Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Liesie and I were up pretty early today. I wanted to make sure that I took care of errands early before holiday traffic started up. I consider this holiday one of those where it is not really safe to be on the roads. It just does not feel safe to be out. Unfortunately, I was out of meal options in my refrigerator and had to go to the grocery store. So out the door we went after our walk. I also got to stop by the library and picked up a stack of books to hunker down with for the weekend.

I love the library. I am fortunate enough to live in an area that supports its libraries and I am happy to say that I have access to three different library systems in my immediate area. It was so nice to be amongst the books. Sometimes it still amazes me that they let me walk out of the door, borrowing the same books that cost a fortune to buy at the mall. The library is a magical place. We got home and were both tired from our outing, so I climbed under my blankets to read with Liesl napping next to me. I ended up falling asleep, but it was very cozy. By the way, don't you hate it when you doze off for a nap, then figure out that the sound is that is waking you up is actually your own snoring?!

I am wondering if I will make it to midnight tonight. It is way past my bedtime. I think I might just kiss my little bearded, furry companion for the New Year in the next few minutes, then call it a year. I do not feel the need to count down the seconds like I used to when I was younger. 2009 had been a tough year, and I have great hope for 2010, not just for myself, but for those who need a job, a place to live, a meal, or a second chance in life.

Liesl and I wish you much joy, peace and prosperity in 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'Tis Done

Here it is, all done. I think it looks much prettier in person. I am looking forward to having it framed. It will look so cute in my kitchen. This now poses the dilemna of starting a new project. I poked through my boxes of kits and think I will be starting an Altoid tin, but it is more of a transition project to something bigger.

It has been rainy on and off here this week. This makes for nice stitching weather. I am also getting reading done. It is so hard when you love reading as much as you love stitching. It is also hard when I keep running across "must read" winter reading lists. I have had a love of books since I was a kid. I love classics mostly. There are some really outstanding contemporary authors, too. I live in John Steinbeck country (I have been to his home in Salinas!) so he is one of my all time favorite authors. I love pretty much everything he has ever written.

I am leaving 2009 and looking forward to 2010 with a sense of gratitude that is very profound. An experience of this past week, has deepened my faith in God and my love of my family and friends. I see myself as so profoundly blessed and fortunate. I am truly blessed for all that I have through His grace. I am really lucky that I have my little Liesl. She has taught me so much about unconditional love and loyalty. My family and friends have been there through some really hard times and are just beautiful people, and I am so grateful for each of them. I have felt God's comfort through some difficult circumstances. I am truly blessed many times over.

I wish you many blessings in the New Year. May you have joy, peace and laughter in the year ahead.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Today has been a really amazing day. There was just a small group of us at work, and the phone was not ringing, so I got a lot of work done. Our church service was very early this year at 5:00 pm, so I left work early to make it on time. The church was packed! I was the Assisting Minister tonight, something I do often for my church. I really love to do the holidays the best though. I love the formality of the church services on holidays. It was so beautiful tonight. I love the lighting of candles and the singing of Silent Night in the darkness of the church.

This is my first Christmas alone, ever . I have wonderful friends who have extended invitations to their holiday celebrations. Tonight I had the pleasure of spending the evening with my old friends from church, Sandy and Mike, their family and friends. They have always been like a second family to me and I just adore them both.

Many members of the Lutheran church are of Scandanavian or German descent. Mike is of Norwegian ancestry. So tonight their amazing menu was a traditional Norwegian menu. It included salmon, potatoes, red cabbage, a delicious salad with raspberries and these incredible Norwegian meatballs. Mike shared that there is tradition involved in the making of the meatballs. My friend Sandy, had made the traditional Krumkakkes by hand today and she served them with peppermint ice cream. The dinner conversation was about the traditions of Norway, Norwegian trolls, and their trips to Norway. I felt so blessed to be a part of it. They have such a wonderful family and great friends. I had a really wonderful evening.

My little puppy girl is fast asleep in her blankie. She has been a good girl so she is ready to see what Santa leaves for her in the morning. Santa went to Petsmart yesterday and all of the Christmas toys were 50% off and fully stocked. So she got a couple. She also received one yesterday too, because I realized that yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of a little skinny, ragamuffin four month old puppy trotting into my life, and my life has been so much better ever since. She does love toys so she will be happy tomorrow morning. She also has to have a little bath, so I will try to post pics.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Accessorizing Your Cross Stitch

I found myself in Marshall's tonight looking for a gift. I love Marshall's because I always find extraordinary things at a great bargain. I really do not like to shop, as I prefer to stay home and stitch, or play with my dog, or read, spend time with friends, etc. However, as I was looking around, my eyes landed on this dandy piece of crockery. When I saw it, all I could think was how lovely it would look in my kitchen along side my red cherry sampler. It is about as long as my Peterboro breadbasket in the back of the photo. The price: $14.99. When I looked inside, I saw that it is made by Fitz and Floyd. I decided to make this a small present to myself. What I love about it: 1) Hello, it is red! 2) It has a very elegant vintage 1940ish look to it. I think this will end up being one of my forever treasures.

It has been very cold and windy today. I have walked Liesl while I was wearing my big down jacket. It is not a very pretty jacket, and I sort of look like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man in it, but it gets the job done. I even had to wear my little gloves. On the other hand, Liesl is impervious to the cold, and gives me the hairy eyeball if I even think about getting out her little coat.

I have not had a chance to stitch today. I came home bone achingly tired. I had to go get my hair cut after work, then ducked into Marshalls and Target. I am not insane enough to have braved Costco. I know my own mental limitations. I came home, made a hot dog, cuddled my puppy girl and dozed off on the sofa.

Well, I am off to dreamland...again...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday...

Wow! What a day. I hit the ground running today. It was a wild ride. With the holiday this week, there was a lot to get done in less time. In addition to that it was raining this afternoon. I am feeling best about the fact that I did get my mom's present into the mail. (Oh, yeah, Mom, I did not get to call you, but be on the look out for a package. :) ) The only other thing I had to do was run by Napa Auto Parts and pick up spark plugs and wires, because a friend is going to tune up my car for me on Wednesday. I can not say enough nice things about the nice people at the Monterey Napa Auto Parts. They were so helpful and so professional. If I looked confused about anything they were talking about, they took the time to explain it to me in a very professional way.

I was looking forward to coming home and stitching. After this weekend's culinary adventures, I had lots of yummy leftovers in my fridge to heat up for dinner. Then played with my sweet little Liesl and her stuffed Ladybug for a while. She loves that ladybug. It's face is chewed off, because she does not like her toys looking at her, but it is love nonetheless. After she felt that we had played a suitable game of tug of war, and chase the ladybug, she deemed it time to be tucked into her blankie, and I got to stitch. I am so close to being done. I have the place picked out on my wall and everything.

I love this sampler. It is on aida, and I am an admitted linen snob, but this just looks right on the aida. It looks very vintage and the fabric lends itself to looking like it belongs. Now I have to start thinking about the next project. Perhaps I will go back to the tea cozy. I will have to get a new teapot for it.

Well, tomorrow is another wild day, so I am off to dreamland. PS: For some reason I am craving Key Lime Pie. (could it be the overdoing it on chocolate?) I may have to make one this weekend. I love Key Lime Pie.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Near Perfect Weekend

Life has been pretty crazy this past week. I had a final for my online macroeconomics class, which had me totally stressed. I also sing with the local symphony's chorus, and our performances and rehearsal fell this week, too. Wrap that up with the whole Christmas season stuff, and I have been one stressed out mama.

After getting through the week, the weekend came with our first performance at the Carmel Mission. It was magical. I saw several people I know in the audience, and they later told me they really enjoyed it.

After the late night, I slept in with my Liesl yesterday. We woke up to the weather being absolutely beautiful, warm and sunny. So after running my errands, I called my girlfriend to see if she wanted to walk her dog with Liesl and I. We walked along Monterey Bay in Pacific Grove. We were so busy chatting, that I did not realize until we said goodbye and I got back into my car, that we had been walking for an hour and a half. Liesl and I were way tired. We got home and curled up on the sofa for a nice long nap. It was quite luxurious. Waking up hungry, I remembered that I had some potatoes that were getting ready to turn in the fridge, so I decided to make potato soup. I did not have all of the ingredients on hand, so I had to improvise. This soup ended up being so darn good that I had two bowls and looked forward to having more for lunch today. After that great day I still had my performance in the evening. It ended up being even better than the night before. It felt so good.

Today was an incredible day. I had accidently overslept, so I hopped out of bed and ran around to get ready for church. I happened to look at my email on my Blackberry, and saw that I had an email from an old friend that I have not heard from in a long time, and who I really miss. It was such a blessing. I also received an email from a new friend and felt blessed again.

I have lost about 20 pounds in the last six weeks, and today on a lark I pulled out a pair of pants that were a size smaller than what I have been wearing. They fit! It felt so good. I made it to church on time to see that it was Christmas pageant day. Okay, there is not much cuter than little children dressed as angels, shepards and wise men, all singing. I also got to visit with some wonderful friends for a while. I ran home thinking about my potato soup, and had a big delicious bowl sitting on the steps in my yard, watching Liesl play. It made my heart sing with joy. After that, we curled up for yet another long nap. I got to putter around the house, then made an awesome stir fry for dinner. (I had two bowls!)

It truly was a pretty much perfect weekend. I have had so many blessings this weekend and I am so grateful. I sat down and thought about what I could do to end this weekend with the same spirit, so I pulled out my stitching. I was looking at where the supposed error had occurred and then realized that I had been looking at the wrong page earlier and there really is not an error after all. I have been happily stitching away with a cute little dog sleeping next to me on the sofa. One of my favorite comedy movies was on earlier and then got to stitch to the Food Network. Perfection. So many blessings today and yesterday.

Wishing you many blessings in the week ahead.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Whoa, Nelly! It is COLD! It is supposed to be in the 20's tonight. I have my sweats on with my big woolie socks, a cup of hot cocoa, and a big wool blanket. Liesie is under her little pink blankie all snuggled in. I am getting ready to stitch or rather to pull out some stitching. I really like this sampler and look forward to having it as part of my decor.

It is really nice to have a cozy evening like this. I came home and made a cup of tea and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. It was already cold and still wet from all of the rain today, so it was nice to warm up. I got to play fetch and tug of war with Liesl for a while. It was nice to have a quiet evening at home and my feet are warm, which makes me happy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Liesie Pic!

This was taken a few months ago, but here she is, full of the business, as usual! She is a bit bummed today because it is a rainy day, and she is a sugar cube, subject to melting if touched by raindrops. LOL She has, however, gone out between showers and found mud. As a result, she has now been in the bathtub twice today (thank goodness she is only 17lbs!) getting her little puppy feet washed off before they touch the carpet. She knows to stop when she comes in so I can check her footies before she marches onward.

It was a good day today. It started at church where we are working on a couple of choir pieces for Christmas week. Our pastor gave a really outstanding sermon. It was one of those that you can't get out of your mind all day. After church, my sweet DD took me to lunch and we poked our heads into Macy's. It was so cold today and started to rain, so we said our good-byes and I came home, made hot cocoa and blasted the heat.

I still need to deal with the issue of my sampler. Pam, I think you are right. I had a bad feeling that I was going to have to pull my work. Just knowing it is off center will drive me nuts. I just have to make sure there is not a red shadow from the thread when I pull it out. It won't be so bad and really, I am so close to finishing anyway and ultimately it will be better to know it is done right. Thank you for the advice!

Enjoy your work week and be safe!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh, Yeah, Now I Remember...

In one of my recent posts, I said that I could not figure out why I had put that vintage alphabet project away with so little left. I have finished the top border and was happy for about five minutes. On that top wavy border, (which will have more red circles in between the loops) I am one stitch off all the way back to the start of the border. Grrr. Now comes decision time. Do I leave it as it is, and hope that it all works out in the end? Or do I rip the top border out (and hope that the red thread has not stained the fabric) and start all over. Of course, I briefly considered putting the piece, pattern and all parts of the kit, back in the bag and putting it back in the box, but I still think it would look so cute in my kitchen now. So any helpful suggestions from stitchers would be appreciated.

With a week of winter storms coming up, I am thinking about my upcoming stitching projects since I will be staying in, and not venturing out into the wet weather. I would really like to make some nice scissors fobs for my little collection. I found some old flower frogs that I can display my Ginghers in. I would like to be able to have the fobs on the scissors, too. I have always done huge projects so the idea of some small projects is appealing. I am also thinking that an evening of looking at all of my JCS ornament issues is long overdue so that I can set about making some new ornaments to share.

Hope you have a warm and cozy weekend!