Monday, December 31, 2007


The Saturday before last we had a rainy day. Nothing special, just nice soaking rain that we needed big time. I'm a weather geek. I'm one of those people that runs out in the front yard checking the clouds for spin when the sky looks stormy. This particular Saturday I was enjoying being in the house, listening to the rain and stitching. The middle son says, "Hey mom, the umbrella just blew off the table. HAHAHA. I get up I walk to the French doors, I look out, hmm, the wind is kind of strong. The doors start rattling, they've been kind of warped ever since Hurricane Ivan, I hold them closed. My metal patio furniture that is by no means lightweight, starts to blow across the back yard. The iron table flips over and moves across the yard a bit. The doors are being pelted with leaves and other debris, just as I'm thinking to myself, is that spinning, it stops. So you'd think the story would be over. About ten minutes later I wander outside to get my umbrella--this picture was taken the next day......but

From my backyard I can now see everyone's backyard all the way to the end of my road.

Yes, this picture uploaded twice---but you get the point....

I walk out front and all my neighbors are wandering around wondering what the heck just happened. We weren't even under a tornado watch, much less a warning. Oh wait, I run back in the house for the camera and the Emergency Alert System is telling us we're under a tornado warning, well golly gee, thanks for the timely heads up.

Trees and branches were down all over my road. Mailboxes were relocated. I fortunately, as stupid as I am, was lucky enough to not have anything fly through the window and I wasn't whisked away like Dorothy. It was a little too close for me though. It was a tornado, regardless of how small, and I was standing at the backdoors holding them closed as it passed through my backyard.

I'm a weather geek, I got served. Fortunately for us we lost no siding, no shingles, not one tree branch. Just one patio umbrella(that was really a beach umbrella). Compared to my neighbors we were so lucky. I started shaking about thirty minutes later when it really hit me that a tornado had come through my backyard and I was clueless.
Freakiest thing that happened: I'm wandering the backyard, something is missing. Hmmm, something's not right, the wicker chair under the tree, it's gone. Completely vanished. We look all over, we finally see it in the woods, I was carried up and over a dropped way behind a tree that kind of leans. Bizarre.
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas or if you don't celebrate Christmas--a Happy Holiday.
Ours was good. My turkey completely cooked, as opposed to the Thanksgiving bird that refused to reach any thing resembling "done". To this day I don't know what happened with that bird. I redeemed myself with the Christmas meal.
Happy New Year to everyone and thanks for reading and stopping by "the Ranch".

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More Ornaments

The mailman has been very good to me this week:

This is the ornament my friend Bonnie made for me. How pretty is that? Below you can see a picture of the back. I love this cardinal fabric. It's beautiful!

Here's the biscornu my friend Sharon sent me. Sure it's pretty, but oh my gosh, if ya'll could just smell it! I just want to suck the smell right up inside me and never smell anything else again. It's all cinnamony and happy smelling.

Now here is the tree, no it's not our real tree, just a little three foot tree that I set up on the table next to my stitching spot to hold the ornaments I recieved in this year's swap:

I wanted to show it all lit up but that picture is not so great, not that any picture on this here blog would any photography awards, so here's one where I used a flash:

What? You want to know about the crocheted garland*? Well it's all Anna Maria Horner 's fault.

She had a post on her blog: Anna Maria Horner: Fancy and Not and creating this garland became my obsession. I didn't email her to ask her how she did her's. I just kind of made up my own deal. The ribbon is three rows of single crochet, and then edged in single crochet all the way around. I probably should have made it with just one row of SC, two tops. It's kind of wide. I googled flower patterns and went through my friend Pam's collection of Annie's Crochet Newsletter magazine and used those for the snowflakes. This was a lot of fun to make and I do believe one of my goals for next Christmas is to make a garland like this for the big family tree.
And yes I do realize this little tree is very much a Charlie Brown tree, but I through it all together pretty fast and made the garland on the fly but I do think the finished results are kind of sweet.
Now for the "I hang my head in shame" moment, we won't be putting up the family tree until tonight! This month has just gotten away from us and everybody has been going in a million different directions so tonight we will be putting up the tree finally.
*forgot to add that I crocheted the garland and the snowflakes with Peaches & Creme White kitchen cotton

Friday, December 14, 2007

11 Days 'Til Christmas

Some days when life is just a struggle, we won't talk about last week, 'K, it's done, past, by gones. But there are times when the UPS guy surprises you by leaving an unexpected package by the door. The picture below is what I found on my front door step yesterday. A while back a stitcher was in search of an OOP chart, I had already stitched it, wasn't going to stitch it again so I sent it to her. Decluttering and helping out a fellow stitcher, a good thing. She stitched the mermaid ornament below for me as a thank you. She really shouldn't have, but I love it and am so glad she did!

The Only Bit of Christmas Around These Parts:

Yes, they are hanging on my potted sago palm, which is in need of repotting, but we don't have our tree up yet so this is the next best thing. The ornament above is from my friend Siobhan. The ornament below is from my friend Sandy:

The ornament below is from my friend Janice:

The ornament below is from my friend Elaine:

We will not mention that I still have to get their ornaments in mail. This weekend, this weekend. As much as I love swaps, I procrastinate over the finishing and I can't do that. I make square ornaments, they are square, that's a positive right? Finishing intimidates me like nothing else.

The Much Anticipated
Second pair of lounge pants:

How neat is this fabric? I tried very hard to get pictures of them in the Scooby Doo fog we've been having down here, you know a pirates coming out of the mist kind of deal, but guess what? It's hard to get a picture of anything in pea soup fog, DUH to me! Yes the lady at JoAnn's thought they were going to be for a little boy. Nope they are just for a forty-something woman with a pirate fetish.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Whoops! Didn't mean to leave you all hanging. It's amazing in this age of advanced technology all the things that can go wrong with a camera, a computer, and that old standby "human error".

With any luck I'll have pictures of the lounge pants tomorrow. My stars have not been lucky lately so we'll have to see how things unfold in the next 24 hours.

The only stitching getting done is ornament swap stitching and once again with any luck those should all be in the mail Monday. Only a little behind schedule here at the ranch.

Currently I'm thinking about how the stitching will flow in 2008. I'm looking forward to picking out a few new projects and revisiting some UFOs. Can't do any of that until the ornaments are finished and in the mail, but it is fun to dream.