Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Retreat! Warning, long post lots of pics

Hello Everyone!

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I was extremely busy getting everything ready for our fall retreat which occurred this past weekend. Along with all the stuff to get ready I also had some family things come up so stitching and blogging got pushed down the list of things that needed doing. Retreat is over and some of the family stuff has been resolved so hopefully life will settle back down to a somewhat normal routine.

Retreat was awesome! I can't speak for everyone else but I had a great time. Well except for the last night and stomach and I weren't getting along at the time so it wasn't as much fun then. MaryAnn and I were to leave for retreat Thursday morning around 11:00 so we could get there in plenty of time to unload everything and get set up for the stitcher's who were to arrive after 3:00. As usual things didn't go quite the way they were supposed to. My phone rang about 8:30 Thursday morning. An unsuspecting me answered only to hear this tiny little voice saying, Mom, I'm dying. I hate phone calls that start out with that sentence. I've gotten quite a few of them in my 26 years of motherhood and by now I realize it's usually an exaggeration but it still causes my stomach to drop into my feet. Not as long a drop as it could be since I'm short but still enough to give me that sick feeling your get when you hear those words. That morning it was Amy that was dying. I asked her what the problem was and she responded by saying she had been throwing up all night. She had a fever, couldn't breathe, was shaky and wanted to come home. There are 2 things Amy likes to have when she is sick. Her dog and her mama. In that order. So the fact that I was going to be in Lincoln where she currently was didn't deter her from wanting to come home. Her dog was here. I told her I could come and get her and could be on my way shortly but she nixed that idea. She has a class at 2 in the afternoon on Thursdays with a no absentee policy. Let me tell you what I think of no absentee policies. Stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life. Why on Gods green earth would you as a teacher want someone with the freaking stomach flu in your class room spreading the virus to all and sundry? Were you at the end of the line when common sense was handed out???? I know I as a fellow student wouldn't want you sitting next to me shedding virus. I asked Amy if she were to email the teacher and explain the situation whether she would make an exception. Apparently that was covered the first day. No absence means no absence. Period. You miss, you are out of the class. Okay then. Plan B. MaryAnn and I will drive down as scheduled with a slight detour to the college. I would bring with me the left over anti-nausea pills from Abby's tonsillectomy which would hopefully get Amy up off the floor of her dorm room, to the shower, to class, and finally through the drive home. We only had 2 pills. Timing was everything. Dan would pick her up at 4 and bring her home. After that her dog was going to have to take care of her. MaryAnn was called to make sure this would work for her and at 11:00 we were on our way. Amy looked pretty rough when I got there. No color in her face whatsoever. I gave her the pill (dissolves under the tongue) and after about 20 minutes she started to look a bit better. At 30 minutes she sat up and finally at 40 minutes she felt able to shower. This was a very good thing as she didn't have time to put her hair in a pony before throwing up the first time and she was smelling a bit nasty. I left her to it and headed out to the car where MaryAnn was waiting. We arrived at the B & B, got unloaded, set up chairs and even had time to relax on the front porch before our first stitcher arrived at 3:00 pm on the dot, followed shortly by everyone else. Retreat was officially in progress!

Upon their arrival, everyone was given a little present. I had been shopping at Hobby Lobby in August and had seen these small paper mache boxes and thought they would make a cute little gift to give to our stitcher's. Unfortunately, they only had 3. I needed 14. So I called Dan. Hey, can you check out the Millard HL store for these boxes I need? Not only did he check the Millard Store, but he also went to every other HL in the metro area. Sadly, we were still short several boxes. Lucky for me, he was picking up Amy from college that weekend and after I called the Lincoln HL to confirm that they had some he picked up a couple from there too. But still we were short. Enter Linda, one of our stitcher's. She lives in Iowa, not too far from Omaha and she said she would check her HL for boxes. She was able to pick up a couple too. But would you believe we still needed 1 more box???? Now it was MaryAnn's turn. She texted her niece in Sioux City who went to that HL and she got the last box that we needed. Actually she bought 3 so we ended up with 2 extras. MaryAnn already had a trip planned to Sioux City that week so she was able to bring the final boxes back. Now all I had to do was figure out what in the world I was going to do with them!! I searched and searched for a freebie pattern that was small enough to fit on the top of the 3" x 3" box but unless we stitched it over one it just wasn't going to happen. Not all of our ladies like over one on 36 count fabric so I rejected everything I found. Finally I came up with the idea to chart an initial for each person and put a border around it. After painting each box, then antiquing it, I applied the stitched piece to the top of the box and added a piece of trim to finish it off. Here's what mine looked like.

Here's a side view showing the embossing and antiquing.

I would have liked to get a picture of everyone with their box since they all finished them while at retreat but I was unable to do so.

Thursday night we all went out to Lonestar Steak House for dinner. We had a great time and then returned to the Roger's House and stitched till 11 or so. Some stayed up later but I was tired so I took myself off to bed.

Friday we enjoyed breakfast provided by the B & B and then everyone sat down and stitched the day away. Our last 3 retreaters arrived Friday afternoon.

We also had the pleasure of getting a massage Friday afternoon. MaryAnn and I wanted to see if this would be something people would be interested in for the spring retreat. The general consensus was Hell Yes!! Most everyone said they would pay twice what was charged for the massage. This was my first time getting a massage and all I can say is WOW!! I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Supper that night was lasagna, ham, rolls and a veggie plate plus apple crisp for dessert. MaryAnn and I provided the meal this time. We were up stitching till almost midnight that night. I think it was also that night that we planned MaryAnn's wedding to Jim, her significant other. It was hilarious some of the ideas that were thrown out there. The laughter was flowing freely and loudly for quite some time that evening. In fact we were so loud for so long that when we did finally quiet down the night time inn keeper came out of the office to make sure we were okay. Guess we got too quiet and she was worried!! There is only one little hitch to the whole wedding plan thing, Jim has yet to propose to MaryAnn!! We're prepared though if he ever takes the big leap!

Saturday was a cool and rainy day, just perfect for staying inside and stitching. Breakfast was again provided by the B & B. We stitched until lunch and then I showed everyone how to finish their boxes. Later on, Nebraska had a football game on TV so some of the stitcher's went upstairs to watch the game while the rest of us stayed downstairs stitching. Ruby Tuesdays catered dinner Sat. night. It was not what we had been led to believe it was going to be so I was somewhat disappointed in the meal but I didn't eat anyway because my stomach was not feeling good at that time.

Sunday after breakfast, again provided by the B & B, we stitched for a while before it was time to pack up and head home. All in all I think it was a great time. We received several emails from the gals thanking us for hosting a wonderful retreat. We're already planning for next fall. We might try someplace new for a change of scenery. Or we might not. Only time will tell.

If you're wondering what it is that I stitched on for all those days, it wasn't what I had planned. I had chosen a new project to start but it didn't take me long to fling it aside in frustration and pick up an older WIP. Much less frustrating to work on and I quite enjoyed my stitching after that. Which WIP you say?
My Chatelaine! I got quite a bit done too all things considered. Here's a pic of it the last time I posted it.

And here it is now. I didn't stitch the whole thing this weekend, just the upper right corner. I love the colors in this piece. So bright and beautiful! Why have I not stitched on it in over a year??

Also have a finish to share with you...

This is the first pillow I have ever made all by myself. The pattern is a freebie that I found here
For my first attempt it turned out pretty good but I think I could have stuffed it a bit more.

This post is now a mile and a half long so I think I will call it done. Hopefully you enjoyed hearing about our retreat and remember, we are having a spring retreat next April. If you are interested in attending, check out my sidebar for more information.

Tomorrow MaryAnn and I leave for the St. Charles Market. I'll tell you all about it next week!

Take care till next time.