25 June 2012

What may be the last post for a few days

This may be the last time I am able to chat til Kaydence gets here. Right now, we are on a day to day holding pattern, but have an appointment tomorrow, if she doesn't come tonight, to schedule my induction. By the end of the week, I'm going to have her in my arms. It seems unreal, all these years of wondering would I ever find someone to have a family with, then would we be able to have a child without intervention, and all these months of "She'll be here in July," and now it's almost July, and she's actually going to be here. I keep wanting to pinch myself. My mom bought her a dollbaby, a sweet little rag doll, and gave it to me on Friday. I just started crying, a little too overwhelmed. I know she can't play with it for a few months, but it was a toy that my daughter will hold in her arms and love. Not this vague child of my imagination and dreams, a real child who will make this world a better place just by existing. And that . . . wow. Left-brain is being so attentive; she is very active and it is not always the most comfortable feeling, nor is having to use the bathroom every 5 minutes, and he keeps asking if I am OK. Beazer keeps checking on me; I look at him as if he has some inherent dog sense that labor is starting, he looks at me like, "You have been promising me this baby sister of mine is coming for MONTHS now, when do you intend to bring her home?" We are a silly bunch, he probably wants nothing more than a cookie, even though he did lay his big head on my equally large belly today.

We did have a bit of drama on Friday (other than me crying). It was so hot, and they were calling for a nasty storm. Around 5:15, it got REALLY dark. I noticed it because the sun goes down at 9:15 now, and it was too early. And then the rain started, which quickly got hard and nasty. I couldn't even see across the street. Then things started hitting the skylights in the bathroom and in the livingroom.  I figured it was just hail, and didn't do anything, but of course, my dog decided it was his father, so strolled out to the living room to check on him.  OK, we watch the Weather Channel faithfully in this house.  Living in Maryland's Tornado Alley (at least it feels like that), we have to. I have watched enough of those Full Force Nature shows to know to stay away from the skylights when stuff is going down outside.  And that includes the dog . . . so I had to waddle out there and get his silly self.  But . . . ya know, he was right, Left-brain was parked outside.  Not such a dumb dog, and he's not going deaf.

And then the lights went out. And the cable.  And it didn't look like it was coming back on quickly. Our front yard was full of debris, luckily none of the tall trees on the hill came down--we lost branches when the hurricane came through, and can you imagine if one hit the house while I was here alone with the dog?  Left-brain came in, I tried to get him to call the power company and step up our line in the queue because, hello, I am 9 1/2 months pregnant  and high risk and I CAN NOT BE HOT. He said they wouldn't care. Then he said, "That is why we have the camper. We can go out there."  This is why I am glad we don't tent camp. We sat in here as long as possible, then he went out  and put the slide-out out.  Fired up the air conditioning, made up the bed, brought us our snacks. We packed up Beazer's binky and his stuffed toy, but he was not really happy in the camper. Left-brain didn't put the stabilizers down right away, and the poor dog did not like the way the camper shook when we walked; he was probably having an earthquake flashback. He just flopped down and looked miserable, didn't bother to explore, kept looking at me like, "Are you sure I am allowed in here?" Of course, buddy! We stick together, couldn't leave our special boy in the hot house.

 And, while my neighbors apparently lost their minds (the one neighbor started shooting off a rifle, the neighborhood kids started racing up and down the streets in their cars, screaming for no good reason, who knows what goes through these people's minds anymore?), we hunkered down and watched a movie, or at least Left-brain did. I fell asleep.  In the cool.The power came back on at 12:30, and we went back in the house. I love our camper, I am glad we have it, the bed is comfy, the AC is cool, I could bake a pie in the oven, but I have to admit, our bed in the house is a treasure!

So, amidst all this, I have been stitching.  I realize I have been so lax in posting pictures this month. Before the end, I wanted to share.

This is my newest finish, Sharing the S, a freebie by Sanman. I have been wanting to do this for years and finally did it.

I love it! I did change it a little to include the reference to a Bible verse that tells the Christmas story. I am very pleased with how it turned out.

I also finished the June square for Itty Bitty Kitty.  This is not the best shot, but it shows how the whole thing looks.
I really like having a project like this, one square a month to stitch. It doesn't take that much time to complete, and these little finishes are no problem for me. Quite satisfying and it only takes a year commitment. I may do another project like this next year, but I'm not sure yet. I guess it will depend on how much stitching time Babygirl lets me have.

But I didn't finish everything this month. This is my "In the Garden with Jane Austen."  I apologize for the wrinkles, but I wanted to share. It still has a long way to go.  I probably will not get this done in the next few days, but hopefully, it will soon.
I'm not sure if I really like this pattern anymore, but I want to get it done.  It will not be the bag into which the magazine showed it finished, but probably a pillow.
And this is my sweet freebie WIP, "Hip Hip Hooray," by Jean Farish. It was a freebie I printed off in 2004, and is available here (if not, use the Wayback Machine website, it will have a link via I just think it is as cute as a bug, and the only specialty thread it uses is for the sparklers.  
It is stitching up really quickly, I think I will take this along to the hospital in case I feel like stitching.

Before I go, I wanted to share some pictures of Babygirl's room.  We still have a few small things to do, but, by and large, it's done.

The princess sleeps here:
I know to take the bumper and the toys out of there when she actually uses the crib, but she'll be in a bassinet for a while, so not a priority.  A few of her bears are hers, but I also put in a bear Left-brain gave me when we were first dating, along with one Left-brain got somewhere pre-me.

Her bookcase, decorated with some of my bears and bunnies (at least on a couple shelves). As she ages and gets more aware that there are toys up there, I will replace these with ones she can play with.  It's not that I want to be selfish, but at least one of those stufties (he is on the top shelf next to the left side bear) is extremely old and handmade, and it is not really a toy, plus she'll have plenty of her own toys.

The bear on the second shelf behind the seal, my friend Ann made for her. It's a wonderful gift.
Her books.  She has a good start on her library, even though it will be a few years before she can read some of them.
And I have to point out these shoes.  One set, my aunt picked up after Christmas for her (before we knew she was she, LOL) and the bear slippers I bought at Walmart a few weeks ago. Aren't they cute?  Don't you wish that we could have such fun clothing?  Wouldn't work be a lot better to deal with if you could wear Rudolph shoes in December, and no one thought you were wierd?  Instead, we must wear sensible clothing, and boring shoes, and leave the fun stuff to the kiddies.  NOT FAIR.

So that is what is happening here. A lot more than I thought, LOL. I appreciate how you all have been open and willing to listen over the past few months, and the words of encouragement have helped me get through a time that has not always been glowing. Hopefully, the fun starts now!

18 June 2012

It's the Final Countdown!

Still no Babygirl, but we are in the final countdown. If she is not here by next Friday under her own power, I will be induced. I am not completely sure if that means she will be here over the weekend, or if they will wait a few more days to see if she shakes loose, but the hope is by the 4th of July (we have patriotic onesies to wear, hot dogs to eat, fireworks to set off in the backyard in a safely predesignated area outside of city limits).  My mother hopes she is not born on Wednesday or Saturday, since one of those days, according to the old poem, makes children full of woe, and the other day means they work hard for a living. Of course, one of the other days they have far to go, not sure about that one. Left-brain keeps asking if I am OK; he stayed home from the racetrack on Saturday night because I was feeling a little wonky, it was kinda funny. His new favorite song is a romantic Keith Urban song, and he started calling me "Mama." I guess it hit him by the end of next week, he could be a dad.  Her room is pretty much together, I just have to put away the small things and put her towel and diaper baskets in their right places. OMG, I am in love with newborn diapers--they fit in the palm of my hand. Between those and little socks, I don't know what to make of them.  I am making a person who they fit!  That is amazing to me.  Of course, I got in another argument with my OB on Friday night; it's been 3 weeks, and he can't yell at me at appointments because I don't go to those by myself anymore, so it was about time. I won't even bother to write about it here, but it was, by and large, the stupidest non-work-related phone call I have ever had to deal with. I just have to remind myself 2 more weeks, and I can go to anyone for post-partum treatment. Anyway . . . 

Speaking of fireworks, we were in Target on Saturday. I am still allowed to go places, I just can not take myself there. But I needed a present for DN's birthday, and a bag for Left-brain's Father's Day gift (he is a little hinky on whether or not he technically IS a father at this point. I keep reminding him that our child is not floating out in the ether, waiting to be delivered on a cloud, she is here on the planet, just because he can't see her features, she is here, but, maybe that stems from the fact that the dad doesn't really have the day-to-day interaction with her that I do. I am sure he would not enjoy being head-butted in the bladder, LOL), so we went.  Now, I live in a county where fireworks are legal, just not in town.  It took some getting used to to see the firework stands.  I don't even know if you can get the hardcore stuff, I think you have to go up to Pennsylvania to get the kind of fireworks that have inspired my husband to utter such profound things as, "I don't know what this does. Let's light it and see."  and sends the dogs into their kennels, but you can get some stuff. At the local Target, as well as in your finer parking lots.  Apparently, there are a great many stupid people in Metro Crazyville, or at least a lot with daring-do, because . . . on the front of the firework display at the Target, there is a sign that says "Fireworks . . . no smoking."  I appreciate the obvious purpose of this, but, really . . . is there a danger that people will smoke in front of the display in the store?  When is the last time you saw someone light a cigarette in Target?  Or in any store or, heck, inside for that matter. The last time I can confidently say that yes, people were smoking inside anywhere in the DC/Metro area was in the casino at Charles Town racetrack in 2006. And that was a casino. Not Target.   And I certainly hope the average firework consumer wouldn't need a warning that open flame around the firework display is not a good idea.  True, I did have to explain to my niece and nephews that the reason Pop-its work is that they have gunpowder (I guess that's what it is, they're kids, it satisfied them) in them, but they're kids, and that got superceded by "OK, we do not throw those at your brother, sister, Aunt Rachel." Now I can see a sign that says "Don't point these at other people," but the smoking warning? A little wierd. A little overkill, and yes, I realize it wouldn't be there unless someone smoked in front of the firework display . . .

My stitching mojo is gone. I tried to work on In the Garden on Saturday.  It tired me out, so I didn't get far. I am going to try to get a little work done on it this evening.

And yesterday we had a near disaster.  Beazer keeps his binky outside the office, where all my stitching stuff is piled. I bought "unbreakable" boxes to put all that stuff in.  I guess I should have given Left-brain a lesson in how to stack boxes, but I assumed he knew how to do it. Anyway, unbreakable does not mean unbendable, because he apparently put a heavy box on top of one of them that did not have contents to support the weight, because the lower box bent, the stack tipped over and spilled boxes all over the office floor, out in the hall. My finishing box, and the box holding my Hummingbird Trellis afghan went right where Beazer usually lays.  Thank God he was in our room, pestering Left-brain, because, in all seriousness, he could have been hurt. Badly. And that would have killed me. He was, of course, mildly annoyed that anything got on his binky, when it's all you have, you value it well beyond reason.  Fortunately, nothing got broken, the box was able to be popped back into shape, and I gave Left-brain a quick lesson in now to stack properly.  The heavy stuff is on the bottom now.  Our dog is safe, a few more wrinkles than on Saturday, and I have a few more gray hairs. But that's OK.  He looks cute with w'inkles, and I will be covering them grays!

11 June 2012

Another hectic week begins

We have a nursery finally. We had to change the color a bit because they didn't make the color I chose first anymore, so I changed over to one called Girl's Night Out. It's a richer dusty lavendar, but it looks so good with the dark wood of her crib, the colors of the bedding and the gold outlet covers left over my husband's bachelor days.  I put her little library on her bookshelf; it was a neat feeling to see books from my grandmother, the teacher's, library, on there next to books I enjoyed as a little girl, ones her grammas and cousins had picked out and ones my friends had chosen.  I put my favorite bears and bunnies up on the shelves; some of them are a little motley, but they're things that were chosen for her. Even her papa chose a teddy and put it in her crib--BTW, they do a fine job with scaring the bejesus out of a body with these crib sheets. I held one up to the mattress and thought there was no way in creation that thing was going to fit.  Amazingly, with much shoving, punching and threats, it worked.  Which begs the question, why if those sheets fit that mattress, is it such a pain to get the sheets on our bed to stay put.

I had to take my binders of charts down off the bookcase to finish up the preparation. Left-brain asked me where I wanted to put the huge tub of them. I told him that I didn't want them packed away so that I wouldn't have access to them.  With so much of my stuff packed away and virtually inaccessible (though to be honest, it's mostly because I can't lift the boxes on top of them off), it's starting to make me a little antsy.

I did venture to the LNS on Saturday. I have decided that, for our anniversary, I am stitching Left-brain a chart of the lighthouses of the Chesapeake. He doesn't know it yet. But I got the idea because he said he appreciates when I stitch the charts of the lighthouses we have access to. He likes any lighthouses, but he enjoys the local ones more. I thought it would be nice to do that for him.  I also kitted up a Moira Blackburn design, I think it's called "in the garden", and a Bent Creek patriotic design.  I know, I am supposed to be using what I had, but I have been good, and I wanted something new to stitch and my kitted-up stuff, well, it's buried in a pile of boxes.  OK, note to self: fix this situation as soon as possible.

This week, we find out when the baby is coming. Because of the issues, they don't want me to go full-term, but need to decide if it will be at 38 weeks or 39. They keep saying things like, "If you're still pregnant next week . . . "  Well, all I have heard is that first babies never come early, and she seems perfectly content where she is, plus, it's a little wierd to hear it phrased that way. But I do know, it's a blessing to have gotten this far, every day she stays in is a blessing for us.  At least we find out her weight this week, so we get a better idea of that.  I can't wait.

Have to go for now. Will attempt to show some stitching soon.

08 June 2012

I have been remiss in photo posting, but I have been a busier stitcher this week. 

This is my latest finish,  Brooke Nolan's  June 2008 kit for SNN, Liberty. I really had a good time stitching this. I am normally not one for the fancy fibers, but this was such a quick stitch. I sewed the little buttons on Sunday. I know the floss doesn't match, but this is for me, so it's OK--it's, um, the light hitting the cherries! I will always think of this as my Hatfields and McCoys project, since I was working on it while that was on this week.  I'll probably just make it into a cube finish--I think I have the fabric they showed on the cover of the chart.

I know I was limiting my new starts for the year, but the flosses for this were so yummy, and I had it all in stash, from when the design came out on 2008.  I couldn't resist!  This is my new WIP, In the Garden with Jane Austen, the May 2008 feature design from TGOS Magazine. It is supposed to be made into a sewing bag, mine will probably be a picture. I had toyed with making a pillow out of it, but hand-dyed floss, white fabric, and small fingers may not be such a good combo in the future.

It is stitching up TREMENDOUSLY fast, for being mostly words.  I have already found an error on it though. The symbol for Green Pasture is supposed to be a Z and is not that on the key. I only figured it out by really looking hard at the picture on my files on my computer and comparing it to the floss colors.  I don't know if anyone was planning on stitching this, but figured it was something to put out into the ether. I hope to have the whole thing done in a week or so, preferably a week.

This weekend, Left-brain is painting the baby's room while I am out all day. My mom and I are going to pick up the paint this evening. I have to admit, even though I love the color I chose, a dusty pale purple, actually committing to it is a little frightening. I think it is just because I have never gotten to pick the paint colors, and most of the rooms ended up being various shades of white. I think Left-brain would prefer white, but, shoot, it's easier to pick a different color than try to match various shades of ecru.  I know it will look good, and I am just being neurotic; I'm pretty good on this whole color theory business, but I want my girl to have a beautiful room, so I won't accept less for her. 

06 June 2012

Wednesday in Crazyville

Pictures to be taken.  Work to be done.

And I am goofing off on here.

However, I am much pleased with the changes I made to the background. Especially my title photo. This is one of the things I struggle with about Blogger, I can never get my pictures to look right. Part of it is this computer, it's not like any other PC I have ever owned, and does not have the easiest photo editing software in it (I guess since it was advertised as being able to thwart the zombie apocolypse by being able to be dropped and still work, it had more important functions to serve, we'll see.  I know other people can and do . . . I always look half shot out of a cannon. Oh, well, not now!

I have a nice picture with a centered subject.

When it's December and this is still up, you'll know why.

Not much happening here. Oh, remember how I was mourning my bare flowerbed the other day? The grammas (somehow my mom and MIL are now officially this when they are together) came out on Monday to purty up the joint. I could have cried. They are both avid gardeners with lovely flowers, and it probably pained them to see bare dirt with dead tulip stems.

Look at what they did:

 The front of the house. Those little spots of red just add something

This is the planter of no return. I planted calla lilies in there two years ago. I have not seen them since. These will do better.
 Our landing. I bought the planting on the right. My MIL did the one on the left. She even bought us a tomato. We had thought about planting it in the yard, but there is a rabbit in the front yard, and, since Beazer has decided he is a dog of peace, a groundhog has moved into the backyard to join the squirrel commune. They have to be pretty smart to climb the steps.

Speaking of Master Beazer, we had a few nice moments yesterday out on the back porch together yesterday. He loves to sunbathe, more now than ever before, and I caught a glimpse of him out the kitchen window, sitting on the hill, enjoying life. When I stepped out to take a picture of him, he came up on the porch to sit with me.
 He looks so handsome in this picture, doesn't he?

Kinda offsets the moments like this:
Life is hard when you have floppy lips and freckles. No one gives you any respect. No one.

One of the things this time with him has started to show me is that, at 12, every day with him is a gift. He is starting to slow down, and I hate to acknowledge that he won't be here forever. He is just the definition of a good dog. We've been going back and forth about what kind of a dog or dogs we'll get when he is not with us. I've been torn because I do love my small dogs, but I've become so invested in pit bulls and trying to get people to understand that one bad one doesn't a breed represent, anymore than any other bad dog isn't a fair example of their breed, that it feels like I am abandoning them to not have one. Last night I went online to look at the local rescues, to see how many were actually out there for adoption; within 100 miles of my zip code, there are approximately 20,000 pit bulls of every color, sex, age and build available for adoption. I also have the twins, and, seriously, I don't know if there are 20,000 Schipperkes in the US, let alone in rescue. And so that decided me, with so many dogs in need of homes with people who understand the particular quirks of the breed, Left-brain and I are the kind of people who need to be actively owning them. We have yet to work out the logistics and we will not get another dog til Beazer isn't here (it felt like cheating on him to look at the website, but he did tell us if we found a cute female, he was open to a girlfriend, LOL), and they will have to go through training, but it feels like the best option for all involved.

Before I go, this was my progress through May on the Itty Bitty Kitty Quilt project. June is finished, but, being a little behind, I don't have pictures.
I did find an erron in the chart, though. On the right hand side, the border. The running stitch line has been left off this chart, and the cross stitched border does not match up with that from the March chart. It reverts back correctly by the time September rolls around, so you have to just keep following the pattern from March and pretend that part doesn't exist for June. Maybe this was caught after my chart was printed, but it really isn't a difficult fix to do.

04 June 2012

Stitchers are the best people

I have been blessed many times in my stitching life. I have met so many wonderful people, and been lucky enough to get some lovely stitched gifts.  This weekend, I was the recipient of some beautiful things for my daughter. Words escape me.

I got to go to stitching group. Not being able to drive made this an uncertainty, because it's over in Baltimore, and neither Left-brain or my mother are very comfortable driving over there and I feel so useless having to ask for a ride. But my lovely friend, Enid, who lives in Metro Crazyville, picked me up and brought me (Oh the stories she can tell how it used to be in Crazyville, there was a warehouse full of craft supplies, including cross stitch stuff, between here and the bigger town, she spoke most highly of it, figures it isn't there anymore).

Midway through the afternoon, they brought a cake in for me.  Very pretty, pink and yummy (I only had a small piece as my snack.  And lots of cards, some gift cards to spoil her (and one for me), a lovely book for her library that is the words to a song I used to sing in 4-H camp, so we can sing and read together, two sweet rattles, a beautiful crocheted blanket and a teddy bear with her initial stitched onto the bib.  Truly lovely gifts of the heart from a wonderful group of "aunties."

That was not the only thing Kaydence and I got. My wonderful friend Kathy in England sent me a package with two beautiful samplers she and her daughter, Rachel, have stitched for Babygirl. One of them still needs her name and birthdate stitched--Kathy didn't want to put her name on til she was born and we don't know the birthdate yet--and the other one is a lovely scene with a stork.  Kathy said she didn't see that the name could be put on that easily, but thinks it will work so pretty on the wall just as it is. I opened them and just about started crying, they were so pretty.  Kathy is a great friend, one of the blessings of my life.

I will try to post pictures of these things, not as a way to brag, but just to show off these talented women who surround me.  They are gifted stitchers and beautiful people, and I am so lucky.

01 June 2012

Online video tutorials

I'll admit it, I watch entirely too much Youtube. After all, one can only watch so much TV or read.

So far, I have learned the lyrics to "Galway Girl," and have been singing them to the dog, who wags his tail indulgently, watched the video to "I Loved Her First" and made myself cry (I was alone for that one), watched tribute music videos to "North and South" (not the best), and even watched Sacred Harp videos. On that one, I toyed with trying to find a local group that does it, but, then again, I can't read music, and it's hard to find karaoke places around here, let alone primitive folk music groups.

But the one thing I can not find is Youtube videos on cross stitch finishing. There are plenty of videos on how to cross stitch, some of which make it look a lot harder than it actually is, but none on how to finish it. I did open one link enthusiastically, but her definition of "finishing" was making sure that the back looked OK.  I think I'm a bit beyond that. It's not that the photo tutorials aren't good and I am not complaining, it's just sometimes a multi-media approach might help.

It is times like these I wish I had a video camera, so I could share a couple of my finishing techniques. Not that I am really good, but, if you have NOTHING, something is good, right? Of course, mine would have a dog snoot in the frame, and, probably, "Galway Girl" blasting in the background (Now I ask you friend/What's a fella to do/Well her hair was black and her eyes were blue). But then again, that does seem to be the norm for Youtube.

One of these days . . .
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