Sunday, October 27, 2013

Parties, Visitors and Pictures

Today was the day the kids were looking forward to - Halloween Party Day!  They could barely contain their excitement which meant we were one step away from voluntary commitment ;). On days like today you'd think there was far less than the 10 years there are between them. However we managed to separate them by assigning chores for the other excitement of the day...a vist from Junior! I have accepted that I will probably never have little nieces or nephews so I get very excited when my friends have little ones...and where we're in our late 30's and 40's well, it just makes it extra special. Lily was so excited, I think she talked his ear off

Getting hugs and kisses!

After our visit we headed to DH's work.  Lily was very excited that there was just enough tulle left to make Baby a tutu as well

Dr Alex

A stop in at Faith Ann's office

Lily was going for a triple decker cupcake

The frosting on my day, when Faith Ann arrived at the party she was coming straight from Moncton...where she picked up my first canvas work piece I had dropped off to be framed after the funeral.  What a great way to end the day.

One foot in front of the other

Those words get me through quite a bit these days. A wise person said this was how he was dealing and I'm taking his advice. This week involved lots of long walks along the beautiful Saint John river, plans for our Run for the Cure team fundraising and the eventual 'first' night back to our stitching group.  While it was great to be back, its a bit raw. However, putting one foot in front of the other we did our usual top picks from this years JCS ornament issue and made plans to head to retreat. We're actually all going, it should be an awesome time!

This week was also crazy.  DH and DS were down with he latest bug going around then Friday was flu shot day.  That's always 'fun'. Trying to pick DS up from a school with no parking and ridiculous sign out policies' high tailing it to DD's daycare then doctors office, drop DD off, feed DS because he missed the 20 minutes that they get to eat at the school and try to find parking and head back to work.  

However, when it's quiet I'm either on the elliptical or crafting. I took a brief brake to work on a stocking that needs to be done, name plates for retreat, played with some jewelry making techniques and it was round two for DD's witch tutu, this time no glitter tulle. :). The second was necessary for the kid's Halloween party tomorrow. I don't think that DH's employer wants a trail of glitter in the office. Thankfully costumes weren't required for today's activity: Haunted House. This year we divided and conquered where the kids are at different scare level ages. 

Now for some progress pics:

Bertie's Stocking - Shepherd's Bush

Retreat nameplates made with Cricut's Winter Frolic cartridge. 
Lily's witch tutu, although the colour is a bit washed out.

Tomorrow's agenda, Halloween Party and possibly a visit.  :o)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mini Happy Dance

This week has been exhausting.  Thankfully my current project at work had just wrapped up before the long weekend.  After the hustle and bustle of our 'Griswald' Thanksgiving dinner. I've spent a lot of time holed up with my stitching, it brings me a little peace.  I've become pretty bad at tracking pieces since I went on the blog hiatus and added some other crafts to my repertoire :0)  However, here is the latest 'finish' if you can call a piece of a 12 part series a finish.  I apologize for the photography, I was taking a quick progress pic.
I'd really like to finish this piece.  It's become increasingly special to me.  I was used to Cathey's tech hiatuses and I expected them when Junior arrived, and even more so in illness.  No matter what, once a month there would be a quick email about this.  A little 'I'm still here' despite everything.

This weekend is thankfully a quiet one, I need to get geared up for Halloween-palooza next weekend. Each year the Engineers convert the Arts Center in town into a haunted house.  Last year was the first time I took DS to it and it's on his 'must do list', we also have a lower key Haunted Hayride to go to on Saturday that's more my 3 year old's speed and then Sunday is the annual kid's Halloween party at DH's office.  The kids love trick or treating at all of the cubicles.

Now to finish of DD's witch tutu, or should I say tutu #2.  There is a reason that they say glitter is the herpes of the crafting world, tutu #2 will be glitter tulle free!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Time Marches On

Did we really celebrate Thanksgiving?  I'm not quite sure, it was all a blur.  I spent a great deal of time contacting people and making my own personal arrangements, I think my inlaws came for dinner.  I know my parents did as they were gracious enough to watch the kids while we headed down to the south shore of Nova Scotia.

I packed a small gift for Junior.  For my birthday I'd asked my husband if Cathey was up to it, for one last stitch in, it would require about 6 hours of driving each way and it probably wouldn't be long but if she was up for it, it would be worth it.  The next week when I called to see how she was doing, I knew in my heart that this would be one of our last conversations, so I started gathering items for a stitching night in a box...flat Katie, Faith Ann and Shannon, Cadbury Screme Eggs (which slowed the process down considerably) and was about to send this off with Junior's little present when things went down hill fast :/  I tried to send a PFO to cancer, and it beat me.  I made him this little hat and I found the perfect (IMO) book for him, The Search for the Pink Pumpkin:

We travelled to Halifax for the first leg of the trip.  While I have faith, sometimes I struggle with the logics.  There were just so many things that reminded me of Cathey on the trip down that something bigger was letting me know things were alright.  The moment we turned on the radio Nickelback's photograph was on, one of the songs from the Pumpkin's Retreat Mix CD that I know is somewhere in the craft room, it has a little more meaning now.  Of course it's that time of year where everything is either pink ribbon or pumpkins but soon as we took the exit to our hotel this was waiting at the end of the off ramp:

This has been a reminder to my DH and me that life is short, so we packed as much activity as we could, on a holiday after 5 pm as we could in Halifax.  We dined at Jack Astor's (something that has yet to expand to our province), we were there once before on vacation and it was a must for this trip.  We then got adventurous and went downtown Halifax.  By the time we made it down there it was too dark to go for a walk, so we headed to the Casino for the first time in our lives.  Shocker...we were carded.  This was AWESOME!  My DH turned 40 this year...the bouncer thought we must be the 'yogurt eating type'.  We played 5$ in slots each and left.  I've played many a video game in my younger years but the games there had me boggled.  Then, another first IMAX 3D movie.  I missed out the last time we were down as Lily was too young to go.  'Gravity' was definitely a completely different experience in that theatre!  After a busy night, we crashed pretty much after getting back to our accommodations.

Tuesday was just purely emotional. The fun was over.  I was so worried we would get lost trying to find the church as well.  I walked into the church and looked up and there was the side profile picture that I'd put on my blog.  In my emotional state I couldn't figure out how it had gotten there, I'd recently acquired it myself from another one of my bridesmaids.  There was a beautiful honor guard display by Cathey's DH's fellow employees.  The service itself was pure Cathey, it was full of heartfelt tributes from her father, husband and even Junior helped out.  Towards the end the minister shared a lovely poem that he started to ramble a little too much about, I was digging for my last tissue and the next thing you know, Junior up ends the overhead.  I swear his mother had a hand in this somehow!  When it was confirmed he was ok, I cracked the first smile I've had since I got that fateful call last week.

After the service I got to see our dear friend Pam whom I haven't seen since the ta-ta tassle retreat!  We had a good cry/hug and I think she might still have my mascara on her sweater.  I got to spend some time with Cathey's parents whom I've always enjoyed and her DH and Junior.  While he liked the monkey hat, he liked it better on his bear ;)  It was nice to talk to them again, we saw each other briefly at Christmas last year but  due to the distance, it had been awhile.  We were told before we left we had to go see the coast and my land it was beautiful.  I can see where Cathey and her camera would have been perfectly at home there.

DH and I then headed on the long trip home.  We made a pit stop in Moncton to go to one of Cathey and my old haunts, Elite Framing.  I had a canvas piece I wouldn't trust anyone in this city with.  We made it there with about 20 minutes until closing and it surprisingly took 5!  It never took that short a time.  I think when The Quiltmaker was framed, we were there for almost 2 hours!  DH and I had one last kid free dinner (something that rarely happens here) and then headed back to Fredericton.  I'm still adjusting to the new norm, but every day gets a little less foggy. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Goodbye's the Saddest Word

Arrangements have been announced for our dear Pumpkin.

Catherine Magill

MAGILL, CATHERINE ANN - The death of Catherine Ann Magill of Brooklyn, Queens County, NS occurred Thursday, October 10, 2013 at Queens Regional Hospital, Liverpool, NS with her husband by her side. She was 42. Born in Fredericton, NB she was the daughter of Lloyd and Zoeline (Cormier) Steeves of Harvey, NB and Liverpool, NS.

Besides her parents she is survived by her husband Paul Magill and infant son, Paul's parents Robert and Beatrice (Roy) Magill, paternal and maternal grandmothers, several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Cathey, as she was known by, was an avid blogger having over 400 followers from all around the world. Her hobbies included photography and cross stitching, having received several Grand Champion awards at the Fredericton Exhibition.

There will be no visitation by request. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11 am at Highway Pentecostal Church, 4158 Hwy 3, Brooklyn, NS with Rev. Fred Carr officiating. Immediate family flowers only. Memorial donations in Cathey's memory may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the charity of the donor's choice. Online condolences may be made by visiting

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Big Global Pumpkin Hug

It never ceases to amaze me just how far Cathey's circle reached.  A special thanks to all that helped reach those that I was not able to.  I went through as many commenter's with contact info from Cathey's recent posts until I was cross eyed.  Although making calls here and sending out emails kept me preoccupied and that was a very good thing.

As far as I know, there are no finalized arrangements to date.  Cathey's DH said he would call when there were, and in the meantime I'll keep checking the local obits.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, I can't even begin to express how amazing he has been through all of this.  He sets the bar pretty high.

A special thanks to Because You Count in Moncton who are integrating Cathey's passing into our upcoming retreat and helped get the word out to the remainder of the retreat crew from Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.   Their retreat is actually how I met Cathey over a decade ago.  Our mutual friends brought us out for a sit down to discuss swapping passengers for retreat, and the rest as you say is history :)

" Dear Stitching Friends,

   It is Retreat time again at dear old Camp Wildwood. It is a time for stitching, visiting, sharing, laughing, eating and healing.....we need that at this time as our dear friend and former “camper” Cathey  Magill lost her battle with cancer yesterday. That is where the healing comes in..we need to share, listen and,yes, cry if need be. We are going to make this a great weekend where we will laugh and be refreshed.


2.Our cancer basket ticket event...if you wish to take part, please bring some pink items to put in the baskets...pens, soap, socks etc. The money raised will go toward breast cancer research.  This  is even more pressing in light of Cathey’s  passing. "
Before signing off, yet another blast from the past.  I think this truly exemplifies just how strong Cathey's character and will were, always giving back.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Look at this photograph

Every time I do it makes me laugh....and the lord knows I could use a good one about now.

Last month the stitching group here in town was working on a book (god bless shutterfly) with a compilation of pics that we had from retreats and stitching days and our stories of Cathey for her dear 'Junior'.  Here is a peek at our dear friend Cathey over the years...

 Stitching away
 Convincing my son at my bridesmaid dress fitting that we could NOT go to McDonald's because she'd been 'kicked out'.  He believed her because she had a tattoo!!  Almost 8 years later he still believed!!
 Getting Gorgeous
 Look at that hair...envy!!
 Grand Champion, I've lost count of how many times I came runner up to her ;)
 Chowing down on my birthday
 Gorgeous Bridesmaid
 Her husband could not take her eyes off of her the entire day
 No wonder!
 And again
 The number of pictures I received of this was overwhelming, apparently we made quite the impression
 There's that smile!
 A long time ago, when those bangs were acceptable!!
 More stitching
 She set the bar high for stash accumulation
 As I said, more silliness
 Even more Wildwood fun
Back in the short hair days
My beautiful friend, you will be in my heart always

And I know there will be no more tears in heaven

Dearest Cathey,

Every time that I see Bryer horses, ridiculously thick ponytails, illegal u-turn symbols, the coke slushies at the Houlton Irving, the latest Janet Evanovich book, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Tassels, my stitching I will think of you my friend.  May you find peace in a place where pain can touch you no longer.

Dear followers of Pumpkin Patch an Co. I regret to inform you that our friend Cathey has passed away.  After all that she has been through she was at least granted a peaceful death with the shortest possible hospital stay, the best of the worst.  While cancer may have broken her body, it never broke her spirit.  The remainder of the arrangements are incomplete at this time.

For the followers of Pumpkin Patch and Co

While Cathey has made a lot of plans concerning this part of the battle with cancer, I know part of me was really worried that I wouldn’t hear anything.  I’ve been the bearer of bad news before myself and when you’re losing someone, it’s not always the first thing to think of contacting all of someone’s  friends.  However, today I got an email from her amazing husband with the directive ‘Please keep Cathey’s circle of friends posted’.  I have emailed our stitcher’s here in Atlantic Canada but Cathey’s circle extends FAR beyond that.  I’m temporarily turning this blog into a place to keep you updated because it is what she would want as well.

Today’s update:  Cathey has been moved into the hospital as her condition can no longer be managed at home.  Her condition has deteriorated to the point she can only communicate by eye contact and as it stands.  She will only be with us a matter of days at best.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult transition.