Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Me time - WIP Update

I kind of got ahead of myself here.  I missed the May post and I took advantage of the 3 day weekend to post my WIP progress only to realize afterwards, the posting date was June 4th and not the end of May.   Silly me, not paying attention to the finer details.  So here it is my WIPocalypse post....

Me Time
I took advantage of the three-day weekend for some 'me time' that I was craving. Life is so hectic sometimes that we need to remember ...work hard, play hard. So with the yard in ship shape fashion and the laundry done and the house (relatively) clean I had a day of lounging about and stitching on Monday.  Funny thing is it wasn't long before I was feeling like Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy did when Marmee let them not be obligated to chores and such.  (Little Women).  So I mixed in a little pool vacuuming and a little vegetable garden weeding and I didn't feel like I was being frivolous with my day.

Memorial Day
The line of towels on the fence may bother some but to me it is a reminder of the day of sun and fun.
We celebrated Memorial Day on Sunday with my eldest daughter and her husband. It is always fun when they come down especially when they spend the night! But that is me being selfish wanting the longer visit. Friends from the city came down for the day and other friends from town stopped in too. So fun to watch all the little ones enjoy the pool and yard and food.  Before my daughter and S-in-L were even on the road on Monday morning, I had donned my bathing suit...I forgot how nice it was in the summer to dress in your bathing suit all day! I bought three new ones this year. I know, a bit excessive but my fitness plan involves more pool time this year and it is not like a buy a new suit every year. Anyway, I digress. 

I did round out the day with a nice dinner - best part about holiday cooking is the left overs the next day.   I squirreled away some of the shrimp I cooked for Sunday, added some sauteed mushrooms and onions they were perfect with a grilled steak.  Love that smell of steaks on the grill!

On to stitching, I took intervals of swimming and cutting fabrics for my next quilt. I did the cutting outside on the picnic table and stitching. It involved a bit of lugging stuff from my sewing room but it was so worth it to be outside.  In the end, all the pieces are cut and labeled.  Once Mr. W. gets on the road, evenings will find me in my sewing room.  I made this same quilt earlier this spring and it works up so fast.  
These are just perfect for my new little nephew.

This is for the back
I got a little carried away with posting....since I forgot to post online last month, I was a little overzealous and posted early this month..... I have also been working on two of my WIPs. Here is LHN before and where I am now. I decided to push on and get this completed because I really want it off my scroll frame so I can mount my Ellen Chester class piece on it. It will be a new start HOWEVER class pieces don't count as a new start in my rationale and believe me I can rationalize just about anything. 
Where I was....
Where I am now....colors look different because this was taken outside.
The other is my take along piece. It is the one I carry to work or a friends. Lizzie Kate's the ABCs of Aging. I am embarrassed I am not finished this one. It is a quick stitch. My friend Susan started this one after me and has finished it already.  I think I will be finishing this as a big floppy pillow for my bedroom.
Oops!  Sometimes I just can't get the pix to stay rotated!

I can do 4 or 5 letters during lunch at work.

These are me.  Second from the bottom starts with "Laugh"
And forgive the repeat but for the purpose of my WIPocalypse posting....eight finishes in five months...going to stay on track.   It feels great to reduce the size of the UFO basket!
Where I was


Where I was

The Sheltering Tree

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It must be me....

 I *think* I removed that pesky word verification requirement from my comments section. I know it is supposed to make sure only REAL people are posting and not computers but I find it increasing difficult to decipher the letters they string together in the effort for James Bond level of security to post! Jeez! Just saying, it's a pet peeve I guess.
And this is a relatively easy one to translate.

And while I am at it, does this bother anyone else? Driving down the road you hear horns beeping only to realize they are on the radio. Or better, sirens! Like a good citizen I am looking in the rear view mirror trying to find the approaching emergency vehicle only to realize, again it is on the radio. The lady in front of me the other day must have had on the same station because she pulled over and was looking in her mirror..... I started to follow suit and I guess we both got it at the same time. Time for the mental head slap! I thought it was an age thing but asking my daughter and coworkers young and old, we all agreed....annoying and potentially dangerous.

Usually doing this kind of thing is something I would just laugh at myself and think what a ding-bat I am. Not this week....Mr. W. is prepping for tour which always brings anxiety. First he going Friday night, then he is not; then he is going for the day, then he is going for the weekend! This is a typical weekend until he actually leaves to tour.  The whole house (just me and the cat really) have to be involved getting him packed for tour and out the door and it is such a ritual. Good thing I don't have the same to-do when I travel....toiletries always ready, grab the LLBean bag, throw in some clothes and projects, iPad and go! Not him. He packs half his clothes in a space bag...lol...there is only so much room in his tractor and trailer. Snacks that travel well. His fav is homemade Chex Mix.  I won't even go into the details for the year he thought packing 'outfits' in zip lock bags would make the trips into the locker room easier.  And then starts the list of instructions for what I need to do while he is away. Love you honey but there really is no need to tell me I need to put out the trash. I think when the house starts to resemble something seen on Hoarders I'll get it.

Last night it was telling me how to vacuum the pool. Really? I think that was the last straw to what put me at full-blown irritated!  Like I have vacuumed a pool since I was 9 and I doubt he has vacuumed a pool 9 times in his life as was evidenced by his demonstration which was just pushing the dirt around and making it all suspended. My aggravation with the whole exchange was duly noted. (hurry up Internet order with the replacement hose for the automatic vacuum) I guess he is just going through his mental checklist and I should be more receptive but really I think I am capable.  It's all good....he's just making sure his castle and kingdom will be safe and found in good order when he returns from traveling the fair nation....like I said, I think it's me with a bit of the crankies going on.....guess I need some stitch therapy....or maybe just a string of a few nights in a row of good sleep.....or better yet, since I enjoyed my meeting the Captain last week, maybe some time with him is needed.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Here in the USA, Memorial Day is the 'official' start of summer.  Flags will be everywhere, red, white and blue bunting will be draped across porches.  Most will be enjoying family, fun, parades and bar-b-ques but we need to remember those, and their families, who gave service to their country and paid the ultimate price to ensure we could enjoy our freedoms.    I live near a service men's club and I will hear their speeches and music as sounds of their solemn ceremony is carried through the trees and drifts into my backyard.  I will take a moment to pause and be thankful as I hear "Taps" being played.  

Memorial Day in my house also signals the start of Mr. W. being on the road.   This the 12th season for him traveling with the Jersey Surf Drum Corp.  Our daughter marched in the late 90's, aging out in 2000.   Just because she aged out didn't mean we stopped.  I stayed on a few years as the uniform manager/seamstress and Mr. W. as a driver.

I took a little matchbox truck and added a business
card logo to replicate his truck.

First driving his own vehicle towing an equipment trailer up to getting his CDL and driving one of their two tractor and trailers with equipment and being in charge of logistics.   Everyone needs a hobby and a place to feel like they belong and he really enjoys it.   How can one get angry when he is supporting a youth group traveling across the country to various performance sites along the way to World DCI Finals in Indianapolis in August.   World Finals are absolutely so moving....to see 10,000 young people (ages 14 to 21) take the field in full uniform in a ceremony that mimics to the opening of the Olympics is really moving.....and then they all start to play America the Beautiful ...imagine 8,000 musicians in a major football stadium playing together.  (I need to look through my old pix and find/scan one to share.) You can feel the drums inside you.    I mean really, you can feel the vibrations inside your body.  OK, enough, I am gushing but I am the mother of two percussionists and have a soft spot for drummers.

I did travel with him the first copy of years but I don't have the amount of vacation he has and it was EXHAUSTING and truth is, kept me from my other joys.   I didn't touch my sewing machine for about 7 years after the constant sewing of uniforms and flags for almost 15 years stopped.  As it puts him on the road (this summer for 8 weeks!) it gives me a summer to do as I wish.  I think I will really enjoy the adding benefit of a lawn cutting service this summer.   Weekends will really be carefree.

I hope all enjoy their weekend with whatever they plan.   I have NO plans! Which could really bother some but not me.  After more than a few hectic weeks I look forward to yard time and deck time doing a little reading, a little stitching, a little fabric cutting, and a little nothing!  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Put your potatoes in the right size bag

Weekend Yardwork 
I have two finishes to be happy about.   Last year I got this brilliant idea to change the lines of one of my gardens and like so many times, halfway through, it got hot, and I lost interest.  This weekend I finished it up and am pleased with the final(ly) result.  
This is the side yard early (March 2011) last spring.

I got this far last spring before I got myself sidetracked.

And now.....ta-da....I feel like this side of the yard finally matches the rest of the front yard.

There's a nasty root between the mulch and the grass that I need taken out.  

My transplanted hostas look kind of sad but there are TONS more I can split and move if these don't make it.

The view from my sidewalk to nowhere.  I hope to have this sidewalk removed next spring.
After all that yard work, I put away the tools early and showered up to take it easy the rest of the afternoon.  I followed it up with a date with the captain.   Captain Morgan that is and a little pepsi on ice.  Ahhhhh.

Stitching Finish
On the stitching front, I finished The Sheltering Tree.   This was part of the Crazy January 2011 Challenge where we started a new project every day for the first 15 days of the year.   Now that this is done......which one of my UFO's will I tackle?  I am going to have fun digging through my basket of partially completed project to pick a new one to complete.

Of course, the squirrels are what attracted me this pattern.

Started January 2011, Finished May 2012
28 Ct Jobelan in Chai Tea stitched with Belle Soie Miss Green Jeans.  The Belle Soie is a guilty indulgence.
Girls Day Out
I spent Saturday with my sister.  As sisters will do...we laughed, we shopped, we giggled, we ate, we traded ideas, we offered opinions and we had a great time laughing at ourselves.  She sent me home with a huge selection of fabric that she shared.    More on that and the perfect fabrics I picked up for quilt I want to make for her grandson, Billy Blue Eyes.

Here's more purchases from my recent trip to Salem, Massachusetts.    Where else but Salem, MA would you find Halloween tree ornaments?   I keep a pencil tree up year round and decorate it for the seasons.   I'd better get moving to get the spring flowers off and the red, white & blue on before Memorial Day!

Take me as I am
So I bit the bullet and bought the next size larger clothes.   This is something I have been fighting for a year with me and my Mr. M. T. Promises pledging to loose 10 pounds.  I keep getting people asking me if I lost weight.  ???  I guess I was looking like 10 lbs of potatoes (or something) shoved and lumpy in a 5 lb bag.  I will still continue my alternating days of treadmill and weight lifting even if pounds don't come off in an effort to be heart healthy!  Don't you just hate guys who tell you ....I lost my 10 lbs doing yard work.....jeez!

Happy stitching all and enjoy your week and stitch often!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Baked, with butter and sour cream

More catching up -

Gardening and plants

I moved my house plants outside much to the delight of Mr. W.    Several spend the winter hanging from an old ladder that I have spanned across beams in my family room.   I guess I can understand how he might feel like we live in a jungle.

Now they are outside.....Spidey, for example, moved into my current house with me.  Settlement was 4/1/1982.   That spider plant is 30 years old!

Gus 1 and 2, the asparagus fern ~may~ be that old too.   I guess one reason I have acculummated so much stuff, is that I take care of it...or at least sometimes.   Take last night I refused to just throw our my Ortho sprayer because I knew I could take it apart and fix it.  I really hate the throw away society. I messed with it for about a half hour, got it to work, only now it doesn't stop spraying or leaking.   Not a good thing when you are pressurizing with weed killer for the sidewalk cracks.   I guess I will bite the bullet and head to Tractor Supply and put out the $20 for a new one or then again, maybe I will tackle it again later today.  
Daisies, do I have daisies!    And since this photo, the coreopsis have bloomed.   The black-eyed susans are not far behind.
There are really deep deep purple siberian iris

Aren't I optimistic with my produce basket....and in typical Bull in a China Shop Robin fashion....my idea was not well thought out.   I had more plants than space in my garden and had to put one pepper and one cherry tomato to pots next to my garden.

Stitching and Sewing
I kind of looked around and with all the traveling and I seemed to have stitching stuff all over the place.    Last weekend as I cleaned the house, I gathered it all into an accumulated a pile 'o mess with patterns and projects to my stitching area to be sorted and put away.   The real trigger was a near empty frog that made me realize I needed to gather, sort and put away. 

Not that is much better....my scissors, seam rippers, nail file and clippers right  by my side  when I stitch.
In my continued quest to knock some UFO's off my list, I picked up The Sheltering Tree.   It is coming along so quickly makes me wonder what diversion side tracked me.
Not sure it I will frame it or make a pillow out of it.

The ever present squirrel theme!

I picked up this Moda fabric.  
I have planned for a baby quilt....for a new nephew!

I also picked up this cool fabric for a another new nephew.   I used a new to me pattern earlier this year for a baby quilt and this will be perfect.  I just might have to start today!
His daddy is a heavy equipment operator so the trucks are more than perfect.

Exercise and Potatoes
We had the benefit of personal trainers come to work for women's strength training.   What a perk.   $3 each session/two sessions per week for 10 weeks.   Well let me tell you, after two days I was so sore I needed to use the handicap bars in the bathroom stall!   I know I am out of shape and will ashamedly admit that I have gained 30 pounds since I started at this job which was 12 years ago.   ARGH!   These trainers talked of buns of steel as I laid there, heart beating in my eye balls with my buns of meals!   What, six pack abs?   No abs of flab!   I was really taken aback by the smack in the face that although I may be 'active', I am certainly less fit then I imagined I was and then realized I had 15 years at minimum on all the other girls in the class and I kept up.....but alas, I did not continue after the first two classes.   The session ends up taking two hours from the time you leave your desk and return to it.  So maybe it is a cop out but I can't just walk away from dealing with the officers for two hours in the middle of the day.   ....Oh, you need that $20M contract notarized, scanned, copied, fed ex'd and emailed to Denver?   Let me just go roll around the floor for two hours and sweat first....   I did take away some good weight lifting tips for hand weights and had added that to my morning routine to try to reduce the wing-span wiggle of the arms.

Continuing with my potato theme (which I don't know where it is coming from or why) but just give me both butter and sour cream on my baked potato and let me do my thing in the yard, on the treadmill and maybe I will think about buy a bike for peddling around this summer.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One potato, two potato

More updating on things that I have been up to....

Junk Shopping
We made a quick side trip on the way home from our guild meeting on Saturday morning stopping at the Marketplace Annex in Newport, DE.   They buy out estates, etc. and always have great things.  I picked these two goodies.  
Tiny little child's chair and a blue and white milk pitcher.

I tried the flowers but like my little teddy bear better!

I added the blue and white pitcher to my collection of blue and white planters.   I live by my mother's creed of collecting......don't but it because it has a certain brand or name to it, buy if you like it!
Dancing with the Stars starts in a few minutes and who can even guess who will be eliminated.   I felt so bad for Katherine Jenkins last night.   She just seems to be such a fresh, innocent girl next store kind of girl full of niceness.   What a season.  One of my favorite dances was year is this one..... Maria and Derek, Week 8,  It was not just the moves, it was the intensity between them, their interpretation and it was the song that did it for me.....everyone should be able to experience a love like the Christina Perri sings about at least once in their life.....I know, sappy aren't I?

Stitching Progress
I have a finish to share and as well as a start.   This is Shakespeare's Peddler - Keys.  I must visit my framer and see if I can mount it as a tray to toss change and keys into. 
It sure would look better with some a few skeleton keys and not my work keys.
And I started laying in basting stitches for my BAP (Big A$$ Project) that I hope to start in July.   Why July?   Because I am staying the course.......keep on working on my WIP's.   If I can finish at least half of what I had on my list in January, I will reward myself with the new start.   This is a major commitment for Side Track Robin!  I am trying to be strong.

I started laying basic basting 20 threads apart and quickly decided after my initial  3 x 3 down the center, to move to 40 threads apart.   I am using 35 count WDW - Parchment
 Home and Family
Sunday - I got up and did a quick staining of my deck.  By early afternoon, my favorite spring/summer retreat area was ready.   Good thing because I was treated to surprise visit from my daughter and my son-in-law.   I had a big pork roast ready to cook planning the left overs for me to eat during the week so I was it easy to set two more plates for them.   What!? It was Mother's Day!  Should I be cooking?   Yes, of course, because I am a care taker and I am thrilled to have someone to cook for.  Heather pitched in with the salad and dessert and it wasn't long before we were on the deck stitching the afternoon away.  Mr. W. used to tell me - 'expect nothing, than whatever you get, you are happy with'.   I did really get it or subscribe to his spin on life....but Sunday I got it.....I am a slow learner a times.    I was smiling like a Cheshire cat just enjoying the afternoon with my daughter.  It was a treat because I didn't expect to see any of my children on Mother's Day.

8 a.m.

9:15 a.m.

2 p.m.  and Mr. W. will be thrilled when I manage to move the rest of my plants outside.   He's made comment more than once.   I've decide he just figures it is easier to just tolerate me and my stuff than argue with me!

Heather knits a sleeve to a sweater.
Heather gave me this little guy.....there is the every present squirrel theme in gifts in my house.  This started after the squirrel sat on Mr. W's head several years ago....it has given us many a segway....where she finds these things.....I mean really, a solar powered squirrel on a motorcycle light.....it was perfect and has taken a place of honor in the garden by the pond.   We are silly folks.

One potato, two potato.....remember when you put you hands in and sang the song and the last one was the winner and got to choose......well, I was the winner on Sunday and if I had to choose the best way to spend my day, spending in the great outdoors, all comfy in my back yard, with my family is what I would choose.

Have a great week all.....weather forecast for my little world is looking up after a couple days of rain.