Sunday, January 27, 2013

To add insult to injury

Last night when we dropped off Diane on the way home from the airport, I slipped and fell on some black ice in her driveway.  I didn't think much of it as the time since it kind of seemed like it happened in slow motion and I landed on a very 'padded' area.  But today,  that twinge I am feeling in my knee which I must have twisted at the time, is making me feel sorry for myself.

So what do we do when we feel sorry for ourselves......surround ourselves with comfort foods.    This morning I baked cranberry scones - a favorite, and some butterscotch and chocolate chip cookies.  I proceeded to make myself a fancy cup of coffee......the first cup I brewed I forgot to put the cup in place.   More woe is me!    But now with a fresh cup of Hazelnut Cappachino brewed I am ready to sit, sip coffee, eat scones and stitch.  
Progress moved along with O Tannebaum before my jet-setting round-trip and Boo to You is working up fast. (see yesterday's post for a photo) I am not sure which I will stitch on since I am enjoying seeing the quick progress on each.   hmmmm, am I becoming a better stitcher or are these two easy projects.

I spoke with Diane last night on her way home from the hospital.  Her dad is better but worse.   He was alert last night as Diane sat with him in ICU and was able to recognize everyone and speak to them which is something he hadn't done in about 36 hours.  But the doctor's say the congestive heart failure is worse.     She has a rough few days ahead of her which puts my silly feeling sorry for myself into the proper perspective.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Aruba will have to wait for me to visit

A crazy turn of events here.   I fly to  Fort Lauderdale, Florida yesterday at 7:50 a.m.  By 11:30, we were checked in our room and pool side just chilling for 24 hours before we were to board our cruise ship to Curacao and Aruba......then my girlfriend got a call from her sister that her father had been rushed to the hospital with congestive heart failure.   Long story short, after much back and forth with phone calls home and not knowing what to do, I told her we needed to cancel the cruise (we had travel protection insurance on the cruise) and fly home asap.   I knew she would not enjoy herself and I would not enjoy myself if she was so distraught not knowing what was going on, or if something did, no way to get off the ship and get home.  At the first suggestion of my solution and she agreed.   It was what she wanted but she didn't want to spoil the trip for me.    To make matters worse, this was a cruise for her birthday which is today.   I feel so bad for her.

I tried to make her feel better with being positive.  I said, heck, it is an adventure.   Another chapter in the book of my life.  I felt like a secret agent on a mission flying into a city one day and out the next.  But enough, I know we did the right thing.  There will always be other cruises, Aruba is not going anywhere and Diane one has one dad.
Approaching Fort Lauderdale on Friday.   I may not like
to fly but I do like looking out the window.
So, me Miss Unfond of Airflight has been in a plane twice in 30 hours.  I wish I had a camera handy for the look on the girl's face next to me when I was digging in the seat pockets for a barf bag before we left Fort Lauderdale today.   There were none.   I assured her it was just a precaution; kind of like my flight wubie (security blanket).  I've never needed the barf bag but sure feel better knowing I have it just in case.  She flagged the stewardess down for one for me.  It was not needed.

This is what I decided to start stitching.   It is from my 2013 Challenge rotation and I'll use any excuse to start something new. It's amazing how much you can stitch sitting in a airport.  This one shows today's progress.  I think I will have to backstitch her arm and hand.   I used all the recommended colors but the hand does not show against the apron.

 This is how I was stitching yesterday.  Life is rough.

What could make the last 48 hours worse, Mr. NOT so Wonderful wants to know what I can fix us to eat.   Have a heart buddy!   Today is Diane's birthday and she is sitting in ICU when she and I should be on a cruise ship eating a 7 course meal.   I'm ordering a pizza and he will just have to like it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thankful for the little things

Ahhhh, last week seemed to be a repeat of the week before - 40 hours by noon on Thursday.   The office was closed today for Martin Luther King Day but I went in for few hours to catch up.   Boy, what you can get done in four hours with no interruptions.   It feels good to have caught up a bit.
Stitching is going OK.   No, it is going great.    I have seen Pat, Carol and Diane's progress and all but Carol has passed me.  :*(   rather than get upset at myself.  I said, "self, this is not a race."   They may be further along (does it have anything to do that they are all RETIRED!!), but I am doing great for me! and I am thoroughly enjoying this piece.  (Go ahead, Pat - laugh out loud at that....little inside joke between she and I.)

Yesterday I laid out all my clothes and jewelry and shoes, etc. for my upcoming cruise.   It is different than packing for the beach or mountains when you know there is a Walmart or Piggly Wiggly right around the corner or you don't need to worry about the weight of the suitcase.
I am ready! clothes for Friday airplane ride(CRINGE!!), my carry-on, my passport and boarding passes and there are a bunch of post-it with notes for last minute items - phone charger, curling iron, and Diane's birthday present since she will celebrate it while on our cruise.

Mr. W. and I went to the bank Saturday with both our magical money jars.   He cashed his in and gave me the proceeds of his coin saving as spending money.   Wow.   Mr. W. has never offered up $$$ before for any of my other trips.   I guess he can't identify with my trips to the beach or mountains or a retreat.  Having been on two different cruises before he swore off traveling so I guess he can relate to a cruise better than a stitching retreat!   I had planned to go myself and take pix of the process and the receipt to post and share but no need to fluster Mr. W. with my silliness.   I can hear him now....."just get on with it".  I was just thankful he carried the coins for me.

Speaking of retreats.....Pat, my stitching com padre, and I have signed up to attend the Stitchers Hideaway Retreat in Sturbridge in July with Jeannette Douglas.   I've had a class with Jeannette before and she is a great and a fun teacher.   The info and class piece can be found on the website.  I am a lucky gal to have two great trips planned this year.......I am sure there will be some weekend retreats and times at the beach as well.  Funny this is, when booking this trip, little does Mr. W. know, it will end up costing more than my cruise but I can say for sure he would never cash in his magical money jar for me to get floss and linen, etc. and I know I don't need him to know how my this little stitching hobby of mine can cost.

Getting ready for traveling I went shopping Saturday to get a few things.   It included a stop at the mall.   Other than being in the food court or entering J. C. Penneys from the parking and making a quick exit back out, I don't think I have been in the Mall for over a year.   What a crowd.   You would have thought it was Christmas.   Stores crowded, food court crowded, parking lot ridiculously crowded.  I went because I needed a new watch battery and everywhere I went I was told I needed to get to the store that sold the watch to me.  Funny thing, I went into the Brighton store and they sent me to a kiosk - which I never did find.

I proceeded to Barnes and Noble to pickup a couple of paperbacks for my trip.   I don't want to take my iPad (which will mean withdrawal)   But to the point, thank goodness, thank my lucky stars I have the iPad and can rely on the Kindle Ap because the bookstore was an absolute waste of time.   I went in with a couple of titles/authors to look for.   After the first two were not available, I went back to my mental list and searched the cobwebs for another couple to look for....still no luck..... now I tried to find a place to sit and unlike Borders who used to have nice comfy chairs, I found myself sitting on the window sill while I called up GoodReads on my phone.   Before that I used the in store terminals to search some authors and titles and got the answer - Available Online.  I ended up with two of James Patterson's paperbacks in the Alex Cross series
 and thanked my lucky stars again the twit that checking me out didn't ask if I found everything OK.....oh, wait, that would mean she would have had to be paying attention to me, the customer, not her checkout mate at the next register.  Do they really think anyone wants to hear about what Sherry and Steve did at Rosemary's party last night?  Really not hard to see I am not a mall girl.

Alright, I have a fullfledged rant going on now........but saving the best for orchid is going to bloom again!!!  I think it must thrive on neglect.

And even better.....we are getting snow.  Although I would be happier still with  more like half a foot, this is the second best kind of snow.....not sticking to the sidewalks or roads.    I do love at least one good snow storm a year.   I love taking that deep breath and filling your insides with all the cold fresh air into your lungs.   I love seeing the blue blue sky the next day against the white white world.  I love having my coffee on the porch and listening to the snow and the silence it brings.  So I took a cup outside tonight to enjoy it a bit......until the trucks on the nearby highway brought me back to reality.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ever have one of those days UPDATED

(scroll to the bottom - Diane shared a photo of her progress)
when you kind of just loaf around until about 1?   Well I did today.   I think it is because the body and the mind were telling me I need some down time.   I haven't slept well all week so I just watched old episodes of Law and Order and napped on the couch and am embarrassed to say I didn't even shower or get dressed until 1.   Good thing no one popped over for a visit.  They might have been seen running down the highway to put as much distance between us as possible.

Once I got moving, I really put it in gear.    I am really enjoying the current book I am reading and read for 54 minutes while on the treadmill. (54 minutes??? why not 60???)  The book is called "Sentence of Marriage" of the Promises to Keep series by Shayne Parkinson.

I took time cleaning my email inbox, going through stacks of mail and magazines and reviewed my cruise itinerary and made sure I put my eyeballs on my passport!  That was a relief.   I kind of knew where it was but still I wanted to see it.  

I managed to get my mind wrapped around my volunteer Secretary/Treasurer work and made fabulous progress - final reports completed, budget amended and filed, grants applied for, blah, blah, blah.    And  those other nagging little bits they ask you to follow up on at a meeting in addition to your duties?   Yeah, that stuff.   Sometimes I just don't know where to start with it all so I don't....I put it off because I keep telling myself I don't feel like it, I'm too tired or don't have the time. Excuses!   OMG - I can hearing the preaching to my kids when they were in school that you have the time if you take the time and I am eating those words now.

It's also good because I really need to put some time in on the website I have to redevelop for my stitching guild.   Not to worry, I know I will be so happy to be completed I will surely post a link.   In addition to revamping the website, I am launching a blog for them.   Unlike my stitching where I can flit from project to project I just haven't been able to justify working on the guild's website and blog when I had so much to do (computerwise) for my board.   But that is done and I hope to be able to announce progress and beta test everything by our February meeting.   What......with 8 days in the Carribean thrown in there.....maybe I should be kinder to myself and set that goal as between the Feb. and March meetings.

 As for stitching - my needle is flying through Oh Tannebaum!   I am really loving working on this piece.   I think because I am seeing progress so quickly.   The old die hard that I am that always stitched in hand has found stitching can be so much faster on a scroll frame.   Who says you can't teach on old dog new trick.

Pat has just started her's and I hope I will see her progress at stitching night on Thursday.   Carol has not started her's yet.   And far away Diane started hers from the top down.   (New) Diane shared her photo of her progress.   She said she had put it aside for the last few days and says she is now energized to finish. Damn! I was proud of my progress until I see how far she has gotten.   I will have to find out when she started and then perhaps I won't be bummed!

For now, a big bowl of homemade bean soup is waiting for me and then it will be stitching time while I  watch Downton Abbey.   I am sure I will watch last week's episode as well when they rerun it tonight.    If you are a following you should watch the PBS show on the Castle of High Clefe (sp?) for a behind the scenes look and interview with the family that lives in what we know as Downton Abbey.    They rent it to the show for 4 months each year for the filming.

OK, the smell of the soup and the fresh biscuits are calling me.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


It has been a long week.....had 40+ hours in by the noon on Thursday.   Part catch up from having off between Christmas and New Years, part a couple of major projects, part that I seem to have to cover for everyone who is out but have no back up myself.  Before I headed out the door Friday morning, I stopped long enough to enjoy the morning sky.     Like the sailor's sky in the morning, sailors take warning......we got a soaking of rain later Friday afternoon and evening.  

The last two weeks I feel like my mantra has will all be good once you get this/these task/s completed.....ohmmmm.  Not complaining, just putting a name to the culprit that has left coffee mugs in the sink, afghans tossed across the sofa, mail unopened, laundry not put away and has allowed for little stitching and caused a bit of frogging.

Seems when you are tired is not the time to find comfort in stitching.   I missed an entire row on one block on Santa's coat.   Thankfully I realized it was a bit wonky before I did the back stitching and starting the frogging.  Whew! Good break for me.

Good new is I am super happy with my progress.     Also, making me happy is that I have stuck to using my treadmill at least 5 days a week, started a Walk-Fit class at work, signed up for a retreat in New England this summer and am two weeks away from my Caribbean cruise!  Think I should take a few minutes this weekend to fine my passport!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Here you go.   My Orts so far.  

Looks a lot heartier then it really is.   There are bits of yarn that I added from a quick knit of a scarf I made.

 For more info on the Totally Useless SAL, click the word "TUSAL" in my sidebar to the right.   Stitch on everyone!

Monday, January 7, 2013


Take that you nasty scuz buckets who hacked my credit card......Bam!  

People please, please, please routinely check your online statements.   I do.   Usually it is with a scratch of the head as I wonder how did the balance get so high.  Which is exactly what I was doing tonight as I was reviewing the holiday charges.....hmmm.....quick run down the hall to the bedroom and confirmation with Mr. Wonderful that he was not in Philly on 1/2/13 at an Italian restaurant .......looks like someone was eating good on my card starting on New Year's Eve with a pre-paid cell phone charge followed by bringing in the new year with a $300 dinner in Philly, a $217 dinner in Philly the next day, a $112 dinner a day later when they felt like Japanese, another pre-paid cell phone charge, grocery store charge and so on to the tune of $797.87.

The CSR said on two occasions a card was not even presented/swiped which makes me wonder what was  swiped at the other locations??   He was also a bit taken back when I replied "fantastic" when he informed me my cards were canceled effective immediately.    He said most customers get mad and curse him that point????  Whatever.....scuz bucket who was using my card can't anymore.   I'd love to see the look on his fact when he tries to pay for his expensive dinner tonight.  Man o' man....why can't the guys that are smart enough to do this put their brainwaves to curing cancer or fostering world peace?

Charges removed, account closed, new cards on their way!   They don't know this little old lady checks in on her accounts about every ten days!  Like I said, take that!

OK, enough excitement at my little patch of the planet.   Time for me to hang up my crime fighter's cape and do some stitching.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Isn't it just so plain and bare when the decorations come down?   I went into work a half day yesterday and again today and came home to start taking down the decorations.  Right now I need a break because I  am not feeling the big desire to push on with this clean up so I am off to Blogland for a short diversion.  Hey!  A girl needs some downtime right?

It has been a busy time getting back to work and catching up after being off for 10 days. Couple that with the first week of the month and the monthly meetings.......I am not getting the evening stitching time in as much as I would like; however, I have been making great progress on my January 1 start (which I confess I started at 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve and since I was asleep sitting up by 11 I don't believe the 11 or 12 stitches I did get in should be held against me.)   I've started a new routine before the holidays of stitching for 45 minutes each morning before I get on the treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes and so far, it is working well.  Missed two days in two weeks on the treadmill but both were the morning I go out to breakfast and I have declared that will be my day of rest from the treadmill!  I know it is way to early to see any change and in fact the scale registers more pounds than before but THIS TIME I will not get discouraged and stop.    I walked every morning years ago and it took some time but after a year I had lost weight and was able to eat whatever I wanted.   Not going for the weight loss as a main goal just really trying to continue to change my sedentary lifestyle.   Face it ladies, we don't burn a whole lot of calories or develop much muscle tone from inserting a needle in and out of a piece of linen.  LOL!

Good thing about the treadmill is I am back reading again.    I finished War Brides a period novel set in the English countryside during World War II.   It was an enjoyable read and well as eye opening.  With my mother-in-law from London she has told us of stories are going into the subway tunnels during the air raids.   Just reading about the devastation and hardship and horrors they dealt with I realize how very spoiled I am.  Yes there have been times when money was short and I'd have to scrape to pay the bills......but my hardships are nothing compared to what they endured or what others today still endure.   I am so thankful for what I have.   Ok, enough......  

I am really loving this one and I am glad I chose it as the first one of my EGA Chapter's Challenge to work on.   It is going quickly.   See the pin?   That is the 3 inch mark and what I deemed would be my stopping point to move onto another project but this is going so fast and I am enjoying it taking shape that I am staying with it for now.
 It is call Tannebaum Time with a nordic type Santa standing on a cottage rooftop.  Isn't the bottom of his coat neat?   His sleeves are trimmed the same way.   Good thing the directions tell you not to be neat with your french knots.
Here's the pattern.   Sorry to the bad sideways pic.....sideways is my fault, the bad pic is just the fact that the pattern has a bad pic.   Had I not seen this done and on display in the store I would have never picked it up.   Judging by the dusty packaging and the 2005 date, seems a lot of people felt that way before me!  There are four of us in my group that plan to stitch this in 2013.   Pat and Carol haven't started and Diane, way far away in Tennessee.....I don't know if she has.   I will see her in April or May and we will have to compare progress then.

I signed up for Daffycat's TUSAL again this year.   I have signed up in the past and then I forget to post even though I collect my orts faithfully.   This is my pint mug with all my 2012 orts.   What's a TUSAL you ask?   Totally Useless Stitch A-Long.  We post pix of our ort collection on the new moon of each month.  I really plan to stick with it this year.  Stay tuned for what I am able to collect by January 11th.
 Well I think my time out is over and it is back to taking the rest of the decorations down.   I just have two trees left to do.   All the outside garlands are down and stowed, all the table decorations are packed, all the wreaths (save one) and greens are stored until next a quick untrimming of the trees and  a quick sweep up because I have a reward in store for me when I am done.......I am looking forward to Downton Abbey's premier!  I cannot believe how much of a following this show has developed!  I caught an episode of "Call the Midwife" last weekend which aired prior to the Downton Abbey's rerun.   If you like period dramas in England these are definitely to be added to your list.    I will have to search about to see where I can find the old episodes of Call the Midwife so I can catch up on that one and add it to my Sunday evening ritual.  Downton Abby definitely takes the place of my putting out my snowman decorations....they can wait til next weekend!

Have a good week all, my your stitches be many and your frogs be few!