31 March 2009


funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Can it be?

A day where I get to leave work IN SUNLIGHT? And actually go home? No stops? No major malfunctions? And I get to cook real food for SO and I to eat? And I might be able to put up pictures? And go for a walk because I feel well today? I better enjoy it now. Next week will be a bear. From the 5th to the 10th, I come home on time 1 night. Every other night is a late night. I'm not complaining, not really. It is what it is.

SO is away this weekend (I think I told y'all that, didn't I? If I did, sorry.). I have big plans. In addition to actually . . . dyeing floss (gasp, y'all, gasp) and going to Michaels to see if they have any tags I can use to put the dyed floss on for a project I am working on, I am actually going to attempt to go to a restaurant and eat by myself. That is one of my phobias, and I admire women who do it. I don't know why I am so scared of doing it, I just am. But, it's spring, I have big plans, and enough cash for breakfast, and no real reason NOT to go. So I'm doing it. And I'm opening an account in the rinky-dink bank in town. No better way to show commitment to my new hometown, right? I think there are like 4 branches in the state, but I want something close, with a personal feeling to it. Maybe they'll see the brilliance of my "Dyeing floss to buy a farm" campaign, and loan me the money to buy the farm outright. Or not . . .

I'm starting the kitty afghan out of Cross Stitcher (US) Jan 09 issue tomorrow (I think I told you that too, didn't I? Batting a thousand today, LOL). It's funny. It feels like an EVENT. I went and bought big needles yesterday at lunch so that I could stitch comfortably. I noticed the other day that my size 28 needles feel small and flimsy to me for some reason. I don't know why, but I feel compelled to use a size 26, and, for an afghan, I prefer a 24. Is that wierd? Anyway, it does look like a fairly straight-forward stitch. The kitties aren't that big, and there's not that many of them.

Not much else is happening. I haven't been buying much of anything lately. I did find a length of muslin in AC Moore yesterday, though, and, since going to Joanne's isn't exactly a 2 second trip, and I want to do a Raggedy Anne primitive stitchery that I promised to pass on to Louise, I bought the package of muslin and a blue ink pen. I hope it goes a little better than the first one I did went. I might as well have had SO's 3 year old nephew draw it, based on how well I did tracing it. I just have to slow down. And I bought some Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe floss on E-bay. Vonna was using it, and it looked so pretty and is so nicely priced. I can't resist a deal.

30 March 2009

I was so lazy yesterday

I worked on Saturday, and then woke up yesterday, with a sick-sore throat, congestion and a small headache. I am starting to think that my normal condition is to have a headache, because I've had them on and off for the last two months. None to the point where I have to go home, but still, that's a long time to be achy. This wasn't too bad, so I just got some extra caffeine, squealed that my head ached and that I am tired of having a headache and being stressed, and demanded breakfast.

SO accommodated me in my demands. He's been doing that a lot lately, funny man. I told him I found us a farm. In foreclosure. For only $950K. It's 22 acres. With an old farmhouse with two fireplaces. Probably more. He agreed it was a good price. He agreed that having a herd of beef cattle would be fun and would cut down the mowing. I even think he agreed that we could have horses. But then he asked how I intended to take care of the farm. He didn't buy my argument that beef cattle were easy to take care of, you leave them alone unless you want to eat them, feed them, or see their babies being born. He told me we'd have to get better jobs. And I guess I didn't do enough of a good job convincing him that, with my $4 hotpot from Goodwill, a shoebox of dye, and floss from Michael's, that we could dye enough floss to buy that farm and pay the sales tax. However, he has not heard Paula Deen's philosophy: When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. I would dye some floss if it would get me a big farm house and some horses, and to not have to worry about getting laid off. I would dye all day, and willingly have blue hands. They've been blue for lesser reasons.

Anyway, because I was grumpy and sick, and I know someone will by that house before I can get the money earned for it, I spent the whole day in bed. Literally. I was stitching. I finished Patty's ornament, though it got a little frayed at the end. It's not too bad. I like it a lot. Now to get the other goodies and mail it.

I also worked on my lioness and her cub. I swear, it is not easy. Not at all. I have frogged so much that I am starting to worry that I lack basic math comprehension skills. But I can see his ear and his cheek now. I put the eye in last night. Somehow I find having a WIP staring at me gives me a strong reason to stitch faster. After tomorrow, he becomes a work project, at least til I get the kitty afghan finished, which shouldn't take too long. I know that this will get easier once I get out of the small bits of shading right around his face.And that is helping me. Sometimes, you just have to step back and look at the big picture. Like life. Right now, I am in a mucky time, with little bits of shading that confuse and irritate me. It seems I'll never get to the end, but I know the big areas of clear stitching are out there and waiting. I just have to muddle through this part, might have to frog a few bits and hope the frayed edges that get stuck can't be seen to bad. But someday, it will all lie flat and clear, and I'll see how all the colors fit together to make a story.

28 March 2009

Rainy and boring

That pretty much sums up my day today.

I am at work til 8. I was so bored I made Robbie a Facebook page. If you are of a mind, and don't mind having a cute little Schipperke as a Facebook friend, add him. His name is Robin Spory (Robin is his official, in trouble, name). I figured it was legal, I mean that is his "real" name and he is a real entity. He's just a dog. I am off tomorrow, and am so thankful for it. I don't have much planned. Supposed to have isolated thunderstorms. And I am fixing us dinner, using the new chopper Mom bought us, because I was whining about having to chop onions. Small things delight me.

We went to Goodwill yesterday at lunch. I was searching for the teacup I need for my exchange. I was hoping I could find a matching cup and saucer, but of course, that was not happening at Goodwill. I found a snack plate that coordinates with the cup, so I think it looks good. I'll put a package of nice ginger cookies in there, with her tea and her ornament. Total cost? $2.58. A bargain at twice the price!

I also found something to heat my water in for my dyeing. They had a bunch of coffeemakers, really nice ones. Krups, things like that. I decided it would be a waste of the coffeemaker to use something so nice to heat water, so I ended up with a hotpot. I think it will work just as well, and less to break, not having the glass coffee carafe. That was $4.

And I got two small ramekin things in blue pottery. They look like Fiestaware, but they're not. I figured we could put jellybeans or Easter candy in them til after the holiday, then put some candles in them. They would probably be fine outside over the summer and just would make it prettier out there. And they were 59 cents each. I felt cute and shabby chic.

26 March 2009

I can breathe now

I think . . . Or at least I hope.

Mom's procedure went good this morning and was much quicker than when she went in September. I finished my ornament for Patty, but I didn't really feel like starting anything new, at least not in the waiting room, so I read Black Beauty instead. I loved that book when I was young. My parents got me some Disney read-along record with music, and I wore it out. I loved it. It's been probably 25 years since I last read it, and so it was like coming back to an old friend, and a brave one at that. What a courageous person Anna Sewall was to write that book in those times? But I can say, unlike back in my childhood, it made me think now. Beyond the question of whether I'm a good rider with a light hand. Particularly the part where they talk about the cruelty of tail docking in dogs and horses. The twins are tailless, I don't know whether it was natural or not. I assume natural, but I can't be sure. Robbie sired tailed puppies, so that muddies my notions. Anyway, I never thought of it as hurting them and, somehow, changing them forever. Now I am thinking of it.

I started my lion picture for the fair. It's going to be a doozy, but I like it so far. I am hoping it doesn't take that long to do. The back might look bad, but it's a lot of confetti stitching.

I also took advantage of the time between when I brought Mom home and had to go to work by shopping in my kit stash. I left most of my kits at Mom's, and I never really went in those boxes a lot anyway, so it was fun to go through. I pulled my All Our Yesterdays kids out and those are on their way home with me. Funny how I never thought I would be able to afford new ones, since when I bought those, the pound was $1.61 to 1GBP, and that seemed so low, particularly last summer when our money was worthless, and now it's lower, cause everyone's money is worthless. And there aren't a lot of new AOY kits that I like--my taste has changed a little and their new stuff isn't in line with what I adore now.

But, as always, I took infinite pleasure in the stash dive. It's always a joy to reacquaint myself with my stuff, and realize what I have that I forgot about. And appreciate it again. Sometimes I forget to appreciate what I have when I don't see it all the time.

25 March 2009

Why there are no photos

I know I promised photos. Life interferes.

What I learned this week:

a)If you hit a pothole, even if you are in the boondocks, or what passes for boondocks in Montgomery County, Maryland, and your car makes a noise, pull over.

b) The boondocks of Montgomery County don't have a lot of places to pull over.

c) The brake warning light on a Pontiac Vibe will come on if you have a flat tire. Why they don't call it the "Oh, Crap" light is beyond me.

d) Just because a Pontiac Vibe tire doesn't look flat, doesn't mean it's not flat.

e) If you bend your rim because the tire doesn't look flat, and there's no place to pull over, be warned. There are no replacement factory rims for a 2009 Pontiac Vibe in the entire United States of America. Seriously. The warehouse is in Canada.

f) A rim can be overnighted from Canada much quicker than the postal service can get a certified mail envelope off the truck and back in the post office so you can pick it up.

g) If you get a feeling that you shouldn't get out of bed, listen to it.

This is what I have been dealing with for the last two days. My mechanic didn't want me rolling on the donut back and forth til he got the wheel (from Canada! Not even the dealer had one!), so I had to stay at Mom's Monday night and drive her car. Last night, I had to drive to her house, pick her up, and go get my car. And when I am super-super-stressed, as hitting a pothole and bending a rim, then having to worry that my rim wouldn't make it through customs is wont to make me, I don't eat, so it hit 6:30 last night, and I realized I was starving. So I went to get Chinese food on the way home. Being stressed and hungry tires a girl out, so I was not posting pics last night. At least my car is back, and it doesn't seem to have lasting damage. SO said it was a rough month for that car. I agree. Though I just realized, this is a strong argument for my workshop. If my commute is just through the backyard, no worry about deer or potholes, and it would be a very green commute! Hmmm . . .

Anyway, I am off tomorrow to take my mom in for a procedure. I am staying with her again tonight, because she has to be there so early. I packed plenty of stuff to work on while she's getting it done, because I'm almost done with the ornament I'm working on, and I would seriously hate to finish it and then have to sit there, staring at the wall for a couple hours.

The ornament is for an ornament exchange I am in with my friend Patty. She likes teacups. This ornie is really small, I was surprised, because usually they're much larger than normal Christmas ornies. I am doing it on 18 count something, versus 32 count, but that's not that much smaller. But I like it, it's sweet, and I am definitely stitching this for myself. Since she likes teacups, I thought it would be supercute to find a pretty older teacup from the thrift store, and then put the ornie and some fancy teas from Teavana in there, with a tea ball. It would feel more like a gift that way.

23 March 2009

Finally finished and some new starts

Let me apologize for not having pictures to share yet. I felt kinda rotten all weekend, and didn't take any.

I finished My Kitty on Saturday afternoon. I am so happy to have her done. She is adorable. I decided that I am going to try to frame her myself, she shouldn't be that hard to do, being a standard size. I just have to figure out what sort of frame is best for her. What frame completes the story of her? I know that I'll find something nice at one of the craft stores. Michael's has a good selection of frames, not as good as Hobby Lobby, but I have to learn to be content with my surroundings. *sigh*

I didn't do any stitching the rest of Saturday. I fixed dinner for us, chicken stuffed shells, which is one of our favorites. I wouldn't let SO help because he had worked all day, but I did have to have a consult about how to thaw frozen chicken for the recipe. We went for boiling the chicken (is there anything less appetizing-looking than boiled chicken?) and I told SO that it had to be love if I was willing stuff chicken and stuffing into a pasta shell whose temperature was just slightly cooler than the surface of the sun. But I like making this recipe, and it makes enough that we can have leftovers, still freeze a pan of them, and have something to eat with zero effort in a few days. It is the perfect meal! Then I went karaokeing with my friend, Samantha. I didn't do too well, but it's OK. I was just having fun. We haven't seen each other since January, so needed some time to catch up. Got home at 1AM, and then didn't wake up til 9 yesterday morning. SO had to let the boys out, I was that dead to the world.

It's getting on springtime here in Crazyville, so that means flowers and yardwork. I also have two spiderplants I kidnapped from work on Friday because they've been neglected and they needed bigger pots. So we headed off to breakfast at the local diner, and Lowe's for flowers, dirt and fertilizer, and to go drool over the sheds. SO wants one to store lawnstuff in, I need a workshop. Keep in mind our yard won't hold two of these, so I tried my best.

"Darling SO, look, if we get this, I can put all my dyeing stuff in here. And then I wouldn't have it in the garage. All we would have to do is run water and electric out from the house and, um, put up drywall. And I'll need a sink in there. It would be so pretty, and I would feel like a professional dyer, and we could make money. Look, it has a skylight and a workbench!" And I batted my extra-long, lavishly mascaraed eyelashes (he tells me I have pretty blue eyes). And smiled with my newly perfect teeth (he loves my teeth).

Y'all, we didn't buy me a workshop. But I did get 70 gladiola bulbs. And, really, that makes me just as happy. Coral gladiolas scream summer to me. So do red ones. Now to find where to put them in the yard.

I did actually stitch yesterday. I was digging through stash, trying to find stuff to do my lions, because, as SO said, "You better get stitching if you want to do them for the fair." Of course I did not find the fabric or floss I had bought for said lions, but I did find La-Di-Da's Girl in a Red Dress Sampler and the stuff I bought for that.

Now I don't know what came over me. I blame the scrapple I ate at breakfast, which was not good (Excuse me, who deepfries scrapple? It's scrapple, you slice it thin, you wonder how they take mystery cuts of red meat, mix them with yellow cornmeal and get a grey cube of goodness, and then you fry it. In a frying pan. And gross out your city-raised boyfriend, all the while, shrieking, yes, you know they probably do put snouts and toes in it, but it's good and to stop telling you it's gross. It's not gross. It's scrapple). I was so disappointed. Beyond disappointed. I had to take a nap, and then I made this decision while not quite fully awake.

I decided to stitch that sampler over one thread. I am flippin' nutcakes. I don't have a lot done yet. But it's not bad. And I rather enjoyed doing it while we watched travis Pastrana's Nitro Circus, which I dearly love, because he makes it look so easy. It's moving along, and I am starting to wonder why I hate over-one so much.

My other little start is an ornament for an ornament exchange I'm in. I chose Casey Bounagurio's mouse in a teacup ornament from the December 08 JCS. It's really cute and a quick stitch, and I need quick--it's supposed to go out April 1st.

My other major project is to take the floss that I have in various sandwich baggies and wind it onto bobbins, then put the bobbins in the boxes I have for my floss. I have all that empty space in the boxes, and all the floss in baggies, so it just makes sense. I went today for bobbins. I bought 9 packages of them. This should hold me for a while. If it doesn't, I need to do some serious thinking about my priorities. I figure, if I just get in the habit of winding the floss and putting it away when I am done a current project, then going into the boxes before I go shopping for new floss, that's a good thing. I did wind "I Love My Kitty" and put those flosses away. It felt good. And I looked through the floss before kitting up the mouse ornament. I only had to buy one skein--pretty cool! But then again, if I just stitched on my current WIPs, that would be a better thing, and I wouldn't need floss, fabric or charts.

Small victories! Small victories.

19 March 2009

I was gooed, y'all

Not much happening stitching wise. I am coming down with a head cold. It makes it hard for me to concentrate on things. I'm not sick, but I'm not well. I wear a nose strip at night because I gasp snore, and the stupid things don't stick well (yet still manage to leave a goo that doesn't come off unless you scrub really hard, even toner doesn't take it off). This morning, I realized the thing wasn't on my nose, but I figured it was stuck on the bed, so I went about my merry, bleary way, let the dogs out, went to brush my teeth. I found the strip, y'all. In. My. Hair. Right at my temple. And shockingly, non-gooey. It makes no sense.

So, pleased at my gooless start to the day and happy that my headcold has still not totally manifested itself (I don't function well when I am really sick), I finished getting ready for work. I headed outside to talk to the boys. They look forward to our morning, stepmother to step-furbaby talk; so do I. They insist they will do their best to take care of their daddy when he's home and they're in charge. And that they love me, that I am fascinating, and kind, and beautiful (they flatter). I tell them they are the best boys, and the nicest pittybulls ever (I flatter too). Anyway, I get my kisses, I give them pets, and get the same back. One swipes me across the arm.

That darn Shocka . . . He was outside 10 minutes, 15 minutes ar most. He has a slight drool issue. OK, maybe not slight. Maybe . . . the dog drools like a faucet. His brother does not. But it should take at least a half hour for the drool spigot to start working, right? Apparently, not so, because, after I get to work, and am in sunlight, I look at my left arm, the one he swiped his mouth across, and I see a line of dried GOO across my sleeve. And, as if to add insult to injury, there was a piece of chewed grass STUCK to my shirt. I always tell SO we have a pig and a cow. The pig is Beazer because he snorts like a pig, and the cow is Shocka because he is black and white, has big soft eyes. So was he trying to be a cow by eating grass? Crazy dog . . .

17 March 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

These are the finished St. Patrick's Day cupboard sampler freebies I gave SO's mom and sister. I am pretty proud of them. I think they look really sweet! Thank you, Tanya, for designing such a sweet design.

And here is my updated My Kitty. Almost finished. I think she has the sweetest face. I hope you can see my changes to the kitty's expression. He looked so mad before. Now he just looks rather resigned. I tried to make it how my kitty used to look when I did the same thing to him at the same age:

16 March 2009

The trip to Woodlawn and other fancies

Mom and I went to the Woodlawn show on Friday. It was a nice time. I don't have pictures to show because you can't take pictures in the house. It probably damages the antiques. Entries seemed to be way down this year. That hurts me a bit, because every year the show gets a little smaller. But, as Mom pointed out, I didn't enter anything, so I am part of the problem. It just wasn't financially do-able for me this year. I intend to remedy that next year.

But it was a nice day. I was really struck this year by the gorgeous canvaswork. I freely admit that I have no clue about needlepoint. Or canvaswork, or whatever it's called. I am not a huge fan of the regular needlepoint you make stockings and pillows out of, but I like the geometric canvaswork things. They had a really cool grouping where three people had interpreted the same pattern 3 different ways: one chose black, grey and silvers, another reds, another aquas. It's a good study in color choice--every piece looked so different just because of the colors they chose for each section, they "popped" differently. And someone had embroidered clips for wedding veils that were so pretty. Do they have books for that sort of thing? They looked so exquisite, a real treasure to wear on your wedding day.

Cross stitch seemed so under represented. My favorite piece was a large picture of a draft horse in full harness. Just lovely. It didn't win anything, but it was beautiful. Mom liked a bunny pillow, but then she wandered into the Christmas room, saw a gorgeous tree skirt of a hunt scene, and loved that too. And we both adored Sampler Girl's entry of the Mrs. Lincoln Sampler. I WANT THAT CHART. BADLY.

Afterwards, we headed over to In Stitches to do a little shopping. I had to get some things for my Secret Sister, and wanted to see if there was anything that caught my eye. I realized I haven't been in an LNS since January 2nd; all my purchasing has been online. And it was nice to touch floss and look at charts. I didn't buy much, just tried to get things I hadn't seen before. I have so much to stitch, and I was starting to panic because I hadn't finished the samplers for SO's family. So that helped.

Ohhh, it ended up I didn't have to stitch 3 of those samplers for Saturday. I was having a minor meltdown after getting home from my part-time job, because I still had to stuff one of them and then make the last one. I say minor because I wasn't visibly upset. I was just kinda droopy and despondent, holding my little needle in hand. SO called his sister and checked to see if their brother and his wife were coming to the parade. She said no, so I was off the hook for the third at least for now. Sometime this week, I will have to make that sampler, along with the ones for us. But I'm not pushing it.

We had fun at the parade. I seriously did not realize there were that many schools of Irish dance in the county I grew up in til the parade. SO's niece was in the best one, or at least it seemed to my highly biased eyes. She was adorable! Of course she shows me these dances, makes them look easy, and I look like an elephant doing them. I asked my mom why I was never put in dance classes like these; she said she didn't know there were schools for that sort of thing. Probably not. We didn't get out of the small town I grew up in much back in the late 80s.

I picked My Kitty up again. We went to a play last night and I worked on her up until showtime, and during intermission, and then this morning I worked on her while Today was on. I am on the last page! Woo hoo. And she has LEGS. I should be done with her by the end of the week. And I still love her. There were a couple Green Apples at the show on Friday, which I liked. They aren't something you see a lot of finishes of, which is a shame.

I will try to have pictures tonight of my finishes and My Kitty. It's just been hectic, and I had a major migraine all weekend. Not good for working on the computer.

12 March 2009

Let's talk freebies . . .

This morning, while I was laying in my pre-caffeinated, post-alarm clock gone off world, I had an idea. I totally blame the alarm clock--salsa music at 6AM gets the thought juices flowing. I wish it would get the energy juices flowing because I was late to work, but we'll take what we get.

Anyway . . .

I was thinking about freebies. When I first got online, I wasn't making much money, didn't have a lot of stash, but what I did have was a printer and free time. Between looking for a Schipperke puppy (the search that led me to Chanceypants), I used to search for "free cross stitch charts" on Yahoo. I was amazed at what could be found. I remember thinking, "Why do I pay for charts when all these are out there?" I still don't have a great answer for that, except that not everything free is cute, and not everything cute is free. But, as a result of my brokeness, lack of work on the job at that time, and innate hoarding skills, I have scads of freebies. Home computer, dead computer, work computer, full of free charts. I never use them. Well, not never, just usually not. It's not that I don't ever intend on using them, but I get caught up with my other projects, and just don't have time.

I know freebies can be a sore subject. I know some people don't like them. They think there isn't as much effort put into them as a regular design. And this can be true, depending on whose chart you're looking at, but there are some gorgeous freebies out there. Sanman does WONDERFUL free charts. Sampler Girl has beautiful charts too--thoughtful, smart, and fun to stitch. You really don't have to pay a lot to have a gorgeous finish.

Just to see what I had at hand, I opened up a binder of freebies I had on my bookcase before I left this morning. I think it says something about my character that, when I moved, I left 3 or 4 binders of freebies at the other house, since I didn't have space for them here. Anyway, it was kinda like looking at a bunch of old friends who I'd neglected. There was a freebie, Hare Lines, that I had been kinda drooling over on a finishes post the other day on 123. And I had it and didn't know. There are kitty charts in there. Christmas ornaments I forgot I had. And that was just ONE binder. I've got others, and piles of ones I've printed off. (well, I am endowing my university with this stuff when I die. If something is worth doing, do it to excess.)And I'm letting all these stockpile in my stash for that day I'm a hermit on the beach.

Well, y'all, I am starting to wonder if my hermit on the beach days are now. I don't have a lot of free cash to spend, but I do have all the floss and fabric I've hoarded like gold over the years. And these charts just waiting to be done. What could I accomplish if I took a year and just stitched freebies? I could have a lot of finishes--I get annoyed when I slog away and get no finishes for a while. I could use up some of these supplies that are taking up room in my craft closet that I had to shove around last night to find the stuffing for my St. Patty's Day pillow things. I'd have some Christmas ornaments for the Charlie Brown tree. And I could put all the "stash cash" I wouldn't be spending in the bank. Awesome! It seems like it could work, right?

So, maybe after the fair, I'll start focusing on just doing those charts. I could learn a lot.

11 March 2009

Stuff . . .


I am still in the midst of my cupboard sampler stitch-a-thon. It's going to be a hard push to get it all finished in time for Saturday, when I am giving these to SO's family at his niece's St. Patrick's Day parade. But I'll do it. I'm off on Friday (yes, I do work regularly, it's just I'm off a lot this month) to go to Woodlawn Needlework show, so I'll have time. Otherwise, I see a long night in my sewing room.

I am pretty pleased with myself, though. I went for the fabric yesterday at Joann's, and, after not really finding a lot of choices in the holiday fabrics (though there were some good patriotic fabrics available-SO thinks it's funny that I was adamant I have to go back before the 4th), I found some really pretty choices in the quilting section. I saw one that was a very Venetian feel, green on a black background, and I thought, "SO would LOVE that," and got it. I'll do our version of this on black, so it will look better. Not only is it good for this holiday, I can see it for a Christmas chart in green. So it was a good buy. And I got home, and he loved it. He said the other ones I chose were a little busy. I had to tell him holiday fabric tends towards the busy, LOL. But I'm pleased that I know him so well.

I need to stock up on some spring fabrics, but I found the perfect fabric to back the kitty afghan I am going to start soon. It had a blue that complemented the blue in the design, so I couldn't leave it there--I learned from the great Meow fabric debacle of 2007, you don't leave cute fabric when you find it. You hoard it like gold until you find a use for it. The use will be there, the fabric might not be. It was on sale and reasonably priced, so I bought three yards for $12. And fondled it lovingly when I got back to the office.

I am enjoying using SO's Tahoe. I never quite realized from the passenger seat just how imposing that truck is. And how empowering.It isn't a car I see myself driving all the time, but I like the heated seats. I haven't even turned the heater on, because I turned the seat on. It's not as terrifying to drive as I thought it would be. Of course, people seem to be moving out of my way quite willingly. And then I ruin the effect by opening the door and exiting it by sliding down the seat and hopping out. But I am grateful to SO for letting me borrow it. It is a privilege.

I am hoping to get my car back by Friday, though. I don't feel comfy driving the Tahoe to Alexandria for Woodlawn. Usually I meet up with a group of ladies to go, but this year, it's just Mom and I. I can't believe it's halfway through March already, and just two weeks left to see the show. If you are close enough to the DC area that going is possible, please make an effort to get down there for this. A whole 18th century estate house full of needlework from all over the world. It's just heaven to a stitcher. You see things you never see in a catalog, never see online. Even the things I am familiar with, they get framed in a way that makes me look at them differently. It's always a day that I walk away from as a better stitcher, and I appreciate that. I also go away a poorer stitcher because we stop at In Stitches and that, kind hearts and gentle readers, lightens my purse a great deal. This is why I time my visit for payday. And their tart is to die for.

09 March 2009

Much green stitching . . .

I am busy working on the Sampler girl St Patrick's Day Cupboard Sampler. I have SO's mom's done. Now for his sister and brother to each get one. My mom knows she is getting one too, and of course we get one, but ours will be last. I have three of these to stitch and finish this week. I tried to find coin candy on Saturday on my way to work for his sister's sampler, but no go! The closest I can come to leprachaun gold are Rocher candies. Those aren't kid candies though. I told SO that we are going to have to get M&M's and pick out the green and yellow ones for them.

Of course this is all contingent on my ability to get to the fabric store for fabric and trim. Surprise, I have nothing appropriate for St. Patrick's Day in my stash! I dropped the car off at the body shop this morning to be worked on. They seemed slightly dubious that it was going to be an easy fix. RUH ROH. They're supposed to be looking at it, and who knows from there. Y'all, at that moment I seriously wanted to just run as far and as fast away from the car as possible, screaming and waving my hands. It probably would have been a good stress reliever, because when he said, "We'll probably end up doing a supplemental estimate," time slowed down, a roaring entered my ears, and I developed a migraine. ARRRRRRRGHHHHHH.

Anyway, I am driving SO's Tahoe until my car is fixed. This is probably one of the reasons I have a migraine. It's a huge change from either the Neon or the Vibe. I keep telling myself I learned to parallel park in a Dodge Dakota with a cap and poor power steering, using my father as a traffic cone (he is a brave man), this has to be easier than that. Then I remember, the Tahoe is a little bigger. But, I mean, seriously, how difficult can it be to drive that truck? A lot of women around here drive bigger SUVs than that, and it's a lot cheaper than a rental car. I'll figure it out. It's what has to be done. And it's not like I'm gonna be riding up and down the Pike in it--SO asked me not to joyride in it. But I do need fabric. Maybe he'll drive there . . .

06 March 2009

Spring is almost here!

And I say this, not because it was 71 here today. Not because the snow is melting. Not because the sun comes up earlier and earlier. Nope, not even because I feel the need to wear bright colors and flip flops.

Rita's is opening! Tomorrow! I plan to be there with cash in hand. Nothing is better after a cruddy day than a gelato. NOTHING. It means spring is coming, and doesn't spring make us all a little more hopeful?

I was off today to take my car to the shop to set up the appointment. I have to drop it off Monday. I am driving SO's Tahoe while it's being fixed. I am hella intimidated. I learned to drive in my dad's pickup, but it wasn't this tall, and it wasn't SO's. You can wreck your parents' cars, they'll still let you come home. But it's what it is. The Vibe must be fixed, and it can't be fixed while I am driving it, and I can't take a week off work to wait for that.

I did stitch on one of the St. Patrick's Day freebies. I'll have it finished by the time my PT job is done for the day. Woo hoo. Just need to stuff it! I was at Mom's today. All 5 members of the Horde found the stitching terribly interesting. Flicky contributed his share of cat hair for the project--this is not the one I am giving to SO's sister, not with the cat hair, LOL.

We finally took the twins to get their vet-requested harnesses today at Petco. I know, it's been a while since I posted they needed them, but they never leave the house, except to go to the vet, and they aren't exactly exuberant to go there, and don't pull. I have to hand it to them; they've figured out that, when we have something particularly heinous to do to them, they don't go together, just the two of them, so they were both excited to go.

Little did I know while they were in the backseat, they were divvying up who was going to act the fool at what time. . .

Mom had to carry Chance across the parking lot for some wierd reason, I guess she figured my portly daughter would get hit by a car?

They tag-teamed and bowled over a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who didn't want to go in the store. I wanted to fall through the floor. The lady said, "Follow those two nice doggies," and the nice doggies acted like heathens. HEATHENS.

Robbie dirtied in the store. I told him to go before we left the house, walked him in the flower bed at the shopping center, and he chose the collar aisle. I was SO MAD. I guess it was his turn. Chance did it last time.

They kept jumping on my mother, and twisting up in the leashes, and I couldn't find a tandem hook so that they won't do that.

Have you ever tried to shove an octopus into a sweater? Then you can imagine what it is like to try to shove a Schipperke's legs into a harness when he or she is excited, looking for dogs to roll, and not particularly entranced with the idea of being harnessed. Oh, and have I ever told you Chancey knows the word, "fat," knows it is used to discribe her and does not like it? She was particularly mortified that she got the large harness while her brother got the medium.

While I was cleaning the pooh up, Mom took them to the squeaky toy aisle to wait, like no one else in the store would figure out she was with me. Mom does this any time we go in a store, I turn my back and she scatters. I'm used to it. But to take the toy fiends into the aisle where their cheif delight and downfall resides? They had a glazed look at all the sights. We normally can tell what toys they want by their reaction to the squeak; if one didn't want the one squeaking, the other one did . . . I could not consign all those cute dog toys to being eviscerated by the twins.

And then we went to the bulk cookie aisle. Robbie LOVES Petco cookies. The pittybulls do too. All the men in my life seem to adore cookies. Mom had both of them while I was filling up, and my son insisted that he had to watch me fill the bag of cookies. That same glazed look came in his eyes at the sight of them. He sat there, ears pointed sharply forward, perfect posture, the vision of what a Schipperke should be. My boy is very food-oriented. I am sure the entire reason for his accomplishing so much as a showdog is his desire to eat, LOL.

Keep in mind these two will be 10 in 2009. They should act better than this. Robbie is supposed to know better. But, whatcha goin do.

04 March 2009

I am the most horrible daughter . . . ever


I am ashamed of myself.

My mother is a big support of my stitching. She has bought me things, gone with me to CATS, where she bought me the Dazor light I love almost as much as the twins. All she asks is that I . . . occasionally . . . stitch her something from her stash. And I, wretched ungrateful child that I am, always say, "Later, Ma, later."

Mostly, I think because she and I stitch very different things. She likes fancy beaded things. I tend to be more simple. And she likes things you have to finish--another type of thing I tend to avoid, I am not into fiddly.

But this is my mom. She's not getting any younger. She just turned 74. I know that's not old, but it's not like she's 30. So I am going to try to get some things finished for her. My mom deserves that. I grabbed her stash tote and took it with me when I left this morning after our visit. Please don't think that I am taking stuff she intended to stitch. She didn't; it was just waiting for me to run out of stash to do it. She knows I took it; I think a glimmer of hope came over her face as I peered at those bead-bedecked, fancy little tiny, must be put together designs, and cringed. And then gave her a smile.

She's my mom . . . and I love her.

03 March 2009

Have to put "My Kitty" aside for a few days

But I have a good reason!

The Sampler Girl has this cute freebie. It's not for me, though. SO's family LOVES St. Patrick's Day. Not so far that they spend all day drinking green beer, but they decorate. Me not so much. I like the history aspect of it. I like learning about Ireland. I just don't like leprachauns. I have a really beautiful book from my grandmother's teaching days, that was illustrated by Garth Williams (guy that did Little House on the Prairie drawings), all about elves and fairies, but his leprachaun drawings are so shivery creepy, and I loved that book so young, that I don't like leprachauns. I don't like their little shoes. They just creep me out. So I don't do much St. Patrick's Day stitching, because there are too many chances to run into a leprachaun.

But this freebie is nice. I thought I could do a door hanger for SO's mom, and then maybe do a pocket for his sister and her kids. Put some leprachaun coin chocolates in there, that would be good! SO was like, "You have to take it to them." He says I have to be the one to give them the gift. I cannot do that. I am too . . .well, too shy, darn it . . . and I worry that the recipient won't like it. I know that's a silly fear, because SO's mom LOVED the sampler and wanted me to sign it (I didn't want to), but it's a fear I have. I buy enough stuff at yard sales to see that people do give this stuff away. Not that I think they would, but that's always in the back of my mind.

Anyway . . . this is super-cute! It shouldn't take me too long to do it three or 4 times. I have the fabric. I am sure I have the floss, LOL. I just have to venture out in that cold garage.

02 March 2009

Snowy Monday

We got at least 4 inches of snow from 4AM this morning to this afternoon. That's a lot, considering I don't think we got 4 inches the past two winters combined. And it's nasty stuff, dry and powdery. It blew into the car when I opened the hatchback to get my coat out. We spent the day holed up in bed. SO thinks I am a loon because I finally just now put pants on. It's evening, it's time to be decent.

I've been working on My Kitty most of the day. I am working on her head right now, so a photo is forthcoming, depending on my schedule this week. I work at the theatre 3 days this week, plus work late Wednesday night, plus at some point have to get the car estimated, so I don't know where I'll be all week. But if anyone needs me, check the car.

Natasha and Brea had asked about the rice pudding recipe. It turned out great last night. Not quite the same as it was at the restaurant across from the dorm in college, but this is my first time making it, and they made it all the time. Even SO likes it, and he is NOT a fan of Indian food. Because they don't give you enough. Which, really, when you think about it, at least all the places I have ever gone, is true . . . We had it out of red wine glasses. Neither of us drinks, and the glasses
were sitting there, unused, and homemade rice pudding is something worth being fanchy over. And it did look nice. And it tasted so good!

Here is the recipe in case you need a warm happy dessert.

2 cups coconut milk
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon rose water (optional)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Bring the coconut milk, milk and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add basmati rice, and simmer over low heat until the mixture thickens and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the raisins, cardamom and rose water, and cook for a few more minutes. Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with almonds.

I didn't put the rose water in. I don't like rose flavored or scented anything. I blame Turkish Delight. How can something with such a divine name taste so NASTY? YICK. Everytime I see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in that scene where Edmund is eating it, it makes me ill. That is SO not worth selling your siblings out to a witch for. This pudding is, but that is not! SO also said more raisins, which I heartily agree with him about. You can use your judgement on the raisins though. When I cooked them, they puffed up, but I seem to remember back in college, the place we had them threw them in after it was ladled in the bowl. Brea, do you remember? Either way is DELICIOUS. And don't mess around with not using a big pot, this gets a foam on it when it boils and gets HUGE fast.

So that's it. We had a fancy dinner last night, steaks and salad and pudding. It was cold, we needed to celebrate something!

01 March 2009

We have a kitty

I've been uselessly lazy this weekend, and this was what I got accomplished. She is starting to look more like a pretty little girl, and not so much like a design from "A Christmas Story." They are calling for snow tonight into tomorrow--I don't remember the last time we had snow in March--so I may have more time to work on her. I am off tomorrow to take the car in, but I ain't driving 40 miles in the snow. Not at all. I'll just regroup. I'm good at that.

And stitch . . .

I'm off to attempt to make Indian rice pudding. I think it's a good dessert for a wintry night, warm scented, slightly tropical, totally comfort food. Funny how I live in an ethnically diverse area and yet, it has been extremely difficult to gather together the ingredients to make kheer. This is not an exotic recipe, just basmati rice, cardamom, and coconut milk. They don't sell coconut milk at my local Safeway. It took me a while to find a decent sized bag of basmati rice--we will never eat 20 pounds of rice, NOT AT ALL. And thank God the cardamom was on sale, because it is not cheap. But it smells so good. I had the container in my purse, and it smelled so strong, I thought the lid came off. But it was just yummy smelling. So we'll see how this goes.
I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls