell stories of their grand adventures...

Having a property that is designed for horses, we have very few trees around our house and therefore, minimal wildlife. That is one thing I have really missed. Every year we get the swallows, robins and a few other little birds. We also have George, the groundhog, but he has been MIA for a while now. At least there have been signs that he is still alive :o) Because of this lack of wildlife, I was pleasantly surprised to see a new visitor yesterday when I passed the back patio doors...a grey squirrel! Was he ever cute too! In the six years we have been here, we have never had one at the house. He has now been officially named Squeak :o)

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Squeak was having a great time eating all the seeds coming off the big maple tree next door. I took these pictures right through the patio door and they came out rather well. I wanted to try tossing out a few peanuts but they belong to DH so I knew better ;o) Squeak arrived back today so it will be nice to see him stay for awhile if he can :o)

It was a great mail day today when I found a little package from England waiting for me in the mailbox! A wonderful lady from over there sent me a breast cancer ribbon pin and charm for my collection :o) This inspired me to stitch up this little sachet bag with my own design called Love, Faith & Hope. I used Carrie's Creation threads and they are wonderful to use.

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I have attacked Flowers this past week with a vengeance and she is coming along really well! I am very pleased with the progress I have made. I hope to make more of a dent in her this coming weekend.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Confessional

I think it's about time that I confess to some dirty little secrets :o) This shouldn't come as a complete surprise. I mean, everyone's got them. Some we share openly with friends or family. Some we bury deep down inside, just too embarrassed to risk letting the 'cat out of the bag'. As humans, we dread having others criticize or think badly of us. The last thing we want to do is feel alienated or 'different'. What we fail to realize is that some of our own secrets aren't so unique after all and that the person sitting right next to us might be hiding the exact same thing.

I have to admit to having the most foul smelling little dog. It's hard to believe but at ten pounds Brie can clear a room with her stench!

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I know what you're thinking...it's probably her breath (which could stop a train) or her flatulence (which unbelievably is not that bad) but it's her body odor. She literally does sweat! How she does it, DH and I are still trying to figure that out. I didn't think that dogs could sweat but she does. Once her little body oven gets going, her pits actually get wet. Duncan is 55 pounds and has been sprayed by a skunk twice and he still smells better than Brie! You all know Pigpen from The Peanuts right? He walks around with that cloud of dust following him? Well, replace Pigpen with Brie and that cloud of dust with a mass of offensive odor and then you have the mental picture :o) This is the scene every morning when she emerges from her cocoon like bed. I saw a deodorant stick for dogs once but when I went back to get it, it was gone :o( We might seriously have to look into that more.

I have to confess that I watch America's Next Top Model. Wow! That was a big one to admit ;o) I've been watching it since season two. DH and I both dislike all the reality shows and they are pretty much banned from our house but for some reason I am drawn to this one. I've never aspired to be a model. I've done a few fashion shows in my life and even won second princess at the Miss Fredericton Pageant Show back in 1991 but that was partly to get over my fear of public speaking. Why would someone want to have their self esteem picked apart by photographers, designers and the media when they can pretty much do that to themselves. Why would you want to get into a profession where being in your twenties is considered old? Maybe it's because of these questions that I keep watching.

I want to make it known that I now have another WIP.

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Isn't he cute? :o) This is called Snowmen by Val's Stuff and he was in the October 2006 issue of the Just Cross Stitch magazine. The only thing I have left to do are a few small areas around him but I need to order in the fiber (Belvedere Gardens by Silk 'n Colors) and we all know that I'm 'supposed' to be on a stash starve ;o) Why did I start another piece? You know how hard it is to travel with a big cross stitch project. Since I already had the material, I thought he was an easy pattern to kit up and take on any travels. Of course I have done mine two over two instead of the one over one. I refuse to go blind at age 35! LOL! I'm going to do his mate, Be Merry, as well.

I have to confess that I cheated, a 'little', on my stash starve pact. Yesterday I picked up two charts by The Cricket Collection called We The People and Gingerbears.

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They were only 0.50 each though! How could I pass that over???? I was weak, I know :o(

Last, but not least, I want to make it known that I eat pie backwards. This may sound weird, I know. I eat anything that comes in a triangular wedge, backwards. There is one exception though...pizza. Why? I have NO idea! Pie, cheesecake, quiche...all backwards.

There you have it! I've gotten a few things off my chest today :o) Whew! Letting it all go... You know, I'm on a lot of pain medication today so maybe this wasn't really the best time to write up this post :oS LOL! Oh well. Here's to Tylenol 3 with Codeine!!!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Forever In Blue Jeans

Is it just me or is it becoming harder to find the perfect pair of jeans? Over the past eight years, I have hunted high and low for that great pair of jeans that you just can't get enough of. You know, the ones you could sleep in because they are so comfortable but also make your ass look good ;o) Once or twice I thought I might have struck gold but alas, to no avail :o( That perfect style, color, and fit is still out of reach...

Since I have started back to work, I've been forced to set out again on that pointless journey. Lounging around in pajama bottoms and fleece pants for the past two years makes you forget what your shape used to be so I was mortified to find out that I have a drawer jammed full of jeans that do not fit me anymore :o( Oh to be able to cram into that size (_ _) again! What, do you think I was really going to state a size? If I ever get back into a size 6 maybe I will, lol!

As I've already stated, jean shopping is not in my book of fun things to do. It ranks high up there with underwear and dress shopping (please don't let me go there!). Not only are the stores sparse in this area, but the choice of jean styles and colors seem to be longer than the length of our wiener dog and therefore very overwhelming :oS For style you have slim fit, regular fit, boot cut, stretch fit, classic fit, relaxed fit and straight leg. Then, they either fit at the waist, above the waist or below the waist. And then you move on to color - dark, medium or light wash, zebra striped, dark, medium or light stonewashed, indigo and faded. Whew! Are you still with me?

To add insult to injury, I have a big issue with the inseam length that is produced. Most jeans have a 32" inseam but on occasion you are able to find 33", 31.5", 30", 29" or 28". Do they have all lengths in one style? Noooooooooooooooo! That would be TOO easy! On the norm, a 32" inseam is too long for me. The ends of the pants are almost to my toes. As the saleslady stated "My, you do have short little legs!" Humph! Not really. Most of the time a 29" or 30" does the trick but then the jeans are washed and I am left with a pair of high water pants to add to my wardrobe.

Oh to have those button fly Levis back with the knees taken out and the hole in the ass! I guess while I'm at it, I might as well wish for that body that I used to have too :o) I did eventually find a pair of jeans that 'will do' for now. Believe it or not, they are what you call zebra striped. This is an inside joke but I can hear a certain someone, Katie, howling with laughter as she reads this story! LOL!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It's Official!

The email arrived Thursday night and my deposit for retreat went out on Friday! That means it's an all go from this stitcher :o) I can't wait! To top that off, yesterday I completed my ornament for the Christmas ornament exchange while driving in the car. Normally as a rule I don't stitch in the car but I found it quite easy, especially where the roads were smoother and the holes in the plastic canvas bigger ;o) I had picked up this little kit at Wal-Mart in Calais, Maine and the more I stitched, the more I feel in love with her. She is in the process of getting the green felt glued to the back of her as I type...

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Thankfully it's Sunday and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief! Friday was a busy one at work with a meeting scheduled with my employer in the morning and one with LTD in the afternoon. The appearance of 'Bitchy Cathey' finally paid off and I managed to stand my grounds. I also discovered that it's always to your benefit to have a witness present when dealing with LTD. That's just my opinion but a highly recommended one.

Yesterday morning we headed out on our journey to the Miramichi, via Moncton. Not my choice but we had some things to return at Michael's and for a $53 refund, it was worth it. It just made the drive another hour and a half on top of the two hours to Moncton but any amount of driving seems to be rough on my body.

To be honest, I don't think I've ever been to Miramichi proper, at least at an age that I can remember. We had a few doubts with our directions but we finally arrived at my SIL's place shortly after 2pm. DH and I had seen pictures of the new (to them) house and it's just as adorable in person! As always, we were met at the door by a heard of Brie's cousins. It's crazy to think that the dog accumulation is increasing quicker than the niece/nephew population. Right now it's 8-2! LOL!

My SIL and her SO put on a great belated Thanksgiving feast! It was truly delicious! It was even topped off with fresh cranberries and my long awaited pumpkin cheesecake :o) YUM! DH and I enjoyed watching our newest nephew and it's amazing to hear him laughing now. Brie still isn't sure what to think of her latest competition for attention but she got a few small licks in so that must mean that's he's okay in her books ;o)

It was a long day but we had a good drive home. Today will mostly be a relaxing one for me. During the trip yesterday I started another ornament and believe it or not, I already had the material! On Friday I almost ruined my stash starve marathon by calling in to the NS to see if they had any bat buttons for Boo. Luckily they didn't and by the time they are ordered and come in, my stash starve will have lifted. It's amazing how many loopholes there are ;o)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Bit Of Sunshine On A Rainy Day

You know it's going to be a perfect stitching day when you look out first thing and it's dark and dreary with rain. Even though days like this damper my mood, I still like them because you can bury yourself underneath a heavy quilt in your most comfortable of clothes, snacking away on freshly made chocolate chips cookies (by DH that is!) along with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate. Pure bliss :o)

I was lucky that it stopped raining long enough so I could dash out to the mailbox. There awaited my first bit of sunshine for the day! As I peeked into the big brown envelope, I was delighted to see the chart Antarctic Penguins by Brittercup Designs along with all the Weeks and Crescent Color threads to stitch them with :o) A sweet friend of mine from one of my message boards did a trade with me a few weeks back so technically this was not stash that was purchased so I've still held my ground this month ;o) I am going to have to find some of that gorgeous blue fabric though but that can wait until my stash starve is lifted. Thank you Renee!

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I spent the afternoon working on Flowers and she has now graduated to a new size of Q-Snaps! As slow as I'm stitching, she is coming along.

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I finally decided to watch Brokeback Mountain. I had bought this movie back in September but never got around to watching it. It was...different. I knew what to expect but it was the acting that really turned me off. Maybe I need to watch it again and then give my review. During the movie my second ray of sunshine appeared when my Gram called :o) She's 85 years old and lives about two hours away. She's the best and I always love hearing from her. I just wish she lived closer so I could see her more often and do more things for her. She sounded great though and that put a smile on my face :o)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Does This Count As Stash?

On my way home from work today, I stopped in at Fabricville and picked up supplies for two cubes. To date I have no idea what cross stitch pattern will go with them but I thought if I had this stuff handy, it might inspire me :o) I've been on my stash starve for eleven days now and I'm hoping this doesn't count as actual stash. I'm sure if I ask Shannon, she'll come up with some loophole that will save me. LOL!

I bought some lovely blue Christmas fabric with silver snowflakes on it. They had rolls of Christmas ribbon for 50% off so I was able to find some that match rather well. Maybe Dragon Dreams' Peace On Earth dragon from the 2002 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue or A Cool Gift by Mosey 'N Me would look great with it. I guess we'll just wait and see!

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Since Boo was 'originally' planned for a cube, I thought I should at least try and make one for Halloween. I spotted an adorable rabbit dressed up as a ghost (by Sandi Gore Evans) in my stash so that might be a good one to do. It looks like the ghost fabric glows in the dark but the lady at the fabric store said no. I'm going to be trying it in the dark tonight to see :o)

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After all this talk about food with Katie, Faith Ann and Shannon AND scarfing down two bags of pink M&Ms, I decided it might be fun to list five of my favorite restaurants. I've picked five from my hometown and five that we've eaten at while on our travels. Maybe this will inspire you to try something new tonight :o)

Top Five Restaurants In My Hometown
  • Brewbakers - hands down THE best and most delicious! Unbelievably difficult not to spend a lot of money here.
  • Seasons Chinese Restaurant - if you want mouth watering Mandarin or Szechwan cuisine this is the place! Not a romantic atmosphere but the food is to die for!
  • The Blue Door - we've been here twice and have not been disappointed. The service is another matter though.
  • Snooty Fox - all I can say is deep fried pepperoni!!!!
  • Cora's Breakfast & Lunch - yes, this is a chain restaurant but they truly serve up one hell of a breakfast!

Top Five Restaurants On Our Travels
  • Damon's (North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) - if you love ribs, this is THE place! The only other that has come close was Tony Romas :o)
  • Galyns (Bar Harbor, Maine) - we've NEVER been disappointed here. The food is delicious and the service superb!
  • Cafe Drydock & Inn (Southwest Harbor, Maine) - the only thing I can remember is the chicken, boursin cheese and portobello mushroom sandwich :o)
  • Azure Cafe (Freeport, Maine) - calamari azzimata...I never thought I was a calamari girl but I could eat these like potatoe chips!
  • Chocolate Grille (Old Town or Searsport, Maine) - our first introduction to deep fried dill pickle chips...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Leave It To Beaver

Yesterday was another gorgeous day in The Maritimes! It sure didn't feel like October. DH and I took Brie over to Mactaquac Provincial Park and walked the Beaver Trail. They have a handful of beautiful walking paths through the woods but we decided on this one as it was the shortest and easiest one for me to do :o) We weaved through woods and onto boardwalks that took you across beaver ponds. I was hoping to see one of these little critters but after much searching, I wasn't able to come up with one :o( I'm not even sure if they still have beavers there but there was plenty of evidence that they had been there at one time. All along the pathway you could see the remnants of their work. Have you ever seen a tree chewed down by a beaver? It's an amazing thing to see. Some of the trees were about a foot in diameter!

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During our walk I was able to shoot some pictures of the dragonflies that were flying about. Here's one that turned out really well.

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Our restless mood continued when we got home. You know that feeling when you're really hungry for something but you don't know what it is that you want? So we headed into town and soon found ourselves at a Thai restaurant for supper :o) DH and I had been eyeing this place for quite a few months so finally we decided to try it and I have to say, we were not disappointed! The food was delicious and the owner was a delight! You got the full feeling with chop sticks and free tea. They even had avocado milkshakes! I felt rather guilty using my fork but we would still be there if I had tried the chop sticks. LOL!

It was neat trying something new for our Thanksgiving Day meal but I still miss the traditional turkey supper. At least we are not loosing out completely as we are having a belated Thanksgiving dinner next weekend up at the Miramichi! And I did hear mention of a pumpkin cheesecake being made...

Monday, October 09, 2006

To All Canadians...


Here's hoping you are filled with lots of turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, creamed corn and...PUMPKIN PIE!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Boo! Who?

There is something comforting in the fact that DH arrives back home today :o) I do enjoy my solitude and still prefer my island idea but when it comes to facing a whole night alone, that's when I change my mind. I never sleep the best when DH is gone. The past two nights I was up until 2 am and 1:30 am respectively. Do you know how hard that is on the system? It wasn't bad at the time but boy, I'm paying for it now :o( Also the thought of a ten pound loaf of bread with legs and an old rabbit as my only defenders sure makes you think twice if it's a good idea! LOL! Although, come to think about it, Duncan wouldn't be much better. Picture this...a pack of coyotes howling their heads off within 100 feet, in the dark, in the middle of the night, with Paul trying to herd a screaming rooster back in his house, me with a shotgun and Duncan cowering like a coward behind me. Enough said!

I don't know if the weekend was a big success or not but I was able to get a few things done :o) I did a bit of organization in the house and on the computer, changed the bed and completed five loads of wash. How we manage to make that much laundry I'll never know. It's just the two of us! Brie and I played some good rounds of fetch and I was also able to complete my unplanned project...BOO!

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Isn't he just the cutest! He's the current freebie from Dragon Dreams. I debated about whether to make him into a cube or not and then I saw these bags at Wally World. The stitching area is a little large for him but I think the bats from Just Another Button Company take up a bit of space above his head.

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Since I concentrated on Boo or as we fondly call him, Pumpkin Head, for most of the weekend, Flowers got ignored. I must get back to her today. I had a hard time keeping focused and I'm not sure if I was just restless or if it's the new drug I'm on. It really throws you for a loop! I watched Troy last night and even Brad Pitt couldn't make me sit there for two and a half hours! I hope it's nothing serious, lol! Whatever it was, it sure did not affect my sweet tooth because the M&Ms and Chunky Monkey ice cream went down really well :o) Brie also agrees that the ice cream was yummy. It's amazing how the spoon hitting the bottom of the bowl can wake her out of a sound sleep!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Very Special Day!


How does 61 feel? Any different than 60 :o) I hope you had a great day and sorry I was not there to celebrate with you!

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Countdown Is On!

Where is the time going? I can't believe that we're into October already and that means that four more weeks from today is.....RETREAT WEEKEND!!!! Yahoo! I have officially started the countdown :o) I'm really looking forward to this retreat as I never made it to the spring one because there was just too much happening at the time :o( Plus, that means that my stash starve will be lifted as well, lol! For those of you who are not familiar, in New Brunswick we are lucky enough to have a stitching retreat that is held twice a year, spring and fall. It's within driving distance and it's affordable. It's held at Camp Wildwood and although it's not The Ritz, we think it's good enough for us ;o) I mean, what could be better than sitting on your butt stitching all weekend and only having to get up to eat, sleep and use the facilities! If life were only that simple...

It's been a long week but I have a long weekend to look forward to :o) DH has officially left me to go on a hiking trip so I'm home alone with Brie and Pickles. I've got my Chunky Monkey ice cream, my stitching all ready to go and a good handful of movies, including Troy, waiting to be watched. Drool :oP'''' I think my stitching has forgotten who I am because I just have not had the energy to work on it like I normally do. That's what happens when you go back to the real world :o( I have made some progress on my Flowers by Jeremiah Junction and even though she is headless, she's coming along nicely.

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I have been given an extra little project to complete over the weekend thanks to a certain 'trio'! He shouldn't take long to complete and I'll post a picture when he is :o) I thought I would finish him into a cube but I've got something simpler up my sleeve...

This past week was mail heaven for me! I finally got my color catalogue from Told In A Garden and my fall catalogue from Nordic Needle. Unfortunately that backfired because I found a few more TIAG designs I don't remember seeing before so that means they have been put on the 'want list' for later purchase. Nordic Needle also had a few things of interest as well so you can only imagine my agony. I also received a whack of fabric!!!! And no, the purchase and trade were arranged 'before' my agreed to stash starve so it is still legitimate girls :o) Doesn't all that wonderful fabric just get your mind going with all the new project possibilities????

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Well, it's off to relax, put my feet up and stitch awhile before the 'princess' awakens for her supper :o)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Freshly Squeezed

Whoohoo! My favorite time of year is finally here! I just love the fall. The first indication for me starts after the first weekend in September when all the little kiddies go back to school :o) After that, it's smooth sailing until the first snowfall. Autumn brings around so many wonderful things. I can't get enough of that smoky smell that fills the air. The nights are cooler and each day brings with it a new look to all the trees sporting their new colors of red, orange and yellow.

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Of course there is apple picking and I picked up my Honey Crisp apples last night :o) Never mind the $6 price tag for just five apples. They are to die for! Yum! Then you have your traditional pumpkins dotting the front doorsteps of houses and piled up in front of vegetable stands just waiting to be carved for Halloween! And last, but not least, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Now you are probably wondering why that would be on my list of favorite fall things. Well, I'm a survivor myself. Why do I want to share my story? Because I never thought it could happen to me. I was young, I didn't smoke and there was no history of breast cancer in my family. I thought it was the last thing I had to worry about.

In 2000, I was 28 years old and looking forward to a new millennium, thought to be filled with new dreams and starts. My DH had just sold the family landscaping business that we both worked at so the roads were open to new possibilities and travels. At the end of January, I went in for a breast reduction surgery. My breasts were not overly large by any means but they were very heavy and I was finding it hard to carry them around with me :o) DH was very supportive and was even the one that encouraged me to do it in the end. I had never had a surgery in my life and I had never stayed in a hospital overnight, so it was a bit of an adventure. Or so I thought...

Two weeks later I never gave a second thought as to why my plastic surgeon asked me to come in earlier than my original appointment time and the flags really didn’t go up when I walked through a packed waiting room, right into his office. Luckily my mother had driven me there because not two minutes later I was told that I had breast cancer. Words cannot describe what you feel when news like this is broken to you. Sure there is disbelief, panic, anger and sadness but there is something else that defies words.

I was told that while they were going over the breast tissue that was taken from both breast during my reduction surgery (we didn’t know this but any tissue that is removed from the body is examined), they cut through a 2cm in diameter tumor that had been in my right breast. As a result, they were not sure if they had removed it all or if there was more in there to come out. The tumor was located close to my chest wall and therefore could not have been detected when I had my breast exam before the surgery. An hour later I was sitting with another surgeon who was telling me she wanted me back in the hospital for more surgery as soon as possible. I was told that I had evasive and non-evasive cancer and that I was a Level 2. It was not known if my lymph nodes were affected and whether the cancer had already spread. This is when the anger and panic took hold and I refused to do anything until I knew more information.

Over the next two months, yes two, I covered every angle I could think of. I researched different surgeries, had "many" tests to see if the cancer had spread (I did have a big scare with a spot on my liver that luckily was not cancer), met many specialists and learned what my odds were. It really becomes surreal when your life is referred to in percentages. So in April 2000 I returned to the hospital for the second time in my life and had a radical mastectomy of my right breast and a further reduction of my left. Lymph nodes were taken and a saline implant was put in. Two weeks later we got the good news that all was clear and then it was time to start my treatment. After much debate, I decided against radiation and chemotherapy. DH and I were still young, with no children, and I didn’t want to chance anything. Basically, it was a 50/50 draw. Over the next five years I took Tamoxifen on a daily basis and for two of those years, I got Lupron shots every month. I went into complete menopause at age 29 and let me tell you, I’m not looking forward to going through it a second time! LOL!

Now it’s almost seven years later and I’m still cancer free! I’ll never know if I made the right decisions and I highly doubt I will be able to have children after the effects of the treatment and what it has done to my body. I bare the scars of my fight every day and every day I am reminded of what I went through. For my fifth year anniversary, I got a pink ribbon tattooed above my right ankle as a symbol of an accomplishment.

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I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and this happened to me so that I would sit back and enjoy life. I have and I am. I also have my guardian angel, DH, by my side and he is my biggest supporter. I am a survivor!

I know this may sound like a health campaign but to me it's very important :o) So ladies, be aware and take charge of your body. Keep an eye out for lumps and if you're not sure, talk to your doctor. If you are of age, request a mammogram and continue to do so. Get those puppies squeezed! I know it's no fun but early detection is the key! And as someone once said...."breast cancer does not discriminate".

Monday, October 02, 2006

Let's Play 'What's Your Torture?'

Is it the Monday, back to work, after the weekend? Heights? Spiders? For me, it's the....DENTIST! Ever since I was a little girl, I have always hated going to the dentist. From what I'm told, it stems from an incident where the needle almost broke off in my mouth :o( Doesn't sound appealing does it? During my younger years and into High School, whenever I had a cavity, I would always get it done without the freezing. Yes, sounds awful doesn't it? Apparently it didn't bother me because I'd rather that then that cold metal needle being jabbed into my gums.

When my parents changed to a female dentist I decided to try her myself only to find out that all my fillings needed to be redone! What I had avoided for years was my downfall. Without the freezing each time a cavity was done, the dentist was not able to drill down far enough and therefore the tooth was not properly repaired. I thought it was the end of the world having to face my nemesis again! Here I was, twenty something, with my mother holding my hand for support :o) I bet there are five year olds that are better at the dentist that I am, lol! I got through it though.

Over the past couple of years, stress has not been my friend and I have developed a habit of grinding my teeth when I sleep. I had broken one tooth before I discovered this and finally got a bite plate to wear at night. The only thing is, it makes me drool! And I mean DROOL! LOL! About three weeks ago, I wasn't being loyal in wearing it and broke another molar :o( The thought of having to go to the dentist again just gripped my stomach. Since I needed a cleaning as well, I was able to get both done at the same time. This is a good thing right? Yes and no.

The girls at the office know me so well now but I know they are still surprised each time I keep my appointment. I had a game plan this time though. I thought after my four hour at work I'd be too tired to really put up a fight ;o) Panic quickly came to the surface when I realized the dentist was there beside me and not to clean my teeth! They did the repair of the tooth first and again it was that dreaded needle piercing the back of my mouth. I truly think they enjoy poking it about while the patient squirms in the chair. Thankfully no pink elephants showed their faces :o)

Then it was on to the cleaning with another girl. You would think that being half frozen would be to my benefit wouldn't you? NOT! She was literally the cleaning Nazi if there ever was one! By the end of it, she was vacuuming red out of my mouth. They say you should have your cleaning done every six months but I'm lucky to set foot in their door once a year! I don't think there is anything worse than having someone poke a metal instrument around in your mouth, scraping and picking, and then top it off with that hacksaw dental floss. It just sends shivers down my spine.... At least I'm done for another year :o)