Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hiya folks!

Wow... time flies by these days, doesn't it? This is such a busy time of year, but I absolutely love it! I'm sad to admit that I haven't put in a single stitch since my last post, lol!

Lots of Christmas preparation going on... shopping, decorating, and (amazing but true - for this area, anyway) a pretty significant snowfall which enabled me to get out with Leah and act like a kid for a couple hours.

So, in lieu of stitchy pics, I will share "pics of the season". :)

First, house pics - I'm done with the decor... for this year, anyway!

The tree in the living room... I always enjoy decorating the tree! Pulling out all the ornaments - some from before I was born - and recalling how I got them, the stories associated with each one. It's such a wonderful sense of nostalgia. It's especially great to start sharing these stories with Leah now that she's a little bit older. It's adorable to see the reverence she displays towards them after I tell some of the stories (i.e. "Mommy's grandma made that one.").

This is the little sitting area off the kitchen -it feels so cozy with the lights on, and the books all around. I've spent quite a bit of time sitting in here after Leah goes to bed just absorbing the peace.

And my Annalees... I looove these little things! They are so stinking cute!! I've been collecting them for a couple years now - I found them initially at Home Goods at an amaaazing amount off their original prices. 50 - 60% off! They aren't the current year's pieces, but that doesn't matter to me. I just love the nostalgic homey feel they have.

And now for the snowy afternoon pics. Before we went outside, Leah & Roscoe were having a blast watching the snow come down - Roscoe was beginning to get really ticked that he couldn't catch the snowflakes!

Leah and I finally made it outside about mid-afternoon... unfortunately, I don't have many pics, b/c I was afraid my camera would get too wet, and be ruined... Here is one that I thought was particularly cute, though:

Well, that's about all I've got for this go 'round! Thank you all for your comments - you ladies are wonderful! And, Siobhan - thanks for the pointer toward finishing instructions for my ornament! As soon as I get it finished I will hop right over there and check it out.

Have a fabulous week, everyone! With Christmas only 12 days away (Ha!! Really? I feel like breaking into song, now... but I'll restrain myself!), I'm sure we will all be pretty busy. Enjoy the season and make some fabulous new memories!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving (and Some Stitchy Stuff)!!

Hi, y'all! Howz it hangin'?

It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks in my neck of the woods... my company had their annual symposium, which went well... but far more exciting than that is - I went to see New Moon with a couple of my friends and maaan did we enjoy it. It had nothing at all to do with a certain Mr. Lautner and his rather amazing body. No, I did NOT just type that about a 17yo kid, lol!! It also had nothing to do with the always dreamy Robert Pattinson... nooo nooo... nothing at all to do with those lads. :) It was good and I did love it - even aside from them. I thought it was far better than the first. One of the more entertaining aspects of the whole experience? All the tweens (literally) screaming their little heads off every time Jacob showed up on screen, lol - my friends and I were cracking up! I can't wait to see Eclipse - I think I read that the release date will be June 2010? Wahoo!

OK, on to stitchy stuff... Stitching time has been rather limited in recent days (or should I say evenings since, unfortunately, I don't get paid to sit at my job and stitch! I wonder if I could work that somehow??) so I still haven't completed the ED Sampler, but here's where I am with it:

I think if I can get a solid few hours of stitching in, I can finish it. I'm really liking the way it is turning out!

And in honor of the Christmas spirit that has overtaken me (earlier than usual, I must say), I've started stitching up ornaments - this is the first one:

It's on 32 ct. linen, with the called for DMC - this is one of the Santas in the Prairie Schooler's Old World Santas II pattern leaflet. I'm not sure if any of these will make it into gifts - I'm actually a little nervous about the finishing (to make them into ornaments) so we'll have to see a) how many I can finish in a reasonable time, and b) if I can manage to not hose them entirely when I attempt to finish finish them

Well, that's all for me for now kids! As always thanks for your comments ladies!! I love getting and reading them!!

I hope you and your families have an absolutely splendid Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Start!

Hi there!

First things first: Thanks so much Deb, Terri, and Siobhan for your wonderful comments on my last two re-start posts. :) You ladies were always my most faithful commenters and it was so lovely to hear from you again right away. Thanks so much for welcoming me back into the bloggy fold so to speak. It's been great to catch up with all of you via reading your recent posts.

OK, on to new things. I worked on piecing my quilt for a while and got all the 4 patch blocks pieced (and all of my corners are perfect I am pleased to say!) but then I had to start the triangle pieces and got frustrated, so I decided I should put it on hold and re-start it at a later date. So, I picked up the Sampler Girl's Emily Dickinson Sampler. I had stitched most of the first two trees up at the top, and here is where I am now: (re-started 11/1):

I think I made a mistake with my fabric selection because unless you're looking at it in bright daylight you can barely see the green on the trees. Oh well... I refuse to frog it, lol!! :) This will go in Leah's room when it's done. I'm stitching it on 40 ct. linen with DMC.

I think the plan until Christmas is going to be to work on ED at home in the evenings after the wee child is in bed, and work on some Christmas ornaments during my lunch hours at work. We'll see how much I get done... then the finish finishing of those will be a whole new adventure, lol!

Not much else going on. I got Leah's Christmas pics done (I took her to a field in our neighborhood and took about 400 shots - overkill do you think?), so now I just have to pick out a couple to get printed up for family and friends. None of them will be posted here (although, my new profile pic is one of them) just in case a picture recipient reads the blog. Can't ruin the surprise, you know.

The weather was absolutely stunning here today and we went to the C&O canal aqueduct and tramped around on the trails and just had a glorious day in the great outdoors. Maybe I'll post a few of those pics in another post, because I did get some really pretty shots. That'll have to wait though at least until I get them off the camera and onto the PC.

This week I'm up for jury duty, and am off the hook for tomorrow, but we'll have to see what happens with the rest of the week. Maybe I'll be able to get caught up on some reading (I don't think I'd be able to take scissors and needle into the courthouse, sigh).

Alrighty kids, that's about all I've got this go 'round... Have a great week!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Leah's "First" Halloween

Hi y'all! Sorry, I couldn't resist posting a few pics of Leah in her first Halloween costume. She originally wanted to be a ballerina, but as soon as we got to the store (I love me some TJ Maxx!!) and she saw this, her mind was made up. Thank goodness it fit!

Her reaction to having it on in the dressing room was: "Oh mommy!! It's perfect!! It's like a dream come true!!!" Who could've resisted that?? I tell ya, the kid is too cute for her own good sometimes with the things she says!

Of course, my camera was stuck to my face for this. I got some really cute shots, and these are my three favorites (I decided I need to exercise some restraint and not torture you with alll the pics, lol!):

I hope you've all had a spooktacular Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's Been Awhile...

Hi there everyone!

First (and I promise - there is "fun stuff" after this...), thank you all so much for your lovely supportive comments when my husband's mother and brother passed away... As you all know, my MIL was somewhat expected as she had been battling for quite some time. She had contracted MRSA at the end and it was just too much for her body. God really blessed her final day with us... She got her hair done in the morning, ate some ice cream (this was the first thing she had eaten by mouth since she went into the hospital in Feb.), and, most exciting for her - she met Joe Theismann!! He just happened to be in the hospital and my hubby ran into him on the elevator. He told Joe what had been going on and that mom was a HUGE Redskins fan (her blood ran burgundy and gold, I tell you). Joe went by mom's room for a visit and actually spent quite a bit of time chatting with her. She passed peacefully about 2 hours later.

My brother in law was entirely unexpected. He was fine one day - in fact, he went to work the day before he died - and passed away early the next morning. He had begun feeling unwell the night before with stomach flu type symptoms. We still don't have final autopsy results, we only know it wasn't H1N1.

We are starting to get back to normal... the grief is still there, especially for my husband and his siblings... even Leah commented this morning that she is really sad that Memaw is gone. But she's happy that Memaw will be with her in her heart forever. Aww... don't kids just get right down to the bottom line in the sweetest way?

My stitchy/ crafty mojo has been gone until the past week or so. I've finally started slowly piecing that quilt I had cut the fabric for. As soon as I have any real progress to show, I'll post pics.

Now on to the fun stuff!! We went to Orlando in September and had a blast (this is a pic heavy post, I'm afraid)!! We visited Sea World, and all the Disney parks. We rented a house in Kissimmee which was sooo nice. It had a pool & hot tub, and you know we were in them every night. :)

I really put my camera through it's paces while we were there (I took around 2,500 pics - overload, I know) and below are a few of my faves...

I think this is my favorite pic from Sea World:

We loved the Shamu show so much we went to see it twice. It was way better than I remembered it from my last visit to Sea World (an almost embarrassing # of years ago).

Here's a pic of Leah as we left one of the shows there. I just thought it turned out so well, I couldn't resist posting it:

We visited Epcot, which wasn't Leah's favorite but which the grown ups loved. She met a few characters there which made it more bearable for her, I think. There was a really great band there called Off Kilter which we watched a couple times. They are a sort of Celtic Rock band - they're good enough I'd buy their CD. Here's a shot of the golf ball:

And, of course, we went to the Magic Kingdom two days. Leah ADORED the Magic Kingdom. Had an absolute blast meeting princesses, and riding roller coasters. Yep, you read that right, riding roller coasters. She rode the kiddie one first, then decided she wanted to ride Thunder Mtn. I was very uncertain (I want a roller coaster buddy when she's older since my hubby doesn't ride them, so I was afraid it would terrify her, and she'd never set foot on one again), but she loved it so much she rode it twice! That's my girl!!!

We also had breakfast in Cinderella's castle. It was absolutely wonderful... but the best part was Leah's reaction when we gave her her "invitation". Ever seen footage from Beatle's concerts where the girls are just losing it? Well, that's pretty much what Leah did. It was awesome. :) Here are a couple of my favorite shots of the castle.

Here are a few shots of Leah with her favorite Disney characters (she met all the princesses except Pocahontas, but I thought I'd post more variety than just princesses). Note the uptilted "model foot" in the shot below:

Pooh & Tigger spent almost 10 minutes interacting with her - she felt sooo special!
This is Leah meeting Ariel... it was adorable to see her meet all the characters, but this was just classic... she was so excited it was as though she couldn't quite decide what to do with herself. Couldn't smile right, was soooo trying to sit just exactly perfectly. It was fabulous!

And here she is with Mulan - Leah looooves girl power!

Let's see.... not much else going on. Leah has been through and recovered from a bout of pneumonia (seeing her w/ the nebulizer on her face was sooo sad, but she was such a champ!), I've been sucked into the online vortex known as Facebook (If any of you are on there let me know!), and that's about all my news.

I hope to not be such a stranger now that I'm "back"... can't wait to get caught up with what's going on for all of you!

Peace out!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

In Loving Memory

Dorothy Faye Wright
July 29, 1936 - August 20, 2009
Edward Dwayne Wright
March 4, 1960 - August 19, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Finish Finishes!!

Hi y'all! How's it hangin'? Things are going pretty well and pretty much business as usual here. One bit of good news - I do NOT have PCOS. :) Nor is my prolactinoma acting up, nor am I going into early menopause. Phew!! I was very happy about all that. On the other hand my doctor's "official" diagnosis was not exactly helpful... what was it you ask? TTDTM. This is a syndrome you ladies are all familiar with - Trying To Do Too Much. So, yeah. Not terribly helpful, there. So, I'll be trying to eat healthier, and get more (read: some) exercise and see if that helps. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments! It was a wonderful blessing to have people I've never even met IRL share my burden and give me words of encouragement. You ladies are awesome!

My mother in law celebrated her 73rd birthday on Wednesday. It was especially sweet because that was a day we really did not think she would see this side of Heaven. She gets better bit by bit day by day... a slow but steady pace. Leah and I went to see her today, and although she was very out of it and confused, she was better than the last time I saw her.

So! Since I last posted, I've framed 3 more pieces. As Tanya said in her comment on my last post - it got easier every time. Now I just need to finish another stitchy project quickly so my skillz don't decide to rusticate and leave me high and dry! So, without further ado, here they are in all their glory... Mr. & Mrs. Abbott together is first in the line up (please ignore the somewhat clashing green wall... I'm dying to repaint our living room, but every time I mention it my husband has a mild coronary... I'm taking that as a "no" :)... for now):

Then comes the little Missus:

Then, the master of the Abbott household:

Then a close up shot of the frame. It's mostly a very dark dark brown with that lovely gold inner trim, but it also has some "worn" spots that reveal this awesome reddish tone that really brings out the reds in the stitching. I love these frames!

Last but not least in my framing report is the Border Study (designer: Heron House Designs) I finished stitching in early February of this year. It was supposed to be done in red, but I chose a really deep midnight blue from DMC instead. This was my first piece done on linen, and after I got the hang of it, I realized that there would be no going back to stitching on Aida (Wheels Announcement notwithstanding, of course). This piece now graces the wall in my office at work. I really love this frame, too. It's a sort of powdery black with some really nice scallopy type stuff (yes, that is the technical phraseology) - no close up on this one, but if you click on the pic you should be able to see it pretty well.

And, at long last, I shall leave you with a pic of Roscoe doing his very best impression of Godzilla in Leah's dollhouse. I have been dying to get a pic of him in here (he does this whenever Leah & I are in her room playing) for ages now, but until today every time I'd jump up to race for the camera, he would always likewise jump up and follow me to see what I was doing. Little stinker. Anyway, here he is in all his little cuteness' glory:

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend, get lots of stitchy (or just relaxation) time!!! I've been real lax in commenting (I have a Facebook addicted husband, so by the time I'm done getting the child in bed, and finishing up any household tasks I've set for myself he's usually logged in and not to be budged), but I am about to correct that gross oversight as soon as this post is cleaned up and posted.

Peace out!


Monday, July 20, 2009

A Finish and a Finish Finish

Hi y'all!

Well, it's been another busy week and then some, but here - at way too long last -is Mr. Abbott! Sorry about the pic - I don't know what my problem was, but I just couldn't seem to get a very good shot.

My little darling Leah wanted to get in on the photography action... she looooves posing for the camera. She just couldn't understand why I had the camera out but wasn't taking pictures of her. So, here she is givin' the camera (and Mr. Abbott) some love:

And here is Mr. Abbott & the Mrs... together at last!

I've got the framing supplies for the Abbott family on order from Joann's and they should be in this week.

This weekend I finally framed the piece I made for my friend Amy - I had been hesitating because I was afraid of irrevocably messing it up. But with Vonna's tutorial, it was super easy! Believe me - if I can do it, you can do it!! I do admit, though, that I had to re-pin once. It was my own fault for thinking I could just eyeball it. Lesson learned!!

It turned out pretty well, I think. I don't know what the crease looking thing in the top middle is - it must be a reflection because I promise, there is no crease in it.

So, I went to Joann's on Saturday and picked up the frame above (side note - this was a very oddly sized piece, and I was shocked to find a ready made frame w/ a mat that would fit it reasonably well), along with ordering the framing supplies for the Abbotts, and for my Sampler I finished earlier this year. I have to say... it wasn't cheap! Yikes! Probably because I did buy glass to go in the frames (so far, I'm a glass girl - that may change, though). The lady that helped me said I saved about $100 total by just getting the supplies for all 3 pieces. Oof. That's a chunk o' change. So, thank you, Vonna, for your wonderful instructions! I'll post pics when they're all done.

A quick update on my MIL before I go - she is doing a bit better. She moved to a nursing home from the hospital a few weeks ago, and is more physically mobile, and has been pretty sharp mentally as well. My hubby saw her today and said she was really loopy, but we're thinking that is just the pain meds. So, right now it's a waiting game -waiting for her to be healthy enough to have the surgery again to attempt (again) to repair the intestinal ulcer.

I've had quite a shock medically speaking this past week as well. I went to my OB/Gyn last week with a laundry list of complaints. Well, while he was doing the exam portion, he caused me considerable pain (I'm no wuss, either folks) so, given my list of symptoms (the biggest one [to me] being extreme exhaustion ALL the time - the likes of which I haven't experienced since I was pregnant with Leah - So bad I have caught myself nodding off in my office in mid afternoon, and have been afraid several times that I was going to fall asleep at the wheel on the way home - especially disturbing once I've got Leah in the car) he decided to do a sonogram right then. Turns out the exam hurt because I've got a bunch of cysts on my right ovary. So, given my other symptoms, he made a "probable" diagnosis of PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome). I was shocked. He also ordered a bunch of blood work, and those results should be back tomorrow to confirm (or not) his diagnosis. I'll also be going to see a reproductive endocrinologist, and having a sleep study done. I don't have the more "visible" symptoms of PCOS, but as I read more and more, I think he might be right. I'll just have to wait and see, right? One thing I have decided as I've researched this disorder - the human body is such a miracle, isn't it? A delicate balance of hormones, and triggers... it's a miracle anyone's body works the way it "should".

So anyway, blah blah blah. It'll be interesting to see what this week holds! :)

I have so enjoyed reading you lady's posts! It is wonderfully inspiring to watch the progress of what you all are working on - it spurs me on to work on my own projects, and is so lovely to share this interest with you all! Thanks so much for your comments - they are especially special to me because I know how busy you all are, and how little time you have in your full lives. So, thank you!

Have a fantastic week!!!! ~Robin

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My What a Difference a Couple Weeks Makes...

Wuzzup my homeys???

From your posts it seems you are all enjoying the summer, and doing well. I am so glad! As for me... I feel I have finally rejoined the land of the living. :)

About a week and a half ago a good friend of mine (Arin) and her husband (Tim) took Leah for a full 24 hours (they had a blast - went to the zoo, went out to eat, watched a movie, went to the playground... if I were smarter I would've sent some of the great pics Tim took to my home email so that I could've included one here - ah well). While she was with them, I met my dad & step mom for lunch, then headed to Target for a bookcase for Leah's room (with bins, of course), came home, read about 1/2 a book, built the bookcase, cleaned up Leah's room and stashed all the toys in the bins, then busted hump cleaning up the house.

The house cleaning project has continued (I just took a truckload of baby stuff that we will never need again to Salvation Army - ahhh... sweet sweet clutter busting!!!), but I finally feel I am on top of it, and it hasn't slipped further down the slippery slope to chaos. The place certainly ain't pristine, but it is about as clean as anyone working full time with a 4yo (and, yes, I'll admit it - hobbies I choose over housework any chance I get!) who can't afford a maid is going to get it. So, it's all good.

But, my household woes are not why you come here, so let's get to the good stuff, shall we??

I have made a tiny bit of progress on Mr. Abbott in the last couple of weeks (see pics below). I've only stitched a couple times, but am going to be making a real push to get him done. Joann's is having a framing sale through the 18th, so I want to get him done NLT then. At which point I'll take Mr. & Mrs. Abbott, and the Border Study I finished in January (February?) over there, get them framed and ready to put on the walls. Anyway, without further ado, here is Mr. Abbott:

I've also been bitten by the quilting bug again recently. This is 100% the fault of two really great books I've found which show patterns that use those addictive little fabric packs known as jelly rolls, charm packs, and layer cakes. Oh.... this is a sweeeet addiction! I don't know about you, but I loooove fabric... but quilting fabric is so stinkin' expensive to buy by the yard, it's hard for me to suck it up to buy it that way. Plus, the time it takes to acurately cut those large pieces of fabric so I can actually use them?? Yeh... not so much. So, these pre-coordinated bundles are a financial and time saving dream come true!! And oh my.... soooo beautiful!!! I've added several packs to my (still pretty much non-existent) stash recently, and one of these great books has a pattern in it that I'm going to try.

I am a seriously newbie quilter, and as much as I want to eventually create amazing works of art in quilt form, I recognize that it will take some time to get there. So, hopefully these simpler patterns will help me bone up on my piecing skills, and on my hand quilting skills as well. I have only made one quilt, and it was about as simple as it gets:

This is the quilt I made for Leah for Christmas '08. Yes, it is just stripes, and yes, I agonized over the cutting, and the piecing, LOL! I even had to frog and re-piece one of the stripes. It's 48" x 48", and was machine pieced, and hand quilted with straight lines 1" apart throughout. For a first quilt, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, and Leah was so excited when she opened it that it made every moment of quilty angst totally worth it.

Anyway, back to the current project, and the great books. The name of the book I'll be using for this quilt is Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, and Charm Quilts by Pam & Nicky Lintott. They also have another book called Jelly Roll Quilts which I also bought and which has a ton of quilts that I absolutely love. Now, you experienced quilters out there (Deb, you da bomb!!!) would probably flip through these books and find the quilts way too elementary for your skillz, but let me tell you, they are right up my alley! :) Here is the pattern I'm going to tackle:

I'm going to use more vivid fabrics with it (the stars will still be off white, though) that came in a layer cake. Here they are, cutting complete (well, except for the fabric for the stars - for that, I'll have to cut a dreaded yard o' fabric - duh dah duuummm!!!):

These are the most beautiful fabrics I've ever worked with. Sooo soft, with a really gorgeous, subtle sheen to them (not the high shine of the older chintzes).

So, the plan is - finish up Mr. Abbott, and work (sloooowly) on getting this quilt pieced. I am deciding btwn. a few different stitchy projects to pick up once the Abbotts are complete. I'm debating between John Foster (pic'ed here in an earlier post), Garden Cat (by the now defunct Birds of a Feather), and Thou Shalt Not Nag (can't remember designer). It's a toss up at this point! :)

Thanks again for your wonderful comments - you ladies were a HUGE source of encouragement after my last post, and I can't tell you how much I appreciated it!!! Really - you all are the best! I feel like we could all get together for coffee (and dessert and stitching of course) and sit together for hours with no lags in conversation or awkwardness. So, thanks again!

Until next time - happy stitching (ugh, I really need to find another "tag line")!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Breaking Radio Silence

Hiya folks! No progress pic in this post, I'm afraid, because no progress has been made to speak of (well, 20 minutes, but that doesn't seem worth a pic to me)...

It's been a rough few weeks, and I find myself in a place where my stitchy (and garden... and really everything but reading for about 20 minutes before I crash) mojo is gone.

My MIL is still in the hospital (she left to go to a nursing home a few times, but was generally back at the hospital within a week each time) and crashed really badly again. We all thought that it was the end of the road this time. My brother in law flew in from TX, we all spent a few nights at the hospital, moved her to palliative care (sort of like in hospital hospice care), the whole nine... and miraculously, she has pulled through. She is one strong lady!! She is far from out of the woods - she is still very confused, still has a LOT of health problems, and we aren't sure where this road is going to take us. We (and the doctors) are thinking/ hoping/ praying that the confusion is a result of pain and anti-anxiety meds, and are working to get the right mix so that she can be more "with it" and so that we can be more comfortable that she is fully cognizant of what is going on.

So, anyway, with all of that going on, I am still trying to catch up on lost sleep, and get the house back together (I don't think it's been in this state of disarray since Leah was a newborn, and it's driving me nuts - unfortunately I can't seem to motivate myself to do anything but the bare minimum at this point), and just basically get back into a routine. I'm definitely not my usual self right now, lol! Sorry that this post is probably a downer, and is definitely not like my usual fare... hopefully the next one will be back to business as usual.

That's it for now... just wanted to drop in to let you all know I hadn't fallen off the face of the earth.

Thank you all SO much for your incredibly kind comments re: my last post - they are appreciated, and brought a smile to my lips every time a new one popped in. :)

I'll be catching up on commenting soon, I hope! Til next time, happy stitching!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Progress & A Trip... Hey Wait... Can I Use the Same Title Twice?

Hi there! How is everybody?

I'm still getting caught up here at home (& at work) from being gone for 4 days... lots to chat about, but first, progress on Mr. Abbott:

I got a few hours of stitching in each way on the drive... pretty slow going with all the bumps in the road, but I was just happy to not deal with nausea!! Yay!! I haven't stitched at all since we got home, but I should be able to finish getting caught up in the house over the weekend and get back to my regular routine.

Our trip was great! Traffic was pretty heavy getting out of town, but not nearly as bad as in years past. The detours around Detroit really threw me for a loop... I exited in the wrong spot at one point, and executed the fastest three point turn on the planet to get the heck out of where I ended up - believe me... the inner city of Detroit is NOT where you want to be at 1:30 in the morning. At least it got the adrenaline pumping and I had no worries about falling asleep for the rest of the trip!

Terri, you were so sweet to offer to let us take a quick side trip to your place on our way... somehow, I doubt we'd have gotten much visiting done in the middle of the night, though. :) But, I'll take a rain check!

Deb, to answer your question, my mom lives in a teeny tiny little town pretty much 1/2 way between Oxford and Romeo (as the crow flies). On a dirt road.

We had lots of fun at the farm (pics and anecdotes to follow - sorry folks, this is a long one), and went out Sunday afternoon for a trip to the Bordines (reeeaallly nice nursery) in Clarkston. Since Holly is just a couple exits away from there, I asked if we could make a stop in Holly, so we did! Terri and Deb's various "hauls" from Dawn's shop made this a must do item on the itinerary! I got to meet Dawn, who was such a sweetheart, and so kind to chat with my little Leah. It was really nice to meet a blogger "in real life". So, all you ladies that have never been there before, if you ever make it up to Holly, MI - Holly Hills Primitives is a definite must for your visit. Dawn has a lovely shop, and I really enjoyed walking through (amazingly enough, I didn't buy anything... a small miracle, really, one my dh is eternally grateful for) and chatting with Dawn.

Now, on to the farm happenings...

As I said, there are a lot of new babies right now. Here is a cutie p'tootie (I'm never really sure how that is actually supposed to be spelled... that's okay, though, since I don't think it's even a word!) little lamb. He is about a week old, and curious as the day is long:

And, here is mom's baby bull calf, Rocket (so named because he never walks anywhere, just dashes from one spot to the next) - check out those eyelashes!

Now, unlike the little lamb, Rocket is not eyeing me with welcome and curiosity. No no no. Right after I snapped this pic, his head lowered even further. He was standing between me and the rest of the herd (about 50 yds behind him, out of the shot) DARING me to get any closer to them. Very protective already. You could see the wheels turning every time I shifted to get another shot of him. He'd shift with me almost as if to say "Come on. Give me a reason. Just one. I'll knock you down so fast, you won't know what happened." And, considering that he's probably already about twice my size, he could probably have accomplished it, lol! Let me tell you - a bull's head in your chest (that's what they do, knock you (or other predators) down, and pin you with their rather large head) is not a position you want to be in. Even if it is a baby bull!

But wait! There's more! More cuteness, that is...

Here is a pic of Leah with "her" horse Raz. They have an absolutely amazing bond that started when she was a baby, and grows stronger with each visit. Leah can stand on the other side of the pasture from where Raz is, call his name, and danged if that boy doesn't come pretty much instantly to her. Over and over... and over... again. She doesn't even have to offer him treats. Meanwhile Ken & I try the same thing (even holding grass in our hands) and he'll look over, but with no intention of leaving whatever spot he's currently in. It's the cutest thing. Here they are enjoying their mutual admiration society:

Blogger just didn't want to cooperate with the posting order of the pics, so I guess I'll just go with it...

We were out in the hay field playing and Leah and Coli (the collie) were having a grand old time. Well, I wanted to get another pic of Leah and Coli running together (like the one below), so we told Leah to run about 50 yards away and I held on to Coli (he was stuck to Leah like GLUE all weekend - would barely let the poor kid out of his sight long enough to go potty, lol!). Then I made the mistake of telling Coli to "Go get Leah". Yeah. I learned my lesson. So, Coli's a herding dog with absolutely incredible herding instincts (watching him herd the sheep even as a 6 month old puppy last year was quite simply breathtaking). Well, when you tell a herding dog (this one, at least) to "Go get him", if they perceive that the animal (think along the lines of a lost sheep) you're trying to get them to "get" is in danger (and to Coli, Leah was in danger if she was more than 5 feet away from him), the dog will knock into the sheep to get it to a) immediately change course, or b) stun it into stopping. Back to the story. So we tell him to go get Leah. And he does. Sigh... He runs to her side and whips around and gives her a body check in the side, which, of course, knocks her down in the hay, then he stands there looking at my mom and I (who are standing there mouths hanging open frozen in shock) as if to say "I did a good job, didn't I??" He did look pretty abashed (and confused) when she started crying, though. Don't worry, she wasn't hurt, just stunned, and a little scared. In fact, after my mom told her why Coli did that Leah lavished the praise on him. He, of course, lapped it up, and they were best buds again. Here's the pic of my mom explaining what happened (this is still in the stage where Leah was a bit horrified by it all):

About 30 seconds after this shot was taken they were best buds again, running around like they had been when I took this shot:

Well, that's all for me tonight!

Thanks so much for all your comments, and I should be able to get caught up with reading your blogs (and commenting on said posts) in the next couple days.

Til then, happy stitching!!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Progress & A Trip

Hi there, everyone! I fully intended to post a progress pic last night, but, alas, I had embarassingly little progress to show considering I had the day off and no child at home all day. That's okay. I also got in a couple little naps, a little puttering around in the garden, and just an all around relaxing day. I really needed it! Below is my progress as of the end of my lunch hour today:

I think Mr. Abbott is going much more quickly than his Mrs. did... so far. However, my progress on him is about to come to a grinding halt b/c tonight and tomorrow night I'll be prepping the family for our trip to my mom's.

She lives in MI on a farm and Leah is sooo excited. She's been asking "Is it warm yet?" since Christmas. Then when we realized she wasn't really getting the whole weather thing we started telling her we would go after her birthday. She woke up the morning after her birthday and I swear the first words out of her mouth were "Are we going to grandma's today?" Now she keeps telling us how strong she is so that she can help grandma with chores. To illustrate her point she shows us how big her muscles are - she hefts up her arm, points her elbow at us, pats it and says "This muscle is STRONG!!" Ha!

Hopefully I'll get some stitching time in on the drive there and back - the hubby is coming along this time, so I won't have to drive, yeehaw!! - as long as I don't get car sick. My husband totally jinxed me on that one... ahhh the power of suggestion. I had been able to read in the car my whole life with no problem whatsoever. Until... we were driving down the highway on our honeymoon and I was flipping through a magazine. I had been doing so for about 45 minutes. With no problem. Well, he looks over and says "Doesn't that make you sick?" I said "No, I've never gotten car sick." About 5 minutes later I had a case of nausea that I swear to this day rivalled morning sickness. That was 8 years ago. As of that moment, reading in the car was just something I could not do. I've been strategizing lately, though, and have managed to successfully read magazines in the car as long as I wait to start until we are on a good highway (i.e. not curvy or hilly), so here's hoping... because we are usually way too busy during the day while I'm at my mom's to do anything that entails sitting for more than a few minutes.

I probably won't get a chance to post while we're there, but should have some cute farm (baby animals anyone?) and Leah pics. Mom said she's getting a lamb every other day right now, and there are a few still "to go" so Leah may even be able to see a baby lamb be born. How cool would that be (Yeh, you learn the facts of life at a very early age on a farm)?? I don't think my husband has ever seen an animal born either, so it would be cool for him, too.

Terri, and Deb (I hope your oral surgery went well!!), I'll wave atcha as we pass through your towns (thank goodness we'll be getting through Rochester in the middle of the night - traffic nightmare is the most apt phrase that comes to mind during the day).

Thanks for your comments re: my finish, my progress and my stash... I think John Foster may be higher on the "to stitch" list than he was when I bought him... and is continuing to rise rapidly through the ranks. I keep taking him out and looking at him and saying weird things like "my precious..."... or not. ;)

Well, if I don't get back to blogland before the holiday, I hope you and yours have a marvelous time honoring the men and women that serve(d) our nation!!


Monday, May 18, 2009

A Finish and a Start

Yay!!! The Wheels announcement is finito!!! I “finished” it this Saturday evening, but I have to admit to one last minute snafu… When I was stitching his birth date I knew that his birth month was August. Really. I did. Really. Well, the date was a bit off center (sort of like me) and yesterday afternoon I was debating whether or not I should pull it out and restitch it. I’m sitting there thinking to myself “Self, the J needs to move over x number of spaces…” Uhhh…. Wait a minute. August does not CONTAIN a “J”… wtf?? So, I looked at it and yes, for some bizarre reason I had stitched January instead of August. Ummm... Yeah, so I’ve never been accused of being the brightest bulb in the pack, okay?

I started Mr. Abbott last night, and here is where I am:

I’ve already made one error that is just going to have to stay put… you see the few stitches about half way up on the right hand side of his body? Those stitches aren’t supposed to be there. I’ve decided they will be an elbow. Don’t ask… no idea where my head was, lol!! Here's the model photo:

Leah and I made a trip to our previously unvisited LNS – The Stitching Post – on Saturday. It was very very nice. Awesome, HUGE store. I picked up a few patterns (more on that in a few seconds), a bit of fabric, and some wool (I’m going to work out a monogrammed needlepoint pillow for Leah – at some point). We were there for about an hour and a half, and Leah was an absolute angel. Yes, friends, for the first time in my mommyhood, I resorted to bribery (i.e. if you are an angel, I will get you blah bitty blah) and it worked!
I got a couple of really gorgeous sampler patterns:

John Foster:

and Janet Gibson's Scottish Swan Sampler:

Funny thing about this was that when I saw it my first thought was Oh, that is just GORGEOUS! I MUST have it! Then on the way home, I started thinking… you know… I think I’ve seen that somewhere before. Sure enough, when I read Glenna’s most recent post, there was her progress pic. Ah well.

I think someone may be working on John Foster as well, but I’m not sure (my memory is really going down the drain)… I could have just seen it a couple times in my web meanderings

Tomorrow I have scheduled a day off from work for myself – the girl child is going to day care, and I am plopping myself in my stitchy seat with a juicy audiobook (no idea what, yet) and fully intend to finally get the full on numb butt experience.

Thanks very much for your kind comments about my little doll – I read them all to her, and she is now convinced that she is a famous person with her own fan club, lol!! Seriously, she was delighted by your comments, and so was I – so thank you for making both our days!

I will try to post again tomorrow evening to show off my progress on Mr. Abbott… until next time, happy stitching!