Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thanks for the Village comments and a finish!


Thanks for all the lovely comments on the village. I'm glad you enjoyed looking at it. We are already talking about modifications for next year. Have to find someplace for the new buildings to go!

Well, it's over. The presents are unwrapped, the gifts have been oohed and ahhed over, the food has been eaten and my hips have enlarged. All this dispite the fact that Rudolph couldn't make it through the blizzard! It was an interesting holiday this year. The predicted storm set people into panic mode, including the weather forcasters. First the storm was going to hit on Wednesday and there would be a half inch of ice followed by a foot of snow. This resulted in a phone call from the in-laws on Monday night. They were concerned we would be unable to make it up there on Christmas Eve. On top of that, G'ma Jo figured out that with us coming up there, she would have to cook a meal that someone with gout could eat, someone with diabetes could eat and someone with a wheat allergy could eat. Maybe it would be better if they came to us instead. Now this is a very big deal for them. They feel we don't come up there often enough, so an offer from them to come here instead of us going there was earth shattering. I was fine with that. It's easier for me to cook in my own kitchen than in someone elses' anyway and it looked as though I would be cooking. Tuesday arrived and now the storm was going to hit on Thursday and last until Saturday. This again resulted in another phone call. Things weren't sounding so good for Christmas Eve. We were now in lets wait and see and call you tomorrow mode. Wednesday arrived, Adam was released from work at 1:00 so everyone could make it home before the storm hit. He decided that riding it out over here would be better than being stuck all alone in his apartment. Besides he said, the food would be better at home. He arrived that evening and still no real storm. Some sleet, some freezing rain off and on but nothing too bad. The promised phone call arrived from the in-laws. We Think we will come in the morning. We're pretty sure, but we'll call you again in the morning to see what is happening. Now by this time, the forcasters have said the storm, commonly referred to as Snowmageddon in these parts, will arrive Thursday afternoon. The in-laws plan was to get here by 10:30 and leave by 1:00 to beat the worst of it. At this point I am starting to get a bit irritable. I've been shut up in the house for 2 days now with Abby and Amy, they don't play well together for long periods of time. Abby requires a social life to maintain her sunny attitude and there was no social life to be found. So my nerves were fraying and now we can't make a frigging decision to save our soul. We THINK we might come might as well be we ARE coming as I have to start cooking at sometime in order to have it ready for their fly by visit. However, if I start the cooking and they don't come, we are going to be eating a lot of leftovers! I had decided to make brunch. A double batch of 3 cheese ham puff, pumpkin muffins, Brandy bread (both with and without wheat), bacon, sausages, toast, plus grape and orange juice. I made all the breads that night, chopped up what I could for the ham puffs and went to bed. Thursday morning arrived and there was very little happening outside. The 1/2 inch of ice never happened. The snow was no where to be seen. Dan was making fun of the weather guys and going on about the Snowmageddon that wasn't while they kept saying it was coming.... soon. I kept telling him to be quiet, you are tempting fate. The in-laws called and said they were not going to make it. They had 5 inches of snow and it just wasn't a good idea. I agreed but thought that decision could have been made the night before. And then it hit. No ice but a foot of blowing and drifting snow. At times we thought the roof was going to blow right off the house. Amy said she thought about crawling into my bed Christmas Eve night. Church services were canceled all over the city. Christmas Morning arrived and still the snow was coming down. Who's laughing now Dan, huh?? Guess who will be shoveling for the next 3 days? That's right buddy, YOU!! Our normal routine on Christmas Morning is to eat breakfast and then open gifts. In the afternoon, we head over to my parents house. Not this year. This year we had Brunch. Followed by an hour and a half of waiting for Abby's boyfriend to arrive through the blizzard. I thought he should have stayed home but apparently my daughter, princess Abby told him she would TRY not to be mad at him if he couldn't make it. In laymans terms that pretty much means show up or pay through the nose for the next week or two. I didn't know she had done that or I would have said something to her. Well, I said something to her anyway but it was too late by then, he'd managed to make it here and the storm by that time was starting to lessen in intensity. Without 4 wheel drive though, we weren't going to go anywhere and that included my folks' house. So for the first time in my life, I did not have Christmas at my parents. This was somewhat strange for me and surprisingly enough, it really bothered the girls. A taste of things to come. We took our time opening our packages and then the "kids" headed downstairs to play Wii. I sat in my chair and stitched and Dan snored on the sofa. He was storing up the energy he was going to need to dig out, not only us but the 2 widow ladies across the street. So, here it is Sunday night. We have had brunch everyday now for 4 days and still we have more to eat! I'm so sick of pumpkin muffins and brandy bread I could scream. I did freeze some of it but apparently I should have frozen more! Christmas with the in-laws is still somewhat iffy. Abby might have to work New Years Eve and day. Dan's sister has to work the weekend. They are not pleased. We are going to my folks on New years afternoon. But 2 of the cousins will not be attending as they left on a bus yesterday afternoon for Florida to march in the band at the Gator Bowl. The bus was supposed to leave at 4:00am Saturday Morning. The last I heard from my niece it was 1:00p.m., pizza had been ordered and the buses were still 3 hours out. Glad I didn't have to deal with that whole mess!
Dan is moving very slowly today. Digging out is hard work even when you have help. Bet he doesn't mock the weather guys again any time soon! I was unable to make any of the early bird sales at the stores. The plow didn't come by until afternoon by which time everything was pretty picked over. And can you believe they wouldn't honor the early bird prices even though I explained I was unable to get out of the driveway! The nerve of some people. LOL!! Here are a couple pics of the snow for you. Snow just doesn't photograph well, have you noticed that?

Here is our mailbox across the street. The plow went by right when Dan and Adam were done with Margaret's driveway and the snow is now even with the top of the mailboxes!

Here is Adam working over at Theresa's house. The sidewalk was drifted about 3 ft. deep he said.

Our back yard

The drift in front of the basement doors:

And finally our grill. Won't be using that any time soon will we.

All this snow has pretty much obliterated any sign of Fall that was left. We won't be seeing any grass or dried leaves for quite some time to come so I guess it is fitting that I finished my Signs of Fall project. I modified the chart just a bit. Here is a pic with the original chart with my finished piece.

Once again I rambled on and I could continue for days I think but I better call it quits. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and were able to enjoy it with friends and family. Till next time, thanks for stopping by and I love reading the comments so keep them coming!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Saturday and a link to the village

Good afternoon blog buddies!

I can finally come up for air! All the Christmas orders are done at the shop, I just have orders that aren't for Christmas left with the exception of one for my Father-in- Law! That is a huge relief for me. I am finally feeling back in the framing groove and am adjusting to the smaller work space. I have to actually clean up after myself as I go instead of leaving a trail of mess behind me like Pigpen from Charlie Brown. That is a ginormous adjustment. I cook the same way. Make a huge mess during the process and clean up afterwards. Not anymore though, I am turning over a new leaf!

I still have some shopping to do but all the presents that are bought are wrapped. This is something I usually leave till the 24th, after 10:00p.m. See another new leaf turned!

Amy had her wisdom teeth removed yesterday. She is doing well. She's actually following orders and staying quiet for a couple of days and so far the pain is minimal.

Yesterday she found out she received a Regents Scholarship to UNL. It's not her first choice but she says she is going where they give her the most money. She does not want to graduate with debt.

Abby dyed her hair a light golden brown this week and as a result, her boyfriend is not a happy camper. He wanted to know why she would do something that she knew he wouldn't like. He likes blondes. She says it's her hair and she'll do what she wants with it. You go Abby! ON the school side of things, she's been in the operating room the last 10 days or so and surprisingly enough did not pass out or get sick from the sight of blood and gore. She finds it interesting. This is a very good thing!!

The open house was a success! We had about 40 people show and a lot would like to come back to show family members. The food all turned out fine and the only thing I ran short on was my peppermint egg nog punch! That surprised me!

Well, I need to get going on making a list of things I still need to get so I will leave you with a link to my album, click on the slideshow option in the upper left corner, it makes it easier for viewing and you can pause it to stop and look at something closer if you like. So without further ado, get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, a mug of cocoa and a cookie and sit back and watch the show. I hope you enjoy it!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Sneak Peek, an update, and an apology!

Whew! Where is the time going? I need and extra day in the week I think to get everything done that needs doing!

I am so sorry to have disappeared into the ether but it just couldn't be helped. Between getting the shop set up, broken cars, decorating the house and setting up the village, there has been no time to do much of anything. Thank God the Huskers decided to win against whoever it was ( can you tell I'm not really a football fan?) which meant they would be playing the night I was planning the open house. I had to re-schedule the open house to the 12th which gave me another week that I desperately needed. I'm still somewhat panicked but I think I will make it by Saturday!

A brief rundown of what has occurred:

I did not host Thanksgiving. No way was I going to be ready for that. We celebrated Adams birthday just the 5 of us plus Abby's boyfriend. It was nice, the house was a wreck but the food was excellent if I do say so myself and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Abby's car broke down right after Thanksgiving and given that it is 15 yrs. old with 165,000. miles on it and needed over a thousand dollars worth of work done to it, we decided to retire it and get Dan a new used car and let Abby drive "little red" as we call the elantra. Took a while to find the right car and get the best financing but finally we found what was acceptable to Dan, and he is now the proud driver of an Altima. Or at least he was until yesterday when he was backed into in the parking lot Michaels. He's okay but the car took a good hit.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving was of course the last Saturday of the month so we needed to have the shop put together for last Saturday Stitching. I think it went well but you would have to ask the stitcher's to know for sure. The shop is still a work in progress but it's getting better and I can at least frame things now.

Here's a couple of pics from Last Saturday:

Stacy finished her project while she was there. She doesn't get to stitch very often as she is a mom to 3, a wife, a student and she has a job outside of the home as well! We'll just call her Wonder Woman from now on!

We've had quite a few framing jobs come in so I am working hard to get everything done by Christmas. It's amazing how rusty I am in only 2 months. I'm getting used to the smaller work space but it is a challenge I gotta say. The first job through the door was a football jersey! Really, a football jersey. Nothing like jumping in with both feet! They aren't hard, just time consuming and large!!

Not much stitching is getting done right now but here is a shot of what is done as of last saturday stitching.

I'm working on the back stitching and it's slow going on the flowers. The charts in color but the backstitching on the chart is in black and it's really hard to see.

And finally, the other reason for my absence is the village. It's sucking up huge amounts of time but is finally shaping up. So as a reward for your patience, here is a tiny sneak peek to tide you over till it's completely finished and I have time to take all the pictures.

That's it! All my excuses for being an absent blog owner. I hope you can hang in there another week or so and let me get through this open house. We so enjoy sharing the village with everyone but man it's been a long road setting it up this time. Dan has been adding all kinds of new stuff which is part of the problem. Anyway, that's it for now. I hope you stop in and leave a comment so I know you haven't disappeared into the ether too! Good Night and God Bless!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What a week!

Quick post.

I am slowly getting the shop set up and looking like something more than a jumbled disorganized mess.

I wasn't having Thanksgiving but now my sister's entire family is sick and they will not be better by Thursday which means I either have it here or it gets canceled. Only problem with canceling is Dan's parents will still want to come down and Abby invited her boyfriend plus it is Adams Birthday with Abby's on Friday. To top that off I had the guys bring all the Christmas boxes up before I got the call from my sister. They won't be gone by Thursday. What a mess!! I could handle having just my little family of 5 here and cooking for them. They wouldn't expect a clean house given all that is going on but the in-laws are a different story all together.

To top that off, the Huskers won on Saturday which means they will play in the division 12 championship game scheduled for Sat. the 5th at 7p.m. That is when I had the open house for the village scheduled. I now have to pick a new date for that and unfortunately, there isn't a good option. Poor Dan, he has gone to so much work to make the village a wonderful place to visit and now it might not be visited by many. Oh well, it'll all work out I'm sure.

Adam and Amy both got home from their trips in one piece although Amy was sick again on the plane and I did end up taking her to the Dr. She had a sinus infection. She is better now though. They did not win a pacemaker award but they did get 8th place in the best of show catagory and 6 of them, Amy included, earned personal awards also. Adam thought Vegas was a wonderful place where time has no meaning and the girls are all beautiful. I'm glad he had a good time, he deserves it. Beyond that....I don't want to know.

I am making some progress on my stitching but I need to get some things done this morning before heading to the shop so no picture. Today I tackle the work area. I have about 6 framing orders already that need doing but right now there is no doing them till I make it workable.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and I hope to do a better post next weekend. I also see I have reached that 50 followers number so I need to work on the giveaway too. I haven't forgotten.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A very sad day.....


It's a very sad day for me. I was planning to show you a scissor fob that my friend Merrilyn made for me. It was a beautiful beaded fob in shades of green. I even went out and bought a pair of scissors just to go with it. And then, at some point between bedtime last night and breakfast this morning, that no good, very bad Morkie, who attracted to sparkly things, got a hold of it and ate it! Not all of it, I caught her before she did too much damage but the fact remains, it can't be used any more. I'm going to hope that if I throw myself at Merrilyn's feet and promise to pay her for her time, she'll take pity on me and my darn dog and re-do it for me. And if she does re-do it, I'm going to make sure it's put up higher and not on the magnet that is on my Ott light. Apparently, it's not a Morkie proof place! Bad dog! Very bad dog!! I feel awful about the whole thing. I'm sorry Merrilyn! Here's a couple pics of the damage.

In other news.....Amy left for DC and the fall journalism convention on Wednesday. Her schools news broadcast was nominated for a Pacemaker Award. Only 10 schools across the US get nominated so it's a big honor. If you are at all interested, this is the show that was nominated. Anyway, the plane made it there in one piece but Amy is a little worse for wear. As they were descending into DC, the ride got bumpy and she was struck by sudden nausea and a horrible headache. She spent the rest of the day (DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS SENTENCE IF YOU ARE AT ALL SQUEAMISH) vomiting and having the dry heaves. Can air sickness do that to you? That's what I am hoping it is. The report I got today from her was that she is very sore from being sick but feeling better.

Adam is leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow night. He and some buddies are going for the weekend. This means I get to worry about 2 of my kids flying this weekend. I'm a terrible worrier. I won't rest easy until they are both home safely Sunday night.

The schnauzer's gave Kallie their cold. She's having a terrible time with the sneezing. About half the time she does the reverse sneeze thing where it sounds like she can't breath or is having an asthma attack. Totally freaks Gracie out which stresses the reverse sneezer even more. What possessed me to have 3 dogs? I must have been out of my mind!

In village news, the layout is finally decided on and now construction will begin on the landscaping. this will be a long process. My group of friends that I write the racy village stories about are chomping at the bit for a new chapter. I'm not sure if I should give in or make them wait till the village is done. It's kind of like Brigadoon, the village goes to sleep after the holidays and doesn't wake up for 9 months. Therefore, there wouldn't be any new stories to tell till the village is all done right? So I'm thinking they are just going to have to be patient!

I finished Give Thanks. Have yet to decide what I want to do with it though. It measures approx. 2 x 2 3/4 inches. Is that too big for a floss tag? Again, I haven't ever seen one so I am not sure how large they are supposed to be.

That's about all I have for today, I probably won't blog again till next week as Adam is taking my camera with him to Vegas. Plus, we have to have the shop all ready to open up for business on Monday which means I am going to be very busy this weekend! So have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Insanity and Stitching

Hey there! So sorry for the lack of posts this past week. Been a busy one around here between sick puppies and trying to get the new location for the frame/cross stitch shop in move-in condition. Hmmmmm.....I'm not sure I mentioned the new shop before. It all kind of happened quickly. I'm having a sense of deja vu though. 6 years ago when I started with what was then American Reflections, we were located in an area called Tara Plaza. A bit over 5 years ago, we moved to a new location and dropped the American part of the name. Now we are back at Tara Plaza, not in the same bay though. Much better location, more foot traffic, there is a quilting store a few doors down and we are located between a popular Mexican Restaurant and Curves. The downside? In order to afford the rent in today's economic climate, we have to share a bay with a vacuum cleaner store. All I'm going to say about that is.....this should be interesting! So if you are in the area, please stop in to say hello. We officially open a week from today on the 16th. Not sure we will be completely settled in at that time but we'll be happy to help you with whatever you might need or if you just want to chat, we can do that too!

Last week Kallie was sick. High fever, lethargic, not eating....$300.00 later and they still didn't know what was wrong. We knew what wasn't wrong though which was good. She's all better now but this past weekend, the schnauzers both came down with something. Lots of sneezing, watery eyes and running noses. They are still eating and drinking just fine so I don't think it's anything serious. I checked in with the vet this morning though just to be sure and she told me what to watch for. I hate sick puppies almost as much as sick babies. They can't tell you whats wrong or how bad it is.

I have been doing some stitching. I stitched the October pinkeep from Maryse This is the first pinkeep I have stitched and the first I have finished. I'm not sure it's done correctly as I have never seen a pinkeep in person but I like how it turned out. What do you think?

I also started a second little project, probably going to end up being a small pillow? I don't know. I've not made one of those before either. But I think I should give it a try. It's a freebie pattern I found at The Stitcherhood website. It's called Give Thanks. Not too far on it but it shouldn't take long.

and finally I have worked on Signs of Fall too. I'm in the home stretch on it as long as you don't count the darn backstitching. I'm not a happy backstitcher. I appreciate it and what it can do for a picture, but I don't enjoy the process. I think it stems from poor backstitching directions on some of the earlier charts I did waaaay back in the day.

Yesterday, Abby and I did some gluten-free bread making. Ah yes, the famous QVC TSV arrived on our doorstep last week. Our maiden voyage was unfortunately, not a successful one. I'm not sure what happened. I used a recipe that everyone on all the blogs raves about. Best sandwich bread ever it says. The texture was good but the taste was A.W.F.U.L!!!! I don't know if my flour was maybe rancid, or perhaps I didn't cook off all the manufacturing oils when we ran it through a cycle empty or what happened but it went right into the trash. I'm going to go buy all new flours and try again I think. After that disaster we tried a recipe for mozzarella sticks (not in the bread machine of course) that did turn out well. You couldn't even tell they were gluten free! First mozzarella sticks Abby has eaten in over a year and boy was she happy. I really am disappointed about the bread though. Oh Well, Better luck next time!

And finally, Dan and I have been working on the base for the Christmas village. I didn't get a shot of it before he started to put the foam on but I think you can get the idea.

This puppy is 18 feet long and 5 feet deep. Saturday morning I went downstairs to see what progress Dan had made and found a note from him that said one word. Insanity. Yep, that pretty much says it all!

Till next time, have a great week and thanks for stopping in and as always, commenting is much appreciated!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

They are KILLING ME!!

I need to be saved from myself! Everyday it happens. Day after day after day. 364 days a year. I can usually restrain myself, walk away and not look back. But this time of year it becomes more and more difficult. I'm like an addict. At the same time everyday, there I am. Waiting and wondering what it will be this time. Salivating while I watch. Yesterday it was the Click Free. The day before that it was a Breadman Bread Machine. Today, it's makeup. I'm not talking frivolous stuff here. I'm talking good stuff. The kind of stuff that makes your life easier. Or makes you look like you have had a great nights sleep. Or saves your life by backing up your computer with one little click. I want it. I want it all! That's right, I'm talking about QVC and their Today's Special Value. Starting in October every year, suddenly I become this insane person that has to tune in to see what the TSV is. And the worst part is I can no longer walk away from it. Oh no, I have to pick up the phone and say, hey, send me that, it's such a great bargain, a wonderful item, meant just for me and 6000 other addicts just like me! I want need that clickfree gizmo so bad I can taste it. And the makeup, Mally says it will last for 5 days if I want it to. Think of the time that would save me. Think of the stitching I could get done if I didn't have to spend hours doing my face everyday all in an effort to make me look well rested. And the bread machine, OMG the time and money I could save with that!! Well, actually the bread machine probably would save me time and money. Have you ever tried to make gluten free bread? It's a wee bit on the icky sticky side. And to buy a loaf is incredibly expensive. So I have to confess that as hard as I tried, I could not talk myself out of it. This baby is on it's way to my house and will arrive on my doorstep before I know it.

Okay, in my defense, Abby has been asking for a bread machine so she could try her hand at making her gluten free bread. The store bought stuff is pretty awful and very expensive. I could say I was giving it to her for Christmas and then you might say, She's not an addict, she's a loving caring mom, just trying to help her daughter out. I'd be lying if I told you that though. It's not a Christmas present. What mother worth her salt would ever think of giving a 22 year old a bread machine as their Christmas Present. Not me!! Nope, as soon as it arrives, we're making bread. Just as long as it's not at 11:00 p.m. central standard time. I have a date with the TV at that time! Hmmmmm, I wonder what the TSV will be tonight?? Christmas items? Clothing? Electronics? Jewelry, oooooh yea baby. Jewelry would be good.......

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Almost Halloween!

Happy Tuesday!!

I got home from packing up the shack late Sunday afternoon. It was a sad weekend but I am at peace with the decision and am ready to move on to other things. One thing that happened while I was packing up has probably scarred me for life. I was cleaning out the pink bedroom's closet. Dan had a basket in there full of tools, screws and crap so I was sorting it out and tossing that which wasn't going to come home. There was a gray piece of fluff that was in the way of my picking up screws and nails so I picked it up to toss it and discovered the dang thing had legs! It was a mouse!! A dead mouse but still a mouse. Ew, EW EW!!!
Got my heart pounding I tell ya.

Can you believe that Halloween is just a few short days away? I don't think I am ready for November to be here. Fall has been non-existent in this part of the country as I believe it has been in most places. I still have a dead pine tree that needs to be removed, a garage door to replace, a sliding glass door that needs to be replaced, and hostas to cut back.

The largest project however is the building of the village. We have a large Christmas Village that we set up every year and then we host an open house so people can come and view the village. I also write risque stories about the villagers that live in our village with my friends as the stars of the stories. It's a regular Peyton Place I tell ya. Last year after Christmas, one of those friends called to say that she was at Goodwill and they had buildings there. I had to go check it out of course and brought home 6 buildings. This wouldn't have been a bad thing for me to do except our village was at capacity. Our dining room was full and it wasn't going to expand to accommodate the new additions. On top of that, I bought a new ON30 scale train for Dan's Christmas present. It wouldn't fit through the HO scale mountain. A decision was made that the village was going to need a major remodel and a new location. This remodel should have already been underway. It's Not. I had trouble deciding on a location. The family room would have been great except then we would lose the use of it for almost 4 months. The basement would work but we are hardly ever down there. I don't know about you but if I'm going to spend weeks building the darn thing by gum I'm going to want to view it on a regular basis. So you can see my dilemma. Use the family room and go downstairs to watch tv or use the basement and make a conscious decision to go downstairs every day. The other problem with the basement location is the open house. We'll have people on both levels which means one of us will have to be upstairs and one downstairs during the open house. Not a big deal but something to consider. After much flip flopping, (think a fish that's been thrown up on the dock) and frustration on Dan's part, we decided this week to go with the basement location. Losing the use of the family room for 4 months was the deciding factor. So, first thing Sunday construction will commence. I'd start Saturday but I'm hosting Last Saturday Stitching this Saturday and it's going to be a mess down there for a while.

I did some stitching this weekend in between packing. Here's the update on Signs of Fall as of last night.

I have to go pick up Amy's senior pictures today and run to Sam's Club. I haven't been there in almost 2 years so I thought maybe now would be a good time since I'll be over halfway there. When I get home I plan to unpack the rest of my car from this weekend. I still haven't finished that little chore. Maybe if I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll scoop the back yard. It's been so wet that I haven't done it for quite some time and I'm sure it needs doing.

Have a great day, thanks for stopping by and extra thanks for leaving a comment if you do!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I have new Stash!!

Good Morning!

It's a cold wet dreary day here in Nebraska. I am not enjoying it at all but at least it is NOT at this time snowing. They have mentioned it might do that tomorrow. I hope not as I am headed up north to pack up the shack and sign the closing papers. I'll be glad to have this done but very sad to be doing it. In a perfect world, I'd have enough money to make it look like I wanted, and enough time to go up there more than once a year. BUT, this isn't a perfect world so I'll just keep all the wonderful years of memories close to my heart and bring them out when I need a little bit of soul soothing.

Mary Ann came over a couple of days ago and she brought my stash that I ordered. I should be cleaning the house since my in-laws are coming at 1:00 today, but instead I am procrastinating. I took pictures of my stash. Just.For.You. And to waste more time since I don't feel like cleaning!!

First up is Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor. Love, love, love this chart and the threads are gorgeous! I've never stitched with Valdani threads before, I hope they are worth what I paid for them. I'm itching to start this one but I promised myself I wouldn't until after I finish Signs of Fall and another project for my daughter.

Next up is Christmas Sampler by Stoney Creek. I think this is so pretty. There is another Christmas Sampler just out by Sheperds Bush that I think I have to have too.

I first saw this next chart on Margie's blog, Three Cool Pugs and Me. I thought it was such a cute stitch that I had to get it. Not sure when I'll get to it but it'll be here when I'm ready!

This next one by Lizzie Kate is so dang cute! I can't wait to stitch this one and finish it up cute like the picture! I can see all kinds of ways to display it, can't you?

And finally, I thought this new one by Sweetheart Tree was too cute to pass up. Not sure if I will turn it into an ornament or what but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I think I will leave you with the view from my front door this morning. The fall color is gorgeous right now, wish it was warm enough and dry enough to go out and enjoy it! Well, I have procrastinated long enough and they will be here before I know it. Have a great weekend everyone and I'll see ya when I get back! Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Happy Monday Everyone!

The sun finally came out around these parts on Sunday after almost a week straight of gray clouds! Today is supposed to be nice out and I intend to go out and get the stink blown offa me!! I was planning to do it yesterday but it was too windy out there. Guess that really would have blown the stink off if I had gone out yesterday huh. I should have thought of that then!

Today I tried to burn the house down. All I really accomplished though was a fire in the toaster, traumatizing the dogs and a smelly house. I'm not sure what went wrong. Same setting on the toaster that I always use, same english muffin I always toast but for some reason while I was sweeping and it was toasting......FIRE!!!! At least I know the new smoke alarms work! Don't think I will be using that toaster anymore. Got the mess cleaned up, the alarms shut off, the smoke aired out and the dogs calmed down. I don't think they suffered any permanent damage do you?

Top to bottom: Gracie Lou Freebush, Kallie Josephine, and Missouri Primrose, (Missy)

Been doing quite a bit of stitching and have made good progress on Signs of Fall. This is as of last night:

Looking good I think. Still, I doubt that I will get it finished in time to display it this year. But ya never know.

Well, I need to go vacuum the carpets. I just did it yesterday but I noticed this morning when I came down that someone (Dan) tracked sawdust all over the floor. He's working on a project for me so I guess I can't complain too loudly but really, vacuuming two days in a row is wrong! That might just really traumatize the dogs! Especially on top of the smoke alarm. Now all I need to do to guarantee total and complete insanity on Kallie's part is to start up the lawn mower. She's terrified of the lawn mower!

Till next time, may your days be bright and sunny! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Oh! did you see I have 41 followers? I was amazed! I think when I hit 50 I'm gonna have to have a give away to celebrate!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

18 years ago....

October 14, 1991. That was my due date. I had a doctor appt. that day at 1:00p.m. Much to my dismay the Dr. said she expected it would be another week before baby girl McConnell was born. I can't describe the utter depression that invaded my body at that point. I was never one of those "Happy" pregnant people. In fact, I hated being pregnant. Love the whole labor and delivery process, hate the preceding 9 months. It could have something to do with the 9 months of non-stop belching (think construction worker after downing a cold 6 pack in 10 minutes), that always started within 8 hours of conception. Or perhaps it is the fact that I knew the instant I got pregnant. And I mean the instant. I swear I felt that little spermie hit the Amy egg and the resulting fireworks that followed. I even told Dan within minutes that I was pregnant. He laughed and said I was nuts. Until the next morning when I started belching. Then his face lost all color. He'd been scheduled for the little clip clip appt that week. Best laid plans and all that. God has a strange sense of humor. It's amazing that it even happened if you think about it. 3 different forms of birth control and yet still a baby was made. I've always said God really wanted this baby to be in my life. She was destined for great things! Anyway, I digress. Back to October 14, 1991 and my depression. After receiving that news from the Dr. I did what any self respecting pregnant woman would do and went shopping. The panacea for all that ails you. I was browsing Shopko when the first labor pain hit. Hmmmm, what was that? Then another hit. Hmmmmm, maybe I better head home. By the time I got to my mom's house 10 minutes away the pains were 5 minutes apart. Called Dan, went home got the kids bags packed, picked them up from school and got back to my moms house by 3. Dan arrived and off we went to the hospital. Arrived at the hospital with the worst pains shooting down my legs, got my epidural (gotta love an epidural!) and Amy was born at 5:59 p.m. Ha! Take that Dr. H. That'll teach you to say things like it'll be another week!

Here she is the week of her birth.

and just the other day when it snowed.


Progress on Signs of Fall has been slow the last few days. Actually if you count all the ripping I did trying to get those darn background triangles to look nice I've done alot. Ripped those puppies out 3 or 4 times and I'm still not sure I like how they look. Originally, the triangles were supposed to be done in shades of dark green but the cover picture looks like they are black and that is what I wanted. But there were 3 shades of green involved and when I substituted the same colors that were in the pot it just looked too bold. After trying several different things, I decided to just use 1 strand of floss and that seems to be better. What do you think? Does it look okay?

I guess I best wrap this up and head to the grocery store. Amy wants ham, hashbrown casserole, whipped jello, corn, rolls and ice cream cake for her birthday dinner. I have none of that in my house at this time.

Thanks for stopping in and wishing Amy a happy birthday! I'll talk at ya all soon!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

S Happened!!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's two thousand words then....

The leaves have just started changing. Madness I tell you, M.A.D.N.E.S.S.

Progress on Signs of Fall:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The "S" Word

I hate the "S" word. Well, hate is pretty harsh, let's just say I dislike intensely the "S" word. I know, it's only 4 letters. But they are 4 very ugly dirty letters and they make up an ugly little word. Some people love the "S" word and think nothing of throwing it around like confetti. I just don't happen to agree with them. Those that use this dirty little word are not my favorite people in the world. In fact, I have been known to use a rude hand gesture when people on the TV use that particular word. And last night was one of those nights. Every other word out of their mouths was the "S" word. Didn't matter what channel my TV was on. There it was. Nasty.dirty.word.

My one daughter had a 5th teacher that actually banned the use of this word in her classroom. If the students used it, they had to write an essay on the word. At the time I thought that was a bit harsh, I mean you can't go around banishing a word from the English language just because you don't like it. Flash forward to today and I find myself agreeing with her. More and more all the time. This teacher requested the children use an alternate word for the "S" word. Her preference was "Frozen Precipitation". I don't know though, frozen precipitation man just doesn't roll off the tongue like snow man does. Neither does frozen precipitation storm. That's right folks I am talking about snow. The dreaded white stuff that falls from the sky, makes the road slickery and generally means the temperatures have to be below 32 degrees. Which means, it's cold out. I do not like the cold. I will never like the cold. That's why I designed this cross stitch piece. So everyone knows how I feel. In case you can't read the little sign the rabbit is holding, it says... somewhere else. I don't mind the snow so long as it is somewhere I am not.

I especially don't like the cold in October when we are still supposed to have 70 degree weather. But last night every freaking TV weatherman was talking about how we are going to have the dreaded "S" word this weekend. IN OCTOBER. If I'd have had a shotgun, I might have done some damage to the new TV my son bought us. Good thing all I had close to hand was my middle finger and my cross stitch needle. Neither of which did a whole lot of damage, but not for lack of trying. My only hope is that the weathermen are, as usual, wrong about the forecast. I'll keep ya updated. In the meantime, I have dug out my wool socks, my extra blankets, my hot cocoa and my chicken tortilla soup recipe in preparation for the big freeze. Let's all hope I don't need them.

In other news....anyone here play bejeweled on facebook? I'm an addict and they just the other day launched a new version. I think it has made it easier to get a high score than the old version. But since my score is now one of the highest in the world (their words, not mine) I've gotta say I like this new version! :) How I got a 300,000 plus score is beyond me cuz it wasn't anything I did but I'll take it!

The new TV season is off to an okay start. So You Think You Can Dance has been good. Looks to be another great season of dancing. I like the new Christian Slater show The Forgotten. I also like The Good Wife. But I have to watch that one online. It's on opposite The Forgotten I think.

While I've been watching the new season of TV I've been getting some good stitching time in. Here's the last couple of days progress on Signs of Fall. Which should be Signs of Winter I guess since we've skipped right over Fall!

That's it for today folks. I'll leave you with a picture of the sunset I took the other night from my front porch. I thought it was pretty. Have a great day, thanks for stopping in and commenting. I love comments! See ya soon!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Food, Decorating and Stitching....all my favorites

Happy Monday Everyone!

It's October. Already. Before we really ever got going on summer. The days are getting shorter and shorter, the temps have dropped to below my comfort zone of 75 by 20 degrees and everything is turning brown. Can you tell it's not my favorite time of the year?? So to cheer myself up, I set up my Halloween Diorama. It usually sits on the hearth in the family room but this year I decided to put it in the library so the piano students could enjoy it. I hope you do too!

I know, most of you don't like Monday's and I am the same 99% of the time. But today I was happy to see it. Do you ever have one of those weekends when your family, as much as you love them, drives you insane?? That's the kind of weekend I had. The girls couldn't say a civil word to each, they haven't done their laundry in I don't know how long and my upstairs smells like dirty clothes and then they were fighting over who got to use the washer. God knows we wouldn't want to cooperate and do our laundry together. Then there is the crap that over the weekend they have managed to spread throughout the entire house. We are not talking little kids here. No, everyone in this house is an adult and should be able to clean up after themselves. But it didn't happen. I counted the pairs of tennis shoes, flip flops, dress shoes and slippers that were left around. 10! Ten pairs of shoes. There are only 4 of us living here. And none of them belonged to me. The dishwasher is another bone of contention. How hard is it to open the door of the dishwasher and load your glass? It's not rocket science! The gist of this whole rant is.....I'm glad it's Monday. I don't have to see them or hear them until this evening and for today at least, that makes me smile with relief.

I'm waiting on the furnace people to show up today. I turned the furnace on Saturday and Sunday morning we all had headaches and queasy tummies. Shut the furnace off and opened the door a bit and we all felt better. It's probably nothing but better safe than sorry.

I've made some progress on my Signs of Fall, it's stitching up relatively quickly for me. At least it was until last night when I had to frog quite a bit of it. I need to spend less time on the computer and more time actually stitching or I am never going to finish most of what I want to stitch. But I'm sure I am not alone there!

Mmmmmm. Can you smell it? Come on, take a deep whiff....I'm sure you'll be able to smell the pumpkin loaf I made this morning. It's done and it smells delicious! The bread is glazed and is all ready for eating so come on over, we'll have a cup of tea and piece of pumpkin bread and talk stitching. I'll be waiting!

Thanks for stopping in and I hope you all have a wonderful Monday! See ya soon!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Retreat!! Warning, long!

Good Morning!

I finally have all the photos from everyone! I have them resized and purtied up, figured out some caption code all by myself and now I'm ready to post!

Let me begin by saying this was my first retreat. Not even really a retreat, more like a stitching weekend getaway. There were no door prizes, there was no cross stitch shopping, and there were no classes offered. Just stitching with friends and a bit of regular shopping thrown in just because. And I had a great time!! I think everyone else did too.

Our weekend started on Friday afternoon with most of the stitcher's arriving around 3 p.m. Sleeping accommodations were then chosen based on people's individual needs and preferences. Once that was taken care of the serious business of stitching began. (click on pics to enlarge them and hover mouse over pic for captions)

I think everyone was in bed by midnight that night but they were at it again bright and early Saturday morning!

After breakfast Saturday morning, 7 of us headed out for a bit of retail therapy! Merrilyn and Mary, dedicated stitcher's that they are, stayed behind. This would explain why they actually came close or did finish a project! We drove 10 miles down the road from Stuart to a town called Atkinson. If you are ever driving hwy 20 in Nebraska and you go through Atkinson, Stop!! It may not look like much but it has one of the best gift shops I've ever been to. It's a large 2 story building full of every kind of gift item you can imagine and Christmas all year round! Everyone had a great time and some of us even bought some things. I would be included in the buying category. Connie bought some gifts also but she had more fun just ringing the bell on the front counter. Not because she needed help, okay yes, she needs help but she isn't going to get the help she needs by ringing the bell. No Connie was ringing the bell because it was there. And she could. So she did. Look out those of you who are heading to the PALS convention, Hurricane Connie is headed your way!

When everyone was finished at the gift store, we decided to head on down the street to the 5 & dime store. Tucked inside this store is an old fashioned soda fountain. Not too many of those still in existence so I try to go whenever I'm in town.

The five and dime is a wonderful little store. They have a bit of everything crammed in this place. And I mean everything! You remember Connie the bell ringer from above. This was her kind of place, let me tell ya. It's like taking a 2 year old into a candy store. Ya never know what they will find that they have to have.
Like this for example: (make sure you click the pic to enlarge)

or this

and then she made poor Mr. Goeke hold her frog for her.....

I believe she bought 3 yards of the fabric so she could wrap herself up in the all the hunky cowboys and I'm pretty sure the frog came home with her too!

BUT! One of the best reasons for going to Goeke's is......

Candy Cigarettes! You remember them don't you. Come's in a box, looks like cigarettes complete with red tip? Well, they aren't called cigarettes anymore, now they're candy sticks, there isn't any red tip unless you color it with your red lipstick but the taste is the same and it's the only place I know of to buy them so I usually clean them out when we visit. This trip I couldn't buy them out. I had to share with the rest of the group. You wouldn't believe how many candy cigarette addicts there are out there! At first it was just Deb and I hanging around outside.

But soon we were joined by others of our kind.

We were just too cool weren't we? At least I thought so until they all turned to me and said, you never really smoked did you? Dang, and here I thought my candy cigarette technique was so good!!

At last it was time to head back to Stuart, we had caused enough of a stir in Atkinson for one day and I'm pretty sure they were happy to see the last of us! But that Connie had to get in one last laugh. Leave it to her to spot a sign in a local window and turn something innocent into something not so innocent.

We arrived back at the Sister's House to find it empty of our 2 stay behinds, figuring they had gone out to lunch we quickly settled in for an afternoon of stitching and laughter. Except for our youngest stitcher Stacy. Stacy is going to school and she had homework to do. So being a good student she went out to the sunporch and finished up what she hadn't get done on the car ride to Stuart the day before.

Soon we were joined by our missing stitchers and everyone got back to the business at hand.

Here are some of the projects being worked on...

We took a break from stitching later in the afternoon and walked over to the Catholic Church to have a look at the beautiful windows and then we sat outside on the deck for a bit as it was such a nice day. Stacy went one further and got a blanket and laid out on the lawn. We had sandwiches for supper that night and later on my Aunt Edith stopped in to visit with us. Can ya tell we're related?

Everyone drifted off to bed at different times Saturday night but Sunday morning, we were up early and stitching away. Breakfast was eaten, more stitching was done and finally it was time to pack up and head home.

Stacy and I were the last to leave so I checked all the rooms for left behind items. Didn't see anything so we closed up the house and headed on down the road. Everything was just fine until I dropped Stacy off at her house. For some reason, and I don't know what that reason is, I suddenly remembered I had left my pillow draped over a chair in the living room of the Sister's house. My pillow that I can't sleep without. You do not want to know the words I used at that point. But the story ends happily, my Aunt was able to get my pillow and she overnighted it to me so I only had to sleep without it for 2 nights! :)

That finishes our Stuart Adventure Story. I hope you enjoyed as much as we did! I think we should do it again next year. Only maybe we could all arrive Thursday evening so we had all day Friday for stitching instead of traveling on Friday. It's not a short drive so more stitching time would be nice. I might actually get something accomplished then! NOT! World's slowest stitcher here!

Thanks for stopping by and hanging in there. It's a long post! Comments are always welcome and appreciated! Have a great day everyone!!