Monday, December 28, 2009

The Aftermath

It's hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone. We have all this anticipation pent up for the big day and when it arrives, the day is over...just like that. But I have to say, even though we were not surrounded by family this year, DH and I still had a lovely day :o)

We were up around 7 am. Quite impressive for me considering that my feet don't hit the bedroom floor before 9 am. Deep, deep down, I'm still a kid at heart. LOL! I was stunned to find some extra boxes under the tree though. I thought DH and I had agreed to stockings only >:o( Now don't get me wrong! Surprises are always nice ;o)


It seems that I was a good girl this year because I got two pairs of new pyjamas, the new Harry Potter Bluray DVD, a gorgeous Bombay jewellery box (DH has told me for the past 15 years that he was going to make me one...), the new Matt Dusk CD, fuzzy socks, a Bamboo tablet for my computer, pink ribbon items (USB drive, scissors, pen and Sharpies) plus my favourite -


Duncan had a ball opening his two new rawhide bones that he got from Santa :o) Then he felt the need to help us unwrap our gifts. In the end, we had torn paper everywhere. This is the result of all his work -


LOL! He was one tired puppy. Of course it took a lot of effort trying to 'hide' his new bones. You see, Duncan doesn't like to chew his bones; he loves to bury them, wait until they're nice and soft and then dig them up again so that he can eat them. DH and I haven't let him take these bones out so he's been going around the house, 'trying' to hide them. Duncan doesn't like to exert too much energy so he just places the bones 'beside' the couch or china cabinet and figures we can't see them ;o)

DH made a wonderful Christmas meal! We had a stuffed Butterball turkey (10-12 pounds) and we only paid $13.00 for it. Super deal! He roasted up some potatoes, butternut squash and turnip and made cranberry sauce from scratch. Delicious :o) What a guy and he's something else that I'm truly blessed about.

I've been reading some Blogs and I see that others have had a wonderful Christmas as well and I'm glad to hear that :o) So what is everyone up to on New Year's Eve? DH and I have been invited to a friend's house to play their new Wii. I've discovered that I'm a pretty good bowler and an excellent marksman so I'm ready to kick some butt ;o)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tis The Day!

I hope this post finds everyone sitting back and enjoying their labours of opening gifts and/or cooking the Christmas feast :o) Embrace the day with the people you love.

I want to wish all my family, friends and readers a very...


And before I go, I want to share with you a picture from the past -


Yes, this is a VERY young Pumpkin on Christmas day. One of my favourite pictures, brown shag carpet and all :o)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thirteenth Finish For 2009

And it's completely finished finished to boot! This is 2004 Snowman Ornament by Mount Forest FrameWorks -


Of course I had to change the date to 2009. No brainer there ;o) And I used 32 count Santa Suit by R&R Reproductions instead of the recommended 28 count so the flakes are a little more crowded than they're supposed to be.


I wasn't really happy with this one at first but now I really like him. He came with the hanger so it was a pretty quick finish once he was stitched up. Those are the projects I like ;o)


Will he be my last finish for 2009? I'm not sure. I've got two more small projects kitted up and I've already started one. I guess you'll just have to wait and see...

Yesterday and today I did a quick clean through of the house while listening to Christmas music. Yes, I was singing along but you don't want to hear me sing. Even DH will back me up on that one ;o) Some of the songs brought back some great memories though. I love Snoopy's Christmas (Snoopy vs. The Red Baron).


What are some of your favourites?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Truly Blessed

During the holiday season, I always take the time to reflect on the past year. When I see all the changes that DH and I have been through and think of all the people that have been there for us, I realize just how truly blessed we really are :o) Family, friends AND neighbours.

Yesterday we finally got some snow that looks like it will stay for some time. DH went out this morning and shovelled the walkways and driveway. After he left for work, the plow came by and filled the end of the driveway with snow. Hours later I looked out and it was gone and there was a little package on our front step. Our neighbour had done it for us and left their Christmas card plus a handmade toy for Duncan :o) They're an older couple but so sweet and generous. I had to deliver their Christmas card so I wrapped up a freshly baked lemon bread to go with it :oP

Last week a package arrived in the mail from my wonderful friend Judy. I knew she was sending me a pattern by Mirabilia but she was sneaky and included quite a few other goodies as well -


I didn't even make it out of the parking lot before everything was unwrapped. I was so excited and oh so bad ;o) Do you see the adorable Doxie hand towels? And I LOVE my snowmen socks! Perfect for Christmas day. Thank you so much Judy, you are TOO generous! Keep an eye on your mailbox...

It seems that my Secret Santa has returned again for a second year. I thought it was a onetime occurrence so I was pleasantly surprised when an email from Mary Kathryn arrived letting me know that I have a $25 gift certificate from her store :o) WHO is this phantom???? I'm completely perplexed. Mary Kathryn won't give up this person's identity! So all I can do is publicly thank my Secret Santa. I don't know who you are but you've made this Pumpkin one happy stitcher :o) I wish I could thank you personally, I really do, so because I can't I will wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!

I'm also very blessed to have such amazing Blogger Buddies :o) Each and every comment you write leaves me with a smile on my face. I love visiting your Blogs as well and when I read about your stories of generosity, whether it be your own or someone else's, it reminds me that there are still some good people left in this world and that gives me hope.

There may be times when DH and I get off track and wish we had this toy or that vacation, this new car or that expansive wardrobe. But it doesn't take us long to correct and remind ourselves that we don't need material things to be happy and that we are lucky to have what we have. We are truly blessed and we are very thankful for that :o)

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

Christmas :o)

Last Sunday, DH and I went out to a tree farm and chopped down our tree. This is always quite an event in our household and this year did not disappoint! I thought we were well on our way when we found our tree shortly after we got there. We should have known it was too good to be true because once the guy started tying the tree up, he said he couldn't sell us that tree. Huh? He said he wasn't happy with the amount of needles coming off of it. we went in search of another tree. Since we only had one spot to put the tree, we were limited in the size we could bring home. Needless to say, I'm sure the guy got a good laugh watching us :o)

After a few hours of decision making, this is the one we brought home with us -


I'm pretty happy with it but DH says it's still too big. I love a big tree though and he should count himself lucky that I didn't pick a larger one ;o)

There are a number of things that a wife and husband should NEVER do together and one of them is putting up the Christmas tree. It's always been an ordeal for us but for some reason, it went without a hitch this year! Even the lights (once we bought the 'right' ones) went on in a timely manner. LOL! Here's our tree all lit up -


I love sitting on the sofa and just looking at the lights. That's one of my favourite things to do at this time of year :o)

The rest of the house is decorated as well. Since it's been two years that I've had my decorations out, I was surprised at the amount of snowman ornaments that I have! I love my snowmen though because they can be left out a little longer :o) Here's a few of them on the dining room hutch -


I also picked up these neat snowflakes that I have hanging from the dining room lights -


For about a month now, I've been in search of a small artificial tree for our front entry way. We have SO many ornaments and I have enough horse ornaments that I could fill a single tree. But alas, no luck but I was quite pleased with myself when I brought out this little gold tree and got to hang some of my favourite horse ornaments on it -


This was my 10 pm inspiration one night ;o) Not too bad if I say so myself! This is what it looks like in the entry way -


I got DH to put up my Perfect Snowman piece and we lined the stairs with mini lights. Yes, I still have my pumpkins up from Halloween. LOL! What do you think?


For the small space at the top of the stairs, I bought a stunning poinsettia -


Finally, in the living room, I was able to add a bit more color by bringing out my Christmas Panda afghan -


And this piece by JBW Designs that I completely forgot about -


So there you have it! As simple as it is this year, I like how the house turned out. At least DH doesn't think that Santa threw up in every room but then, that's DH for you ;o) LOL!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

PB And...

"I was momentarily speechless. That wasn't the evening I had planned out in my mind. I was going to stand in a scalding hot shower until I was wrinkly. Then I was going to make myself a peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff sandwich. I like peanut butter and Fluff because it combines the main course with the desert and it doesn't involve pots." ~ From Visions Of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich.

When I think of comfort food, a peanut butter and Fluff sandwich is one thing that immediately comes to mind. I loved eating that as a kid and I still do today :o) For those of you who aren't familiar with Fluff, it's basically a liquefied marshmallow spread. Yum! I'm not sure whoever came up with this combination, but it's almost as brilliant as PB and chocolate.

Yes, who doesn't love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups; the hard chocolate exterior with the creamy peanut butter interior. Drool :oP And have you seen the oversized version of them that they have out now? Oh boy! That's almost a meal in itself but won't hear me complain. LOL!

Normally when you think of peanut butter, Kraft or Skippy usually come to mind. DH and I ate Kraft for years. I hate to tell you this...but it's really not that good for you :o( Since we changed our eating habits years back, we did a major switch on the PB front as well and went to the real thing. No hydrogenated oils and less sugar = better for you. We find that if we have to settle for Kraft in certain situations, it's much too sweet. Funny how your taste buds can change.

If you want to go for the typical classic, that would have to be peanut butter and jam. But PB doesn't deserve just any jam though! If it's PB & J in this house, it's got to be a jar of Mom's homemade raspberry or strawberry freezer jam. DH seems to be stingy with the jam but I load it right on there until it drips down the sides of the bread.

There is a dark side to peanut butter combinations though and I never knew this until I met DH. His quirk? PB and bacon on toast! Bleck! Definitely not a combination I would consider but apparently it is quite popular. Who would have thunk? But since learning of this unusual pairing, I've been introduced to other not-so-appealing combinations... How about PB and olives? Ewwww! PB and pickles? Yuck! PB and hot dogs? Hurl!

So what's your deep dark peanut butter favourite? Are you a traditional PB and honey person or are you a PB and onion freak? Share your special combinations. Come on, don't be shy ;o)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Twelfth Finish For 2009

She's done! DONE, DONE, DONE! FINI! Here is My Lady's Quaker by Jardin Prive -


I'm a dancing machine :o) WOOHOO! Rock it baby! Cha-cha-cha...


I just LOVE her. I'm so happy with this finish and I can't wait to pair her up with the Gentleman Quaker. What a handsome couple they will be :o)


Funny thing is, I feel so lost at this moment :o( This is how I usually feel after finishing a project and I don't know why. I know most people are really happy to see the end coming but not me. Yes, I'm a weird duck. LOL!

I really do want to dive into the Gentleman Quaker BUT...I have yet to stitch anything Christmassy and I wouldn't mind doing a few of those things first. Goodness knows I have a list a couple of countries long of projects I want to do.

But then I look at my WIP pile and wonder if I should bring one or two of them out to work on. I mean, we're in the last month of the year so maybe that's what I should concentrate on. Ugh! What to do, what to do...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Hocus Pocus

Do you want to see a trick? Well say "Yes!" because I know deep down you really want to ;o)

Okay, here's 'The Magic Box' -


Looks pretty innocent right? Now watch as The Great Pumpkin waves her magic wand's a snowman -


Isn't he just THE most adorable thing you've ever seen? I love, love, love him :o) This was the snowman I was talking about in my November 27 post. But...when I went back this past Wednesday, they didn't have any and I kicked myself all the way home for not buying him when I had the chance. So when I got in the door, I immediately called their other store and she had three left. Whew! DH even sweet talked the saleslady and got a $2 discount :oP

Yesterday I placed my Snowman In A Box on our front porch and I think that got DH in the Christmas mood because the next thing I knew, he was getting out the lights and then took off to get some boughs. We placed the boughs along the railing going up the stairs and wrapped the lights around them to hold them in place. Then we continued with the lights and wound them around the posts and up along the top of the porch. We added more boughs to cover up the wires along the top and then placed a wreath in the peak of the porch roof. Finally, DH made some pine boughs to hang on the ends of the railings and I supplied the bows :o) We're not completely done so I don't have any pictures yet. I promise I'll post some later on.

Thank you SO much for all the wonderful comments on my Mini Me pumpkin :o) I really appreciate them. Needle-felting isn't really that hard. It's like sculpting but with wool. The only hazard is the 'really' sharp needle.

My Lady's Quaker is online again but you'll have to wait for another progress picture ;o) Thankfully the thread dye lots matched!

Before I end this post, I'm putting up this picture for Irene -


She wanted to see Duncan on (one of) his new beds so there he is. Surprisingly, he was quite happy to have his picture taken. LOL!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Mini Me

When I thought about making a smaller version of myself, I never thought it would turn out like this -


LOL! This was one of the projects I was working on while My Lady's Quaker has been on hiatus. Isn't he/she cute?


This has been my second attempt at needle-felting and I really love it! Of course I wasn't too pleased when DH said it looked like an orange apple >:o( Granted that was before I added the finishing touches...but still. I've got enough orange wool to do two or three more pumpkins but I'm going to put that aside for now.

I've been playing with my Blog background, trying to find something festive for the holiday season. What do you think of this one? I don't know about you, but I find it so frustrating trying to find something that appeals and feels like me. I've been so bummed out since I lost my pumpkin background and I haven't been able to find another one since. They either have Happy Halloween or Happy Fall and I want something for The Patch that I can keep up year round. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?

SQUEAL!!!! I just got back from getting the mail and guess what was waiting for me? My Chimney Dust thread! Anita is a life SA-VOUR! From what I can tell, the dye lots look pretty similar so hopefully once I start stitching again, it will be close enough that you can't tell. Fingers crossed :o)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Run Run Rudolph

Guess who showed up at my house today :o)


This has got to be one of the cutest ornament designs by Ink Circles. If you haven't heard of it yet, it's called Reindeer Games: The Huddle and Rudolph is right there in the middle of things. What's even better are Carrie's Creation hand-dyed silks that come with the pattern. Yummy! The colours are delicious :oP

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! I'm am NOT a Happy Camper at the moment :o( I've gone as far as I can with My Lady's Quaker -


It's going to be agony waiting for more Chimney Dust to arrive. Argh! There are a few more small motifs that I could stitch but I want to wait and determine colours after the grey has been put in.


I could start Gentleman Quaker but I think I'll wait until My Lady's Quaker is completed, plus there are a few other projects I want to get done first. I started one of them today so hopefully I'll have pictures by tomorrow or Thursday :o) I'm quite pleased with the results so far.

Mom and Dad left yesterday :o( I hope to see them before they leave for Florida in January. I think it might be a long winter. Dad did a few electrical jobs around the house and I'm happy to have my new Ott-Lite table stand put together :o) The light is much better for stitching now. Mom brought lots of baking :oD Meat pies, squares, pumpkin pie, mincemeat pie (for DH because I hate the stuff), shortbread cookies and chocolate covered peanut butter balls. Are you drooling? I may have to do some extra walking at this rate...

In case you're wondering why you haven't heard from me, I'm a bit behind on my Blog reading and WAY behind on my emails :oS I hope to catch up in the next few days. As always, I LOVE reading your comments and thanks for taking the time to leave them. They really make my day :o)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Crap, Crap, Crap, Crap, Crap!

Not literally, although the plumbing is working again. LOL! Nope, this is me swearing because I just realizing that I DO NOT have enough Chimney Dust to finish My Lady's Quaker >:o( Argh! How can I have gone through 11 yards of thread???? HOW? When I look at the piece and compare the three colors used, it looks as if the Old Rose and Green Olives have been used more than the Chimney Dust. Is it just me or do you see that as well? Anyway, I have ordered two extras skeins so I will definitely have enough to finish the Gentleman Quaker and not have to worry. Sigh!

Sorry I have been absent but I meant to tell you that my parents have come down for a visit :o) They arrived on Wednesday, staying until Monday and I've been going out straight since they got here. Yesterday we went to the next town over and we did some shopping. I found THE cutest rustic snowman to place outside on our front porch but haven't bought it yet. I think I'll be going back to get him though ;o)

Today we went into Halifax and Dartmouth. I was only able to pick up one Christmas gift but at least that's one more off my list. DH and I bought Duncan another bed from Costco. These dog beds are only $23.99. They're huge, VERY cushy and nicely made. So now he's got one upstairs AND downstairs. Is he spoiled or what? Costco is not one of my favourite places to go because there are so many people but I do love going around to all the food sample stations. LOL!

Mom gave me some very sad and absolutely shocking news from home :o( Some of you in the US may have heard about it already. A friend of mine, Andrew Reid, from High School was shot dead in Texas after an altercation with police. All I know is what I can read through the newspapers so if you want to find out more about the story, you can check it out here. Please don't misunderstand anything I'm going to say because this was a VERY serious situation. I'm not making excuses for what Andrew did but I will state that this was not the guy I knew. Andrew was so laid back and easy going. I just can't get my head wrapped around how and why this happened. My heart goes out to his family. I know they are having a very difficult time understanding this themselves. Unfortunately there will probably remain many unanswered questions.

Monday, November 23, 2009

This Is A Pumpkin House

I've had this little gem for awhile now but DH just put it up over the weekend -


I now have my own pumpkin sign :o) It's designed to be put outside but I don't want it ruined so we've mounted it right inside the door as you come in the house. DH asked if it was time to put my pumpkin light away. What? I-don't-think-so. This is a pumpkin house after all ;o)

What's great about this sign is that you can buy other shapes and therefore you can change them as the seasons or holidays change. I don't have a manufacturer's name but I found a site that carries some of the other shapes so you can check them out. While I was searching, I found this sign. I think it would make a perfect addition ;o)

Today I went to the doctor and got the H1N1 shot. I was really up in the air about it but after thinking back to last Christmas, there was no way I wanted to end up in the hospital again :o( So far the only side effects I've noticed have been a runny nose and sneezing. At least I think they are associated with the shot but maybe they're not. If that's as bad as it gets then I'll be happy.

I've really been motoring along with My Lady's Quaker and I 'think' I may have (just) enough Chimney Dust to get me to the end of this project -


I filled in two different motifs on either side of the bunny and I have stitched my initials in Old Rose instead of Chimney Dust. That way it's even more personalized :o)


I'm so excited because I'm getting closer to being done! Weeeeeeeee!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Tank Is Almost Empty

How's that for a title? LOL! I want to thank everyone for their helpful hints but after two more Ex-Lax pills and a bucket of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), we had movement :o) Feeling more relieved although the problem has not gone away entirely. Don't worry, I don't believe there is anything seriously wrong other than stress and probably the fact that I'm getting up there in age ;o) I'm going to town today so I might look into a few of your suggestions.

For those of you who are new to my Blog, please don't feel that I am being crude; I'm just blessed with a twisted sense of humour ;o) I don't mind putting myself out there and feel free to laugh at these situations because that's what they are, humorous. I tend to go over the edge when I'm stressed out and poop is usually the best subject to bring comical relief. You may see yourself in these situations and feel that you would never talk about them in public. That's okay because you can live them through me! LOL! I have quite a history of embarrassing myself :oP

I'm still plugging away on My Lady's Quaker and here is my latest progress picture -


I'd say this is probably the best picture I've gotten as far as true colors are concerned. It's hard to capture this time of year. I love the richness of them although I am still loathing the threads themselves. Jenna asked where I got them and I bought mine through Anita's Little Stitches. She is wonderful to deal with and her prices are great. You can get an idea of colors through her website or through the Valdani website. Like I said before, the colors are incredible but the threads are horrible! I have found a bit of a solution seems if you determine the correct grain of the thread, you tend to have less fraying and knotting. I know, technically, this should be done with all threads but the only time I've ever done it was for Hardanger. It makes sense though.

Notice something a little different -


On the original pattern, Nathalie had placed a Quaker motif and then she made an alternate chart to incorporate a cat. Since the Gentleman Quaker has a dog and we don't have a cat, I thought a little bunny wabbit would fit just nicely :o) I have to come up with a few small motifs to put on either side of him now. Once that's done, I'm off to the right hand side and then the alphabet on the bottom. Not much more to go!

Looking for some new stash? Check out Erynne's Blogoversary giveaway! Can you imagine $75 of free cross stitch stuff? What could be better :o)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Give Me A P!


Give me an O!


Give me an O!


Give me a P!


What does that spell? Poop! :o) So where is it? I don't know >:o(

That's right; I am c-o-n-s-t-i-p-a-t-e-d. Nice of me to share this with you huh?


Okay, it's been a week. It's driving me insane! A big belly full of poo and it won't come out. I've tried all of the things I can think of. I even went to McDonald's.... Shhhhh! Nope, no go, not even with all that rotten, greasy food in my stomach. Yesterday I finally broke down and told DH I was going to the grocery store to get some laxatives. Since we needed a few other things, I figured at least it wouldn't look so bad. Right? HA!

We arrive home and I start to unload the groceries, desperate to get to my Ex-Lax so I can get the balls of poop rolling. Bag one is empty. I empty bag box of laxatives >:o( The ONE thing I went in town for and the gd cashier didn't even put it in the bag! I was NOT happy. So, at 4:50pm, with only ten minutes to spare, I quickly drive back in to retrieve my salvation.

The cashier is still at her station and I explain with a hushed voice that she forgot to put my Ex-Lax in the bag. "Oh, it's at the Customer Service Desk." No apology, no NOTHING! I get to the Customer Service Desk and guess what? There are THREE employees standing there talking and I have to ask for my box of laxatives. What fun! Sigh! Why me?

It says it takes 6 to 12 hours to take effect. Well, it's been well over 12 and nothing. Nada. Zilch. I guess that means dose number two. That will have to wait until I get back from town though...just in case. I don't want to be too far from home if you know what I mean ;o)