Friday, March 28, 2008

My Window Into The Past

If you had the opportunity to look through your window, would you? Or would you think, "The past is the past and just let it be."? What if that window provided you with answers that completed some of the puzzle pieces to your life? Would you still turn it down or would your curiosity get the best of you?

About a year ago, I had this opportunity but without really realizing it. One day while talking to my Gram, I stumbled across the fact that my grandfather had kept a journal. When I opened the drawer she kept them in, I gasped when I saw the treasure before me. Inside were dozens of date books and Campfire Notebooks! Do you remember those? :o) My grandfather had kept a daily journal from as far back as when my Dad was a child!


I figured that the best place for me to start was 1970, the year I was conceived :o) I was curious to see what had been written about me when I was growing up. Unfortunately my grandfather died in 1980, so I only had nine years worth of information at my fingertips. It felt very weird at first because I was basically looking into someone's very private thoughts. Even my Gram had never read these journals. I was to be the first.

Through his writing, I got to know my grandfather on a whole different level. The recollections I have of him were after he had his stroke in 1972 so I never really knew the 'original'. The man before the stroke was sweet, loving, humorous and full of the devil ;o) Although some of those same attributes carried over, it's amazing the difference in personality that I witnessed. It's almost like those qualities were muted or toned down. It's incredible the amount of frustration that someone has when your life is changed overnight and I read this in his very own words, although he never really came right out and said it.

I have an even greater respect for my Gram as well. She was completely alone to care for the man she dearly loved and it was A LOT of work. To this day, I have no idea how she did it. Her days were consumed with looking after the needs of my grandfather. But, from what I can tell, their relationship was one of love and we all know what we'd do for a loved one. Throughout his writing, my grandfather talks about my Gram and how pretty or gorgeous she looked. One day I asked Gram if she knew that my grandfather wrote these things and she said no. That's when I found out that she had never read a word of his journals. To this day, the look on her face was priceless when I told her what Grampy wrote about her :o)


Since we lived in another city, there was only so much that was written about me but it was enough to answer a few questions I've always had. It made me feel so warm inside when my grandfather talked about how he loved my big hugs :o) I was always happy to see them. To this day, my Gram is everything to me. I got to relive those vivid and not so vivid moments all over again. The times I spent with them at McKee's Mills (their summer home) are some of my dearest memories. There are days now that I can still remember back and the pictures are so clear in my mind. I can even smell the wild roses that ran along the side of the house :o)

The biggest and most shocking surprise had to do with my grandfather. During the last two to three years of his journals, he started to keep track of certain aspects of his health. If I was a stranger and never knew that he died from prostate cancer, the alarm bells might not have gone off but for me they did and now I'll always wonder "what if". What if he had gotten help right in the beginning, would he have lived longer? I would have gotten to know my grandfather even better while he was alive and my Gram would have had her husband. To this day, she has never remarried. I'll always wonder why he kept this secret to almost the very end. He never really says when he found out his diagnosis but in the last year, it must have been a little too apparent not to have known.

I've let my Gram know that when that day comes, I would like all of Grampy's journals. So far, I seem to be the only one interested in them. One day I plan to read the older ones and who knows what else I'll discover. To me they are a piece of my family history and I am truly blessed to have something like this to go back on. That is part of the reason that I began this Blog in the first place. I keep record of everything I write and who knows, maybe someday it will be important to someone else. My nephews would definitely learn what a sick and twisted mind their aunt has ;o)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fun Fart Facts

I figure it's about time for some Fart Therapy. With all this snow and no signs of spring on the horizon, depression has been coming on pretty easily. So sit back, don't grab that cup of tea or coffee (you may spit it out) and enjoy :o)

Farts seem to smell worse in the shower or bathtub. Why? Because of the higher humidity and temperature, it enhances our sense of smell. Note to self...don't fart in the shower or sauna ;o)

It IS possible to taste farts. I won't even go there...

Farts are colorless. Really? I was thinking they might be a nice shade of indigo blue ;o)

Farts are also known as bean bombers, bottom burps, one-cheek sneaks, misdirected burps, squeakers, windy pops and more. When I was growing up, we always referred to them as poots. LOL!

Termite (those itty bitty bugs) farts are thought to be a major contributor to global warming. Those must be some pretty mighty farts! No wonder people don't want termites in their homes ;o)

And last, but definitely not least, may I present a little fart poetry as a conclusion to this post...

Going Down The Highway

Going down the highway,
Going eighty-four,
Johnny cut a gasser
And it blew me out the door!
The engine, it exploded,
The chassis fell apart,
All because of Johnny's
Supersonic fart!
(from Syracuse, NY, 1968, I'm sorry I don't know the author)

My job is done. If not, I hope you got a little chuckle at least ;o) Happy farting!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

On Thursday, a little birdie told me that it was the first day of spring. Today, a little bunny told me that it was Easter. Since that stupid little birdie was wrong and we are still wading in three feet of snow, am I to believe a birdie dressed up as a bunny?


LOL! I guess I have to since I woke up to my very own egg hunt this morning :o) Yes, the Easter Bunny still comes to my house every year. See what happens when you're really nice to bunnies? ;o)

As you already know, I dearly LOVE bunnies but I just wanted to take a minute to talk about animals and special occasions, especially Easter. Every year many people break down and buy bunnies, ducklings or chicks as gifts for their children. This is a lovely gesture and I'm sure the children are all excited to have such a cuddly creature BUT...that excitement does wear off. The result? Many of those bunnies are sold again, dumped out on a deserted road or sent to the SPCA. I don't even want to go into what can happen to the ducklings or chicks because we all know that they eventually grow up to be ducks and chickens :o(

DH brought a news report from Kelowna, British Columbia to my attention this morning. They are having such a problem with feral rabbits (dumped off Easter bunnies) that they are trying to find a solution to control the 'out of control' population of 5,000. Five THOUSAND! Do you remember that hair commercial where she told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on? Well bunnies are kind of like that. They don't have the saying 'multiplying like rabbits' for nothing. As cute and adorable as bunnies are, they can become a problem BUT only because of human intervention.

So this year remember -


You don't want that poor bunny to get a concussion now do you? ;o)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Replacement

On Tuesday, I finally got to pick up my ceramic Doxie from The Clay Cafe :o) Even though this was my very first time painting ceramics, I'm quite pleased with the results -


It's so hard to tell if you have every inch covered when it's in the matted stage. I do see where I will have to improve my technique but that's okay because this is a learning process and I'm having so much fun with it :o) I hope that I will be able to give this to my Gram this weekend.

Brie, on the other hand, is none too thrilled with the new addition -


She couldn't quite believe her ears when I told her it was her replacement ;o) Btw Karen, I hope this is a good Brie fix for you. LOL!

I have a non-stitchy finish to share with you. Since Becky received the scissor fob that I made for her, I can now post it to my Blog -


I just couldn't resist making this for her when I saw the little silver bees :o) The charm at the end really comes from some bee soap that I was given and it represents part of a honeycomb. Cool huh?

On our trip, I tucked a Mill Hill kit into my purse so I could stitch while DH drove. I'm happy to say that I FINALLY have my first stitchy finish for 2008!!!! WOOHOO! This is My Best Friend -


I'm not exactly sure just how I want to finish him off though. He comes with a pin but states you can only attach the dog bowl or the bone. Well, I want to attach both so it might end up being an ornament. We'll see. Since the kit had beads, it was good practice for me. With Stargazer's beading looming in the near future, I figured it was a good time to sharpen my skills. I even managed to bead while travelling in the car! How's that ;o)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Went To Maine On Vacation And This Is All I Got...

I bet you have been wondering where I've been! I'm sorry for such a long delay but not only did I bring home some goodies from the US but I also brought back with me an awful, annoying cold :o( It never seems to fail...I go and have some much needed fun and then I pay the consequences afterwards. I wish I had a specific target I could fling all this snot at!

DH and I had a great drive down to Freeport. We came across lots of deer, bald eagles, a hawk and even a coyote! We literally went from three feet of snow to only a few inches in less than five hours. When we got to the hotel and opened the car doors, we could have sworn we drove into spring :o) What a change.

We didn't waste any time and hit the shops! A lot had changed since we were there a few years ago. I was able to find a couple of tank tops and an awesome pair of GAP jeans that actually fit and they are so comfortable :o) I bought some body soap at Bath & Body Works and a few jewellery findings at The Beadin' Path. DH and I cleaned up at The Jockey Store where we totally revamped our underwear drawers. LOL! That evening we went to one of our favourite restaurants, The Azure Cafe, and had their signature calamari dish. Oh SO heavenly and just as we remembered. It was WELL worth the five hour drive ;o)

On Saturday morning we hit the road and went down to Portland for The Boatbuilder's Show. It was held at The Portland Company in the downtown area. There were some amazing boats that ranged from nice to stunning craftsmanship. As I gazed at some of these beauties, I could feel myself cringe at the thought of them even touching salt water. Some were truly a piece of art.

The boat that really got my attention was the one in the worst repair there. Her name was Tar Baby but she was magnificent! She was a 50' Alden Schooner and built by C.A. Morse & Son back in 1929 in Thomaston, Maine. She is completely made of wood but her true beauty lies in her interior. I couldn't believe my eyes went DH and I went down. It was like we were taken back in time. The oil lamps were still in place along with a little coal stove surrounded by the original tile. Unfortunately she is in need of great restoration. What an amazing beauty she would be on the ocean once more!

Before heading back to Freeport, we hit a few stores and I picked up some linen at A.C. Moore. Since we arrived back within time, I got DH to take me over to Pheasant Run Needlecrafts. The few times I have been to Freeport she has always been closed and this was quite the coordinated dance to be able to slip in there for even 15 minutes. Apparently she only does this as a side business. I picked up a bit of stash that I wanted and needed but I have to say that I was not impressed with her. Her knowledge seems to be very basic considering what she sells. I know I won't be going out of my way to visit there again. It's a shame really.

DH and I had dinner reservations at The Azure Cafe for the second night and guess what we had? LOL! That's right, calamari :o) Our second meal there in two days and it was still as good as the first. To walk off the banana chocolate cheesecake, we ventured into LL Bean. They're open 24 hours so there was no rush. We picked up a little life jacket for Brie but after getting it home, we're going to have to make a few adjustments. I guess they weren't designed for Doxies ;o)

On Sunday we packed up the car but didn't rush out of Freeport. We took another tour of LL Bean and DH bought me a pink metallic Leatherman with scissors as the main feature. That way they will remain in my purse for those stitching emergencies ;o) As we headed north, we dropped into Jo-Ann Fabrics where I was able to pick up a bulb for my Ott-Lite and it was already 40% off! Woohoo!

I'd say the best deals of the trip happened on the way down when we stopped in at Waterville. They have a Marden's so it was a good spot to get out and stretch our legs. For those of you not familiar with this store, their slogan is "I should have bought it, when I saw it, at Marden's." And they literally mean it! So when I found a pair of 11" Q-Snap elbows for $3.39, an 11" Q-Snap extension kit for $2.34 and Mill Hill 'treasures' for $0.35 each, I knew I had hit the jackpot :o)

All in all it was a great weekend :o) It was a bit more of a distance for one weekend but it was worth it. It was so nice to have DH to myself, although the kids did pop into my mind a few times over the weekend ;o) Now we're going to have to plan our next adventure. Hopefully Bar Harbour is in there somewhere...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

She's Back Again THIS Soon?

That's right! :o) I somehow located my smokin needle again. Whew! I was quite worried there for awhile. It must have been DH or Brie that hid it on me. LOL!

As you can see, or at least I hope you can, the front of her dress is now complete -


Now that just leaves the back ruffles of her dress and then all the cross stitching will be...DONE! The not-so-good part? The beading :oS And there are 'lots' of beads. LOTS! I will persevere though! Just make sure you guys keep on top of me ;o)

I wanted to do a little experiment to see just how much detail I could get from my stitching. Terri has done wonders taking such awesome close ups of her work but this is as good as I could get so far -


Still not close enough though :o(

On Tuesday night I went out with the girls, where we did another craft, at the Clay Cafe. If you've never been to one, they have all kinds of ceramics and each individual piece is priced. You pick the piece you like and paint it. If you're not done in an evening, you can come back again and again at no charge until you finish your piece. Once it's done, they'll fire it for you :o) The first piece I picked was a cute little dog that I painted like Brie -


This is the before it was fired picture. When I pick it up next week it will be all nice and shiny and the colors will be more vibrant. I'm going to give this to my Gram :o) I figure she'll get a kick out of it and she'll have fun showing it off to her friends. Since we (Katie, Faith Ann and I) each have our own little 'girlie' painting sets, this is going to be a regular get together. Now to decide what I'm going to paint next...

I've decided to make a change to one of my Blogs. I had a Wish List Blog but that has now been changed to the Market. Here you will find my wish list, via Kaboodle, will also find some goodies that I have up for sale :o) If you are interested in anything, either email me or leave me a comment with that particular item. Make sure you scroll all the way down the page. For those of you who have not been introduced to Kaboodle, all I can say is that it's 'awesome'! Just sign up, follow the directions and start adding to your wish lists :o) Everything is in one spot and it makes things much easier for friends and family to shop for you.

As far as I know, DH and I are still planning on heading down to Maine tomorrow. The weather forecast keeps changing so I have no idea what we're going to be in for. I know we both just have to get away for a weekend, without the furry kids. My computer will be staying home so I won't be back until Monday. I know I'll have a ton of Blogs to catch up on so please forgive me if I don't make a lot of comments. I hope everyone has a good weekend and see you next week :o)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ah, My Precious

WOOHOO! Today I got stash in the mail :o) It's been such a long time so I'm still ogling everything. This was a small order but hey, anything is better than nothing! DH had bought me The Garden Chair by The Cat's Whiskers and the order arrived from Needlecraft Corner this morning -


The fibers are so gorgeous! The pin for the parasol is just amazing and the pattern book itself is quite the instruction booklet. When you look at it, there really isn't a lot of stitching involved but putting the chair and parasol together is going to be time consuming. Oh well, it's a challenge I'm willing to try ;o)

Since Lizzie Kate came out with another pattern for breast cancer, I got Drema to throw that in the order as well. Yes, bad me. LOL! Peace, Love and a Cure is so pretty. I love the tuck the model is in and if we get down to Maine this weekend, I'll keep my eyes out for some of that fabric so I can make my own. Now that I think about it, this would make a great project to take with me :o)

Over the weekend, DH and I put our bedroom back to rights again. We now have all the new flooring down! Yay! Our bedroom looks so much better and I'll get some pictures up at some point. We also have the new bed that we ordered and it's now in the extra bedroom. I thought I would post a picture for you since the bed was missing when I showed you the renovation pictures -


I still need to get a duvet to fill the duvet cover. I still say this is a huge queen duvet but DH doesn't think so. We'll see once it's filled. The quilt on the end of the bed is one that my mom made me quite a few years ago. It won grand champion at the fall fair that year :o) It was too small for the new bed but I still wanted to display it so I compromised!

Friday, March 07, 2008

She's Popping In Again!

Woohoo! I am SO happy with myself! So far this month, I have stitched on Stargazer every single day :o) She is really coming along nicely and I've done enough to justify another picture of her -


When I pulled out DMC 156, I was a bit concerned but now that I see that color palette together, I really like it. I'm sorry about the wrinkles. That really bothers me but I didn't want to take her out of the Q-Snaps completely. Call me lazy ;o) It looks like we're in for quite a rotten weekend weather wise so I will probably hunker down and stitch the whole weekend. That's fine with me! No complaints here. LOL!

What a gorgeous day out there today! I had the windows down in my car and I was doing all my errands in a T-shirt. Btw, I WAS wearing pants too for those of you who are about to crack some jokes ;o) On the other hand, my mood was not as bright and beautiful. My irritability was extra high today after being slapped in the face (with words) yesterday. Needless to say, I'm a bit angry and hurt. I'd say that's probably what contributed to my road rage today because people were driving me crazy! I was never so happy to get home to some peace, quiet and solitude.

I took advantage of this sunny day to take some pictures outside. I finished up my black and white film in the SLR but when I took it to get processed, they said they couldn't do it because it was a 'professional's film'. Grrrr! So that means I will have to go out of my way next week to get it developed. Thank goodness for digital cameras! I thought I would never say those words. LOL!

Do you remember I said that DH bought me some lilies for the Pink Party? Well, sadly the smell had become too strong for my allergies so they got moved into the garage. It's been just the right temperature for them out there and they are still blossoming! I took them out into the snow today and this is what I was able to capture -


I was also admiring the way the snow was sparkling from the sun. With the ice pellets and freezing rain we had, it had created a nice crust which gives off some unique texture -


And finally -


Any ideas where I might have taken this picture? ;o)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Rascally Wabbit

Easter is right around the corner and there are bunnies in abundance. As you know, I'm a HUGE pumpkin fan but what you may not know is that I'm a HUMUNGOUS bunny fanatic! I-love-bunnies. It's a well known fact :o)

It developed at an early age. In kindergarten, I won an Easter coloring contest at Shopper's Drug Mart and the prize was a blue and white stuffed rabbit. He was so big that when his ears were erect, he was just as tall as I was :o) I had him for a long time. I was quite proud of that prize.

In 1991, I got another rabbit but this time he was of the living and breathing kind. My parents were away for the weekend when I adopted Scooter from the local pet shop. When they arrived home, I introduced them to my 'surprise'. Dad's first reaction was "It doesn't jump on the furniture I hope." No sooner had this sentence left his mouth and Scooter bounced up onto the chair beside me :oS

That was Scooter though. He was a Dwarf rabbit and with that comes attitude. Big attitude! He was house trained so he had the run of a room whenever we were around. Scooter was my baby and as such, he was spoiled. For some reason, he was addicted to Pringles and would always come running whenever you shook a can. I have a picture of him trying to pry off the top of one :o)

Scooter was a high maintenance bunny and I'm glad he found a home with me and not someone else. He had coccidia, something that is quite common in rabbits but it can be deadly. Instead of nice round pellets for poops, he usually suffered from squishy, smelly clumps. This made for one dirty bum so he was used to having a bath on a regular basis :o) Unfortunately, this condition contributed to his death just short of his seventh birthday. That was one of the worst days of my life :o(

A few months later, I was prepared to bring another bunny into my life but there were none to be found. DH suggested checking the SPCA and lo and behold, they had two. Someone had found both of them in a dumpster :o( One was already adopted but I fell in love with the other. I decided that his name had to be special, something that would make me smile every time I said it. Then it hit...Dill Pickles ;o)


Pickles is only half Dwarf but he's still got some of that attitude. He's a very demanding rabbit. When it's time to clean his cage, he will fling a single poop out onto the floor. Yes, just one. I have no idea how he does it. As soon as he sees me in the morning, he runs around his cage until I open the fridge to get his carrot :o) If he's out of food, he'll chew on the bars of his cage until I fill it back up again. You can definitely see who runs the show...


Towards the end of this year, Pickles will turn ten years old. That's getting up there in bunny years. I know he's not going to be around forever and as much as I prepare for that day, I know I won't be when the time comes. But my love for bunnies will live on :o) And every time Easter rolls around, I'll get to revel in bunnies everywhere until they're coming out of my ears. LOL!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

She's Got A Top Coat!

It's hard to believe that February is finally behind us. WOOHOO! We're now onto March, although it has not started out well weather wise. But you know the saying, in like a lion and out like a lamb! Let's just keep our fingers crossed ;o)

Besides the Pink Party, Stargazer has been the other light in my life this past month. Unfortunately, when I look back, I was only able to work on her 15 days out of the 29. So basically, another half month of stitching on her but she does have the top portion of her coat now -


Last night I started on the front bottom part of her dress. It's DMC 156 and it's such a change from the color palette I have been using so far. What I find remarkable about her is that she is SO big! I'm stitching her on 28 count, the same as the model, but she's a fair size. Even Katie and Faith Ann were surprised when they saw her in person :o)

I've pretty much recuperated from the Pink Party. Not only was it taxing for me physically but also mentally. It served its purpose though because it has devised a concrete event that will start a new chapter in my life :o) To put this all into perspective, I made a DVD from all the pictures at the party plus a few more to fill things out and I'm SO pleased with the end result! I only wish I could share it with you all. Now to get my butt in gear and finish writing my article :oS

I want to send out a huge thank you to Harmien for sending me this very special scissor fob in with our pattern swap -


She did such a beautiful job and the little charm is just adorable. It says "Made With Love". I didn't even realize this was a Lizzie Kate design until I read her Blog . Thank you Harmien and I have it hanging right beside me at the computer :o)

As far as my abscess goes, yes it's STILL there. The chunk of cement finally made its way to the surface and I was brave enough to get it out of there ;o) After that, it seemed to have calmed down a bit but it's still oozing puss. Gross, I KNOW! LOL! I'm now off the antibiotics so I'm a little worried what's going to happen next. I've been bathing it in hot salt water every day so I guess I'll just continue until I see the specialist again.

DH and I have decided on a little getaway weekend and we're going to head down to Freeport, Maine :o) There's a boat builders show in Portland on the March 14 weekend that DH wants to see. That's fine with me just as long as I get some shopping time in. I don't see that to be a problem though ;o) I'm hoping that the needlework shop in Freeport will be open this time. I've never been there because last time when we went down, they were in Nashville. If anyone has been there, please leave me a note as to whether it's worth checking out or not. Thanks!