Saturday, September 7, 2019

Ankle Bone is Connected to the Leg Bone

Well look at my lap all snuggled under an afghan a friend crocheted.   This can only mean two time I need to make sure I have on socks so my unmanicured tootsies don't peak out and we are having some glorious cool weather as we transition into fall.  Carol is moving to Florida and won't need this cozy throw so I confiscated to think of her every time I use it.  

Really enjoying the crispness of the early morning air.  

I have discovered my yard again!   yeah!   Last week I put in an hour to an hour and a half each night after work.   And although I find my needlework so meditative, there is nothing that compares to your hands in the dirt.   I have thought I lost my yard mojo and some other mojo along the way and that little bit of time grounded me (hardy har har).  I do so enjoy working in the garden and I am glad that it still part of my heart and soul.  I have plans to very shortly popping outside to trim up some shrubs and freshen up a bed I have neglected with some much needed mulch.  

Last week I did take the time to rearrange my gnome bed and move it to around my pond.   I got rid of a lot of the not so gnome-like pieces.  It needs some more work. I think growing up building forts and climbing trees I missed the playing with dolls part so I digress.

 Coffee this morning outside and loving the look of early morning on the pool.   This is a view I won't have much longer.   The water temp has dropped below 70 degrees and I know the cover will be on in the next week and it will be closed until next year.   I think the pool cover going on really means the end of summer for me.   (sad face)

And then there is how one thing leads to another.....I have a major reno on the horizon.   What started as let's up grade the upstairs toilet has led to a total gut job of two bathrooms.   The 63 year old cast iron pipes need to be replaced as they have deteriorated to the point they could five months, five weeks or five minutes.    Simple, right?   Not when the pipes are hidden behind bead board in 63 year ceramic tile embedded in wire mess and concrete.   Looks like we will have a Spot-a-pot in our yard for a week or so.   Good for me that we have a locker room at work because that is where I will be showering.   I spent yesterday going to plumbing stores and showrooms for ideas and prices.  Mr. W. and I do not have the same aesthetic.   He doesn't like the floor I choose but I can make concessions to like what he picked floorwise but........   he liked the $8,500 shower surround that didn't include the faucets, the pan, the niches for shampoo or soap, the doors, the drain installation, delivery and who knows what other internal parts.   Oh and the bench inside the shower was also an extras $2K.   I will be dissuading him from that which looked like it should be in  Graceland and not my house.  Needless to say, I had the beginnings of a major headache after the 6 hours of shopping.   I didn't even want to stitch when I finally say down last night!  On the bright side, when I received the estimate last week by email and forwarded it to my husband, Mr. W. asked if I was OK with it and if it covered everything I wanted done.  Heck, once I got to the part that said the contractor would prime and paint with the homeowners choice of paint, I stopped.  That was a win win for me.  We don't have a demo or start date but told the contractor we want this done by Thanksgiving.   Just got to get on his schedule now.  

Other news, Mr. W. has resigned from drum corp.   Of course I didn't believe him since he says he is done every year after returning home from 8 weeks on the road.  Then I was copied on the thank-you-for-your-service-email from the Executive Director.  Oh boy, next summer will be my first summer retired and me and Mr. W. get to spend it together.  After 20 summers of being home alone......oh my!  Trepidation!  I may retire upstairs to my craft room and have a whole lot of finishes! (at least I will have a new bathroom to use while I am up there.)

For stitching, I am really happy with my progress on my Santa.   The other girls are saying there is so much stitching on this......I don't think so.   His sweater was a breeze.  I think it worked up fast even with my mis-stitches.  Yes, it is a lot of rows of red for his coat but it is pretty mindless.   I have a couple of packages at his feet to do and then his arms.    I set a self-imposed deadline of September 25th and I will make it with time to spare!     Diane was the first to finished hers and will be bringing up it from Tennessee in October.   I will be taking both of ours to a finisher in Lancaster.   I can't argue with the price I was quoted.   If we leave it to me it could sit in the UFO baskets for years.

That about wraps it up for me.   Today I plan to head out in to the yard, tackle that neglected bed and just enjoy being outside.  I have a basket I am making up for MAR EGA Auction that I want to assemble this afternoon and I am planning to end the day with a fire in the fire pit, a glass of wine and a good book.   Not a bad forecast at all.

Until next time, keep on stitching.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Adventure Weekend

First up, I've got a William story to share.   Out of the mouths of babes.....You know how you try to tell young parents to be careful with what they say?  How little ones are parrots and repeat what they hear?  

Riding in the truck with his dad and mom....
Will - Daddy I want to go to the ice cream store. (Which is the Penn State Creamery on campus)
Dad - Willy, we have to go to Wegmans and get stuff for dinner.
Will - Mommy, I want to go to the ice cream store.
Mom - Willy, no, daddy said we have to go to Wegmans.  Maybe another day.
Will - (Silence)
Mom and Dad are satisfied he has accepted no ice cream store.
Willy - Daddy
Dad - Yes Willy
Will - Daddy, you guys are bitches.   

After dad and mom managed to stifle the laughter and dad managed not to drive off the rode......bad words were explained to a three year old.  Damma decided on her recent visit  to try as she might, to call everyone silly gooses hoping we can avoid washing any one's mouth out with soap (do parents still do that) and that we do not offend the bird lovers of PETA by calling geese silly.  

This trip to State College, I may have been the silly was move-in weekend at Penn State.   The tiny town of State College swells by 70,000 students and their parents.    The 4 hour drive took 5 hours.   There is a section of two lane road through the mountain that everyone has to pass through to get into Happy Valley.    I couldn't get my usual room at the Marriott and stayed with my son and D-in-L and I got to camp.

This is my bed!  I got to sleep in Mr. William's tent.  OMGosh, what Damma's will do for grand kids.

Always with my son and D-in-L we do something outside.   Friday, after I arrived and we picked up my D-in-L from work, swung by the creamery and bought 3 half-gallons of ice cream which we had packed in dry ice to save for later and we went hiking.    Not hiking as I think of hiking on a relatively  flat surface through a meadow.   No, we climbed Indian Overlook.   Narrow trails and an elevation of about 1,000 above our starting point.     The view was awesome once we made it to the top.    I readily admit to frequent rest stops along the way but I made it.    

 These were taken literally seconds apart from the same spot......I must have applied a filter to one.

After a nice dinner and several adult beverages for me at their favorite tavern, we were treated to a beautiful sunset across the valley on the ride home.

Of course boys will be boys and they had fun filling the kitchen with fog from the dry ice which of course got a 3 year old all wound up and squealing.

Saturday we awoke to a beautiful day and ANOTHER mountain to climb.   Mt. Nittany trail was only  an 800 feet in elevation climb but equally as challenging to me!  But again I made it.   And surprisingly I didn't awake either following morning with any soreness.   Especially surprising when the extent of my physicality is pulling weeds or rolling an office chair around the floor.  (Speaking of which, my boss is starting to warm up  the pressure for me to stay after January 10th.   He is not to the full court press yet, but I imagine by Thanksgiving, that will happen.)   

Mt. Nittany, looming ahead.

This is what my son classifies as not too steep and a nice trail.    Either he is off his rocker in concepts or I am for climbing!  I employed the use of a walking stick on both climbs which proved very helpful.

The view over the valley was beautiful.

Not long back in the car and the Willie Man was out for the count.

 One last trip up and down the road on his balance bike and Damma had to head home.

And if you have managed to stick with me through the family diary, there is some stitching albeit paltry.

As for stitching, I did not get much done this past week.   Also part of why I like to stay at the Marriott......some late night relaxing and stitching after returning to my room.    I am chugging along with my Santa.   He is really going fast......that is when I put needle and thread together.    I save work on the jacket for needlework night since I don't have to count which makes it easier with all the chatter between us.

I started this Snow Belle from Lizzie Kate for November class exchange piece.  The theme is winter ornament so the Snow Belle works and it is all from stash.   That is always a plus.  I am not sure how I will finish her but I have to get her stitched first!

Thanks for stopping by, next time, more stitching and less family to report on.    Keep on stitching.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

This 'n That

We are back into the HHH - Heat-Humidity-Horribleness of summer.   I enjoyed an evening water ride on the Christiana River in Delaware with a friend last week and decided this needs to be my mantra for the weeks ahead.  

Since I last lamented about my garden beds getting away from me, I managed to get them tidy .....but they could be back on the verge of needing my attention.   I think the reality of it is not the heat but loss of desire to be in the garden.   Sad transition since I have taken many years of pleasure but I feel like I've already got that gardening badge for my sash of life experiences and now time to move on.   Instead of saying I'd rather be in the garden, I seem to be saying, I'd rather be stitching.  Then again, it could be the heat.  This kind of oppressive weather does take the starch out of your sails!

On the stitching front, I am happy with the progress I have made on my Santa Sampler.    He is not without mistakes but I am happy so far.   He is a really quick stitch.  Once I get the right side of his coat done, the bands should go super quick.

I can share this finish.   This is Brenda Gervais' Patriotic Poppies.    I stitched it on 18-count (yeah! no cheaters needed).    I made it into a pillow and although it is not County Fair worthy, it is good enough to sit out from Memorial Day to Labor Day.    I do need to still stitch it closed at the bottom but that part will be a no brainer.

While the sewing machine was going, I overcasting a bunch of linens I picked up.   Most came from our Stash Re-Allocation Sale at DVHSG.   Some were only a couple of dollars.....hard to say no to that price.  I need my own Stash Rearranging Event!
I took a quick weekend trip to Bucks County PA with a friend from Guild.   First stop was the Bucks County Welcome Center for a quilt show.   What beauties we saw.

Visitors were allow to vote on a show favorite and this was mine.    Sorry I don't have a better close up.   The free motion quilting on this was beyond stunning.

Next up was a visit to Ye Olde Cross Stitchery in Bristol PA.   Since they didn't open until 12:30 and it was only 11, we did a bit of consignment store shopping.   These are my finds.

Love this God Bless America and only $6.  How couldn't I pass it up?   Also got these children's kitchen mini pans/molds.   I picked up two more flower frogs.   Didn't really need them but the larger one is footed on the bottom rather than being flat so it was different.

I have a pin cushion made out of similar pans and plan to do the same for my new finds.    Will have to whip up some quilted fabric, destress it and make some up.

Neat gazebo at the water's edge in Bristol.

Part of our trip included a day in Lamberville NJ and New Hope PA.     Lunch at Lambertville Station started with some Chardoney.
We meet with Stacy's cousins for a great dinner at a place called Karla's in New Hope before our late check into our room in Doylestown.   Below, not Karla's, but a typical house you see in the New Hope area.

What a cute destination town Doylestown is.   While there we visited the Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle but I have to say the heat (neither are air conditioned) was getting the best of us.
 Above is a vampire killing kit.   Part of Henry Mercer's collection of 'tools' at the Mercer Museum.   Below, some of the needlework items in the general store display.

The driveway into Fonthill Castle the home of Henry Mercer.  

Fonthill Castle - Interested in preserving things, use of tiles from his tile factory on the property (The Morovian Tile Factory), fear of fire and the use of concrete - a new building media at the time - compelled Henry Mercer to build his castle out of concrete.
Above and below the Library.   Mr. Mercer had over 6,000 books in his collection most of which are housed in his concrete book shelves.

His house was a sort of showroom to potential buyers.   Buyers could see the variety of tiles and the varieties of uses while dining with Mr. Mercer.  Some of the tiles below on the column are babylonian from 2,300 BC that were gifted to Mr. Mercer.

The more ornate ceiling in the room Mr. Mercer created as a tribute to Christopher Columbus.

A few more consignment shops and then we spent the evening at a wine tasting.   The tasting was great and lead to bringing six bottles home with me.  We enjoyed a relaxing evening of live music, wine slushes and cheese and crackers at Bishops Winery.  I think I am stocked up for a bit.

Home again and back to reality.   Hope to dedicated time this week to my Santa.   I'd like to have him done by mid-September.   I've pre-stitching for a couple of fall classes that should be arriving soon.  And I want to get back to my 12-Days of Christmas ornaments so they are done by Christmas and then there are exchange pieces and......Ack!

Thanks for stopping by and keep on stitching......