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!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sheeee's... Outta There!!!

Hi y'all!

I just couldn't resist posting these... Let me set the scene... My dh gets home last night, goes upstairs then comes back downstairs and says "Um, did you & Leah go out partying tonight or something?" I say "Why?" He says "Go check it out". So, I do, and this is what I find:

Awww... how cute is that? I was so glad to get this pic without waking her up (it was v. v. dark in the room... not bad for an onboard flash, huh?) - see, Leah is usually a very light sleeper and the slightest noise (except, of course, in the morning when I'm trying to get her up for the day, then she's like trying to wake a bear who's just snuggled in for the winter. Just last week she mumbled "Stop mommy. I need my beauty rest." Ha!) I've had nightmares of trying to accomplish the tooth fairy thing and her popping up and catching me in the act. Phew! But, Ken's comment doesn't really make sense until you see the way she was sleeping:

LOLOL!! Note the sippy cup carelessly drooping next to her shoulder (no booze in it, I swear)She definitely looks as though she passed out in the middle of trying to do something... I'm not really sure what.

Anyway, that's it. Just thought I'd pop on to share the cuteness (I'm not biased or anything, nooo).

Backstitching on Wheels is coming along nicely - not really progress pic worthy, though.

Well, have a great evening, and thanks again for your comments... I've gotten a couple good TV show suggestions that I may need to check out... Currently, I'm just sitting here biting my nails til Lost starts. :)

~ Robin

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's all over but the backstitching, baby!!

Yeeeeehaaaw!!!! I've got 3 or 4 more evening sessions of backstitching to do then this one is in the bag! Score!! :)

The name looks a little like Owen is drooping on the right hand side, but if you look at the bottom of the stitches they are all on the same row (really... I swear). I think it's because the "n" is shorter than all the other letters. And, it's slightly off center. My bad, but by the time I realized it I had already completely stitched the outline of both names, and there was no way I was frogging it all. Besides... I've convinced myself it isn't really that noticeable. It looks like the names are too far up, but Paul's birth date will be stitched in underneath, so that will balance itself out in the end. There is supposed to be a checkery type of border around the whole thing, but I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do that part. We'll see. I probably will... I'm too much of a rule follower.

So! This chart has definitely knocked me down a time or two, but it has not knocked me out.

Haven't made a final decision yet as to what I will stitch next, but I have decided one thing - it will be small(ish). The next couple things I do probably will be. I'm thinking Diminutive Dutch (Carriage House Samplings) first, then another small one. We'll see. I noticed a real pattern as I looked through my stash the other night. For a woman that doesn't have a whole lot of stitchy time (not unless I stay up waaay past my bed time, that is), I sure tend to pick some seriously big projects. Yeh, just let me live on in my little delusionary world, k?

What else is going on... we finally got some sunshine after a week and a half (I think it really was that long) of non-stop rain. And we aren't talking the "Sunny, except for 45 minutes in the afternoon" sort of rain. No, this lasted pretty much all day every day. I know it actually rains more in May than April here, but sheesh! I never really understood why the suicide rate in Seattle (and other really rainy places) is higher than the national average... now I do! By the end I was really edgy. Really really edgy. My husband hid the knives. OK, no, he really didn't, but he would agree, I'm sure, that it was a dang good thing the sun finally came out! Leah and I tremendously enjoyed the weather this weekend. Playground, flowers, sunshine... aaaah. Doesn't get much better. Of course, now the rain is back, and so is the cold. Ah well. It can't last forever (however, if it goes on this way much longer I've got a little nugget of moolah set aside for some gopher wood - can I interest any of you ladies in joining me?).

Well, I hope all you fellow moms had a wonderful Mother's Day!!

Well, I'm off now... oh... wait... ummmm... I should warn you all now... the next time I post I'm going to be needing some serious moral support from you ladies. You see, it's that time. The time of year when 9 agonizing months yawn before me with a toothy, scary, open maw of terror. I will be desolate. I will be depressed. I will wander around muttering nonsensical terms like "Faraday cage. What happened happened. Live together die alone." I will go find my happy place and curl into the fetal position and gaze blankly into space for disturbingly long periods of time.

**Right now, Robin's dear readers are concerned that an intervention may need to be staged, and are wondering what she can possibly expect them to be able to do about her seriously unstable mental condition**

OK, so it won't be quite that bad, however, I can nearly guarantee it will be about 50%... ok 10% as bad as the picture I painted above. What the H-E-double hockey sticks is she babbling about??

Lost's season finale is on Wednesday. It won't be back until February 2010. The Season 5 DVDs don't come out until December 8th. And, unfortunately for me, Lost doesn't have your typical season ending cliff hangers. Noooo. "Did they get married? Did she/he/it die?" Those sorts of cliffhangers aren't nearly cliff hangery enough for Lost's writers. No. Typically it goes something like this: The final Lost gong sounds. I stare blankly into space. For like an hour. Then I cry out something along the lines of "How the freak will there even be a show after that????" Aaaaaarrrgggh!!! I'd like to take a baseball bat to whomever came up with this scheme. Really. I mean. Ugh.

Yes, I realize this sounds totally pathetic (get a freakin' LIFE Robin, come on!!), but you must understand. Lost is the ONLY TV show I watch. At all. OK, so I watched something on HGTV last night while I folded a load of laundry. Does that really count?? I don't think so.

Anyway, bottom line... umm... I have no idea where I was going with that whole rant, lol! See? It's starting already.

Anyway, let me get off here before I get swallowed up into the pit of despair (a non-prize for anyone that can name the movie reference). If you've read this far, thanks!! You're a trooper! If you're not reading... well, for those folks I really don't need to type anything, now do I? :)

Thanks for reading, thanks SO MUCH for your comments, and until next time - happy stitching!!!


Monday, May 4, 2009


Hi! Long time no chat, eh? (progress pic toward the bottom of this post) Let's see... what have I been up to in the nearly 3 weeks since I last posted... Not much out of the ordinary, really. Spring did finally arrive in my neck of the woods (although, with the amount of rain we've gotten the past few days and will get through the end of the week, I think I may need to start building an ark), so we spent lots of evenings and weekend days outside planting, walking, and just playing.

We've been getting little Roscoe acclimated to his new home, and things are going very well in that quarter. He has wholeheartedly taken to being around us (although he's not the most snuggly kitty, I can see that he wants to be and just isn't quite "there" yet), and desperately wants to be friends with and play with our older kitty, Midnight. Midnight is having none of it. Once in a while you can see a spark of interest (and not the killing kind) while he watches Roscoe play, but usually he curls himself up into a tight little ball and just stays well away from the little furball.

Our friend, Judi has a theory that it is because Roscoe has Giardia (well, he was on meds for 10 days, so he should be over that now) - when she introduced one of her cats to the household it was shunned by the others until the Giardia was cleared up. Makes sense to me... animals can certainly sense when there's something not right.

Let's see what else... my little Leah turned 4 today. It seems like yesterday that I was on a hospital bed writhing in pain for 24 hours straight (yes, I wanted to be SheRa and tried to forgo the meds. I made it 17 hours, then gave in - the nurses were like freakin' pushers, I swear! - I slept for 45 minutes then it wore off on one side of my body... while I was in transition. Then when that side was fixed I had about 5 minutes of relief until it abruptly quit working on the other side of my body... and so it went for the next 6 hours til I finally had the c-section). Anyway! Leah is 4... going on 16. :) She's sweet and defiant, teachable and headstrong, loving and bossy, polite and truculent, an unbelievably picky eater (unless you put sushi in front of her - then she goes Hoover), a budding fashionista (don't even get me started on trying to buy her new shoes... good Lord, I thought I had at least 5 or 6 years til those battles would start), a princess loving cutie pie who steals our hearts anew every day. She continually amazes me with how smart she is, and with some of the amazing things she points out to me with the questions she asks (scene: We're at a local nursery. Leah asks me "Mommy, why are there so many different plants?" I reply "Because God is very creative and wanted to give us lots of different things to look at" Leah replies "Wow! God is amaaazing! He's an artist!"), she consistently gives us sweet pictures of the unique wonder at the miracle of the world that is (to our detriment) the exclusive domain of children.

I was reading around the blogosphere and came across this post, and couldn't help the bittersweet pang I got when I thought of my own sweet girl reaching the milestone of prom, and high school graduation, and beginning to test her wings out in the wide wide world. Then I read Doris' post about her own sweet Rebekah and my heart broke into a thousand little pieces for her. Posts like both of those help me treasure my daughter even more than I already do - even when she's doing her level best to push me over the edge. :)

So, in honor of her birthday, I'm taking the opportunity to shamelessly brag on my kid. These are a few pictures I took while we were outside one evening last week.

OK! So, not a whole lot of actual progress has been made on Wheels - this is where I stopped last night (and as it is taking me forever to get of the 'puter it would appear this evening will end with little or no stitchy time):

Pathetic, really - I haven't even completed 4 vehicles in the past nearly 3 weeks. However, I am getting a second (ok, let's be honest - first) wind on this piece. I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like I have gotten a lot more done than I have, and it feels like there isn't nearly as much left to do as there actually is. So, I'm hoping for a finish within the next two weeks on this.

Then what will I do...??? Hmmm.... I have numerous charts shrieking my name... There's Mr. Abbott (companion to Mrs. Abbott), then there's Garden Cat by Birds of a Feather... or maybe one of their Seasons girls... or maybe one of my Carriage House charts... so many charts so little time! :)

Additionally, I just got a crap load of fat quarters and jelly rolls (and some patterns - of course) from The Fat Quarter Oh my - those fabrics are positively luscious and are also screaming my name... hmmm... multi tasking may be in my crafty future. :) Whatever I choose, I've decided I'm going to be selfish with my stitchy time for a while. This is my hobby, not my job - it's supposed to relax me, not stress me out, right?

Oh, by the way, it won't take me nearly so long to post again... hubby is going to find himself kerplunked right out of the computer chair if he keeps hogging the 'net the way he has been. ;)... Did I just say that out loud?

Anyway, thanks so much for your kind comments! I really appreciate and am so encouraged by them! Until next time, happy stitching!!