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Monday, January 29, 2007

Thank you...

To all who have left words of comfort to me regarding my post about my dog, Fraggles, I want to say to each of you a very heartfelt thank you. It means so much to me that each of you thought to comment on my post. I am so blessed by all of you.
It's very hard coming home and not finding him waiting at the door.

Chrissy is very confused and I think she misses him. We've been showering her with attention, we've let her come into rooms of the house that were off limits previously to her and Fraggs. But I think she really needs companionship and I believe she is very lonely during the day so it's good that she can spend the evening hours in our company.

Yesterday, I felt like stitching for the first time in a couple of weeks. I made excellent progress on John. He actually showed some affection yesterday. I finished his house's roof and began bricking it up. I also finished the birds and rosebuds on the left side of the house. I am about 60% done with him and I am beginning to see the end of our relationship looming on the horizon. I stitched on him while going to see the Cadet, who is looking haggard and weary. To say I am worried about him would be an understatement. He is not eating properly nor is he getting adequate rest. We went and bought him groceries and a decent dinner at Ruby Tuesdays.

I also worked on Sarah, who is still a bit peeved at me.

Tonight, I plan on picking up John again. The bricks in his house are really a bright color and I am doing my best to get used to such vibrant colors in a repro sampler. My husband doesn't like this sampler (he doesn't like the colors) and I am very sure that the framer will have interesting things to say about him. I love him though, I love the charm of the sampler and I imagine that when the sampler was stitched, John was stitching where he lived. I imagine him as a beekeeper and gardener, who wanted to preserve his grand estate in linen. I imagine him as a gentleman farmer. Of course, this is ALL in my imagination. For all I know, John was none of those things. It's fun though to think about why this sampler was stitched and what was going through John's mind as he used such vibrant color in his sampler. I think the bees, the quaker motif and the birds and dogs drew me in and is the appeal for me.

Well, John is calling, I can't let the love of my needle waiting now, can I?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

In The Arms of An Angel

Today, at 12:05, my Woobie, my Fraggles, slipped from this earth peacefully while lying in my arms. As the doctor administered the drugs, all I whispered to him over and over was that I loved him. And ironically (or spookily, however you view it) Sarah McLaughlan was singing *In the Arms of an Angel*in the backround on the vet's radio.

I love you, Woobie....have fun playing with Freeway and the gang over that Rainbow Bridge.

Life is hard

Not a good week here at Chez Lintz.

Death surrounds me.

My good friend, Mary Ellen, lost her son unexpectedly on Thursday. He died sometime during the night. They found him in bed because he didn't report to work on time. He was only 36. He leaves behind a wife of 12 years and 3 small children.

Sue send me an email that a blogging friend lost her 18 year old son to a valiant fight with cancer. Puts the Cadet's situation in a whole different light.

And this morning, I will be sending my woobie, Fraggles, on his journey across the Rainbow Bridge. This is so hard for me to do. This morning, he is having a good morning, too. But other mornings, not so much and when I look into his eyes, there's life but not that same spark. So, I gave him his favorite breakfast, sat with him and petted him and told him how much I love him. I know he can't hear me but I know he felt how much I love him. And I brushed him. I have to go to the vet to get a sedative to give him for the car ride so he doesn't get scared. He gets very disoriented by the car's motion cause he can't hear and he doesn't see well. And at 11:15 or so, I'll make the call to see if the vet is running behind on his appointments. They don't want me there when the office is full. Hopefully, by noon, he will be playing with our pets that have gone before him, Freeway, Pirate, Puffer and Jesse.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned

Well, Sunday...hmm.mmm...the day started out very nice. It was somewhat sunny. The dog was doing better and was getting around without a lot of help. I was glad cause on Thursday and Friday, not so much. I cleaned the house on Saturday and did all the laundry so I had planned on a full day of stitching. Me, my fabric, my needle and thread all cozy on the sofa with some good music in the morning and for the rest of the day into the evening, football or a chick flick if the games were blowouts.
That all changed with a phone call from the Cadet, who along with 7 of his buddies had a run in with Campus Security the previous night. Suffice it to say, Security was not amused. And these young men are in a boatload of trouble.


So, stitching plans were scrapped for a little while during the time the DH and I had a frank discussion of the event and how we both felt about the Cadet's recent behavior and school performance. We agreed to disagree on some points of the discussion and agreed on other points. Then, I got a shower and headed into town to do some shopping. Hey, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping, right? The shopping trip really wasn't all that exciting, to the grocery store for salad fixin's, a Sunday paper and then to Staples for a notebook and printer paper. I just needed to take a drive and clear my head.

Once back home feeling a little calmer and after a 45 minute heart pumping walk on my dreadmill, I officially commenced stitching around 3 o'clock. The football game came on the TV. I pulled out my love, John Foster, but he and I would only have fought with each other. So back he went. The little redwork piece I am stitching for the Valentine's exchange gave me fits the other night cause I miscounted on some back-stitched motifs and I didn't want the aggravation of backstitching (I dislike backstitching ALOT). My lip actually curled up at the thought.
M. Pollard just lay in the stitching basket quietly, obviously she wasn't willing or wanting to come out to play.

So, who to stitch?

On one of my trips upstairs I heard a siren's was Sarah.
Oh, please, come stitch on me...silken threads, quaker know you want me...

Sarah Tatum charmed me. And then she sucker punched me...HARD.

I haven't stitched on Sarah for at least 6 months if not longer. I guess she just got angry and decided revenge was in order. She just had to be patient, bide her time until I picked her back up again.

Sarah's a big girl and even though I loved working on her, other patterns stepped ahead of her, John being one of them. At the end of the year, I evaluated what I wanted to stitch on during the first half of 2007. I chose 4 patterns. Sarah didn't make the cut so Sarah went into my inactive WIP pile. She wasn't a UFO but she wasn't on the list of the top 4 things I wanted to work on. She was sittin' the bench, a second stringer, waiting her turn when I got bored with one of the chosen 4 projects ahead of her. Obviously, Sarah doesn't play second fiddle to anyone.

I finished the 2nd motif on the top left of the sampler and began to work a large rose motif below it. I got bored with the drab olive-brown color I was stitching with, so I decided to start the top middle motif, one with a zigzag border to be stitched with a very nice deep forest green called Jambu (DMC equivalent 500). It's a smallish motif, one that I thought I could stitch quickly without a lot of fuss and make some progress. I was terribly wrong.

Sarah smiled an evil grin and let an entire toad-y population come to reek havoc. I got that motif 2/3 complete and no matter what I did, the zigzag border just wouldn't work out. A little sleuthing revealed my counting error in one of the zigzag borders that I used as a stitch marker to place the the inside of the motif. Because of other mistakes and perceived mistakes I made working on this smallish, quick-to-stitch motif, I worked on that motif for more time than I will admit and in the end, most all of it had to be ripped out.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Another week's summary

I haven't blogged lately, mainly because there hasn't been a lot of stitching happening and frankly, I've been in a bit of a *mood*. Suffice it to say that all is not well in Joanie's World right now.

The Cadet is struggling mightily with school. He's got a big decision ahead of him, one that I can not make for him. And it's very hard for me to sit back and Be Still because I am the biggest CONTROL FREAK in the universe, I want him to be happy but I also want him to realize that the decision he makes will affect him long into the future so he needs to look beyond the NOW. And I am on pins in needles, wanting to jump in and save the day but knowing full well that he's an adult who must decide and live with the consequences of his decision.

I have also made the very painful decision to put down my Austrailian Shepherd, Fraggles. I just don't know when I will make the phone call to the vet to come to the house to do it. It'll be before the end of the month though. I wish that I could spare myself the pain of this phone call but I need to do what's best for him. I probably will have one of the local farm vets do the deed for me even though it will be much more expensive than taking him to the vet clinic. I want the vet to come to the house to euthanize him because the last time we put him in the car to go to the veterinary clinic, he was so scared. He was very disoriented and afraid of the motion of the car. I can not let his last hours on the earth be filled with fear and dis-orientation. I owe him that much. Fraggles is 13 years old and his health has deteriorated tremendously in the last 3 months. He has lost his hearing and is pretty much blind from cataracts. The vet says he probably sees shadows. He has arthritis and is having difficulty standing or getting up. Yesterday when I got home from work, he didn't have the strength to push himself up off the floor to stand. I had to have David lift him up and set him upright untill he got his legs under him. While he was struggling to get up on his own, he must have scared himself to death cause he started to shake uncontrollably. I know that his quality of life is less and less each day and I can't let him go on because I don't want to let him go.

The only stitching that's been happening is John Foster and M. Pollard, I am working on John's house roof, it's all most done (3 more rows to stitch) and I need to install the dormer windows. I have both fir trees on either side of the house done too. On M. Pollard, I'm working on the dove motif. I like this sampler alot. It's not as large as some of the Quaker samplers I own, it's a good size for a medium sized project. The motifs aren't so large that I feel that I am stitching on them forever. I am stitching on the linen provided in the kit. When I first got the kit, I almost chucked the linen cause it was very stiff. But now, I LOVE it. As I've been working on it, it has softened up and it feels great in hand. It's a nice color too, the color of soft butter. I am stitching it with Vicki Clayton silks in Basic Black and it looks great on the linen. Very graphic. I decided to upgrade to silk instead of the black DMC that was included in the kit. I think I now have have eleventy dozen skeins of 310!!!
Oh, I am stitching a Valentine piece too, it's for the Valentine's exchange on the SBEBB. I will not tell you the pattern I am stitching but I will tell you that I am stitching on Antique White linen with Vicki Clayton silks in Garnet, a very rich red. It's got my all time favorite specialty stitch - Levithian. I really love how the thread just swirls around itself. The silks have such a lovely sheen and I am very happy with the progress I've made on it. I hope to finish stitching it this weekend and putting it together early next week. I want to mail it before the end of the month as it's going far away.

I've been fighting the urge to start new things too. Guilt free January and holiday starts make me get a bad case of startitus. BUT, I am strong and will continue working on these WIPS. It's alway a thrill to put the first couple of rows into a new piece of fabric but regrets follow when I lose interest and it goes in the *I'll get back to you* pile.

Anyway, I am hoping to get stitching in this weekend. It will be a good thing, I need to relax and work on something beautiful.

I hope you'll stop again soon and have a great weekend. I will be updating with pictures soon, the weather just has been ugly and pictures don't come out well without sufficient lighting. Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Week's Summary

Gotta tell ya, working a full 48 hours this week was a killer. I thought Friday would NEVER GET HERE!!! My girlfriend said that the week felt 700 days long. I commented to the DH on Tuesday that I thought it was Thursday and he gently but firmly, dropped me back to reality. No dear, it's Tuesday. A long way from Thursday. Sigh...
At Chez Never Stitched This Week, the only time I picked up a needle was on Monday. Total needle time= ~2 hours. I worked on a Quaker motif for the back of one of those mattress style pincushions. I like those pincushions and I am fascinated with their construction.
Plus, I got into a funk and couldn't shake it. A lot of stuff is going on. A big work project hit my desk. THUD. There's a very ugly audit to close out. THUD. Our registration audit is 90 days out. THUD. The DH left for Pisacaway NJ for a 3 day business meeting, leaving me as the keeper of all four-legged creatures co-habitating with us. Meant I was up by 4:45 to let the dogs out, stoke the woodstove and the pellet stove, go feed & water the horses, barn cat and barn dog. Then clean 3 horses stalls. (Why do horses poop so much over night?) back in the house, get ready for work, leave by 7AM to return at 5:00PM to start the above routine all over again, except somewhere in that evening routine I had to make me something to eat (which turned out to be Honey Nut Shredded Wheat one evening, popcorn and Hershey chocolate the next and finally a yogurt the third night). Lights out by 9:30. So, the needle saw precious little of fabric. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind doing all of these things. I just have to find a little better way of managing my time so I can squeeze an hour of stitching in during times like these. See, stitching relaxes me. And I am sorely in need of relaxation from my somewhat overwrought week. Anyway, the DH is back and has taken over barn work again.
The other thing that's weighing heavy on me is that the Cadet is struggling mightily at school. I can't write about it just yet cause we haven't really gotten an opportunity to talk to him about it and I need to practice my calm voice and not get all harpy on him.

Oh on a brighter note, I did manage to lose a pound and a half this week! Yippie! Gosh, following the program = results. Go figure. I walked on my treadmill, did some hill and speed work. I set a goal of a pound a week. So, that means only 30.5 to go! I told myself that I must walk at least 3 times a week and journal. Journaling is really effective..(looking over the journal) hmm-m, I already had a hershey bar for 5 I want another and have to eat NOTHING for dinner tonight? Keeps you honest. Handling the water intake is not hard, I usually drink an ocean a day anyway.

So, my goals for stitching this weekend are to work on that pincushion, put a few strands of DMC into John Foster's house (I am building his roof) and finish the Cadet's Air Force piece (add charms and frame). Somewhat ambitious cause I have to clean the house a litte.

Sorry this was so long and without pictures. It's rainy here and unless the gloom lifts I can't take any cause they look ca-ca. I guess ol' man Winter is coming to town next week in Upstate...cold, freezing rain and significant ice for Sunday and Monday...temps in the really br-rr-r range too.

Thanks for stopping by and the next time, I promise stitching news.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Well, it's really over

The holidays...I mourn your passing cause this year, Christmas and the 2 weeks after were FABULOUS!!!

As I write this, the Cadet is packing up and heading back to school. I am sad. I loved having him home and I loved having all his friends here even though they kept me awake one night last week and I dragged through work the following day. We had a great time, ate out a lot, watched tons of movies and generally just reconnected. He's not looking forward to going back, his schedule is brutal and classes are hard. Plus, he really dislikes RIT. I know he stays there just because of the ROTC. Unfortunately, I can't figure out if he just hates the school or hates school in general. The boy just wants to have fun all the time and to be footloose and fancy-free. This boy just wants to have fun 24-7. I get scared and worried about him. He is so smart and I know that if he gets focused, his school life would be easier.
I worry so much about him and I guess I always's a Mom thing, so sue me.

I have been stitching but nothing has been photographed. I'll take some pics and upload them in a bit. I'll show you my progress on my love, John Foster, and Martha. Also, I got word that the frame for the AIR FORCE piece is in the mail so I will get that done, photograph it and mail it to the Cadet.

I've blogged hopped for the last hour or so and I am in awe of everyone's beautiful accomplishments. I just get blown away by everyone's finishes.

Well, I have to go for now, the Cadet is packing thanks for coming by and stop again soon!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Crystal (aka Chrissy)

Chrissy, the Dumb Blonde...Crystal is the Cadet's dog. We got her from the Golden Retriever Rescue about 9 years ago. She was abused, taken from a home where she was tied outside in the bitter cold. When Rescue got her, her feet were frozen to the ground so she walks on her tippy-toes. Her original name was Motley. Mike renamed her Crystal because he said she needed a feminine, pretty name. We love her to pieces.

She's a sweetheart even though she's not the brightest crayon in the box. She is exuberant and happy all of the time (except when the DH brushes her). She's the protector of Fraggles and I believe even though there's not a lot going on behind those eyes, she's really an old soul, wise beyond her years.

I caught her looking pensive this morning and I believe she was contemplating her New Year's resolutions...regrets, perhaps?