Saturday, July 30, 2005

Listening to Chris LeDoux

and dreaming of some wide open spaces, sheep, horses, land as far as the eye can see and no neighbors for miles and miles.

I've been trying hard to come up with a pattern to make a Huswife or sewing roll. Yesterday morning before work I sat down and drew out a pattern but I guess I need to find a "real" pattern for a Huswife. I can't decide if the pincushion inside the sewing roll is attached or if velcro is used to hold it inside the roll. I think it'd make more sense to make the pincushion removeable but what do I know? There's also usually a needlebook inside the huswife, is it removable or basically just a flap that covers the designated needle area? My attempt at designing has only brought up more questions so now I'm sort of lost. It's not like I could start on it today, but I hate being so clueless. I could use the mentality that it's my own design it can be made anyway I see fit but that usually backfires on me. A little knowledge can be a good thing.

I'm getting excited about my stitching weekend. Trying to decide what project to take with me to work on. I have SamSarah's Always Be a Wildflower just about kitted up and plan to use 28ct fabric so I might make it my weekend project. I've been wanting to stitch this for a while and it'll make a nice pillow for the couch on the girly end of the living room. That's as good an excuse as any for starting a new project isn't it? I learned from my last stitching retreat a few years ago that it's really a waste to take more than one or two projects. I tend to talk more than stitch so I'll take Wildflower and maybe one other project. I need to see what I've got all kitted up. I do have an old BC Christmas Zipper started so it might be a good small project to toss in the bag too. I may bring my Carriage House Samplings Houses of Hawk Run Hollow design or Mairmaid's Song. Both are started but are larger projects. I think Wildflower would be easy to work on at the LNS, the hotel, airport or even the plane. I like having a choice though of what to work on. I need to decide on a book or two to throw in the bag in case I get stuck somewhere for hours on end. That's the curse of flying standby, it's cheap but a pain if all the flights are full. I don't fly very much and am kind of nervous. As much as I enjoy hanging out with my stitching friends I hate leaving the family too but this time I have a cell phone. Much easier to stay in touch, also the miracle that is the iPod. I so *heart* my pod. It's the greatest invention ever! I'll have my whole CD collection in the palm of my hand. It amazes me every time I pull it out. Ok I'm easily impressed. Was going to carry the laptop for blogging and email but I don't think I'll have too much free time on my hands. It's also one more thing to keep up with and I worry about it getting stolen, because I would leave it in the hotel and not lug it all over the place with me.

Yesterday I ordered a ball winder from Knit Picks. I'm so excited. I've been trying to roll balls using the cardboard thing out of the toilet paper roll. That's just a pain in the behind. I've been saving up for one and finally when I checked my little envelope I had $42 in there so I splurged. Now I'll start saving for an umbrella swift. It'll take a little longer to hoard up the money for that purchase but I'm patient. I can't decide whether to order the metal one or the wood one. Patternworks carries both and I've got plenty of time to decide. I think I should order the larger wood one because then I would never have to upgrade but the metal one might last longer and I worry about the wooden one breaking easily.

I'm getting ready to go through all my cross stitch projects and make a list of what I have started. I'm quite lost at the moment as to what I have started and where I'm at other than Fairy Grandmother(FG), Mermaid of the Pearls(MOP) and Dragon Isle(DI). These three projects I've been whining about them for what seems like years. Time to close the book on each of them. FG goes to my grandmother, MOP will go to my niece and DI is for DS#2.

Right off the top of my head I know I have the following projects in various states of progress:

Carriage House Samplings-Houses of Hawk Run Hollow
Carriage House Samplings-Mairmaid's Song
Hester's Needle-Liberty Sampler
Mirabilia-Lady of the Flag
Teresa Wentzler-Fantasy Triptyche and Trade Winds
Design Works-Cowboy Boots
Examplar Dames-And They Sinned
Olde Willow Designs-Mermaid freebie(2001-I think)

My mind is blank after this but the last time I counted I had over 40 WIP. So I definitely need to take some time and figure out where I'm at, what is close to finished, what I'd love to pick up and work on again, etc. I'm terrible with rotations though. I love starting projects, I get bored and start something else and now I have this overwhelming mess of projects that need to get some attention. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of free time these days. I keep hearing various rumors about the state of my employment so I guess I'll just keep on showing up, drawing a paycheck, and then when I'm out of work at least I'll have a stitching plan. I will also keep kitting stuff up for future stitching too. I have several Mirabilias I want to get kitted up and ready to go.

At the top of the list are these:

Garden Verses

Sleeping Beauty

Christmas Elegance

Fairy Idyll

I've had all these charts in the stash for a while. I still love each design, so it's time to get them kitted up for future stitching. Garden Verses doesn't have any beads or braid so it'll be pretty inexpensive to kit up but the others call for beads, treasures and braid, it'll take me a while to kit them up. Good thing I'm in no hurry to start any of them.

I've also been planning some sampler quilts for each of my boys. I've been searching for blocks that can easily be pieced by hand. The first few blocks will be state blocks representing where they were born and various states we've lived in. I figure this will be just the shape of the state appliqued onto good old muslin(or maybe I'll try hand dying some fabric for the background of the state blocks), then I'll do a pieced block with the state name in it, you know Ohio Star, Arkansas Trouble, etc., then maybe a house block with a pieced house and embrodier our address at the time on the block, a block for each of their schools, then blocks that represent their interests. It's all in the planning stages. I may try to do a family tree block for each quilt. I do dream big don't I? Now to start collecting fabrics, find block patterns and play with the EQ5 software.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Tuesdays are my day off, Mondays too but I slept all day long yesterday. Too hot to do much else. No big plans for the day. May pop in at the LYS and pick up two pair of DPNs for an easy level sock pattern out of Socks, Socks, Socks. "Easy" remains to be seen but I'll need the needles eventually anyway. The boys want to go to the mall. I'm trying to figure out exactly when my sons became fashionistas. They are driving me crazy. What happened to shorts and tshirts? Why do they need 5 pairs of shoes a piece? Why all these pricey designer clothes? They drained my bank account over the weekend and still aren't satisfied with their back-to-school shopping spree.

I'm going on a cross stitch retreat in couple of weeks. I'm so looking forward to seeing some stitching friends and getting away for a few days. No huge plans for the retreat, just friends getting together to stitch and talk and eat. I'm hoping my trip will stay within a very tight budget. The only thing I'm looking to buy if I can find them are the Thread Gatherer Silk N Colors I need for a sampler out of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly called Little Paradise. I saw this a few years ago and had to stitch it. The threads are just hard to come by around here so if I can find them the weekend of the retreat that will be my one splurge. Other than that I don't plan to spend any money other than on food and the hotel. Well I might spend a little bit more money but I'm fortunate to live close to two LNS so I won't feel deprived if I can go on a spending spree.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Living With People Who Refuse to Jiggle the Handle

Well two days in a row I've come home to a flooded bathroom and hallway. It's getting old. The DH fixed the toilet in the kids' bathroom, which means they must jiggle the handle after they flush so that the toilet doesn't stay stuck on fill, so that the water stops running! On Thursday I washed three loads of towels after lugging the dripping things across the house to get them to the washer. Last night I started three more loads of towels, yes, they're the same towels I washed the day before, hoping they'd all be washed and dried and folded one more time before anyone needs to take a bath.

Friday Starts Out Good

Friday was going to be a good day. Not too unbearably hot, beautiful, I leave the house and the gas station around the corner from the house has gas and no line. You can't imagine what it's been like down here. No gas since Dennis hit. I skipped getting gas on Monday because people were lined up down the highway, I had over half a tank, so I thought to myself, I'll get gas this afternoon, well nope, that didn't happen. All the gas was gone by the time I got off work, no one had gas in our little town, no one in Ft Walton Beach or Gulf Breeze. "It's ok", I tell myself, "I'll keep the driving close to home and fill up when I can." Well I was running on fumes by Thursday afternoon. I ended up having to put gas in my tank from our emergency gas cans. Do you know how lucky I am to have had two full emergency gas cans? I'm usually not this organized but Hurricane Ivan taught us a lot of good "how to survive when times get hard" lessons or "how to be prepared in the most important way when disaster strikes" which means keeping a little extra gas around. So I add some gas to the tank and head off to work, but on the way, I notice a few cars sitting at gas pumps at the little station around the corner from my house and no line. I top off the tank and fill up both gas cans that I had tossed in the back of the truck just in case I found gas. Then I pay the water bill only two days late, so I'm on a roll, paid a bill, got gas, refilled my emergency gas cans, pretty good start to a Friday. I get to work, it's not unbearably hot, we're busy, which is good, it's been dead since Dennis. I mean we're talking winter numbers. I leave work, pop in McD's to feed the kids because we have basketball all night tonight. My McD's is good, they rarely mess up orders. So good that I hardly ever double check the bag to make sure everything is there. Well I get home and instead of a 10 piece chicken nugget, a 5 piece chicken select, a 6 piece chicken nugget happy meal, and three medium fries, I have two quarter pounders, a 4 piece chicken nugget happy meal with apple slices instead of fries(who ordered this food?). I'm hot, I'm tired and I'm pissed off. I call McD's, "I don't mean to complain, you guys always do a wonderful job, I mean that's why I didn't check the bag before pulling away, you all are that good, but my food was completely screwed up." The lady on the other end said, "Let me guess, you got the quarter pounders and the happy meal with apple slices." "Yes," I say. "Yeah the lady behind you in line was not too happy about the mix up. Do you want to come back and get more food?" "Uh, no. I'm home, I'm tired, I just wanted you to know." "Ok," says Ms. McD's. "Give me your address and I'lll send you a free extra value meal coupon." Gee thanks.

Then I get home, shower-I'm in the tub and hear water running, not mine but from the other bathroom, I scream, "Jiggle the handle on the toilet!" no one can hear me, I scream yet again, "The bathroom is flooding, shut off the toilet!" again no response. I get out the tub, wrap a towel around me and scream out the bedroom door, "will someone please do something about the toilet in your bathroom before it floods the whole house?" Well who the hell knows how long that thing had been running, two inches of water in the bathroom floor and the hallway was starting to flood. I throw a fit, scream, yell and lay every towel we own on the floor. I get dressed, frustrated as hell and head to Lowes to purchase some stuff for a butterfly garden. I head out the door and am driving backroads, they're faster, and my truck starts sputtering, and the "service engine soon" light comes on. I call the DH, the gas in the gas cans probably was a little "dirty" buy some gas cleaner at the store. Okey-dokey. Run in the store we will not name, buy some gas cleaner and The O.C. the complete First Season. Ok I've been traumatized, I needed a perk, I'm going to be unemployed in a few weeks, I have to spend the rest of my money on school clothes this weekend, you get the picture. I get back to the truck, pour the gas cleaner in the tank and go next door to Lowe's. No butterfly bushes to be found. I toss the whole flower garden idea for the time being, the butterfly bushes were the anchor in the whole mess, and I spent my budget on the O.C. Season 1. It's ok. No time to plant this weekend anyway, I'm at basketball tonight(Friday), tomorrow morning, and Sunday I work. So I head home, truck is running fine. I pull in and there's a huge fight in the neighborhood about a broken chair. I try to get to the bottom of it and none of the kids will claim responsibility. I talk to my neighbor we work it out. DS#3 will work off part of the damage because he admitted to being a part of the incident, no one else did. He'll rake some leaves to pay for his share of the damage. Come to find out the child of the guest at neighbor's house was as much a part of it as DS#3 but the weasel and his weasely mother never owned up to it to my neighbor(the mother of this kid knew the night it happened), apparently this happened several nights ago and no one bothered to tell neighbor. There were four kids involved total and my DS was the only one to apologise and take responsibility. Fortunately neighbor realizes that there was a coverup and DS was the only one to do the right thing. Then the DH pulls in the driveway and something is leaking from my truck. Nothing has been leaking before now but he thinks it's anitfreeze from the "block" whatever the hell that means. Doesn't sound good. So until we have time to figure it all out, I have to keep my driving local, so much for my covert trip to the LNS I had planned for Tuesday.

Then we head out for DS#3's 7:45 basketball game. Uh, it was at 6:45. I screwed up, had the wrong time in my head. He got to play for 3 minutes. I so totally suck. Well we have an hour until DS#2's game so we go to McD's yes "that place". We order food, they forget DS#2's three piece chicken select. I go inside, inform them of the error of their ways and they treat me like I'm trying to score some free food. PUHHHHHLLLLLEAAAAZEEEEE! This round should have been free but I'm not complaining. I didn't go back earlier, I'll get the coupons in the mail, it'll be good. I finally convince them they didn't give me the chicken selects and go back to the car, it's getting close to time for DS#2's game so we just eat in the car, head to his game, they lose by two points. It was a great game.

I talk to the brother of the kid who wants to buy the BBQ Pit, he says it's not a done deal. I thought it was, hmmmm.....very interesting. So I may not be out of work after all.

Kids are thirsty, concession stand closed, DS#1 has yet to eat so Taco Bell is supposed to be open late, we head there. They are closed. Par for the course today. We head to "that place" and yep, they screwed up the order yet again. Three for three people. But we caught the error when we were paying not when we were pulling away so it's good. Finally home for the night. It's like 11pm. One long miserable day. Let me tell ya. Here's hoping Chuck is ok. Chuck is my truck and I hope there's nothing seriously wrong with him. I have school clothes to buy, I may not have a job much longer and don't want to touch the extra $$$ we have in the bank at the moment.

Another Good Friday Thing

Came home to find my Knit Picks order waiting on me. Four skeins of sock yarn and Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. The sock yarn is Sock Memories Fly Fishing and Knit Picks Sock Landscape in Rocky Mountian Dusk. Very good stash day. Now to find the time to knit something. Or rather to learn how to knit something.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Appears to be in the near future for me. Feelings? Relief! Sadness. Sadness at the loss of money. But if the DH and I grow up and act 40 instead of 14 we should be just fine. I'm tired, exhausted, beginning to think I need to be medicated(along with the rest of my immediate family), hence the feeling of relief. Not sure when this will happen, could be a week, could be a month. The business is being sold so I'm officially retiring when everything is signed and the deal is done.

I plan to order me a ball winder before the paychecks quit rolling in. A luxury, yet also a necessity. Other must haves I hope to squeeze in? Hmmm, another order from Knit Picks for more sock yarn and a few books, an order from the Scarlet Letter for a few kits and books. Other than that I think I'm done with the stashing for a while. Sure there are a few charts here and there that I'd like to purchase and of course I'll always need fabric for future quilting projects that never seem to get off the ground due to my lack of color theory skills, and I'll need fabric for various cross stitch projects too but over all I'm pretty well set in the area of stash for a good long while. Of course there are tons of projects I want to kit up for future stitching but I can go back to my longterm stashing system, you know, buy the chart, buy the fabric, gradually collect the floss and beads and whatever else I might need for the project. Stashing that way is good, teaches me self discipline, respect for a dollar, you get the picture.

Purchases I want to make that aren't necessarily craft related you are asking? Let's see Season 3 of the Gilmore Girls, Season 2 of MacGyver, and Season 1 of the O.C. That should set me up pretty doggone well for some fine TV viewing post retirement. I've had Seasons 1 and 2 of the Gilmore Girls for over two months and still haven't had time to watch more than the first two episodes of Season 1. That means my life is way too busy. Kids basketball ends this weekend. YEA!!! Sorry I couldn't contain my joy. Kids start school in less than 10 days! If you think I'm jumping up and down and dancing, you dear reader are correct! So unemployment=less money for stashing, but school starting=a quiet house during the day for crafty pursuits, reading, and may be some serious cleaning. Ok not too serious, one does need their stitching time, especially since I have two afghans all kitted up and ready to go too.

Don't get me wrong, we will seriously miss the extra money but fortunately we've tried very hard to never count on my money, it's not a lot and mostly just covers eating out, movies, my stash purchases, etc. Right now though I'm not even thinking about looking elsewhere for employment. I need some serious down time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Lately I've been thinking a lot about the word "home" and what it means. My mother is selling her house to my brother. I hate that house, I would never want it, it has bad air if that makes any sense to you. Well of course it wouldn't make sense to you because we don't share the same history. The house makes me sad. It brings up a whole mess of memories that are best kept tucked away. When my mother first mentioned the sale, I wasn't too emotional, it's not like I wanted the house, but a month or so later, (and the sale still hasn't happened, mired down in paperwork I believe), I'm overly emotional about her selling the house. It's not my home, I don't know that I've ever thought of it as home, but it was a "place". A place that contained a little bit of space, that for what it's worth, was mine if only for a little while every few years when I forced myself to go back home. It all hit me hard this afternoon watching the Gilmore Girls. Like Lorelai, I ran away as soon as I could. Not to have a baby, but to just get the hell out of there. I spend most of my life doing everything I can not to go back there. Like Lorelai and Emily, my mom and I have absolutely nothing in common. I was one of those kids that sobbed for hours on end when it finally hit me that I wasn't adopted. That these people that I lived with, I shared their DNA. It was devastating, sometimes that realization is still hard to swallow.

All this emotion is selfish. I always thought that house, the one with the bad air, horrible karma, would always be there to go home too when my heart was in pain or need. Now I don't have a place to run to when the hurt gets to bad. Funny thing is, I never ever run home when life gets hard. I guess it was the knowing that it was there for me. My space. The space where I wrote silly soap operas for Barbie and Ken, where I read stacks of Harlequin romances, where I danced around the bedroom using the knob off my bed as a microphone and pretended to be Dolly Parton or Stevie Nicks, the place where I fell asleep every night to Jackson Browne's The Pretender and Sleeps Dark and Silent Gate.

When I think about "home" today, that house is not the vision I see. What I see is my DH. He's my bestfriend. He's my "home".

So what is the house where all my memories are tucked away? It's not home, probably never has been, I think, it's just a place where I spent a little bit of time. I think I can let it go. It doesn't matter if the bricks and the walls and the rooms no longer contain a little bit of space for me. I have my own space, my own new memories, and a place with air that is not dark and thick and hides a lot unhappiness.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Things I've Discovered Over the Last Week or So

Well it's interesting to note that that after being without cable for the last week, I wonder now why we even have it. There's nothing but crap on tv these days. At first we were all excited, "Cable's on, cable's on! Yea!!!!!" Then we discover there's still nothing to watch. What a sad existence we lead.

I've also discovered that I really dislike living in a neighborhood. I knew that I didn't care for neighbors, but now I know that I'd be much better off living miles from the nearest neighbor. They so get on my last nerve. So do their children. Why does a kid that lives across the road want to use my bathroom? Why can't she walk across the road and use her own? I'm the meanest mom on the road because I don't let the whole neighborhood hang out in my house for hours on end. But hmmm, none of the other moms allow it either but I'm the bad guy.

I learned that I have sincerely missed my stitching. I haven't had time lately to pick up a needle and finally I get a cute quickie project from the LNS and am really enjoying stitching on it until I lose the buttons. So then I discover that I'm this really anal person because I can't bring myself to stitch on this any more until I find the flippin' buttons. It's not like I can't replace them, one call to the LNS will get me another set but I hate that I can't find the things. Where could they be? What could I have possibly done with them? It's making me crazy but finally this morning after pulling the couch out for the 500th time, I had to let them go. I had to get the button monkey off my back. The obsession of finding these buttons was sucking the joy out of everyday life. I'm going to start stitching on my project again in just a little while and know that I can call Kathy at the LNS Tuesday morning(they are closed on Mondays) and she will hold me another set--at least I hope she can. These buttons went with the fabric of the month at the LNS and their freebie chart, Flip Flop Days. Too cute, another reason I hate misplacing the buttons. Not to mention the $7 price tag on them.

I've also missed reading. Never have time. I have so many books stockpiled to read that I don't know which one to read first. I have three going right now and that's two too many. I need to calm down and settle on one book and finish it before starting another one.

Today I picked up the new Harry Potter book for DS#3. He and I are going to start reading every night before going to sleep. He needs to get back into a good routine before school starts in a couple of weeks.

I also picked up Stitch-it Kit by Jenny Hart- the founder of Sublime Stitching. I've been wanting to try my hand at embroidery, thanks to saucy kitty and I saw this at Books-A-Million last week and wished I had bought it so when I was wandering around in there today I decided what the heck, go on and treat yourself. I've been doing that a little too much lately but que sera sera.

I'm normally not one for shopping therapy but lately it's been kind of nice and unfortunately it's made me feel better. Guess I better put a stop to it and fast! I've spent way too much on books and stitching stuff the last month or so. The sad part is I still have a mile long list of things I want to add to the old stash. I don't have time these days to finish the projects I have started yet I still have tons of projects running all around my brain that want to be stitched in the future. Luckily or maybe not, there aren't a whole lot of new designs that are must haves for me. Most of the projects on my wish list are older charts that I just haven't added to the stash yet.

Also picked up the new Interweave Knits magazine, Family Circle Easy Knitting and Piecework.

I want to work on my knitting skills and have an order coming from Knit Picks. I ordered some sock yarn and an Ann Budd book, darn, can't remember the name. It's a book with all kinds of basic knitting patterns for socks, sweaters, scarves. I have her sweater book, but thought since I'm just learning this book might be better.

I want to attempt to make DS#2 the Jesse's Flames Sweater from Stitch N Bitch Nation. It looks pretty easy, right up to the intarsia in the sleeves but hopefully by the time I get to that part I'll be ready for it. If it goes well I may make the same sweater for DS#1. Is that lame? It's a cool sweater though. Maybe I should try to make the first one and maybe do the manly sweater from Stitch and Bitch for DS#1. I still want to try to make Skully from Stitch N Bitch for myself. I love that sweater. Wonder what it is with me and intarsia? It's just so cool! At least the patterns I'm considering appear easy for a beginner. I guess that remains to be seen huh?

Also have the yarn for my first attempt at sock knitting. Just don't feel comfortable enough with my purl stitch to officially start the first one yet.

I'm still working on a crocheted shawl for my grandmother and since life is starting to settle back into it's normal routine post-Dennis I might just be able to get it close to finished by next weekend. I wish I could have decided on a more original pattern for the shawl but I found a nice ripple patterned shawl in Vanna's Favorite Crochet Gifts book that seemed to be nice and didn't have an annoying fringe. My grandmother is going through chemo and I thought the fringe, even in TLC's Amore, might be aggravating so the ripple patterned shawl seemed like it would be comfortable to wrap up in if she gets the chills. I think I might crochet her a chemo cap or two. Any recommendations for a nice cotton yarn(I'm assuming I need to use cotton since it's summer time?) that would make a comfortable and appealing to the eyes chemo cap? Any pattern recommendations for a crocheted chemo cap? My dad's wife is undergoing chemo also so I may make her a chemo cap too. So much sickness and sadness these days.

DS#3 just came in and said the beach near us has reopened. I can't believe it. I thought they'd shut it down for months like they did after Ivan since our beach was hit pretty hard by Dennis. The boys and I might just head over the beach for a little while tomorrow. It's been ages since I've been. I've now become one of those people that lives 3 miles from the beach yet never manages to get over there but once in a blue moon. I never thought I'd ever become that person but I'm sick of fighting the crowds. They never repaired the parking lot after Ivan and parking is kind of hit or miss. You go early or drive around searching for a little hunk of asphalt to park on and hope that no one blocks you in and let me tell ya, these hillbillies down here park anywhere they want to. The last day we went to the beach cars were parked three deep in the center of the lot, what's wrong with this you might ask? Well the cars in the middle couldn't get out because the idiots parked behind them and in front of them. They were stuck. It's just not worth it. No I was not one of the cars in the middle. But every time I go I wonder when and how I will get blocked in. It's easier to just stay home.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Friday, Friday, Friday!

This week has flown by. We got power back not too long after Dennis hit. We were without power for about 2 full days and then maybe a partial day-3 days at the most. Not too bad. Cable came on today! I was getting pretty tired of DVDs.

Creative Pursuits

I started a new cross stitch project, it's a freebie from my LNS. It's called Flip Flop Days and on their fabric of the month which is a very bright green. I also picked up the cute little button packet for the design. Now, I have been carrying this project around with me in my purse, so it stands to reason that my buttons have gone missing. I keep thinking I might have put them away in a safe place because I remember thinking to myself if I'm not careful these buttons might get broken. They are not in any of my easily accessible safe places so I don't know WTF happened to them.

It sure felt good to stitch something. I couldn't remember the last time I picked up a needle. I kept saying I was going to work on this or that but somehow I never got around to actually stitching. Other things always got in the way. But now I don't want to stitch on this any more because of the missing buttons. I was so enjoying it. Guess I'll work on it some more and hope I remember what I did with the darn things. I keep thinking I might have lost them at Books-A-Million, but I don't remember ever working on it at the book store. I sat and read a magazine.

Currently Reading

The Preservationist by David Maine. I'm enjoying it.

Also reading Let It Bleed by Ian Rankin. I lost it just after Hurricane Dennis hit and DS#3 found it for me this morning. Guess the house has been too dark, lack of power and boarded up windows, to find much of anything lately.


Just before Hurricane Dennis made landfall I had to run system restore on my computer. I noticed in a couple of emails when a friend would hightlight some of my text certain words came up highlighted and linked. The link was some kind of consumer alert thing. I ran several virus scans and spyware scans and couldn't get rid of it, then freaked out when I saw the same thing happening on my blog. So I opted to run system restore to completely rid my computer of whatever this thing is. Well now I've noticed it on other blogs and in an email or two from others. Anyone know what this is or how it manages to get on someone's computer? I'm very careful now about links on any and all blogs and in emails. I have always been careful about the links I follow and what I download but this thing just kind of snuck in somehow.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Day After Dennis

Sunny, beautiful day here on Florida's Emerald Coast. We are powerless, a laptop with a wireless antenna is a great thing. I don't have home/cell phone service but go Verizon wireless antennas!

The house is an oven and we're considering going to a hotel in a little while after we cook up the rest of the food in the freezer that is now defrosted. Note to self: that whole, "the food in your freezer will be good for 48 hours" is a myth, we haven't been without power for 24 hours yet and everything is thawed.

Trying hard not run my battery down so will check in later.

Julie--glad to hear all is well with your family!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Dennis is GONE!!!

The hurricane is over and we did fine. As far as we can tell we've only lost one shingle. Considering that Dennis made landfall at my beach I think we were very lucky. We had power right up until landfall so I'm hoping Gulf Power shut us down and then will be able to get us up and running much faster this time.

Well I'm on battery power at the moment so need to bring this to a close for the time being.
Hurricane Dennis, Probably Last Report

Dennis is 55 miles off shore at the moment. The rains are coming down and the winds are kicking up.

To everyone in his path, I hope you're safe and dry.

Be back soon, I hope!
Hurricane Dennis Update

Been up since 3am. Managed to get a couple more loads of laundry done. Feels good to have some extra clean sheets and even washed a couple of pillows.

The current report is that Dennis will be a cat 4 at landfall. They are expecting him to make landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama but now he's made a jog straight north. No one knows if the jog north is going to continue or if it now means my area is in for a direct hit. Saying I'm concerned is an understatement.

It's raining and just breezy at the moment.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Getting Ready For Dennis

According to various sources Hurricane Dennis should be here between 2 and 4 pm tomorrow.

Our house is ready:

This is the front of the house, excuse the mess. We aren't boarding up the front window because we miscalculated the amount of plywood we would need and it's protected by the front porch and as you can see there are no trees to worry about.

Here is part of the back of the house.

This is the other side of the house and yes, it does need to be pressure washed. That is DS#3's pool that you see. Our plan had been to fill it with water to use for flushing the toilets but I filled it and the water has disappeared. We can't seem to find the leak.

As you can probably tell we decided to stay. It appears that Dennis may head to the Alabama/Mississippi line which would be a relief for my area. We would still get hit kind of hard but nothing like the direct hit they are expecting. But a turn in the storm means trouble for someone else. We're prepared, well stocked on food, I think we have plenty of water, and the storm is making landfall during the day which I find comforting.

The kids are already bored. The next 24 hours are going to be very, very long.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Hurricane Dennis Part 2

Well for a while it appeared that Dennis might make landfall to the far east of us near the Florida/Alabama line, now it looks, once again, like it's on a direct path to Pensacola Beach.

We're still not sure what to do. I have at least a week's worth of food in the house and hopefully enough water. If I make one more trip to the store it will be for more water, ice and sodas. Other than that we're good to go. I had to stop and pick up some candles this afternoon. Can't believe I forgot something like that. But now almost $300 later I think I'm prepared.

Now to do the laundry, clean both bathrooms and the kitchen and run the vacuum and I'm all set to hunker down for a while. Because I'm always one to make lemonade out of lemons, (yeah, you're believing that aren't ya?) I splurged on a few books from BooksAMillion this afternoon. I got David Maine's The Preservationist, a modern day Noah's tale, also picked up the Elizabeth Haydon Trilogy that was mentioned over at GirlReaction Rhapsody, Prophecy, and Destiny, yeah just went on and bought all three. If we're without power for a week like last time and my house is clean I might actually put the time to good use reading and stitching. No laundry to do, no meals to cook, I mean how long does it take to boil water for cupanoodle? Then again if we do decide to evacuate I'm also ready to spend some quality hotel time reading. Good plan doncha think?

Wish I had been able to make a quick run to the LNS to pick up my fabric of the month and the freebie Flipflop chart. Heaven knows if the bridges fall into the bay again it'll be months before I ever get a chance to get over there again. Man, here we are in the middle of a scary kind of situation and I'm concerned about my fabric of the month. Good to know I have my priorities straight huh? It's not like I don't have a gazillion things to work on already.

Had the digicam with me all day but didn't take any pictures. Will try to later today. Everyone wants to see pics of long gas station lines right?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hurricane Dennis

Well according to NOAA's current projections Hurricane Dennis will be making a direct hit on Pensacola Beach. Sure this is pretty early. Dennis hasn't even gotten across Cuba yet, but it leaves me asking this question, what did Pensacola do draw such bad karma to itself? The area is still devastated. If you're watching the weather channel they have been showing Jim Cantore standing in front of rubble and it's that way all over Pensacola Beach.

We're probably going to evacuate but what concerns us is that rumor has it that county officials will not be letting anyone back into the area for at least 2 weeks after the storm. I can't afford two weeks at a hotel. We don't use credit cards, a two week hotel stay would drain our bank account. This is why people make the stupid decision to stay. It's better to be home than not be able to get back home, if you have a home to get back to.

I'm scared. This is the first time I've ever felt fear in one of these situations. I don't so much fear the storm as I fear the aftermath. I don't think anyone understands what it's like down here. There are people still living in FEMA trailers in their driveways. Houses that haven't been repaired. I fear that after this storm I won't have a home and there aren't any rentals available anyway and definitely won't be if this storm is as bad as I think it might be. I wish I knew the right thing to do. Take our chances in a hotel, try to go home to Memphis? Not really a good plan since my mom is selling her house to my brother, haven't closed yet but my SIL and the kids have already moved in, for the most part it's her house now. Probably not too welcome there. Can't go to the MILs because our niece and her husband and three kids live there along with MIL. No room. So hotels are about our only option. I hate that. I always thought I could go to my mom's, it was home. Now there's no where to turn. Another reason to stay.

The area is pretty much freaking out. Gas lines are out of control. There is no gas to be found in our area. I filled up after work this afternoon, super premium, all that was left, DH, well we had to go all the way to Ft Walton Beach before we found a gas station with a drop of gas. Went to Walmart, no water, no cuponoodle. Hoping to score that at Publix in the morning. I have plenty of water, just want some extra. I'm so kicking myself for not buying a stovetop coffee pot a few weeks ago. It's one of those things I've been meaning to pick up and never got around to, of course the camping section was all out of those tonight.

I work tomorrow, and think I've got everything done I need to. Plan to clean the bathrooms really well and the kitchen before the storm hits, just because it will make me feel better.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Tropical Storm Cindy

Interesting summer around the Florida Panhandle. Yet another early season tropical storm and another right behind her. Usually we don't get any tropical activity around here before late July or early August. On a positive note, chances are I'll have tomorrow off work. We're supposed to see a lot of rain but not much else. The winds are up to 70 miles an hour at the moment.

This weekend we managed to get a troublesome tree taken down for free. That is a very good thing. It was dead, all tangled up in our power lines and our neighbor's power lines, since it was only the lines to the homes and not the main poles the power company said it was not their problem. We tried getting it taken care of before Hurricane Ivan hit last year but thankfully it survived the winds and we came home to find all our power lines intact. A friend was able to cut the limbs away from the power lines and then a neighbor wanted the wood from the stump. I would have taken a pic but we left early Monday morning for breakfast and by the time we got home the stump was gone. DH was disappointed they cut it down so fast as he had decided that he was going to carve the stump into a totem pole. I should state that this "stump" was about 8 ft. tall. But Steve got that stump chopped down and cut up in a little over an hour because we hadn't been gone that long.

Fourth of July

We had a very quiet 4th. Didn't do anything but lay around and watch Season 3 of Northern Exposure on DVD. It's my favorite season so far, Chris's pheromones, flinging the cow, the story of Cicely and Roslyn. Great, great afternoon. Although I have become one of those people I never thought I would be. I watched hours of tv and didn't work on one project. I laid on the couch and just watched tv. We grilled out Hawaiian chicken for supper(used Lawry's Hawaiian marinade) and also grilled some roasting ears. YUM!


Today DS#3 and I took a drive down the beach road. It has been closed since Hurricane Ivan and reopened on Friday. It's beautiful. Most of the roadside parks are closed, or rather they don't exist any more, Opal Beach Park was destroyed, but the view was breathtaking as always. This drive always makes me cry because it's so beautiful. There is absolutely nothing more beautiful than the Gulf of Mexico along the Florida Panhandle. Unfortunately lots of people have discovered our area, I'm suffocating here. This weekend we seriously discussed moving. This is the only place I've ever wanted to live, it took me 30 something years to finally get here, we're three miles from the Gulf and I find a lot of peace there, but when there's no parking and you can't get to the beach you might as well vacation here. I've been avoiding going to the beach the last few months just because it's such a pain in the ass to find parking, a spot on the beach, because in our area it's the only beach open at the moment. Ivan pretty much devastated our area and Heaven forbid that the county do anything to make life pleasant for the locals. If there is no where for tourists to stay on the beach why bother making it accessible for the locals, you know the people who live here? Well enough of that whine.


I'm still listening nonstop to the new Dwight Yoakam CD Blame the Vain. The song "When I First Came Here" is great. I listen to it and "She'll Remember" over and over. The family is ready to kill me. They are sick of Dwight.

Speaking of music, DS#1 downloaded a nasty virus and I had to run system restore on the desktop. I'm pretty sure if I plug my iPod in I will lose all the music on there until I get everything reloaded back in iTunes. If I'm wrong about this could someone please let me know? I'm assuming since the music files are gone, that I have to reimport everything into iTunes before I can plug my iPod back into the computer. I have over 1,000 songs on the iPod and spent hours uploading it all into the computer. I am so not happy about this.

Crafty Pursuits

I got nothing. Absolutely nothing. Haven't picked up a needle or hook of any kind in what seems like forever. I did go to the LNS on Saturday and picked up Homespun Samplars' Celtic Band Sampler and Prairie Moon's Ghoul Train and some 28ct Creme Brulee fabric to stitch it on. Also scooped up Water's Edge It's 5:00 Somewhere. I'm not stitching but I am stashing!

I have determined that once again I am overwhelmed with the state of my stitching and must take control of the situation. It is a chaotic mess at the moment. When things get out of control I just don't want to stitch at all. It's easier to just lay on the couch and watch tv. I need to get my focus back and finish up Fairy Grandmother. It's time to suck it up and get the hag finished so I can move on to other more selfish endeavors. I think I will feel so much better about all my stitching projects once I get her done. Making the decision is the easy part, actually picking her up and working on her is another story.

Also need to get the stash organized. I did this a few years ago and once again I have stuff every where and can't remember what charts I have and what I have started. I think I'm going to try to set up some kind of spread sheet or something so I have a clue what's going on in the old workbasket.