Saturday, June 30, 2007

What A Show!

I'm not just talking about Johnny Depp ;o) You should have been at our place the other night when Mother Nature decided to put on the wildest of thunder and lightening storms! I think I was only asleep for an hour when it came through. We live in a valley and our storms are pretty intense. That was the most lightening I have ever seen at one time. Usually it's just a "flash" and then wait. This time there was one strike right after another, after another. Our room was lit up just like Canada Day. Poor Brie was sitting bug eyed in her basket but DH went and slept on the couch and she was able to join him and be comforted. Spoiled or what! LOL!

I normally don't mind thunder and lightening storms unless they are REALLY close. At my SIL wedding three years ago, the whole ceremony took place under a tent (with metal poles!) overlooking the ocean, with a NASTY storm coming down on all of us. The minister had to stop midway because the thunder was so loud. In the end, we found out it was VERY close, having struck a tree at the back of the property :oO I don't mind the rumbling of the thunder and actually, I find it quite soothing. Duncan, on the other hand, HATES these storms. He turns into a complete mess. Poor guy :o(

On Wednesday night I finally got together with the girls (Katie and Faith Ann) again and we headed out for supper and a movie :o) The last time we went out was in November so it was due. We ate at Seasons Restaurant and although the food was just as delicious as always, it was SO hot in the restaurant that all three of us were just melting by the end of the meal. We headed up to the theatres and bought our tickets for Pirates of the Caribbean III. All day I was just salivating at the idea of having a slushy (very important - must be pop slushies as the ice mixture is smooth and just perfect) so I was very excited to get my orange slushy and small popcorn. The girls thought my large slush might cause some problems during the three hour movie but I assured them that I'm a camel so no problem :o) They were lucky because what I "really" wanted was to have it available in bucket form. LOL!

The movie was good although I do think I need to see it again because there was just so much going on. Johnny didn't seem to have his same zeal as the other two movies and we all missed seeing his cute little run ;o) The appearance of Keith Richards wasn't bad although I don't think the make up artists had to do anything to make him look any worse than he already does. The monkey was hilarious and I think we all agree that there has to be a fourth one. We'll see.

So what is everyone up to this long weekend? DH and I were pretty up in the air and then at the last minute decided to head down to the ocean again. This time we are staying in the neighbor's guest cottage :o) It looks like we'll be here until Tuesday as DH took the day off and I don't have to work. I have my computer with me. I can't exist that long without it ;o)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Love/Hate Relationship

Have you ever had one of these? I've had an ongoing one for close to fifteen years now.

Imagine's an overcast spring morning and it's the only day you have that week to sleep in. The window is slightly open, letting in the cool night air but you're huddled in your bed, warm and content. You crack open one eye and take a look at the clock. You immediately smile because it shows 6:30 am and you still have all morning to get caught up on your sleep. This is when you roll over, snuggle back down under the covers, and await good dreams. And then it starts...


You jump out of bed, trying to locate the noise. The window is thrown open but there's nothing there. For a minute you think you might have dreamt it but you know the noise was just too close for that. Not able to do anything, you return to your warm bed. And then it starts, again...


This time you know the noise is reality and it sounds like it's just outside your bedroom window. You check again but there's nothing to see. A few choice words are said as you are trying to keep that sleepy feeling and you fall back into bed. And then it starts again, only much worse...



There are TWO of them!!!! By now you are ripping your hair out trying to figure out what that noise is and where it's coming from. It only took me about thirteen years to find out that it was a...

bird. An Eastern Phoebe to be exact.

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Every spring this bird was like a plague and every year I would be yelling out the window like some lunatic. But I never saw one. I never saw one until last year when this lovely bird showed up in our backyard and was flying around eating bugs. It was quite friendly and I was getting a kick out of watching it wag its tail :o) DH and I love to find plants or birds and then try to identify them and that's what I did. That's when I realized my nemesis was living in my back yard!

This year DH and I watched as a pair of Phoebes built a nest in one of our horse shelters. Every couple of weeks I would walk by and check in on the nest. A few weeks ago I thought I saw something in the nest but this past weekend confirmed it -

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There are at least three babies in the nest and they are so ugly, they're cute :o)

I have since softened my dislike for this little bird. It's been a joy watching the male and female fly about, catching bugs. Hey, the less mosquitoes the better! They are earning their keep. Besides that, they have never irritated me with their call since they moved in. I think we may have a mutual, but silent, agreement ;o)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Finish Twenty-Four

Wow! I'm quite impressed with myself, two finishes within one week :o) I'm getting my grove back. LOL!

This is Checkerboard Bunny by Waxing Moon -

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I know I wasn't too happy with it at first but under the right light, you can see the variegated floss -

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He'll be a keeper :o)

I got more birthday stash this week -

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Drema sent me These Are The Days Boxer Kit by LK, I Love Snowmen by Imaginating, Snow Heads (with buttons) by Sam Sarah, The Dog Did It by Stitchy Kitty, a pattern by The Trilogy (sorry can't say what it is because it would give the surprise away) and the Stitching Friends Tote by Trail Creek Farm. I managed to locate a copy of Noah's Ark by The Cricket Collection and a 2001 Bent Creek catalogue (great reference material). Kim sent me my 11 x 11 Q-Snap Hugger and was such a dear and included a 6 x 6 Hugger with a Canadian themed fabric :o) I can't stress how great these are so if you haven't checked out Kim's site yet, please do. Last, but definitely not least, Lili (expect an email soon) mailed me some gorgeous fabric and lots of wonderful French freebies! She knows me well because there were samplers AND bunnies ;o) Thank you SO much to everyone!

Yesterday, DH, Brie (dressed in pink) and I went to Moncton to visit my Gram :o) I haven't seen her since January and I was really missing her. Since DH and I were sick all spring, we didn't dare visit because that would be the last thing my Gram would need. She looked great though! She was so happy to see that we had Brie with us and Brie just LOVES her Great Grammy ;o) DH and I bought some groceries and we did up some roasted chicken sandwiches on sourdough bread with fruit on the side and lemon meringue pie for dessert. Mmmmm-mmm! Gram "claimed" she couldn't eat the other half of her sandwich but was more than willing to have some pie. LOL! We had a nice visit but I hated to go. Who knows, I may have more time on my hands soon and then I can visit her more often :o)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Finish Twenty-Three

Tonight was Stitch Night but I came home from work with a migraine so I just popped in to see who was there and what everyone was working on. There weren't a lot of gals there but it was nice to see those that were. The Show & Tell table had lots of lovely finishes :o)

Speaking of finishes, I finally have another one to share! This is Hope Tea by Fiddlestitch Cottage -

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Part of it has been done for months now but I was waiting on the wording. I wanted to personalize mine so I played around with it on Pattern Maker and I think I am pleased with the outcome. It may look a little strange and it might even look off center but trust me, it's not :o) I centered the wording as per the chart, not the teapot lid. I ended up frogging the year though because when I had centered that based on the chart it was off so I had to re-center it based on the "V" and the "I".

I have a bit of fun news to share :o) The writer that interviewed me for the Beyond breast cancer magazine contacted me again and wanted to interview me for Better Homes & Gardens! She is writing an article on the Do's and Don'ts, Breast Cancer Etiquette. So pick up a copy of the October 2007 issue when it comes out. I'll be holding autograph sessions this coming fall ;o)

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Calm Before The Storm

It was a total blessing that DH took me down to the ocean this past weekend. My in-laws are away so we had the house for ourselves and the three dogs. Oye! Let me tell you, the trip down did not start things out on a good note. Having three dogs packed into a Kia Spectra 5 is like trying to pack up three kids for a road trip. Buddy acts like he has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Duncan either knocks you out with his breath or his farts and Brie is the one that doesn't use the bathroom before we leave.

Besides that, the weekend was wonderful. We had incredible weather, beautiful scenery and lots of relaxation (or as much as I could muster). DH and I went to Mary's and stocked up on salmon, homemade bread and lots of delicious goodies. I spent a lot of time taking pictures and I have quite a few to share with you :o) I even dabbled in black and white photography. I've put the pictures into my Picasa Album for easier viewing so check out Plants & Flowers and My Photography.

DH enjoyed kayaking every morning. I wish I could do it myself but I know I wouldn't make it far with my arm. He always comes back with such interesting stories and so far, he's had no witnesses so I'm beginning to wonder how many of them are just "fish tales" ;o) He's come across seals on a regular basis but this time he, somehow, crept up on a sleeping baby seal! DH said the look on his face was priceless. Too bad he didn't take the camera but he's always scared it will get wet. Next time we have decided to get him a waterproof disposable camera and we'll see how that does and how many of his stories are true. LOL!

We packed light this time but I did take my stitching with me. I left my Two By Two afghan at home because I didn't want to get into transporting it around and risk getting it dirty. I almost had a finish with another project but I was missing one color. ONE color! Never fails ;o) So I spent my time on Checkerboard Bunny by Waxing Moon and he is coming along much faster than before. Hopefully he'll be finished by the end of the week but we'll see how much the afghan calls to me.

The dogs had a whale of a time. They were constantly playing, running and basically acting like children on summer vacation :o) Brie had a great time tanning her belly. She even took the time out to give me a picture -

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I can definitely tell you that there wasn't a peep from any of them on the way home :o)

There was a good reason why we got away this past weekend. Last week I got news from my lawyer that LTD was supposed to have an answer for us this coming week. was "the" day. Apparently I did well on my FAE and LTD feels that there is no reason why I should not be able to return to my full time job. What really put me over the edge was the FAE report. It was chalk full of incorrect information. If you don't remember me saying, the one giving the test was more interested in sharing her trip to the Dominican than focusing her attention on the test itself. She claimed I was there for 13 hours over the two days when in fact I was only there for 10 hours and 15 minutes and that DOES NOT include the numerous times she was late and I was left just sitting there. Any-way...the nightmare continues but hopefully I'll know more by the end of the week. Sigh! What I wouldn't give to be back in my sanctuary again.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The After Party

Whew! I "think" my birthday is finally over with. DH has been complaining that it has been stretched out close to month now but if people want to do that for me, why not! LOL! To be honest, this birthday was not too bad. I wasn't a complete mess leading up to it and although I have pondered a bit about my life, I have taken it very well. I have a feeling it's just because I have bigger things on my mind but at least I'm not letting another year get me down.

On Sunday afternoon, my in-laws arrived and we spent a lovely afternoon with them. My MIL made me a scrumptious Hot Milk Cake. Mmm...mmm...good! I LOVE this recipe and I love it so much that I'm going to share it with you :o)

Hot Milk Cake

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Topping: 3 Tbsp butter, 5 Tbsp brown sugar, 3 tsp milk and 1/2 cup coconut.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar. Beat until thick and creamy. Stir in flour and baking powder. Mix well. Heat milk and melt butter and add to mixture with vanilla. Bake for 30 minutes in an 8 x 8 greased pan. Cover with topping and broil until golden.

DH and I didn't really do anything "on" my birthday because he was sick but this is what I found in the fridge that morning -

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Last night my parents arrived and brought supper along with a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Like I need that but hey, I'm not going to turn away "ice cream"!

I bet everyone is just dying to know what I got in the form of stash :o)

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Drema sent me Sam Sarah's Doubles Big Fun (with buttons) and two skeins of The Thread Gatherer's Silk 'N Colors (Southwest Sands and Seafoam Green). Village Mountain Stitchery sent me Christmas Carols and the Snow Friends Zipper Kit by Bent Creek plus the Sweetheart Sampler by Blackbird Designs. With my $10 gift certificate with Daisy Stitches I got four GASTs (Holly Berry, Deep Sea, Harvest Basket and Picket Fence) and a piece of 28-count hand dyed Jobelan (Clay). I "finally" got my grubby little hands on Gigi's M Sampler. Incredible! And finally, I got a piece of 28-count Denim Blue Jobelan by Permin. Now...if A-N-Y-O-N-E can get their hands on this fabric, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE email me. I really want to stitch my Snowmen Gathering on this color but my piece is too small :o(

Last, but "certainly" not least, a very special gift arrived by mail all the way from the UK :o) Wendy sent me a gorgeous bunny all dressed in pinks (I added the pink ribbon pin to her apron) -

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Isn't she precious! Her name is Hope and Wendy made her :o) She spared no detail. Hope will be taking up residence in my computer/craft room with all my other pink ribbon gifts so that way I can see them every day and I can be reminded of some very special people :o)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy Birthday To...


Yes, I'm another year older :o( Yuck! If I look back, I think I would like to be 24 again. Definitely one of my best years. I had just met DH and I was healthy and active. Sigh! So, instead of belly aching about how much my life has changed and how it's taken a completely different path than I envisioned, I'm going to post things that happened the year I was born. Much more interesting wouldn't you say? ;o)

In 1971 (the year you were born)

Richard Nixon is president of the US

Charles Manson and 3 of his followers are convicted of multiple counts of first-degree murder

An earthquake in California's San Fernando Valley kills 64 people

New York Times begins publication of classified Pentagon papers on US involvement in Vietnam

The $70 million Kennedy Center opens in Washington, DC

A four day revolt at New York's Attica state prison ends after being stormed by 1000 state troopers

A new stock-market index called the Nasdaq debuts

Walt Disney World opens

Intel releases world's first microprocessor, the 4004

Ray Tomlinson sends the first e-mail

Libertarian party established in USA

Kid Rock, Denise Richards, Sean Astin, Winona Ryder, and Ricky Martin are born

Pittsburgh Pirates win the World Series

Baltimore Colts win Superbowl V

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is published

The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour premeires on television

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel wins Grammy for song of the year

All in the Family premieres

Monday, June 11, 2007

Passed Out Cold!

Ever see a passed out Dachshund before? We'll here's your chance!

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As you can see, Brie had quite a busy weekend :o) She was outside for most of it, playing with Duncan and following DH around while he worked. Don't worry, she is alive but why she finds this position comfortable, I will never know.

Shortly after, I got this picture -

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Love those little chicken legs ;o) She was quite a sight let me tell you. It's scary how childlike she is. She has a nap every day but on those busy days when she doesn't, she sure lets us know that she's had enough. LOL!

Some people don't believe us but Brie really is a couch potato at heart ;o)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Sneak Peak For This Week

You've probably been wondering what I have been working on since I finished Gathering Eggs! I'm sorry I have not posted pictures before this but I wanted enough done so it at least looked like something. LOL!

I know I said I "probably" wouldn't work on my Two By Two afghan by Sue Hillis until the fall but I just couldn't help myself :o) The instructions state to start with the middle panel but seeing as I'm a rebel I've started with block one, Mr. & Mrs. Noah. I've got Noah's coat all done -

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All 26 outside panels are done one over one on the 18-count afghan so the detail will be very nice in the end.

When we went away last weekend, I had to quickly pull a project together because you know, a stitcher can't go anywhere without something to stitch! The quickest thing I knew I had everything for was the Checkerboard Bunny by Waxing Moon -

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This is a freebie and I believe it's still on their website. I wanted to do this design because 1) I LOVE BUNNIES and 2) I actually had the Blueberry hand-dyed Jobelan. I am a little disappointed in the GASTs though because I've found they are not variegated enough. Does anyone find this as well? The only variegated cotton thread I have been completely happy with so far has been the Crescent Colors. Anyone else have a favorite?

So for now I will be going back and forth between these two projects. My only problem is that I have only one 8 x 8 Q-Snap so I have to move things around every time I switch >:o(

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Big Girls Don't Cry

Ya right! I've had the most amazing week so far and I just can't get over the wonderful women that I am honored to call my friends.

The other day a package arrived from Karen and when I opened it up this is what I found -

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It's absolutely stunning! Karen is such a lovely stitcher :o) I'm going to have to email her and find out how she put this pillow together. I'm still twirling it in my hands, trying to figure out what stitch she used. LOL!

On Tuesday I received a surprise email from Needlecraft Corner, letting me know that I have a gift certificate there waiting for me! The guilty party...Faith Ann :o) She knows me all too well. I'm really going to enjoy spending money that is not mine ;o)

Finally, yesterday another package arrived in the mail and it was from Jenn. My curiosity was peaked when I opened this carefully wrapped item -

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It's just beautiful! Btw, it's a compact mirror :o) The backstitching that Jenn did with the gold metallic thread really pops with the gold that surrounds the mirror. Jenn, you are very talented and I love it!

It does bring tears to my eyes to know that each one of you has put so much thought into the gifts that you sent me :o) I certainly didn't expect anything. Thank you all so much and I only hope that I can be just as good a friend to you. This has been a fantastic birthday month so far and that's saying a lot since I despise my birthday. With all this fun, I would consider having my birthday moved to a monthly basis but I really don't want to age any faster than I already am! LOL!

Monday, June 04, 2007


Tired and sore but…WELL worth it! When I got home from work on Friday afternoon, DH asked me if I wanted to go to Bar Harbor, Maine and how fast could I pack. Was this a trick question? Just in case it was, I was packed within 15 minutes ;o)

Pickles was taken care of and the two other kids (Duncan and Brie) were dropped off at DH’s parents on the way out of the country so we were officially childfree all weekend! The drive down was beautiful and when we got our first glimpse of ocean, there was a big sigh of contentment from both of us.

We arrived on the island about 7:30 pm their time and quickly scoped out a place to stay. We tried the High Seas Motel this time and we weren’t disappointed. It wasn’t a five star hotel by any means but it was very clean and roomy for the price range we were looking for. Once that was taken care of, into Bar Harbor we went to track down some food! We hardly got five steps past Rosalie’s Pizza when the heavenly scent pulled us in :o) They make their pizza from scratch and you can watch them twirl the dough. Um-um good! McKays Public House was the choice for dessert :oP

Afterwards, we walked around town. This is what Main Street in Bar Harbor looks like –

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On Saturday, we decided to check out a couple of our favorite gardens. The Thuya Garden is a gem we found a few years ago. It’s hidden waaaaaaaaay up a hill and you can either hike or drive to it. Since it was so early in the season, not a lot was in bloom yet but I did manage to get a few good pictures –

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The second stop was The Azalea Garden. It was started in 1957.

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This is a BEAUTIFUL place early in the season. There are azaleas and rhododendrons galore!

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We even spotted a resident along with her “nine” children :o)

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Since we were on the other side of the island, we decided to go to Southwest Harbor for lunch. Here lives the DryDock CafĂ© and they have “the” most delicious Grilled Chicken with Portabella Mushrooms and Boursin Cheese sandwich! There are a few nice shops and we hit those while we were there. We also found a nice “summer cottage” for a cool $3.5 million :oO Once the batteries were recharged, DH and I went into Bar Harbor for the evening. We checked out a few shops that I wanted to see but I didn’t find any bargains. For supper, we decided to brave it and tried a new restaurant called Guinness & Porcelli’s and what a good choice it was. I had the Seared Duck Breast with Portabella Mushrooms and Pistachios. Mama Mia! It was so good we decided to stay for dessert :o) DH and I split a “dessert sampler” that featured a piece of Tiramisu, Cannelloni and a piece of Flourless Chocolate Cake. We spent a lovely evening walking around town and just sitting and watching the world go by.

We woke up Sunday with heavy hearts but DH and I still made the most of our time left. Shopping was the last thing to do so we picked up a few things that we had seen along the way. I can’t believe how restrained I was but I was mostly interested in relaxing and that I did :o) The puppies were picked up on the way home and it was clearly evident that their weekend was just as exciting. Poor Brie could hardly keep her eyes open and Duncan looked like he had a hang over this morning. LOL!

All and all, it was a wonderful weekend with beautiful weather, scrumptious food and heavenly views. Last but not least, I had my special DH with me and I want to thank him SO much for suggesting this trip. This time away was desperately needed and it has done wonders. We finally did something spontaneous so let’s keep it up ;o)

I took so many pictures that I have put them into a Picasa album for easier viewing. It might take me a few days to get the pictures all labeled so check back often.