Saturday, October 25, 2014

I JUST HAVE TO GET THIS OFF MY CHEST!

And I know I am not alone in this........

You know those irritating telemarketing calls for donations to charities........the ones my husband doesn't answer?   But, not answering means they just continue to call and load up my mailbox.  So, yes, it is my choice to answer.  

My approach used to be to answer, listen to their spiel, and tell them either I am not able to give at this time and/or to remove me from the list.    Part of me sympathizes that this is just some yahoos job to sit in and make these calls and that other part of my is afraid of karma if I say I am blind and cannot read the magazines, letters, papers, or whatever they say they will send me.

And why do they waste so much money  on these mailings and not put it into the charity is my thought?

LA at work gave me an even better idea.   I now let the caller go through their script and right when they ask...."Mrs. Thompson can we count on you again this year?" - which would indicate that in an alternate universe I had donated to them in the past and they didn't get my name off an mailing list which is exactly what they did...  I ask - "Please tell me the percentage of my donation that goes to the charity and what percentage goes elsewhere?"    More often then not, the caller hangs up.  If they don't and remain on the line to answer I believe they must be governed by some FCC rule to answer truthfully.  And you would be amazed at the percentages.

I just got a call from Fire Burn Victims of South Jersey.   They sound all official but......you need to listen to what they call themselves.   Adding "Cancer", "Fire or Police", "Children's" to their name does not make them worthy of my or your money.   Today's answer to my question about percentages was 11% goes to the actual charity.  So to verify, I said "if I give you $100, only $11 goes to the Fire Burn Victims".   "Yes", the operator said.....to which I replied...."I prefer to give directly to my local fire department!"   Click!!   Shame on them!   Using all this jargon about recovery, therapy, help for lodging for the family, blah, blah, blah to make me visualize this poor family in this horrible situation.  I don't know how far they can go on 11% of each donation!

What I can tell you is that I am not getting repeat calls and overall I am getting fewer and fewer calls. I definitely prefer to donate my money where it has the better value.  So speak up and ask the caller the percentage.  You will be horrified!

OK, I am better now.   I was just so mad and had to get this off my chest!  Thanks for letting me rant.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pressure Starting to Build!

Albeit self-imposed.   Right about this time of the year I start to silently freak....how will I get the shopping, decorating, cooking, wrapping, etc., etc., all done?  Factor in all the fun things to do like house parties, dinners with friends, and Holiday Christmas Tours!   I have already crossed a few needed gifts off my list but still the task is daunting.   Fortunately (or unfortunately) you are all in the same boat with me.   But enough......

Fall is in the air and after loosing two - three days this week to a fever and sinus infection it felt good to get outside yesterday.   I felt so crummy I didn't even stitch or read so you know I was down for the count.   I slept on the couch for two and a half days!   Still have some sinus pressure but hope my doses of Alka Seltzer Cold & Sinus will knock it out.   I really hate being laid up with a cold or similar.....such a waste of valuable time!

So what have I been stitching......first is the new start from my retreat.   This is the Elizabeth Pusey sampler from Chester County, PA.   All I can tell you is that this child must have just learned the eyelet stitch.....this design is overrun with them.   I thought about changing some to mosaic but decided to hold as true to the pattern as is humanly possible for me.   You can see I grow tired of the eyelet and have worked downward in order to get in some variety of stitching.   I am also finding that lighting is more important that magnification for this and any project.


The chart called for DMC but I converted to WDW.   I like the color gradation I am getting on the satin stitching.   I guess I really should concentrate on that two toned braided band first before continuing with the lettering.

My other current WIP has taken a back seat since retreat.   Here is my progress on my current Pat Thode/Heartstrings Santa.    I have another arm, a beard, and surface stitching to do to complete him. If I only put my mind to this one, I could wrap it up this week.  Starting with a breakfast with a girlfriend this morning, dinners out on Monday and Tuesday, nails on Wednesday, hair appt. and Stitching Group on Thursday (you know how you gab so much you sometime end up taking out anything you accomplished so stitching group = no progress!  LOL).....I don't see much stitching time in my future.   And just how is a girl to loose weight with all this eating out!   Geez!



I did a little Halloween decorating....


And I got Grace Mason back from the framer and on the wall.   I really like the frame I choose and I am very happy with this finish.  My goodness!  In retirement I think I need to take up framing!  It can really be expensive but some pieces, like Grace, deserve professional framing.


I need to carve out some time to stitch since I have signed up for the Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler - Things Unseen.  I am so excited!  The first mailing is at the beginning of November.  I always catch on to one of  these mystery stitch-alongs well after it has started and then I don't sign up.   This one - by some weird aligning of the planets - I knew about ahead of time.  It has been fun to follow the progress of the design, gathering of floss, buttons, etc., on the L*K blog.

So that's where I am this week.   More enjoyment of the crisp fall air and the rustle of leaves;   bringing my deck plants inside to winter over; hoping to get back into that treadmill routine (so easy to get out of ;-| ); a 6 a.m. airport run this week; planning to be a better co-worker after having words with a fellow employee this week (She deserved it! but it is not my style and I blame it on the medicine head I had); catching up on my other blog and two websites with some much needed updates; and saying prayers for a dear friend in Charleston, SC who underwent surgery for a brain tumor this week.  (I think a road trip south to make a visit may be in order!)


Monday, October 6, 2014

Drum Roll.....and the winner is....

Me!   Every time we have our retreat at Salty Yarns in OCMD my girlfriends and I have a 'contest' for who has the larger tab at the time of checkout.....this time I was the winner!

but let me start at the beginning.    This weekend was our semi-annual stitching retreat and it was another great one.   We stopped in Berlin, Maryland on Thursday for lunch and shopping on the way. We also decided to add an extra  day to the long weekend and throughly enjoyed a relaxed Sunday and a scrumptious dinner at the Sunset Grill rather than driving home on Sunday afternoon.


Berlin is such a cute town with tons of specialty shops, antiques shops and jewelry shops.  Berlin was made famous when the movie Runaway Bride was filmed there. (Sorry, crappy phone pix)

The day was overcasted but lunch at the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin, MD, was over the top! Pumpkin-Shrimp soup, yummo!

Been wanting a new Vera Bradley wallet/wristlet.
I always treat myself to a new start while on retreat.   This time it is the Elizabeth Pusey Sampler from the Chester Historical Society.    I pulled the DMC colors and did my best to match up with some Weeks and Crescent colors instead.  Then there was the discover that I never noted the DMC numbers on the colors I pulled, sooooooo...back into the store I went.   Not a big deal, just had to get up from the porch rocker and walk about 15 feet!

Don't you just love how quickly band samplers work up?


Four of us are at it again doing another Pat Thode/Heartstrings Santa.  We are going to do the "Celestial Santa" which is in the middle back...... I just have to finish this year's Santa first.  (I'll have to share my progress in my next post.  He's getting there.)

Next to Christmas, I love stitching patriotic stitches.   From Pine Mountain,  this kit comes with everything but the pillow form.  This will be a great take along project to work on.

Another patriotic stitch.   Grande Olde Flag Sampler from Chessie & Me.   I really fell in love with the weeping willow tree.























Fell in love with these Quaker Pears.  Picked up a couple of remnants of "Gardener's Green" to have at the ready when I want to start the stitching.













From La-D-Da, a name tag pattern for me.   I have taken a bit of ribbing since my nametag is a color xerox copy of our guild logo that I shoved in a lanyard.   Kind of cheating on my part.  Hopefully I can stitch this up quickly.

Miscellaneous charms, floss and fabric I needed for projects.

And the piece that put me over the top.....cost wise.   Not because of the $$.   This was in my bag, out of my bag, back on the shelf, in my bag and back to the shelf all weekend.   Well I succumbed to peer pressure and rushed from the Lankford's lobby and back into Salty Yarns to make that another  purchase it put me at the top.  I am glad I did since Sara told me is it a limited edition and one of only two she had left.    See, if I had hesitated until the spring I might never have been able to get it!  Like that reasoning?   Sounds like good rationale to me.



 Sunrise this morning.



 The weather was beautiful and both the boardwalk and beaches had considerable amount of people all weekend.   Not so much this hour of the morning!


Bacon, chocolate donuts!    I have no words!  

Already counting the days until our April retreat.   I will make sure I mark up the out of office calendar when I go into work tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your week!