Friday, September 28, 2007

Knock On Wood

What wood???? That's the problem! DH got laid off yesterday :o( He works, or worked, for a local lumber mill but they shut their doors as of Thursday morning. We thought we knew it was coming but I think deep down we were hoping that something would change and that nothing would happen. This has definitely been a wakeup call.

The wood industry has not been what it used to be and there have been many mills throughout New Brunswick that have closed this year because of it. You've gotta love living in the armpit of the country :oS

Sooooo, DH and I have been running around trying to get things in order. We lost our medical plan so now we have to purchase our own Blue Cross and let me tell you that is not cheap! We won't have dental coverage now and we cancelled our RRSPs in order to help cover the new cost :o( We're also down to one vehicle so that should be interesting. We met with the bank this morning and they are going to let us skip the car and mortgage payments for the month of October. Thank goodness we have no other debt!

I think one of the things holding us together right now is the possibility that DH will get hired on by the Federal Government. Back in the spring he applied with DFO (Department of Fisheries & Oceans) for the Fishery Officer position and so far the process has been very positive. Unfortunately it's a waiting game but there's something to be said for having access to EI (Employment Insurance). That will truly be a help.

DH has gone to attend a meeting at the mill this afternoon so I'm not sure if he'll find out more or not. The good part about him having time off is that there is LOTS of work to be done around the house. LOL! The bad part, "I'll" never get anything done with him around home all the time ;o)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

One-Year Anniversary Contest!

And the winner is....


You were lucky number 12! I didn't even look at the list, only the number of comments. Number 12 was picked because of my recent wedding anniversary :o)

I'm sending you an email to get your mailing information so I can get this right out to you :o)

That's right! In another few weeks, it will be one year that I have been yapping on the computer. LOL! To celebrate, I thought I would hold a contest to thank all my wonderful readers :o) I will be giving away one of my pillow tucks -

What a way to brighten a day :o) The tuck is 4.5 x 4.5, with an opening of 2.5 x 2.5. It will not be stuffed. That way you can use it one of two ways!

If you want to enter the contest, please leave your name and contact information (do NOT leave your mailing address!) in the comments section of my Blog. Those outside of Canada are more than welcome to enter :o) I will get DH to pick a name on September 27 and the winner will be posted at that time.

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's Fall Y'All

My favorite time of year :o) The leaves are changing so fast but they are so beautiful to look at -

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One thing I would miss about moving to a warmer climate would be autumn. There's just this distinct smell in the air and the landscapes turn into carpets of red, orange, yellow, gold and crimson. It truly is a beautiful time of year here.

This past weekend, DH and I packed up the dogs and headed down to the ocean to baby-sit his parents' house and Cousin Buddy :o) By the time we got down there on Friday night, I was so tired and decided to decline DH's invitation to go fishing. I should have known better. He came back to the house just bubbling over because he had caught EIGHT mackerel! :o(

Saturday was foggy and windy so we stayed inside and just relaxed. Sunday, on the other hand, turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny day so we took that opportunity to get out and do some exploring along the beaches :o) As we came into the clearing of a nearby beach, I noticed two dark lumps at the top of a tree -

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Can you tell what's there? You can't really see the other little guy but there were two porcupines! They must have been this years' litter because they weren't very big. If they had been full size, they would have snapped the top off that poor tree. LOL! They didn't really seem to care that we were there but we kept a good eye on them. The last thing we needed was a dog with a mouth full of porcupine quills :o(

Yesterday, I drove to Moncton (a two hour drive) and picked up Lori-Ann :o) I got to see her "creativity lab" and she even showed me her next cross-stitch design. All I can say is...he is SO cute!!!! I can't wait to see him stitched up. We had a wonderful time shopping and then headed over to the LNS, Because You Count, to meet Sue Hillis. I got her to autograph my Two By Two pattern book -

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The Dragon Lady, Jennifer Aikman-Smith, was there as well and she had her newest design for sale and on display. Boy, was the shop ever busy! I picked up a few pieces of fabric but I was on my best behavior ;o) I did discover two wonderful patterns in my bag though! A special one, for this event, by Dragon Dreams called Sailing Dragonlet and Sew Many Stitches by Sue Hillis. What a great treat!

Before I headed for home, Lori-Ann introduced me to Tony's Pastries Inc. OMG! If you want a heavenly chocolate fix, this is the place to go! DH was lucky that a piece of it made it home ;o) I also stopped by my Gram's place to wish her a Happy Birthday. I was two days early but I was happy to be able to get down and see her in person. We had a nice visit. I always love going there but always hate leaving :o(

Remember, only one more day to add your name in the contest!!!! Good luck :o)

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Remember, you promised me 70 years of marriage so you still have 58 more to go ;o)

I love you sweetie!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

They're Here! THEY'RE HERE!

After such a rotten night and morning, I was SO thankful that the rest of today turned out to be awesome :o) Not only did my JCS Ornament Issue arrive BUT I also got the latest issue of Beyond magazine and my name is in there!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!

From talking with other stitchers here in town and some across Canada, it looks like the ornament issue has not reached our stores yet :o( That's unbelievable since it's been out in the US for at least a week now. Katie, Shannon and Faith Ann take is the proof that I have it in my hot little hands -

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There are a good number of ornaments that I want to stitch this year so I guess Christmas stitching will officially begin here ;o)

The third issue of Beyond just hit the stands and luckily I spotted it when I went to pick up my prescription today -

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In case you haven't read my whole Blog, Beyond is a fairly new magazine that is solely dedicated to breast cancer. It's only published twice a year. I can't say enough about this wonderful new source of information all in one. It's just full of useful and informative articles and you'll want to read it from front to back. The proof? My mother, MIL and DH have all read them so far :o)

This issue is special though because one of the writers, Michele Meyer, interviewed me over the phone for her piece on Dancing With The Fear. The article looks at the fear of recurrence and states "Don't let the fear of recurrence steal you away from life. Be inspired by how other women have learned to say no to this persistent suitor." I can't post the whole article but this exert is mine :o) "Needlework takes Cathey's mind off of her cancer - especially when she's in a rocking chair at her in-laws' home on the ocean. The Canadian from New Brunswick learned she had stage-II milk-duct cancer in 2000, at age 28, when she went for breast-reduction surgery. A radical mastectomy and five years of the anticancer drug Tamoxifen followed. "Seeing and hearing the waves is like meditation for me," she says."

Not bad for my debut! Now don't go bombarding me with requests for an autograph ;o) LOL!

I want to thank everyone who left such wonderful comments on my Blog :o) You guys are the best! I have some good news for you. My mammogram came back fine! Yay! The girls are back to feeling free. Now if I could just finish up with this awful diet...

Do you want to see what 332 skeins of DMC look like?

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A wonderful relative of mine from the States was able to pick me up a load during the ten cent clear out sale at Wal-Mart. Luckily there was still a good range of colors so my back up supply will be good for a while. At least I think so ;o)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Finish Thirty-Six

My boobees are done! LOL! I know, I've completely scared away all my readers now ;o) But seriously, my Boo Bees by San Man Originals is complete -

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I just LOVE this design. It's so cute and I love the play on words :o) I stitched mine on 28 count Storm Cloud Lugana by SMF. It's hard to tell in this picture but it's a lovely grey fabric that has light and dark patches throughout. I would love to get more of this color but I'm not dealing with SMF again. Their turn around time is just too long. I'd rather buy from Heaven Lee Creations if I'm going to wait like that.

So what's next on my plate? I really should get back to my afghan now that it's getting cooler out. I want to have two more squares stitched up by the end of the month. Whether that is doable or not, I have no idea but I'll try :o) Sue Hillis is going to be visiting a LNS two hours away from me on September 25 and so far, I plan on being there and talking to her about my afghan. Are you ready for me Lori-Ann???? ;o)

I have all the fall patterns on my list completed except one, Autumn Medley by HIH. I really should sneak that in there since all three other seasons are done :o) I even have the frame for this pattern! LOL!

This past weekend wasn't too bad. It rained most of Saturday so DH and I just vegged most of the day. On Sunday though, it was so gorgeous that we decided to take a road trip :o) Our destination was Cobscook Bay State Park in Maine so that meant crossing the US border. Ever wonder what it's like to be in two countries at once???? This will give you a bit of an idea -

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Pretty weird huh? :o) This is a gorgeous park right on the ocean. The campsites are nicely spaced out and you're completely surrounded by trees. I definitely want to go back.

Did anyone hear my screams of joy last night???? PRISON BREAK IS BACK! WOOHOO!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The "Crap" Diet

Another one of my play on words. If you don't want to read any disgusting details, you might want to skip this post ;o)

Okay, so I've had some "problems" lately. My weight has gone down drastically and good food (fine food) no longer gives me the joy it once did. When we came home from grocery shopping yesterday morning, I noticed my pants falling down (yes, zipper and button were done up). The more I pulled, the farther down they would go. Basically, they would have come right off if I had kept going! LOL! Now don't get me wrong...I LOVE the fact that I have lost weight. For at least seven years now, I have been carrying more weight than I should have but my body would not allow me to loose weight, even when I tried. My dilemma, I got rid of all my smaller pants :oS

As I mentioned, food hasn't really done anything for me lately. The cravings are gone and even when I eat something it just passes right through. Do you want to keep reading???? ;o) My only concern is that it's happened so fast. I've lost a little more than 12 pounds in six weeks. I brought it up with my doctor last week and he recommended a blood test and...stool samples :oP When I picked up my "parcel" from the hospital I asked the nurse how "fresh" the samples had to be. I was afraid with my unreliable bowels that it might take awhile. I guess I can relax, take my time and brew up something really good ;o)

What has really caused a problem is the diet I have to go on for the next week or so. I've never been a fan of diets and I don't believe in them. I do, however, believe in proper eating and good food! This new diet has me eating LOTS of fiber, pork, chicken, fish, cooked fruit or vegetables. I cannot eat red meat (and that includes processed meats), liver (no worries there), raw fruits and vegetables. Hmmm... Do you see my problem? How am I going to avoid fruit for that long? I long for pineapple, grapes, oranges... Argh! So what does that leave me? Fiber. Okay, so I'm supposed to eat whole wheat bread all week? Anyone know of any high fiber foods that I can eat? Besides bran cereal people!

As of Monday, the collecting starts ;o) This should make for an interesting week. At least I will only poop in my own house (okay, that's a whole other topic!). DH has suggested that my "collection jars" should be isolated in the other bathroom. You mean seeing a jar of poop first thing in the morning isn't appealing? ;o) DH and I have also entertained the idea of just collecting Brie's poop and using it as my own. I wonder how that would turn out...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Finish Thirty-Five

I had so much fun with this finish :o) I stitched up Pumpkins by LHN -

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And I made it into a cube -

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What was so neat about this project is that I already had everything to complete it and I didn't even know it! See what happens when you dive into your stash ;o) LOL! I just love the fabric I had for the back.

This time I found a good website with instructions on how to make different bows but my bow making abilities still need some work. I'm such a perfectionist and arranging the bow is such fiddly work that I get easily frustrated. Boy, it's amazing how much ribbon it takes to make one bow. Yikes!

I want to thank everyone for their good thoughts about my mammogram :o) Just to let you know, I won't have the results until next week. I meet with my surgeon on Tuesday so I'm hoping she will already have the results or she can easily get them. Because I go to our main hospital for my mammograms, the turn around time is a lot quicker. Usually that's how it works anyway. The less waiting the better :o)

So how many Canadians out there are holding their breaths, waiting for the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue to arrive? We aren't as lucky as those in the States but this "should" be the week that it comes out here. I hummed and hawed and finally gave in and got Drema to send me one :o) I'll see if I made the right decision. My only problem is, once I get it, I will get into the Christmassy mood and all fall projects will be put aside. I really don't want to rush autumn out the door because it's my favorite time of year. Plus, I still have a few fall patterns I want to complete :o)

Are you a seasonal stitcher? Does your stitching usually have a theme to it? Do you only stitch patterns that you absolutely love or do you get adventurous and like to try something new? How do you pick the projects you do? I'm curious so let me know :o)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Big Squeeze

This morning I went for my second mammogram this year. I know, not fun :o( I always say I'm going to be fine but as soon as I walk towards that waiting area, the anxiety begins to show. And the longer I'm there, the more anxious I become. Today I could feel the light-headedness start as soon as they arranged the first squeeze and by the end of it, my legs were just like Jell-O. Luckily I did not pass out. I almost did one time and they had to bring in this "huge" chair, almost like a recliner. LOL!

I've read the joke about mammograms being comparable to slamming your boob in the refrigerator door. HA! That's a laugh! The mammogram is ten times worse. Not only are they squeezing that poor boob senseless but also they're contorting you every which way in order to get the picture they want. Do they not realize that the armpit is not a piece of the body that can be flattened like a pancake? And excuse me, a collar bone doesn't move either ;o)

I was only expecting LRB (Left Real Boob) to be done this time, because of the lump underneath, but they also did RFB (Right Fake Boob) because of the pain I'm having in my armpits. Well, the girls are a "wee" bit sore now and it feels like they have been bound in one of those insane push up bras for 48 hours straight :oS It probably wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the mammogram machine acting up. Figures! I can't just get in and out of there. I think it knows me by now and enjoys tormenting me ;o)

I always feel so self-conscious when I go. Ten times out of ten, I'm the youngest one. The other women always look at me and wonder why I'm there. It's like attending a Red Hat Society meeting but being under age :o) I can practically walk through the whole admitting process with my eyes closed but every time they go through the same instructions. Maybe I should make a sign saying, "Been there. Done that." and pin it to my chest for my next one ;o)

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Fair" Results

Do you like my play on words? LOL! Yesterday DH and I went to the FREX to pick up my items and although I am happy with how I did, it was kind of sad giving up my Grand Champion title ;o) Here were my results though -

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Quilt Time Sampler ~ First Place
Gathering Eggs ~ Second Place
Biscornu ~ Second Place
Deck The Halls ~ Third Place

And...I brought home a total of $16! Well not really because DH and I went out for a treat afterwards :o) All I can say is, LOOK OUT next year because Cathey (and Katie!) are coming back with a vengeance!

While we were downtown, DH and I decided to take a stroll along the walking path and I got a chance to get some more pictures. This first one is of The Christ Church Cathedral -

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That's where DH and I got married :o) Beautiful isn't it?

The other picture that I'm pretty proud of is one of "The Leopard" -

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This guy is right outside The Beaverbrook Art Gallery. DH and I keep meaning to go there. We've both been there when we were younger but I doubt we really appreciated it. Not to the extent that we would today.

There are many places around the city that I have never been but keep meaning to go. It's a shame really because this city has a lot of history. I really should make it a point to visit some of those places next summer. Have you ever tried being a tourist in your own town before? Maybe you should try it too. You might learn a thing or two :o)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Finish Thirty-Four

I never really liked The Prairie Schooler until I saw their Nursery Rhymes series. Big mistake! LOL! Last night I completed Mary Had A Little Lamb -

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When I first looked at the picture of the pattern, I had great doubts about the colors it called for but once I started stitching, I began to really enjoy this piece :o) I did make one change though. The pattern called for DMC white but to me it was too vibrant so I substituted it with DMC 3865. I have four nursery rhymes left to do but I think they'll be put off until next year. I've already got my next project picked out and kitted! Woohoo!

I want to thank Irene SO much for lending this pattern to me. It will be in the mail next week Irene so keep an eye out :o)

I can't believe we've had frost already :o( Because we're in a low spot, we get frost into June. This was such a short garden season for us this year. Our corn is only waist high with no ears and the tomato and cucumber plants have been killed by the frost and it's only September 8. Sigh! We did manage to get quite a few tiny tim tomatoes but very few of the bigger variety. There was some success with the green beans and cucumbers as well but we're still wondering about the carrots. At least the frost doesn't really touch those right now. The only thing that has done really well would have to be DH's pepper plants :oP

Now we're back to heat and humidity and my body is screaming again :o( Yuck! Fall is SO close! I know it's just around the corner. COME ON FALL! :o)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What Happens At Grandma's Stays At Grandma's

I don't think there is anything more comforting than being with a grandmother and mine is no exception :o) My Gram is exactly what you picture when you think of a grandmother. She's a very independent, strong and proud woman but she's also kind, loving and she has a heart of gold. I consider her my best friend and someone I can turn to when I need help or a shoulder to cry on. It's been that way for as long as I can remember.

Gram has been on her own since 1980. That's the year my grandfather passed away :o( She never remarried. In a selfish way, I'm glad she didn't. Whether she regretted it or not, I doubt I will ever know. Last year I hit the mother load when I learned about a drawer full of my grandfather's old diaries! No one had read them up until that point so I was more than happy to investigate. The diaries go way back but I decided to start with 1970, the year I was conceived :o)

I really wasn't prepared for what I was about to read. Here I was looking into someone's personal life, someone I can just remember. It enabled me to get to know a grandfather that was only in the first nine years of my life. It also enabled me to get to know that man before he had his stroke. I never knew my grandfather had such a sense of humor :o) It also showed me the love he had for my grandmother. I think he was completely smitten from day one ;o)

The passages that were written about me opened my eyes to what my childhood was like. It brought me back to those summers that I stayed with my grandparents at the old house in McKee's Mills. The mornings I would wake up early and crawl into bed with my Gram :o) I can still feel the comfort when I think about those times. Apparently I come by my sense of humor and love for sweets from my grandfather. This is what he wrote on February 7, 1976 - "Up at 9 am and was met by Cathey who wanted a chocolate bar but she was easily settled with numerous requests until after lunch time. When I went looking for a knife to cup up a Mars bar, Cathey quickly informed me she could break the bar in two and a knife was not needed."

I'm now reading his 1978 diary and I'm getting close to the end. I've been putting it off because it's hard to read about someone's life and know they are dying. The signs were early on but whether my grandfather knew what was going on, I don't know because he never wrote anything about it.

This past Saturday, DH and I went to visit Gram and her huge smile was there to great us as always :o) I love her hugs and she even smells like a grandmother, if that's even possible. LOL! We brought her a photo album full of a hundred of my photographs for her to enjoy. Gram doesn't get out very much anymore so it felt good to be able to bring something to share with her. Along with my parents, we took her out to eat and had one gut stuffing meal!

While we were in the city, I dropped by the LNS and was "a tad" bit naughty ;o) I picked up two patterns and one is thanks (NOT!) to a fellow Blogger -

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All in all, it was another good visit with Gram although I always hate leaving :o( At least I know I can always pick up the phone and she'll be there :o)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bunny Mail

Look who popped in by mail last week -

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Karen sent me this little Rose Quartz bunny :o) He "is" little but so adorable! Thanks so much Karen!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Finish Thirty-Three

WOOHOO! My Halloween SAL is complete! Here is Halloween Bunny by Sandi Gore Evans -

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I'm not really sure if that's his official name. The reason Shannon couldn't find the pattern was that it was part of the Leisure Arts A Stitch In Time 1997 Cross Stitch Calendar :o)

I got creative this time and finished him as a cube -

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This is my very first cube and I'm very pleased with the results :o) I do need some practice with my bow making though and I thought I had an instruction sheet on how to make them but I couldn't find it. That would figure! LOL!

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I kind of shot myself in the foot with this design. I knew I wanted to stitch it on black (32 count Lugana at that!) and never even thought of the black spider that is attached to his ear :o( Thankfully there exists spider charms! Whew! It just wouldn't be right to leave him out of the design.

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I love the fabric I picked up for the back of this. Unfortunately it doesn't glow in the dark but that's okay :o)

I'm pretty impressed...there were a few of you who guessed my two favorite things but you were still unsure ;o) Pumpkins "should" have been on the top of your lists! LOL! And of course, BUNNIES are a must as well! When I saw this pattern I just about laughed myself silly and I knew I had to stitch it.

So, I'm doing "a little dance" now that mine is complete. Now to wait for Shannon, Katie and Faith Ann ;o)