Sunday, February 28, 2010

Staycation Is Over

Well, I have come to the end of my staycation. It was really fun, and I think I have taken more walks and naps than anything. I had a cold all during my vacation, but even that is okay. It is still hanging in there but it should only be a few more days. It could have been worse, I could have had to work with a cold.

I got everything accomplished that I wanted to on this time off. I have had some things that just piled up. Plus I got some stuff organized around the house, in particular that craft room/office. I got to vacuum the floor today, since I could see it. LOL Liesl just keeps trotting off into that room with purpose, which makes me wonder what she is up to. I just find her sitting in there. I still need to put some pictures up in there, but I will take care of it next weekend. All in all, I just feel like a huge burden has been lifted now that all of this stuff got taken care of.

I am really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I have really missed all of the people I work with. Plus I really love what I do. I can't wait to get back into the swing of things. I think Liesl has really missed everyone, too. She has a certain routine there, and has lots of friends, both human and dogs. She will be happy to see her peeps.

I would highly recommend the staycation if you have never done this. It was so nice to sleep in and wake up in my own bed. It was fun to take my time cooking my dinner, and reading a book, staying up a little later and walking my neighborhood. It is so true that there is no place like home...

Saturday, February 27, 2010


First of all, our thoughts and prayers are with the people in Chile after the massive quake. We also pray for the people around the world in the path of Tsunami waves. It sounds like people throughout the world have really worked hard on getting people to safety who are in the path of the tsunami. In fact, since I live within a mile of the Pacific Ocean, I received a message on my machine from the Office of Emergency Services to stay away from the beach. We pray for all affected by this situation.

I have had an amazing day. I met a good friend from church for lunch today. It was so much fun and we just chatted about so many things. We had such a long leisurely lunch. What a lot of fun!

The evening was even better. My kids took me out for my birthday dinner tonight. My heart is shining with pride for these kids. It was my son, daughter, son-in-law and me. Each one is doing so well in their lives. We just had so much fun, and laughed and laughed. We went to PF Chang's, one of my very favorite restaurants. It was such a special treat and they just made me feel so special.

You know when you move there is always that one room where the odds and ends all get put into? Well, that was my office/craft room. I am proud to report that I am almost finished. I just have one pile of papers to go through and it is done. The room is now functional. My house is 600 square feet, so not having use of one room was quite a bit. Now I can go in there. The reality was that I did keep the door closed to it so I did not heat it, but now it is starting to warm up, so I thinking I will be in there alot more. Yay! The funny thing was that I cleared stuff off the floor and put it onto the shelves. As soon as I was done, Liesl went in there and chose her spot on the floor. I think she is looking forward to being in there, too.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Trouble, Thy Name Is Liesl...LOL

This is what happens when a puppy momma leaves a bag of Liesl's cookies up on the counter. I have read before that if you leave food on a table and a schnauzer unattended, you may just come home to find your furniture rearranged. LOL. Little Miss Liesl decided that she needed to have what was left on the counter last night. The irony in this is that the bag of Newman's Own Organic Peanut Butter heart shaped cookies are actually Liesl's night-night cookies. They are the ones that I put on her puppy bed when it is time for us to go to sleep for the night. After her attempted robbery here, I offered her a cookie out of the bag. She looked at me like I had a geranium growing out of my forehead, because she thought I was making her go to bed. Schnauzers are creatures of habit and you just do not mess with their schedule. LOL
It was a good day today. We had a storm move in around noon. Liesl and I took an early morning walk again by the water in PG. The water was suprisingly calm and we had a nice walk. The picture here is of Lover's Point in PG. We came home, and I read my book. Okay, I held the book and fell into a deep sleep and had a long nap. I love vacation. Napping is awesome. I will totally miss my siestas next week when I return to work.

I got a little more work done in the craft room. Doing it in small increments seems to be the way to go, otherwise I get overwhelmed. It is finally taking form. Whoohoo.

I didn't get to stitch today between my reading and napping. That is okay. It was a really good day.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Staycation - Day 6

What a really great day. The weather was just beautiful, so Liesl and I started our day with another walk along the water in Pacific Grove. It was such a nice walk and we got our exercise in for the day. Liesie just trots along so happily. Then she also likes it when we stop and sit on a bench. She climbs right up on my lap and lets me wrap my arms around her so she does not shiver, and we just sit and watch the waves.

My cold is still making me feel rotten, but I needed to get some stuff done before the storm hits us. I actually made it into the craft room and got halfway done in there. Yay! I cleared some floor space because I was able to move two huge bags of clothes out of there. I have lost 25 pounds in the past few months, and so I went through my closet and dresser and got rid of the clothes that were way too big for me. So I took those bags to the donation stop, and went off to do my grocery shopping. After that I had to take care of business at the DMV. Once all of my errands were done, I decided to lay down to try to nurse my cold a bit. Liesl decided she was sick, too, and laid down with me. LOL I got under my blankets and got out my book. Next thing I knew, I was waking up from a long nap. Heaven.

It is supposed to rain really hard tomorrow, so I think we are housebound tomorrow. I would really like to rid myself of this cold. So perhaps it will be a pajama day. It will definitely be a stitching and reading day. I have finished the lettering on my Serenity Prayer and will be moving on to the vines and the pictures at the bottom. I am really pleased with it.

I am reading a really good book. I love, love, love, Barbara Kingsolver. I think she is an amazing writer. She has a new book out called "The Lacuna." It is so good so far. It is hard to decide between reading or stitching right now. Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Staycation Day 5

Another good day. I had lunch with one of my very closest friends today. We ended up sitting for a couple of hours and just chatting and getting caught up. It was so nice to have girl talk. She is one of the smartest people I know, and I really enjoy talking with her. I have been blessed with really incredible women for friends. They are all so incredibly smart and I feel like I grow a bit when I listen to them.

I got to stitch this afternoon and made a lot of progress on the Serenity Prayer. It is a really quick stitch. I love the serenity prayer and love how I feel centered when I say it. Liesl cuddled up on the sofa next to me while I stitched. My girlfriend at work has been telling me about this show on History channel called Madhouse. It is a reality show about racing modifieds in Winston-Salem, NC. This show is addictive. I finally had time to watch it on On Demand. It is a good show to stitch to. Lots of drama, too!

I love the Lenten season, and appreciate the 40 day introspective journey. On Wednesday nights we sing the Holden Evening Prayer service. It is so beautiful and I really appreciate the meditative quality of the piece. Tonight was the first one of the season.

We are expecting another huge storm to move in tomorrow night. I think I will get some grocery shopping done early, and hunker down with my puppy girl. I am supposed to have coffee with my extra cool girlfriend tomorrow, too. She is another really wise woman that I really enjoy talking with. The fun part of the staycation is that I am able to really spend time catching up with friends and not having to worry about the clock. I would totally do the staycation again. I think I may try it again during the summer. I am really having a great time. While I do love to travel, it is so nice to sleep in and wake up with my own pillows, and drink tea out of my own mugs. Liesl loves playing in her own yard. All of my stitchy toys are here and my books that I love. It is my own little piece of paradise. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Staycation Day 4 and Birthday

I had an awesome day. It was my birthday today, and my phone started going off at 7:15 this morning with text messages and phone calls. It really made me feel great. I was supposed to have lunch with a friend, but both of us have colds, so we opted to move it to later in the week when we are both feeling better.

I went to do a little shopping but it was raining so hard, that it just was not fun to be out. Liesl and I came home, where she promptly went down for a nap (I did too, later!) So I read and stitched a bit. I started Homespun Elegance's Serenity Prayer. It is done in beautiful colors and seems to be a quick stitch.

I got quite a few calls during the day, which really made me feel good. Then tonight when I went to my chorus rehearsal, the chorus (about 60 voices) sang "Happy Birthday" to me. It made me feel so good and it sounded so beautiful. I actually felt quite humbled by it.
I am meeting my one of my closest friends for lunch tomorrow. I am so excited. It is still supposed to be raining, too, but that is okay. I had hoped to get some hiking in on my vacation, but we can still get some good long walks in between showers. Liesl is just as happy napping. She has been thrilled about not getting up early for the past few days (she does not like to get up early.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Staycation Day 3

Well, I got two of the three items on my list accomplished today. I got my house cleaned, and Liesl got her bath. (She smells really pretty!) My craft room remains unorganized. sigh. But I still have later in the week. :)

Today was a beautiful day. It was sunny and beautiful. It is supposed to rain the next couple of days, so off we went to take a walk by the water. Liesl loves the trail in Pacific Grove, and I thought I would benefit from the salt air (I have a cold.) Liesl got so excited as I was getting out of the car, that she kept bumping into me so that I would get out faster. She is a pistol. LOL It was gorgeous out there. The water was really calm compared to a couple of weeks ago.

That last Shepherd's Bush kit was pretty easy, so I am thinking about taking out another one to work on. They really put nice materials in their kits, and the instructions are nice and clear. Sweet Pea was a joy to work, so it would be nice to give another one a try.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Staycation Day 2

Here is Shepherd's Bush "Sweet Pea." I finished all of the stitching today. I did not put the embellishments on yet because I have to iron it first. The very idea of pulling out the ironing board was more than I could bear while on vacation, so perhaps tomorrow...

It rained today, so Liesl and I were not able to walk today. I totally owe her tomorrow. The weathercaster says it will be partly sunny so we will have to go for it. Other than that I have to clean my house, bathe little Miss Liesl, and organize that craft room. I really mean it. My birthday is Tuesday and I really want to spend it in a clean house. LOL

While in my craft room tomorrow, I really have to pull together a project to enter in the fair. I am a bit late getting started so I need to pull one together right away. I am so concerned every year with the dwindling number of entries. So I really feel it necessary to build interest in the craft by keeping it in the public eye. I try to do my part by entering something in the fair every year.

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Staycation Day 1

What an awesome day! I did have a meeting at church for a couple of hours first thing this morning. However, I did get to sleep in until 7:00 first and have a cup of tea. I went to my meeting, picked up Liesie's prescription at the vet's, then did my grocery shopping and made it home by noon. We were expecting another storm, so I was trying to beat the rain. It was so gray and gloomy all day. The clouds looked really foreboding.

I had big plans of cleaning my house top to bottom today, including giving Miss Liesl a bath, and organizing the craft room. By the time I got home though, I just was not feeling it. I sat down and finished my book instead. Then Liesl came and cuddled up next to me and put her sweet little furry head in my hand, and fell asleep. She was just so sweet that I did not want to move. Next thing I knew I was waking up an hour later. It felt great.

This evening I made myself an awesome stir fry for dinner, then set about cleaning up my little stitching corner of the living room, which has gotten a little out of hand. That was when I stumbled across this little Shepherd's Bush kit in my pile. It is a really quick stitch and should be finished tomorrow. It is quite darling.

In addition to my reading and stitching, I got to look at some new blogs today. There are some really creative blogs out there. I feel really inspired to really start stitching more. I am also amazed by how many really beautiful freebies there are out there.

This is going to be such a great vacation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Last night was a tough one. I got into my car and started driving after work yesterday. I have to drive on a gravel road in order to get to the highway, so it always feels rough. It was not until I got on the highway that my car started shaking violently. I made a quick u-turn got back up to my office to see that my tire was unbelievably flat and torn on the sidewall. Fortunately, I received offers of help from my amazing co-workers, one of whom put my spare on for me. I was not able to get the tire replaced after work, but this morning I found a terrific tire place right in my neighborhood. They had my tire ready for me when I got there and had it on my car in 19 minutes.

It has been a rough few months, and I am a bit ashamed to say that last night I started to despair and wallow a bit after the tire episode. I woke up this morning, however, and realized yet again that God took care of me. I could have been on the highway and had the tire blow out. Instead I was in a place where there were kind people to help me. I realized yet again that I have been blessed. While I have had some bad stuff happen, I have had more blessings and kindness shown to me, and friendships deepen over the past few months. These things far outweigh the bad. This is what I take into the Lenten season.

Liesl and I have two more days of work before our staycation. I woke up worrying about the tire at 4:30 this morning, and then realized that I had this cute little dog snuggled up next to me and that next week I get to sleep in and enjoy the puppy cuddles without having to get up too early. She thinks that we should have extra Pupperoni on hand for the staycation. She is very food motivated, but then again so am I. LOL I am really looking forward to my time with her. It is supposed to rain for the first three days of our vacation, but that is okay. We will fit in walks, I can read, stitch, play in my craft room, nap, watch the races, play ball with Liesl and just go at our own pace. I am so glad I get to have my little companion with me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why The Winter Olympics Are Special To Me

It was eight years ago this week that I fell in love with cross stitch again. I had taken what I thought would be a small break seven years earlier. I had been working on MLI's Angel of Love and could not find the supplies or the time to finish it. It called for Kreinik braids and Mill Hill beads that I had looked for at Michaels for literally, years. I figured that the items were not available so I gave up and left it on the huge scroll rods in a pillow case, taking up space in my family room. As the internet started to grow and take claim, I finally emailed the Kreinik company asking if they had some old stuff in a back room that I could purchase. I was stunned to receive an email from Mr. Kreinik himself telling me of two stores locally that had the very braid that I needed. I really did not know that you could by supplies anywhere besides Michaels. I have since learned of lots of places I can buy cross stitch stash, thank you very much. LOL

Anyway, after collecting all of the supplies, I was planning a vacation up to Lake Tahoe and was renting a condo. I put my stitching in the car, so I could just finish the darn thing and get it out of my family room. The week that I was there, it just snowed like crazy, so I stayed inside and just stitched for the first time in years, while I watched the Olympics. Now whenever the Winter Olympics are on, I think about my Angel of Love and how it brought me back to stitching. Once I started up again, I could not stop.

I have stitched so many pieces since then. It brings me so much peace and happiness to stitch. My dad once told me that you should do one thing with your hands so that something of you will live on after you are gone. All I know is that it makes me happy when I am working on a project.

Hope you are happy, too!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Gorgeous Day!

Today's weather was fabulous! It was warm and sunny. Since we have had all of that rain, everything just smells so clean and fresh. I had an early meeting at church but met up with my friend and her standard schnauzer to go walking by the beach. If you have been watching the AT&T golf tournament you can see our waves here are so huge! Therefore, we could not go onto the beach (too dangerous!) We walked all over Carmel. It felt so good to be walking and outside. Liesl was so happy to be trotting around town again. She has had cabin fever with the rain, so she was one happy furgirl. I love to see her happy and smiling. Her little puppy smile lights up my heart.

Even though I had to get up early, I stayed up way too late last night watching the Olympics opening ceremony. It was so amazing. It was worth it, but I was dragging as I was driving home from our walk. Liesl was falling asleep in the car. I got home with my new stack of library books. (yay!) I looked at Liesie and asked her if we should take a nap. She thought this was a splendid idea. We snuggled up and slept for about 2 hours! Yikes!

With the weather being so beautiful, gardening is on my mind. I spent quite a bit of time on the Park Seed website. I would really like to plant some heirloom tomatoes. There are so many! Wow! It will be hard to narrow it down. Plus they have some great flower seeds on sale. That site is SO dangerous.

My staycation is in one week. I am so excited. I think I may just do nook and cranny cleaning of my house next Saturday so I can relax in a sparkling clean house. I am going through my patterns tomorrow during the Daytona 500 (Go Tony!) I think I will probably add gardening to my ever growing staycation bucket list of things I want to do. I am really excited!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Almost Friday!

Whoohoo! This is going to be one of those busy weekends, but that is okay! It is also supposed to be sunny and beautiful here. This usually means a nice long walk along the water with another friend and her dog. My usually dog walking buddy is at the Olympics this week (I am so happy for her, she is going to the opening ceremonies!) I will have to call someone else or Liesl and I can take in the scenery by ourselves. It's all good.

In addition to my usual chores and dog walking, I intend to go into the craft room this weekend and organize. I really want to get my box of patterns down so I can play with them. My vacation starts in a week, and I need to have a vacation project going. I am really excited about this. There is so much that I want to do on my vacation that it is filling up rather quickly. It is pretty fun to play at home and in Monterey County.

I really have to start pulling together a project or two to enter in the county fair. I enter every year and need to make sure that I do not miss it this year, even though I am a little behind. Textiles are the only thing I enter in the fair, but when I think about the fair, I tend to think about our local agriculture, which makes me start thinking about my own garden. I have some space to plant this year, so I am starting to think about what to put in for a kitchen garden. My dear friend gave me a little windowsill herb garden for Christmas this year. I would also like to put in some additional herbs, and some heirloom tomatoes. I love to garden and I think that I get enough sun that I can grow some things that I really like.

Enjoy your Friday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Today Is Tuesday, You Know What That Means

It's been about 35 years since I watched the old Mickey Mouse club, but that song still goes through my head whenever I hear someone say, "Today is Tuesday." There are quite a few songs I remember from that show.

While I having my little retro moment, look at one of the presents my Mom sent me for my birthday. (Thank you again, Mom!) It has the perfect vintage yellow of the 40's and 50's. The edging is a perfect blue/green. It will go perfectly with my red cherry sampler, which I am hoping to frame when I am on my little vacation. My kitchen is slowly going retro. This is a very cool development. Hmmm. The whole house may be made over inch by inch...

I am also going to have to look around for some retro looking schnauzer stuff. They were popular dogs, along with the scottish terriers, in some of the 40's knick knacks. I think it is most likely due to the lines of the dog and those wonderful beards. Liesl agrees that this would be a good addition to the decorating scheme.

Changing gears a little bit, I swear the rain had it out for me today. Anytime I went to walk outside, a downpour would start. I am hoping for clearing skies in the days ahead. Hope it is sunny and warm where you are!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Here Comes The Rain Again...

It has started up again. Tomorrow is supposed to bring a big new storm. I have stick straight hair, which immediately droops at any sign of moisture. I guess tomorrow morning, I will not put too much overtime into the curling iron process, since it will all go to waste by lunchtime.

I did not get to stitch tonight. Long time followers of this blog know that I am always taking a business class at the local community college. I take them online, and really enjoy them. Tonight was homework night. I also needed to study for a quiz. I was a little apprehensive about this class at first, but now I am really looking forward to it. It looks like I am going to learn alot.

I had a really good day today. I am really blessed because I have a job that I really love. I got a lot accomplished today. I am going to be taking my little vacation in a couple of weeks, so I am trying to get things done so that there are no loose threads when I leave. Liesl and I are still planning our time off. We plan on sleeping for the first three days. I may not get out of my pajamas. We will also include a few hikes and long walks on the beach, if it is not pouring down rain. I need to pick up some really good library books, and select a project to work on. Liesl just wants to play and nap. I am thinking that if it is not raining, I may try to drive down to south Monterey County to get some photos of the missions down there. There are a couple of missions that I would really like to visit. One is Mission San Antonio in King City. I really love the Spanish style architecture of these building and the artifacts that they contain.

I am really fortunate because I have a little dog that does not mind being in the car and going on adventures. She is a great travelling companion, although we will not really be travelling. She goes with the flow, and just likes being along for the ride. I just really like having her around. She truly is a joy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Quiet Saturday

Today was a really good day. I was a bit shocked to realize that Liesl and I had slept in until 8. It was another rainy day, so we kind of took our time getting up and moving about. I had a nice cup of tea, watched some cooking shows, and stitched. It was so nice. I did get my chores done, but I spent the better part of the day relaxing, reading and stitching. Liesl thought this was a splendid idea and just napped next to me all day.

It just poured today. In fact, as I write this, it is raining so hard that I can not hear my television. It is just coming down in torrents. I put off my errands that I have to do until tomorrow. Hopefully, the weather will have settled down by tomorrow.
But I digressed. I got to stitch for a while today. It was nice to sit with it raining outside, little snoring schnauzer next to me, a hot cocoa (made with 2% milk), and me stitching away. While Liesl and I were able to squeeze in a walk (two blocks from home, the skies opened up and poured on us!), we spent the rest of the day quietly indoors. I was so happy at 5pm to have Nascar start again for the season with the familiar, "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

This ME pattern is so sweet. I am thinking that it also would be so cute in a little frame. I was noticing that the pattern, although it is a kit, provides the DMC numbers, so I can make more in the future. It does look so cute. ME has a talent for picking really happy colors and combining them into a palette that is really bright and appealing.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ahhh, Peace and Quiet...

Well, our storm came in right on schedule. It has been raining steadily all evening, which has been kind of nice, actually. I had a special treat for dinner, so I did not have to cook nor do any clean up. As a result, I was able to sit down and stitch a wee bit earlier. I turned off the television at about 8 since there was nothing on. I just listened to the rain falling as I stitched. It was so nice and peaceful. The sound of the rain falling is so soothing.

I stitched for a while tonight on my Mary Englebreit card. I have the border done. I also looked through a pile of prospective larger projects. I will say that I do tend to favor BAPs, so I am thinking that perhaps I can do both the larger and smaller in a little rotation. It is just hard to pick a larger one. There are so many that I want to do. Everytime I think I am close to narrowing it down, I remember a pattern that I tucked away, or one that I saw in a magazine. I am not even going to mention that tea cosy that I started in October that is calling to me from my stitching bag. Ah, the guilt!

I am looking forward to getting some stitching done part of the weekend. NASCAR starts up again this weekend, too. This is awesome. I was looking at the photos from Media Day at NASCAR today. It is good to see everyone back and ready to race. I have a good feeling this is Tony's year. Go Smoke!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Stitching Evening

Whoohoo! 'Twas a lovely stitching evening. I was going to put that crockpot meal together, but alas, I was unable to get myself up early. Instead, I opted for hitting the snooze alarm this morning and have had no regrets. All was well, because I had frozen ravioli and a salad kit in the fridge, so dinner was still quick fix. I came home, put dinner on, threw on sweats, and cleared off my stitching corner of the sofa.

After sharing my dinner with a certain ravioli-loving dog, I set about to stitching. Tonight I was able to finish the stitching on my little Valentine scissor fob. Now I just have to finish it this weekend. I am trying to decide if I should bead the edges. I shall have to mull this over.

I had planned on running errands after work tomorrow, but we have a big storm moving in. Darn the luck. I shall have to stay home and stitch again. LOL. It is just supposed to pour buckets on us here. Liesl and I shall have to have a nice quiet evening at home. Hopefully, it will clear this weekend so we can go hiking. In the meantime, I shall have to look forward to a cup of hot cocoa, Liesl snoozing on the sofa and an evening of quiet stitching.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Whirlwind Day!

It was one of those days where your feet hit the ground running from the time you wake up! Busy is good, it keeps me out of trouble most days. I had planned on coming home and working some more on that scissor fob before I had choir practice, but it did not work out according to plan. I did, however, get to play with Liesl for a while and give her some nice cuddles before it was time to go. We also got out a little later than expected tonight, but we did some wonderful work on our music.

Tomorrow night though, it is on. I am thinking that I will make one of my favorite dishes, the Thai coconut beef dish from Stephanie's crockpot blog. That way I do not have to cook even. I can just come home,have dinner ready, get into sweats and finish my fob. It actually has four hearts at the center and then a cute border of little hearts, so it won't take long. I may work on my Mary Englebreit card, too. I am ready for an evening of stitching.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Cute Scissor Fob

As I was looking at one of the World's Largest Collection of Smalls blog, I came across this sweet little Valentine scissor fob. I absolutely love anything red. When paired with white, I just think it looks really crisp and vintage. This little scissor fob is just so sweet. Best of all, it is a freebie offered at Lenka's blog: Her designs are just lovely.

I got this far in only 40 minutes, so it is a really quick stitch. Now my challenge lies in which pair of scissors will get to wear it! I have several pairs of Ginghers and others that I just love. I am also thinking that it would look lovely on that black pair of scissors with the heart handles. I think they may be made by Kelmscott. So many choices...

Here is the really cool part of stitching this piece: I am using the leftover DMC red floss from my cherry alphabet. I went through my drawer of scraps for fabric. I did not have to purchase anything new, yet I will have something beautiful for basically free. Hmm, maybe that leaves funds for more scissors...
Happy stitching!