Monday, January 31, 2011

January Is Over!!!!

Thank goodness. January is the craziest month of the year for business accountants because you are closing out the month of December, the fourth quarter of the year, and the calendar year. This means meeting some pretty important state and federal deadlines. Needless to say, it has been a bit exciting. I am happy to say though that I got the last 1099 out with an half an hour to spare today. I actually left work at 5 pm for the first time in about a month. The adrenaline also stopped pumping for the first time in a month. I got everything done that I needed to and it feels good.

I have been working late alot during January, and as a result I was out of groceries. I was out of bread, and had about 1/2 inch of milk left in the container as well as half a head of lettuce. So off I headed after work to my friendly neighborhood Trader Joe's. I totally heart TJ's. I celebrated meeting all of my deadlines this month with a goat cheese pizza. Yum. Being the classy chick that I am, I washed it down with Cherry Kool-Aid. :) Liesl knew which carrier had her TJ's puppy treats in it and made sure that I was aware that she would like to partake of some freeze dried liver. Delish. LOL

Poor Liesl must have been picking up on my stress for the past month, too. I was really racing hard to make my last deadline, a huge one at that. We both came home tired, but she came home, ate her dinner, played a little bit of hide and seek with me, then walked off to bed at 7pm, exhausted. She has been such a little trooper on those really long days at the office. I totally owe her a few walks on the dog beach. The next couple of weeks will be busy, too, now that we are in a new month, but nothing like January.

So, I did stitch tonight. I think this piece will go quite quickly. I also think it will be fun to stitch. It was nice to have time to sit and stitch. With Liesl in her bed so early, I was able to stretch out on the sofa, with the blanket and stitch away. Now I am going to read my book and hope to sleep restfully!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cozy Day

What a wonderful day. I had worked an event for a local non-profit last night and did not get home until about 10:45. It was about midnight before I was able to go to sleep. This is way past my usual bedtime (I am an early to bed, early to rise kinda girl.) So as a result, I did not get up until about 9:15 am, which was totally decadent. Liesl thought it was a splendid idea to sleep cuddled up in a cozy, warm bed while it poured outside.

I stayed in sweats all day, lit a fire in the fireplace, made a big breakfast and puttered around the house. I was feeling majorly guilty about missing church, but I had let folks know ahead of time that I had to work that event last night. I have been working so hard and have been a bit stressed by all of the deadlines I have had to meet at work, so it was really good to rest. The rain outside made it a perfect day for reading magazines and stitching.

I finally started Rosewood Manor's Star Spangled Banner. I have been wanting to start it for a couple of weeks, but it advises starting it in a corner rather than my usual center. This is rocking my world. Whenever I have done this in the past, it has not worked out well. Plus it is on a huge piece of fabric. So today, I finally did it. It has an eyelet stitch border as the starting point. It is fun now that I have finally started it, but I had to breathe deeply while I pulled my floss out of my Jammer box. I stitched away while I watched the reunion episode of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (my guilty pleasure.) There was also a "Pawn Stars" marathon on. Love it!

I wish I could say that I got more accomplished this weekend. At least I did get some rest and did get to stitch. As I have shared before, this is my year for really appreciating beauty of everyday life. I am happy to tell you that my camelias and my azaelea are blooming. They are so breathtakingly beautiful. If there is sunshine tomorrow morning, I will snap a photo so that I can share a sip of spring time with you.

May your week be blessed.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

For The Love Of A Dog

God does not you the dog you want, He sends you the dog you need. My fellow dog lovers and I say this all of the time. Before Liesl, I always thought that if and when I ever got a dog, it would be a little chihuahua that would lay in my lap and get carried around in a little bag, wherever I went. God had other plans. Liesl was four months old and the neighbor to my son, when her then owners approached my son and asked him if he knew anyone who wanted a dog. He said yes, and went to work selling the idea. She looked so small and so scared, and was content to just occupy a lap that first night.

That very next day, she was a bit more comfortable and showed that she was energetic, sassy, busy, funny and not really much of a lapdog at all. In fact, to this day, she will sit on my lap on rare occassions, if she is really tired, or not feeling well, or is scared. As a stitcher, I realize this probably would not work well anyway. She will snuggle next to me, which is still pretty nice.

She is amazing to me in so many ways. She is a total goofball, that makes me laugh out loud. She is playful, loving, and also really sassy. If she is dozing off and the television is a wee bit too loud, she will make a big show of marching off to the bedroom to go to sleep. LOL She can be very dramatic.

I realize yet again that God's plan is perfect. He sent along the dog I needed. One that gets me up and out of the house. Who makes me laugh, comforts me when I am sick, and challenges me, even when I am not in the mood for it. She seems to sense exactly what I need at any given time. When I was hurt in a car accident last year, she would go to the bathtub and jump in so I could wash her feet off if she came in with muddy paws from the rainy backyard (so I would not have to lift her). Coming through the door tonight I was greeted with my huge bouquet of puppy kisses. Kisses are not something that Liesl gives a lot of, so when you get kisses they feel really really special. She loves when you kiss her right on her sweet little head though. I realize every day that she is the perfect dog for me, and I thank God every day for sending her my way. She is exactly what I needed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I came across this photo of a Christmas gift I made one for one of my friends this Christmas,but did not get to share here. I put it in a small gold frame. I prefer to make small designs for friends in case what I stitch does not match their decor. I figure that a small piece can be put on a small spot on a desk or bookshelf.

It has been a really good week filled with many blessings. I inherited a cordless drill from a friend at work that got a brand new one. It was such a pleasant surprise. Another friend at work brought me a jug of my favorite juice. I got to spend time with some really wonderful friends this week. My little Liesl gave me lots of kisses for no reason today. And a friend that I have been meaning to call and catch up with for several weeks now, called me while she was waiting for her hubby to meet her for dinner. She said that she just wanted to say hi, miss you and love ya. It made me happy to talk to her. She is one of my really wise friends who gives some of the best life advice and has provided unwavering support in some of my worst times of my life.

Well, our temperatures in the 70s are a thing of the past now. The temperature dropped about 30 degrees, still not as cold as the northeast, but cold nonetheless. There was a cold wind that went right through you. So after work, Liesl and I came straight home and lit a fire in the fireplace. I cooked dinner, cuddled with Liesl in front of the fire, until she decided that the best place was directly in front of the fire. She promptly dragged one of her beds over there. This looked like a good idea so I got a blanket out to warm up under. I had full intention of stitching, but that would have meant sitting up, and hey, it's Friday and I am feeling cozy.

I am hoping to get to stitch tomorrow. I have work an event tomorrow, but it should be lots of fun. So hopefully, I will have some time to relax, too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

First of all, confession time. I love Cherry Kool-Aid. I do. I always have packets of it in my kitchen cabinet. I make it with Splenda. I like it better than soda. With the weather in the high 70's for the past week, it has been a nice treat. It has been unusually hot here. Usually in January we have freezes and lots of rain and mud. It is unnatural, I tell you.

Tonight was the first night in a few weeks that I got out of work while it was still light. It was so nice to drive home and see the beautiful colors in the sky while the sun was setting. Liesl rode with her little head poking out the window, mustache and beard flapping in the wind. She always looks a little hilarious when she turns and looks at me after she does that. Her muzzle will be all puffed up with her mustache hair going every which way. She always keeps a dignified, straight face when she looks at me, which only makes her look ridiculous. I think she does it on purpose.

Okay, something totally weird and freaky happened today. We have caller ID on our phones at work. Today my office phone was ringing, so I looked over to see who was calling. The number on the phone was MY landline home phone number! In that split second, it was amazing how many thoughts could go through my head. I was thinking that I knew I had set the burglar alarm. I was thinking that if someone had broken into my house, how and why they would call me at work? That was when I saw that the area code was different. How freaky is that! What are the chances?

Well, I am off to dreamland.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Good Customer Service

I had such a good customer service experience today. Liesl apparently got a little owie on her chin over the weekend. She had been acting a little off yesterday and now I know why. She is okay, but I did not want her to be in pain, so after work I ran by the local Rite-Aid store to pick up baby aspirin (the vet has given me a dosage recommendation based on Liesl's size and weight.) While I was there, I figured that it was a good time to put together a little first aid kit for Liesl as part of my emergency preparedness. I was looking for Benadryll because Liesl has a history of messing with bees. She snaps at them, and gets on their bad side. I could not remember what dosage the pill comes in so I went up to the counter. I expected a weird look from the pharmacy technician when I told her it was for a dog. Instead, she brought me to over to the antihistamine section to show me which Benadryll tablet she gives her dog and confirmed the dosage amount based on Liesl's weight. I was so grateful for her help.

I was so impressed that the pharmacy department was able to help me for my dog the way they did. She helped me to put together my little kit, and I feel a sense of peace that I am prepared for an emergency.

I guess the aspirin is doing its job. Liesl is sleeping peacefully, whereas last night she seemed to have a hard time getting comfortable. I am really happy to hear her content little puppy snores.

So now that Liesl is peaceful and resting, I am able to rest, too. I am getting ready to stitch and watch Pawn Stars. I love this show! I am still working on the little present for my friend and hope to give it to her this weekend.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Today was a nice, quiet day. I puttered around in my craft room/office for a while and put some things in order. I put all of my beads in one place and realized that I have more findings than I can possibly used. I really need to make some nice bracelets and necklaces.

I am stitching a little gift for a friend to give her a little lift. I can't post a picture right now on the off chance that she will check my blog, and I do not want to spoil the surprise. After I give it to her this week, I will definitely share a photo. It was nice to sit quietly and stitch. I also pulled some patterns out to give them a closer look to see if I want to put them in the lineup for this year. There are so many that I want to do, but alas, there is so little time...

I was happy to have a nice day at home. Liesl seems to really enjoy a day off at home, too. She got to play in her sunny backyard, chasing birds and digging for gophers. It makes her happy. The weather is still gorgeous here and it looks like it will be for the next couple of weeks. While this is nice, it is supposed to be our rainy season. This is of concern because it means we will either have some drought conditions this year or we will be pummelled with rain in February and March. Anyway, I caught my little Liesie-girl laying down in the sun several times in the yard. She looked so content being warmed by the sunshine.

I really love to see Liesl's smile and when she looks content. I love watching the unbridled joy of dogs running on the beach. I feel like I learn alot about happiness from watching Liesl. She doesn't just eat a cookie, she gets excited about getting one, then has to take it to just the right place to maximize the joy of eating her cookie. She loves the sunshine, the bliss of a good nap, and is excited whether we are going to work, the beach, for a walk or home. Everyplace we go is an adventure with a bounty of people to meet and things to see. She lets people and dogs that are her friends know that she is so happy to see them. She is just such a happy girl. I can learn alot from her.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fun Day

Whoa, Nelly. Last week was crazy! It was nice to sleep in this morning and then head off to the beach for Liesl's playdate at 9am. The weather has been crazy gorgeous and in the 70's for the past week. So the beach was perfect. She loved her new terrier friend. Her friend is only a year old, and was full of energy. Liesl, at 3+ years, was a bit more tired. She came home, took her bath, then fell asleep. Usually she chases the vacuum cleaner, but today she looked at me like I was making too much noise and left the room. LOL It was so much fun to watch them play and look so happy.

I have to admit that I was tired, too. I took a quick nap then started my chores. I had to reorganize my stitching corner. I had been putting stuff in my stitching corner that did not belong there, and stitching items in other rooms of the house. It was time to set it all right. I pulled all of the stuff out of there that does not belong there and put needles, scissors, etc. back in the right spot so that they are there when I need them. I don't like it when I need something and have to go on an expedition in the house to find them. So all is right in my world now.

My day ended by going to the symphony. It was awesome. The evening ended with the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3. It was incredible. My friend, who is an awesome musician in her own right, said that she felt so alive and awake after she heard it. The pianist was so amazing. I am so glad I went. I love classical music and this was spectacular.

So now I get to spend the last few minutes of the day with a small, beautiful little soul who was so happy to see me when I got home. We played for a few minutes and then she decided that she just wanted to have her neck scratched. She is so sleepy and is cuddled up to my feet. It is comforting to feel her warmth and look at her peaceful little puppy face. After all of the adventure of the day this is the perfect way to finish it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Weekend Is Almost Here!

Oh my goodness, I have had a busy week. I am looking forward to fun this weekend! One of the members of the chorus I belong to got a terrier a few months ago, so we have arranged a beach playdate for our pups on Saturday. Liesl loves to play with other dogs, and we are kinda hoping that our dogs will tire each other out. LOL Saturday night I am going to a wonderful concert with friends from church. I am really looking forward to it.

Tonight is lovely. I had to work late, but came home to a nice warm house. Liesl and I have just had a quiet evening. I was happy to see my little package from 123stitch arrived with a package of needles, carrot button noses, and a piece of fabric I needed for a project. Nothing glamorous, but necessary. Other than that I played with Liesl, gave her a few cuddles and tucked her into her blankie. I plan on stitching the rest of the evening away on Ellie May with my feet up and in my new socks.

My friend is starting a knitting circle next week that I am really looking forward to. I have to look through my stuff for an easy dog sweater so I can talk and knit. My friend is such a neat person and has put together a nice group that spans all ages and abilities. I have been wanting to be a part of a craft circle for a long time, so this will be fun. She is cooking us dinner for the first one, so we can all get to know one another over a meal. This is going to be so much fun. Plus I will get to know more friends. Yay!

Well, I guess it is time to pick up my project. Weeknights go so fast after I get home, especially when I get home late. It makes me treasure my stitching time even more.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Full Moon? You Betcha!

Oh my goodness, you can totally tell it is a full moon. It was a crazy day starting at 1:30 in the morning. Someone in the usually quiet neighborhood was running a power tool. Then at 2:45 another one was putting his trash cans out on the curb. This is not normal, at all. Then my computer started acting up and all other things kept going odd this morning. As I was recounting this to a coworker, she pointed out that it is a full moon. At that point I considered going home, going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head. It was a totally funky and freaky day, not bad, just weird. I am going to go to bed early so I can get it over with. On days like this, I love the fact that I can hug my dog. She is such a warm, loving little dog and giving her a hug sort of melts the weird days of life.

Yesterday was like Christmas for me. One of my coworkers passes her copies of O, Better Homes and Gardens, and Sunset magazines to me. She had been making a pile of them for a while for me and brought them in a big stack. I was so excited. Now I have to find someone to pass them to when I am done, so we can keep recycling. Magazines are the snack food of the reading world and are such a fun treat.

Well, it has been a really long, funky day and I would love to go stitch for a while. Then I am off to dreamland...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blissful Weekend!

What a great weekend! Today was absolute bliss. It was so wonderful to have the extra day. Liesl and I slept in until about 8 am, which was heavenly and a bit past our usual sleeping in time. I had a nice cup of tea then went over to my favorite local auto repair, because my front brakes have been making weird noises. They did a full inspection and declared that my brakes are in perfect condition. They explained that with the cold weather, brakes make weird noises, plus I have a convertible PT Cruiser, which are not the quietest of rides. (Nor are they the smoothest, but they are really darn cute!) After all that, they refused to charge me. They are so awesome. I think I will bring some cookies or something as a thank you. They really treat their customers so well.

Other than that, I came home and did some gardening in the beautiful sunshiney weather, while the Great Gopher Hunter went to work in the garden. Her beard and her head were covered in mud from putting her head down gopher holes. She had fun but ended up taking her second full bath in as many days. I did not get much gardening done, because I had to keep pulling a schnauzer out of gopher holes and providing dog bathing services. I do not know what I will do if she ever catches one. Yuck. But this is one of the things mini schnauzers are bred to do, so I accept her and love her as she is. She is totally determined and serious when she is watching gopher holes and gets the twitchy leg, ready to spring into action. LOL

After the sorta gardening and dog bathing, I stitched this afternoon. I resolved my issues with the golds on Ellie May's hat by pulling out my DMC collection and matching the colors before I put any more stitches in. The stitching went smoothly and her hat is almost done. Whoohoo! It was a wonderful evening of stitching, too. My daughter got me hooked on Pawn Stars on the History Channel. It is sort of like a Vegas Antiques Road Show. It was just a totally blissful day, and I loved stitching the afternoon away.

It is really a beautiful thing when to feel so refreshed and renewed after such a wonderful weekend. I am ready to go back to work and give it my all. I feel like I have fed the artistic part of me over the weekend. In addition, I got to spend time with friends and family since Friday. It has been a blissful weekend, and I feel so content and peaceful.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fat Quarters!

Well, here are the fat quarters I bought yesterday. I got them to make this: I figure that starting with a small project will keep me motivated. I was looking for the coffee bean fabric that is used in the model, but saw the chicken fabric and had to have it. I totally love chicken themed things in the kitchen and this material is gorgeous.

I did not work on my project today. It was a gorgeous day, so in the afternoon after church, Liesl and I met a friend at the beach in Carmel. Liesl ran the whole beach, smiling the whole way. It is a joy to walk the beach in Carmel. It is a dog beach, where dogs can be off lead. The dogs all run and play with each other. It is a place of pure joy, and there are smiling dogs everywhere. It makes your heart smile to walk amongst all of that happiness.

I did get to stitch tonight, which was pretty nice and relaxing. I may have to put Ellie May away for a while, because I am getting frustrated with it though. The hat has four colors of gold in it, and the changes are so subtle. I have spent a bit of time pulling out stitching because I have stitched with the wrong color gold. I stitch for fun and enjoyment and right now I do not like this piece very much. I will try tomorrow, but if it does not work, she will go back into the package for another time and I will find something else to work on.

Other than the stitching issues I had a nearly perfect evening. The foghorns have been calling out into the night constantly, which I always find so comforting. I wore my new socks tonight and had some sipping chocolate with homemade marshmallows. My exhausted little Liesl is asleep by my feet. I feel sort of decadent and comfy cozy. I have also been reflecting on my conversation with my friend today. My friend and I talked today about counting blessings today and the feeling of gratitude for the blessings we have. We talked about all of our wonderful friends, our pets, and our faith. I love having these conversations with my friends. In every conversation the first blessings the people always mention is the love of family and friends, pets, health, etc. It is always the stuff that can not be bought. The biggest blessing is always the quality of their relationships. No one mentions their electronics, their cars, things, etc. Those are nice extras and are fun, but I always hear people talk about love first. Love is such an amazing gift and truly the best blessing of all.

Speaking of love, I am off to give Liesl an extra hug. She is truly a blessing to me and I am so fortunate.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

So Good To Be Home

Whoohoo! These are my new socks that my daughter knit for me. They are so cute and such happy colors. They are also Merino wool and super duper soft. Great for cold nights in front of the fire when it is chilly outside. I just love them and can't wait to wear them.

My daughter came over last night for dinner and a stitching night. We had so much fun. We had the noodle dinner she had requested earlier in the week, and we ate half a box of Trader Joe's Chocolate Hazelnut candies. Yum. We got to chat and laugh. Liesl was so happy to see her, too, and stayed close to both of us. I stayed up way late last night and have been feeling it today, but it was oh, so worth it.

Today was super fun, too. My quilting friend had invited me to go to a free quilting demo this morning, so off we went to our favorite quilt shop. The shop was packed, as was the free demo, there was a lot of great information and we had a wonderful time. I just bought a few fat quarters for a small project I am going to work on tomorrow. I will post photos of the fat quarters then. It was so much fun. The weather was in the 70's today, so we also got to walk around downtown Pacific Grove for a little bit. The sunshine felt good.

I arrived home in the early afternoon, to puppy kisses and tail wags, which is the best welcome I can think of. Since it was a gorgeous day, Liesl and I took a long walk then came home to play ball in the yard. It was so warm, and I got a surprise in my garden. A beautiful goldfinch was visiting my trees and spent quite a bit of time in my yard. It was so beautiful and I felt so lucky to see it. I have never seen one here before. Pretty neat!

I had big plans of stitching and quilting this afternoon, but decided instead to play outside with Liesie and then come in and restore order to the palace. I got all of my household chores done. I have Monday off, so I have a bonus day to stitch and sew. I can't play until all of my chores are done, it just drives me crazy. If the weather stays beautiful I would also love to work in my garden. I have to prune my rose bushes and weed the flower beds. It is hard to believe that it is in the 70's in January, but what a blessing.

I have really had a lot of fun the past couple of days. The very best part though is the fact that I have gotten to spend time with my wonderful family and friends. I am so fortunate to get to share my days and my journey with such wonderful people. I am also fortunate for the puppy kisses that I get everyday, and the little furry soul who makes the journey at my side.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Nice Quiet Evening At Home

Tonight was one of those nights I turned off the television and listened instead to the music of foghorns and puppy snores. Soon the sea lions will start chiming in over at Fisherman's Wharf. Somehow the sound travels here and bounces off the hills. It is so peaceful like this. I took some time to look at my favorite blogs tonight. You can tell blogging is really a passion for alot of people by the hard work that goes into their blogs. I love getting to know a little more about my fellow stitchers' daily lives, and it is amazing that I get to know more about people all over the world.

What I think is most amazing about the stitching/blogging community is the abundance of kindess that gets shown to one another. When someone takes the time to post a nice comment, it makes my day. People share ideas with one another, materials, kind words, condolences, and funny stories. I love being able to read these things at the end of the day, and I am constantly reminded that there are far more good people in the world than bad. I am blessed with the knowledge that if I share that I had a tough day or a tough week, someone sends me a cyber hug or a nice email. We check on each other when one has not posted for awhile. We offer each other shoulders to lean on, advice, and prayers in good times and bad.

So I want to just take a moment to say thank you for stopping by my little tiny piece of the world. Thank you for reading the stories about my Liesl, sharing your own pet stories, for saying nice things about my stitching and my blog. I have a lot of fun writing this blog, and posting pictures, particularly of a certain schnauzer. I am truly grateful that you visit, take time to comment, and that you keep coming back. And most of all thank you for being part of this community of kindness and for spreading beauty throughout the world.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Well, we have had about 12 earthquakes in the past 24 hours. They are not big ones and not scarey or anything. Most earthquakes last a couple of seconds and so they are really over before you notice them. The best way I can think of to describe them is the way you feel when a large truck goes past your house on the street. It sort of rumbles and shakes slightly, but is not dramatic. It is also over that quickly. I am not a seismologist, but I have always heard that it is preferable to have a bunch of small ones, since it is really a slow releasing of pressure on tectonic plates. The earth is covered with these plates and the world is always shifting and moving.

What was ironic is that we had a talk planned for our management meeting today about emergency preparedness. I realized that I really need to take it alot more seriously. Ours was about planning for both people and pets and that you should really be prepared with a week's worth of food and water, including pet food. The point that was most stressed was the need to have water and that without it, you can not live past seven days. Morbid, but true. They also said that you do not know where you will be when disaster strikes, so I am thinking I should keep a small kit in my car with stuff for Liesie and I. I think I will hit the dollar store this week for some small supplies for first aid. I also think I will keep a couple of gallons of water and dog food with me.

There were two points that were most sobering to me. One was that we only have 14 ambulances in our very large county, and 11 of those are in service at any given time. Therefore, in a disaster, the likelihood is that people will basically have to tend to their own injuries, so the first aid kit should be at the ready.
The other point that came up for all medical emergencies, is that you should really have a plan for your pets if you are in a general emergency situation. We were told that you should carry a little card in your wallet, saying that you have a pet at home, and contact info on who you have made arrangements with to take care of your pet in an emergency. This will insure that if you are in an emergency and can not communicate, that someone will be alerted to the fact that your pet needs care.

It was most interesting to me that I have procrastinated more when I thought about the stuff that I should do to be prepared. However, there is a greater urgency now that I understand that this little furry soul is depending on me, too, in an emergency. I am embarassed to say that I had not considered the issue of lack of water (pipes can and would be destroyed in a major earthquake), and emergency resources being stretched so thin. I am grateful that we talked about it at work and I am now going to develop my plan and put it into action this weekend. Hopefully, I will never need it, but in case, I will be ready. I really should have known better before this. I was living in the Bay Area when the 1989 Loma Prieta quake hit, and it was really scarey. So I know that it happens and it is less scarey when you have a plan.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It is nice and quiet this evening. The weather was so cold today, but it is toasty warm in my house. Liesl is asleep by my feet. The dishes are done. The television is off and it is just quiet. I love when the house is like this and the only sound is the heater and soft puppy snores.

It has been very quiet in my house lately. The television offerings have been pretty disappointing. It seems like the only thing on Discovery are three and four year old Mythbusters re-runs. I love Mythbusters and all, but come on. I made a commitment to myself last year, that when nothing is on television I will turn it off and go find something else to do, and usually ending up reading. There are whole days on weekends that I do not turn it on and I find that I really do not miss it. There is a lot more fun to be had.

I got to talk to my daughter earlier this evening. We made arrangements to get together later this week for a stitching night. She knits and I stitch. In fact, she is bringing me a brand new pair of socks that she knit for me. Yay! I saw them at Christmas and they are adorable. I have a couple of pairs that she knit for me and I will only wear them around the house so they won't get ruined. They made me happy. Anyway, I told her that I would make her dinner and she asked if she could make a request. She wants a noodle dish that I used to make when she and her brother were small. There is something wonderful and heartwarming to be able to cook for your grown children. That chance to nurture them again and spoil them with love and good food like when they were small. So, I will make her the noodle dish. We plan on drinking sipping chocolate, too. I really need to get started on the homemade marshmallows now.

Liesl will be happy to have company, too. A cool thing about her is that she knows people and other dog's names. My daughter is one of her favorite people. I can not even say her name otherwise, Liesl goes straight to the window and starts looking for her, while getting herself all worked up with excitement. She loves when people come over, because, of course, they are here to see her. LOL I am just here to open the door for her, and drive her around. LOL

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Domestic Bliss

Today was a good day, all things considered. I woke up with that chest cough that is going around. It was cold, too, which sort of aggravated the cough. I am always concerned about sharing any germs with anyone who might have a weaker immune system, so I stayed home from church. It was cold and gray, so I made myself a cup of tea, lit a fire in the fireplace, got under a blanket with my favorite puppygirl and read my book. It was quite nice and cozy.

I was feeling a bit better in the afternoon, so I decided to get a head start on my cooking for the week. One of my very closest and very busy friends taught me this. She cooks on Sunday the things she thinks she will need during the week. She makes a couple of batches of brown rice, soups, etc, so that all she has to do is microwave certain parts of her meal when she comes home after work. So today I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce and a pot of lentil soup. I also needed to use up some bananas so I made banana nut bread. I feel ready to face to the week now. My friend was lamenting the fact that she has used up her homemade marshmallows, so I think I will make some and surprise her this week, I have leftover supplies on hand, so I just have to fire up the mixer.

I really wanted to garden today if 1) I was feeling better and 2) if it was not so gosh darn cold. I really need to prune my rose bushes back within the next couple of weeks. I also wanted to do some general maintenance, but alas, it was not to be today. I really want to get some lavendar started, too. I would love to have more lavendar in my yard for several projects, including making my own Herbs Du Provence. So many projects, so little time...I was thrilled to see my azalea in bloom. I also have four trees of camellias about to burst forth with blooms.

Of course, my day of domestic bliss would not be complete without my stitching. It was delightful to be able to put some stitches in Ellie May. All in all, it was a really good day at home.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Super Saturday!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous this morning in Monterey. You can see Fisherman's Wharf and the Marina in this photo. Liesl and I had slept in so late this morning, that she was full of the business and rarin' to go first thing in the morning. So off we went to the beach. The beach is her favorite place in the whole world as you can see from her smiley face below.

Okay, so she is a bit of a mess in that photo, but nothing compared to the next one. She had been playing in the surf with her ball, (she thinks she is a labrador retriever) then starting digging in the sand while she was still wet. She turned to look at me, and I broke out laughing. As you can see, her nose, lips and beard are caked with sand.

We had a great time, and both got some really great exercise. After we got home, she took her bath, and left half of the beach in the bathtub. LOL After all of that fun and fresh air, this is how she spent her afternoon...

She was a very tired little dog...

Friday, January 7, 2011


I heart my job, but I am totally exhausted. This has been a long week, with very long hours. One day this week, I got home around 6:30, ate dinner, and was in bed by 8:30 and asleep by 8:45. January is a crazy month for accountants as we try to close a month, a quarter and the calendar year all at the same time. It has been pretty hectic, and next week is just as stressful as I have to meet 15th of the month deadlines. This is actually a very satisfying time, as I get to reconcile a lot of accounting puzzles. I like the fast pace, and the mental challenge of it all. But it is hectic. Liesl and I are going to sleep in as our top priority tomorrow.

I was pretty keyed up when I got home, so I started my house cleaning and have most of it out of the way. This will translate to more stitching time this weekend, as well as more time to read. The weather is supposed to gorgeous this weekend, so Liesl and I are meeting up with friends, furry and human, for a couple of long walks. We both need to get some fresh air. I also need to sweep up some debris in my yard from all of the recent winter storms. I am already envisioning my yard for this spring and summer. I would really like to find a secondhand (cheap) chimnea for my backyard. It would seem to me to be a bit cozy to sit around with friends.

I am really looking forward to getting a needle and thread in my hand this weekend. I really missed stitching this week. I was just out of energy by the time I got home, and did not have anything left for hobbies. But my artistic endeavors are calling to me, and so I really feel like I need to stitch.

My plan is to work on Ellie May Melt this weekend. There are some really cute freebies that are calling to me from the Freebie Blog listed to the right on my blog roll though. There is a really cute freebie of the Eiffel Towel I have been meaning to stitch for like a year. It calls to me with that sweet siren song of, "Start something new..." LOL

I am including a picture of a cute ornament I bought at the local craft store for about 60 cents. They were having an 80% off sale on their Christmas stuff, and I could not resist it. I am going to leave it out all year. It looks cute in my red kitchen. I do so love red and I just thought this was adorable. It makes me happy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ewwwww! I touched a slug!!!!!

Yucka! Last night I had let Princess Furgirl out for the last time around ten. When I called her in she did not come bursting through the back door like she usually does. Instead, she came hobbling in on three legs while holding her front paw up and at a weird angle. She had it kind of twisted to the side, so I thought that she had broken or fractured it, but she was not crying or whimpering or anything. So I dropped to my knees to examine her paw and put my hand around her leg. That was when I felt something squishy and slimey on the elbow of her front leg. EEEEEEEWWWW! That was when I realized that (thankfully) her paw was not broken, instead she was holding her paw all weird to say, "Eeeewwww! Momma, there is a slug touching me!"

I grabbed a paper towel, removed said slug, then started my oh-my-gosh-that-was-so-gross dance, complete with shuddering. (The things we do for love.) The whole experience gave me the willies, and has probably started some long term trauma. The best treatment I could think of at the time for this was the immediate consumption of white fudge covered Oreos. (Don't judge me.)

All of this brought back memories of my kids going to Science Camp in the Santa Cruz mountains when they were each in fifth grade. This was a big deal and the kids looked forward to this camp all through elementary school. Anyway, one of the, er, "highlights" of this particular camp was the kids interaction with Banana Slugs. Now, if you have never seen a banana slug, by all means, Google them, and you will be dazzled by the various and assundry photos of these, um, lovely creatures. Oh, and did I mention they are HUGE? Anyway, the highlight of this camp was that the kids either could 1) kiss a banana slug or 2) let the banana slugs be draped across the bridge of their noses. For this the kids who bravely did this, they were given a sticker and, of course, bragging rights and sent on their merry way.

Now in my book, there would have to be something pretty amazing, and not just a sticker, to put me within kissing distance of a slug. A steak dinner at any Morgan's Steakhouse, a full set of Gloriana silks, a chance to ride along with Tony Stewart at Talledega...

Anyway, this practice was recently done away with because they found that the practice was traumatic for the slugs. While I do not doubt this, I feel the need for a white fudge covered Oreo coming on...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Face of Trouble...

Well, here is little Miss Liesl. She likes to sit in front of the ottoman and just stare at me. I think she does it because it cracks me up. Sometimes she will rest her chin on the ottoman as though she is incredibly bored. She is so cute when she does it.

I had a beautiful day. It was really rainy this morning when I went to church, but it settled down enough by late afternoon that Liesl and I were able to go for a walk on the beach. The sun was starting to settle behind the Santa Lucia mountains, and the beach was bathed in a golden light. Since we had high winds with the storms, all sorts of beautiful shells had washed up. It looked like the beach was covered in sparkling treasure. Liesl played in the surf and chased the birds, and just looked so happy. I love the look of a happy dog. It makes my heart smile. We really had a lovely walk. It was so beautiful and I was in awe of the big grayish clouds over the water and how the sunlight made them look.

Liesl was a bit tired after her long walk, so after we both ate supper, she snuggled up next to me on her blanket and worked on a chewie for a while before she drifted off to puppy dream land. It was so nice, warm and cozy. I got to stitch a bit on Ellie May in this blissful state.

I was stumbling around the web yesterday and I came upon the information that Stitching Bits and Bobs is having a really good sale that ends tomorrow, 20-25% off of almost everything. I ordered from them about a year and a half ago and found them to be a good resource, particularly for Permin. Their shipping is a little slow but for the prices they have right now, it is worth the wait. I am not ordering right now (I am stitching what I already own), but I wanted to pass the info on.

Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day

Here are the beginning stitches on Ellie May Melt. It is not the best photo, but the lighting in my house is a bit funky with with camera at night. She is an adorable mate to Willie. I am assuming that she and Willie are married since they have the same last name, "Melt." LOL The colors are so pretty on this piece and she is a joy to work on.

Today has been a beautiful day. I had to clean what my friend refers to as "The Palace," (in reference to the size of my 600 sq. foot house.) It felt so good to clean my kitchen, wash the floors, vacuum, and dust. Everything is so clean. I also took the opportunity to do those little things that I had been putting off, like tightening up the drawer knobs, and putting up a couple of pictures. After hearing a story on the news about a local family that died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a wall heater, the folks that I rent from immediately purchased two carbon monoxide detectors for me (I have a wall heater.) I told them I could install them, so I got them up today. I even cleaned out my one and only closet.

Seeing as how I did not have to clean the moat to the palace today, I had time to take a nap and read my book. I am reading about Claude Monet and his wife Camille. I was not aware that he was so close to the other impressionist painters of his time like Renoir, Manet, end Degas. It is pretty fascinating stuff. In addition to all of this, I still had time to stitch. It was a full day, but one where I did not even leave the house. Sweet!

I did not make any resolutions this year. I thought though that perhaps I should have a theme for 2011. The theme that came to mind is "Beauty." I would really like to focus on beauty in music, art, books, and of course, my beautiful friends and Liesl. I really do not want to fritter away my time off from schoolwork, I really want to delight in all of the beauty that life has to offer.

May you find great beauty in 2011, too! May it be totally full of bliss for you!