Saturday, March 4, 2023

A New Start

Thank you so much for your very kind comments about the progress on Lady of the Thread.  I really appreciate them.  

I am taking a little break from Lady of the Thread.  I was starting to not enjoy stitching on the piece.  Rather than powering through and risking errors, a break was in order.  So I pulled out Plum Street's Tomato Dame.

This is a super fun stitch!  It really appealed to me because I love growing tomatoes!  I always plant way too many each year.  I think it is due to growing up in New Jersey where the very best tomatoes are grown.  Word on the street is that they are so good because of the water in New Jersey.  Nevertheless, a homegrown tomato is one of the best things in the world.  It is just about time for me to fire up the Aerogarden and start this year's crop of tomatoes!

Anyway, as I mentioned this is a super fun stitch.  I am stitching it with the called for colors which are all Weeks Dye Works.  I did not realize until today that WDW are colorfast.  Bonus!  I really love the richness of the reds.  The large tomato is stitched with Chrysanthemum, which is exactly the same color as Campbell's Tomato Soup.  I have been craving it all day.

It has been cold, rainy, and windy here in California for a few weeks now.  We have snow on the hills around here.  This is somewhat rare around here but this year has been exceptional in terms of temperature and rainfall.  More rain has been forecasted for this weekend.  I thought that this would be a perfect weekend to spend in my Fortress of Crafty-tude.  I had taken care of my chores during the week, did my grocery shopping before the weekend and planned on getting up early so that I could sit in my Queendom with my coffee.  It had been a long week, so I was happy to go to bed early last night.  

All would have gone according to plan, except, the house next door to the cozy cottage was recently turned into an Airbnb.  For the most part, the people who stay there are very respectful of the neighbors and are quiet.  Last night, however, the renters were a group of young people who decided to have a loud, drunken party in the yard, outside of my bedroom window.  (It was 35 degrees!)  I was woken up at 10:30, 12:05, 12:40 and 1:45 am.  I woke up exhausted and cranky.  I am not sure what I can even do about it.  I was too tired to try to sew or play in my room today.   I ended up taking a two hour nap today.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be better!  It is supposed to rain again, so it is a good day to play inside!

Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2023

I Love It When That Happens!


Admittedly, I am a stitching daredevil.  Living life on the edge, throwing caution to the wind...So it is always pretty exciting when I join two sides of a border or in this case, the wreath on this piece.  I do not graph my fabric or mark it in any way. I am old school and count my stitches and compare against the pattern often.  I am happy to report that everything lined up and I can breathe more easily.  I still have a lot of stitching to do on her, but the hardest part is over.  

Yesterday turned out to be a stitching day.  I had intended to paint my office/craft room, but it is really cold and windy here.  Like the wind cuts through you.  I could not get warm the entire day.  So I did not go to Home Depot to get my paint.  I hate to be cold.  

It was also meal prep day yesterday.  I try to make a couple of things for the fridge that I can just grab during the week.  One of my favorite lunches is a lentil, feta and bruschetta salad.  It is just so good.  I like really bright flavors.  The recipe is one that I found on a Trader Joe's Facebook page.  Unfortunately, for about the past year, Trader Joe's was having supply chain issues and did not have the bruschetta.  I finally gave up and found a copycat recipe that is fresh and so much better.   If you are interested both the salad and the bruschetta recipe can be found here:

It is so fresh tasting and a bit healthier than TJ's.  I buy the fresh Campari tomatoes at Costco to make mine and  I grow the basil on my countertop in my Aerogarden.  I also put a pinch of sugar in the mix to cut the acid in the tomatoes.  So delicious!  

So now that I have faced my fear with the Lady of the Needle, I am thinking about my other large WIP's.  The largest two are Teresa Wentzler's Fruit Bellpull and the Stoney Creek Hummingbird Trellis.  I might have to take a look at these two now that some time has passed.  Teresa Wentzler patterns are notorious for confetti stitching.  While the finished project is so beautiful, with the depth of color that comes with the variety of color, it can cease to be fun because there are no real blocks of one color.  The Hummingbird Trellis is just large, with blocks that are just white.  Two extremes.

Hoping you stay warm this week!

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Stitchy Progress!


I am close to closing the loop of the wreath.  Once I do that, I have to go through and fill in a lot of the places that I have missed.  Mark my words, I shall never stitch on black fabric again.  I feel like I am seeing triple.  It is really hard on the eyes.  I do love the way the finished product looks, but seriously.  

I woke up to total happiness today.  My son sent me a video text of my little 10 month old grandson taking some steps.  He just decided while he was standing that he was going to let go and start walking toward his daddy.  He had this determined little look on his face.  I am so proud of him but I can't believe how fast he is growing.

My craft room is in bad need of being painted.  I am thinking that tomorrow may be the day!  I have been looking at paint samples for in there for some time.  My craft room/office is blue and white.  I thought about blue walls, or bluish gray.  I know gray walls are very in, but it just seemed kind of depressing, so I think that I will go with a buff neutral.  I think this will look a lot warmer.  So off to Home Depot I go tomorrow.

This will actually be my second trip to Home Depot this week.  I had to run in to pick up some drain cleaner the other day.  I always park by the Garden Center because it makes me happy to walk past all of the plants.  I am counting the days until March 3rd, the last date for frost here in the Almanac.  I can't wait to start my garden.  I miss the way that soil smells when you first work on it in the Spring.  

So, as I was walking through the Garden Center, I saw that they had all kinds of cool things that I havd not intended to buy that day.  I have two fig plants, strawberry plants, potato starters, sweet potato starters, scallion and onion sets. I thought to myself that between all of that and the seeds that I have bought from Baker Creek, I am all set.  I really wanted the dahlia bulbs, too, but I had to rein myself in.  For now. LOL

Enjoy the Superbowl tomorrow!  I hope you get lots of stitching time in!


Sunday, January 29, 2023

A Stitchy Weekend

 This poor WIP.  I put it away for at least the last 10-15 years.  Lady of the Thread by Margaret Leavitt Imblum has gone through several moves with me.  Several times I have unrolled this in an attempt to restart it.  She is beautiful and I have always wanted to stitch her.  The only problem was that I thought that I had made a number of mistakes that I could not find.  So every few years I would pull her out and try to work on her, but I would get to so frustrated I would just shove her back into my project bag.  Part of me thought that I should just throw the whole thing away, but I just couldn't bring myself to do.

 A couple of weekends ago, I was in a mood and decided that if I had to, I would rip out the top half.  As I started pulling out the lace color stitching, I realized that the way that MLI lined up the overlap lines between the top and bottom of the pattern is different than what I am used to seeing.  I realized that there was no error after all.  It was the way that I was reading the pattern.  Whew!

So over the past couple of weekends I have been working on it.  I really needed a weekend off, so I took a stitchy weekend to just relax and enjoy working on her.  I really love MLI's patterns and I have stitched three of her angels.  There is something so feminine and beautiful about her work.  She also layers colors in a way that is so beautiful.  Several years ago, before she passed away I emailed her to tell her how much I loved her patterns.  To my surprise, she emailed me back thanking me for my email.  I still fangirl over it to this day.

Two things have contributed to my ability to stitch a lot lately.  For three weeks we had monster storms in California, and the central coast of the state really took a beating.  We were being advised to stay home.  You do not have to ask me really hard to stay home.  It is my favorite place.  So it has been nice to cozy in.  I am hearing from my weather friends that it is going to be a wet February so I think I might actually be able to finish the Lady of the Thread in 2023.

The other thing that is freeing up time to stitch is that I pretty much stay off my computer during the weekends now.  It has been liberating.  My best friend is 80 now and she gets so much done.  She is my inspiration. I wondered why she accomplishes so much and I realized it is because she is not  on her computer much.  So I take breaks from social media on the weekends.  It is really relaxing to stitch instead.

I think this is going to be my next stitching project.  It is so pretty.  I bought it from Shepherd's Needle.  I was so impressed with them.  Super fast shipping.  The package said, "Happy Mail" on the flap and it was gift wrapped in a pretty bird tissue paper.  I love when stores do something extra like that.  It makes it feel special top open a present.

I hope you get to have some special stitchy time this week.  

Sunday, July 10, 2022

And the Hummingbird Drama Continues...

 Except now they have been joined by the butterflies.  LOL  I usually run my sprinklers in the early evening and the butterflies like to fly through the spray.  Usually, they are Monarchs and Painted Ladies.  On Friday evening, after work it was so pleasant outside.  I decided to mow and clean up the flower beds that I should have cleaned out in the early Spring.  So I sat down on the grass while I was digging out the weeds from heck.  Apparently, the butterflies are taking lessons from the hummingbirds, because they were fluttering right in front of my face and would not leave me alone.  Ultimately, I turned on the sprinklers and all was well in the world again.  Lesson learned.  Butterflies are bossy.  

I was kind of excited that 123stitch had Prairie Schooler Santa's on sale for Christmas in July.  I bought a few of them.  I like the cards the best.  I really like the colors that PS uses for these.  They are kind of rustic.  They are really fun to stitch, too.

As part of my home organization project, I decided to try to inventory my cross-stitch supplies.  I invested in Xstitch Plus for Iphone.  I really like it because I can finally inventory my DMC floss.  At one time I had a full set of DMC when they only had about 400 colors.  Back then you could keep a whole set in the old Trackers cases from Walmart.  They were originally made to hold toy cars.  I still have mine, but now I have extra storage and I still do not have a full set.  I don't really like the variegated floss from DMC so there is no need to include it in my inventory.

I haven't stitched as much as I have wanted lately.  I have been really focused on reorganizing, purging, and working in my yards.  I am getting a lot of exercise and feel pretty good about it.   I am considering painting the cozy cottage in September when we have our nicest weather here.  It will be nice to go into the fall and winter with so much done.  Hopefully, we will have lots of rain this winter.  The bonus would be lots of indoor time to craft in my organized space.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Hummingbirds Are Thugs, LOL

 About a week ago, I was watering the plants on my back patio when a hummingbird started buzzing around my head.  It was rather insistent and would not fly away.  I wondered if it was because I did not have my feeders up yet, because they needed a thorough cleaning.  I remembered that this had also happened to me a couple of years ago, in pretty much the same spot in my yard.

Since Google is our friend, I immediately did a search on hummingbird behavior.  It turns out that hummingbirds live 3-5 years.  They do recognize certain people that they know.  Also, hummingbirds will buzz around the head of someone that they know to let them know that a feeder is empty or that the sugar mixture is going bad.   So, I guess I was being told to get busy with the feeders.  LOL 

I love to watch the hummingbirds at my feeders.  I have seen so many videos of many hummingbirds at one feeder or multiple feeders.  I am not sure how this happens.  My hummingbirds are turfy and will chase each other away from the feeders.  One sits up in one of my bushes out front waiting and watching his feeders.  LOL

I use a simple formula of four parts of lukewarm water to one part sugar in my feeders.  It is important to change out the feeders pretty regularly because mold causes fermentation and fungus which can make hummingbirds sick or can cause death.  It is also important not to use commercial feeding solutions, honey or red food coloring can be detrimental to the health of a hummingbird over time.

Hummingbirds have super short legs so they tend to not use a bird bath unless it is one that has a spray that they can fly through.  Also, remember to keep the bird bath water clean, too.

Hummingbird feeders can cause hours of entertainment.  They are also important pollinators.  Obviously, hummingbirds are also the boss of me, so I am keeping a close eye on the feeders so I do not get in trouble again.  LOL

Thursday, June 23, 2022

 It has been so hot on the California Coast for the past few days, in the 80s.  While I understand that it is much hotter in other places, what sets us apart is that most of the houses here do not have any air conditioning.  The ocean is our natural air conditioner, and for the most part it is foggy and freezing in San Francisco down to the Monterey Peninsula during June and July.  They are our "June gloom" months.  I have spent a number of 4th of July's with the heater on.  

The air was stifling the past couple of days.  This evening around 5pm, I went to run an errand 5 minutes away.  I left the house and it was sunny and hot by the time I got to my destination it was cold, windy and foggy.  Such is life on the California coast.  Now the news is saying to expect dry thunderstorms.  

I was so happy that a few weeks ago I installed a new ceiling fan all by myself in my home office/craft room.  In fact, that room has been the center of cleaning activity for the past month.  I have re-organized, discarded old papers, and changed around the furniture.  It is so much better in there now.  Purging the paper was liberating.

My desk in that room is used exclusively for work now.  I have monitors and things I need for work on my desk, so no room for crafting.  So I did a lot of thinking about a workspace on the other side of the room.   I really wanted to get something that I could use glue and paint on without it getting ruined.  So I bought an industrial stainless steel table with wheels for $169 on Amazon.  This one is 2x3 feet.  The wheels make it really tall, but I bought a drafting chair for when I am working at it.  

I have an Olfa mat on it with my Australian wool ironing mat. Right now it has six of the 12x12 project boxes from Michaels on the shelf.  They fit perfectly.  I even have room for more.  Yay.

I still have to hang the picture over it.  I love this print which I bought at a thrift store in Pacific Grove.  The original is painted by Sally Caldwell Fisher who paints scenes of life in New England and cost significantly more than my print here.

What I love about this set up is that I can use the chair at my kitchen counters when I do my holiday cooking so my feet don't get tired.  I can also wheel the table out to the kitchen for holiday cookie baking.

I am happy that it is Friday Eve.  I am going to stitch and read my book.  I just loaded a bunch of books from the library on my Kindle.  I am so excited. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

Again, With Good News

 So, about a month after my sweet little Felix was born, I finally graduated!  I had been taking a class or two here and there for a few years, while I was getting some other professional credentials.  The summer following Liesl's passing, I was still struggling with grief, so I decided that I needed to fill the void and started to go to school full time while working full time.  I really stepped it up in 2020 during COVID, since we were all under stay-at-home orders in my county in California.  It actually worked out well, because all of the in-person classes I had to take were suddenly online only so I did them all in one semester.  

It all worked out well, because I graduated with four degrees, Accounting, Business Administration and two others.  I am toying with the idea of getting an additional degree in Economics, but it entails a requirement of taking Calculus.  Eww.   I am grateful that I have my education.  It took a lot of work and sacrifice, but I feel like I really grew as a person and I am happy that I had exposure to subjects that were required that I would not have selected otherwise.  I wasn't going to walk in the graduation ceremony, but my daughter talked me into it, and my best friend said that we need the photo to serve as an inspiration for little Felix.  It was a special ceremony and I am glad I did after all.  

I actually got to focus on my studies in May because I got laid off from my job due to budgetary reasons at the end of April, right after I returned from Texas.  Fortunately, a recruiter contacted me a few days afterwards.  He had a placement for me and the week after graduation I started at my dream job.  I work as a corporate accountant, but I do highly specialized accounting.  Fortunately, I am able to work remotely.  So I get to work from my home office now, for a great organization, doing work that I really enjoy.  I am enjoying it so far.  I like working from home because I get to really focus on the work that I am doing and I think I am far more efficient.  The meetings I attend are also efficient and focused without any distractions.  Plus, all the snacks that I love are in my breakroom/kitchen.

So I am adjusting to life after graduation and rediscovering my hobbies.  It feels weird to not be going a million miles a minute, but I usually stay busy with my hobbies and interests anyway.  I am reading books for fun again.  I am also cross stitching again.  I am currently working on the Prairie Schooler Santa's.  These have really grown on me and I am thinking that they will look awesome on my bedroom Christmas tree.  Here is what I have so far:

These are really a fun stitch.  I am happy that Prairie Schooler has re-released many of the designs.  Hopefully, I will have a lot finished before December.  

Sunday, June 19, 2022

I am a Meemaw!!!

 It has been an amazing 2022 so far.  I have been to Texas a couple of times already this year.  A couple of years ago my son and daughter-in-love bought an adorable home there.  It is so fun to spend time with them and my grand-dog, Odin, a black lab/German Shepherd mix that my son refers to as "78 pounds of determination."  LOL.  He is a goofy furboy and loves to sit on my lap.  

So, the last time that I was in Texas was mid-April when the kids had invited me to be around when my very first grandchild was born!!!  I was so honored to be included during such a special time.  I got there a couple of days before he was born and his momma and I got to have fancy pedicures.  The three of us got to have some fun and eat some yummy meals before the big day.   I stayed home with my grand-dog while she was in labor.  (30 hours!)  I was so excited when I got the call that my little grandson was here.  My son said I could come to the hospital to visit the little one, because he and his wife knew that I was beyond excited.  I fell in love immediately when I saw him.

Here is our sweet little Felix.  His name means "happy."

My grandma name is Meemaw.  My son said it is a traditional Texas name for grandma.  I can't wait until he calls me Meemaw.  I got to spend a another week or so with the little one and his parents before I returned to California and work.  I stayed to help with meals, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.  I am so happy I got to spend this special time with them and I will never forget it.  

My grand-dog, Odin, was so excited to meet Felix.  It was like he had known him already when they met.  It was amazing.  The two of them are going to be the best of friends.  The first time Felix cried, Odin went up and slurped the back of his little head as if to say, "It's okay little dude."  He stays close to Felix all of the time.  

My son and his wife are great parents.  They are so caring and just loving their family life.  I am so fortunate that I have been included all of the way since they first knew.  I can't wait until I get to go back.  I just love being with them in their home and I look forward to all of the great adventures ahead with this sweet little boy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Stitchy stuff!

 I hope that everyone had a wonderful Spring holiday!  It is so nice to see the sunshine again.  I started weeding beds in my front yard a couple days after work this week.  It was nice to smell the dirt again.  It was beautiful earlier in the week, warm and sunny.  Monterey Peninsula weather is ever changing though, and by yesterday evening, it was freezing and gray.  I will have to wait a little longer to plant.

Last year, a number of cross stitch designers were incredibly generous and offered some lovely free designs as pandemic projects.  I am sure everyone must have seen the Long Dog Pandemic sampler.  It was over the top as one would expect.  Another was a blackwork sampler by Peppermint Purple on Facebook.   Here is my version of the 52 week 2020 sampler:

Sorry about the lack of ironing...I stitched it on mystery 28 ct evenweave (Monaco?) that was in my stash.  I used about two and a half spools of Sulky 12 weight.  I still have to pick a border.  I have it narrowed down to two, I think.  This was super fun to stitch.  Peppermint Purple has beautiful patterns that seem to be a combination of new and old stitches.  You do have to be a member of the group to access the patterns for stitch-a-
longs like this one.

So, what is as much fun as stitching?  Accumulating stash, of course!  A few weeks ago, I was on Facebook, looking at pictures of stitching.   I love seeing everyone else's work!  Someone started posting photos of their stitching designed by Veronique Enginger.  OMG!  So beautiful.  From what I have read, she is one of the most popular designers in France.  Her designs are very retro, and she uses beautiful colors.  The books are a bit expensive on Etsy, Ebay and even Amazon.  I wanted one so badly, but they seemed to be more than I wanted to spend at the time.  In frustration, I just Googled her name and these two books came up.  Guess what!  You can get them online from Target!  They are so, so pretty!

I took four years of French in high school and I am impressed with myself that I can still remember how to read some of the French!  Of course, the pictures help to offer a sense of context.

During the pandemic I decided to watch way less news and more things that make me happy.  The news was making me really anxious, so I took a long fast from it.  I quickly scan online news for anything critically important, and have the local news on an app on my phone that texts me any important news that is happening.  I have really been enjoying Floss Tube, although it is painful for my wallet.  Of course, I love to watch Priscilla and Chelsea because they make me laugh.  I have also found Lori Holt's channel, Cross Hatch Quilts and Attic Needlework Shop.  It was on Attic Needlework shop that I found out that people stitch on 56 count.  I have been stitching forever, and I had no idea that stitch counts went that high!  Wow!  

I find that Floss Tube tends to be a peaceful and happy place.  I like that there are a couple that I like that have patterns that are a little off the beaten path, and do not get as much visibility.  Watching stitchy videos are a nice way to spend my Saturday morning, in my pajamas, and with a cup of tea.  

More stitching to come!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

I'm Back

 Hello, Everyone!

I hope you are well and staying safe!  What a crazy couple of years!

The last half of 2018 and all of 2019 will forever be known as the worst year of my life.  My family and I endured so much trauma and loss throughout 2019.  I felt that there was not much positive I could post anymore.  Fortunately, we do not stay in those periods of life too long.  Eventually, things get better and the sun comes out again.  This is the thought that kept me going.  

It was an interesting year in 2020.  So many people were going through so much sadness and pain.  I had already done that the prior year, and I felt a bit guilty that 2020 was an awesome year for me.  

In the beginning of 2020, I was recruited by a larger company.  The company has an awesome culture.  I started in April and on my first day I was handed a new laptop.  My new boss said that they wanted me to stay safe so I was told to stay home to work.  I went into the office 1-2 days a week.  The team that I work with is great and I feel like I get to work with an elite team of accountants.  Everyone on the team is exceptionally kind to one another.

In late 2019, I decided that it was really time to work on my education, so I went back to school.  I have been taking classes online for some time, however, I have ramped it up in the past year and a half.  Last year I decided to really tackle the home projects that I have wanted to complete for years.  I painted my bathroom, organized the garage, and put sod and flowers in the front yard.  I am working with a local contractor now to put in radiant heat tile floors in the kitchen and bathroom.  He will also be creating a new backyard for me and taking care of some new updates on the cozy cottage.  

There have been a number of blessings in staying home for the past year.  With so many companies, like the grocery stores, Costco, and Home Depot now having curbside or delivery, I have more time to do things I love.  I have time to really talk to my family and friends on the phone, to work on projects or to just think.  Life went really fast before we had to slow down.  A friend said to me recently that we keep wanting things to return to normal, however, we should really think about what parts of normal we really want back.  

My crafting friends and I were somewhat confused at the beginning of the pandemic when people were claiming to be bored.  We felt fortunate to have hobbies and interests that always keep us busy.  I am not sure I know what it is like to not be busy.  One of my guy friends said that he felt fortunate to have been a kid that came home alone every day after school.  He said that it taught him early to entertain himself.  He has taken this time to do things he has always wanted to do.  He is learning to play the guitar, cook, and read classics.  Other friends are taking online mosaics classes, quilting classes, and creating gardens.  I have gotten hooked on flosstube and get inspired by everyone else's stitching.  Unfortunately, this means that I have been participating in the economy by purchasing more craft supplies.

So, I am back.  I still have a little editing to do on the blog, so bear with me.  I also have photos to share of my stitching over the past year.  So bear with me for a few days!

I missed you all!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Feed Me, Seymour!

These are my tomatoes, peppers, Swiss Chard, and dill that I started 3 or 4 weeks ago. The light height setting is now about as high as it can go. I intended to transplant them into the raised bed this weekend, but I got a bee in my bonnet and started another project.  Its not like I need to get into that cabinet where my glasses and medicines are.  LOL

So I was thinking about it a few weeks ago and I decided I do not like my front yard.  The thriving weeds from the heavy rains in Cali this year did not help.  The house came with Sweet Pea bushes and I have never really liked them.  I wanted hydrangeas in the front yard ever since I was a little girl.  Back East we referred to them as snowballs, and I always said that if I ever had a house I would have them in my front yard.  One of the sweet pea bushes was totally dead, so I said today was the day.  I cut it up and dug it out.  I am proud of myself, but I am going to be hurtin' for certain tomorrow. I also cleared a couple of flower beds, which took half a day.  (I had been grieving so much for the past few months that I could not deal with my front yard.)  I had to hustle green can space from my neighbors.  I filled three cans, two of which were my awesome neighbors'.  

I have bought several hydrangeas, including a couple of Strawberry Vanilla hydrangeas that I have wanted for several years since I first saw them in an issue of BHG.  I will be putting them in soon.  In addition, I am putting in a Rainbird sprinkler system and some sod.   It will take me a few weeks but I think the end result will be spectacular.

I will be on a staycation for the first week of July.  For the past several years we always went out of town where Liesl would not have to be scared of fireworks going off.  I am really excited about working on my house, working on my classes and hopefully, doing some stitching and/or quilting during that week.

Here is my progress on my Prairie School patriotic smalls.  They are pretty easy to stitch and fun to work on.  Maybe, just maybe, I will get them finished before the 4th!

Have a happy week!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

A Busy Weekend Around The Cozy Cottage

I am so grateful for all of the kind comments.  I wish I could adequately communicate how much your sweet comments mean to me.  They have given me so much peace and comfort.  Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts.

The weekend I have been working on my backyard.  It has been severely neglected and I have had to battle the weeds, which had been thriving with all of the California rain this year.  I had to mow, throw down some grass seed, clear the raised bed of weeds which were three feet tall and make a list of chores which need to be completed over the next few weeks.  I also got some of my herbs planted.  I am doing the Frankenstein walk and my body is talking to me, but it makes me happy and I would really like to have my yard looking good for a family barbecue on the fourth of July.

I have an Aerogarden that I use to start my seeds.  I bought the attachment which allows me to start 65 plants at a time, so I have to do some planning of my seed rotation.  One of the other managers at work and I love to grow heirloom tomatoes. We start talking seeds in December and she starts her seeds under a grow light in February and moves them into a portable green house.  My busy season at work is for the first 4-5 months of the year so I am usually late to the party.  This year I got my Aerogarden ready in early April, ready to plug in but I realized I could not find my seeds.  I go painstakingly through the Baker Street Seeds and Park Seed catalogs every year, selecting the ones which interest me and have high ratings.  I tore my house apart for weeks. looking for them like they were missing gold.  I finally found them stashed in a cabinet and started them in the Aerogarden.  These are the ones I am really excited about:

So the plants are getting pretty big.  The lemon cucumbers started to really take over and the tomatoes and Swiss Chard were being really dramatic about it, looking like they were fainting.  So the lemon cucumbers were moved to the raised bed which has fresh soil and everything.  I am super excited!

I also got to stitch a little on my Prairie Schooler patriotic smalls.  These are really fun to stitch and the colors really pop!  I would really like to stitch all of the designs in the brochure, and put them on my table.

All of the crafters at work are super excited because we are getting a Hobby Lobby in Salinas.  It has taken them a long time and it has seemed like the project stalled for a long time, but one of my coworkers has done some recon and says that it looks like they are moving ahead.  We are all pretty excited.  We have a Michaels and JoAnn's, but we are really excited about the great sales at Hobby Lobby!

Wishing you many blessings in the week ahead!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Cross Stitching, Again

Hello, Friends,

First of all, I want to thank you very much for your kindness, in expressing condolences, sending prayers and good thoughts, and words of comfort.  It means more to me that I can ever possibly express.  I am extremely grateful to each of you for taking the time to reach out to me.  

I am doing much better, although, as is the case for many people, things got much worse before they got better.  I had a couple more really tough things happen after Liesl's passing, which led to a period of stress and wallowing in self pity.  On top of it all, the ex shared with me while Liesl was sick that he had been having an affair with his ex-girlfriend for the last year and a half of our 5 1/2 year relationship (that he admits to.)  He blamed me for making him do it. ??? I am still daunted how this was going on for so long, and the fact that I was clueless, which tells me that this was not his first time doing this.  He wanted me to return to a relationship with him.  However, having self respect, I declined.  After this, he became belligerent and verbally abusive (totally out of character for him) so I have had to block him and declare that I would have to take legal action if he continued to harass me.  I am really sad and disappointed that this relationship ended this way.  I never would have anticipated this.  

There came a point in the past several months where I realized being sad was unproductive, so I decided instead that I would have to return to living in gratitude.  I realized that I was really fortunate that I got to be Liesl's momma, and that I had amazing friends and family who supported me through all of this, I have my home, food in my stomach, etc.  So I have been returning to the things that I love.  I have started stitching again, working on my house, spending time with my kids, reading, gardening, and I have decided to go back to school to finish getting my BS in Accounting.  I start classes in two weeks and will be going to school full time (online) in addition to working full time.  It seems like a good time to do it.  I have no interest in dating or meeting anyone, so it is a good time to focus on improving myself.

Here is some of the stitching I have been doing:
 I am still working on this.  I love these patriotic smalls by Prairie Schooler.  I would like to have a little basket of these on the table for Independence Day.  In my ancestry research over the past couple of years I have found that I have several patriots in the family lineage who fought in the American Revolution.  I feel extremely proud and feel that I have to really have to celebrate the fourth with extra vigor!

A dear friend at work (she's my age) who has a new grandson coming mentioned in a conversation with someone that she has never had a baby shower.  So her department decided to throw her a Glamma Shower.  She is a very cool lady from the Bronx and it is funny because I actually grew up 16 miles away from her in North Jersey, so I got her some NY Yankees binkies and crocheted this blanket.  It is a lot bluer than it looks in the photo:
I love to crochet and cross stitch during Live PD.  I am hooked on this show because I actually work in Salinas, CA, so I recognize a lot of the scenery.  One of the officers that is sometimes on the show was actually my son's best friend from Kindergarten to 4th Grade.  I still think of them as wild little boys.  Now they are in their 30's...

One of the blessings of the past few months is that I have gotten to spend a lot more time with my daughter.  She has treated me to several pedicures and we have taken a lot of 5-7 mile walks along the Pacific.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I would really like to see the waterfalls and the dogwoods in bloom at Yosemite, so we got to take a little weekend girls' trip.  Her awesome husband stayed home with their kitty cat and got to have control of the TV remote for the weekend,  while we hiked all over Yosemite.  It is only 3 hours from the Monterey Peninsula, so it is a quick trip.  It was only her second trip to the park and we hiked 7 1/2 miles that day.  I had packed a great picnic and we had a great time.  Here is a photo she took of me:
My apologies for the long post, it has been a while and I had a few things to report.  I still miss my furgirl and still gently cry everyday on my way home from work, knowing she won't be there to greet me.  My friends tell me this is normal.  It will take a while...

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Rest In Peace, Sweet Girl

Yesterday, at approximately 6:45 a.m., my sweet, sweet Liesl passed away in my arms at age, 11 1/2.  She had declined quickly after leaving the hospital, even the doctors and I thought she was going to be okay.  She was a special girl, and I loved her with all of my heart.  My heart feels like it has broken into a million little pieces.  She was such a big part of my life and it is hard to be in the house without her here.

What brings me peace is the knowledge that Liesl had an amazing, big life.  She went on about 30 trips in her lifetime, and went on many adventures here on the Monterey Peninsula.  It is hard to drive my car any place, because I see a place where she and I took walks.  I told her every single day of her life that I loved her.  I feel honored that I got to be her momma.  And I feel honored and privileged to be with her until the end.  I will miss her more than words can express.  

I thank you with all of my heart for all of your prayers, good thoughts, comments and love of Liesl over the years.  It means so much to me.

Saturday, February 2, 2019


Hello, Everyone,

I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has prayed and sent good thoughts for Liesl.  I am truly grateful.  I truly believe in the power of prayer and that God hands out miracles to everyone, even small, beautiful dogs and me.  I have had a series of miracles over the past week that I would like to share.

About 2-3 weeks ago, Liesl stopped eating breakfast, but would be voracious at dinner.  She would want to eat her dinner, then a greenie, then my dinner and cookies.  Schnauzers are finicky eaters and this had not been the first time this had happened over the past 11 1/2 years.  She would do this about twice a year.  So while I was concerned, she was still playful, exercising, drinking water and acting somewhat normal.  What made me concerned was that I suddenly realized that she had not smiled for a while, but I thought she might be grieving for her daddy, who was her fun parent.  I had more activity with family during the holidays so I thought that perhaps now that no one was really coming over, that she was really missing her daddy whom we had not seen for three months.  So I called and made an appointment, however, the vet could not see her until Feb 9th.  A couple of mornings later (Wednesday), I saw her nibbling on a plant in the backyard.  She had nibbled on this plant for the past 3 years or so, but for some reason something made me google it that day.  It was Lantana which is highly toxic to dogs.  I called her daddy for the first time in months, because we had told her for years to get out of the plant.  He told me to call the vet on Friday when the office reopened, but that he was not super concerned because she had been eating the plant for so many years with no issues.  I dug that plant and every piece of it that night.

The vet took us in first thing in the morning last Friday and held Liesl to run tests.  My best friend, a nurse, went with me to pick her up. It turns out that she had never eaten enough of the Lantana to do damage, so there was not any issue there.  However, Liesl, like many schnauzers do,  had several kidney stones and something had happened and the vet felt that she was in Stage 3 Renal Failure.  She told me that I should take her to the Emergency Hospital immediately. She warned me that because of Liesl's heart condition that she may not be able to have the three day treatment because the treatment could be fatal.  I went into shock and drove her to Pet Specialists of Monterey, a 24/7 emergency hospital 5 minutes from my house.  I was so scared as Liesl had never been away from me, or her daddy, if I had to be away on business.  

This is where the miracles started to happen.  The doctor on duty immediately started treating Liesl for a kidney infection.   They had a cardiologist come to the hospital that night who said that Liesl's heart was well maintained and so they could start flushing her kidneys.  The doctor said that she felt that we were dealing primarily with a serious kidney infection.  I asked her and the other vet if they felt that it would be helpful if her daddy came to see her.  They said that while it might be difficult for me, it would most likely be very helpful for Liesl.  I did not hesitate.  I called him and burst into tears.  He was at the hospital in 10 minutes.  Liesl rejoiced when she saw him.  By that time, she was on a antibiotic drip but we were allowed to visit.  It made a huge difference.

I am a person of faith who has drifted somewhat over the past few months.  However, I prayed so hard that night.  My best friend did not want me going home that night alone so I went to her house after getting Liesl settled for the night.  I should mention here that Liesl means "God's promise." I crashed into bed that night and every time I closed my eyes I saw this brilliant golden light.  Somehow I slept and was back at the hospital at 7:30 the next morning.  I asked if I could take Liesl for a walk, so I walked her to a nearby duck pond.  I then went back and sat on a bench in front of the hospital with Liesl on my lap.  As I pet her and held her, I prayed that God would save her.  As I looked up from closing my eyes and prayer I saw this white arc forming above me.  It was so amazing that I took this photo:
I sincerely felt in my heart that this was a sign from God that Liesl would be okay.  I had never seen anything like it.  When I walked back in, the doctor saw me and came up to me smiling.  She said that she was already seeing improvement in Liesl's kidney values overnight.  I knew that God was giving us a miracle.  I also decided that every single visit I had with Liesl, I would take her outside of the hospital.  We walked,  then I would sit with her on the bench outside so that she would have fresh air and a break from all of the scariness.  

There is a church somewhat close to my home where there is a large shrine to the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe.  Liesl and I walk there sometimes and for years Liesl has made sure before we leave the grounds, that we get to see Mary.  Liesl has always been very reverent in front of her shrine (unless there is a gopher or cat around...).  So before I met her daddy for visiting hours I went to the shrine and got down on my knees in front of the Blessed Virgin, whose shrine was still adorned for the holidays with a line of red poinsettias.  As I prayed, I felt peace on my heart and suddenly heard the words "Liesl will live a long time. Expect a miracle."  I looked up.  Directly in front of me was a potted poinsettia and something in the pot caught my eye.  It was one single bloom head of - Lantana. I realized that it was Mary and the angels who had made me Google lantana that night, which probably saved her life, because it got her to treatment.  I realized that the Blessed Mother had just told me to expect a miracle.  

I met her dad at the hospital that night and Liesl was looking more and more like herself.  I knew in my heart of hearts that she would be okay.  Her dad and I walked her and held her.  Her dad gave her a massage so she would relax.  He has been an amazing support to both of us.  I realized that I needed to let go of all of the hurt feelings and be at peace and be grateful. This is the best way I can help Liesl.

They had told me that it was only after Liesl's kidney values had stopped moving, that she would be sent home.  Her values kept dropping, so the three days passed.  Every night I returned to the shrine to pray on my knees.  On Monday night, I prayed and I heard "tomorrow is Miracle Day, expect a miracle."  I felt a sense of exuberance.  On Tuesday morning,  the doctor said she felt that Liesl could be released around 7 pm,  Tuesday evening.  I felt somewhat disappointed because it meant that the numbers had stopped moving, but I was happy she was coming home.  However, on Tuesday, at 5 pm as I was walking to my car, the doctor called me on my cellphone and said," Liesl's kidney values are dropping again, so I would like to keep flushing her system for at least another 12 hours."  My heart leapt!!!  Another miracle, as I had heard the Blessed Virgin say the day before.  I went to the shrine.  I dropped to my knees and prayed.  I heard Mary say, "Tomorrow is an even bigger miracle."  I went confidently that the next day would bring more good news.  

The next morning, Wednesday, another doctor from the team called me and said that Liesl was doing pretty well and still responding to treatment.  She said that they thought Liesl was a pretty special dog and is well taken care of.  She said that it could potentially late in the day, she might be released.  I had been visiting Liesl three times a day, so I asked if I could visit at lunch time, because I did not want Liesl to think I had abandoned her.  Schnauzers are highly emotional and I wanted to make sure to keep her mental state up in case she had to stay longer.  I arranged to bring her lunch.  I work 30 minutes away in Salinas.  I drove to the hospital,  excited to see her and smell her little doggie smell.  They told me that I had 20 minutes for a visit.  I took her for a fast walk to the pond, then hand fed her lunch.  After 20 minutes, one of the nurses came out and I got ready to hand Liesl over to her.  She said, "Oh, no.  Liesl is going home right now."  Liesl was so excited!  I asked the nurse if Liesl knows and that is why she was so elated.  She replied that the dogs always know when they are going home.   Liesl will now have an Internal Specialist as her primary doctor and she goes back in two weeks to get a check up.  The doctor who took her in discharged her, saying that she felt that Liesl was going to be okay.  She might need drips from time to time but she would be around.

Liesl was so happy and excited.  We came home and she just was beyond happy an smiley, touching everything and checking out her queendom.  

I have been a nervous wreck since she has been home.  The next day, she was very subdued.  Eating and drinking but not smiling.  I called the hospital four times because they had said to watch for lethargy and she just seemed so tired and weak compared to the day before.  They said this is normal for a little dog who has come home from the hospital.  I keep asking my friends and her daddy, who is a physical therapist, about if she is okay. They remind me that it takes about three weeks to get over a hospital stay.  I am so worried.  Her daddy comes every night to see her and make sure she eats.  While I know we will not be a couple again, he is comfort to me when he is here and we just sit and talk quietly so Liesl feels safe.  

I told him this story last evening, because I have been so worried about how I am taking care of her and if I am missing any signs.  He told me to be grateful for the miracles and not have doubts. He said that God has already rearranged the molecules in her body for healing.  I do my best not to worry, but sometimes I stumble.  Okay, I stumble a lot.

We are having a terrible storm here but I took Liesl for a ride today.  She looked a bit weak, but I want her to have some fresh air.  I drove over to the church, and stood before the Blessed Virgin asking for help and to continue Liesl's recovery.  I heard her tell me to stop worrying.  She said that she had come too far with me to abandon me.  She said that there are more miracles coming...

I am so grateful.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Liesl Is Home!!!!!

Just a quick post to share the news that Liesl was released from the ICU today and is home with her momma.  This little dog has some serious spoiling ahead of her!  She is not totally out of the woods and has to be checked again in a couple of weeks.  But my nurse practitioner best friend says that everyone does better at home once they get out of the hospital.

I will share more details of this journey in the next day or two.  The past week has been filled with a number of miracles that I would like to share with you.  Your prayers worked and I am truly grateful for every prayer and good thought for Liesl.  She came home and checked out her queendom then climbed into her bed and snuggled up to her teddy bear.  She is pretty tired and so is her momma...

Thank you again.  May God Bless You!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Monday Liesl Update

Thanks be to God!  So yesterday, I posted that the big hurdle for the day was for Liesl to eat something.  I cooked every single favorite food for her and took it to the hospital.  Liesl ended up eating two bites of salmon for which the staff and I were very happy.  Today, she has eaten a total of 14 1/2 bites of salmon and licked the bowl of all of the crumbs and fishy oil.  I go back tonight and will take more of all of her favorite foods.  Your prayers are so appreciated, and I wish I could express my gratitude personally to each end every person praying for her.  It means so much to me and my heart is swelled with gratitude.  

The other person to whom I am really grateful to on this journey is her daddy.  On Friday night, when she entered the hospital I called him sobbing and he was at the hospital within 10 minutes to be with her.  His presence and love for her have made a difference in her attitude and he comes at last once a day and just loves her up.  He has asked for any and all updates and makes her smile.  

Lastly, I am really thankful to my supervisor and the company I work for.  My hours are being flexed so that I can be with her at the hospital whenever they feel that she can have visitors.  I am truly grateful that I work with people who love animals, and I can not describe the relief that I feel that I will not be fired for taking care of my furgirl.  

I ask for your continued prayers.  We still have a ways to go so I appreciate every prayer sent up that contains Liesl's (pronounced Leesel's) name.

I will keep you updated with any new developments.  May God Bless you for caring about my very beautiful little furgirl.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Little Liesl Update

I am sincerely grateful for your ongoing prayers for my sweet furgirl.  I love her more than I can express.  Fortunately, the hospital is about 5 minutes from my home and I see her as much as they will let me.  I feel so much joy as I get to hold her sweet self and I bawl my eyes out every time I have to give her back.  I count the minutes of the hours until I get to go back to her.

Out hurdle today is for her to eat something.  She looked interested this morning, so I am going this afternoon and evening with every possible food that she loves.

I humbly ask for your continued prayers.  I am truly grateful for every prayer which contains her name.

May God Bless You!

Patti and Liesl

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Needing Prayers for Liesl


I am humbly asking if you could spare a prayer or two for Liesl today.  She is in the dog hospital right now and I am beyond worried.  I believe that God is merciful and in His Grace.  So, please if your could pray for her over the next few days I would be really grateful.  I will update you as soon as I know more.  Thank you very much.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Season's Greetings and A Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to each of you!

Well, as Charles Dickens once wrote, the past four months have been the best of times and the worst of times.  I last posted in September just prior to a two week vacation to the Redwood Coast of California.  It was a wonderful two week break from responsibility.  We had rented a beautiful house for the two weeks we were there, where we got to take lots of walks and Liesl got lots of beach time at her favorite beach.

We drove up to see the town of Mendocino, and surrounding areas on several outings.  This was one of our drives up to Point Arena to see the lighthouse there.
The area where we stayed has a second and third growth redwood forest.  It is so beautiful and peaceful there.   These trees are so huge and it is awe-inspiring to think of the periods of history over which they have stood as witness.
I enjoyed the time up there and spent a lot of time cooking, reading and stitching.  It was true blessing.   However, we were coming back to a bigger blessing and a week of wedding festivities and activity for my son's wedding the following weekend.  I was so excited because I was getting an amazing new daughter-in-law that I love so much.  They have been together for six years, and I just love her.  She has the sweetest personality, a great sense of humor and is just a great all around person.  I was so excited about the wedding, which was held at a local golf resort on such a beautiful day.  

The bride and groom both have a goofy sense of humor as you can see by their cake topper. The wedding was totally "them" and was one of the best weddings I have ever been to.  I was just so happy. 
Between the vacation and the wedding I was feeling really happy and looking forward to the holidays.   However, three days after the wedding, on a totally normal day, after a totally normal dinner, I was getting ready to go to bed, and my partner said, "Oh, hey, by the way, I signed the lease on an apartment today and I am moving out this weekend."  At the time, I was heartbroken and in shock, but thanks to God, family and friends, I feel like the worst is now behind me.  I have decided to change my perspective of this situation and now see it as an opportunity for my own growth. 

2018 has been a year of loss and change.  The loss of my mother in June has brought me a fuller awareness of life being finite and that I really need to step up to taking responsibility for my health.  A few days after his announcement, I weighed myself for the first time in years and I was shocked!!!  I could not believe the numbers I saw.  At that time, my appetite was pretty diminished, but I made a decision that I was going to buy the healthiest food possible going forward and I was going to make myself a priority.  I had been progressing away from eating meat for some time.  I just found that I did not like the texture anymore.  I still eat fish and dairy, but mostly my diet is vegetarian.  I have removed most sugar and alcohol from my diet, too.  I did indulge during the holidays, but did not go crazy.   I am proud to announce that I have lost about 20 lbs since mid October, without really trying.  I focus on the one pound ahead of me, and then the next.  I have lost one pound twenty times.

I am actually loving my diet now, although I do not think of it as a diet.  I feel better than I have in years, and my bad cholesterol has dropped 20 points!  I start my days with a strawberry, banana and orange juice smoothie, which I sip on my commute to work.  For some reason, it makes me really happy.  I have also become the queen of meal prep.  I cook on the weekends, packing pretty containers of food from recipes that I come across during the week.  Mostly, I do this for lunches, but pack extra for dinners for nights that I am too tired when I get home to cook.  

I get all sorts of recipes from Eating Well, All Recipes and Tasty on Facebook.  I get really excited about them and look forward to my exotic lunches.  I have a lot of variety in my meals and I am having so much fun preparing.  In addition, several people at work love our Instant Pots and exchange meatless recipes that are tried and true.   I am having a lot of fun with food.  Last week, the words, "Oh, my gosh, I made the best quinoa dish for lunch" actually left my lips.  LOL

I decided early on with this situation that forgiveness was going to be critical for my own peace going forward.  I walked through a lot of sadness early on in this situation, but I did not walk alone, I had people who love me hold my hand through this journey.  I am grateful that I had the relationship we had and for the good times.  Within a couple of weeks, he apologized and asked to reconcile but a reconciliation is not something I can consider right now after all that occurred.  But I do wish him peace and happiness.

For right now, I have big plans, including a plan for my garden this year.  I am so excited and need to start ordering tomato seeds!  If you are on the hunt for heirloom tomato seeds, this is the catalog for you!

Happy New Year!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Seeing Stars!

Last weekend as I hunkered down from Car Week, I pulled out a quilt that I started back in December of 2016.  I was shocked that it had been so long, but there it was on my blog.  This is Moda Frivols 8, with American Jane Bread N' Butter fabrics.  I love Moda, and I love the fabric in this kit.  The muslin is about 25 years old and I remember buying it in Lancaster, California, when it was mostly desert there.  The muslin was used in a quilt that I made for myself many years ago.

I am making this quilt for Liesl.  She knows that it is hers, too, as you can tell by the possessive paw in the photo.  Liesl has always left my sewing and cross stitch projects alone.  However, she knows this one is different.  I have had to lay the project squares out multiple times and every time she runs over and stands on the squares.    Liesl loves her comfort and needs a quilt to snuggle into.  She has other blankets I have made for her but I think this will work better for her, because her blankets are a bit heavy.  It does get cold here and when it does, she likes to be tucked in.  She is a tiny bit spoiled.

This quilt has really challenged my need for perfection.  It is riddled with errors.  It started because the pattern calls for a scant 1/4 seam allowance, which I can not seem to master.  Then I started to do a 1/4 seam allowance and it got all wonky.  Then I made a few more errors.  I was really being hard on myself and then I told myself that I am not showing this in a competition, and that the recipient will love it no matter what.  I am having to modify along the way, kind of like life.

We went to the Monterey County Fair today for a couple of hours.  (We had to go eat some deep friend artichoke hearts, yum!!!)  The quilts were amazing, and it was evident that we have a very active quilt guild. Then I was a bit impressed because we were walking through the exhibits and Bill said, "Look, here is a quilt with the same star pattern that you are working on."  I did not even recognize it because the colors and style were so different from Liesl's quilt.  I was impressed because, while he respects the work that goes into sewing and needlework projects, usually he does not pay much attention to what I am working on. (So I thought...)

We walked over to the cross stitch area and I was disappointed to see that there were less than 20 entries on one small wall.  There used to be a much larger section and the competition was much more fierce.  I have not been able to enter for 2 or 3 years, but I am thinking I shall have to pull together some entries next year.  This year I noticed that stitchers I really respect did not have any entries.  I wonder what will happen to this craft going forward.  I really hope that people really rediscover it.

Have a happy week!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Finish!

I finally finished my dishtowel.  It was a fun, easy stitch.  The stitchy part is 14 count Aida, and there were blocks of color, so it was a pretty easy stitch.  I love how it turned out.  I am going to have to include it in someone's Christmas gift package because it makes me hungry just looking at it. :)

So last weekend, we were at Trader Joe's.  The Monterey TJ's has their orchids just as you walk into the store.  I usually just give them a passing glance as I walk in at a high speed to do my grocery shopping.  I hate grocery shopping with a white hot passion, but I love me some Trader Joe's.  Go figure... Anyway, last week I went blazing by the orchids when something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye.  I came to a fast stop because I espied - Miltonia!

Miltonia is also known as a "Pansy Orchid".  As you can see the blossoms deeply resemble a pansy.  They smell divine.  Around here, you just do not see them very often.  In fact, this one was the only one they had.  At $14.99, I knew it had to be mine.  I have limited space so I just do not keep a lot of plants in the house.  The orchids that I have are pretty special and/or have been given to me as a gift.  I am really happy that I found this one to keep the other orchids company.
This week I have been stitching on Cinnamon Stars by Plum Street Samplers.  Autumn is my favorite season (bring on the pumpkin!), and I love the colors of this piece.  It is a fun stitch, too.  I have a few other fall pieces, but this one really spoke to me.

I will probably get to stitch quite a bit over the next week as we will be cozy cottage-bound. This week is going to be ca-razy on the Monterey Peninsula.  It is what locals call "Car Week".  It is the week of several high end car shows, bringing 40,000 people onto our very small peninsula. (As a comparison, the city of Monterey only has 29,000  people.) Included this week, is the Concours d' Elegance and Concourso Italiano and the historic car races.  Today, I was driving and had two Ferrari's ahead of me and a Lamborghini in the next lane.  While they are quite beautiful, they are nerve wracking to drive around.  Anyway, there will be non-stop gridlock, so locals tend to buy our groceries during the week, and will hunker down through Sunday like there is storm or something.  We don't leave our homes unless we walk.  My commute, which is normally 30 minutes can take up to 1 1/2 hours to get home.  Patience and recorded books are the name of the game this week!

Well, back to my stitching!  Have a blessed week!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Verrrrry Quiet Weekend

First and foremost, a big thank you for your prayers and good thoughts for Liesl's ultrasound this week.  The results were very good and positive. Thanks be to God.  The doctors are giving her a prescription to aid her digestion, but there was nothing scary.  We are so grateful to have the expertise and quality of veterinary care at the practice she goes to.

Liesl and I had a super quiet weekend around the cozy cottage.  My sweet baboo left on Thursday to go visit his grandbabies and he is due home today.  I had plans of taking Liesl to her favorite dog beach and celebrating her big 11th birthday, which was this weekend.  That did not pan out after all. Schnauzers have super sensitive skin, and unfortunately, she was really itchy and miserable from having her tummy shaved for the ultrasound this past week, so the vet had to prescribe a super duper strong antihistamine which made her just sleep all weekend.  So it was a very quiet weekend where I did not leave the house at all, which was actually a blessing.  

I spent the weekend tidying up the cozy cottage, stitching, and napping with Liesl.  (I even got to organize my fancy floss and inventoried it in Excel.)  I love to laugh so I put some stand up comedy on Netflix and cozied into the sofa with my stitching. I pulled out my dishtowel that I started months ago:

I have one more motif to put on it.  The designs are by Maria Diaz and I got the book on Amazon.   The towel is by Dohler and is available at 123stitch.  The towels are really nice quality and are reasonably priced.  

So I have to share my new treasure.  I love, love, love my KitchenAid stand mixer.  I have several attachments and have felt that KitchenAid really makes great products.  So a few weeks ago, I got an email from Target, saying that they were having a huge KitchenAid sale.  It is a rare thing for me to click on the advertisement emails that I receive, but thought I would just see what there was.  

Target had refurbished KitchenAid 9 cup food processors for $49.99 minus an additional promo code discount.  The new ones are usually $225 and up.  I had heard somewhere that a lot of refurbished items are items which were just returned without being used, but can not be sold as new.  Plus it had a one year warranty,  so I thought I would check it out.  In addition to sale and promo, another 5% off was available by using the Target red card and there was free shipping.  It still can't believe what a great deal it was.  The food processor is so beautiful and everything looks pristine, and there were no scratches or anything.  Everything was new and it came with several blades and choppers.  It works perfectly.  Holiday dinners are going to be so much easier.  I just love looking at it as I walk by it in the kitchen.  BTW, it is rather large!  I love that I got such a great deal!  My friend at work said that I need to make homemade potato chips!

I got a really late start on the garden this year, so things are just really starting to get exciting. The leaves on my summer squash are dinner plate size.  That squash in the photo is bigger than my fist.  Our hot season is starting.  June and July can be really cold here, and then late August, September and October are our warm summer weather months.  Sometimes, I am still harvesting tomatoes in November.
Being home really makes me happy and I feel like I am restored by being home.  I am happy to report that Liesl is feeling much better and is acting more like herself after her restful weekend.  We will have her big birthday celebration next weekend with her daddy.  This weekend, it was nice to have her all to myself, and to be in the home I love so much, doing the things I love to do.  

Hope you have a wonderful week in your home, too!