Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flood Watch Alert

Remember in my last post when I said we didn't have to worry about flooding since we were far enough away from the water? Well, I take that back. Thanks to the rain from yesterday and last night, the St. John River has gone up even more and it's expected to peak at 1 am this morning :o(

When I went to the mailbox this afternoon, I noticed that both our ditches (and these are VERY deep ditches) had water in them. There is never any water in these ditches. A few minutes ago, DH and I took the dogs out so we checked again. The water has risen at least another foot and a half! Eeek! So now we have water in front of us and along the side of us. We joked that we were going to get the canoe out but by tomorrow, we might just do that. LOL!

Luckily, we are high enough that the only thing we have to worry about so far is getting water in the basement (the hot water tank is down there) and possibly having problems with our septic field. DH is going to be on flood alert. We spoke to our neighbour across the road and they were expecting the water to reach their main floor by tonight. Yes, the water has really gone up that much :oS

They say that 6.5 meters is considered flood level. Initially we were holding around 7.3 meters but they are expecting the water to rise to 8.6 meters! Yikes! That just falls short of the major flood we had back in 1973 when it was 8.63 meters. I remember my dad going out to help people in town. If this is the case, we won't be able to access the other side of the river unless we take the L-O-N-G way around and with the price of gas, I really don't want to do that. As it stands now, the schools are closed for tomorrow and they are talking about shutting down both bridges.

If you want to read more about this or see some better pictures, check out the CBC website.

I know I have a trip to tell you about and don't worry, I will :o) It's been a crazy week and I'm just getting back on my feet. Bear with me!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Count Down Is On

In approximately twelve hours, the girls and I should be nearing Maine for our girly weekend :o) WOOHOO! We've all got our lists of stores and restaurants that we want to go to. Faith Ann has hooked us up with numerous coupons. I've never felt so organized for a shopping trip before. LOL! Little do the girls know, but I have a little surprise for them ;o)

Well, I don't know what is worse, the high gas prices or the high water levels :oS Gas has topped at $1.229 a litre and it's about ten cents higher in Nova Scotia! The water levels rose again today but they say things are supposed to stabilize. I'm thinking that maybe the gas situation is worse :o(

On my way in town today, I stopped and took a few pictures from just down the road. This 'lake' is normally a field -


The bottom of this road is completely blocked off -


Even though we can see the water from our place right now, we are far enough away that flooding won't be a problem for us. Our road is safe as well. So far, there are approximately four roads that are closed so really, that's pretty good. So as long as nothing drastic happens, like 72 hours of straight rain, hopefully the waters will start to recede.

I'll close for now and say good-bye until next week. I know by the time I get back, I'll be VERY behind with my Blog reading so please bear with me. I may not comment for about a week but believe me, I will be reading all your news :o)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

She's Ready For Some Bling!

What do you think?


Stargazer is completely cross stitched and now the beading will begin! I'm one month ahead of schedule too :o) WOOHOO! The downside is that I think I'll only be able to bead during the daylight hours :o( That might set me back a bit but we'll see how things go. If I can bead in a car then I should be able to bead almost anywhere. LOL! Now DH has to put my stand back together again, after we just put it away, because I'll need both hands to operate that invisible thread.

Flood Watch in our area has officially begun! As I drove into town yesterday, I noticed that the river had risen considerably from when I saw it on the weekend. We go through this every year though but even so, people act like they are never prepared.

In our province, we have a huge main artery that runs right through called the St. John River. It flows down from the north and since the north part of the province usually gets more snow, the river tends to rise and swell at this time of year. It's a big thing to keep watch and the city puts up their 'flood chart' so that you can actually see how much the river rises each day. As of yesterday, it had completely covered the walking trail and benches along its banks.

A few years ago we had a lot of flooding and some poor guy down river had the water going in one window and out the other in his basement :oS People don't seem to learn though. They desperately want water front property and houses keep going up. I can find you LOTS of river front property at a really good price! Be prepared to build a tree house though if you want to avoid flooding ;o) LOL!

I really have to laugh at the stupidity of some people and this is one good example. Oh how I wish I had taken a picture too! We live by the Keswick River and it flows off the St. John River. As the main river rises, so does the one by us. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out! Anyway, just down the road is the bridge that crosses over the Keswick. Right 'before' flooding season, someone put a piece of property up for sale, located right on the banks of the river.

On any good year that land is wet but that year we had a lot of flooding. So much so that the water went over the bridge and access was cut off. All you could see of the real estate sign was the very, VERY top of the post sticking out of the water. ROFL! Talk about your waterfront property! And would you believe they were asking $15,000? I guess you could always moor a houseboat ;o)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Cheese Is Back On My Cracker

At least partially ;o)

It was another hectic week and just a taste of what I'm in for during the month of May I'm sure :o( Sigh.

DH was away again so it was my responsibility to hold down the fort. If I didn't have to, I had no desire to leave the house so that gave me plenty of stitching time on the days that I was home. I will have a progress picture of Stargazer for you soon and I know you'll be very surprised ;o) I also put together the fabric and fibers for my Cirque Des Cercles and Cirque Des Triangles projects and I 'think' that I'm FINALLY happy with the choices. Yes, I do have serious issues with making decisions sometimes. LOL!

On Friday I learned that an old friend of mine passed away :o( It was quite a shocker since I had no idea that she had recently been sick and they only live about a five minute drive away. I guess it goes to show you how busy we get with our own lives that we tend to lose touch with those around us. I know she will be greatly missed, not only by her friends, but by her husband as well.

Spring has finally arrived here and our snow is almost gone :o) The birds are back and we've seen robins, sparrows and even my phoebes. I hope they lay claim to their nest from last year. I guess time will tell. The ducks have been flying back and forth and quacking up a storm, even at 5:30 in the morning. The spring cleaning bug hit and I've been working on cleaning out my car. There is nothing nicer than driving around in a clean car :o) Ahhhhh!

Yesterday, DH and I went into town. Our BBQ is injured and we're hoping it can be fixed. So until then, no hamburgers :o( We stopped at the German bakery and picked up some yummy desserts and I was able to pick up my latest ceramic piece from The Clay Cafe as well -


Isn't he cute! During the painting process, I noticed that my pumpkin had what looked to be a butt crack -


Katie dared me to add the sound effect so I did :o) God only knows what they thought at The Clay Cafe when they saw this. LOL!

DH and I stopped at The Blue Door for lunch and it was delicious! I had the roasted (sweet) potato and maple soup with a roasted chicken and brie panini. My mouth is still watering :oP For the first time, their service was excellent so maybe they have finally learned. Their food is still top of the line though!

FIVE more days until Bangor!!!! WOOHOO! I'm SO excited :o) This trip is desperately needed. It was a bit of a downer missing the stitching retreat this weekend but I know the gals and I are going to have a blast shopping and eating, and shopping and eating, AND shopping and eating. You get the idea ;o)

I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that comes to visit my Blog. I read each and every comment and I respond to them if you have a return email. I can't tell you how much they mean to me. It's like waking up in the morning and having coffee with friends :o)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

N'uff Said

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The right way...dial the drug store and then punch in the RX number of your prescription.

The wrong way...dial the RX number of your prescription and end up calling 911 because your RX number begins with 911 :oS

Yup, true story because I just did it. What's even worse is that the RCMP still had to come here to check on me! Talk about an embarrassment when I had to tell him what I actually did. At least the boys will have something to laugh at back at the precinct ;o)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Liquid Gold

Every year during this time, something magical happens! It hides in the forests throughout the winter, silently waiting. Finally, it's persuaded out with the cool nights and warmer days of the coming spring. This treasure has been around for centuries and once you've been taken over by its sweet, sweet powers, you never go back.

What's this powerful force you ask? Nope, it's not honey. This is liquid gold, better known as maple syrup :o)


There's a legend that is told by the Native Americans about how maple syrup came to be. Late one winter day, Chief Woksis threw his tomahawk into a maple tree. The next day, a liquid (sap) was discovered dripping from the wound made by the tomahawk. The chief's wife used the sap liquid to cook their meat and that's when they discovered its sweet, delicious taste. From then on, the sap was used for various things and eventually it was discovered that if boiled down, it became syrup.

If you live anywhere near maple trees, then you can collect the sap :o) Gathering the sap begins the same way it always has. A 'v' shaped nozzle is hammered into the trunk of the maple tree, creating a tap. When the sap runs, it slowly pours out and drops into a bucket attached just below, to be collected later on. I have to warn you though; it takes A LOT of sap to end up with one bottle of syrup!

Now the method of gathering that sap 'has' changed over the years. People used to have to snowshoe from tree to tree. Their precious cargo was then dumped into a bucket, attached to a sled, and then taken back to the 'sugar shack' :o) This may have been done quite a few times in one day and was quite labour intensive. As the years went by, new methods came about and now some operations have a tubing system, allowing the sap to come to the shack by itself.


Once the sap is collected, it is boiled to evaporate the water and in the end, turned into that sweet liquid gold :o) There are various maple syrup products as well. My grandfather used to buy a block of maple cream on a regular basis when it was in season. Its consistency is like that of fudge and it just melts in your mouth. They also make candies, as shown above. Check out the website for Acadian Maple Products to see what I'm talking about :o)

What can you put maple syrup on? Well...just about anything ;o) Traditionally it's used with pancakes or waffles but it's been known to find its way onto ice cream or into a batch of baked beans. There's a maple butter that can be spread on toast as well...

So the next time you fry up a batch of pancakes, grab a bottle of maple syrup to pour on top and see why it's considered liquid gold :o) Oh, and by the way, Aunt Jemima is NOT maple syrup!!!! LOL!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Unhappy Birthday?

If you are in any way associated with the cross stitching world, you're probably familiar with all the copyright 'discussions' that have been going on over the past several years. In other words, you probably know what is legal and what is illegal when it comes to the use of a pattern. But what if I told you that the song 'Happy Birthday' is copyrighted? Would you believe that?

Well, you should, because it is a FACT! It's officially owned by Time Warner. For those of you who didn't know this, it was news to me too! And for those of you who already knew, all I can say is that I must have been asleep at the time they announced this little tidbit of information ;o)

About a month ago, DH and I were out doing some errands. He always listens to CBC Radio in his car. It's sort of like the PBS channel on television but minus the television. LOL! Anyway, they were interviewing a man about his website, Unhappy Birthday. Basically, this man has made it his mission to get the word out that the 'Happy Birthday' song is copyrighted and if you're singing it in public, you're committing copyright infringement. "So what?" you say? Well he also states that if you do not have a license to sing the song, you should be paying royalty fees to Time Warner.

Okay, so what he's saying is that you can sing the song among friends and family while at home, but it's a major no-no if you do it in public. Mmmmmm... Let's just think about this for a minute. The act of singing the song is still being done whether it is at home or in public. What's the difference? How many of you have taken your children to McDonald's or Chucky Cheese for their birthday parties and have sung the song public? Come on, raise your hands, I promise I won't report you ;o) Knowing this information, will you, as a parent, cease to sing 'Happy Birthday' to your child in public for fear of being reprimanded? I highly doubt it. I know I wouldn't.

I realize why copyright laws are put into place but really, this has become absurd! It's not like the people who are singing it out in public are out there making a buck on this song or claiming that they wrote it. The song is traditional! Do they have a copyright in place for all those Christmas carols we sing each year? Someone wrote them. What will be the next thing?

Unhappy Birthday to you,
Unhappy Birthday to you,
Unhappy Birthday dear little Bobby,
Unhappy Birthday to you.

Not as catchy as the original and I'm sure there will be a lot of crying children because of this. Oh-oh! Maybe I'm not even supposed to use the same melody. I know I may get flamed for this post but I am curious to know what people think. Will it bother you now that you know you've committed copyright infringement or will you just continue on as you did before? This might be interesting ;o)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Doe, A Deer

A dead deer :o(

Whenever I'm out driving, I'm always on the lookout for animals. I love spotting deer grazing in the fields or bald eagles flying way up high in the sky :o) I think it's a privilege to see such beauty in nature and it's something that many of us take for granted.

But whenever I'm out driving, I'm also on the lookout for dead animals :o( Why? Well, it's not what you might think. About four years ago, I was driving to work when I spotted a dead animal (or what I thought was dead) in the other lane of the highway. When I looked in my rear view mirror, I was shocked to see that ball of fur was moving!

I was running late for work but I knew that I couldn't just leave a poor animal in the middle of the highway, only to be hit again. I turned the car around and as I came up to the animal, I noticed that it was a small dog. Not really thinking, I carried it to the side of the road. This was a section of road that only had a few houses but I had no idea where to start searching for the owner.

I finally decided to drop the dog off at the veterinary clinic on my way to work. I scooped little Fido up and placed him/her in my car. What a sweet little dog it was too :o) When I brought the dog in, I told them what I had found. I felt really guilty because I was in a rush and I figured they thought "I" was the one that hit the dog. I left my name and phone number and said I would call later on to see how the dog was doing.

Apparently the dog had a broken/fractured pelvis (I think this is right but my memory may be wrong) but no other wounds. Luckily, the owner located her dog when little Fido didn't return home. That night, she called me and thanked me for looking after her dog. I told her that I would hope someone would do the same for me.

So, last night as I was returning home from one of our "paint get-togethers", I noticed something in the ditch and it looked an awful lot like a deer...just sitting there. I thought it was too odd for a deer to be doing that so I turned the car around and went to investigate. I pulled over on the opposite side of the road and sure enough, it was a deer...a very pretty doe.

As I walked over to her, she tried to get up but her back end was failing her. And then I knew...someone had hit her with a car and had just left her there to suffer :o( I didn't dare leave her while I went and found a phone so I moved the car over to the other side of the road and put my headlights right on her. I was torn about what I should do. Thankfully, someone 'finally' stopped. They had a cell phone and called for help.

I got about five feet away from the doe but she wouldn't allow anyone closer than that. I kept talking to her when she'd get upset because she'd try to stand but her broken leg(s) wouldn't allow her to :o( It was just gut wrenching watching this. I sat down so she didn't feel so threatened and after about 15 minutes, she stopped panting. What a beautiful animal she was. Her face was so delicate with huge dark eyes. I knew what was going to happen to her and in a way, I think she knew too.

The ranger arrived about 20 minutes later. He explained what he had to do and gave us a chance to leave if we wanted to. We both left. I had to. I didn't want to be witness to an animal being killed, no matter what her fate would have been. By the time I got home, I was shaking from head to toe.

You often hear people berate animals for some of their so called strange behaviour when in reality, that behaviour is quite normal. They are only adapting to 'our' world. We're the ones that invaded their space and made it smaller. We're the ones that are forcing them to change their habitats. As much as they say that humans are an intelligent race, I have to disagree. We have made many mistakes along the way and we are continuing to do so. Will we ever learn? Maybe, but I bet by then it will be too late.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Urchin Art

Today I donated some of my photography to help a good cause. The Mental Health Association is holding a benefit dinner and silent auction towards the end of this month and out of the blue, I inquired about contributing to it. At the time I had no idea what I was going to do but I'm thrilled with the end result -


This is my Sea Urchin Art that I have developed over the years :o) If you're not familiar with this little creature, they are from the ocean and live in a rounded shell covered in tiny spines. When they die, or have been eaten by birds, the inside of the shell becomes hollow and the spines fall off. The end product, if you're lucky to find one that is still intact, is a beautiful green and white shell with different textures to it. Urchins come in a variety of sizes as well, so they are perfect to be creative with.

It was a bit difficult finding photos that would fit into the 4 x 4 inch openings of the mat. It's so rare to find mats like this though, so I grabbed it when I came across it. I printed the photos in black and white, so along with the black frame and off white mat, I think it gives off a striking look.

I almost feel a sense of pride to see my photography go out into the world. I'm really curious to see how much money it will generate and I hope to be able to find this out after the event :o) I also have an empty feeling. I find it very hard to let go of something that I have created. I think I'm worse than a mother hen who likes all her chicks in a row. LOL! There is also a feeling of satisfaction to finally know a part of me that I never knew before. Now if I could just find the rest of me...

Friday, April 04, 2008

She's Showing More Progress

Stargazer figured it was about time that I showed another picture of her :o) It doesn't feel like I have made that much progress since the last time I posted but really the blue part at the back of her dress is approximately a half month's worth of work -


Maybe it's just because this section seems to be going slower for some reason. I don't know. I do know that I am quite proud of myself because in the month of March, I stitched on her for 23 out of the 31 days :o) Much better than the previous two months. My goal is to get all the stitching done by the end of May and then the beading will start in June. I really hope this will give me enough time before the fair in September.

Yesterday I decided, somewhat at the last minute, to drive to Moncton to visit my Gram. Since my cold, bad weather and numerous appointments kept throwing my trip off, I figured I had better do it while there was the opportunity (sorry I didn't call Lori-Ann!). Gram loved her Mini Brie :o) It was so nice to sit there and chat with her for the afternoon and she really made me feel better just being there with her. I just wish it wasn't such a rushed visit but I will get back there again soon.

The drive to and from was horrible! The wind was SO strong that my poor car was all over the road. Do you know how hard it is to keep a car on the road and try to eat your DQ supper at the same time? ;o) I even have a whole gravel pit in the car thanks to that awful wind. LOL! I saw numerous deer (my estimate would be around 50) and one lone coyote. Now that is the second one I have seen during the daylight hours this year. Remind me and I'll share my coyote story with you in another post sometime soon ;o)

While in Moncton, I stopped at the LNS Because You Count. Hey, you can't go to a city with a stitching store and NOT go! LOL! I behaved myself though and just picked up a few little goodies -


The fabrics are for planned projects. I got my fifth out of eight Dear Diary patterns by LHN and a Bent Creek pattern, The Weathered Garden that was on for half price. I also spotted the new Threadworx and thought the color was too gorgeous to resist ;o)

Over the past week, I've also found some gorgeous ribbons and a new breast cancer fabric that I will use to make a pillow tuck for Peace Love & A Cure by LK -


I am happy to announce that for once the 'little guy' has prevailed!!!! As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am faced with dental surgery that is going to cost us $730. When I got home last night, DH told me to listen to a phone message. It was from my dentist's office. I was informed that I had to drop by to sign a letter and that they were reimbursing me the $389.55 that I had paid for my root canal! I couldn't believe it! DH may be a nice quiet guy but he sure knows how to get his point across >:oP It looks like I'm going to be looking for another dentist though...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

One Of 'Those' Days

You know the one I'm talking about. It's a day where you want to run screaming while tearing out chunks of your hair, where you're driving down Main Street and you just want to run over everyone in your path, where you just want to keep driving instead of going home or where you just stand there, looking up at the sky with a feeling of defeat, shrugging your shoulders and saying "I give up." Yea, you've had one of 'those' days before and you can relate can't you? Lately it feels like mine has been extending over a period of two weeks instead of one day :o(

The real clincher happened yesterday and seeing that it was April Fool's Day, I was hoping against all hope that it was just that, an April Fool's joke. Nope, it was real :o( Remember that abscess that I have been dealing with? Well yesterday was my follow up appointment with the specialist. Since I saw him the last time, that tiny piece of cement came out but the abscess has remained, although 'much' better than it had been. An hour before my appointment I topped up on Amoxicillin for my heart and I was ready to go.

When I got in the chair, the nerves started, although they weren't too bad considering I had already met Dr. B and liked him very much. Once he took a look at the abscess, and knew I was medicated, he decided to insert a tube/wire/thread thing through the hole of the abscess and then take an x-ray. All I can say is I'm glad it was done this time and not the time before because they definitely would have had to peel me off the ceiling! That was not a pleasant experience.

It was definitely a shocker to see the x-ray because that tube/wire/thread thing went all the way up past the end of the root canal! Do I have you squirming in your seat? LOL! The verdict? I was down to three choices now. One, surgery. Two, another root canal. Three, take out the tooth. Those are great choices aren't they? Three was definitely out and two would have been my first choice BUT he couldn't guarantee that he would be able to get deep enough to clean out the infected area. So, realistically, option one was his favourite but not mine. I was shaking so bad in the chair that he even commented on it. Remember, I HATE the dentist.

That should have been the LEAST of my worries. Before I left, I got them to print off the first two options and the cost that we would be looking at. Are you sitting down? The surgery alone is $1372. Gulp! Luckily, and I say this loosely, we are partially covered so we would only have to come up with $730 of that. Did I mention that LTD was on my ass again? Did I also mention that I also owe $1100 in income tax this year? And that amount is actually 'lower' than the original thanks to Faith Ann. I could just hug her for telling me about a new exception :o)

So now I find myself not only scared to DEATH over what would be a simple surgery for some but I also have a HUGE anger welling up inside that I shouldn't even have to be in this situation in the first place. If my dentist had done her job and done it properly, it should have ended there. And to think that I had to 'insist' on being referred to Dr. B makes me even angrier because she felt that there was no need for this referral. In other words, she wasn't taking my issue seriously. So, I'm not only majorly stressed but I also have to come up with even MORE money to fix a problem that was 'supposedly' already fixed.

I'm sorry for such a lengthy and whiny post. Normally I try to avoid such a thing but it was good to get this all out in writing rather than popping my top. Do I feel better now? Not really but at least there is a little steam escaping from my ears ;o)