Monday, December 31, 2007

How Do You Measure A Year?

Do you think of it in months or days? Do you go by the seasons or the holidays? Do you use memorable events or do you just conveniently forget?

Luckily, I fall into the forgetting category but not by choice. LOL! As the years go by, I see my memory getting worse and worse. The Fibromyalgia pretty much wiped it out. I think it's a good thing that I Blog now because there are times when I can look back at my writing and go "Oh yeah! I remember now!" ;o)

So that's what I had to do when I needed to look back on the goals that I set last year. LOL! Overall, I don't think that I did too badly. My main goal was to live a better "lifestyle" and lose some weight. Well, I lost weight and I lost two sizes :o) Good for me, not so good for my wardrobe. I am 'trying' to stick to that healthier living but that does waver from time to time. I still can't kick the chocolate and Country Time Lemonade habit ;o)

As far as cross stitch goes, I beat my overall yearend total! That's right :o) Not only did I beat it by one...I beat it by two and then by three for a grand total of 53 projects completed for 2007! I know, you're probably wondering where the pictures are and trust me, they are coming. Now if I look at The 50 Project Challenge that I 'attempted' at the first of last year, most of us know how that went ;o) At least I lasted four months! LOL! I really bombed on sticking to my list as well. There are going to be a few changes for 2008...

This will be my last post for 2007. Hard to believe. Am I happy to see this year come to an end? YES! Am I looking forward to 2008? I'm not sure. I don't even dare to think or guess what 2008 has in store for me. Maybe life will be kind this time around. One can only hope ;o)

So raise your glasses and let's toast to "the end" of 2007!



Saturday, December 29, 2007

Countdown To Christmas Contest Winner... JOANNE (Pull Up A Needle And Stitch)!!!! Congratulations :o) Please email me (my email address is in my profile) your mailing address and you'll be receiving something during the month of January. I'm not going to tell you what it will be though ;o)

Out of the fourteen comments, there were thirteen correct entries. I got DH to pick the lucky number so you have him to blame if you didn't win ;o) There is some issue about the last question to this contest and you'll notice that there were more correct answers than should be. The correct answer that came with the quiz was 364 presents (technically if you count all the gifts for each verse, this is the number you will come up with) 'but' it can be argued the other way so that is why I decided to accept both answers for that question. Scroll down for the answers to the questions :o)

I want to perk things up so I've decided to hold another contest :o) I'm not sure what the prize will be but I promise you'll like it! All you have to do is answer the following five questions correctly and add the answers to your comment. After the 12 Days Of Christmas are over, all correct entries will be put into a hat and a winner will be chosen!

Who narrated the 1966 classic TV special "How The Grinch Stole Christmas?"
a) Burl Ives
b) Charlton Heston
c) Boris Karloff
d) Thurl Ravenscroft

Boris Karloff (c) - Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) originally disputed having Boris Karloff for fear the Grinch would be too scary.

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created as a promotion for what department store?
a) JC Penny
b) Montgomery Ward
c) Macy's
d) Nordstrom

Montgomery Ward (b) - They hired Robert May to write a Christmas Story that would be given away to shoppers. His brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, liked the story so much he wrote a song that was later recorded by Gene Autry.

In the 1965 TV special "A Charlie Brown Christmas", who builds a grey snowman?
a) Charlie Brown
b) Linus
c) Pigpen
d) Snoopy

Pigpen (c) - The ever filthy Pigpen couldn't keep his snow clean and built a grey snowman.

What year was Santa's wife introduced to the world?
a) 1889
b) 1902
c) 1929
d) 1935

1889 (a) - Mrs. Claus was introduced in the book Goody Santa Claus On A Sleigh Ride by Katherine Lee Bates.

How many gifts would you receive if you received all the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days Of Christmas?"
a) 144 presents
b) 78 presents
c) 364 presents
d) 235 presents

364 (c) - You do the math!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Finish FIFTY!!!!

YAY! Photobucket Actually I hit fifty early last week but I couldn't post a picture because it was a gift and I had just sent it to its' new home :o) I have confirmation it has been received though so now I can post pictures for you! I made this cute mitten ornament for my pal Shannon for Christmas -



This pattern comes out of the October 1991 issue of Leisure Arts The Magazine. I just customized the colors to my liking and to what ribbon I had on hand. They are so fun to make and if you recall, I made them last year but they were green :o)

My Creative Mojo is starting to come back! Woohoo! My mind feels lighter. Everyday objects are sparking new ideas in my head. I can look around and see potential in my surroundings that have been passing me by. I feel that I can start to breathe :o)

Yesterday was just beautiful here with mild temperatures and a gorgeous blue sky. I think Brie would have disagreed with me on this though. Our poor 'little angel' was suffering from CH (Christmas hangover) ;o) It serves her right though because we don't think she had a proper sleep for a few nights beforehand. Mix in the 'tons' of treats that she got from her grand-parents and great grandmother and we had a disaster :o( The minute she came to my side of the bed I knew what was going to happen. I yelled to DH and he got her outside for her first barfing session. Ewwww! Needless to say, she went back to bed for the rest of the day. LOL!

Around lunchtime, DH and I went for a walk down to the bar road. The tide has been very high here the last few days and we found a lot of stuff washed up on the beach. I'm not sure if you remember or not but back in September I had promised some pictures of sea urchins and I see that I never got around to it. Ooops! All will be made up in this post ;o)

For those of you not familiar with what green sea urchins are...let me explain :o) Their shell is green, globular in shape and covered with dark green spines. When you turn them over, there is a center hole that is the mouth and it contains five hard teeth, almost like a beak. When the sea urchin dies, the spines fall off and you end up with a very pretty shell. If you can find a shell that is not broken, it's like finding gold :o)

A few years ago, I started using them in my pictures. These are some of the shots that I got yesterday -



I especially like my Sea Urchin Snowmen -



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Aftermath

Whew! We made it through Christmas :o) LOL! It's the same thing every year. There's always wrapping paper flying everywhere, grumpy faces caught on film, people stuffed ten times more than the poor turkey and traveling with lots of parcels, only to return home with just as many. You'd think we'd have gotten used to it by now ;o)

This is one Christmas that will hold wonderful memories for me though. I had my dad home for the holiday, DH and I got to spend Christmas at the ocean, gifts were not a priority this year and we got creative and decorated what we call our "environmentally friendly tree" :o) Remember, I told you we had NO ornaments. We were left with a bag of white mini lights and a tree skirt. That's it. So what did we do? Drum roll please...


Ta-da! What do you think???? DH cut the tree from the property and we spent Christmas Eve decorating. I originally came up with the paper snowflake idea but it didn't seem to be enough. DH collected some mussel shells and drilled holes into them so we could slip a ribbon through in order to hang them. Finally, we had the dilemma of the tree topper...

We had talked about making a star out of twigs but then DH went out for a bit and when he returned, this is what he brought me -


I think she's the most adorable angel I have ever seen! Her body and wings are birch bark, she has moss for hair and her halo is made from a birch twig. This tree, by far, is definitely one of my favourites from over the years.

Yesterday DH and I packed up Duncan and Brie and headed to my parents for the day. Brie had had three gifts under her belt already but she was ready for more! It didn't take her long to show her cousin Brandi (once removed) how to unwrap a gift ;o) Mom put on a spectacular dinner with all the fixings. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it's to take small amounts of everything. That way you get to taste all the good stuff and you have nothing to regret afterwards. LOL!

So Christmas is done for another year. As of right now there are 365 days until next Christmas. Okay, how many of you just groaned? ;o)

By the way, remember to enter my contest! I'll be drawing and posting the name of the winner later this week :o)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Well, we made it! Yesterday morning we quickly packed up and headed to the ocean for some much needed rest and relaxation. I wasn't joking when I said we were taking two cars :o) DH was in one car with the three dogs and I took the other and had Pickles as my co-pilot. It seems that Pickles and I have the same taste in music because we both rocked to Billy Idol and Fergie. LOL! The other car did not fare as well it seems. DH was gasping for fresh air when we landed. Apparently there was a lot of bad breath and flatulence in his entourage :oS

Last night we were finally settled in, watching The Muppets Christmas Carol, when Dad called to let us know that he was home :o) The doctor discharged him at 5 pm. Nothing like leaving it until the last minute! It's a good thing that Mom hadn't gone home yet. I should have asked if it was the doctor or the nurses that threw, er...I mean let, him out. I'd say he's worn out his welcome anyway because he knows the hospital menu off by heart ;o)

When I woke up this morning, DH had the lights on the tree. His dad had tagged a few trees on the property and although this one is not our usual Clark Griswold monstrosity, it looks very elegant :o) DH and I will be decorating it today. We have no ornaments so we'll have to get a bit crafty. Maybe if you're lucky, I'll post a picture of it in the next few days.

I hope everyone is going to keep an eye out for Santa and his reindeer tonight! The culprits might look something like this -

If you really want to track him, check out NORAD. It's almost like a GPS for the Big Guy ;o)

So before you go to bed, remember to put out some milk and cookies for Santa and some carrots for his reindeer. Have sweet dreams for tomorrow is Christmas :o)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Energizer Bunny

Dad is now electronically hooked up ;o) He went in this afternoon and the pacemaker was put in with no incidents. DH and I arrived just as he was coming out of surgery. Once he was settled in his room, we had a nice visit. Dad's spirits were up and he looks so much better than he did yesterday. The pacemaker is definitely working though because his heart rate didn't go below 60 while we were there.

Before we left, I told Dad that he got his Christmas present already and it even included batteries ;o) LOL! He got a good laugh. I'm beginning to wonder now if Dad is trying to compete with me to see who can have the largest medical file. I'm sure we'll need a storage unit between the two of us in the not too distant future.

Now that I know that Dad is doing well, DH and I will be leaving tomorrow morning for the ocean. Don't worry, I'll be bringing my computer with me :o) I'm hoping that with all the relaxation, my creative juices will start flowing again and I'll be working some more on my photography project.

I want to thank everyone for all the kind words and thoughts that you have left for me. Obviously they must have worked :o) You are the best!

Just to let you know, I have officially reached 51 projects for 2007!!!! The bad news is I can't show you the pictures of these two finishes because they're gifts and they haven't reached their destination yet. I have put aside two ornaments to stitch while I'm away so I'll post those pictures when they're done. There, I've just left you in suspense ;o)

Friday, December 21, 2007

All I Want For Christmas

Just when I think that my physical and mental state are strengthening, something new comes up and that improvement just deteriorates before my eyes :o( This year has been SO stressful and SO mentally exhausting that I have really been looking forward to the end of 2007. This year has not been a kind one. With only a few weeks left, I was hoping there wasn't much left that could go wrong.

I went to bed last night with a smile on my face because I knew that today we were packing up for an eleven day vacation of rest and relaxation. When I woke up this morning, not even ten minutes went by, and that all went out the window :o( My mother phoned to let me know that my dad was being transferred to the hospital in town. Apparently he woke up last night feeling very dizzy and when it continued on this morning, they went to the ER where his own doctor was able to see him.

It's official, because I just got back from the hospital, that Dad is going to receive a pacemaker tomorrow. The reason he was dizzy was because his heart rate was going below 42 beats per minute. You heard me right. I even saw it dip into the 30's while we were there :o( Not good. Just the other day I was remembering when Dad had his three stints put in two years ago. Another very stressful time.

DH, Mom and I spent the afternoon with Dad in the ER. The specialist never got in to see him until around 3:30 pm and he had been there since about 10 am. Dad is tired, dizzy and hungry but in good spirits since he was playing with his breathing (holding it and then breathing really really fast) and then watching how it was showing up on his monitor ;o) I told him that he didn't have to go to such drastic extremes in order for me to use up the free parking pass that I have at the hospital. LOL!

If everything goes well, he will be able to go home on Monday. I really hope so. Right now that's all I want for Christmas. I just want my dad better and home so we can celebrate the holiday all together. I'm sorry for letting this all out but please send good thoughts this way. I would truly appreciate it :o)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Feast Fit For A...Dog?

I have no idea who came up with this brilliant idea but I wish they would have done it sooner ;o) About a month ago, I was looking through the grocery store flyer and came across this new item -


It's a Christmas dinner for dogs! I kid you not. LOL! It contains two servings of Extra Meaty Turkey And Dressing Dinner With Cranberries and Apple Crumble Dessert :o) The puppies are going to eat well this year!

Right now we're puppy sitting cousin Buddy -


My in-laws have officially left for New Jersey and Florida. Sigh! At this rate I'm going to die an old woman and be the only person out there that has never been to Disney World. On the positive side, DH and I get to have their house at the ocean for a whole ELEVEN days!!!! This, I am DEFINITELY looking forward to :o)

I've been busy putting things together and getting us packed up. We've finally decided that "no one gets left behind" so even Pickles will be going on the road trip :o) It's going to be quite the entourage with two cars, three dogs and a rabbit. I just hope the little guy travels okay. He is an old man you know.

Brie has already been geared up for Christmas. How this dog knows, I have NO idea! I've been telling her that Santa doesn't give presents to bad puppies. I just hope we don't have a repeat performance of last year's 4:30 am wakeup call on Christmas morning ;o)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Finish Forty-Nine

This should have been up last week but I only finished it last night. I lost a few days of stitching and that's usually a pretty rare thing. Of course it didn't help that I slept from 2 pm on Friday to 8:30 am on Saturday! Yes, I was tired ;o) Anyway, here is Christmas Motif Sampler II by JBW Designs -

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I stitched it on 32 count antique white Lugana with CC - Spinach. You might notice a slight difference at the bottom of the tree :o) I took out the reindeer on the right hand side and replaced it with a mirror image of the bunny from the far left side. The reason I did this was because I already had a gorgeous green suede mat that I had picked up at Michael's last year and it was a wee bit too narrow for the width of this design. No problem because a few tweaks took care of that -

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All I need to do now if find a standard 8 x 10 frame! That makes finishing easy. Yay!

So...I am down to the final piece and I have a few to choose from but I'm not sure which it's going to be. I guess you'll just have to wait and see ;o)

I'm sorry for the quality of the photos lately but the light inside/outside has not been very good. We are all waiting for a huge storm to hit us this afternoon. They say our area is supposed to get 15-25 cm of snow :oS A white Christmas it will be!

Last night DH and I went to a birthday/early Christmas party. My in-laws, SIL/BIL/nephew and another sister with her fiance were there. My BIL had bought a Wii this past summer so we had a roaring good time trying our hands at bowling. I think by the end I was starting to get the hang of it. What a workout though! Now DH is determined to get one at some point ;o)

We had KFC for supper and since it was my MIL's birthday, it was her choice :o) The girls made a delicious birthday cake and it was topped off with candy cane ice cream. Yum!

Our entertainment for the evening, besides the Wii, was my little nephew :o) I just can't get over this child. He's very smart and what a little cutie too. I wish I had taken my camera. He was walking around in his jeans and white t-shirt, hiking up his pants and just being one of "the boys". I think he's one of the rare children that don't scare me because I find myself quite comfortable with him. Don't ask me to change a diaper though ;o) LOL!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Finish Forty-Eight

This is "The Never Ending" ornament that I have been working on -

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I won this last year from Stitches N Things :o) It's called Santa With Heart and he was designed by Trail Creek Farm. He came as a kit and it included the pillow ornament, buttons, charm and fabric so he is now officially finished finished -

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As I sometimes tend to do, I made some changes :o) It started out with me making a mistake with the two greens. I had mixed up their symbols, therefore switching the light and dark, so I ended up substituting CC - Desert Mesquite for CC - Poblano Pepper and CC - Poblano Pepper for CC - Frozen Margarita. That's okay though because Frozen Margarita is pretty much a lime green and Katie knows my feelings on this color ;o) I also left out the backstitching for his mouth and eyebrows. It doesn't show it on the model but the lines are on the chart. I also (gee, I didn't realize I made these many changes!) substituted SSS - Organic Strawberry for CC - Ripple for Santa's face color. There is one mistake, not my own, that I came across. The symbols for CC -Cupid and CC - Black Coffee are mixed up so just take note if you have this kit. If you're on the ball, you'll figure it out that Santa's suit is supposed to be red and not black anyway ;o)

I call this one "The Never Ending" ornament because every time I turned around, I felt that progress was not being made. I know I haven't had as much time for stitching so maybe that's why. I have to say that it was not the most enjoyable experience putting him together either. I learned, too late in the game, that a liner is a good idea :oS Attaching the buttons was frustrating but maybe there is a simpler method? I'm happy to have him finished though so I can at least enjoy him a bit this month :o)

Stay tuned for finish forty-nine :o) It's already been started and it's going faster than I thought it would. Maybe it's just making up for Santa With Heart. LOL!

Look at what landed at my door this morning -

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YUM! Christmas baking! My mom's Christmas baking :o) I want it noted here that I am the sole possessor of this bounty and I am not responsible for any actions that have or will have been taken on my part. If there's nothing left by the time DH gets back, then you know the old saying...he's missed the boat ;o)

Monday, December 10, 2007


Boy, did I ever get a nice surprise when I landed home today! When I opened the mailbox, there was a box waiting inside and it was addressed to me :o) Upon further inspection, it was from a relative of mine from the USA. I consider her an aunt although that's not how we're related.

She has a love for cross stitch as well but sadly her eyesight does not let her do it anymore. Over the past year, she has been sending me things as she comes across them. This time the box was FULL of little jars!

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They're made by Framecraft in the UK. Most of them are ceramic (I think) but there is a cute wooden one as well. As you'll notice, there is a tray in the picture. I got that from her this past summer but never got around to taking a picture. I'm so excited because with all these new items, it will give me different ways to finish my stitching. I think I'm going to have to practice my one over one for the tiniest ones though ;o)

Thank you SO much J!

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Holy smokes! Does this mean that my beat up old body is actually worth something????

Maybe I should consider lopping off some body parts ;o)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What Do You Think About When...'re in the shower? Odd question, I know, but I got your attention didn't I ;o)

Lately, thanks to Faith Ann, I've been thinking about pumpkin pie. LOL! Why, you may ask? Well, on Friday night she gave me some Pumpkin Pie Paradise Three In One body soap from Bath & Body Works -

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Absolutely heavenly! It smells SO delicious! Anyway, I was having my shower last night and I'm using my new soap when I yell out this thought that just occurred to me "I smell like a pumpkin pie!" The reply from DH, "I know, I can smell you all the way out here!" I guess he should be thankful that it was a good smell then ;o)

But seriously, do you think in the shower or is it just a routine for you? Some of my best ideas have come while I take my shower. It's my time alone, with no distractions, and I'm in no rush to be anywhere. I can let my mind go crazy! Sometimes it's a photograph I want to take, or a story that I want to write. Other times, I find myself remembering something that I had been trying to come up with just days before :oP

For someone who hates water, I do enjoy my showers :o) Someday I would LOVE to have a walk-in shower all made of stone tiles. Sigh! I drool over custom bathrooms in magazines. If it's large enough to stretch out in, then it's a shower! Radiant heat in the bathroom floor is a must as well as double sinks ;o)

There is nothing worse than a shower that is TOO small. When we go to retreat, I dread the tiny showers. You end up plastered on the opposite wall from the shower head, trying to wash your hair and God help you if you drop your shampoo! ;o) LOL!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

And We Have...


And lots of it :o(

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This is the top of the BBQ so that gives you some idea of how much snow we've had since yesterday afternoon -

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ACK! Winter has 'officially' arrived and I guess I can stop laughing at Ontario ;o) I think this is going to prove to be a very interesting four months.

If you're bored, snowed in, or want to experience snow, why not make your own snowflake! Try it :o)

Need a Snow Day?

I just want to thank everyone again for coming in and reading my Blog :o) I truly enjoy going over each and every one of the comments left by you. I've met a lot of wonderful people by Blogging and I hope to meet many more. I have enjoyed visiting your Blogs as well and I love seeing the diversity of tastes because it makes each of you unique :o)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Finish Forty-Seven

On Saturday night I finished putting this cutie together :o) This is Remember Your Mittens by San Man Originals -

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Again, I did some changes to the backstitching. I replaced all the colors, except the nose, with just regular DMC 310. I thought that since the snowmen in the fabric were outlined in black, it would make the pattern pop out more and I'm happy with the results. I changed the color of the orange nose from DMC 3340 to DMC 3853 as well.

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His little tuck came with the pattern and it's got a wire hanger. For now I have him hanging off my Ott-Lite along with another special something :o)

I SURVIVED!!!! Okay, I'm going to 'publicly' admit that the root canal wasn't-that-bad ;o) Apart from being up most of the night, downing Tylenol 3s and muscle relaxants, it was pretty much like having a filling done. Easy peasy! My gum is a bit tender but I came through it in one piece and I conquered another one of my fears. Now if I could just get rid of this awful sore throat, I'd be laughing ;o)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Christmas Season Has Begun

And what better way to celebrate it than with friends and family :o)

Friday night I was 'officially' invited to Faith Ann's, along with Katie, for a girls' night :o) I arrived with Flat Shannon, all dressed in her latest Christmas sweater -

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We were just in awe with all the lovely Christmas decorations. Flat Shannon couldn't help herself and decided to add her touch to the decor -

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I have to say that Faith Ann does not scrimp on details ;o) Katie and I walked into the kitchen and this is what awaited us at the table -

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We even had a menu that outlined the food for the evening!

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And there was food, and LOTS of good food at that ;o) We started with the Warmed Pesto-Artichoke Dip. This truly is delicious! I wish I had known what was coming next because I never would have pigged out on it. LOL!

For dinner we had Chicken Lasagne with Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread (topped with Pesto-Sundried Tomato Seasoning). This was the point where I cursed the fact that I didn't wear my fat pants ;o) To burn off some of those calories, Faith Ann gave us the grand tour of her beautiful home.

Our last stop was her craft room and I stood transfixed as I drooled over her Ice Angel and Angel of Winter (both by L&L). Her pile, and I mean pile, of finished pieces was extremely impressive but I nearly died when I saw her drawer full of hand dyed fabrics! I even asked the girls if they would leave the room for a minute. LOL! It really is neat to look at someone else's stash and it's a great way to get an idea of what these hand dyed fabrics actually look like in person. Again, if I had only worn my fat pants...

Back to the kitchen were we finished things up with dessert ~ Tuxedo Truffle Cake. OMG! If you are wondering why I don't have a picture it's because it got eaten too fast ;o) What a way to end a perfect meal.

After dinner, the party got into full swing! Flat Shannon, and the rest of us, couldn't get enough of the fabulous strawberry drink -

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There was no alcohol, honest! Things got really festive with some Christmas music -

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DH and DS arrived home from the hockey game and I have to say that DS is a-do-ra-ble! I have so much respect for the way that Faith Ann and Katie have raised their sons :o) We finally settled down to our new traditional Christmas movie ~ The Holiday :o) Mmmm-mmm! What better way to end a perfect evening than with eye candy. LOL! Unfortunately I had to finally pack up at 11 pm for my early start the next day. I want to thank Faith Ann for such a wonderful, relaxing and entertaining evening and for no longer making me a Gingher virgin ;o)

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Yesterday DH and I headed to Moncton with my parents to pick up my Gram :o) It was a rough morning. The day was supposed to be sunny but we were surprised with snow squalls as we left the city and a snowstorm as we got closer to Moncton. I seriously think The Weather Channel is just using the dart board system for their weather 'predictions'.

We had a bit of time to do some shopping so I was allowed eleven minutes at the LNS, Because You Count, where I picked up some linen banding and Katie's pooping bird. DH and I went to Mark's Work Warehouse and purchased two new outfits for his new job. He's going to look so handsome :o) After a lunch at Subway (thanks Mom and Dad!) we hit Michael's where I was able to find some ribbon that I needed.

Gram was our last stop and she was all packed and ready to go :o) The 'boys' took Gram's car and us gals rode in the other car. My partying from the night before finally caught up with me and I was zonked by the time we got home. Now a sore throat has settled in and the abscess on my tooth is really bothering me. Believe it or not but I'm actually grateful that my root canal is tomorrow! You may have to listen to my pitiful cries in my next post though ;o) LOL!