Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We've been snowed on! Not a lot by most places winter standards, but a lot for us. Driving is bad, walking is worse and it's cold! LOL But looking out my front window at, and across the harbour, it's gorgeous.

Shakespeare again - and not the most cheerful of poems.

Come Away, Come Away, Death

Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid.
Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O! prepare it.
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O! where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there.

from Twelth Night

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What a lovely Christmas it's been. Christmas eve I went with Denise and had supper with her and her sister's family and it was a wonderful evening. They are all incredible cooks, so the meal was scrumptious and the company excellent. She has a greatniece and nephew who are 9 and 7 respectively and they were SO excited about Santa coming. Grandpa found the website that tracks Santa's movements and that notched everything up a little more.

Christmas Day was quiet and I got spoiled by my friends, including a box of homemade goodies - apple sauce, squash soup, green tomato mincemeat, peach freezer jam and mincemeat tarts made with the green tomato mincemeat plus a section of fruitcake (not the kind that makes for bad Christmas jokes - the moist, rich, fruity kind that you can't wait to eat!). Heavenly! And Denise is so careful - she uses only the bare minimum of sugar when she makes things for me so I get to have treats and they never send my blood sugars through the roof. It's very special. And then I got invited back to her sister's home for a 'leftovers' supper. I'm not sure which is better - turkey dinner the day it's cooked or the next day.

Today I'll be going to my craft partner's home for supper which is a tradition of about 20 years. Cynthia is another terrific cook so I always look forward to this. And then we spend the evening crafting. It doesn't get any better.

Shakespeare again.

Come unto These Yellow Sands

Come unto these yellow sands,
And then take hands:
Court'sied when you have, and kissed,
The wild waves whist,--
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet sprites, the burden bear.
Hark, hark!
Bow, wow,
The watch-dogs bark:
Bow, wow.
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer
Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow!

from The Tempest

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tell Me Where Is Fancy Bred - William Shakespeare

Tell me, where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
Reply, reply.
It is engend'red in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
Let us all ring fancy's knell.
I'll begin it - Ding, dong, bell.

Ding, dong, bell.

(from The Merchant of Venice)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Very nice day yesterday. About 2 Denise and I went out to the Wildlife Refuge ( to visit with Nancy and Gunther. We took them some Christmas goodies and Denise included some treats for the animals as well. Stayed for tea and a good chat. They have less than 100 animals at the moment so they are not as busy as they have been.

Then Michelle and Brian took me out for supper. It's become a Christmas tradition - we go out for a really good meal and we talk about everything EXCEPT Sisters. And last night's meal was one of the best ever - not a flaw in the food and we all left very full and content.

And it was a gorgeous night as well - crisp and clear with a huge moon. I guess there's a full moon for the solstice tomorrow. And apparently there is going to be a lunar eclipse tonight - or more correctly at 2 a.m, However, since I'm opening Sisters at 6 a.m. I will be sleeping through it.

Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes in the Air by Thomas Campion

Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air;
Thrice sit thou mute in this enchanted chair;
Then thrice three times tie up this true love's knot,
And murmur soft: "She will, or she will not."

Go burn these poisonous weeds in yon blue fire,
These screech-owl's feathers and this prickling briar,
This cypress gathered at a dead man's grave,
That all thy fears and cares an end may have.

Then come, you fairies, dance with me a round;
Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound.
In vain are all the charms I can devise;
She hath an art to break them with her eyes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Well, I'm feeling human again and a good thing too. It's only a week until Christmas and I have things to do! LOL

Got my last parcel in the mail yesterday. Thank goodness it's only going to Victoria, so it will arrive in time. Got the last of my local gifts wrapped as well, so that's taken care of. I've got to get some decorating done though. A couple of craft trees and a few cards is not going to cut it

Was at my Breast Cancer Support lunch today and we had a new member. She was only diagnosed in November so she still has her surgery and treatment ahead of her. As we were breaking up she said she felt much better after hearing our stories and knowing she wasn't alone and someone else really understood what she was going through. That made all of us feel better too because that is a huge part of what we're there for. We had a gift exchange and I got a small box of Ferrero Rocher and a small candle and holder. I'm delighted - I love candles and chocolate!!

The Anniversary by John Donne

All kings, and all their favorites,
All glory of honors, beauties, wits.
The sun itself, which makes times, as they pass,
Is elder by a year, now, than it was
When thou and I first one another saw:
All other things, to their destruction draw,
Only our love hath no decay;
This, no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday;
Running, it never runs from us away,
But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.

Two graves must hide thine and my corse,
If one might, death were no divorce;
Alas, as well as other princes, we
(Who prince enough in one another be)
Must leave at last in death, these eyes, and ears,
Oft fed with true oaths, and with sweet salt tears;
But souls where nothing dwells but love
(All other thoughts being inmates) then shall prove
This, or a love increased there above,
When bodies to their graves, souls from their graves remove.

And then we shall be thoroughly blest,
But we no more, than all the rest;
Here upon earth, we are kings, and none but we
Can be such kings, nor of such subjects be;
Who is so safe as we? where none can do
Treason to us, except one of us two.
True and false fears let us refrain,
Let us love nobly, and live, and add again
Years and years unto years, till we attain
To write threescore: this is the second of our reign.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm rather under the weather today and will be missing a Christmas lunch. Not happy about that - some of these people this is the only time I see them. But what can you do? I am a firm believer that germs do not need to be shared! LOL

Ben Jonson from his play Volpone.

Come, My Celia, Let Us Prove

Come, my Celia, let us prove
While we may the sports of love;
Time will not be ours forever,
He at length our good will sever.
Spend not then his gifts in vain.
Suns that set may rise again,
But if once we lost this light,
'Tis with us perpetual night.
Why should we defer our joys?
Fame and rumor are but toys.
Cannot we delude the eyes
Of a few poor household spies?
Or his easier ears beguile,
So removed by our wile?
'Tis no sin love's fruit to steal,
But the sweet theft to reveal:
To be taken, to be seen
These have crimes accounted been.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's been a quiet couple of days. It was craft night last night so I got a bit more stitching done on mouse pad #4 and Cynthia showed me how to make Christmas trees by simply folding magazines pages. It was a lot of fun - and would be a great way to introduce kids to crafting.

Thomas Carew

To My Inconstant Mistress

When thou, poor Excommunicate
From all the joys of Love, shall see
The full reward and glorious fate
Which my strong faith shall purchase me,
Then curse thine own inconstancy!

A fairer hand than thine shall cure
That heart which thy false oaths did wound;
And to my soul a soul more pure
Than thine shall by Love's hand be bound,
And both with equal glory crown'd.

Then shalt thou weep, entreat, complain
To Love, as I did once to thee;
When all thy tears shall be as vain
As mine were then: for thou shalt be
Damn'd for thy false apostasy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Well, I got my first Christmas card yesterday and I was thrilled. It was from a friend that I had lost touch with and hadn't heard from for many years. How she tracked down my address I'm not sure, but it was so fantastic to read her letter and get caught up with her and her family. Made my whole day.

Edward Taylor


Make me, O Lord, Thy spinning wheel complete.
Thy Holy Word my distaff make for me.
Make mine affections Thy swift flyers neat
And make my soul Thy holy spool to be.
My conversation make to be Thy reel
And reel the yarn thereon spun of Thy wheel.

Make me Thy loom then, knit therein this twine:
And make Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, wind quills:
Then weave the web Thyself, the yarn is fine.
Thine ordinances make my fulling mills.
Then dye the same in heavenly colors choice,
All pinked with varnished flowers of paradise.

Then clothe therewith mine understanding will,
Affections, judgment, conscience, memory,
My words, and actions, that their shine may fill
My ways with glory and Thee glorify.
Then mine apparel shall display before Ye
That I am clothed in holy robes for glory.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Well, survived the dental appointment yesterday. Even though it was just a cleaning, AND I know it's all necessary, I don't enjoy it. I have an exceptionally strong gag reflex and having anything in my mouth is very uncomfortable.

It was weigh day today and I'm down 2 pounds for a total of 36. Not as much as I wanted, but interesting to see what happens when all you do is watch portion sizes. Now I need to work on adding (and sticking to!!) exercise and being more careful about WHAT I eat. Baby steps.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Well, I've finished one more of my mouse pad inserts - SpringTeddy.

I have one more "seasonal" pattern to do, then another not connected pattern and I can parcel them up and get them on their way.

In my last blog I mentioned Sara, the little girl I sponsor in El Salvadore. I scanned her picture this morning -

It's not the best picture, but it's the latest one I have. She is 5, will be 6 in February and Ive been sponsoring her since she was 3. I was connected to her through Compassion Canada ( as I like the way they work best of all the organizations out there.

Have an appointment with the vet this afternoon for Snowy - I think he has an eye infection poor baby, the skin around the eye is all pink and there is an excess of fluid. Snowy does not like his carry cage, so there is always a lot of drama when he has to be taken anywhere.

And my dentist just called - my appointment has been moved up to tomorrow afternoon from the 9th. It's just a cleaning, thank goodness, so we might as well get it over with.

Jonathan Swift's

A Description of the Morning

Now hardly here and there an hackney coach
Appearing, showed the ruddy morn's approach.
Now Betty from her master's bed had flown,
And softly stole to discompose her own;
The slipshod 'prentice from his master's door
Had pared the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor.
Now Moll had whirled her mop with dextrous airs,
Prepared to scrub the entry and the stairs.
The youth with broomy stumps began to trace
The kennel's edge, where wheels had worn the place.
The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drowned in shriller notes of chimney sweep:
Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet;
And brickdust Moll had screamed through half the street.
The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees:
The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,
And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Well, it's been a sort of "finish up" weekend. Yesterday I got the storeroom packed away and resorted and all of a sudden I have this big open space and you can actually move in there. The cats are thrilled - new places to explore and jump on.

Also yesterday, Michelle and I went for our end of month lunch. She's the owner of Sisters where I work and the last Saturday of every month we go for lunch and talk about the next month's schedule, ideas for increasing business and just what's happening in our lives in general. It's a relaxing time and we try all the different restaurants. Yesterday was Dolly's Fish Market ( which is a favourite. They do the best chowders - actually the whole menu is delicious. I indulged in the Seafood Pasta - penne with halibut, large shrimp and scallops. Yum!

This morning I worked on Sisters books and got everything up-to-date. They are not complicated, but I do need to be able to concentrate, which some days means shutting the cats OUT.

And I spent some time writing to Sara, a little girl I sponsor in El Salvadore. I've been remiss in my letter writing and I thought I better get back to it before she thinks I've forgotten her! It's really a fun thing to do once you work out what to talk about with a not quite 6 year old who lives in a place you've never seen. And I love getting her letters back - she always sends me a drawing.

Samuel Johnson again.

A Short Song of Congratulation

Long-expected one and twenty
Ling'ring year at last has flown,
Pomp and pleasure, pride and plenty,
Great Sir John are all your own.

Loosened from the minor's tether;
Free to mortgage or to sell,
Wild as wind and light as feather
Bid the slaves of thrift farewell.

Call the Bettys, Kates and Jennys
Every name that laughs at care,
Lavish of your grandsire's guineas,
Show the spirit of an heir.

All that prey on vice and folly
Joy to see their quarry fly:
Here the gamester light and jolly,
There the lender grave and sly.

Wealth, Sir John, was made to wander,
Let it wander as it will;
See the jockey, see the pander,
Bid them come, and take their fill.

When the bonny blade carouses,
Pockets full, and spirits high,
What are acres? what are houses?
Only dirt, or wet or dry.

If the guardian or the mother
Tell the woes of wilful waste,
Scorn their counsel and their pother,
You can hang or drown at last.

Obviously S.J. was not expecting good things from this young man, whoever he was.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wild Animal Visit

Well, it did snow! Not a huge amount, but enough to get everyone nervous about driving. It is gorgeous to look at though, especially when you're inside a warm house, knowing you don't have to go out! LOL

A lovely buck - not a young one if I "read" his antlers right - came to have a nap on the front lawn and for some reason the cats just ignored him. Normally they would be hissing and spitting - after all, it's THEIR property. But they just stared at each other through the window, then everyone went back to sleep. The dachshunds upstairs were not so calm, but the deer just ignored their yapping.

Garry finished his drywalling yesterday, so now I can repack and reorganize my store room. I think it will be a weekend project as it's supposed to warm up some. Right now it's just a little too chilly in there.

This is by Samuel Johnson and just a note - "officious" at the time this poem was written meant "kind".

On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet, a Practiser in Physic

Condemned to Hope's elusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts and slow decline
Our social comforts drop away.

Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend;
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affections eye,
Obscurely wise and coarsely kind;
Nor, lettered Arrogance, deny
They praise to merit unrefined.

When fainting nature called for aid,
And hovering death prepared the blow,
His vigorous remedy displayed
The power of art without the show.

In Misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish poured his groan,
And lonely want retired to die.

No summons mocked by chill delay,
No petty gain disdained by pride;
The modest wants of every day
The toil of every day supplied.

His virtues walked their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure the Eternal Master found
The single talent well employed.

The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His fame was firm--his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 22

Well, I'm backing stitching merrily again - my thumb no longer aches and I have to get these mouse pads finished. I have another section ready for back stitching and then, hopefully only one more day of good stitching time and #3 will be done.

It is VERY cold here - for us. Compared to those who get temperatures in the minus 30 and lower, we have it mild. But, because of the humidity, I swear it feels colder than it really is and some days you just never really feel warm. It's supposed to snow tonight and I'm hoping not - we are not good snow drivers! LOL

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Interesting Day

It was my cancer support group lunch today and as usual, a good time was had. We caught up on our members who are still battling or battling again, as well as those who now have family members fighting the disease. There never seems to be an end to it. We planned our December lunch and what we want to do at least for the first part of 2011. There is so much laughter and support!

After lunch I went and checked out our annual craft fair. There were about 80 tables this year, everything from knitting, quilting, carving, jewelry, baking and preserves, soaps, etc. Everything has to be handmade or you aren't allowed to have a table. I wandered around for a couple of hours, admiring and buying. It is the best place to find unique and unusual gifts and this year is no exception.

As well, in our performing arts centre, there was a display of stocking stuffer ideas, mostly from home based businesses and the Lutheran Church was having its Christmas Tea, so there was lots to keep me on the go. Great weather for it as well - cold, but no snow and the sun was out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brrrrrr . . . . .

Well, we had our first below zero night and it was so hard to crawl out of my nice warm bed at 0430 this morning. And if I needed more proof of how chilly it was, the cats refused to move, even though it was breakfast time and usually they are right at my heels, complaining. The nicest part of the morning was my friend's car that I have use of at the moment - it has a remote start, so when I got in, it was warm and defrosted and perfectly lovely. Too bad Sisters isn't - it's always cool in here because of the people who are exercising, but when you're sitting at the desk doing paperwork and the computer . . . . well, let's just say I'm still wearing my coat!

My landlord is going to try again this weekend to do the drywall in my store room so I can get things out of my entryway. Poor Garry - he's been putting in killer hours at his job the last few weeks.

The Poplar Field by William Cowper

The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade
And the whispering sound of their cool colonnade,
The winds play no longer, and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.

Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view
Of my favourite field and the bank where they grew,
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me shade.

The blackbird has fled to another retreat
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat,
And the scene where his melody charmed me before,
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.

'Tis a sight to engage me, if any thing can,
To muse on the perishing pleasures of man;
Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, I see,
Have a being less durable even than he.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And When You Can't Stitch . . .

I haven't been able to stitch the last couple of days as my left thumb is super sore, so I picked up one of my Janet Evanovich books and got back into the world of Stephanie Plum. I am really enjoying the series - the stories move along at a good pace, I like the humour and the main character. There are 16 books in the main series - I'm on Lean Mean Thirteen - each of which has a number in the title. Then there are 4 non-numbered titles Visions of Sugar Plums, Plum Lovin', Plum Lucky and Plum Spooky which fit in after number 8, 12, 13 and 14. It's not necessary to read the stories in order - they are stand alone stories - but since characters are introduced and then reappear later, it helps to keep track of who's who. So, if you're just looking for something light, I can definitely recommend these. The first one is One For The Money.

Today's poem is another William Blake and it's #470 of the 500. And no, if you count, I haven't shared all of them. Some are just too long and some I just don't like.

Holy Thursday

'Twas on Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,
The children walking two & two, in red & blue & green,
Grey-headed beadles walked before with wands as white as snow,
Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames waters flow.

O what a multitude they seemed, these flowers of London town!
Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own,
The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs,
Thousands of little boys & girls raising their innocent hands.

Now like a mighty wind they raise to Heaven the voice of song,
Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of Heaven among.
Beneath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor;
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I've realized something since I started blogging more regularly. While I enjoy my life and the way the days pass, there's not always much to talk about! While curled up on my couch reading a book is a great way to spend most of a day, it's not all that interesting to read about. I think this is going to be more of a challenge than I originally thought.

William Blake wrote today's poem.

Mock On, Mock On, Voltaire, Rousseau

Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rouseau;
Mock on, mock on, 'Tis all in vain.
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.

And every sand becomes a Gem
Reflected in the beams divine;
Blown back, they blind the mocking Eye,
But still in Israel's paths they shine.

The Atoms of Democritus
And Newton's Particles of light
Are sands upon the Red sea shore,
Where Israel's tents do shine so bright.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quiet Days

Not too much happening over the last couple of days.

Yesterday the weather behaved itself until the Remembrance Day ceremonies were over, which was so nice. Usually everyone gets soaked!

This is one of Thomas Hood's poems.

I Remember, I Remember

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too bright a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The violets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,--
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky;
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quiet Days

Well, Garry wasn't able to do the drywall, so my store room is still topsy turvy. Trying to find enough hours in a day is hard for everyone.

I realized I haven't posted any pictures of my new cats. As it is, I only have one of Snowy - Yoda is still camera shy and I haven't been able to get anything but an out of focus tail so far!

This is by Longfellow.
An old man in a lodge within a park;
The chamber walls depicted all around
With portraitures of huntsman, hawk, and hound,
And the hurt deer. He listeneth to the lark,
Whose song comes with the sunshine through the dark
Of painted glass in leaden lattice bound;
He listeneth and he laugheth at the sound,
Then writeth in a book like any clerk.
He is the poet of the dawn, who wrote
The Canterbury Tales and his old age
Made beautiful with song; and as I read
I hear the crowing cock, I hear the note
Of lark and linnet, and from every page
Rise odors of ploughed field or flowery mead.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fun Things

There are a few blogs that I read on a regular basis, mostly people who stitch. Well, one of them is having a really special giveaway - check this out
Terri is a superb stitcher and does some beautiful patterns.

I forgot to turn my clocks back Saturday night and didn't realize it until after supper yesterday. Good thing I had nothing planned yesterday that required a specific time!

Tennyson wrote this poem.

Flower in the Crannied Wall

Flower in the crannied wall,
I plucked you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower--but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Well, when I weighed myself on Nov 2nd, I had gone up 1/2 pound. Not the most auspicious start, but I'm not going to panic just yet. On the positive side, since I've been paying attention to portion sizes (actually weighing and measuring), my blood sugars have improved greatly. I haven't had a double digit since after lunch on Tuesday. Now, that's not a long stretch, but before that I was having at least one every day in the 11 to 15 range - it's supposed to be between 4 and 7!

The Woodspurge

The wind flapped loose, the wind was still,
Shaken out dead from tree and hill:
I had walked on at the wind's will,--
I sat now, for the wind was still.

Between my knees my forehead was,--
My lips, drawn in, said not Alas!
My hair was over in the grass,
My naked ears heard the day pass.

My eyes, wide open, had the run
Of some ten weeds to fix upon;
Among those few, out of the sun,
The woodspurge flowered, three cups in one.

From perfect grief there need not be
Wisdom or even memory:
One thing then learned remains to me,--
The woodspurge has a cup of three.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Finish

I've been busy stitching and finished my second mouse pad insert. I think he's a very chipper looking snowman!

My storage area is still all topsy-turvy, but Garry things he will be able to replace the drywall this weekend, so I will be able to get things out of my entry way and re-organized. Looking forward to that.

Emily Dickinson is still the poet.

"I never saw a Moor"

I never saw a Moor--
I never saw the Sea--
Yet know I how the Heather looks
And what a Billow be.

I never spoke with God
Nor visited in Heaven--
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the Checks were given--

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Follow Up

Well, my store room is pretty well dried out. My landlord had to remove about half the ceiling drywall and half of one sheet on the wall which wasn't as bad as expected. He's hoping to be able to reinsulate and put it all back together in the next week or so. HOORAY!

The eating is going well. I'm managing to stay within my allotted calories and not feel overly hungry as the day progresses. My weigh-in will be Tuesday and we'll see what's happened then.

"Much Madness Is Divine Sense" - Emily Dickinson

Much madness is divine sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,-- you're straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Well, most of the mess from Saturday is taken care of, with only a few things still spread out drying, but everything is still piled in my entry way as the floor in the store room has not completely dried out yet and the drywall has to be pulled off the ceiling and replaced before things can moved back in and restacked. Gives me time to rethink the room and whether I want to rearrange things.

My current stitching project is coming along nicely and I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the week.

And here's today's poem by Christina Rossetti


Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What A Mess!

I live in a ground floor suite - my landlord and his wife have the second and third floors. Well, yesterday, their hot water tank blew and it just happens to be above my storage room. The floor was awash, but luckily the water had only dripped on one side of the room and most of the stuff there was in plastic bags or Rubbermaid totes so it could be saved. But sitting on the floor in cardboard magazine holders I had ALL my Just Cross Stitch magazines, about 40 of them, and they got totally saturated. I could not rescue even one. So my entry way is full of all the stuff that was on the floor of the store room while the floor (only rough wood, thank goodness) dries, the rug that was on the floor is hanging over my entrance stair railing and I'm hoping it doesn't rain for at least 24 hours so it has a chance to dry, and almost every flat surface has something damp drying/airing on it. It was not the best way to spend a Saturday evening.

This poem by Thomas Hardy seems to fit the mood.

During Wind and Rain

They sing their dearest song--
He, she, all of them--yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss--
Elders and juniors--aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat. . . .
Ah no; the years, the years;
See, the white storm-birds wing across!

They are blithely breakfasting all--
Men and maidens--yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them--aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Found Some Help

I realized I needed to do a bit more than just watch my portions if I was going to really get some serious weight lost. However, I find the whole business of watching calories and making sure I get the right nutrition more than a little confusing. BUT, I found a website that is helping -
You put in your current weight, your goal weight and when you would like to reach it and it tells you how much you need to lose each day. You add in what level of life-style activity you are and it tells you how many less calories you need to take in in order to lose. There is a place to enter your daily food choices that will track calories and you can generate graphs to show if you are meeting all your nutritional needs. I think it will help, but I've only been using it for 3 days, so we shall see. I am really hoping I can do this my way.

Found another poem. I'm finding all these in a book called The Top 500 Poems, based on how often they show up in anthologies. I'm running into some old favourites as well as discovering some poets I've never heard of before. This poem is by Robert Bridges who is one of those new finds.

Beautiful must be the mountains whence ye come,
And bright in the fruitful valleys the streams, wherefrom
Ye learn your song:
Where are those starry woods? O might I wander there,
Among the flowers, which in that heavenly air
Bloom the year long!
Nay, barren are those mountains and spent the streams:
Our song is the voice of desire, that haunts our dreams,
A throe in the heart,
Whose pining visions dim, forbidden hopes profound.
No dying cadence nor long sigh can sound,
For all our art.
Alone, aloud in the raptured ear of men
We pour our dark nocturnal secret; and then,
As night is withdrawn
From these sweet-springing meads and bursting boughs of May,
Dream, while the innumerable choir of day
Welcome the dawn.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This is my latest cross stitch completion. It's done on 14 count vinyl weave and is the insert for a mouse pad. I'm doing several of them as thank you gifts for a number of ladies who helped me when I was undergoing radiation treatment.

So far the "diet" is going well. I've realized though that I've eaten the same thing for lunch for almost a week. I'm not going to be able to keep that up, so VARIETY has to be added to my personal rules list.

Found another Hopkins poem.

The Habit Of Perfection

Elected Silence, sing to me
And beat upon my whorled ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear.

Shape nothing, lips; be lovely-dumb:
It is the shut, the curfew sent
From there where all surrenders come
Which only makes you eloquent.

Be shelled, eyes, with double dark
And find the uncreated light:
This ruck and reel which you remark
Coils, keeps, and teases simple sight.

Palate, the hutch of tasty lust,
Desire not to be rinsed with wine:
The can must be so sweet, the crust
So fresh that come in fasts divine!

Nostrils, your careless breath that spend
Upon the air and keep of pride,
What relish shall the censers send
Along the sanctuary side!

O feel-of-primrose hands, O feet
That want the yield of plushy sward,
But you shall walk the golden street
And you unhouse and house the Lord.

And, Poverty, be thou the bride
And now the marriage feast begun,
And lily-coloured clothes provide
Your spouse not laboured-at nor spun.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Week

Well, I got through the weekend reasonably well - except for the lunch on Saturday, so we'll see how I do with this week.

Finished a cross stitch item - picture hopefully next blog - and I've pulled the threads for the next project. These are for 'thank you' gifts, so I have to keep working on them.

Found a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins that I like. He's not the easiest poet to read, but I LOVE the way he uses the English language.

Carrion Comfort

Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee:
Not untwist--slack they may be--these last strands of man
In me or, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.

But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? and fan,
O in terms of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.
Cheer whom though? The hero whose heaven-handling flung me, foot trod
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Special Lunch

Well, it was my monthly Breast Cancer Support Group lunch today and what a marvelous group. I've only been going since I got home from my radiation treatments in mid-July, but I enjoy them so much. Knowing you can talk about your fears, concerns. triumphs and everyone understands what you're talking about is wonderful. And there is always so much laughter! Today was no exception, even though there are serious things happening - one member's cancer has returned, another is losing a son to a brain tumour and another is supporting her husband through prostate cancer. Lots of tears and hugs were also the order of the day.

And I blew my eating plan! This is NOT an auspicious start to my program. However, I'll stick to just soup for supper and get back on track. I have some fabulous homemade chicken soup.

Had to pass on a trip to Terrace for the day which was disappointing - would have been nice to do some shopping - but hopefully there'll be time a little later before the weather (and thus the road) gets lousy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's The Weight Thing!

Well, as much as I would like to keep procrastinating, it's time to get to the reason I really wanted to start regular blogging again - my weight. Between just being lazy and not being serious about watching what I eat, I've turned myself morbidly obese. What an ugly phrase that is, but not as ugly as what it's done to me. So, with the cancer scare, the diabetes and all the aches and pains, I'm committed to doing something about the weight. It's daunting - I have a total of 265 pounds to lose (as of 1 Jan 2010) and I know it's going to take a LONG time. As a plus, as of today I've lost 34.5 of that. However, most of that was not because I was working at it, but because of the cancer treatments and not caring if I ate or not. That is not something you can sustain for a long period.

So, the immediate plan is to change two things - start walking at least 2 days a week and work on portion control with my food. I thought hard about starting a more traditional diet, but they have never worked for me before. So, I've hauled out my diabetic food charts with portion sizes and how many per meal and that's where I'll start. And I have a good friend who has volunteered to walk with me and give me an encouraging push when I need it.

I'm really hoping I can do this - my track record for weight management is terrible!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More Stitching

In June of 2008 I mentioned starting to stitch a Patchwork SAL (Stitch-A-Long) and showed the finished Part 1. There was to be a new part issued each month and I had hopes of being able to keep up. Well, that didn't happen, but here's where I am at the moment. Here's Part 1, upper left corner.

Below is Part 2.

Below is Part 3.

Below is Part 4.

Below is Part 5.

Below is Part 6.

This makes me 1/2 way through the project. I have finished all the black "frame" and just need to stitch the remaining 6 blocks.

I'm hoping to get at least 2 more completed by the end of this year, but it keeps being but aside as more urgent patterns are started. Having an octopus's eight arms would be a definite plus some days!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Catching Up

Just thought I'd do a quick update on what's changed (or not) over the quiet time.
My cat Tasha contracted cancer and had to be released early in January of this year. Now I have 2 furries sharing my space - a large white male, about 3 years old named Snowy and a smaller, black Scottish-fold male, also about 3 named Yoda. They both came from a rescue shelter ( and have adapted well, apart from the occasional spat over who sleeps where.
I find I'm still working at the fitness club, doing a few reception shifts every week and keeping the books.
Still reading - working my way through Janet Evanovitch's Plum series. There are 16 books in the set at the moment and I've just finished #12. They are a fun read.
And poetry is still very much part of my reading. This one by A.E. Housman caught my eye.
Into My Heart an Air That Kills
Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.
And I'm still stitching. I have several large projects that I'm working on in rotation so each is progrssing slowly. I have though finished a few smaller projects.

I want to send this one to my oncologist for her office.

This one is for the first grandchild of a good friend. It's the hood of a baby towel.
I'll be making these into ornaments for the craft fair in November.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Best Laid Plans . . . .

Well, so much for my good intentions. However, shortly after I posted that entry, I went through the roller coaster of being suspected of having, then diagnosed with breast cancer. Then surgery and treatments. Now that I've started the count down to being a survivor and pretty well come to terms with what has happened, I'm going to try this again. I still want to blog more regularly, so we'll see how it goes this time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Flying Time

Oh my word it's been a year and a half since I posted. I can't believe that much time has flown by. I'm not even going to try to do a catch up post, but I will do my best to be a much more diligent blogger in 2010!