Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Progress on Quaker Acorn & Other News

Last night, the husband and I watched the movie "Fireproof". It was a good movie, a bit on the hokey side, but overall a good movie. It really makes you take a look at your marriage and how it could be better. If you're marriage is struggling, then it can help make it stronger. It was also Saturday Night Stitchalong, so I pulled out Quaker Acorn to work on.

Here's where I started:

And here's where I had to stop because I was crying too much to see the holes in my fabric!

Yesterday morning, I went into the front bedroom to open the windows and discovered that one of the chysalides had eclosed! Meaning, the caterpillar that had been hanging out in its cocoon for the past 5 months decided it was spring and time to wake up.

The husband released it on the cosmos out in the front yard. It definitely won't have time to mate, but at least it will be able to fly some. If it doesn't head south, it will die because it's been so cold here lately and there's another cold front heading our way next week.

Today is Hannah's 5th Gotcha Day. It was 5 years ago today that the husband and I visited the local animal control shelter (AKA "The Pound") and came home with a little waif of a kitty. She's grown into such a beautiful girl that brings much delight and laughter to our home.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The view behind/over the house across the street from me. I think the trees are especially vibrant this year.

The trees are in the full fall glory right now. This is the view from my front door looking across the street.

Blanketflower seedling amongst the fallen leaves of the neighbor's crape myrtle tree. I can't stand crape myrtles, but they do look pretty in the fall.

My coralberry plant finally put on all its leaves after we transplanted it. It has even produced some pretty hot pink berries that the birds seem to enjoy.

The oak tree in my backyard. I like watching the sun rise through the leaves in the mornings.

The final haul from our spring & summer garden. I sent most of the jalapenos to my brother in San Antonio via UPS. It took them less than 24 hours to get there and I sent it regular ground!

Hannah enjoys hanging out in the sunroom. I think the warmth of the sun is making her eyes sleepy. This is one of the few pics I have of her that accurately reflects her coloring.

Tumbles is maturing and learning to enjoy nice long naps. Don't you wish you could be comfortable while napping?

He's also getting jowls and chubby cheeks! He's just delightful and full of purrs and love for us, especially at feeding time.

Me and my best girl, Callie. She doesn't have alien eyes in real life!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our First Thanksgiving Turkey

When we stay home for Thanksgiving, which is most years, I usually make a chicken in the crock pot. This year, however, we decided that we're going to cook a turkey. It helped that we got a coupon for a free Butterball turkey from the electric company. It will be the first time I've cooked a turkey on my own. Never fear, I have the turkey hotline (AKA "DAD") on speed dial! LOL You see, my dad cooks a mean turkey. I've already called and gotten the instructions on making the stuffing, which Mark loves. I knew that basics of it, but not the specifics. I have a feeling I'll be making more than a few calls to dad for help.

The good news is that I'm off on Wednesday, so I'll have a day to prepare and get some of the baking out of the way. My plan for Wednesday is to bake the cake (buttermilk pound cake) and make the fruit salad. I might also need to defrost the turkey in the bathtub or sink if it's not defrosted. If I feel up to it, I might make a cherry pie for Mark. He loves cherry pie.

In addition to turkey and dressing (or stuffing, depending on where you're from), we'll be having mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, and maybe homemade baked mac & cheese. The mac & cheese is a tradition in my family. I thought Mark would make gravy, but he told me the other day he could live without that. I haven't decided on if I'm going to try to make some homemade rolls or use the frozen variety, OR Mark can make them!!

Of course, in between everything else, I'll be stitching!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saying Good-by to an Old Faithful Friend

This past Friday morning, we woke up to find my beloved Trusty Steed gone from our driveway. Yes, my wonderful 1991 GMC Sierra truck had been stolen in the wee hours of the morning. I loved that truck! It represented so many things and held so many wonderful memories. It was a workhorse of a vehicle. It had a V-8 engine and a 28 gallon gas tank. Mark had just put $60 worth of gas in it the day before. Before you have a stroke at that gas amount, we only had to fill it up about every 3-4 weeks. This is the last picture I took of TS and it was really a shot of the trees changing colors.

What's funny is that the truck actually belongs to my dad, but I'd been driving it since 1994. Shortly before I moved to Fort Worth, I was driving his truck because I was hauling stuff from my apartment in Kerrville back home to San Antonio. He was driving my car, a 1985 Oldsmobile Firenza. He was working the night shift at work when it got stolen. My car was eventually recovered and repaired. For about the first 2 months I was in Fort Worth, I drove a rental car. When my car was ready at the body shop, I drove back to San Antonio to pick it up. However, my dad deemed it not road worthy to make the road trips from Fort Worth to San Antonio, so he gave me his truck to drive. While I was in Seminary, he paid for half the gas, repairs and maintenance, and insurance. When I graduated, the deal was I paid for the gas and upkeep and he paid for the insurance. Over the years, I've talked to him about selling me the truck or transferring the title, but he wouldn't hear of it. He finally put me on his insurance policy several years ago.

Mark LOVED working on that truck! He's poured countless hours into its maintenance and upkeep, tweaking this and that, being sure the oil was changed regularly, and doing much of the repair work on it himself. He's replaced brakes, several alternators, batteries, starters, windshield wipers, fuses, thermostats, and all that stuff. In 2004, the transmission went out on it, so we had the transmission rebuilt. Later that year, we invested in a brand-spankin' new engine for it and had that installed. Shortly after that, we had the AC converted to the newer type of AC system since freon was no longer being manufactured. It ran like a dream and kept us cool in the hot Texas summers.

Trusty Steed has seen over 216,000 miles and hauled countless loads of stuff. It moved me from Kerrville to Fort Worth. It moved stuff to storage when I graduated and then when I moved into my own apartment. It's moved friends. It moved us from our apartment to our home when we moved in 2005. It's hauled loads of brush and limbs to the bulk trash place. It's hauled dirt and stuff for our garden. It survived the hail storm of 1995 with little damage. It survived last year's 17" of snowfall. It was only in one minor fender bender in its entire life. It really had a lot of life left in it.

I'm not holding out much hope that the vehicle will be found, and if it is, I'm not sure I'll want it back. So, farewell my friend. Thank you for your years of faithful service. You'll never be replaced and I'll miss you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some Progress Pics

I can't show you a picture just yet of my current stitching project because it's an exchange piece, but I can tell you it's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cute (!!!) and I'm loving it! I might just have to stitch this one again for myself. LOL

Things have started picking up at work ('tis the season!), so my body is in the adjustment stage of Christmas. LOL Last week, I came home so exhausted everyday that it was all I could do to keep my eyelids open long enough to eat dinner. This week has been a little bit better. Next week, I should be good to go! Needless to say, not much stitching has gone on at my house, but I'm getting my groove back. :o)

I had to put Quaker Acorn down to work on my exchange piece and get it ready by mailing date, but here's my latest pic. I really do enjoy working on it, so maybe it'll be finished by 2011.

I'm working on the boring border on Evergreen. I say it's boring, but it's not all that boring, just repetitious. Looking at the pic, I realize that the border really does add to the piece.

As you can see from the first pic on my post, fall has arrived in North Texas. The nights (& some of the days) have turned cooler. I had to put the blanket on the bed for the season and the heater has come on a time or two. A couple of mornings, I've awakened to find kitties snuggling in the bed with us. I had to plug in the pet bed warmers and the kitties have enjoyed snuggling in their beds with them. We originally got the heating pads for pets several years ago for Callie when she was diagnosed with arthritis. It really does help her move better during the winter. When Hannah came along and was so sick, it helped keep her body temperature regulated. Little Tumbles just likes snuggling in the heated beds.

I've pulled out my pumpkin recipes and I've been baking up a storm. We've had pumpkin bars (above), pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin bundt cake. Makes the house smell heavenly. Yummy, yummy!!

This little guy is progressing nicely as well. He's getting so big and is so funny. I re-use drinking straws and wash them in the dishwasher in the utensil holder. Tumbles' latest "trick" is pulling them out of the holder and running away with them. I was wondering why my supply was getting skimpy!

Until next time, happy stitching!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day!

Coming from a military family, I am proud of the men and women who've fought for our country in times of war and in times of peace. Their commitment and sacrifice have protected our freedoms and made our country great. To those who serve today, especially in harm's way, I offer my deepest thanks. Deployment is difficult on family and friends. Even for those who's assignment is state-side or not in a war area, life is still not without peril. To all our military men and women, active duty and reservists alike, I'm grateful for your service and your sacrifice.

Flanders Field American Cemetary and Memorial

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915
Poppies (©

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Inspiration for the poem — In Flanders Fields

Inspiration behind the poem, "Flanders Field"
During the Second Battle of Ypres a Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2 May, 1915 by an exploding shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae.

John was asked to conduct the burial service owing to the chaplain being called away on duty elsewhere. It is believed that later that evening John began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields'.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Birthday Box Contents

I opened the box from Robin after my lovely dinner out with the husband. As you can see, I hit the jackpot! Robin had stitched 2 wonderful pieces for me. The little pillow is a complimentary design, "Give Thanks" by The Stitcherhood and the framed piece is "Live Simply", another complimentary design from Hands To Work. I'm fairly certain that she stitched this with Crescent Colours rather than the called-for fibers. If you'd like the conversions, I have them and would be happy to post them for you. I also got 2 more skeins of HDF silks, both in the purple color scheme. Purple is one of my favorite colors!! The little spiral notebook is just adorable! Not sure what I'll write in it, but I'm sure I'll find something! Robin is such an awesome friend! Thank you, Robin for my goodies!!

I also got this for my birthday...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Mail Call!

The mailman brought this box to my house today!! It's from my non-blogging friend, Robin, in Virginia. Tomorrow, I'll open it and see what kind of birthday goodies she sent me. Woohoo!

I got a few more stitches in on my Quaker Acorn piece last week before my vacation ended. I'm working on the acorn's "hat" which has a leaf motif on it. Maybe I'll have it finished by Thanksgiving! LOL