05 July 2011

A Belated Happy 4th of July

Where is the time going? I realized just now I had not bothered to wish everyone a wonderful and safe celebration. I hope everyone had a happy weekend, and, if this is the weekend your country celebrates a holiday, stopped to think about history for a moment.

It was a nice weekend here in Crazyville. Saturday morning, Left-brain went with one of his buddies to go 4-wheelin'. I went and picked blueberries with my mom, which is one of our 4th of July weekend traditions. We went to our nearby orchard, the one we've been going to since I was a kid. We had three buckets between us, and I filled most of two, with mom doing one herself. She ended up with 5 pounds or so, I had 7 til it was all said and done, not including the ones I ate :). No, I'm not planning on eating all of them myself; I gave away probably a pound and a half already to co-workers. I think I'll make a blueberry cobbler tonight to use up some more of them. Otherwise, they are going in cereal, because nothing screams summer like blueberries and corflakes.

Of course I got dirty while doing this, and, since I'd planned an LNS trip, I had to go home and clean up first. I headed over to my LNS, to pick up a copy of JCS for a friend and to get some supplies for new projects. I tried to be good. I really did. But fibers add up after a while, and so does fabric. But I ran into blog follower Cindy. She and I had never met, but she recognized me by my pictures from the message board we frequent, me as a poster, she as a lurker. We talked about how sometimes, message boards are better than soap operas. The employee who was helping me couldn't believe people act like that.

So it kind of got me thinking on the way home. Sometimes it is hard to believe that grown women (and men) act as poorly as they do on public forums. I do believe it's because we feel emboldened by the anonymity of the computer screen. Since you can not see the response of the person to your words, the self-censorship that comes from proximity is gone and we say things we wouldn't say if we were in slapping distance. I confess I've had a few childish moments myself. But I'm trying to do better. I guess it's like Chancey. My sweet girl dislikes how the cats bicker amongst themselves. She never has. Her solution, when faced with two cats arguing, or rolling about, is to wade into the fray, head up, chest out, determined to break up the fray. Usually she comes out fine, the cats just roll away and break it up for a moment. Sometimes, she comes out scratched, sometimes she comes out with a mouthful of fur. There is usually some unintended growling. Whatever happens, her day has been messed up, and the cats won't stop fighting; inevitably, it repeats itself. Robbie, on the other hand, has learned to stay away from the cats. He doesn't like em, doesn't need em, only engages when he is bopped on the head. His face has a few less scratches, and he rarely gets a mouthful of hair. So, is it better to avoid the cats, or fight them? Because, somehow, down deep, is engaging the combatants, even for the best of intentions, somehow damaging me? I'm thinking about this. Cindy has made me think. It was great to meet you. You can comment here anytime. No cats on this blog! Except stitched ones, and the occasional photo of a real one.

Sunday was my stitching group. I really can not tell you how I enjoy the time I spend with these ladies. They meet at a church in Arbutus, near Baltimore, and we have a lot of fun. We solve all the problems of the world, or at least talk about them, we laugh, we share our stitching. I am very fortunate that my social group appreciates my stitching, but it's different to be with stitchers. I took along my pandas and finished them during our time together.

Yep, after a little over a year, those pandas are finished. I already took their picture, but last night, I just did not feel like messing with the computer to upload them. it felt good to put in those last stitches. There are some boo-boos in the project, but I'm going to let them go . . . this time.

I started "Brave Hearts" by LHN after finishing the pandas (I'm not wasting time if all I gotta do is stitch, LOL). That is coming along. I didn't realize how LARGE it is. I guess I'm used to smaller LHN pieces, but this is a big guy. But it's so pretty, and such a beautiful sentiment. I'd like to have it done by Veterans' Day, but am not making any guarantees.

Of course, when I got home, startitis kicked in, and I started the Plum Street Sampler design from the JCS ornament preview. I changed the colors to match the scheme for our tree, and it looks AMAZING. I chose a Prussian blue and chocolate, but put a little more blue in the design than the model. It's a quick stitch that I really enjoyed and finished last night.

Yesterday dawned hot and sunny. I had asked Left-brain to come walking on the C&O Canal towpath near where I grew up. He had never been there, never even knew that part of the canal existed, though he did remember going to the nearby quarry as a teenager (as apparently all down-county kids in the late 70s to mid 80s did, before the police bought it because people were getting hurt jumping in). We walked a good long way, enjoying the quiet of the woods. I like using the holiday as a day to reflect on our history and to experience it, if only vaguely and for a few hours. Last year, we did Gettysburg, and he really enjoyed that. Perhaps next year, we'll do Fort McHenry or Mount Vernon. We had a picnic when we were done. It was nice, but I was so tired, I almost fell asleep--not a good idea for a fair-skinned person. We went home, and then napped, but woke up in time to watch the fireworks from DC on TV.

Usually we would have watched fireworks outside, since my neighborhood is full of folks who like to blow things up, but that didn't happen this year. It has been very dry, and so Left-brain didn't do it, but, on Memorial Day weekend, one of the police officers who came out for a blocked drain said that they would be out in force this weekend and handing out tickets. They mentioned the people on the street above us, and the guy down the street, who does an exceptional job with his displays. The people on the street above did set off a few rockets, but I guess the police went and had a chat with them, cause it stopped really quick.

So that's what's happening in my neck of the woods. I'll try hard to post pictures of my work this past week, including the quilt square I finished for Lisa of Primitive Needle. It was hard to stitch, but I hope her family takes some comfort, knowing their loved one affected people so. I'm so grateful I was allowed to stitch for her.


Nancy said...

Sounds like you had a nice weekend! Can't wait to see your finish!

Mother of Mayhem said...

Rachel - I am glad that you had a peaceful and stitched-filled holiday weekend. Like Lisa, I lurk on one of the ONS message boards. I love to look at the Friday finishes and works in progress as well as find new recipes and see pictures of cute cats and dogs. However, I have learned to pick and choose what I read on that board. You are correct in thinking that people use anonymity to say cruel and hurtful things to others. Some posters seem to relish confrontation. I work in the mental health field and I see enough anxiety, pain, depression and any other emotion you can think of on a daily basis. I don't want to read that negativity when I am trying to relax and decompress (just my humble opinion). Anyway, I did read on that message board that your stitching group is having another stitch-in on July 30th. I was thinking of coming as I have not found any stitch groups near Harford County. I would love to meet other stitchers who love it as much as I do. Have a great week!

Karen in Belcamp, Maryland

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