Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve in Hawk Run Hollow

Just as the owners of Lot 6 were pretty sure there were no Christmas miracles they woke up Christmas morning to a completed house. As of this morning, the 'hood itself was completed. It appears that 2007 will start off very happily for the occupants of the North West Florida division of Hawk Run Hollow.
I would also like to thank everyone for you sweet comments regarding my grandmother. I appreciate them so much.
Thanks to everyone for making this a very fun year here at the "Ranch". I enjoy all your blogs and your photo albums. They are a constant inspiration and keep me stitching and dreaming.
May 2007 bring you all joy and happiness and lots of time to stitch!
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Fairy Grandmother-The Parting Shot

Long time readers of this blog know that I've been struggling for years with the completion of MLI's Fairy Grandmother. It was a gift for my Mamaw, it represents everything she has been in my life. On December 23, 2006 my grandmother passed away. Fairy Grandmother went with her. I folded it up and tucked it in her casket. It seemed the right thing to do. I wasn't going to finish it because it would always be a reminder that she never got to see it completed. There's no way I would ever give it to anyone else. It was 100% for her and her alone. So what you see below is the final goodbye shot of Fairy Grandmother.
I would love to write more about my grandmother but the pain is still too new. At the funeral people would come up to me and I couldn't remember their names. I would say to myself, I need to remember to ask Mamaw who this or that person was. I started to call her on more than one occaision over the last few days to ask her about so and so. Her phone number is still in my cell phone. Maybe if I leave it there, the last few days will be a bad dream. The hurt and sadness will be around for a very long time. This woman was everything to me. I have so many regrets. I quit calling her as often as I used to because every conversation would somehow end up on the subject of my not going to church. I know it hurt it that I gave up on church a long time ago and she worried so much about my salvation and that of my kids. It was so important to her. I didn't want to hurt her any more so it was easier to just not pick up the phone and call.
I was lucky, I did get to say goodbye. Three weeks ago I called her, she didn't sound right. I had a bad feeling. I had to keep telling her who I was. My first thought when I hung up the phone was "this is the last time I'll talk to her". I didn't think she was going to die but I felt like she'd never know who I was again. Right after that phone call she had a stroke and was hospitalized. She couldn't talk on the phone, wouldn't have anything to do with the phone. I was glad I said what I needed to say when I had the chance.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Brand New Bag

Thanks to Coinstar and tons of change in the bottom of my purse, over the course of several months I managed to scrounge up enough money to order these bags from Knitpicks. They are supposed to be for knitters but I thought they would work well for cross stitching. Below is a pic of the whole set. The second bag from the front is the medium sized bag with the purse organizer attached. I love the look of these bags. No they aren't real leather but they seem to be well made. Below is the large bag. It's got a nice satchel appearance to it and while it's big, since I'm short, I don't look like I'm carrying a bag designed for someone six feet tall. It and each bag in the set comes with their own shoulder strap. The hardware on the front is for attaching the purse organizer. It also has a shoulder strap so that if you have to run in the store and want to just take the purse you can easily remove it from the front of the bag and leave the larger bag in the car.

This is the inside shot of the large bag. I put 8 six ounce skeins of Caron Simply Soft, the current issue of Knit.1 and two sets of knitting needles. This is for the Pirate baby set in this issue. My first attempt at a sweater. It will be for my friend's baby and if I never finish it she won't hate me. I thought it would be a good practice project since I want to make Jessie's Flames from Stitch N Bitch Nation for the middle son one day. I have a set of size 2 circular needles in the inside pocket and there is still room for another skein or two of yarn. Probably more. I apologise for the not so good pics. It's a dreary, yucky day down here on the Redneck Riviera.

This is the medium bag with the purse/organizer removed.

Inside the medium bag which I can tell will be my favorite, is one of the large floss bobbin boxes, my HOHRH chart, my Mighty Bright Craft Light, all that in a 2 gallon Ziploc baggie, and another smaller baggie holding my HOHRH in a hoop. I could have put more in there, and it wouldn't be crammed, but this is pretty much what I take when I'm working on a project. I'm a hoop girl as opposed to a Q-snap girl. I have a few sets of Qsnaps and do use them but I prefer the hoop.

This is the stuff that was inside the medium bag piled up outside of it. I've also reattached the purse/organizer.

The small bag pictured below is just the right size for my hoop and fabric. If I'm using the hoop and don't need a ton of floss, this bag is a good size.

Above is the small bag, the little bag next to it is the notions bag and a shoulder strap.
I expect the medium bag to get a lot of use. I take my stitching with me everywhere, along with a book, a notebook and pens for writing, I'm interested to see how I get this all worked out for stitching in public. I'm always afraid I'll get stuck somewhere with nothing to do, it's a sickness I know, but it kills me to think I could be working on something while waiting and then have nothing with me.
The purse/organizer has places for drivers license, credit cards, a few pockets. I think it's designed fairly well. It reminds me of the outside pocket of the organizer purses my mom used to order from Fingerhut(think that's where she ordered those bags from). It's also got a center zippered pocket. It's got a spot for your cell phone and a pen too.
I'm hard on bags so I'm interested to see how these hold up.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Holiday Card

From: Owners Lot 6 Hawk Run Hollow
Dear Family and Friends

Many times I have tried to compose our yearly holiday letter but after much discussion we, as a family, determined that the picture says it all. The holiday spirit is all but nonexistent here at Lot 6. If you were invited here for Christmas dinner, we won't be home. We hope this card reaches you in time to make new plans. If not, there's some Boar's Head rosemary ham and peppermill turkey in the fridge and a 12 pack of cokes. For dessert you'll find some vanilla wafers in the pantry. Enjoy.

We have decided to take a Christmas trip and hope that we come home to a completed house on New Year's Day. That friends would be a Christmas miracle. After the year we've had we believe we are due some good luck.

We would tell you where the hidden key is but since we have no door or windows just feel free to walk in.

Happy Holidays

Lot 6
Hawk Run Hollow
North West Florida

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Darkness Falls On HOHRH

As the holiday season arrives in Hawk Run Hollow the homes are an invitation for friends and relatives to stop by. The warm lights glowing in the darkness, welcoming friends in, out of the cold, for a cup of hot chocolate or a nice peppermint mocha except for Lot 6. What is going on there? While strolling through the neighborhood discussing the HOHRHHOA guidelines for Christmas decorations we are appalled to see the inflatable Grinch on the lawn of Lot 6. That's a no-no. They have also let their Christmas tree die and it's still a week until the big day, and there it is right in the front yard. What are they doing? They'll be fined $100 a day for every day that the Grinch is posed in the yard and that dead tree, well, it has to go. That's another $50 a day fine. The only Christmas decorations allowed in the Hollow are tasteful white lights.
On closer inspection we determine that the Grinch might have been set up in the yard to block the wind from blowing through the as yet uninstalled windows, the dead tree might be serving the same purpose. As we walk around the neighborhood discussing this tacky display we wonder when the owners of Lot 6 might get some relief from the constant delays in the construction of their home. Will they ring in the New Year with windows and a finished fence or will the Grinch still be standing come Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sweet Sixteen

No pictures today due to computer malfunctions, but today is my middle son's 16th birthday.

Sixteen years ago, my amniotic sack tore during my 11pm-7am shift at a hospital in Little Rock. I went home, concerned because the baby was 6 weeks early. My doctor wasn't too worried since the baby was already close to 6lbs, shouldn't be any problem. I go to the hospital, my labor never really starts, they start me on a pitocin drip. After laying there all day, nothing happened. The decision is made to try again the next morning. The baby's heart couldn't handle the pit so the decision is made to do an emergency c-section. It's routine. Not the way I planned to have a baby but it's ok. The c-section went fine, a 6lb 9oz baby boy was born at approx. 10:30am on Dec. 13, 1990. A few minutes later he went into respiratory distress. This wasn't part of the plan. He was put on a vent. The hardest words I heard that day were "if you want to know if your baby is going to live or die, I can't answer that". It didn't help that I had just had surgery, didn't have freedom of movement and had no clue what was happening to my baby other than he might live or die. That's all anyone knew. One outcome or the other. They were doing everything they could but there were no answers. I cried a lot. The nurses who were kind of mean to me, until someone checked my chart and saw the information about the baby, then nurses who had had premature babies who did well, came and talked to me. I don't remember anything about that. Other than blah, blah, my baby's fine, blah, blah, the drs here are great, blah, blah, it'll be alright. My doctor did everything he could to keep me in the hospital as long as possible but eventually I had to go home and leave my baby. I wasn't thinking straight at this time. All I remember is thinking about the oldest DS almost three and that I was leaving the hospital but not with my baby. My baby who was hooked up to machines just so he could do something as natural as breathing. My baby who couldn't eat, except through a feeding tube. My baby who I was afraid to feel anything for because he would die and my heart couldn't handle that kind of pain. An ice storm hit Little Rock, we lived outside of town and getting back and forth to the hospital was impossible, especially with an almost three yr old. The days were hard, the nights long, the pain raw, jagged, and so deep I don't remember feeling anything those days. There was no love, there was no hurt, there was only an ache, an ache that never let up, the ache of a love so deep, the ache of the fear of loss, not being able to go on. It was there at the bottom of my heart, in the shadows of my mind. I lost myself to this ache.

On December 29th, my baby boy was able to come home on an apnea monitor, yet another ice storm was headed to Little Rock, they loaded us down with formula, they wanted us to be able to hunker down at home, not needing anything, just being able to hold this baby who had missed so many hugs in the early days of his life. His early days, full of wires and cables and tubes and needles. Days that should have been full of hugs, kisses, family. His early days full of lonliness.

I was so young, so stupid. I could have camped out at that hospital with the almost three yr old. I didn't know that. I remember thinking at the time, with him there with me, I wouldn't be able to see Jack. There wasn't anyone to watch the oldest DS, we'd be sitting in a waiting room all day and still not get to see Jack. I expected barriers. I know so much more now.

The first two years of his life are a blur to me. I went back to work, I didn't sleep, I still couldn't let go of that fear of losing him. It could happen at any time. We don't know if he'll live or die.

Other than a cold and the chicken pox the child hasn't been sick one day since those difficult first weeks.

The early years, he was quiet, a good baby, a good kid, very independent, a little aloof. Now he is almost six feet tall and wanting "be somebody". He spends his free time working on his basketball skills, his skateboarding skills(chicks dig guys with skills) and trying to figure out who he is, where he's going, and how to make lots of money. He's very much his own person and doesn't pay a lot of attention to what people think. On the other hand, he loves clothes, the right clothes and know exactly what he wants. He's gone from being a painfully shy kid to a kid who will talk to anyone and ask anyone anything no matter how inappropriate it might be, he's seeking information and the only way to get answers is to ask.

He's silly, he's Jack. He's my baby, the one who might live or die, they didn't know. If they could only see him now. He's healthy, he's strong, every time I look at him, I remember those dark early days, and I want to protect him. I hope he never knows that kind of pain. The pain that there's no name for because it's so deep, so dark. I hope he only knows happiness, joy, and he figures out who he's going to be because sixteen more years of nightly discussions on "being somebody" is going to put me in a home.

Happy Birthday Jack, I love you more than you can ever know.

PS: I don't know if this post makes a lot of sense. I have a lot of trouble even now talking and writing about those days after his birth, they are still so foggy in my mind, I don't visit there often. I'm just so thankful that he's here and healthy and in our lives.

Monday, December 11, 2006


The spousal unit and I took the vows in September of 1985. Christmas rolled around and I was surprised to discover that I didn't have an attic with a tree, lights and ornaments. How could that be? Don't all married people have an attic filled with Christmas stuff? Well, no. As Christmas drew nearer and the tree fairy obviously didn't exist and ornaments didn't magically appear in our small apartment I decided to make some ornaments. The ornaments pictured below are all I have left of those ornaments I made that first year. I could have sworn I had a few more but we've moved a lot over the years and well who knows how many got tossed out with the tree over the years when we were sure we had gotten everything off the tree. We were young and irresponsible and did everything in a hurry. The reason I'm pretty sure a few are missing is I know I had a few ornaments framed in red plastic ornament thingies. I bought these frames at Woolworths--here's part of the price tag on the back of one:
I believe it used to say 35cents. When I examined it this morning I thought it might have been 5cents but I think that's a stretch. At either price these little plastic ornament frames have held up well. Much better than the "gold" frames that appear to tarnish. I never knew something that had been golded and is plastic could tarnish or at least have that appearance.
The ornament below was stitched for me by my friend Neva. I had a thing for geese back then. Give me a break it was the 80s. Geese were like totally cool.

There are no pictures of that first tree. Where did the tree come from? Well it just so happens there is a tree fairy and his name is Tim. He went hunting one morning and while he didn't get a deer he did score us a tree. It was wonky and very much a Charlie Brown tree and it fell over Christmas morning and we didn't know at the time that a picture of that tree might be something we would want one day but the spousal unit and I can both still picutre it and that ugly tree will always be our favorite.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Eve 2005

The spousal unit and I enjoy humilating the children. Don't get me wrong we never see anything wrong with the requests we make regarding picture taking. Last year we had this great idea to do a picture based on a South Park episode. It's the episode where Cartman and Kyle have competing bands. Cartman chooses to sing Christian music since he believes he'll be able to easily sell a million records. The name of the band is Faith + 1 and during the episode they did an album cover. The picture below is based on that album cover. This is one of my all time favorite pictures of the boys because we made them do this shot 10 times at the other end of the beach and couldn't get it right. We waited til just a bit before sunset and scored this shot. It always makes me smile. First because it's a good picture and second, I know how annoyed all three of them were at the moment this shot was snapped. I can assure you that no visions of sugar plums are running around their brains at this moment, more like thoughts of Lizzie Borden, an ax, and two dorky parents.

Over the years we've forced them to wear Santa hats on the beach in October, this was before digital cameras, or before we had one. We've begged them to make sand snowmen in July so we could get a good shot for a Christmas card, they never cooperated, so this picture is the one time I won. We've been discussing this year's photo shoot and they keep avoiding us. We can never seem to get all three of them in the car at the same time. I'll eventually come up with something and they may be kicking and screaming but I believe my chances for shots of all three of them together are getting fewer and fewer. I hope tugging at their heartstrings will work. Yeah, right. Dream on Mom!

In stitching news, not much going on here. I've been working a bit here and there on an ornament and am planning a finishing party on Saturday.

It's supposed to get down to 28 tonight. I'm seriously wishing I had finished my Alien Illusion scarf because it might come in handy tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Blogging While Under the Influence

Of Nyquil. Yes it's that time of the year. The time of the year when I spend most of my days doing shots of Robitussin and my nights passing out with the scent of Nyquil on my breath. Which means my mornings are spent guzzling much strong coffee to shake off the hangover.

Had intended to post a pic or two today but Blogger tells me they can't fulfill my request. Not sure what's up with that. Might try using my flickr album and see what happens. I haven't really played around with it since I opened the account. Meari asked me about BetaBlogger, up until now I haven't had any problems making the switch. Of course I haven't had time to redo my template yet either so that should be a real test. My html skills are minimal, I'm learning as I go.

Since I've been sick I haven't got a lot of stitching done but I am working on an ornament. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I might finish HOHRH before the end of the year. That would be major here in my world where it doesn't take a lot to excite me. I might have gotten more stitching done over the weekend but it was a big party weekend here on our little road. Two birthday parties, one Saturday, one Sunday. Both lots of fun. The one on Saturday was as much for the adults as for the kids, the one on Sunday was at an indoor gokart place that was a hoot. Fun, but I was really too sick to enjoy either one. I did spend a good bit of time coughing in the direction of the neighbor I can't stand. That can't be good for my karma.

It is Dec. 6th and I have purchased 1, count them 1, Christmas present. It's for the youngest son and it's by far the coolest thing I've ever seen. It's a Pirates of the Caribbean chess/checker set. It also has dice for the pirate dice game they play in the second movie. The checker pieces are the pirate coins and the chess pieces are the crew of the Flying Dutchman and the crew of the Black Pearl. I'm also going to pick him up a copy of Chess for Dummies. The spousal unit said he would teach him to play but a little reading can't hurt and I don't believe the spousal unit has played chess in years. I also want to learn but the DH is a bit competitive and I kind of get that way too playing anything against him so I don't trust him to refresh my memory correctly if you know what I mean because I know for a fact I haven't played chess in 25 yrs.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can do some ornament finishing tomorrow. I have a pile of stitched pieces that I have recieved over the years in an ornament a month group where you stitch the ornament but don't have to finish it, you mail it to the moderator and she sends it along to someone else. Every month you recieve something new in the mail. Very cool, but I quit participiating this year but have about two years worth of ornies to put together. I hate that I wasn't active because it was a lot of fun but I found at the end of 2005 I was stressing over getting something stitched and in the mail on time. It's supposed to be a hobby and make you happy. I was not happy. I love reading about all the swaps and exchanges online but whenever I think about signing up for something I get a panic attack, so just avoid it. It also cuts into my minimal stitching time.

Friday, December 01, 2006

On the First Day of Christmas

I discovered one hair coming out of my cheek! Ick, gross, I feel like Austin Powers should be yelling to everyone within hearing distance, "She's a man, baby!" I'm too young for this to happen. I'm still ovulating, there's plenty of feminine hormones running through this body. How could this happen?

I did attempt to photograph it but it's not even long enough to pluck, much less catch on film or pixel. It's there, trust me. I can't pluck it to save my life. I guess I have to let it grow until I can put a bead on it and then maybe, just maybe, I can pluck the little booger. I have pinched my cheek so much today trying to snag it that I have what will probably be a permanent red mark on my face.

Did I stitch today, well no, I was spending the first day of Christmas trying to get rid of my beard. Oh, I want to gag just thinking about it.

This weekend I hope to finish some ornaments. I've been putting it off but since downloading incredimail I've been in the Christmas spirit. Of course I've spent the better part of the day deleting mail from incredimail because I thought I was just copying my address book to incredimail and it ended up being every piece of mail in my aol account-10 times each. I had over 2000 emails. I've got it down to 700 something. What a pain. But I love the backgrounds and this puppy with a slurpy tongue runs across the screen when I have mail. Too cute. But I'm in the Christmas spirit, shocker that. I also watched A Christmas Story and now am listening to my pile of Christmas CDs. While I'm still super Grinch, I'm feeling better about the holiday season. Is anything ready, well no. I did clean up the spot for the Christmas tree, still have to run the vacuum and toss out the accumulated trash. There's a lot of paper. I'm doing better about walking in and tossing out junkmail but the youngest son generates a lot of paper from school and papers always end up under and behind things.

On a happy note, while cleaning out the video shelf I ran across the middle son's second grade Christmas video. I had forgotten all about this particular event. He was supposed to wear a long sleeved button up shirt, he didn't want to, he argued with me and cried. I made him wear it, tucked it in, sent him to his classroom before the show. When he walks out to sing in the chorus the shirt is not only untucked, it's unbuttoned and you can't see the green vest he was wearing, because this shirt is wide open and all you can see the white Hanes t-shirt underneath. I was so mad. I was mortified. There was nothing cute about it because I had to argue with him for hours before the show to make wear it in the first place and he still ended up not wearing it. He won. Actually he lost because we have him on video for eternity picking his nose. Go us! He'll wish he had kept that shirt buttoned up. Everyone hence forth(did I use that right?) will see him picking, baby. Yes, I'm still 12.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Long, Very, Very Long, Excruciatingly Long Weekend

Much turkey has been consumed, everyone is back at work and school and while I'd love to have a party all by myself, my day will be spent trying to figure out where I'm going to put all this crap: All of that stuff used to live in the armoire you see below:
The need to get the tv up off the floor made me give in and turn over the armoire for the good of the family and the overall appearance of the living room. Our living room looks huge now. Technically the tv should be in the armoire but I miscalculated the size of the tv and the size of the armoire. After much swearing from the spousal unit we opted to put the tv on top of the armoire. It's like watching tv at TGI Fridays now. The best part, we don't have to keep yelling at the dog for laying in front of the tv when it was positioned on the floor. We've hit a technical glitch though. For some reason the DVD player and the VCR refuse to work. Not sure what wires aren't back where they should be but we'll eventually figure it out when we tire of watching DVDs on the laptop.
Much holiday decorating took place on our little road this weekend, the picture below is as far as we got and yes, I need a new welcome mat. If my fish mat were alive it would be floating belly up in the aquarium. But it must do for now. The oldest son said I should have bought a bigger berry wreath for the front door. He said this one was skimpy. The concrete is marked up because the kids in the neighbor seem to enjoy skateboarding on my front porch. I had no idea one could scuff up concrete but there ya go.

Hope everyone had a happy holiday weekend and if you aren't in America hope your weekend rocked.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

It's 4:40am on Thanksgiving 2006. Since 2am I've baked a cake and three batches of muffins. The blueberry are still baking, not quite done yet. I'm getting ready to shower and then run our friends to Mobile to catch their plane to New Mexico. I've told my friend if they get tossed off the plane due to her breastfeeding, we'll come get them in Houston.

The last few weeks have been difficult and on this morning, on a day to be thankful for our blessings, I find it's not as difficult to find things to be thankful for as I thought a few hours ago. Battle with an 11 year old can just suck the everlovin' life out of one let me tell ya.

But, at least my boys can argue with me. On this day there are parents who wish they could have one more argument with their child, one more make up hug, one more phone call to say "I love you". So with all the frustration, anger, annoyance, I am thankful for my three healthy boys. I am thankful that I can look at their smiles everyday. I am thankful I can hear them slam the door when they are angry with me. I am thankful that they are a part of my life. I don't know if they will ever know exactly what they mean to me, but I love them so much.

I am thankful that I am married to someone who embraces my dorkiness, my flakiness, my moodswings(ok that's a stretch, but he's still here). I am thankful that he has never once told me that my dreams were stupid, ridiculous or anything other than realistic. I am so sorry it took me 16 yrs to surrender to the madness of football season and the Raider Nation. I am thankful that I don't live in Oakland, CA because if I did I would be married to a face painter.

I am thankful for my friends. Thanks for being there, listening to me whine. You know who are. I love you all so much.

I am thankful for family. I don't call as often as I should, I never go back home, but I love you. I really, truly do.

I am thankful for Kate. You rock!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Stitchin', Crocheting, Quilting, and Bad Photography

I know my regular readers are just so excited that I can now add pictures to the blog. I mean you come here for those art shots right? For the stitching portion of this post, you can see below my progress or lack thereof on CHS Strawberry Blonde. I'm stitching her on the unknown fabric from JoAnn's with the selvedge to the left and I think the proportions look good right now. The test will be the plump strawberry above her head. Will it be summer ripe or end up drought stricken and thin due to the unevenness of the fabric? Here at the "Ranch" every stitch is an adventure. Below is my take on Bella Dia 's Vintage Stripe Throw based on this afghan seen at yarnstorm: my little eye. No, my afghan looks about as vintagey as say my neighbor's Navigator so I call my attempt at this afghan Cinco de Mayo. It's got a Mexican blanket feel to it. Something about the yellow, orange and pink it just screams "fiesta". I plan to make another one of these in colors that remind me of the afghan at yarnstorm. I love those colors. I just don't happen to have many of them in the stash. The afghan below is a stash buster so I'm working hard to stay within the color palette offered up by my minimal yarn stash.
Here are the quilt blocks from my class 19 yrs ago. Do these colors scream "We are the 80s?" or what? Don't they make you want to throw down to Midnight Star and No Parking on the Dance Floor? I believe they are destined to end up as a quilted floor pillow.

And you've been patiently waiting for today's attempt at the art shot, well this was the sky over my house a week or so ago. The clouds were so close they were suffocating. The color is pretty accurate. Even the oldest son commented on the sky. My family asks me constantly why do you take so many pictures of the sky? What's the point? My answer, "You guys never remember to look up." The sky is cool. It's always changing. Sometimes for the better, sometimes the worse but it's magic.

This weekend I started and finished Carl Hiaasen's Nature Girl. If you love Hiaasen and understand where he's coming from, you will enjoy this book. Some of the characters wackiness has been seen before between the pages of his books but living in Florida I can tell you, these people do exist. I related to the main character in more ways than I find comfortable to admit. I love Florida, I love her raw beauty, I hate development and there are very few places left untouched by the developers who pretty much want knock down every tree and build walls of condos along these barrier islands that were never ever meant to be built on but what do I know? Maybe hurricane damage wouldn't run into the billions of dollars if people weren't allowed to keep building on barrier islands that were never meant to be built on. Do I sound repetitive? But I have to agree with a review I read somewhere online, nothing really happens in this book. Sure there's a lot of stuff going on but I never really cared about the characters and was ready for the eagle to just eat them all. I hate that because I love Hiaasen and can so relate to his love for Florida. Was it a pleasant way to pass the weekend, yes but if you want Hiaasen at this absolute best read Tourist Season or Skinny Dip. Skinny Dip is my personal favorite.
I started the new Stephen King, Lisey's Story Sunday but haven't made a lot of progress.
My cornbread is baked for my dressing, my turkey is thawing in the fridge. I'm trying to figure out the rest of Thursday's menu so I can make a list and finish up my grocery shopping today or tomorrow. I'd rather get it done today. I suspect tomorrow the grocery will be crowded.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Houston--We Have Pictures

So I loaded my pictures backwards but I have some catching up to do so what you see below is the moon on Halloween night. Is that a perfect moon for Halloween or what? What is this? Could lack of 24 hour computer access stimulate creative energy? Looks like. Below you will see my Sugar N Cream Summer Splash iPod bag. I made the pattern up because every iPod bag pattern I found called for sewing up the sides. I didn't want to do that so I came up with this:
Is that an earbud in your pouch or are you happy to see me? Below is a close up of my mermaid button. I bought this at JoAnn's a couple of years ago. I knew it'd come in handy one day.

I made it a necklace so I could wear it when I walked and not have to worry about pants with pockets or holding it and possibly dropping it.

Below is my completed CHS Carolina Handley stitched on the unknown fabric from JoAnn's using DMC floss. I am very happy with this piece. She stitched up fast and I can't wait to get her framed. I like this fabric. I'm going to play around with dyeing some for some other primitive pieces. We'll call it adventure stitching.

Today while killing time in Books-A-Million I discovered that Carl Hiaasen has a new book out, Nature Girl. I wanted it, but knew I had to fork over the bucks to get the laptop back, even with a discount card it was just not in the budget this week, I also wanted the new Stephen King but I was responsible and walked away from them, feeling quite bitter I should add. But when I run in the library to pick up some books they are holding for me Carl Hiaasen's new book is on the new arrivals shelf along with the new Stephen King. Is life good or what? This weekend I plan to find a corner and read my behind off!
We have the DaVinci Code to watch tonight and I also picked up The Libertine to watch this weekend.
Over at Bella Dia, there's a great crochet afghan pattern posted. This afghan was inspired by one at yarnstorm. I can't find a link to the original post. I think if you scroll down a little or check October archives at Bella Dia you will find a link to the afghan at Yarnstorm. I love, love, love that picture. Anyway, I started my own version of this afghan today. It's easy peasy and I'm trying to use vintagey looking colors. I'm randomly striping it, Ok I've only done the very first row but the stripes are going to be as random as I can make them and I'm using stash yarn, so that's a very good thing. Totally rocks!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Switched to Beta Blogger

Can't wait to pay the ransom on the laptop so I can bring it home and see how I can screw up the blog now that I'm using BetaBlogger.

I started CHS Strawberry Blonde over the weekend. I'm stitching it on the unknown fabric I found at JoAnn's. While discussing this with a stitching friend she made me feel uncomfortable for using fabric that wasn't intended for cross stitch. It made me feel bad, like I was an unworthy stitcher or something. Like I didn't deserve to breath the same air as stitchers using the pricier linens. My response was, "I want to stitch this design, I can't buy new fabric for it, and this works just fine thank you very much." If, while working on this project, I determine that this fabric is ruining the design, I have no problems trashing it and starting over with "real" linen. But right now this is my best option and I can't understand why I'm less of a stitcher than someone using a $40 piece of linen.

After this conversation I started pondering, why do I stitch? I stitch because I breath. It's what I do. I feel better when I'm creating something. It doesn't matter if it's on linen or burlap, I'm creating something with needle and thread that didn't exist before.

I like using an unexpected fabric because over at Craftster I am constantly awed by the innovation and creativity of the stitchers you find there. They are creating outside the box. I can't draw or paint. Stitching is my way of creating art. Yes, I use a chart, I almost always use the recommended threads and fabric. I've had way too many disasters trying to be creative with fabric and threads, I don't trust my own judgement where colors are concerned, but the point is if I can use a neutral fabric and use a fabric that is a bit different, it makes the piece my own. Why does someone feel a need to make me feel like I'm commiting some crime against cross stitchers because I'm stitching on a fabric that doesn't quite fit their idea of proper cross stitch fabric?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Suffering Withdrawal

Computer problems suck beyond belief. My laptop is still in the shop. They had to order a keyboard, it hasn't arrived yet. The family computer is still broken, and I'm stuck using the oldest son's computer. When they go to school it's not a problem but everyone is home today. Why do these kids get so many days off? Keep them in school! It will be a brawl all weekend for anyone to score any computer time because the oldest son doesn't like his space being invaded. The whining started a little while ago when I wanted to check email.

So on to happier subjects. I've been working on Hester's Needle's Liberty Sampler. If you go to Hoffman, do a designer search for Hester's Needle you can see Liberty Sampler. I'm also gathering up some ornament supplies but I can't find my ornament sized cuts of fabric.

Had planned to do some blog redesign this weekend but with all my computer issues we'll just stay with the currently uninspired format for a little while longer. I need to write some more html for the changes anyway. Anyone use beta Blogger? If so do you like it? I've been toying with the idea but Blogger as it is now isn't too much trouble and I hate to rock the boat.

Started reading On Writing by Stephen King yesterday. I do love that man. Also have Live Bait by PJ Tracy started.

The youngest son will be 11 tomorrow. I don't know where the years have gone. It seems like just yesterday he was a baby in my arms, or my belly and now he's on the cusp of his teen years. I love you dude!

No big plans for the weekend other than stitching as much as possible, taking the youngest out for his birthday dinner of choice(this mean we'll all be choking down CiCi's Pizza, guess there are worse meals), and wandering the mall so he can spend his birthday fortune, oh and birthday cake and ice cream. Not too bad.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Best Laid Plans

I had plans of telling several stories with pictures today but due to all kinds of technical difficulties that isn't going to happen so today will be a random Monday.

Oh you want to know what the technical difficulties are? OK get ready for one of those "She couldn't make this s&%t up" tales.

Friday night the middle son uses my lap top. He's allowed. He's careful, doesn't do downloads. He uploads pics and videos of himself to his My Space page. His one issue is waiting for the laptop to shut down and closing the top. Why is this such a big deal? Well we have some cats and while I have never ever seen a cat on my desk, I've always been pretty sure they jump up there when no one is looking because that's just how they roll. Well Saturday morning I wake up, find the laptop open, I close it. Later I want to use it and the keyboard won't work. We're talking beeping, letters sticking. So I start asking "What was spilled on the laptop?" Everyone says, "You're crazy, we don't know what you're talking about. No way anything got spilled on that laptop." So I call the spousal unit crying and he says, "Well hold a blowdryer to the keyboard like you did with the cell phone that time you dropped it in the sink." So I did and I'm guessing you much smarter people already know that the laptop keys shrank up like Shrinky Dinks. So I break down and smell the keyboard. OMG! Cat pee. I ask the oldest son to smell the keyboard, yep, he concurs. One of the cats peed on the keyboard. So now it's going to cost $150 to replace the keyboard. Only $50 had I not shrinky dinked the keys but I'm thinking I don't want an eau d'cat pee keyboard anyway.

So it's cool. I get over my melt-down I'll have my laptop back in a few days since no where on my expensive extended warranty does it say anything about cat pee being covered. I'm reasonably sure that's covered under the whole liquid thing. I have the desk top. Have to fight for it but most of the files on the laptop are duplicated on the desk top, at least the important stuff and if you're family reading this you know what I'm talking about. So the spoiled child is on the desk top, it goes off. He accuses the middle son of stepping on the surge protector. I'm able to get the computer up and running again. Three hours later it does it again and it won't comeback on. My worst nightmare! I have meltdown #2. We have a huge family brawl over the deal as the spousal unit can't do his fantasy football stuff, I can't work on my important project, the middle son can't do his homework and the spoiled one can't access Club Penguin. We finally determine no one did anything to the computer, no one downloaded anything, it's old, it's has issues, we'll get it fixed. So the best estimate on it is $100. They tell me it might be the power supply. I'll take it in on Thursday when I pick up my laptop. They said I should have it back the same day if it is indeed the power supply. What are the odds of this happening? Must be the fact that Mercury is in retrograde, add in a full moon, and it's complete and utter chaos.

So I'm writing today from DS#1's computer which is all but useless with the exception of internet access. He does have word pad so that's one thing in my favor.

Fabric Info

The odd linen like fabric I found at JoAnn's is by Roc-Lon. It's Osnaburg #421, 100% cotton. Carolina Handley is working up pretty doggone nice on it. I will use it for some other projects that don't have to be exactly square. It's not a clothing linen, guess it's more like a pillow backing or something.


Finished Inkheart the other day. What a wonderful book! Every time I set it aside to do something important, you know get something to drink, go to the bathroom(I don't use the laptop for a toilet), I would find I had been holding my breath. I guess that means it's a pretty good story.

I'm getting ready to start Stephen King's Cell. My friend and her family gave it to me months ago for helping out so much with her baby, but the condition was I couldn't read it until I finished something I had been working on first. I stayed honest and finished my not Fairy Grandmother. So I plan to start Cell today. My dad is reading the new Stephen King novel Lisey's Story(hope I got the title right) I'm dying to read it and he said it's great.

Election Day Tomorrow

My 18 yr old votes in his very first election tomorrow. He's going with me first thing in the morning and then I'll check him into school.

I'm torn about the Florida elections. I do know that if I were in Texas I'd vote for Kinky Friedman for governer. I like him. I like his ideas, I've been bugging the DH to move to Texas for two years just so I could vote for Kinky. I think it's time to get the career politicians out of office and let some people who might have a clue about the real world run the country for a little while.

In Tennessee I'm leaning towards Harold Ford. I like him a lot. Of course I can't vote there either.

Florida is where I vote and where I'm undecided. I've been reading about all the candidates, discussing it with the oldest son, and I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings.

The one question I want a politician to answer is "What do you believe to be rich?" They all say "taxcuts for the rich" what is rich? Give me a dollar figure.

At the moment I feel like voting a straight independent ticket. If more people would do that maybe both major parties would have to show their differences. You shouldn't have to vote for the lesser of two evils. Someone should stand for something.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Girl She is Cheap!

Innovative, not cheap, the word is INNOVATIVE! The other day at JoAnn's I was wandering the quilting fabrics and found a shelf with the words "Pillow Ticking" on it. On that shelf I found the fabric you see below. I don't know fabric, I know 100% cotton and I know upholstrey fabric, the rest is guess work and reading the end of the bolts. I saw this fabric and thought to myself, "Self, this looks a lot like linen. The holes are easy to see, it could be a 34-40 count. I think you can stitch on this. It's $3.99 yd. Worth a shot anyway."

I bring it home and decide to start Carriage House Samplings Tombstone design, Carolina Handley:

The only difference I see in this piece and the piece on the Carriage House Samplings website is that my Carolina has a rounder face. I had meant to upload a pic of the CHS piece for comparison but forgot. Arrrgghh.....This fabric is nice to work on, it's got little dark brown flecky things that are woven into it. I seriously don't know what this fabric is but plan to take a pic of the end of the bolt my next trip to JoAnn's. At $3.99 a yard well, for the frugal stitcher, it's a pretty good deal and my piece isn't distorted. Her face is round, the angel wings are more wide than long but unless you know what the original looks like you wouldn't know the difference. I'm stitching one over two and the coverage is not bad. I like the look of the fabric a lot, since I started this design with the selvedge at the top, I think the next piece I will start with the selvedge at the side and see what happens. I'm thinking some of the CHS stockings would look pretty good on this fabric.

The Hook is Calling

I've had lots of afghans on my mind lately. There's a nip in the air in the mornings and at night. It's time to start planning a few to crochet this winter.


Every morning for the past week or two I've been getting up and walking. I've been making myself do this at 4:30am. It's the best time of day because no one is up and the neighbors can't place bets on when I will have a heart attack. Actually my stamina is better than I thought. I try to walk every day, seven days. I don't walk the same amount every day but I walk. It's a start.


I'm reading Inkheart by Corneilia Funke. It's wonderful. Young adult fantasy, characters in books come to life, more to it than that but that's the simplest way to describe the story without ruining it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Random Thursday

In stitching news I'm working on HOHRH. Might have an update in the near future.

Our new favorite family meal is homemade pizza. I do not enjoy cooking at all but thanks to the discovery of Publix bakery's pizza dough, making pizza is now a pleasureable experience. I buy two bags of dough, bring them home, roll them out, and man does this dough roll out beautifully, and viola, homemade pizza pie. Below you see a traditional round pizza topped with fresh 'shrooms, pepperoni and Italian sausage:
Piping hot from the oven:
Below you can see a rectanglish pizza, 1/2 pepperoni and 1/2 pepperoni and 'shrooms.
And hot from the oven:
I'm not one of those people that gets some spiritual pleasure from cooking. I wish I did but making homemade pizza has become almost therapeutic for me. I'm working on my own pizza dough recipe but every time I try my own dough, everyone complains. At $1.65 a bag Publix dough is a steal and I still get the pleasure of rolling it out, shaping it the way I want, and the ever fun punching it down. We prefer this pizza to carry out. That's a shocker. Everyone in this family prefers food on the outside but this pizza, it's now our favorite meal.

Earlier this year after a post from Crazy Aunt Purl the spousal unit and I started pondering the possibility of growing square watermelons. Due to drought and not having a clue about what we were doing, we harvested nary a watermelon. The little guy you see pictured below was our last chance at a square watermelon for this year and he cracked. This happened to a lot of our watermelons and we don't know why. I plan to research this and see if I can avoid this problem next summer. Do watermelons often explode like this?
While driving down the highway the other day I saw a sign that said, "Tomatoes". The local miracle farmer is harvesting his second round of tomatoes, mine are still green. I don't see them moving beyond this point as we barely reach 70 degrees during the day and nights are in the 40s. He must have had a bit of a head start on his second tomato crop. I have two tomato plants and four tomatoes between them. I would really love to see one more red tomato before we get our first frost.
This was the sky over my neighbor's house yesterday. It reminded me of waves breaking on the shore.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Take the Girl's Camera Please

Here is my finished Carriage House Samplings Sarah Hook: Sarah was completed at approx. 4:30a.m. this morning. She is stitched on an unknown fabric, 32ct is my best guess. I used DMC and stitching 2 over 2 it took 1 1/2 skeins of DMC 844. I may or may not tea-dye this piece. I'm not worried about the fabric deteriation, my family won't be able to sell it at the garage sale following my funeral fast enough.

Now to share my feeble attempt at the "Blair Witch" shot, or why my neighbors hate me. Oh, you knew it was coming:

Ok, I was looking for a spooky graveyard at dawn kind of feel. Unbeknownst to me, with the onset of autumn, 4:36a.m. is no longer dawn it's still pretty much midnight kind of dark. The lighting was achieved with help from my Mighty Bright Craft Light hanging from a tall candlestick holder. What made me grab the Mighty Bright Craft Light, oh could be the fact that the two pictures I took before were completely black. Sometimes my stupidity amazes even me. I should state that when I snapped this pic, it looked much cooler on the screen on my camera.

Below you can see a ghostly kind of appearance surrounding Sarah. Is that an apparition passing in front of the grave stone? More than likely it's some dorky chick's shadow blocking out the light from the Mighty Bright Craft Light.

Added later to anyone watching Battlestar Galactica? I missed last week's episode. Was Starbuck only pretending to believe in a higher power?

What about Heroes? Anyone watching that show? It's GREAT! I'm so addicted.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stitching? What Stitching?

Not one stitch has been crossed since my last post. Who's life am I living at the moment? Certainly not mine. I'm not even sure why I haven't picked up a needle. Yes, things are a bit hectic, but nothing to keep me from sitting down and stitching for a while.

I've more or less been in planning mode lately. Since I'm such a lamb I'm obsessing over the Dear Jane quilts people are making. To top it off I'm such a dork that I want to do two Dear Jane quilts simultaneously. One in hip, funky, modern fabrics(not sure how much of the fabric will show in 4.5inch blocks but that's not really the point) and then do one in Civil War repro fabrics. I figure the one in the modern fabrics will be my practice blocks and the Civil War repro will be the real blocks, two quilts, same style, different colors. I know that this will be a very slow process but I'm one of those geeks that actually prefers to handpiece. To prepare myself for the handpiecing ahead I'm going to start practice piecing some 12 inch blocks with some calico I have here from the 1980s. Oh yeah, I save fabric even if it's dated, and probably not even considered pretty any more. I have several blocks already pieced in these prints from my quilting class back in 1987. I think I've got enough material for three or four more blocks. I haven't really looked to see how much I have, I just ran across the fabric in the garage, and started thinking maybe I should put together that sampler quilt from so long ago. My color choices are hideous but that's the story of my life. I'm hoping to get a lapquilt out of what I have here, maybe perk up the blues and reddish burgundy, something like that, with some new fabric touches here and there.

My current cross stitch obsession is tracking down patterns for samplers with my last name or my maiden name on them. So far I've found four, two of each. Can you say DORK?


Yesterday I finished Book of Fate by Brian Meltzer. Not what I expected, plenty of twists and turns that I should have seen but ended up surprising me.

I also recently finished Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking. I enjoyed this more than the latest Anita Blake books by Laurell Hamilton.

Also started reading I Like You by Amy Sedaris. I picked it up at the library and think I'll end up buying it.

Project Runway

I can't believe Jeffrey won! I know that his collection was the most daring but I felt Uli's was the most wearable. I hate that Micheal kind of fell apart under the pressure. I'm wondering if he designed what he thought they wanted to see, instead of being true to himself? I think a weekend in the Hamptons collection would of worked for him and even an average person such as myself could have related to the ensembles. Laura's stuff, while pretty, there's just no need for that in my life. I guess maybe the occaisional Christmas party but seriously. I'm ready for Season Four. A lot of people have expressed disappointment with this season, just too nasty, too scandalous, I liked it! I think Alison was kicked off too soon and Vincent should have been kicked off much earlier--the recycling challenge. I don't think his insanity was good enough tv to keep him around. Maybe that's why I'm not a tv producer.

Thanks for the birthday wishes and comments are always appreciated!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stitching, Dreaming, and Not Making Much Progress

I say I'm not making much progress but Sarah Hook is very close to finished. Horrible weather down here at the moment, dark clouds, lots of wind, huge, huge surf, so maybe a finished pic sometime later in the week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Lately friends and I have been discussing future projects, there are so MANY!

I try hard not set goals where my stitching is concerned because I never keep them and then feel like a loser and this is supposed to be something that enhances my life, not adds more stress. Sometimes I set a few goals because it's the kick in the pants I need to get a long term project wrapped up.

This time of year I find that I fall into a depression and my stitching is my escape. I beyond hate the holiday season. It's just a stressful time and on a very selfish note, I'm sick and tired of eating my own cooking every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course those that know me would say I hate eating my own cooking on a daily basis. It's not because I'm a bad cook, just sometimes when the holidays roll around someone else's green bean casserole or hashbrown casserole or cornbread dressing would be pretty darn tasty. My mom's chocolate pies are something I've been missing lately. That's the taste of home to me. I make her chocolate chip pie but her chocolate pies with meringue topping, I can't duplicate.

I go into a stitching frenzy, it takes me somewhere else, I don't think about the impending holiday season, greedy children, and all the food I like to eat but am tired of cooking. I focus on my overwhelming list of projects I have started, I start obsessing over the finishing, I start competing with myself to see how many things I can finish and put in for framing before the Christmas rush. Is that sick or what? But it takes my mind away from home, from holidays spent with extended family, and for a little while nothing else matters but making those little Xs on fabric and watching the design unfold.

I have to wonder yet again, what in the world do people who have no creative outlet do to get out of their heads for a little while? Without my stitching I'd be insane.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Keeping Busy

This year my seasonal stitching has been all out of whack. Normally I stitch Halloween and Autumn related things over the summer but this year the summer just kind of flew by and nary a pumpkin or witch has been stitched. I also have a gazillion projects started and after listing them all it was a bit overwhelming and believe it or not I had trouble starting something new. So last week I pulled Carriage House Samplings' Sarah Hook out of the started projects basket and worked on her. All I had completed when I picked this up was the word "and" right there on the second row. The fabric I'm using is strange at least to me. I found it in my fabric drawer and can't remember exactly where I acquired it. It's got what appears to be a white thread running one way and a raw or flax colored thread running the opposite direction. The fabric is thick but not difficult to work on. I believe it's 32ct. After reading through the chart(what a concept) I saw where the model had been tea dyed. I think I will do that to this piece. At first I wasn't thrilled with the thought but this is being stitched on an unknown fabric with DMC, I need to be a risk taker. I don't see how it can hurt the appearance of the piece. I'm hoping for some nice blotchy goodness when it's all said and done. Since it's autumn and Halloween is upon us I thought this tombstone design would fit in with the mood of the season. I have several other tombstone designs in the stash and want to stitch them and scatter them through the house. I have some morbid fascination with them. Love, love, love Kathy Barrick's designs.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Get That Brady Bunch Tune Running 'Round Your Brain

Here's the story
Of a dragon named Grady
Just looking for a keep of his very own
All he wanted was his moat of fire
and a wall of gray stone

Here's the story
of a stitcher named Melissa
Just wanting to finish a project for her son
She had fifteen projects already started
and left Grady undone

Til the one day when the guilt over came Melissa
Grady deserved better than being crammed
in the hutch
She released him from his prison
But finishing him was too much

Finishing him, finishing him, finishing him was just too much!

Blogger's giving me fits so I hope the pic shows up......

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yes, I'd Like*

A Pumpkin Spice Latte.

"Sorry ma'am that's not on our menu."

Ok how about a Cafe Carmel?

"Once again, ma'am, that's not on our menu. We only serve what you see on the menu. So what can I get for you?"

Ok a Mocha Cappuccino.

"(Sigh) I can order you a mocha or a cappuccino but not both together. One or the other."

Bring me a double shot Espresso.

"I can bring you two Espressos. Double shots aren't on our menu."

Just bring me a Dark Roast.

What does a girl have to do to get a cup of coffee?

*edited to add project stats:
Coffee Menu-Little House Needleworks
30ct Old Dominion Blend
recommended fibers with the following substitutions:
DMC 433 for GAST Sarsparilla
DMC 523 for CC Joshua Tree

Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall TV Friday

Since TV and stitching go together like peanut butter and chocolate, or milk and cookies or if you're a Forrest Gump fan, like peas and carrots, a Fall tv post seems appropriate.

First of all, Project Runway. I didn't blog about the Sept. 13th or 14th episode when Vincent and Angela were brought back because I went and looked at the Olympic Fashion Week runway shows and thought I knew so much because Uli had Nazri as her model in her Runway show so I assumed Micheal's collection was the decoy. I decided to keep my opinions to myself and good thing too since this week all four finalists were left in. No one was auf'd. What's up with that? Did they want to auf Uli so bad and when she ended up winning this week they decided to just let all four do runway shows with no decoy this year? I thought Heidi was more coldhearted than that. Anyway, good show, never ceases to amuse me and even though they haven't had the season finale yet, I say bring on Season 4. I love this show so much.

Now for new TV shows, I watched Heroes on Monday night. I had a preconceived idea about the show, it surprised me and I liked that! I'm going to definitely be tuning in on Monday nights. The cheerleader kind of freaked me out, but I love that she's indestructible and has no feelings. Maybe she's going to have to the coldheartedest(is that even a word?) of all the characters. Ali Larter's character freaks me out. I can't decide if she can astral project herself or what but wow! Love that aspect of the story because I can't figure it out. I love the brothers and that the one brother was dreaming he could fly, but the other brother has the power. Love, love Hiro. I was prepared for this show to be lame, lame, lame. It's not at least not at this moment.

If you check out, they might have the first episode on the website in case you missed it.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip-my favorite show of the new season. I thought Matt Perry would be Chandler, he's not. His character seems kind of angry most of the time, I'm not sure how I feel about that. But they always say comedians and comedy writers are darker than you realize so maybe that's part of it with his character. I love Bradley Whitford. He's great in this role. I love that Aaron Sorkin is writing his own story into this series. The Harriet character, interesting, if she's written right. She's a Christian but not a Bible beater, she's human, and mainstream and I hope Aaron Sorkin doesn't villianize her because of the 700 Club(more of his personal story there). Her character could end up being one of the more interesting characters on the show. I don't think she has any chemistry at all with Matthew Perry's character. I don't like Steven Weber as the bad guy but he's playing it well. Amanda Peet, hmmm, not sure how I feel about her character. This is definitely must see tv for me though. I'm not sure Aaron Sorkin can write sketch comedy so I hope he leaves the episodes to the characters with the show as the backdrop. Love Timothy Busfield, wish he had a larger role but they do make the most of his camera time. D.L. Hughley, wonderful. Love watching him, another character that needs more screen time. I hope NBC stands behind this show because it deserves a chance to find an audience. Oh and I love the countdown clock!

Kidnapped-I saw the first episode, enjoyed it more than I expected to. Can you tell I don't really think I'm going to like the new tv shows? TV tends to let me down all the time. But back to Kidnapped, another must watch for me right now. I think the story has been set up to have a lot of twists and turns. Kind of 24esque but not as big a ripoff of 24 as some other new dramas like Vanished. Vanished did not hold my attention. They didn't make me care about the characters in the first episode or two. I just watched the second episode of Kidnapped at It held my interest and I'm looking forward to the next episode. I wasn't able to watch it in real time this week because of Project Runway. I love that is giving people an opportunity to view the shows online. I hope that it helps shows with good writing time to find their audience before they just up and cancel them.

Plan to give 30 Rock a chance and a family must watch is Deal or No Deal, but we're pretty evil and usually root against the contestant. Horrible I know. We were discussing the fascination with Deal or No Deal because it's just dumb luck plain and simple and the spousal unit brought up the movie Quiz Show and how one of the characters said that people didn't care how smart the contestant was, it was all about the money. I guess that's absolutely correct where Deal or No Deal is concerned. You can't plan a strategy, you don't have to be smart, it's luck and all about the money.

I missed the season premiere of the Gilmore Girls, I'm interested to see what path the show will take since the main writer and creator is no longer associated with the show.

I think I missed the season premiere of Veronica Mars too. It's up online somewhere.

I'm usually pretty bad about keeping up with things that are on tv but this year I do believe I might have some solidly scheduled tv time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Missy-the Work In Progress Slayer

"Into each generation a slayer is born"*

This time it's Missy, SAHM.
And together with her stitching friends and blogging buddies,
and her watcher(i.e. bank account),
she's out to save her WIP from the UFO pile and
frogs and any other form of darkness
that might afflict the aforementioned projects.

Yes, it's that time of the year, the time when stitchers look at their pile of WIP and UFOs and cringe. They review the projects they've started during the year, what they had hoped to accomplish, and how far they have fallen behind because they have to have a life.

Here's a list of projects that I have started, I think it's probably missing one or two but I hope to slay quite a few of these before the end of the year. I have included every project that has been started even if the only stitches in them are the center start stitches.

It's ugly, prepare yourself:

WIP as of 9-26-2006 in no particular order

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow-Carriage House Samplings
Dragon Isle-Stitchworld
13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3-By the Bay
Lady of the Flag-Mirabilia
Mermaid of the Pearls-Mirabilia
Coffee Menu-Little House Needleworks
Fantasy Triptyche-Teresa Wentzler
Trade Winds-Teresa Wentzler
Liberty Sampler-Hester's Needle
Sarah Tatum-Scarlet Letter
Mouline Rouge-Long Dog
With My Needle-Good Huswife
And They Sinned-Examplar Dames
Fairy Grandmother-MLI
Wendell the Warlock-Mosey N Me
Vinnie Von Fang-Lizzie Kate
Remember Me on Halloween-BOAF
Always Be a Wildflower-Samsarah
Sunflower House-Blackbird Designs
Monkey Sampler-Midsummer Night Designs
Magic in the Morning-Dragon Dreams
Desiderata-Indigo Rose
Cowboy Boots-Designworks
Folk Heart Needleroll-ShepherdsBush
Arabian Woman-Lanarte
Garner Dragonfly-Dimples Designs
Haunting Mermaid-Carriage House Samplings
Two Shall Be as One-Lizzie Kate
Medieval Mermaid-Midsummer Night Designs
A Very Fine Sampler-Birds of a Feather
Sarah Hook 1824-Carriage House Samplings
Bird in Hand-Hands to Work
Home of a Needleworker-Little House Needleworks
Celtic Banner-MLI
Monthly Snappers-Bent Creek
FInger Lakes Sampler-Bright Needle
1798 Quaker Sampler-Goode Huswife
Border Study in Red-Heron House(old issue of Stitchers World)
My Needle Doth-Bright Needle

That's 39 WIP! No I'm not promising not to start anything new before the end of the year because I have some ornaments I want to stitch, a few smalls, you get the idea. I'm not pledging to not buy any more stash because when I finally get over to Needle Delights, I have a long wish list to make a dent in. But I do plan to work as hard as I can on the projects listed above so I can have a fun, fun, fun, guilt free January.

Let the slaying begin.

*my sincerest apologies to Joss Whedon

Thanks to everyone for the comments on my previous post. They are appreciated more than you know.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Letter From:

Property Owners
Lot 6
Hawk Run Hollow
North West Florida Development

Dear Melissa

Back in July you confidently informed us that an August completion of our house was easily doable. Here it is September 21, and you have virtually abandoned our property. The first floor appears completed but the stairs lead no where. You've partially landscaped and the vegetation appears to be dying from your neglect.
We have been in contact with people that are informed as to your most recent movements and it appears that you have abandoned this development for a new career in signmaking:

The progress on the development was so close to reaching completion that we can't believe you have left us hanging like this. Please, come back, finish the job, we need a roof, we need another tree. I know that the constant darkness on this particular lot (we were told the trees shaded the property well but we had no idea we'd never see the light of the sun, ever) can be a problem but there are quite a few artificial lights that can aid you in the completion of our house.

Please do your duty, finish our house. The neighborhood has said that if you just complete our house, no one will stand in your way when it comes to the development of the Village of Hawk Run Hollow. We don't approve of your work habits. You tend to get distracted much too easily, but if you will please finish our house, we will over look that and promise not to shop at the Store Who Shall Not Be Named in the next town. We will give all our business to the Village and will support you 100%, just please finish our house. The neighbors are complaining about the couch on the front porch and the tent in the front yard.


Lot 6 Property Owners

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Playing Catch Up

Things have been a little busy around here. Thursday was our 21st Wedding Anniversary. More on that late. Below you can see my progress on LHN Coffee Menu. Here it is posed with cilantro and an unhealthy looking basil plant. A few years ago I spent a summer stitching all kinds of Halloween designs and then didn't really know what I was going to do with them. Inspiration hit, I turned them into a quilt. I tacked it up on the wall to admire my handwork, see where I needed to even things up before adding a border and backing and was horrified. You see, I knew it looked a little wonky. It's a wacky Halloween quilt but I never dreamed it was wonky as what you see in the picture. The saddest part is that while I say I wasn't being anal and wasn't really trying to get it exactly straight, I lied. OMG! I had no idea I sucked at quilt making this much! I really was trying to sew straight rows even though the blocks are all different sizes. I WAS TRYING!
Yes, I'm still knitting warsh rags. Here's the latest one in progress. I think I'll probably knit these things forever!
For family reading this blog who probably don't care about my crafty endeavors, some kid pics. Here's the spoiled one on the first day of school.
Here's the oldest on the first day of school. I didn't edit out the cars in the back so that people can see that not all of our cars are in the same condition as the dearly loved improbability drive in the background behind the spoiled one.
Since the middle son refused to let me snap a first day of school pic of him, here he is concentrating on his newest obsession, making the weight lifting team come January. The spousal unit would also be pictured but he was shirtless since he had just mowed and no one really needs to see that!
Everyone say "Bonjour Claudette!" No wonder this geranium hasn't survived. It's a kitty bed.

Coming Soon Project Runway chatter!