Retreat was awesome, Cathey pretty much summed up our fun escapades on her blog ;) Retreat was great in other ways too. 550.75 was raised for breast cancer with our basket draw, I don't know how much came from the kits for cancer draw on top of that. I wish there was someway though that we could encourage a mental health dialog along with it. I'd catch pieces of conversation here and there and while it was comforting to know that you aren't alone it would be nice if we could celebrate being depression/anxiety/bipolar survivors as much as we celebrate surviving physical ailments. I've found great strength in the mantra "depression is not a flaw in character, it is a flaw in chemistry" this time around. It helps having a doctor this time that truly monitors my condition and just doesn't prescribe an open prescription, although I don't think I've had as many doctor's appointments since I was pregnant! It's taking a bit of getting used to ;) I'm slowly accepting the fact that it truly is a chemistry problem and something that will be a condition that just doesn't magically go away. Alchoholics do not continually drink 24/7 and those who suffer from depression do not mope around 24/7 either, although I could give a whole list of warning signs that are very easily ignored and written off as something else. So there's my open dialogue for the day, I'm still me, I still run around with my ta-ta tassle twin, I still put whoopie cushions under people's seats, I still have my very black sense of humor, I'm still a wonderful mother and loving wife and now I'm finally being responsible and seeking treatment.
Ok...there was my mental healt awareness plug (or should it even be classified as mental, that screwed up chemistry affects your entire body)...anyway...back to retreat. As for my part I stitched away Friday night and Saturday Morning on the Hope needleroll. I kind of like doing them for the exchange too to work the kinks out before mine goes on my anal retentive tree, especially when it involves samplers as diagramming does not always represent the space the stitches actually take up. I also enjoyed my Laura Secord truffles, pumpkin spice and caramel apple are divine!!!
After a lunch with the Dragon I settled into hem stitching and mylanta the afternoon went fast!! There was an incident with the fireplace that ended up smoking up the place temporarily, quite ironic where the dragon herself was in the center of it ;) I finished my piece and waited for a friend to bring in her sewing machine. I then hummed and hawed if I'd do The Lost Dragon Sampler or Mirabilia's Christmas Elf Fairy and The Lost Dragon Sampler won, who could resist those bright colours?!? Saturday evening we just got silly, Cathey and I changed into our matching jammies and donned our tassles ;) This cut into stitching time but garnered some much needed laughs.
I was sad to see Sunday come around, I could have stayed another week! The exchange was a bit disappointing, there's always 2 or 3 people that don't put that much effort into their stitching (not that I'm a stitching snob) and when the retreat numbers are down they show up a bit more. For me personally, if I'm going to stitch something to exchange I stick on the safe side, plus I try to stitch something that promotes a Canadian Designer (ok the first was a G&P but I customized it to have the camp name on it). But really the best part of the exchange isn't the ornament I receive, it's hearing people vying for YOUR ornament when they're in the dinner line, that is truly rewarding knowing your stitching will be appreciated. The other little downer was the fact that a couple of the leaflets Cathey and I were selling off went 'missing'. What was truly odd about it was they were ones that at least I couldn't understand people taking when there were Lizzie Kate's in my stash...although a reference to Shannon's Heart In Hand 'pooping bird's' quickly wiped that notion away ;)
This week has been a little hectic. Groceries weren't picked up on the weekend so Monday was shot, I've been buying/arranging installation of some studded tires, Beavers and a kid with ear wax issues...oh and trying to organize my floss finally. I'm just about finished another Mill Hill Santa...woot! Now to just find some down time to wrap the remaining presents I picked up in Moncton, it feels really good to be 90% done Christmas shopping!!