Tuesday, July 31, 2007

To The Shores Of Maine

After a straight week and a half of this heat and humidity, I was coming to the end of my rope. The pain in my joints continued and I missed four days of work :o( On Friday afternoon, someone decided to grant me a short break for the weekend :o)

DH and I always wanted a roof rack for the car ever since we got it two years ago but we kept putting it off because 1) it was almost impossible to find one that fit our car and 2) it was a lot of money. DH did some research and located a dealer in Bangor, Maine. We got the call Friday morning that the rack was in so at the very last minute, we decided to pack up and head south.

On the way down, I decided I didn't want to miss my third chance to check out a new NS in Orono, Maine, so I twisted DH's arm to make the short stop :o) Fiberphilia is a lovely shop that carries knitting and some cross stitch items. I think she is slowly expanding but she has lovely taste. I picked up some beautiful fibers -

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We arrived in Bangor late afternoon and went right to the store to get the roof rack installed. While this was happening, Brie and I seeked out a shaded spot to keep cool. When I saw the rack on the car I asked DH if we were ready to go. His reply was "They are just finishing up." The next thing I know, two more parts are being installed ON the roof rack. I told Brie that if DH came out with a kayak, he was in deep do-do ;o) It turns out that he got a great deal on two bike racks and a locking system. After seeing the big smile on his face, I couldn't say no. I couldn't say no anyway since they were already on the car! LOL! Needless to say, this was his birthday present :o) I'm happy though and this means we can finally bike the carriage paths in Acadia National Park.

Because the trip was such a rush, I had quickly made reservations down in Bucksport after going online and looking at different motels. We stayed at the Spring Fountain Motel and I have to say, my jaw dropped when we drove in the yard. It was a "dump", no two ways about it. I felt so bad. Luckily it wasn't expensive and the rooms were very clean. Would I go there again...maybe not ;o)

Bucksport is home to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Observatory. It's only one of three in the whole world! This bridge is magnificent and huge! Unfortunately we had fog each morning so we didn't get to check it out. We're hoping next time we get down.

On Saturday, we headed down the coast on Route 1, in search of cooler weather. Our first stop was Camden -

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This is one busy little town. I quickly spotted the Stitchery Square and picked up a few more fibers (second picture above). Again, not a lot of cross stitch supplies but any little taste is fine with me! LOL! At the library, we found a nice shaded spot to have our lunch. Brie was a big hit as always and she just loved the fact that she could go shopping with us :o) Before we headed out, we had to stop at Stonewall Kitchen and stock up on a few goodies. On the way back to the car though, DH got stung on his ear :o( Poor guy.

Our drive took us as far down as Rockland, where we headed out to the point and the Owls Head Lighthouse -

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It was very foggy here so we didn't get to see too much. The temperature was significantly lower there and we even got goose bumps! There was no complaining from me though. I love seeing lighthouses. They have such an interesting history.

On Sunday, we decided to make our way home so we could get in at a decent time. This time we headed "up" Route 1 where we wanted to check out more of the Blue Hill area. After a few choice words with the map, we found the Holbrook Island Sanctuary. This beautiful spot is nestled between Smith Cove and the Penobscot Bay -

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It's definitely a place we need to go back and explore some more. For lunch, we wound our way to Castine, a very small town rich with history.

The border crossing on the way home was uneventful and thanks to the increase amount in duty/tax free goods, we didn't have to pay anything on the roof rack! DH was quite happy about this. Considering the US border confiscated Brie's food, DH figured we deserved a break ;o) Home was there as we left it, hot and humid :o( I'm just happy I was able to spend three days in an air conditioned car and hotel room! I've got loads of pictures to share so check them out in my Picasa Album.

The shores of Maine contain so many places to see and treasures to find. I doubt we will ever visit or find them all in our lifetime. You know, I've given it some thought and I think DH and I should move to Maine. I even spotted an awesome place for us to buy! What do you think? ;o)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Look Who's 36 Today...


You know I love you :o)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Finish Twenty-Nine

It may be hot-hot-hot outside but I'm still stitching ;o) Like I said in a previous post, I dug out some smaller projects for this week because of the heat and humidity that has been laying over us like a thermal blanket :o( This little Santa was a Monthly Mystery Kit from my LNS (okay, somewhat local) -

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He was originally supposed to be an ornament but I made him into a pin keep. My first :o) I'm very happy with how he turned out and I got to learn a new finishing technique! I did a few minor changes. Click here to see the back. I love the fabric on the back but this picture does nothing for it. I'm sorry to say that I have no idea who designed this merry fellow. I'll have to check with the girls at the shop.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Animal House

The last time I checked, I didn't see any welcome sign anywhere near our house. I guess that doesn't matter because over the weekend, we had a few visitors come by :o)

On Friday night, DH went out and mowed the lawn. I "tried" to have a nap but the next thing I knew, DH was pounding on the bedroom window, telling me to come outside. I walked down to the bottom of the pasture and lo and behold this is who stopped by -

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This is a male Ring-necked Pheasant and this guy must have lost his way or something. It says that these birds are native to the lower half of New Brunswick but they would be few. People raise them in their backyards and quite a few years ago we had one named Ringo ;o) Sometimes there are escapes and I believe that's what this guy was. He was very pretty though and much larger than the one we had.

On Friday I also noticed a new visitor that was claiming residence on our property -

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This little red squirrel (we've never had one in the 6-7 years we have been living here) was hauling food all day long. I soon figured out he was somehow getting into DH's shed. Oh-oh! We definitely found proof on Saturday. The little turkey chewed the tarpaper at the roof line (DH had not put the final layer of shingles on) and had created a nice front door for himself. DH cleaned out the shed that afternoon and finished off the roof so hopefully this will deter Hammy from using our shed as a pantry ;o)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Finish Twenty-Eight

Dum da-da dum! This is Briar Rabbit by La-D-Da -

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I really like this pattern but I'm a little disappointed with the color of the letters. They don't seem to stand out like they should. I didn't use the Needlepoint Silks that the pattern called for but opted for the DMC threads that were suggested. Maybe when it's framed, it will look better. I do love the fabric though and I used the same color, 18th Century Rook by R&R Reproductions, but I stitched the pattern on 30 count instead of the 35 count that was used. I can tell you one thing, the picture of the pattern on the leaflet does not do this pattern justice!

It looks like a very HOT and HUMID week ahead of us and this does not thrill me in the least :o( The humidity is hard on my body and the pain really hits the roof during these times. My hands and feet have really suffered this summer. It's almost like someone took a sledgehammer and broke all the bones in my fingers and toes. Not much fun. And most of us know that when I can't stitch, I get grumpy ;o)

Because of the icky weather coming up, I'm not sure if I will tackle the next block on my afghan or not. I did pull out a small project for this weekend but we'll see how I feel after that. We've been doing really well at keeping the house somewhat comfortable. No A/C here :o(

DH and I had a hard night last night and both of us are running on little sleep. We were both up around 5 am and as soon as we started talking, a certain someone (Brie) came tip toeing down the hallway and into our bedroom :o) DH picked her up and put her in bed with us. She spooned with me for a while, her head using my arm as her pillow, until I finally gave up and got up. She remained in bed until DH got up. Brie is a funny little dog! She is definitely a great source of heat in the winter but boy; she's not one you want to cuddle with when it's 30 C outside! LOL!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

La Famille De Moufette

The Skunk Family. I'm sure that most of us in North America know what a skunk is but for those of you who don't, I want you to think of Pepe LePew from Bugs Bunny or Flowers from Bambi. They're cute as a cartoon aren't they? Now think about a cunning little rodent that digs holes in your lawn looking for grubs or turns tail and expels the most putrid of smells into the air.

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Do you want to cuddle that? I think the skunk was first in line when Mother Nature was giving out defense mechanisms. LOL!

Skunk smell. It's hard to describe to someone who has never smelt it. Let me put it this way, it's bad enough to deter a determined predator! I've mentioned it before in my Blog that we have a sadistic bugger that lives around our house and every summer, always on one of the hottest and muggiest nights, he decides to let go and perfume the air with his Eau De Moufette. Sometimes it's so strong that we have to close the windows and sweat in the heat of the house. Duncan has been sprayed twice by a skunk. It's a smell that is extremely hard to get out of something. People have tried tomato juice, peroxide with baking soda and they even have a shampoo called Skunk-Off. Do they really work? Yes and no.

Last night as I was coming home, the car in front of me slowed down. I looked over to the side of the road and I just caught the tail end of a skunk family entourage. There was a mother with at least three kits. Talk about cute! Then this morning, I drove by the same spot and wasn't there one of the kits playing by the side of the road. Of course I didn't have my camera :o( Now I'm not "really" fond of these smelly creatures but I didn't want to see him get hit by a car either so I stayed on the side of the road until he went back into the bushes. My automatic response was to get out of the car but then logic sunk in ;o)

From what I've read, skunks are quite intelligent animals. You can even buy one as a pet! Just check out this humorous cartoon :o) Years ago when DH and I had all of our exotic animals, I had looked at skunks. Pet skunks have been domesticated so they are not all black with the white stripes but actually come in many different colors. They still come with their own cologne though but it's surgically removed. Whew! If you are looking at getting a skunk for a pet, make sure it's legal where you live. Some cities require that you register your exotic animal but others will not allow them at all.

Knock on wood; our resident skunk has not been around yet. Hopefully it will stay that way ;o)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Won!

What did I win you ask? A quilt! DH brought it home last night. My MIL belongs to a quilt guild and they pieced together a quilt to raffle off this past weekend and wouldn't you know it, my name was picked out of the hat :o)

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It's absolutely gorgeous. I tried to get the best picture I could so that you could see every aspect of it. It's huge though! I love the fact that my MIL worked on it so now it will definitely have sentimental value. I guess I owe her a dollar for buying that raffle ticket ;o)

On Friday, DH and I tried a new restaurant called the Back Nine. It was really good! Sweet potato fries...yum! Thanks Faith Ann for the recommendation :o) We made a few quick stops to check out new laptops but nothing caught my attention plus the fact that computer shopping in this city sucks. Why do we have to be in the armpit of the country???? LOL!

Saturday morning I was up at 6 am so we decided, last minute, to take a day trip down to Bangor, Maine. I stopped by Jo-Ann's Fabrics and AC Moore but was quite disappointed with their selections. I was able to pick up that extra set of 8 X 8 Q-Snaps that I wanted though. Since we had Brie with us, we were limited in what we could do. It was so hot that we didn't dare leave her in the car for any amount of time so that made shopping very awkward.

For supper we went to downtown Bangor and ate at Paddy Murphy's. It's a quaint little pub and the food was really good. Sweet potato fries again! Yum! My sandwich was made up of grapes, Granny Smith apples, pecans, chicken (all mixed with a sauce or dressing), tomato and lettuce on toasted sourdough bread. The best part about the trip though...I found personal sized containers of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and it included...the spoon! If you haven't figured it out by now, small things like this are what amuse me and make my day ;o)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Finish Twenty-Seven

I've completed my very first Biscornu!

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I've been admiring these for so long and was pretty intimidated about trying to make one but after going through Mary Kathryn's instructions, I can't believe I haven't tried one sooner! Her website is awesome and very easy to follow. I started stitching Monday night and by suppertime yesterday, I had it completed and fully assembled. Since I have never made one before, I wasn't really careful with my sizing so my Biscornu turned out to be 2" x 2"! LOL! The above picture shows it with my embroidery scissors to give you an idea of size. I love it though. It's so cute :o)

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I used 28 count Flax Cashel linen along with The Thread Gatherer's Silk 'N Colors Finnegan's Fog. I got the pattern at My Aunt's Attic but I'm not sure who the designer is. For the bottom of my Biscornu, I just improvised. You can bet I will be making another one of these in the future :o)

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I talked to my lawyer yesterday after he had a chat with J. Unfortunately I cannot get a new caseworker at this time because J is the one responsible for my company :o( She is, however, to deal directly with my lawyer for the next little while :oP Apparently she did an about face with my lawyer explaining that she hadn't looked at my file for six months and that she made a mistake. Apparently she wanted me to continue working so that I could keep my stamina up. Ya, right! Nice try J! J, your words are so full of crap that I can smell you from here. There are a few more things to wrap up but it looks like things are getting straightened around. Unfortunately more money is being spent on the lawyer but I have to say, he is worth every penny just to picture the look on J's face ;o)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Finish Twenty-Six

As expected, block two of my afghan went much faster than block one :o) Here is Foxes And Birds by Sue Hillis -

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I've got block three and four all kitted up and ready to go but I'm going to take a small break from the afghan. I've still been able to continue stitching on it as the temperatures really haven't been that bad but they are calling for hot and muggy all this week :o( If I can stitch at least one block per month, I'll be happy :o)

I want to send my apologies for not posting this sooner but I was waiting for one more thing to arrive before I did. Here is the final bit of my birthday stash -

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Despina sent me the gorgeous Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles. Does anyone have any wonderful ideas color wise? She also sent two skeins of GASTs (Chamomile and Holly Berry) and two skeins of Waterlilies (Cherry). YUM! I finally gave in and Carrie sent me her threads for my Sea Stars (by Ink Circles). Her threads are beautiful but I have yet to use them. The gift that took me the most off guard and surprised me the most was from my good friend Katie, or should I say...Katharyn ;o) Katie bought me the birthday package from Enchanted Fabrics and when it arrived, the card was signed Katharyn. Well...I didn't know anyone with that name. I looked over the envelope it came in but the return address was for Enchanted Fabrics. I looked at people who signed my Blog but then I realized that they wouldn't have my address. Basically, I was perplexed and perplexed good! Katie finally let me off the hook later that day ;o) This wonderful package contained three sizes of linen in 28 and 32 count (Royalty, Cafe Mocha and Bubblegum - this is an awesome color) plus a pattern (Friendly Stitchers by Brittercup Designs)! "Dumb dumb give me gum gum."

I really want to thank all of you who have signed my Blog and left wonderful words of encouragement. It truly means a lot :o) The LTD drama continued this morning when my lawyer emailed me the last two letters from my specialist that I requested. I had never seen these letters as they went right to the lawyer. I opened them at work and just about exploded at my desk. The words clearly stated "...cannot work during treatment..." I was LIVID! I was right too. J had played me. She lied right to me without batting an eye. At this point, how stupid does she think I am? I put the request in with my lawyer to have a new caseworker assigned to me as DH and I feel there is a conflict of interest. This is the second major lie I have caught her on and I'm just too scared to find out what else she has done as well :o(

Saturday, July 07, 2007



The following post contains some pretty strong opinions and a few nasty words ;o)

They say that today is supposed to be a lucky day. I really wish yesterday was the seventh then. Just when I thought things were finally going my way, I let my guard down and that's when all Hell breaks loose. BIG MISTAKE! Dealing with LTD has got to be one of the WORST experiences one could have.

As I left work yesterday, I was told that I didn't need to continue working because my LTD was re-instated and I was once again covered 100%. I told my employer that I didn't mind working my 12 hours per week but if I they were giving me the rest of July off, then woohoo! On the way home I swirled around ideas in my head of what I wanted to do with my unexpected free time. Another big mistake.

When I arrived home the phone rang and it was work. They said I had to continue working my 12 hours per week. I won't lie, I was a little disappointed, but I figured I might as well bring in two incomes instead of one :o) My employer expressed their frustration with the situation so I said I would call my LTD caseworker and get back to them when I knew more of what was going on.

So it was back to my original caseworker - J. I don't think she was too happy to have me back. She indicated that I did have to continue working and then wanted to know about my treatment program at the hospital. I told her what I knew and explained that I wouldn't be able to begin until the second or third week of August because the specialist was away for the month of July. I quickly pointed out that if LTD had not dragged their heels, I would have been able to start MUCH sooner.

The topping on the cake came in two layers. J stated that I had to continue working while I was taking the treatment program. WTF? How was I going to manage 12 hours a week PLUS another 8 hours? Not her concern. She said the letter from the specialist stated that I could work while taking the treatment. Well that wasn't right because he specifically told me that I couldn't. Why would I risk my health and wait this long for treatment if I was told I could work during treatment. Not really making sense J!

Then she explained that my employer didn't want to break up my work hours anymore (I'm working three days a week - M, W, F - four hours per day) and that they would prefer if I would do two full 8 hour days. Again, WTF? My employer never indicated this to me. HOW am I going to work a full day when I'm completely exhausted after four hours (just ask Faith Ann and Katie what happens)? As it already stands, I cannot work two days in a row because I need the next day to recuperate. So, treatment is on Wednesdays and Fridays. That leaves a Monday plus another day during the week. That ain't going to work J!

I was SO mad and SO upset yesterday that I thought I would explode! I cannot believe the CRAP that insurance companies will put you through. They play you and J was playing me and I was a sucker and bit. While they are letting in the frauds, they are leaving out those that really need it. I'm not saying I will need it forever. I don't know. What I DO know is that I need help RIGHT NOW but the last thing they are going to do is make it easy for me.

WHY does there have to be such evil in the world? WHY can't good, kind and honest people make it? Because, if you're going to succeed and succeed up there with the "big dogs" you have to be nasty and dishonest. Kindness doesn't seem to get people anywhere anymore and that's such a sad thing. I'm so glad that we do not have children because I can't imagine leaving this screwed up planet to them. Sad...but true :o(

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Winner Of Round One

The good guys (me) – 1

The bad guys (LTD) – 0

THAT’S RIGHT!!!! IN YOUR FACE LTD! Good “can” actually prevail although I had many doubts along the way. The good news arrived yesterday morning from my lawyer :o) DH and I were still at the ocean and I just happened to check my email before we packed up to go. I tell you, dial up never took so long! LOL! The Long Term Dolts came back and approved my appeal until December 31, 2007 and then things will be re-evaluated at that time. I know that’s only six months from now but it’s better than nothing! I guess all those pennies thrown into the wishing well sure paid off ;o)

I can’t tell you how many times my hopes were shattered and how the thought of quitting seemed like such an easy way out. Deep down I am a strong person but this circus really tested those waters. I am extremely pleased with the result so far. My lawyer is wonderful and it was well worth the money that we spent. I’m not kidding myself though because we may be back in the same boat come next January but at least we won round one :o) I just wish I had that good news “before” the long weekend!

The weekend away was great and although we had showers, the weather was beautiful. Lili wanted to see a picture of Brie swimming so here it is –

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This was one of her passes across the channel :o) We have one tired pup now and it was all I could do to get her up this morning before I left for work. It wasn’t all exercise for the princess though. This was her choice of travel when she was too tired to keep up with Duncan –

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I have to say that I love those golf carts too! What fun little vehicles to drive. I guess that will have to placate me since I doubt I will ever get to drive a US Mail truck, seeing that it’s a federal offence and all to steel one ;o)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Finish Twenty-Five

I never thought this would end! Here is Mr. & Mrs. Noah from my Two By Two afghan by Sue Hillis -

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I have no idea why this seemed to have gone on forever but it just did. I'm very happy with it though :o) So...block one completed, only 25 more to go as far as the outside of the afghan goes. I know, I know! I got myself into this. LOL!

I have decided to stick with the afghan a little longer and I'm moving on to block two. This one is not very large so I'm hoping it will go much quicker than the first.

DH and I are still at the ocean and here is a picture of the cottage we are staying at -

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On Saturday, we did a quick cross over to Calais, Maine and picked up our groceries for the weekend. We dropped by Marden's but there wasn't a whole lot there unless you were getting married because they had wedding dresses for $9.99. I'm not kidding you! I check out the fabric department but nothing really jumped out at me. I did manage to find these though -

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Yesterday, we went down to the beach just as the tide was coming in. In that area of the beach it was creating a channel of water flowing in so Duncan and Brie had a great time swimming back and forth. This was Brie's first swim of the year. She's such a little otter. Last night DH and I were able to see some of the fireworks from St. Andrews. I think we heard them more than we saw them though.

I'm off to spend another glorious day! I've been taking lots of pictures again so hopefully I'll have some to share soon :o)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Let's Celebrate!