Monday, December 24, 2007

An Update and Christmas Wishes

It's been a week and a half since my surgery, and it's time to get online and give all of you an update. First of all, thanks to all of you for your good thoughts and prayers my way. As it turns out, evidently somewhere along the line the MRI was misread, and the tear in the rotator cuff wasn't nearly as severe as they feared. So my time in the sling is not 5 weeks (as a matter of fact, I'm out of it right now as I type to you), and I'm beginning exercises now to get back in shape. I've still got a steep road of rehab in front of me, but it's not nearly as bad as we all thought.

Richard, in his own unique way, decided to document my surgery for me and for everyone. Here I am pre-op, waiting to go in: He said the thermometer on my forehead indicated I was about "medium rare" at this point. The incredibly cute sheep (dubbed "Lambie Pie" by Horace, my mom's minister, who was there with us to stay with my mom and who is an incredibly good guy all around) is a gift from DF Andy, who saw it and knew it had to come live with me -- when you pet it, it moves and "baaaa"s.

What the thermometer didn't indicate was the thundering migraine I woke up with that morning. At the time this picture was taken, it was about 11:15, and they had promised someone would be in with something for it. Notice the smile. That's because I believed them. At 12:30 when they came to get me, I still hadn't seen anyone, and the smile had turned to tears. When the nurse in the holding area said she was sorry I was so upset, I calmly explained that my head was about to pound off, that I had (if she would look at my record) a history of migraine, and they had *promised* someone would be there to give me something. At which point the anesthesiologist showed up, and I explained that were I home, I had Imitrex I would have taken that would have taken care of it, to which he replied: "Well, you should have gone ahead and taken it."

What??? Am I the only person on earth who understands what "Nothing by mouth after midnight" means?? Hel-lo?? Am I crazed to not want to mix drugs when they're giving me **more** at the hospital???

I was quite proud of not decking him with my good arm. Besides, he was the one in control of the narcotics at that point.

So they put some combo of something in the IV that caused a nice nap, and when I woke up, I looked like this:Admittedly, not my best moment. Give me points for actually publishing this. Most people have destroyed all pictures that look like they've been on a 3 day bender. Mine was only a 3 hour one.

So, recovery is going pretty well. I can get my arm up over my head (bringing it down is a new adventure in pain), and while I had hoped to avoid PT, I'm afraid that I'm resigned to the fact that I'm going to have to do it. I still can't stitch -- pulling the needle through the fabric moves the shoulder too much and is painful, but I've found that I can hold the arm stationary and knit a bit. To that end, I give you two completed projects: My first knitted dishcloths, which I have given to my mom. I'm starting to like knitting dishcloths.... got some yarn and a pattern for a Dale Jr #88 cloth to work on over the holidays. The dishcloths are relatively low concentration and quick gratification, so they're what my attention span craves these days.

Before the surgery I finished this baby sweater for my friend Toni's daughter's little one who is scheduled to make his/her debut in January:The parents elected not to know the sex of the child before it was born, but both of them went to UGA. At great personal cost, this die-hard Georgia Tech alumna knit a red and black Bulldog sweater to please them. *sigh* The sacrifices we make for friends, eh?? :)

Richard, Oscar and I are ensconced at my mom's here on Christmas Eve. We'd like to wish all of you who celebrate as we do a very Merry Christmas. To the rest of you, may you have a happy and safe holiday season.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I hate whiny people....

....but I fear I'm about to become one.

It's been one of those days. I'm trying to get a ton of things done before surgery next week. One of the things on my list was to get a business license for our new business location in Woodstock. Being the good little researcher I am, I pulled up "Cherokee County Business License" on the web (being that Woodstock is located in Cherokee County) and it told me I needed to go to Canton. So off I went. Circled the administrative complex a few times before finding a parking spot and went in to talk to the helpful people there only to find out...

...I was in the wrong spot. Evidently our new business address is within the city limits of Woodstock, so I needed to go to the Woodstock city hall to get the license. Back in the Hummer I go to Woodstock city hall, only to find out....

...I was still in the wrong spot. You get a business license in Woodstock down the road near the fire station in some other building. Back in the Hummer I go to this other building where this nice lady says "Oh, you're the one from Creekstone, right?" (Evidently the people in Canton had called ahead.) I'm finally in the right place. We're filling out the application when the very nice lady says "Did you know the state has dissolved your corporation?" WHAT?!?!?!?!!!!

Well, it seems the state didn't send me the paperwork to pay them the lousy $30 dollars I had to pay for corporate registration one year, so they did me the fine honor of deciding I no longer wanted to be incorporated. Keep in mind that this paperwork consists of one easily lost in the incredibly efficient postal system postcard (Remember how in previous posts I said I didn't trust the post office? This is why.).

The nice lady at the business license office took my license application and fees, but explained that it would be held until I straightened this fine mess out. When I got home, I contacted the Secretary of State's office and yes, there's even more paperwork, which I asked them to please expedite because of my operation next week. We'll see.

Well, since the business license office was near The Whole Nine Yarns, I decided to stop by for a short visit. Yeah, I bought yarn. And joined the new sock club. Seemed the prudent thing to do at the time. :) But my day of adventure wasn't over. As I was backing out of my parking space, a young mother lost control of her 2 to 3 year old darling daughter/kid/spawn of Satan who dashed out into the parking place where my MOVING HUMMER was. Trying to see the kid, I did not notice the Honda parked directly behind me (not in a parking space, might I add, and any of you who know that parking lot know that it probably shouldn't have been parked there, but I digress).

Hummer 1, Honda 0.

There was a "K1P1" tag on the Honda, so I guessed the owner was in the yarn shop. Went back in and announced I'd just hit the Honda belonging to a knitter, and I was sorry, but I figured better it than the kid (and curiously enough, that whole family disappeared into thin air after the "crunch"). The lady was very nice about it, and we exchanged insurance info and I called my agent. Not a scratch on the Hummer, BTW. There are certain benefits to driving a street-legal tank.

I figured after that I'd better head home and put my head under the covers. Many of you know that December's not my favorite month. Is today some kind of omen to warn me to reschedule the procedure next week???

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Verdict and The Vacation

The Verdict is in from the Magic Man Dr. Lowery.... he reviewed the results of the arthrogram and the MRI (by the way, if you've never enjoyed large needles being inserted into your shoulder while you're awake....well... I don't really recommend it), and evidently I really did it up this time. While I had suspected there was a rotator cuff tear, I didn't think it was as bad as it turned out to be. So, the Magic Man will fix it on December 13. He says he'll probably have to anchor it down to the bone due to the extent of the tear, altho he won't know for sure till he gets in there, and if that's the case, I'll be in a sling for 5 weeks after the surgery. Definitely on injured reserve as far as stitching and knitting goes. With, may I add, the extra bonus of turning 50 in a sling in January.

Oh well..... at least it's something that can be fixed. And after a small pity party, I'm counting my blessings. There's a lot of folks in a lot worse shape than I'm in. So I just learn to work and blog one handed for awhile. Frustrating, but do-able. :)

So we went up to Rome the day before Thanksgiving to have a big dinner cooked by my mom, and on Thanksgiving day we headed for Pigeon Forge, TN for a couple of days of vacation. If you're not familiar with Pigeon Forge, it used to be a bump in the road on the way to Gatlinburg, which was the area tourist trap. Then Dolly Parton decided to develop the area, and now it's an unbelievable mix of shows, goofy golf, and outlet shopping.

We were there for hard core shopping on Black Friday. Altho the outlets opened at midnight, we decided to forego that and started our day around 5:30 AM. Certain members of our party weren't exactly thrilled:

Richard and Oscar had other ideas of ways to spend their morning.... namely sleeping, but good sports that they are (well, they really had no choice in the matter), they bundled up and got out in the cold with us to go shopping. And it was cold. And windy. And crowded. Tons of people were out there. Evidently folks had started lining up waaaay before midnight when the outlets opened.

We bundled up Oscar in his stroller (or as Jill refers to it, "his royal carriage"), but as it turns out, he wasn't the only dachshund in a stroller there. There was a wiener dog summit in the Polo outlet when we met a 3 year old black & tan who was making his first-ever outing in his new stroller. Evidently this little guy wasn't as easy going as Oscar, because he actually *barked* at Oscar. And we heard that there was a Pekinese in a stroller around the outlets, but we didn't actually encounter him.

To give you an idea of how crowded the town was, I snapped this picture of traffic out the window of the van:(I tried to get a picture of my mom, but she threatened me in a tone I haven't heard since I was a little girl if I took her picture, so I didn't.)

We ended up shopping from about 7 (after all, we had to have breakfast and get all ready to go out, then actually fight traffic over to the outlets) until about 6 on Friday, and we were all pooped puppies. Headed back home on Saturday. A short trip, but just long enough.

Richard and I did actual Christmas shopping for his family on Sunday afternoon after church. We were surprised to see that the mall wasn't that crowded. Maybe everyone got it out of their system on Friday. :)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We're just not going to talk about the Tech-Georgia game, ok???

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things I'm Thankful For

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I'd take a few minutes to remind myself of things for which I'm thankful:

--my husband..... he makes my life absolutely whole with his love, his respect, and his wonderful sense of humor

--my parents.... who gave me a great start in life and the courage to try anything. My dad's in heaven now watching over me, and my mom is still taking care of me here.

--all my stitching buddies.... I find it amazing that because of my hobby I've met so many people around the country who share my interest and I've made some of the best friends I've ever had.

--my business partner Bob.... we pick at each other like we were brother and sister, which is kinda neat considering I have no siblings

--my church

--the fact that I have a warm, comfortable home and plenty of food to eat

--my country and the troops that defend my freedom to say what I want, do what I want, and worship how I want.

I hope that all of you have a great Thanksgiving with plenty of turkey and plenty of friends and family around you. And keep in mind that sometimes our family is not those related to us by blood, but is those people we've chosen to be special in our lives.

Be grateful for everything you have, and remember to be generous with what you have to help those less fortunate if you can.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fortuitous Hopping

Went up to The Whole Nine Yarns this afternoon to complete my shop hopping. Wasn't really in the market for anything, considering my stash, as most of you know, is quite substantial, but ya never know what might jump out at you.... At any rate, I had decided that Debi's shop would be my last stop, because I'd dragged Richard to all the shops I think he could stand last Saturday, and I didn't want to push my luck (although, bless his heart, he's never ever complained. I married a good man).

So I'm trolling through the shop when lo and behold, in comes The Magic That Is Heather, who was also shop hopping for the afternoon! Merriment and lunch ensued! She and I were going to hop together last Saturday, but plans didn't work out, so it was good to get to browse together and lunch together for a little while at least. I scored some Koigu that has "sock" written all over it, while Heather got some Koigu that is destined to be made into the Heart Sachets that were the freebie pattern from Knitting Daily.

Unexpected time with a good friend is always the best. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A little quiz

Found this link this morning and took the test. Evidently Miss Hilda, my geography teacher, would be proud that I retained this much after so long... :) (BTW, that's 17 out of 20, not 50, so it's a better score than it looks....)

You Really Know Your State Capitols

You Got 17 State Capitols Correct

You're either a geography buff... or you have an excellent memory.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A bit of catch up

So it's been a week since I complained about my lack of mojo. To be honest, not a lot has changed. But I've been contemplating it, and I think I may have an answer.

My arm hurts.

I think the whole rotator cuff thing is seriously cutting into the enjoyment of stitching/knitting/singing/breathing/eating..... you get the picture. On Tuesday, the magic man Dr. Lowery is sending me for an arthrogram and MRI to determine the scope of the damage. On the 19th I go back to him to determine the plan of action. So, if you're reading this, I ask that you please keep me, and especially Richard, my mom, and HRL Oscar in your prayers, as they have to put up with me through all this. And for all of you who have listened to me whine, I thank you and bless you for your patience.

In a bit of estate news... we're heading down the home stretch. On Thursday, the attorney and I got the checks written to the charities, and I signed the paperwork to transfer Lynne's mom's house back to her mom. Now it goes to her mother's attorney to handle, and after that paperwork is signed, the house will be back in her mother's name where it should have been in the first place. This has been a long road, and I'm glad it's nearing an end.

On to other more pleasant things. Last Sunday I took a reversible cables class with Lily Chin at The Whole Nine Yarns. I'd show you pics, but while I did manage to remember my camera, the CRS kicked in again and I neglected to put the memory card in. Technology works well when it's all in one place. :) At any rate, Lily was very entertaining, and her explanation of how you can do cables so that they're attractive on both sides of the knitted fabric is surprisingly simple and beautiful at the same time.

On Tuesday I traveled to Knitch for an all day class on socks with Cat Bordhi. If you haven't gotten her new book on sock knitting, quit reading this silly blog and immediately head to your bookseller of choice to obtain it. Cat's ideas on sock construction are absolutely mind bending in the way they function... I don't know how she came up with them, but they're once again simple, elegant, and incredibly functional. Plus, there's a kewl cast on in there that will give your toe up socks a wonderfully smooth toe. And, even tho Cat's known for her two-circular sock knitting, the book is written for two circs, double points, and even the magic loop method. In class we worked on the little practice socks she has in the book and created the instep increases and heel turn she uses *without* the annoying pickup of stitches on the gusset that you find on most traditional top down sock patterns.

I did manage to take the memory card to this class, so here's a pic of Cat teaching:Cat, of course, is the one with the Borg-like headset... I got a chance to talk to her (explaining why I had quit knitting halfway through class since the shoulder was killing me), and she was incredibly sweet. I very much enjoyed our brief conversation, and I really wish I could have fit the more advanced class she taught the next day into my schedule. Alas, I do kinda have to work to support my habit.

Only one thing she said gave me pause..... Cat was talking about what a good thing knitting was as far as keeping us young.... how it makes us think, makes the brain work and exercises the thought processes to help fend off the aging process. I'm totally on board with that. But then she said that it wasn't paint by numbers... it wasn't... cross stitch.

I don't know what kind of cross stitch she's doing, but it sure as heck ain't the kind I'm doing. As I'm sitting there, all I could think was: "Cat Bordhi, meet Rae Iverson....." Of course Rae would argue that she's not doing cross stitch either. I've started describing what I work on as "counted thread embroidery" anyway to distinguish it from a lot of the junk I'm seeing out in the market place.

Yesterday Richard and I participated in the First Annual Knitting Shop Hop here in Atlanta. Fun, but expensive. :) Shops we visited were Only Ewe and Cotton Too in Alpharetta, The Needlenook (where, curiously enough, I bought my very first cross stitch pattern back in the late 70s when I was a student at Emory. They're just about 100% knitting now and frankly, they're an awesome store), Strings and Strands, and Why Knot Knit. The Hop lasts all week, but I know I'm not going to make it to all the stores. I'll finish up with a trip to The Whole Nine Yarns sometime this week and then turn in my passport for a prize drawing.

We also to HRL to the v-e-t yesterday for his pedicure, and we found out that the wonderful Dr. Weaver is making another addition to her human family. She and her husband are adopting a baby girl this month! Sounds like a pair of booties are in order to me. :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Trying to get my mojo back

(with apologies to Austin Powers)

I've been in a slump. Just haven't felt like doing much stitching or knitting. Teresa and Jill attribute it to too much going on. First there was the tax deadline with crazy people; now Lynne's estate has cranked up again (Did I mention that one particular charity is exceedingly greedy and thinks it's due more money than it actually is out of the estate?? And if I mention its name here, is it considered slander or libel, although it's true and I can prove it?? And have I said that they'll be chucking snowballs in Hades before I give to that charity ever again? Not that I'm bitter or anything.).

On top of that, I seem to have a terrible case of CRS (all of you women over 40 know what that is; if you don't, Google it and I'm sure you can find a definition). It's so bad I forgot to do payroll reports for my biggest client until the day before they were due. This upset me horribly, to the point where I was sure I was going to be in the corner drooling or something, having completely lost my mind. I forgot to pay the phone bill, and AT&T took exception with it. I forgot to fill out the form for the ornament exchange (fortunately, The Magic That Is Heather is exceedingly kind and understanding).

So I'm trying to get my stitching/knitting mojo back, hoping that'll be calming and that I can use it to help get rid of the CRS (that and my kewl new Levenger notebook that's coming via FedEx and living in my purse).

I'm taking a class with Lily Chin at The Whole Nine Yarns on Sunday afternoon on reversible cables. There was homework, which took all of about 20 minutes today:And last night, between watching the celebrity version of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" (and I freely admit that Clay Aiken was smarter than I thought) and the debacle that was the Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech game (we won't discuss it), I managed to put in a few stitches on the Eileen Bennett sampler from ASG:Yeah, that's a lot of backstitching.

But I still don't officially feel the return of the stitching/knitting mojo. I thought the weekend at ASG would do it, but I'm still in a funk. I'm up for suggestions. Anybody got anything????

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloweiner!

Oscar wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween!! Hope all of you get lots of treats and no tricks!

Friday, October 26, 2007

ASG -- The Adventure Continues!

It's been about a week since I returned from A Stitcher's Gathering in Louisville, sponsored by Moss Creek Designs (which is run by the wonderful Rae and Ron Iverson). I've downed about 6 cups of coffee this morning, so I'm guessing it's time to give you my take on it.

I'm sure some of you have read Teresa, Jill, Heather, and possibly Judy's version of events (if The Magic That Is Heather and The Joviality That Is Judy have updated their blogs yet). They took a lot of pictures, so I'll let you visit their sites for those.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon, after an uneventful (thank goodness!) flight from Atlanta. Jill and Heather were on the flight with me, but Teresa and I had discovered earlier this summer that she was on the same flight, so we very smoothly arranged to surprise the others with her just showing up at the concourse. We pulled it off to perfection, as neither Heather nor Jill had a clue, even when I was talking to Teresa on the phone and directing her to where we were lunching on the concourse. I just love being sneaky like that. :)

We met up with Judy at the Louisville Airport, checked into the Seelbach Hilton, then scooted down to visit with Ron and Rae to see if they needed help. Ann showed up after her harrowing drive in through Louisville traffic (urgh) and we decided that a trip to Lynn's Paradise Cafe was just the ticket. We've dined there before and we knew we were assured some tasty food.

Note to self: When your roommate refuses to let you watch The Weather Channel, when she knows that's one of your most favorite channels on TV, become suspicious.

We got to Lynn's, and just as we put our name in for a table, they herded us down to the basement for a TORNADO WARNING. I take these things seriously. Evidently so does Louisville. I have nightmares where tornadoes chase me. I don't know if Louisville does, but they weren't kidding when they say they take precautions. Evidently this was why my roomie (Teresa) didn't want me watching the Weather Channel, as she had prior knowledge of tornado watches and such. Hmmmm.

So we're in the basement of the restaurant, which actually made me feel better about eating there, because as basements go, it was clean and well lit. The folks at Lynn's couldn't have been nicer. They kept bringing down food that was in process to share, brought us soft drinks, and kept sharing information that I'm sure meant something to the locals.Here is our crew in the basement. Judy is holding what I believe is a huge jar of Miracle Whip. (Due to the extreme terror associated with the situation, some minor details have been blocked out of my mind.)

At any rate, when the storms had died down some and there was a break, the manager invited the hearty few who had stuck with them (mind you, we didn't have a way to leave or a place to go per se) back upstairs for dinner on the house. Quite the nice gesture on their part. All in all, if you have to be stuck in a restaurant during a tornado warning, I'd say Lynn's Paradise Cafe is the place to be.

Alas, the terror wasn't over. When we returned to the hotel and went back up to see what was happening with Ron and Rae, they were decorating with a Halloween theme. One of the groups of stitchers was the "Web Weavers" and there was a FREAKING HUGE arachnid outside the door of the class. Seriously. The thing could easily have consumed Louisville. And, as most of you know, I have a serious phobia going on about arachnids. If I meet a bug, I count the legs, and when it gets greater than 6, we have a problem. So I'm squeaking "Make it go away" and Judy's telling Ron and Rae "She's not kidding" and I'm hiding behing Rae with my jacket over my head whimpering. A thoroughly embarrassing display, I fear. At 1 in the morning, Teresa offered to go downstairs and "off" the arachnid. Now that's a friend for you. But Ron and Rae are also very good friends and the arachnid disappeared from my sight for the remainder of the weekend (Judy also had my back and got to our classroom early on Saturday to make sure it was gone. Thanks Judy!!!).

But what of the classes, you ask?? FANTASTIC!!! First up was Eileen Bennett. Now, Eileen is regarded as the "Grande Dame" of samplers. To be fair, we tried to warn her. Really. We told her that she never really would have control of our class when she got us first. And somehow our class disintegrated into a discussion of our retirement plans and what kind of retirement home we'd have to build and whether or not Heather would be taking care of it. Poor Eileen. But she handled it like the pro she is and gave us an absolutely beautiful acorn sampler.

Next was Rae's class. A set of smalls featuring squirrels, so Heather was in "squirrel heaven". (Heather's thing is squirrels, like my thing is sheep). Rae's pieces are so intricate and challenging. They make me think while I'm stitching, which is why I enjoy them so very much. I have a great deal of respect for Rae as a designer, teacher and person, and I'm proud to count her as a friend.

Our last class was with Barbara Rakosnik and was a specially made tin topper, complete with a specially made tin! The design featured tons of queen stitches, but once you've learned Barbara's special trick for doing queens with a sewing motion, they're a piece of cake. The tin is beautiful, and there were a couple of accessories that went with it available in the boutique that of course had to come home with me.

Throw in a delightful welcoming tea, some very fine meals, and a Sunday brunch featuring a slide show of the weekend (where I fear my arachniphobia was a featured issue -- good thing I can laugh at myself, eh?) and you've got the weekend. Here are the Stitchqueens in our matching tshirts at the Saturday night dinner. A fine looking group of women if I do say so myself!!! Left to right is Judy, moi, Ann, Jill, Teresa, and Heather. Some of my bestest buddies ever, and I'm so thankful to have them in my life.

One more thing.... Rae was kind enough to let me stitch the model for her Tribute to Noble Eagle, which was her 9/11 commemorative sampler. It's an absolutely stunning design of Wessex work, and I hope that my stitching communicates the beauty of the design. I hadn't seen it framed until ASG, so I had to get a couple of shots. This is the sampler itself. The picture doesn't do it justice.Me and the sampler. I still can't believe I stitched something this big! And I'm so thankful to Rae for the opportunity to do it.

So that's ASG for the year. We don't know where the fall one will be next year... we won't be going back to Louisville, so the adventure will continue in a new location. But I'm looking forward to it wherever it is!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Why I Love Needlecraft Corner

Well, folks, it's been a sucky week. Actually a pretty sucky two weeks, but I digress....

If you check the calendar, Monday is October 15. This is a date that CPAs across the country look at with a sense of dread. It's the drop dead date for individual tax filings without penalty. This means that everyone who has put off filing their return has to get their act together and actually get their stuff to you.

In general, most of these people are not happy, because they're not getting refunds. They're looking to reduce the tax liability that they should have paid back in April. So they like to "discuss" things with you. Some of their ideas are useful. Some of them would see everyone in San Quentin (where, I'm told, they won't let you have sharp objects, but again, I digress). Some of these discussions can get quite lively. After some of them, you hand people's stuff back to them and tell them to find another accountant, because you're not going to jail or losing your license for them or anyone else.

October 15 also draws it's share of looney tunes out of the woodwork. Folks that will drive you absolutely nuts. You'd think that having had 10 months to actually accumulate paperwork, folks would have it all together. Think again. Sometimes it's because they never got it.... this I understand, because heaven knows I don't trust the postal service. Sometimes you get stuff ripped into a gazillion pieces (yeah, the dog ate it). Sometimes, a week before taxes are due, they bring you a **grocery bag** full of receipts (these are known as the "cha-ching" returns because you can hear the price going up).

So, it's been a very stressful two weeks for these and some other reasons I won't go into here. Suffice it to say when I ran out of Ben & Jerry's earlier this week it nearly precipitated a call to Homeland Security. Richard and Oscar have been practicing duck and cover for the most part as I scream at the computer.

But then, today.... a wonderful and unexpected thing happened. A package arrived from Needlecraft Corner. Drema is constantly on the lookout for sheepies for me, and has me on "sheepie automatic" and loves to surprise me. It couldn't have come at a better time.New sheepies. Brand spanking new sheepies. The Wooly Wintertime sheepie came with stuff so I could start stitching immediately.If Richard had been home, I'm convinced he would have dangled the box in front of me like a piece of meat you dangle in front of a wild animal to try to gain its trust.....

I love Drema. :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

An itty bitty knitting finish!

...For an itty bitty person who's coming into the world soon. Charlie's scheduled to arrive on October 19 (coincidentally Richard's birthday), the much anticipated second child of Dan and Amanda at church, so I thought a little cardi was just the ticket:Richard admits that he's a guy, and even he thinks it's cute. Pattern is amazingly simple and available online for a reasonable cost. I did have some tres cute sheepie buttons to put on it, but Mom said (and I reluctantly agreed) that they were too large for the sweater. I'll keep 'em in the stash because you never know when some sheepie buttons will come in handy.

On another note, I went to the doc this week to get a referral back to my orthopaedist. Some of you know that I had rotator cuff surgery done on my left shoulder four years ago. It's due to a problem with misshapen shoulder blades that I was born with; the blades come down in a point that eventually rips into the rotator cuff. Evidently the right side has decided to get in on the act, and there's a good chance I'm going to have to have that repair done before the end of the year and the beginning of tax season. That'll put a hitch in my knitting and stitching plans for a few weeks, fer sure. So I decided I needed a little treat:This is an itty bitty 8GB iPod Nano. It's very cute, and it'll be great to take with me to ASG so I can listen to music and my annoying podcasts on the airplane without bothering people. I also downloaded a pattern today to knit the Nano its own little sock. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Stitch Pink, baby!

Head over to Stitch Pink for a contest to support a cause close to us all. Seriously, go there now!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Afternoon With the Girls

Spent this afternoon up at The Whole Nine Yarns attending their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Event. Having had this horrible disease affect several people very close to me, I probably paid a little more attention to it this year than I did in years past. You made a small donation to get in, and then spent the aftenoon knitting wristbands for walkers to wear during the area Breast Cancer Walk on October 12-14.

So I went to knit. I knitted for Debbie B. and Joan and Andy and my friend Phyllis at church. I knitted for Vicky's dear friend Lorene who lost her battle and left such a hole in Vicky's life because she misses her so much. I knitted for all of my friends who'd had a scare, and with each stitch I knitted, I said a prayer that maybe none of us would ever have to have a scare again.

And I knitted with some very nice women:You can see the wristbands we knitted and crocheted on top of the water bottles on the table. Our group won a prize for having 10 knitted and crocheted the fastest (much to the dismay of the teenagers across the room -- age and treachery will overcome youth and skill any day). We won all sorts of door prizes for all kinds of fun things... I don't think anyone walked away empty handed.

Debi the store owner made the whole thing happen:And last, but certainly not least, Jenn the wonder organizer, dare I say "organized" the whole thing by getting donations of pink yarn and coming up with games and activities and silent auction items.I told Jenn I had to put her picture on the blog so you could all see who had made my life so exhausting interesting for the past month or two. :) Actually we're coming down to the wire on the craft room. I'm hoping to post pictures of the finished product soon.

Update: Heard from Jenn and the afternoon raised over $1500!!! Can knitters raise money or what! How fabulous is that!!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


It's been a quiet week here. Jenn the wonder organizer is on hold while we assemble the bookcases that were delivered on Tuesday. The trundle bed for the guest room was also delivered Tuesday, so it's fair to say that HRL Oscar had a busy day protecting the place from invaders.

But yesterday, FedEx (not Britney's FedEx, but the actual company) came to my door with a package full of wonderment. My new Dale Jr. swag:Ok. The t-shirt is a little busier than I normally wear. Actually, it's a lot busier than I normally wear. But beggars can't be choosers when you want to be the first kid on the block with the new stuff, you know. Chose the National Guard option because I'm not sure I'm ready to handle the green Mountain Dew Amp energy drink scheme yet. That's a lot of green. Also in the box was my tres kewl hoodie:That's more my style. Now if it would just get cold enough to wear it.....

People wonder why Dale Jr. is my driver. There's several reasons. One is that I cheered for his dad. Now, Jr. has a completely different driving style than his dad, which in a number of ways is very good, but he still has a great deal of his dad's talent, particularly on restrictor plate tracks (Daytona and Talledega), where I'm convinced the man can "see" the air and the draft. Secondly, he's one of the last of the good ol' boys... you can package him as slickly as you want, but he's still just a North Carolina boy who grew up working on cars and wanting to race. And last but not least, we both lost our fathers in the same year.... different ways, but we both had to grow up fast. I didn't have to do it in the public eye like he did, but for some reason I feel a kinship to him in that. It may be silly, but it's there.

So, the moral of this story is.... despite the three degrees and professional designation, there's still a little redneck girl who's thisclose to having an 88 tattoo somewhere. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Off to See the Harlot

...or should I say the Haaaaarrrrlot, since we went on September 19, which is officially "Talk like a pirate day". (It really is. Look it up.) At any rate, a group of us headed down to Knitch in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta to see Stephanie Pearl McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot, at her only Atlanta appearance. If you're a knitter or stitcher, and you haven't read any of Stephanie's books, you really need to either look 'em up on Amazon or run to the nearest bookstore to get one, because you've missed a treat. Till then, you can be content with reading her blog. I can only hope to be so clever when I grow up. :)

We got down there early expecting a line to get in, and we tailgated with Subway sandwiches out of the back of the Hummer. I didn't get any pictures of that, but fortunately another person in line took a picture of us waiting outside:From left to right, you see some of my bestest buds Linda, Debbie, Cathy, Andy, and Jill. I, of course, am the goofy looking chick with the crew cut trying to be the center of attention as usual.

There were a *lot* of people there. Knitters. All over the place. Most of them brought their pointy sticks and were knitting in line. Then they were knitting inside the theater. I was so impressed with one young girl who was working on a complicated fair isle mitten that she almost had finished. Asked her how long she'd been working on it, to which she replied "A couple of days." !?!!!!??!! Ah to be young and have an uncluttered mind again!

After Stephanie's lecture (or should I say an hour and a half of continuous laughter), she signed books. I was lucky enough to get a photo taken with her that she gave me permission to post on my blog, so I give you me and the Yarn Harlot:I get so tongue tied when meeting famous (or at least famous to me) people that I'm sure I said something absolutely stupid to her, but she was gracious as she signed my book, posed for a picture, and allowed me to hold the traveling sock. And she said she'd seen my blog, so that made me feel all warm and fuzzy all over. :) A very nice memory for this fan.

Almost forgot to mention something very important: I won a prize in the raffle! They were selling raffle tickets to benefit Knitters Without Borders, and I figured I'd make a donation (since the only thing I've really ever won was a blender when I was in the 9th grade -- I'm still using it, by the way). But they called one of my numbers and I won two very purple, very feltable skeins of Cascade 220.Since they were purple I really had to watch 'em around Jill... (just kidding). I sense a new felted purse in the making.

After the lecture and book signing we went over to Knitch, but we didn't get to spend much time because it was so late. I'm hoping to go back there one weekend and nose around and probably get myself into trouble spending money -- it looks quite dangerous. But one of their staff was willing to take this photo of all of us to make another very nice memory:A plus of this pic was that Heather, the brunette to the far right, was able to make it into this shot. She was running late and got to the talk at the very last minute, so she missed the fun (?) of waiting outside.

Yesterday we had a birthday party for Cathy, who is reaching that milestone in her life of turning 60 (no, none of us can believe it either!). While Vicky and I technically hosted it, it became a group effort with all of us who were there pitching in. Richard was able to get a very nice shot of the group of us who were there:From left to right are Vicky, moi, Debbie, birthday girl Cathy, Jill, Andy and Ramona.

Have I said lately how thankful I am everyday to have all these folks, plus all my "far flung" friends like Judy, Joan, Teresa, and Ann in my life? I can't imagine what my journey would have been like without them. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dude, what happened to your dog?

A couple of Saturdays ago, we went up to Woodstock to The Whole Nine Yarns after doing some shopping. Usually when we come in, Richard is carrying Oscar, like this:
So, nobody thought there was anything unusual when we walked in the store. Except when Debi turned around, did a double take, and said "What happened to your dog?" Because Richard looked like this:
That's a large stuffed dragon. It's a (late) birthday present for our niece Rachael, who I'm fairly confident is not reading this blog. She's 13 this year... that nether age between little girl and little woman, and she likes dragons. This kewl one was available at the book store next to the yarn shop. At any rate, we're shipping it off tomorrow. Do you know how difficult it is to find a box big enough to ship a large stuffed dragon????

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm in!!!!

Ravelry name is doxietrek!

Woo Hoo!

Now I gotta figure out what all there is to do on it.... :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

God Bless America

And may He be with our troops as they fight to give me the freedom to write on silly blogs like this.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

That'll Wake You Up

I'm the first to admit that I enjoy a good nap... especially on a Sunday afternoon after church. The Nextel Cup race was last night (ok. I'm over the fact that Dale Jr. didn't make it into the Chase), and the Falcons weren't really doing all that well against the Vikings, so I didn't fight much when the Nap Monster took over.

Then the phone rang. It was American Express, and right up front they said it wasn't a sales call. By the way, had I tried to make some charges totaling about $1300 over the internet today? The amount looked a bit suspicious....

Uh. No.

"Well, we've denied the charges, and we're stopping your account, but you might want to check your next bill."

"Hang on and I'll pull it up..... Holy Cow!"

Yep. They'd been having a party since September 1, and they hadn't even invited me. Total was almost $1800 till today when evidently they got greedy. Then AmEx read me the litany of charges they had made today.... small ones that didn't include the $1300 that drew attention to themselves.

My personal fave was the $103 they'd spent at QVC, so I decided to give QVC a call (since most of you know I'm the QVC queen). Got the customer service rep and informed them that someone had bought something with my credit card and gave them the card number.

"Yes, someone did purchase something with that card today."

"Well, you probably don't want to send it. They stole that card number from me; it's been reported to American Express, and I'm not paying it. By the way, what did they buy?"

"I'll report this to our fraud department and we'll get in touch with American Express. We can't release any other information due to privacy concerns."

Privacy Concerns?? These lowlifes have tried to steal from me, them, AmEx and all of us in general and they have Privacy Concerns???? Give Moi a major break.

I'm just hoping I didn't buy too many Adult Entertainment books, videos and supplies for them....

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Evidently I have a type...

Another day with the organizer on Wednesday. We're making lots of progress, but I have to tell you this whole process is exhausting (sorry, Jenn -- I know she's reading this!). I find it amazing the projects I'm finding. What's more amazing is that I can tell you what was going on in my life when I was working on most of them. One I found from when my mom had surgery about 8 or 9 years ago was finished except for attaching 3 charms. I guess I must have put it away because I didn't have a beading needle in the hospital, and I kind of lost track of it. I plan to finish that up as soon as I finish posting this.

Another is the small project I took with me to work on in the waiting room while my dad had his radiation treatments for the brain tumor. Needless to say, there's some upsetting memories associated with that one, so I'm not sure when, or if, it'll be finished up. Although it's been almost six years since he passed away, I still haven't gotten to the point where I can even think about those days without crying, so I'm not sure if working on that project would be a good part of the healing process or not. I'll address that another day.

But as the subject says, evidently I have a type. My task while Jenn was here yesterday was to sort and organize all my tapestry and other needles that I had in this nifty multi-drawer unit I've had for awhile. Here's the end result:
If you look carefully at the top row (please excuse the glare from the flash), you'll notice 5 drawers full of size 28 needles. Evidently I prefer to use 28s in stitching. And, evidently I don't need to buy any of them or any other type of needle in the near future.

Monday, September 3, 2007

In the Spirit of the Holiday

Happy Labor Day to everyone! I hope that all had a nice, relaxing holiday to mark the unofficial end of summer. As for me, I can certainly do without any more 100+ degree days here in all too sunny Georgia. I'm a girl who loves cooler weather. I figure you can always wear more clothes, but there's a socially acceptable limit to what you can take off to get cool. His Royal Lowness, on the other hand revels in his nekkidness in the evenings when we take off his collar. :)

In the spirit of Labor Day, we labored around the house. Waded through a ton of paperwork, which we seem to attract like bees to pollen (or some other more appropriate simile that I can't think of right now). I hear Richard at the shredder now. It pays to have a home office with an industrial shredder.

We're also trying to prove our worthiness to the organizer. While Jenn didn't give us "official" homework, we did have this:
Yep. That's a laundry basket chock full o thread. DMC, Sampler Thread, Weeks, Thread Gatherer, Waterlillies, and sundry other fibers from a variety of completed projects that were just tossed in and needed to be put in some orderly fashion where they could be found and used for other projects. While Oscar supervised (a task he does quite well), Richard and I sorted thread by maker and number and/or name, and in the case of DMC bagged it with other floss and with other types of thread put it on rings. Eventually I'll have floss bags for everything, but I've got to order them.

Jenn's not a stitcher. She's a knitter, but she's learning all about stitching. When she first asked if I really *needed* all this thread, I really tried not to gasp in horror. I explained the concept of stitching out of stash and how it differed from buying yarn for specific projects. She's learning a whole different world of needlework, and I'm trying to see things from another point of view. Interesting all around. :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

How Boring is CPE?

CPE -- Continuing Professional Education, for those not up on acronyms, is the current bane of my existence. I'm subject to 40 hours of it a year. 8 of those hours must be in "Accounting and Auditing" or A&A, which in Accountantspeak means mostly auditing. I don't do auditing; it's a good way to get yourself sued, thanks to our friends at Arthur Andersen, Enron, and WorldCom (not that I'm bitter or anything).

So how boring is 8 hours of A&A?
All it needs is the toe. The foot was completed during a particularly tedious session dealing with the finance of family business. The gentleman teaching it was trying to assign a quantitative value to the happiness derived by the family by working in the family business to calculate a rate of return on the capital of the business. (Either your eyes are now glazing over or you're going "huh?".)

Last week I attended an advanced tax class on pass through entities. You may now yawn, although I did find it more interesting than the A&A credit. Nevertheless, I worked on this:
It's the first of the Barker's Dozen ornaments from Pocket Full of Stitches, "A Papillon with a Package". No, I didn't finish all of it during the class, but I did stitch all of the package and the dog, and I got a good bit of the background done, all the while shocking the teacher by actually paying attention to what he was saying and asking questions he really couldn't answer. That's what gripes me about most CPE. It's all theoretical with very few practical applications.

Lest you think I've abandoned the wiener dogs with the canvas above, rest assured that they appear in the 11th month. :)

In other news, I've cried "uncle" and hired a professional organizer to help me with my craft room. (Actually, this was after I sat down in the hall outside of my craft room and actually cried because I couldn't find my stuff). Her name is Jenn Hanna, and the woman is wonderful! It's a long process, but it's kinda kewl because I'm finding stuff I had forgotten I had, and stuff that is so very close to finishing that it's really just a shame I put it down (like that Halloween piece we found this morning that had everything but the spider band stitched -- it will now be finished sans arachnids. I understand God had His reasons for spiders, but I am not a fan of them. Actually complete screaming fear of them is more like it. While rationally I realize I'm thousands of times their size, I know they're out to get me. Really. They're plotting. Crafty devils. And some of them can actually kill you.).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sparkly Shiny Things

Ok. It's been a hideously long time between posts. Between my angst at my wait to get onto Ravelry and now, Richard and I went on vacation to Highlands, NC. Unfortunately, before we went, both Richard and my mom very generously shared whatever type of summer cold/flu bug they had both gotten with me, so I was as sick as the proverbial dog on vacation, and the aftereffects are still hanging on.

But at least with the altitude in Highlands and the NC mountains, I was sick about 15 degrees cooler than I would have been in Atlanta, so the trip was worth it in that regard.

This is the seventh year in a row that we've visited Highlands for our anniversary (which was Aug. 11 - 23 years!). We started going there because the town featured a very pet friendly hotel. That hotel was subsequently bought by some not so pet friendly people, so we switched to the Skyline Lodge. Our room looks like this:Not on the posh side, but very comfortable. Faces the mountains and has a very nice view. Staff is very friendly and very accomodating. Best part of all is the restaurant at the hotel, which has a patio and welcomes all three of us to dine there.Here you see one of the managers welcoming Richard and Oscar to dinner. The chef will cook up a burger especially for Oscar so His Royal Lowness can dine with us. The food is fantastic too!!!

Another highlight of our trips to Highlands is our annual visit to the Jackson Hole gem mine, where we buy buckets of dirt and pan for gem stones. In past years, we've found and had cut and mounted into very lovely pieces of jewelry garnets, topaz, green tourmaline, and emeralds.

Here you can see where you actually do the gem mining. You scoop the dirt into the boxes with screen on the bottom, then lower them into the flowing water, where all the dirt/residue is washed away, leaving you with a variety of rocks. After some experience, you learn what is a gemstone worth keeping, and what is "just a rock". Of course, folks from the mine are there to look over what you're keeping and what you're throwing away to make sure you're not throwing away any treasures.
On the right is Holly, jeweler extraordinaire, and her mom, and their family owns Jackson Hole. Every year (except on years like last year, when she's off doing something important like having a baby, so we'll let it slide) Holly helps us decide which stones would be good to cut and helps us pick out mountings. This year, I decided that earrings were in order, so here are the sparkly, shiny things Holly made for me:The top earrings are 10.77 carats of aquamarine made out of a stone that Richard found. The bottom earrings are more difficult to see, but they're 2.07 carats of watermelon tourmaline made of a stone I found. You can't see the color well, but the watermelon tourmaline is a stone with both pink and green tourmaline in layers looking like a slice of watermelon when it's cut. Very kewl! The stone was small, so I was amazed that they were able to get anything out of it, so I'm very pleased with my pretties!!!

Almost forgot Daisy....Daisy is the very active Goldendoodle shop dog at Jackson Hole. I think she was more interested in Oscar than Oscar was in her (after all, Oscar isn't a "dog person").

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Evidently I'm not getting into Ravelry anytime soon....

Found you!
  • You signed up on July 3, 2007
  • You are #13116 on the list.
  • 4936 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 10543 people are behind you in line.
  • 33% of the list has been invited so far
At least I'm not at the end.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

We Have A Wiener!!!

im on ur kalendur...pikin out ur jale tyme.

The winning caption was submitted by Heather! So, let us know what your choice of prize is: a chart from Needlecraft Corner, a skein of sock yarn from The Loopy Ewe, or a donation in your name to the dog rescue organization of your choice.

Of course, there are no losers in this competition; there will be a contribution made in the names of our other captioners, Teresa and Jill, to Don's Orphans, an animal rescue organization run by the Animal Hospital of Towne Lake (which is Oscar's v-e-t, the wonderful Dr. Weaver).

Thanks to everyone who entered or who visited the blog to check out the contest. Oscar promises to run more contests in the future since he's gotten the hang of it. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Rush of Starting.....

You know that rush you get when starting a new project?? The wonderment of collecting all the fibers.... of picking out just the right fabric.... of gathering everything all together and getting it all ready and putting in that first stitch??

Well, last night I was doing that. I had purchased a new (to me anyway) chart from Ink Circles... the lovely Sea Stars, and I had treated myself to the equally beautiful Vikki Clayton premium silks to stitch it with. The only thing left to do was to select the fabbie, and I had decided to stitch out of my stash.

First I looked at the fabrics I had just gotten out of the Silkweaver grab bags that had found their way to my door... A couple of very likely candidates after a floss toss, very pretty green overdyeds, but alas, they were 28 ct, and were too small. Off to get the bin of 32 ct fabric. I needed a 21x21 inch piece (yeah, this sucker is gonna be big)... and much to my dismay... the best color choice was...


Plain old boring, ordinary antique white.

Richard sensed my disappointment and asked if I couldn't just wait and order something more appropriate. I told him that would defeat the idea of stitching out of my rather extensive stash.

Not that there's anything wrong with white. It's a perfectly nice color: it shows off the beauty of the silk. I guess I was just hoping for something more... well... exciting. Guess it should just teach me to appreciate the beauty in the more plain things around me and how they can show off everything else, eh?

So I started stitching my new project, and the dark blue I'm working with does look stunning against the white background. And I know it'll be beautiful when I finish. White does serve it's purpose.

Just a reminder to scroll down and check out Oscar's caption contest. Only a few more days before it closes on the 31st! :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

I *finally* stitched something!!

Ah yes, they're small, but they're completions just the same....
Behold the Jeannette Douglas ornament from the 2005 JCS ornament issue. Imagine, if you will, it constructed into a wee needleroll. I'm trying to imagine that myself right now, because I'm having a Major Brain Cramp on hemstitching. Too late tonight to work with that anymore!This pretty is the Nordic Needle ornament from the same issue. I'm imagining it with some nice twisted cord around it. I'm sure Vicky will do a splendid job finishing it the way she has all my other ornaments. Someday I'm going to learn to do that.... One more item on my "to do" list. Right now I don't seem to have the patience.

A reminder that Oscar's caption contest is still open and will remain so until the 31st. Looking forward to seeing all your creative thoughts! :) Did I mention prizes?? Your choice: A chart from Needlecraft Corner, a skein of sock yarn from The Loopy Ewe, or a donation made to the dog rescue group of your choice (if you don't have one, Oscar will be happy to make a suggestion).

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Oscar welcomes your input

He's weighing in on the Michael Vick situation...And he's looking for a caption to this picture.... He found a calendar in Office Depot, and while he didn't want to waste his hard earned dog-treat money on it, he decided to have a little fun with it and a cell phone camera.

Any suggestions? There's a prize for the most original caption as determined by hubby Richard....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to Our Boy!!!

Oscar Worf, His Royal Lowness, is 14 years old today! Seems only yesterday that he was a little 3 month old pup that was an impulse purchase from a pet store (never go by one when you're having a bad day, and yes, we know all about buying dogs from pet stores now, but we consider him our own little rescue). He is the love of our life, and we hope he's with us for years to come as long as he's healthy and happy. We like to say he's in touch with his inner puppy.

So we'll be treating him to a meal spiked with Grandma's roast beef and a trip to PetSmart, where the smells are oh-so-interesting. And then we'll come home where he'll curl up next to me, right where I want him to be, and he'll "hold" my pattern while I stitch or knit. He's very, very good at that.

So please join me in wishing a happy birthday to our little man! We love you Oscar, and we can't imagine a day without you.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A New Hope

A wonderful weekend with my friends... lots of laughter and food... no pictures, I'm afraid on my part. Lots of other people were taking them, so I'm hoping I can sneak one onto here when I can snag one. We did our annual ornament kit exchange from last year's Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue, and I have lots of kits to work on. :)

When we last left my spinning efforts, I was, at best, in the remedial class. My wheel was spinning too fast, and I couldn't get the speed cranked down enough for a beginner like me to be able to handle it. There is some speculation among folks that I've talked with that there's a defect with my current wheel, so I'm going to take that up with the folks from whom I purchased it.

My hubby, aware of the horrible pun he was about to make, suggested that I look for a "training wheel". On Friday, I got a goodie courtesy of UPS and my new friend Bob of Winderwood Farm. Above you see an Ashford Kiwi, and I'm happy to report that Richard assembled it for me today while we were watching the race, and the purple stuff you see coming out of the front is some roving I've already been spinning into some crude, hideously overspun yarn. I'll be taking the wheel to my spinning class tomorrow night. I'm very excited at the potential of being able to do this right! I can't say enough good things about the great customer service Bob gave me through his Ebay store, so please check it out when you get a chance through the link provided above (this is not a paid commercial, just a very satisfied customer!).

Not much either knitting or stitching this weekend, altho I did start an ornament from the 2005 ornament issue and a pair of Jaywalkers for my friend Judy (who bought the yarn during a run to the Whole Nine Yarns on Friday morning).

This week will be busy with work, and on Monday night I'll be staying with my friend Andy who is having a lumpectomy for breast cancer. The prognosis is very good, and we feel blessed, but it's just another reminder for all us girls to keep a check.