Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy 4th Gotcha Day to Hannah Grace!

Four years ago today, the husband and I went to the pound and rescued a malnourished, skinny, flea-infested waif of a kitten. They told us at the pound that she was approximately 7 months old and she only weighed 4 pounds. She was quiet on the ride home, which was a good sign since she was in a cardboard carrier. We didn't expect to adopt, we only went to look so we didn't have an appropriate carrier for her. Even when we brought her home, she was a little love bug. I think she knew she'd found her forever people and that she was greatly loved. She's provided us so much love, laughter, and silliness in her four short years with us. It's hard to imagine our home without her.

Here are some then and now pics of her.

Then~on her first day home and then more a few weeks later.

Now~As an adult, several pics over the past couple of years.

Love this Hannah-bug!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving and Exchanges Sent & Received

A Happy Thanksgiving Greeting to You!

A very Happy Thanksgiving to you! I pray that your day is filled with many blessings and wonderful memories today.

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, mainly because it's the day we name our blessings and count the many things for which we are thankful. It's also the last holiday my family spent together with my mom in 1996. It's been almost 13 years since she passed away, but I'm so thankful for the many happy family memories I have. She was an awesome mom! Today, I'm thankful for loving parents who taught me the importance of family and sticking together through thick and thin, good times and bad, times of plenty and when times were lean. I'm thankful for my loving husband of 9 years. It's been a tough couple of years for him, and therefore us, but I am thankful that we're together, we have food on the table, and a place to call our home. I'm thankful for all the love he's brought to my life and the ways I've grown since meeting him. I'm thankful for my kitties who provide unconditional love (as long as I feed them!), lots of silliness and laughter, and lots of snuggles, cuddles, and purrs. I'm thankful for the many friends God's blessed me with and the various ways they show His love in my life. I'm thankful for the health I have and a job I enjoy with great co-workers. I'm thankful for God and the gift of His son that allows me to be called a child of the King, secure in His love forever. I'm thankful that I've got an inheritance in heaven and a mansion waiting for me. I'm thankful for God's forgiveness and grace in my life. I'm thankful for the many blessings He's bestowed upon me. I'm thankful.

Yesterday, I posted a few pics for you. The first picture is the piece my friend Robin stitched and sent to me. Isn't her stitching awesome and isn't the finishing just perfect?!? With the cube, she also sent some luscious hand-dyed silks and some overdyed cotton fibers which you see in the second picture. The next couple of pics are fall at my house. The big oak tree in our backyard is turning colors and the Savannah Holly tree has put its berries on for the birds this winter. The sunset pic is actually one I took on our way home from my dad's last Thanksgiving.

Robin's received her box! Now I can show you what was in the box. Mostly, there were books, but this little exchange piece was tucked in the box as well.

Sampler Winter
Designer: Marika Belfiori
Fabric: 32 ct. Sugared Coffee from Sassy's Fabrics
Fibers: Crescent Colours
Design available on her blog

This is the cute little exchange piece I received from Donna in the Brr...It's Cold! exchange. He is absolutely adorable, isn't he?!? This is "Feeling Frosty", a complimentary design from Val's Stitching Stuff. (I just love her snowmen!) He's stitched on 32 ct. Olive linen using DMC, Week's Dye Works, and Needle Necessities fibers.

Until next time! Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dry Hand Blues

When the weather turns dry down here, my hands protest. I get hangnails and rough skin and it's just not very attractive! It also makes stitching a bit more difficult as the floss will snag on my rough skin, especially silks. To help combat this problem, I use a homemade skin exfoliator followed by a homemade hand cream. To keep my cuticles nice and soft, I use Sweet Oil after bathing and after exfoliating. Both of these would make nice homemade gifts if you packaged them in fancy little jars. I store my exfoliator in on old glass jelly jar and the hand cream in old lotion jars.

Winter Skin Exfoliator
2 Cups coarse Epsom Salt
1 C olive, grapeseed, or almond oil

Mix together and store in a container with a tight fitting lid. Stir before using because it will separate.

To use, place a heaping teaspoonfull (I use a regular tall glass spoon) onto just dried hands. Rub on back of hands, around fingernails, and on calloused or rough areas. Rinse with a mild hand soap and warm water. Pat hands dry and apply sweet oil to cuticles. Apply a nice, rich, thick lotion.

Homemade Hand Cream

1 (16 ounce) jar Clear Basics Vitamin E Skin Cream
1 (13 ounce) jar Petroleum Jelly
1 (15 ounce) bottle Baby Lotion

Mix by hand or with electric beater on medium until creamy.

*I used a hand mixer. I like it more creamy rather than "fluffy" so don't whip it too long.

I found all the ingredients at my local dollar store. If you can find Delon Vitamin E Skin Cream, use that. I also added a bit of glycerin to the mix. Because it has Vaseline in it, I use it only at night so that my skin can absorb it and so that the greasiness doesn't get all over everything.

If you don't want to make your own hand cream, you can use a lotion with shea butter as a main ingredient or AmlactinXL works great. It stinks, but it really helps with dry skin.

Not sure I'll have a Wordless Wednesday post tomorrow since I have to work, but I'll be here on Thursday for sure with a special Thanksgiving post.


Monday, November 23, 2009

A Teaser Picture for Robin

Robin asked for a pic of the exchange piece I stitched (it's going to live at her house), so here's a preview pic for her.

You didn't seriously think I'd post a pic of the piece did you?!? LOL LOL LOL


Sunday, November 22, 2009

What a Week & Other Mindless Wanderings

So, I missed posting last week, especially Wordless Wednesday, but it's been a crazy week. I'm so glad it's over! Let's hope this week and the next few weeks are better than this past week.

I woke up early Tuesday morning from a disturbing dream. I dreamed that I was beating my husband! I'm not a violent person by nature, so this really alarmed and upset me. (Not to mention, I DON'T hit my husband!!) After discussing things with him, I realized that I was mad at him for something really stupid, and it came out in my dream. This brought on lots of tears and crying which brought on a headache and dry eyes for the remainder of the day. Then, I realized that the reason I was so emotional was because I was PMS-ing Several years ago, my doctor diagnosed me with PMDD mainly because I cry easily, I get very angry and have really drastic & quick mood changes, insomnia, food cravings, and extreme tiredness. In addition to some diet changes & lifestyle changes, my doctor put me on a very low dose of Zoloft (25 mg) the week before my period. I generally don't need the meds the entire week, but most months I take them for at least part of the week. It makes all the difference in the world!! I can function and am pleasant to be around. The med doesn't totally take away all the symptoms; it just reduces the severity of them and takes "the edge" off. All of this to say, I've been "hormonal" and non-communicative this week. Also, if you think you suffer from PMDD, talk to you doctor. You don't have to live with "the monthly crazies".

On top of this, things at work picked up. That's a very good thing! I work in a Christian book store and the busiest time of the year is just ahead. The days go by quicker and it's just more fun. However, you do get some weird requests. This one was on Thursday. A customer came in and wanted to purchase a Bible. She found one that was about $70. She gets to the registers and was frustrated because she picked up the ONE color that wasn't on sale. She griped that the signs didn't mention colors or any kind of product number or anything. The associate went and pulled off the signs and showed the customer where the colors were listed and it was obvious that the one she chose was not on sale. (Oops! Guess it's too much to expect a customer to actually READ the sale signs.) They got that cleared up, then she tells the associate, "Well, my friend who's coming here to shop later this afternoon has a 30% off coupon. Can I get her discount on this purchase?" Ummmm...let's think about this for a minute....NO! The audacity of the woman! She was not happy that we wouldn't let her use her friend's discount. Seriously! Then, yesterday, a gentleman comes up with a flier that has the pictures of 4 or 5 DVDs that are on sale for $5. He has a huge stack of various DVDs, none of which are the ones shown, and wants them all for $5. Again, let's read the flier, folks!!

As you head out to do your Black Friday shopping and future Christmas shopping, please remember that the person behind the counter is a human being who is just trying to make a living. Please treat him or her with the respect and dignity any human deserves. Remember to treat him/her the way you would like to be treated. You wouldn't want to be called names, yelled at, cussed out, demoralized, or otherwise treated inappropriately, so please don't treat the associate that way. In most stores, store personnel are not in charge of product acquisition and stock levels. Most of that is handled through a corporate or regional buyer. Many times, manufacturers can't meet the stock orders of the customers due to delays in production or shortages of materials needed to make the item. Please remember these things before you take out your frustration on a store associate, store management, or even corporate management. Patience, humility, a smile, and a kind word will go much farther than a harsh word. I'm much more willing to bend over backwards to help a pleasant customer than to do anything for a grumpy, demanding customer.

I did bake a cake this week. This is my all-time favorite chocolate cake. It's sinfully delicious. I could eat the whole thing by myself and not feel guilty at all!! I grew up calling this simply, "Fudge Cake". It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I learned the real name of it is Texas Sheet Cake. I'm telling you, it's to die for!

We harvested more tomatoes this week, including our first Green Zebras! Pretty green tomatoes that are hard to tell when they're ripe. I had to keep squeezing them for ripeness! LOL We also decided to harvest Mr. Lumpy Pumpkin since his vine was pretty much dead from the recent cool nights. He's still a tad green, but he's enjoying the sunshine on my kitchen window sill. I don't think he'll be ripe enough to eat for Thanksgiving, but soon enough, he'll be ready.

Here's a close up of the Green Zebra tomatoes. There's also another large tomato there, but I don't know what variety it is. It's either a Ponderosa or Homestead.

We've probably got a dozen or so more Green Zebras on the vine and probably 6 or 8 regular large tomatoes. What ever will I do with them all?!? LOL

I have been stitching on my Brrrrr It's Cold exchange piece. I had it finished, then decided I didn't like one of the colors, so I ripped it out. Now I've just got to go back and re-stitch it in the new color, iron it, get it packed up and ready to be mailed off tomorrow!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Were Those Pictures Thursday

In honor of Veteran's Day (Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, depending on where you live) yesterday, the first 2 pics I posted were pics of poppies from my yard this past spring. I've become fond of poppies over the past couple of years. I've scatted TONS of seeds already in hopes of a pretty "field" of poppies in my flower beds in the early spring next year.

Fall is arriving in North Texas. The big oak tree in my back yard is starting to show its fall colors. While I love the colors of the leaves in the fall, I'm not too fond of raking them up once they fall to the ground!

The holly bush outside our bedroom window is starting to put out its berries for the winter birds. I'd really be happy if that bush withered up and died, but it does provide berries for the birds during the winter and shelter for them as well.

Hannah's sleeping spot in the afternoon is a small patch of sunlight. She napped in this spot for much of the afternoon.

Callie loves the sun and she hurried down the hall to get the "primo" afternoon napping spot, which is why Hannah was in her cat bed on the floor. However, Callie didn't stay in the window for very long before she went out to the sunroom and slept for the afternoon.

The garlic is growing! Not sure why the one on the right is so much bigger than the one on the left, but it is. I'm still waiting for the smaller bulblets to sprout. I think I might be waiting for awhile...

Monday, November 09, 2009

Give Progress

This is going to become known as my bent needle project! I somehow managed to bend one of my high-dollar My Favorite Needle needles somewhere along the way of my short time stitching on this beauty. The only thing I can thing that happened was that the needle was stuck into one of the corners of my fabric while it was still in the q-snaps. When I took the snaps off, I must've pulled the needle out or something. Who knows?!? All I know is that I'm stitching with a bent needle and y'all aren't any the wiser! LOL Here she is in all her glory, as of the end of the Cowboys vs. Eagles game where my Boyz whooped up on the birds 20-14.

How 'bout dem Cowboys?!? They're now 6-2 for the season (6 wins, 2 losses for all you non-football folks) and in sole possession of their division. Nice to see Tony smiling again and having fun playing.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Who Sent the Frog Back to Me???

Last night as I was finishing up my stitching for the evening on Emmanuel, I noticed a mistake in my stitching. Now, I want to know just who sent that frog back to me?!? I haven't decided whether or not to frog it or to just work around the mistake, yet. I'm going to put this away for the week and work on my exchange piece and then I'll turn my attention back to this monster.

Here's where I started last night for Saturday Night Stitch:

And here's where I finished:

You're not imagining things if you look at the wing in the upper right part. The bird is right side up, but I've been stitching it upside down (turn my fabric and my chart upside down). Everyone take cover, I've sent that little frog packing!!

Closing with some views from my flower and veggie beds today.

Blue Bedder Sage & Rudbeckia

Mr. Lumpy Pumpkin getting his color on.

Garlic getting its stalk and leaves.

A view of the lettuce bed (& weeds--mixed greens!)

Baby spinach plants

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It Was Bound to Happen

My first garlic pod has sprouted!! We now have 2 sprouts with more on the way.

This is my luscious Pumpkin Pound Cake and two small pumpkins from my garden. The cake is absolutely delish! I think I'll post the recipe over on my recipe blog in the near future.

On to the title of my post...

This is my progress as of Monday night on my Emmanuel ornie from Plum Street Samplers. It's a fairly straight-forward, easy to stitch design.

Here's my "progress" picture of Emmanuel after FROGGING on Tuesday night. It was bound to happen; that blasted frog came for a visit. *sigh* A most unwelcome guest! I didn't even have the welcome mat out for him!!

I am back on the right track now, though, and should have a true progress pic to show in a few days.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009