Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bittersweet Holidays

2oo8 has been a really trying year. We consider ourselves really fortunate as we still have jobs, a place to live and food in our stomachs. We are pretty lucky in general. However, we have had a really difficult year and hope for good things in 2009 for all people.

The worst thing of the whole year happened on Christmas Eve. During the day, my husband's mother was taken to the emergency room. We were terribly worried as it was the third time since Thanksgiving. That night I was the assisting minister for the Christmas Eve service at our church and made certain that she was included in the prayers. DH and I came home in a jovial mood and commenced to try to clean the house in order to give it some semblance of looking nice despite all of the moving boxes. Around 10:30 pm the phone rang with the news that Bob's beloved mother had passed away 15 minutes earlier (at 12:17 am Christmas Day, in her time zone.) The family is so sad and her children are brokenhearted. DH had been to see her in the midwest several times this year, due to the health issues of his dad. He had been there most recently right before Thanksgiving. Plans are being made for a memorial, but with the holidays and all, it is going to take quite a bit of time and planning.

We did proceed with the move as planned, and DH found keeping busy was quite valuable for him. We now sit amongst the boxes. The dog is a bit stressed but is settling in. I took her shopping today at Petsmart since the Christmas toys are 50-75% off. She got 3 new ones at $2 a piece. It tickled my heart to see her with them in a little pile and her covering them possesively with her little puppy arms, just smiling up at me with a radiant little puppy smile. There is something blissful about watching a dog with new toys.

In spite of all of the difficulties this year, I am so grateful. Grateful for my family, my friends, my terrific dream job, my sweet little dog, creative pursuits, fair ribbons, food to eat, knitting and shopping with my daughter, and living in a beautiful part of the world.

I pray that you will have good health and much prosperity in 2009. May your joy be boundless.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Moving The Cozy Cottage!

I have not posted in about two weeks now, with good reason, I swear. I really thought that life would slow down after my classes ended. I was picturing baking, stitching, and asundried hall decking. But nooooo. Sadly, the cozy cottage's landlady passed away earlier this year. (She was a really neat lady.) Her sons would like to sell the cozy cottage and have had several construction and painting projects over the past few months. However, they are planning a major construction project which involves finishing the basement and putting in a staircase through the interior of our house. Since it has been averaging in the 30's F lately, this scenario, plus all of the construction workers coming and going would make the cottage less than cozy.

So after the contractor and the landlord did a walk through of our house two Sundays ago, we put Liesl into the car and started driving around the neighborhoods that we like, looking for a new cozy cottage. The most important features would have to be that 1) it would be dog friendly and 2) there would be no sign of contruction, scaffolding, and tools near the place.

Just as we were giving up for the day, we decided to take a route up a street that we do not drive on much, on our way home. There was the perfect little house for us with a "For Rent" sign on it. Fast forward a couple of weeks and we are sitting amongst boxes. Moving day is next Saturday, two days after Christmas. We are excited but very stressed, as you can imagine.

This will be a good move for us. We will be closer to town. The craft room/office has really good light. The house has central heat. It is in a really good neighborhood. We really loved it here, but are getting excited about the new adventure. Plus I get to decorate a new living space. Fun!

I really miss stitching. It brings me so much peace, but my play time is at a minimum. I just keep thinking that a month from now, things will be much better and less stressful.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On A Cold Winter's Night...

Brrrr. It is cold. Like, 35 degrees cold. Like, oh my goodness, it is totally chilly. I have had a fire going all evening. It does not help the fact that I have a head cold and don't smell too good. LOL

And yet, I am happy dancing. I am totally finished with my classes for the semester. It does not seem real. I had to take my last test tonight, so now I can be one with my stitching again. The only problem is that my hands are too cold to stitch.

We have one by product of the cold that we are enjoying. We have had our little Liesl for about a year now. She is 16 months old. She has small moments of cuddling, but is basically too busy to sit still that long. She tends to prefer to sleep in her own comfy little bed. The last few nights have been so cold that she get up in the middle of the night and waits for her little elevator ride (daddy picking her up) so that she can get into the bed. She has been snuggling right under the covers and unapologetically shares my pillow. It has been pretty nice. She generates alot of heat. She has been very cuddly.

I am super duper excited about tomorrow evening. My daughter and I are meeting for sushi and then doing a little shopping together. I think it will be so much fun. She has become an accomplished knitter, so we get to talk about crafts. Perhaps we will even go to the new Michaels. Yay!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Yesterday, I wrote my last brief for my business law class. Now I just have the two tests tomorrow and I will be D-U-N, done! I can not wait.

I actually got to stitch today! It was awesome! I finished the forearm and some of the stitching in the hoop section on the Lady of the Thread. As I looked at the pattern, it looks like there are large blocks of color, so stitching actually goes quickly. It is stitched on 18 ct black aida. This presents an interesting challenge, eyesight-wise. LOL

In any case, it was really nice to stitch. My hubby lit a nice fire today so I was able to warm my feet while I stitched. It was so nice. My next class is not until March 31 ( a compressed course) so I have some time to stitch after the holidays. I could not believe it until today how much I have really missed it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm Having Issues...

I am not usually the kind of person that has multiple projects going at once. I am an accountant and pretty linear in my thinking, so I finish one project before I start the next.

The hardanger doily is driving me nuts. I think because I tend to have to rush through my stitching, the buttonhole, turning the corner stitch has me all dazed and confused. I have had to frog the same stitches over and over. Since it is pearle cotton, it is a total drag to try to pull out. I think it would be best if I try to work on it after the holidays when I have time to concentrate.

The guilt is killing me. In addition to be an accountant, I am also Lutheran. We can do guilt like no other. LOL I feel like I am wasting money by not seeing the project through to the end.

I was going through my box of kits (another producer of guilt.) It was like Christmas. There were a lot of things in there that I had forgotten about. I ended up pulling out my kit that I bought on a ridiculous clearance of about $10 at the Stitchery several years ago. It is a full kit of Lavendar & Lace's Lady of the Thread. I love MLI's work and have wanted to stitch this for a long time. It is on Aida and I usually prefer linen, but I really think it will be lovely. I have a fetish for stitching fruit so I love the little fruit boarder.

In a way, it is better that I am starting something new. Since the other project was becoming a drag, I was avoiding it. As a result, I was not stitching anything. This way I can at least be working on something before coming back to my little challenge.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Love Stitching And All, But...

About a month ago I saw a blog that had a stitcher holding up her finished project. It was a huge stitched version of the Sistine Chapel. It was absolutely stunning. She is a much better woman than I.

I love big projects. I really do. I have stitched three L&L angels, a huge Permin sampler, the Celtic Sampler, as well as several other large pieces. In fact, I favor big projects. However, these projects pale in comparison, size-wise. The finished Sistine Chapel is about the size of my fireplace. Wow!

Fast forward to tonight. I was fiddling around on Nordic Needle and saw the Sistine Chapel on sale. The regular price was $645 but it was on sale for $451. I was telling my hubby that it must be some kind of kit. But no, I was mistaken. That was just for the pattern. Holy moley! I am just wondering where and how you find a piece of fabric that size. It boggles my mind.

Evidently, I was not feeling it for doing my last homework assignment tonight. I sat down and could not bring myself to review a case and start writing a brief. The dog was cuddling on the sofa with us, so I just wanted to sit and relax with the mister and our furgirl. I ended up fussing around on the laptop looking at cross stitch. Most productive. LOL