Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day - Thanks to vets & their families

Real quick post - no pics...just want to tell all my blog friends to have a wonderful long weekend (if you get one). I am off Monday - yeeh0o! I am planning on some stitching and sewing time, that's for sure! I am going to plant some tomatoes and weed the flowerbeds (not my favorite thing-I really love the outcome, but don't like to garden). We are going out to dinner for DH birthday - it was last week but he's worked many hours over 40 this week! He has to work Monday, so DS and I will be hitting the parade, just the two of us with all the other people honoring those men and women that served and continue to serve our country. Thanks to their families too- they make sacrifices too...

Enjoy your weekend!!

Stitch lots,


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bittersweet week...

So I have been posting since earlier this year and I must say, I find it a little addicting. I think to myself quite often now "dang, wish I had my camera; that would be a great blog picture". I also find myself wanting to check all of the blogs I'm following and seeing what they're stitching, how something they have going on and have mentioned is turning out (whether stitching related or not)...and then there is the progress thing. I am more aware of my progress or lack thereof. This week falls under the lack thereof category (sigh).

It was a busy week at work, home and then other things thrown in. First was the dentist Monday night for DS and myself. Now, I hate going to the dentist; I don't even like the that was a bad night for my shoulders and back trying to relax when I got home. Then on to the annual physical the morning - rather go there than the dentist that's for sure. Tuesday night I talked with my Great Aunt Betty. She hasn't been feeling too well and I wanted to check up on her. Had a very short conversation (and we both LOVE to talk, usually for at least 45 minutes to an hour) and told her I would call later this week. She passed away Wednesday evening. My heart is very heavy with sadness and I can't believe that she has left our world. She was a wise person who loved her family all so much. She also was my birthday buddy - my birthday is first, the next day is Gr. Aunt Betty and the next day is Aunt Penny (two of my favorite people in the whole world). It won't be the same; starting off the birthdays with calls from both of them first, then repeating the call the next two days to each of them...there will be a day that has nothing but silence in between. She would have been 90 this coming winter and besides this recent issue with her health, which wasn't that serious, she was pretty healthy, quick witted and sharp as all get-out. This picture is of Aunt Betty from her Granddaughter's wedding a couple years ago - isn't she so sweet! I will miss this dear, sweet soul! I spent a lot of time with her and Uncle Jim (who died several years ago) up north at my Grandparents; it was fitting that we had already planned an overnight trip to visit my Grandpa (who is almost 93). We arrived there Saturday morning - and what a bittersweet trip this was. Driving past Aunt Betty's exit on the freeway was a little weird, knowing she's not there anymore. Saturday was my Dad's birthday (Grandpa is my Dad's Dad). My Dad loved being up north and it was one of his favorite places to relax. He's been gone over five years now and would have still been under 70 on Saturday! Too soon, he left this world. I am not liking this part of my life. It's always sad too, because the day after my Dad died, his Mom passed away - I admire the strength my Grandpa has - he lost his wife and son in 24 hours and even though you expect one spouse will outlive another - and my Grandma was in her late 80's an not doing well, you don't expect to bury your son who is in their 60's.

Anyway - the lady-slippers were absolutely stunning. I couldn't help but take many pics - here's my fav of those. I believe they are endangered...but my Grandpa has many outside his house.

We hung out with Grandpa, Aunt Penny and Uncle Tom (they live next door to my Grandpa)...DH and DS fished a little in the afternoon, we went to a local bar and had dinner - yum! great bar burger! We played this dice game "Farkle", have you heard of it? It was fun and even DH and DS played - neither are much game players for the most part - but all of the rest of us are! Just before we were to dig into another rhubarb pie I made, we saw this:This is the lake they fished it - it's pretty remote. And this pic doesn't even do it justice... God sure makes pretty things to remind us of how wonderful life is when you're feeling blue in some areas of your heart! It was a great visit and after an awesome breakfast cooked by A. Penny, off we returned to home.

What, you may thinking?! You didn't read anything about stitching - that's because it sat in the bag the whole weekend. Hence, the earlier statement of the "lack thereof" to report. I did a tiny bit of stitching this week, will post pics when there's something to report. I took a day off tomorrow to stitch with SUPER friends, so maybe I'll have tons to show you next time! But - I also started a new book - House Rules by Jodi Picoult, so that will take up some stitching time, reading it. She's a great read, I've read many and own most that I haven't so I will get to them...but she can also be an emotional read - heavy topics with awesome insight.

So, I will get to my book, the laundry and perhaps a bit of stitching now. I want to say thank you to all the blogs I follow - you are inspirations to my stitching and I've found numerous things I have to check out at my LNS....and a thank you to those who check my blog out - whether you're a regular follower or just stopping by - Thanks! And I do read all my comments so a really big thanks to those who leave comments too! Have a great week and stitch lots, stitch often and stitch happy!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thanks, progress, work, ride, pie, Tigers....whew!

Hey everyone!

I can't tell you how much it thrills me to have comments, visitors and know that people find what I have to say as interesting (or at least a little interesting). I think I am not always so, but I really enjoy reading what others have to say - even if it's not stitching related. And to see you following my blog on your blog - way cool!! Funny, I've only been doing this a couple months and already I feel like I know so many of you...any way - thanks!

So as I mentioned in a post back one or two, I really didn't think I was making progress on The Red Flower Sampler (E. Bennett) but posting pics has really said "silly, you are making quite good progress". And I am on the home stretch. Two more bands to complete (one is my personalization which is now charted - yipiee). I am finishing up the queen stitches on the blue band, then there's a small separation bar, then the over one personalization. I only have to go back in and fill in the grape like things and the three flowers. Then I can move on to the next of my bigger things to do! And I think I may work on a couple of my smaller things too in between - this one project thing is working for me for the moment but my fingers are getting itchy to switch it up. I love stitching this time of year - lots of Tigers baseball on the t.v. to listen to while I'm stitching - even though it's a sad time for us Tiger fans with the loss of Ernie Harwell - I remember laying in the grass listening to him call out the games while hanging with my Dad or Grandpa as a small gal! Oh yeah, back to stitching...I have also been thinking about new projects (lordy, what am I thinking) but I know how I am and it won't be long before I make that first mark on a piece of crisp linen.

Here's my progress - sorry for the wrinkles, but I have been doing this one in hand. I finally had a little sunshine to get a better pic than the last couple...

DH went back to work this past week - so he's tired...and it's been a rough week for me...getting used to the new routine and I had a killer headache all week, it would hide a bit and then come roaring out. Yuck!

Today was finally a nice day here in Michigan. After what seems like months (although it's only been days) of rain, we had blue skies and sun for most of the day. This morning my DH, DS and I went out to the main street in town. The couple who introduced me to my DH were riding in a memorial ride for veterans in their cycle group - Rolling Thunder. There were many, many bike. It took them about 20 minutes to ride by from the first to the last. Here a couple pics. In one, you can see the police escort that stopped traffic. The bikes sitting on the side are holding traffic in the parking lots and side streets. It was very loud, many waived. There was a little boy in the parking lot we were in waiving like mad to a couple of the bikes carrying people he knew. It was great to see the support people give the men and women protecting our country. They ended in the next town with a ceremony. If you click to enlarge the pics, you can see the line of bikes goes on as far as my cameral could see...What a nice day for a ride!

Then it was on to grocery shopping...I was hungry for a summer fav - BBQ Chicken Pie. It's just a pie shell with bbq chicken (cooked, chopped and sauce poured in it) mixed with cheddar cheese and green onions. Heat that, dump in pie shell and serve with sour cream and cherry tomatoes on top. Yum....also been thinking about the sour cream coffee cake my mom made when I lived at home - so since my sour cream only had a few good days left, made that too...haven't had that yet - waiting 'til morning.

And lookie what I found in my garden - now I have to tell you - I am a stitching, quilting, reading kind of girl - don't like dirt, don't like to garden but sure have an appreciation for beautiful plants. I love flowers, fresh tomatoes, etc. And somehow the soil or the garden angels must look out for me because...
yep - it's rhubarb. I get tons of it. Started one plant about 6 years ago from some seeds one of DH's co-workers gave him...and then I get fresh rhubarb all summer long. I read (and Grandma just cut in spring) that you can't have good rhubarb all summer long - well let me tell you, no one told that to my rhubarb plants (yes, more than one now) and I have good flavor and density through August if the weather is favorable.

So what did I do with this you ask?

THIS!!!! THIS!!! THIS!!!

And let me tell you, as soon as I am finished with posting this, a big ole slice is going to be in a bowl, with some vanilla ice cream - which is necessary since I cut my sugar in half for this pie. Love the sour!!! I also made up a little rhubarb sauce (stewed rhubarb) for toast this week. Bought some English Muffin bread at the grocery...they have the best bakery. DH found a recipe for Tuna Burgers (kind of like salmon patties) that suggests it be served on an English Muffin or Italian Bread - sounds like an easy supper one night next week to me!

Okay, I know it's not a cooking blog - but when I get motivated with something, I need to brag it up a little. I did forget, hung with my friends on Tuesday afternoon at Robin's...great food, lots of talking and some laughs and worked my sampler...then last night I hung out with my bff Mary and some people I know from a "stitching camp" organized by my LNS twice a year. They take turns hosting a once a month get-together and Mary and I were invited. Again, good food, good talking and the sampler. Boy I have to get that, on to pie, baseball (Tigers currently down by 5, but it's only the bottom of the sixth - yikes) and stitching - enjoy the rest of your weekend - and stitch away!!! Hey - while proofing they scored! Now only down by two - go Tigers!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mama's Day!!, Progress Report & Ramblings

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's who read this! I think you all deserve a pat on the back. I spent some time with my Mom this morning. My husband and son took me to brunch; so we invited my Mom too. It was yummy and very delicious. This afternoon, my son and I went to the see the Disney "Oceans" film. He wasn't real thrilled with my choice, but he loves nature things about fish/whales/sea creatures and has been fascinated with them his whole life, so I don't think he was too bored. It was pretty good -fabulous photography, nice music; we even saw some creatures we've never seen on all the Animal Planet shows for the last 14 or so years. Since it has been chilly and windy here in Michigan the past couple days and I needed to make my husband's going back to work as easy as possible (did you hear both him and myself yell a big "YeeHoo" in the background??), I made a pot of bean soup today. I know this blog is mostly about stitching, quilting, etc., but I couldn't resist this pic:

Took the Easter ham bone from the freezer, dumped in some beans, cut up a few veggies, little seasoning and when we all gather for dinner after work/school - easy dinner with minor prep. Yum! And unseasonably cool is what it has been - so I've had a hard time getting into the sun to take some pics of my progress - so I apologize for the shadows:

I have made progress on "The Red Flower Sampler". Last pic was at the two red flowers and then came the over one verse...then both the next band and the larger green one still have knots of one type or another that need to be added, but I will do that last so they don't come loose. The S in the next photo is over one also, the red alpha is done with two-sided Italian Cross Stitch so it's taking me a little longer than the normal "x". Progress, none-the less. That's one thing I like about blogging, I never took progress pics before and sometimes felt like it was taking me so long, but in reality the progress may not be so slow after all! And since I have so many projects going at one time, sometimes I feel a little wheel-spinning happening!

I have spent some time sewing too. This is a little notions or ditty bag I made for my friend Pam for her birthday. I have posted a few others I have made earlier. I also worked on my DH's quilt, but no progress pics yet; hopefully soon. I'm a pretty inexperienced sewer/quilter and things like the bags are a challenge, but by the time I make a few of them for my awesome friends, I am much better. I love the blue batiks in this one.

The baskets are from the Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild meeting last Sunday. A couple years ago, through a collaboration of members, the basket band was designed, lining pattern written, smalls designed with many other "smalls" possibilities. Everyone did something a little different and made the basket their own. Mine is the one on the far right of the picture above. Everyone who had finished the band, but not necessarily attached to basket yet, was encouraged to bring them to the May meeting. I will post more pics of mine, closeups and such, when I finish more smalls too.

Thanks for all the people who check out this blog. I really appreciate the comments and am thrilled when new one's posted...they make me smile. I want to thank the other people too - the one's who I am now following their blog...they are inspirational, I have found lots of things I'd love to do and want to check out. I'm learning much about other areas of this great country of ours AND many other countries too. It's fascinating to me that we are all so similar in what we stitch, ramble about and what makes us happy. Thank goodness for those who answer my many questions too - I am learning tons about so much...who knew that just by checking out (who by the way, was just featured on the DMC Studio blog - congrats on that Terri) and, both friends from Kindred Spirits, that I would become so addicted to this!

Well, if I want some time to put needle to thread tonight, I must wrap up it's long enough! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week...I know I will - am looking forward to hanging with some of my awesome friends tomorrow afternoon (half-day off work!) can you say "yee-hoo" again!

Stitch much - smile - get hugs!!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another Glorious Weekend!

I have made some progress on The Red Flower Sampler and quilted a bit...worked on my husband's quilt. It's from Moda's Trail Adventures line...doing a pattern called Yellow Brick Road and I don't know the name of the designer. I also made another bag for a friend's birthday.

No pics - sorry. It's been another crappy weekend here in Michigan for pictures to turn out come even inside pics don't look good when it's cloudy out?

Didn't stitch or sew much today. Had a meeting (Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild) and it was fun. I'll post pics of some of the sewing baskets too - when I do progress updates (too tired to do it tonight...and I want to get stitching).

On the home front, hopefully this will be the last week my husband is off work. We are hoping his surgeon will let him return starting next week. He is doing better and getting a little bored. School is starting to wind down for my kiddo...and this time of the year is tough on parents, students and teachers alike, I know.

More next week, along with some pictures. Thanks everyone for your comments, clicking in to read my ramblings and special thanks to those of you who have helped me as I struggle with posts, pictures, etc. This has been quite a learning experience.