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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's New Years Eve

Wow, December 31st! Can you believe it? Where did the year go and what is in store for the new year? I think many of us will be stepping into 2009 with a bit of trepidation. Maybe fear. I know that I will be going into 2009 hopeful. Hopeful that the economy turns around and that everyone from the executive levels to the lowly hourly workers learn from our economic mistakes and the year becomes prosperous for business. Hopeful that a change in administration will actually change things in the US. I know that change will not come overnight but hey, even if the course is set, it's better than nothing. Hopeful that people will keep their houses and jobs. Hopeful that the US pulls out of Iraq and Afghanistan (I have a vested interest in this hope!).

I like to think that the New Year is filled with possibilities. That opportunities are endless and all I have to do is change my attitude about my circumstances. Because I am very blessed and have a tendency to think of the worst, my biggest opportunity will be taking an attitude of GRATITUDE. Grateful that I have enough and that enough is plenty. Thankful for what I have, a loving family, a husband I adore, a boy who has grown into a fine young man, a daughter in law (to be) that I feel is my daughter. Her family who shares the same values that the David and I do, love of God, family, honesty, hard working.
A home, even if it's not out of Architectual Digest, is filled with love, laughter and peace. There is oil in the fuel tank and food in my fridge. My job! A job that is very hard at times, a boss who is my coach, mentor and friend, who challenges me constantly to grow and change. Answered prayers. Horses. Friends. Cyberbuddies (Hi you guys!). My brother and his family. My love of Jesus. See, the blessings just goes on and on.

I read something recently, that I am going to challenge everyone who visits Joanie's World to consider doing this year. I'll be doing it and I hope you will join me. I am going to take a minute each morning and write down 3 things that for which I am thankful. It doesn't have to be big things. I can be thankful for the sun streaming into the bedroom. Birds singing. Olivia snoring next to my head. Anything. It will be a great start for the day. Join me. Focus on the good things, not the bad things.

As far as stitching, I only have 6 goals this year. They are my commitments for the year.
  • Finish Beatrix Potter (in the SAL, so that should happen)
  • Stitch the Cadet and Lovely Jenna's wedding sampler
  • Stitch True Virtue (we'll get there, Connie!)
  • Participate in the Prairie Schooler Exchange
  • Have fun! and not worry about my Wips, starts or stash
  • Stitch from my stash and limit purchases to patterns to those that I know I will stitch and not buy just because I want it.
I do have personal goals for 2009, some private and some not so private. I am sure that you can guess them...lose weight, save more, be a great listener and friend.

Anyway, here's to the New Year! A year filled with promise, expectation and opportunities!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some News

Christmas at Chez Kitty was awesome! The Cadet was home and the house met his high standards for Christmas decorations...WHEW! He brought home Ella Kitty,who is visiting us for a little while. We've got 3 house cats now and the fun never stops. Olivia and Ella do the Kitty 500 around the house and for the first time in forever, SweetieGirl, plays along. When the weather is cold, Screamer, the barn cat, comes in too but she stays in the sunroom, snoozing mainly. She's the Queen of all and she will not lower herself to running around the house like the other 3.

Santa was good to The Cadet, much better than he anticipated, because the Elves (that's us) were on a very tight budget this year. But, true to form, the head elf (that's me!) said...to HELL with it, I'll deal in January. Plus, the second elf (the DH) did return to his regular job part time during his student teaching stint so the purse strings loosened just a bit. The Cadet got his wishes and then some.

I got a few calendars (one for the house and one for the office), some socks, a very cute snowman votive holder, a gift card to Christopher and Banks, an amarylis bulb and an amarylis garden and a Josh Groban Christmas CD. I didn't get (nor did I ask for) any stitching gifts. I've been bad with ordering stash lately so that was my gift to myself. I'll gather up the goodies and take a picture to share my haul with you.

The DH got clothes, his closet needed an infusion of new things, most of his stuff is getting a bit threadbare. So it was shirts, ties, and dress pants. And jeans. Oh, and a desk chair. I've been threatening him with moving him into the 4th bedroom because he's overtaken my kitchen table and now, we are actually 2 steps closer to getting him set up into a proper office.

Oh, lest I forget, we got a new DVD/VCR player too, a cheap one cause we obviously are appliance/electronic challenged in this house. None of our appliances or electronics last more than 2 years. I think I am on my 35th can opener and 20th coffee maker. The DVD player had my name on it but really, we all know who it was for...

On the stitching front, well, I've stitched a little bit but not as much as I'd hoped. Actually, this vacation has been rather, umm, lazy. I've spent more than my share of time on this machine. I think as a New Year resolution, I'm going to limit the amount of time I can spend on it. I get caught up in reading blogs, I think I have over 50 on my feed list and I very diligently read everyone that's updated. A great time consumer...so, I may cut back and read some one day and the rest another. Oh, we'll see how that plays out.

I did work on True Virtue a little bit. I'm working on the alphabets. I've stitched the upper case alphabet and a portion of the lower case one. I put in 4 numbers but I'm going to take them out cause I want to change the color. And I put in a couple more rice stitched motifs in the border. I thought that I'd stitch more but we've been busy, more than I've expected.

Jenna came here on the 26th to spend the day with us. It was much too short, we celebrated the DH's birthday (it's the 29th) at Red Lobster, made a trip to Barnes & Nobles and went home to have a piece of frozen Boston Creme pie. Long story. The Cadet's Best Friend, Charlie, was here too so it was ALL good for me!

Well, I will go for now... I'm leaving you a picture of the Cadet and the Lovely Jenna...

Thanks for stopping by and I'll get pictures up on the next post.




Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone who stops by to see what's happening in Joanie's World.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Meme

Pinched from Liv N Laf...care to play along?

Candy cane or peppermint patties? Candy canes.
Sugar or gingerbread cookies? Sugar cookies. Love the smell of them baking. Mom would make dozens of them and we got to put the sprinkles on them.
Tinsel or beaded strands? Neither, I have this fluffy garland stuff made out of tinsel.
Multi-colored or same-colored lights? Multi colored. The Cadet insists.
Wreaths or mistletoe/holly? Wreaths, fresh pine wreaths, please.
Rudolph or Frosty? Frosty! Snowmen. Love those frosty fellows!
Sledding or snowball fights? Sledding- growing up we went sledding at the Pumphouse (it was the place where the town would pump water from the Ohio river, clean it up and that's what came out of the kitchen tap. Anyway...there were terraced hills. It was a great bumpy ride with a 2 foot drop onto the Pump house driveway where you could sled to the river.
Snow or ice/icicles? Snow!
Snow hat or earmuffs? Snow hat even though I feel dorky wearing it.
Getting or giving? Giving…but getting is always fun.
Snow days or plow trucks? SNOW DAYS!!! But sadly, I can flex so when the roads clear, I'm off to work, late.
Stockings or presents? Stockings. Like Sue's Mom, my Mom always put fun stuff in our stockings…trinkets and nuts and an orange in the toe. The best presents were art ones for me. I always got a box of crayola crayons (the new crayon smell brings me right back to Christmas) and a coloring book. Then there was the year I got a watercolor paint set. Oh geez, I was in heaven.
Cookies & milk or letter to Santa? Cookies and Milk.
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Christmas Eve. It's a magical night for me. When I got to be a teenager, my Mom and Aunts would take me to Midnight Mass. We'd walk the 5 blocks to church no matter what the weather...they didn't know how to drive! But I don't ever remember being cold. It was magical, walking the neighborhood looking at the house decorations and trees in the windows of the houses we passed.
Log Burning Channel or real thing? Is there any question? REAL!!!
Cards or e-mails? Cards… it's like sending a small gift in the mail.
Shoveling or cleaning off the car? Shoveling. Great work out. Besides I hate cleaning off the Explorer. It's big and I'm not. I need a ladder to clean the windshield.


Feel free to play along...nice Christmas/Winter memories...thanks Sue!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!



Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Thank you so much for your friendship and your inspiration. My hope is that you find peace, love and joy celebrating the birth or our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

True Virtues - Progress

Connie and I are SALing together. We are working on True Virtues, a Janie Applebaum sampler found in the April 1997 issue of JCS. We were going to wait until Christmas Day to officially start but neither one of us could do that. So we started early.
This is my progress so far:


The color is a little truer than in the first photo:

I am stitching it on Antique Ivory Edinborough linen (36ct) with one strand of DMC.
I have to confess, I had some of the green zig-zag border stitched before this picture was taken. My most recent work has been the alphabet and the leaves in the border. I am working my way done the left side cause I want to stitch the house.
You can see Connie's progress on her blog, Wandering This World. Her pictures are better than mine!
I want to thank Connie for agreeing to SAL with me. It's so nice to stitch with someone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ok, I'm Ready - Hurry up Christmas!

Today I finished up my shopping, just last minute things. My flowers for the in-laws are ordered. Groceries are in the pantry. The tree is up and decorated along with the mantel, the kitchen window and kitchen shelf. Tomorrow, I will spend the entire day wrapping all the gifts, picking up the clutter and cleaning up the house. That will take awhile because the house is not in good shape right now.

The Cadet will be home tomorrow night for a few days.

And for a change, I'm really looking forward to Christmas.

I am ready...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What wonderful Customer Service!

In yesterday's post, I wrote about a pattern that I downloaded from PatternMart. I got a lovely email from Kelle, the owner. She writes:

I'm the owner of Pattern Mart. If you email me kelle@patternmart.com with the name of the pattern you had some trouble with I'll check it and see if it's something with that PDF. Most of the designers that are members on Pattern Mart do their own PDF's, so it could be that a setting was off when the designer created it. In any case, we are always happy to help if you are having problems with a pattern. They should print out nice and clear. Kelle

What a lovely email and such great Customer Service!

I know that I will be purchasing more patterns from her because a) the owner personally cares about her product and her customers and b) I can get them immediately!

Kelle, thank you so much! I certainly recommend PatternMart!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's been a couple of busy days here

Well, it's been a couple of busy days here at our house. I've been on vacation so they say, but if you ask me the last 3 days has been anything but leisure. Is it just me, or do you tend to spend your vacation, if you stay home, to play catch up with all the things you said you'd do once you got a scrap of time? That's what this past week has been. Playing catch up to get ready for Christmas.
I put up the tree on Friday. Olivia helped.

It took all afternoon, but that's ok cause I actually enjoyed it for a change and it looks spectacular. The Cadet though will think it's just OK, we used to go out and cut one down at the local tree farm and honestly, we've come home with 12 - 15 foot trees. The tree would be so big, it would take up the entire width of the living room and hit the ceiling fan way at the top of the cathedral ceiling. It's funny about the Cadet, he's been reminiscing about Christmas' past and the things he told me just took me by surprise. Honestly, he never said anything mattered to him at the time but now, he tells me that he loved it when I decorated all the windows in swags of garland, how festive it was, and how he loved going out and cutting down BIG trees and that he wanted me to make sugar cookies for him cause he remembered how we decorated them together one year (he was 5!). I never thought any of my efforts meant anything to him. Geez. Who knew?!

Today, I spent some time housecleaning, the family room got a good scrub and I did some laundry. I made 9 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange tomorrow, I hope it doesn't snow. We will be eating peanut butter blossoms for a LONG time if the party gets cancelled. The weather guy is predicting 3-6" in the afternoon. If that happens, then I will be staying put.

I stitched a little tonight, nothing to note really, it was quite a chore. I don't know if I am tired or just too wired on caffeine. I got tired of fighting off Olivia too. She is in one of her "moods" where everything she lays eyes on must be "killed". So far, she made off with my scissor fob (with scissors attached), a bobbin of DMC and a skein too. This morning, Olivia decided to go after my oatmeal while I was on the computer. She jumped onto the desk, jumped over the keyboard and slid right into my mug of coffee. The coffee cup went flying, she went flying off the desk taking the cable modem with her. The coffee was spattered all over the wall and onto the computer tower and wireless router. 12 oz of Irish Creme coffee with milk on ELECTRONICS. Do you know that liquids and electronics do not play well together? Fortunately, all that happened was the internet went out cause she pulled the cable out of the cable modem when she went flying and took it with her. Oh, I held my breath though, all I could think of was that the computer was fried. Not a good thing! But all is well and it took a while to clean up the mess from the wall, the hardwood floor and the computer stuff. She's a holy terror right now.

She is kidding, right? Do you think I am a "Holy Terror"??

I downloaded a pattern from The Sampler Girl (It's a Wonderful Life) from PatternMart and the download is fuzzy. Actually, I am a little disappointed in the quality of the PDF. I imagine they scan the pattern and convert it to PDF. I am having trouble reading some of the symbols. Has anyone else encountered blurry patterns from PatternMart when you do an instant download? Last night, I worked a little on True Virtue (Connie and I are SALing - hey girlfriend!) and I started a Prairie Schooler Santa ornament from Santa and Snowmen.
I am hoping that tomorrow I'll be able to take a few pictures of my tree and some of my stitching to share with you. I've been visiting blogs and I've gotten to see some really great Christmas decorating. I hope you are having a great weekend and are just about ready for Christmas!
Oh, and one more thing...can one of you computer savy bloggers come to my rescue and tell me how to fix my banner? I'd like to move the picture and enlarge and change the color and the font of my header. Thanks for your help!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What's been occupying my time

First of all, here's a picture of Olivia after she terrorized SweetieGirl, attacked my stitching and played with a chunk of wood for most of this morning. She jumped into the office chair about 5 minutes ago and promptly turned "OFF".




I joined a group, Seasonal Ornament SAL, that's stitching ornaments throughout the year. Vonna started it and the first ornament was to be for Thanksgiving. Ok, so Thanksgiving was LAST month...sue me. I chose the cornucopia from Prairie Schooler's, Autumn Samplers, and personalized it. I stitched it over one on 28 count Lambswool Lugana. It's tiny.

Lately, I've noticed that I am grousing more and more on what I don't have instead of being grateful for what I do. I am doing my best to be grateful for what I have and not to worry about what I don't. It's very hard for me cause deep down, I am a MATERIAL Girl. No, I am not Madonna, but I do like expensive things. Over the years, I've toned down shopping almost to the point of hating it. But when I do shop, I have a tendency to blow through a lot of cash in a short amount of time. This will be made into a pillow ornament and put where I can see it. ALL THE TIME.

Progress on Beatrix Potter.

I got back into her and I know I shouldn't work on her until the first of the year when the SAL officially begins but working with silk is a guilty pleasure. Bea is the only sampler I have in the Wip pile that's in silk now so when I need my silk fix, I go to her. Plus finishing motifs is like instant gratification. I am almost 1/2 done with her. Her sister is waiting in the wings to be started after I finish her.

Last is Blessings and Kind Wishes.

I hate the thread. And no, I will not get it finished for Christmas cause I hate the thread. I force myself to work on it. And right now, in the frame of mind I am in, forcing myself to work on a sampler that I am not enjoying is, well, just stupid. I will guilt myself into working on it (probably in small doses) so it will get done.

I apologize for the quality of the pictures and the wrinkly fabric. I just couldn't bring myself to dig out the iron and set up the ironing board.


So, there. I've been stitching. Next week, I start my glorious 2.5 week vacation. After Wednesday, I will be off until January 5th! YIPPIE!!! So I will be doing a lot of stitching and I will be working on some Christmas gifties. And finishing decorating and starting to bake. I am so looking forward to this time off.

I'll be more active on the ol' blog too so come back again. Thank you all for coming by! I AM grateful for all of you!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Oh for Pete's Sake

I just want to change the template on my blog. I want a winter / Christmas theme. I went to the site that I downloaded my current template and Ifound a lovely design. I followed the directions and uploaded it. But Blogger gives me a weird error code. So I decide to go to another site and download a new template. The template loads behind the current one. I am pretty frustrated. It shouldn't be so difficult to change a *8&##@*#***! template. As it is, I have to my cut and paste all my blog links back into gadget page.

I'll have stitchy photos for you tomorrow. I am not in the mood to attempt to upload photographs. I've worked on BBD's Blessings and Kind Wishes and Where My Heart Blooms. And a couple of ornaments that look like blobs. Not too much progress on those.

Oh, I've tried to stitch but my kitten will not allow me to do much needlework. She is a lap cat and when I try to stitch, she grabs the linen with her teeth and her paws (claws extended). I am afraid she's going to put a hole in my work. And, she will hook the thread with her paws too. I think I stitched a grand total of an hour between Friday and Saturday. Usually, I stitch an average of 10+ hours.

And we named her....Olivia. Her name just came to me and it fits.