Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I'm sick. I have a bad sore throat and just feel like crud. I am already in bed for the evening. I just had a flu shot a couple of weeks ago. My friend at work thinks it is stress though. She said that even though it is happy, lifetime dream coming true stuff, it is still really stressful. I am trying to keep all of the balls in the air and am just showing the physical effects of it. Grrr. I am going to go to sleep right after this post and hope to be perky again in the morning.

Well, it turns out that it was especially good that my move is not happening this week. (It is so funny how generally things just tend to work out for the best!) There is a cold front moving in and rain is in the weekend forecast. So it is really working out. I called my 23 year old son (a super cool guy!) last night to let him know that the schedule got readjusted. He was planning on coming on Friday to help me move some things prior to the big Saturday move with my other helpers. I figured that he would want to know early that he was getting his Friday evening back so he could make other plans. What was so cool, was that after I told him that the move was postponed, he said, "Well, we should get together anyway! Let's have dinner!" It made me so happy and just made my day all day today. He is taking me to a place I have not tried yet but I have heard great things about. Yum! What a blessing. I am so looking forward to it!

Tonight I was talking to a dear friend on the phone. We speak a few times a week, generally. She is a wonderful person, and retired about five years ago as a professional interior decorator. I have another friend whose house was decorated by her and it is absolutely beautiful. Well, I was telling her how I am absolutely in love with my new house and how much I can not wait to show it to her. Then I asked her if after I get moved in if she would not mind making a girl's day and going to look at some pieces of furniture with me because I would love to have her opinion. She was so happy and excited and said that she will help me make my house exactly what I want it to be, my beautiful sanctuary. I feel so honored! I had really wrestled with asking her because I did not want to impose, nor have her feel that I was taking advantage of our friendship in anyway. Now I am super excited and know that we have lots of fun ahead. I really envision something comfortable where my friends can all come over.

This post would not be complete if I did not mention how much I want a Kindle Fire. They came out today as an alternative to the iPad, but are not shipping until Nov 15. It is beyond cool and is calling to me...Why did this instrument of coolness have to come out at this particular moment?...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stitching Update

Here is the progress on the piece I am working on. It is the weekend's progress as I have not had time to work on it the past couple of nights. I really love this piece. There is so much going on it overall that it really keeps the eye moving. I can not wait to see what it looks like finished.

I got to have dinner with my dear friend of about 20 years tonight. She is such an amazing person. She has been through so much in her life, yet she is so positive, caring, wise, and an inspiration to everyone who knows her. I was so happy to share a meal with her. It is wonderful to have such old friends, where you know each other's history and you can pick up at anytime with each other. Most of my closest friends have been friends for 10-20 years and we have gone through so much together, good and bad. They are such treasures.

I have a very wise doctor who I would love to have as my neighbor because she is so smart and interesting to talk to. We have had some really interesting conversations whenever I have gone in for an office visit. She told me once that there are really only a small number of people in the world who truly know how to be a friend. They are the people that are truly loyal, have your back, care about you in good times and bad, and speak only the truth in a kind way to you. The rest are all acquaintances and are the people you have to be a bit more careful around. The real friends should be treasured.

I received some news last evening that, at first seemed like bad news but was a major blessing in disguise. I got a call letting me know that the escrow has to be extended a week or two on my house purchase while they await some documents. I guess this is a fairly common occurrence because I told a few people and each one said not to worry, that the same thing happened to them and is pretty common. When they first told me I was kinda bummed out. After a minute or two I realized that this was probably for the best for several reasons. First and foremost, it is for the protection of both the seller and me. Secondly, I am taking some vacation time to move and set up. Unfortunately, the time I was going to take fell in the first week of the month. This is my very busiest time of the month at work, particularly at the end of the quarter. I was really a bit stressed about how I was going to make everything work and make my critical deadlines. Now, however, I will be able to get all of my work done prior to the move, so that I can really enjoy my time off and setting up the new house in a state of happiness rather than stress. It also allows me to lower my stress level on getting everything packed and making sure that everything on my to do list is done in a more relaxed and focused manner. Everything has actually fallen into place so nicely with this new development so I am now feeling like it happened for a good reason.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Great Day!

Okay, let's start off with the super great news. Tony Stewart won again today. The second race in two weeks. He is now #1 in the points. Whoohoo! Just a few more races to go before the Sprint Cup Champion is crowned! Hopefully, it will be Tony!

It was a really good day. In the past, I think I have shared that for a small dog, Liesl is not a lap dog, she is more of a working dog (Schnauzers are farm dogs). She is also takes her job as the protector of momma very seriously and sleeps at the foot of the bed closest to the door so that she can keep watch at night. As a general rule, she does not come up and cuddle unless she is cold, sick, hurt or scared. Early this morning, she decided to come up and hog my pillow and cuddle up to her momma. It was a special treat to fall back asleep with a warm little dog all cuddled up. It was a like a love present from Liesl. It set a great tone for the day.

I have my kitchen totally packed. The cupboards are all washed out and ready to go. It is a big relief to have the kitchen done. I am almost done with the office. These are my two biggest rooms in terms of stuff. I actually ran out of boxes. Luckily, we have a lot at work so I will bring home a stack tomorrow and will probably get the office done tomorrow night.

I took this evening to relax and stitch. My new q-snaps are the perfect size. So I just stitched and had a nice quiet evening. The rest of the week will be hectic in a good way, so it was nice to sit and be quiet. It was also a good time to count my blessings. I have so much to be thankful for, once I get started it just blossoms.

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Day Of Awesome!

What a great day! We slept in until about 9am today. Oh, my goodness! It felt really decadent. It had rained last night and was dark and looking drizzly this morning. This, sadly, meant no beach walk today, so we just took our time getting up slowly. I got under a blanket and sipped my tea. Little Miss Liesl positioned herself under my feet, which keeps us both nice and toasty. Liesl dropped off to sleep again.

After I finished my tea, I figured that I needed to get the day in motion so I could get everything done. My hair was getting a bit unruly so I went off to my hairdresser so she could tame it for me. She fit me right into her schedule, because she is awesome. She has been doing my hair for about 16 years. I never ask her to style my hair a certain way. I sit down in the chair and she works her magic. Now it looks cute again and I am happy.

On the way back home, I gassed up the Patti-wagon, then thought I would stop in at Marshall's. I remembered that they had beautiful granite type stone items like lotion bottles for use on bathroom counters. I want something really pretty to go in my new bathroom, so decided to check it out. I love Marshall's. You never know what you will find in there. I went in and found a gorgeous stone lotion bottle and dish. They are so pretty and in a warm color. Plus they were on clearance. Yay! The will look perfect on my bathroom counter. Then I saw something ideal for my BFF's Christmas goodie bag. Nice. As I was heading back to the registers I saw the cutest sweater for work with a ruffled edge for $20. I reshuffled my items in my arms, then picked up a cute full sized toy rabbit for Liesl in their pet section. I knew I had to get out of there, but that was when I saw it--THE perfect purse. Red, crocodile. The perfect size and shape. I had officially run out of arm space and so I had to get out of there. A good haul! (Liesl loves her bunny.)

I was totally craving my favorite salad from Trader Joe's, but thought twice about going there. TJ's is a scary place to go on a Saturday. It is usually packed and the parking lot is a house of horrors. If you actually make it inside, there is mayhem. Nevertheless, I thought I would live dangerously and I would check it out. Just as I pulled into the lot, a spot opened up right in front of the store. I do not think that I have ever had a spot right in front of the store. I ran in, scored my salad(s) and headed home. I had my salad- a Thai citrus chicken salad to die for! So yummy. And I felt like I was a good girl. I was feeling happy and thought I would pick up the phone and call my daughter, which always makes me happy. I told her that Alton Brown is coming to the Bay Area to do book signings, so it looks like we are going to try to go together to one of the book signings. I love Alton Brown. Good Eats is one of my all time favorite shows. I have one of his official salt pigs and everything!

It was time to face the music and get down to the business of packing. I got so much done! I have thrown out a lot. I also called to arrange a pick up with a local charity of some furniture and items that I would like to donate. I washed out cupboards, stacked my boxes (some up to the ceiling), and talked to the nice people at Comcast about moving my service. They were fantastic and so accommodating about the scheduling. It was such a good customer service experience. I feel like I accomplished so much today!

So tonight, I have played with Liesl and gave her lots of hugs and kisses, which she loves. I feel so badly because in a 600 square foot house, floor space is at a premium. She has even less space to play with boxes everywhere. So I am trying to keep her from getting stressed. She seems to be eating okay and is still ornery as all get out, so I guess all is well. Tonight I am watching Brian Regan on Netflix, and getting ready to stitch. I love me some Brian Regan, he makes me laugh out loud. This has been such an awesome day, so laughing is a great way to end it.

I love days that have simple, cool and happy things that happen all day. This day was awesome and kicks off a week that is pretty darn special!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Quiet Friday Night At Home

Well, if close of escrow is on schedule this upcoming week, this will be my last weekend in my current house before Liesl and I move to the new Cozy Cottage. Therefore, I cleared my social calendar for the weekend so I can focus on my moving prep. I decided that I would enjoy my last Friday night in this house and relax. The rest of the weekend will be focused on errands, packing and cleaning. I am trying to keep everything as low stress as possible so that the transition is a calm process for Liesl and she does not get really stressed. I have really loved this little house and hope that the next people will enjoy it just as much as I have. I am just so excited and wonder how I will sleep in the next few days.

I received my order from 123stitch today. I really love the ornament issue and plan on stitching quite a few of the ornaments. I think it was one of the better issues in years. I am really excited about the Emblem of Love ornament. I will finally have room in the new house to put up a Christmas tree and decorate for the holidays. I am very excited about this and the years to come. I hope a certain schnauzer cooperates with the festivities...She was adopted around Christmas 4 years ago. That year, not knowing a schnauzer would be joining the household in the later part of the month, I had baked Gingerbread people and decorated them with royal icing, then hung them on the tree. Then this little 4 month old puppy came along and thought she had found the lucky cookie tree. All the sudden I would hear the rustle of pine boughs and jingling of ornaments and see a little gray blur running victoriously down the hallway. By the time she could be caught, she would be eating a gingerbread man as fast as possible. Thank goodness, she did not eat the hooks.

I am not sure I have ever shared the meaning of Liesl's name. When she came in and took over the household, (she had come from a bad situation where she was mistreated) she had a funky name that did not suit her at all. It was agreed that since she was a German breed that she should have a Germanic name. I arrived at Liesl from the Sound of Music. It turns out that Liesl is a derivative of Elizabeth or Elise and means "God's Promise." I loved it when I found that out. I have done some research and it appears that there are several promises in the Bible, including supplying us all of our needs. I am so grateful that He saw the Liesl and I needed each other. She is a happy little blessing.

One last note-everyone who knows Liesl says that her name just suits her. She is most definitely a Liesl. She has always answered to it, too, except when she was running away with the gingerbread men. She seems to understand German, too. I know a couple of people who speak to her in German. One is a very close and dear friend from church. He speaks to her in German and tells her that she is beautiful. She gets this very dreamy look on her face, like she understands and is mesmerized. I have to wonder if on some level she understands.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Getting Really Excited Now!

Well, the big day is looming large and I am about to burst with excitement. There are still so many details to attend to, but this is a special time. So I am trying to stay in happiness and gratitude and not stress about details.

I was talking to my contractor friend today and was telling him that I found the cutest plans for an adorable potting shed that has a weather vane on it and everything. I totally want to build it. He told me that he has a lot of leftover wood and material from jobs that he has done and when I am ready for my little construction project, that I am welcome to anything in the shed. Is that too cool or what?! He also said that while he was in Home Depot the other day he noticed they had a list of the free workshops they give with the upcoming dates. Apparently, there is a pretty good list of stuff I would be interested in. I am so stoked! I want to put in a little workbench in my garage so that I can work on projects. It will be so fun to take those workshops, too. I'll be a total Home Depot groupie.

We had a little excitement around here this morning. Around 4:30 am Liesl was insisting that she had to go out. I got up and walked to the back door all squinky eyed. Then I switched on the large backyard light, just as I put my hand on the doorknob. That was when I spotted the bandits stealing and eating my tomatoes like apples. Five of them, they had masks on and everything. Those five little faces looked up at me like, "What're you lookin' at?" Liesl was beside herself because she wanted at those five little raccoon. Unfortunately, raccoon are notorious in the horrible things they can and will do to dogs. So I made her stay inside while I tried to make enough noise to scare them off without waking the neighbors. Liesl was fit to be tied and paced the house for while, sniffing the air for her little furry friends. A little too much excitement too early in the morning.

Well, off to dreamland...

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Little Busy Bee...

Anyone who has ever loved a miniature schnauzer, knows that these little dogs are total characters. They are super smart, have a great sense of humor and are extremely busy little dogs. Such is the case with Liesl. She is a busy girl. Schnauzers love toys and need a lot of stimulation. I have always read that if you do not have toys for them, they will "make their own fun" usually with your stuff. Liesl loves her toys and will usually run in the door when we get home, go straight to her toys and take inventory of the favorites by touching her nose to them.

Tonight I had the best time watching Liesl. She goes from toy to toy, tossing them in the air, grooming them, and carrying them with her while she trots around the house like she has somewhere she has to go. At one point she found an open box that I had left in the living room and she packed her ladybug in it. (Schnauzers will copy your actions.)

At the end of the evening, she will have me take off her collar, which she prefers not to sleep in-- I am just the staff here. Mine is not to question. LOL Then she will back up to the sofa to let me know that she would like her head rubbed and her neck scratched before she puts herself to bed. The photo is of her little sleepy self.

It was nice to have the opportunity to watch her play and to be happy. My friend who also has schnauzers always point out that they are such happy dogs. I love watching her little spirited self just be in her joy. It makes me happy, too.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Really Good Sunday

Today was a really beautiful day. I was still feeling a bit blue from yesterday and decided that I just wanted a day of quiet and reflection today. So I stayed home. I woke up late, and took my time drinking a cup of tea and answering my email with Liesie keeping my feet warm. I realized that we have not had a slow, quiet day in a long time. My house has been disorganized with the pending move, and I have not had a lot of time to give Liesl an abundance of attention.

Today, I got to follow my bliss. I hugged Liesl a bunch and played her favorite games with her. She was so smiley that it made my heart soar. I also got to stitch while watching bad television, and she joined me under the blanket and snored little puppy snores. It was wonderful. By the way, Hillbilly Handfishin' was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. LOL After we had rested to our heart's content, I got up and organized and cleaned the house. I like things organized and shiny clean, so the disorganization has been adding to my blue funk. I have been concerned about the owner wanting to show the place, and have been worried about how it presents. Now I am proud of the way it looks in spite of the boxes. I also got a lot of packing done. Liesl decided to herd me while I worked. She thinks this is hilarious, which makes me laugh. So I am feeling loads better.

Above is my progress on my sampler. I decided to move up a row since I have run out of room and I am too lazy to reposition my Q-snaps. I actually have a pair of 17 inch Q-snaps on order, which should solve the problem. I got to place an order at 123stitch today, a rare event these days. The new issue of the JCS Ornament issue is in, so I had to get my order in. I have about 10 years worth and could not break up the set now. LOL Of course, I have to make the postage charge worth it, so I ordered the larger Q-snaps and additional red floss, just to be on the safe side.

So now the house is quiet. Liesl has turned in for the evening. I get to reflect on all that I am grateful for. There are so many blessings to count. I am grateful that I had the gift of today to be with my little furgirl and to take care of the stuff that has been weighing on me. I am grateful that I had the time to think about all of the people that I love. I am grateful for work and play. This has been a wonderful day to walk in gratitude, to be thankful for the abundance in my life, and to think about how much God really, really loves us.

My you have a blessed week.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I LOVE Better Homes & Gardens

I have gotten hooked on I have loved the magazine for years, but I have recently gotten hooked on the website as well. They send emails with great ideas every day. I totally love their garden plans. I was playing around on the sight, getting decorating ideas when I stumbled upon the photo above. I love this room. Like really love it. Like, love it so much that I am going to make it happen in my new house. The window placement matches my house's layout. Of course, I will put my own personal touch to it, but I love the window treatments and use of color. I love red, so this is totally the room for me. I have so much work ahead, but it will totally be a labor of love. I can't wait to get started. This is going to be so much fun!

This has been kind of an emotionally hard day. Today was my dear friend's memorial service. It was beautiful. My friend had been a POW so there was a beautiful letter from former President Bush and Laura Bush, honoring him. Our Congressman was also there and other dignitaries. There was even a flyover of two F-14 jets. I was able to see a lot of old friends that I have not seen in years, too. The service was so beautiful, but I was teary eyed, and trying not to break out into a noisy cry. I truly feel that I am a better person for having had such an amazing example of integrity, compassion and friendship. My friend was a true blue, stick by you in thick and thin, loyal friend. I know that our paths will cross again, but I still can not process that he is not of this world anymore. I truly miss him, and know that I must honor his memory by helping to support his wife, who I dearly love, in the hard days ahead. I cried my eyes out when I got home and had one of those ugly headaches from holding it in for so long.

I spent the afternoon trying to pull it together and could not seem to do anything that felt right. I decided one way to feel calm and feel better would be to treat myself to a pedicure, so I trotted off to the mall in the late afternoon. I have not had a pedi in a few months, so it was a nice treat. I picked out the deepest red with sparklies in it. It made me feel a bit better. That and a really super healthy salmon dinner. Liesl got to have the salmon skin so she was super happy and gave her momma extra kisses tonight. (But she did have fish breath...)

I knew that today was going to be rough, so I had planned for a nice quiet evening at home. I have stitched this evening, and reflected on the wonderful years that I have gotten to spend with all of my friends. I am also glad that I have friends who understand how precious and fragile life is. We all tell each other that we love each other, and always share how important the friendship we share is. I am really blessed.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blackwork Pattern

As always, thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments. They mean a lot to me. A question came in about the pattern that I am working on so I thought I would pass on the information to all.

My pattern comes from the book above by Lesley Wilkins. She has written several books with blackwork patterns. I found mine on Amazon several years ago. For some reason the price on this book has escalated in the past few years though. You might try your local booksellers. Otherwise, she does have several different books to choose from. (My apologies, no plans to sell my copy any time soon. There are several patterns I want to stitch. I am sorry I could not be helpful.)

It is cold here. Like I had to turn the heat on tonight cold. I had to work pretty late, then decided that since I was tired, worn out and hungry that I should torture myself with a trip to Costco after work. I was almost out of Liesl's favorite chicken jerky, and I would not want to know what would happen if I did happen to run out. She has been really patient with a distracted and busy momma lately, too. (I did get to pick up some nice new lip glosses at Costco (4 for $9.99) so I am feeling pretty glam.)

I did get to stitch tonight for a little while after I played with Liesl and her squeaky ball. It was nice to put a few stitches in and watch the design grow a bit more. I am looking forward to starting a new motif on another line. I believe there are about a dozen rows of motifs, some way larger than others in this design. Usually, I can't stand backstitching but this is pretty fun and I think it looks so pretty.

If you are interested in blackwork, another good designer is Laura J. Perin. I have had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Perin on a couple of occasions at the old CATS shows several years ago. She is a delightful person and really talented designer. I encourage you to try blackwork, it is really a lot of fun.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Well, things are getting more and more exciting. I am in a flurry of paperwork these days, securing hazard insurance and keeping up with everything that has to get done. I now understand how necessary escrow is in keeping everything on track and making sure that all legalities are covered. There are so many details that go into the buying and selling of a house.

I was feeling a bit stressed the other day by all of the things that have to get done in the next few weeks. I was sharing this with a dear friend because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. She is such a great friend and told me 1) to pray and 2) to enjoy this time because it is such a special time. She was right and now I just feel happy, blessed and excited. I go to sleep thinking about playing ball with Liesl in her new backyard. I think of how I will set up my office/craft room. I think about the chandeliers I will put up (I have my heart set on one at Home Depot!) I think of how I will cook dinners in the kitchen while looking at my peek of a view of my beloved Monterey Bay. The kitchen and appliances were designed and purchased with a cook in mind. I think of how I will invite my family and friends over for supper, or a cup of coffee and cookies. I wonder how my tomatoes will grow there, how the rain will sound outside my window, and if I will be able to see the purse seiners (fishing boats) from my kitchen window.

I was talking to a friend at work and asked if there is such a thing as a local handyman class where I can pick up some mad skillz for working on my house. I had gone online to DIY to learn how to install a refrigerator line for the built in icemaker and water for the fridge I am purchasing. I was made to raise my right hand and swear that I will never mess with the plumbing, that I will call a licensed plumber, yadda, yadda, yadda. I have a feeling that my work ID photo has probably been circulated at the cash registers at Home Depot with instructions not to sell me copper tubing or a pipe wrench. So embarrassing!

I am finding that I spend a lot of time on Home Depot. com,, Ashley Furniture, and Overstock, looking at home furnishings, lighting, a fountain for my yard, etc. I am having a blast. It is so exciting and fun. My friend is right that this a special time. I am so grateful and feeling blessed. It will finally seem real when I pull the truck up to start loading my stuff!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Whoosh, There Went The Weekend!

Here is my blackwork piece that I have been working on. Everything is done in bands. I love it! This is going to be magnificent when it is done! It is also going to be huge. I love large projects! They are so dramatic.

After church today, I came home and packed. I got so much done. I have about 20 boxes packed and I am purging a lot. I ran out of boxes. A huge bunch is being held for me at work. So I can pick them up tomorrow and work on it during the week. A few boxes a day and I should be able to be ready when escrow closes.

I was able to get so much done today because I have a small dog that has been standing over a gopher hole outside, waiting. I am afraid for the day that she catches the gopher and hope that it will not be brought to me in the form of a present. Ewww. She has been vigilant and tenacious in her waiting.

A quick funny Liesl story. Every morning, Liesl goes into my boss' office to visit her Malti-poo first thing in the morning. Every once in a while my boss will give her a treat when she is in there, but only if Liesl sits. So on Friday, Liesl sat right in front of her in her very best and prettiest sit. She waited a couple of seconds and then started to nod her little puppy head in the direction of the treat jar on the filing cabinet. Schnauzers. They are masters of communication.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Will Never Forget

Our prayers today are for those whose lives were so horribly cut short that terrible day. We lift up prayers for so many who lost someone they loved and those who rushed in so unselfishly to give aide and comfort. We will never ever forget you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dinner Out With The Girls

What a fun evening, and a break from the packing. I had dinner with my best girlfriends tonight. Such impressive women with extraordinary careers,tremendous wisdom, and truly goofy senses of humor. It was nice to get together as a group. We started planning our next restaurant stop for our next dinner. I was getting hungry all over again listening to the international array of culinary options. I think I would go insane without my friends. These are truly the people you can call at 3 am. They are also the people who don't just ask what you need when you are sick, they tell you that they are getting in the car and on the way over to help. Extraordinary people. God blessed me, indeed.

I get to go into the new house tomorrow. My engineer friend is coming with me to do a walk through just to make sure that everything is as it should be and that there are no structural issues. I can not wait to step inside it, knowing that it will be my new home. I wonder if I will feel differently.

So this weekend, I will be packing and cleaning. I hope to do some stitching on my sampler, too. It is an integral part of my decor in my new living room. My new living room will be red. I love red. It makes me happy. My sampler is in red and will go perfectly with what I have in mind. Liesl will even have a little red bed for the living room. She has a bed in every room. She is spoiled like that.

Speaking of Liesl, that little dog cracks me up. Schnauzers have a very interesting and well developed sense of humor. They know that they are funny. When Liesl does something funny she will generally smile and look at me like I should get her joke. She thinks she is hilarious. She is also quite dramatic. This morning I was laughing out loud on our walk because if I am not walking at a speed that she thinks I should be going, she will do this exaggerated limp and skip with her left rear foot. It is very dramatic and her way of letting me know that her freedom is being hindered by a leash. She would not stop her skipping down this one long block. I think the harder I laughed at her the more pronounced her limp/skip became. She is something else.

On that note, I think I will go give her a kiss on her sweet fuzzy head and tuck her in under her blanket. Spoiled, I tell you...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Packing Up The Cozy Cottage

Well, my living room had finally filled up with empty boxes to the point I had to do something with them. One of the nice people at work has been bringing me a steady supply every day. He has been pulling the extra sturdy and thick ones out of his deliveries for me. He has even been able to save the packing material. It has been such a huge help. Some even have a Styrofoam lining so I can put breakables in there.

So tonight I packed. It is amazing that I had all of those boxes and not very much got packed into them. This weekend will be the time that a lot of stuff goes into the boxes. I even bought some frozen dinners that can go into the microwave to save time and will allow for me to pack my pots and pans and kitchenwares this weekend.

After I got the packing done for the evening and made a path for Liesl, I gave myself I pedicure and stitched away. I love the pattern that I am working on. It is so pretty. I already have a place picked out in the new cozy cottage for it to hang. I can't wait to start decorating the new cozy cottage. (I am taking a week's vacation to get settled in.) I have said that when I buy a house, I will never have white walls ever again. Right now the walls are painted a neutral beigy color. But I am envisioning some really pretty colors on the walls. I am considering a warm, pumpkin color in the kitchen to compliment the counter tops and stainless steel. I think it will look beautiful and will make a great space to entertain.

So things are processing along. I am learning a lot about the process and am grateful that I have such a wonderful agent and loan officer taking such good care of me. They are awesome. My agent keeps reminding me that I can fix up the house whatever way I want it. This is exciting. I have decided that I need french doors in my bedroom to give Liesl instant access to the yard, instead of walking through the house. Did you know that they make french doors with mini blinds built into them?! I would not need to dust mini blinds then. This is so awesome.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Tuesday After A Holiday...

Oy vey! The Tuesday after a holiday is always kinda rough. There are sometimes I wonder why I took the Monday off to begin with. Today was packed and it looks like it is going to be crazy all week. I ended up working late tonight. The only thing I had the energy to cook was noodles with a little bit of butter and salt and pepper. Which is okay, because I love noodles with butter. It is comfort food, so it was all good.

I had such a nice compliment today. One of the nicest ladies that I work with, whom I have the greatest respect for had asked me to email her photos of the house that I am in the process of buying. She came running up to me at lunchtime when I was walking out to my car, and said how darling the house is. She also said that when she saw it all she could think was how perfect it was for me. She says that it just looks like me and my style, so she was very excited for me.

I have been thinking about the things that I will miss about the house I have been renting for the past couple of years. I have really loved this little 600 square foot house. It is about 100 years old, but had a lot of remodeling done. It is a little strange in its layout but so very cozy. It has a cool, really old fireplace in it. It also has these kinda funky pipes that climb up the rear of the fireplace. Apparently, back in the old days this was how the water was heated for the residents of the house to have hot water for bathing. I think it is kind of cool. It also has kind of a funky yard, which much to my dismay and Liesl delight invites pocket gophers. Liesl loves to stand on gopher patrol and thinks it is a great game.

I do not think I will still be able to hear the sea lion songs at night when I move. I love hearing them, but who knows how far their song travels. I will miss the sound of the fog horns as I will be a bit further inland. But again, who knows. I will miss my lovely neighbors. I will not miss the one that has decided to start sleeping out on her front lawn overnight lately, for whatever reason. It is cold out at night and she is kind of creeping me out in the early morning when I walk Liesl.

Despite missing so many things about this house, I am excited about the new house. I have offers of help moving and a couple of department heads that get deliveries in large, well constructed boxes bringing them to me as they come in. My BFF says that she has done many moves, quite a few were long distance and so she is a packing maven. She is coming over on Saturday to help me get things boxed up. I have such awesome family and friends.

One thing that I truly did not realize and no one talks abou,t is what an emotional process buying a house is. For one it is pretty stressful, but there are a lot of emotional ups and downs. I thought it would be like buying a car. You look around, find one you like, you put your down payment down and you drive off. Not so with a house. There is a lot of emotional stuff tied to it, particularly since shelter is one of your basic necessities. One of my dearest, wisest and most philosophical friends says it is because it is tied to your little girl dreams. We all dreamt of this as a little girl and so a lot of stuff comes out in the process. What a surprise, but it makes sense.

Well, I have yammered on long enough. I am off to bed...

Monday, September 5, 2011


Just a quick post tonight to share my progress on my blackwork sampler. I love the shade of red this calls for (DMC 815) This is a huge sampler and this is just one small motif in it. I love it and keep thinking how lovely it will be when it is finished.

Hope you had a great holiday weekend. It is a busy week ahead so I am off to sleep!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Perfect Day!

What a great day! The day started with church, of course. I got to sit next to one of my favorite people, and the gospel and sermon were exactly the message I needed to hear today. It is always interesting when that happens.

After church I went to have lunch with my old boss, who I have not seen in years. We sat for two hours catching up and laughing so hard that I thought we might get asked to leave the restaurant. LOL It was so great to see her and we just had a blast. We agreed that we need to have lunch more often! Plus I got to have a delicious BLT, my very favorite sandwich on earth. Yum!

On the way home, I got to talk to my BFF via cell phone (yes, hands free!) She told me that she is gathering up her landscape design and gardening books and putting them into a bag for me to borrow for as long as I like for when I move. Then she totally surprised me by telling me that she took a landscaping design course at a local community college and would love to help me with my yard when it is time. Now this was such a surprise to me. She is an avid gardener and has a gorgeous garden, from which she brings me bouquets of beautiful roses. I had no idea she was a pro though. In fact, her husband keeps an old truck for her so that he can take her to go get landscaping supplies. She has also offered to help me paint when the time comes. I am dreaming of warm pumpkin colored paint on my kitchen walls, so she says she will help me. A true friend is one who will offer to help you paint.

I was glad to get home to my sweet Liesl. She is such a remarkable little dog. After a big greeting filled with kisses and tail wags, we both decided to take a nap. This was one of the best naps I have taken in a long time and woke up feeling relaxed. Liesie looked content, too. Afterward she went off to the yard. There is a new gopher hole out there and she will stand watch over it for hours, if I let her. I will walk outside several times a day to see her standing there intently staring down this gopher hole.

Tonight I stitched. I am working on that blackwork piece I mentioned in an earlier post. I love how much ground you can cover quickly in blackwork. My distraction, however, was that new show on Discovery called Curiosity. I love these kinds of shows. Tonight it was about quantum mechanics, matter and anti-matter, black holes, etc. It was pretty deep subject, so I had to keep stopping to try to wrap my head around what they were talking about. It was fascinating.

A three day weekend is so awesome. Tonight I am staying up late to stitch, so that nap paid off! It is so nice to be able to stitch as late as I want to. Liesl already went to her puppy bed, which is kind of a bummer because she was keeping my feet warm before she left.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hanging Out At The Depot

First of all, I want to say thank you so much for your kind wishes and comments. It means so much to me that you took the time to write such nice things. It made my day.

Little Miss Liesl had an appointment at the groomer for her spa day first thing in the morning. I had to drop her off with apologies, because Liesl is a bit of a tomboy and loves to rough house with other dogs. (She is a tough little dog.) Her best friend, a male Queensland and Liesl have found a soft pile of dirt at work (we have some construction going on) and have spent a good deal of time wrasslin' and rolling in it. She was a hot mess (albeit a happy dog) going in for her professional bath today. She smells good and looks beautiful now.

After I dropped Liesl off, I headed off to Home Depot to look at refrigerators. I got a bit overwhelmed because I realized what a new play land Home Depot is since I am not restricted (except by cash flow) in the upgrades I can make to the house. I have been hanging out on the HD website lately, too. I have come to understand what everyone else already knows. When you are buying a house, all you can think about is what improvements you want to make. So I have been looking at a lovely fountain for my yard and all sorts of new ideas. I was even looking at granite tile floors for my kitchen, but realized that is too slippery and cold for little puppy feet. I am also considering having a island made for my kitchen. It was so exciting to look at some mosaic tile and back splashes. I figured I had better get out of there before I started giggle fits and skipping down the aisles.

I was so happy when it was time to pick up Liesie. The house felt so empty without her little schnauzer antics and cuddles. We got home and she did her usual running right to her toys and taking inventory of her favorites, sniffing each to make sure I did not play with them while she was gone. I decided to start sorting through things to determine what I will be donating and what I will move. I am only moving things into my house that I absolutely love. I also got the oven all cleaned and shiny so I have one less thing to do at move time.

I had plans for this evening but was so tired after the early day and hard work that I decided to stay in and cuddle with my fur girl. As the cherry on the ice cream sundae of my day, Talledega Nights is on. I love me some Ricky Bobby. Shake n' Bake! I am also starting a new blackwork sampler in red for my new living room. It is from Lesley Wilkins' Traditional Blackwork Samplers. I will post photos in the next few days. The nature of blackwork makes it go pretty quickly while you are stitching.

Off to stitch!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Most Amazing Week!

This week has been an amazing, incredible, fantastic week. Tonight was knitting circle, which is always wonderful. This time, the lady who offered to host was one of our newer members. She and her husband are caretakers of a home in Pebble Beach, so we were invited there tonight. Now when she said a home in Pebble Beach, I thought of a regular home. What we were not prepared for was that this is actually a mansion/estate on the rocky coast of the Pacific Ocean. It was the most spectacular building I have ever been in. I was speechless when I drove up and saw the size and beauty of this place. We were given a tour to see the most fabulous bathrooms on the planet. It was breathtaking. I have always wondered about the mansions behind the big gates there and thought that they must be cold and unwelcoming. This house was 25,000 square feet and was so cozy and so beautiful with a piece of furniture actually designed by Thomas Jefferson himself.

Our dear friend made us the most beautiful dinner and we sat on an inlet deck that was fully heated, with the Pacific Ocean pounding the rocks just feet away. I felt like I was on vacation. The lady who hosted is just a delightful lady and we just love having her in our group. Tonight it was so kind of her to share this place and show such hospitality to us. I am not sure that I will ever forget this evening.

I also got to meet the infamous friend, Kate. She is so absolutely lovely and such a joy to be around. I am so glad that I had the chance to meet her. I was in such a rush and have been really forgetful this week, so I neglected to bring her gift. But they are coming tomorrow to pick it up.

Okay, so here is my really big news. I have been called a lot of things in my lifetime, but now I am about to be called something else--homeowner. This week I placed an offer (and it was accepted!!!!!) on my dream house. I have always been a renter, but have always dreamed of owning a home. I got to the point this year where I could not ignore the dream and started putting things into motion a few months ago. My real estate agent is an old friend and a bit of a local celebrity. He has been wonderful. We have seen quite a few houses together now. My friends all told me I would know the house when I saw it. It was absolutely true. I fell in love with this house and it was all I could think about for about a week before I made the offer on it. It is so beautifully and meticulously remodeled. I hope I am not appearing boastful or proud but my kitchen is brand new with granite counter tops and brand new stainless steel appliances. I even have a peek of Monterey Bay from my window. It has the perfect sized yard for Liesl. It is my dream home. It had every single thing on my list as though it was meant just for me. Even my agent keeps telling me that I am so fortunate in all of this. I keep telling him that God has always truly blessed me (as He does for all of His children), for which I am so grateful.

My catalyst in all of this was actually a small, furry best friend, Liesl. While I have been renting a dog friendly home, I have been afraid of when I would have to move at some point. I was concerned about not finding a place that was dog friendly, or someone ordering me to get rid of my dog after I had signed a lease. So earlier this year, I started saying prayers, asking for the chance to buy a house with a wonderful yard for her. I was expecting a fixer upper, but yet again, God has blessed me greatly indeed. I am so grateful.

So I move at the end of the month. Things are hopping and I am making checklists, notes, and looking for boxes. (I have also been blessed with quite a few offers of help on moving day!) I can not wait to sleep in my new house, or have a cup of coffee or listen to raindrops outside. I will share more of my journey as it comes along. Thanks be to God! This really is a miracle.