Sunday, June 29, 2008

She's...Almost Done!

Okay, so it's pretty much the end of June and Stargazer is not completely finished as I had hoped BUT...I'm soooooo close! I just got done putting the last beads on her dress and backstitching her hands and face -


Here is another detailed picture of the beading that now includes the white beads -


What do you think? Does she look serene enough? My love for her has returned :o) I'm sorry the pictures aren't better but it's been dark and dreary here for the past few days so therefore lighting is just nonexistent :o(

So this is what I took me 10 days to bead her top coat, 15 days for the swags in her dress and 12 days to add in the white beads. Judging by what I have left, I KNOW I can have her completed by the end of July :o) I'd say a good 10 to 12 days is all I need. I wonder if I can hole up somewhere and not come out until she's 100% done. LOL!

I am going to be sad to see her finished but it will be fun to finally start on some other projects that I have been eyeing ;o) With all the practice I've had beading, I will probably, eventually, get back to Giggles (girl) and finish her up. She really is that close to being a completed project as well -


It seems that I had a visitor today! I was putting the clean clothes away when I happened to look out the window that looks out into the pasture area and this is what I saw -


Isn't she gorgeous! Again, I'm sorry the picture isn't better but I was taking the picture 'through' a window, in the pouring rain and she was 'just' a little too far away. I have a sneaky suspicion that she has a little bundle with her as well :o) As you can see, our pasture is VERY high and ready to be hayed. When the deer was there, I saw the grass move just to the right of her and it wasn't the wind. Unfortunately because the grass is so high and it goes down over, I didn't get to see anything when she decided to move on. Maybe another day!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Blog Blahs

I guess it's not only me as I see there are others that are suffering from this as well. I have no idea why because I'm sure there is plenty to write or report about. Maybe that's the problem...there's just too much and it's just overwhelming ;o)

This past week, I got my stitches out of my gums. Dr. B had a bit of a time since the super glue held on so well. There were a few seconds of being uncomfortable but all in all, it was a piece of cake! I really wanted to kiss Dr. B because he did such a fine job and my tooth doesn't ache anymore :o) I do have a scar but nobody will know except me.

Today, I just finished off sending LTD my final request in hopes of changing their minds regarding my claim. I know they won't but at least I will have done my best. I was armed with a part time gradual back to work schedule that my OT and I did up (approved and signed by my doctor), my doctor's note stating part time work only, a document going through all my disabilities and what they limit me to, along with back up references made by my doctor (this was approved and signed by him too) AND a report on MY version of the Functional Abilities Evaluation (a report that was approximately 27 pages long), which was chalk full of discrepancies.

I have also sent off an official letter of complaint against P and her unprofessional behaviour during that meeting back in May where she divulged the reason for my being off work. I'm quite proud of what I wrote and I'm glad that I have reported this issue. It gives me satisfaction and that's a good feeling :o) I also have a backup plan for LTD but that's to remain secret until such time that I can unveil my actions. Heh, heh! Can you tell I've taken the bull by the horns again? ;o)

So let's talk stitchy! I had a wonderful surprise in the mail this week :o) I had to actually see the contents before things even registered with the old brain. LOL! Terri sent me this kit as a thank you -


I'm sorry I did not take an actual picture T but it's dark and dreary here at the moment :o( She sent the most adorable card with it and I'm so thrilled! I didn't expect this at all but I thank you from the bottom of my heart T :o) This one is getting in line to be stitched soon. I also want to add that T donated two of these kits as prizes for the Stitch Pink Blog. If you have never been to this Blog, please bookmark it. It's there for an important cause.

I've had this on the back burner for awhile now and I want to apologize to Anita for this. Back in May, she sent me a lovely package of Valdani threads and the finishing kit to her Emery Collection -


If you have never seen her Blog, go and visit Anita's Little Stitches. Anita is wonderful to deal with and I can't wait to try and make an emery. It will be a first for me but her instructions are very clear and easy to follow :o)

Stargazer's dress is almost done. I've gotten all the beads in on the ruffles of her dress so now it's just the white beads on the front of her dress that remain and I'm about 1/4 of the way through. I hate to say it but that love/hate relationship has started with her :o( Up until now, I was just loving her but I'm getting to the end of my rope with all these beads! Beads, beads, beads! I'm curious to know just how many she has on her but I'm afraid to count them for fear I may go insane ;o) LOL! Keep your eyes peeled because I should have an updated picture soon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back In Black

How was everyone's weekend? I hope it was a good one. DH and I spent the day Saturday catching up on some much needed sleep. It was a pretty unproductive day although Stargazer did get some beads put on her dress :o)

Yesterday, DH and I went on a little adventure :o) Awhile ago, someone told me about a beach here in New Brunswick that has black sand. Not only was it black, but it was 'magnetic' as well! Apparently, this beach is one of a very few in 'the world' so we just had to check it out.

We packed a picnic lunch, left the critter kids at home and then headed towards Saint John. While driving on the new four lane highway, we almost had to come to a complete stop when a momma duck and her two ducklings decided to cross the road. Thankfully they made it across with no problems :o)

From a print out I had on Black Beach, we had its general location but without a GPS unit, we thought we would have to wing it. Little did we know but if you look on a map of New Brunswick, it does show the exact location of Black Beach . Apparently, DH and I were two of the few who had never heard of it. LOL!

It's a good thing there were a few 'small' signs though because the beach was tucked down a l-o-n-g bumpy dirt road. When we got there, we ate our picnic. The fog was really heavy and it was much cooler than when we left home. While we ate, we watched a seal out swimming in the cove :o)

When you visit a beach that has magnetic sand, you should, of course, have a magnet with you. It stands to reason right? Well...that's one thing we forgot :oS After a lot of thinking, I finally realized we did have a magnet with us ~ the breast cancer ribbon that I have stuck on the back of my car! LOL! Unfortunately, it wasn't very strong so we didn't get the effect that I was hoping for. This is what a black sand beach looks like -


Our print out states that "Black Sand in general is formed from the eroding of various deposits of igneous iron-rich minerals, which are generally heavier than normal sand. This weight enables it to remain in place when high-energy waves wash the lighter sand grains out into the surf zone."

"One of the primary minerals of Black Sand is Magnetite, a ferromagnetic mineral that is the most magnetic of all the naturally occurring minerals on Earth."


Before we left, I was able to get some fantastic pictures of some gorgeous Lupines -


Photobucket Photobucket

I also discovered a new, to me, wildflower called the Viper's Bugloss -



Pretty isn't it?

So, the next time we go back there, I'm going to be armed with a huge powerful magnet! Then we'll see what kind of results I get ;o) LOL!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Take Me Away

"There's a place that I go,
But nobody knows.
Where the rivers flow,
And I call it home.

And there's no more lies.
In the darkness, there's light.
And nobody cries.
There's only butterflies." ~ Natasha Bedingfield

Can you imagine, it's the first day of summer. It's hard to believe since I had to turn up the heat the other day because it was SO cold in the house! Shhhhh...don't tell DH ;o) You watch though, now it's going to be hot, humid and dry for the next three months. Yuck.

Despite the blasted mosquitoes, I do love the month of June. There's flowers popping everywhere and colors just fill up the fields and all around houses. This is a special time of year too because that's when the butterflies come out to play :o)

In the past, I've never had great success photographing these wild beauties but this time it was almost like they were posing for the camera. LOL! It seems that they like the flowers we've grown this year. So far, I've only been able to find two kinds; the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail -


And one from the Fritillary subfamily but I'm having difficulty pin pointing which species -


With the Canadian Tiger Swallowtails, it's been neat to look at the pictures and see the differences between individuals. Some have obvious damage to their wings. Others have tails of different lengths. In this picture, you can see that this one has quite a long tail but he/she only has one (left side) -


We also have what's called the Snowberry Clearwing Moth, also referred to as the Hummingbird Moth. DH was lucky enough to get a picture of one about a week ago -


They're about the size of a hummingbird and they feed off of nectar just like hummingbirds and butterflies do. It flies during the day and we were startled the first time we saw one last year. Has anyone else had an encounter with one of these? There are three types so check out this link to see if they are in your area :o)

It's a beautiful thing to watch a butterfly. Not only are they full of exotic colors but they are such a gentle creature. If you've ever had one land on you, you know they have such a light touch. Want butterflies at your house? There are specific plants that will attract them. Plant some, watch these buds of beauty and let them take you away to someplace special :o)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And She's Going D-o-w-n...

Have you ever had one of those days when things just aren't going right? It's not really "One of 'those' days". It's more like a snowball effect. The day starts off simple enough and then one small thing goes wrong. The next thing you know, there's a continuation, with each new screw up getting bigger and bigger until you just have to laugh at the whole thing because it's unbelievable. Today was a 'snowball' day :o)

I had a job interview at 11 am. My first one in about five years. I was getting a little nervous but when I woke up this morning, I was feeling pretty good about it. I had an idea what I was going to wear, I had printed off another copy of my resume and I knew exactly the address and location I was going to. So what could possibly go wrong? LOL!

My shower was uneventful. It wasn't until I started doing my hair that things began to go wrong and it went downhill from there. I ended up dropping the blow dryer on my bare foot. Ouch! To add insult to injury, I decided that I should use my curling iron to make myself look a bit more presentable. What? Stupid idea. The next thing I know, I have a nice burn mark on my forehead :oS Okay, it hurt but it still wasn't too bad.

Next, I went to get dressed. I put on a new pair of dress pants and then the new top that DH had bought me around Christmas time. The overall outfit was grey but the top had some purple in it for a little punch of color. Nice right? Well...I realized that you could see my bra through the back of the top AND it was WAY too big so "the girls" might have made an appearance. Apparently I lost enough weight between then and now for sizing to be a real issue.

I scramble for a new outfit. And take note, I hardly have any clothes since my weight loss. I settle on a nice black blouse with some white stitching in it. Unfortunately it didn't look so hot with the grey pants so I dug out my black pair. Super, I looked like I was headed for a funeral! Maybe I was ;o) I located my shoes only to find that they were covered in a white mould. Ewww! So I run to the sink and pray the cleaner I'm using will not harm the leather.

Just as I'm about to walk out the door, I look down and notice that bare feet between black shoes and black pants does NOT look good. Wonderful! I can't even guess the last time I wore panty hose! Then a light bulb went off in my head and I ran to DH's closet. Awhile back he had bought a HUGE bag of dress socks for 0.25 apiece. Yup, inside I found a black pair :o) Way too big but hey, they worked!

I left in plenty of time and was quite pleased with myself at this point. I had forty minutes. Thirty to get to town and ten to just gather my thoughts. As I drive along the river, there's hardly any traffic and I'm ahead of schedule. Woohoo! I reach the bridge and everything comes to a complete stop! Huh? I look around and see a cop car just up ahead but then I see one on the other side of the bridge. Okay, so they're taking the worst possible time AND place to check over cars in one of their roadblocks.

Turns out I was wrong. As I was sitting there, a truck pulls up beside me. He had just crossed the bridge and rolls down his window so I do the same. Apparently someone is trying to jump OFF the bridge (this is so common here it's almost become a sport). Grrreat! Well, the traffic was moving so I decided to stay with it. At 10:45 I'm about a quarter of the way. At 10:55 I'm still pretty much in the same spot. By this time I'm ready to get out of the car and tell the guy to just JUMP! It was either that or I was going to push him over myself.

Finally, at 11:05 I'm able to turn around as things are not progressing and I've got to do something. I don't have a cell phone and don't wish to have one but they do come in handy in situations like this. I drive to the nearest gas station to use the pay phone. Not working. Oh come on! Luckily the clerk is nice enough to lend me her phone so I can call and explain my situation. I wonder if they've ever heard that as a late excuse before...

I'm told that I can still come and to take the other bridge. I'm sure you can guess by now but everyone that was on this bridge is now going to the other one :oS I get about halfway there when the radio announces that the original bridge is now clear. Figures! I swing the car around and I'm up the hill by 11:30. Hey, only half an hour late for an interview. Not good. At least I left a lasting impression ;o)

Because I was so frazzled, I can't even guess how the interview went. I was thrown completely off my game. It wasn't a disaster by any means but I'll never know if they thought my tardiness was for the real reason. Oh well. I did the best I could. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be and I'm okay with that :o)

***Btw, this post was written with humour in mind. I don't take subject of suicide lightly and unfortunately I don't know the outcome but I'm pretty sure they were able to talk the person down. If I've offended anyone, I apologize.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Third Finish For 2008

Sorry, but it's not Stargazer! Were you holding your breath for a minute? LOL! Last week when I had my dental surgery, I took out a freebie chart I had that only required one color. I figured at this point in time, I needed something simple to work on so Mr. Frog didn't come a knockin' ;o) This is Heart Stitcher by A Mon Ami Pierre -


I just love this little pattern. I stitched mine on 28 count Antique White Lugana with Razzle Dazzle by Needle Necessities. And even with only one color to work with, I did have to frog a couple of times :oS I wanted this one to be a little bigger because I'm debating on how I want to finish it. First off I need to figure out how to get a heart template cut. Has anyone done a heart before? If so, can you provide any tips or tricks? :o)

So now I have two out of my five ornament pieces done for 2008. I'm slowly working my way to my goal ;o) Stargazer will be back on the scene now. Surprisingly the white beads are going rather fast. Hey Katie, with all this beading, I might actually get Giggles completed! LOL!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vampires Of The North

They're lean, they're mean and they go right for your veins. Just when you think you're safe, they'll find you, whether it is in the dark or in the light of day. Sometimes the only indication of their presence is their hum-like squeal but by the time you hear it (and that's IF you can hear it), it's too late! They've found you and your tasty blood >:o^

Sounds like a real horror story doesn't it? Well these vampires do exist and I was a victim of one early this morning >:o( What are they, you ask? In Canada, we refer to them as mosquitoes -


A mosquito is a flying insect, no more than 16mm in length. As soon as the month of June hits, so do they. And they come in droves! Repellent or not, they will still find a way to get to you, even if they have to go up a pant leg. LOL!

So why are these little insects so bad? They bite. They draw your blood. They leave you with itchy spots. They can also carry diseases. Believe it or not, but it's the female mosquito that bites and puts humans and animals in misery. I'm not sure if I should have admitted that or not ;o) That blood is needed to develop and lay her eggs. Smack a fully loaded mosquito and they'll splat like a packet of ketchup :o)

A mosquito will detect its prey by the carbon dioxide that is breathed out. As they get closer, a mosquito can then detect any infrared heat being emitted by the person or animal. Apparently the female mosquito has excellent smell and some humans appeal to her more than others. I KNEW that's why they always go for me! LOL! I always said I smell sweet ;o) There are many repellents out there on the market but their smells only disorient the mosquito, not kill it, and they're only affective 95% of the time.

If you live in an area that is prone to mosquitoes there are ways to fight back! Dragonflies seem to be the best defence system but if you're in short supply on those, try attracting insect eating birds. Citronella plants may help but they will definitely not kill mosquitoes. Last, but not least, remove any stagnant water. Mosquitoes thrive in those places!

So whether you call them mosquitoes, nippers or skeeters, they're still little vampires waiting in the wings for their next victim. Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they're not there ;o)

Friday, June 13, 2008

One Year Older

Yup, one year older. You know, my birthday didn't really bother me this year. Usually I fret over getting older as each year passes but not this time. Maybe it's because it's been a long time since I've felt as good as I do now :o)

As always, I was spoiled by many. Karen bought me a year's subscription to The Gift Of Stitching magazine :o) It's been a long time since there's been a half decent cross stitch magazine come out and this one's even better because it comes by email! LOL!

Faith Ann got really creative this year and put together a dinner in a bag. I'm sorry to say that I never took a picture of everything because DH and I started using it that night! She included such things as honey and soy sauce for an Asian Chicken recipe, Mandarin oranges, crunchy noodles and almonds along with a lip smacking Olde Cape Cod dressing (Toasted Sesame Soy & Ginger Vinaigrette & Marinade) and a bag of maple candies :o) Since I did not get a picture of all of this, I did take this picture in honour of Faith Ann -


On Wednesday a parcel arrived from Jenn! Inside was this adorable Charming Tails mouse figurine called Hats Off To A Cure. It will add nicely to my pink ribbon collection -


Jenn, I will be sending you an email soon!

Yesterday I opened my gift from my in-laws. Inside the package was this cool device called a Chocolatiere Chocolate Jug along with a can of Double Chocolate Truffle hot chocolate mix -


Oh yum! I want it to get cold again so I can try some ;o) LOL!

I wasn't starved for stash this year ;o) Katie sent me a birthday package from Enchanted Fabrics! That included three pieces of 9 x 13 28 count opalescent Lugana in Sea Swirls, Cafe Mocha and Siren's Call, as well as the June Flip-It pattern by Lizzie Kate. Me thinks Katie believes I need a little more bling in my life :o)

Today the mailman arrived with some more stash, this time from Mom and Dad! Inside I found two patterns, Dear Diary Rebecca Small by LHN AND The Shores Of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings!!!! Woohoo! Just an added note, I have to say that My Kaboodle list has to be the best thing EVER invented! Now to save up for the silks ;o) Maybe with the money my Gram sent, I might be able to afford them....


I really want to thank everyone so much for the wonderful gifts, cards, e-cards and comments! You are the BEST!!!! I appreciate each and every one of you :o)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hey Chippy!

A chipmunk I am, I am.
With a big bulging cheek,
no thanks to the dental man.

A chipmunk I am, I am.
A pouch where things can hide,
Perhaps my new stash can?


Hi everyone, I'm back! I thought I would let you know how my dental surgery went. To be perfectly honest, it wasn't that bad! Yes, those words just escaped from my thoughts ;o)

Yesterday morning I was to place two pills under my tongue at 7am. The pharmacist 'assured' me that they would calm me down. By the time we got to the dentist office at 8am, I wasn't any calmer. When 9am rolled around and I still couldn't feel any affects, I really started to get worried :oS

Then the next thing I knew I was in 'the chair'. As soon as Dr. B came in, I immediately told him that I didn't even know what the needle looked like and I didn't want to. I didn't even want a peek of it. My next worry was the blood and I was told everything would be alright.

All I can say is Dr. B is an angel! He was awesome with the needle (I had three with a fourth one right before the surgery) and it didn't feel like he was trying to push in a huge nail instead of a fine wire. After that was over with, it was smooth sailing! The cause of the problem? There was a second root there that was overlooked >:o(

I do have a swollen cheek but really it's not that bad. I can feel where the stitches are. Apparently Dr. B put Super Glue over them. I was a little nervous he was going to glue my cheek to my teeth though ;o) LOL! Now I have to wait two weeks until I can get the stitches out as they won't dissolve by themselves.

So, was it as bad as I thought it would be? Honestly, no. I'm actually quite proud of myself and beyond ecstatic that it's finally over with :o) I can't say that I'm overly thrilled with eating Kraft dinner although Faith Ann came to the rescue tonight with some popsicles. LOL! Thank you for all the well wishes!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Picnic In The Park

What a nice weekend! I didn't know how it was going to shape up going into it but I definitely feel that DH and I made the most of it :o)

On Saturday, we packed up a small picnic and along with my camera, we headed into town. Since DH and I haven't been there in a long time, we decided on Wilmont Park as our destination. The weather was perfect but a certain someone kept complaining that it was "too cold". LOL! Buy hey, he complained about carrying our wicker picnic basket too ;o)

We found a nice spot in the shade, under a tree. I was like a kid in a candy store with all the flowers to photograph! Here are just a few that I took -

Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

Afterwards, we walked a small loop to burn off our lunch. We walked past The Old Government House -


Then we cut through in behind and came back along the walking trail where I found these adorable Forget-Me-Knots -


When we got to the sidewalk, I happened to glance down and saw this in the cement -


The maple leaf must have fallen into the wet cement and made an impression. It was a very cool photo opportunity :o) DH and I had a laugh though because we know people in the vehicles passing by were wondering what the heck I was bending down to take a picture of. LOL!

Before we hit the grocery store, we ventured over to Green Village, a local nursery. DH was looking for a tomato plant but I was in heaven again with all the flowers :o) Pansies are my absolute favourite outdoor flower and there were plenty of those -

Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

They also have a butterfly house! I've been in it before but this time there weren't as many butterflies and my camera was starting to give out :o( Here's one of the better pictures -


On our way out, we decided to treat ourselves to some ice cream :o) No word of a lie, our smalls were like squishing two baseballs one on top of the other. It was a lot of ice cream :oS DH and I are curious how many scoops are in a large. Yikes!

Yesterday, after a relaxing afternoon, we thought it might be fun to take in a movie. We don't go to the movies a lot, for a number of reasons, but there are just some movies that you want to see on the big screen. This time it was Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. And yes, I did have my slushy :o)

I won't ruin the movie for those who have not seen it but I will say that it was a good laugh. Harrison Ford is definitely starting to show his age. I was pleased with some of the surprises BUT I'm still up in the air about what I think about the ending. That's all I'm going to say about that ;o)

Since I'm going to my death tomorrow (yes, a little overdramatic, lol), you might not hear from me for a few days. I do have to go for my dental surgery tomorrow morning :o( All I can say about that is that I hope to goodness that the calming drugs work and work GOOD! Wish me luck, or maybe you should wish the dentist luck ;o)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

She's Sparkling!

I know I've been promising another update on Stargazer for awhile and now I 'finally' have one for you! Last night I finished all the Petite beads in her dress -


Whew! I'm glad to have those done although there are a few more that will go in as stars above her head. Put it this way, at least there aren't that many left ;o) I've been keeping track and it took me ten days to bead her topcoat but it took fifteen days to add in the Petite beads. Here's an updated up close picture for you -


Next on the agenda will be the white beads in her dress. I'm hoping that it won't take me any more than ten days to do them. Once those are done, then her dress will be complete and it will be on to the stars :o)

I'm still aiming for the end of June as a finish date but if not, I suspect it will be pretty close. In a way I want to really get her done so I can move onto something else as the urge to start a new project is just calling but I know as she gets closer to being complete, I will start to slow down and regret that she will be coming to end.

I just want to thank everyone again for leaving comments with encouragement and with such kind words of support :o)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tater Tots

Awhile ago I promised you a picture of my Mr. Potato Head collection so here it is -


I know, I know, it's not much of one. LOL!

It all started with the littlest guy. DH and I were on one of our trips in Maine and I saw him in one of my favourite stores, The Grasshopper Shop. He's a keychain but he's just like a regular Mr. Potato Head. He even has the bum flap ;o)