Thursday, January 31, 2013


That is the sound of this week going by.  Can it really be almost Friday already?  I have had my head down studying for my certifications.  I took the second of three exams tonight.  Now I get to be on pins and needles waiting to see how I did.  I am not sure how I will sleep tonight other than the fact that my head is so full of facts and figures that it will weigh down my pillow.  LOL

I also can not believe that it is already February!  I turn the big 5-0 this month, which is surprising because I sure do not feel like I am 50.  I feel like I am in the best part of my life, enjoying every minute of the blessings that I have.  That number just crept up on me.  It is funny because thanks to genetics I have very little gray hair.  (My Dutch great grandmother and her sister, who lived to be in her 90's, both had jet black hair until the day they died.)  My hair is still red, but more subdued than when I was a kid.  So instead of saying I am 50, I will just say that I am living my best year ever!

The problem with all of this studying is that there has been no fun for Patti.  I have not really had much time for stitching.  If I try to do anything just a little bit fun, I am consumed by guilt that I should be studying.  So I just have to get through this last test for a while and then, let the fun resume.  I am so starved for fun that The Hummingbird Trellis Afghan is calling to me.  I am not answering--yet.

With the Monterey Peninsula being just about 2 1/2 hours from San Francisco, the area is just abuzz for Superbowl.  Everyone is getting ready for the big day.  Me, a NASCAR kind of girl can't wait until Feb 24 when the engines fire up again.  So on Sunday my plan is to just run up and down the aisles of Costo, just 'cause I can.  I figure no one else will be there.  That way I can stock up on supplies because next week the AT&T Pro Am Golf Tournament comes to Pebble Beach and all heck breaks out on the Peninsula.  We usually have pretty minimal traffic here, but when the tournament comes to town, everything comes to a screeching halt.  The locals know to hunker down next week, even though it means missing out on the celebs.  My son works at the airport and last year he got to help Bill Murray.  He thought that was pretty darn awesome.  

So I guess it is time to tuck in the fur girl.  I have been letting her hair grow out since it has been so cold.  She is a big, pouffy looking dog right now.  I get the impression that she lets me tuck her in for my sake not hers, since I have the sense she is pretty warm with all of that fur.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Good News!

Well, I got my results back for my first of three certifications that I am working on in order to get a professional license.  I had submitted the test for grading on Friday morning.  I have been on pins and needle all weekend (while studying for my next certification exam.)  So the verdict is in and I got a 98 out of 100.  Happy dancing!  I can't celebrate for too long, though, because this second exam is longer and is looming over my head.  I have been cramming so much detailed information into my brain that it is hard to have conversations about anything other than what I am studying.  I am so excited that I have cleared my first hurdle though!

I have taken a couple of small breaks from all of the studying.  I pulled out my knitting and watched Downton Abbey last night.  I did not knit for long, because I was sobbing through the whole show.  I did not see that coming!  Holy Smokes.  

I tried tonight watching something a little less intellectually stimulating.  I have shared in past posts that I absolutely adore classical music, classic literature, fine art, fine food and wine.  However, I also love really trashy reality shows like Real Housewives and Shahs of Sunset.  Tonight was RHOBH so I had to settle in and knit and watch grown women act like they are in high school.  I totally love it.  So anyway, here is the progress I have made on my silly little scarf.  As usual, the photo does not capture the colors really well.  The colors are actually much more organic looking.

So now I am turning off the facts, figures and law that I am studying.  Time to turn my attention to cozy things like a small dog who is softly snoring.  The wind blowing outside.  The chowder that I would like to make for tomorrow's dinner.  I have been spending some time dreaming about the perfect garden that I want to put in this spring.  I think about Liesl frolicking in the garden, chasing bees (and me telling her to knock it off.)  I have a low maintenance yard right now, which includes drought resistant plants.  However, I envision more of a cottage garden.  My plan includes putting in a plot of grass that is just for Liesl to roll around in and play in.  She loves to lay down in the grass on a warm day.  So I need to find a grass that is nice and soft for her.  I am thinking about the beautiful flowers and the tomatoes that I want to plant.  I am so looking forward to spring!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Puttering Around The Cozy Cottage

It is so hard to get motivated to do anything when you wake up on a Saturday to a day that is gray and cloudy.  Generally, this kind of weather calls for a long cup of coffee, getting under my heated throw blanket, and stitching with a small dog snoozing next to me.  It is always kind of weird when the sun comes out later in the morning, and you feel like you should be doing something, but you still have your cozy going which causes inner turmoil.  Sadly, the sofa time was cut short because the cozy cottage was a bit untidy and stuff had to get done.

Part of my activity today called for a b-a-t-h for Liesl.  She has been sticking her head into gopher holes and her beard was a bit gross as a result.  Plus she was starting to smell like a dog, so it was time to hit the tub.  Liesl tends to go with the flow with the bath.  She figured out when she was pretty small that baths go faster when she just goes with it and stands still.  Now she is all clean.  I love to smell the top of her head for the few days after she has her bath.  I am still letting her grow out her hair so she stays warm.  It is getting really curly and is super soft when I kiss her on her sweet little head.

On the stitching front, I have been looking at some freebie Valentine designs.  I would really like to make some for a few friends, but I am wondering if I will have the time.  Some of the designs that are out there are so adorable and look like pretty quick and easy stitches.  It is the finishing that always slows me down.  :)

I totally forgot to mention the best part of knitting night the other night.  My friend who was hosting was going through her craft things recently and decided to get rid of her cross stitch supplies.  She gave me a whole box of kits, fabric and floss the other night.  It was like Christmas.  I still have to finish going through them.  There were some beautiful Paula Vaughan kits in the box.  I am a happy girl. 

Most of the day today I spent studying for my next certification exam.  I know, you are thinking how glamorous my life is that I get to study accounting all the time.  So exciting!  LOL  I am learning a lot, but my brain is getting a little mushy from all of this hitting the books.  I will have federal employment law provisions dancing in my head tonight...

Friday, January 25, 2013


I am so tired tonight.  I was up into the wee hours last night taking an online exam for a certification.  I was a bit stressed and admittedly, I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so I ended up being really, really stressed over it.  I had finished it and obsessively checked it over and over again until around 12:30 am.  I tend to suffer from pretty bad insomnia anyway but my wanting to get this done so perfectly caused enough stress that I was awake until about 3 am.  There comes a point where all I can do is get out of bed and do something else.  So I picked up my knitting and watched television.  Newsflash :  There is nothing really on at that time. If we were back in the day, the National Anthem would be playing and there would be that still photo of the flag, until the station went off for the night.  

I got to get together with my knitting group the other night.  It had been way too long (like last spring) since we got together.  I love my little knitting group.  We always have dinner together and then sit and talk.  Sometimes we even knit.  LOL  The other night it was held at a mansion in Pebble Beach.  My friend is the house manager there and is allowed to invite us over.  The house sits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and is the most amazing house I have ever seen, complete with movie theater, game room, and huge library.  My friend is also the personal chef and makes food that could make me weep with joy.  We always have a theme for our little potluck dinners, and  the other night the theme was Italian.  My friend made a lasagna that I will remember the rest of my life.  It was absolute perfection.  

I ended up bringing an olallieberry cobbler.  Olallieberries are a regional food here and tend to be grown in coastal areas where there is a lot of fog.  They originated in Oregon and are a cross between a loganberry and a youngberry, which in turn is a hybrid cross of a blackberry, raspberry and dewberry.  They have a very unique taste.  We have a farm up the coast a bit near Santa Cruz that grows them.  They sell 8lb bags of them.  I bought a bag and stashed it in my freezer last summer.  I remembered it as I was trying to decide on dessert.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it, which made me happy.  

It was a really nice evening.  It looks like we are going to try harder to keep it going now, which makes me happy.  We were talking while we ate our dessert about what the theme for dinner next time should be.  I offered that we should try a retro dinner night.  The ideas that were coming forth were great!  My friend said she could make a casserole.  Okay, she is from the mid-west so she called it "hot-dish."  She said that it would have the obligatory ground beef, macaroni noodles and cream of mushroom soup.  Another person said she would bring the jello mold.  It got us all talking about retro foods.  That was when the discussion about a casserole made with tater tots got going.  We all lamented how much we miss tater tots.  (I actually keep a bad of Trader Joe's tater tots in my freezer for days when I feel like something that tastes just a little bit like junk food.  Okay, that and Frosted Cherry Pop Tarts.)  So it will be interesting to see what happens at the next dinner.  Everyone seemed inspired by the idea of it.  I think it will be fun.  

Well, wish me luck that I sleep tonight.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I have had some really pretty yarn calling to me from out of my stash lately.  This is a super soft, really pretty acrylic yarn that I bought several years ago.  It has varying shades of olive green along with some browns.  It came with a free pattern for a scarf that is stockinette stitch.  This is basically something I can handle. I have not knit for a long time, so I am afraid my stitches are a bit uneven.  I may have to pull it out and start over.  I only have an hour invested so far, so we see how it looks in tomorrow's light.   

This yarn is made by Lion Brand and is called "Amazing."  It is so unbelievably soft.  It was sort of weird because as I took it out of the paper cuff, Liesl got up to sniff it.  For some reason she has always wanted to sniff yarns.  I think it started a when she was about 2.  We went to a yarn shop and the owner of the shop, was a dog momma herself and was holding the different yarns up to her nose to sniff.  I am wondering if she just liked smelling the different animals associated with the yarns (although this is acrylic.)  I have not had new yarn out in a couple of years, I would guess.  However, she came right over, sniffed the ball, then proceeded to try to pilfer it.  I leave my craft stuff out all of the time and she never pays any attention to it.  I see that I will have to make sure this is up high.

My little knitting circle is actually getting together this week after a rather long hiatus.  I am wracking my brain trying to think of a most excellent dessert to bring.  Each person in the group is a really talented cook so I need to keep up!  :)  I have a feeling I will have visions of sugarplums dancing in my head as I sleep.  

It is nice to knit again.  It has a certain rhythm that is rather soothing.  I just hope I get to finish this scarf this winter...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stitching Along...

I am almost done!  I am in the process of attaching the back.  I will be so happy when this particular piece is done.  It is very pretty, however, stitching the back has been a challenge.  I would love to stitch the front again, but in the future I would need to find an alternative to the back.

It has been a very quiet day today at the cozy cottage.  It was in the mid 70's again today.  It was really cold in the house, so I opened all of the windows and took my coffee outside in the yard so I could warm up.  The sunshine just felt so nice.  Liesl was back to sitting amongst the oxalis, smiling and looking like this was the best day of her life.  I tried my best to just enjoy the moment and not look at all of the yard work that still needs to be done.  I also have to remember that this is just a break in our normally rainy time of year.  The rain is due to start up again next week and more weeds will come.  

So now it is still pretty warm.  I had the windows open most of the day so the house smells nice and fresh.  I am thinking that if it is still nice next weekend, I will need to take a drive where I can see the humpback whales migrating.  They usually migrate November to April.  It is pretty awesome to see.  My favorite sight of all is when I see a big spout and then a little bitty spout next to it.  I hear that they are running pretty strong this year.  I also heard on the news that the orcas have been plentiful in the outer bay.  They do not come in very close to land like the humpbacks, so a boat ride is in order to see them.  I bet that would be pretty cool to see.  I am used to seeing sea lions, sea otters and dolphins around the area.  My favorites are the dolphins.  They come close to land and put on quite the show.  There have even been times when I have been nearly alone, walking along the beach and they will swim keeping pace with me, as I walk along, breaching in and out of the water.  I am always in awe when they do this.  All I can think is that they are curious.  Yes, indeed.  I think I shall definitely have to go find a place to whale watch.  

Not for one minute do I take it for granted that I get to live in an area where I get to see such miraculous things.  Generally, after witnessing some of these amazing creatures I say a quick prayer of thanks.  I feel so fortunate and blessed, even on a bad day.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Good Saturday

After over a week of just freezing temps here on the Monterey Peninsula, today was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  The sun was shining brightly, there was no fog and it was just a beautiful day. It was colder in the house than it was outside, so I opted for the out of doors.  I got two large flower beds weeded and deadheaded.  They look rather lovely again.  I pruned my rose bush for the first time in a couple of years.   The last few winters have been a bit warm, so it never really got cold enough for it to go dormant.  I wanted to get it done this year since it was taller than me and kind of scraggly.  It was a bit shocking to see it cut back so dramatically.  

It felt so nice to have the sun warming my back as I kind of puttered for a little while.  I did not do any heavy duty gardening.  At one point I just sat down in my Adirondack chair and enjoyed the sunshine.   It was really quiet so I looked around to see what Liesl was doing.  I did not see her by her gopher holes and I did not think she went back in the house.  All of the sudden I saw her sitting in the middle of a huge area filled with oxalis.  She was just sitting there right in the middle of those yellow flowers, enjoying the sun and just smiling away.  She looked so full of joy that it made me happy.  I started to go inside to get my camera but, alas, the spell was broken.  She followed me inside in hopes that it was cookie time.  

It is so hard when one has more than one fun activity that they love.  My love of stitching unfortunately competes with my love of books.  Today a book won and I spent the rest of the afternoon reading.  Fellow stitchers have suggested that I try listening to a recorded book while I stitch.  Unfortunately, I am a visual person.  I can listen to a book in the car, however, listening to a book while I am stitching either makes my mind wander or makes me sleepy.  I can be stitching merrily along and then think to myself that I have no idea what I am listening to.  

So tonight after I had played sufficiently with the furgirl and given her the daily puppy massage, I sat down to finish the back of that gosh darn heart.  I have about two inches to go and then I will be ready to assemble it to the front.  I had thought about working on the bell pull, but the guilt of being so close to finishing this piece was just getting to me.  I hope to finish it tomorrow and be done with it.  The back has made me not enjoy this piece so much.  

So I am feeling content that I got some nice things accomplished today.  The highlight of the day was seeing that little happy face on my sweet little schnauzer.  Maybe the lesson in there for all of us is to be in bliss, sitting in the sunshine and taking the time to smell the flowers.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back To My Bell Pull

My poor bell pull has been stashed away since before Christmas.  I happened to stumble across it today and realized how much I miss it.  As you can see, I am almost done with the grapes square.  After this is completed, I believe the next square is apples.  I still need to finish up the back of the Hardanger heart, but I am taking a little break from it since I have had to pull out my work so much.  Working on linen is difficult with the uneven nature of the weave.  You can have a huge puffy thread next to a super hairline thin thread, which can totally mess you your count.  But I digress...

So now my fruit bell pull is calling to me again.  I may try to get some stitches put into this weekend.  

Teresa Wentzler, the designer of this piece announced yesterday that she and Leisure Arts are re-releasing some of her out of print designs, like the Fruit Bellpull and Peacock Tapestry.  This should make a lot of stitchers who love her designs happy.  I realize that designs go OOP for a variety of reasons, but I wish this were not the case.  (Which is why I love Lavender and Lace patterns.  They never go OOP.)  The prices get so inflated on ebay and the designers do not get to benefit from it.  The one pattern that I would love to have come back into print is Mirabilia's Seaside Kingdom.  I love the vintage nostalgic look of it.  However, the prices are really high, IF you can find it.  I am still kicking myself for missing out on getting it back in the day.

Now, if you are considering stitching this bell pull, be aware that there are a lot of blended threads and a lot of confetti stitching.  So it is a challenge and can be slow going.  However, it is more stunning than photos can show so it is so worth it.  

On the reading front, I am back to reading yet another book about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  I so love this period of British history.  This book is called "Bring Up The Bodies."  I knew it was going to be a good one when the librarian checking out my book load, said that she could not wait to read it and is on the wait list.  I am waiting to see how this compares to The Other Boleyn Girl which got me totally hooked on anything by Philippa Gregory.  I do not think I would have done well in the politics of royal courts.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gopher Madness

It seems that this very cold weather has brought a gopher visitor or family to my yard.  There have been a couple of mounds that have appeared (at least that is all I can see through the thriving field of my nemesis, oxalis.)  It is like Caddyshack back there.  Liesl, of a breed known for hunting vermin, was pretty excited yesterday to see the mound of dirt.  This particular mound had a bonus-an actual live gopher.  I found her staring at the hole, not moving, not breathing, except for the twitchy leg she gets when she is trying to contain herself at a gopher hole.  The twitchy leg is ready to propel her into the gopher hole if need be.  I think this is where the stubbornness and iron will of a terrier comes into play.  Anyone who has a ratting dog will tell you that they can be unbelievably tenacious , focused and patient when it comes to watching a gopher hole with a gopher in it.   

Now what Liesl does not know is that her momma would not let her have the gopher if she caught it.  There are several reasons for this.  The most important reason is that many people will try to poison gophers (or any rodents) to get rid of them.  You never know if a neighbor has done this.  A dog can receive a secondary poisoning from a rodent, which can kill them.  Liesl is too important to me and admittedly I am pretty overprotective of her. 

Anyway, this gopher hole is all that she can think about.  She keeps ringing her bell to go out so that she can check the status of the gopher hole.  It has been constant.  You can see the gleam come into her eye, as she thinks, "Oh, hey, we should go check on that mound of dirt."  When I let her out, she runs straight to it.  Right now the only thing for the gophers to eat is the oxalis, which I would be happy if they ate and killed.  So I am hoping that they move on to greener pastures soon, so to speak.  I would think that the neighbors yard is far more interesting. :)

So I am hoping for a peaceful night.  I am hoping that my furry one does not keep feeling the need to patrol the gopher hole.  Hopefully, she is having pleasant dreams of chasing her favorite squeaky ball, eating her favorite cookies and having the back of her ears scritched.  Wish me luck.

Monday, January 14, 2013


I love this part of the evening where everything is absolutely quiet and still.  Liesl has been tucked into her little puppy bed.  If I strain to hear her, the sounds of soft puppy breaths are there.  It is very cold again tonight and there is barely any moon, so it is extremely dark.  Other than the sounds of my typing, everything is perfectly quiet.  

I worked a bit on my ornament tonight.  I am still making the back for it.  It is hard because it does not have the reference points of the front and I am working on linen instead of even weave.  I shall not make that error again.  I have had to rip out the buttonhole stitch several times and hope that this is the last time I shall ever have to do it again.  The ornament is so beautiful.  I am wondering if I should make another small or if I should go back to working on my bell pull after this is done.

Speaking of bell pulls, after watching Downton Abbey last night, I have decided that I need staff to respond to my bell pull.  LOL  Okay, the current budget does not allow for staff and given what I see on that show, I am not sure I would want that much drama and scheming under my roof.  Oy vey!  In any case, did anyone else cry their eyes out like me for Lady Edith last night?  Oh my gosh!  I could not believe it!  

I got to spend some time with one of my closest friends, she took me out for our favorite super nachos at one of the local Mexican restaurants.  These nachos are some of the best you could ever eat.  We actually have a pact that we will only eat these nachos when we are together.  I just adore the time I get to spend with my dear friend.  We can talk about really serious topics like religion, family, books, or the serious illnesses that we both have to get through in the past few years.  Today, however, we had to go through a serious in-depth analysis of our favorite television shows-Shahs of Sunset, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills AND Atlanta, and Downton Abbey. It was a highly intelligent conversation where we both laughed a lot.  

So I am at the point of my day, where I am so grateful for everything in my life.  I appreciate the peace of this evening, my sweet Liesl nestled in her little bed, the clear night sky bursting with so many stars, and my feet feeling warm under my blankets.  I am grateful for my friends, for good books, and trashy television shows.  Life is a beautiful thing and there are so many gorgeous facets to it!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hodge Podge

It has been a very cold week here with temperatures in the 20s and 30s (Farenheit) at night.  It is in the 40s during the day.  It has also been very windy so we have windchill.  Brrrrr. I have been sleeping with socks on and an extra blanket on the bed.  It is supposed to be really cold this weekend, so it is a good time to stay in and be cozy at the ol' cottage.  I have some chores to do and have library books at the ready.  By the way, if you love Philippa Gregory, her new book, "The Kingmaker's Daughter" is a total page turner.  It is one of the books based on the War of the Roses and is one of her best in a while.  

During the cold, winter months I do not groom Liesl like a typical schnauzer.  Usually a schnauzer cut includes shaving most of their hair off their backs, top of the legs and tummies.  However, I certain drama queen schnauzer will not wear a sweater without going into full theatrics worthy of Oscar contention.  So she shivers really hard, which hurts my heart to watch.  So I let her hair grow out. (Mini schnauzers have hair, not fur, so they do not shed fur or dander.)  Right now she is getting curly and looks a bit different.  I will make sure I get a photo to share when she gets to looking like a teddy bear.  

I tend to get daily updates on Facebook from a magazine called Life and Dog.  They are generally cute photos or quotations, which make me smile.  Today, however, there was a great informational download on the health benefits of dog massage.  I have been told by my vet that massage is really important for improving circulation and opening blood vessels.  Generally in the evening, after Liesl has had her dinner, I will play with her for 20 to 30 minutes.  Then when it is time for her to start settling in for the evening, I will massage her temples and her ears.  I have always heard that it was important to rub a dog's ears.  I have also been told that dogs carry their stress in their lower backs and hindquarters so it is important to massage there daily.  

There is a chart that you can download here that details the pressure points and the reflexology associated with it.  I like the idea of the additional health benefits.  I was surprised to see that it is also important to rub each individual toe.  I guess it is just like how everything is tied to the feet and toxins rest in the feet in humans.  When I saw that I thought to myself that Liesl was not going to be okay with that.  While she is pretty accommodating, she is not thrilled at having her feet touched.  Tonight I rubbed her little feet and each toe on both her front and back feet and she totally loved it.   She really enjoys her little daily 5-10 minute massage and I am hopeful that it will help to keep her healthy for many, many years.  

One last thing:  A couple of days ago Carol at posted about a year of smalls that she had stitched as decorations in a bowl.  It is total genius.  The items that she stitched and finished are so adorable, so beautiful, that I just had to share.  I would love to do something like this in the future.  

Stay warm!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Quick Post Tonight

I am just writing a quick post this evening.  I woke up tired this morning, so I am going to bed early tonight.  Liesl thinks this is a perfect idea, and made her happy schnauzer trot to the bedroom when I told her it was time for bed.  She needs to get her full 22 1/2 hours of sleep a day.  :)

I have had a few questions about the pattern for the Hardanger Heart Ornament.  It is by Calico Crossroads and is one of the ornaments in the 2003 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.  If you have this issue or can possibly get one, there are several cute ornaments in it.  I like the elegance of this piece.  I think it could probably be left out all winter instead of putting it away with the rest of the decorations.  It would be kind of nice on a doorknob or cabinet pull.

I was so happy to see Shirley MacLaine on Downton Abbey last night.  I thought that she and Maggie Smith together were priceless.  There were some really great one liners but my favorite was Shirley serenading Maggie.   I wish I could count all of the sub plots going on at any given time on this show.  Wow!   I just love it.  I have to wonder if it is so popular because we are so hungry for quality television.  While I do have my guilty pleasure reality shows, Downton Abbey is far more entertaining.  

Well, my eyelids are now at the critical heavy point.  I had better go tuck in my schnauzer girl and reflect on all that I am grateful for today.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Perfect Day

Well, here is the finished front of my Hardanger heart.  I am finishing up the back and it will be good to go!  The gold braid actually twinkles a bit more than it show here.  It is quite pretty up close.

I was happy to work on this today.  It was a rainy and dreary day and I had a sore throat all day.  So we camped out on the sofa.  Liesl napped away.  I stitched and had my hot cider and windmill cookies next to me.  I was under my heated throw.  The best part was that I finally got to see what all the hub bub was about with Downton Abbey.  I watched a marathon while I stitched.  (Do we watch shows one episode at a time anymore?)  Okay, this show is brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.   I have always loved Maggie Smith, but, oh my goodness, I think this is the best thing she has ever done. It was a perfect way to spend a rainy day.  

It is supposed to rain tomorrow, too.  I am hoping it is clear while I am at church.  Then it can rain again when I get home.  Actually, if I can squeeze in a walk with Liesl first, that would be awesome.  She does not like to have raindrops touch her.

Off to dream about what I should stitch next...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hardanger Heart

Here is my progress on my Hardanger Heart ornament.  I was able to get half of the pine boughs stitched tonight.   It had somehow slipped my mind that stitching with gold braid = no fun.  Trying to get the stitches to lay right is like herding cats.  However, I think it is turning out pretty well.  After this, I just have to finish the other half of the pine boughs, attach the beading and it shall be done.  

Now the challenge becomes, do I work on more ornaments, which I am enjoying?  Or should I go back and work on my fruit bell pull?  I would really like to stitch some of the MLI Christmas angels.  I will have to wait and see what inspires me. 

I somehow forgot to mention that my daughter got me one of those heated throws for Christmas.  It is the height of decadence and is perfect for taking a nap under or sitting on while I stitch.  I am worried that a certain little dog will find out about the magic blanket.  If that happens, it will no longer be mine...

Happy day!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

End Of The Holidays

Oh, my goodness.  This has been a wonderful holiday season and I am so grateful for time spent with family and friends.  After months of a pretty strict doctor ordered diet, I have been eating some pretty rich foods in the past couple of weeks.  Today I had a social event to attend.  The food was beyond delicious!  Meatballs, fondue, salami, fancy cheeses, etc.  I am so stuffed hours later.  With all of the delicious, rich, decadent foods I have consumed in the past couple of weeks, I am now craving a really good salad.   It was so much fun while it lasted... 

Now I am looking forward to a happy and healthy 2013.  I feel so optimistic about this year.  I do not really make resolutions.  I do tend to have an ongoing set of small goals that I set for myself.  I have a few projects that I really want to get done on my house this year.  Other than that I just try to remember to stay in the moment and walk in gratitude.

I have been thinking that it is wonderful to have had the holidays with the people that I love.  I also think that the people that I love and who love me are what made my everyday life pretty wonderful, too.  I love my ordinary days and feel so blessed.  So many good friends, good books, good meals, things to stitch, beautiful places to take Liesl for walks, and a soft place to lay my head at night.  

So the sun has set on the holiday season. The decorations have been put away.  Christmas cards with such loving messages are put away in my desk drawer so that I can enjoy them all year.  The last of the Christmas cookies are in the freezer.  The challenge going forward is to keep the spirit and joy of the holidays through the upcoming year.  There really is so much to be joyful about.

Happy New Year!

Liesl and I wish you a year filled with so many good blessings-love, prosperity, happiness and laughter!  

This year is going to be awesome!