27 February 2012

Wildly windy weekend

After a nice warm week last week, I got off work on Friday night to drive home in a horrible windstorm, the kind that pushes the car all over the road. Got home, opened the rear door, my journal fell out and all the papers that I had carelessly folded and stuck in there flew out. I ended up running up and down the street, trying to rescue them. A few flew into the Shrekswamp by the house, one got trapped under the truck wheel, I'm sure a few blew away into the creek that feeds the Shrekswamp (it used to be the drainage pond for the development, now it's just a swampy wetland most of the year, calling it the Shrekswamp seems a slightly more dignified name than "the old drainage pond". It's actually kind of pretty in there, and full of little frogs and salamanders). Since the stack was mostly freebies I'd printed off, and I don't need to make myself sick plunging into a creek in February over something like that, I'm not going to stress out over the loss. It was kind of annoying to lose things, and to let them blow away, but, as Left-brain pointed out on Saturday, stuff blows into the Shrekswamp all the time, and we just pick them up. I could not run faster than the wind, and would not do it over a piece of paper.

The wind kept up through Saturday, making running errands in Metro Crazyville difficult. When I got home, I just crawled into bed and took a nap; Left brain said it was a couple hours, it felt like a half-hour. Woke up and just couldn't get in a stitching mood. Couldn't get into the mood to do anything, really, no cooking, not much of anything. Part of me wanted to keep working on "Summer Ball", and maybe telling myself that that has to be put away for the week had me in a down mood. We ended up watching TV instead of everything else.

Yesterday was a work day. I really don't know how much longer I can take working the two jobs. I know we need the money, but it's becoming physically difficult to do the work, which is not all that difficult, I just lean across a counter, but my back and hips feel that and don't like it, and I came home last night, ate dinner and went to bed.

I did make myself kit up and start my Easter ornament exchange piece though. I want to get that finished and out before the deadline, and I know how easily I fall behind on these things. I am pretty pleased with myself because, yet again, I had everything in my stash to do this, including a pretty piece of Dovestitch evenweave, and I have the perfect fabric to finish it. My goal is to get it finished by the end of the week, get a little shopping done for some other goodies to tuck in the package as well, and have it all mailed out by next weekend. That's the goal, I'm not so good at keeping to my goals, but that's the focus this week. I'd even like to have the few Valentine's Day goodies down and my Easter/spring stuff (since I don't "do" St. Patrick's Day) up. We'll have to see . . . but at least I know where the box o' bunnies and other Easter things is, and the tree's been taking up space in the sewing room since last spring. This should not be too hard.

23 February 2012

I can't tell you the last time I posted an update on this poor mistreated UFO. This is what it is supposed to look like, what other people seem to be able to accomplish:

I kitted it up with a fervor in the summer of 2006. I haunted Barnes and Noble to make sure I got all three issues. It served as a respite from a hideously cruddy job I made the mistake of taking. I eagerly put needle to thread every night after arriving home. And then I quit that job, and it pretty much has stalled since. This is the progress I have to show for almost 6 years of work:

Yep, ratty magazine and this little progress. I think this is a race with Hummingbird Trellis to see which one can take longer. So far, Hummingbird is winning. I know I have taken it out a few times to work on it, but, it's so flippin' big and I'm so flighty that I can't buckle down. So I'm pleased at how this week's progress has come along.

This is what I was talking about earlier, how the backstitch really works so well for this piece:
When I picked it up yesterday, her face was as blank as the girl in purple. With just 10 minutes work, and a good sharp needle, she looks remarkably beautiful. This picture does not do her justice, and it amazes me I made this with thread. She reminds me of the actress who played Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair (not Reese Witherspoon, the girl from the BBC miniseries, which is one of my favorite things on TV ever.) I can not wait to see the effect that stitching has on the rest of the faces, especially the guy to her right, who looks vaguely like Michael Cera. Or at least he does if that guy was cast in a Regency-era movie.

It is going to be hard to put this down after tomorrow, but it's only for a week, and I have GOT to get crackin' on ornaments. At least I can say I'm seeing progress, which I could not say before, and I bet Becky is pleased to have an arm. And I've decided the plan of attack is one page at a time, then move to the stair-step method I'm using with Santa's Pets on the other two sections. That seems to work well for Santa and it's not boring, so I can see this getting finished soon. I hope it takes less time for the project here on out than it has for this little bit. Otherwise, I might be finishing this when I retire.

Working our way through the week

The best-lain plans seem to fall apart. I pulled out Summer Ball to work on this week for UFO week, made great progress Saturday while doing laundry (I know I was supposed to do other things too, but it was a lot of laundry, and, after sorting through the mound, I didn't feel like doing too much else, unless you count putting all my finishing fabric together as cleaning. I traded out the tub I had it in for a clear one, and it mostly all fits now. And I swear I'm staying out of the fabric store for a while), not so much on Sunday, and then none on Monday. We had to be at the hospital at 8AM for the appointment, and the hospital is in the county we grew up in, 50 miles away. I was not going to haul my makeshift stitching bag for Summer Ball down there, keep track of it in the waiting room, and then try to get it home in one piece. NOT HAPPENING. So I took a book instead. I stitched a little when I got home on Monday, ignored it Tuesday, then brought it to work yesterday as a lunch project.

It's coming along. The three gentlemen in the right of the center section have heads, center guy even has a body. I'm sure that pleases him immensely, as it must be uncomfortable to be a disembodied head, particularly at a party. I backstitched the center girl in the blue dress' face, and I am quite pleased. It's very fiddly backstitching, like Margaret Sherry does, and I am glad I am not doing this on aida, but the detail on her face is extraordinary. She actually looks like one of the actresses from a BBC production, so worth the extra bit of effort to make sure the stitching is perfect. I promise to show you a picture of what I mean tonight--I am going straight home to take pictures.

Thank you for your kind thoughts about Sue. She will be missed, but she is free from pain and worry, and that is the most important thing in all this.

21 February 2012

In Memoriam . . .

Yesterday was supposed to be a joyful day. We had our anatomy scan--quite thorough, but quite uncomfortable. Baby H decided to be quite cooperative and so we know we're having a little girl. Watching my husband fall a little more in love with his daughter was an amazing experience. We celebrated as we do such things--I went shopping for her wardrobe, she is going to be quite the style maven, Left-brain muddled over how he will pay for her wedding. I might be biased, but she is on track to be a beauty, all long legs and arms, with the brain of an Einstein and a wonderful little heart. If she ends up with red hair, and green eyes, 14 years from now, there will be a line of boys out my front stoop to rival Halloween.

But, with every good news comes bad. My stitching friend Sue Block died on Sunday, after being diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks ago. I could not help but start sobbing. Sue was a wonderful person, kind when you got to know her, opinionated, funny, honest, the kind of person we all need in our lives. I have known her since I started going to Sue Hillis' GTG, not as well as I should have, but enough to know she was a good person. She was so happy when she was told about the baby, her face just lit up. I got one last afternoon with her 2 weeks ago, she said she was going to fight this. And I know she did, but she just couldn't beat it. In a selfish moment last night, I asked myself why bother to make friends, when losing them is so hard, but then again, the people we meet, the people we let into our lives, not matter how long we are given with them, are gifts we allow ourselves, and to deny ourselves the gift of friends, that is too much to bear. So I raise my teacup to Sue, bless her, bless all those whose life she touched, thank you for being in my life.

16 February 2012

10 little happy dances

I have finally finished 10 projects, well, the stitching part at least. I still have BeadingButtoningPalooza to attend to. That will be tonight or tomorrow night's project, me figuring out how to attach those crystal things (which I found in the clearance section of Michaels bead area)for the needlepoint ornament and then sewing buttons on things. Then finishing frenzy starts between bouts of cleaning, because our house is, quite honestly, a wreck. We are both getting a little bit twitchy over the situation, and it is going to be remedied this weekend. But, when that is done, and it shouldn't really take that long, it's just doing laundry and figuring out where to put stuff away, along with doing laundry and washing a certain large dog of nefarious odor (Left-brain is handling that task, you name 'em, you bathe em.)

I know I do more talking about this finishing than I ever really get to do, and one of my goals is to do a little less talk and a lot more action in that regard. I have pretty much finished setting up my finishing basket--I bought a cheapo pair of scissors to use to cut the comicbook board I bought a couple months ago to use for flat-finishing, then didn't cut because I didn't want to wreck my good scissors (I swear, I can reason myself out of forward progress in life like a champ). I can wreck these for the $1.99 they cost--and I think I have enough to get some work done. I have decided to finish "Forest Winter" as a banner, so I'm going to try to find a stick to use for the top. We'll have to see how this goes. Our yard backs up to a wooded hill. The sticks that fall into the yard get carried off by the dog, and the ones that fall into the side of the hill, well, to be honest, I'm kind of afraid to go after because I don't know what's on that hill. I know we have rabbits, probably some cats, maybe a fox, but we do have snakes in Maryland, and I'm not that cool with potentially running onto anything bigger than a garter snake. OK I'm not big on running onto one of those. Now that I think about it, they're probably hibernating, but I would the one to come onto a copperhead with insomnia looking for a stick.

I was thinking about something while stitching the last ornament. Stitched ornaments tend to be big. Most of mine are at least as large as the palm of my hand, where the other ones are a little smaller. And they don't always lay right on the Christmas tree when it's decorated. I have a tree that the individual branches pull in and out, a benefit of not having a prelit tree. A few years ago, I saw on HGTV how the decorator pulled every other row of branches out of the artificial tree to create a feather tree effect. They piled big glass balls on top of the rows for a glamourous look, but I was thinking, wouldn't it be possible to do the same feather tree effect, but with my ornaments and just hang them back the branches. I figure I could cover the parts of the tree where the missing rows go with either wrapped lights or ribbon. I know it would be a different look, and probably would take a little getting used to, but then again, feather trees are whimsical, I like whimsical, and really, what's the point of having that tree if I can't play with it? What do you think? Can you picture something like that?

14 February 2012


I have had zippy progress, zippy motivation, the last two days. I spent yesterday's break Valentine shopping for Left brain and my parents. I did find a cute stuffed dog at Hallmark for Left-brain that looks a bit like Beazer, so snapped that up. My parents were pretty easy too. Took their stuff over to them last night, collected my card from them, gave Robbie some loving.

When I got home, Left-brain was watching the Westminister Kennel Club show. The toy group was on when we started. Left-brain started laughing when the Maltese came on--he had one, and, well, Beau was not a showdog. Nor did he have aspirations to such, he ran the show for the big boys, one can not be pretty and tough. Beau died not long after I came on the scene, and Left-brain doesn't plan to have another one, too much work, though I think I could handle a puppy cut on any dog.

The non-sporting group came on next. That is my group, devoted Schipperke fancier that I am. Of course, yet again, the Schipperke didn't win. The Schipperke never wins, they're just not "glamourous" enough, because there really isn't much you do to make them pretty, just embiggen their hair:

It's no wonder Robbie hates to be brushed. Of course, we all have pictures from our misspent youth, LOL.

Beazer seemed quite interested in the proceedings. He insists he could be a showdog. He has the beautiful gait, the sweet face (for a pit), and the nice confirmation. Too bad his breed can't show, and he's a little old for this. He seemed quite deflated, and was casting aspersions on the bulldog.

So no stitching went on. Hopefully, I can work on things today and get some progress. I don't know what Left-brain has planned for the holiday, if anything. We may just do something on the weekend, who knows. Last year, we had our taxes done--so romantic, right?

Happy Valentines Day! I hope a little love finds its way into your day. Or, if not, a little chocolate?

13 February 2012

In case anyone wants to see . . .

The first picture of Baby Harper and I:

This is 19w1d, taken last Friday. Pardon the mess of my living room (except kudos to my friend Sharon for sending the Kentucky onesie, she is a good auntie and a loyal Wildcat fan, she said this is what the baby should wear home from the hospital, with a bow in her hair if its a girl, LOL). And the fact that my hair looks bad--it was a long week, I can not dye my hair, and I had just gotten home from the grocery store. Venturing into a grocery store the night before a predicted snow storm will pull the curl out of anyone's hair.

Beazer is already quite protective of Mummy and his little brother/sister. We keep telling him he has to guard the baby; sometimes he looks like, "OK," sometimes he looks vaguely confused as to what this "baby" is, but he's been keeping real close to me, even though I have to deal with his big self leaning on me at times. I think he will be really good with Little One, but there is a part of my imagination that just pictures my red-headed, green-eyed child lying in its Proppyseat (or whatever you put them in these days), waking up from a nap to be licked by its canine guardian and not liking it one bit. My mother is aghast at the idea, I'm not sure I'm too thrilled, but licking is submitting, so maybe a good thing.

Anyway, here we are, Mutt and Jeff in the messy livingroom.

12 February 2012

Chilly weekend

Is it May yet? This weekend has been freezing in Crazyville. I spent yesterday in wooley pjs, trying to stay warm. Today, I had to venture out to work, even though Left-brain did tell me to call in sick and he'd give me the money I'd earn working to buy something for the baby. I told him I'd rather take the money he'd give me, add it to the money I earn, and have even more. Besides, I'll be leaving this job anyway after the baby is here, so I'm trying to earn as much money as possible while I can. I told him this, and then the Disneyworld commercial with "Good life" came on, I started crying (as I randomly do, mostly at commercials, it seems). Left-brain started laughing, because my chin was quivering, and then I had to go to work.

I felt very productive in spite of myself yesterday. I went through my closet and pulled out all the clothes that I am giving away, then organized the remainder so that I have some order in there. It's amazing how a little order improves the situation--it was a pleasure to hang clothes in there. And I found a tote bag of fabric in the back of the closet that I ended up sorting, along with a box of finishing fabric that was so untidy, the lid wouldn't go on. It goes on now--woo hoo--and I found some fabric that I need to have sent to have made into a tuck pillow. 2 tasks crossed off my list.

And I managed to finish the stitching part of my first needlepoint ornament. It wasn't too bad, even though some of the stitches were fiddly and JCS didn't include a stitch guide for Scotch Stitch. A small rant: if they're going to include the stitch, include a guide for how to do it, this is not the first time I've had to go out and research a stitch because the magazine didn't include it. It's a small thing, and maybe they assume if you're doing it, you know, but JCS IS a cross stitch magazine, and so they probably shouldn't assume. I still have to do the beading, so will not post a picture til then, but it turned out nice. However, I don't think I will continue to pursue canvaswork. It's pretty, but it uses too much thread, and I'm inherently cheap. After all, if I use all the thread to stitch projects, how will I be able to afford to buy threads to throw in bags in the sewing room and forget about until I have a nesting moment, then throw a fit about waste?

Speaking of which, I am quite proud of myself. I decided to start one of the Little House Needleworks ornies from last year, because I have GOT to catch those up. I picked up Winter Forest because it's pretty, it's small, and doesn't use any overdyeds. Normally, I'd head off to the store and look for threads and fabric without checking my stash, but I plopped myself down, took a look through my stuff, and found EVERYTHING I need. The fabric is not what is called for, but that is no biggie. I had a nice small piece in stash, it looked good, and I've made good progress. I'm almost halfway finished, and it didn't take that long--I likes those kind of finishes, don't you?

Stay warm for the rest of the weekend.

10 February 2012


I think I am going to change the way I am handling all these challenges I've given myself.

Originally, I had decided I would work on a project til it was finished, but most of my UFOs are quite large and I abandoned them quite early in the process, so if I were to follow that logic, it might be several months til I actually finished one and could merrily go back to my ornaments. I'm happy with the progress I'm making on HoA, but that could be two or three more weeks . . . .

So I'm instituting a rotation. One week ornaments, one week UFOs. I think it's going to work a little better for me, and I can still take the ornaments with me to doctor's appointments--I get a lot of stitching done in the waiting room. I think it will be a Friday to Friday rotation, which means I'm going to work on an ornament today, Debbee's Designs from the JCS issue. I think it's more canvaswork than cross stitch, which I don't remember ever doing before, so it's a challenge. I do have to make some substitutions, based on what I have available to me. I could not find white mono canvas, and ended up with antique white. That didn't look like it would look right, so, when I was at the Stitching Post on Sunday, I bought 18 count Cork linen. I probably could have had them cut white mono canvas, but the fabric table was packed, and I don't really like lines, so I just went with the linen. It's light green, I'm not sure it will work right for canvaswork, but this ornament is for me, it's learning a new skill, so this is a learning stitch. If it doesn't work, I won't do it again. I may end up subbing out the crystals for whatever they have at Michaels, since I don't know where to order them, and don't really want to wait for them to come in the mail.

I know I meant to show progress pics last night, but it took two hours to get home, thanks to a side trip to the Amish Market in Germantown for some goodies. It says quite a lot about this place that it is always packed, but the food is so good and such high quality, that it's worth it. I picked up steaks for our Friday night dinner--we always try to have something really good on Friday nights, and this week, it's Delmonico steaks, since Left-brain is the only person who knows how to cook my steak right. I also picked up a tray of tossed salad for us to nosh on all weekend, some orange juice lemonade, and a chicken barbeque platter to split (overflowing sandwich, massive potato wedges, coleslaw, and a pickle, for only $6.75, can't eat better for less in this county!), which was a good thing because there was an accident on the road home, and I was tied up in traffic for 30 minutes while they tended to the people, and so I ate two of the wedges while sitting there. That filled me up, so Left-brain finished most everything, and Beazer tried to Jedi mind trick him into sharing, unsuccessfully. I did put in a few stitches, though, so not a total waste.

I have to run for now, there will be pictures tonight, I promise! Enjoy your weekend!

09 February 2012

Another floss post . . .

Tell me if these posts get annoying and I'll stop.

Last night was the third installment of Jammerpalooza. Fortunately, the snow wasn't as apocolyptic as it was predicted. It was more like driving in rain, except on the last stretch I have to go to get home, the person in front of me kept jamming on their brakes. I don't know why. I was maintaining more than a safe distance, without high beams on (so I wasn't breaking any of those vague driving rules that require the person in front to brake as punishment), and the road was quite curvy at that point, and they were not braking on the curves. Part of me was like, "keep that up and you're going to brake on black ice and go down over one of these hills", but they turned before it got too annoying.

All my wound Anchor, at least the ones that are not being used in a project, is together in a single Jammer. However, I still have to wind a Ziploc bag of it. Finding said Ziploc bag was an adventure, but in doing so, I found a bunch of finishes I had misplaced that need finishing, so now they are corralled with the other stuff that needs finished (the more of this I find, the more my fear of the sewing machine is receding, but I have to have Left-brain get it out of the box and get it in running order--I don't trust my skills in this regard, all my sewing machines were already being used by the time I came onto them), and I found more over-dyed floss. If this project nets me no greater accomplishment, it is quite enough that I have all my overdyeds together. I even recognized a few of the clumps from the projects they were supposed to be for, one of which is no longer happening and I gave the charts away.

I even started putting my silks in their own Jammer. Since I was buying the Oops packs from Dinky Dyes for a while, as well as the Detritus packs from Vikki Clayton, I have a lot of silks with no names on them, and I didn't bother to put the manufacturer on the bobbin, plus DD put some cottons in there too, so, for a while, it was a rousing game of "Cotton or Silk" going on in Crazyville. I think I got them mostly right, but if not, it's close enough and I'll do better in general moving forward. I still have to put the other silks (we'll call them the semi-organized) in and sort the floss in the holding pen into the right boxes, and then I think, other than winding, my floss organization is done and I can get back to stitching. I've gone from 15 or 16 bobbin boxes to having two full, one a quarter full, and a small one for my CC floss, plus 2 full Jammers, and 3 partially full (I don't see the Anchor one getting full any time soon, but, then again, I have 2 Sandy Littlejohns' WIPs, and they're all Anchor, so when those are done, that box will be full, if they ever get done)

I did manage a few stitches in Hearts of America last night. I will try to post a picture tonight of my progress, but I'm finding that, with the lightness of the fabric I chose, I have to use less of the white the pattern calls for, it just blends too much with the fabric. A lot of the wording calls for this color, though, so I am using it as an opportunity to break out of my comfort zone and use some of the othe colors for the words, and then it struck me, since the chart calls for the year to be put in twice, and I don't like that, maybe it would be better to use one of the spaces to commemorate the wartime services of my great-uncles, two of whom have passed away? My Uncle Frank survived D-day and the Battle of the Bulge--I never watch "Band of Brothers" without thinking he was there, he lived through those horrors--and my gentle Uncle Harry, my grandpa's baby brother, who marched in General Patton's funeral procession, but, when he died in 1998, had very little fanfare at his own funeral. I think that works better, I just have to figure out how to chart it for them.

Hope everyone is having a great start to Thursday.

08 February 2012

8 bobbin boxes

are now empty. I organized the rest of the boxes last night, again putting one of each color (that I have) in the big Jammer, and consolidating the extras. It feels splendid, and now I have a place to put the floss that still needs to be wound, if I ever get around to that.

I am going to take one of the other Jammers and put all my silks on one side and the smaller manufacturers' floss on the other--I don't know if I'll ever use their stuff, but it sure is pretty to look at, especially the Dye Shop flosses. Does anyone else remember them? I bought a lot of their stuff when I was building up stash, I've used a few colors because it's just so pretty. I think the third box is going for my Anchor flosses, since I prefer to keep those separate from the DMC. That alone takes care of two bobbin boxes and a bag stuffed in one of those large paper boxes from Michaels. Woo hoo. I think the girl might be getting organized in spite of her own best efforts.

I am still plugging away at Hearts of America. The Jammer boxes have taken away somewhat from my stitching time, but I like the progress that I'm making. It's not an easy design to stitch; I have been frogging like crazy, but it's worth it. Because I didn't choose a big enough piece of fabric, though, I have small margins, so I decided that this one is going to be a wall hanging that will either hang with my patriotic sheep stitching (it has a little sheep button and a flag to qualify for this honor!), when that gets put up in the sewing room, or it'll come out seasonally.

So that's all from here. They are calling for snow this afternoon, not much, around an inch, but any snow drives people around here into near-riot status. I filled up the gas tank, but only because I don't like pumping gas in the snow. Other than that, no biggie, I can drive in it.

07 February 2012


I didn't have time to stitch last night.

I decided to have one Jammer box devoted to a complete set of DMC. I've seen several people do that, and it seemed like a good idea, particularly since there is always the risk I'll be put on home bedrest and unable to get up and down and run back and forth to the sewing room, plus it would be a timesaver not having to sort through the small bobbin boxes, none of which are marked as to the number range. So, after actually making dinner from scratch (but it was only meatloaf, as I am a semi-feral housewife, with limited time and skillset), I sat down and started sorting.

I'm not finished yet. It was kind of a tedious PITA. I only put one bobbin of each in the Jammer and had to pick the right one: not wound sloppily, not with too much floss, not one that had a scanty amount of floss. Duplicate skeins are being stored in the bobbin boxes, in order, and I'm determined to empty out the big tub o' floss and have that nonsense completed. Of course, during this process, I got hindered by such questions as, What project caused me to buy and wind 7 skeins of DMC 160 that I have now forgotten I bought for? I could understand 762, since I have a lot of that, but that is a pale gray used for shading, but I don't even have that much extra black, so why that much DMC 160. Wierd, but at least I know not to buy anymore.

I have also been stopped by a few random mixed boxes of specialty and regular floss. Not the big "holding pen" Jammer that I went through last week. Little ones, all mixed up. And it wasn't the cheap floss--there was Thread Gatherer in there, and Six Strand Sweets, which is like gold to me, since the company went out of business. Where did they come from and how did I forget about them? For now, they're going into the holding pen to be treated just like any other skein.

Sometimes I think the internal process of organizing all this stuff is what really holds me back. I think I have a tendancy to micro-sort into "piles" that seem to make sense at the time, but probably just waste time. And then I get frustrated at the lack of progress, toss it all in a box, and, really, where has that gotten me? I'd like to think, this time, something is going to radically change, in that I actually have goals in mind, the supplies to accomplish the goals, and I'm fed up with the status quo. It's just a bit overwhelming because it's been this way for so long. And I'm like the people on the hoarder show in my insistence that it's all good stuff, which, really it is, because I have, over the past 2 years, given away several hundred charts that needed better homes than mine. And I know some of this is because I'm right in the middle, too far in to back out now, not far enough in to see the end, but, once I get this crap work out of the way, it should get better. Hopefully . . .

06 February 2012

If your team isn't in the Super Bowl . . .

the only thing one really can do is go shopping.

I fell off the wagon hard yesterday. But, since it's the last of such falls, and I had a belated birthday present to buy that was part of it, and I bought some of the specialty fabric I need for ornaments, and specialty floss to finish a UFO that, despite looking everywhere for the floss, I just can't find. I did pick up CHS "Chincoteague", and the new Prairie Schoolers. I didn't realize til recently how quickly those go out of print, and I really prefer to NOT pay the retired prices for those charts anymore. I think I did pretty well with sticking to my budget. It helped that, even early in the day, the shop was pretty full, and it was hard to get to the thread area, but part of it was just understanding that I don't "need" all these things, and that I have plenty of good stuff at home.

I did buy a bottle of "Gloves in a Bottle"; this winter has been blustery, and the property management company at work buys cheap hand soap, so our hands at work have been sandpaper-y. Things have deteriorated to the point where I stopped working with silks, even to wind them, because they were snagging on my fingers. The only lotion that had seemed to halfway help, and I feel a bit embarrassed that I had to resort to this, was Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Foot Cream. It somewhat worked, but washed off. I've used this stuff before and had good results, so I bought a bottle for the office (I'm such a good co-worker, right?) We're going to try the GIAB and see if that helps; I think a weekend with normal soap, followed by this, will go a long way to fixing our dry hands.

We finally had some snow on Saturday. Too bad they weren't calling for it. I met Mom in the morning at the bigger city in the morning to go shopping. There was a place she wanted to go that doesn't have a store in the mall anymore, so we went up to the outlet mall in Gettysburg. On the way back, I asked Mom if she wanted to go to lunch. It's easier for me to make better food choices if someone is with me, since I have a wierd aversion to eating alone, and, if I have to eat by myself, I will just grab fast food, but we can actually sit down and eat. Mom said that would be good, and we picked the diner behind the mall. I know, diner food healthy? But this is a nice diner, plenty of choices, so it was good. Then the snow came. I asked Mom if she still wanted to go, since I worry about her driving in the snow. She said it didn't bother her, and I was OK, since it was just falling, not sticking. We went to lunch, ate, then I called Left-brain to see about dinner. He told me it was sticking in Crazyville. I started hustling home, stopped off at the store, in my completely not snow worthy fabric flats, then started off down the road.

Crazyville is a very small town, and you don't get to it quickly from anywhere. It is ALL backroads, windy and curvy, it makes me really appreciate that I live in a small town. Lovely ride for 360 or so days a year, but when it's bad weather, that ride sucks. Of course they hadn't treated the road, because it was supposed to snow later, and it was a slow ride. I'm OK with my own driving, just a lot wary of other people, since it seemed to be all 4WD pickup trucks, myself and one lonely Corvette out on the road. I just slowed myself down, and crawled home. It was pretty to look at in the house, all blue and grey outside, but not to be out in. It all melted yesterday, LOL, but the funny thing was, we were the only part of the area that got measurable snow. Mom said it was fine all the way down-county, the big town had none, even Gettysburg got little. More proof Crazyville lives in its own little world.

BTW, I did not get swept up in the Super Bowl hype yesterday. We're not Pats fans and definitely not Giants fans, and since the Cowboys didn't make the playoffs and the Ravens lost to the Patriots, I only watched for the commercials, and was bleary-eyed by half-time. I did REALLY like the Clint Eastwood commercial; it came at a time when it was much-needed and I think we need to hear positive messages about what we can do as a people when we come together. Clint should do monthly peptalks--his voice alone comforts and inspires.

03 February 2012

Thank you!

Thank you for all your kind words about the baby. They really mean a lot to me, more than I know how to say, and I appreciate them. As I appreciate all your visits to my little corner of the world.

So . . .

My new Jammer-y boxes are home. Is it OK to call them Jammer boxes if they aren't actually Jammer-brand boxes? Or is this like the Band-aids, where we call anything that looks like a Band-aid a band aid? Hmm? Anyway, I picked them up last night at Mom's. I did have to submit them to a feline customs check, though--one kitty was sitting on the box when I came in the house, and protested most loudly at being removed from said box, another watched me open the box, and my Gus jumped in and made himself at home. I almost thought I was going to have to bring him home with me, which would have upset him and Left-brain (LB is allergic to cats, and Gus in particular, and Gus doesn't like things that move fast, like LB does). I had to lift him out, scritch his chin, and then put everything back in the box.

I introduced my mom to Etsy. She has never had a chance to experience that website. I eased her slowly into it, by showing her cat collars. The cats' collars are in various states of disrepair. Gus' is tattered, Lily's has the fake diamonds falling off (Lily is getting kind of raggedy all around--I told Mom she looks like the cat who sang "Memory" in Cats--but then again, they're all 13, I probably won't look too hot at that age), and Felix is naked (and I do not like when my cats are 'naked', they've worn collars since they were big enough to wear one). They need new collars, and I'm getting to the point where I'd like to support the small businessman, especially since they seem to lose the Walmart collars easily. So we got to looking. We have lots of options with Lily--black looks good with everything, she may end up with a Lily Pulitzer look, SO CHIC! I found a nice black and white one with skulls on it for Felix--I like his collars to have a little personality, since he's so shy and thoughtful. There was a lovely one in plaid for Gus--I like him in classic, preppy looks, OK, apparently I have too much time on my hands . . . Mom seems to think they should just have Walmart collars, that they don't need fancy. The dogs, however, must need it, because Chancey has flowery collars and ensembles, and Robbie gets more than your average collar, LOL. For $20 extra, I think having a fresh new look for spring is worth it for the kitties, don't you?

After all this silliness, which I think I needed, it was pretty late til I got home. I did my best to finish the February block of the Itty Bitty Kitty Quilt, but didn't manage to have it done by bedtime. I WILL get it done today, I am determined. The cover of the chart doesn't do this justice. It makes the block look red and harsh, when it has such nice pinks and greens in it, I have really enjoyed working on it.

I joined an Easter ornament exchange, and got my partner yesterday. I'm looking forward to this, but am going to start early, so I'm not running around last minute, finishing and trying to find goodies to send, as is my usual modus operandi. I do need to ask my partner her preferences for subject matter, and then hope I have a chart to do it for her. I am pretty sure I have a chart, though, for any subject matter needed, at this point, considering I found 2 Easter dragon freebies in my cleaning the other day. If I have dragon Easter charts, I probably have anything else someone could want, LOL.

01 February 2012

The population of Crazyville

is increasing. And I don't mean we're adding pets. Although I would like to. I told Left-brain about the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet this weekend, and how they have an adorable pit/lab mix puppy. We got to talking about it, and Left-brain doesn't understand why it's always the pitbulls and the labs hooking up. Somehow he doesn't believe my theory that pits and labs are the "hos" of the dog world. I asked Beazer if he would like a Lab girlfriend and make his own little mutts. He seemed to be in agreement, Left-brain said no. His exact words were, "You don't have the time now, and you won't have the time later." Sadly, I had to agree, poor old Beazer won't get to see his progeny running through the back yard.

You see, Left-brain and I are going to be parents. I'm not kidding. It seems kind of wierd to be a "mom"; part of me laughs inside at that, at the idea someone is trusting me with another human being. Fortunately, most of me figures I'll be a good mom, since I'm pretty "young" at heart. I think that is the same part of me that says, "Oh, surely they give you some sort of multiple choice test before letting you out of the hospital with a baby." Nope, if you got the co-pay, a carseat, and a pediatrician, you too can be a parent (of course, remember, I got married in a county whose only requirements for a marriage license are the payment, a photo ID and a right arm--Maryland seems to be pretty lax about these life-changing choices, LOL)

I'm due in early July, the 6th to be exact. So far, it's gone about the norm, except that I'm considered high-risk, due to my age, and serious hypertension. Even before they had confirmed the pregnancy (which is a long and involved story, and is the reason I HATE my PCP), they diagnosed my blood pressure as dangerously high. It was touch and go for a while and they have been watching me very closely, but we finally seem to be getting it under control. I pray about it, I ask God and my gramma to protect this baby, and I am trying to do better. This has been a wake-up call for me; I've been changing a lot of things, drinking more water, much less fast food, being more mindful of what goes in me in general, since this isn't just about me anymore. I want to be in this child's life as long as possible and as healthy as possible. Knowing that I feel better, that I have less headaches than before is proof I can do this.

We don't know the sex yet. Yes, we want to know. No, we're not sharing that information til he or she comes out. We did pick out names: Logan Willam for a boy, which I love because the doctor took one look at Left-brain and said, "With that one, you are going to have a big baby." If it's a boy, I want a strong name for him, a big man should have a strong name. If it's a girl, her name will be Kaydence Breanna, which has dual meaning. We will call her Katie or Kate, which was my great-grandmother's name. I respect her because she raised 8 children all by herself after her husband died when my grandfather was small, and sent my grandfather to college, where he became a teacher and affected the lives of hundreds of kids. That's a pretty good tribute to her, but she needs her name carried on. The middle name is a combination of Best friend Brea's name and that of my mom. Three very strong women in one little name. Also, the name means "beat strong", and, when we were in the process of confirming whether or not I had gotten pregnant, my OB/GYN sent me for an ultrasound. All I saw was this little flashing light, the baby's heartbeat, like it was saying, "I'm here, Mama. You were right," and it was so strong. Proof there are miracles. I didn't know the meaning til after I had chosen the name for the first reason, but it's almost as if it was meant to be.

In case I haven't said it, we are really excited for this change in our lives. To think, God willing, we will have a baby next Christmas and get to see the holiday through a child's eyes, to have summers making sand castles and watching this baby experience Assateague and the fair, and dressing up for Halloween, first days of school, when I was not terribly sure I'd ever have that experience (when I was 30, unmarried, and no prospects are coming down the line, motherhood seemed a pipe dream), knowing other women go their whole lives, wanting this and not having it, makes me feel so lucky. And thankful.

I hope no one minds that I posted and that I rambled on and on. I meant to post this earlier, but couldn't get around to it, and it seems rather silly to not say anything anymore. I appreciate everyone who sent good thoughts and asked after me right after the blood pressure started, and for putting up with me while I've been tired and not very interesting over the past few months. Hopefully, we're into the better stretch of the pregnancy at this point; I have more energy, even though you wouldn't know it if you'd watch me walk, LOL, and my appetite is back. YAYYYY!
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